Tim McGraw Leads ACM Nominees

Other Big Nominees Include Chesney, Krauss, Wilson, Keith, Paisley and Urban

With mentions in six categories, Tim McGraw is the top nominee in the 40th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. ACM entertainer of the year nominee Toby Keith read the nominations during a Thursday morning (March 3) press conference at Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel.

Joining McGraw and Keith as top nominees for the May 17 awards show in Las Vegas are Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss, Gretchen Wilson, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.

McGraw is nominated for entertainer and male vocalist of the year. His Live Like You Were Dying project got an album of the year nomination, and the title track resulted in nominations for single, video and song of the year. ACM song of the year honors are presented to songwriters, publishing company and artists. “Live Like You Were Dying” was written by Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols.

Chesney, Krauss and Wilson scored five nominations each. Keith, Paisley and Urban notched four, and Big & Rich, Rascal Flatts and Lee Ann Womack received three.

In addition to McGraw and Keith, the other entertainer of the year nominees are Brooks & Dunn, Chesney and Urban. Male vocalist nominations also went to Alan Jackson, Chesney, Keith, McGraw and Urban. Newcomer Gretchen Wilson made her way to the female vocalist list that also includes Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Martina McBride and Womack.

Wilson and Big & Rich are nominated for top new artist in a category that includes Josh Gracin, Julie Roberts and Josh Turner.

This year’s Home Depot Humanitarian Award nominees are Diamond Rio, Neal McCoy and Paisley. Online voting is already underway for the fan-voted honor.

The ACM Awards show at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino will be broadcast live on CBS-TV.

40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Nominees

Entertainer of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Kenny Chesney
Toby Keith
Tim McGraw
Keith Urban

Top Vocal Group
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Diamond Rio
Lonestar
Rascal Flatts
The Notorious Cherry Bombs

Top New Artist
Big & Rich
Josh Gracin
Julie Roberts
Josh Turner
Gretchen Wilson

Top Vocal Duo
Big & Rich
Blue County
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
The Warren Brothers

Top Female Vocalist
Terri Clark
Sara Evans
Martina McBride
Gretchen Wilson
Lee Ann Womack

Top Male Vocalist
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Toby Keith
Tim McGraw
Keith Urban

Video of the Year
“Girls Lie Too” –Terri Clark
Producer: Robin Rucker
Director: Shaun Silva

“Live Like You Were Dying” — Tim McGraw
Producer: Sherman Halsey
Director: Sherman Halsey

“Redneck Woman” — Gretchen Wilson
Producer: Anastasia Spencer
Director: David Hogan

“Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” — Big & Rich
Producers: Robert Deaton, George Flanigen, Marc Oswald and Steve Lamar
Director: David Hogan

“Whiskey Lullaby” — Brad Paisley Featuring Alison Krauss
Producer: Don Lepore
Director: Rick Schroder

Vocal Event of the Year
“Creepin’ In” — Norah Jones and Dolly Parton
Producers: Arif Mardin and Norah Jones
Record Label: Blue Note/Capitol Records Nashville

“Hey Good Lookin’” — Jimmy Buffet with Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait
Producers: Michael Utley and Mac MacAnally
Record Label: The RCA Records Label Nashville

“Party for Two” — Shania Twain with Billy Currington
Producer: Robert “Mutt” Lange
Record Label: Mercury Records

“When the Sun Goes Down” — Kenny Chesney with Uncle Kracker
Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
Record Label: BNA Records

“Whiskey Lullaby” — Brad Paisley Featuring Alison Krauss
Producer: Frank Rogers
Record Label: Arista Nashville

Song of the Year
“American Soldier” — Toby Keith
Writers: Toby Keith and Chuck Cannon
Publishers: Tokeco Tunes (BMI) and Wacissa River Music, Inc.(BMI); (Administered by BPI Administration)

“Bless the Broken Road” — Rascal Flatts
Writers: Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd and Jeff Hanna
Publishers: Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. (BMI), Floyd’s Dream Music (BMI), All Rights for the U.S. on Behalf of Floyd’s Dream Music Administered by Careers-BMG
Music Publishing, Jeff Diggs Music (BMI) Jeff Diggs Music Administered by Bug Music

“I May Hate Myself in the Morning” — Lee Ann Womack
Writer: Odie Blackmon
Publishers: Cal IV Songs, Administered by Cal IV Entertainment, LLC (ASCAP)

