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CMA Festival unites stars and fans

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
June 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Country music fans converged in Nashville to hear, meet, and celebrate with their heroes. The CMA Festival brought together dozens of stars and thousands of fans. It's just always been a way for the artist to give back to the fans," said Martina McBride, musician.

For four days, it was all about the fans. Country music's top artists headed to downtown Nashville armed with microphones and guitars to thank their fans.

"It will always be fan fair to me, we are here for the fans! I noticed fans were wearing T-shirts, white T-shirts with numbers on them. And I couldn't think what sports team that would be," said said Reba McEntire, singer. "And then I got to look closer and it said, 'I had been to 82 Reba shows.' And they were telling me how many shows they'd been to. So, I thought that was really neat, and I appreciated it so much."

While this event may be "old hat" to stars like Reba, newer faces to the country scene, like Julianne Hough, get the chance to enjoy new fan experiences.

"I signed a prosthetic leg. That was cool. But it was really cool because the guy had been in war for us. So, it was cool. It wasn't weird. It was cool," said Hough.

"They stand outside in the rain, sun, and wind for hours and hours and hours to get autographs to see their favorite artists. The loyalty that comes with the country music fans is amazing," said McBride.

Highlights from the 2009 CMA Music Festival will be shown August 31 on ABC7.

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