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Country artists plan tsunami benefit

Christian and gospel musicians will also participate
/ Source: The Associated Press

Country, gospel and contemporary Christian artists will perform a benefit concert Wednesday for victims of the Asian tsunami.

Christian pop star Michael W. Smith and country singer Kathy Mattea will host the event — “An Evening for Restoration: Music City Comes Together for Tsunami Relief” — at Belmont University.

“I’m doing this because I want to help,” Smith told The Associated Press. “I think it’s a great opportunity to unify with country artists and with gospel artists in this town and make something happen.”

Nashville, known for its country music industry, is also an important center for the Christian music business.

Performers will include Steven Curtis Chapman, Marty Roe of Diamond Rio, CeCe Winans, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Steve Cropper, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kirk Whalum, tobyMac, Crystal Gayle, MercyMe, Lee Greenwood, The Whites, Raul Malo, The Crabb Family, Dr. Bobby Jones, Michael Martin Murphey, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and several Grand Ole Opry stars.

Tickets are $25, and all proceeds go to the international relief agency World Vision.

The 7 p.m. CT show will be aired live on two XM Satellite Radio channels, America and XM Live.