CMT'S "CAN YOU DUET" ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE SEARCH FOR COUNTRY'S NEXT GREAT DUO
MEGHAN LINSEY OF LOUISIANA AND JOSHUA SCOTT JONES OF ILLINOIS
WIN THE COMPETITION AND WALK AWAY WITH A CONTRACT
FROM BIG MACHINE RECORDS
NASHVILLE � August 9, 2009 � After watching thousands of hopefuls audition and judging weekly performances in front of a live audience, the judges of the second season of the CMT music competition series CAN YOU DUET, have picked a winning duo with hopes of becoming country's next great duo. Announced in last night's finale episode of CAN YOU DUET, the winning duo is Steel Magnolia - Meghan Linsey of Ponshatoula, La. and Joshua Scott Jones, of Charleston Il., who leave the competition with a recording contract from Big Machine Records.
Steel Magnolia's win was something they never would have dreamed of when they started their CAN YOU DUET journey. A couple both on and off the stage, the Nashville residents won the hearts of the judges, country superstar Naomi Judd, Big Kenny from the duo Big & Rich, and Big Machine Records' President Scott Borchetta.
"From their very first screening performance through to last night's amazing performance of �Keep On Lovin' You,' Steel Magnolia delivered every week and set the bar from the outset as one of the duos to beat," said Borchetta. "Each week they upped the level and they are the deserved champions."
A native of Ponchatoula, La., 23-year-old Meghan Linsey formed Steel Magnolia with her boyfriend of three years, Joshua Scott Jones. Before entering the competition Meghan was a karaoke host at a Nashville karaoke bar, which is where she met Joshua. Meghan's musical influences include Bekka Bramlett, Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt. Not afraid to refer to himself as a starving artist, 28-year-old Joshua Scott Jones, from Charleston, Illinois, has said that becoming a musician was never something he had to choose � it simply came naturally to him. Joshua's musical influences include Waylon Jennings and The Beatles.
Steel Magnolia's debut single, "Keep On Loving You," -- the song that dazzled the judges and fans alike on last night's season finale -- is now available for purchase at iTunes, and was digitally delivered to Country radio for immediate airplay. Next week will be a whirlwind for Steel Magnolia as the duo has a full day of media at CMT on Monday, will shoot their first-ever music video on Tuesday and then on Wednesday will hit the road to start an intensive tour of Country radio stations. The media blitz will also include multiple TV appearances, newspaper and online interviews as well as fan meet and greets.
CAN YOU DUET is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Jeff Boggs (Nashville Star, Spy TV) is executive producer. Bob Kusbit, John Hamlin and Melanie Moreau serve as executive producers for CMT.
CMT, a unit of Viacom's MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and Heartland entertainment, reaching more than 88.5 million homes in the U.S. CMT and its website, CMT.com, offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and is the top resource for country music on demand. The network's digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 150 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 300 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
About Big Machine Records
Scott Borchetta founded independent label Big Machine Records in September 2005 and serves as its President/CEO. In its first year Big Machine scored its first #1 single (Jack Ingram's "Wherever You Are"), placed five singles in the Country Top 30, received a nomination for Record Label of the Year, and placed all three of the label's three new artist releases in the Top 10 Most-Played New Artists of 2006 (as monitored by Mediabase and reported by USA Today and Country Aircheck). Big Machine's signature artist Taylor Swift was the best-selling all-genre artist of 2008, selling over 8 million records to-date. Taylor's Fearless, the Academy of Country Music's Album of the Year, has spent more weeks at #1 atop the Billboard Top Album chart than any other album this decade with an astounding 11 weeks at #1. Big Machine's unique partnership with Universal Republic was forged in October of 2007. This relationship re-wrote the record books when Taylor's worldwide smash single "Love Story" became the first ever Country crossover single to hit #1 on the Billboard and USA Today Top 40 airplay charts.
Big Machine Records, together with sister label The Valory Music Co., was the #1 Nielsen Soundscan Country Label Group for 2008 decorating it as the highest-selling record label group on Music Row. The label group's current artist roster includes Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Jewel, Trisha Yearwood, Jack Ingram, Jimmy Wayne, Justin Moore and Kate & Kacey. In 2007, Big Machine also became the exclusive radio-marketing partner for Garth Brooks. Big Machine made history with Brooks' single "More Than a Memory," when it became the first single in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart. In less than 3 years, Big Machine Records artists have received 4 CMT Music Awards, 4 Academy of Country Music Awards, 1 Country Music Association Award, an American Music Award and Teen Choice Award as well as 5 GRAMMY Nominations and 2 People's Choice Award Nominations.