Interview: Kristin Chenoweth talks about going country, co-hosting tonight's American Country Awards
From Monday‚Äôs Life section of The Oklahoman. Click here to read more about the Oklahoma nominees for the American Country Awards.
Kristin Chenoweth goes country
The Oklahoma-born and bred actress/singer already is a Broadway, TV and movie star, but this year she also released her debut country album. On Monday, she will continue her country crossover when she co-hosts the second annual American Country Awards on Fox.
Although her Tony-winning Broadway performances, Emmy-honored television work and big-screen movie roles have made her famous, Kristin Chenoweth still considers herself just a country girl from Oklahoma.
‚ÄúI know that some people see me in different things: I‚Äôm known for ‚ÄėRV,‚Äô ‚ÄėWest Wing,‚Äô ‚ÄėPushing Daisies,‚Äô Broadway, ‚ÄėWicked,‚Äô it‚Äôs kind of always different. But I hope what they learn about me ‚Ä¶ is, yes, I‚Äôm a trained opera singer and, yes, I‚Äôve done Broadway, but country music is also in my heart,‚ÄĚ Chenoweth said last month before her Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame induction in Muskogee.
In September, Chenoweth, 43, released her first country album, ‚ÄúSome Lessons Learned,‚ÄĚ and on Monday (today), she continue her successful crossover when she co-hosts the second annual American Country Awards, airing live from Las Vegas from 7 to 9 p.m. on Fox. The 4-foot-11-inch-tall classically trained soprano will share hosting duties with 6-foot-6-inch-tall country baritone Trace Adkins, who presided over the show solo in its first year.
‚ÄúI‚Äôll just let y‚Äôall know if he‚Äôs clipped his nose hairs,‚ÄĚ Chenoweth joked with a smile during the hall of fame press conference.
While the Broken Arrow native turned down an invitation to appear at the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards to attend her Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame induction, Chenoweth said she was looking forward to co-hosting and performing for the newer Academy of Country Music Awards.
And she won‚Äôt be the only Oklahoman featured at the ACAs. Hot new duo Thompson Square, which includes Miami native Keifer Thompson, earned seven ACA nominations. Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith also will vie for the commemorative guitars that are given in lieu of trophies for the fan-voted awards.
In addition, Thompson Square, Shelton, Keith and Lambert‚Äôs all-girl trio Pistol Annies will perform on the awards show, which will transport some of Nashville, Tenn.‚Äôs top talents to Las Vegas.
‚ÄúI think one of the reasons I like Nashville so much is that it does remind me of Oklahoma. Having been in New York and L.A. ‚Ä¶ it‚Äôs totally different,‚ÄĚ Chenoweth said.
‚ÄúI certainly was not known for country music at all. It‚Äôs been opera and musical theater, and I wasn‚Äôt sure how the country album would go over. But it‚Äôs doing pretty darn good. I‚Äôm very proud that they‚Äôre accepting it and they understand that it‚Äôs my roots. It‚Äôs where I came from. I think the musicians (that have come) before me have proven that our state, definitely there‚Äôs something in the dirt. I love Nashville, but Oklahoma‚Äôs my home.‚ÄĚ
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