COUNTRY BEAT: Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban …

Hill a Blockbuster; Parton to perform at Grammys; Urban nabs Aussie honor.

Faith Hill has been nominated for four Blockbuster Entertainment Awards — Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Female Country Artist, Favorite Internet Pop Female and Favorite Internet Single for “Breathe” (RealAudio excerpt). Public voting began Tuesday (January 30), and the presentations will be shown April 11 on Fox. Other nominees in the Favorite Female Country Artist category are Lee Ann Womack, Jo Dee Messina and Reba McEntire. Favorite Male Country Artist nominees are Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw and George Strait. Favorite Country Group nominees are SheDaisy, the Dixie Chicks and Lonestar. …

Dolly Parton, who has two Grammy nominations, including Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Travelin’ Prayer” and Best Bluegrass Album for The Grass Is Blue (RealAudio excerpt of title track), will perform a duet with Brad Paisleyon the Grammy Awards, airing February 21 on CBS. Paisley is nominated in the Best New Artist category. …

Keith Urban won the Instrumental of the Year Award on Saturday (January 27) at the Country Music Association of Australia’s awards show. Urban, an Aussie native, lives in Nashville and won for the song “Roller Coaster.” Adam Brand took album honors and was named Male Vocalist of the Year. Beccy Cole was named Female Vocalist of the Year, and the Crosby Sisters took the Vocal Group or Duo of the Year award. …

Terri Clark has been nominated for two Juno Awards. The accolades, given by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, will be presented March 4 in Hamilton, Ontario. Clark will compete with Shania Twain, Tara Lyn Hart, Michelle Wright and Carolyn Dawn Johnson for Best Country Female Artist. Clark also received a nod in the all-genre category for Best Female Artist, in which the other nominees are Jann Arden, Isabelle Boulay, Lara Fabian and Lynda Lemay. Nominees for Best Country Male Artist are Paul Brandt, Julian Austin, Chris Cummings, Adam Gregory and Jason McCoy. Country Duo or Group nominees are the Wilkinsons, Farmer’s Daughter, the Johner Brothers, Lace and Prairie Oyster. Clark has just launched her first acoustic tour and, after concerts in Portland, Oregon on January 30 and Seattle on January 31, will play Canadian dates through late March. …

Reba McEntire, who made her Broadway debut Friday, January 26, in “Annie Get Your Gun,” has signed to star in a half-hour comedy series for the WB television network, with the working title of “Sally.” She will play a Texan who has sit-com marital adventures. …

The Bellamy Brothers will mark their 25th anniversary in music with a two volume CD series. Volume I will be released in March with a single and video titled “What’ll I Do,” with Volume II to follow in August. …

Larry Cordle, co-writer of the award-winning “Murder on Music Row,” will be among the teachers at a songwriting workshop during the SPBGMA (Society For The Preservation Of Bluegrass Music) convention on Friday, February 2, at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville. An evening concert will feature Blue Highway, Tina Adair & The Adairs, Southland, Wildfire and others. …

Jo Dee Messina will appear on “Hollywood Squares,” along with Bette Midler, the week of Feb. 12. …

Naomi Judd of the Judds broke up a male-striptease act in a Nashville restaurant on Wednesday evening, January 24. According to a police report, Judd was walking to the restrooms when she spied “what appeared to be a nude male straddling a young girl. The subject was sitting in the girl’s lap facing her and simulating intercourse.” Judd gave a stern lecture to the stripteaser and the 18-year-old girl for whose birthday party the stripper had been hired. Police were called in the ensuing fracas and no charges were filed. …

Lonestar take control of Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart this week with “Tell Her.” The group’s sixth #1 radio hit knocks “Without You” (RealAudio excerpt) by the Dixie Chicks to the #2 spot on the chart, which measures radio play as detected by Broadcast Data Systems. “There Is No Arizona” (RealAudio excerpt) by Jamie O’Neal climbs to #3, “Burn” by Jo Dee Messina goes to #4, and Lee Ann Womack‘s “Ashes By Now” rises to #5. Lance Bass protégé Meredith Edwards debuts at #53 with “A Rose Is a Rose,” and Garth Brooks protégé Tyler England‘s “I Drove Her to Dallas” comes on the chart at #59. …

Chris Cagle and other artists on Virgin Nashville will be switched to the Capitol Nashville roster, according to a statement issued by parent company EMI Recorded Music. News of Virgin Nashville’s impending demise was leaked to news organizations Wednesday (January 24) by company employees. EMI’s statement, issued late Wednesday, said that Virgin’s artists — including Cagle, Clay Davidson, Tom Mabe, Roy D. Mercer and River Road — would join Capitol Nashville on February 12 when Virgin Nashville is officially shuttered. The EMI statement said that Virgin Nashville president Scott Hendricks would be leaving and that the company would seek to absorb Virgin Nashville’s 16 employees into its other Nashville operations. In addition to Capitol Nashville, EMI has several Christian labels in Nashville. …

Willie Nelson, Flaco Jimenez and Van Cliburn are among the first 13 winners of the new Texas Medal of Arts Awards. Medals will be presented in a March 20 ceremony at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, with Lyle Lovett headlining the entertainment lineup. The awards, which honor outstanding Texans in the arts, are patterned on the National Endowment for the Arts’ Medal of Arts Awards, given each year by the president. …

