Belmont Mansion Belmont Mansion was the home of Adelicia Hayes Acklen Cheatham, a wealthy Nashville socialite and businesswoman. Built starting in 1849, it was one of the most elaborate antebellum homes in the South, with 36 rooms and 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2) in size. The estate contained an art gallery, conservatories, bowling alley, lavish gardens, aviary, lake and a zoo (which was then subsequently opened to the public). In 1887 Acklen Cheatham sold the estate to a group which intended to develop it into a subdivision, but in 1889 the mansion and 13 acres of its grounds became the home Belmont Seminary for Women, run by Miss Susan Heron and Miss Ida Hood. This school merged with Ward Seminary in 1913 and was known as Ward-Belmont College, which included both a junior college and college-prep (or high) school for women. Today it is owned by Belmont University but maintained by the Belmont Mansion Association, a non-profit group. The mansion is open for tours and features Victorian art and furnishings. The gardens, with surviving gazebos and outdoor statuary from the Acklen era, are part of the college campus. Nashville's first radio station The first radio station in Nashville went on air in May 1922 when John "Jack" DeWitt, Jr., a 16-year-old high school student, installed a twenty-watt transmitter at Belmont. The station, WDAA, was born when Doctor C. E. Crosland, Associate President, realized the potential advertising value to the college of a radio station. The WDAA program on April 18, 1922, marked the first time a music program was broadcast in Nashville. The broadcast could be heard 150 to 200 miles (320 km) from the school.DeWitt later became WSM (AM) radio station's chief engineer, 1932ï¿½1942, and president, 1947ï¿½1968.
Andrew Greer, singer-songwriter Ashley Gorley, Songwriter and producer Ashlyne Huff, singer-songwriter Brad Paisley, country music artist. Brandy Clark, country music artist Ian Clark, NBA player Brian Baker, Professional tennis player Brian Kelley (recording artist), half of country music group Florida Georgia Line Canaan Smith, Country music singer-songwriter Celeste Buckingham, Slovak singer-songwriter and pop musician Chuck Cannon, Songwriter Clare Boothe Luce, Editor and playwright Cowboy Crush, country music band; all five members are alumnae. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, "big band" featured as a finalist on The Next Great American Band. Diane Black, U.S. Representative from Tennessee Didi Benami, American Idol finalist DJ Qualls, actor. Duane Simolke, American writer Ric Steel, vocalist and instrumentalist Elizabeth P. Farrington, Publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Congressional Delegate Frank Rogers, Record Producer Harold "Future" Simmons, Rapper, singer, songwriter, producer Ginny Owens, Christian music artist. Gordon Kennedy, Co-writer of Eric Clapton song "Change the World" and Grammy winner (1996 Song of the Year, 2006 Best Pop Instrumental Album) Grace Moore, American operatic soprano and actress in musical theatre and film Greg Bates, Country music singer-songwriter H. L. Hix, American poet and academic. Helen Hemphill, Author J. P. Rodrigues, Professional soccer player Jay Ayres, Professional soccer player Jace Everett, Recording artist Jean Faircloth, Philanthropist Jeff Irwin, Musician Jesse Lee (singer), Country music singer Jimmy Bowen, American record producer and former pop music performer Jill Phillips, Christian music artist John Mark Painter, American musician and songwriter, member of rock and roll duo, Fleming and John Josh McAdams, Track and field athlete Jamie Teachenor, country and rock music singer-songwriter, attended Belmont Josh Turner, country music artist Julienne Irwin, America's got Talent finalist Julie Roberts, country music artist. Kelley Lovelace, American songwriter Kimberley Locke, American Idol finalist, music star, and plus-size model. Larry Stewart, country music artist, lead singer of Restless Heart Lee Ann Womack, country music artist. Levi Kreis, Tony Award Winning music artist Lila Acheson Wallace, co-founder of Reader's Digest Lisa Williams (poet), poet Logan Brill, Singer/Songerwriter Mary Virginia Martin, Actress, singer and Broadway star Masood Ashraf Raja, Assistant Professor University of North Texas Melinda Doolittle, American Idol finalist. Mikeschair, Christian band Minnie Pearl (real name Sarah Cannon) of Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw fame; attended Belmont's predecessor, the Ward-Belmont School. Pam Tillis, country music artist Rachel Smith, Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2002, Miss Tennessee USA 2007, and Miss USA 2007 Ricardo Patton, head basketball coach at Central High School Ricky Braddy, American Idol finalist Sandra McCracken, 1999, singer-songwriter. Sarah Buxton, Country music artist Sean Hetherington,reality TV producer and pundit Sharon Gilchrist, Bluegrass musician and singer Stephen Gause, Record Producer Steven Curtis Chapman, Grammy award winning Christian artist Stu Grimson, former NHL enforcer. Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George, member of R&B group SWV, author, and Survivor: Tocantins contestant. Troy Verges, songwriter Tony Vincent, actor Todd Smith, Christian artist, lead singer of Selah Trisha Yearwood, country music artist Travis Cottrell, Christian artist Tucker Perry, Miss Tennessee USA 2010, and Top 10 finalist at Miss USA 2010 Tyler Hubbard, half of country music group Florida Georgia Line Willie Mack, singer-songwriter Notable supporters of Belmont include Mike Curb (substantial donor/namesake of CEMB and Curb Event Center/founder and head of Curb Records), Jack C. Massey (substantial donor to and namesake of BU's business building and graduate business program, former head of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a founder of Hospital Corporation of America), and Vince Gill (country music artist whose annual charity event has raised thousands in scholarship money). The composer of the popular 1963 instrumental, "Our Winter Love" (#9) is Bill Pursell. He has been a member of the faculty in their School of Music since 1980. Alberto Gonzales, former United States Attorney General, is the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law. Mark Volman, a founding member of the Turtles, is an Associate Professor of Entertainment Industry Studies.