GRAMMY nominations are in and the stars are reveling in the good news. Blake Shelton received nominations in three of the four country categories, including Best Country Solo Performance for “Honey Bee,” Best Country Song for “God Gave Me You” and Best Country Album for his album, Red River Blue.
“It’s one thing to be acknowledged by the GRAMMY voters for one of your songs, but to have two songs nominated, and the album that they’re both off of, is an emotional experience,” Blake said. “I may never have something like this in my career again and I’m darn well going to enjoy it!”
Tying Blake for most country GRAMMY nominations is Jason Aldean. The three nominations are also Jason’s first GRAMMY nods. Up for Best Country Album for My Kinda Party, Best Country Solo Performance for “Dirt Road Anthem” and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson, Jason also performed “Dirt Road Anthem” with rapper Ludacris, during the GRAMMY Nominations Concert.
“I was totally stunned, and it all happened so fast,” Jason said. “I was feelin’ a pretty big adrenaline rush from our performance with Luda, and then to be told we had three nominations was just crazy. We were flying pretty high all night… there was definitely some celebrating on the flight back to Nashville.”
While all three nominations are special, Best Country Album is a dream come true for Jason. “That ‘Album’ nomination is what artists dream of their whole career,” he said. “And then for both the duet with Kelly and ‘Dirt Road’ to get some recognition, which were both different kinds of songs for us this year, it’s just incredible.”
Eric Church received his first ever GRAMMY nomination in the Best Country Album category for his album Chief. “The GRAMMYs are the ultimate honor for any recording artist,” Eric said. “It’s very cool that they recognized Chief in what I feel is the most coveted category. I got into the music business because of great records and the feelings they imparted on my heart. I’ve poured everything I am into making those kinds of albums, and I am very thankful for this nod.”
Thompson Square found themselves nominated for two GRAMMY awards. They are up for Best Country Duo/ Group Performance as well as Best Country Song for “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.” “We both could not believe the news of our Grammy nominations,” Keifer Thompson said. “When our manager told us we really thought he was playing some sort of sick joke on us. We can’t thank the Grammys enough for such a prestigious honor!”
Vince Gill, who has won 20 GRAMMY awards during his career, received his 41st career GRAMMY nomination. His song “Threaten Me With Heaven” is nominated for Best Country Song. He co-wrote the song with his wife, Amy Grant, Dillon O’Brian and Will Owsley and says the nomination is a tribute to Will, who later took his own life. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for my late friend Will,” Vince said. “This would have meant the world to him.”
Matraca Berg received her third career GRAMMY nomination in the Best Country Song category as the songwriter of “You and Tequila,” performed by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter. “You don’t write songs for nominations,” Matraca said. “You write to make things clear, to sort stuff out, to really feel the feeling. But when you get nominated, don’t kid yourself, it feels great ‘cause to me, it means you hit the bulls eye for so many other people, too! That’s the greatest feeling: that other people know just what it is.”
Ralph Stanley has won three GRAMMY awards and received his fourth nomination in the Best Bluegrass Album category for his A Mother’s Prayer album.“ This album is me—it’s what I’m all about,” he said. “I’m honored that the Grammy voters recognized my work. Of the hundreds of albums I’ve recorded, I count this as one of the best.”
The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held February 12, 2012, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live on CBS from 8– 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).