Only a handful of the nominations were announced on ABC's "Good Morning America" by Paisley and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, who saw her group nominated for vocal group.
The complete list was to be announced later Wednesday morning at a news conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Nominees for album of the year are Brooks & Dunn for "Hillbilly Deluxe," Rascal Flatts for "Me and My Gang," Alan Jackson for "Precious Memories," Paisley for "Time Well Wasted" and Chesney for "The Road and the Radio."
The male-centric field of nominees for entertainer of the year include Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn, Keith Urban, Chesney and Paisley.
2Nominees for female vocalist of the year are "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Faith Hill, Sara Evans and Martina McBride.
For male vocalist of the year, the nominees are Dierks Bently, Jackson, Paisley, Urban and Chesney.
Besides Sugarland, nominees for vocal group include Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Little Big Town, Lonestar, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland.
The CMA Awards, which were held in New York City for the first time last year, return to their Nashville home Nov. 6 to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The show will air on ABC.