CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR HELD IN NASHVILLE
Five of the biggest acts in country music were honored on Tuesday night when the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony was broadcast live from the Music City Center in Nashville. The five honorees for the evening were Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes and Tim McGraw. The event was hosted by Ron White and included a night of performances and special appearances. The opening segment of the show featured Ron Burgundy and the cast of the film Anchorman 2 introducing the "other" Ron as host for the evening. McGraw was the first artist to be honored during the ceremony, receiving his award from Dwight Yoakam. Lady Antebellum was on hand to perform a rendition of Tim's hit "Highway Don't Care" with surprise special guest Peter Frampton joining on guitar. Another one of the night's honorees, FGL, soon took the stage to perform their current single "Stay," and presenting the hit duo with their award was Alabama. Aldean was recognized next, with Cassadee Pope and Travis Tritt teaming up to perform Jason's hit "Night Train." Nashville star Hayden Panettiere was on hand to present Aldean with his award, and he gave a genuine speech that emphasized the amount of respect he has for his fellow honorees and musicians. Honoree Hunter Hayes was next to take the stage, performing alongside special guest Pat Monahan from Train. The two performed a mashup of Hayes' "I Want Crazy" and Train's "Hey, Soul Sister." Hunter was presented with his award by the legendary Frampton. The final recipient of the night was Bryan, who was presented with his award by long-time friend Dierks Bentley. Bryan then joined Lionel Richie to close out the evening with Richie's hit songs "Oh No" and "All Night Long."
SWIFT'S NEXT ALBUM IS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Taylor Swift is already working on the follow up record to her multi-platinum certified album Red, and she says the new project is coming along faster than expected. Taylor tells Billboard, "We've got a lot. We got a lot already. It's crazy. There are probably seven or eight that I know I want on the record, so that’s really ahead of schedule for me." For her new album, Swift has pushed the boundaries of her previous work and entered a new frontier of sound. Taylor shares, "I'm just stoked because it's already evolved into a new sound, and that's all I wanted. I would have taken two years to make that happen, but it kind of happened naturally, so that's all I could really ask for."
DATE SET FOR NEXT YEAR'S ACM AWARDS
The date has been set for the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, with reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton returning to co-host the event. Next year's show will mark Shelton's fourth consecutive turn and Bryan's second time hosting the Awards telecast. Blake had previously hosted the event alongside long-time ACM Awards host Reba. The annual award show will take place on April 6 of 2014 and will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on CBS. Additionally, Florida Georgia Line will be on hand to host the 4th Annual ACM Fan Jam, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the same day as the awards show. Throughout the three-hour telecast from MGM Grand, there will be live ACM Fan Jam performances, via remote, by FGL and several other top country music acts. The ACM Fan Jam then continues after the close of the Awards telecast with a concert featuring Florida Georgia Line.
Tonight is Carrie Underwood's night to shine as she will portray Maria von Trapp in NBC's live television production of The Sound of Music. Carrie has been preparing for her part for several months now, and that hard work will culminate tonight when the musical airs live on NBC at 8 PM ET. Underwood has been updating her fans via Twitter on how the rehearsals have been going, but not every run-through has gone off without a hitch. Carrie tweeted on Tuesday, "So yesterday I hit myself in the head with my own guitar & later fell on my face playing leap frog! What do today's rehearsals have for us?" Underwood soon returned to the social media site to confirm that she no longer leap frogs in the show, but that wasn't the end of her problems. Carrie tweeted on Wednesday, "So yesterday I had a startling run-in with a bat...Yes, I said BAT! I wonder what today's rehearsals have in store! #WheresOzzy #justkidding."
ERIC RELEASES CRYPTIC TEASER VIDEOEric Church has released a teaser video that gives clues about what's to come on his upcoming album The Outsiders. The clip starts out by showing footage of Church's recent performance at the CMA Awards. Later, the clip cuts to Taylor Swift giving her acceptance speech for the Pinnacle Award at the same CMA Awards ceremony. During the speech, Taylor referenced Eric when she said, "I remember when I was 16 and I got the call from Scott Borchetta from my label. He said, 'Can you be on the road in two days and open for Rascal Flatts?' I said, 'It's a miracle,' and he said, 'No, Eric Church got fired for playing too long.'" Eric's video then shows Taylor making her speech with the line "Eric Church got fired for playing to long" repeating several times. The clip then shows a gloved hand write down the words, "one will rise, one will fall," before erasing the "one will fall" part. Then, a finger points the words "The Good Fight," which are written of a piece of paper. This cryptic video is just the latest installment in series of teaser clips that Church has released surrounding his forthcoming record.
