The 48th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on February 8. VOA's Mary Morningstar has this report on the nominees in the Country categories.
Last year, 32-year-old Gretchen Wilson earned her first Grammy Award. The singer-songwriter from Pocahontas, Illinois, won the Best Female Vocal Performance trophy for her Number One debut single, "Redneck Woman." She's nominated in the same category again this year for the title track to her second album, All Jacked Up. Gretchen's other mentions include Best Country Album, Best Country Collaboration for "Politically Uncorrect," a duet she recorded with legendary Country singer Merle Haggard, and Best Country Song for "All Jacked Up."
Also nominated for the Best Country Song songwriter's award are Lee Ann Womack, the Dixie Chicks, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts, who are favored to win for their long-running Number One ballad "Bless The Broken Road."
"Bless The Broken Road" also earned Rascal Flatts a Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group. They share that category with Big and Rich, Brooks and Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, and Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Alison Krauss holds the record for more Grammy wins than any other female Country artist and, this year, she could add three more trophies to her current count of 17. Alison and her band Union Station are nominated for Best Country Album for Lonely Runs Both Ways and Best Instrumental Performance for "Unionhouse Branch." Their mention in the Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group category is for the track, called "Restless."
Tying Alison Krauss with three Grammy nominations is Faith Hill, who is a contender in the Best Country Album category for her long-awaited album Fireflies. She's also nominated in the Best Female Country Performance category for the album's Number One single "Mississippi Girl." And, her duet with husband Tim McGraw, "Like We Never Loved At All," will vie for the Best Country Collaboration honor.
Sugarland, one of the most popular and successful new acts in Country music, recently made headlines by announcing the departure of one of its members. Now a duo, Sugarland is the only Country act nominated for a Grammy in the all-genre Best New Artist category.
Brad Paisley is tied with Gretchen Wilson as this year's most nominated artist. His four nominations include Best Country Album for Time Well Wasted, Best Country Instrumental Performance for its track "Time Warp," and Best Country Song and Best Male Vocal Performance for the album's first hit, "Alcohol."