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Category: Randy Lewis

Zac Brown, Miranda Lambert lead Academy of Country Music Awards nominations

Zac Brown Band 2010 Grammy Awards-Robert Gauthier 

Singer, songwriter, producer and bandleader Zac Brown could walk out of the 46th Academy of Country Music Assn. Awards in March with nine statues if he and his band win everything they’re nominated for.

That makes him the ACM’s most nominated musician this year, although Brown’s Southern rock outfit didn’t make the cut for the entertainer-of-the-year competition.

The Zac Brown Band, which took the Grammy Award for best new artist last year, received five group nominations from the ACM, including album, single and song of the year, and because of the way the ACM bestows its awards, Brown himself got four additional nominations as producer of the nominated album and single and co-writer of their hit “As She’s Walking Away.” Nominations were announced Tuesday morning from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

Texas-bred singer and songwriter Miranda Lambert collected seven nominations, including her first for entertainer of the year, the ACM’s top category in which she’s vying with Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Jason Aldean.

Lambert also is up for top single, song and video for her hit “The House That Built Me,” and female vocalist and vocal event of the year for her collaboration with Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn on a new version of Lynn’s signature song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

Behind Lambert with five nominations apiece are Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band. Swift and the Band Perry also got four nominations each, with Swift vying again for entertainer of the year along with Lambert, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean.

Along with the Lambert and Brown hits in the single-of-the-year competition, which recognizes the song, performance and production, are Easton Corbin’s “A Little More Country Than That,” the Band Perry’s “If I Die Young,” Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy” and Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall.”

The other album-of-the-year contenders are Swift’s “Speak Now,” Chesney’s “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Jamey Johnson’s “The Guitar Song” and Dierks Bentley’s “Up On the Ridge.”

Nominees for song of the year, with awards going to the composer, publisher and artist, are “A Little More Country Than That,” “As She’s Walking Away,” “If I Die Young,” “Love Like Crazy” and “The House That Built Me.”

Swift also got a female vocalist nomination, putting her in a field with Lambert, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood and Lee Ann Womack, while Aldean, Paisley, Urban, George Strait and Blake Shelton are nominated for male vocalist honors.

Winners will be named April 3 in a nationally telecast CBS-TV ceremony from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. As it has for the previous two years, the ACM will invite fans to vote for entertainer-of-the-year and top-new-artist categories.  The ACM is the West Coast-based counterpart to Nashville’s Country Music Assn., which distributes its own awards each fall.

— Randy Lewis

Photo: The Zac Brown Band collects the Grammy Award for best new artist last year in Los Angeles. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.

Dolly Parton, the Ramones, Julie Andrews among Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipients

Dolly Parton-Gary Friedman

Dolly Parton, the Ramones, Julie Andrews, the Kingston Trio, the Juilliard String Quartet, jazz musician and bandleader Roy Haynes and gospel singer-composer George Beverly Shea will be recognized by the Recording Academy with Lifetime Achievement Awards on the eve of the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

"These influential performers and brilliant innovators have been of great inspiration to our culture and industry, academy President and Chief Executive Neil Portnow said in a statement with the announcement of this years recipients.

Among other Special Merit Award honorees announced Wednesday, Trustees Awards, which recognize contributions to the music industry by non-performers, will go to veteran record label executive Bruce Lundvall, former Stax Records vice president and Bellmark Records founder Al Bell and classical music producer Wilma Cozart Fine.

Technical Grammy Awards will be given to electronic music instrument developer Roger Linn and software developer Waves Audio.

Randy Lewis

Photo of Dolly Parton. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times.

Grammy nominations: Eminem leads with 10, Bruno Mars has 7, and Cee-Lo? Forget it

The beleaguered record industry couldnt have been happier about the return to the spotlight in 2010 of rapper Eminem, the biggest-selling artist of the new millennium, and heaped upon him a field-leading 10 Grammy Award nominations for his Recovery album, including nods in all three top categories of album, record and song of the year.

Although it was widely expected that Eminem would do well in this years Grammy competition, Hawaiian-born producer-singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Bruno Mars caught many by surprise as runner-up to Eminem with seven nominations, announced Wednesday in conjunction with a televised Grammy nomination concert from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Mars is competing with himself in the record of the year category for his production and vocals on rapper B.o.Bs Nothin on You, and as one of the producers of R&B-soul singer Cee-Lo Greens broadcast-confounding hit single You.

Awards Given that each record of the year nominee is traditionally performed live on the awards telecast, which will be held Feb. 13 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Grammy ceremony producers will have a challenge in how to present a song on national television in which the profanity is not simply a casual toss-off thats easily excised, but central to the songs message from a guy to the girl who has dumped him. Expectations are that Green will perform the PG-rated Forget You version that allowed many radio stations to play it during the year.

Wednesdays telecast skirted the issue by listing only the names of the artists who recorded the nominated songs, not the titles. When presenters Dave Grohl and Selena Gomez announced the titles, Gomez referred to it as the song otherwise known as Forget You.'

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Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton--and Gwyneth Paltrow--share spotlight at 44th Country Music Assn. Awards

Miranda Texas country music firebrand Miranda Lambert won big at the 44th Country Music Assn. Awards ceremony on Wednesday in Nashville, taking home trophies for best album, top female vocalist and top video in connection with her album Revolution. Brad Paisley took the nights top award as entertainer of the year, and Lady Antebellums chart-topping hit Need You Now was named the years best single.

The entertainer award to Paisley recognizes a combination of live performance, recorded music and ambassadorship for country music. My hero is Little Jimmy Dickens, Paisley said in a broken voice, of the Grand Ole Opry veteran, and he has a saying: If you see a turtle on a fencepost, it had help getting up there.' I feel like a turtle on a fencepost at this point. [For the record: A previous version of this post was edited to describe Brad Paisley as "mimicking" his hero, Little Jimmy Dickens, in his acceptance speech. In his comments, Paisley was paying tribute to Dickens, not imitating him.]

Lambert, whose awards came on the day she turned 27, said, Revolution has truly caused a revolution in my life this year. ... Its my baby, its what I live for. Thank you so much for loving it, too. The House That Built Me, a Tom Douglas-Allen Shamblin composition that Lambert sang on the album, was named song and video of the year.

Blake Shelton, Lamberts fianc, took two awards, including male vocalist in what may have been the evenings biggest surprise, trumping George Strait, Keith Urban,  Paisley and Dierks Bentley. Sugarland took the vocal duo trophy.

Atlantas party-minded jam group the Zac Brown Band was named new artist of the year, and Lady Antebellum, a Georgia-based trio, also collected vocal group honors on a show that sought to pump up its celebrity quotient, and ratings, by showcasing actress Gwyneth Paltrow in her public debut as a country singer.

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