Photos: CMA Music Fest in Full Swing [updated]

Star-Packed Opry Shows

The Grand Ole Opry presented by Humana hosted two sold-out, star-studded shows last night (6/7) with performances by Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Darius Rucker, Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, and Jerrod Niemann. During the first of two shows, Opry member Underwood introduced the newest American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina on stage. They will make their Opry performance debuts this Fri., June 10.

Lady Antebellum at the star-studded Opry.

Vince Gill at Premiere Radio Remotes
Vince Gill helped kick-off the Premiere Radio Remotes. Premiere Networks, the official radio partner of the 2011 CMA Music Festival, will be broadcasting from the Nashville Convention Center this week. Premiere will play host to 18 of Country radio’s biggest stations, as well as the syndicated radio shows After MidNite with Blair Garner and The Crook & Chase Countdown.

Vince Gill performs at the Premiere Radio Remotes.

Ashton Shepherd Previews New Music
MCA Nashville’s Ashton Shepherd kicked off her CMA Music Fest week with a media/industry luncheon hosted by MCA Nashville and BMI at BMI’s Music Row offices. The 24-year-old singer/songwriter performed a selection of songs from her sophomore album, Where Country Grows, which hits streets on July 12. Representatives from Grand Ole Opry Group, Country Weekly, Wall Street Journal, AOL, Rhapsody, Microsoft, Citadel Digital, Country Aircheck, Academy of Country Music, CMT and William Morris Endeavor were just some who enjoyed the luncheon performance.

Pictured (L-R): BMI VP, Writer/Publisher Relations Jody Williams; Ashton Shepherd; Beverly Keel, Sr. VP Artist & Media Relations, UMG Nashville; and Faith Quesenberry, Vector Management. Photo: Erika Goldring

Carrie Underwood’s Fan Club Party at The Opry
Opry member Carrie Underwood held her annual fan club party at the Grand Ole Opry yesterday (6/7) morning. Her fans began lining up the night before for a chance to see their favorite artist. The party, emceed by Storme Warren, kicked off with a 45-minute performance by Carrie and her band, followed by a question and answer session. The event ended with a game of “Fan Club Feud” with prizes including a fly-away trip to one of Underwood’s concerts plus backstage passes. She will return to the Opry stage tonight to perform as part of two-sold out shows. Tomorrow, she heads to Australia for a two-week promotional trip to support her Play On: Deluxe Edition CD.

Carrie Underwood leads "Fan Club Feud" at her party. Photo: Chris Hollo, Hollophotographics

Aussie Connie Kis Andersen Joins Yallwire For Southern Cooking
While in Nashville for the CMA Music Fest, Australian country artist Connie Kis Andersen enjoyed some southern cooking. Stephanie Langston, host for Yallwire, took Andersen to Arnold’s restaurant to dine on its famous turnip greens, fried green tomatoes and chess pie. Andersen is working her current single, “Steamy Dreams.”

(L-R): Stephanie Langston and Connie Kis Andersen

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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