Carrie Underwood Surpasses Kelly Clarkson as Biggest 'Idol' Earner
Carrie Underwood Surpasses Kelly Clarkson as Biggest 'Idol' Earner

Billboard has announced that multi-platinum-selling country artist Carrie Underwood will participate in the Superstar Q&A at the second annual Billboard Country Music Summit in association with the Country Music Association. The event, set to take place in Nashville on June 6-7 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, will gather country music executives and other artists to network and discuss aspects of the country music business.

Billboard's Wade Jessen will conduct a candid Q&A with three-time CMA Vocalist winner Underwood on June 6. Since her debut in 2005, the "American Idol" winner has amassed more than 13 million in album sales and has placed 13 #1 singles on the charts.

"We are proud to be able to announce Carrie Underwood as a keynote," said Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde. "She's not only a stellar singing talent, but in a day and age when it's so hard to leverage early success into a lifelong career, she's made a lot of the right moves to turn herself into a bankable brand that stands for quality in music. We look forward to once again bringing the top minds in and around country music together to discuss and debate the issues affecting that sector of the music industry. Billboard is thrilled to provide a forum for that dialog."

Featuring two days of panel sessions, roundtable discussions and keynote interviews, the key stakeholders in Country Music will break down the issues and opportunities in recording, radio, touring, sponsorships/branding, digital/mobile, and other areas. Like last year, the Billboard Country Music Summit program will kick off the activities leading up to the annual CMA Music Festival, which will be held June 9-12, in Nashville.

Also included in this year's line-up is a Keynote Artist Development Case Study with Jason Aldean who has created a new paradigm for Country Music artist development. Aldean has enjoyed a steady, upward career trajectory, and his fourth album for Nashville independent label Broken Bow, "My Kinda Party" is his third disc to go platinum and his fastest seller to date on its way to double platinum this year.

Other speakers include Sheri Warnke, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Country Music Association; Tom Gossin, Artist, GLORIANA; Laura Hutfless, Sponsorship Agent, Creative Artists Agency; Kevin Neal, President, Buddy Lee Attractions; Chris Parr, manager, Spalding Entertainment; Rick Shedd, Senior VP of Operations, Broken Bow Records; Clarence Spalding, manager, Spalding Entertainment Ian Rogers, CEO, TopSpin Media; J Sider, CEO, RootMusic; Jeff Walker, President, Aristo Media; Tommy Emmanuel, Artist; and Rob Potts, CEO, Rob Potts Entertainment Edge. For a full list of speakers, please visit: http://www.billboardevents.com/billboardevents/country/speakers/index.jsp

For information on the Billboard Country Music Summit, visit: www.CountryMusicSummit.com

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