- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2001

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Toby Keith and Lee Ann Womack lead nominees for Academy of Country Music Awards with six each, including best album, single and song for the hits "How Do You Like Me Now?" and "I Hope You Dance."

Other multiple nominees are Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, the Dixie Chicks, Billy Gilman, Brad Paisley, Jamie ONeal, John Michael Montgomery, George Strait and Brooks & Dunn.

Entertainer of the year nominations went to Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, Miss Hill, Mr. Keith and Mr. Strait.

The often overlooked Mr. Keith was surprised to be leading the nominations.

"Ive never been award-friendly," he said by telephone from his Norman, Okla., horse ranch, noting that he had put his heart and soul into the album. "My fans have always asked me how come Im never nominated.

"Now, Ive got the monkey off my back, and the monkey and I are going out tonight."

Winners will be announced during the 36th annual Academy of Country Music Awards show, to be broadcast by CBS on May 9 from the Universal Amphitheater

Nominees, voted by the 3,000-member academy, were announced Tuesday by show producer Dick Clark, Mr. ONeal, Dwight Yoakam and Billy Bob Thornton.

The list of nominees:

Entertainer: Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, George Strait.

Male vocalist: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, George Strait.

Female vocalist: Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, Lee Ann Womack.

Duo: Brooks & Dunn, the Judds, the Kinleys, Montgomery Gentry, the Warren Brothers.

Group: Alabama, Diamond Rio, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Sawyer Brown.

New male vocalist: Billy Gilman, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar.

New female vocalist: Tammy Cochran, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jamie ONeal.

New duo or group: Clark Family Experience, Rascal Flats, Sons of the Desert.

Album: "American III: Solitary Man," Johnny Cash; "How Do You Like Me Now?" Toby Keith; "I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack; "One Voice," Billy Gilman; "Who Needs Pictures," Brad Paisley.

Song: "How Do You Like Me Now?" Toby Keith; "I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack; "The Little Girl," John Michael Montgomery; "One Voice," Billy Gilman; "We Danced," Brad Paisley.

Single: "How Do You Like Me Now?" Toby Keith; "I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack; "Kiss This," Aaron Tippin; "The Little Girl," John Michael Montgomery; "There Is No Arizona," Jamie ONeal.

Vocal event of the year: "Buy Me a Rose," Kenny Rogers with Allison Krause; "I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack with Sons of the Desert; "Lets Make Love," Faith Hill with Tim McGraw; "Murder on Music Row," George Strait with Alan Jackson; "Thats the Beat of a Heart," Warren Brothers featuring Sara Evans.

Video: "Goodbye Earl," Dixie Chicks; "I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack; "The Way You Love Me," Faith Hill; "When It All Goes South," Alabama; "You Shouldnt Kiss Me Like This," Toby Keith.

Radio station: KASE, Austin, Texas; KNIX, Phoenix; WIVK, Knoxville, Tenn.; WFMS, Indianapolis; KPLX, Dallas.

Disc jockey: Cody "the Wolf" Alan, KPLX, Dallas; Harmon & Evans, WXTU, Philadelphia; Carl P. Mayfield and P Team, WKDF, Nashville, Tenn.; Randy Miller, KBEQ-FM, Kansas City, Mo.; Lynn Sharpe, WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Nightclub: Billy Bobs, Fort Worth, Texas; Coyotes, Louisville, Ky.; Crazy Horse, Irvine, Calif.; Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, Calif.; Montanas, San Dimas, Calif.

Casino: Horseshoe Casino, Robinsonville, Miss.; Isle of Capri, Lake Charles, La.; Reno Hilton, Reno, Nev.; Sams Town, Robinsonville, Miss.; Sunset Station, Henderson, Nev.

Talent buyer/promoter: Jimmy Jay, Jayson Promotions, Hendersonville, Tenn.; Louis Messina, Pace Concerts, Houston; Brian OConnell, Cellar Door Concerts, Nashville; Bob Romeo, Romeo Entertainment, Crescent, Iowa; Suzanne Wilson, Wilson Events, Petaluma, Calif.

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