BROOKS WILL BRING THE BAND TO VEGAS
After years of performing his sold out one-man shows at the Wynn's Encore Theater in Las Vegas, Garth Brooks will bring his band to the city next year for a two-night show. The show is dubbed "Garth Brooks: The Man, His Band and His Music," and it will take place during the first weekend of the new year on January 3 and 4 at 7 and 10:30 PM local time. Garth says, "I've been itching for the chance to bring my band to Vegas to play this room. I can't wait. Steve Wynn told me I could use the theater anytime. I asked him when I could start and his response was, 'How about New Year’s Eve?'" Garth's previous solo Las Vegas performances focused on the musical influences that helped shape his music, but these upcoming shows will concentrate more on his own repertoire of songs accompanied by his full band. For Brooks, bringing the band to Las Vegas to perform these shows was an opportunity he couldn't pass up. Garth says, "I don't know if this will happen again, so, I am taking Mr. Wynn up on his offer. Will there be something else down the road? Who knows! I'm just going to enjoy getting to turn it up in Las Vegas and play with the band again." Tickets for the upcoming shows go on sale this Friday (December 6) and will cost $200 per ticket.
SWIFT SAYS SHE MIGHT INTIMIDATE MEN
The spotlight of the world is firmly fixed on Taylor Swift and her highly publicized relationships, and she thinks this overwhelming public exposure might be a deterrent for any would-be boyfriends. Taylor tells Hello! Magazine, "At least I suppose it might (be intimidating). It's not like I would look at a guy and say, 'Hey, are you intimidated by me?' I think that would be highly uncool on my part!" And when it comes to relationships Swift is traditional, in that, she waits for the guy to make the first move. Taylor says, "I tend not to be the one to start conversations with guys, anyway. I'm a little more old-fashioned than that. I assume that if someone is interested in me they will come up and talk to me." But after much heartbreak, Taylor's approach to starting a relationship is a more cautious one. She shares, "I try not to wishfully think my way into relationships — or maybe I should say I'm trying not to do that anymore."
MILLIONS TUNE IN TO GARTH'S SPECIAL
Garth Brooks' television special Live From Las Vegas aired Friday on CBS. The CBS special led the ratings for the night with nearly 9 million viewers tuning in, proving that the people's admiration for the singer has never diminished. Garth says of the special, "The crowd could not have been better! Miss (Trisha) Yearwood looked and sounded fantastic and I got bleeped!!!! I finally got bleeped!!!" The special aired just as Garth's 8-disc set, Blame It All On My Roots, was released exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide as part of their Black Friday events.
Garth also took questions from fans in an interview held in conjunction with the television special. When Garth was asked about a possible joint tour between him and his wife Trisha, he said, "She's wonderful in any kind of room with no help whatsoever, so I would like to see that, too, as much as you would." Brooks also talked about the nature of having a wife who is in the same profession as him. He joked, "She is up for awards and you really want her to win 'em, and when she does, you're thankful, and then all the sudden, you're jealous." He also shared his esteem for another female singer who has taken the industry by storm. Garth said, "For the first time ever, I might have ran into a singer that has no top on her and that's Kelly Clarkson. She never seems to have a ceiling that she goes to. The talent is getting bigger and better."
ROCK ME MOMMA LIKE A WAGON WHEEL
Hillary Scott welcomed her daughter Eisele Kaye in July, and since then the newest member of the Lady Antebellum family has been showered with gifts. Some of those gifts have come from Scott's band mates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood while others have come from fellow musicians. Darius Rucker is one of those artists to give the new mom and daughter a present, and his gift came with an appropriate theme. Hillary tells a North Carolina radio station, "Darius and his wife Beth sent us a rocking chair that has wagon wheels as the arms and has a pillow that says 'Rock Me Momma Like a Wagon Wheel.'" And the "Wagon Wheel" theme seems fitting as Lady A provided background vocals on Rucker's chart-topping version of the Old Crow Medicine Show song.
RASCAL FLATTS' AMAZING RIDE
Rascal Flatts has sold more than 21 million albums since they made their debut in 2000, and in those 13 years, the award-winning trio has shared some pretty special moments together. Glamour recently caught up with the band in Nashville and asked them about the most surreal moments in their careers so far. For Jay DeMarcus, becoming a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry sticks out as a career highlight in his mind. Jay said, "I remember as a little kid watching the Opry from the nosebleeds, so to stand onstage and be invited to be a member was really, really cool." Rascal Flatts has sold over 7 million concert tickets in their careers so far, playing at some of the most iconic venues along the way. And for Gary LeVox, performing at one of these venues in particular sticks out as a career highlight. Levox said, "I think it was selling out Wrigley Field. That was pretty huge, and we were the first country act to ever be in that stadium and sell it out. You can't dream that big." The trio has also been showered with numerous awards over the years, and Joe Don Rooney will never forget taking home that first trophy. Rooney said, "I think it was an Academy of Country Music Award for Group of the Year in 2001, and we felt like babies back then. I remember them saying our name and not being able to feel anything. You're trying to feel your legs to walk up the steps. Wow—the ride we've been on since then, it's just really amazing."
LILES WELCOMES BABY BOY
Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles and his fiancé Jenna Kennedy welcomed their baby boy Jett Barker Liles in Nashville yesterday morning. At the hospital with baby Jett in his arms, the excited new father exclaimed, "Jett Barker Liles is here! It was the greatest rush I have ever experienced! Jenna and I are so thrilled to be parents. It's the best thing that has happened to us." The new arrival weighs 7lbs, 7ounces, and is 20 and 1/2 inches long. Liles said of the delivery, "Jenna was awesome, calm and collected the entire time. We checked in, stayed up all night and watched Sports Center and Friends, and listened to Mozart during the delivery." Stephen's family stayed at the hospital on Sunday night to welcome Jett, and his band mate Eric Gunderson, his wife Emily and baby Camden also came to visit them. Stephen says, "They (Camden Gunderson and Jett) are gonna be best friends!"
THE VOICE WILL PIT BLAKE AND MIRANDA AGIANST EACH OTHER
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have always offered each other support in their respective careers, but that camaraderie might cease on the next season of NBC's The Voice. According to Us Weekly, Lambert will reportedly team up with Shakira's team when she returns to coach on the sixth season of the show next year. A source told Us Weekly about their partnership, "Shakira and Miranda got along well. Blake joked that Miranda was helping another coach. But it was in good fun." While this reported rivalry appears to be a friendly one, it will still pit husband against wife.
CARRIE GETS SOUND OF MUSIC HATE TWEETS
Carrie Underwood is gearing up for her performance as Maria von Trapp during NBC's live broadcast of The Sound of Music this week, but not everyone is ready to see Carrie take the reins on this iconic role once held by Julie Andrews. Underwood tells Entertainment Weekly, "I get hate tweets and stuff like, 'You're not Julie Andrews!' I know I'm not Julie. Nobody is and I would never pretend that I was … I know my place." Aside from those isolated "hate tweeters," the world seems ready for Underwood to take on this role, and they will have their chance to see her when the broadcast airs this Thursday (December 5) at 8 PM ET on NBC.
SHELTON REACTS TO LYRIC CHANGE ON THE VOICE
Last week, during Tuesday night's episode of NBC's The Voice, one of the Top 8 contestants performed the classic song "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?." During the performance, the word "Lord" was dropped from the version of the song, causing several people to react to the lyrical change. Blake Shelton was one of those people to react, and he told Zap2it that he didn't even recognize the song had been altered until after the performance was over. Shelton said, "I was sitting in my chair singing that song how I grew up on it, with 'in the sky, Lord, in the sky.' I sang it as loud as I could. And that might be why I didn't realize until after the fact that 'Lord' was either taken out, or it was just performed some other way." The contestant who performed the song was backed by Seattle's Starbucks Chorus, which is a vocal group that helps local charities raise money. As for the absence of the word from the classic tune, Blake says, "I know it was performed -- and it's meant for a good cause, and they're trying to raise some money. And that's a good thing. But I will say, that's not the version I grew up on. And that's not the version I was singing sitting in my chair, if that clears up anything (about) where I stand on this thing."
