Photos: Stars Came Out for Grammy Nominations Concert
Musicians James Aldean (L) and Ludacris (R) perform onstage at The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!

The nominees for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards reflect a mix of cutting-edge sounds and old favorites in the country field. In the Best Country Solo Performance slot,| SHOCK: WHO WAS SNUBBED

"I'm flying pretty high right now," Aldean told the press backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert, adding that he'll have plenty of time to relax before the February ceremony. "I'm taking about a month and a half off."


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In the category for Best Country Song, longtime Grammy favorite Vince Gill contends for his current single "Threaten Me With Heaven." Co-written with wife Amy Grant, Will Owlsey, and Dillon O'Brian, his competition includes "God Gave Me You (recorded by Blake Shelton), "Just Fishin" (Trace Adkins), "Mean" (Taylor Swift), "You And Tequila" (Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter), and "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" (Thompson Square).

Thompson Square also fared well in the Best Country Duo / Group Performance field, also nominated for "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not." The other nominees include Chesney and Potter, The Civil Wars, and Kelly Clarkson and Aldean for their multi-format hit "Don't You Wanna Stay."

Country Music Hall of Fame member George Strait finds himself in a crowded field for Country Album of the Year for "Here For A Good Time." Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Aldean, Shelton and Swift also will vie for the honor.

Though surprisingly not mentioned in the country field, the Band Perry didn't come away empty-handed in terms of nominations. They are in the mix for overall New Artist of the Year, competing against Bon Iver, J.Cole, Nicki Minaj, and Skrillex.

The Grammy nom was special for the sibling group, for whom watching the Grammy ceremony has been a family affair. "It kind of is like the Super Bowl, we would always make an event of it in our household," Kimberly Perry said backstage. "We would get a pizza, make an evening of it."

The nominees in the Country, Americana, and Bluegrass fields are:

Best Country Album
"My Kinda Party" -- Jason Aldean
"Chief" -- Eric Church
"Own The Night" -- Lady Antenellum
"Red River Blue" -- Blake Shelton
"Here For A Good Time" -- George Strait
"Speak Now" -- Taylor Swift

Best Country Solo Performance:

"Dirt Road Anthem" - Jason Aldean
"I'm Gonna Love You Through It" - Martina McBride
"Honey Bee" - Blake Shelton
"Mean" - Taylor Swift
"Mama's Song" - Carrie Underwood

Best Country Song:

"Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" - Jim Collins & David Lee Murphy, songwriters (Thompson Square)
"God Gave Me You" - Dave Barnes, songwriter (Blake Shelton)
"Just Fishin'" - Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell & Ed Hill, songwriters (Trace Adkins)
"Mean" - Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
"Threaten Me With Heaven" - Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Will Owsley & Dillon O'Brian, songwriters (Vince Gill)
"You And Tequila" - Matraca Berg & Deana Carter, songwriters (Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter)

Best Americana Album:
"Emotional Jukebox" - Linda Chorney
"Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down" - Ry Cooder
"Hard Bargain" - Emmylou Harris
"Ramble At The Ryman" - Levon Helm
"Blessed" - Lucinda Williams


Best Folk Album:

"Barton Hollow" - The Civil Wars
"I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive" - Steve Earle
"Helplessness Blues" - Fleet Foxes
"Ukulele Songs" - Eddie Vedder
"The Harrow & The Harvest" - Gillian Welch


Best Bluegrass Album

"Paper Airplane" -- Alison Krauss & Union Station
"Reason & Rhyme: Bluegrass Songs By Robert Hunter and Jim Lauderdale" -- Jim Lauderdale
"Rare Bird Alert" -- Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
"Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe" -- The Del McCoury Band
"A Mother's Prayer" -- Ralph Stanley
"Sleep With One Eye Open" -- Chris Thile & Michael Daves

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards are set for February 12, 2012.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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