Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum Join “Songs For Japan”

In what stands as a major global music relief effort to benefit those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, over 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music have joined together for the worldwide release of “Songs for Japan,” an unprecedented compilation of 38 chart-topping hits and classic tracks, available worldwide on the iTunes Store for $9.99 available now. 

Proceeds from the album’s sale will benefit the disaster relief efforts of the Japanese Red Cross Society.

The “Songs for Japan” track listing features an all-star lineup:
1.        John Lennon “Imagine” (Remastered)
2.        U2 “Walk On” (Radio Edit)
3.        Bob Dylan “Shelter From The Storm”
4.        Red Hot Chili Peppers “Around The World” (Live)
5.        Lady Gaga “Born This Way” (Starsmith Remix)
6.        Beyonce “Irreplaceable”
7.        Bruno Mars “Talking To The Moon” (Acoustic Piano Version)
8.        Katy Perry “Firework”
9.        Rihanna “Only Girl (In The World)”
10.        Justin Timberlake “Like I Love You”
11.        Madonna “Miles Away” (Live)
12.        David Guetta “When Love Takes Over” (feat. Kelly Rowland)
13.        Eminem “Love The Way You Lie” (feat. Rihanna) [Clean Version}
14.        Bruce Springsteen "Human Touch"
15.        Josh Groban "Awake" (Live)
16.        Keith Urban "Better Life"
17.        Black Eyed Peas "One Tribe"
18.        Pink "Sober"
19.        Cee Lo Green "It's Ok"
20.        Lady Antebellum "I Run To You"
21.        Bon Jovi "What Do You Got?"
22.        Foo Fighters "My Hero"
23.        R.E.M. "Man On The Moon"
24.        Nicki Minaj "Save Me" (Clean Version)
25.        Sade "By Your Side"
26.        Michael Buble "Hold On" (Radio Mix)
27.        Justin Bieber "Pray" (Acoustic)
28.        Adele "Make You Feel My Love"
29.        Enya "If I Could Be Where You Are"
30.        Elton John "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
31.        John Mayer "Waiting On The World To Change"
32.        Queen "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)" [Remastered]
33.        Kings Of Leon “Use Somebody”
34.        Sting “Fragile” (Live In Berlin)
35.        Leona Lewis “Better In Time”
36.        Ne-Yo “One In A Million”
37.        Shakira “Whenever, Wherever”
38.        Norah Jones “Sunrise”

Proceeds from “Songs for Japan” will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) to support its disaster relief efforts.

John Rich Tells Donald Trump He's Wrong

Donald Trump recently took responsibility for making Trace Adkins a star. 

John Rich had the nerve to explain to Trump that he had nothing at all to do with launching Adkins' career. "And I said, 'Well, uh, actually he was multi-platinum before he came on your show," Rich said in a recent radio interview. "He goes, 'No, no. Trace Adkins, he was basically no one.' And I look at him and I said, 'You know what? You're right. ... He basically was no one before your show. Thank you so much for putting him on here 'cause now we all get to hear his great voice.' And I just totally played along with it, like Donald Trump really thinks Trace Adkins was nobody before that show." 

So not only is he out there defending country fans, it looks like Rich has got Trace’s back, as well.

Country Weekly Fashion Show Returns

The 5th Annual Country Weekly Fashion Show & Concert will take place the evening of Tuesday, June 7, at Nashville's Rocketown.

Past participants have included Joe Nichols, Luke Bryan, Clay Walker, Chris Young, Lorrie Morgan and Tanya Tucker, among others. The event will benefit Musicians On Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to patients in health-care facilities. Stay tuned to and for more information on purchasing tickets to this year's event.

Jason Aldean and Business Team Join Billboard Event

Jason Aldean and key members of his business team will analyze his steady growth to success during an artist development case study to be presented at the Billboard Country Music Summit in Nashville on June 6. 

Aldean will be joined by other in the music industry during the discussion moderated by Billboard Magazine. With his debut single, "Hicktown" reaching the Top 10 in 2005, Aldean now has three platinum albums and has become a headliner at major arenas and amphitheaters. 

The two-day Country Music Summit will also offer panels on touring, songwriting, digital music and international opportunities, among others. The event concludes on June 7, two days prior to the CMA Music Festival.

Vince Gill & Amy Grant Cover AARP Magazine

Grammy Award-winning power couple Vince Gill and Amy Grant risked more than their reputations to be together. They speak exclusively with AARP The Magazine in a revealing conversation about their journey to become a couple, diverse upbringings, and the key to making marriage last.

“It was hard,” Gill said on the public speculation following both his and Grant’s divorces. “The kids, the popularity of our lives, a lot of tongues waggin’.” Eleven years later, Gill and Grant find themselves more in love than ever.

