– YAY! FINALLY – a winner from the Southwest Region!

Nashville, TN – Crystal Yates, representing radio station KITX in Paris Texas has won the 32nd Annual Texaco Country Showdown Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Recording artist LeAnn Rimes presented the Grand Prize of $100,000 to Crystal at the conclusion of the hotly contested competition. She was chosen over thousands of contestants throughout the year. Along with Crystal, who was the Southwest Regional winner, the other National Finalists were:Suzanne Harper (West Region-KHTS Santa Clarita CA); Casey Sutton (Northeast Region- WBCU Union SC); Zac Matthews (Midwest Region-WJVL Janesville WI); and Southern Halo (Southeast Region- WDMS Greenville).

Crystal is a singer/songwriter who makes her home in Dallas Texas. Crystal’s songs are always heartfelt, warm and a little spunky. She has collaborated with award winning songwriters and has been a featured performer at the Sundance Film Festival and other venues throughout the US and Western Europe.

A panel of country music experts made the final decision,. They were: Rod Essig, talent agent with Creative Artist Agency; Pete Fisher, VP, General Manager of Grand Ole Opry; John Ozier, songwriter and General Manager Creative of ole; Tracy Gershon, artist manager with Red Light Management; Leslie DiPiero, music publisher and co-founder of Tom-Leis Music; and Garth Fundis, record producer/recording engineer.

Throughout its 32 years, the Country Showdown has helped open doors for many of country music’s most popular artists from Martina McBride and Tim McGraw to Miley Cyrus, Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert.

The Texaco Country Showdown begins each spring with over 450 live shows produced by country music radio stations. Local winners advance to State and then to 1 of 5 Regional showdowns. These 5 winners then compete at a nationally syndicated television special. This year’s show will air nationwide in March and April on syndicated television and overseas to military bases on government access channels.

Head out to for television airdates and more information.

[An aside note: country singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves, who has been nominated for a bunch of awards at this year’s Grammys, also was a Country Showdown winner a couple of years ago!]

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