Country fans are just a click away from selecting their favorite country stars for the TNN Country Weekly Music Awards as final Internet voting has begun on country.com, tnnonline.com and countryweekly.com. Telephone voting via 900 numbers begins April 1 with final ballots also available in issues of Country Weekly beginning with the April 17 issue (available on newsstands April 3). Alan Jackson leads the pack with nominations in eight different categories, followed by George Strait, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw with seven each.
Winners will be announced June 13 during the awards show, carried live by TNN (8 p.m. ET/PT) from Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center. The annual event kicks off the 30th International Country Music Fan Fair (June 14-17) and is the only nationally televised country music awards show that lets the fans choose the winners.
The final nominees were selected through semifinal Internet fan voting on country.com, tnnonline.com and countryweekly.com and semifinal ballots from issues of Country Weekly.
Final Internet and magazine ballot voting continues through June 1 at 5 p.m. Central. There is an online voting limit of one ballot per e-mail address for country.com/tnnonline.com and one ballot per e-mail address for countryweekly.com. Fans can clip as many ballots from issues of Country Weekly as they please, but no duplicated ballots will be accepted.
Fans’ telephone voting will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, April 1 through Friday, June 8. A complete list of the 900 numbers for voting in each of the 12 categories will be posted on country.com, tnnonline.com and countryweekly.com throughout the entire phone-voting period. Callers must be 18 years of age or older to vote by phone.
TNN has telecast an annual fan-voted country music awards show since April 1988 when it introduced the Viewer’s Choice Awards in celebration of the network’s fifth anniversary. In 1990 the Viewer’s Choice Awards merged with the Music City News Country Awards. TNN and Music City News produced an annual fan-voted awards show until June 1999 when their contract expired. Country Weekly became the new awards show partner with the 2000 event.
This year, three songs — “Let’s Make Love,” “I Hope You Dance” and “Murder on Music Row” — found a special place in fans’ hearts and votes. Four of Hill and McGraw’s seven different category nominations came from their pairing on “Let’s Make Love.” (Because Hill could pick up awards as a co-producer on “Let’s Make Love,” she could walk away with the most trophies — nine). Four of Lee Ann Womack’s six nominations came from her critically-praised collaboration with Sons of the Desert on the hope-filled “I Hope You Dance.” Jackson and Strait received three of their nods for their duet on “Murder on Music Row.”
Tradition triumphed for last year’s voters with Strait and Brad Paisley winning five and three awards respectively. Hill won Female Artist of the Year while the Dixie Chicks were voted Group/Duo of the Year.
The big winners of this awards show are always the fans who get to select the top artists in 12 fan-voted categories. Fans also get first dibs at the front row seats, plus many more of the hot viewing spots in the house that are usually reserved for artists or record label executives.
It’s down to the final round with today’s kickoff of the Internet voting for the TNN Country Weekly Music Awards, so — on your mark, get set, go and click for your favorite artists.