Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley wrapped up his 2010 H2O Tour in Oklahoma. In the crowd was a young lady, Sierra Kihega, holding a sign saying "Cancer Sucks and Brad and Darius Rock. 13-Year-Old Kenya wanted to be here. Could you sign something for her?" Brad saw the sign and took off his Stetson, which sports a label reading "Made Expressly for Brad Paisley," and handed it to Sierra. After the show, he autographed the hat for Kenya, plus signed a hat for Sierra, too. Nice guy, that Brad, and he has two fans for life now.

Keith Urban was Oprah's guest yesterday, performing "Put You In A Song" live, plus opening up about his awkward first meeting with Nicole Kidman, the intervention that changed his life and how being truly in love and truly loved has also changed his life.

Gary Allan's vocal chord surgery went well and now he's on vocal rest - no talking or singing at all. He plans to be back on the road in February.

On the heels of Willie Nelson's pot arrest last week, he emailed the website Celebstoner.com to rant about legalizing marijuana, saying “There’s the Tea Party. How about the Teapot Party?" There's now a Facebook page for the Teapot Party.

Wanna gaze at Toby Keith and Scotty Emerick all of March, and Zac Brown Band all of August? Wanna support the USO while you do that? Then order a copy of the 2011 USO "Moments That Matter" calendar. Photos of the music stars, actors and athletes who visited troops on USO tours in 2010 are featured in the calendar, shot in full color. The wall calendar is free, but the USO appreciates donations in any amount. Write to USO, PO Box 96322, Washington DC 20090-6322, or call 888-484-3876.

The Judds "Last Encore" tour kicked off in Wisconsin this past weekend. Due to ticket demand, the tour has been extended into 2011.

Did you see Dolly Parton on the Larry King show? She discussed Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, and here are the juicy bits. About Miley, she said “I just think she is in a crosswind, trying to get over the 'Hannah Montana' little girl image and trying to become a young woman. I know she is going to be fine -- or I certainly hope so. I know she is very gifted." Dolly also had some words about Taylor Swift - “I don't know if there is such a thing as too much too soon. If it's your time, it's your time. I hope her 15 minutes of fame last for 40 years, and it very well might.”

Congratulations to Rascal Flatts, who's "Nothing Like This" is their 6th album in a row to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

Congratulations to The Band Perry, who's song "If I Die Young" hit number one this week on the Billboard Country Singles chart.

New music today from Tim McGraw - "Number One Hits" is a double-disc collection with 22 #1 singles among the 24 tracks. "Felt Good On My Lips" and a dance mix of "Indian Outlaw" round out the playlist.

Darius Rucker will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live this Thursday in LA. If you're in the area, maybe you want free tickets?

Happy birthday to Mindy McCready, who turns 35 today.

The tweet of the day is from Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles: "Thank you all for watching. So fun to do. And I felt validated b/c @Reba said I did a good job & she, of course, is the queen! Sweet!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Remember that fund-raising dinner I told you about last week, where dinner with Carrie Underwood and hubby Mike Fisher was auctioned off? The opening bid was $7,500 but the winning bid was $48,000! The winner gets dinner in their home with eight guests, two of whom are Carrie and Mike. Dinner will be made by chefs in the winner's home, and proceeds benefit childrens charities in Ottowa.

Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus and his wife Allison are expecting their first baby in about a month, and Jay's spilled the beans on what he wants for Christmas: "I want a happy, healthy baby, and if it's not too much to ask for, Santa, preferably a baby without colic." He and Allison plan to spend Christmas and New Years pretty close to home, and Jay say's they'll sign up for a birthing class, so he'll know what to do when daughter Madeline Leigh makes her appearance.

The rumors are whipping around Nashville about Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal, who were spotted together on Thanksgiving Day in New York, and then spotted together in Nashville on Saturday, enjoying a meal at Fido, a cafe near Vanderbilt University. The two were first seen together about a month ago, and according to eyewitness accounts, looked very much like a couple this weekend.

Dierks Bentley has been nearly as famous for his duct-taped boots as for his great country music. Well, this week, the boots will be no more. He tweeted over the weekend that he was taping them up for the last time, and would hold a small service and bury them this week. Be on the lookout for new boots on Dierks...wonder what brand he'll pick?

Over the holiday weekend, Willie Nelson was arrested yet again for pot posession. He and a couple of guys from his crew were stopped by the border patrol, searched and arrested when authorities found 6 ounces of pot on the bus. They made bail of about $1200 each and were out in a couple of hours, but must appear in court to answer the charges. The best line was on Twitter: "What's up with arresting Willie for pot? It's like arresting Santa for breaking and entering!"

Tim McGraw's "Number One Hits" comes out tomorrow.

Today, watch Keith Urban on the Oprah Show. He'll not only be interviewed, but will also perform "Put You In A Song." Tonight's the night for "CMA Country Christmas" on ABC. The day after the CMA Awards, many of the stars stayed in Nashville to tape tonight's show, hosted by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "There is no heat in our bedroom.And I dont mean in an "After The Fire Is Gone" country song kinda way.I mean,literally,NO HEAT.Broke.Heater."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Happy Thanksgiving! As you spend the day in your traditional way - with family, friends, neighbors or maybe working - may you have a safe and wonderful day. And if you are working today, know that I am thankful for you. Because you are on duty, we're all safer. To the firefighters, police officers, EMTs, hospital workers and military who are on duty today instead of on the couch watching parades and football, you are one of the blessings I'll count today. Thank you.

