Taylor Swift at the 2012 Grammy Awards, where she won for best country solo… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
The Grammy Awards are getting cozier with country music in 2012. The Recording Academy revealed Tuesday morning that the nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards telecast will be unveiled in a prime-time special to be held for the first time Nashville. The concert/press conference will be staged in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and air live on CBS on Dec. 5 at 10 p.m. EST.
This marks the first time the cumbersomely titled CBS special "Grammy Nominations Concert Live: Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" will be held outside of Los Angeles in its five-year history. The Recording Academy, the industry body that hosts the Grammy Awards, launched the special in 2008 to help drum up excitement for the telecast of the February award show.
The Grammy Awards remain parked in Los Angeles, and will be broadcast live from Staples Center on CBS on Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. EST. Both the Grammy Awards and "Grammy Nominations Concert Live: Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" will be tape-delayed for West Coast audiences.
"This announcement further validates that Nashville is a destination on the rise, and our rich musical heritage has once again put us on the national stage," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in a statement. "This is tremendous news for Nashville, and we look forward to working with the Recording Academy to ensure the show's success."
Typically, the hourlong nominations concert features about five musical performances. The 2011 edition hosted the likes of Lady Gaga and country stars Sugarland. The "Grammy Nominations Concert Live" has struggled to find an audience, averaging around 5 million viewers, compared to nearly 40 million for the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Yet country makeovers have worked wonders for the careers of a number of pop stars, and perhaps a little twang will work its magic on the "Grammy Nominations Concert Live." This year alone, Lionel Richie's "Tuskegee" has sold just shy of 1 million copies since its early 2012 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Previously, the likes of Darius Rucker, Jewel, Kid Rock and Bon Jovi have been embraced by Nashville after releasing albums with country overtones.
The last artist associated with country music to win the Grammy album of the year award was Taylor Swift, whose 2008 album "Fearless" was a brisk marriage of teen-pop and country flourishes. Prior to Swift, the Dixie Chicks won Grammys' top prize for 2006 album "Taking the Long Way."
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