Singer/songwriter Toby Keith got a
resounding answer to the musical
question "How Do You Like Me Now?!"
Yoakam, newcomer Jamie
O'Neal and actor Billy Bob Thornton
announced nominees for the 36th
Annual Academy of Country
Awards this morning (Feb. 27) in Los Angeles.
Keith received six nominations including
Top Male Vocalist,
Album of the Year for How Do You Like Me Now?!, single and
song of the year for "How Do You Like Me Now?!," and
Video of the Year for
"You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This." He also is up for the prestigious Entertainer
of the Year trophy,
his first appearance in that category.
Red-hot Lee Ann Womack ties Keith with six nominations. She'll compete for
Vocalist of the Year, and her critically acclaimed release, I Hope You
Dance, received a nod in the album category.
The title cut will vie for single,
song, vocal event and video of the year. Written by Tia Sillers and Mark D.
"I Hope You Dance" was named country song of the year at last week's
Grammy Awards and was named both single and song of
the year at the Country
Music Association Awards in October.
The ACM's reigning female vocalist, Faith Hill, will
compete once again for the
honor along with Womack, Martina McBride, Sara Evans and Jo Dee Messina.
Hill received a total of four nods, including Video of the Year
for "The Way You Love Me," Vocal Event for her collaboration
with husband Tim
McGraw on "Let's Make Love," and Entertainer of the Year, where she'll compete
with Keith, Brooks &
Dunn, Dixie Chicks and George Strait.
Conspicuously absent from the entertainer
category this year is McGraw, who
the mammoth Soul 2 Soul Tour with wife Hill last
year. In addition to the vocal event nomination with
McGraw is up for Male Vocalist of the Year, a
category which also includes Keith, Kenny
Chesney, Brad Paisley and Strait.
Vocal Group award returns as a separate
category this year after being consolidated with the
Vocal Duo category in 1997.
winner Alabama will compete with Dixie Chicks,
Sawyer Brown, Lonestar and Diamond Rio. For
Vocal Duo/Group, nominees include
Sons of the Desert, Rascal Flatts and The Clark
the audience during a performance with Asleep at the Wheel at last
year's ACM Awards, newcomer Billy Gilman received his
first ACM nominations
this year. The teen singer will compete for Top New Male Vocalist along with
Keith Urban and Phil
Vassar. Gilman's debut album, One Voice, is nominated in
the album category. The title cut, written by David Malloy
and Don Cook, is up for
Song of the Year. Another newcomer, Jamie O'Neal, will compete for Top New
Female Vocalist along
with Tammy Cochran and Carolyn Dawn Johnson.
O'Neal's "There Is No Arizona," which recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard
singles chart, also will compete for Single of the Year.
Paisley, last year's Top New Male Vocalist, will
compete for three trophies,
including Top Male Vocalist, Album of the Year for Who Needs Pictures, and
the Year for "We Danced."
Country stalwart Johnny Cash, just released from a Nashville hospital after a bout
pneumonia, received his first ACM nomination since 1985 when he was
nominated as a member of country supergroup the Highwaymen.
Solitary Man, is up for Album of the Year. Cash won the ACM's Pioneer Award in
1991. The Judds,
the ACM's Vocal Duo of the Year from 1984-1990, also are
back as nominees in that category for the first time since 1991.
notable are two nominations for John Michael Montgomery's single, "The
Little Girl." Written by Nashville-based songwriter
Harley Allen, the tune will
compete in the song and single categories.
The ACM Awards will be carried live May 9
on CBS. Country.com will provide full
coverage leading up to the big night.