Alan Jackson is at the top of the heap with eight nominations for the fan-voted TNN Country Weekly Music Awards. Jackson is followed closely by George Strait, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw with seven nods each. Three songs — “I Hope You Dance,” “Let’s Make Love” and “Murder on Music Row” — seemed especially to find favor with country fans, who voted for their favorites via the Internet and in issues of Country Weekly.
Jackson landed his nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, The Impact Award (for contributing to country music’s positive presence in the media), Album of the Year for When Somebody Loves You, CMT Music Video of the Year for “www.memory” and Single, Song and Collaborative Event of the Year for his pairing with George Strait on “Murder on Music Row.”
Husband-and-wife McGraw and Hill received four of their nominations for their duet, “Let’s Make Love.” The pairing puts them in the running for Collaborative Event of the Year, Single of the Year, CMT Music Video of the Year and Song of the Year. The dynamic duo will compete against each other in the “Entertainer of the Year” category. Hill also was tapped for Female Artist of the Year and The Impact Award. McGraw rounded out his nominations with Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his Greatest Hits.
Strait, winner of five trophies last year, received nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, The Impact Award and Album of the Year for Latest Greatest Straitest Hits. Strait added three more nominations for his collaboration with Jackson on “Murder on Music Row.”
Winners will be announced June 13 during the awards show, carried live by TNN (8 p.m. ET/PT) from Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center. The annual event kicks off the 30th International Country Music Fan Fair and is the only nationally televised country music awards show that lets the fans choose the winners.
Among the other top nominees is Lee Ann Womack, who received four of her six mentions for her critically-praised collaboration with Sons of the Desert on the uplifting “I Hope You Dance,” written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers. Womack also is up for Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.
Other multiple nominees include the Dixie Chicks with four, for Entertainer of the Year, Group/Duo of the Year, The Impact Award and CMT Music Video of the Year; Reba McEntire and Toby Keith with three apiece; and Brad Paisley with two. Last year Paisley won three trophies, second only to Strait.
International Country Music Fan Fair allows fans to meet and greet their favorite artists and participate in a marathon of music events. The country music festival moves to downtown Nashville this year. Organizers hope to draw record numbers by scheduling the event over a long weekend (June 14-17) and providing more flexible ticket pricing.
TNN has telecast an annual fan-voted country music awards show since April 1988 when it introduced the Viewer’s Choice Awards in celebration of the network’s fifth anniversary. In 1990 the Viewer’s Choice Awards merged with the Music City News Awards to become the TNN Music City News Country Awards. TNN and Music City News jointly produced an annual fan-voted awards show until June 1999, when their contract expired.
Fans selected this year’s final nominees through mail-in ballots in issues of Country Weekly, and Internet voting on country.com, tnnonline.com and countryweekly.com. Final voting for the winners of the TNN Country Weekly Music Awards begins April 1 via 900 telephone numbers and through countryweekly.com, country.com and tnnonline.com. Ballots will also be available through Country Weekly in four issues beginning April 17 (available on newsstands April 3).
The TNN Country Weekly Music Awards hold special interest for country fans because fans choose the winners, and the front row seats are reserved for them rather than for the many stars who attend.