McGraw Leads ACM Noms

Tim McGraw led the list of nominees for the 40th annual Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations, including one for entertainer of the year.

Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss and Gretchen Wilson all received five nominations each, while Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban had four apiece.

Keith, the reigning entertainer of the year and a nominee for the award again this year along with McGraw, Chesney, Urban and Brooks & Dunn, announced the nominees Thursday.

“It’s been an honor the whole way to be recognized by your industry. Even though a lot of us act like we don’t care, we really do,” Keith said.

Most of McGraw’s nominations stem from his hit single “Live Like You Were Dying,” a song about living life to its fullest that the singer says has special meaning because his father, former Mets and Phillies relief pitcher Tug McGraw, died of cancer last year.

Besides entertainer of the year, McGraw was nominated for top male vocalist, single of the year, song of the year, album of the year and video of the year.

Chesney’s other nominations were for male vocalist, album of the year and a pair for vocal event — one for his duet with Uncle Kracker, “When the Sun Goes Down,” and the other for a remake of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin'” with Jimmy Buffett, George Strait, Clint Black, Alan Jackson and Keith.

“You know, I used to dread these days,” Chesney said. “But now it’s just the nicest way to be reminded of all the people who contribute to your music, to your life, to making the shows so much fun.”

Four of Krauss’ five nominations were for “Whiskey Lullaby,” a haunting duet with Paisley. She also was nominated with her band Union Station for top vocal group.

Wilson, a newcomer with a rowdy sound, had the breakout hit of the year with “Redneck Woman.” She was nominated for top female vocalist, top new artist, single of the year, album of the year and video of the year.

Big & Rich, Rascal Flatts and Lee Ann Womack received three nominations each.

Like Wilson, Big & Rich emerged from the Muzik Mafia, a loose-knit group of musicians who jammed in Nashville night clubs. The duo melds rap and rock beats with country and was nominated for top new artist, top vocal duo and video of the year.

The awards show will be broadcast live May 17th on CBS.

Associated Press