Monday, February 28, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The love-buzz around Taylor Swift continues, as she's been spotted several times with Glee star Chord Overstreet. Chord says his unusual first name came from his Dad, who is Nashville singer-songwriter Paul Overstreet. Chord is the third child in the family, and "three chords and the truth" rings true in the Overstreet clan, I guess!

Congratulations to The Band Perry and Eric Church. They've won the ACM Top New Duo or Group and Solo awards. They're competing for Top New Artist in the second round voting, which begins on March 11, along with Entertainer of the Year voting.

There was a little bit of country at the Academy Awards last night. Nicole Kidman was there with hubby Keith Urban. She was nominated for her role in "The Rabbit Hole" but lost the Best Actress Oscar to "The Black Swan's" Natalie Portman. And Gwyneth Paltrow sang part of the Oscar-nominated song, "Coming Home." That song was written by Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges, but it lost the Best Original Song Oscar to "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3. Taylor Swift wasn't spotted at the actual awards show, but she did attend a ton of Oscar-related parties in LA leading up to last night's gala.

Saturday night, Brad Paisley wrapped up his "H2O Frozen Over" tour in Nashville, telling the crowd early in the show that his doctor and his insurance agent were both in the crowd, so he felt like he had to behave. Apparently his alter-ego, "Mascot Brad: didn't feel like he had to toe the line - the guy in the big-headed Brad Paisley costume rolled out a portable bar and served as bartender to a host of VIPs on the side of the stage. As they were drinking and toasting, Brad got help with his encore song, "Alcohol." Darius Rucker, Jerrod Niemann and Sheryl Crow joined him onstage and on mic for the extra-lubricated version of the song.

Another tour featuring Brad Paisley - sort of - has been documented in a YouTube video. Fans have sent Bobblehead Brad all over the country, where he's had adventures like riding a steel bull, gettin' busy with various Barbies wearing Ken's clothes and hanging with assorted dogs and babies. It appears that this tour may not be quite over, but nothing is set in stone.

As that tour wraps up, another short tour is getting ready to launch. Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert were scheduled to be headed to Australia for their sold-out tour which kicks off Friday in Melborne, but there's a change in plans. Miranda is sick and can't make the tour, which breaks her heart. Though only a week long, the tour will get Alan in front of nearly every Aussie that cares to see the show, which seems to be most of them!

Keith Urban will be doing a homecoming tour as his "Get Closer World Tour" kicks off in Australia with Lady Antebellum in April. When he finishes there, he'll come back to the states and add Jake Owen and The Band Perry to various dates in the US and Canada.

Tomorrow, the lead singer for rock group "Staind" releases his first country effort. Aaron Lewis' first single is "Country Boy" and says this project is not a stretch for him: “I don’t have a twang, I don’t have a southern accent, I’m not from the south, but I’m from the sticks. And I grew up huntin’ and fishin’ and trappin’ and doin’ very, quote-unquote country things. You know, you’ll never catch me in a pair of cowboy boots or a ten gallon hat but…by life, I’m pretty country.”

Zac Brown Band is on the David Letterman show tonight.

Happy 34th birthday to Jason Aldean. He's taking a few days off the road before his tour cranks back up in Virginia with Eric Church this Thursday.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "So NOT motivated today. To do anything. But I did make a big pot of gumbo. So my house smells good. Have the windows open. Happy."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The Grammys were good to Lady Antebellum. Not only did they win 5 and perform on the show, they've had a really nice sales bump in the last week and a half. Sales of "Need You Now" have taken them back to #1 on the Billboard Country Album chart, as another 85,000 copies were snatched up since the Grammys. This brings their total sales of their second album to 3.2 million...and counting!

Last year, Carrie Underwood pledged to donate 36 cents from each ticket sold on her "Play On" tour between September and December to "Save the Children." This week, Carrie handed over the loot - $140,125.68. Her song "Change" was the inspiration for the donation.

This week, Tim McGraw treated some service men and women to a good hot meal. He and Outback Steakhouse served lunch Wednesday to 300 service members at the Texas National Guard Armory. It was part of Outback's "Thanks for Giving" campaign, tied in with the "Red, White and Bloomin'" special menu in March, with $1,000,000 to be donated to "Operation Homefront." Tim was involved with this last year, too, and is honored to be helping support our military. In other Tim news, he appeared on CNN's "American Morning" and was asked about running for elective office, something he's mentioned previously. His answer was a resounding "maybe." "That would be something that would be a long way away," he said. "You can't rule anything out. I think this is a great country, and it's given me so many opportunities and given me such a wonderful life that if somewhere down the line I felt that I could give back, I certainly wouldn't say no to it. But it would have to be a while and my kids would have to be grown up because I certainly don't want my closet to be opened up any time soon."

