Shania Twain and solid lineup of female nominees to mark CCMA Awards telecast


TORONTO — Country superstar Shania Twain and a substantial roster of female nominees will bring an extra spark of energy to the Canadian Country Music Association Awards tonight.

The annual event of performances and accolades, held this year in Hamilton, packs plenty of big-name artists from across the country and beyond its borders. It also has two of Canada’s rising country stars vying for the most awards.

Jess Moskaluke and Brett Kissel both have six nominations each, marking a rare instance when two genders are represented as equally top nominees.

The show will open with a tribute to Twain’s legendary status with performances by three of Canadian country music’s new generation of female voices: Moskaluke, Kira Isabella and Madeline Merlo.

Twain will then join the trio on stage to begin hosting duties.

International country star Keith Urban is among the other big names set to perform. There’s also heaps of awards to dole out, and many of them could go to women.

Twain and Moskaluke are the first female contenders for the CCMAs fan choice award in six years.

Single of the year nominees include Moskaluke’s “Drive Me Away,” Meghan Patrick’s “Country Music Made Me Do It,” James Barker Band’s “Chills,” Aaron Goodvin’s “Lonely Drum” and Dallas Smith’s “Side Effects.”

In the running for album of the year are Moskaluke’s “Past the Past” and Kissel’s “We Were That Song” alongside Patrick’s “Country Music Made Me Do It,” Ell’s “The Project” and The Washboard Union’s “What We’re Made Of.”

Awards will also be given out for both male and female artist, and group or duo of the year on the broadcast, which airs live on CBC.

Other highlights include Terri Clark, who will be inducted into the hall of fame, and performances by Serena Ryder, Dallas Smith, Lindsay Ell and the James Barker Band.

Presenters will reach beyond the realm of country and include Top 40 pop singer Alessia Cara, “Murdoch Mysteries” actor Jonny Harris and tennis player Vasek Pospisil.

Some CCMA awards were handed out in events leading up to the broadcast.

Moskaluke’s “Home Movie” won for country music program or special, while the design of her album “Past the Past” received an award for its creative directors.

Stephano Barberis received the video director award for the visual aesthetic he added to numerous projects, including Meghan Patrick’s “The Bad Guy,” Jade Mya’s “Dirt Covered Rhinestone” and Gord Bamford’s “Neon Smoke.”


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