The 2012 Canadian Country Music Association Awards forge ahead Sunday, with the celebrity-studded gala broadcast live on CBC-TV.
One of the highlights of the show will be the arrival of Taylor Swift, the American country star who has lived her life in the spotlight since her debut album in 2006.
Swift, 22, has scarcely put a foot wrong since, earning herself the title “America’s sweetheart” and writing hit songs with cross-over appeal such as Mean and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. She is about to release her fourth studio album, Red, on Oct. 22.
A multiple Grammy and Country Music Association award winner, she is to be honoured with the New Generation Award at the Saskatoon CCMA gala. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams will do the honours.
High profile U.S. artists Eric Church and Jason Aldean are set to drop by with a song or two. Miranda Lambert will also appear with her group Pistol Annies as as part of the CCMA ceremony.
CCMA awards race
Canadian country stars Johnny Reid and Dean Brody lead the race for CCMA Awards – Reid is defending champion of the best male artist category and comes into this year’s awards riding the success of his album Fire It Up.
Brody picked up three CCMA trophies in 2011 and has multiple nominations this year, including best male artist and best single for Canadian Girls. Both Reid and Brody are to sing as part of the star-studded ceremony.
Expect performances from Alberta artists Gord Bamford, Terri Clark and Paul Brandt and Ontario's Jason Blaine, all artists who have multiple CCMA nominations.
Rising Stars The Stellas, Dallas Smith and Kira Isabella, are also planning to take the stage before competing for best emerging artist.
Chad Brownlee back
Last year’s Rising Star winner, hockey-player-turned-country-star Chad Brownlee, returns for another stab at winning a CCMA, this time for best male singer.
Presenters announced by the CCMA organizers include Allan Hawco of Republic of Doyle, singer Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea, CMT's Paul McGuire, NHL great Theo Fleury, and country artists Michelle Wright, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Tenille and Corb Lund.
The awards ceremony caps a four-day festival of country music in Saskatoon. Coverage of the gala begins with arrival of the celebrities to meet fans on the “green carpet” at 3 p.m. Saskatoon time – that will be carried on CBC Live. The gala will be broadcast on CBC-TV at 8 p.m. (8.30 p.m. NT)