The final two dates on George Strait‘s Country Music Festival have been changed to avoid a conflict with the National Basketball Association schedule. The previously announced Dallas date has moved from June 9 to June 10 and vice-versa for the San Antonio show. …

Roots legend Sleepy LaBeef will head up an eclectic roster at “Rockin’ at the Ryman,” a benefit presented by the Rockabilly Music Foundation at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on April 5. Also appearing will be the Jordanaires, Ronnie Dawson, Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps, Rosie Flores, D.J. Fontana, Janis Martin, Jack Scott and Jerry Naylor. …

Martina McBride will headline the post-race concert at this year’s Country Music Marathon on April 28 in Nashville. The charity event drew 8,500 runners in its debut last year, and more than 10,000 are expected this year. …

Dixie Chick Emily Robison will tape the TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” on February 1 in New York. She will join Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich, Gene Simmons of Kiss, the Backstreet Boys, Gladys Knight, Sisqó and Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray. The show will air in mid-February. …

The Country Music Association may move its awards show to November to avoid competing with other awards events, country.com reports. The show, usually held in September or October, may move to November 7 — during a TV sweeps week — to avoid butting heads with the Latin Grammys, the Emmys and a bluegrass music awards show. …

Nashville’s Brooklyn Cowboys will launch their “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth” tour February 1 at Gino’s in Boone, North Carolina. Joining country-rock veterans Walter Egan, Fredro Perry and pedal steel player Buddy Cage is the group’s new singer, Lona Heins, who has worked with Pam Tillis, Garth Brooks and Kenny Rogers. Other members areJeff “Stick” Davis, founding member and bass player for the Amazing Rhythm Aces, keyboardist Michael Webb and 5 Bucks vocalist Brian Waldschlager. Other immediate dates — all in Georgia — include the Monkey Barrel in Gainesville on February 2, JP’s in Valdosta on February 3, J.J. Cagney’s in Savannah on February 5, Rafters on St. Simons Island on February 6, Charley B’s in Albany on February 7, Brandy House in Atlanta on February 8, and the Loft in Columbus on February 10. …

Wanda Jackson, Ace Cannon, Narvel Felts, Big Al Downing, Ray Walker (of the Jordanaires), Billy Burnette and Rocky Burnette are among artists committed to playing Rockabilly Fest 2001, scheduled to be held in Jackson, Tennessee, on June 29 and 30 and July 1 at the Jackson Fairgrounds. Proceeds from the festival and related activities are to help fund an international rockabilly hall of fame and museum to be located in Jackson. …

Kinky Friedman and Billy Joe Shaver are teaming up for a five-date Texas run and possible future touring. The Two Moving Parts tour unites two of Texas’ legendary country songwriters, Friedman being famous for such songs as “Sold American” (RealAudio excerpt), and Shaver for such songs as “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” (RealAudio excerpt). The decision to tour was a “sperm of the moment moment,” Friedman said. Friedman and Shaver, who lost his son and musical partner, Eddy Shaver, to a heroin overdose on New Year’s Eve, kick off the mini-tour January 31 at Austin’s Broken Spoke. They’ll also play San Antonio’s Carlsbad Tavern on February 2, San Marcos’ Cheatham Street Warehouse on February 3, Houston’s McGonigal’s Mucky Duck on February 5 and Dallas’ Poor David’s Pub on February 6. …

Clay Walker, a hometown favorite, kicks off the 69th Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on February 13 at the Astrodome. Alan Jackson performs February 14, followed by Hank Williams Jr. on February 15, Alabama on February 17, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen on February 19, Neal McCoy and Rascal Flatts on February 20, Lonestar and Brad Paisley on February 22, Kenny Chesney and Phil Vassar on February 24, Brooks & Dunn on February 26, Jo Dee Messina on February 28, Martina McBride and Lee Ann Womack on March 2 and LeAnn Rimes and Billy Gilman on March 4. Non-country artists appearing will include Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Duran Duran, Barry Manilow, Def Leppard, Destiny’s Child, 98° and Patti LaBelle. …

Nashville songwriter Bob DiPiero will host “MADD About Bob,” a series of concerts to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The first show, featuring Vince Gill, Jeffrey Steele and Al Anderson, is set for February 8 at Nashville’s Belcourt Theater. …

Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology — which spans the career of the late alt-country pioneer from his days with the Byrds and the International Submarine Band through his solo work — is set for release in April. Due April 17, the 46-song, two-CD Rhino Records package includes input from original Byrds Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn, rare photos, and tributes from Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson and Emmylou Harris, Parsons’ duet partner. Tracks include “Blue Eyes” (RealAudio excerpt), from the Submarine Band; “Hickory Wind” (RealAudio excerpt), from the Byrds; and his duets with Harris on “We’ll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning” (RealAudio excerpt) and “Love Hurts” (RealAudio excerpt). …

Emmylou Harris will be the subject of a 45-song collection, Emmylou Harris Anthology: The Warner/Reprise Years. The anthology includes 23 top-10 country singles, including six #1 songs — as well as many tracks never available in the United States on CD. “Fools Thin Air,” “Mama Help” and the Rodney Crowell-penned “Precious Love” are single B-sides that will make their CD debuts. Additionally, “Driving Wheel” and “Pledging My Love,” from Harris’ White Shoes album, and The Ballad of Sally Rose‘s “White Line,” “Rhythm Guitar” and “Timberline” will make their CD debuts on the set, due April 17 from Rhino. …

— sonicnet.com staff report