Country Stars The Scoop

The Scoop

Leesa Mitchell scoops out the nuggets on Big Cat 105.5


The final leg of George Strait's farewell "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour" has entered the homestretch, but Strait isn't ready to say goodbye to the road without giving his fans one more show. George has announced that he will make an additional tour stop on June 5 at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. With the announcement of the new show, Strait's tour has four remaining dates including his final show on June 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The tour's other remaining dates include the Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 23 and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on May 31. Strait's May 23 show in Foxborough will feature special guests Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Tickets for the newly added show in Hidalgo will go on sale to the public on Friday, May 2.



A big opening weekend is planned to kick off Miranda Lambert's new exhibit coming to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum next month. The exhibition, dubbed "Miranda Lambert: Backstage Access", opens on May 16 and will run through November 9 of this year. The exhibit's opening weekend festivities will include a Songwriter Session featuring Lambert's Pistol Annies bandmate Ashley Monroe, a songwriting program for families and a free film screening. Later in the month, songwriters Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby and Jimmy Robbins will participate in a songwriter round and tell the stories behind some Lambert's biggest hits. The exhibit will explore a year in the life of Lambert, with the singer's own tweets providing the narrative thread of this journey through the her life in 2013. There will also be gowns, stage costumes, awards and much more on display from Miranda. Some of the items on display include a prototype of the Miranda by Miranda Lambert platinum-colored boots worn on the Platinum album cover and the Roberto Cavalli gown Lambert wore at the 2013 CMA Awards.



Jerrod Niemann's single "Drink to That All Night" sits at the top of Billboard's Country Airplay chart for a second week in a row, as it also climbs to the number one spot in Country Aircheck this week. The song is the lead single from Niemann's new album, High Noon, and he's humbled that the song has gotten the kind of response that it has. Jerrod says, "I just want to say, thank you so much to country radio and, of course, all the fans out there for picking up the phone and calling in and just getting it up there. It's just an unbelievable moment, and I’m forever thankful." Niemann is currently performing the hit song on tour at a number of headlining shows, and he will join Keith Urban all summer on Urban's "Raise 'Em Up Tour."



Clint Black has amassed some of the most faithful fans in the business over the years, and one of those fans has taken that level of dedication to the next level. The fan's name is Cee Cee DeHart and she has been to 99 of Black's shows throughout his career. As a way to say thank you for being so loyal, Clint is helping Cee Cee celebrate her 100th Clint Black show with an all-expense paid trip to come see him play. In a video message posted on his website, Black tells DeHart to pick any of the upcoming shows on his calendar and he will fly her out there, put her up in a hotel and pay for the ground transportation. Clint also said that Cee Cee will have to come backstage at the show to pose for a picture to commemorate the big occasion. Black said in the message, "Thanks for being such a great fan all these years, you're the best."



Jana Kramer got some ink done on Tuesday and took to Instagram shortly after to share the experience with her fans. One of the pictures shows Kramer lying on her side as the tattoo artist went to work. But Jana didn't have to brave the whole tattoo experience alone; she actually had her friend and fellow country star Maggie Rose kneeling by her side to comfort her. Kramer said in the caption for the photo, "What a good friend!!!@iammaggierose #tattoo holding my hand!" Then, to end the suspense, Jana shared a picture of her new tattoo which is a feather located on the side of her ribcage.



Fans from all over the world will travel to Nashville this June to take part in one of country music's biggest events of the year –CMA Music Festival. As a way to welcome all of these fans to Music City, the Grand Ole Opry will kick off its CMA Music Fest Week with two big shows featuring some the hottest acts in country music. The two star-studded concerts will take place on Tuesday, June 3 with performances by Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Terri Clark as well as Jennifer Nettles and Charlie Worsham. The music is set to kick off earlier in the afternoon with an Opry Plaza Party featuring Worsham as well as Plaza opener Chris Janson. Later in the week, the Opry will feature previously announced performances by Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Lorrie Morgan, Charley Pride, and Mel Tillis. The 2014 CMA Music Festival will be held on June 5-8 in downtown Nashville. 
THIS YEAR'S COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED As media and friends gathered yesterday morning at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville, the Country Music Association announced that Hank Cochran, Ronnie Milsap and Mac Wiseman will become the newest members of the revered Country Music Hall of Fame. Milsap will be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category, while Wiseman will be inducted in the "Veterans Era Artist" category. Cochran will be inducted in the "Songwriter" category. After the press conference to announce his inclusion into the coveted hall, Ronnie Milsap said he knew it would happen eventually. He said, "I've always thought it would happen someday. And I've been up for this I think for five years in a row. I told Brenda Lee I said, 'If I don't get in there this year, I think I'll cry' and she said, 'Ronnie, crying is always good.' Thanks God I didn't have to cry this time." Cochran, Milsap, and Wiseman will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 121 to 124 members. The annual and official medallion ceremony (where the artists actually get inducted) will take place in October of this year.