“Live Like You Were Dying” — Tim McGraw
Writers: Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols
Publishers: Big Loud Shirt (ASCAP), ICG/Warner (BMI)

“Whiskey Lullaby” — Brad Paisley Featuring Alison Krauss
Writers: Bill Anderson and Jon Randall
Publishers: Sony/Atv Tree Publishing Co., Mr. Bubba Music, Inc. Admin By Sony/ATV Music
Pub. (BMI), Reynsongpub Corp. Administered by Wrensong Wha Ya Say Music Administered by Wrensong (BMI)

Single Record of the Year
(Six Nominees Due to a Tie)
“Bless the Broken Road” — Rascal Flatts
Producers: Mark Bright, Marty Williams and Rascal Flatts
Record Label: Lyric Street Records

“Days Go By” — Keith Urban
Producers: Dann Huff and Keith Urban
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

“I May Hate Myself in the Morning” — Lee Ann Womack
Producer: Byron Gallimore
Record Label: MCA Nashville

“Live Like You Were Dying” — Tim McGraw
Producers: Tim McGraw, Byron Gallimore and Darran Smith
Producer: Curb Records

“Redneck Woman” — Gretchen Wilson
Producers: Mark Wright and Joe Scaife
Associate Producer: John Rich
Record Label: Epic

“Whiskey Lullaby” — Brad Paisley Featuring Alison Krauss
Producer: Frank Rogers
Record Label: Arista Nashville

Album of the Year
Be Here — Keith Urban
Producers: Dann Huff and Keith Urban
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

Here for the Party — Gretchen Wilson
Producers: Mark Wright and Joe Scaife
Associate Producer: John Rich
Record Label: Epic

Live Like You Were Dying — Tim McGraw
Producers: Tim McGraw, Byron Gallimore and Darran Smith
Record Label: Curb Records

Restless — Sara Evans
Producers: Sara Evans and Paul Worley
Record Label: The RCA Records Label

When the Sun Goes Down — Kenny Chesney
Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
Record Label: BNA Records

Casino of the Year
Belterra — Belterra, Ind.
Casino Rama — Orilla, Ontario
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino — Las Vegas, Nev.
Mohegan Sun Casino — Uncasville, Conn.
Turning Stone Casino — Verona, N.Y.

Nightclub of the Year
Billy Bob’s — Fort Worth, Texas
Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace — Bakersfield, Calif.
Grizzly Rose — Denver, Colo.
Pepsi Roadhouse — Burgettstown, Pa.
Tumbleweed Dancehall — Stillwater, Okla.

Don Romeo Talent Buyer – Promoter of the Year
Brian O’Connell (Clear Channel Entertainment)
Louis Messina (The Messina Group)
Mike Smardak (Outback Concerts of Tenn.)
Rich Mischell (Mischell Productions, Inc.)
Suzanne Wilson (Wilson Events, Inc.)

Radio Station of the Year
KPLX — Dallas, Texas
KTTS — Springfield, Mo.
KUZZ — Bakersfield, Calif.
WIVK — Knoxville, Tenn.
WIXY — Champaign, Ill.

On-Air Personality of the Year
Lisa Dent — WUSN Chicago, Ill.
Dex & Kim — WUSY Chattanooga, Tenn.
Gunner — WIVK Knoxville, Tenn.
Skip Mahaffey — WQYK Tampa, Fla.
Tim & Willy — KNIX Phoenix, Ariz.

Producer of the Year
Buddy Cannon
Byron Gallimore
James Stroud
Paul Worley
Mark Wright

Engineer of the Year
John Kelton
Julian King
Justin Niebank
Gary Paczoza
Ron “Snake” Reynolds

Musicians of the Year

Bass
Mike Brignardello
David Hungate
Larry Paxton
Alison Prestwood
Glen Worf

Drums
Eric Darken
Shannon Forrest
Paul Leim
Greg Morrow
Lonnie Wilson

Fiddle
Glen Duncan

Stuart Duncan
Larry Franklin
Rob Hajacos
Jonathan Yudkin

Guitar
Tom Bukovac
J.T. Corenflos
Jon Jorgenson
Brent Mason
Bryan Sutton

Piano/Keyboards
Jim Brown
Gordon Mote
Steve Nathan
Michael Omartian
Mike Rojas

Specialty Instrument
Jim Hoke
Jim Horn
Rob Ickes
Russ Pahl
Randy Scruggs

Steel
Dan Dugmore
Sonny Garrish
John Hughey
Mike Johnson
Robbie Turner

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.