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Published: Friday, 4/15/2005

CMT Scores a Hit with Awards Show

Congratulations to CMT, which made a little bit of history with this week's awards show.

More than 9.9 million people watched the "2005 CMT Music Awards,"

making it CMT's highest rated and most watched telecast in channel

history.

"The stars aligned for this year's CMT Awards," said CMT's Executive

VP/General Manager Brian Philips. "The CMT Awards are meant to be an over-the-top party celebrating the very best in our genre, and we had plenty to celebrate this year. Star power drives ratings, and we delivered our biggest array of talent ever."

Performing on the show were Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Alan

Jackson, Heart, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Big & Rich,

Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood. Yearwood's

performance of her latest single, "Georgia Rain," brought the

audience to its feet. It was Yearwood's first television performance

in nearly three years. "Georgia Rain" hits radio later this month,

and her new record, "Jasper County," will reach stores on Sept. 13.

Other highlights of the show included Loretta Lynn receiving the

Johnny Cash Visionary Award. Lynn arrived at the show on the arm of

Keith Urban, who walked away with the "Video of the Year," the

night's top award.

"The fans are a passionate lot, and I love that," Urban said. "It's

pretty overwhelming when you get that kind of love back from people

like I've been getting."

* * *

Wondering what's on the new iPod that President Bush is sporting

these days? The 250 songs he's loaded is heavy on country music, and particularly heavy on songs from Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson.

* * *

Bet you did not know this, but Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn is a

board member of the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. Dunn is an avid art collector and has long had an interest in Russian art.

He recently explained to the Associated Press: "I like the imagery. I

don't know if I can intellectually box it in other than to say it's

striking to me."

He is one of the private donors enabling the museum to re-open on

May 9.

* * *

Shelly Fairchild, a new Columbia Records artist, has received a

call-back for an upcoming movie, "All You Need Is Love." She is up

for the role of a Janis Joplin-like character.

Shelly will be releasing her debut record, "Ride," on May 3. She'll

be appearing on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on May 17.

* * *

Letterman's rival, Jay Leno, will be hosting Miranda Lambert tonight

on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

* * *

In case you're wondering what happened to "Nashville Star" host

LeAnn Rimes, the Grammy-winning artist has a broken blood vessel in one of her vocal chords and has had to cancel several concert dates and has had to step down from her weekly duties on the USA Network show.

Rimes' illness is the result of a severe case of viral bronchitis.

Although there is no timetable for her return, doctors expect her to

be able to return quickly to the show. Until she does return, Sara

Evans will fill in.

* * *

And finally Kenny Chesney's latest single, "Anything But Mine," has

shot to No. 1 on Billboard's Country Singles Chart. It happens to be

one of my favorite Chesney singles.

"I just loved that song from the moment I heard it," Chesney said.

"It's so totally the way that moment feels, smells, sounds . It's the

end of that summer romance, you know you're both going other places - and it's so intense, you just never want it to end."



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