ACM Awards: It’s an Honor to Be Nominated

Country Stars React to Nominations for 39th Annual Awards Show

Not that anyone would ever admit to taking awards for granted, Jimmy Wayne could offer a fresh perspective after being nominated as top new artist at the 39th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Wayne was attending a meeting at DreamWorks Records’ office on Nashville’s Music Row when he learned that he’s nominated in a category also featuring newcomers
Dierks Bentley, Pat Green, Buddy Jewell and Josh Turner.

“It was such an exciting feeling that I got the chills,” Wayne said. “Memories of the numerous nights I’ve spent practicing — and everything I’ve learned and studied to prepare to be the best singer-performer I can be — came flooding through my mind. I’m honored by this nomination.”

Turner summed up his nomination by saying, “I am extremely excited about this nomination. It’s always great when hard work pays off, and I can’t think of a better payoff than this.” On his nomination, Bentley said, “It feels really good to be recognized by the country music industry. I’m proud of my band, all the people I work with and everyone at Capitol Records.”

Terri Clark, Montgomery Gentry and Brad Paisley joined ACM executive director Bob Romeo and awards show producer Dick Clark in announcing the nominations Wednesday morning (March 10) at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles.

In being nominated for top female vocalist for the second consecutive year, Terri Clark noted, “Last year’s nomination was a long time coming. You keep true to the music you believe in, and you let the recognition come as it will. But you always want to be one of those ones singled out as being the very best or at least one of the best representatives of what women are doing in country music.” She also said, “Growing up the way I did — glued to the awards shows on a small TV in the basement — being nominated for female vocalist really means a lot to me. To act like it’s not a big deal would really be lying.”

In addition to a top vocal duo nomination, Montgomery Gentry also received a vocal event nomination for their work with Andy Griggs and Blake Shelton on Tracy Byrd’s “The Truth About Men.” Eddie Montgomery responded by saying, “We appreciate the nod of the industry. We’re just doing what we’ve always loved to do, and if that means we get award nominations, then how cool is that?” Partner Troy Gentry added, “We’re really honored to receive these nominations. We’ve learned to not take anything for granted.”

As for his part in Byrd’s single and video, Shelton said, “It’s about time our side of the story got told. I’m thrilled to have been a part of ’The Truth About Men.’ Working with Tracy, Andy, Eddie and Troy was a blast.”

Paisley received three nominations, including an album of the year nod for Mud on the Tires and a video of the year mention for “Celebrity.” Paisley is also nominated alongside Martina McBride and Charlie Daniels for the ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian of the Year award. “I am so thrilled to be recognized by the Academy of Country Music,” Paisley said. “The support I have received from my label, radio, the media and the fans is so gratifying for me.”

McBride is one of this year’s most-nominated artists. Besides the Humanitarian of the Year award, she’s also nominated for top female vocalist. Her four total nominations also include video of the year for “Concrete Angel” and album of the year for Martina, an album she co-produced.

“Every nomination is a tremendous gift,” McBride said, “and I’m so thrilled to be nominated for the ACM’s top female vocalist and video of the year for ’Concrete Angel’ because that video is very dear to me. But when I heard that we’d received the nomination for album of the year, I was really excited. I worked so hard producing this record and finding just the right collection of songs. Having the album come together so beautifully was reward enough, but this nomination is truly an honor.”

Kenny Chesney was hard at work at rehearsals for his upcoming tour when his manager tried to reach him on his cell phone. Not realizing he had received three nominations, including entertainer and male vocalist of the year, Chesney noticed his phone kept ringing while he concentrated on plans for lighting the stage. “Whoever it was, they just wouldn’t stop calling back, so I finally figured, ’I better answer it,'” Chesney laughed. “But truth be told, I was so annoyed, I almost threw the damn thing out the window.” Explaining that he had forgotten when the ACM nominations were to be announced, Chesney said, “It was news to me. Good news, but I was a little hot when I picked up the phone … .”

Keith Urban was in Daytona Beach, Fla., to film a CMT concert special when he got the news of his nomination as top male vocalist. CMT’s Lance Smith was first to get Urban’s reaction when he asked, “Are you on cloud nine?” Urban retorted, “No, I’m on cloud 10!” The spring break special, Keith Urban: Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Here debuts March 27.

Brooks & Dunn racked up five nominations, including entertainer, single record, album and song of the year — the latter three stemming from “Red Dirt Road.” Needless to say, they also received a top vocal duo nomination. “We’ve been recognized for our music many times over the years,” Ronnie Dunn said. “But this time, maybe because the song does come from such a deep personal place in my life, it just means that much more.” Kix Brooks added, “It’s a funny thing about this record. This has been a project that’s
brought all different kinds of music fans together — people who like mainstream
country, people who like more fringe stuff, people who like rock music, soul

Randy Travis’ recording of “Three Wooden Crosses” netted nominations for single record and song of the year. Written by Nashville songwriters Doug Johnson and Kim Williams, the song pushed Travis back into the country music mainstream and led to a recent Grammy win for his inspirational Rise and Shine album. “It’s wonderful to continue to be recognized for the success “Three Wooden Crosses,'” Travis said. “It’s rewarding to see the power of a song like this to make such an impression and touch people’s lives in a positive way.”

Vince Gill took special pride that his song, “Young Man’s Town,” is allowing him to share a vocal event nomination with Emmylou Harris. “To receive this nomination is a thrill of a lifetime,” he noted. “Emmylou single-handedly pointed me into a career in country music more than anybody.”

With Trick Pony nominated in the vocal group category, vocalist Heidi Newfield said, “We are so honored, humbled and excited to be recognized at this year’s ACMs. Hopefully our next album, which we just completed and have worked so diligently on, will prove that we’re here to stay.” Bandmate Keith Burns noted the competition in the category, saying, “I’m thrilled to have a nomination and honored to be in such great company, especially with my heroes, Alabama.” Offering his prediction for the awards show, bassist Ira Dean joked, “I am pleasantly surprised and thankful to get to go to Vegas again. Also, let me be the first to congratulate Rascal Flatts on their win.”

Set for May 26 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the ACM Awards show will be broadcast live on CBS. The program will be hosted by Reba McEntire.