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1999 Wrap-Up: Female Artists Score Big; Shania, Faith and Dixie Chicks Drive the Country Music Format; Consolidation Becomes the Buzzword for Music Row.

Entertainment Editors


In a format traditionally powered by males, 1999 proved to be a year when females roared to the forefront, dominating sales charts and exhibiting a strong presence on pop and adult contemporary charts as well as in national media and on the international front. Shania Twain emerged as an international superpower, becoming the number one selling artist in the UK, while topping the charts in Germany and Australia as well. She continued her assault on the record books, becoming the first female artist in any genre of music to reach the 11-million sales mark with back-to-back solo projects. Faith Hill gave Warner Bros./Nashville its first-ever number-one album debut with BREATHE, and, along with Shania, graced the fashion world as a national cosmetic spokeswoman. The Dixie Chicks sold more than 10 million albums without receiving airplay outside the Country format, and were the first Country duo or group to have an album debut at number one in the history of SoundScan. As the year ended, BILLBOARD presented Emmylou Harris the Century Award for distinguished creative achievement.

Recognizing that teenagers are increasingly flexing their buying muscle, many labels added teen-aged performers to their roster. Alecia Elliott (MCA), Rebecca Lynn Howard (MCA), Jessica Andrews (DreamWorks), the Clark Family Experience (Curb), South Sixty-Five (Atlantic) and Jennifer Day (BNA) all attempted to tap into the burgeoning teen phenomenon and join already-established Country teen sensations LeAnn Rimes, The Wilkinsons and Lila McCann.

In spite of the fact that consolidation dominated the industry on all fronts, Country Music experienced great growth and diversification potential on the Internet. The world wide web also stands to accelerate the rapidly growing global interest in Country artists. In November, CMA sponsored its first Town Meeting in more than a decade to address the growing interest in the Internet as well as consolidation. Numerous facts indicate that Country Music remains a strong contender in an increasingly competitive marketplace:


-- According to AMUSEMENT BUSINESS, George Strait is among the top

10 touring artists of the decade. Since 1990, Strait's tours have

grossed $158.3 million, placing him in the company of The Rolling

Stones and The Grateful Dead, and ahead of such legends as Pink

Floyd, Elton John and Billy Joel. Garth Brooks ranked second

among Country acts and 11th overall.

-- Two Country artists ranked among the top grossing tours of 1999:

George Strait's Country Music Festival Tour and Shania Twain.

Shania grossed approximately $36.5 million, while George's

stadium festival grossed $32.3 million from only 17 dates. More

than 3.9 million people attended Country concerts for gross

receipts of $116.3 million.


-- Country remains the leading radio format in number of stations.

As of November 1999, there are 2,136 stations that program

Country full-time. News/Talk now counts 1,695 stations and Adult

Contemporary has 784. (M Street Corporation)

-- George Strait is the most-played Country artist this decade,

according to BILLBOARD. He tops the magazine's list of the 40

most-played acts in Country with more than three million spins

over the past 10 years.

-- Several singles held on to the top slot on the Country airplay

charts for multiple weeks. Leading the charge was Lonestar's

eight-week stranglehold with the number one spot on the BILLBOARD

(nine weeks in R&R) chart with "Amazed," which established a

modern day record for a Country group or duo. Singles by Tim

McGraw ("Please Remember Me" and "Something Like That"), Martina

McBride ("I Love You") and Kenny Chesney ("How Forever Feels")

each held the top spot for four weeks or more.

-- The chart toppers for 1999 according to BILLBOARD were: Number

One Country Single: "Amazed" by Lonestar; Number One Country

Album: COME ON OVER by Shania Twain; Top Country Artist and Top

Country Duo/Group: The Dixie Chicks; Top Male Country Artist: Tim

McGraw; and Top Female Country Artist: Martina McBride.

-- Country Music continues to appeal to a much broader listening

audience. Shania Twain ("From This Moment On," "You've Got A

Way," "Man! I Feel Like A Woman"), Faith Hill ("This Kiss"),

Lonestar ("Amazed") and Martina McBride ("I Love You") have all

received extensive airplay in multiple formats exposing Country

Music to larger audiences.

