Nashville's Walk of Fame News

MUSIC CITY WALK OF FAME PRESENTED BY GIBSON GUITAR ANNOUNCES INDUCTION OF KINGS OF LEON

Grammy-Winning Group to Earn Star on Nashville's Music Mile


Nashville, Tenn. - Music City, Inc. will induct Grammy-winning rock group Kings of Leon into the Music City Walk of Fame, presented by Gibson Guitar, on Friday, September 21, at 1 p.m. in Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville. The induction ceremony, which is sponsored by Great American Country (GAC), is free and open to the public. Durango Boot Company and Black River Entertainment are also supporting sponsors of the event.

"The Music City Walk of Fame was created to recognize artists who have made contributions to all music genres and who have a strong connection to Nashville," said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Kings of Leon was created and discovered in Nashville, and the band still proudly calls the city home. They are a perfect example of what this project is all about -- local musicians who transcend genre to produce great music loved by all."

The Music City Walk of Fame, created in the fall of 2006 on Nashville's Music Mile, is a landmark tribute to those from all genres of music who have made significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration. With the addition of Kings of Leon, the Walk of Fame boasts 61 stars.

A permanent sidewalk medallion with Kings of Leon's name displayed in a star-and-guitar design will be installed in the sidewalk along the Music Mile. The group's plaque will be inlaid in Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun, between 4th and 5th Avenues South.

The Music City Walk of Fame is an official project of Music City, Inc., the charitable foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau (NCVB), and is produced with the support of presenting sponsor Gibson Guitar and sponsors GAC, Durango Boot, Black River Entertainment, the City of Nashville and Metro Parks. Hard Rock Cafe, Nashville is the newest partner to the Walk of Fame. They will sponsor a Rock & Roll Star at the next induction ceremony.

Nominations are open to the public and are accepted in the categories of Artist, Musician, Songwriter, and Producer/Music Industry Executive. Application forms are reviewed by the Music City Walk of Fame anonymous selection committee.

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Kings of Leon
Comprised of three Followill brothers -- Caleb (guitar), Nathan (drums), and Jared (bass), as well as first cousin Matthew Followill (guitar) -- Kings of Leon formed in 2000. Oklahoma natives, the Followill siblings spent much of their youth traveling to churches across the South with their mother and father, a Pentecostal preacher. While growing up, the boys were only allowed to listen to church music, a rich combination of organs, guitars, pianos, basses, drums and horns. They relocated to Nashville in the late 90s and embraced their interest in rock music, which was denied to them as kids. Matthew was added to the lineup, and a Southern garage rock sound emerged.

Kings of Leon's debut album Youth and Young Manhood was released in 2003 and became an immediate sensation in the UK and Ireland, where NME declared it "one of the best debut albums of the last 10 years" and The Guardian described the band as "the kind of authentic, hairy rebels The Rolling Stones longed to be". The group achieved opening spots for U2, Pearl Jam and Bob Dylan after the release of their sophomore album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, and continued to garner acclaim with Because of the Times, which debuted at No. 25 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

In 2008, the group released Only By The Night, the record that catapulted the band into the mainstream. The multi-platinum-selling album debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, hit No. 1 in five countries, sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide, and earned Kings of Leon four Grammy Awards, including wins for their Modern Rock radio multi-week No. 1's "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody". The album's success also led to the band's gracing the covers of Spin and Rolling Stone, performances on Saturday Night Live, sold-out shows at New York City's Madison Square Garden, and headlining slots at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits festivals.

On the heels of their most successful album to date, Kings of Leon continued to follow their own muse and refused to play it safe in their latest album Come Around Sundown. Keeping with their grand and propulsive rock sound combined with intimate post-punk moods, the album upped the ante by connecting the dots between the blues, classic rock and gospel influences of the Followills' childhood to the alternative and indie rock of their adulthood.

Kings of Leon got their start in Nashville by playing open mic nights, songwriters' nights and booking gigs at local songwriter hot spots like the Bluebird Cafe. Members collaborated with other Nashville songwriters - most notably Angelo Petraglia - who helped them hone in on their unique rock & roll sound. While Kings of Leon continues to record and tour worldwide, each member calls Nashville home.

About the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVB's website at www.visitmusiccity.com.

About Gibson Guitar
Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Gibson's HD.6X-PRO Digital Guitar, the Gibson Robot Les Paul and the Gibson Dark Fire guitar represent the biggest advance in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Maestro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Gibson Baldwin Music Education, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Oberheim, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, Baldwin, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson's website at www.gibson.com or www.gibson.com/press

About Great American Country
Great American Country is the leader in country music entertainment, and delivers to viewers the widest variety of country music, its artists and the lifestyles they influence. GAC broadcasts original country music programming, music performance specials, live concerts and music videos. GAC is available in more than 62 million households and online at www.GACTV.com.

About Durango Boot
Founded in 1966, Durango Boot manufactures and markets quality-crafted western and fashion footwear for men, women and children. It is a division of Rocky Brands, a publicly traded company on NASDAQ under the symbol: RCKY. For more information, visit www.durangoboot.com.

About Black River Entertainment
Black River Entertainment is based in Nashville, Tenn. and is the home to country music entertainers Craig Morgan, Sarah Darling, Due West and Glen Templeton. The company also operates the newly renovated Sound Stage and Ronnie's Place recording studios, Black River Publishing and Black River Management. For more information about Black River Entertainment please visit www.blackriverent.com.