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May 20, 2010

Brad Touched By B&D Moment

Brad Paisley will be performing in tribute to Brooks & Dunn as part of the upcoming CBS special honoring Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who are currently on their last tour as a duo.


After winning Top Male Vocalist at last month's ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Brad shared his thoughts on Brooks & Dunn winning their final Vocal Duo of the Year Award:


"It was one of those really touching moments to see, you know? Those guys have been a big part of country music for so many years - 20 now - and I love things like that that are book-ended you know? It's really romantic when you think about it... these two riding off into the sunset like that and having won this last award that they'll be eligible for... It's not romantic - that's the wrong word, isn't it?"


Tune in for CBS' ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn The Last Rodeo, set to air Sunday at 8 PM, ET.


Miranda Knows It Ain't Over

Miranda Lambert performs Brooks & Dunn's "Hillbilly Deluxe" on this weekend's CBS tribute to the duo. Even though the guys are splitting up after 20 years together following "The Last Rodeo Tour," Miranda isn't so sure we will have heard the last of Brooks & Dunn after they say farewell to their fans:


"I love Brooks & Dunn! [I] am a huge fan, have been for a really long time. And first of all I don't buy it because when music is in your blood like it is with Ronnie [Dunn] and Kix [Brooks] you don't quit quit... So, I know in some way, form or fashion we're gonna see them - together, apart, I don't know. But they're both too amazing, and you can tell that it's their passion in life, so I think they're gonna be back."

Watch for Miranda on Sunday night's CBS special, ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn The Last Rodeo, airing at 8 PM, ET.


Taylor's BMI Pop Honors & CMHF Exhibit

Taylor Swift has racked up a few more awards as she won top honors at Tuesday night's BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles, taking home the prestigious Song of the Year award for her multi-genre international #1 smash "Love Story." 20-year old Taylor is the youngest songwriter in history to win this honor, and the first country winner in more than a decade. The most recent country songwriters honored with this award were Shania Twain for "You're Still The One" in 1998, and Dolly Parton in 1993 for "I Will Always Love You."


Meanwhile, Taylor has made several contributions to the new Country Music Hall of Fame "Sing Me Back Home" gallery. Now on display is her first Taylor guitar (a custom-made K-65-CE model twelve-string), and the Reem Acra gown she wore to the 2009 Country Music Association Awards, where she took home four awards, including Entertainer of The Year. Her Entertainer of the Year Award statue is also included in the exhibit. In addition, Taylor is featured in her own multimedia display in the "Sing Me Back Home" narrative. Entitled "Taylor Swift: I'm Only Me," the mini-exhibit focuses on Swift's innovative use of social networking to communicate directly with her fans and features her own Apple ibook G4 laptop computer.


Flood Relief: Not Too Late To Donate

Music City Keep on Playin’ – A Benefit for Flood Relief will re-air tonight at 8 PM, ET on GAC. The concert special and telethon features performances by Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, Randy Montana and more. James Denton and Kimberly Williams-Paisley co-hosted the event that took place Sunday night. So far, the telethon has raised more than $1.8 million for Middle Tennessee flood relief. Phones will be open during the re-broadcast and donations can also still be made at or by texting "GAC" to 501501 to make a $10 donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.


Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott was proud to be part of the telethon and shared her insights about the Nashville flood of 2010:


"What I hope people can learn - and it might take weeks, it might take years - is just how important it is to take care of one another by having a sense of community. I think things like this - tragedies - they either show the best in you or the worst in you in some cases, and I really hope that people will just continue to rally together - to love on each other - because all of these possessions that are really special to people, they all fade away, but relationships will always, always stand the test of time. That's what I've learned... It's about your friendships."


Trace Helps Flood Ravaged Nashville

Trace Adkins is in the Northwest this week raising money for folks that live in Nashville and surrounding cities in Tennessee who suffered from the May 1st flooding. Adkins told a Portland, Oregon radio station, "It is bad, but we'll get through it and be okay." Adkins then signed autographs and took pictures with fans for an hour outside the studios as listeners were invited down to meet the star for a minimum donation of $5 to relief efforts for country music's home city, which was devastated by flooding last month. The Oregonian wrote that Portland area fans started lining up outside the station studios as early as 6:30 AM for their chance to meet Trace.


Chesney Songwriters Take Center Stage

Kenny Chesney is the first person to credit the songwriters for his success, and it's those tunesmiths who are banding together for a Musicians On Call Songwriters Series benefit at downtown Nashville's Hard Rock Café. The tribute to Kenny will feature Mac McAnally, who wrote Chesney's "Back Where I Come From," Craig Wiseman, who penned "The Good Stuff," Brett James, who co-wrote "Out Last Night" with Chesney, Neil Thrasher, the writer of "There Goes My Life," and more.