Joe Nichols' single "Sunny and 75" has found the top spot on the country radio charts this week, giving him his fifth chart topper. Joe says, "Whether it's your first number one record or your 50th, seeing your song at the top of the charts never gets old. Thanks to the incredible team at Red Bow, everyone at country radio and my incredible fans for making 'Sunny And 75' my fifth #1 song. God is good." "Sunny and 75" is the lead single from his latest album Crickets, which was released in October and debuted in the Top 3 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. Nichols is also listed as a presenter on the upcoming American Country Awards, which airs live from Las Vegas on December 10 at 8 PM ET on FOX.
It was a fairytale affair for Taylor Swift last week when she took part in the Winter Whites Gala charity event in London. The event was attended by Prince William and took place at his official London residence, Kensington Palace. The enchanted ambience of the day was not lost on Swift, who was on hand to perform at the event. "It's positively magical here. There are fairy lights and there is fake snow falling from the sky and everything is just gorgeous." Taylor told reporters, according to People. She added, "I am just very lucky to be here." Swift walked the royal blue carpet wearing a long white gown with a glittery top, and was seen chatting with the Duke on Cambridge, who was dressed for the occasion in a black tuxedo. When asked about what she thought of the future king, Swift said that he "was really funny. So cool." Proceeds from the event go to the charity Centrepoint, which raises money and awareness for youth homelessness. When she was asked about performing for a royal audience, Taylor said, "I am so excited. I don't think I have ever played in a palace before. So it will be really wonderful. This evening is so special ... it is for a charity that as well as being very important to Prince William is also very important to me." To make the night even more remarkable, Swift actually got to sing with Prince William as they joined Bon Jovi to perform the song "Livin' On a Prayer."
KACEY EXPLAINS HER REACTION AT CMA AWARDS
Kacey Musgraves had a big night at the 47th Annual CMA Awards last month as she took home the trophy for New Artist of the Year. Musgraves was also up for the Female Vocalist of the Year award, and when Miranda Lambert was announced as the winner in the category the camera panned to Kacey. While several people felt the look on Musgraves' face was of censure for Lambert's win, Kacey says that she has nothing against the fellow Texan. Musgraves tells Rolling Stone, "I've reached out to Miranda and let her know that that I didn't mean anything, and we laughed about how dumb those things can get. I don't like that because it can take away from music at certain points. I didn't mean anything by that. It's funny because I was clapping and smiling before and after that clip." As for the look on her face, Kacey says that she is not used to having cameras on her at all times, adding, "There's no way you can be caught smiling at all times. If you know me, sometimes when I'm just sitting there, it looks like I'm not having a good time, but I am."
JUDD OPENS UP ABOUT MOSER'S MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Wynonna Judd and her husband Cactus Moser have only been married for a little over a year, but they have already been through so much together. About two months after the two had tied the knot, Moser was severely injured in a motorcycle accident in South Dakota. After the accident, doctors had to amputate his leg above the knee and perform surgery on one of his hands. It's a tragic event that Judd will never forget, and she recently opened up about what happened that August day. Wynonna told Entertainment Tonight that the weather was beautiful that day and that the two were enjoying the scenic landscape of the South Dakota countryside on their motorcycles. Then, that serenity was shattered when Moser's motorcycle collided with another vehicle. Judd said, "I will never forget that smell nor that sound coming from two vehicles colliding, and me going on past him thinking, 'Is he alive or dead? I have no idea.'" Wynonna then pulled over, dropped her bike and ran back to where her husband was lying. She said, "I hear nothing. And then I heard the most beautiful sound on earth and that is him (breathing.) And I got on my belly and looked right in his eyes 'cause I knew if he closed his eyes that he would bleed out and that was it. I was 10 feet behind him when the accident happened and I saw the leg shatter and go all over the road.
After the surgeries, Cactus' road to recovery has been a bumpy one, but Wynonna has stayed by his side the whole time. She said, "I became his nurse, my glasses at the end of my nose, pushing saline up into the gaping wounds and wrapping them. I became a nurse like my mother." The ordeal they went through during the months after the accident was a challenge that would test any relationship, but it's a test they passed. Judd said, "It made us so strong that I dare anyone to try and come between us. We are almost bulletproof at this point. If it ever does fall apart, it's because the two of us are not communicating. Nobody has come between us, not even our children."
DIERKS HANGS HIS TOUR PRESENT IN A TREE
Sometimes artists will show their appreciation for their fellow tour mates by presenting them with a gift to commemorate the end of a tour. And that's just what Miranda Lambert did for Dierks Bentley when their co-headlining "Locked And Reloaded Tour" came to a close this year. Lambert recently gave Bentley a brand-new Polaris ATV, and Dierks couldn't help but try his new toy out. But Bentley didn't have the ATV long before he got into a little situation. Dierks recently took to Twitter to share a picture of him standing next to his new tour present, which was stuck on a small tree with its two front wheels off the ground. Bentley tweeted, "End of tour present from @mirandalambert just arrived. I immediately proceeded to hang it up in a tree #polaris."
ZBB TEAMS UP WITH GROHL
During the recent CMA Awards, Zac Brown Band teamed up Foo Fighter's lead singer Dave Grohl to perform the song "Day for the Dead," but as it turns out there is much more to their collaboration together. ZBB will release The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1 to iTunes on December 10. In addition to Zac Brown Band's regular lineup, these recordings will feature performances by Grohl on drums and Oteill Burbridge on bass. Zac Brown says, "Dave is a musical genius. It's been amazing to play with him on stage and get to spend time working with him in the studio. We are excited for fans to hear the music we've been able to create together." This new release marks the band's first collection of songs recorded at the Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, and includes the first studio recording of the song "Day for the Dead."
OK KIDS KORRAL OPENS ITS DOORS
The OK Kids Korral recently held its grand opening ceremony, with Toby Keith and several hundred invited guests on hand to celebrate. Keith was joined by the Toby Keith Foundation board and advisory council members to introduce the cost-free home for children with cancer. The 25,000 square foot Korral has 16 rooms, 12 of which are overnight suites that sleep five people and 4 rooms that are daytime suites. The facility also includes a wing for children with weakened immune systems, a gourmet kitchen, an indoor play room, an outdoor playground, a game room, a family resource room, a laundry room, a theater and reflection room. Toby says, "OK Kids Korral is like Ritz Carlton meets Disney World and I couldn't be more excited to open the doors to children with cancer." The OK Kids Korral is conveniently located two blocks south of The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, and it will also house The Toby Keith Foundation's offices.
MIRANDA SLAMS TABLOIDS FOR WEIGHT LOSS RUMORS
People couldn't help but notice Miranda Lambert's slimmed down figure when she stepped out on the red carpet at the recent CMA Awards. The tabloids were quick to report that she underwent weight loss surgery to shed the pounds, but Lambert says that rumor is completely false. And furthermore, Miranda has posted a message on her website to set the record straight. Lambert says, "Though I NEVER care what the tabloids have to say about me… I wanted to address this certain story they are running this week and set the record straight. I DID NOT have surgery to lose weight. That is ridiculous." Miranda says that she has achieved her weight loss goals through good old fashioned diet and exercise. She says that she worked out with her trainer and watched what she ate, but didn't watch the number on the scale. Lambert says, "As for the assumed number of pounds lost…? I don't even know! Like I have always said, it’s not about a scale, it’s about how you feel and how your jeans fit. And on November 10th when I turned 30, my skinny jeans were finally baggy! Mission accomplished!" And for those who may read the pesky tabloid reports, Miranda has a message. She shares, "So for anyone who is tempted to read the 'Trash Talk' please don't. I am proud to be a normal size girl and I want to encourage everyone to be confident at any size. Thanks for the support yall!"
