The Stars Come Out Monday Night at The TNN Music City News Country Awards

Lights, camera, action, and enough stars to light up the Grand Ole Opry House like never before! That’s the setting plus millions of inquiring minds who want to know who will take home this year’s top honors as “fan favorite.”

A wealth of talent will face the footlights when three generations of country music artists –LeAnn Rimes, George Jones, and Randy Travis — host the 31st Annual TNN Music City News Country Awards, this Monday evening, June 16 at 8:00-10:30 p.m., (ET). The star-studded ceremony will repeats on Saturday, June 21 at 9:00-11:30 p.m., (ET) on TNN: The Nashville Network.

Performers for this year’s gala event include several new faces to the show such as Trace Adkins, Paul Brandt, Deana Carter, Mindy McCready, Jo Dee Messina, MC Potts, Wade Hayes, Ty England and Ty Herndon — all of whom are up for this year’s coveted Star of Tomorrow honor. And as anticipated, veteran performers of the annual awards show stage will return as well. Country sizzlers like Vince Gill, Sawyer Brown, Terri Clark, Alan Jackson, Lorrie Morgan, Billy Ray Cyrus and Bryan White are revved up for the occasion.

But don’t fret if your favorite star isn’t in the performance line-up this year. They’ll be waiting for their cue and spotlight to present this year’s fan-voted trophies. Presenters include such top-name acts as John Anderson, John Berry, BlackHawk, Bill Anderson, Brooks & Dunn, Tracy Byrd, Gary Chapman, Mark Chesnutt, Anita Cochran, Linda Davis, Billy Dean, Dale Earnhardt, Diamond Rio, Joe Diffie, Janie Fricke, Amy Grant, Merle Haggard, Toby Keith, Loretta Lynn, Neal McCoy, Louise Mandrell, Lee Roy Parnell, Johnny Paycheck, Regina Regina, Robert Reynolds of the Mavericks, Ricky Van Shelton, Daryle Singletary, Ricky Skaggs, Ray Stevens, Tanya Tucker, Steve Wariner and Lee Ann Womack.

This year’s hosts with the most are also geared up for one of country music’s most exciting nights of the year as well. LeAnn Rimes, one of the country arena’s hottest newcomers, has already received two Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, a first for any country artist. At 14, Rimes is the youngest TNN Music City News Country Awards host and nominee and has three nominations in this year’s competition.

Co-host Randy Travis is credited with creating the country music explosion in the 1980s. Travis went on to win virtually every award given in the music business — including a total of 13 TNN Music City News Country Awards.

Legendary country hero George Jones, long considered “the voice” of country music, is the standard by which all country singers measure themselves and has been winning awards and tributes longer than most of the nominated artists have been singing.

Monday night’s annual event, honoring the past year’s finest contributions to the world of country music, will be telecast live in a two-and-a-half-hour presentation from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. Nominations for the awards were selected in a two-step balloting process conducted in the December and February issues of Music City News. The final votes for winners in each category were cast via ballots published in the April issue of Music City News and ballots cast via 900 telephone numbers announced on both TNN telecasts and country.com.

Once again, the TNN Music City News Country Awards get underway on the first day of Fan Fair, Nashville’s week-long festival where country music buffs from all over the world gather to celebrate and applaud the music and the music makers.

The TNN Music City News Country Awards will present honors in 14 fan-voted categories including Entertainer of the Year. Alan Jackson leads with seven nominations. This year’s presentation will also include the Music City News Living Legend Award and the Minnie Pearl Award.

TNN will present THE PRE-AWARDS SHOW (7:00-8:00 p.m., (ET)) hosted by Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, which will feature nominees and presenters in a taped presentation from the Grand Ole Opry House prior to the show. A live TNN POST-AWARDS SPECIAL, hosted by Gary Chapman, immediately following the awards, (10:30-11:00 p.m., (ET)), will bring viewers the excitement of the evening in interviews with country artists backstage.

Live Celebrity Chat

Country.com (http://www.country.com), the personal source for all things country, will give fans the opportunity to connect with their favorite stars live on the internet.

The one-hour live chat will begin at 7:00 p.m., (ET). Gregg “Hobie” Hubbard and Joe Smyth of the group Sawyer Brown, Mindy McCready, Cledus T. Judd, Bryan White, and Terri Clark are already scheduled to participate, and many more of the performers and presenters at the show will stop by the country.com computers to chat as their schedule permits.

Fans also have the option of submitting their questions to the web site in advance by clicking on country.com’s Music module and posting the questions in the Green Room Chat area. A staff of country.com reporters will select the best questions and obtain answers from the stars wherever they may be in the building.

Throughout the evening, country.com will continue with coverage of the awards show. Visitors to the Web-site can follow their favorite artists with interviews, digital photos, sound bites, backstage stories and on stage events.

The Nominees

31st TNN Music City News Country Awards, with Alan Jackson leading with seven nominations and Vince Gill following with six nominations. In last year’s competition, Alan Jackson claimed three honors, including Entertainer of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

The nominations are:

Entertainer of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Billy Ray Cyrus

Vince Gill

Alan Jackson

Reba McEntire

George Strait

Male Artist of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Billy Ray Cyrus

Vince Gill

Alan Jackson

George Strait

Bryan White

Terri Clark

Female Artist of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Terri Clark

Faith Hill

Patty Loveless

Reba McEntire

Lorrie Morgan

Comedian of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Gary Chapman

Jeff Foxworthy

Cledus T. Judd

Mike Snider

Ray Stevens

Star of Tomorrow — Male
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Trace Adkins

Paul Brandt

Ty England

Wade Hayes

Ty Herndon

Star of Tomorrow — Female
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Deana Carter

Mindy McCready

Jo Dee Messina

MC Potts

LeAnn Rimes

Vocal Duo
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Bellamy Brothers

Brooks & Dunn

Daryl & Don Ellis

Regina Regina

Sweethearts of the Rodeo

Vocal Group
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

4 Runner

The Forester Sisters

The Moffatts

Oak Ridge Boys

Statler Brothers

Vocal Band
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Alabama

Blackhawk

Diamond Rio

Sawyer Brown

The Mavericks

Christian Country Artist
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Amy Grant

Paul Overstreet

Ricky Van Shelton

Ricky Skaggs

Vocal Collaboration of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

“Games Rednecks Play”
– Alan Jackson & Jeff Foxworthy

“I Will Always Love You”
– Dolly Parton & Vince Gill

“Cattle Call”
– Eddy Arnold & LeAnn Rimes

“By My Side”
– Lorrie Morgan & Jon Randall

“Honky Tonkin’s What I Do Best”
– Travis Tritt & Marty Stuart

Single of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

“Blue” — LeAnn Rimes

“Blue Clear Sky” — George Strait

“Little Bitty” — Alan Jackson

“Trail of Tears” — Billy Ray Cyrus

“Worlds Apart” — Vince Gill

Video of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

“Games Rednecks Play”
– Alan Jackson & Jeff Foxworthy

“Little Bitty” — Alan Jackson

“Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”
– Neal McCoy

“Trail of Tears” — Billy Ray Cyrus

“Worlds Apart” — Vince Gill

Album of the Year
Nominees
——————————————————————————–

Between Now and Forever — Bryan White

Blue Clear Sky — George Strait

Everything I Love — Alan Jackson

High Lonesome Sound — Vince Gill

Trail of Tears — Billy Ray Cyrus