Kenny shares, "It's amazing the way all of those writers understand where I come from, who I am, the things that matter to me. When you find a song that touches you like theirs have touched me, well, you know those are the songs that [are] gonna connect - and I love the fact that those songwriters get to see their songs have life in Nashville during the week when all the fans come to town." Tickets for the show are $10 and available now at


House Named After Brooks & Dunn

Yesterday, Brooks & Dunn dedicated a house named for them and constructed by Knoxville Habitat For Humanity and the Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation, reports Country Aircheck. The duo performed at the Foundation's first benefit concert in 2008. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn shared, "The work of Habitat for Humanity is extraordinary and inspiring. It is an honor to be part of this project and have our names on one of Knoxville's new 'Music Row' homes." Houses will be built on the city's LeFlore Ave. over the next decade to provide affordable family housing. Next year's home will be named for 2009 benefit headliner Martina McBride.


Lady A Continues Hold On Albums Chart

Lady Antebellum's Need You Now is at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart for the 16th week. Zac Brown Band's The Foundation remains at #2, with Miranda Lambert moving up to #3 with Revolution. Taylor Swift's Fearless takes the #4 spot, with Carrie Underwood's Play On rounding out the Top 5.


Willie Featured In Time

Timemagazine has a feature called "10 Questions for Willie," that will be published in the May 24 issue. In the piece that features questions submitted by readers, country legend Willie Nelson offers up some words of wisdom when it comes to how he gets through difficult times in life. He shares, "Positive thinking. Believing that it's going to be okay. And so far it has been. Why bitch about anything? You're not hungry. You're not cold. Neither am I. We're not sick. So everything is fine. If you continue to live in the now, then things will be okay."

Nelson also reveals who he considers his favorite duet partners. He shares, "Waylon Jennings and I had a lot of fun recording together. Frank Sinatra, I enjoyed that. We did a couple of commercials together. I got to know him pretty good. He has always been my favorite singer. As far as I'm concerned, the rest of us - we trot along behind him."


Otto Looks Forward To Focus On Baby

James Otto and his wife arelooking forward to the birth of their first baby, a little girl, this summer. James says that he is excited to be setting his stuff aside for the new bundle of joy. He explains, "To be in the business that I'm in and you know you're in show business, you have to think about yourself a lot and think about yourself in ways that you never thought you'd have to. And I think that it helps to take emphasis off you and to put on something else and give you something else to live for and something else to work for. It gives you some real gravity and pulls you back down to earth, I guess."


Morgan Speaks Out For Not Alone

Craig Morgan is helping thousands of military men, women and their families who are struggling with the aftereffects of combat and the difficulties transitioning to life back at home as a spokesperson for Not Alone. Not Alone is an organization that empowers warriors and families dealing with combat stress through training, education, counseling and support. Craig shares, "When I heard about what Not Alone was doing, I knew I wanted to be involved. We can't sit quietly aside while our country's bravest are struggling. They put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and they deserve to be honored and know that if they need help, they are not alone." In his role as spokesperson for Not Alone, Craig will bring awareness to this resource through his website,, as well as concert appearances. To learn more about the organization, visit



-- Taylor Swift fans will want to check out the photo gallery of the superstar's styles on Taylor is looking lovely in everything from a black turtleneck with lace tights to a sequined navy blue dress, as well as the little black dress and her array of red ones. The story also shares "tips to emulate her look."


-- Brooks & Dunn stop by the set of NBC's Today show this morning. They'll talk about their "Last Rodeo" farewell tour.


-- The second annual Guitars of the Stars BenefitAuction will beheld on June 11 at the Ryman Auditorium. The event gives fans in Nashville for the CMA Music Festival the unique opportunity to bid on acoustic guitars decorated by some of country music's hottest stars including Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, George Jones, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Danny Gokey, Jake Owen and more.


-- Songwriters Darryl Worley, Steve Wariner, Jim "Moose" Brown and Walt Aldridge performed some of their biggest hits last Friday for the "Hitmakers on the Harbor" songwriters concert in Pickwick, Tennessee. The event was sold out, and raised $28,000,doubling the amount raised last year. Proceeds benefit The Darryl Worley Foundation. For more info on the concert series and Worley's foundation, visit


May 19, 2010

A Lifelong Duo

Carrie Underwood is part of the all-star lineup that will be paying tribute to Brooks & Dunn on their CBS special this weekend. On the show, she performs the duo's hit "Neon Moon."


Carrie confesses that she was only eight years old when that song first hit radio:


"Brooks & Dunn have been a part of my life like forever [laughs]. Ever since I was little... I remember I made up a dance to 'Boot Scootin' Boogie' so... Like, they've been such a part of raising me in country music. I've always loved them and they're the nicest guys... I mean, they're my neighbors - I see them all over Nashville. I'm honored to know them. I'm sad that they're leaving but, you know, they've definitely made their mark on our hearts and country music."


ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn's The Last Rodeo will air on Sunday at 8 PM, ET on CBS. Aside from Underwood, the show also features performances from Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and many more. The show was taped last month in Las Vegas and the proceeds will now benefit flood relief in Tennessee.


McGraw Girls Not McGraw Fans

Tim McGraw tells Good Housekeeping magazine that when it comes to his biggest music fans, well, they don't necessarily live at home with him. In the June issue, Tim says his daughters (ages 13, 12 and 9) don't like his music, and frankly, he feels the same way. McGraw admits, "Heck, I don't like listening to me either. I'm a '70s rock guy. They like Beyoncé, The Jonas Brothers and Ne-Yo. I have to say, my girls have pretty good taste in music."


