“Breathe,” “Dance” and Paisley Vie for Top Grammys

Gill Has Four Nominations, Hill Gets Three

Two country smashes square off against each other, Brad Paisley is up for Best New Artist and Vince Gill has four nominations in voting for The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, to be presented Feb. 21 in Los Angeles.

Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” written by Stephanie Bentley and Holly Lamar, and Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers, are nominated for Song of the Year and Country Song of the Year. The award goes to the songwriters. The songs will compete with releases by U2, Macy Gray and Destiny’s Child.

Paisley is up for Best New Artist, along with country-turned-pop singer Shelby Lynne (who first charted in 1988), R&B favorites Sisqo and Jill Scott and rock group Papa Roach.

Nominations were announced simultaneously today (Jan. 3) at press conferences in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. Paisley, Yearwood and Christian artist Rebecca St. James made the Nashville announcements.

Gill is the most-nominated country artist, with four nods, for Best Male Country Vocal and Best Country Song (“Feels Like Love”); Best Country Album (Let’s Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye); and Best Country Vocal Collaboration (“When I Look Into Your Eyes” with wife Amy Grant).

Hill, who has never won a Grammy, has three nominations, for Best Female Country Vocal (“Breathe”); Best Country Album (Breathe); and Best Country Vocal Collaboration (“Let’s Make Love” with husband Tim McGraw).

Up for Male Country Vocal with Gill are Johnny Cash (“Solitary Man”); Billy Gilman, (“One Voice”); Tim McGraw (“My Best Friend”); and Dwight Yoakam (an acoustic version of his 1993 hit, “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere”).

Best Country Song contenders include “Breathe”; “Feels Like Love,” written by Gill; “I Hope You Dance”; “One Voice,” written by Don Cook and David Malloy; and “The Way You Love Me,” written by Michael Delaney and Keith Follese.

Country Female Vocal nominees include Hill; Womack for “I Hope You Dance”; Jo Dee Messina for “That’s the Way”; Dolly Parton for “Travelin’ Prayer”; and Trisha Yearwood for “Real Live Woman.”

Nods for Country Album went to Gill’s Let’s Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye; Hill’s Breathe; Alan Jackson’s Under the Influence; Womack’s I Hope You Dance and Yearwood’s Real Live Woman.

Alabama, Asleep at the Wheel, Brooks & Dunn, Riders in the Sky and the Wilkinsons are up for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal.

Bluegrass Album nominations went to Alison Brown, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Nickel Creek, Dolly Parton and Ricky Skaggs & Friends.

Gill has won 14 Grammys previously, tying him with Chet Atkins for most wins by a country artist. Roger Miller has 11. Alison Krauss has 10.

The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards will be presented at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The show will be broadcast live by CBS. Performers and presenters will be announced during the coming weeks.

Check back to country.com for the complete list of nominees and nominee reactions.