The ACM Awards shortlist has been announced, one of the biggest awards shows in the American country music scene. Fully-named The Academy of Country Music Awards, is looks like 2013 could be the year of Eric Church, who seems to be set for reverence indeed after being named as a candidate in seven categories.

Known as the Chief, Church nevertheless isn’t up for the top category of the event – which will be held on April 7 in Las Vegas. Entertainer of the year will be contested by many of the established names on the country circuit, including Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift. We’re not quite sure how much a part of the ‘scene’ Swift can really feel these days to be honest, but never mind, she’s going for her third straight win in the category.

Going back to whose up for the most gongs though, it would appear that Hunter Hayes is just one behind ‘the Chief’, with six nominations, whilst Lambert and Swift are on five each. We wouldn’t bet against Swift winning all five of her categories: entertainer of the year, top female vocalist, video of the year, album of the year (artist) and album of the year (producer). For Hayes, he was just thrilled with the nominations. “It’s amazing. That puts it in perspective,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “I’m kind of feeling like I’m part of the family now, especially now, with this. That’s such an honor, such a huge compliment. This is serious. This is for real. This says that my music’s been accepted by this community and it’s unbelievable — and that’s one of the best feelings in the world.”

Full nominees can be seen here.