Bret Michaels to serve as 'Nashville Star's third celebrity judge
By Reality TV World staff, 01/14/2005
USA Network completed its wholesale makeover (although more traditional country music fans might term it a "wholesale destruction") of its Nashville Star country music reality talent search series on Thursday, announcing that hard rocker Bret Michaels, the front man for Poison, will serve as the third and final celebrity judge for its upcoming third edition of the series.
Michaels will join previously announced new judges Phil Vassar and Anastasia Brown as part of Nashville Star's all-new judging panel. Together with new series hostess LeAnn Rimes (who replaces Nancy O'Dell, the host of Nashville Star's first two editions) and comedian Cledus T. Judd (who will join the show as a "color commentator"), the group will give Nashville Star a completely new on-air face as the show's producers try to move the program away from its more traditional country roots in an attempt to be "young and fun" and "reflect what's happening on today's country music scene."
"[Bret Michaels] has the crossover appeal that we are looking for in our judges panel this season," stated USA Network executive vice president Jeff Wachtel in the announcement, acknowledging Nashville Star's intention to abandon its original traditional country music focus in favor of the more glamorous types of artists that have increasingly invaded the country music industry
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Michaels has been in the entertainment business for over 20 years and sold over 25 million records and fifteen top-40 singles. Michaels lived in Nashville during 1995 and 1996 while filming A Letter From Death Row, a independent film that he wrote, co-produced, co-directed, and starred in.
"Freedom of Sound," his crossover country album, is scheduled to be released later this year on his own Poor Boy label. One of its singles, "All I Ever Needed" -- a duet he performed with Jessica Andrews -- was released to music networks and radio stations last fall.