Exactly one year after Arista Nashville released Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s first single, “Georgia,” the Canadian-born singer/songwriter stands to be the big winner at the 35th Canadian Country Music Awards, set for Monday night.
Johnson could win as many as six awards, including the Fans’ Choice Award, Female Artist of the Year and the Rising Star Award. She has 10 nominations, a CCMA record, but she competes against herself for Single of the Year (with three nods), Song of the Year and Video of the Year.
The show will be telecast from the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CMT. The Wilkinsons, winners of four awards last year, will host and perform a new song, “Paper Doll,” slated for an upcoming album.
Johnson, a presenter last year and the year before, will perform for the first time this year. She’ll do her single and video hit “Complicated,” nominated for Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year.
“A lot has happened in the last year,” she said. “I feel very loved by everybody up there. It’s a sweet thing.”
Also slated to appear during the two-hour telecast are Anne Murray, Ricky Skaggs, Chely Wright, Adam Gregory, reigning Male Artist of the Year Paul Brandt, Terri Clark and Jason McCoy. Gordon Lightfoot, a newly inducted member of the CCMA Hall of Fame, will make a guest appearance.
Clark has six nominations in five categories including the Fans’ Choice Award and Female Artist of the Year. McCoy, from Ontario, has five nominations in five categories including the Fans’ Choice Award and Male Artist of the Year. Lisa Brokop, who languished on U.S. labels Patriot and Columbia, has gone her own way in Canada as an independent. She has five nominations including Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year and Album of the Year. Adam Gregory, from Edmonton, drew four nominations with his debut album, Why I’m Made.
Johnson’s first single, “Georgia,” which came out a year ago, climbed to #25, but her current release, “Complicated,” has reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and continues to climb.
Even more impressive, Johnson’s debut album, Room With a View, debuted at #8 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, the highest mark for a new artist on the RCA Label Group since 1991, when SoundScan started automated counting of album sales.
This summer, Johnson drew high marks for her opening slot on the recent Girls’ Night Out tour with Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Sara Evans and Jamie O’Neal. Though allowed to perform only three songs, she frequently caught the ear of critics who reviewed the show.
The CCMA awards will feature a new category this year — Roots Artist or Group of the Year. The show caps Canadian Country Music Week 2001 and will be carried live in Canada by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.