BROKEN BLOOD VESSEL IN VOCAL CORD FORCES LEANN RIMES TO STEP DOWN TEMPORARILY AS HOST OF USA NETWORK'S NASHVILLE STAR

Sara Evans Takes Over Hosting Duties for April 12 Show

Rimes To Return To Crown New Nashville Star During April 26 Season Finale

NASHVILLE, TN, April 10, 2005 - Grammy-winning artist LeAnn Rimes has a broken blood vessel in one of her vocal cords and has to temporarily step down as host of Nashville Star, USA Network's hit reality show featuring the search for America's next country music star. In addition, Rimes has had to postpone several personal appearances and performance dates.

Rimes' illness is the result of a severe case of viral bronchitis. Although there is no timetable for her return to the stage, her doctors expect a speedy recovery.

2004's Most-Played Country Female and multi-platinum hitmaker Sara Evans will take over hosting duties for this week's live airing of Nashville Star on USA Network on Tuesday, April 12, at 10 PM eastern/9 PM central. Evans is no stranger to Nashville Star, having performed twice on the show over the course of the last three seasons.

"I am so sorry I cannot host Nashville Star this week," said Rimes. "The contestants have become like family to me, and I can't wait to get back to the show. Sara Evans is an amazing talent, and she will do a wonderful job hosting the show in my absence."

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