Taylor Swift visited the Chelsea Lately! show and told Chelsea Handler her favorite part about living alone: "You can walk around and have conversations with yourself and like, sing your thoughts. … I think I'm the only one who does that." She also said that she won't be haunting the bars when she turns 21 next year: "I have the deeply engrained fear of getting into trouble and being sent the principal's office of life."

The Guiness Book of World Records people are still tabulating, but Tuesday's 5th annual Mission Possible Turkey Fry was a big success as far as host Tracy Lawrence is concerned. Over 800 turkeys were donated and fried, and clothing and cash donations poured in as well. Tracy and his family will deliver 125 cooked turkeys to a tent city near his home in Wilson County, TN today, and donations are still pourin in to the Nashville Rescue Mission, which hopes to receive a thousand turkeys before week's end.

Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts both had big weeks with their new cds, but Rascal Flatts won the race by 3,000 units. Their "Nothing Like This" is #1 on the country album chart with nearly 165,000 sold, followed by Keith Urban's "Get Closer" at #2 with sales of 162,000.

Keith Urban's halftime performance at the Cowboys/Saints game is the centerpiece of a tv special that airs this Saturday on the NFL Network. Since his arrival in Dallas yesterday, he's had a film crew following him around, documenting what goes into producing a successful halftime show. Knowing Keith, there'll be some up-close-and-personal info included in the show.

Country music is all over your television for Thanksgiving. Watch Carrie Underwood on CBS's "Thanksgiving Day Parade," Gloriana on NBC's "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," Keith Urban playing the halftime show for the Cowboys/Saints game on Fox, Josh Gracin singing the National Anthem before the Lions/Patriots game on CBS, Taylor Swift's album release special, "Taylor Swift: Speak Now" on NBC tonight, Dolly Parton on Live with Regis and Kelly, and finally James Otto and Ronnie Milsap perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The tweet of the day is from Taylor Swift: "Why, at my family gatherings, do we always have to end up youtubing funny cat videos.."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Don't know how much it went for, but last night, one of 100 attendees at an exclusive fund-raising dinner in Ottowa won a catered dinner for 8, including dinner guests Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher, in the winner's home. The opening bid was $7,500 and the money raised will go to The Roger's House, a pediatric palliative care facility, and the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs.

Keith Urban is playing a show in Dallas tonight at West Village. It's a free show, and is first-come, first in the door. If you're in Dallas, you should be in line right now!

Apparently some Carrie Underwood fans have embarked on a hate campaign against Taylor Swift, posting truly ugly messages to her on Facebook and Twitter. Didn't their Mamas teach them that you can't lift someone up by tearing someone else down?

Brad Paisley's crew pranked Justin Moore onstage at the final show of the 2010 H2O tour. Watch as Justin gets duct-taped to a dolly and fitted with a blonde wig for "I Can Kick Your Ass."

During the show, Brad quipped, "In case you missed it, last week I got some really great news. I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance and they handed me an award, too." The CMA Entertainer of the Year was joined onstage by Roy Clark for an instrumental version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky," performed a request made by a 3-year-old (Beyonce's "Single Ladies") and the tour was capped off with the encore song, "Alcohol," with Brad, Roy Clark, Justin Moore and Darius Rucker all pitching in.

And big congratulations to Brad Paisley for 14 #1 songs in a row - "Anything Like Me" is on the top of the charts this week.

Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour 2011 will play 87 shows in 19 countries on four continents. Phew...I'm tired just thinking about it! The tour begins February 9th in Singapore, and hits North America on May 27th. While in the States, Taylor will play six stadium shows.

Taylor Swift is on Chelsea Lately on E! tonight, and Garth Brooks is on the Oprah Winfrey Show today.

Country music is all over your television for Thanksgiving. Watch Carrie Underwood on CBS's "Thanksgiving Day Parade," Gloriana on NBC's "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," Keith Urban playing the halftime show for the Cowboys/Saints game on Fox, Josh Gracin singing the National Anthem before the Lions/Patriots game on CBS, Taylor Swift's album release special, "Taylor Swift: Speak Now" on NBC tomorrow night, Dolly Parton on Live with Regis and Kelly, and finally James Otto and Ronnie Milsap perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "For all of you guys air traveling for Thanksgiving, be safe, and don't forget to tip the bag handlers. And the luggage handlers too."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Gonna have to wait a while to see Keith Urban on stage for his Get Closer 2011 tour. It'll kick off June 16th in Mobile, and hit 44 cities before it wraps October 15th. For Keith, playing live is the best part of what he does: “I’ve always felt that the best live concert experiences tap into a deep need in all of us to feel a part of something...to belong. I’m bringing the big boom box and an arsenal of songs and I can’t wait to throw this party!”

The project has been in the works all year, and finally will be heard starting February 8th. So many artists wanted to be part of a Waylon Jennings tribute that the project has grown to three volumes. "Waylon - The Music Inside Volume 1" will be released in February, with 2 and 3 coming out later in 2011. The first single will be Alabama - yes, the entire band got together to do this - covering "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way." Also on the project are Trace Adkins, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and James Otto. You can pre-order the V-Album starting December 1 and get the Alabama song as a free download when you do.

This year, the CMA Awards show on ABC, with performances by the biggest country stars, had it's highest ratings ever. This year, the American Music Awards on ABC, with only one country performance, had it's lowest ratings ever. Do you think some changes might be made next year to the American Music Awards? I'm guessing so!

CMT has named Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum as their Artists of the Year, and to celebrate, are offering you the chance to win prize packs from each artist. You only have until December 9th to sign up. The CMT special honoring these artists airs on December 3rd at 8 Eastern time on CMT.

Did you miss seeing Garth Brooks on the Tonight Show last Friday? Here you go.

Tomorrow, Taylor Swift will be on the Ellen Degeneres show and on Chelsea Lately. Thursday night, she has a tv special, "Speak Now" on NBC at 8. Sugarland is part of another tv special at 8 Eastern on Thanksgiving night, this one on CNN. "CNN Heroes - An All-Star Tribute" is hosted by Anderson Cooper, and features Sugarland singing "Stand Up."

It's not country music, but it is pretty entertaining. Someone made a mash-up of the top tv catch phrases over a 60-year time span. It takes only 2:26 to watch - check it out and see how many of the shows you know.

Happy birthday to Miley Cyrus, who turns 18 today.

The tweet of the day is from Reba: "You may be a Redneck this Thanksgiving if you still have your red solo cup with your name on it from last year! Guilty...."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

At the American Music Awards last night, Carrie Underwood won Country Album of the Year. If you watched the show, you missed it - that award was given off-camera. Lady Antebellum won Favorite Country Group, beating Rascal Flatts and Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley won Favorite male Country Performer and Taylor Swift won Favorite Female Performer. She also had the entrance of the night - she was lowered from the ceiling, along with a white piano. She played "Back to December" to the delight of the crowd.

Tickets for Kenny Chesney's August 27th stadium show in Foxboro, MA went on sale Saturday morning and sold out in 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, Oprah is going Aussie and taking Keith Urban with her. She'll be taping shows in Sydney, Australia and Keith Urban will perform on one of them. He and Nicole Kidman will also be interviewed, and Oprah's taking her own audience with her - she'll award trips to fans so they'll get to see Australia, too.

Tomorrow is Tracy Lawrence's 5th annual Mission: Possible turkey fry to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission, and Tracy has big plans for it. “We may try and get in the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest turkey fry in the history of the world. If we’ve got several turkeys that are on board that are connected with this thing to see how many turkeys we can fry in one day. Wouldn’t that be awesome?” This event is always a star-watching opportunity as Tracy's country music friends stop in to lend a hand.

What are Miranda Lambert and her tour-mates, Eric Church and Josh Kelly, doing when they're not on stage? Songwriting, apparently. She's written three with Josh Kelley and four with Eric Church. Working on a new album? Miranda says, I love ‘Revolution’ still and I can’t even imagine starting on a new record.” Guess that means she's just keeping that songwriting muscle exercised!

People Magazine has released their 100 Sexiest Men Alive list, and several country stars are on it. Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw made the cut, with actor Ryan Reynolds being crowned this year's sexiest man.

Forbes columnist John Dragoon is a fan of Taylor Swift. Maybe he likes her music, but he's head over heels for her marketing sense, and uses her success as the springboard for a column on what every Chief Marketing Officer should learn from Taylor Swift.

Alan Jackson's "34 Number Ones" is in stores today. The two-disc set includes Alan's all-time favorite song, "Livin' On Love." He says, "I do that just about every night and the crowd always likes that one, and I don’t know I never get tired of that one.”

Taylor Swift is on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Miranda Lambert: "I think it's 4 degrees outside. North Dakota. My dogs think it's broken outside. The look at me like mom fix it!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery is fighting prostate cancer. He'll have surgery to remove the tumor in December,and expects to be back out on tour early next year. He's currently on tour with bandmate Troy Gentry, and their last stop before the holiday break is December 4th.

This Sunday night is the American Music Awards, and Lady Antebellum is tied with Eminem for top number of nominations, with five. They're nominated in the all-genre Favorite Band, Duo or Group, the Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and are up for Favorite Artist in the adult contemporary catgory, too. The Country category looks like this:

Favorite Male Artist
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Brad Paisley

Favorite Female Artist
Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Favorite Band, Duo or Group
Zac Brown Band
Lady Antebellum
Rascal Flatts

Favorite Album
Jason Aldean/ Wide Open
Lady Antebellum/ Need You Now
Carrie Underwood/ Play On

The show airs live from Los Angeles Sunday night on ABC.

We're getting a better idea of what the first-ever American Country Awards show will look like when it airs on December 6th, live from Las Vegas. Trace Adkins will host and perform, and Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Uncle Kracker have been added to the performer list, which already included Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Blake Shelton and Josh Turner. You can vote - once daily, if you'd like - for Artist of the Year until December 4th.

Kix Brooks, who was a theatre major in college, has been cast in the indy film, "Thriftstore Cowboy." He plays a bad guy who's not all that bad, but hangs with the wrong people. The movie is filming in Phoenix, Arizona, and no release date has been announced yet.

Rascal Flatts and JC Penney have teamed up to help the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. JC Penney will give $1 from each sale of "Nothing Like This" through March 15th to the Salvation Army. Rascal Flatts started the promotion off with a $100,000 donation to the Angel Tree program, and in the spirit of the event, also adopted their own angels, providing clothing and wish-list items for them this holiday season.

Counting down to the CMA Christmas special on November 29th, it's the 12 memories of Christmas from some of your favorite country artists. Starting it off is Miranda Lambert.

Lady Antebellum's "Hello World" video includes some live concert footage.

Keith Urban was on the Today Show on Wednesday, and talked about his losses in the flood, his life with Nicole and the making of "Get Closer." He also played "Put You In A Song" and "Sweet Thing."

Happy birthday to Billy Currington today, and Dierks Bentley and Josh Turner tomorrow.

Today, Sugarland is on the Nate Berkus show, Garth Brooks is on the Tonight Show and The Secret Sisters are on the Late Show with David Letterman. Tomorrow, the CMT Crossroads with Martina McBride and Train debuts. Sunday night, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and Kid Rock are all on the American Music Awards are on ABC.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "My prayers go up for @LuckymanEddie he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The December issue of People Country is out, and includes a story about Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney, his wife Tiffany and their new daughter Raquel Blue. More pictures, including some with big brother Jagger, accompany the story. People's country issue is on newsstands now.

Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker helped Jimmy Kimmel celebrate National Unfriend Day Eve (NUDE) by singing "To All the Friends I've Un'ed Before."

Kenny Chesney is giving away 10,000 free copies of his football documentary, "The Boys of Fall," to high schools who ask for it. Requests have to be on school letterhead and must be received by 12/31/10. Mail the request to Kenny Chesney, PO Box 121895, 2006 Acklen Ave., Nashville TN 37212. According to Kenny's manager, Clint Higham, "He wants to help inspire future generations with the same passion he feels."

Congratulations to Dolly Parton, whose Dollywood theme park has been named the best theme park in the world by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Congratulations to Taylor Swift, who tops the Billboard Country Chart again this week with "Speak Now." It's sold over a million and a half copies in just a couple of weeks.

Trace Adkins is on Fox & Friends and Freedom Watch today, Keith Urban is on the Early Show on CBS and Jewel is on the Tonight Show.

The tweet of the day is from Jay De Marcus of Rascal Flatts: "In one day, if you had a nickel for every car horn blown in NYC.... You could pay the national deficit... Now there's your bailout!!!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Yesterday, to celebrate his cd release, Keith Urban played some songs in some unconventional
places. One of them was on a train to Philadelphia. He started in New York City at the 30th Street Station, where he played a four-song set in the station. Then he hopped the Amtrak train to Philadelphia and proceeded to serenade the train-load of people while they traveled. One of the songs he performed on the way to Philly was Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom. "It was either that or I do a Philly cheesesteak theme song," Keith quipped. Bet he could make a cheesesteak song a hit, don't you think?

Got a Taylor Swift fan in your life? Then you have two shots at a pretty cool Christmas present for that fan. Taylor Guitars, Sony and CMT are offering the Taylor Swift Speak Now Sweepstakes through December 15th. The prize package includes a trip for two to a Taylor Swift concert, a Sony digital camera and an autographed Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar. Enter to win that one, but hedge your bets if your bank account is full - you can bid on the identical prize package, which is being auctioned to benefit Vh1's Save The Music Foundation.

Did you miss Rascal Flatts on the Today show? They did "Fast Cars and Freedom."

And Jason Aldean was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, doing "My Kinda Party."

Jason Aldean is dedicating his 2011 My Kinda Party Tour to his Mom, saying, "This one is for my mom, who used to drive me to clubs when I wasn't even 16 yet, wait on me to play the same Alabama, John Anderson and George Strait covers every night, then drive me home and make me do my homework before bed." The tour kicks off January 11th in Little Rock, Arkansas, with Eric Church and JaneDear Girls opening for him.

Sugarland has another living liner note video for you, this one for the song "All We Are."

Carrie Underwood is on the cover of December's InStyle magazine, on newsstands the 19th of this month, and Taylor Swift is on the cover of Allure, which is available starting 11/23.

Keith Urban is on the Today show this morning, Reba's on Better With You on ABC, Rascal Flatts is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Kid Rock is on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Happy birthday to Reid Perry of The Band Perry, who turns 22 today.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "My favorite line...."When you're happy like a fool let it take you over..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The first-ever American Country Awards will air live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Fox TV December 6th, and Reba, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and Josh Turner are all lined up to perform. Voting for Artist of the Year is going on now until December 4th.

If you missed Kellie Pickler's turn as a red carpet interviewer for the Ellen Degeneres show, here are the hilarious highlights.

Martina McBride may not have picked up a CMA Award last week, but she did have a big Martina Moment...

Darryl Worley continues his God & Country Tour and has released a new song, "Unsung Heroes." Check it out...very touching and very true.

The December issue of People Country is on newsstands now, and it features Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban, with Reba on the cover. An online auction of portraits from the photo shoots will run from December first through seventeenth and benefit flood relief efforts in Middle Tennessee. As always, there's free country music downloads, and Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Joe Nichols and other country singers offered up great holiday tunes.

Congrats to Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson, who have the number one country song in America this week with "As She's Walkin' Away."

New music in stores to day from Rascal Flatts - "Nothing Like This" is their first cd on their new record label, Big Machine. Keith Urban's "Get Closer" is also out today, in two versions. The standard version is available wherever you buy music, but if you're a big Keith Urban fan, you'll also want to stop by Target for the deluxe version, featuring seven additional tracks. And Kid Rock's "Born Free" is out today, featuring duets with Martina McBride, Zac Brown, Sheryl Crow and Bob Seger.

Rascal Flatts is on the Today show this morning, and Keith Urban will be on it tomorrow. And hot on the heels of her CMA performance, Gwyneth Paltrow will be on "Glee" tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Taylor Swift: "Just realized this week I'll be completing a loop around the world. Nashville to London to Tokyo to LA back to Nashville. So. Much. Flying!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Last week, between singing at a friend's funeral and taking home the top BMI awards, Taylor Swift visited a school and spoke with 200 students - most of them girls. According to reports, Taylor talked about her love of reading and writing song lyrics, which she says are actually poems. "I love poetry," Swift said, "because if you get it right, if you put the right rhymes at the right ends of the sentences, you can almost make words bounce off a page." How many of those 200 kids do you think she inspired to read and write more?

You can buy it tomorrow, but you can hear it today. Check out Rascal Flatts' "Nothing Like This" on their Facebook page. Click the "Music" tab for the freebie.

Tour names just keep getting better. Josh Thompson will headline the 2010 Cold Beers & Reindeers Tour, hitting venues all over Texas in mid-December. The Christmas-themed show will feature Joanna Smith and James Wesley.

A fun surprise for the audience at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night - Restless Heart, the country super-group from the 80's and early 90's - made a surprise appearance and performed a couple of songs.

And Blake Shelton capped a phenomenal week just the way he dreamed he would - he was bow-hunting and took down a 12-point buck.

Rascal Flatts is on the Ellen Degeneres Show today, the Late Show With David Letterman tonight, then they'll be up early to perform on the Today show tomorrow. Lyle Lovett is on Castle, and Jason Aldean is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight.

Happy birthday to Jack Ingram, who turns 40 today.

The tweet of the day is from Billy Currington: "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions. Keep dreamin' yall. goodnite"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Turns out Miranda Lambert's day Wednesday was even more special than we knew. Not only was it her 27th birthday, not only did she win an arm-load of CMA awards and help boyfriend Blake Shelton celebrate his first two CMA wins, she also got a phone call from her musical hero. Her cellphone rang, she didn't recognize the number but answered it anyway, and the caller identified himself as Merle Haggard. Her response? "THE Merle? This is Miranda Lambert!" He chuckled, saying "I know - I called you." He congratulated her on her CMA nominations, wished her luck and also sent her 37 roses - 27 pink ones to celebrate her birthday, 9 yellow ones to celebrate her CMA nominations and one red one, just for her. Take a lesson, Blake - that's a seriously thoughtful bouquet!

From People Magazine, the best quotes from the stage, the red carpet and backstage at the CMA Awards:

1.) “Are you guys gonna wear your meat suits at least?” – Show co-host Brad Paisley said while mistaking winners Lady Antebellum with Lady Gaga.
2.) “Gwyneth, I’ve always wanted to ask you something. Can you get me two Coldplay tickets?”- Brad Paisley “Can you make it four?” – co-host Carrie Underwood said to Gwyneth Paltrow who’s married to frontman Chris Martin.
3.) “Normally I root for Miranda at these things, but that was way before I ever got nominated. We’ll just leave it at that. You can always draw your own conclusions.” Blake Shelton told People regarding his game face to compete against fiancĂ© Miranda Lambert.
4.) “All you have to do is read the teleprompter. I can read. Check!” –Kellie Pickler told CMT host Evan Farmer on acing her job as a presenter.
5.) “Yes, she does have a southern accent, but she says y’all and g’day mate. She’s a mix.” –Nicole Kidman said to CMT host Evan Farmer on raising daughter Sunday Rose.
6.) “I think it’s a really fun dress; it kind of looks like a Gothic cake topper!”- Julianne Hough said to People regarding her Georges Chakra gown and her first time wearing black at an awards show.
7.) “I went to a great bar and had a pint of Guinness. That’s my new ritual. I’m feeling good!” – Performer Gwyneth Paltrow told CMT host Katie Cook about her pre-show jitters.
8.) “I don’t know what’s going on. I just told Blake I think we need to go to church.” - Miranda Lambert said while accepting that award for Female Vocalist of the Year, and also after Blake took the trophy for Male Vocalist.
9.) “Come on man, everybody here knows that Brad Paisley lip syncs.” – NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon said while imitating Brad.

Taylor Swift has been added to the list of performers at the American Music Awards, airing November 21st on ABC.

Ready for more awards? The People's Choice Award final nominees are ready for your votes. Tim McGraw is up for Favorite Male Vocalist, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are nominated for Favorite Female Vocalist, and in the Favorite Country Artist category, Taylor and Carrie are joined by Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts. Carrie Underwood also shows up in the Favorite TV Guest Star category.

Rascal Flatts has rounded up Luke Bryan and Chris Young and will kick off the winter leg of their "Nothing Like This" tour January 14th in Sioux Falls, SD.

Carrie Underwood has been added to the list of performers on CBS's "Thanksgiving Day Parade Show."

The Lifetime Channel movie, "Unanswered Prayers," based on the Garth Brooks song of the same name, will debut on November 29th.

Reba's on the David Letterman show tonight. Tomorrow morning on NBC's "Weekend Today" Little Big Town will be featured during the 8am hour in a segment called "Secrets of Songwriters." They'll talk about how "Little White Church" went from an idea recorded into a cell phone to a top 10 single for the band.

This Sunday night's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is the one shot in Middle Tennessee, featuring Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and LeAnn Rimes.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "After an amazing week I'm home & ready 4bed. After having 2 fit in tiny dresses I had a big fat steak, a loaded baked potato and a martini!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The CMA show last night was just what an award show should be - long on great performances and filled with appreciative acceptance speeches and an appreciative audience. Miranda Lambert went into the night with 9 nominations and ended up with four awards: Video of the Year and Song of the Year for "The House That Built Me," Album of the Year for "Revolution" and Female Vocalist of the Year. She was nominated in seven categories, with two nominations each in two of the categories, so she went 4 for 7, which is really great! Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins had a good night - before the televised portion of the show started, they found out they won the award for Musical Event of the Year for "Hillbilly Bone." Blake also won Male Vocalist of the Year. Lady Antebellum picked up two awards, too - their song "Need You Now" earned the Single of the Year award and they picked up the Vocal Group of the Year award. Sugarland won Vocal Duo of the Year and the Zac Brown Band was named New Artist of the Year. Poor Brad Paisley only earned one award, but it was the one he really wanted to win - Entertainer of the Year. It's his first time winning that award, but probably not his last.

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are now part of a very small, very unique group. By winning the CMA Best Female Vocalist and Best Male Vocalist awards on the same night, they join the only other couples who've done it: Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Lorrie Morgan and Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The Tim and Faith win was a decade ago, in 2000.

Miranda Lambert's Album of the Year award for "Revolution" makes her one of only six female artists to win that award. She joins Anne Murray, Patty Loveless, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack and Taylor Swift.

Who did country divas Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson have on their arms last night? They each had two dates - their daughters. Sweet!

And in case you lost count, Carrie Underwood had 8 outfit changes last night. And she looked great in each one of them, didn't she? People.com has a photo album of star shots from last night's show.

Lady Antebellum has had a great week, which included some work on the "Hello World" video.

Rascal Flatts will be part of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series Ceremony on Friday, December 3rd at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. They'll perform, and the ceremony will air live at 9pm Eastern on the Speed channel.

The top three albums in the country are Taylor Swift's "Speak Now," Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" and Sugarland's "Incredible Machine." Take that, rappers and rockers!

The CMA line of the night was from Brad Paisley: “After the night Miranda and Blake are having we can expect a baby in nine months.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

All the stars who'll be performing on the CMA Awards show tonight have been in rehearsals this week. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are both hosting and performing, and they've been rehearsing since Sunday. Yesterday, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait and Gwyneth Paltrow were on stage, rehearsing their songs for tonight's show. Carrie and Brad have a special kind of pre-show workout...

Miranda Lambert, nominated for a record 9 CMA awards tonight, is also celebrating her 27th birthday today. But wait - there's one more thing she'll celebrate after the show: the end of her diet. She's had a personal trainer traveling with her on tour, and she's been watching what she eats. But tonight, the diet goes out the window as she hosts a post-show pizza party for her birthday. She says she hasn't eaten pizza in a month, and she can't wait.

Taking advantage of the fact that most of Nashville's biggest stars are in town during CMA week, other organizations hold their award ceremonies this week, too. Monday night at the SESAC Awards, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum won Songwriter of the Year for the second year in a row. Last night was the BMI Songwriter Awards ceremony, and even though she has a near shut-out in the CMA Award nominations, Taylor Swift had a big night. She won top honors - BMI's Country Songwriter of the Year - and in so doing, became the youngest person ever to win the award. She and Liz Rose shared Country Song of the Year for "You Belong With Me." It's been an emotional week for Taylor, who sang at a friend's funeral on Monday. She recognized him during her acceptance speech, saying “He was 21, and I used to play my songs for him first. So I would like to thank Jeff Lang.”

Forbes Magazine has issued their list of top-earning women, and Taylor Swift makes it for the first, but probably not last, time. On the strength of her tour, two endorsement deals and of course, sales of her music, Taylor is in the #9 spot.

1. Oprah Winfrey - $315 million
2. Beyonce Knowles - $87 million
3. Britney Spears - $64 million
4. Lady Gaga - $62 million
5. Madonna - $58 million
6. Sandra Bullock - $56 million
7. Ellen DeGeneres - $55 million
8. Miley Cyrus - $48 million
9. Taylor Swift (tie) - $45 million
10. Judge Judy Sheindlin (tie) - $45 million

Counting down to Keith Urban's next cd, "Get Closer" just got more fun. Target is offering Facebook streams of a track a day, with "Put You In A Song" and "You Gonna Fly" available now on the Facebook pages of Keith and Target.

Toby Keith was the Incognito Bandito in New York this summer, and one of the songs he did on stage was the classic Neil Diamond song, "Sundown."

Wanna see Garth Brooks in Las Vegas? New shows are about to go on sale, but they're gonna cost you. Steve Wynn, owner of the Wynn Hotel where Garth is performing, announced a price increase of $100 per ticket, saying "The most important thing for our company is to give people value for their entertainment dollar. The contact with Garth in the Encore is the equivalent of being in his living room ... In terms of value, I believe that Garth is still underpriced and represents the greatest entertainment value in modern Las Vegas." Tickets for the December 3-5, January 21-13 and February 11-13 and 25-27 shows will run you $225 each and are available through Ticketmaster.com or at 877-65-GARTH (42784)

For the football player or football lover in your life, Kenny Chesney's documentary is out, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Here's a sneak-peek...

Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley are on Good Morning America today, Blake Shelton is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight after the CMA Awards, and nearly all of Nashville will be on ABC tonight for the 44th Annual CMA Awards, starting at 8pm Eastern.

Happy birthday to Miranda Lambert (27) and Chris Cagle (42) today.

The tweet of the day is from Trisha Yearwood: "9 shows for flood relief! Thank you to everyone who is supporting the community of Nashville. You guys rock!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Darius Rucker has written and produced a song for the PGA Tour, to raise money for the PGA charities. The song will be available early in 2011, and all proceeds will go to The First Tee and other PGA initiatives. The song, named "Together, Anything is Possible," will be part of PGA tour tv broadcasts, and there are plans for a "making of the song" video, along with public service announcements recorded by Darius. As an avid golfer himself, Darius was honored and delighted to be part of this project.

Martina McBride has changed record labels. After 18 years with RCA Nashville, she's now on the roster of Republic Nashville, the new home of Rascal Flatts. Republic is part of Scott Borchetta's Big Machine music empire, home of Taylor Swift.

It was a star-studded night last night in Nashville, as "Country Strong" had its industry premier. At the theatre were the film's stars, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw with wife Faith Hill, Tobey Maguire, Leighton Meester and country music luminaries like Martina McBride, Luke Bryan and Kix Brooks were in attendance. The movie won't open for the rest of us until January 7th, 2011.

New stars were added to Nashville's Walk of Stars. Rascal Flatts, Kris Kristofferson, Mel Tillis, Little Jimmy Dickens, Bobby Hebb and Eddy Arnold all were honored with their own stars in the Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville.

Kellie Pickler answered fan questions via her twitter account last night and revealed that she'll be co-hosing the red carpet coverage at the CMA Awards tomorrow night, wearing a Pamela Roland gown and that she and Kyle can't wait to have kids.

Gloriana took a float on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Middle East and performed for the troops.

Tonight, Jason Aldean is performing at the Hard Rock in Nashville. Can't be there? Don't worry...grab a beer and hit the internet - the show is streaming live and free, starting at 6:45 Eastern.

Congrats to Keith Urban, whose "Defying Gravity" cd has earned platinum status.

People.com has a photo gallery of country stars and their furry friends. There's also a photo gallery of Brad Paisley shots. Just like Brad, sometimes serious, sometimes silly.

Tomorrow night at the CMA Awards, look for Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban to be part of the opening performance. And during commercial breaks, look for Carrie Underwood's debut as the face of Olay beauty products.

New music out today includes Reba's "All The Women I Am" and Blake Shelton's "Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton" greatest hits package.

The tweet of the day is from Jack Ingram: "That was strange! I walk off the plane only 2 hear me welcome me 2 Nashville International Airport! I thought my voice sounded weird on tape"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

So who's the King of Nashville? Today, it's Garth Brooks, who sold out 9 shows at Bridgestone Arena Saturday afternoon. One show was announced, and it went on sale at 11am Eastern. All 13,000 tickets were sold in less than 5 minutes, melting down GarthBrooks.com and Ticketmaster.com. Several other dates at the arena were available, so tickets were put on sale for those, too. When the dust settled, there are Garth Brooks shows December 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22, with two shows per night on December 16, 21 and 22. Why all the frenzy? His is widely considered to be the best live show ever in country music, and these shows will be his first full-band concerts in Nashville since 1998. In all, over 140,000 tickets were sold in just a couple of hours, and more than $3.5 million will go towards re-building middle Tennessee after the devastating floods this year.

Tonight is the premier of "Country Strong" in Nashville. It'll be a star-studded night, but if you didn't get invited, it'll be a while before you get to see Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow in their new movie. It doens't open for the rest of us until January 7th, 2011.

When Lady Antebellum does their show in Charles & Dave's hometown of Augusta, GA a week from today, they're in for a special acknowledgement. The city will hold a street-re-naming ceremony in their honor. A road near James Brown Arena will be re-named "Lady Antebellum Way." The mayor notes, “I think it is just an appropriate thing to do, and we always want to celebrate Augustans that have gone on to do well and make it big. They definitely have.”

