Country Stars The Scoop

The Scoop

Leesa Mitchell scoops out the biggest and best nuggets on Big Cat 105.5


Garth Brooks is taking his world tour to the Big Easy.  He'll perform at Smoothie King Center on July 10th and July 11th.  It marks the first time ever that Brooks has headlined a concert in New Orleans.  He last performed in Louisiana 18-years ago.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. CT with an eight-ticket limit per purchase.  All seats will cost a total of 74-dollars-and-98-cents.

A full-length video is being released for the song called "Roots and Wings" written by Miranda Lambert for a Ram Trucks commercial.  Lambert says, "I've seen so many positive reactions to the song and the partnership with Ram.  The song is just so special and personal to me, and it is so amazing what the Ram team did to bring it to life that I want my fans to see it, too."  The original, shorter version debuted earlier this year in a new Ram Truck brand marketing campaign that included television, print, digital and social media.

Brad Paisley disagrees with Clay Walker when it comes to rock 'n rollers releasing country albums.  Paisley told "Taste of Country," if anybody wants to be in country, they'll be welcomed with open arms.  He jokingly added, "with a fair amount of skepticism."  Earlier this month, Walker voiced his displeasure with the trend.  He said, "We have great singers, great country musicians.  There's no reason we have to dilute it by letting people in the format that don't have any business being in the format."

Kellie Pickler will be the recipient of the first-ever Operation Troop Aid "Chris Kyle" Patriot Award.  It'll be presented to her by Kyle's parents at LP Field on June 13th following her performance of the National Anthem at the CMA Music Festival.  Pickler is being recognized for her unwavering and impassioned support and contributions to the Armed Forces and their families. 

Chris Carmack is being added to the lineup of the inaugural "Concert for Love and Acceptance."  The June 12th event is presented by Ty Herndon and GLAAD, and was organized to support the at-risk youth of Nashville.  Carmack is best known for his role as Will Lexington on "Nashville."  Other performers include Desmond Child, Melinda Doolittle, Shelly Fairchild, Crystal Gayle, Billy Gilman, Jennifer Knapp and Jamie O'Neal.

Jake Owen's new album will be more upbeat and optimistic than any of his previous four releases.  Owen told "Taste of Country" the CD will reflect on where is his now as a man, as a singer, as a father, husband and son.  The first release off of it is called "Real Life."  Owen says he had a conversation with songwriters Ross Copperman and Shane McAnally before recording the album and told them, "I've gone through a lot of real life situations over the last couple of years.  I wanna get back to things that are real to me, and real life scenarios."  They sent him "Real Life" a few weeks later.

Taylor Swift's face has been on television, in movies and on the cover of magazines, and now, it's a gigantic Lego set.  The impressively detailed portrait is a mosaic of over 38-thousand pieces.  It stands nearly 13-feet tall and is about eight-feet wide.  It's on display at the Legoland Windsor Resort in the U.K., where it was constructed last weekend with the help of guests.  Swift's likeness was chosen after she won a poll conducted by the park asking its visitors which celebrity they would most want as their best friend.

When Reba played Las Vegas for the first time, she recalls wearing spandex pants and a sequined top.  The singer will wow her audience with a little more razzle dazzle when she and Brooks and Dunn take up residency at Caesar's Palace Colosseum beginning June 17th.  She has paid particular attention to the dress she wears while singing "Fancy," and the Oklahoma native thinks her fans are going to like what they see.

Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys thought he had a problem before they even started recording the new CD "Rock of Ages" The Oak Ridge Boys released their latest album, "Rock of Ages," this week.  Duane Allen, who produced the disc with Ben Isaacs, had emailed each of the group members asking which songs they would like to sing.  Everything was going fine until he received emails from Golden and Sterban, both wanting to do "Blessed Assurance."  Once Allen sorted it all out, he realized bass singer Sterban wanted to sing the verses and Golden wanted to do the choruses.  Problem solved, album recorded, and everything turned out great.

Cam makes her Grand Ole Opry debut on Friday.  The singer is super excited about being on the Opry, though she says she has been backstage before, when she took one of the backstage tours at the Opry house.



Murder charges are being filed against a man accused of driving his SUV through a crowd of people outside a Trace Adkins concert in Huntsville, Tennessee. Four people were hit and one person was killed. Police say Billy Carson was drunk and started a fight Saturday night near the concert. He then walked to his vehicle and drove back to the concert area, threatened people with a gun and started spinning in his SUV. Carson hit an ATV and four men. An Indiana man died at the scene, while two others were air lifted to a hospital. Police say Carson was a food vendor at the concert.

David Nail is working on his next album. He told "Rolling Stone Country" that he kind of started by accident. He says, "To be honest, I had no intentions of making a record at this point in the year. I took the first two-and-a-half, three months off for the first part of the year. I wanted to get away from playing music and traveling and all that." While he was recharging, though, the songs just started coming to him. Nail hopes to call his new CD "Fighter." He says the title was inspired by the movie "The Notebook." Nail admits it's one of his favorite movies and one of his favorite scenes is when Noah says to Allie, "We fight and you're a pain in the ass 99-percent of the time, but that other one-percent is what motivates me and makes me love you more."

Miranda Lambert says there's a "peace" that comes with living in the country. Lambert and her husband Blake Shelton live in Tishomingo, Oklahoma and are roughly two-hours from any major city. In the June issue of "Good Country Living" magazine, Lambert says country life has "been in my blood since birth." She was raised on a farm, where her father taught her to live off the land. She admits, however, that Shelton is really the gardener. She says, "This year, we're planting tomatoes and strawberries to make jam. I have a little downtime this summer, so I'm looking forward to this task."

Carrie Underwood will mark ten-years in country music in Nashville with a week full week of celebrations. On June 9th, she'll play two "Grand Ole Opry" shows. The following day, she'll perform "Little Toy Guns" during the CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena. She's also up for five awards that night, including two each in the Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year categories. On June 13th, Underwood will perform at LP Field for the CMA Music Festival. Other performers include Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, Wynonna and The Big Noise, and Kellie Pickler. Those shows are sold out.

Meghan Linsey and former fiance Joshua Scott Jones may not be romantically involved anymore, but they're still supportive of each other. The duo once made up Steel Magnolia, but their professional and personal partnership ended in 2011 after Jones entered rehab for his addiction issues. Linsey told "Rolling Stone Country," "I still hear from Josh and he's very supportive." I want him to be successful, as well. It's a good, positive relationship, which is good." Linsey came in second place on the latest season of "The Voice."

Taylor Swift is one of the most powerful women in the world. She's making her first appearance on the annual "Forbes" list, coming in at 64th. She's also the youngest person on the list. Forbes used four metrics to compile the rankings. They were money, media presence, spheres of influence and impact.

Chris Young is talking details about his upcoming new album. He says it'll include a duet with Cassadee Pope. It's the first time he's ever had a male-female collaboration on one of his albums. It also features a song that Vince Gill guested on. Young is co-producing the CD. He's produced projects for other artists, but never his own. Young says, "I think it's been one of my favorite things about making this record, is just being so hands-on and being there for every single thing that went down, from the very start of it all the way down to making mix notes." Young isn't saying what the album will be called or when it will be released.

Hubbard will soon marry fiancé Hayley Stommel, and though a date has not been announced speculation is that it will be soon. Stommel and girlfriends jetted off to San Francisco for her bachelorette party recently. Her fiancé turned his bachelor party over to Kelley, who invited close friends to Hubbard's home for a man weekend. Activities included some sushi, a few cigars, beer, wine and whiskey, and riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers on his land. The band's "Anything Goes" tour arrives in West Palm Beach, Florida with Frankie Ballard and Thomas Rhett Thursday.

The first song Luke Bryan wrote was to sing in his church in Leesburg, Georgia. That lyric can be found in the singer's new exhibit, "Dirt Road Diaries," at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Although the lyric is stained, Bryan says there is enough of it there for his fans to read and see what the song was about. Among other memorabilia, fans can see Bryan's first guitar, which was given to him by his parents when he was 14.

Kristian Bush is on a special two-week tour of U.S. military bases in Japan.  He headlined a Memorial Day concert yesterday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Oahu, Hawaii.  Bush says, "I am excited and honored to spend time with and perform for our fine men and women of the Armed Forces, and completely humbled to be playing Pearl Harbor on Memorial Day.  My father was an officer in the Army and my grandfather served in World War II, and I am so proud of their service. I'll always do whatever I can to support our troops."

