Grammys go country for nominations concert

LOS ANGELES Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:04pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Grammys are heading to Nashville, the capital of country music, for the first time to announce nominations for the biggest awards in the music industry, organizers said on Tuesday.

The Recording Academy said the show, which intersperses the naming of nominees with performances from leading musicians, will air live on the CBS television network on Dec 5.

Grammy organizers began televising the nominations in a live show five years ago in a bid to boost TV viewership for the annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles in February.

In previous years, the nominations concert took place in Los Angeles. But the Recording Academy president, Neil Portnow, said it was time to celebrate Nashville's musical heritage.

"Nashville's rich musical and cultural history is so important and vital to our industry, and indeed to the world," Portnow said in a statement.

Nashville, home to the Grand Ole Opry and dozens of recording studios, is considered the cultural center of country music, which has spawned dozens of young cross-over Grammy-winning artists in recent years such as Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and the group, Lady Antebellum.

The 55th annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 10, 2013.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Jan Paschal)

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