NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Reba McEntire will return as host of the 42nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, the organization announced Thursday. ‘‘I’m so flattered,’’ McEntire said in a statement. ‘‘I’m thrilled to be heading back to Las Vegas to help put on the greatest show in country music.’’ The awards will be presented May 15 in Las Vegas, and the show will air live on CBS.
George Strait leads the nominees with eight nominations, including entertainer of the year and top male vocalist. Vocal duo Brooks & Dunn have seven nominations and Rascal Flatts six. ...
In other news, Billboard is looking to expand its awards brand to Nashville by creating a Billboard County Music Awards telecast. Billboard already has successful TV franchises with the Billboard Music Awards, which honors the top sellers of the year, the Billboard Latin Music Awards, as well as a weekly Spanish countdown show.
‘‘Country music is very important to Billboard and we would love to put the spotlight on its brightest stars,’’ says Tamara Conniff, executive editor and associate publisher of Billboard. ‘‘We are in early discussions to determine our plans. If this is something Nashville thinks would be good for the county music industry, we would love to do it.’’
No broadcast partner has been confirmed for the Billboard County Music Awards or the Billboard Music Awards, however negotiations are currently taking place for both shows.
Billboard is also home to the Billboard Touring Awards and the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop Awards.