Paisley, Womack Each Score Six CMA Award Nominations

Nominees Announced During New York Press Conference

With Brad Paisley and Lee Ann Womack leading with six nominations each, Keith Urban’s superstar potential increased when he and Toby Keith collected four nominations each for this year’s CMA Awards.

Womack and Urban announced the list of final nominees Wednesday morning (Sept. 7) at New York City’s Time Warner Center during a press conference televised exclusively on CMT. The 39th annual CMA Awards show takes place Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden.

Notably, the two acts garnering the largest number of nominations did so with two very traditional-sounding singles — Paisley’s “Alcohol” and Womack’s “I May Hate Myself in the Morning.”

Womack’s nominations include female vocalist honors (an award she won in 2001) and an album of the year nod for the hardcore country There’s More Where That Came From. “I May Hate Myself in the Morning” netted single and music video nominations, and Womack received two nominations in the musical event category for “Good News, Bad News” (with George Strait) and “I’ll Never Be Free” (with Willie Nelson). “I May Hate Myself in the Morning” also resulted in a song of the year nomination for songwriter Odie Blackmon.

In addition to his first-ever entertainer of the year nomination, Paisley is also up for male vocalist and is nominated in the musical event category for “New Again,” a track he and Sara Evans recorded for the inspirational album, The Passion of the Christ: Songs. “Alcohol,” which Paisley wrote, brought in nominations in the single, song and music video categories.

Urban also collected his first nomination for entertainer of the year. In addition to a male vocalist nomination — a category he won in 2004 — he is also nominated for album of the year (for Be Here and music video of the year (for “Days Go By”).

Toby Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was” is nominated in the single, song and music video categories. He also received an entertainer of the year nomination.

Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Sugarland and Gretchen Wilson received three nominations each. Rascal Flatts picked up nominations for vocal group, album Feels Like Today and single (“Bless the Broken Road”). In addition to a male vocalist nod, Strait is nominated for album (for Somewhere Down in Texas) and musical event (for his duet with Womack). Sugarland snared its first CMA nominations, including mentions for vocal group of the year and the Horizon honor for newer acts. The trio’s “Baby Girl” also got a single of the year nomination. Wilson, 2004′s Horizon winner, is nominated for female vocalist, song of the year (for “Redneck Woman,” the song she wrote with John Rich of Big & Rich) and music video of the year (for “When I Think About Cheatin’”).

Brooks & Dunn will host the CMA Awards, which are being held outside Nashville for the first time in the history of the Country Music Association. The awards show will return to Nashville in 2006.

Following are the final nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Toby Keith
Brad Paisley
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year
Sara Evans
Alison Krauss
Martina McBride
Gretchen Wilson
Lee Ann Womack

Male Vocalist of the Year
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban

Horizon Award
Dierks Bentley
Big & Rich
Miranda Lambert
Julie Roberts
Sugarland

Vocal Group of the Year
Alison Krauss & Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas
Diamond Rio
Lonestar
Rascal Flatts
Sugarland

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Van Zant
The Warren Brothers

Single of the Year
(Award Goes to Artist and Producer)

“Alcohol”
Artist: Brad Paisley
Producer: Frank Rogers
Arista Nashville

“As Good As I Once Was”
Artist: Toby Keith
Producers: Toby Keith, James Stroud
DreamWorks Records Nashville

“Baby Girl”
Artist: Sugarland
Producer: Garth Fundis
Mercury Records Nashville

“Bless the Broken Road”
Artist: Rascal Flatts
Producers: Mark Bright, Rascal Flatts, Marty Williams
Lyric Street Records

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

Album of the Year
(Award Goes to Artist and Producer)

Be Here
Artist: Keith Urban
Producers: Dann Huff, Keith Urban
Capitol Records Nashville

Feels Like Today
Artist: Rascal Flatts
Producers: Mark Bright, Rascal Flatts, Marty Williams
Lyric Street Records

Live Like You Were Dying
Artist: Tim McGraw
Producers: Byron Gallimore, Tim McGraw, Darran Smith
Curb Records

Somewhere Down in Texas
Artist: George Strait
Producers: Tony Brown, George Strait
MCA Nashville

There’s More Where That Came From
Artist: Lee Ann Womack
Producers: Greg Droman, Byron Gallimore
MCA Nashville

Song of the Year
(Award Goes to Songwriter and Primary Publisher)

“Alcohol”
Songwriter: Brad Paisley
Publishers: EMI April, Sea Gayle Music

“As Good As I Once Was”
Songwriters: Scotty Emerick, Toby Keith
Publishers: Tokeco Tunes, Sony/ATV Songs, Big Yellow Dog Music, Florida Cracker Music

“Bless the Broken Road”
Songwriters: Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna, Marcus Hummon
Publishers: Careers-BMG Music, Floyd’s Dream Music, Jeff Diggs Music

“I May Hate Myself in the Morning”
Songwriter: Odie Blackmon
Publisher: Cal IV Songs

“Redneck Woman”
Songwriters: John Rich, Gretchen Wilson
Publishers: Sony/ATV, Cross Keys, Hoosiermama Music, WB Music

“Whiskey Lullaby”
Songwriters: Bill Anderson, Jon Randall
Publishers: Sony/ATV, Mr. Bubba Music, Reynsong, Wha Ya Say Music

Musical Event of the Year
“Good News, Bad News”
George Strait With Lee Ann Womack
MCA Nashville

“I’ll Never Be Free”
Willie Nelson With Lee Ann Womack
Lost Highway Records

“New Again”
Brad Paisley and Sara Evans
Wind Up Records

“Party for Two”
Shania Twain With Billy Currington
Mercury Records Nashville

“Trip Around the Sun”
Jimmy Buffett With Martina McBride
RCA Records

Music Video of the Year
(Award Goes to Artist and Director)

“Alcohol”
Artist: Brad Paisley
Director: Jim Shea

“As Good As I Once Was”
Artist: Toby Keith
Director: Michael Salomon

“Days Go By”
Artist: Keith Urban
Director: Wayne Isham

“I May Hate Myself in the Morning”
Artist: Lee Ann Womack
Director: Trey Fanjoy

“When I Think About Cheatin’”
Artists: Gretchen Wilson
Directors: Robert Deaton, George J. Flanigen IV

Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas — Dobro
Paul Franklin — Steel Guitar
Dann Huff — Electric Guitar
Brent Mason — Guitar/Electric Guitar
Randy Scruggs — Guitar/Mandolin

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.