Keith, Womack Lead Country Nominees

Friday, March 2nd 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Toby Keith and Lee Ann Womack led nominees for Academy of Country Music awards with six each, including album, single and song for the hits ``How Do You Like Me Now?!'' and ``I Hope You Dance.''

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

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

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

``I've never been award friendly,'' Keith said by telephone from his Norman, Okla., horse ranch, noting he put his heart and soul into the album. ``My fans have always asked me how come I'm never nominated.

``Now, I've 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 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, O'Neal, 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 O'Neal.

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 O'Neal.

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; ``Let's Make Love,'' Faith Hill with Tim McGraw; ``Murder on Music Row,'' George Strait with Alan Jackson; ``That's 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 Shouldn't 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 & P Team, WKDF, Nashville; Randy Miller, KBEQ-FM, Kansas City, Mo.; Lynn Sharpe, WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Nightclub: Billy Bob's, Fort Worth, Texas; Coyotes, Louisville, Ky.; Crazy Horse, Irvine, Calif.; Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, Calif.; Montana's, San Dimas, Calif.

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

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

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