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CMA'S COUNTRY CAMPAIGN

Country. Admit it. You love it.

That's the catch-phrase the Country Music Association hopes will help turn people back into country music fans -- at a cost of millions of dollars.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, country music sales have dropped from 16.7 percent of all record sales to 10.7 percent in the past five years. That's a pretty big deal for the Nashville-based industry, and the CMA hopes to do something about it.

Why is country slipping? Believe it or not, says the CMA, it has nothing to do with "new country" (think less grit, more polish).

"The problem is, people have the wrong perception of country music, so a lot of listeners are reluctant to admit they listen to it," says Ed Benson, CMA executive director. Too many people associate country with "rednecks, white trash and wife-beating beer drinkers."

And the CMA hopes that a multi-million-dollar media blitz will bring folks back. We'll have to wait and see.

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