Willie Nelson has teamed up with rapper Snoop Dogg for a track on Dogg's upcoming album, "Doggumentary." The song is "Superman" and it's not the first time the two have collaborated. Here they are, performing the song in Amsterdam in 2008.

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland likes to cook. Actually, she loves to cook, and is featured in Food & Wine magazine, surrounded by her soup creations.

Toby Keith has teamed up with Shaw-Ross Importers and is rolling out Toby Keith's Wild Shot Mezcal next Thursday in Nashville. True to tradition, there will be a worm in every bottle, which is there to be eaten, not just as a decoration. Ewwwwwww...

Meanwhile, Rodney Atkins has teamed up with Massey Ferguson Tractors to help raise brand awareness there. Let's see...what rhymes with "Massey Ferguson?"

Lee Brice is part of the show with Hazel Smith on "Southern Fried Flicks" on CMT this weekend, and James Wesley performs at the NASCAR Basha Supermarket 200 on ESPN2 tomorrow.

Happy birthday to Ralph Stanley, who is 84 today.

The tweet of the day is from Darius Rucker: "Hey, it's Darius. This is my first official tweet- Just want everyone to know I DOMINATED Paisley's camp at poker tonight... DOMINATED.."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Love Miranda Lambert? Love homeless pets? There's a party for that. The "4th Annual Cause for the Paws" benefit concert, hosted and headlined by Miranda Lambert, will be on April 30th in Tyler, TX. Also performing are Stoney LaRue and Josh Kelly, though if it's anything like last year, expect to see Blake Shelton make an appearance, too. Oh, and a comparison of Blake and Miranda's tour schedules shows that Blake has one show on May 6th and Miranda has no shows in May. Her first June show is on the 9th and his is on the 14th. Some time between May 6th and June 9th, expect the two to tie the knot.

Apparently LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian are scouting ranches in Montana, hoping to rent one in the May/June time period so they can be married there. No official word, but the rumors are swirling.

Now it can be told...the reason Kellie Pickler's hubby has forbidden her (jokingly, apparently) from being on the Ellen Degeneres Show ever again is because yesterday's show turned into a bachelorette party for Kellie, complete with buff, scantily-clad dancers.

If you want a momento of Kellie Pickler's wedding to Kyle Jacobs on January first of this year, head to iTunes for video of the event set to the song "Say I Do."

No momentos being offered, but Brad Paisley's oldest son, Huck, celebrated his 4th birthday with a party at the Nashville Zoo. Kimberly, Brad's wife, does a lot of work on fund-raising for the Zoo, and the party allowed the kids to have special access to some of the animals. According to Brad, the day was very smooth and fun, with no one getting scared at their closeness to the big animals. And also according to Brad, Huck already has his first crush: Carrie Underwood. He picked out roses for her and dictated a Valentine message for his Mom to write to go along with them. When he met Carrie for the first time last week, he demonstrated his amazing 4-year-old arm strength by holding couch pillows over his head and saying, "see how strong I am?" When asked, he says "I don't like girls." But when Dad Brad asked, "What about Carrie?" Huck's answer was "Oh, I like her music."

And Brad Paisley has a new pre-show routine this year: stretching. Last year during the H2O tour he suffered from intense lower back pain, which he thinks may have contributed to his fall on stage. He's had a cortisone injection in his spine and is working with a physical therapist, who recommended the pre-show stretches. According to Brad, “I realized, here I am going out cold for a two-hour show where I run around like an idiot in a pair of cowboy boots, without warming up or anything, carrying around a 10-pound guitar. It’s not good for you." has a photo spread of Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman and their daughter, Sunday Rose. Only an iPhone shot of Faith Margaret so far.

It's a star-studded weekend at the Grand Ole Opry this weekend. Grammy winners invade the stage, with the Doobie Brothers making their Opry debut. Also performing this weekend are Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery Gentry, Neal McCoy, Marty Stuart, Keb' Mo', Dan Tyminski and many more. You can probably still get tickets if you hurry.

Happy birthday to Sammy Kershaw, who turns 53 today.

The tweet of the day is from Jaron of Jaron and the Long Road to Love: "And on the 8th day God made coffee. The end."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift made a video blog of her Asian trip, so when you have nine and a half minutes to watch, here you go!

Want to have a say in who's taking home some hardware at the ACM Awards? You only have until tomorrow at noon Eastern time to get your votes in. You can vote for Eric Church, Easton Corbin or Randy Houser in the Top New Solo Vocalist category, and The Band Perry, the JaneDear Girls or Steel Magnolia in the Top New Vocal Duo or Group category. They're all offering enticements to get your vote, so choose carefully!

Eric Church has a cute video, a free song and a shot at a trip to the 2011 CMA Music Festival.

Easton Corbin has a free song for you.

Randy Houser offers up an acoustic performance of his next single, plus shows off his celebrity connections.

The Band Perry has a free acoustic version of "Hip to My Heart" and wrangled Grandma Betty Lou into helping with their video.

The JaneDear Girls got YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill to help with their video.

Steel Magnolia got a thumbs-up from ACM co-host Blake Shelton in their video, but it could be one of those "with friends like that, who needs enemies" kind of thumbs up!

Congratulations to Garth Brooks, who will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at their annual dinner on June 16th. In reaction, Garth said, "To consider myself a 'songwriter' is something I find hard to agree with, for it is the songwriter that is the most gifted and most important ingredient in the music formula. I am humbled and flattered by this award and want to thank the songwriters I have written with in the past. I feel it is because of them I am receiving this award."

Keith Urban fans, here's a surfing alert for you: the free iTunes download of the week is "Georgia Woods," a song that Keith wrote on Waylon Jennings' guitar. Says Keith about the writing experience, "I wanted to use the guitar on some writing sessions and the riff that starts 'Georgia Woods' came straight out of that guitar. It’s like playing a holy grail." Follow the links for the content. While you're at iTunes, you might want to pick up the deluxe edition of "Get Closer," which includes several unreleased tracks plus live cuts from his "Love,Pain & the whole crazy thing" Atlanta tour stop.

Congratulations to Miranda Lambert, the first artist in history to sell out the legendary Billy Bob's Texas two nights in a row.

In case you missed Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson doing "Don't You Wanna Stay" on the Ellen DeGeneres show, here you go!

This Saturday, James Wesley will sing the National Anthem for NASCAR's Nationwide Series race at the Phoenix International Raceway. The Basha's Supermarket 200 will be broadcast on ESPN.

On tv today, catch Colt Ford on "The Teriot Family: Riot In The Bayou" on MTV and Kellie Pickler on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Happy birthday to Steve Holy, who turns 39 today.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "Be sure to watch @theellenshow today to see why my husband forbids me to go back on her show! ;)"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Miranda Lambert's Grammy Sunday was very emotional. On the same night she won her first Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Country Performance, her grandmother passed away. At a show in Texas this past weekend, she dedicated "The House That Built Me" to her, and according to the local paper, was "visibly overwhelmed at times" during the performance. The Star-Telegram reviewer said it was one of "the most moving experiences" he's ever seen at a concert.

Taylor Swift has completed the Asian leg of her "Speak Now" tour, and gathered up some heavy metal while she was there. "Speak Now" has been certified platinum in Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and the Plilippines. And in more good career news for Taylor, she's the only country artist to be in to top 10 of Billboard Magazine's Top Money Makers of 2011. She's #6 on the list, having made $20,730,431 last year. Lady GaGa topped the list at about $30.5 million, and Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Dave Matthews, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney and The Black Eyed Peas also landed in the Top 10. The entire top 40, in reverse order, is online.

There could be a superstar suprise on Brad Paisley's "This is Country Music." Rumor is that he and Carrie Underwood are working on a duet to be included on the project, which was to have been out in early April but has been pushed back to a May 24th release date.

In other duet news, Rascal Flatts teamed up with Justin Bieber for the song "That Should Be Me" for Justin's remix album, available at iTunes. Yesterday, the guys all teamed up to shoot a music video, so Bieber Fever will be spilling over into country music, too.

Dierks Bentley throws a pre-Grammy party each year, the night before the awards event. Each year it gets more star-studded, with Hollywood stars hitting the stage with Nashville's finests. Dierks excerpted the fun so we could all get a taste.

Lee Ann Womack got pranked good in Ohio last Friday. She's touring with Reba and George Strait, and the buses were parked behind the arena. Lee Ann took her dog out for a walk, and security guards told her all areas were off limits and she had to move along or get arrested. She was pretty shaken up by the experience and says she doesn't even know how she got back to her bus. Later that evening, as she walked off stage after her performance, she was met by a uniformed man with handcuffs and a badge. She says "her heart stopped" because she thought she was still in trouble for being in the wrong place earlier in the day. Nope - it was just members of her crew, pranking her. Cold!

Congratulations to Blake Shelton, who's pegged his third #1 song in a row with "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking." It's his 8th career #1 song. When he found out about this #1, he said, “Three No. 1’s in a row?! Thank you to every single person who works at a country radio station, you allow me to do the one thing that I love to do most in this world and that’s sing country music. I….Love…Y’all!”

Here's a history tidbit - on this day in 1999, Brad Paisley's debut single, "Who Needs Pictures," was released by Arista records.

Jason Aldean is on Conan O'Brien tonight and Kellie Pickler will be on Ellen tomorrow.

Happy birthday to Huck Paisley, who turns 4 today.

The tweet of the day is from David Nail: "Cleaning house before maid comes to clean the house? So what exactly am I paying the maid for again Mrs Nail"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Florida was hogging all the country music stars yesterday! In addition to those at Daytona, Kenny Chesney did a show in Palm Beach, Florida for the Everglades Foundation. The benefit concert happened because Jimmy Buffett, who is on the Board of Directors of the foundation, invited Kenny to be their musical guest this year. Kenny wasn't lonely on stage - Jimmy Buffett joined him on the songs "Back Where I come From" and "Come Monday," and Mac McAnally joined Kenny for "Down the Road."

It was a big country music day at Daytona yesterday, as Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley took the infield stage to perform just before the Daytona 500. Martina McBride nailed the National Anthem and Brad Paisley drove the pace car, sayint it was "the most ridiculously exciting thing" he's ever done. Rodney Atkins was part of Daytona, too, working the Crown Royal stage and announcing the winner of the annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400. The event at Richmond International Raceway is given the name of the grand-prize winner in Crown Royal's sweepstakes, but this year, the race will have two first names: Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400. US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Matthew Hansen was the grand prize winner this year, chosen from 5 military finalists who have shown themselves to be heroes. Matthew's godmother nominated him for his service during three deployments to Iraq, and for continuing to serve with courage and faith after losing his twin brother Daniel. Daniel lost his life during combat operations in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded. NASCAR hits Richmond on April 30th with the running of the "Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400." 43 drivers are signed up to compete for that very special trophy.

Lady Antebellum headlined the Gift of Music concert, a benefit for the Dustin J. Wells Foundation music program. Friday night, they played the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, and here's a minute from the show:

Zac Brown is putting his money where his heart is. He's building a place for special-needs kids to learn about music, life and health skills. Camp Southern Ground will be about 40 minutes south of Atlanta, and while it isn't in existence quite yet, it does have a website.

How did Alan Jackson know he'd hit it big? A little piece of his childhood landed in the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Sometimes I do “Chasing That Neon Rainbow” onstage, and I set the song up talking about growing up and the first radio I remembered. And it was the one that Daddy won at the Pepsi-Cola plant for some employee thing. Later when that was a hit, they put that radio in the Hall of Fame, and I tell the fans onstage, if you ever come to Nashville, go to the Hall of Fame and you can see that radio in there!”

Eric Church doesn't have anything in the Country Music Hall of Fame yet, but he does see his fan base growing and giving his shows a life of their own. “Somehow, over the last four years, they’ve really taken ownership of the music themselves. It’s about them singing it, or toasting beers with the guy beside ‘em that they don’t know, or body surfing through the crowd, I mean whatever it is. That’s what I’m there to witness, and it that don’t fire you up, then you’re dead, you know?”

Judds fans, put a big red "X" on your calendar April 10th. That's when their 6-episode series "The Judds" will debut on OWN. The show follows the mother/daughter duo on their final tour, and the newly svelte Wynonna explained their travel arrangements: “Let me tell you why we have to have separate buses. We’re gonna be so busy, the only time I’m gonna have to myself is literally when I’m in the shower and sleeping. When you go on the road with your mother, you’re never alone.”

Congratulations to Jamey Johnson - his album "Guitar Song" has been certified gold, for half a million copies sold. The party was on Friday at the Palm in Nashville, just before Jamey took the stage at Bridgestone Arena, opening for Kid Rock.

On this day in 1996, Garth Brooks' album "Fresh Horses" was certified gold, platinum and triple plantinum on the same day. That was 15 years ago, when more people bought albums and cd's than now. Now it's much more common for singles to go platinum quickly, because of the popularity of downloading only one or two songs from an album instead of buying the entire album.

And going way back in history - did you ever wonder how long Little Jimmy Dickens has been part of the Grand Ole Opry? On this day in 1948, he made his Opry debut. That's 63 years as a fixture at the Opry. Congrats, Little Jimmy!

Nicole Kidman opens up about her fertility struggles at

Uncle Kracker is in the studio in Nashville, working on his 5th studio album. He says he's got 20 songs ready to record, and will work pretty quickly, because he hits the road on March 17th with Kenny Chesney. Uncle Kracker has teamed up with legendary producer Keith Stegall, who has worked with Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band among many others, and tells fans to expect this album to sound "more Americana." The first single should be released in early May with the album due out late this summer.

If you missed Kenny Chesney's new documentary "The Color Orange" on ESPN last night, here's a little bit of it:

Happy birthday to Mary Chapin Carpenter, who turns 53 today.

