CMT News

Jeff Foxworthy to Host 2005 CMT Music Awards
Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson Perform Live on April 11 Telecast
Comedy kingpin Jeff Foxworthy will lead the star-studded festivities as CMT telecasts country music's only video music awards -- and the only fan-voted awards show -- the 2005 CMT Music Awards. Foxworthy will host the live show, this year's only country awards televised from Nashville, on April 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Musical performers include superstars Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson. Additional performers will be announced shortly.

Jeff Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country. He is the largest-selling comedy recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy award nominee and best-selling author of 13 books. Foxworthy's immense popularity is based on his ability to uncover the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature. Foxworthy stars in and executive produces the television series Blue Collar TV, which came about due to the success of Blue Collar Comedy Tour, The Movie and the concert tour of the same name. The sequel Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again is available on DVD and will have its world premiere on Comedy Central Feb. 13. Currently, Foxworthy is the voice of Reggie the Rooster in the brand new Warner Bros. film Racing Stripes. Since 1999, Foxworthy has hosted The Foxworthy Countdown, a nationally syndicated radio show featuring the week's Top 25 country music hits, for which he has been nominated as CMA broadcast personality of the year.

Chesney, the reigning CMA entertainer of the year and winner of the CMA album of the year and the American Music Awards' fans' choice award, has sold more than 20 million albums. His triple platinum When the Sun Goes Down is the third best selling album of 2004 behind Usher and Norah Jones, debuting at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart. Billboard magazine recognized Chesney as the No. 1 selling country artist of 2004. Chesney's 2004 tour played to more fans than anyone other than Prince, who sold 1.4 million concert tickets compared to Chesney's nearly 1.2 million. On Jan. 25 Chesney released the highly anticipated new album, Be as You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair, which sold more than 100,000 copies in its first day of release. Chesney has won four CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards, including 2002 video of the year and 2004 male video of the year.

Keith landed atop five of Billboard's 2004 year-end rankings including top country artist. His release the previous year, Shock'n Y'all, was also one of the top selling country offerings of 2004. Released in November, his Greatest Hits 2 album is nearing triple platinum and continues to be one of the genre's top sellers. Keith remains one of country's top touring acts and a highly respected musician and songwriter. Willie Nelson has included a version of the Keith-penned "Tired" on his new album. Keith will release an album of new music on May 17. The project's first single, "Honky Tonk U," has been released to radio and is a semi-autobiographical song that harkens back to days that Keith spent working in his grandmother's nightclub. Keith has won seven CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards, including video of the Year in 2003 and 2004.

It has been a stellar year for groundbreaking duo Big & Rich. The duo's debut album, Horse of a Different Color, is certified double platinum and Super Galactic Fan Pak , a CD/DVD combo released in October has been certified platinum. In addition to two CMA award nominations for duo of the year and the Horizon Award, Billboard named Big & Rich its new country duo or group of the year. Big & Rich received a Grammy nomination for best country performance by a duo or group with vocal for "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)." The song's digital single has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of 100,000 downloads, making it the first digital download by a country artist to be certified by the RIAA.

Selling more than three million copies of her debut album, Here for the Party, Wilson is the top-selling debut artist of any genre for 2004. The new singer/songwriter has amassed prestigious awards including the CMA Horizon Award, the American Music Awards' breakthrough favorite new artist (covering all genres), two Billboard Music awards and an impressive four Grammy nominations, including one for the coveted best new artist. Wilson's debut single, "Redneck Woman," spent a record six weeks atop the country singles chart, the longest stay at No. 1 for a debut country female since 1964. Wilson and Big & Rich star in CMT's hit series Muzik Mafia TV: Television Without Prejudice.

Tickets for the 2005 CMT Music Awards at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center are available beginning Feb. 19 at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 615-255-9600 and online at CMT.com and ticketmaster.com.
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