Facebook Twitter



Alan Jackson led the parade of nominees Wednesday for this year's Country Music Association Awards, picking up six bids, including the top award of entertainer of the year.

Singers Tim McGraw and Trisha Yearwood announced the nominees at the Grand Ole Opry House, where the nationally televised awards program will originate Oct. 4.Bluegrass diva Alison Krauss' breakthrough year was reflected with five nominations: female vocalist, single and album of the year, vocal event and the Horizon Award for most promising artist.

"All I can say is, `Whee, doggie,' " Krauss said by telephone from her parents' home in Champaign, Ill.

Jackson is an old hand at CMA nominations but has never won for best entertainer or male vocalist. Vince Gill, who is set to be host of the broadcast, has been named best entertainer for the past two years and male vocalist for the past four.

Jackson and Gill are joined as nominees for entertainer of the year by Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks and the duo Brooks & Dunn. Gill and Jackson are both up for male vocalist, with the category rounded out by John Berry, John Michael Montgomery and George Strait.

Krauss and McEntire will compete with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Loveless and Pam Tillis for best female vocalist.

Canadian Shania Twain's multiplatinum success in 1995 was recognized with nominations for best single, "Any Man of Mine," and the Horizon Award. Joining Twain and Krauss as nominees for the latter award are Berry, David Ball and Faith Hill.

"This year's slate of nominees is a wonderfully diverse mix of the different styles found within today's country music format from the traditional sound of Alan Jackson to the bluegrass influence of Alison Krauss to the ultra-contemporary Mavericks," said Ed Benson of the CMA.

The Mavericks were nominated for best vocal group, along with BlackHawk, Diamond Rio, Sawyer Brown and Shenandoah. Alabama, the group that dominated the 1980s, was not nominated this year.

Best single nominees were Twain's "Any Man of Mine," the Tractors' "Baby Likes to Rock It," "Keeper of the Stars" by Tracy Byrd, Krauss' "When You Say Nothing at All," and Jackson's "Gone Country," a sly satire on carpetbaggers in the country music industry.

The CMA Awards show is one of three held each year. Awards shows also are staged by the Academy of Country Music in California, and by The Nashville Network in conjunction with the Music City News fan magazine.

The CMA and ACM awards are voted on by music industry insiders, while the TNN-Music City News trophies are selected by fans.