You can view AARP The Magazine issue featuring Vince and Amy online HERE

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garth Brooks Offers Secrets to Happy Marriage

Garth Brooks has offered advice to Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert on the secret to a happy marriage. Garth and Trisha Yearwood just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary, last December 10.

"If you are going to talk to anybody about anything, talk to your spouse," Garth tells The Boot. "That's it. No matter what. Even if it's about your spouse, it's all about communication. That's the secret."

Another secret Trisha shared is that when she and Garth married they made a vow to cherish his teenage daughters Taylor, August and Allie. The five of them always celebrate Garth and Trisha's wedding anniversary together.

"When we got married five years ago, we married the girls," Trisha tells People of Garth's daughters from his first marriage. "So the five of us always celebrate together."

Elizabeth Taylor Remembered Johnny Cash's Birthday Every Year

Rosanne Cash sent a Tweet Wednesday, the day Elizabeth Taylor died talking about her dad, The Man in Black and the Woman in White Diamonds (Elizabeth Taylor) were pals. 

Revealed Johnny Cash's daughter: "Every year Elizabeth Taylor sent my dad a telegram (yes, telegram) for his birthday. It said: 'Remember, I'm younger than you!' (by 1 day)". Rosanne Cash, 55, added, "I was with him one time when it arrived. He chuckled and showed me, said 'she sends this every year.' " 

Indeed, Taylor was right. While the country giant (who died in 2003, age 71), was born Feb. 26, 1932, the screen legend made her entrance the very next day. 

The Band Perry’s Kimberly Not Dating Jake Owen

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images/ Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Band Perry singer Kimberly Perry ,during a recent chat with KMPS ,dismissed any rumors about Jake Owen having given her a cold while in Nashville recently.

“Much to my chagrin, Jake Owen and I have not had a make out session! It was probably just our allergies,” Perry said. Despite their good fortunes, the trio remains remarkably grounded. “Instead of walking on clouds, we’re walking on some solid ground and there is this whole other sense of creative boldness that comes out of that and we feel an overwhelming responsibility to live up to the opportunities you have given us,” Perry declared regarding the fans.

Kenny Chesney Sees Himself In “Live A Little” Calls It A Concert Staple

Kenny Chesney calls "Live A Little" a song that really defines him. He explains, "Everybody that knows me knows I'm a very focused guy, I keep my eye on the ball, I work really hard, and I'm hands on a lot of times to a fault. But you do at some point have to set it down no matter what you do, and I'm still learning that even now." He adds that fans will definitely be hearing "Live A Little" when they see him in concert this year -- and for years to come. 

Kenny says, "This song will be in our show forever, it's going to be a staple. I'm going to keep reminding people through music that you've got to love life, and you've got to live it, and you can't work all the time." He adds, "And the tempo and the edginess of this song reflects our show to a tee."
Kenny is currently on the ‘Goin Coast” tour.

Eric Church & Wife Expecting First Child This Fall

Eric Church and his wife Katherine found themselves “sittin around waiting on two pink lines.”

Eric’s 2006 single “Two Pink Lines” was about the anxiety surrounding a pregnancy test, Church and his wife of three years are thrilled to announce that they are expecting their first child this Fall.

“Katherine and I are very excited and are looking forward to becoming parents,” shares Church. “This year has gotten off to an amazing start for us and this news has made it so much better than we could have ever anticipated.”

Church recently released his new single “Homeboy” (USA Today’s Pick Of The Week) from his third studio album to be released later this year. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reba McEntire’s Dad is Doing Better

Photo by David McDaniel/The Oklahoman
Reba McEntire says her father is improving after his stroke. She says “he’s responding and awake. So he’s doing a lot better.” 

He had the stroke just before the announcement March 1 that Reba would be inducted later this year into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Josh Kelley's Daughter Recognizes Dad's Song For Her

Josh Kelley says his little girl is getting to know one song on dad's new album called "Naleigh Moon", and he tells she knows her name when she hears it. 

Josh says "She loves it when I sing -- if I'm playing the piano or guitar, she'll come over and sing with me."  adding, "She's a really smart girl -- she'll come over and strum my guitar and even sing in the right key." But Kelley says that given a choice, his music isn't what Naleigh would pick. He admits, "I lose out to 'The Wiggles' and 'Yo Gabba Gabba.'" 

"Naleigh Moon" is on Kelley's new CD "Georgia Clay," which arrived in stores this week.

The Statler Brothers’ ‘Elizabeth’ Was Inspired by the Late Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away last week at age 79 after battling congestive heart failure, will always be remembered in a 1983 Statler Brothers ‘Elizabeth’. 

The Statler Brothers’ Jimmy Fortune admits that they are actually the ones who started the story. “We were in Tuscon, Arizona. Elizabeth Taylor was shooting a movie out there and got wind that we were there. She had heard the song, learned we were nearby, and called our management to see if we could meet.”

“We went to the site where they were filming her movie, she came on our bus, and I sat there and sang ‘Elizabeth’ as she sat across the table, and looked into those beautiful blue eyes,” he continues. ” I tell you she has the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen! Harold [Reid] was looking at her too, and this is how that story got started: He looked at her and said, ‘We wrote that song for you!’”

‘Elizabeth’ was a #1 song for the group.  The Statler Brothers won nine CMA Awards for Vocal Group of the Year between 1972 and 1984. In 2008, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Fortune continues to tour and record as the only active member of the retired group.

Lady Antebellum Hope To Continue Building Their Career With Third Album

Lady Antebellum is hoping for a lengthy and successful career. Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott explain that as they work on their next album they're not only focused on turning out quality material now, but for years to come. 

After its January 2010 release, "Need You Now" debuted at number one on the all-genre Billboard 200 and began a chart-topping run on the Country Albums chart that lasted nearly six months. The disc has also made several return trips to number one, and has yielded four hit singles. Earlier this year "Need You Now" took the GRAMMY for Best Country Album. 

Lady Antebellum has given no word on when they expect to have their third album ready for release.

Alan Jackson Signs With Capitol's EMI Records Nashville

Alan Jackson joined with Capitol's EMI Records Nashville in a joint venture between the label and his own ACR (Alan's Country Records). EMI will handle the release and marketing of Alan's future music.

"[Capitol/EMI Nashville President] Mike Dungan and I go way back," Alan says. "He was right there during my early days at Arista, and it's going to be great to work with him and his team there at Capitol. I'm happy to be joining the hottest label in Nashville."

Alan will be heading into the studio soon to begin work on his follow up to his 2010 album, 'Freight Train.'

Monday, March 28, 2011

Darius Rucker Holding Second Annual ‘Darius & Friends’ Concert Benefiting St. Jude

Darius Rucker will host the Second Annual ‘Darius & Friends’ benefit concert on Monday, June 6 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Downtown Nashville. Like last year, the event will take place during the week of the CMA Music Festival.

The inaugural event raised more than $48,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Rucker is hoping to better that amount with this year’s show.

“It’s extremely important to me to grow our annual benefit for St. Jude as I pledged to help each year with their fundraising efforts,” says Rucker. “CMA Music Fest is a great time to host the event because we reach so many of our core fans and St. Jude supporters.”

Rucker has not announced his “friends” joining him for the 2011 event. Tickets go on sale March 25.

Brad Paisley Book ‘The Diary of a Player’ Due In May

Brad Paisley will publish his first major book, titled The Diary of a Player, with Howard Books. The new book, set to release in May 2011, is a salute to the guitar gods of country, blues, and rock & roll who have shaped his life. 

The Diary of a Player is the very personal story of how Brad became who he is today. The essence of the book is captured in the liner notes he wrote for his instrumental album Play.

“When I was eight I got a gift from my grandpa. No coincidence that around that time I also got an identity. See, no matter how I have changed, learned and evolved as a person, the guitar has been a major part of it, and really the only constant. A crutch, a shrink, a friend, love interest, parachute, flying machine, soapbox, canvas, liability, investment, jackpot, tease, a sage, a gateway, an addiction, a recovery, backstage pass, pickup line, weapon of revenge, a makeover, compass, target, icebreaker, a temptress, a church, a voice, veil, armor, and lifeline. My grandpa knew it could be many of these things for me, but mostly he just wanted me to never be alone. He said if I learned to play, anything would be manageable, and life would be richer. You can get through some real tough moments with that guitar on your knee. When life gets intense, there are people who drink, who seek counseling, eat, watch TV, pray, cry, sleep, and so on. I play.”    

Reese Witherspoon & Robert Pattinson To Present At ACMs

The Academy of Country Music has scheduled actress Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson to present together as part of the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards which will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

Pattinson and Witherspoon, who star together in the film Water For Elephants which hits theaters next month, join previously announced presenters, Nancy O’Dell and Ryan Seacrest.

Toby Keith to Perform on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Toby Keith was surprised upon arriving home from a family vacation. He was informed that he will be performing on the newest season of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ which premiered Monday night. 

Toby Keith took to his official Twitter page yesterday and posted this a message: “Just back from spring break w/ family & heard I’m SINGING ON DWTS.” 

No official word has been released on when Keith will perform, but the performance was confirmed by Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron.