It's been such a hit, they're continuing the show. George Strait, Reba and Lee Ann Womack will hit the road again in January for the winter leg of their tour. On-sale dates will be announced on George Strait's website, but here are the show dates:

Jan. 14: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Jan. 15: Oklahoma City (Ford Center)
Jan. 27: Tallahassee, Fla. (Leon City Civic Center)
Jan. 28: Jacksonville, Fla. (Veterans Memorial Arena)
Jan. 29: Tampa, Fla. (St. Pete Times Forum)
Feb. 4: Fresno, Calif. (SaveMart Center)
Feb. 5: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Feb. 17: Indianapolis (Conseco Fieldhouse)
Feb. 18: Cleveland (Quickens Loan Arena)
Feb. 19: Auburn Hills, Mich. (The Palace)
March 4: Cincinnati (US Bank Arena)
March 5: Chicago (Allstate Arena)
March 25: Lubbock, Texas (United Spirit Arena)
March 26: Las Cruces, N.M. (Pan American Center)
April 1: Denver (Pepsi Center)
April 2: Salt Lake City (Energy Solutions Arena)
April 8: Columbia, Mo. (Mizzou Arena)
April 9: Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Arena)

Shania Twain is apparently in talks with the honchoes at the Coliseum in Las Vegas. No word on when her shows there might happen.

Catch Reba on Good Morning America tomorrow morning.

The tweet of the day is from Billy Currington during the Garth ticket frenzy on Saturday: "really cool that Garth Brooks can sell out 6 shows n nashville n only few minutes after being gone 10 years. GREAT ARTIST loved by so many"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Zac Brown Band and Kenny Chesney are teaming up for some stadium dates next year. The "Going Coastal" tour is expected to boast more tour dates for Kenny Chesney than ever before, plus these co-headlining stadium shows. Here's the stadium list...join the appropriate fan club for
earliest access to the best seats.

Sat March 19 - Tampa, FL - Raymond James Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat April 16 Dallas, TX - Cowboys Texas Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat June 4 Washington, DC - Fed Ex Field (on sale Fri Dec 3)
Sat June 11 - Green Bay, WI - Lambeau Field (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat June 18 Philadelphia, PA - Lincoln Financial Field (on sale Sat Nov 20)
Sat July 2 Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Field (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat July 30 - Kansas City, MO - Arrowhead Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat August 20 Detroit, MI - Ford Field (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat August 27- Foxboro, MA - Gillette Stadium (on sale Sat Nov 20)

And it's now official - Taylor has the best one-week album sales of any woman in country music, ever. "Speak Now" sold nearly 1,047,000 copies last week, easily out-pacing Shania Twain's "Come On Over" which sold 874,000 in it's debut week in 2002.

Taylor Swift took home the Billboard Top Package Award for her tour with Kellie Pickler and Gloriana last night at the Billboard Touring Awards. She was the only country act to be
recognized for tour excellence this year.

Speaking of Gloriana, the group will perform "Wild At Heart" on the 84th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, airing at 9am Eastern on Thanksgiving day.

More stars are lining up for the CMA festivities next week. Kid Rock will perform, Sara Evans will
present an award and Billy Ray Cyrus will host a Jack Daniels Black Carpet event to raise
awareness about COPD. (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.)

Didja miss Brad Paisley doing an acoustic version of "Anything Like Me" on Good Morning America? Got it here for you.

Tonight, catch Jason Aldean on the Tonight Show. Sunday, Willie Nelson does a pre-race concert and Lee Ann Womack is the Grand Marshall at the AAA Texas 500. They're there in support of the American Red Cross to raise awareness of the need for blood donations.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "A happy family is but an earlier heaven" John Browning. Have an inspired day!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

This afternoon, Sugarland will participate in a live Q & A event with Billboard reporters. You can watch the live interview, and can send your questions to Jennifer and Kristian via Twitter using the hashtag #bblivechat. The interview starts at 4:30 Eastern time this afternoon.

Here's the deal on the Garth Brooks tickets - they go on sale this Saturday morning for his benefit concert in Nashville on December 17th. Tickets are $25, plus $7.50 in Ticketmaster user fees and service charges, and go on sale at 11am Eastern time on Saturday, November 6th. Charge by phone at 866-448-7849 or 1-900-745-3000, or you can order them online at www.ticketmaster.com

Blake Shelton wants to put his fans in his CMA performance. In addition to giving away tickets to the CMA Awards to his BSers fan club members, he's also looking for people to be on stage when he performs at the CMA Awards. You don't get a ticket to the show, you just get to be part of it. If you can be in Nashville all day next Wednesday, sign up!

The line-up for next May's Bayou Country Superfest has been revealed, and it's a good one: Tim McGraw, Sugarland, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan and Josh Thompson will perform on May 28th, and Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington, Jason Michael Carroll and Lee Brice will hit the stage on May 29th. Tickets go on sale November 10th.

Taylor Swift was on Dancing With the Stars results show this week - here are her performances.

Tomorrow on a special celebrity edition of Ask Dr. Oz, Naomi Judd and Taylor Swift will ask questions. Naomi wants to know what she can do to keep her brain as fit as possible, and Taylor wants to know how to make healthy snacks out of normal grocery store items. Check your local listings to see when the Dr. Oz Show is on in your area.

Brad Paisley is on Good Morning America today.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Great to be back in New York. Really looking forward to a few days up here. And picking up a few cool souvenirs. Like bedbugs."