KEITH CUTS HIS HAIR
Keith Urban has said goodbye to his lovely locks and is sporting a much shorter hairdo. Keith took to Twitter on Monday to post a picture of his cut hair surrounding a barber chair. Next to the photo was a message that hinted at his haircut. He tweeted, "Snow ain't the only thing falling in Nashville today!! –KU" But Urban waited until the next day to give his fan's their first glimpse of his new look. His hair is short in the back with longer hair in the front.
MORE ACA PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED
The list of performers at the upcoming American Country Awards has grown with the addition of Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen and Kellie Pickler to the already star-studded lineup. They will join previously announced performers Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, and Darius Rucker who will sing with Sheryl Crow. The two-hour event will also feature appearances by Sara Evans, Glee's Matthew Morrison and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Previously announced presenters at the ceremony include Cowboy Troy, Scotty McCreery, Thompson Square, Chris Young, Olivia Newton-John, Joe Nichols, Lauren Alaina, Parmalee and many more. The 2013 American Country Awards will be hosted by Trace Adkins and Danica Patrick and will air live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on December 10 at 8 PM ET on FOX. Additional performers and presenters will be announced soon.
KELLY DISHES ABOUT HER DATING LIFE BEFORE BRANDON
Kelly Clarkson and her husband Brandon Blackstock will celebrate their first Christmas together as a married couple and with the recent news of a new baby on the way, this time of year will surely be special. Clarkson has enjoyed relationship bliss ever since she started dating Blackstock, but before they got together Kelly reveals that her dating life was in the dumps. Clarkson tells Parade, "I was single for almost seven years. Every Christmas, it was like, 'Seriously, I'm still pathetically alone? Awesome.' I'm still telling people I'm okay with it? I'm not." And before she met Brandon, the list of Kelly's boyfriends was short. She shares, "I only had like three boyfriends my whole life before Brandon, and two of them were good, just not a good fit. I only had one real stinker that I wrote (music about) and made a lot of money off of."
LAUREN WILL RELEASE SPECIAL HOLIDAY TRACK
Lauren Alaina has recorded a version of the holiday classic "Grown Up Christmas List" and will release it to iTunes on December 10. The song will be released in conjunction with the 26th anniversary of the Special Olympics' "A Very Special Christmas" holiday music series with proceeds from the song going directly toward Special Olympics programs. Alaina has been a champion for the Special Olympics organization since she started with her local hometown chapter at the age of 11. She is now an Ambassador for the cause and spent a week in South Korea last year to participate in the Special Olympics Winter Games. Lauren says, "I feel blessed that I'm able to be so involved with a cause dear to my heart. Not only am I able to record one of my all-time favorite holiday songs for a great cause, but year-round, I'm able to visit schools across the country and talk to kids about creating acceptance and respect for all kids – regardless of any disability." Lauren will perform "Grown Up Christmas List" as a part of the first holiday edition of CMT's Live @ CMT series, which launches December 2. She is also set to perform the song during the 7 PM ET hour of NBC's Christmas In Rockefeller Center, which will air in certain markets on December 4.
PICKLER'S PITY PARTY
When Kellie Pickler has a bad day, she knows exactly what song to play to wallow in her sadness. Kellie tells People Country, "When I'm having my own pity party, it's Lee Ann Womack. She has a song called 'Have You Seen That Girl.' I've sat on my bus, drunk a bottle of wine, cried and felt sorry for myself to that song I don't know how many times." But Pickler won't have time to cry into a pillow this week as she is set to perform in "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" on Thursday (November 28). The annual parade will be broadcast on NBC from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET. Then next week, Kellie will appear on ABC's broadcast of CMA Country Christmas, which airs on Monday (December 2) at 9 PM ET. During the broadcast, Pickler will perform the Christmas classic "Man with the Bag."
