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It’s Country Music’s Biggest Night

46th Annual CMA Awards Nominations
Fernando Leon, Getty Images

For the fifth straight year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are co-hosting the Country Music Association Awards. There will be a few surprises and some humor in the mix according to the pair, as well as a tribute to Willie Nelson.

But helping the Red Cross raise money for victims of superstorm Sandy will also be an important part of the show.

You might say there’s a sea of change going on in Music City,  and the Country Music Association Awards are in the middle of it.

When country music’s biggest stars take the stage Thursday night in Nashville, you’ll see many of your favorites from the last decade. But new faces are dominating the genre as country’s fan base shifts to a younger skewing audience.

From Taylor Swift’s army of empowered young women to the power-drinking party boys who prefer lead nominee Eric Church and Jason Aldean, country’s audience is much different than it was 10 years ago. Church benefited with five nominations, including album and male vocalist of the year.

Country performers who have tasted their most significant success within the last five years outnumber the more established stars. Those newer artists received the lion’s share of the nominations.

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