Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vacation With Kenny

Kenny Chesney’s “Goin’ Coastal” Tour is traveling to many destinations in America and Kenny is humbled by the dedication of the fans who come to see him.

Kenny says that he never imagined a time when there would be families who would actually plan their vacations around seeing him perform.

“It’s an odd thing to hear…have somebody tell you that this is their family vacation. I’ve had…I mean, it’s happened countless times that they have saved to come to a show, and it’s part of…it’s not just their vacation, it’s part of their vacation, but for that, for them to think that much of it and to be that passionate about it and to want to come experience it, it still is the best thing in the world for us.”

Loretta Lynn And Ghosts

Loretta Lynn has said for a long time that she believes her Hurricane Mills, Tennessee plantation house is haunted.  Now fans will get the chance to possibly catch a glimpse of what Loretta's been talking about all these years.

Zak, Nick, and Aaron from Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel recently got the chance to perform their very first celebrity ghost investigation when they visited Loretta's home.  Not only did the trio get to investigate her home, but Loretta makes an appearance on the show to help explain some of the encounters she has had at the house.

Reportedly, the ghost hunter gang got some pretty interesting evidence including a voice clearly calling out Loretta's name.

Loretta's episode will air on the Travel Channel June 10th.

Sunny Sweeney Loves H2O

Sunny Sweeney is excited to join Brad Paisley on another round of his H2O Tour.

Brad Paisley's tour will have special guests Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Jerrod Niemann, Sunny Sweeney, Edens Edge and Brett Anderson.

Sunny Sweeney talks about receiving the call to join Paisley on tour:

“I thought there had to be another Sunny Sweeney that they meant to be talking to!” Sweeney told Taste of Country. “I was like, ‘Do … what?’ I mean, seriously! I go, ‘Huh?’ I honestly could not believe it because that’s a pretty big step. I haven’t even gotten to my seven-year anniversary of my first show, and now I’m going to be on tour with Brad Paisley? It’s crazy. I’m completely flattered and blown away.”

Sweeney also hears that those on Paisley’s Tour eats good.

“I’ve heard the catering is amazing, so I’m excited about that because clearly I like food! I don’t know if you can tell, but I definitely love it [laughs]! My butt can tell!”

Garth's New Vegas Dates

Another new round of shows for Garth Brooks at the Wynn Las Vegas has been announced.

Garth Brooks has performed to sold-out crowds and rave reviews at the intimate Encore Theater at since December 2009.

Tickets (On Sale Now) are available exclusively at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-877-65-GARTH.

Concert Dates
August 19, 20
September 9, 10
September 23, 24
October 7, 8
October 21, 22
November 4, 5

Concert times

Fridays: 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Paltrow Deal Is Pulled

Gwyneth Paltrow was expected to have a record deal worth close to a million dollars with Atlantic Records but, reportedly, the label has taken the offer off the table.

"Atlantic was not the only company pursuing her, and she still has not decided if she wants to record an album," a rep for Gwyneth tells the New York Post, adding that it "is still something she is considering."

Gwyneth admitted some concerns with singing in the past. "I think, 'How would I do that?' Just a record by myself feels a little scary to me," she admited. "I would like to in theory, but we'll see."

Gwyneth recently released her very first cookbook this year, 'My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness,' as a way to pay tribute to her late father, Bruce Paltrow.

"[The book is] about how we found this love of cooking together and about his sort of bringing our family together and to look for joy, like having a great glass of wine or a great meal with the people you love," she told The Boot. "That was sort of the impetus to write the cookbook. Between that and everything else, my plate's full right now."

Gwyneth can next be found on the big screen in her upcoming film, 'Contagion,' co-starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law.

The movie is scheduled for a fall release.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Idol Comes To Nashville

John Rich has given his opinion towards Country being embraced by American Idol and the two finalists of American Idol.  The winner, Scotty McCreery and runner up Lauren Alaina.

As for the fact that both ‘Idol’ finalists were country on Idol this year, Rich said, “Yeah, that’s a testament I think to country music — how big the country music fan base is now.” He went on to say, “Both of those artists are incredibly gifted artists and I promise you when they come to Nashville, everybody’s arms will be wide open.”

90 million votes were cast last week, and the results marked a first for the singing competition. They shattered that record with 122 Million Votes in the final!

Rich predicts, “They’re still gonna have a hard route because country music fans are very discerning.” “They [country fans] know what they’re listening to,” Rich continues. “But these artists are great and now they’re gonna have to come to Nashville and make great records, original songs and songs that really say who they are, and not cover songs.”

Doobies And Luke Bryan Hookup

Luke Bryan will join the Doobie Brothers for an episode of ‘Crossroads’ set to air June 24 on CMT. The popular series matches country acts with artists from rock and other genres.

“I am really excited to perform on stage with the Doobie Brothers,” says Luke Bryan. “Their music was such an iconic part of my growing up. I bet most Americans can hear a particular Doobie Brothers song and have it take them back to a certain time and place in their life … and the best thing is, they are still creating great music today!”

“We are so pleased, and fortunate to be able to share the stage with Luke Bryan on ‘Crossroads,’” adds Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers. “We love the challenge of performing such wonderfully crafted songs with an artist like Luke and his band. He’s one of the most exciting artists on the country music scene these days.”

Lady A Turns Soothsayer

Lady Antebellum is enjoying the latest music being released out of Nashville. "That new Blake Shelton song ('Honey Bee') is a monster. I love it. It's such a good song," says Lady A's Charles Kelley. "There is so much good new stuff. I think Easton Corbin keeps putting out great music. I'm excited about hearing some of his new stuff."

"We listen to a lot of country radio," notes Dave Haywood, "and we are always interested to hear when new people like Steel Magnolia or Thompson Square come out, and we're like, 'Wow, that's really cool.' We know Chris Young and couple of these other guys that are just killing it with No. 1s. Luke Bryan ... over and over. We're obviously big fans of all of these guys."

Lady Antebellum anticipate that Luke Bryan is getting ready to explode. "Luke is going to be, and I'm not just saying this because we are such good friends, but I feel like Luke is poised to be the next big male artist," says Charles. "He is right there, he and obviously Blake, too."

Hillary, has some thoughts on the next it group. “A brand-new band that just got signed, and I've just become friends with them because they played a couple of shows with us, [called] Eden's Edge. They are just three really sweet people, and really, really talented. It's much more of a grass-roots, kind of bluegrass-based vibe, which I think is a breath of fresh air. I just wish them well, I love them."

Lady Antebellum, who just took home the trophy for Top Country Song for 'Need You Now' at the Billboard Music Awards, are set to hit the road June 2 in Thackerville, Okla.

Freedom For All

One of our greatest freedoms as Americans is the Freedom of Speech. There's a campaign going on as we speak to inform Americans of their rights. Brad Paisley's now a part of it.

1 for All is a non-partisan, educational campaign that was launched in 2010 to address a general lack of awareness by the American public about the five freedoms afforded by the First Amendment. Tuesday, 1 for All announced that Brad Paisley had joined their fight to get the word out. Brad says about joining the movement, "Freedom is what makes America great," said Paisley. "I count myself blessed to live in a country where I can exercise that right every day, whether I'm writing, recording or performing."

Brad isn't the only country supporter of the 1 for All campaign, Mary Chapin Carpenter was one of the first performers to throw their support behind the campaign by appearing in earlier ads.
For more details on the 1 for All campaign, visit 1forall.

Blake Shelton--Storm Chaser

Blake Shelton says he could see himself as a storm chaser. 

"I was at my house and you could tell it was kind of getting dark outside," Blake tells The Boot. "I turned on the TV and saw that there was a storm moving in. I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to this, but the local volunteer fire department gave me one of their radios so I could hear what they're doing. I turned on the radio and the more I listened about this storm, the more I realized that there was a tornado in it. It was coming, literally, directly to my house. Being the smart guy that I am, I walked outside and stood in the driveway so I could see it."

Blake continues." Once it moved past my house and got out on the prairie, it just gained a lot of momentum and got stronger and stronger, and I think it ended up killing two people out there and destroyed the school. I drove through there, and it was amazing the damage it had done."

Fans can text "OKGIVE" to 27722 to make a one-time $10 donation, which will be added to their monthly cell phone bill. Funds will be donated to the mGive Foundation for the benefit of the Tushka Disaster Relief Fund.

Craig Morgan On Disappearing and Bin Laden

Craig Morgan spent years in the U.S. Army's Airborne division and was happy about the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death was made.

"I don't care about where they buried his body, or any of that," Craig tells The Boot. "The fact that he's dead and gone is a wonderful thing for this world -- not just our nation and their nation -- period. He's a bad guy, and he deserved to die, and he did."

Craig's opinion stands, despite the fact that it took a decade from the terrorist attack on 9/11 for bin Laden to meet his end. "I don't think it was strange that the search took that long at all," he continues. "America, we as a people are very ignorant, because we think everything that happens over here is the way that things happen everywhere else, and it's not that way. The images that you see on TV cannot do justice to the terrain and what takes place in Afghanistan, Pakistan and that region. I could disappear in Pakistan, and I'm a Caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes! People have no idea how simple it is. That would be like me going to New York. Let me go to New York, and I'll bet you I could disappear for 10 years and you couldn't find me!"

Fans will get another look at Craig in his element when the second season of his new show, 'Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors,' begins airing on the Outdoor Channel June 25.

The show features Craig doing all the things he loves, from motocross racing to big-game hunting, and has become one of the network's top-rated shows.

Craig is also in the studio working on a new full album for Black River Entertainment, which is due out early next year, and will feature his brand new single, 'This Ole Boy.'

Niemann And His iPod

Jerrod Niemann is not shy about his iPod music list because there are no such things as guilty pleasures for the singer.

When chatting with a Detroit radio station recently, Niemann said, “I don’t have embarrassing songs. My iPod, it’s pretty dear to me, so I am not embarrassed. My parents owned a roller skating rink while I was growing up, so there are those songs. And some old-school Tupac, the song, ‘Me Against the World, ‘ and old-school stuff, like ‘Walk This Way,’ with Run DMC and Aerosmith.”

Jerrod also likes indie rockers Vampire Weekend and also encouraged people to send him songs because he might end up storing them on his portable device.

Niemann recalled his first meeting with Garth Brooks. Niemann has provided Brooks with a batch of songs he had written. He eventually had a face-to-face with Brooks saying, “I went to his house and he really makes you feel comfortable.”

Reba And Blake Versus Tornados

Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton, both hailing from Oklahoma, has promoted them to reach out to the tornado affected area.

Reba McEntire was born just outside of Kiowa, which is approximately 30 miles away from the greatest devastation.

Blake Shelton was born in Ada and currently resides in Tishomingo, less than 50 miles from the Atoka County border.

Reba and Shelton hosted the “Tornado Relief Concert” Wednesday and Thursday in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Choctaw Casino Resort as a way to help their hometown friends.

“A lot of people lost a great deal in this disaster and it’s particularly close to us because we both consider Oklahoma home,” said Reba. “We wanted to do something and let the people in Oklahoma know that we love them and we’re praying for them during this difficult tragedy.”

“Oklahoma defines who I am and seeing the effects this disaster has had on my neighbors, I knew I had to do something,” said Shelton. “Reba and I have a lot of love for this state and we wanted to do what we can to help. This place is my home and these people are family to us.”

In addition to the proceeds raised from the concert, a special mobile fundraising campaign has been set up with The mGive Foundation to raise funds for relief efforts.

Clint Eastwood Makes Brad's Day

Brad Paisley's new album, This Is Country Music, features a special appearance from his friend Clint Eastwood.  Clint actually whistles on the instrumental track "Eastwood."

Brad and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley met Clint and his wife Dina several years ago at the White House. Brad and Kimberly also honeymooned at a mission ranch Clint owns in California, and they ended up spending the weekend with the Eastwoods. Brad says, "I never dreamed I'd ever get to know him like that, you know. Got to have many hour-long conversations with him about things, and our friendship was born."

Brad keeps in touch with the Eastwoods pretty regularly these days. Dina recently attended an American Idol taping and sent a shout-out to Brad from American Idol winner Scotty McCreery.

Scotty and booted Idol finalist James Durbin actually performed Brad's duet with Keith Urban, "Start a Band," recently, and Brad says it was "really wild to see them do it." He adds, "Waiting on the royalty check on that."

Behind Miranda Lambert's Music on VH1

This August marks the 14th anniversary of VH1′s “Behind The Music”. To celebrate, a brand new cycle of shows will debut starting next month.

Among the artists being featured is country’s current queen, Miranda Lambert. The show will also spotlight Adam Lambert, Ice Cube, Missy Elliott, Ricky Martin, Mary J. Blige, and Enrique Iglesias.

Behind The Music: Miranda Lambert Premieres Wednesday, July 13 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The "Voice" Will Turn Two

‘The Voice‘ is coming back for season two, NBC revealed when it announced its 2011-2012 primetime lineup. The hit singing competition will return as a mid-season program on Monday nights.

With the current first season scoring big ratings, ‘The Voice’ will return for another season Mondays at 8-10PM ET for the second half of NBC’s 2011-12 schedule.

It’s unclear whether Blake Shelton and the rest of the celebrity coaches — Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine — will return, too.

“With a powerful new asset like ‘The Voice’ already in hand, we go into the 2011-12 season with cautious but incredible optimism,” says NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt.

‘The Voice’ will be followed on Mondays by the new musical drama ‘Smash,’ which airs from 10-11PM ET.

The show stars ‘American Idol‘ runner-up Katherine McPhee as a young theater performer who is competing for the lead role on a Broadway show with stage veteran Ivy Bell (played by Megan Hilty).

In the fall, the 8-10PM ET time slot on Mondays will be occupied by NBC’s other singing competition, ‘The Sing-Off,’ which features a cappella groups.

Neal McCoy Is Back In The Studio

Neal McCoy's next album, the singer's 11th studio disc, will be released on Blaster Records.

Neil, who has three platinum albums to his credit, first broke through in 1994 with the album, 'No Doubt About It,' scoring back-to-back No. 1 singles with the title track and 'Wink.' He notched an additional seven Top 10 hits and continues to tour heavily, having twice been named Entertainer of the Year at the TNN/Music City News Awards (in 1998 and 1999).

McCoy was first discovered in 1981 at a talent contest hosted by Janie Fricke, landed an opening spot on tour with Charley Pride.

He released his first book, 'A New Mountain to Climb: Heroes I've Met and the Mountains They Climb Every Day.'in November last year.

He also continues his work with the East Texas Angel Network, which he and his wife Melinda founded 16 years ago, to aid critically-ill children.

Willie's Got The Fourth Down

Willie Nelson is bringing his popular Fourth of July picnic back to the Fort Worth Stockyards this year to wrap-up to the Country Throwdown Tour.

The Stockyards hosted the picnic from 2004-2006, and this year the festivities will break new ground as they will take place inside and outside of famed nightclub Billy Bob's Texas.

The final stop of the Throwdown tour will feature performances by Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, and Craig Campbell. The picnic will also feature performances by traditional guests including Ray Price and David Allan Coe.

Willie has also teamed up with Wynton Marsalis on a new Ray Charles tribute album, 'Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles.'

It's the second time the two have collaborated on disc. In 2007, they teamed up for a special jazz album recorded live at Lincoln Center. This time, they brought Norah Jones, and she sings on such familiar Ray Charles classics as 'Come Rain or Come Shine' and 'You Don't Know Me.'

All three team up for rousing versions of 'What I'd Say' and 'Hit The Road, Jack' on the new collection.

Really? An Official Tour Tractor?

Rodney Atkins whom penned the song, “Man on a Tractor,” shares those same fundamental ideals with a company that boasts more tractors on the job worldwide than any other brand.

In 2011, Massey Ferguson® 
(www.masseyferguson.com) will proudly be the “official tractor” of Rodney Atkins.

“I’ve never been one to stray far from my roots on the farm,” said Atkins. “And hard work and love of the land are a big part of that. I was raised with a love and devotion for this country and the principles it was founded upon.”

Throughout the year, Atkins will be involved in activities ranging from national advertising to dealer tie-ins, social media campaigns, contests and national Farm Shows bringing this ball-cap-donning “regular guy” who just happens to rack up a slew of country hits among the hardworking farmers who share his ideals.

Trace Adkins Movie Star

Trace Adkins is becoming quite the Hollywood must-have.  Trace's IMDB profile has revealed two new movies that he's tied to - the first he's already shooting the Wyatt Earp Movie .

The first is "The First Ride of Wyatt Earp" where Trace plays the unfortunately-named Milflin Kenedy.

Val Kilmer plays the title character, Wyatt Earp. Google description: The First Ride of Wyatt Earp is based on a true story where an elderly Earp sits down with a reporter and reflects on the ride that made him a legend. A story of a young marshal who rounded up a posse in order to track down the outlaw who mistakenly murdered the woman he loved.

The second movie is called "Palominas" and IMDB lists Trace as being "rumored" to play Judge Guilt Roads.
Since the movie is apparently just in pre-production, this role isn't set in stone yet.  The IMDB description says: Rancher and down-trodden Sheriff confront hired gunmen on the Mexico border at the end of the 19th century.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Million Plus In Apprentice Cash

Marlee Matlin and John Rich were trying to be the Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night for Donald Trump.

In an episode that began with two men literally rolling out a red carpet in front of Donald Trump as he walked down the streets of New York City, and continued with Gary Busey hijacking the live show so he could talk about his Omaha Steaks kite, Marlee and John fought to finish on their 7UP Retro ad campaign.

In the end, however, only one could win. That one was John Rich, who overcame not greeting Trump and the 7UP execs, and announcing Def Leppard a full 20 minutes early, to be named the Celebrity Apprentice and win $250,000 for his charity, St, Jude Children’s Hospital.

It's Charlie Sheen's Fault

Taylor Swift was part of a public outcry back in 2009 when police blocked off roads, ran their sirens, and gave Taylor an escort all so she could catch a flight to a Britney Spears concert.

It's not uncommon at all for stars to get police escorts here and there, but the people of Washington, D.C. aren't going to stand for it any longer...and the stars can thank Charlie Sheen for that.

Back in April, Charlie got a high-speed police escort from the airport to one of his shows in Washington, D.C. (or vice versa depending on which story you read).  Charlie thought it was funny and Tweeted a picture of him in the back of a police car being driven 80 mph.  Now the whole incident is under investigation.

The Charlie investigation has led to an even bigger investigation of all celebs who have received escorts in the past.  Seems Washington, D.C. has a habit of renting out their police for escorts and the D.C. Police Chief wants to put a stop to it.

In the investigation that the Associated Press dug up, Taylor Swift is named specifically because she received a police escort on June 1, 2010, the night she performed at Verizon Center. Others mentioned include computer guru Bill Gates and rapper Jay-Z.

In defense of the celebrities, they did "rent" the police and some paid as high as $80,000 for an escort.

Hooked On Boating

Kenny Chesney likes spending free time in one of his boats. He recorded a song titled 'Boats' for his 'Lucky Old Sun' album, and it includes the lines, "vessels of freedom/harbors of healing," which explains his love for the hobby.

"That line came from a gentleman and his daughter I met in St. Croix," Kenny explains in the June issue of Boating magazine. "I think anybody who has a boat has an emotional attachment to it. It has a way of healing a person and gives him a sense of freedom. That's where I feel the most freedom -- and it's helped me heal something that needed healing."

Kenny currently has two Sea Rays, a 56- and a 60-footer, although he admits he's a little bit more fond of the 60-foot boat. One of his favorite boating memories is right after he purchased his first vessel.

"My manager and some buddies and I left Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., says Kenny. "The idea was to drive as far as we could toward the Virgin Islands. We made it farther, all the way to Georgetown in the Cayman Islands. It was a very peaceful time, [and] I had a lot of people I loved with me."

When he has some time to spend on his boat near his beloved islands, Kenny says the day usually involves "a little bit of suntan oil, a whole lot of music, and at 2 o'clock it's usually a cold beer out of the cooler. At some point a guitar comes out, and I either write a song or I don't."

Kenny also raises awareness and funds for the Coastal Conservation Association with a line of sunglasses he helped design with Costa Del Mar.  The limited edition sunglasses are available in five styles named after some of Kenny's songs, including 'Poets and Pirates' and 'No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.'

Darius And Friends Too

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.

Toby Hits It Long And Straight

Toby Keith was in 'Denim and Diamonds' for the Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic event. The themed fundraiser, raised money to build temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Proceeds will be donated to the OK Kids Korral, a foundation started by the Okie. The event has been a staple of Toby's humanitarian efforts for the past eight years.

Sugarland, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Jimmy Buffett have all offered concert experiences for the auction block. Miranda Lambert also donated four autographed bottles of her private label wine.

"We are doing our best to address issues that arise while a child is in treatment, such as weakened immune systems and sensitivity to light," explains Keith on his involvement with the cause. "More than anything, we want it to be a home of inspiration, encouragement and hope."

Toby's involvement with pediatric cancer began after suffering the loss of Allison Webb, the daughter of Keith's friend and original bandmate Scott Webb.

To learn more about all of Toby Keith's goodwill efforts, you can visit his official website here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Underwood Is Down Under

Carrie Underwood has yet to travel Australia, but is headed there to promote the June 10 deluxe release of her third studio album, 'Play On.'

"I am really looking forward to my first trip to Australia!" says Carrie, who hopes to squeeze in some sightseeing in between appearances. "I can't wait to meet my fans Down Under, and hope to make some new fans too! I've always dreamed of playing in Australia, and hope to have time to explore some of the sights this amazing country has to offer!"

The deluxe edition includes all 13 tracks that appear on standard version of Play On'' as well as six previous No. 1 singles and her version of Motley Crue's 'Home Sweet Home.' The multi-platinum album spawned three consecutive U.S. No. 1 singles: 'Cowboy Casonova,' 'Temporary Home' and 'Undo it.'

As if promoting an album wasn't enough, Carrie will also make her Australian big screen debut with 'Soul Surfer.’

Goin' Country With Kristin Chenoweth

Actress Kristin Chenoweth will release a country music album on September 13.

Chenoweth’s debut single ”I Want Somebody (Bitch About)” is a tongue-in-cheek song about finding unconditional love. The single will be available for sale on May 31. The music video, which takes place in a retro hair salon, will debut on CMT on June 6.

According to a press release, she is scheduled to make an appearance at the 2011 CMT Music Awards and appear on the finale of CMT’s Next Superstar. In addition, she will be “very involved” in the 2011 CMA Music Festival.

“Look at my recording career and it’s kind of funny. It’s all so different!” says Chenoweth who counts Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire and Linda Ronstadt among her major influences. “This album is more along the lines of what I grew up singing, like the music I sang in church in Oklahoma. When I was hired at nineteen to sing at Opryland in Nashville, that’s what I wanted to do. I never anticipated my career going in all these great directions — which I’m grateful for! I’m finally getting to do what I want.”

The album will feature a duet with Randy Travis and a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Change.”

“I’m so glad that as an artist, I’m in a position to work with such incredibly talented people,” Chenoweth concludes. “I’ve always wanted to make this album, especially in Nashville, where the musicians are amazing and everyone is so wonderful to work with.  I can’t wait to go back!”

ACM TV Show Planning For 2012

TV executives have already begun looking ahead and planning for 2012 ACM AWARDS Show. This year’s installment had the biggest ratings in the show’s history.

“Exactly 48 hours after the Sunday broadcast, it was time for the first planning session for the 2012 47th annual awards,” a top ACM staffer told Robin Leach. “It is one of the most ambitious logistical planning shows on the television calendar. We brought in over 150 staff and crew from Los Angeles and Nashville to pull it off this year. The load-in alone began 10 days prior and took nearly 1,300 hours. Add to that two hosts, 18 acts, 100-plus musicians and background singers and four special guests, and you understand the magnitude of it all — and the need to start planning literally the day after.”

Not willing to rest on the success of this year’s event, the ACM is already putting their efforts into making next year even better. “Now the conversations are on for next year already to make it even bigger, better and more spectacular. The two nights of free downtown concerts on Fremont Street were also an incredible success with record numbers. In all — record voting and record ratings. It was a very good year!,” the staffer said.

The ACM’s will remain in Las Vegas for 2012. City officials will meet with the ACM throughout the coming months to extend that deal to prevent the awards show from moving to Dallas’ Cowboys Stadium in 2013.

CMT Next Superstar Gets Gloriana

Gloriana appeared on the sixth episode of “CMT’s Next Superstar,” which aired on CMT May 13. As part of the episode’s challenge the remaining five contestants stopped by the Warner Music Nashville offices to play their music and campaign for votes to make it to the next round. Gloriana, who were in a meeting with President and CEO of Warner Music Nashville John Esposito, got the chance to offer the contestants advice and feedback on their music.

“All of us really related to the contestants and what they were going through because it wasn’t that long ago that we were trying to break into the music industry,” said Mike Gossin. “It was a cool experience to get the chance to give them some feedback and be a part of the process.”

Gloriana is currently on the road in support of their forthcoming second studio album on Emblem Music Group/ Warner Bros. Records.

They recently released the first single from their upcoming album, “Wanna Take You Home.”

Ronnie Dunn In Crisis

Ronnie Dunn showing up with a tattoo on his right arm that reads ‘COWBOY’ last year may have got Ronnie to think.

Dunn tells The Country Vibe, “It might have been a mid-life crisis, I don’t know.”

After explaining that his dad was always a cowboy, he says, “It was a point there at the end (of Brooks & Dunn) when it was all coming unglued for me, and I felt the need, for whatever reason, to go out there and proclaim to the world in a permanent way, that I’ve got as much of that cowboy in me as much as anybody.  I don’t know why it felt important for me to say that, other than that’s it.  I’ve tried all of my life to live up to the standards of being what my Father was, to the point of being the country singer he dreamed of being.  Hopefully, that’s the worst thing that will come out of it, I’m okay…. Therapists are standing by.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's A Swift Open Season

During a interview on BBC's The One Show, Taylor Swift opened up about friends and country music.

Taylor also talked about what it means to be a part of her life and how there's always a possibility that her friends will provide the inspiration for a song. "Everyone in my life kinda knows that nobody has a safety pass," she told the hosts. "Anybody can be factored into a verse or chorus at some point."

Taylor talked candidly about the subject matter of country songs. "I think that there are so many different kinds of country artists," she said. "They sing about their lives. Every artist in country music right now was raised a different way. And so, yeah, some people sing about pickup trucks, and some people sing about bars and whiskey, and I sing about love and breakups."

Taylor recently hosted a rehearsal show in Nashville which raised $750,000 for victims of the southern tornado outbreak earlier this year.

Nashville And Sugarland Buzzes For Charity

Jennifer Nettles helped raise over $50,000 for the Attic Community Playground through an online auction she recently hosted on CharityBuzz.

The auction ran from April 18th to May 11th and featured opportunities for fans to bid on items from some of music’s hottest names.

Monies received from contributions donated by Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Jon Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Sugarland totaled over $50,000 and will benefit Atlanta-based charity Attic Community Playground, which helps provide music education opportunities for kids.

“Thank you to all of the wonderful artists who donated tickets and passes for the ACP online auction,” said Nettles. “Also, thank you to all of the fans who bid! Your donations are allowing students an opportunity to explore their excitement and passion for music.”

Funds raised in Nettles’ CharityBuzz auction will in part enable Attic Community Playground to begin accepting applications for a grant program this fall. Grants will be awarded to schools and music programs that need assistance to support their maintenance and growth. Interested applicants should stay tuned to www.atticcommunityplayground.org for updates on this exciting program.

Guitars Of The Stars Coming In June

The third annual Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction Thursday, June 9, 4 p.m. at Hall of Fame Park in the middle of CMA Music Fest.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Opry Trust Fund which assists members of the country music community in need.

Among the stars confirmed to contribute guitars they’ve designed in celebration of their current singles, hobbies, favorite country songs, or country music heroes are Jerrod Niemann, Darius Rucker, and Carrie Underwood.
Also this year, Nashville visual artists Lucie Rice and Cindy Wunsch will contribute guitars inspired by the music of other favorite artists including award-winning group Rascal Flatts.

Grand Ole Opry triple threat Steve Wariner and Columbia Nashville recording artist Josh Thompson will each contribute performances and an autographed guitar to the free event, as well..

The Opry Trust Fund has for more than 40 years assisted members of the country music community in need of help with medical bills, living expenses, utilities, rent, and food.

The End Of Oprah

Rascal Flatts was in Chicago Tuesday night, May 17th, taping a performance of "I Won't Let Go" for one of the final editions of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Madonna, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Queen Latifah, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Beyonce were also on hand for the taping. Rascal Flatts has appeared on Oprah several times before, and lead singer Gary LeVox is in awe of Winfrey's amazing career. He says, "Oprah has been successful at everything that she's tried, and it's all been in front of the world, and I think that's a true sign of her character and what type of heart and what type of person that she is."

Gary is also impressed with the connection Oprah has with her viewers. "I think the things that she gets behind and the things that she talks about are things that are true and that are real and they affect people," he says.  "She says things that a lot of people think but never say."

Jay DeMarcus was also psyched to be a part of such a historic sendoff for one of the most popular daytime shows of all time: “We were a part of Oprah’s farewell show, and it was an amazing event, and we were able to do ‘I Won’t Let Go’ and be on there for a truly historical moment. Very few people in this world has accomplished the things that Oprah Winfrey has done, and we were proud to be a part of closing out such a wonderful chapter in her history. And it was an amazing event, and hope everybody enjoys watching it.”

“We got to perform live at the arena in downtown Chicago, and just a crazy, crazy huge crowd of people, a huge amount of Oprah fans [laughs]. Who doesn’t love Oprah?” Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney said of the performance, according to the band’s label, Big Machine. “And we got to perform the song ‘I Won’t Let Go’ that’s out right now. It’s a pretty good hit for us, and it’s a very befitting song for her. Her producers wanted us to come and dedicate that song to her. We’re all going to remember Oprah’s shows for the past 25 years for the rest of our lives. I mean, she’s had a way with touching our lives in a unique way, and every episode she’s had is always unique from the last one. And she’s done so much for entertainment for our households for so many years. It’s going to be sad seeing Oprah’s show not be on TV any more, but we were very proud and honored to be a part of that, no doubt.”

Oprah's final show isWednesday, May 25th.

Johnny Cash Music Festival

Photo Courtesy: Johnny Cash Music Festival
George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Daily & Vincent, Gary Morris, Rodney Crowell, Chelsea Crowell, Roseanne Cash, John Carter and Laura Cash and Tommy Cash will perform at the first Johnny Cash Music Festival Concert at Arkansas State University August 4.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has proclaimed August 4 Johnny Cash Day.

The Cash family is working with the institution to make the festival an annual event in order to fund the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home in Dyess, Ark., which the school recently acquired. In addition, funds will also go toward the establishment of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Museum in the New Deal Era Administration Building at Dyess.

New Music From Shania

Shania Twain debuted her first new song in six years yesterday. ‘Today is Your Day’ was unveiled.

The song is Twain’s first newly recorded tune since ‘Shoes,’ which appeared on the 2005 soundtrack for ‘Desperate Housewives.’

Twain is working hard on locating her voice, and this song is a benchmark moment for her, as she is letting her voice be heard despite feeling like she could no longer sing, which is something she is documenting very publicly on her new reality series ‘Why Not? With Shania Twain.’

Twain told Perez Hilton that the entire song will be released by the end of the series, which is a gripping docu-drama about the singer’s search to find her voice and to learn how to sing and perform again amid the crippling betrayal she endured at the hands of her ex-husband and her best friend.

This Is Country Music

Brad Paisley's last five albums all landing at the top of the charts. Brad has found a formula that works. But he says he is ready to shake things up -- if only just a little bit.

"'This Is Country Music' is pretty country," Brad tells FOX News. "I go out there on some things that are a little bit left of center, but there's really nothing that wouldn't work on country music and within the boundary."

The new CD, he explains, highlights everything he loves about his favorite genre. "Country music really is about lyrics, and is about going places that maybe other formats don't go," Brad maintains. "Country music will sing about somebody getting an illness, they'll sing about patriotism and church and religion and love and heartbreak and drinking. All these things are really themes that they do well, so we tried to fill this album with stuff like that."

Lovin' The Band Perry In Person

The Band Perry's fans have turned out in droves to wave elaborate signs at the trio.

"We have seen some of our favorite signs," Reid tells The Boot. "They remind me of Hallmark cards on poster boards."

Perhaps one reason Reid favors the signs is that many declare the fans' love for him.

"We see them all the time, the ones that say 'I love Reid,'" laughs brother Neil. "His head is getting bigger and bigger. He gets an incredible amount of love from the ladies."

The adoring fans are just one of the delights on the tour, the siblings say.

"My favorite thing about the tour is the one solid catwalk with two arms that branch off," says Kimberly. "I love to [walk out toward the audience] and reach down and smack the hands of fans all night long."

The Band Perry had never seen Tim in concert before they were in the music business, they all admit they were major fans.

"Where we grew up, we did mud riding," says Kimberly who adds she shared this memory with Tim. "We used to go mud riding with 'It's Your Love' cranked up. We'd play it over and over again. We got to tell Tim that a couple of nights ago!"

Lambert, Fishin' For A Name And A Song

Photo courtesy: US Weekly
Miranda Lambert will legally be known as Miranda Shelton.

Thankfully, country music fans will still be able to find her well-known name, Miranda Lambert — but the Texas native will be taking on her husband’s last name in her private life.

A rep for Lambert/Shelton confirms that, yes, Miranda will change her legal name and be “Miranda Shelton” on her driver’s license.

“Mrs. Shelton here! Winning!!!!!” the bride tweeted Monday, flaunting her new name. The bride and groom’s wedding pictures will be revealed tomorrow (Thursday) via Us Weekly, according to their wedding photographer’s blog.

Miranda (Shelton) Lambert and Blake Shelton went fishin’ on their honeymoon! The new Mrs. Shelton tweeted this photo with the caption, “Honeymoon bliss!!!” yesterday afternoon.

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have reportedly recorded a new song called ‘Red River Blue’.
The song was written by Buddy Owens and Ray Stephenson whom both posted Facebook updates about the couple using their song, which Stephenson had previously recorded.