Wilson, McGraw Reflect on Grammy Nods

"Live Like You Were Dying" Writers Shocked, Blessed

In her first year of eligibility, Gretchen Wilson scored four Grammy nominations, including the best new artist among all genres. It’s the latest award nomination in a year packed with them.

“I’m just trying to really keep up, and every time I turn around, it just keeps getting better and better,” she told CMT News shortly after reading some of the nominations on Tuesday morning (Dec. 7) in Los Angeles. “I’m not complaining about anything, but sometimes it’s really difficult to comprehend everything that’s going on.”

Asked if she expected any nominations since she was on hand to help announce them, she replied, “I was hoping I would, but I had no idea I’d have four. That’s just incredible for the Grammys.”

Wilson’s other nominations came in the country category, for female vocal performance and song (both for “Redneck Woman”) as well as album (Here for the Party).

In the best new artist category, she’s up against rap artist Kanye West, who complained at the American Music Awards in November that he — not Wilson — should have won the best new artist award at that ceremony.

Wilson insisted there are no hard feelings.

“Kanye West is a very nice gentleman who walked up to me earlier this morning as soon as we first got here and explained himself and apologized if I misunderstood him in any way,” she said. “Everything’s great. Everything’s wonderful.”

With multiple nominations, it’s likely she’ll be extended an invitation to perform on the show. If that’s the case, she may need to go shopping.

“I’ve never worn a dress,” she said. “I don’t think I can. I don’t really think too much about what I’m going to be wearing most of the time, obviously, as you can tell. I just throw on anything as long as it’s clean. I’m the girl who’s, like, smelling the shirt. ’OK, I can wear this one today.’ I would imagine we’ll be thinking pretty hard about what I’m going to wear this time.”

“Live Like You Were Dying,” the Tim McGraw hit written by Nashville songwriters Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, landed in the overall category for song of the year, competing against other songs written by Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Kanye West and members of the rock band, Hoobastank. McGraw was on his way to a No. 1 party in Nashville for Nichols and Wiseman when he found out about the nominations.

“It’s pretty amazing,” McGraw told CMT News at the party. “I never would have expected it, in any scenario, to get the overall song of the year category. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. I mean, they deserve all the credit in the world.”

In the country categories, McGraw was included on the ballot for male vocal performance and song (both for “Live Like You Were Dying”), as well as the album of the same name. He said he spent the night before celebrating his daughter’s birthday and decorating the Christmas tree and didn’t have time to think about potential nominations.

“I learned with the Grammys a long time ago you can’t build up any kind of anticipation,” he said.

At the No. 1 party, Wiseman said the overall song of the year nomination was “such a shock,” but described the song as “such a blessing.”

“In a million years, we never in our wildest dreams thought that that would happen,” Nichols agreed.

Lisa Lee and Bill Conger of CMT News contributed to this report.