Brooks, Dunn, Keith top list of nominees for country awards

Academy of Country Music AwardsEntertainmentDick ClarkAlan JacksonGarth BrooksJo Dee Messina

LOS ANGELES—Toby Keith and Brooks & Dunn led nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday with six apiece, including for album and entertainer of the year.

Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, and Travis Tritt each had four nominations. All will compete in the top male vocalist category against Keith and Kenny Chesney.

Keith also is up for single of the year, song of the year and country video of the year for his hit "I Wanna Talk About Me." Jackson's Sept. 11-inspired ballad, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," also was nominated for single of the year, along with Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," Tritt's "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" and Diamond Rio's "One More Day."

Brooks & Dunn's "Only in America" was nominated for best song and country video. The pair also has a mention for best duo.

"I'm excited and I feel like we've got some serious wind in our sails—and we're ready to put the boat back in the water," said Kix Brooks in a statement. "Album [of the year] is cool because it recognizes the whole body of work; having worked so hard on this record, it's really exciting.... We're glad for all of it."

"I can't believe it! I'm gonna start crying. I'm gonna call my parents and tell them the good news and figure out what I'm gonna wear," said an enthusiastic Cyndi Thomson, nominated with Tammy Cochran and Carolyn Dawn Johnson for top new female vocalist. "It's gonna be a good year. I can feel it."

Men dominated most of the top categories—other entertainer of the year nominees were Jackson, McGraw and Garth Brooks.

Best album nominees were Tritt's "Down the Road I Go," Keith's "Pull My Chain," McGraw's "Set This Circus Down," Brooks & Dunn's "Steers & Stripes" and the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Although the "O Brother" soundtrack was a big winner at the Grammys, receiving the album of the year trophy and four other awards, it came away with just two nominations from the academy. It was last year's best-selling country disc.

Winners will be announced during the 37th annual Academy of Country Music Awards show broadcast by CBS on May 22 from the Universal Amphitheater.

Nominees, voted by the 3,000-member academy, were announced by show producer Dick Clark, actress Jane Seymour and singer Jo Dee Messina.

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