Aldean Thinks It Makes Sense

Jason Aldean is eager to perform at the tribute ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo this Sunday night on CBS. For Jason, it just doesn't get much bigger than Brooks & Dunn.

He shares his reaction to hearing that the duo was calling it quits:


"It took me by surprise a little bit. I can't say that I was completely shocked. Those guys have been around for a long time. And they've done pretty much everything there is to do in country music. I mean, they've won every award you can win, they've had success selling records and on radio. They're the biggest duo in country music history, in my opinion. So I don't really think there was anything left for them to do. And it reaches a point, where, I think, after you do something for that long, you know, those two guys probably have different things they wanna do now, you know? I mean, they're at a point in their career where they can do that."


Gary Goes Gaga Over B&D

Gary Allan has been a fan of Brooks & Dunn for a long time now. With the duo currently on "The Last Rodeo Tour" and preparing to part ways after 20 years together, Gary shares what their career has meant to him along the way:


"You know, yeah, they're iconic in this... I mean, they've definitely left a great legacy. Whenever I feel old, I just tell myself, you know, I used to play their stuff in the clubs [laughs]. I wanna make sure I tell that to Kix [Brooks] and Ronnie [Dunn]. You know what, they're great. And it's true. I've played 'Boot Scootin' Boogie' and 'Neon Moon' and I've played so many of their songs in bars with other bands before I had a record contract. And just that makes them huge to me, you know what I mean?"


Toby's Big Give

This weekend, Toby Keith will hold his seventh annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic taking place in Norman, Oklahoma. Keith will co-host Friday's dinner and auction prior to Saturday's tournament that will feature Larry the Cable Guy, several top sports stars and music from David Allan Coe. The two-day event benefits the Toby Keith Foundation in its goal to fund the OK Kids Korral, a 16-room guest lodge that will house pediatric cancer patients and their families on the grounds of Oklahoma University Medical Center.

Toby talks about his special event:


"My whole organization is involved in Alley's House and the OK Kids Korral. The event has really grown into one of the top events in the Metro over there. And we've never ever turned away an Oklahoma family, and it's a beautiful thing because if you have a kid... if you're a working family and you have a kid get a disease, one of the parents usually has to quit and go take care of the kids. Now you're bills are doubling and your income's half. We provide not only financial support but meds - everything that a mother couldn't think that she would need to travel and get to the city to take care of her kid. We provide all that stuff."


The auction will include memorabilia donated by Miley Cyrus, Brett Favre, Darius Rucker, Garth Brooks, Michael Phelps, Derek Jeter, Emmitt Smith, Greg Maddux, Maroon 5 and many more.


Lambert Likes Albums

Miranda Lambert is featured in the current issue of American Songwriter magazine. When it comes to making music, Miranda admits that she likes to do it the old-fashioned way. She shares, "I still think making a record - and not making a single with some other cuts on it - is the way to go. In my case, with 15 songs, there aren't any you can take off it... If you want Revolution and you just download two songs, you aren't going to understand what it is like. It's like buying a painting and having a corner missing." Lambert adds, "All I know is that I like full albums, whether it has six songs or 20 on it." So what CDs does she like to listen to? Miranda reveals, "I listen to everything; I really do. I'm a big fan of all kinds of music. Lately, I listen to Michael Bublé a lot. I'm going to see him in Denver. [Fiancé] Blake [Shelton] is taking me. It's a belated Valentine's gift." Look for the issue on newsstands now, or you can visit


Wynonna Sells Tires

Wynonna Judd has a new gig selling tires! Wy will be on CBS' I Get That A Lot tonight at 8 PM, ET. The show features celebrities tricking everyday citizens in a case of supposed "mistaken identity." While working ordinary jobs, the stars confuse customers who can't decide if it's the actual celebrity or an astonishing look-alike. As these famous folks continue to deny their true identities, various reactions from their customers solicit exasperated and hilarious responses. Other celebs on the show include The Jonas Brothers' Nick Jonas working at a girls' clothing shop, Jay Mohr (Gary Unmarried) as a coffee house barista and Martha Stewart as a craft store employee. There is a hilarious clip from Wy's segment on YouTube.


Reality Show For Billy Ray & Son?

Just as filming for The Hannah Montana series wraps up, it looks like Miley Cyrus' dad and brother may have a TV show of their own in the works. Billy Ray's son, Trace, (the tattooed ex-member of Metro Station) tweeted on Monday, "The first meeting went well! On to the next meeting with another TV station. This reality show with my dad and I is going to blow peoples minds."


Niemann Mixes It Up On Debut

Jerrod Niemann will release his debut album, Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury, on July 13. The first single off the CD, "Lover, Lover," is a Top 20 hit. Regarding the project's song "Old School New Again," Jerrod shares, "To me, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to have really traditional country music, or any type of music." He adds that the song is about "being able to say what you want to say with your own voice, and having the guts to say it and the heart to say it." Niemann explains, "All the great entertainers that have ever existed, what made them so special is that they all did have their own voice, and spoke very loudly. And that's why we all loved them, so this song was just kind of where I was saying, 'Hey, all these songs that you're listening to may not sound like everybody else, and that's just because I want to try to say it my own way and make old school new again.'" The CD will be filled with 20 tracks that weave skits alongside the tunes. Jerrod wrote or co-wrote 10 of the songs, with his longtime pal Jamey Johnson co-writing for the album as well.


Dolly Helps Nashville

Country Music Hall of Famer Dolly Parton has been a Nashville resident for over 40 years now, ever since she boarded a bus after high school graduation to follow her dreams. So when Nashville is in need, Dolly is there. She said via a video blog, "I grew up in the Smokies in East Tennessee, which was my first home. I moved to Nashville 46 years ago and that is my home now. I have family and friends in both places, and when one place hurts, I think it is just right for the other to help. On May 22 and 23, I'm having my Dollywood and Dixie Stampede companies help me host my Dolly Helps Nashville weekend."

Parton has officially announced Dolly Helps Nashville, a fundraising weekend set for May 22 and 23, with net admission proceeds from her Dollywood and Dixie Stampede properties in Pigeon Forge,
Tennessee earmarked for Music City flood relief efforts. Dolly will even be on hand for the special weekend, making several special appearances and greeting guests at various theaters and locations throughout Dollywood and at Dixie Stampede. She added that the fundraising effort is "especially going to concentrate on those folks who lost their homes and personal possessions in this terrible flood." Fans can also donate to Nashville flood victims at


Nichols Joins Musicians On Call Benefit

Joe Nichols is ready to strut his stuff at Country Weekly's 4th Annual Fashion Show and Concert in Nashville on June 8. Joe was recently named the face of Roper Apparel. He shares, "I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone at Country Weekly's Fashion Show. It will be fun to sing a few songs and show off the cool new clothes Roper has coming out." The event will take place at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon, with the fashion show kicking off at noon, followed by acoustic performances. Proceeds benefit Musicians On Call, a charitable organization that brings music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. For more info, visit


Darius At Daytona Speedway

The "Coke Zero Track & Tunes" sweepstakes with Darius Rucker and LongHorn Steakhouse is under way. LongHorn Steakhouse guests can register for a chance to win an exclusive trip to the 2010 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, which includes a pre-race VIP experience and special seating for the pre-race concert featuring Rucker. He is part of LongHorn's "Live at LongHorn" country music program in partnership with Coke Zero and Capitol Records Nashville. Darius reveals, "When Capitol came to me with the opportunity to partner with these two great brands, I immediately jumped at the chance to be involved because this offers music fans an opportunity for an unique sports experience that also spotlights country music." Two lucky winners will get grand prize packages worth $2,500 each. For more information, visit Entries will be accepted through June 6.



-- Chely Wright visits Oprah Winfrey's talk show today. Oprah asks country music's first openly gay singer everything from "Did you think you would lose your career?" to "Why did you decide 'I'm gonna take a gun and blow my brains out?'"


-- The 2010 CMT Music Awards has added to its lineup with Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band for its June 9 show. The show airs at 8 PM, ET from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Kid Rock will host.

-- Lorrie Morgan was having a pool installed in her backyard one day, and the very next day it was immersed in
Nashville's catastrophic flooding. Always the good sport, Lorrie decided to make the most of the water and sail out in a canoe to fish in her "new" pool. To check out the video for yourself, log on to YouTube, keywords "Lorrie Morgan Flood 2010."

-- Country Aircheck reports that when Jimmy Wayne visited
Washington, D.C., last week there was a lot of concern about Nashville's recent flooding. Wayne reveals, "Everyone I spoke to in Washington, DC, the first thing they asked was, 'Were you affected by the flood?'" Jimmy spoke with lawmakers on behalf of flood relief efforts as well as his ongoing mission of helping homeless teens before he returned to his Meet Me Halfway walk to Phoenix. As of Monday, Wayne was walking through the New Mexico desert.

-- Jack Ingram made a New Year's resolution this year to write a song every week. Looks like he's doing pretty good so far; some of the tunes are being released exclusively through American Songwriter magazine. You can hear the first song, "America," featured on the magazine's website now, with six more songs still to come that will be released every other week. Visit Ingram also will be featured in the July/August issue of the magazine as well.



May 18, 2010

Strait's Big Number Is 58

George Strait is celebrating his 58th birthday today like he has spent many others over the years - with a song in the Top 10 on the country charts. This time it's his latest single, "I Gotta Get To You," that's a big hit.


The King of Country talks about his latest tune:


"'I Gotta Get To You,' another Jim Lauderdale, Jimmy Ritchie, Blaine Larsen song, [is] just a real kind of cool groove of a song, a little catchy kind of guitar part that kind of hooks you but it's a pretty good song. I like it."


If "I Gotta Get To You" goes to #1, it will be the Hall of Famer's 58th trip to the top of the country charts.


Flatts & Death

When it comes to Rascal Flatts making their new album, set for release sometime this fall, the trio has no problem poking fun at themselves and their choice of dark subjects for their projects.


Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox joke that this new album may just go along with the band's past album themes:


(Jay) "There's just a common thread that runs through every album, we have to kill somebody off. Hey, there's gotta be a death in there..." (Gary) "We may try to save a life on this album, it's gonna be weird." (Jay) The last video we did was 'Here Comes Goodbye' and we got two deaths for the price of one... great. And [in the song] 'Why,' we had somebody off themselves, so we need a good death song - that's the common theme."


Lady A's Hillary Is A Hottie

Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott will be part of the June issue of InStyle magazine's "Sexy Dozen" feature, which you'll find to be about a whopping 300 pages long. Scott claims there is no greater turn-on than being liked and noticed by fellow country music artists. But she wouldn't be against a non-country artist recognizing her, of course, considering she cites Beyoncé as her celebrity crush. The feature goes on to share other Hillary tidbits, like her finding the sexiest place on earth to be France, where she says the water is "crazy blue." Scott also shares that she was voted "Prettiest Eyes" in high school, to which her friend, Taylor Swift, would certainly agree. Swift boasts about her chum, "Hillary's beautiful eyes are what make her so sexy."


Tattoos & New Tunes

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles shares a few facts with the Colorado Springs Gazette. For starters, Jennifer reveals what inspired her tattoos, which are 'Believe' on her wrist, a heart with wings on the inside of her upper right arm and a flower on her hip, which was inked when she was 18. She says, "People tattoo for different reasons. I use a tattoo as a marker of time, to be reminded of a time in my life. It is something special and personal. There's a lyric in my song, 'Take Me As I Am': 'We all live with the scars we choose.' Some scars are given to us and some we choose."


Nettles also talked about Sugarland's upcoming album, noting, "Kristian and I wrote all the material and it's an evolution; it's growth, artistically. Our fans want this. I have musical ADD or something, and I get bored doing the same thing over and over. I love different sounds, different influences. We are speaking to the human condition and I think music is leaning that way. Music is so much more than what you wear and your hair."


Young Yields #1 Again This Week

Chris Young tops both country charts with his second consecutive #1 tune, "The Man I Want To Be." It's his second week on the Billboard Country Singles chart and first week on Mediabase, ending Joe Nichols' three-week run with "Gimmie That Girl."


Chris had his first hit song last October with "Gettin' You Home." He talks about what it feels like to have come this far:


"It feels twice as good as it did to say I only had one #1 single. It's pretty amazing. And really, if nothing else, I mean, when I had that first #1, it was like, man, this is something nobody can take away from me. You know, I will always have that written in stone on a chart, and to be able to put it with two, I mean, in my show I can go, 'Well, I've got two #1s now.' So if I repeat this, like, 80 times, I can have the same show Alan Jackson does [laughs] since we are on tour with him right now. It's like everything he plays is a #1."


Chesney Rocks The Vegas Hard Rock Hard

Even though Kenny Chesney has taken the year off from having a big tour, last weekend he played Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and gave it his all. Kenny shares, "You know, when people thought I could go a whole year without playing live, I wondered who they were talking about. Certainly not me... I love making music, especially making music for people, too much! There was no way... I needed to get my foot off the gas, but that didn't mean I wanted to cut off the thing that makes me happiest."


On Saturday night, Chesney played a marathon 4 hours and 15 minutes for fans. He says, "We knew we were gonna be putting it up for another month, so we figured we'd go as long as they stayed... and we hit everything! I did 'Hungry Heart' acoustic... We played 'I'm Alive' for the first time, and 'You Saved Me,' half the Be As You Are record... a buncha covers form the Violent Femmes to Steve Miller... and we went and we went and they stayed and they stayed, and then we played some more." Chesney will be back at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on July 2 and 3.


Miranda Donates Her Art

Miranda Lambert has contributed a design for Pennyroyal Silver's Signature collection, profits for which will go to benefit Lambert's own MuttNation Charity. Her own rescued mutts - Delilah, Delta and Cher - inspired Lambert, who explains, "I am very excited about my partnership with Pennyroyal's Signature Collection. They created a beautiful piece of jewelry to help raise funds for my passion of finding loving homes for abandoned and abused animals across the country." For her pendant, Miranda contributed her charity's logo on the front and on the reverse side; each piece will be marked with her signature. The Miranda Lambert Signature Collection pendant, which is priced at $75, is available for limited release until June 21 exclusively through


Nichols' Next Step?

Joe Nichols is seriously pondering the idea of having a child with his wife, Heather, whom he married in September of 2007. Joe's daughter Ashelyn is from a previous relationship. He reveals to AOL's The Boot, "I have an 11-year-old, and while she doesn't live in my household, I've had some experience as a father, albeit not a great father at times, but I do have that experience to draw on." Nichols thinks that there's a reason for everything, though. He shares, "I think the Lord gives us everything we can handle, nothing more. And up until now, I wasn't ready to take on that challenge again. We've decided we could make a pretty good little family - the two of us, Heather and I combined with a child. So we're definitely working towards that. It would be a huge blessing, because I've got a lot of wisdom. I don't think knowledge is a good word. I don't think experience is a good word, but I think wisdom - from my own pain, from my own trials and from my own success - that I can offer a child. I've got a lot of love to give, too. I can't wait to be a dad again."


The Band Perry's Debut Music Video

The Band Perry's feel-good music video for their tune "Hip To My Heart" may have been fun to make, but it wasn't exactly "hip" to Kimberly Perry's feet during its creation. Kimberly and Reid Perry share a little bit about what the production of their first music video was really like:


(Kimberly) "I spent 12 hours in heels which, like, my mother was so gracious and gave me a 30-minute foot massage at the end of the day 'cause I was, just, in tears almost. But..." (Reid) "Yeah, we had fun." (Kimberly) "We were kinda tired of hearing the song, though, by the end of the day 'cause we listened to it, like, 200 times. It's like, alright, that's enough for one day."


Steel Magnolia Braces For Brad's Tour

Steel Magnolia's Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones will kick off their opening run on Brad Paisley's "H20 World Tour" this Friday in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Coming to the realization that she's the only female singer as part of the tour, Meghan quips, "It does appear like I'm the only girl. I don't know why that is. I've been in a lot of bands and been around guys a lot, so I'm kind of used to it. I will say I will definitely be bringing out a girl every now and then. I think it's going to be great. But I am a little nervous about the pranking, being the only girl." Joshua is sure happy about all the testosterone on the tour, though. He shares, "It seems like we play a lot of shows with Easton Corbin and his guys. They're fun. I was talking with Drew, his guitar player, about Frisbee golf. So, I think we're gonna get some Frisbee golf goin' on." He adds, "We've been on radio tours, and Easton and Josh Thompson have been touring as well on a radio tour. We always joke because we end up doing the same shows, we've already kind of started the Paisley tour. We're all really good friends, and we're excited to be out together."


Justin's Next Single

While Justin Moore is basking in the glow of the Top 5 on the country charts with his single, "Backwoods," he's already looking ahead to the next single release, "How I Got To Be That Way." Justin shares, "You know who I am, now you're gonna get to see why with this song. It's a Justin Moore song, it sounds like me, but it's a little different storyline and stuff. I think it'll be good for the summer. Honestly, everybody's done stupid stuff growing up, and it's just about that and learning from it and how that made you who you are. I'm proud of the song."



-- Joe Nichols will be performing his three-week #1 hit single "Gimmie That Girl" on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight. Next week, on the morning of May 25, Joe will join the ladies of The View for a chat and performance.


-- Carrie Underwood's "All-American Girl" is among the 17 previously-released tracks featured on the upcoming compilation, Now That's What I Call the USA (The Patriotic Country Collection). The project, due out June 15, also features Trace Adkins' "Arlington," Brooks & Dunn's "Only in America," Kenny Chesney's "Back Where I Come From" and Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This." A portion of the proceeds will benefit troops and military families. June 15 will also mark the release of Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 34, which features two country songs - Lady Antebellum's "American Honey" and Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me."


-- Randy Houser will release his 12-track sophomore studio album,They Call Me Cadillac, on September 14. Randy shares, "I put my heart into this record. We went into the studio with a direction in mind, conceptually, for the album, and the result is something I'm really proud of. I think people are ready to hear real country music again, and I'm one of them."


-- Jerrod Niemann is climbing the Top 20 with his hit single, "Lover, Lover," and the groove is definitely catching on. It has inspired a hilarious college production of an original music video for the song. Check it out on YouTube!


May 17, 2010

Stars Share Songs For Flood Relief

A host of country artists gathered at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium last night for GAC's Music City Keep on Playin' - A Benefit for Flood Relief live concert and telethon. As of press time, the total amount raised wasn't known as the phone banks stayed opened during the re-broadcasts, but as of the end of the three-hour telethon's first airing, $1.5 million dollars had been raised for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Among the artists who performed were Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins, Sheryl Crow, Kellie Pickler, Keb 'Mo, CeCe Winans, Randy Montana, Jaci Valesquez and Will Hoge. The Ryman Auditorium was dressed as the Grand Ole Opry stage - famous microphone stand and all.

Among the many performance highlights, Brad Paisley kicked off the show with "Welcome To The Future" telling the audience, "The future starts tonight
Nashville." Brad then donated $100,000 to get it going... asking the show's co-host and wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley, "Is that okay?" Later in the show, Brad performed a Roger Miller song called "River and the Rain." Buddy Dierks Bentley backed Brad's third performance on the show on acoustic guitar for "American Saturday Night."


Keith Urban told the Nashville crowd, "I love playing the Ryman, I gotta say," before performing along with his acoustic guitar, The Beatles classic "Help!" Urban also praised Tennessee's volunteers and joked that all his musical equipment was "last seen floating the river toward Smyrna (south of Nashville)." He also performed an upbeat and acoustic version of "Better Life" telling the crowd that his wife, Nicole Kidman, was standing on the side of the stage sharing how much the couple loves Nashville and having their daughter here. Later, Nicole was seen at the phone bank taking calls for donations.


Lady Antebellum sang "I Need You Now" after Nashville native Hillary Scott told the crowd, "I know we will get back to the city that we once were. I know we will." Later in the show, the trio sang their hit "I Run To You."


Martina McBride performed her self-penned inspiration, "Anyway," after telling the TV audience to help out Tennesseans who are "not stars or celebrities they are just hard working people who have lost everything." Later Martina performed her show-stopping rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

Wearing a Nashville Flood t-shirt, Kellie Pickler told the crowd before singing her new single "Making Me Fall in Love Again," "I couldn't be more proud to now be a citizen of Nashville, thanks for all your love and support and for all your money."


James Denton of Desperate Housewives fame assisted Paisley's wife in hosting the event.



Tim & Faith’s Benefit Selling Fast!

Almost all of the tickets to the all-star "Nashville Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Recovery" were quickly sold when they went on sale Friday. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are spearheading the June 22 concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Other performers include Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Jason Aldean, LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Amy Grant, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Michael W. Smith. All profits from the show will benefit the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for flood relief. According to Ticketmaster, the regular priced tickets – ranging from $22.50 to $247.50, are sold out except for some of the top dollar seats. There are also still VIP packages priced at $1,000. Those include seating in the first 13 rows of the arena, signed memorabilia and a post-show reception with the artists at the nearby Palm restaurant.


Fairy Tales Do Come True

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton have been a couple for five years, and their fans, family and friends were all very happy to hear about their recent engagement. Miranda admits she had no idea that Blake was going to pop the question. She shares,"I was very surprised, very surprised. You know, bein' a girl, you're always like, 'When are we gonna get married? When are we gonna get married? When am I gonna get a ring? I don't care if we get married... just give me the ring,' you know? ...Usually I can figure those things out, but I had no clue."


Lambert says she's living out her very own fairy tale:


I know he's the one, without a shadow of a doubt, and so does my mom, and she's always like, 'I'll know if it's the one,' you know? And she just... my parents love him, and family is a huge thing to me. So if our families didn't get along, it would be tragic. But our families get along great, and I LOVE his parents, and so, it's perfect. It's literally the fairy tale that every girl dreams of, and I think I've earned it [laughs].


Tim Focuses On The Tunes

Tim McGraw is quite the jack-of-all-trades, juggling making albums with making movies. With the longevity that McGraw has had in the music industry, he shares that the secret is all about the song:


"The key is finding good ones. I like finding good ones. And there's always a place for ones that don't say a whole lot that are just fun too. I mean, I've had a few of those and have no problem with those. It's like, [when] I go to the movie, I like to have some chocolate-covered peanuts, you know? But I also like a heavy movie. But, whether you're doing a movie, whether you're singing a song, whether you're building a house... no matter what you're doing, you have to start with good material. A lot of people can swing a hammer, a lot of people can sing a song, and a lot of people can go show up and be in a movie... but if you're not picking good material, if you're not starting the project out with a great song or a great script or a great board, then the end result's not going to be what you want it to be."


Paisley Talks Music City With Billboard

Brad Paisley, who lost most of his music gear in the Nashville flooding disaster, recently went to to share his thoughts. In the article, Brad wrote, "I'm not alone. Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Brent Mason, John Fogerty and countless others lost instruments and more. And the most heartbreaking of all was the sight of a johnboat floating down the aisle of the Grand Ole Opry." Paisley went on to write, "But then the sun came out. And as Nashville started to dry, something beautiful began to happen. Volunteers, youth groups and churches flooded streets just like the Harpeth and Cumberland Rivers had only hours before. There wasn't any looting to speak of, no anger even." He added, "When I finally walk out onstage in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on the first date of the 'H2O Tour' - no need to point out the irony, thank you - it will mean so much more to all of us than any other tour we've ever done. Or probably ever will. I will stand up there more thankful than I've ever been for the people in the audience, the band at my back, the crew that makes it happen and the town I've never been prouder to represent."


Reba Honored This 4th Of July

Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker are among the artists who will perform on the 30th anniversary broadcast of A Capitol Fourth this 4th of July. reports that, as part of the show, Reba will be presented with the National Artistic Achievement Awardin recognition of her dedication to enriching the national legacy of the performing arts, in addition to her lifetime of musical contributions. The occasion marks only the fourth time that the award has ever been presented. Composer John Williams received the award in 2003; Gloria and Emilio Estefan were presented with the honor in 2005; Stevie Wonder received it in 2006. Also participating in this year's event will be The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, The U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Members of the Armed Forces and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C. The concert special will air on PBS on Sunday, July 4 at 8 PM, ET.


Wilson's Got Pictures To Prove It

Just because she's a famous country singer, doesn't mean Gretchen Wilson hasn't had a broken heart to mend at one time or another. Gretchen shares with AOL's The Boot,"Your first real love... when everybody's making fun of you saying, 'Oh, it's just puppy love.' Those are the ones that just hurt so bad! And you look back when you're an adult, and how you felt like somebody was just ripping your heart right out of your chest, and nobody understood... and it was over nothing more than he held hands with another girl. Those are the ones that really get you. I can't even imagine what I'm going to go through when my daughter starts feeling those things. I don't know how I'm ever going to deal with any young man. I'm going to hate them all."