MIRANDA'S MUSIC IS THE FOUNDATION FOR ALL OF HER VENTURES Miranda Lambert's career has expanded past just being a talented musician as she opened her Pink Pistol store and launched her shoe line Miranda by Miranda Lambert. But even though her ventures have extended beyond her music, Lambert says the musical aspect of her life drives everything else. Miranda tells Footwear News, "I definitely am using my music as inspiration in my life and vice versa. If I didn't have the music, I wouldn't have any of this going on. Music is my foundation for building branches of business — my shoes, The Pink Pistol and other projects." And one lesson Lambert's music has taught her is that she has to prioritize her time and figure out where her life starts and work ends. Miranda shares, "It's an important part of not just my music but the shoe line, too. You have to find time to create the next phase and imagine what the next line is going to look like. Having time off to think about those things is crucial."

T2 FINDS THE TOP OF THE CHART DOWN UNDER Thompson Square recently added to their growing list of accolades when their single "Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About" topped Australia's Official Country Airplay Chart. The duo recently hit the road in Australia, and they are thrilled that this tune has gotten the response it has with their fans Down Under. Keifer Thompson says, "We feel very honored to be a part of Australian country music history. We just left Australia and fell in love with it. This makes it even better. A huge thanks for country radio and all of our fans down under. Hope we get to see you again soon." Thompson Square is also celebrating the release of their brand new single "Testing the Water," which hit U.S. country radio this week. The fun-filled song is the third single from the duo's sophomore record, Just Feels Good, and embodies the carefree sound and spirit of summer.


URBAN UPDATES FANS ON IDOL CHATTER  Keith Urban has returned to host the second episode of the online video series "Idol Chatter," which takes fans behind the scenes on the set of American Idol. This week's episode takes place backstage where the dressing rooms for the judges and host Ryan Seacrest are. In the episode, Urban walks down the hallway to check on Seacrest as he gets ready for the show. As Keith walks up to Ryan's dressing room, the sound of someone jamming on the bass guitar can be heard. Urban then pops his head in the room and finds that Seacrest is the one wailing on the bass. Keith looks stunned as he tells Ryan that never knew that he could play the bass that well. Urban then tells the host that they should jam together sometime. American Idol will air tonight at 8 PM ET on FOX.


DOLLY WAS WORRIED FOR MILEY AFTER HER BIZARRE BEHAVIOR  Miley Cyrus' has been through a lot of changes since she starred in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, and her godmother Dolly Parton doesn't want to see her new behavior affect her career. Parton told London's The Sun newspaper, "(I'm) hoping that she holds it in the road and doesn’t do so many things that are that bizarre." Cyrus has shocked some people with her lewd and racy conduct recently, and Parton doesn't want it to overshadow her talent. Dolly was especially concerned after one particular comment Miley made to her. Parton said, "One day, she'd had enough and told me: 'I need to murder Hannah Montana in order for people to accept who I really am. I think she felt she had to make that severe a change. And she obviously did." And after Cyrus made that drastic change, Parton was just hoping that the repercussions weren't that great for her goddaughter. Dolly said, "I was very worried. I was holding my breath, hoping that people didn’t totally crucify her."


TOBY'S BAR IN NEW YORK OWES TAX DEBT  According to The Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York, the local Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill at Destiny USA owes more than $189,000 in tax debt. The debt is related to taxes owed for 2013 and stems from sales taxes the restaurant collected from patrons but didn't forward to the state of New York. The tax warrant filed against Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill allows the state to collect the money owed through deductions from bank accounts. The state could also eventually seize the business. The restaurant opened its doors in 2013 and is located in the sixth largest shopping mall in the country. According to Forbes, Toby doesn't actually own the business. He has a licensing agreement with the restaurant that allows them to use his name.


