HIT COUNTRY SINGER/SONGWRITER PHIL VASSAR JOINS SHOW HOST LEANN RIMES ON THE THIRD SEASON OF USA NETWORK'S NASHVILLE STAR
Nashville Star Partners with Universal South Records
Cledus T. Judd Named Show Correspondent and Anastasia Brown Named Judge
NASHVILLE, TENN, January 6, 2005 - The producers of Nashville Star, USA Network's grassroots talent search series to find the next country music superstar, have named country music singer/songwriter Phil Vassar as a celebrity judge to join show host LeAnn Rimes for the third season, which will premiere on Tuesday, March 1, 2005, from 10:00 - 11:00 PM (ET/PT) on USA Network. The announcement was made today by Libby Hansen, Vice President, Alternative Series & Specials, USA Network.
LeAnn Rimes said, "I'm so honored to have my friend Phil Vassar join Nashville Star with me. Phil is an amazing talent who will inspire these country hopefuls tremendously. "
"We wanted to put together a panel of judges with their fingers on the pulse of what's hot and exciting in country music today," said Hansen. "Phil Vassar is one of the hottest names in country music and knows what it takes to make it in this business and specifically what to look for in the next Nashville Star."
The grand prizewinner of the third season of Nashville Star will be awarded a recording contract from Universal South Records. A joint venture between highly respected music executives Tim DuBois and Tony Brown and Universal Motown Records Group in New York, Universal South Records is part of the Universal Music Group.
"Since we arrived in Nashville three years ago, we've been looking for a way to collaborate with Tim [DuBois] and Tony [Brown] and their amazing team at Universal South," said Nashville Star executive producer H. T. Owens. "They are hands-on record executives and as our new partners, view Nashville Star as the ideal vehicle to find new talent and to market that talent aggressively."
Country music comedian Cledus T. Judd has been named correspondent for the show and will support show host LeAnn Rimes with color commentary. Country music talent manager Anastasia Brown has also been named to the panel of judges.
Singer-songwriter Phil Vassar began his career performing his growing repertoire of original songs at his Nashville club-restaurant. Before embarking on his solo career, which has produced more than half a dozen Top 10 hits (including his breakout #1 single "Just Another Day In Paradise"), Vassar penned hits for a number of top artists including Tim McGraw ("My Next Thirty Years"), Alan Jackson ("Right on the Money"), and Jo Dee Messina ("Bye Bye"). He has earned numerous songwriting awards as well as new artist distinctions from ACM and CMA. His current album, Shaken Not Stirred, boasts the single "In A Real Love," which spent two weeks atop the country music charts. The steamy music video for his next single, "I'll Take That As A Yes (The Hot Tub Song)" is in rotation on CMT and GAC. Vassar's tour schedule keeps him out on the road presenting his energetic performances that have earned fan support and widespread critical acclaim.
Cledus T. Judd is one of the most beloved and popular comedians in the country music industry. His current CD on Koch Records Nashville, Bipolar And Proud, debuted at #1 on the Soundscan Comedy chart and #15 on Billboard's Country Albums chart. His latest single, "I Love NASCAR," (which is a parody of Toby Keith's hit "I Love This Bar") was embraced by country and NASCAR fans alike and received airplay on country radio, CMT, GAC, and Totally NASCAR. Judd's second single from the album, "Paycheck Woman," is a take-off of Gretchen Wilson's breakout single, "Redneck Woman." Judd has sold over 1.6 million units in his career, performed with some of the biggest names in Country music (Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain), has won two CMT Video Awards, and most recently co-hosted the CMT series Most Wanted Live.
Anastasia Brown heads up 821 Music Group and partners with Eric Geadlemann in the 821 Entertainment Group. Brown started her music career as legendary music mogul Miles Copeland's partner and director of operations for Firstars Nashville, where she proceeded to discover, develop and secure record deals for the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling current CMA Male Vocalist Keith Urban. She also worked with artists ranging from Sting to Peter Frampton to John Berry. As vice president of A&R for Ark 21 Nashville, Brown served as executive producer for Waylon Jennings' Closing In On The Fire, securing guest artists Sting, Sheryl Crow and Mark Knopfler as well as Leon Russell's Legend In My Time with guest artists Willie Nelson, Marty Stuart and The Oak Ridge Boys. As A&R coordinator she also worked on compilation records such as the Christmas album Mother & Child and the tribute record to Hank Marvin and The Shadows, Twang. After making her mark in the Nashville music industry, Brown went on to serve as music supervisor, and secured the soundtrack record deal, on Steven Spielberg's Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe nominated miniseries for SCI FI, Taken. She is currently serving as co-music supervisor on the Quentin Tarantino feature Daltry Calhoun for Miramax.