CMA Nominees Unite For Campaign & Contest

Taylor Swift, Chris Young, Martina McBride, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and More Share Video Memories

Contest Launched Offering Grand Prize Winner Two CMA Awards Tickets and $1,000

MARLTON, N.J./WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 14, 2011: A number of country music’s most talented acts, recently recognized as 2011 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards nominees, joined leading music retailers and labels today to spotlight the significance of giving and receiving music as a gift as part of the revitalized “Give The Gift Of Music” (GTGOM) campaign.

On the heels of their new CMA Awards nominations, five-category nominee Taylor Swift and New Artist of the Year contender Chris Young debuted new video tributes today that describe their most memorable music gifting stories and sentiments. In her video, Swift recalls the gift of hearing her role model Faith Hill’s “This Kiss” as a defining moment that determined who she wanted to be. Taylor adds: “If you get to love music and appreciate music and be a part of music and have it in your life, it’s a gift.”

Young discusses the Christmas he received his first musical instrument, a guitar, that “opened up a whole new world” to him. “I don’t know if I’d be the same artist or songwriter that I am today without that first guitar,” he says.

The videos launched exclusively in a special “Countdown to CMA” featured section of the givethegiftofmusic.info website, which also includes previous video contributions from additional CMA Awards nominees Little Big Town (Vocal Group of the Year), Rascal Flatts (Vocal Group of the Year), Martina McBride (Female Vocalist of the Year), Blake Shelton (Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Music Video of the Year) and Kelly Clarkson (Single of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean). Darius Rucker, 2009’s New Artist of the Year winner, also offered a video tribute.

Additionally, the “Give the Gift of Music Campaign,” through its givethegiftofmusic.info website, today launched a contest asking fans to share how a particular 2011 CMA Awards nominee’s music (song, lyrics, performance, etc.) has inspired them. Three contestants will be chosen with the grand prize winner receiving two tickets to attend the CMA Awards show in Nashville on Wednesday, November 9 and $1,000. Special country music gift packages will go to the second and third place winners respectively. Specific details on the new gifting contest, including deadlines, rules and regulations can be found at givethegiftofmusic.info/search-gift-ideas/countdown-to-cma/.

In the coming weeks leading up to the 45th Annual CMA Awards show airing live on November 9 at 8|7c on ABC, music fans and consumers can further connect with the campaign, and its featured country and other popular artists, on social media sites including Facebook (facebook.com/givethegiftofmusic) and Twitter (twitter.com/agiftofmusic).

Last fall NARM, the music business association, and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), led an industry-wide effort to reenergize the 30-year old “Give The Gift Of Music” campaign and remind consumers that they can give the gift of music today in so many more ways than ever via physical, online and mobile options.

A variety of industry organizations and more than 50 top musicians have since joined to support the initiative and help spread the gifting message. Artists continue to contribute original anecdotes to the givethegiftofmusic.info website that allows consumers to hear how music gifts have touched the lives of their favorite acts; share their own gifting memories; discover new music gift ideas; and tell friends and loved ones what’s on their own music wish lists all year long. In addition, industry groups have supported the campaign by using the GTGOM logo and website URL on product, in advertisements and on their websites.

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About NARM: NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) advances the promotion, marketing, distribution and sale of music by providing members with diverse meeting and networking opportunities, information and education resources, and advocacy for their common interests. NARM is based in Marlton, New Jersey.

About RIAA: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States. In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

About CMA: More than 6,000 music industry professionals and companies around the globe are members of the Country Music Association. Formed in 1958 as the first trade association for a single genre of music, the organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry while advancing the growth of Country Music around the world. CMA brings Country Music to the world, not only through its two signature events, CMA Music Festival and the CMA Awards, but through working every day throughout the year to promote the genre, its artists and its community with initiatives and events with the sole purpose of advancing Country Music.

Contact:
Nicole Hennessey, NARM, (856) 596-1803, hennessey@narm.com
Liz Kennedy, RIAA, (202) 775-0101, lkennedy@riaa.com