HAYWOOD AND WIFE EXPECTING FIRST CHILD There's a new Baby A on the way! Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood and wife Kelli Cashiola have announced that they are expecting their first child in September. The couple announced the happy news on Lady A's Facebook page, revealing that the new addition will be a boy. The message says, "So excited for a new Baby A on the way in Sept! And it's a boy!!! -Dave & Kelli." The new baby boy will join the growing Lady A family alongside Hillary Scott's daughter Eisele Kaye, who was born in October of last year. Haywood and Cashiola were married in April of 2012.


CARRIE IS A FINALIST FOR BILLBOARD'S MILESTONE AWARD Billboard has announced that Carrie Underwood is one of the three fan-voted finalists for the second annual Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet at this year's Billboard Music Awards. Underwood will be up against OneRepublic and Ellie Goulding for the special award, which is presented to an innovative artist who has achieved a notable chart milestone over the past year. The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 18 at 8 PM ET on ABC. Luke Bryan leads country artists in nominations at the show, earning nods in 6 categories.


SHELTON SAYS LAMBERT IS HIS LIFE  The tabloids would have us believe that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are teetering on the edge of divorce, but Shelton says the truth is the exact opposite. Blake recently sat down with Shakira, Adam Levine and Usher from The Voice and told the show's host Carson Daly about things the viewers may not know about them. The interview appeared on the NBC's Today, with each of the four coaches revealing something about themselves. Blake took the opportunity to clear the air and address the divorce rumors that have been circulating in the tabloids recently. Shelton said, "You may pick up a magazine or a tabloid any day of the week that'll say something about, you know, my relationship with Miranda and it’s in turmoil and divorce." Blake then revealed that the gossip in those magazines couldn't be further from the truth. He shared, "The truth is I've never felt a stronger bond with, not only with her, but with any other human being in my life. I mean Miranda and I have … she's my life."


CAMPBELL IS HAPPY AND CONTENT  Last week, it was reported that Glen Campbell has entered heath care facility that specializes in the treatment of Alzhemier's disease. Campbell's move to the special facility comes three years after he announced that he had been diagnosed with disease, and the singer's wife, Kim, assures everyone that he's doing fine. Country Weekly recently caught up with Kim at the premiere of the documentary Glen Campbell … I'll Be Me at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival on Friday. Kim told the publication, "He has trouble communicating, (but) he's happy and content and still has his sense of humor. He's doing pretty well, considering everything. We see him every day." Glen Campbell … I'll Be Me is a documentary that was filmed during Glen's "Goodbye Tour."


THE FIRST LADY WILL APPEAR ON NASHVILLE  First Lady Michelle Obama and Kellie Pickler will both make a guest appearance on ABC's hit drama Nashville during the episode set to air on May 7. The First Lady and country star will play themselves in the episode, which follows Connie Britton's character Rayna Jaymes as she visits Fort Campbell to organize a charity concert. Rayna is organizing the concert after she finds out that the show's character Luke Wheeler, played by Will Chase, has been injured while in Afghanistan. The episode featuring the First Lady and Pickler leads up to Nashville's Season 2 finale which is set to air on May 14. Nashville airs on Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on ABC.


CRAIG'S ANNUAL CHARITY EVENT IS SET  Craig Morgan is set to host his 8th Annual Charity Event on July 20 in his hometown of Dickson, Tennessee. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Dickson County Craig Morgan Foundation, whose mission is to assist foster children in Dickson County and throughout Middle Tennessee. The event will feature an outdoor concert, a group trail ride, an autograph session with celebrity riders and a riding exhibition from several of motocross' top celebrities and competitors. The event will also feature a live and silent auction that take place from the concert on the rolling lawn outside the War Memorial building in Dickson. Tickets for the event will go on sale May 9 at More celebrity participants for both events will be announced in the coming weeks.


BIG MACHINE CELEBRATES THE SUCCESS OF NASHVILLE'S SOUNDTRACKS  Several stars from ABC's Nashville recently joined personnel from Big Machine Records, ABC Studios and Lionsgate to celebrate the success of the Nashville soundtracks. To date, the collective projects have sold over 600,000 albums and 3 million individual track downloads. Big Machine's President Scott Borchetta along with Nashville's Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Aubrey Peeples, Hayden Panettiere and Will Chase were all on hand to pose for a picture to celebrate the occasion. In the picture, Borchetta sits in the front row holding up a plaque to commemorate the achievement. There will also be a TV special titled Nashville: On the Record that will feature several members of the show's cast as well as some of the songwriters who wrote songs for the soundtrack. The TV special was filmed at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium and airs April 23 at 10:00 PM ET on ABC. The Music of NASHVILLE Season 2, Volume 2 soundtrack will be released on May 6.

