(CelebrityAccess News Service) — The producers of Nashville Star, the grassroots talent search series to find the next country music superstar, have finalized the judges' panel for the second season, which will premiere on March 6 from 10:00 – 11:30 PM (ET/PT) on USA Network.
Returning as a judge this season will be Tracy Gershon, senior director of A&R and Artist Development at Sony Music Nashville. Joining her on the panel are country radio personality Billy Greenwood and singer/songwriter duo The Warren Brothers.
"We're confident that we've put together a panel with expertise and experience in all aspects of the music industry," said Nashville Star co-executive producer H. T. Owens. "From songwriting to performing, from music publishing and record label experience, and navigating the complex and exciting world of country radio, these people know how to get the job done and what to look for in the next 'Nashville Star.'"
Gershon's tenured career in the music industry has included work as a concert promoter for Avalon Attractions, senior director of Creative Services at Backstreet/MCA Records, artist manager, and song plugger and director of creative services for EMI Music. In 1989 Gershon was hired by SONY/ATV/TREE Music to run the pop division as well as exploit the country catalogues, and she was appointed senior director of Talent Acquisitions in 1992. In 1995 she became vice-president of A &R at Imprint Records, where she was responsible for the signings and development of all artists on the roster. In 1998, Gershon joined the Fitzgerald-Hartley Management Team as a partner in the High Seas Music Publishing Company and the Gershon Music Group, focusing on special projects such as album compilations, soundtracks, music supervision, and film opportunities.
In August of 2002, Gershon was hired as an A&R consultant for Sony Records, working with New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. At the label's Nashville division, she began work on Nashville Star. Her consultancy efforts eventually led to an invitation from the show's producers to become one of three on-camera judges for the series. Gershon served as executive producer on Nashville Star winner Buddy Jewell's first album for Columbia Records.
Greenwood is a well-known voice at country radio, hitting the airwaves middays on The Big 98 WSIX FM in Nashville, afternoons on KSD "The Bull" in St. Louis, and evenings on WSSL in Greenville, SC. He has been working in country radio for thirteen years, starting in Sedalia, MO, and eventually working at stations including WKKX "Kix 106.5" in St. Louis and WQDR in Raleigh. He received the A.I.R. (Achievement In Radio) award for "Best Afternoon Show in St. Louis," as well as the Major Market Air Talent of the Year award from the Missouri Association of Broadcasters.
For the past five years in a row, the Warren Brothers (Brett and Brad) have been nominated as Country Music Association's Vocal Duo of the Year. They are also three-time Academy of Country Music Award nominees. The singles that introduced them to country audiences include "Guilty," "Better Man," and "That's the Beat of A Heart," a duet with Sara Evans from the Where the Heart Is soundtrack. The Warren Brothers have opened for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their Soul to Soul tour and The Dixie Chicks on their Wide Open Spaces tour. The Brothers wrote the recent Lynyrd Skynyrd hit "Red, White and Blue" as well as Tim McGraw's "Who Are They?" The Brothers can be seen in the upcoming motion picture, Small Town Saturday Night. In addition to the feature film, the brothers just shot a pilot for CMT for a reality show based on them and their career. Outside of their on-camera accolades, 429 Records will release their new album, Well-Deserved Obscurity, in stores on April 6.
In its first season, Nashville Star featured live performances by twelve finalists, who were judged by industry professionals and the television viewing audience as they played cover songs, sang original compositions and performed each week live with a band to vie for a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville.
In the second season, the finalists will once again compete for a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville. A total of eleven finalists will be selected from a group of twenty who will perform during the premiere episode. The judges will select ten with the television viewing audience voting to determine the eleventh finalist.
Cameras will capture their live performances, as well as the behind-the-scenes drama and humor that develop as they live together in a house in Nashville for the duration of the competition. The show will continue to be broadcast live from the BellSouth Acuff Theatre in Nashville.
Nashville Star is produced and distributed by Reveille, an independent studio based at Universal, founded by Ben Silverman (The Restaurant). The show is executive produced by Silverman, George Verschoor (The Real World) and his production company, Hoosick Falls Productions. H.T. Owens is the co-executive producer. Jon Small (Garth Brooks Live From Central Park, Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium) is producing with his production company, Picture Vision. The show was created by Reveille's Ben Silverman, H.T. Owens, and Mark Koops in conjunction with George Verschoor. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen