Monday, December 31, 2012

Kellie Pickler's "Bald Is Beautiful" Moment Of Sharing

Most country-music lovers who attended the 2012 Ram Jam all-star concert event in Nashville Saturday were just there for a rockin' good time. However, when American Idol alum Pickler took the stage, the evening took a remarkably emotional turn, showcasing a touching and personal moment between the star and her fans.

Right after performing her rollicking 2008 hit "Best Days Of Your Life," Pickler was approached by a woman in the audience who came up to the edge of the stage. Pickler knelt down and spoke quietly to her for a few minutes, then held the teary-eyed fan in a long embrace.

Pickler, herself appearing moved, announced to the crowd, "Her sister-in-law Kelly is a breast cancer survivor." Pickler recently shaved her head in support of her best friend who was diagnosed with the same condition, and has been advocating for cancer awareness as a result.

As the audience burst into applause, she added, "I'm gonna cry up here, thank you for sharing your story with me."

A male fan then called "Can I show you a picture, Kellie?" The singer walked over to the side of the stage and examined a shot on his cellphone. She then explained to the audience: "The gentleman was showing me a picture of his mother that had passed away with lung cancer. My grandmother that raised me and that I called mom--she died with lung cancer. She was diagnosed and died the very next morning."

"It's hard stuff," Pickler noted, addressing the fan in a faltering voice. "But your mother and my grandmother are upstairs partying--they're having a good time, they're not hurting."

Pickler then related to the crowd that a big reason why she loves country music so much is how it calls up strong emotions such as the ones witnessed that night. "I think the thing that makes country music so special is that behind every country song, there's a story," she said. "A story about someone's life, and what they've been through--good or bad. Maybe what they're going through now."
The 2012 Ram Jam concert was the culmination of the yearlong Ram Jam project, which spotlighted exclusive content from five country artists and earmarked funds for a variety of charities. The Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington, Brantley Gilbert, and Easton Corbin also participated in the event.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Country Music On New Years Eve

CMT's Edward Morris checked the venues and tour schedules:

Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve telecast on ABC hosted by Ryan Seacrest (Dec. 31) with Swift performing in New York's Times Square, while Aldean will be performing in Los Angeles. 

Willie Nelson is set to do an Austin City Limits show that evening at Austin's Moody Theater that will be broadcast live on Sirius XM satellite radio.

The Zac Brown Band is at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Little Big Town heats things up at Wild Bill's in Duluth, Ga.

Florida Georgia Line headlines an already-sold-out show at Boondocks in Springfield, Ill.

Gary Allan carries country music's flag into the House of Blues in Las Vegas.

The Eli Young Band plays Choctaw Casino in Grant, Okla.

Meanwhile, the supergroup Alabama just announced a "Festival at Sea" celebration cruise for next October to commemorate their 40 years together.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oaks Serenade President George H.W. Bush

"Words cannot properly express how much The Oaks' special performance meant to the President and the Bush family.  This friendship goes back many years, and what happened yesterday gave the President a real shot in the arm as he, thankfully, continues to improve.  The Bushes continue to feel so blessed to have so many friends like The Oaks, and wish to thank one and all for their prayers and good wishes." – Office of George H. W. Bush

“Yesterday morning, The Oak Ridge Boys received the daily report from President Bush (41’s) staff.  The report of his health was that he was improving each day.  Then, we received another message, Barbara Bush requested that we call the President and sing to him!  All of the Oak Ridge Boys are on vacation, but we all headed to our office upon hearing of this request.  We called the President and sang for him.  He asked to hear Elvira, so we sang that for him, and then we sang one verse of Amazing Grace.” – Duane Allen, The Oak Ridge Boys

"Brenda and I consider Pres. George H.W. Bush, Barbara and their entire family some of our most treasured friends.  My partners and I were so honored to help lift spirits by singing yesterday over the phone to him and his family. We wish him speedy recovery."  - William Lee Golden, The Oak Ridge Boys

“A flurry of emails flew around yesterday regarding the health and well being of the man we call OUR President... George Herbert Walker Bush #41.  I thought I had seen them ALL when Duane Allen called with the word that President Bush would love to hear a few songs from The Oak Ridge Boys and his family all agreed that this just may lift his spirits as he has been hospitalized for over a month.  The main request came from Barbara Bush so Duane was calling around in hopes that everyone was in town during this off time. Well, he found us all and within about 45 minutes we had converged at our office and were calling OUR President. We asked what song he would like to hear and he said ELVIRA so we blasted some oom pop a mau mau’s in the direction of Houston, Texas.

After we finished we asked if he could hear us and he answered “Oh quite clearly.” His typical humor brought laughter all around. We than sang some Amazing Grace for him after which Barbara Bush came on the phone and thanked us.  She said, “As usual the hospital room was filled with family and right now they were ALL loving The Oak Ridge Boys.

After hanging up Duane Allen said... “You know I am always proud to be an Oak Ridge Boy but at a time like this... in a MOMENT like this... I am REALLY proud of us. We just did a good thing”

We all smiled and went back home. We had just sung a few songs for OUR PRESIDENT. We have been doing so since 1982. Get well soon, sir. We love you.  AMERICA loves you. The WORLD LOVES YOU!” – Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys

Media Contacts:
President George H.W. Bush:
Jim McGrath / 713 660-0982 /

The Oak Ridge Boys:
Webster & Associates Public Relations & Marketing
Kirt Webster / 615-777-6995 x230 /
Kay Waggoner / 615-777-6995 x221 /

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Joy Of A Great Concert Review

Martina McBride (click to read her recap of her family Christmas at home) wrapped up her Holiday show schedule in Chicago on 12/22 and Tribune writer Chrissie Dickinson liked what she saw:

Like Bing Crosby and Andy Williams before her, Martina McBride understands what it takes to deliver a Christmas show. You have to have an authentic touch. The mood must be warm as a fireplace. Most of all, you have to create the elusive magic of the holiday.

McBride delivered on all counts Friday night at the Chicago Theatre, the final stop on her "Joy of Christmas" tour.

The members of her stellar 12-piece co-ed band were clad in tuxes and evening gowns. The stage was decked out with evergreens frosted in white. The singer herself went through a handful of wardrobe changes including a snappy red satin dress, glitter pants and floor-length gowns.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jason Aldean's First Movie

"Sweetwater" will hit Sundance Film Festival screens on January 24.

Aldean told ABC News Radio earlier this month he was planning to dabble in acting, but it turns out he’s already been in front of the camera for a new western, which will also star Ed Harris, January Jones, Jason Isaacs, Eduardo Noriega and Steven Root.

Sweetwater takes place in the late 1800s and is described as “an intense but humorous film” centering around a fanatical religious leader, a renegade Sheriff, and a former prostitute who collide in a blood triangle on the rugged plains of the New Mexico Territory.

It was shot in New Mexico.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Greg Bates Enjoys Best Year Of His Life

As debut years go, Bates has had a terrific one. “2012 was an amazing year for me,” he says. 

“It was probably the best year of my life. I can’t say enough about how excited I am for “Did It For The Girl”. It went top 5 this year. And just looking ahead to 2013, its gonna be a lot of fun to go out and play this song and have people sing it back to me. This year was amazing. I got to go on my first tour with Brantley Gilbert. It’s been an absolutely perfect year for me and I’m just, I’m in a really good place heading into 2013.” 

One thing Greg is looking forward to in 2013 is releasing his debut album to get even more music out to his fans.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kelly Clarkson Spreads Holiday Cheer

The Christmas spirit was alive and well when Clarkson stopped by Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt yesterday afternoon to sing and celebrate the season with patients, staff and families through Musicians On Call (MOC) Nashville

“This is such a special time of year and I’m so happy to be able to share it with all of these great kids. I’m probably having just as much, if not more, fun than they are,” exclaimed Clarkson.  “I heard about Musicians On Call from a friend of mine,” she continued, “and I thought this would be the perfect way to get involved with a hospital music program here in Nashville.  I love playing for the kiddos!!” 

Clarkson, who recently released her Greatest Hits – Chapter One album, visited with the children and performed an acoustic set in the Children’s Hospital Theatre. 

The songstress led the packed room in a sing-along of her favorite holiday carols including “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” “White Christmas,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You.”  Clarkson encouraged singing and dancing, and the children were happy to oblige.  Following the show, the kind-hearted entertainer generously offered to visit the rooms of patients unable to attend.

Kellie Pickler Completes 6th USO Tour

Pickler returned to the states last Wednesday (12/19) from what was her sixth USO tour overseas to perform for U.S. troops as part of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s annual USO holiday tour.
“It’s always different coming here this time of year,” Pickler said, prior to her performance at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on Dec. 16.

Other celebrities that joined her on the seven-day, four-country tour throughout the Middle East include  Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen of the Washington Nationals, Matt Hendricks of the Washington Capitals and comedian Iliza Shlesinger.

All participated in an array of hospital visits and USO meet and greets, each tailored to bring a touch of home to the servicemen and women making the biggest sacrifice. Stops included: Bagram Air Base and Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart in Germany; and a visit with Sailors stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, among other locations.

“[During] the holidays, everyone wants to be home with their families and loved ones. And I know it’s just as hard for [your] families back home, so they’re making a sacrifice as well. I just want to say thanks so much for all that you do, and thank you to your families as they make a huge sacrifice. This time of year is really hard so I hope that you know that we love you. The USO, all of us, we are praying for a safe return home for you all. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Little Big Town Joins 'X-FACTOR' Winner

Little Big Town joined season #2 winning contestant Tate Stevens on X-Factor.

They performed the group's No. 1 tune, "Pontoon," together on the show.

"He makes country music proud," said Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman.

Stevens was mentored by music exec L.A. Reid on the second season of "The X Factor," and won the Fox singing competition.

The 37-year-old country singer from Belton, Mo., beat runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar, a 13-year-old schoolgirl from Westchester, N.Y., and teenage girl group Fifth Harmony on the finale that aired live Thursday night.

CMA Country Christmas Is Tonight

Make holiday memories with your favorite Country stars as host Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland is joined on ABC-TV by The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Colbie Caillat, Katherine Jenkins, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery and Keith Urban.

The night will be full of amazing performances and shared memories. Find out what Christmas was like in Australia for Keith Urban, the outrageous Christmas gift The Band Perry received when they were kids, what Jennifer Nettles expects with a new addition to her family. 

You can also text CHRISTMAS to 66937 for a show reminder sent right to your phone.  

Share your comments with @CountryMusic tonight on Twitter using hashtag #CMAChristmas.

Blake Shelton Continues "Bible" Series

Blake says, "We are gearing up for the holidays and wanted to thank you for all of your help making our Cee Lo Green "Mary Did You Know" a huge success with more than 1.5 million views and counting!  Now, we have a brand new music video also previewing THE BIBLE series with "New Kid in Town" (click to watch it) from "Cheers, It's Christmas!" 

This is a special solo version of the song exclusive for fans THE BIBLE series — on the album, Kelly Clarkson sings alongside The Voice judge.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Paisley "Thirst" Challenge

Clean water leads to healthy people, which leads to less time trying to survive and more time trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives." - Brad Paisley 
Live Beyond is partnering with Brad and Kim Paisley to provide clean water in Haiti and challenge others to donate.

The Live Beyond Thirst campaign is targeting establishment of 100 clean water collection sites which will support the entire community of Thomazeau, Haiti.

If you would like to join in the partnership and help bring clean water to Haiti, click here.

It's A Wonderful Time Of Year For Kellie Pickler

Spearheaded by the release of her critically-acclaimed album 100 Proof  in early January and rounded out with the signing of a new record deal in October, the year 2012 has meant tons of excitement and career momentum for the country music songstress.  

Now, as the nation’s top music critics reflect on what a year it’s been with their “Best Of 2012” album nods, Pickler celebrates the merriment of the season with coveted placement at the top of Rolling Stone’s “Best Country Albums of 2012” list, No. 7 on Washington Post’s “Best Music of 2012” list, No. 2 on Rhapsody’s “Top 30 Country Albums for 2012,” and No. 6 on AOL’s The Boot “Best Country Albums of 2012.” 

Fans can expect 2013 to also be an exciting year for Pickler as she gears up to release a new single from her forthcoming new album.

Media Contacts:
Ebie McFarland or Amanda French
Essential Broadcast Media
Dawn Delvo
Black River Entertainment

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rascal Flatts Look Forward To Family Time

The guys spend so much time away from home and on the road throughout the year that the one thing they look forward to the most at the holidays is spending time with their families. 
“I think Christmas, for me, has always been about is family, as clich├ęd as that sounds,” says Jay. “You know, it’s a time to reflect on the year and what you’ve been doing and a year for us goes by so quickly because we’re on the road so much and we’ve got so much going on throughout the year.” 

And Jay doesn’t need big parties or huge celebrations. He says, “It’s always a wonderful time to be able to settle down by the fire, enjoy the Christmas tree and the decorations and just spend time with the ones you love and surround yourself with the people that you don’t get to see enough throughout the year. And I can’t wait to spend those couple of weeks solely focused on my family and Christmas time.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Country Music Reaction To Newtown via Social Media

Luke Bryan: “My family is sending the deepest prayers out to those victims in Connecticut today. Heavy hearts and tears.” & “Please keep the families in CT in your thoughts and prayers.”

Blake Shelton:
“The killing of defenseless people and innocent children. I'm sad and sickened. This is why we all should be prepared to defend and guard.  Stand strong and stand united everyone... We are Americans and we are better than this. What a sad sad disgusting day this is...”

Florida Georgia Line: “Unreal day.....Thoughts and prayers with those tonight affected by the tragedy in CT. Makes us sick.”

Carrie Underwood:
“All my thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the families in CT dealing with this tragedy. There are no words...”

Brad Paisley:  “I spent 15 minutes yelling at the top of my lungs about what happened in Connecticut. I'm as mad as I am sad. Enough. Enough!!!!!!”

Miranda Lambert: “I'm praying for those babies and all the victims of the Connecticut shooting. May God bring peace to the families.”

Jason Aldean: “Thoughts and prayers goin out to everyone in Connecticut. What a tragedy.”

Little Big Town: “To all the families in CT suffering. We're devastated & our hearts are broken. We're praying for you and we're with you.”

Hunter Hayes: “My heart is broken for the people of Newtown, Connecticut. Our hearts, our thoughts and all our prayers are with you!”

Keith Urban: “My heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. Thoughts and prayers with everyone.” –KU

Justin Moore: “My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in the horrific events of today in CT. God bless the families who have to endure this...”

Tim McGraw: “As parents, Faith and I cannot even imagine the horror that all of these families face.” “The news of this morning's shooting was simply devastating.”

Faith Hill
: “News of this morning's shooting was simply devastating. As parents, Tim & I cannot even imagine the horror that all of these families face. ...Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with all that have been affected by this tragedy.”

The Band Perry: “Our hearts are broken for the families in Connecticut...Please join us in prayer for these families.”

Rascal Flatts: “Our hearts are broken by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut today. You are in our thoughts and prayers.” #PrayForNewtown

Lady Antebellum: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and everyone affected in Connecticut. #newtown

Greg Bates: “Thoughts and prayers goin out to everyone affected by the shooting in Connecticut this morning.”

Thomas Rhett: “Prayers for all the families and children in Connecticut”

Jana Kramer: “Absolutely disgusted to land and hear such awful news. My heart goes out to everyone in Connecticut. Truly heart breaking.” #praying

Thompson Square: “Our hearts are breaking over the Sandy Hook school shooting. God bless the families.”  Keifer and Shawna

Dustin Lynch: “Praying for all of those affected by the tragedy in Newtown Conn. God bless you.”

Lee Brice: “Love those around you and never take a single day for granted! Such a terrible tragedy today, keep all of those affected in your prayers.”

Gloriana: “Our hearts go out to the families and victims of the elementary school shooting today. We are so saddened by this unimaginable tragedy” -TMR

Chris Young
: “Thoughts and prayers for CT today...”

Martina McBride: “The world will never be the same. Heartbroken. Newton,CT we are with you.”

Reba McEntire: “My heart hurts. I don't understand. Why does this happen? Praying for the state of CT, it's people, it's families and it's children.”

Lauren Alaina: “Sending out lots of prayers to the families involved in the Newton Elementary School tragedy. My heart goes out to you.” #trustinGod

Edens Edge:  “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and everyone affected in Connecticut... CG” & “Connecticut- my heart could not be with you more. I am so broken hearted about this incomprehensible massacre. HB

Rodney Atkins: “Can't believe what we're hearing & seeing from Connecticut. Praying for you Connecticut.”

Sara Evans: “Words cannot express my sorrow and condolences for all who lost precious lives in CT today. I am praying so hard for you all. God Bless you.”

LeAnn Rimes: “My heart aches for the families of the victims of #CTShooting So many prayers sent up for them, One day, I hope to ask God "why?"

Jon Pardi: “This is a sad day, I can't believe the evil in this world sometimes. Prayers and thoughts out to the families of Sandy Hook elementary, CT.”
Katie Arminger: My heart aches for those beautiful...innocent children...”
 -- Compiled by A&O&B show prep producer Dan Van, who will have more in Monday's client only prep

Friday, December 14, 2012

Taylor Swift Recommends Toxic Relationships

.. at least that's what she told MTV.

Falling For The 'Dangerous' Type?  'You know you are going to go for it anyway.'

Her latest video, which displays her "pop" side, "I Knew You Were Trouble.," premiered on Thursday on Swift's 23rd birthday, tells the tale of a good girl falling for the bad boy and the "toxic relationship" that ensues, something that Swift apparently knows all too well.
"I had just gone through an experience that made me write this song about like knowing the second you see someone like, 'Oh, this is going to be interesting. It's going to be dangerous, but look at me going in there anyway," Swift told MTV News' Sway Calloway. "I think that for me, it was the first time I ever kind of noticed that in myself, like when you are curious about something you know might be bad for you, but you know that you are going to go for it anyway because if you don't, you'll have greater regrets about not seeing where that would go, but I think that for me it all went along with this record that was pushing boundaries, like the sound of this record pushes boundaries, it was writing about something I hadn't written before."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Keith Urban Calendar Benefits St. Jude

The official Keith Urban 2013 calendar benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in honor of the 'Fans Care For St. Jude Kids' program is available now. is the authorized producer and seller of Keith's calendar each year for St. Jude. Since 2003, has created a limited edition, one-of-a-kind Keith Urban calendar featuring a collection of concert photos taken by Keith's fans.

Support St. Jude and order your 2013 calendar here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Baby Antebellum

Congratulations to Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott and husband Chris Tyrell.

The couple started 2012 with a January wedding and revealed Friday (12/7) that they're expecting their first child.

Scott posted via Facebook, "Chris & I are excited to announce that our Christmas gift has arrived a little early this year! We are having a BABY! We feel so blessed!!! - Hillary"

  -- Country Aircheck

The Fan-Voted Award Winners

Carrie Underwood couldn't contain her excitement following the American Country Awards.

"Ahhhh!!! I just won 2 #ACAs!" she tweeted as soon as the show ended.   Underwood's two wins on Monday night set a record. She now has 11 ACAs in total, the most any artist has ever taken home from the show, which has only been running for three years.  She took home the award for female artist of the year during the show in Mandalay Bay.

Fox-TV's AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS is the only country music awards show that gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists not only in traditional categories but also in previously unrecognized areas of the business such as touring, encompassing the entire spectrum of country music and bestowing honors that no other awards show has.

Fox News runs down all of the winners after last night's TV show.

Tim & Faith: Vegas Show Is Not Typical

The only thing better than seeing Tim McGraw or Faith Hill in concert, is seeing  Tim  and Faith together in concert.

And, as announced earlier this year, McGraw and Faith Hill just kicked off their 10-week Soul2Soul show at The Venetian in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Tim, himself, described the appeal of the show to Neil Haislop, "It’s such an intimate setting. I think that the main thing that we’re going to look at it is, as a chance to really connect with a small amount of people. Eighteen hundred people at one time in which… is a totally different thing than anything that we’re used to doing.”  He added, “In the past, it’s been two songs together then Faith would do her show, then we’d do two songs together, then I would do my show and then we would do 2 or 3 songs together at the end. So it’s been us together touring, but it’s also been our shows individually at the same time. That was really the focus of doing this, is this is really a chance to do something in a setting in one place, in a small, intimate setting that we could actually be on stage the entire time together.” 

You can get tickets and more information about Soul2Soul here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Florida Georgia Line Hits #1

The hot new duo has more than enough holiday cheer to wrap up the year. The newcomers have topped the Country radio charts – earning their first U.S. #1 – with their debut single “Cruise,” which has been certified PLATINUM by the RIAA for selling over 1 million copies.

Their aptly-titled debut album on Republic Nashville has been out for less than a week now.
“We’ve been completely amazed by what ‘Cruise’ has done. To have our debut single sell over a million and be #1 on the week our debut album is out. … we are so thankful. We can’t wait to meet all of you out on the road,” said FGL’s Tyler Hubbard of Monroe, Georgia.

FGL’s Brian Kelley from Ormond Beach, Florida agreed, "I remember jokingly telling Tyler when we were recording that ‘Cruise’ was going to sell a million copies and I can’t believe it’s actually a reality. We’ve been working so hard to give our fans something they can bob their heads along to and a way for them to get to know us a little more. We think this album accomplishes that and has something for everyone.”
Florida Georgia Line has sold-out multiple headlining shows and is opening for Jake Owen on the “CMT On Tour,” giving fans a preview of the new music in recent months. In January 2013, they’ve been selected to open on Luke Bryan’s “Dirt Road Diaries Tour."

For tour dates and more, visit

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jennifer Nettles Welcomes A New Baby Boy

That's a stock photo, but that smile has to be really big right now.

Jennifer and husband Justin Miller are proud to announce the birth of their son, Magnus Hamilton Miller.

Born on December 6th, 2012.  
"We are so thankful for all the prayers and support and are excited to take some time together as a new family."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Randy Travis On TV Tomorrow

Travis will join an all-star cast for the Second Annual American Giving Awards presented by Chase. 

It’s set to air Saturday (12/8) on NBC at 8:00/7:00 p.m. (CT) from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.
Randy will serve as a musical performer during the awards show, which is a celebrity tribute to community heroes. 

“Giving back to the community is something that I support and believe is truly important.  I am honored to be part of this year’s American Giving Awards,” says Travis.

Glenn Close will be honored with the AGA Leadership Award for her philanthropic endeavors.

Twenty-five grant recipients from previous Chase Community Giving programs have been selected to participate in the inspiring, star-studded event.  Five of the charities will be chosen to share $2 million in grants.

Randy Travis will join 2nd Annual American Giving Awards

Randy Travis will join Second Annual American Giving Awards presented by Chase.  It’s set to air Saturday, December 8, 2012 on NBC at 8:00/7:00 p.m. (CT) from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA. Travis will serve as a musical performer during the awards show, which is a celebrity tribute to community heroes.  Celebrated actress Glenn Close will be honored with the AGA Leadership Award for her philanthropic endeavors. Twenty-five grant recipients from previous Chase Community Giving programs have been selected to participate in the inspiring, star-studded event.  Five of the charities will be chosen to share $2 million in grants.

“Giving back to the community is something that I support and believe is truly important.  I am honored to be part of this year’s American Giving Awards,” says Travis.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Grammy Nominations Live" From Nashvile

Last night's Grammy Nominations Concert Live broadcast from Nashville featured country performers, Little Big Town, and Chris Young, as presenters…plus…performances by Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes, a terrific tribute to Johnny Cash by The Band Perry and Dierks Bentley singing "Jackson."  Also, 6-time grammy winner, Taylor Swift, co-Hosted the show with LL Cool J.

In the opening Taylor welcomed LL Cool J. to town, offering to be his tour guide of music city.  Taylor then tried her best rapping ability and LL sang a bit of Taylor's "Mean."
Hunter Hayes lead off the singing announcements of nominees singing the list of nominees that included Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5.

The show, broadcast from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, was broadcast on HDTV and CBS TV..

Launching in conjunction with last night's  "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live…Countdown To Music's Biggest Night, airing Dec. 5 on CBS, music fans can log on to or to pre-order the album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Music's Biggest Night will be held on Sunday Feb. 10, 2013 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Luke Bryan Headlines College Football Championship Game Day Fan Zone Concert

The Orange Bowl has announced that Dr Pepper is bringing Bryan to headline the Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone presented by Allstate on January 7th, 2013.
Bryan’s performance outside Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., will cap off a day of fun activities for fans leading up to the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game.

The Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone will take place on January 7, 2013 from 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the parking lots across from Gates G & H of Sun Life Stadium. In addition to Bryan’s musical performance, fans will enjoy interactive games and exhibits, a wide variety of food and beverages and performances by team bands, cheerleaders and local talent. Admission to the Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone is $30 and is not included in the ticket price for the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game.

Artists who have performed at previous Bud Light Game Day Fan Zones have included Little Big Town, All American Rejects, Smash Mouth, Collective Soul and Kevin Rudolph.

The Band Perry's Broad Musical Influences

If you listen to The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” it’s obvious they don’t operate from a cookie cutter perspective when it comes to choosing songs or the way they deliver those songs, whether they write them or get them from other writers. 

A lot of that can be attributed to their varied musical influences. Kimberly admits, “I love soul singin’. So I love everybody from Aretha Franklin and Janice Joplin, all the way to the attitude of say, a Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, some of my very favorite singers.” 

Kimberly says one person she gets inspiration from is Bob Dylan. “I love Bob Dylan’s lyrics. They’re so visual and just have a really cool craft. They’re just some of my favorites.”

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Carrie Underwood Joins "The Sound Of Music" Cast

Carrie Underwood will be starring in the live broadcast of “The Sound of Music” as Maria von Trapp on NBC-TV.

Underwood will be stepping into the role played by Julie Andrews in the 1965 Oscar winning film.

The Chairman of NBC Entertainment Robert Blatt said "Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn't be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp," "She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist."

The live broadcast will be a 3 hour event on NBC TV near the holidays in 2013.

  - The Examiner's Shannon Alexander

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meet The Cast Of Eric Church's New Video

The video for Eric’s “Creepin’,” (click his website to watch it) has its terrifying moments, especially for the leading man in the clip, who is played by actor Jared Sullivan. “I'm in this relationship I can't get out of and the train is a metaphor for this relationship, and I can't escape and I'm running through the train,” explains Jared. “I'm walking, and I'm coming across these people that symbolize the failing aspects of my relationship.”

Jared is originally from Durant, Oklahoma, and he moved to Nashville last year, where he’d planned to continue doing merchandising for various bands. However, that all changed when he decided to take acting classes and got booked in a principal role in a PSA for the Armed Forces Network. He’s also had a few roles in some independent films, as well, before being booked as the lead character in Church’s “Creepin’” video.

Eric is currently out on his Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour, which is scheduled to wrap December 15th in Sunrise, Florida.  "Creepin'" is from Eric's CMA Album of the Year, Chief.

By the way, if you were wondering who the red-headed woman is in the “Creepin’” video, her name is Melissa Core, and she’s a choreographer, dancer and model originally from Australia.

Lady A’s Webisode Wednesday Gets Crazier

Could it possibly have something to do with that glass in "her" right hand?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blake Smiles, 152,128 "The Voice" Viewers Download

Cassadee Pope is the #1 ranked country digital download this week according to Nielsen BDS

The sales figures are driven by the TV show replay on You Tube (click to watch it).

Lots of folks seem to enjoy hearing her sing and Blake Shelton smile.

Win a Meet and Greet with Mark Wills or Jimmy Wayne

Several lucky Country Music Hall Of Fame members will win a meet and greet with either Mark Wills or Jimmy Wayne!

Check out Wills' public autograph signing in the Museum Store on Saturday, December 8 at 1:00 p.m. and Wayne's signing later that day at 3:00 p.m.

To Enter the Drawing:  
Reply by Sunday, December 2 at 5:00 p.m. CST with your name and contact information. The winners will be contacted on Tuesday, December 4. The winners must reply within 24 hours of notice to redeem prize.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tim McGraw Invites Fans To Watch Them Film His "One Of Those Nights" Video

In a web first, Tim is inviting fans to watch the making of his music video as it happens for his brand new single. 

