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Luke Bryan gears up for CMA Awards

Luke Bryan performs during Dierks Bentley's 8th Miles

Luke Bryan performs during Dierks Bentley's 8th Miles & Music for Kids at Riverfront Park in Nashville, Tenn. (Nov. 3, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

It hasn't been Luke Bryan's year alone in country music, but there's no question he's been enjoying a fabulous one.

Named entertainer of the year at last spring's Academy of Country Music Awards, the singer-songwriter is riding high on the success of his album and single, both titled "Crash My Party," and he's sold out concert venues across the country on dual tours.

Things may be about to get even better for Bryan, since he has three nominations -- including entertainer and male vocalist of the year -- in the Country Music Association's 47th Annual CMA Awards. Bryan will be among the performers as ABC televises the event Wednesday night (8-11) from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, with Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood paired again as the event's hosts for the sixth consecutive time.

Having earned his first two CMA nominations last year, Bryan says he's "excited about" his trio of chances this time. In a rarity for any artist, he's scored a couple of clean sweeps: He took both of his categories in the 2010 ACM Awards, and he won all nine awards he was up for at the 2012 American Country Awards, many of those linked to his hit single "I Don't Want This Night to End."

"It's pretty surreal," Bryan muses, adding that at award shows, "I'm like a fan in the room, then I get onstage and do my thing. I just love the award show experience. It's always a fun night for country music to show what they've got, and I really just enjoy being in the moment and being a part of the shows."

That's not always limited to being a nominee and/or performer. After teaming this past spring with friend Blake Shelton to host the ACM Awards, Bryan has signed up to do it with him again in 2014. "With every phase of this business, I give it all I've got," Bryan says. "I exhaust every bit of brainpower on making each experience the best I can, and I just relish being in the game of country music."

Sampling a crowd's reaction to his tunes -- including the country-chart-topping "That's My Kind of Night" from the platinum-selling "Crash My Party" -- raises that game for Bryan, a married father of two who's spent part of his year performing his Farm Tour to raise scholarship money for farm family members.

Bryan's third current CMA bid is for musical event of the year, for his collaboration with Jason Aldean and Eric Church on "The Only Way I Know." Also up for CMA entertainer of the year are Aldean, Shelton, George Strait and Taylor Swift.

Bryan will be involved with the Country Music Association again soon, as one of the artists on the annual "CMA Country Christmas" special ABC will air Dec. 2. And more honors may come his way shortly: He's nominated for favorite male country artist, and "Crash My Party" is up for favorite country album in the 2013 American Music Awards, which ABC also will present Nov. 24.

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