Garth Brooks To Honor Chris LeDoux With Good Ride Cowboy At CMA Awards

39th Annual CMA Awards

Garth Brooks will perform his personal tribute to Chris LeDoux, "Good Ride Cowboy," during "The 39th Annual CMA Awards." CMA Board Chairman Kix Brooks will present the CMA Chairman's Award of Merit to late singer/rodeo champion LeDoux, in honor of his outstanding career and contributions to Country Music.

"Chris embodies everything that's great about Country Music," Brooks said. "He lived with passion, integrity and a commitment to big dreams. It's how he rodeoed and it was how he made his music. Chris wasn't larger than life, he was life - and that's what the very best of Country Music is made of. It is my pleasure, and my honor, to present the inaugural Chairman's award to someone I respect so much."

"Good Ride Cowboy" is "up-beat, fun, sincere and everything you want music to be," said CMA Executive Director Ed Benson. "Anytime Garth throws his energy, passion and talent behind a project it is a special event, and his performance in tribute to Chris is destined to be a highlight for our viewers." Garth will perform "Good Ride Cowboy" with LeDoux's band, Western Underground. LeDoux, a former world champion bronc rider, passed away in March following a lengthy battle with cancer. LeDoux started playing music in his teens while competing in rodeos. His life on the circuit provided fodder for his songs and he quickly developed a devoted fan base - including Garth, who mentioned LeDoux by name in his 1989 hit "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)."

LeDoux's music reached a broader audience when he was signed to Capitol Records in 1990. And in 1992, Garth and LeDoux partnered on the duet "Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy" from LeDoux's album of the same name. LeDoux's 20 Greatest Hits has just been certified Platinum by RIAA.

"Good Ride Cowboy," the Chris LeDoux tribute single from Garth Brooks has rocketed up the Country radio charts to No. 11 (Radio & Records) and No. 12 (Billboard) in just three short weeks. The mega-hit broke Garth's own record for high debuts among all artists in the Billboard monitored era, when it debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard Country Singles chart, surpassing the No. 19 opening of "The Thunder Rolls" in 1991.

This debut is the latest accomplishment in a distinguished career that includes 25 No. 1 hits, 11 album projects and more than 105 million copies sold, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Garth has received a total of 30 CMA Awards nominations with 11 wins, including four CMA Entertainer of the Year trophies (1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998).

"Since Garth's retired, we appreciate his doing this for us and for Chris," said Charlie Anderson, President/CEO of Anderson Merchandisers and a former Chairman of the CMA Board of Directors.

The CMA Awards, which are hosted for the second year by Brooks & Dunn, will be broadcast live Tuesday, Nov. 15 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the CBS Television Network from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Performers already announced for the CMA Awards include Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Bon Jovi with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss + Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Julie Roberts, George Strait, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack, and Willie Nelson and Paul Simon, who will perform and then present CMA Song of the Year.

Presenters will include Trace Adkins, James Gandolfini, Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix.

The CMA Awards are produced by Walter C. Miller and directed by Paul Miller. David Wild will script the ceremonies. MJI Programming, a division of Premiere Radio Networks, is the official radio packager of the CMA Awards, which includes Red Carpet coverage and a stereo-radio simulcast of the gala event. Chevy, an American Revolution, is the official automotive sponsor of the 2005 CMA Awards. American Airlines is the official airline of the 2005 CMA Awards. Additional promotional sponsors include Prilosec OTC, Country Weekly, Creme Savers" Candy and Gibson Guitars. Charles Fazzino is the official artist of the 2005 CMA Awards.

source: Country Music Association

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