LAMBERT LENDS A HAND TO PET ADOPTION DRIVEMiranda Lambert was in Madill, Oklahoma on Friday to help some of her furry friends find new homes with loving families. The "Automatic" singer joined the Animal League's Tour for Life at a local Wal-Mart when its mobile adoption truck made a stop there. Miranda took to Instagram to post pictures of her posing with the pooches and their new owners. One picture shows Miranda holding two adorable puppies in her arms, with a caption that reads, "Back home with my own shelter babies! Still only have 6! Didn't bring any home today! Thanks to everyone who adopted ! #tourforlife." Animal League's Tour for Life is a nationwide adoption tour that will travel to 52 cities in 26 states this year to work with shelters and rescue groups to bring attention to and find homes for homeless animals.


KEITH SAYS IDOL IS THE HUNGER GAMES With every contestant vying for chance to be crowned the American Idol's next champion, the competition on the show remains very fierce. And while the contestants on the show treat each other with respect, they also understand that only one person will be named the winner at the end of the season. Keith Urban recently sat down for an interview for E News and told the show's host Ryan Seacrest that the competition on Idol is really starting to heat up. Keith said, "There's friendliness, but you've got the rivalry too. Let's not deny it, it is The Hunger Games." And aside from the contestants going head-to-head every week, Urban admits that there's also a playful rivalry brewing between him and his fellow judge Harry Connick Jr. Keith spills, "We disagree about a lot of things because we're just wired differently and we respond differently to music. We react differently, different things appeal to us, different things impress us. Although that's not true, nothing impresses Harry."


BRICE IS A BRUNO MARS FAN Lee Brice admits that he's not very skilled out on the dance floor, but there is one performer that Brice sees as having all the right moves. Brice tells HitFix that he once caught Bruno Mars' show in Salt Lake City while he was on tour with Brad Paisley and was thoroughly impressed with the pop star's performance. Lee says, "I took off and went to see the Bruno show right after (my) set and it just killed me. One of the things I loved about it was it wasn't a lot of fire and lights and crap, it's just a nice tight set of lights and a band that is killing it and a man who is singing his soul out." And if the title of Brice's current single "I Don't Dance" is any indication of his skills, Lee might just leave the dancing to Bruno. Brice shares, "I cannot dance like him. I think I can sometimes If I’ve had enough."


RAY PRICE'S FINAL ALBUM HAS A BIG DEBUT  The Ray Price album, Beauty is…the final sessions was released just last week and got an enormous response from the fans. After less than 24 hours of being on sale, had completely sold out of the album and the digital download rose to the number three most downloaded country album on Amazon and inside the Top 30 on iTunes. In addition, in the first week of promotion, 75 country radio stations internationally, including Japan, were already on board with album's lead single "Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder." Last week, several stars paid tribute to the legendary singer on Opry Country Classics at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Lynn Anderson, Larry Gatlin, The Oak Ridge Boys, Chris Janson and newcomer Mary Sarah were all on hand to honor Ray by performing and sharing their memories of him. Ray passed away in December following a longtime battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 87-years-old.



BRETT AND JANA FEATURED IN MACY'S AMERICAN ICON CAMPAIGN Brett Eldredge and Jana Kramer are partnering with Macy's American Icons campaign to celebrate the people and traditions that make this country so great. The campaign will kick off next month and will feature fashions from beloved designers and a give back program to benefit those have served our country. Some of the other top talents who are taking part in this year's campaign include Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, model Ireland Baldwin and actress Zooey Deschanel. Additionally, Lucy Hale will represent the clothing brand American Rag through the duration of the American Icons campaign. Brett and Jana will be represent the clothing brand I.N.C. International Concepts and will appear on print, digital and in-store advertising wearing a variety of fashions from the newest collection. For the second year, Macy's will partner with the initiative Got Your 6, which is dedicated to improving veteran reintegration and putting their skills to work at home. Kicking off May 17 with "Got Your 6 Saturday," Macy's customers can give $3 at any register and receive a savings pass for a day they choose. One hundred percent of the purchase price will be donated to Got Your 6 and its nonprofit partners to empower returning veterans and military families. In the military, "got your six" is a term that means "I've got your back."