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Music Events (more headlines) 02-01-2014

Country Music Takeover Of The UK And Ireland!

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Country will be king in the U.K. and Ireland as CMA participates in a diverse lineup of Country Music events from songwriters' showcases to industry panels, to star-packed stadium concerts across the Atlantic March 14-17.

Scheduled events for the weekend include the Second Annual CMA International Marketing Summit; an evening with the storytellers behind the hits with CMA Songwriters Series, which is making its third run in the region; a special BBC songwriters show taping at the iconic BBC Radio Theatre; and two crowning C2C (Country To Country) concerts, two nights each, at The O2 in both Dublin and London in association with The 02 and SJM Concerts.

"The fans in this market are very enthusiastic and supportive of Country Music," said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "Our artists are experiencing successful tours there and the business opportunities for the industry are obvious. Presenting the reach of the format, the caliber of our artistic community, and providing information about our consumer benefits everyone involved in Country Music."

CMA Songwriters Series

The CMA Songwriters Series has been exposing fans to the artisans who, through their craft, pen hits that touch the lives of millions of music fans. Popular domestically for a decade (with more than 75 shows in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.), the CMA Songwriters Series makes its third trip to the U.K. in 2014.

The two-hour show presents the songwriters and artists together on stage, taking turns telling the stories behind their hit songs and performing them acoustically as originally written. With entertaining anecdotes and powerful performances, fans have the opportunity to hear the stories, challenges, and processes involved with writing songs that have become huge hits.

This year, the CMA Songwriters Series takes place on the evening before C2C, a huge two-day music festival at The O2 featuring an outstanding line up of stars.

The CMA Songwriters Series kicks off the weekend's events on Friday, March 14 at The O2's IndigO2 in London. Hosted by award-winning songwriter Bob DiPiero, the intimate evening of songs and the stories behind them features Martina McBride, Brett James, and Striking Matches.

"C2C is proud to present the CMA Songwriters Series in London this year. The Series provides music lovers with a unique opportunity to learn the backstory of how a song is written and brought to life," said Milly Olykan, Senior Event Producer at The O2 and a member of the CMA Board of Directors. "Having Martina McBride appear at both the Songwriters Series and the following day perform at C2C will give UK fans a real appreciation of an artist's relationship with a song from its origins through to performing it live to thousands."

One of the most honored, praised, and awarded women in Country Music, McBride is a four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year winner. She has earned 14 Gold records, 9 Platinum records, 3 Double Platinum records, and 2 Triple Platinum records in the U.S. and has been recognized for selling more than 18 million units. The Grand Ole Opry member has had 20 Top 10 hits and six No. 1 smashes. Although known for her interpretation of songs, McBride has had a hand in crafting her own songs such as her 2006 Top 5 hit "Anyway."

An esteemed member of the CMA Board of Directors, James has had numerous chart successes including "When the Sun Goes Down" recorded by Kenny Chesney with Uncle Kracker; and "Jesus Take the Wheel" recorded by Carrie Underwood, which also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song. "It's America" recorded by Rodney Atkins; "Out Last Night" recorded by Chesney; "Cowboy Casanova" recorded by Underwood; "The Truth" recorded by Jason Aldean; and "The Man I Want to Be" recorded by Chris Young all topped the charts. ASCAP named James their Country Music Songwriter of the Year in 2006 and again in 2010. Other artists who have recorded his works include Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi, and Paulina Rubio.

Striking Matches is a duo made up of Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis. Paired up at random by a professor at Belmont University to perform for a classroom full of guitar majors, they have been writing and performing together ever since. Their self-titled EP was released in October 2012 and was named among iTunes "Best of 2012." Featured on NPR and in the Wall Street Journal the pair already appeared at the Grand Ole Opry more than 15 times, opened for some of the biggest names in music, and had five songs featured on ABC's hit television series "Nashville."

Recurring host and performer for the CMA Songwriters Series and a member of the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame, DiPiero ("Southern Voice" recorded by Tim McGraw, "Blue Clear Sky" recorded by George Strait, and "Lovin' You Is Fun" recorded by Easton Corbin) will also share the entertaining stories behind some of his most popular hit songs. DiPiero has had more than 1,200 songs recorded by other artists, countless hit singles, and an astounding 15 No. 1 hits. DiPiero was a key player in the creation and launch of the CMA Songwriters Series and its first showcases in New York City 10 years ago as a way to spotlight and champion songwriters.

"It has been amazing to see the CMA Songwriters Series accepted in the U.K.," said DiPiero. "The fans voted with their feet and are now spreading the word on these one-of -a-kind shows. To have the third year of this series be part of the Country O2 Festival is awesome. I'd like to think these shows have been the advance team for what is becoming something great between Country Music and England."

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