Singers Brantley Gilbert, Lee Brice and Hunter Hayes will duke it out for the title of Best New Male Vocalist at the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.

Academy of Country Music bosses announced the nominees for the genre's hottest newcomers on Monday (14Jan13), and it appears it will be a tight race between the three stars.

In addition, Gilbert's girlfriend and former One Tree Hill actress Jana Kramer is up for Best New Female Vocalist, as is Kacey Musgraves and Sunny Sweeney, while Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line and Love and Theft are nominated in the duo/group category.

Fans will be able to vote for their favourite musicians beginning next week (21Jan13), and the winners will be announced at the 48th annual prizegiving in Las Vegas on 7 April (13).