Willie Nelson’s hit record Always on My Mind crossed over to capture top album nominations in both the rock ‘n’ roll and country categories in this year’s American Music Awards.
Fifteen awards will be given in three categories — rock, country and soul — during the 10th annual American Music Awards ceremonies broadcast live in a two-hour presentation Jan. 17 on ABC.
Winners are selected by the public, with 30,000 ballots sent to a national sampling of record buyers. Names of the nominees were compiled from the year-end record industry sales charts.
Although Nelson crossed into the rock category for the favorite album nominations, Aretha Franklin led all contenders with three nominations in the soul category — best album, best single and favorite vocalist.
Stevie Wonder received nominations for favorite male vocalist and favorite album for his Original Musicquarium I LP in the soul category. Wonder and Paul McCartney shared a nomination for favorite rock single with Ebony and Ivory.
Nominees for favorite male rock vocalist were McCartney, John Cougar and Rick Springfield, while best female rock vocalist hopefuls include Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks and Diana Ross.
Favorite rock group nominees included Fleetwood Mac, the J. Geils Band, and Hall and Oates.
McCartney and Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory joined Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and Lionel Richie’s Truly in contention for top rock single.
Journey’s Escape LP and Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage are up against Nelson’s Always on My Mind in the favorite rock album category.
Nominations for favorite male country vocalist were Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers and Conway Twitty, while Emmylou Harris, Barbara Mandrell and Sylvia were picked for top female country vocalist consideration.
Favorite country group nominations went to Alabama, the Oak Ridge Boys and the Statler Brothers.
Best country single nominees were Bobbie Sue by the Oak Ridge Boys, Love Will Turn You Around by Rogers and Nobody by Sylvia.
Joining Nelson in the top country album nominations were the Oak Ridge Boys’ Fancy Free and Alabama’s Mountain Music.
Rick James was nominated with Richie and Wonder in the favorite male soul vocalist, while Evelyn King and Diana Ross joined Franklin in the top female soul vocalist category.
The top soul group nominees were the Gap Band, Kool & the Gang and The Time.
Franklin’s Jump to It, King’s Love Come Down and Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing were nominated as best soul single, with James’ Throwin’ Down joining Jump to It and Original Musicquarium I in the favorite soul album category.
In addition, a special Award of Merit will be presented to a member of the musical community for “outstanding contributions over a long period of time to the musical entertainment of the American public.”
Previous winners include Bing Crosby, Berry Gordy Jr., Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Chuck Berry and Stevie Wonder.
United Press International / January 4, 1983