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Get ready for country's biggest night of stars, surprises and fun!

It's that time again -- time for the stars to shine, for the music to play and for the Country Music Association to honor the best country has to offer.

And that's just what they'll do during the 36th Annual CMA Awards, set to air on Wednesday, Nov. 6 on CBS. This year's show will feature performances by host Vince Gill, George Strait, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley -- and a few surprises as well.

You'll see the welcome return of some familiar faces: Faith is back in action after taking time off to have her third daughter, and it'll be the first network TV appearance for Shania in three years!

As for the awards themselves, the stage is set for high drama. Alan Jackson set an all-time record this year when he was nominated for 10 awards. Can he pull off the biggest one-night haul in CMA history, or will he go home empty-handed?

While we're all waiting to find out, the following pages are your guide to the 2002 CMAs: You'll discover who's nominated, learn our bets on who has the best chance of winning, and get to make your own predictions (use the handy mark-off ballot, on page 38 and 39). Ready for the big night? We are!

Check out the our profile of the nominees and our predictions for who will take home the awards in each category in the current (11/12/02) "Newsstand Issue" on sale now!