When it comes to the importance of love to her nowadays, Wilson admits, "I just really don't have time for it. I always say that, but I don't want it right now. I've worked really hard to get myself where I'm at, and I've gotten to a really good spot where I feel like I'm being a full-time, 100 percent parent [to eight-year-old daughter, Grace]." When she does meet an interesting guy, though, his personality takes precedence over his looks, right? Gretchen quips, "Absolutely, always has. And I can prove that by photographs of the men I've dated! [laughs]"

Sharing The Love

Jason Aldean said that he hopes that his producer, Michael Knox – who also is Trace Adkins' producer now - is not all that the guys will share. Aldean expresses his desire to work with Adkins, saying, "I would love to collaborate with Trace at some point. I'm a fan of his, you know. One of the first tours I ever went out on was a CMT tour with Trace and we opened for him. And Trace is a cool guy, man. If it ever comes up where he asks me to come be a part of his album I would love it, and if anything ever comes up that I think he would work for on one of my records I'll definitely call him. And he one of those guys I'm glad I can call a friend... you know, he's a big dude." Trace's latest single "This Ain't No Love Song" hits radio stations today.


Steel Magnolia: Team Work

When Steel Magnolia's Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones paired up as a duo, they decided that they not only were in it for the long haul but that they never wanted to gravitate away from who they really are.Meghan shares with The Detroit News, "We didn't want to become something else. It wound up great for us." She adds, though, that "it's been a lot more work than either one of us expected." That hard work helped them attain a Top 10 hit on the country charts with "Keep On Lovin' You." Steel Magnolia is not only a music partnership, however; the duo is a couple as well. Linsey admits, "Yeah, it's a little crazy. But we're a little crazy, so it works. Obviously we fight, but we have a really good way of brushing things off. We really like each other a lot, and at the end of the day, we're friends." Steel Magnolia's self-titled EP was released in February. Look for their full-length debut album to hit stores this September.


Jerrod's Parents Predicted It

Jerrod Niemann has his first Top 20 hit as a country artist with "Lover, Lover." Having already established himself as a songwriter – one who is known for writing hits for Garth Brooks – it's likely no surprise to Jerrod's parents that he's achieved all that he has.


Niemann shares his take on his mom and dad's philosophy when he was growing up:


You know, since I was a kid, my parents said, 'You're either gonna be president, or in prison. You're either gonna make us a million or put us in the hole, or make us lose our house.' I mean, they were always saying, 'You're going to do something... ruin our lives or really make it great.'


Craig Likes Things Better Now

Craig Morgan is having a good time on the road with Carrie Underwood these days. Before Morgan found success as a country singer, though, he did just about every job there was, listing gigs such as a sheriffs deputy, dairy manager, construction worker, and even a certified EMT. The bills had to get paid, and he's got a pretty big brood at home to take care of, after all. So is working as a country star better than all the former day jobs? Craig quips, "It's working pretty good for me, yeah." His latest tune on the country charts is "This Ain't Nothin'."


Kellie's New Video

Kellie Pickler's new music video for her song "Makin' Me Fall In Love Again" made its world premiere on GAC's Top 20 Countdown on Friday night. Pickler shot the video in L.A. a couple months ago, which was physically a bit challenging for her. She shares with GAC, "That week, I'd sprained my ankle really bad and torn some ligaments in my ankle. So the whole day of the shoot, when I'd wear heels, every time they'd say, 'Cut!' I'd just have to take my shoe off. By the end of the day, my whole foot was so swollen, I couldn't even fit a shoe on it. There's a scene of me sitting on a couch in the video. I'm wearing one shoe and I had to hide my other foot because it was so swollen!"


Kellie chose the 1940s USO theme of the video for a reason, revealing, "I just love how beautiful the women were back then. I don't feel there was a pressure to be skinny and so deathly looking as what the pressure is now. The women were more 'womanly'-looking. They had curves. They had beautiful fair skin. It was just more natural. I love the clothes." She adds, "The way women were viewed back then is just so different than what the definition of beauty is today. I mean, people still always bring up Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe was not deathly skinny, you know? She had beautiful curves. She was a woman. So I wanted to embrace that. I just love the '40s. Beautiful clothes, beautiful people."



-- Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant chain will open its Twin Cities location - a 15,000-square-foot space at The Shops of West End lifestyle center in St. Louis Park – early next month. The chain currently has six locations across the country, with St. Louis Park and three other sites under development.


-- The 10th Annual Comcast "Jeff Fisher & Friends" Charity Softball Game is set for Sunday, June 13 in Nashville. The benefit takes place at Greer Stadium at 7 PM local time. The event will benefit the Soles4Souls Nashville Flood Relief, Nashville Children's Alliance, Mercy Ministries, Catch-A-Dream, 2nd Harvest Food Bank, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and several other local charities.


-- Laura Bell Bundy recently stopped by Pope John Paul II High School in the Nashville area to visit high school senior and aspiring singer/songwriter Michael Nelson. Laura Bell informed Michael during his lunch break that he would be performing a song on the Sports Zone Stage at this year's CMA Music Festival. Nelson will sing at 3:45 PM local time on Thursday, June 10 and then introduce Bundy to the stage.


-- Several items from the Opry's collection were untouched by the flood; they were moved to safety in the hours before the complex was flooded. Among those items are: a copy of the Nashville Banner announcing WSM radio's first broadcast day, the fiddle Opry patriarch Roy Acuff played during his first Opry performance, and a pair of shoes Minnie Pearl, the Queen of Country Comedy, wore during more than 50 years of performances.




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