Billboard and Country Music Association Team Up for High-Profile, Two-Day Event on June 6-7 in Nashville

NEW YORK, NY -Billboard, the world's premier music brand, today announced that Carrie Underwood will participate in the Superstar Q&A at the Second Annual Billboard Country Music Summit in association with the Country Music Association (CMA). The event, set to take place in Nashville on June 6th-7th at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, will gather today's top Country Music executives and other artists to network and discuss all aspects of the Country Music business.

In what is sure to be a fascinating session, Billboard's Wade Jessen will conduct a candid Q&A with Underwood, who is one of the most successful entertainers in Country Music today. Underwood is a three-time CMA Female Vocalist winner. Since her debut in 2005, Underwood has amassed more than 13 million in album sales and has placed 13 No. 1 singles on the charts.

"We are proud to be able to announce Carrie Underwood as a keynote," said Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde. "She's not only a stellar singing talent, but in a day and age when it's so hard to leverage early success into a lifelong career, she's made a lot of the right moves to turn herself into a bankable brand that stands for quality in music. We look forward to once again bringing the top minds in and around Country Music together to discuss and debate the issues affecting that sector of the music industry. Billboard is thrilled to provide a forum for that dialog."

Featuring two days of panel sessions, roundtable discussions and keynote interviews, the key stakeholders in Country Music will break down the most challenging issues and exciting opportunities in recording, radio, touring, sponsorships/branding, digital/mobile, and other areas. Like last year, the Billboard Country Music Summit program will kick off the activities leading up to the annual CMA Music Festival, which will be held June 9-12, in Nashville.

Also included in this year's line-up is a Keynote Artist Development Case Study with Jason Aldean who has created a new paradigm for Country Music artist development. Aldean has enjoyed a steady, upward career trajectory, and his fourth album for Nashville independent label Broken Bow, "My Kinda Party" is his third disc to go platinum and his fastest seller to date on its way to double platinum this year. His career is hitting on every cylinder, including radio hits, album sales and touring, and Aldean has moved up to the arena level and is selling strong in a tour promoted by Live Nation. The case study will explore the moves that have led to Aldean's success and will discuss what's next for this rising artist.

Additional speakers include Sheri Warnke, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Country Music Association; Tom Gossin, Artist, Gloriana; Laura Hutfless, Sponsorship Agent, Creative Artists Agency; Kevin Neal, President, Buddy Lee Attractions; Chris Parr, manager, Spalding Entertainment; Rick Shedd, Senior VP of Operations, Broken Bow Records; Clarence Spalding, manager, Spalding Entertainment; Ian Rogers, CEO, TopSpin Media; J Sider, CEO, RootMusic; Jeff Walker, President, Aristo Media; Tommy Emmanuel, Artist; and Rob Potts, CEO, Rob Potts Entertainment Edge. For a full list of speakers, please visit:

The Billboard Country Music Summit will be geared toward managers, artists, agents, radio programmers, label executives, mobile/digital executives, sponsorship professionals, business managers, promoters, the copyright community, publishers, songwriters, music supervisors, producers and others closely associated with the vital Country Music business.

Additional Billboard Country Music Summit Program Highlights Include:
Artist Showcases
Networking Events
Informative Panel Sessions & Roundtable Discussions On Topics Such As:
. Touring Saturation: Are We There Yet?
. Songwriters: Win, Lose Or Draw? Content Creation In The New Digital Marketplace
. Corporate America: They Really Like Us
. Keeping Country Wired: Digital Strategies
. Country Without Borders: International Opportunities In Country Music
. Label Heads/Artist Panel: Telling Time Or Building A Watch? The New Business Models Under A Microscope
. Publishing: Red And Black Ink; Return On Investment & Entrepreneurship In A Business Of Pennies-The New Roadmap
. Country Radio Dead Or Alive?: Why And How Country Radio Thrives While Other Formats Fight For Their Lives

For information on The Billboard Country Music Summit, visit:
To subscribe to The Billboard Country Update for free, go to:

For press credentials, contact:
Jennifer Liss at 212-981-5215 or
For registration information, contact:
Nicole Carbone at 212-493-4263 or or
For sponsorship information, contact:
Lee Ann Photoglo at 615-376-7931 or

About Billboard
Now in its 116th year, Billboard is the world's premier music brand consisting of Billboard magazine, Billboard Events and online destination of choice for millions of music fans. The Billboard brand is built on its exclusive charts and unrivaled reporting on the latest news, issues and trends across all genres of music. The brand reaches tens of millions of consumers daily through many strategic relationships with major companies including Reuters, SanDisk, Telemundo, Ticketmaster, Microsoft Zune, Napster, MTV, GTech, Virgin Mobile, AT&T, Sony Music Entertainment and Amazon. These relationships leverage Billboard's brand recognition, proprietary chart data and information resources to develop products, live events and print, television, radio, digital and mobile platforms.

Billboard is owned by Prometheus Global Media, a diversified company with leading assets in the media and entertainment arenas, including: Music (Billboard and its related conferences and events, including The Billboard Latin Music Awards), Entertainment (The Hollywood Reporter, Backstage, ShoWest, ShowEast, Cineasia, and CineEurope International); and Advertising & Marketing (Adweek, Mediaweek, Brandweek, Adweek Conferences and The Clio Awards).

About CMA Music Festival
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, CMA Music Festival is an unparalleled music experience celebrating America's music. Taking place Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, this event brings the community together with fans from around the world. In June, the 2010 Festival attracted a record-setting 65,000 fans daily from all 50 states and 26 nations. The 2011 CMA Music Festival will once again be filmed for an ABC Television Network television special to air later this summer. Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Chris Young, and Zac Brown Band are among the first artists announced to perform, with more to be revealed soon. Four-day ticket packages are on sale and fans can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster at or 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased through or 1-800-CMA-FEST. Ticket prices are based on the level of seating at LP Field for the Nightly Concerts, and range from $115 to $325 plus handling fees. Fans should order their tickets now to guarantee their place at the event USA Today named "the crown jewel of Country Music festivals" and the reigning winner of the International Entertainment Buyers Association's (2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010) LIVE! Award for Festival of the Year. For more information, visit