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LeAnn Rimes hosts the Texaco Country Showdown

America’s largest and longest running country music talent search, the 32nd Annual Texaco Country Showdown National Final, will be hosted by LeAnn Rimes on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.  It will air on syndicated television in March and April. LeAnn Rimes hosts the show from the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.  Five talented rising country artists compete for $100,000 and the title, “Best New Act in Country Music.” 
 
The five National Finalists were chosen through a series of over 500 local, state, and regional contests held throughout the country. The Texaco Country Showdown Alumni include many of today’s biggest stars including; Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Sara Evans, and Billy Ray Cyrus.
 
LeAnn Rimes, a two-time Grammy Award Winner, was the first country artist to win in the category, “Best New Artist.”  She has twelve Billboard Music Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards, and has sold more than thirty-seven million albums.  
 
THE NATIONAL FINALISTS
Zac Matthews - 18 year-old Zac Matthews of Milton, WI is life-long country music lover, talented guitar player, and vocal artist. Zac won the Midwest Regional title at Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN and represents radio station WJVL in Janesville, WI. 
 
Crystal Yates - Being in the music industry for nearly 15 years, the McKinney, TX native is no stranger to writing, performing, and recording. Crystal won the Southwest Regional competition held at Shuler Theater in Raton, NM and represents radio station KITX in Paris, TX
 
Southern Halo - Southern Halo is a soulful trio from the Mississippi Delta, comprised of sisters Natalia, age 16, Christina, age 15, and Hannah, age 13. The trio won the Southeast Regional title at Rocco’s Pub in Jasper, GA and represent radio station WDMS in Greenville, MS. 
 
Suzanne Harper - Singer/songwriter Suzanne Harper is a frequent guest on several San Diego radio stations, and can be seen performing in San Diego’s finest local venues. Suzanne won the West Regional competition at Three River’s Casino in Florence, OR and represents radio station KHTS in Escondido, CA. 
 
Casey Sutton - Casey Sutton is a singer/songwriter from Eastern North Carolina. Her first official EP, “The Road Ahead”, was released in November 2013. Casey is the Northeast Regional winner, which was held at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. She represents radio station WBCU in Union, SC. 
 
All participants are consistently judged on five core criteria: Marketability in Country Music, Vocal/Instrumental Ability, Originality of Performance, Stage Presence/Charisma and Talent. Optional bonus points can be awarded to acts with original music in the Songwriting category.  This year’s six judges are:
 
Rod Essig, with CAA, responsible for some of the biggest names in the industry. 
Pete Fisher, VP, Gen Manager of Grand Ole Opry.
John Ozier, General Manager Creative of ole, songwriter for major artists.
Tracy Gershon with Red Light Management managing artists and handling A&R.
Leslie DiPiero, co-founder independent music publisher Tom-Leis Music
Garth Fundis, independent record producer/recording engineer for major artists
 
A National Historic Landmark, the Ryman Auditorium was built as a church in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74, and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open as a museum during the day and at night continues its more-than-100-year music tradition by offering the best in live entertainment.  For more information, visit www.ryman.com .

Posted on: 1/7/2014

 
 

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