GLOBAL GROOVE

A fresh crop of international stars proves country's wide-ranging appeal

Whether they came from the land of the maple leaf or the land down under, three international newcomers - Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jamie O'Neal and keith urban - made themselves at home in Nashville.

The crop of friendly invaders landed mega-hits - all cracking the Top 5 at least once - and participated in some of the year's most successful tours.

"This is totally the land of opportunity," says the Aussie beauty Jamie. And she should know. She scored big with her debut album, Shiver, chalking up two No. 1s, "There Is No Arizona" and "When I Think About Angels." Jamie also took home the 2000 ACM Top New Female Vocalist award. And she's up for Favorite New Country Artist at the upcoming American Music Awards, scheduled for Jan. 9 in Los Angeles.

"As proud as I am of my country," says keith of his Australian roots, "I always wanted to be a part of the music business in the States." And he now is - big time. He topped the charts with "But For The Grace Of God" and followed it up with another Top 5 hit, "Where The Blacktop Ends." He also took home the 2000 ACM award as Top New Male Vocalist and capped the year with the coveted CMA Horizon Award.

Carolyn hit with "Georgia," then scored even bigger with "Complicated." She also received an ACM Top New Female Vocalist nomination. Being careful not to neglect her Canadian homeland, Carolyn took home a record five Canadian Country Music Awards.

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