CMA AWARDS FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

Though she struggled to find her niche on the first two albums of her career, it's safe to say that Sara Evans has finally made it! She earned five CMA nominations this year - more than any other artist. She's up for Female Vocalist, Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year for "Born To Fly," and Album of the Year for Born To Fly.

"All these nominations - it's so hard to believe," says Sara. "This album and the songs on it have literally changed my life the past year."

Though she'd love to win any of the categories, there is one award Sara says would mean more than the others - Album. "I've always dreamed about having an album nomination!" she admits.

Faith Hill is no stranger to the Female Vocalist category. The golden-voiced superstar won the award in 2000, and this year she received her 19th CMA nomination. There's been no shortage of other awards in this busy mom's year. She's already taken home three Grammys, three American Music Awards, and she was given the TNN & CMT Country Weekly Award for Female Artist of the Year this past June. Her current single, "There You'll Be," can be heard on country, pop and adult contemporary stations. And if that's not enough, Faith is preparing for the birth of her third child with husband Tim McGraw.

Martina McBride's strong voice and equally strong song choices have made her one of Nashville's most respected singers. When she took home the Female Vocalist award in 1999, many of her fans and industry supporters said it was about time. This year Martina released her first greatest-hits album.

But as much as she appreciates awards and chart-toppers, it's the music that's most important to Martina. "I'd like to be known as someone who records songs that are intelligent and emotional," she says.

Lee Ann Womack's nod for Female Vocalist is a companion to her other CMA nomination this year, for Music Video of the Year for "Ashes By Now." It's a bit of a change from last year, when Lee Ann was nominated for five CMA awards and her song "I Hope You Dance" took home CMAs for both Song and Single of the Year.

"After last year, which was very overwhelming, this just feels great," says Lee Ann. "It's hard to imagine a year like last year, but at the same time, we work very hard - and it's nice to see people see beyond 'I Hope You Dance' and recognize that. To me, it is always about the songs and the performances and the way music connects people."

For 10 years Trisha Yearwood has dazzled Nashville and beyond with her amazing voice. She was the CMA Female Vocalist back to back in 1997 and 1998. Guests on her albums read like a who's who of country and pop stars. In addition to her Female Vocalist nomination, Trisha's current single, "I Would've Loved You Anyway," is up for Music Video of the Year. Yet after 10 years, this Georgia native shows no signs of stopping. "For the most part, I still think of myself as 'the kid,' " she says. "I know it's been 10 years, but it really seems like yesterday that 'She's In Love With The Boy' came out."

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