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All-Star Performers Lined Up For CMA Awards

October 25th, 2005 11:44pm EDT
Bon JoviThe star-packed line up for the 2005 CMA Awards continues to grow with performances added by Bon Jovi with Sugarland front woman Jennifer Nettles; Willie Nelson and Paul Simon, who will also present the Song of the Year Award; nominees Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas; and by Horizon Award nominees Miranda Lambert and Julie Roberts.

Other performers already announced include:
Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, CMA hosts Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, and Lee Ann Womack.

Other presenters previously announced include:
Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix.

“The interest from the artistic community to be involved this year really demonstrates the excitement about the CMA Awards and overall appeal and universal quality of the format,” said CMA Executive Director Ed Benson. “Country Music crosses genres and touches people with stories that speak to the heart and performances that touch the human spirit.”

And viewers can see for themselves when “The 39th Annual CMA Awards” airs live Tuesday, Nov. 15 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the CBS Television Network from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Bon Jovi will perform “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. New Jersey-based rockers and the Country trio from Atlanta recently collaborated on a “CMT Crossroads” special and the power and emotion of their performance garnered critical acclaim. The song is on Bon Jovi’s recently released album, Have A Nice Day.

Two forces in American music, Willie Nelson and Paul Simon will perform together and then present the CMA Song of the Year Award, which goes to the songwriters. “One can only imagine the significance to our writer nominees of receiving this Award from these two revered songwriters,” Benson said.

During his career, Nelson has received 44 CMA nominations and has won nine times, including Entertainer of the Year in 1979. He has recorded with dozens of legends and contemporary hitmakers including Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Julio Iglesias, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones and more. But perhaps his most well-known collaborations were with The Highwaymen – Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

While always remaining a Country Music entertainer, Nelson has performed songs from a multitude of genres throughout his career. His most recent album, Countryman, is his first-ever reggae album, merging the gospel and spirit found in both Country and reggae.

Paul Simon is quoted as saying he wrote “Graceland” as a salute to Elvis Presley and his bringing together the sounds of Country and R&B. Simon has released 11 albums in his solo career. Five are certified Gold, four are certified Platinum and two multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA). Simon’s illustrious body of work has influenced many of today’s Country artists.

Alison Krauss is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year (her fourth consecutive year in the category) and in the Vocal Group of the Year category with Union Station. Union Station dobro player Jerry Douglas also has a Musician of the Year nod. The group’s current Rounder Records album, Lonely Runs Both Ways, is certified Gold by the RIAA.

Miranda Lambert is one of the top two selling Country debut artists of 2005 with her Epic Records release Kerosene, which debuted as the No. 1 Country album in the nation. In September, Lambert was on the road opening for reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Keith Urban. Lambert first gained national attention with her successful run on the debut season of “Nashville Star.” She will be opening for George Strait on his upcoming tour beginning Jan. 2006.

Nominated for a second year in the Horizon Award category, Julie Roberts has received extensive critical acclaim and unprecedented national media coverage, including recording the theme song for “Good Morning America.” Her self-titled Mercury Nashville debut, certified Gold by the RIAA, propelled her to almost every Top 10 list in the country including Rolling Stone, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post.

Presenting an Award for the first time in 2005 is actor James Gandolfini, star of the hit HBO drama series “The Sopranos.” Gandolfini starred with Robert Redford in the 2001 motion picture, “The Last Castle,” which was filmed in Nashville.