When Carrie Underwood's name was read Wednesday as a nominee for the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year, it was the first time in seven years that a woman was nominated in that category. Should she win, Underwood would be the first female since the Dixie Chicks in 2000 to walk away with the coveted honor. In fact, the Chicks were the last females to be nominated for the award, back in 2002.

"I am so humbled and blessed with the recognition of these nominations by my fellow artists and the country music community," Underwood says. "My band, crew and everyone on my team has worked so hard the past year with my first big tour, so the Entertainer nomination is especially rewarding for all of us. I think I'm stil in shock!"

LeAnn Rimes, one of the singers who announced the nominees on Wednesday, says Underwood's Entertainer nod is a breakthrough. "It's exciting to have a woman nominated this year," she says. "We're in a very male dominated world and it has been that way in recent years."

Kellie Pickler, also one of the artists announcing the nominees is equally excited for her buddy. "Good for her! I am so excited for her," the fellow 'American Idol' alum says of Underwood. "It's been a long time since a female has been nominated in this category."

Loretta Lynnwas the first woman to win the ACM's Entertainer of the Year award, back in 1975. Two years later, Dolly Partontook home the award, followed by Barbara Mandrell in 1980. It was another 14 years before Reba McEntirereceived the honor, in 1994, followed five years later by Shania Twain in 1999 and the Dixie Chicks in 2000.

Other nominees this year in the Entertainer of the Year category are Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban. Underwood is also nominated for Top Female Vocalist, and her 'Just A Dream' video is up for Video of the Year. Reba McEntire will host the ACM Awards, live from Las Vegas, April 5 at 8 PM ET on CBS.