Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn lead country music nominations

— 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 is also 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)," was also nominated for single of the year, along with Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," "It's a Great Day to Be Alive," by Travis Tritt, and "One More Day," by Diamond Rio.

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

"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.


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