On Sept. 9, the Country Music Awards announced the final nominees for the 43rd Annual CMA Awards. The ceremony, hosted by singers Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will be broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville Wed. Nov. 11. Charleston native and Hootie & The Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker, was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year.

Rucker performed at last year’s CMA event, just as his chart-topping debut solo album debut Learn to Live was taking off. “I was so honored to perform at the 2008 CMA Awards Show, and I feel privileged to be a part of this year’s nominee announcement,” Rucker said last week. Rucker is currently on tour with Rascal Flatts.

Visit cmaawards.com and dariusrucker.com for more.

In the meantime, Hootie drummer and community activist Jim “Soni” Sonefeld will receive the Cooperative Ministry’s 2009 Outstanding Community Service Award in October at a fundraising event themed “Hold My Hand” at the Columbia Marriott. Each year, the Cooperative Ministry selects an individual or corporation that “best represents the highest level of commitment, selflessness and devotion” to the community.

“Sonefeld’s work and dedication to the Columbia area, and strong support of local charities made him a unanimous choice,” says David Kunz, executive director of the ministry.

Check out coopmin.org for more.