Record Sales:

-- Garth Brooks is the only solo artist in history with four Diamond

albums. With sales of 89 million albums, he has been recognized

by the RIAA as the top male artist of the decade. Only the

Beatles have sold more albums than Garth in the United States.

-- According to the RIAA, Shania Twain's COME ON OVER has sold 16

million units and spent an unprecedented 103 weeks on the

BILLBOARD 200 album chart, making it the second highest selling

album by a female artist in the history of the recording

industry. COME ON OVER was also the second highest selling album

in Europe this year, trailing only Cher's BELIEVE. Shania also

scored back-to-back Diamond certifications with COME ON OVER and

her sophomore release, THE WOMAN IN ME. The Dixie Chicks WIDE

OPEN SPACES has topped the eight million mark.


-- Arista Nashville released its first-ever soundtrack for the movie

"Happy Texas." The label took most of the original music out of

the movie and replaced it with material by Country artists Pam

Tillis, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and even a duet that paired

Lee Roy Parnell with Keb' Mo'.

-- The summer blockbuster, "Runaway Bride," which reunited Julia

Roberts and Richard Gere, featured music from both the Dixie

Chicks ("Ready To Run" and a re-make of The Supreme's "You Can't

Hurry Love") and Martina McBride's "I Love You."

-- Another Julia Robert's romantic comedy, "Notting Hill," featured

Shania Twain's "You've Got A Way."

-- Trisha Yearwood contributed the beautiful "You're Where I Belong"

to the soundtrack of the Christmas mouse-tale, "Stuart Little."

Trisha also provided a cut, "Follow The Wind," on the soundtrack

for the Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence movie, "Life." The cut was

produced by R. Kelly. Trisha and Vince Gill added songs to Kevin

Costner's "For Love Of The Game."

-- LeAnn Rimes added "Leaving's Not Leaving" to the soundtrack of

the Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman movie "Anywhere But Here."

-- Billy Ray Cyrus sang the Scooby-Doo theme song for the

made-for-video animated movie, "Scooby-Doo and The Witch's



-- Nearly 37 million people tuned into "The 33rd Annual CMA Awards."

Going head-to-head against season premiere programming on ABC and

NBC for the third year, the CMA Awards telecast live September 22

on the CBS Television Network, placed first for the night in

households, viewers and all adult demographics. The annual live

CBS special broadcast 8-11 PM (EDT) won every half-hour among

households and adults 25-54. The Awards struck a responsive chord

in younger viewers, delivering the highest adult 18-34 demos

since 1996. The Awards averaged a 12.3 rating/20 share on the

strength of ratings increases in 26 of the top 46 markets.

-- CMA added a three-hour pay-per-view special to its CMA Awards

festivities. "CMA Awards Backstage Pass" aired on Tuesday,

September 21st from 8-11 p.m. and provided viewers a "behind the

scenes" look at the CMA Awards as well as cut-aways to a private

concert by Deana Carter and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

-- Reba and Naomi Judd starred in holiday made-for-television movies

on CBS-TV. Reba's "The Secret of Giving" aired over the

Thanksgiving holiday while Naomi's "A Holiday Romance" was a

Christmas-themed movie.

-- Shania Twain's CBS-TV special was not only number one in

viewership with more than 18 million tuning in, but it was the

most-watched entertainment program in its Thanksgiving night time

slot since December, 1994.

-- A number of Country artists made guest appearances on some of

television's top-rated series, including Trisha Yearwood (in a

recurring role on "JAG"), Jo Dee Messina ("Touched By An Angel"

and "Nash Bridges"), Wynonna ("Touched By An Angel"), Martina

McBride ("Early Edition"), Travis Tritt ("Touched By An Angel")

and Lila McCann ("Walker, Texas Ranger").

-- Vince Gill scored big on his A&E special "Live By Request

Starring Vince Gill." It was A&E's most-watched "Live By Request"

ever, topping shows with icons such as Johnny Mathis, James

Taylor, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins and Tony Bennett. Reba's

"Live By Request Starring Reba" was broadcast on the cable

network in October.

