Country stars Blake Shelton, Thompson Square, Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill, rockers Kings of Leon and R&B singer Charlie Wilson are among the recording artists with Oklahoma ties to earn 2012 Grammy Award nominations.
Producer Ryan Tedder and contemporary Christian group Gungor also will be in the running when the 54th Annual Grammy Awards air live from Los Angeles on Feb. 12 on CBS.
Ada native Blake Shelton is nominated for best country album for “Red River Blue” and best country solo performance for the album's chart-topping first single “Honey Bee.” The Tishomingo resident's No. 1 hit “God Gave Me You,” written by contemporary Christian singer Dave Barnes, also earned a nod for best country song, an award presented to songwriters.
“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 their both off of, is an emotional experience. I may never have something like this in my career again and I'm darn well going to enjoy it!” Shelton said in a statement, after colorfully crowing about the nods on his popular Twitter feed.
In the best country solo performance category, Shelton will compete against Checotah native Carrie Underwood, who is nominated for her emotional ballad “Mama's Song.” The Recording Academy this year consolidated many Grammy categories, so solo country artists are no longer separated into male and female competitions.
Underwood also is featured on legendary crooner Tony Bennett's “Duets II,” nominated for best traditional pop vocal album.
Hot new duo Thompson Square, which includes Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson, received its first Grammy nod for best country duo/group performance for its breakthrough hit “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” which earned songwriters Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy a best country song nomination, too.
“We both could not believe the news of our Grammy nominations,” Keifer Thompson said in a statement. “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!”
“If I'm asleep please don't wake me up, 'cause this is a dang good dream!!” added his wife and musical partner, Shawna Thompson.
The best country song competition also includes the latest ballad from Vince Gill, “Threaten Me with Heaven,” which the Norman-born, Oklahoma City-bred star penned with wife Amy Grant, Dillon O'Brian and Will Owsley. Gill told The Oklahoman earlier this year that his feelings about the love song have morphed since Owsley committed suicide last year.
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