updated 03/04/2008 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/04/2008 AT 11:45 AM ET
Kenny Chesney leads the pack of this year’s Academy of Country Music Award nominees, earning 11 nominations including the prestigious entertainer of the year award. He is also up for top male vocalist.
For the first time, fans will select who wins entertainer of the year. If Chesney takes the title, it will mark his fourth consecutive win. Voting begins May 5. All winners will be announced during the telecast on May 18, which will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Other leading nominees include Rodney Atkins, who earned six nominations. He will compete against Chesney for top male vocalist. (Last year, Atkins was named top new male vocalist.) Brad Paisley received four nominations, including entertainer of the year and album of the year for 5th Gear. Big & Rich and Suglarland also received four nominations.
In the top female vocalist category, Taylor Swift will face off against Miranda Lambert. Both singers earned three nominations. The women also earned nods in the album of the year category. Carrie Underwood, who announced the nominees along with Paisley on Tuesday morning, will compete in that category as well.
The 43rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air May 18 at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS