Posts from May 2014
by Christal Blue posted May 30 2014 9:56AM
Kenny Chesney is in the top ten of the just released Top Live Acts of the past quarter century complied by Billboard. Topped by the Rolling Stones, U2 and Bruce Springsteen, Chesney arrived at #9 on the list – in spite of taking 2010 and 2014 off the road – with 12,681,629 tickets sold. He said, “You look at a list like this... with so many iconic rock acts, people like Madonna, or Elton John, and you think, ‘Man...' When you get on the bus for the first time, you’re just hoping people will come. You never expect to be in this kind of company, unless you’re buying a ticket."

Country Music Hall of Famers Alabama will kick off the nightly LP Field concerts at the 2014 CMA Music Festival in Nashville June 5. It's their first full performance at the event in 19 years. The group said in a joint statement, "It has always been about the fans with us, and we realized that the best way to celebrate and share our 40th anniversary was to do what we do best – play live music for the fans that we love at the biggest country music festival in the world."

Miranda Lambert is excited to release her new studio album, Platinum, next week, but all the TV appearances and interviews that go into promoting the project are distracting the singer from her favorite new hobby -- horse-riding competitions. She recently picked up a few ribbons in her first competition, and Miranda is planning her upcoming Platinum tour around even more horse shows.  Miranda's obsession started last November when husband Blake Shelton bought her a Gypsy Vanner show horse for her birthday.  That's when Miranda decided to begin taking proper English riding lessons.  Miranda has now added two Welsh Cob horses to her stable -- one named Sayeth, as in "Sayeth the Lord," and another named Ellie. Miranda will leave her horses at home in Oklahoma when she performs "Somethin' Bad" with Carrie Underwood on the 2014 CMT Music Awards coming up Wednesday, June 4.

Sara Evans recently announced that she will be among the performers helping to celebrate our nation’s 238th birthday when she joins the Fourth of July festivities and fireworks of this year’s airing of A Capitol Fourth on PBS. Hosted by Tom Bergeron, the 90-minute special also features Frankie Valli, Patti LaBelle, Michael McDonald, Jordin Sparks, Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara and many others. It will be broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. (Photo Credit: )

by Christal Blue posted May 29 2014 9:34AM

ABC's Nashville family is growing as actress Hayden Panettiere is reportedly expecting a child with her 6-foot-6 fiancé Wladimir Klitschko. It will be the first child for both. Us Weekly reports that a friend of the actress has confirmed that she is expecting but with no real details of when the baby will arrive and if her character's storyline on Nashville will be affected. Panettiere recently told Parade Magazine that the couple's nuptials have been delayed due to the upheaval in Klitschko's native Ukraine. "Everything that’s happening in Ukraine definitely put a hold on things. But we have time." The couple has been together since 2009. (Photo Credit: )

Martina McBride has been lucky enough to have known Dr. Maya Angelou - who passed away yesterday at the age of 86. McBride first met Dr. Angelou more than a decade ago. Dr. Angelou had discovered Martina’s music, and publicly proclaimed herself a fan of such inspiring songs as “Independence Day,” "In My Daughter’s Eyes," "A Broken Wing," "This One’s For the Girls"” and "Concrete Angel." Martina released this statement yesterday, "Hard to find the right words. Maya Angelou lived her life inspiring, educating, championing, lifting, nourishing, giving, and loving. Her influence on the world, by speaking the truth and sharing her wisdom and her spirit, is immense and unforgettable. She made you want to be a better person. That was her real gift to us all. Rest in peace Dr. Angelou."

Little Big Town will return for the second year to host the summer’s hottest television music event when the ABC airs CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock on August 5, Phillip Sweet said, "Last year was incredible and we can't wait to be back in LP Field surrounded by 50,000 screaming fans!" Band mate Karen Fairchild added: "Country Music truly has the most dedicated fans in the world and we're looking forward to spending another four days with them."

After facing many troubles in his personal life, Trace Adkins is coming back to play music for his fans. Adkins will return to the stage beginning June 5 at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ and continuing into the fall throughout early 2014. He said, “I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone for the outpouring of encouragement and support over the past few months. It’s hard to put into words how much comfort you take from hearing ‘We’ve got your back.’ So these shows are for you guys – thanks." Trace is set to re-enter the spotlight with his six-piece band, the Sarepta Gentleman’s Club.

by Christal Blue posted May 28 2014 9:17AM

Because of unrest in Thailand, Taylor Swift has canceled a sold-out concert in the country that came under military rule last week after a coup d'etat. On the concert promoter's website, it said that the concert was canceled "due to recent events in Thailand." It didn't elaborate but called the move "a difficult decision for all parties." The concert in Bangkok would have been the night of June 9. Swift tweeted about the June 9th Bangkok concert saying, "I'm sending my love to the fans in Thailand. I'm so sad about the concert being canceled." Several other international performers have canceled or postponed appearances in Thailand during the recent months of political protests.

Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, Jake Owen, Jennifer Nettles, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Town have been added to the lineup of performers for the 2014 CMT Music Awards next week in Nashville. Hosted by Kristen Bell and broadcast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the show will include previously-announced performances by Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Miranda Lambert. In addition, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay, Danielle Bradbery, David Nail, Thomas Rhett and Tyler Farr will perform on the Nationwide Insurance Stage. The 2014 CMT Music Awards will air live on CMT on June 4.

Brad Paisley’s video for his current single "River Bank" premiered on over the weekend. A portion of the video was also highlighted on Monday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, with the video making its full-length broadcast premiere this Friday on CMT. The video was shot on a 150-acre body of water in Alabama and contains the usual summertime fun necessities – sun, water, boats, drinks, bikini-clad ladies AND a water-skiing squirrel by the name of Twiggy. Also spotted on location was a bald eagle’s nest, a natural predator to squirrels, so eyes were to the sky throughout the day to protect Twiggy. (Photo Credit: )

Dolly Parton tells People magazine that she thinks actress Scarlett Johansson could play her in a movie. Dolly shared why Johansson would be a good choice, "Well, you know what, I'm doing a musical of my life story -- and I'm also doing a movie version! When we started talking about a movie, people had mentioned Scarlett Johansson. I guess she's full bosomed." 

by Christal Blue posted May 27 2014 11:07AM
Yesterday, Brad Paisley was a surprise guest at Bagram Airfield, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan. In honor of Memorial Day and to express his thanks to the troops he played an hour long acoustic set for approximately 3,000 U.S. troops. From the stage, Paisley referred to the event as "the honor of my life." On Saturday evening Paisley boarded Air Force One, with President Barack Obama and a few of his advisers and made the overnight flight to Bagram. The trip was not announced and a complete surprise until they landed. President Obama delivered a speech to the troops expressing thanks for their extraordinary service, met with military commanders and visited wounded troops in the base hospital. (Photo Credit: )

Jason Aldean has officially sold out the first-ever "Legends Day Concert, Firestone Presents: Jason Aldean at the Indianapolis 500." Aldean hosted more than 41,000 fans at the inaugural Legends Day concert at the new Turn 4 infield stage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. Next stops on the stadium headliner’s tour schedule include Nashville’s LP Field and AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

Over the long weekend, Miranda Lambert surprised Carrie Underwood with a brand new motorcycle. Carrie shared a picture of herself atop the black and chrome two-wheeler late Saturday night, saying that she needs a little training before hitting the open road. The generous gift appeared to be a thank you gift for recording and performing "Something Bad'" on Lambert’s new Platinum album. The two country superstars then seemed to go their separate ways for the remainder of the holiday weekend as Miranda spent the weekend at home in Oklahoma riding horses and Carrie tweeted out on Sunday, "We had to rename the “slip ‘n slide” after one of our daredevils got stitches. It is now called the ‘slip ‘n slash." The two will come together again soon to perform their new duet on the CMT Music Awards on June 4.

The Grand Ole Opry will head into the middle of it all during CMA Music Fest week with artist signings, a benefit auction, an Opry performance, and more, all in the heart of downtown Nashville. Several artists will be signing autographs for fans at the Opry Originals shop in downtown Nashville including Montgomery Gentry, Scotty McCreery, Josh Turner, Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch.
by Christal Blue posted May 23 2014 9:25AM
The Band Perry family was 2014 inductees at the Junior Achievement Tri-Cities TN/VA Business Hall of Fame gala of record attendance earlier this month. The family trio and their parents, who call Greeneville home, are the first laureate family to join the long line of the prestigious regional entrepreneurs and business leaders honored by Junior Achievement. The Band Perry said in a statement, "Receiving this honor is very humbling to us. It is important for us to be good role models for young people so they will know that they can make their dreams come true."

CMT has announced that on their 2014 CMT Music Awards show on June 4, they are adding performances from Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay, Danielle Bradberry, David Nail, Thomas Rhett and Tyler Farr as performers on the Nationwide Insurance stage. For the seventh consecutive year, Nationwide Insurance will be featured frequently throughout the show on a branded performance stage. Performers already announced for the 2014 CMT Music awards include Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert.