MERLE IS ONE OF A KIND
Not long ago, Merle Haggard joined Hank Williams Jr. in the studio to record a version of Merle's chart-topping 1980 song "I Think I'll Just Sit Here and Drink." Their version of the song was for Hank's latest studio album Old School New Rules, which was released last year. For two of country music's most storied musicians, cutting this tune was a simple task; and having The Hag's help on the song certainly made the process a smooth one. Hank says, "Merle is one-of-a-kind. His music resonates with fans just like mine does. Making this song was simple, it maybe took two takes." After the song was recorded, the two singers then had time swap stories. Williams shares, "We spent the rest of the time laughing and telling old road stories. Merle and I are for the everyday working man and that’s something we have in common." To support their collaboration, Williams has just released a new lyric video for the song that can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpD8aehKRtI&feature=youtu.be. The video shows clips of the two singers in the studio recording the song together.
LUKE GIVES IT EVERYTHING HE GOTS
The glow of Luke Bryan's rising stardom is hard to miss nowadays with all of the success he's been having lately. But Bryan didn't attain this celebrity overnight; it came from years of hard work in the industry making a name for himself. Luke tells CMT, "I give it all I got onstage and I give this business all I got and that is the ultimate. This is what you get for giving it all you got. I mean, when you've got sold-out venues and number one records and big-time nominations like that, it lets you know, 'Wow, people are noticing.' I mean, I was doing it this way when we were begging people to notice. And now it's just a great feeling." Bryan may be emerging as one of the top acts on the touring circuit, but he feels like his real growth as an artist has come in the studio. He shares, "Where I've grown the most, I feel like, is becoming a better singer and a better recording artist. It's one thing to go out and sing live and then not make that energy happen in the studio, but I've gotten a lot better at learning the studio."
DARIUS DUETS WITH TEEN
When a South Carolina teen with Down syndrome took the stage at his high school talent show recently, he got a surprise that he will likely never forget. The teen's name is Frankie Antonelli and he performed Darius Rucker's song "While I Still Got the Time" during Wando High School's talent show. About halfway through Frankie's performance of the song, Darius appeared from backstage to join him on the song. In a video posted on You Tube, the two can be seen giving each other high-fives and embracing one another throughout the performance. After the song was over, the audience erupted in applause and the duet partners shared a big hug onstage.
CHESNEY WANTS TO SPREAD LOVE AROUND THE WORLD
Like any artist, Kenny Chesney wants the music he creates to have a profound effect on the people who listen to it, but one of his songs in particular has the power to really change people's lives. With his song "Spread the Love," Chesney aims to do just that and bring the tune's positive message across the globe. Kenny tells People Country, "We live in a world that, if you let it, can be an insanely negative place. We wanted to write lyrics that would be as positive as we could get." Proceeds from the song's downloads are donated directly to the Spread the Love Fund, which was established to help amputees who were severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombing in April. And Chesney is honored that his song can help give these victims support through their rough road ahead. He shares, "Not every song you record gets to help people. That's why I'm insanely proud of it. When I hear it, it puts a huge smile on my face."
PASLAY ANNOUNCES RELEASE DATE FOR DEBUT ALBUM
Eric Paslay is set to release his self-titled debut album on February 4 of next year. Eric wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks that appear on the upcoming record, including his current Top 15 single "Friday Night." The song, which Paslay co-wrote with Rose Falcon and Rob Crosby, has been featured in weekly ESPN College Football Friday Primetime broadcasts this fall. Eric also teamed up with Big Kenny of Big & Rich to pen the album's track titled "Less Than Whole" and Little Big Town provides vocals on the song "Country Side of Heaven." Eric is currently on the road with Eli Young Band, with his next show scheduled in New York City on December 5.
Full track listing for Eric Paslay's self-titled debut album:
1. "Keep On Fallin'"
2. "Friday Night"
3. "Less Than Whole"
4. "Country Side Of Heaven"
5. "Never Really Wanted"
6. "Here Comes Love"
7. "Like A Song"
8. "Good With Wine"
9. "She Don’t Love You"
10. "Song About A Girl"
11. "Deep As It Is Wide"
MARTINA LOVES PERFORMING LIVE
Martina McBride will kick off her "Joy of Christmas" holiday tour this Friday with a show in Huntington, West Virginia. And while fans could celebrate the season in their own homes listening to one of her hit holiday records, McBride says the experience is just better live. Martina tells the Digital Journal, "Live is much more spontaneous and it's about making connections. When I am on stage that is what I want to do: make connections with the audience and create a memory that we can share. Performing live is a treat for me. I love to do it." And it's Martina's passion for performing that drives her to continue doing what she does. She shares, "I love music and I love creating music and performing and connecting with people and my fans. It's just the love of doing what I do that keeps it new, fresh and exciting for me."