Jason Aldean will be on the Ellen DeGeeres show and on Conan tomorrow.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Seriously,driving the pace car was about the most ridiculously exciting thing I've ever done. & @JeffGordonWeb was bumping me.tradin' paint!"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney debuted his new documentary, "The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story" in Knoxville Wednesday night. He was there, along with his childhood hero, Coach Holloway and a ton of football heavyweights. ESPN contacted him on the heels of making his "Boys of Fall" documentary and asked him to take on the project. Says Kenny, "We had been looking at football footage for 18 months straight. And then they called... My head just dropped. But I thought, 'You know what? I have to do this.' It's a chance to make a film that's going to mean a lot to generations of people who were emotionally invested in Tennessee football, in college football and who understood Condredge's story and his journey and his adversity." It will premier on ESPN Sunday night at 8 Eastern.

There's a pretty special show in Nashville tonight. Lady Antebellum is headlining a show at the Wildhorse Saloon and the opening acts are mostly bands comprised of music students at W.O. Smith Music School, a place offering music education to children in low-income families. Dierks Bentley and Joey + Rory will also be there, rounding out the line-up. The fund-raiser is sold out.

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert's wedding is just a couple of months away, and Blake still says he can't talk about details. “Do you really think I’m going to sit here and tell you details of my wedding when I don’t know any details of my wedding. I will tell you this, Neal McCoy is the entertainment for the wedding. I’m actually very excited about that.” He says they have two wedding planners working on the details so he and Miranda don't have to do any of the tough planning. According to Blake, they still haven't decided where they want to honeymoon yet. My guess? Somewhere that hunting season is open.

Justin Moore had a little bit more excitement than he wanted this week. Whle on the way to a show near Detroit, everyone but the driver was sleeping when the fire alarm went off in the motor home. Smoke filled the bus, but everyone got out ok and the driver put out the fire, which was started by a battery in the generator compartment. All's well that ends well - they were able to drive on to a hotel and a new bus picked them up later to take them to their gig. But here's the weird part of the story - it was at this same gig last year, Royal Oaks Theatre, that a fan stole Justin Moore's favorite guitar. It was eventually returned, but they might think twice before booking another show at that venue! According to Justin Moore, in a written statement, “Well . . . we really love coming to the Detroit area. I just hope in the future it gets a little more simple, as far as our trips go. In all seriousness, we're thankful that we're all safe, and feel blessed. It could've been a lot worse than it was.”

Been to the CMA Music Festival over the 40 years of its existence? Taken great photographs? Here's your chance to share the pictures and maybe win a pair of Gold Circle four-day tickets to next year's CMA Music Festival. Submit your photos between now and March 7th. The top six photos will be used as artwork on the official event tickets, and prizes include posters, plaques, merchandise prize packs and the coveted VIP tickets for next year's festival. Dig out your best pictures, and good luck!

If you love the Grand Ole Opry, you need to get tickets for the Opry All-Star Weekend, March 4th and 5th. There are three shows planned, with the Country Music Hall of Fame stars mixing it up onstage with Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Rodney Atkins and Terri Clark. There'll be pre-show tailgating outside the Opry House, free Opry trading cards and givaways during the shows. To get tickets, call 800-See-Opry.

Speaking of shows worth driving to Nashville for, here's another one. On March 29th at Lipscomb University, Charlie Daniels, Wynonna, Montgomery Gentry and the Grascals will perform for "Operation Yellow Ribbon." General Tommy Franks will be the keynote speaker for a day designed to help returning veterans better integrate into colleges and universities after their deployment.

Tony Bennett is working on another duet project and he's tapped Carrie Underwood to be part of it. It's not the first time they've sung together - they took the stage on an Oprah episode, singing with Josh Groban and Michael Buble.

Sunday, half of Nashville will be part of the Daytona 500, it seems. Kix Brooks isn't performing, but is picking Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart as his favorites. Brad Paisley and Martina McBride will be on the televised portion of coverage, which starts at noon on FOX. Sunday night, Kenny Chesney's new documentary, "The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story" airs on ESPN.

Happy birthday to Juice Newton, who is 59 today.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "I was slightly hungover today. And I blame @DaveStewart. Completely."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Miranda Lambert is flying high, but there's not a chance that all this success will go to her head. She says her family and friends keep her grounded, adding, “my mom would kill me if I got diva on her.” Miranda's Grammy performance of "The House That Built Me" is available for download on iTunes.

Road trip alert - and you've gotta be quick about it! Today in Nashville at the Center Stage Theatre, a TV special is being taped. No word on which network is filming, nor what the show will be called, but the show includes Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, Gretchen Wilson and Sheryl Crow in concert. Filming begins at 12:30 Central time with Luke on stage first. This is a free show, first come, first seated, but you have to be wearing summer clothes. Space is limited, so if this sounds like fun to you, get moving and good luck!

Gloriana has been invited to be part of a concert at the White House in celebration of Black History Month and Motown Records' legacy. The concert, "The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House" will be filmed, is set to air March 1 on PBS, and also features Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, Natasha Bedingfield, Jamie Foxx and John Legend.

