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Pussycat Dolls to Sing at Radio Music Awards

Sex kittens The Pussycat Dolls will serenade hip-hopper Snoop Dogg with a racy rendition of “Santa Baby” at this year’s Radio Music Awards, airing on NBC on Monday at 9 p.m.

The Dolls, a spin-off of the famous Los Angeles-based burlesque group of the same name, will also perform their hit single, “Stickwitu.” Snoop also will perform “Drop it Like it’s Hot.”

Nominees for the Radio Music Awards, which have aired since 1999, are compiled by radio research firm Mediabase. They honor artists who have received the most airplay over the past year. Nominees are literally the most-played artists in each category. The show awards Artist of the Year and Song of the Year among mainstream, alternative, country, rock and urban formats. Some 400 program directors vote to select the winners.

“Mediabase exists to track the number of spins a song gets,” says Tony Eaton, the show’s executive producer. “The top seven plays are what make our nominee list.”

The Pussycat Dolls, one of radio’s up-and-coming stars, are not nominated but Eaton says “they’re indicative of what’s on radio right now.”

Eaton and his business partners created the show six years ago, along with former executives from radio behemoth Clear Channel Communications, to promote radio and its stars.

Hosted by “Extra’”s Mark McGrath and “My Name is Earl’”s Jaime Pressly, the show compares itself to the Golden Globes, which is considered a more casual alternative to the staid Oscars.

“We like to keep it pretty loose,” Eaton says. “We have hosts like Mark and Jaime who can read a joke and actually make it funny.”

Besides the Dolls, a wide range of talent will appear on the show. Pop, urban and country is what’s played on radio right now, so those three categories will get most of the airtime.

Keith Urban, country music’s performer and entertainer of the year, will perform as well as Rascal Flatts and Sugarland, voted best new artist at the American Music Awards. Urban, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland are all nominated — Urban for Country Radio’s Artist of the Year and Rascal Flatts and Sugarland for Song of the Year.

Gavin DeGraw, famous for “One Tree Hill’”s theme song “I Don’t Wanna Be,” and Ashlee Simpson (supposedly singing live) also will entertain the crowd of 7,000 at Las Vegas’ Aladdin Hotel and Casino. DeGraw is nominated for Mainstream Radio’s Song of the Year.

“This airs six days before Christmas so performers hope it will help them with record sales,” Eaton says. “The presenters wish they were performers.”

Many of the hottest nominees — Mariah Carey, Usher, 50 Cent, the Black-Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Green Day and Usher — will not be performing.

Music awards shows abound on TV these days, with the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the MTV VMAs and now the Radio Music Awards all leading up to the granddaddy of such shows, The Grammys, which air on CBS on Feb. 8, 2006, at 8 p.m.

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