Brantley Gilbert's week-long motorcycle ride wraps up at Arlington National Cemetery Monday with a special Memorial Day ceremony to honor our fallen soldiers. The "Bottoms Up" singer partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation to support the families of those who've lost loved ones in battle.  Before his event at Arlington National Ceremony, Brantley will be pulling double duty, appearing at both the Indianapolis 500 race in Indiana and the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina on Sunday.  Brantley's ride from Athens to Arlington coincides with the release of his brand-new album, Just As I Am, now in stores and online. (Photo Credit: )

Jason Aldean headlines the inaugural Legends Day concert at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday. The event celebrates current and legendary drivers of the Indianapolis 500, which will be held Sunday. Jason's performance is part of his partnership with Firestone tires for their Destiny Country campaign.  Jason's concert will take place at the new Turn 4 infield stage. Tyler Farr is set to open the show. 
by Christal Blue posted May 22 2014 9:06AM
Jerrod Niemann’s latest chart topper "Drink to That All Night," is going pop with the help of superstar Pitbull.  Jerrod says, "I can think back to when Nelly and Tim McGraw did a song a while ago, and whenever you have two genres of music come together, that kind of fusion is just fun to me, not just because of what comes of it musically, but also in terms of introducing listeners to different styles and songs that they might never have heard otherwise.” The original version of “Drink to That All Night" is featured on Niemann’s current album, High Noon.

Craig Morgan now has a line of sportswear thanks to lifestyle brand Farm Boy. The newly launched line currently includes two men’s/women’s t-shirt designs and can be purchased at and stops along Morgan’s "2014 The Journey Tour," with additional merchandise to be added in the coming weeks. The new co-branded merchandise line can also be purchased during CMA Music Festival in Nashville from the Farm Boy Farm Girl booth inside Fan Fair X. Morgan is scheduled to sign autographs for fans in the Farm Boy Farm Girl booth at 3:00pm on June 6 during the festival.

The Grand Ole Opry is set to host the 6th Annual Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction on June 5 downtown at the CMA Music Fest Buckle Stage at 4th Ave. and Broadway. Scotty McCreery is scheduled to perform and guest host the event, which is open to the public. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, which assists members of the country music community in need. Guitars up for auction include autographs from Luke Bryan, Jimmy Dickens, Florida Georgia Line, Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride, McCreery, the men of ABC’s Nashville, Reba, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood and Chris Young.

Wynonna and her husband producer/drummer Cactus Moser are heading to New York this week to make several national TV appearances on behalf of the new film The Hornet’s Nest, which features unprecedented real footage to tell the story of an elite group of U.S. troops sent on a dangerous mission deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys. The couple was so moved after learning of the project from the film’s directors that they wrote and recorded a new original song exclusively for the film titled "Follow Me." The couple will discuss the song and movie as well as perform "Follow Me" today on ABC’s Good Morning America and the nationally syndicated show Katie. (Photo Credit: )
by Christal Blue posted May 21 2014 9:26AM
Joe Nichols and his wife Heather announced the birth of their daughter Georgia Blue Nichols yesterday. Georgia was born at 8:06 am CST in Nichol's native Texas. The brown-eyed girl weighed in at 7 lbs and 4 oz. Georgia is 19 ½ inches in length and has beautiful brown hair. Joe and Heather Nichols, who have been married since 2007, are also parents to older sister Dylan who turned two years old on April 17. Nichols is also father to daughter Ashelyn, 15, from a previous marriage. Baby and mother are both happy and healthy. (Photo Credit: )

CMT announced yesterday that television and movie actress Kristen Bell will host the 2014 CMT Music Awards. Bell revealed on Twitter that she will return to host country music’s biggest party of the year when the 2014 CMT Music Awards air live on June 4. She previously co-hosted the fan-voted show with Jason Aldean in 2013 and Toby Keith in 2012, but this year she will host solo. Broadcast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the 2014 CMT Music Awards will include performances by Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Miranda Lambert with more performances to be announced soon.

Josh Turner is going to be a new dad later this year. He and his wife are expecting their fourth son in September, and he tells People magazine "it's a welcome surprise."  Josh and wife Jennifer's brood currently includes Hampton, who's 7 1/2; Colby, who turns 5 next month; and Marion, 3. Josh says Colby has suggested the family name the baby "Backwoods Boy," but the singer all but ruled out the idea.

LeAnn Rimes will kick things off Nashville’s "signature" event in the AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X with autograph signings, concerts, lifestyle exhibits, a marketplace, interviews with the stars, demonstrations, and much more inside the Music City Center during 2014 CMA Music Festival, June 5-8 in Nashville. Each morning during the Festival, a different Artist of the Day will take to the CMA Close Up Stage to kick off the day’s events.  Opening day will feature LeAnn discussing her new VH1 TV show that will be shown in the CMA Screening Room. Friday’s Artist of the Day will be Sara Evans, who will be joined by longtime video director Peter Zavadil, as they discuss her career and share an insider look at her video highlights. Craig Morgan will get the action started as Artist of the Day on Saturday, and Lady Antebellum will make a special Artist of the Day performance on Sunday.
by Christal Blue posted May 20 2014 11:50AM
Lady Antebellum performs on tonight ACM's All-Star Salute To the Troops, taped back in April the night after the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, which airs tonight on CBS. As Charles shares, the event really made an impact on him and gave him something tangible that he often wears on stage:  (Lady A's Charles Kelley) "One of the service men that was preforming with us gave me, when he was up there, a bracelet. Apparently, I guess when one of their brother’s falls as solider they give them a bracelet in his honor and he literally has name and all those things and numbers and stuff and that kind of technical stuff. But before he gave it to me, he said 'man if he knew you were wearing it and being up on stage and doing this.' I was like I can’t take this; this is like your friend that died in battle. I was like I can’t do that. He was like 'Trust me. This would mean so much to him.' So I got to wear it on the performance and I’ve been wearing it live about half the shows. I pop it on there." (Listen to more of this story from Marine Corps Captains Matt Smith and John Ed Auer here.)

Reese Witherspoon paid some good money on Saturday night to sing a song that won her an Oscar several years ago. Reese got on stage to sing "Jackson" with Kenny Chesney and donated $24,000 for Drew Brees' foundation at a bash hosted by Matthew McConaughey. In return she got to sing at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Witherspoon looked a bit tipsy swaying a bit and forgetting the words to the song originally sung by June Carter Cash who Reese played in the Walk The Line movie in 2005. (Photo Credit: )

Dierks Bentley will be performing his irreverent new single "Drunk On A Plane" on NBC's Todayshow this morning and then on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday on CBS. Bentley is fresh off a three-show run playing to capacity crowds on the east coast, where more than 50,000 fans joined for the second weekend of his headlining "2014 Riser Tour." The new video for "Drunk On A Plane" debuted last week on Funny Or Die, receiving the most votes for "funny" of any music video premiere on the comedy site since its inception. It's now available to fans across all viewing partners.

Ronnie Dunn tells Country Weekly that even though he just released a new album called Peace Love and Country Music, there’s a good reason why he won’t tour to support his new project. He says, "This year we had like 65 or 70 dates on the calendar, all lined up. It was kind of feeling like the same ol’, same ol’. It’s like what can I do to beat what I’ve already done? (Reba McEntire'shusband/manager) Narvel said, ‘Why don’t you just back off? Why don’t you stop and be still and see what happens.’ He said, ‘Any time we’ve caught ourselves being frustrated over the years, we have encouraged Reba to stop and sit back. Inevitably something drops out of the sky.'" Dunn just released his second single from the new project, a song called "I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes."
by Christal Blue posted May 20 2014 11:28AM
Locally stationed active duty Marines, Captain Matt Smith and Captain John Ed Auer were selected to play with Lady Antebellum on ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops in honor of Memorial Day.  (Airs Tues. 5/20/14 at 9PM ET on CBS).  They called into More in the Morning and talked with Denny and Christal about the experience.  When asked how they met, here's what they had to say:

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Topics : Human Interest
by Christal Blue posted May 19 2014 11:05AM

Taylor Swift surprised a group of Tennessee fourth graders during a field trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum last week. The kids were visiting the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum when Taylor came in and took photos with the kids and even answered questions then sat down with her guitar to play an acoustic version of "We Are Never Getting Back Together." The Taylor Swift Education Center opened at the Museum in October after Swift made the largest single donation made by an artist in the museum's history of four million dollars.

After much speculation, it's official as Brad Paisley has been announced as a member of the panel of experts on ABC’s new singing competition series Rising Star. As we reported last week, Josh Groban will host and Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris will be the panel of experts. Rising Star, which premieres Sunday, June 22, completely reinvents the traditional singing competition by being the first ever interactive music competition and the audience has the final say in real time. Brad, Groban, Kesha and Ludacris made their debut appearance on The 2014 Billboard Music Awards as Rising Star’s host and experts last night. (Photo Credit: )

Tomorrow night, Tim McGraw will reveal a brand new song from his upcoming album Sundown Heaven Town in a live performance on the season finale of NBC's The Voice. Fans will be able to purchase the track at digital retailers following the performance. A growing number of fans are engaging in the digital program that gives them unprecedented access to exclusive content as the clock winds down to street date. Tim will also appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday and the Today summer concert series on Friday. The album will be out in September.

Following film screenings across the country and overseas, Dierks Bentley’s intimate documentary film Dierks Bentley: Riser is now available in its entirety on the video streaming giant Hulu. This is the first time that Hulu has ever featured a modern country artist. Directed by Wes Edwards and produced by Ruckus Films, the full-length piece gives fans a glimpse into the country superstar's life on the road, in the studio and at home with his family. The film documents the ups and downs following the death of his father through the birth of his first son - the story that inspired his seventh studio album, Riser.

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