Kristin Bush Armed Forces Entertainment tour dates:
May 25 - Oahu, Hawaii @ Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
May 28 - Sasebo, Japan @ Sasebo Naval Base
May 29 - Iwakuni, Japan @ Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni
May 30 - Fussa, Tokyo, Japan @ Yokata Air Base
June 2 - Yokosuka, Japan @ Yokosuka Naval Base (Commander Fleet)
June 3 - Yamato and Ayase, Japan @ Naval Air Station Atsugi (NAS)
June 5 - Okinawa, Japan @ Kadena Air Base
June 6 - Okinawa, Japan @ Futenma Flightline Festival

Zac Brown says his wife is the one who holds their family together while he's off touring.  He told "Taste Of Country Nights," "she's been so gracious, being my rock through everything we've been through."  Brown's wife recently launched her own jewelry line.  He says, "She's really, really talented, and she's been raising babies for the last eight years, so now she's stepping out and really putting her imagination into her work.  Her jewelry and everything she makes is amazing. I'm her biggest fan." 

Brad Paisley says it's going to be "mindblowing" playing with the Rolling Stones.  He's opening their June 17th show at LP Field in NashvillePaisley says it took him about two-seconds to accept the invitation.  He jokes, "I still think they mis-dialed."  Paisley says his favorite guitar riff from the Stones is the opening of "Start Me Up."  He also acknowledges what the rock band has done for country music.  He says the four or five "absolutely, indisputably country" songs they've recorded are as influential as anything.

A Syracuse, New York man is crediting Taylor Swift with his 425-pound weight loss.  Ronnie Brower says his journey to a healthy 250-pounds has been a lot of hard work over the past two-years, but he did it with Swift's music on repeat.  Brower's friend, Joe Bufano, told the "Daily Dot," "he told me in his darkest days he would often listen to Taylor and it was the messages in her music that kind of gave him some source of joy and happiness.  It kept him buying into life."  Bufano is taking Brower to Swift's June 3rd concert in Cleveland, Ohio

Shania Twain is planning to make music until the day she dies.  She says her upcoming tour is "certainly not my retirement from music."  She told "Billboard," "The time is just right, now, to do other things musically. I want to write more. I want to makes lots more records. I miss making records, and I haven't made enough records in my life and my career. As much as I'm overdue for the touring, I'm overdue for new music."  Twain will hit the road for her first North American tour in eleven-years on June 5th in Seattle

Reba McEntire's brother is making small improvements
following a stroke earlier this month.  McEntire says Pake isn't able to communicate verbally because of the tubes in his mouth, but he's moving his arms, legs and opening his eyes on command.  She posted on social media, "On several occasions, the doctors have said that Pake doing extremely well from a neurological stand point. They are very happy with his progress for all that his body has endured over the past week."  Pake McEntire suffered a stroke on May 13th after having back surgery.
Eric Church To Play Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam. Eric Church is the "superstar" of this year's lineup for Marty Stuart's 14th Annual Late Night Jam.  The freewheeling concert is a gathering of musicians who play into the wee hours at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Church will join veterans Jimmy Webb, Charley Pride and Connie Smith, along with up-and-comers EmiSunshine and Brothers Osborne.  Stuart calls the June 10th concert, "a music lover's dream." 

Luke Bryan thinks his new single "Kick the Dust Up" is just right for the next few months.
Fans will love the single's good time feel and will certainly be singing along to the tune while attending one of Bryan's dates this summer on his "Kick the Dust Up" tour.  Next date for the tour June 4 in Albuquerque, NM.

It's hard for Tyler Farr to believe how far he's come as a country artist. The singer says he is glad that he was given the opportunity to prove that his music was relevant to fans today, and he appreciates the fans for buying records and coming out to see him.

LeAnn Rimes was the inspiration for Mickey Guyton to be a singer. Guyton heard Rimes sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at that game and became a huge fan instantly.  Once Rimes' hit "Blue" came out, there was no stopping the Texas native.  She began singing more in her church and took every opportunity to perform at civic organizations and benefit shows.  Guyton releases her four-song EP today.  The singer is on the road with Brad Paisley's "Crushin' It" tour, which heads for Phoenix, Arizona on June 4th.


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