HIGH SCHOOL MATH TEACHER CHANCE MCKINNEY WINS CMT.COM’S NATIONAL TALENT SEARCH “MUSIC CITY MADNESS”

12/17/09

Mukilteo, Wash. Resident Takes Prize for Self-penned Ballad “Be Real”

NASHVILLE – December 15, 2009 – High school math teacher Chance McKinney is the winner of CMT.com’s fourth annual MUSIC CITY MADNESS, a nationwide search for the best unsigned country act, for his self-penned ballad “Be Real.” A resident of Mukilteo, Wash., McKinney’s journey to the final two began just eight short weeks ago when he was named among the top 64 finalists in the competition at CMT.com. Fans narrowed the field each week in an online battle of the bands, until just McKinney and one other singer/songwriter remained.

Beating out Danny Hamilton of Torrance, Calif. in the final round, McKinney will receive a trip to Nashville to record an episode of the CMT.com web performance series CMT STUDIO 330 SESSIONS which has played host to such artists as Taylor Swift, Kris Kristofferson, Trisha Yearwood and Blake Shelton, a private audition for The Valory Music Co. label execs and a chance to meet country superstar, Reba.

McKinney’s high-school trigonometry and statistic students were surprised to learn their math teacher had a side career as a country music singer. He’s no stranger to the spotlight though, having opened for such artists as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift and George Strait when they tour through the Northwest.

Country music’s first user-generated talent search, MUSIC CITY MADNESS offers undiscovered singer/songwriters a chance to showcase their talent and let fans decide who takes home the prize in the online battle of the bands. Since its launch, the contest has expanded to include a special televised episode of CMT TOP 20 COUNTDOWN recapping the finalists. The Valory Music Co. served as the official record label, while Rhapsody was the official online and on-air sponsor.

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   CMT, a unit of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 88 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.

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