USA NETWORK TAPS GRAMMY-WINNING COUNTRY MUSIC SENSATION LEANN RIMES TO HOST NASHVILLE STAR

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LOS ANGELES, CA, October 27, 2004 - LeAnn Rimes will host the third season of Nashville Star, it was announced today by Libby Hansen, Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials, USA Network. A long-time fan of the show, Rimes performed as a special guest on the second season finale of Nashville Star in May. Rimes succeeds Nancy O'Dell (Access Hollywood) as host.

"As we move forward into the third season of Nashville Star, Nancy O'Dell will pass the hosting torch to LeAnn, who will lend a unique artist's perspective to the show," said Hansen. "LeAnn embodies the vitality of country music. We couldn't be more thrilled to have her on board."

LeAnn Rimes said, "As a singer and songwriter, I have great admiration for many of the budding stars who come to try their hand at performing, and can relate to the hopes and aspirations of all the contestants, no matter how good or bad. Nashville Star is great TV - it has drama, humor, sadness, fun, and great music. I am really excited to host the show and of course, I have big shoes to fill with Nancy's departure."

"LeAnn is a superstar whose presence grounds the show firmly in its Nashville country music roots," explained Jeff Boggs, who joins Ben Silverman and H.T. Owens as executive producer this season. "As Nashville Star grows in popularity, we must continue to feed it creatively with big name talent that will inspire our country music hopefuls."

At 21, LeAnn Rimes has sold more than 30 million albums since her breakthrough hit "Blue" (1996) and has been an inspiration for young singers ever since. She has won two Grammys and numerous CMA and ACM Awards, headlined several international tours and made countless TV appearances. The young veteran has had a role in a hit motion picture (Coyote Ugly), authored a series of children's books with her husband Dean Sheremet (Jag and Jag's New Friend) and met with President Bush when she was named spokesperson for Children's Miracle Network, which raises funds for hospitals for young people.

Rimes' most recent release, LeAnn Rimes Greatest Hits (To Be Continued), includes sixteen of her chart smashes, and two new songs, including the hit track "This Love." The release is also available in a special DVD edition which includes videos, performance footage, home movies and behind-the-scenes footage of her career. Greatest Hits has sold well over a million copies and is in the Top 5 throughout Europe.

As in past seasons, the winner of next season's Nashville Star will receive a recording contract with a major record label, joining the ranks of Buddy Jewell (winner - season one) and Brad Cotter (winner - season two), whose careers were both launched by Nashville Star.

Nashville Star will continue to be broadcast live from the BellSouth Acuff Theatre in Nashville.

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