Jackson leads CMA nominees

— Alan Jackson, who received a leading eight Academy of Country Music nominations Wednesday, can justify celebrating as early as he wants because -- as the title of his hit song suggests -- "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere."

The ode to leaving work early for the bar, a duet with Jimmy Buffett, was recognized in four categories: single, video, vocal event and song of the year; it was composed by Jim Brown and Donald Rollins.

Jackson was also nominated for entertainer of the year, top male vocalist, and best single and songwriting mentions for "Remember When."

The duo Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith had five nominations each, including entertainer of the year. Other nominees in that category besides Jackson were Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney.

Nominees are determined by the 3,000-member academy based in Burbank. Winners will be announced May 26 in a live telecast from Las Vegas, with Reba McEntire as host of the CBS show.

It was a guy's year -- entertainer of the year, vocal group, vocal duo, and single of the year were filled with male contenders, while Martina McBride was the lone female in the best album class for "Martina."

Other album nominees were George Strait's "Honkytonkville," Brad Paisley's "Mud on the Tires," Brooks & Dunn's "Red Dirt Road" and Keith's "Shock 'N Y'all."

The best new artist nominees were Dierks Bentley, Pat Green, Buddy Jewell, Josh Turner and Jimmy Wayne.

Alabama, Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Rascal Flatts and Trick Pony will compete for best country vocal group, while Blue County, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, The Bellamy Brothers and The Warren Brothers were up for best vocal duo.

The nominees were announced at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles.


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