Faith Hill, Brad Paisley Top CMA Award Nominations

Awards send mixed message: Traditional and pop efforts are honored.

NASHVILLE — Pop crossover star Faith Hill garnered eight nominations, and new traditional country artist Brad Paisley nabbed six nods for the CMA Awards, announced here Tuesday (Aug. 1).

The awards show, put on by the Country Music Association, airs on CBS on Oct. 4.

In a surprise nomination, the song "Murder on Music Row" (RealAudio excerpt), recorded as a duet by George Strait and Alan Jackson, a highly critical look at Nashville's country music establishment, received nominations for Song of the Year and for Vocal Event of the Year.

Superstar Hill was tapped for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist, Album of the Year for Breathe, Video and Single of the Year for "Breathe," and Vocal Event for the duet of "Let's Make Love" with husband Tim McGraw. She is also eligible for awards as producer of the album and single.

Other nominees for the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award are McGraw, Jackson, the Dixie Chicks and Strait. Last year's Entertainer of the Year winner, Shania Twain, was not nominated.

Paisley was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, the Horizon Award (for new artists), and Album of the Year for Who Needs Pictures. Additionally, Paisley's song "He Didn't Have To Be" received three nominations — for single, song and video — as did Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance."

Womack joined Hill in the female vocalist category, along with Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina and Trisha Yearwood.

Joining Paisley and McGraw in the male vocalist category are Jackson, Strait and Vince Gill.

Along with "Breathe," "He Didn't Have To Be," and "I Hope You Dance" in the single category are Kenny Rogers' "Buy Me a Rose" and Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?!"

Besides Breathe, I Hope You Dance, and Who Needs Pictures, album nominees are the Chicks' Fly and Jackson's Under the Influence.

Nominated in the vocal group category are Alabama, Asleep at the Wheel, Diamond Rio, the Chicks and Lonestar.

Vocal duo nominees are the Bellamy Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, the Kinleys and the Warren Brothers.

Video nominations in addition to Paisley, Hill and Womack are Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and the Chicks' "Goodbye Earl."

The Song of the Year nomination besides "Breathe," "I Hope You Dance," "He Didn't Have To Be," and "Murder on Music Row" is Lonestar's "Amazed."

Vocal event nominations, in addition to the Hill-McGraw and Strait-Jackson duets, are "Roly Poly" by the Chicks with Asleep at the Wheel, "I Hope You Dance" by Womack with Sons of the Desert and "When I Said I Do" by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black.