Brad Paisley is currently traveling the country on his headlining "Beat This Summer Tour," but with the leaves falling and weather getting colder, the singer has chosen a more appropriate name for the tour. With the announcement that the tour has been extended through March, Paisley has also re-christened the trek the "Beat This Winter Tour." The newly added leg of the tour will kick off in Greenville, South Carolina January 9 and will wrap up in Brad's home state of West Virginia on March 1. The tour leg also includes a date at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on February 22. Paisley will be joined by special guests Chris Young and Danielle Bradbery on the final leg of the tour.
"Beat This Winter Tour" final leg tour dates:
January 9 Bon Secours Wellness Arena Greenville, SC
January 10 Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center Pikeville, KY
January 11 KFC Yum! Center Louisville, KY
January 23 Germain Arena Estero, FL
January 24 Leon County Civic Center Tallahassee, FL
January 25 Amway Center Orlando, FL
February 13 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Long Island, NY
February 14 Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville, CT
February 15 Verizon Wireless Arena Manchester, MA
February 22 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
February 27 Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Ft. Wayne, IN
February 28 Ervin J. Nutter Center Dayton, OH
March 1 Charleston Civic Center Charleston, WV
Last month, Lady Antebellum announced that they were postponing the start of their "Take Me Downtown Tour" until the beginning of 2014. The trio pushed the tour back to accommodate the release of their new Golden Deluxe album, and they promised to return to the road on January 10 in Peoria, Illinois. Now Lady A has gone to their website to reveal the full schedule of their upcoming tour dates. A message on their website says, "We wanted to check back with everyone and give you the latest details on the 1st leg of the 'Take Me Downtown Tour'! We're really excited for the tour and can't wait to perform together starting Jan. 10th!" The trio also says that more dates will be added to the schedule over the next several weeks. The deluxe version of Golden hits stores on November 11 and includes their current single "Compass". The new single was released last month and is one of the six bonus tracks that appear on the record.
The full schedule of dates on the "Take Me Downtown Tour" is listed below:
Jan 10 Peoria, IL - Peoria Civic Center
Jan 11 Toledo, OH - Huntington Center
Jan 12 Roanoke, VA - Roanoke Civic Center Roanoke, VA United States Buy VIP
Jan 18 Fargo, ND - Fargodome
Jan 19 Rapid City, SD - Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
Jan 23 Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
Jan 24 Salt Lake City, UT - EnergySolutions Arena
Jan 25 Bozeman, MT - Brick Breeden Fieldhouse
Jan 30 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
Feb 01 Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun
Feb 07 Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
Feb 09 Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena
Feb 13 St. Louis, MO - Chaifetz Arena
Feb 14 Wichita, KS - INTRUST Bank Arena
Feb 15 Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
Feb 22 Greenville, SC - Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Feb 26 Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena Rosemont, IL United States Buy VIP
Feb 28 Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Mar 01 London, ON Canada - Budweiser Gardens
Mar 06 Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
Mar 07 Edmonton, AB Canada - Rexall Place
Mar 08 Calgary, AB Canada - Scotiabank Saddledome
Mar 10 Vancouver, BC Canada - PNE Coliseum
Mar 12 Boise, ID - Taco Bell Arena
Mar 14 Reno, NV - Reno Events Center
Mar 15 Ontario, CA - Citizens Business Bank Arena
Mar 16 Fresno, CA - Save Mart Center Fresno, CA United States Buy VIP
Mar 21 Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Events Center
Mar 22 Chula Vista, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Mar 23 Phoenix, AZ - AK-Chin Pavilion
Mar 27 Omaha, NE - CenturyLink Center
Mar 28 Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
Apr 11 Birmingham, AL - Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Apr 12 Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Apr 25 Raleigh, NC - Walnut Creek Ampitheatre
Apr 26 Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Apr 27 Knoxville, TN - Thompson - Boling Arena
May 31 Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Blossom Music Center
Jun 20 Grand Junction, CO - Country Jam USA