Have you seen the new GE commercial where people are line-dancing around the world to Alan Jackson's "Good Time?" Well, here's your chance to organize a dance to it, too, and win a big prize. There's a $10,000 home appliance makeover being offered up by GE, along with 20 years of drinking water to developing countries through "Charity: Water." Get your friends dancing and upload the video to the special YouTube page to be entered to win. Good luck, and happy dancing!

Jewel and hubby Ty Murray are working on a name for their little cowboy, due in early July. It's the couple's first child, and they've been trying for a few years, so have a baby name list a mile long. When asked who she hopes her son will take after most, Jewel replied, "My husband's a bull rider and I'm a musician ... hopefully he'll take after me because I don't want him riding bulls! It's just so dangerous.”

Did you miss Darius Rucker on Good Morning America? Here he is, performing "This."

Congrats to Jason Aldean, who is at the top of the Billboard Country Album Chart again this week with "My Kinda Party."

And congrats to talented newcomer Randy Montana, who will be part of the pre-race festivities at the Daytona 500 on Sunday. He'll play a concert in the midway outside the track, so the show is free and open to the public.

Keith Urban is on Good Morning America this morning, and Clay Walker is on HGTV's "Selling New York" tonight, looking for a slick city condo, but shocked at the huge price tags,

Happy birthday to Bryan White and Larry the Cable Guy today.

The tweet of the day comes from Josh Thompson: "Aaaaand were Florida bound. Well, we gotta get the bus started first but then were out of here"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

There's an official release date now for Brad Paisley's next album, "This is Country Music." May 24th is the day that the pre-orders will actually be delivered, and also the day you can buy it in stores and online. Fans have been pre-ordering the cd for over a month now, and Brad promises that the music is special. “You know, there’s so many aspects of country music that make it what it is, that make it this thing that becomes so personal and so important to so many people—the fact that it deals, head on, with death or divorce, heartache or love. We are the format that people turn to. We are the type of music that people rely on, I think, to tell their stories.”

In more Brad news, the charity dinner he and his wife co-hosted on Valentine's Day raised a ton of cash for the Nashville Film Festival and was a star-studded event. Brad, his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley and their friends Tracie and Scott Hamilton were celebrity co-hosts, and other celebrities included Rascal Flatts members Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus and their wives Tiffany and Allison, The Band Perry, Bryan and Erika White, and Craig and Karen Morgan. Brad painted a picture during the cocktail hour that was auctioned off later Monday night. The painting raised $5,500. Says Brad of his art training, "I have none, unless you count watching [PBS art show host] Bob Ross."

The men's magazine, Maxim, has released it's list of the Hottest Women of Country Music. On that list are Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Julie Roberts, Jessie James, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, Julianne Hough, Kellie Pickler, Gloriana’s Cheyenne Kimball, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, and Sunny Sweeney. In the article, the author includes this line, “We know why the devil went down to Georgia. He was looking to buy a drink for these country divas."

Missing from the list is Martina McBride, who isn't crying in her beer over the omission. She's off to Daytona this weekend to sing the National Anthem just before the 53rd running of America's Great Race.

Faith Hill and fashion fans are in for a treat. She will be the special musical guest at the 2011 Symphony Spring Fashion Show in Nashville. The show is a fund-raiser for music in schools and happens Tuesday, April 26th at 6pm at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival isn't until June, but many of the acts have been identified, including Country Music Hall of Fame's Loretta Lynn, The Del McCoury Band and Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas. Once again this year, Bonnaroo and the 2011 CMA Music Festival are going on at the same time, June 9-12.

Congratulations to The Band Perry, as their self-titled debut album has gone gold. They toured with Alan Jackson last year, are poised to hit the road with Tim McGraw soon and have lined up a spot on Keith Urban's fall tour as the opening act, so they're really on a roll!

Blake Shelton fans will want to log on to He's made a video for the song, "Kiss My Country Ass" and it premiers today. has Kellie Pickler, curly and sleek, and wonders which look you prefer most. She's beautiful in both shots, that's for sure!

Didja miss Gretchen Wilson on "The Talk?" She was interviewed and discussed the importance of education, performed her Grammy-nominated song, "I'd Love to be Your Last" and helped a guy get the girl of his dreams. Move the cursor to 24:30 for the interview, and to 28 for the performance & surprise.

Darius Rucker is on Good Morning America this morning and Steel Magnolia is on the syndicated show, "Better TV."

Happy birthday to Doug Phelps of the Kentucky Headhunters, who turns 51 today.

The tweet of the day is from Dolly Parton: "Just because I got the Lifetime Achievement Award doesn't mean I'm done."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Gentlemen, start your Fenders? That might be the call at Daytona, where Brad Paisley will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver before the 53rd Annual Daytona 500 this Sunday. He'll also be performing a three-song set leading up to the start of the Great American Race. Watch the fun on Fox starting at noon Eastern.

