George Strait is the all-time leader with 18 album of the year nominations. He won a record five times – for Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (1985), Blue Clear Sky (1996), Carrying Your Love With Me (1997), It Just Comes Natural (2007) and Troubadour (2008).
Following the list we’ll show you the names of artists who have had two, three or four nominations, including country titan Garth Brooks, who, surprisingly, has had just four nods.
George Strait: Eighteen nominations between 1984 and 2010, including a record five wins. Strait had seven consecutive nominations between 1984 and 1990—another record. He nearly equaled that feat between 1994 and 1999, when he had six straight nods.
Merle Haggard: Eleven nods between 1967, the first year of the awards, and 1984. Hag was nominated six years in a row from 1967 through 1972. He won twice, for Okie From Muskogee (1970) and Let Me Tell You About a Song (1972). Hag’s tally includes one collab, with Willie Nelson, in 1983. Haggard died in 2016.
Alan Jackson: Eleven nods between 1990 and 2008. He won for Drive (2002).
Brooks & Dunn: Seven nods between 1992 and 2008, the most by any group or duo. One hitch: The duo never won in the category. They have more nods without a win than anyone else in the history of this category.
Ronnie Milsap: Six nods between 1975 and 1986. He won for A Legend in My Time (1975), Ronnie Milsap Live (1977), It Was Almost Like a Song (1978) and Lost in the Fifties Tonight (1986). Milsap has the best batting average (four wins from six nods) of any artist in the category’s history.
Willie Nelson: Six nods between 1976 and 2002. He won for Wanted: The Outlaws, a collab with Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser and Jessi Colter (1976) and Always on My Mind (1982). Nelson’s tally includes a second collab with Jennings, a collab with Leon Russell and the aforementioned collab with Haggard.
Vince Gill: Six nods between 1991 and 2007. He won for I Still Believe in You (1993).
Brad Paisley: Six nods between 2000 and 2011. He won for Time Well Wasted (2006).
Keith Urban: Six nods between 2005 and 2018. He has yet to win in the category.
Dierks Bentley: Six nods between 2007 and 2018. He has yet to win in the category.
Conway Twitty: Five nods between 1970 and 1975. Three of Twitty’s five nods were for collabs with Loretta Lynn. Twitty, who died in 1993, never won in the category.
Loretta Lynn: Five nods between 1972 and 1977. Lynn was the first female to amass five nods. She’s currently tied for the most nods by a female artist with Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. Three of Lynn’s five nods were for collabs with Twitty. Lynn has yet to win in the category.
Alabama: Five nods between 1981 and 1985. That’s five consecutive nods, mind you. The quartet won for The Closer You Get… (1983).
Reba McEntire: Five nods between 1985 and 1992. She has yet to win in the category.
Tim McGraw: Five nods between 1998 and 2005. He won back-to-back awards for Everywhere (1998) and A Place in the Sun (1999).
Kenny Chesney: Five nods between 2002 and 2015. He won for When the Sun Goes Down (2004).
Carrie Underwood: Five nods between 2008 and 2019. She has yet to win in the category.
Miranda Lambert: Five nods between 2010 and 2020. She won for Revolution (2010) and Platinum (2014).
Four nominations: Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Garth Brooks, Eric Church
Three nominations: Kenny Rogers, George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, The Judds/Wynonna, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton
Two nominations: Sonny James, Ray Price, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Don Williams, Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea, Ricky Van Shelton, Trisha Yearwood, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett