Celebs to compete on CMT


Bobby Brown … country superstar?

The R&B singer is one of several celebrities set to compete in a new CMT series designed to give one of them a chance to break out as the next big country music star.

"Gone Country," premiering in January, will feature John Rich of the country duo Big & Rich guiding seven celebrities through the music industry. Along with Brown, the participants include Carnie Wilson, formerly of Wilson Phillips; Dee Snider of Twisted Sister; "American Idol" finalist Diana DeGarmo; Julio Iglesias Jr.; Maureen McCormick ("The Brady Bunch"); and R&B artist Sisqo.

The celebrities will live in a Nashville mansion for two weeks where they will be paired with songwriters in an attempt to prepare them for a career in country music. In each episode, the cast competes against one another in challenges that will test them musically and physically to adapt to a country music lifestyle both on- and offstage. At the end of the two weeks, Rich will select one winner, who will record and release a song.

Production is under way in Nashville on the six-episode series, which is executive produced by David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe of Renegade 83 Prods. Marc Oswald also is executive producing along with CMT's Melanie Moreau and Bob Kusbit.