-- LeAnn Rimes and Faith Hill joined Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw,

Rene Russo, Candice Bergen and `N Sync for a CBS-TV special, "A

Home For The Holidays," which focused on the goal of finding

adoptive homes for thousands of children.

-- Dolly Parton romanced Billy Dean in a made-for-television

Lifetime movie, "Blue Valley Songbird," which was filmed around


-- Deana Carter, Travis Tritt, Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill, The

Mavericks and Trace Adkins placed songs on the soundtrack for the

FOX series, "King Of The Hill." Clint Black and Mac Davis both

provided voices for the animated series on an episode about a

local high school football game, and the Dixie Chicks guested on

a November episode of the popular series.

-- Gary Allan played early rock `n' roller, Eddie Cochran, in the

CBS mini-series, "Shake, Rattle & Roll."

-- Billy Ray Cyrus displayed his acting talents in the TV movie,

"Mulholland Drive," as well as "The Love Boat: The Next Wave."

-- SHeDAISY recorded a signature version of the eternal holiday

classic, "Deck The Halls" for inclusion in the all-new animated

family video, "Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas," released by

Disney. They also appeared in an episode of the daytime drama

"General Hospital" in October.


-- Pam Tillis was the first female Country artist to star on

Broadway when she signed on for a limited run in the long-running

musical, "Smokey Joe's Cafe."

-- Tom Wopat earned a Tony Award nomination for his lead role in

"Annie Get Your Gun."

Corporate America:

-- "The Fashion Association OnLine" asserted in its fall edition

that Country Music is having a profound impact in beauty and

fashion advertising. Artists specifically cited as favorites of

Madison Avenue were Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, the

Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks and The Judds.

-- Shania Twain joined Revlon's spokeswoman lineup helping to launch

their ColorStay Liquid Lip. The ads also feature Shania's hit,

"Man! I Feel Like A Woman."

-- Faith Hill became an official Cover Girl as spokeswoman for Cover

Girl's CG Smoothers, a cosmetic line targeted to teens and moms.

-- CMA teamed with The AdCouncil to present "Tune In To Your Kids,"

a series of radio psa's featuring Tim McGraw, Wynonna and Martina

McBride. Martina was also featured in the television psa's for

the campaign.

-- The Dixie Chicks were tapped by Candie's for an ad campaign which

appeared in issues of women's fashion magazines.

-- Kmart Corporation tapped The Judds for their fall and holiday

campaign, using the theme "Give A Little Love." The partnership

agreement will pair the Judds with the retailing giant for the

next two years.

-- The Gap used Dwight Yoakam's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in

their popular television commercial for khakis.

-- Toby Keith teamed up with football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw

for a 10-10-220 television spot.

-- Cracker Barrel and Faith Hill joined forces to promote literacy



-- Shania Twain's COME ON OVER is setting international sales

records - the album has sold more than a million copies in

Australia, an incredible achievement in a country with a

population of 18 million people. COME ON OVER is the top-selling

album in the United Kingdom, with more than 2 million units sold.

Its steady success lead to reaching number one on the charts 18

months after its release where it remained for 4 weeks. The album

has not been out of the top three since July 5th, a total of 28

consecutive weeks. In Germany, the album is certified platinum,

with sales of 750,000. Twain is now certified gold, platinum or

multi-platinum in more than 20 countries, and her international

sales have topped the 10 million mark.

-- Retail campaigns to support "The 33rd CMA Awards" were featured

in the U.K., Holland, Australia and Germany. In the UK, album

sales for all Country product sold over the duration of the

campaign exceeded 400,000 units. Holland's inaugural campaign had

110 stores participating in a similar campaign, including leading

retailers Music House, Van Leest and Virgin, as well as

specialist retailers. On average, participants saw an increase in

Country album sales of 15-25%.

-- Germany unveiled its first CMA Awards retail campaign with a

German-language website, where visitors could hear selections by

nominees and enter a contest to win a trip to next year's CMA

Awards, among several other prizes.

