For the second time, Toby Keith is matching his country charm with a leading lady's Hollywood glamour as co-host of the CMT Music Awards.
The Norman resident and actress Kristen Bell, star of the upcoming movie “Hit & Run” and the TV shows “House of Lies” and “Veronica Mars,” will preside over the 11th Annual CMT Awards, airing live from Nashville, Tenn., at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Country Music Television and CMT.com.
“Toby Keith and Kristen Bell are a terrific one-two knockout punch for the 2012 CMT Music Awards,” John Hamlin, senior vice president of music events and talent CMT, said in a news release. “Toby has been involved with our show every year since its inception and Kristen is as entertaining and witty as any young actor working today. We're thrilled to have them both as hosts for this year's show.”
Keith won't be the only Oklahoman bringing star power to the fan-voted awards show. Checotah native Carrie Underwood will compete for a leading five prizes and perform on this year's CMT Music Awards.
Underwood earned two nominations in the top category, video of the year: one for “Good Girl,” the video for her newest uptempo hit, and one for “Remind Me,” the mini-movie for her chart-topping duet with fellow country superstar Brad Paisley. She also received a female video of the year nod for “Good Girl,” and she and Paisley share a collaborative video of the year nomination for “Remind Me.” In addition, the 2005 “American Idol” winner and “Idol” judge and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler are nominated for CMT Performance of the Year for their medley “Just a Dream/Dream On” from “CMT Crossroads: Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood From the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam.”
Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert received two nominations for her solo work and shares two with her bandmates in her all-girl trio Pistol Annies, which will sing on the show. The Texas native is nominated for video and female video of the year for the video to her heartbreaking hit “Over You.” The Pistol Annies, which include Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe, garnered nods for group video and USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Hell on Heels,” the mini-movie to their sultry debut single.
Lambert's husband and fellow Tishomingo resident Blake Shelton earned three nominations, with the video for his heartfelt ballad “God Gave Me You” getting the nod for video of the year and male video of the year. Plus, the Ada native will compete for CMT Performance of the Year for his cover of the movie theme “Footloose” from “Invitation Only: Blake Shelton.”
Superstar trio Rascal Flatts, which includes Picher-bred guitarist Joe Don Rooney, shares two nominations with British pop star Natasha Bedingfield, the band's duet partner on its gold-certified hit “Easy.” The video for “Easy” is nominated in the video of the year and collaborative video categories. In addition, Rascal Flatts, who will play during the show, will vie for group video of the year for “Banjo,” the mini-movie to their rollicking recent single. Breakout duo Thompson Square, which consists of Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson and his wife, Shawna, received three nominations, too. The couple is nominated for USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year and duo video of the year for their playful ballad “I Got You.” The pair garnered a second duo video nod for the black-and-white mini-movie for their emotional love song “Glass.”
Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, who was born in Norman and raised in Oklahoma City, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sting share a nod for CMT Performance of the Year for their duet rendition of Sting's “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” from “CMT Crossroads: Sting and Vince Gill.” Along with co-hosting and performing on the show, Keith will compete for two awards — video of the year and male video of the year — on the strength of his star-studded viral video smash “Red Solo Cup.”
The Clinton native previously co-hosted the CMT Music Awards with Pamela Anderson in 2003. He had not met Bell prior to accepting the cable network's invitation to share hosting duties with the actress.
“I look forward to working with her and it'll be fun. I promise,” Keith said in a promotional video with the network.
Follow Brandy McDonnell's live blog of the CMT Music Awards at 7 p.m. Wednesday on her BAM's Blog at blog.