This afternoon (11/27) starting at 3:30 PM CST, McGraw will offer a live feed with the help of Ustream from the filming of the music video at its location in Nashville.   McGraw will be able to interact with fans and chat with them periodically throughout the shoot while giving them the chance to see how the video process works.  Tune in for the live feed here and follow on Twitter at @TheTimMcGraw
"It's crazy that 25 years into my career, this single and this album represent a lot of firsts for me," explains McGraw. "
There's a renewed feeling of creativity and excitement, and I want the fans to be part of it every step of the way. The technology that's out there today provides some cool new ways to connect with music fans, so it'll be fun to give everyone a real look at what happens on the video shoot.  I hope we can do more stuff like this as things get even busier.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Carrie Underwood "Two Black Cadillacs" (Trailer)

Carrie Underwood's new video won't appear in full until after Christmas, but she's offering fans and advance look at a bit of it right now.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jake Owen Welcomes Olive Pearl Owen on Thanksgiving

Jake Tweeted the news:  "Today is the greatest day of my life. Welcome Olive Pearl Owen. 6lbs 3 oz Turkey Baby!!! Happy Thanksgiving."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tulsa World: Miranda Goes Hog Hunting With Blake Shelton

On Sunday, the Texas native tweeted a photo of herself and listed what is required if you're going hog hunting.

"All the important things for hunting.. Bow. Camo. Binoculars. Pink cup. lip gloss!" she tweeted via @Miranda_Lambert.

Earlier that day, she tweeted: "Baby it's time we got back to the basics of love"...first time in the woods this season. & with BS!” as @katnissforever and posted the photo.

No word on whether she actually bagged a wild hog using her compound bow.

"BS" is, of course, her husband country music star and "The Voice" coach Blake Shelton with whom she lives on a ranch near Tishomingo.

Rascal Flatts Takes Full Credit For Blake Shelton's Success

... with tongue firmly in cheek on Chelsea Lately.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Carrie, Lady A and Luke at AMA's

Carrie Underwood took home Favorite Country Album for "Blown Away" while Luke Bryan received Male recognition and Lady Antebellum nabbed Favorite Country Group.

This week, starting Thursday Nov. 22 through Monday Nov. 26th, Lady A will taking over hosting duties for Blair Garner on After Midnite.

Charles, Hillary and Dave will be talking about their favorite Thanksgiving memories and traditions as they ring in the holiday season.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Taylor Swift Wins 5th Consecutive AMA For Favorite Country Female

"This is unreal. I want to thank the fans. You guys are the ones who voted on this," she said in accepting it.

Swift gave a masquerade-themed performance of the pop song "I Knew You Were Trouble." She sang onstage in a light dress while dancers wore mostly black. But then she changed into a red corset and black skirt, matching their dark mood. She even danced and sang on the floor as lights flickered throughout the performance.

When you are as busy as Swift is, there’s no telling where you’ll spend the holidays. For instance, this Thanksgiving, Taylor will be in Tokyo. 

She admits, “It’s gonna be interesting trying to find turkey there.” But she doesn’t mind that she sometimes has to skip tradition for her career. “That’s kinda how my life goes. I’m just like, you know, wherever I’m gonna be I’m gonna be,” she says.

Florida Georgia Line Has A Lot To Be Thankful For

With “Cruise” becoming their first #1 in Canada and also a top five single and selling over a million copies to be certified platinum in the USA, Florida Georgia Line definitely has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. 

They’ve been working non-stop this year but they will take some time to spend the holiday with their family. 

Tyler says, “I always go to Alabama. That’s where my….besides my mom and sister, that’s where the rest of my family is so we always go to Alabama and always have growing up, and we have a big dinner, lunch or dinner. Usually both.” 

Tyler and Brian both agree on one of their favorite dishes to see on the Thanksgiving table … sweet potato casserole. “If there’s not any sweet potato casserole its not Thanksgiving,” says Tyler. 

Brian says, “I would second that. My mom makes really good sweet potato casserole.” Tyler says his grandma’s sweet potato casserole is so good, “I can do without the turkey even. It doesn’t really bother me but I need to have some of those good rolls with a lot of butter on it and some sweet potato casserole.”

Beer With Jesus & Turkey With Family

As the single makes its premiere on CMT’s Big New Music Weekend, Nashville newcomer Thomas Rhett spoke to Dan Van, Albright & O'Malley & Brenner Radio Content/Audio Producer Coordinator, about keeping Thanksgiving close to home, especially when you're newly married.

 (click to hear it)

Watch his new video HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blake Shelton Hangs Sign for Miranda's Store

Miranda Lambert is getting ready to open her new store "The Pink Pistol" in Tishomingo, OK on Black Friday (November 23).

"We're having the grand opening the day after Thanksgiving, on Black Friday, only we're calling it 'Pink Friday,'" said Miranda "We're going to make it a tradition to turn the block pink every year at that time. 'Pink Friday' will be country fun with some glitz. Tishomingo is the epitome of a great, small American town, and I am excited to dress it in my favorite color 'pink.'"

The inventory has been selected by Miranda including handmade boots and belts from Corral, Farmboy and Farmgirl and clothing, jewelry and accessories from Junk Gypsy. "It's antiques, gifts, boots, jeans and pretty much everything you can imagine," said Lambert.

Blake was on hand, preparing for the Grand Opening, which will include "Pink-aoke" for people to sing their favorite song, marching bands and the 1st Annual Pink Pistol Princess Pageant. Entrants will be judged on their creative use of pink in their costumes as well as their spunky attitudes and sass.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ABC-TV's "Nashville" Gets A Full Season

ABC-TV has ordered nine additional episodes of Nashville, bringing it to a full-season of 22.

Big Machine will release the show's soundtrack Dec. 11.

The album features music performed by the cast, which so far has sold more than 500,000 digital downloads.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The cover of Lady Antebellum’s new Christmas CD, "On This Winter’s Night," looks too perfect to be real, but it is!!

The trio went to Park City, Utah to shoot the album artwork in several feet of snow. “We wanted to get the cover right,” says Lady A’s Dave Haywood. “If you’re gonna do a Christmas record, you might as well be in four feet of snow.”

The one thing they had to make sure to do is to dress warmly, even if it meant it wasn’t as fashionable as the band’s stylist would’ve liked. “We’re getting dressed for the snow, and our stylist starts putting on these really nice shoes, and I said, “No, no, no, no. That won’t work,’” recalls Charles Kelley. “So, we got these big ole wader snow boots, and they were all the same ones, and I still got a ton of snow that had gotten inside my boot, and kept having to change socks every hour.”

Lady A will perform during the ABC-TV special, A CMA Country Christmas, December 20th (9p-11p ET) and December 23rd (4p-6p ET).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Greg Bates "Must Have Gum"

When you spend as much time on the road as Bates (click to hear audio) does, promoting his song “Did It for the Girl” and touring with Brantley Gilbert on the Hell on Wheels Tour, there are certain things that become must have items. 

Greg says for him, it’s gum. "I’m a huge gum fanatic. And I always have to have… I’ll make ‘em stop four, five times during a week when we’re out just to like, 'I’m out of gum, guys.'"

And it doesn’t have to be any certain kind. “Just whatever I can find at the time,” says Greg. “I mean, I’m not picky about it.”

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kenny Chesney Accepts Billboard Touring Awards

The magazine's Andrew Hampp writes:  "Kenny Chesney ... appeared on-stage three different times -- twice to accept awards for Top Package and Road Warrior, and then third to present Billboard's Ray Waddell with a special Legend of Scribe award (after 25 years of covering the touring business)."

An eight-time winner of the Top Package award, this was Chesney's first appearance at the Touring Awards.

"It was ironic that before I came up here they had 'Dancing In The Dark' playing, and I have a lot of heroes that have busted down the door for guys like me that help me make music like I make it and tour like I tour," Chesney while accepting his Road Warrior award. "And Bruce is one of those. I met Neil Diamond, it was an honor to meet someone like Neil Diamond who continues to have focus and record music and go out and entertain people. To be able to do that in my life is one of the biggest honors and thrills that I have."

(Photo: Michael Seto)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Eric Church Joins "Fans Come First"

The Fans First Coalition was established in May of 2011 in an effort to change and improve the ticket-purchase experience for fans by fighting for greater access to face-value tickets and enhanced protection against fraudulent business practices. The coalition is primarily supported by Ticketmaster and includes over 200 industry members, venues, teams and artists who are committed to standing with fans against scalpers. 
"Our goal is to ensure that fans get what they deserve — a good event experience, from ticket purchase through the final out or encore. To learn more about what we believe in, check out our mission statement: Standing with Fans."
Joining Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, The Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland in the coalition yesterday was Church, who says: 
"We kept the ticket prices low. What we didn’t expect was for all these big ticket brokers to join our fan club, infiltrate our system, take advantage of our system, and buy up all these tickets. We’re not the ones charging $200, $300, $400 dollars a ticket; the scalpers are the ones placing that value on them and, in turn, walking away with fans’ money. We’re not asking for a ban on scalping, but there have to be rules in place that protect the fans and prevent them from getting ripped off like this.”

The coalition brings together fans like you, your hometown theaters, industry leaders, artists and sports teams and prominent voices in entertainment.

Watch Faith Hill's New Video

 It's her first in five years.  Click to watch backstage clips from the filming.

Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" Tour

For all dates and locations, click here

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chesney, McGraw, Owen, Aldean, Bryan, Alaina, Swift, Hayes, Gokey Top Concert Tour Packages

Tonight in New York Billboard will honor the industry’s top artists, venues and professionals of the year at the annual Billboard Touring Awards reception.

Country is represented by three finalists:
  • Brothers of the Sun, featuring Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Grace Potter and Jake Owen
  • My Kinda Party, featuring Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan, Lauren Alaina
  • Speak Now, featuring Taylor Swift with Needtobreathe, Hunter Hayes, Danny Gokey
These awards are based primarily on the Billboard Boxscore chart, recognizing true box office success and industry achievement between October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012.