Pop: SLEEVE NOTES

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The Independent Culture
The music awards season is in full swing and with it comes various radio, TV and album tie-ins. First off the mark was the Mercury Music Prize which was announced on Wednesday. Tonight sees a BBC2 special hosted by Jools Holland (above) and Tracey McLeod which, as well as the usually tedious highbrow interviews with experts, features performances by Gomez, Propellerheads, Pulp and the other nine shortlisted artists.

On the other side of the street are the 32nd Annual Country Music Association Awards held in Nashville. Broadcast live on Radio 2 at 1am on 24 Sept, there will also be a BBC2 TV special next Saturday night (also hosted byJools Holland). Musically it threatens to be rather dire, with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill up for awards, though Lee Ann Womack, a singer with a voice like Dolly Parton and the sass of Loretta Lynn, might just scoop the newcomer's award. Tributes to Tammy Wynette and Elvis Presley are also threatened.

The MOBO Awards (Music of Black origin) gears up for its ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 14 Oct with a month featuring a dozen shows at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. Artists range from Alexander O'Neal to the Black Eyed Peas, who make their UK debut with shows on 23 and 24 Sept.

Q magazine also gets in on the awards act with its annual ceremony, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel on London's Park Lane. It also has a BBC2 slot, hosted by Johnny Vaughan on 3 Nov.

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