Craig Morgan Honored by Tennessee City Volunteer Fire Department

Four members of the Tennessee City Volunteer Fire Department (TCVFD) gathered backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn Saturday evening to recognize Country Music superstar and celebrated TV host Craig Morgan for his heroics last month in rescuing two small children from a house fire in Charlotte, Tenn.

“I’m humbled by this kind recognition from the Tennessee City Volunteer Fire Department and the National Volunteer Fire Council,” declares Morgan. “They are the real hometown heroes.”

Pictured left to right: TCVFD Training Officer Danny Tucker, Jr, TCVFD Chief Mike Grant, TCVFD Joe Murraca, Craig Morgan, TCVFD Lieutenant Brian Bretoi.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jason Aldean Learned Big Plays From the Best

Jason Aldean says throughout his career, he's found several other artists who have help him define that word ‘Entertainer’.

"I loved Alabama," Jason tells The Boot. "Randy Owen is one of the best entertainers I've ever seen. While I was growing up, it was watching guys like that, guys who not only sang but had a great show and worked the crowd into a frenzy. That, to me, is an entertainer."

Jason has also been fortunate to go out on tour with a few of the acts considered among the top entertainers in country music today. "Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Keith Urban -- I had the chance to watch their shows and pull bits and pieces from all of them," he notes. "All the time, I was thinking, 'when I get to this point [to headline my own show], it would be cool to do that, use that kind of video or those kind of lights and those kind of ramps.'"

Jason admits he's not sure what the experience of waiting for the award recipient to be called in the Entertainer of the Year category will be like. "That will be a new one for me; I'll have to get back to you on that," he jokes. "I'm looking forward to being there and being in the audience as a nominee. It's not something I'm going in thinking it's a shoo-in for me to bring either award home, but it's going to be cool to be there and nominated. The excitement that goes with the awards show will be a cool part of being at the show this year."

Want to Join Toby Keith on Tour?

You could win a new Ford F-Series Truck, tour with Toby for a weekend - including exclusive backstage access - and have the use of your very own tour bus.  Enter to win a chance to join Toby on tour & have the time of your life.

Register here to win, contest ends March 31st.

George Strait Wants You to Join Him for Red Shirt Friday

George Strait is wearing red – to show his support for our troops as part of Red Shirt Fridays. The mission of is to show support for our servicemen and women. It is not a political organization but a way to let our country’s servicemen and women know we support their sacrifice and will not forget them by wearing red on every Friday.

Strait, a veteran himself, wanted to join the efforts of and invite his fans and fellow Americans to do the same. “We are going to wear red shirts to every Friday’s tour date and we encourage the fans to do the same,” exclaims Strait. “I want to see a building full of red shirts if possible.” For more information visit  

George has 2 more Friday shows to encourage Red Shirt Fridays at his concerts before the current tour ends on April 9th in Louisville.

Alan Jackson Fans Looking for a “Good Time” Have a Chance to Win Big!

Alan Jackson’s hit song “Good Time” is currently featured in an upbeat television commercial for GE’s ecomagination technology initiative.

GE launched an online video contest in conjunction with the same concept. Fans can go here and a video message from Jackson will invite them to submit their own home videos of the line dance moves as seen in the ecomagination TV commercial.

All videos submitted will help GE donate 20 years of clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations through its affiliation with “Charity: Water,”, a non-profit organization.

For the next two months, fans can also vote for their favorite video and the final top 12 videos are chosen by their votes. The best line dance video, selected by GE, will win a GE ecomagination Home Appliance Makeover with up to $10,000 of eco-friendly GE appliances.

“Good Time” was originally written and recorded by Jackson for his platinum-selling album of the same name. The “Ecomagination Line Dance Contest” ends April 22, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm ET (“Contest Period”) with the deadline for video submission being the end of the Video Submission Period on April 8,  2011 at 11:59:59 pm ET.

Sara Evans Wants Another Baby, If Someone Close Will Be a Surrogate

Sara Evans has a total of seven children between herself and new husband Jay. In a recent chat with 99 Country, Sara (who has had three pregnancies) said, “We want a baby together, so bad. We’re planning to. I have to figure out the right time. I despise pregnancy. I am begging Jay to let us hire a surrogate but he’s not comfortable with that.”

Evans said she would prefer to have someone close to her carry the baby for her! “I would want it to be somebody I knew, like one of my sisters or a friend,” she said. “Someone I knew I could trust, who wouldn’t run off with my baby.” Evans’ hubby Jay Barker still isn’t feeling the idea as of now.

Evans will tour will Rascal Flatts this summer as part of Flatts Fest.

Country Stars Come Together To Help Japan

Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Josh Thompson, Phil Vassar, Randy Houser, Heidi Newfield, Randy Montana and Katie Armiger have partnered with GAC to show support for the people of Japan, filming public service announcements encouraging viewers to donate to the Red Cross as a way of supporting relief efforts, according to CMA Daily News.

"Just like the rest of the country, I stood in awe of the devastation and terror the earthquake and tsunami caused for Japan," Houser says. "As a bystander, it's hard to know how to help or where to contribute, so when GAC partnered with the Red Cross to raise awareness and funds for the displaced families, I knew I had to help. The PSAs will hopefully raise a lot of money for the relief efforts. I already texted my donation!"

Brad Paisley Says Working With Alabama Was 'Mind-Blowing'

Brad Paisley goes to Alabama for his latest single. "My next single has something that's really cool, I think, that we came up with when we were writing this new album," Brad told Albright & O’Malley partner Buffalo, N.Y. radio station WYRK. "We were writing a song that mentions a few things and realized that the perfect bridge for the song is the bridge from 'Mountain Music.' And so I contacted [Alabama member] Randy Owen and asked if he wanted to write it with us, and then got those guys back together. Instead of sampling a piece of 'Mountain Music,' I had those guys come in the studio and record it. It was one of the most mind-blowing experiences of my life."

Brad admits he was more than a little starstruck when he hung out in the studio with the legendary band. "That's the biggest group in the history of country music!" he gushes.

Carrie Underwood, Reba, Brad Paisley & More Celebrating George H. W. Bush’s Leadership In Washington D.C TONIGHT

Points of Light Institute has an event TONIGHT (March 21ST) celebrating President George H. W. Bush’s leadership in promoting the value of service and volunteerism in American life.

Taking place at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., “All Together Now – A Celebration of Service” will feature performances by Sheryl Crow, Cee Lo Green, Reba McEntire, Sam Moore, Brad Paisley, Kid Rock, Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood. 

The event will bring together all four former presidents for the first time since the inauguration of President Obama. President William J. Clinton will serve as the event’s honorary co-chair and will be joined by President and Mrs. George W. Bush and President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter. President Barack Obama, who is currently out of the country, will also participate through a video message highlighting the critical role of service in America.

NBC will broadcast the celebration on Monday, March 28 from 8 to 9 p.m. 

Cher Working On Country Album

Producer Mark Bright, who’s worked with many country artists including Carrie Underwood, has confirmed that Cher is recording a country album.

“Cher knows that her listeners also listen to country music, so she felt it was a natural thing to develop a country music relationship,” Bright told Silk and Denim Music (via

This album will be Cher’s first solo effort since her 2001 release, Living Proof.

Vote Jimmy Wayne into the Energizer Hall of Fame for Charity

Jimmy Wayne has made it into the top 100 Semifinalists for the Energizer Hall of Fame. If you head over to the Energizer Bunnies Facebook page by clicking here you can vote for Jimmy.

The Semifinalist who receives the most “LIKES” will be named a top 10 Finalist and be one step closer to the grand prize and charity donation!

Jimmy’s Bio for the contest:
After suffering through an abusive childhood, living in foster care and being homeless for a short time, Jimmy Wayne wanted to make a difference in the lives of those going through what he dealt with as a child. Jimmy started Project Meet Me Halfway to raise awareness of the fact that too many youth, especially those that are aging out of the foster care system, are facing challenging circumstances, similar to the ones he faced. With his unstoppable spirit, Jimmy even walked across America to raise awareness for the cause.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toby Keith Calls Daughter Krystal’s Music ‘Country as Cornbread’

Toby Keith‘s daughter Krystal makes music that is just that: country as cornbread.  Keith talked about recent recording sessions and likened his daughter to an era of country music gone by.

Keith said she’s a lot like him, saying, “She’s like me, she sings hard, and she’s just country as cornbread. I have to let her go with that.” He is pitching in with the songwriting process for his daughter, revealing, “The guys I write with have started bringing some ideas in, and we’ve been writing songs for her. It’s neat, I’ve never written songs from a girl’s eye. Writing songs about guys is easy, but we’ve written some nice stuff for her and she loves it.”

Krystal’s music influences are like Patsy Cline and it fits Krys. “I have to let her cut the best songs she can cut and let her do what she does best and not make something out of here that she’s not.’ She’s a throwback to the old stuff.”

Oprah Winfrey Offers Shania Twain Fans the Ultimate Prize Package

Oprah Winfrey is on the hunt for Shania Twain‘s ultimate fans. 
Go to Oprah’s official site and tell her why you love Shania. If your entry sets you apart as an ultimate fan, you may just win an in-studio seat during Shania’s next visit to ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’!

Email your story in 2000 characters or less, and you just may make it in the audience. This event is open to fans worldwide, except for those who have already attended a show this year or have tickets for an upcoming episode.

Wynonna Confirms Relationship With Highway 101 Drummer

Wynonna has a new beau in her life. CMT put the rumor this week. "Not a rumor.” she stated. "We've been together 18 months. So you heard it here, and it ain't no rumor!"

Cactus Moser The Highway 101 drummer, who also happens to be Julianne Hough's drummer, was once a session player in Los Angeles for Johnny Rivers, Firefall and several other contemporary Christian rock artists.

Sugarland Wants To “Bridge The Gap Between Genres”

Sugarland recently told Digital Spy that they have plans to expand their music beyond the country music genre.

“While we initially focused our efforts solely within the country music genre, now we think of ourselves as leaders of those who play around with the sound,” says Jennifer Nettles. ”When we started out, pop music wasn’t a hospitable place for our type of songwriting, but now things are changing and we want to bridge the gap between genres. That’s why we’re branching out!”

When asked if they’d be interested in future collaborations Jennifer and Kristian said they are open to it. “We’re up for anything, even something that’s a complete contrast like featuring a rapper,” Nettles says. “It’s all music and it’s there to be explored.” “We’re experts in collaborating because we have to collaborate with each other,” adds Bush.

Josh Kelley Co-Wrote Theme Song To CBS Show

Josh Kelley co-wrote the theme song to the popular new CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, which is just one of many of his compositions featured in TV shows and movies.

Josh, named by The Tennessean as one of “11 Artists to Watch in 2011,” will release his debut country album, Georgia Clay, This Tuesday March 22.

Georgia Clay is Josh’s most autobiographical album to date and powerfully describes the most important moments of his life, including his marriage to actress Katherine Heigl, their adoption of daughter Naleigh and the family’s move to Utah.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tim McGraw Surprises Injured Soldier

Tim McGraw recently posed a reporter in order to surprise a wounded solider.

Jared LaDuke lost a leg in an insurgent attack. Following numerous skin grafts and 20 surgeries, Operation Homefront -- an organization that provides emergency financial assistance to service members and their families -- arranged for temporary housing for Jared and his family in San Antonio, Texas.

When the young family arrived at their new apartment, they were under the impression that a reporter from Operation Homefront would be there to talk about their experience. Instead it was Tim, who welcomed them to a newly furnished apartment, complete with a room full of Thomas the Tank toys for Jared's 2-year-old son, Talon.

"When we walked in, the whole apartment is fully furnished with brand new stuff ... I was in shock," the soldier tells CMT. "Then Tim McGraw walks in a few minutes later. Like, as if a furnished apartment ain't enough? It was so surreal." Tim toured the apartment.  

Recently, the family received yet another surprise from Tim: a box full of even more Thomas the Tank Engine trains and tracks along with a note that read, "It was a real pleasure getting to meet you, Talon! Sincerely, Tim McGraw."

Blake Shelton Prepping For Honeymoon

Chris Pizzello, AP
Blake Shelton will make time for a honeymoon with his soon-to-be wife, Miranda Lambert, following their May 14 wedding.

"I tell you what: when you are getting married to Miranda Lambert, you're going to make time for whatever she wants," Blake tells "So that's a no-brainer. She'll have the wedding and the time with me she wants, whether I like it or not."

The bachelor party will not be in Las Vegas, "I think me and my buddies are going to take a camping trip somewhere," Blake reveals. "Maybe try to find something to go hunt. Turkey or bears or something like that. Something country. The last ten years of my life has been a bachelor party, so I don't need an extra one night to add to my life. I've had plenty of that stuff."

Big & Rich Touring with Gretchen Wilson and Others

Big & Rich are gearing up to launch a summer and fall tour with some of their buddies. “BIG$RICH$ Gretchen Wilson tour w/ Cowboy Troy and 2FootFred BOOKING UP NOW for summer/fall 2011!!” Rich tweeted Wednesday morning confirming the news.

The 2011 Xtreme Muzik tour is the first time Big Kenny and Rich have joined forces in three years. Both went on a brief hiatus while Big Kenny recovered from a neck injury and Rich released a solo project, ‘Son of a Preacher Man,’ on Warner Bros. Records.

While dates are still filtering in for the big reunion tour of Big & Rich and their Muzik Mafia family of friends, a handful have been confirmed and posted to the official website set up for the tour. 

Xtreme Muzik Tour Dates:
6/25 – Walker, Minn. | Moondance Jam Fairgrounds
7/2 – Denver, Colo. | Wells Fargo Theatre
7/16 – Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada | Craven Country Jamboree
8/2 – Whites Creek, Tenn. | The Woods at Fontanel
9/3 – Pontiac, Mich. | Great Lakes Agricultural Expo

Sara Evans Tops Chart With 'Stronger'

Sara Evans' first all-new album in five years, 'Stronger,' becomes her second consecutive No. 1 disc on the Billboard country album chart with first-week sales topping 55,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

The collection also becomes Sara’s second to reach the Top 10 on the multi-genre Billboard 200, bowing at No. 6. Her 2006 album, 'Real Fine Place,' topped the country chart and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

Jason's Aldean's platinum (million-selling) 'My Kinda Party' hangs at No. 2 for the week, with Lady Antebellum's triple-platinum 'Need You Now' remaining at No. 3. Aaron Lewis, the Staind frontman 'Town Line,' is No. 4 this week, with Rascal Flatts' 'Nothing Like This,' rounding out the top five.

Also debuting this week, at No. 8, Kenny Rogers' inspirational album, 'Love of God,' on sale at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. 

2011 CMT Music Awards To Take Place On June 8

The 2011 CMT Music Awards will take place on Wednesday, June 8, in Nashville, the day before the CMA Music Festival officially kicks off.

Monday, March 21, 2011

20th Anniversary of Reba McEntire’s Darkest Hour

Russ Harrington
March 16th, Reba took time out to remember the friends she lost 20 years ago, posting a special tribute landing page. 

It was on March 16th in 1991, that a jet, containing seven of Reba?s band members and road manager, as well as the pilot and co-pilot, crashed into Otay Mountain, near San Diego, CA, killing all 10 people on board. “By far this is my darkest hour, the most awful thing that ever happened in my life,” she told People just days after the accident. “When you have eight people that you absolutely love and their lives are just wiped out -- it's devastating.” 

[from PEOPLE] The twin-engine Hawker Siddeley took off about 1:45 am from Brown Field, a municipal airstrip in southern San Diego and crashed a few minutes later, according to articles about the accident. Only four hours before, guitarist Chris Austin, 27, backup singer Paula Kaye Evans, 33, bassist Terry Jack-son, 28, bandleader Kirk Cappello, 28, guitarist Michael Thomas, 34, drummer Tony Saputo, 34, and keyboardist Joey Cigainero, 27, had performed a 75-minute set with Reba at a convention for IBM at San Diego's Sheraton Harbor Is-land Hotel. Among their last songs to perform was one of Reba?s favorites, Patsy Cline?s "Sweet Dreams,” which she vowed never to perform again. The next night, they were booked for a show in Fort Wayne, Ind.  

Reba skipped the flight after her husband and manager, Narvel Blackstock, urged her to stay behind and get a good night?s sleep as she was recovering from a case of bronchitis. They planned to fly to Fort Wayne the next day. Band members Joe McGlohon and Pete Finney took off from Brown Field in a different plane, just minutes behind the other jet. Around 2:30am, the phone rang in their hotel room while they were sound asleep, and their pilot asked Narvel to come to his room, where he informed him of the tragic news. The most difficult time in both Reba and Narvel?s lives was about to follow – informing the families that their loved ones weren't making it back home.

Ronnie Dunn’s First Solo Single - “Bleed Red”

Ronnie Dunn’s ‘Bleed Red’ from his upcoming solo album was written by Tommy Lee James and Andrew Dorff.

“This song knocked me out from the first listen. I genuinely felt the spirit of the lyrics in my gut. It’s a really big song, and it needed to be sung,” Dunn said.

Little Big Town Is a Class Act with Learning Power

“Some people take the really short road to success, and some take the really long road,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild told students at Nashville’s Belmont University Monday (March 14). “We are a band that took the long road.”

Little Big Town met with students to share tales of their musical journey as part of the Country Music Association’s new education-based initiative, CMA EDU. Karen, who is a CMA Board member, jumped at the chance to be involved with educating students in the music business.

Belmont University hosts the pilot program for the initiative, which includes workshops, seminars, leadership training and networking opportunities. More than 100 students are currently signed up for the program.

Martina McBride Releases “Teenage Daughters” To Country Radio

Martina McBride just released a brand new single. The song, titled “Teenage Daughters,” was co-written by McBride and The Warren Brothers.

The tune has a universal theme of children coming of age and parents trying to survive their offspring’s transformation into adulthood while reflecting back to their own lost adolescence. While every adult has experienced these tumultuous teenage years – either from the teenager’s perspective, parent’s or both – this topic, told from both a mom and dad’s perspective, is a surprisingly unique and fresh angle for country music.

“Almost everybody goes through it,” says McBride. “So I’m not surprised when people tell me how much they relate to this song…even the dads who were ‘Prince Charming’ in their little girl’s world until she discovered boys. They all get it. This is every day life and it’s why I love country music – It touches us right at the heart of what we are feeling or dealing with on a daily basis.”

She adds, “I love the fact that ‘Teenage Daughters’ blends humor, sass and sweetness. It shows a very real side of my personality that I’m not sure I’ve shown in a song before. It’s definitely a very personal song and, to me, it just feels like an honest conversation between mothers and fathers of teenage daughters everywhere.“

McBride has co-written seven more tracks for her new album (due out this fall). The CD will be a first in many ways – first on a new label, first working with her co-producer Byron Gallimore (Faith Hill, Tim McGraw) and first to have written the majority of the material herself.

McBride acknowledges “I won’t sing a song unless I can tell the story or relate to the lyric and I don’t believe you have to write the lyric to relate to it. But this album shows so many sides of my personality and the fact that I wrote most of it will make it interesting and fun for my fans.” 

Miranda Lambert Has Online Boutique

Miranda Lambert has a online boutique featuring clothes, shoes, and accessories, all of which have been hand-picked by Miranda.

“Although most of my time is spent in jeans and a t-shirt, on occasion I love to get dressed up. Whether it’s for red carpet events or a performance out on the road, I love to mix my girly side with my more rock n’ roll side,” Miranda says.

Click HERE to check out Miranda’s Boutiques page.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Darius Rucker, PGA Tour Will Honor Military

Darius Rucker and the PGA Tour will recognize area members of the military during the Players Championship tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on May 11, in honor of Military Appreciation Day. 

Rucker will conclude the evening ceremony on the tournament's Sawgrass Clubhouse lawn with a concert dedicated to the military and their families. All active duty, reserve and retired military personnel and their dependents will be admitted free during the ceremony, as well as the tournament. 

Tickets for the general public will be $20 for the May 11 events, including a practice round for the tournament's participants.

Jewel Credits Her SUV For Keeping Her Safe In Crash

Jewel is crediting her vehicle for protecting her and her unborn child in a crash last Friday in Stephenville, Texas. Her SUV was struck by a volunteer fire truck. She's kept fans up to date via Twitter. Following her trip to the emergency room Jewel reported that, "everything is fine-me & the baby r ok." 

She then said, "Just a little sore and banged up- but feeling so blessed," and added, "1 thing I do know is my car saved my & baby's life-definitely going 2 get another Cadillac SRX! It absorbed all the damage & kept me safe!" 

Jewel's baby, the first for her and her rodeo star husband Ty Murray, is due later this year.

Country Music Tweeting Support For Red Cross, Victims Of Japan Quake

Country Music is using Twitter to send messages of hope to those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week.

Sara Evans and Wynonna, who are members of the American Red Cross' National Celebrity Cabinet, are also reminding people that the charity is helping out -- and urge support for the organization. Evans tweets, "Give to the @redcross and Pray for those affected by the #tsunami!" Wynonna adds, "My thoughts are with tsunami watch/warning areas. @RedCross has a Safe and Well site to register yourself so loved ones know you're ok." 

Reba McEntire, another Celebrity Cabinet member, writes, "My prayers go out to the country and everyone affected by the earthquake in Japan." 

Chris Young, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Jo Dee Messina, and Taylor Swift are some of the other country stars also tweeting in support of the earthquake and tsunami victims.

Blake Shelton Reveals His Dream Duet Partners

Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Blake Shelton duet partner list widely varies and seems to keep growing.

Shelton cited pop singer Katy Perry as a favorite duet partner, saying he would look forward to starring in a video with Katy.

Shelton most recently recorded a duet for the Brad Paisley’s new album, and also recorded a song with Lionel Richie for the his upcoming duets album.

Blake has already worked with many artists on his dream duet list saying, “I’ve already had the chance to record with the Bellamy Brothers. And of course Trace [Adkins], I mean believe it or not, he is one of my heroes.” He adds, “I would love to record with George Strait and Earl Thomas Conlee would be awesome.”

Blake met Conlee for the first time years ago, it was for a writing appointment at Conlee’s house. In order to stay awake for the drive there, Shelton drank two pots of coffee. He jokes, “When I got to his house, the first thing I did after meeting him was ask him if I could use his bathroom. When I got in there the only thing I could think of was, ‘I’m using Earl Thomas Conley’s toilet!’”

Blake will open for Brad Paisley on his H20 II World Tour along with Darius Rucker and Jerrod Niemann, which kicks off May 28th at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
He and Reba McEntire will be co-hosting the ACM Awards on April 3, and Shelton has also been confirmed as the fourth and final judge for the new musical competition series ‘The Voice,’ which will debut April 26 on NBC.