-- Universal Music Australia has released "The Cream of Country

Volume III: The 33rd Annual CMA Awards Collection" compilation in

conjunction with the Australian airing of the Awards telecast. A

major media advertising buy supports the album and telecast, and

Volumes I and II are nearing gold status.

-- Television continued to raise the profile of Nashville-based

artists. In the UK, top-rated program "The Lottery" (11 million

viewers) featured the Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton and Shania

Twain, while BBC's "Top of the Pops" program (5 million viewers)

featured the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain.

-- German TV show "Geld Oder Liebe" (7.5 million viewers) featured

Shania Twain and Jennifer Kinley of the Kinleys.

-- Mark Chesnutt appeared on German TV show "Ohne Filter" while on

his first European tour.

-- A "Country Top 10" special featuring interviews with Garth

Brooks, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Reba, Kenny

Rogers and Tammy Wynette garnered 2.2 million viewers in the U.K.

Viewership for the CMA Awards, broadcast on BBC2, also had 2.2

million viewers.

-- Shania Twain appeared on the charts in the Benelux and

Scandinavia, as "That Don't Impress Me Much" hit number one in

Norway, number three in Sweden and reached the top 10 in the

Netherlands, Denmark and Finland.

-- In Australia, Warner Bros. artist Faith Hill's "Love Will Always

Win" entered the mainstream charts at number 23...In Germany,

Faith's "This Kiss" moved to number 30 on the airplay

charts..."Kiss" peaked at number two in Austria, with the album

LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN reaching number 36.

-- The audience reach of Country FM, the first and only 24-hour

Country Music station in the Netherlands, grew by another 2.6

million potential listeners. With the addition of Schiedam, North

Veluwe, the Achterhoek and the greater Eindhoven area, the number

of potential listeners is now 4.6 million.

-- Faith Hill's "This Kiss" was in the top 10 mainstream ARIA charts

in Australia and at number 12 in Sweden.

-- The Dixie Chicks' UK concerts were co-promoted by Primary Talent

and Country 1035AM, which featured an "Easter Chicks Weekend"

promotion, during which listeners could win the Chicks' WIDE OPEN

SPACES album every hour. After their sold out appearance in

London, the single, "There's Your Trouble" debuted in the UK pop

charts at number 26.

-- "That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain received an

unprecedented 1,000 spins in seven days on German radio. No other

song in the history of German radio has received that many

rotations in a week.

-- Martina McBride made her first promotional trip to Australia in

October, following the success of her single "I Love You."

-- Reba continued to heighten her international profile with solo

tours of Australia and Europe earning rave reviews and excellent

ticket sales. She also made her first trip to Brazil, where she

recorded a duet with the country's leading Country duo.

-- CMA modified its highly successful "America's Sold On Country"

event to partner with Country Music Association of Australia

(CMAA) and CMT International to host the first "Australia's Sold

On Country" half-day marketing event in Sydney in May. Over 170

people attended the event, with corporate presentations by George

Patterson Bates Advertising, Country Bake, FAI Security and


-- Sherrie Austin, Alan Jackson and Danni Leigh all traveled to

South America, playing stops on the highly attended Brazilian

rodeo circuit.

-- The 33rd CMA Awards aired or will air in 14 territories this

year, with inaugural airings in India and Latin America. The

telecast will also be seen for the first time in several years in


-- Country Music is being played on more than 700 stations in 32


-- In 1999, there were over 550 concerts or media appearances

scheduled by 75 Country artists in 29 countries outside of North

America. The UK has been the most popular destination with 38

artists scheduled to make a combined 250 appearances.

-- Artists making their first overseas appearances in 1999 included

Tracy Byrd, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, Martina McBride and

Chely Wright.

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. More than 6,000 music industry professionals and companies from 43 countries around the world are members of CMA. The organization's objectives are to guide and enhance the development of Country Music and to demonstrate it as a viable medium to advertisers, consumers and media throughout the world. CMA is headquartered in Nashville with offices and representatives in London, Cologne and Sydney.
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Date:Jan 10, 2000
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