How much did them country folks dislike Garth Brooks' soul patch? Well, take a look at the Academy of Country Music nominations. The scorecard reads something like this: Garth Brooks -- zero; 'N Sync -- one.
Is 'N Sync a country act? Can you chew bubble gum and tobacco at the same time? Do the Backstreet Boys know about this?
Frankly, we don't know. We just know this: The boy-band popsters of 'N Sync got more props out of the 35th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards than country mega-mega-star Garth Brooks. In nominations announced Wednesday, 'N Sync nabbed a nod for outstanding "vocal event" for their collaboration with Alabama on "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You." Brooks nabbed the aforementioned nothing.
The snub was for Brooks' foray into multiple personalities, a k a "In the Life of Chris Gaines," the hat-act's 1999 concept album. For the uninitiated, the "Chris Gaines" thing featured Brooks assuming an alter-ego (Gaines), adopting a pop/rock sound and sporting (egad!) a wig and soul patch.
Tim McGraw, who sports a hat and a goatee but not a soul patch, was rewarded for his good ol' country fashion sense with nominations in five categories, including Entertainer of the Year. All told, McGraw stands to lasso seven trophies, because in the best song and best single categories he's nominated as both the performer and producer.
Wife Faith Hill and Grammy-winning country trio the Dixie Chicks were the other top multiple nominees, with five nods apiece.
The awards are scheduled to be presented May 3 in a CBS telecast from Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheater.
Here's a complete rundown of the nominations for the 35th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards:
Entertainer of the Year: Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Sawyer Brown, Shania Twain.
Top Male Vocalist: Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Collin Raye, George Strait.
Top New Male Vocalist: Gary Allan, Chad Brock, Brad Paisley.
Top Female Vocalist: Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, Shania Twain, Chely Wright.
Top New Female Vocalist: Jessica Andrews, Julie Reeves, Chalee Tennison.
Top Vocal Duo or Group: Asleep at the Wheel, Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Sawyer Brown.
Top New Vocal Duo or Group: Montgomery Gentry, Shedaisy, Yankee Grey.
Top Vocal Event of the Year: "A Country Boy Can Survive (Y2K Version)" (with Chad Brock, Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones); "After the Gold Rush'' (with Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt); "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You'' (with Alabama, 'N Sync); "My Kind of Woman'' (with Vince Gill, Patty Loveless); ''When I Said I Do'' (with Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black).
Album of the Year: "A Place in the Sun," Tim McGraw; "Breathe," Faith Hill; "Cold Hard Truth," George Jones; "Fly," Dixie Chicks; "Ride With Bob," Asleep at the Wheel.
Single Record of the Year: "Amazed" Lonestar; "He Didn't Have to Be," Brad Paisley; "Please Remember Me," Tim McGraw; "Ready to Run" Dixie Chicks; "Write This Down," George Strait.
Song of the Year: "Amazed," Lonestar; "He Didn't Have to Be," Brad Paisley; "Breathe," Faith Hill; "Choices," George Jones; "Please Remember Me," Tim McGraw.
Country Video of the Year: "Breathe," Faith Hill; "He Didn't Have to Be," Brad Paisley; "How Do You Like Me Now," Toby Keith; "Ready to Run," Dixie Chicks; "Single White Female" Chely Wright.