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Hayden Panettiere, Rascal Flatts to Host CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR, 12/8

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Country super group Rascal Flatts and "Nashville" actress Hayden Panettiere will honor the top country acts of 2012 as hosts of the third annual 2012 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR premiering Saturday, December 8 at 11:00 p.m., ET/PT. The 90-minute special is the most exclusive gathering of country music superstars of the year and celebrates the class of 2012 with an incredible evening of wall-to-wall performances and special appearances from others in entertainment.

"We are honored to be co-hosting the 'CMT Artists of The Year' show with Hayden. Save the cheerleader, host a TV show!," said Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus. "We're gonna have a blast!"

"Nashville is my second home now," says Hayden Panettiere. "I am so happy to be embraced by the country community and to be included in such a big event, especially with Rascal Flatts. I can't wait to see how the evening unfolds!"

Rascal Flatts is the best-selling country vocal group of the past decade and the #1 debut of their new release, CHANGED, earned them the distinction of being one of only four acts to have seven consecutive studio albums debut in the top spot on the Billboard Country Albums chart during the Soundscan era. Since their musical debut in 2000, the band has sold over 21 million albums, 25 million digital downloads, delivered 14 #1 singles to the top of the charts and have sold over 7 million concert tickets. Rascal Flatts is the most awarded Country group of the past decade, earning over 40 trophies from numerous industry and fan-voted shows included 8 CMT Awards. Rascal Flatts will extend The Farmers Insurance Presents CHANGED TOUR into 2013, kicking off a winter leg on January 10 with special guests The Band Perry.

One of entertainment's brightest stars, Hayden Panettiere has amassed a long list of credits at a young age. Widely known for her role as cheerleader "Claire Bennett" in the hit NBC series, "Heroes," Panettiere is currently starring opposite Connie Britton in the new ABC series "Nashville." On the big screen, Panettiere was recently seen in Wes Craven's Scream 4, as well as the Lifetime Original Movie, The Amanda Knox Story, and The Forger. She also recently lent her voice to the characters "Kate" in the 3D animated film Alpha and Omega and "Red" in the animated feature film Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. She has received numerous accolades, including the 2008 and 2009 Teen Choice Awards for "Choice Actress: Action/Adventure," as well as the 2009 Teen Choice Award for "Choice Celebrity Activist."


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