Had enough of dimpled and pregnant chads? Country fans can rest assured that every vote will count when the semifinal round of online voting for the TNN Country Weekly Music Awards kicked off Monday (Jan. 29).
The star-studded extravaganza,
to be televised live June 13 on TNN from Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center, is the only nationally-televised country
music awards show that lets the fans choose the winners.
Last year voters endorsed traditional country stars George
Strait and Brad Paisley with five and three trophies respectively. Faith Hill won Female Artist of the Year, while the Dixie
Chicks were voted Group/Duo of the Year.
This year's gala kicks off the 30th annual International Country Music Fan
Fair, a celebration where fans get to schmooze with their favorite artists and watch a marathon of concerts. Fan Fair moves
to downtown Nashville this year and is expected to draw record numbers by incorporating the dates for a long weekend and providing
more flexible ticket pricing.
Besides online voting on tnnonline.com and countryweekly.com, fans can pick up ballots
in the Feb. 20 and March 6 issues of Country Weekly, available on newsstands Feb. 6 and Feb. 20, respectively. Radio
programmers also will be polled to help determine the final contenders, but their votes will count only as a small percentage
of the overall count. Semifinal voting continues through March 2 at 5 p.m. CT.
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 Awards to become the TNN Music City
News Country Awards. TNN and Music City News produced an annual fan-voted awards show until June 1999 when their
contract expired. The mega-selling Country Weekly became the new awards show partner beginning with the 2000 event.
selected this year's semifinalists using open ballots in the December issue of Country Weekly. For the semifinal round
of voting there is an online voting limit of one ballot per e-mail address per site for tnnonline.com and countryweekly.com.
Fans can send in an unlimited number of official ballots clipped from the Feb. 20 and March 6 issues of Country Weekly,
but no duplications will be accepted.
The final five nominees in each category will be announced during a March 14
press conference with final voting to begin Monday, March 26. In addition to online and printed ballots, the final round will
include phone voting via 900 numbers broadcast on TNN and posted on tnnonline.com.
Will tradition triumph again this
year? Only the fans know for sure.
Unlike most awards shows, the TNN Country Weekly Music Awards reserves front
row seats for fans, not the stars. Tickets for the awards show can be purchased now with complete ordering information on
tnnonline's ticket order form.
Fan Fair tickets go on sale to the public Feb. 1.