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Country Music Awards Next Week

Alan Jackson favored for Entertainer of the Year:

    The 36th Annual CMA Awards show will be televised Nov. 6 from the Grand Ole Opry. Hosting will be Vince Gill, who is the all-time leading CMA award winner with 18 trophies.

    When Alan Jackson, the lanky pride of Newnan, Georgia, first sang his “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” at last year’s awards show, the song shot to No. 1 on the charts quicker than any other country single in the past four years.

    In addition to that blockbuster song, Jackson set a record this year with 10 nominations, beating Merle Haggard’s previous record of nine in 1970 and making him the favorite to capture the entertainer of the year prize.

    Jackson broke into the country music scene in 1989, won his first CMA nomination the following year and has sold more than 39 million albums.

    Jackson’s chief rival for the award, Oklahoman Toby Keith, turned out “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” his angry rendition of how America responded to the Sept. 11 attacks. The song tore up the charts and earned six nominations in various categories.

    Though Keith, 40, a former oil field worker and rodeo hand, recorded for Mercury Records for almost a decade, he did not win his first CMA award until last year when he was named “Male Vocalist of the Year.”

And his trucks are Ford tough.

    Viewers of the show will enjoy a smorgasbord of performers, including the return of Shania Twain in her first TV appearance since 1999. Another favorite, Faith Hill, who has sold more than 25 million records in her eight-year career, is back in the spotlight after time out to give birth to her third daughter.

    The show will also feature the customary tribute to the most recent Country Music Hall of Fame inductees, whose names were announced last summer.

Test your knowledge of this year’s nominees with a quiz:

    2002 Entertainer of the Year Nominees

    Brooks & Dunn
    Kenny Chesney
    Alan Jackson
    Toby Keith
    George Strait

    Kix Brooks has been nominated with partner Ronnie Dunn for the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award eight times, and the duo won the Award in 1996. Do you know Kix Brooks real first name?

    A) Bill
    B) Leon
    C) Roy
    D) Harold

    Answer: B) Leon. The man we know as Kix Brooks has been entertaining Country Music audiences for over a decade as part of the high-energy duo Brooks & Dunn. He earned his current moniker as an active embryo, but his birth name Leon is a tie to his lineage. Brooks is the third Leon in his family, and his son is the fourth.

    Which Entertainer of the Year nominee has previously won this category two separate times?

    A) Brooks & Dunn
    B) Alan Jackson
    C) Toby Keith
    D) George Strait

    Answer: D) George Strait, who holds the record for the most CMA Award career nominations (currently at 70), won Entertainer of the Year in 1989 and 1990.

    Which Entertainer of the Year nominee once owned a racehorse named Jack Branch?

    A) Kenny Chesney
    B) Alan Jackson
    C) Toby Keith
    D) George Strait

    Answer: C) Toby Keith. The 11-time CMA Award nominee is an equestrian, who placed a quarter horse in the finals at a race in Ruidoso, N.M. earlier this year. But Keith’s first racehorse was named Jack Branch.

    Which 2002 CMA Entertainer of the Year hopeful has something in common with Subway pitchman Jared?

    A) Kenny Chesney
    B) Alan Jackson
    C) Toby Keith
    D) George Strait

    Answer: A) Kenny Chesney adheres to a strict diet while on the road, striving to maintain his eight percent body fat. However, Chesney splurges on occasion to include Subway’s lowfat turkey on whole wheat with lettuce and mustard – no mayonnaise and no pickles!

    Which Entertainer of the Year nominee can boast performing with two generations of great women singers from the same family?

    A) Kix Brooks
    B) Kenny Chesney
    C) Ronnie Dunn
    D) George Strait

    Answer: C) Ronnie Dunn. Brooks & Dunn will perform “Every River” on the CMA Awards this year with the help of Kim Richey and Bekka Bramlett. Dunn also performed with Bramlett’s mother Bonnie Bramlett in the late 1970s while coming up in the clubs of Tulsa, Okla.

About Eric Olsen