And in more sports/country news, congratulations to Clay Walker who won $19,000 for his MS charity at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am celebrity golf tournament last weekend.

Congratulations to Luke Bryan, who scores his third #1 song in a row this week with "Someone Else Calling You Baby."

And congratulations, too, to Gary Allan, who performed last night for the first time since he had surgery on his vocal chords to remove a polyp in November. He's rarin' to hit the road and tour, and has even gotten a new bus for the occasion. “We’ve got birds-eye maple on the walls. The whole top is done in like a cream leather. The seats are a dark brown leather. The tables are black and then they’re lit from the sides so there’s green and black stripes through them. There’s neon lights all through the top. It’s got a slide out so there’s more room to dance. We have a great time!”

Lady Antebellum is still basking in the glow of winning five Grammy awards on Sunday night, but they feel some pressure to follow up the success of "Need You Now." According to Charles Kelley, “It was one of those moments we were kind of had this surreal moment. We looked over at each other and we said, ‘we got a lot of work to do’. It made us really, it really did, it kind of inspired us and … and, and did put a little pressure in a good way of like, OK, I mean, this is, this is our moment to really take this thing and make a great record.” They're back in the studio, working on the project, which is about half finished.

Best quotes from backstage at the Grammys Sunday night:

"Oh my gosh, we were so stunned we started walking the wrong direction." — Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum as they accepted the group's third Grammy
"Right before it went to No. 1, he asked if he could have it back, but it was a little too late." — Miranda Lambert on "The House That Built Me," which was originally pitched to fiancĂ© Blake Shelton
"I ate a lot of fried chicken over the holidays. So, I'm cutting back on that a little bit, but man, it's going to be hard to curb the drinking. There's too much celebrating. So, I won't be backing down on that at all." — Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley
"Blake doesn't listen to prompters or me or anybody else. He goes with the flow, so they were brave to let him present me." — Miranda Lambert on Shelton introducing her performance
"I was real honored when Zac asked me to be on this record. You know, it's pretty cool when a few of us Georgia boys can end up winning a Grammy out in L.A." — Alan Jackson on winning Country Collaboration with ZBB for "As She's Walking Away" asked musicians what their rap name would be. Check out Lady A, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and more funny replies.

Owl City frontman Adam Young was apparently quite taken by Taylor Swift. It's rumored that her song "Enchanted" is about him, and he has returned the favor, on Valentine's Day no less, with his reply song to her.

Since it was Valentine's Day, you might have had other plans and missed Tim McGraw tracing his family tree on "Who Do You Think You Are" last night. Here you're welcome!

Want Thompson Square to play a private party for you and your Valentine? They're offering it up on Facebook...go get it!

Gretchen Wilson is on the Tonight Show tonight and Keith Urban is on Good Morning America Thursday morning.

The tweet of the day is from Terri Clark: "People who can make you " belly laugh" are absolutely priceless..hang on to them"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Big congratulations to Lady Antebellum, who took home five of the six Grammys they were nominated for last night. They won the all-genre awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year for "Need You Now." During the acceptance speech for Song of the Year, Hillary Scott, who sported a new, straight hairdo with bangs, was so overcome with emotion that she could barely speak. They also won Best Country Album for "Need You Now," Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Duo or Group. The show started out with a tribute to Aretha Franklin, and Martina McBride represented country music as part of that. She was wonderful, as always. Miranda Lambert won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "The House That Built Me," and that was her first Grammy ever. Her performance of the song was introduced by Blake Shelton, who beamed when he told the world she was soon to be his wife. Miranda looked radiant as she sang, and handed in one of the best performances of the night. Also performing on the show was Lady Antebellum, who sang "American Honey" and "Need You Now," as well as being part of a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass, singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now." The award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance went to Keith Urban for "Til Summer Comes Around." Keith, Nora Jones and John Mayer teamed up for a fabulous acoustic version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene." Dolly was honored last night with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy award. Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson won the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, and Zac says the song almost didn't happen. "We wrote this song for Alan to sing it with us. It took a little time to actually talk his label into letting us do it. It took several days of hounding them and kind of trying to beat them up to allow us to put it on the record.” Bet they feel good about that "yes" now!

David Letterman had fun with country music last night, suggesting that Lady Gaga and Lady Antebellum team up to form "Lady Antegagum," and also suggested that Willie Nelson should have been in charge of last night's "snacks."

For a look at some of the performance costumes from the Grammy's, check out And the best quotes of the night are there, too.

On the red carpet last night, Keith Urban might have spilled some tightly-canned beans. While chatting with Ryan Seacrest, Keith congratulated him and gave him a really sweet, knowing smile. No confirmation, but it sure looked like Ryan and Julianne Hough might be engaged.

