Music Article

Horse Race

Toby Keith leads CMA nominations. The ''Unleashed'' singer has seven, while Johnny Cash, Brooks & Dunn, and Brad Paisley get four each

Toby Keith | COUNTRY'S KING Keith leads the CMA noms
Image credit: Toby Keith: Laura Farr/ZUMA Press/NewsCom
COUNTRY'S KING Keith leads the CMA noms

The Country Music Association unleashed a pack of nominations for Toby Keith. Among the nominees for the 37th annual CMAs, Keith led the list with a career-best seven nods, including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (''Unleashed''), and four citations for ''Beer For My Horses,'' his duet with Willie Nelson. His closest competitors, earning four nods apiece, were Johnny Cash, Brooks&: Dunn, and Brad Paisley.

Some rock acts crossed over into the nominations this year in the Vocal Event category. Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow's duet ''Picture'' was recognized, as was Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett's ''It's Five O'Clock Somewhere.'' (And of course, Cash's ''Hurt,'' which earned Single and Video of the Year citations, was written by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor.) On the other hand, crossover country artists Faith Hill and Shania Twain were shut out altogether, while the Dixie Chicks landed only one nod, for Album of the Year.

The nominations were announced by Martina McBride and Rascal Flatts (both of whom appeared on the list of honorees) during a press conference Tuesday at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. The CMAs are selected by the trade association's 5,000 voting members . For the 12th year in a row, Vince Gill will host the awards, which will be broadcast live on CBS from the Grand Ole Opry on Nov. 5.

Entertainer of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Toby Keith
Tim McGraw

Female Vocalist of the Year
Terri Clark
Alison Krauss
Patty Loveless
Martina McBride
Dolly Parton

Male Vocalist of the Year
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Toby Keith
Tim McGraw
Brad Paisley
George Strait

Horizon Award
Gary Allan
Buddy Jewell
Joe Nichols
Blake Shelton
Darryl Worley

Vocal Group of the Year
Alabama
Diamond Rio
Dixie Chicks
Lonestar
Rascal Flatts

Vocal Duo of the Year
Bellamy Brothers
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Sons of the Desert
The Warren Brothers

Single of the Year
''Beer For My Horses,'' Toby Keith with Willie Nelson
''Celebrity,'' Brad Paisley
''Have You Forgotten?'', Darryl Worley
''Hurt,'' Johnny Cash
''Three Wooden Crosses,'' Randy Travis

Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas, dobro
Paul Franklin, steel guitar
Aubrie Haynie, fiddle/mandolin
Brent Mason, guitar
Randy Scruggs, guitar

Album of the Year
''American IV: The Man Comes Around,'' Johnny Cash
''Home,'' Dixie Chicks
''Man With A Memory,'' Joe Nichols
''Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors,'' Tim McGraw/Dancehall Doctors
''Unleashed,'' Toby Keith

Music Video of the Year
''Beer For My Horses,'' Toby Keith with Willie Nelson
''Celebrity,'' Brad Paisley
''Concrete Angel,'' Martina McBride
''Hurt,'' Johnny Cash
''Red Dirt Road,'' Brooks & Dunn

Vocal Event of the Year
Toby Keith with Willie Nelson, ''Beer For My Horses''
Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett, ''It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere''
Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow, ''Picture''
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band featuring Johnny Cash, ''Tears in the Holston River''
Tracy Byrd (with Andy Griggs, Montgomery Gentry and Blake Shelton), ''The Truth About Men''

Song of the Year
''Beer For My Horses,'' written by Toby Keith/Scotty Emerick
''Celebrity,'' written by Brad Paisley
''Have You Forgotten?'', written by Darryl Worley/Wynn Varble
''Red Dirt Road,'' written by Kix Brooks/Ronnie Dunn
''Three Wooden Crosses,'' written by Doug Johnson/Kim Williams

Originally posted Aug 26, 2003