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Although health care is it's largest industry, it is The Nashville Sound that has placed the city on the map, earning for it the title Music City. Restricted to a limited audience for a long time, it was the Nashville sound featuring names like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash that brought country music to a nationwide audience and turned it into the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today.
This weekly country music stage concert started as a 1-hour radio barn dance on Nashville radio. The program showcases country music superstars and contemporary musicians performing bluegrass, folk, gospel and other country music genres. Called country's most famous stage, it has featured country music greats who consider membership in the Grand Ole Opry a crowning point in their careers.
In June of each year, Nashville comes alive with the Country Music Festival, one week of country music attracting musicians and fans from around the world. Sponsored by the Country Music Association, the industry's governing organization, the festival presents over 150 hours of concerts with 400 artists who perform for free. The artists spend about 30 hours in autograph sessions to interact with their fans and promote their records. More than 250,000 people from over 40 countries attend the event.
The Country Music Awards, are to country music what the Oscars are to movies. Each year, trophies are awarded by the Country Music Association to winners in 12 categories, and country musicians consider it a signal honor to receive or simply perform at the awards ceremony.
Serving to preserve the history of country music and educate its audiences, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville serves fans, students, scholars, artists, industry members and everyone interested in country music. In addition to photographs, artifacts, video clips and recordings, the Museum also stages live performances and public programs.
There are other types of music in Nashville but it's country music that sets the beat.
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