Country Music Television's limited series of documentary specials with an insider's look at the career development of young artists on the verge of star status will feature the hot Aussie newcomer Keith Urban and the young acoustic group Nickel Creek. The special will also include exclusive performance footage. Urban picked up a guitar at age 6 and soon knew that he would go to Nashville to play country music. In 1988, he moved to Nashville and formed a band called The Ranch, which eventually landed a record deal with Capitol Nashville. After the group disbanded, Urban was signed to a solo deal with the same label and is making his own waves of success. Urban's CMT catalog already includes impressive videos for "It's a Love Thing," the No. 1 "Your Everything" and his current "But for the Grace of God." The guitarist recently received a Grammy nomination in the Best Country Instrumental category for his song "Rollercoaster." His self-titled debut album was one of the top-selling albums by a new country artist this past year. He was recently featured in People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue as an "Awesome Aussie." The Capitol Records star was nominated for an American Music Award for favorite new country artist and received five nominations for the Country Music Association of Australia awards. The recently Grammy-nominated Nickel Creek have quietly eased onto the scene with its self-titled album on Sugar Hill Records. Originating from San Diego, members Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins and Chris Thile have created a unique progressive bluegrass/folk sound that has caught the ears of many fans. Each member of the band has been nominated or won numerous individual musician awards, and in October the trio was named the International Bluegrass Music Association's emerging artist of the year 2000. Along with the relentless touring and two CMT videos, "Reasons Why" and "When You Come Back Down," Nickel Creek have found their record sales and radio exposure rising. Last year's first On the Verge special featured Brad Paisley and Jessica Andrews, both of whom have since enjoyed numerous successes. Paisley was named the CMA's Horizon Award winner, received his first Grammy nominations and will become a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Feb. 17. Andrews has been recognized by Sonicnet.com as one of the Top 25 Mainstream Country artists. Interview magazine included her in the "New 21 Club" feature on the most powerful entertainment figures under age 21. She is currently on the verge of releasing her second album, Who I Am, for DreamWorks Records.moreless
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