Craig Morgan has done his good deed for the year. While driving home yesterday afternoon, he passed a house that was on fire. As a former Deputy Sheriff and EMT, he knew just what he needed to do, so he did it. He dashed into the burning house, rescuing two children who were inside, and when the fire trucks arrived, he helped put the fire out. Thanks to his quick action, everyone inside made it out safely and the house suffered relatively minor damage.

It's Valentine's Day, and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are celebrating 15 years of marriage this year. Faith says the memory of how Tim proposed to her still leaves her weak in the knees: “Yeah! I think about it all the time. The kids love the story, because they just love that their dad proposed to me right before I walked onstage. And then I answered him—while he was onstage I wrote my answer on a big dressing mirror that was in our dressing room.”

Some heavy metal was handed out in Nashville last week from the RIAA, recognizing amazing record sales.
Carrie Underwood - "Some Hearts" - 7 times platinum, "Play On" - double platinum, "Undo It" - platinum, "Temporary Home" - gold.
Tim McGraw - "Number One Hits" - gold.
Lady Antebellum - "American Honey" - platinum
Miranda Lambert - "The House That Built Me" - platinum
Kenny Chesney - "Somewhere With You" - gold
Jason Aldean - "My Kinda Party" - gold

Rascal Flatts will be given the T.J. Martell Foundation's 2011 Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award on March 28th in Nashville.

Darius Rucker has a lottery scratch game in his honor in the state of New Mexico. The $5 tickets benefit education, and non-winning tickets can be entered in the second chance drawing for a chance to go to the CMA Music Festival, hang with Darius and take home an autographed guitar. Just one little hitch - you've got to be living in New Mexico to play. If so, good luck!

Jewel is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, and Gretchen Wilson is on "The Talk" on CBS today.

The tweet of the day is suspended today in order to bring you a host of tweets around last night's Grammy awards:

·James Otto: I got chills watching Miranda Lambert sing "house that built me" that's how it's done!
·Steel Magnolia: @ladyantebellum Congrats guys!! We love ya! Xo Meg
·Martina McBride: Mick Jagger is a bad-ass. That's all. I want to BE Mick Jagger.
·Chris Young: Hangin with @blakeshelton right now. Huge congrats to @Miranda_Lambert !!!
·Jewel: Aww- ran into my Diva pal Beyonce back stage
·LeAnn Rimes: So happy for @Miranda_Lambert She deserved it! Welcome to the club my friend!!!
·Little Big Town: Muse was unreal. Loved it.
·The Band Perry: Beautiful @Miranda_Lambert , as always.
·Laura Bell Bundy: I love this medley!!! #grammy's Jennifer Hudson is unbelievably good!
·Josh Hoge: nights like this are ones that make ya realize its pretty damn cool to be born & raised in nashville
·Lady Antebellum: To all our fans....we love u we love u we love u!!!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Lady Antebellum top country music's stars for Grammy nominations this year with six. Are they expecting to walk away with a bunch of awards? Well, not so much - they're up against top nominee Eminem several times and expect him to win. "We'll probably be clapping for Eminem the whole night," says Charles Kelley, who thinks the rapper will be the night's top winner. "But we're going to soak it in, enjoy the night and try not to put too much pressure on the night. To be nominated that many times and to be representing country music ... we feel pretty special about that." Also in attendance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night will be Zac Brown, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Jewel, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Martina McBride and Kris Kristofferson. Keith, Zac, Dierks and Jewel are all scheduled to be award presenters.

If you're into the Red Carpet part of the Grammy Awards, be at starting at 6 Eastern Sunday night for their 360-cam and live blog to dish about the duds.

Miranda Lambert has a date Sunday night, and finace Blake Shelton isn't part of it. Well, he'll probably be the guy on her arm on the red carpet, but he won't be on stage with her as she makes her performance debut at the Grammy Awards. She's one of only three country performers - Lady Antebellum will do one of their songs and Martina McBride is part of a tribute to Aretha Franklin - and is very proud of her three nominations and of being tapped to sing. “I’m really proud to be there representing our genre. I’m obviously so excited that I’m finally one of ‘em. I’m finally up there on that level where I get to perform at the Grammys. It takes a lot to get there. Being nominated is a huge honor and I’m really excited.”

Blake Shelton says that he's no expert when it comes to love. “You know, I never was very good at dating. The reason I became a country singer to begin with was because I wanted to meet some girls, and I didn’t have the nerve to walk up to ‘em, and so I thought ‘Man if I’m playing a guitar sitting around a campfire here at high school, I’ll be the only guy here that can do that. And I’ll get to makeout. With somebody…hopefully a girl.” That's our Blake...knucklehead!

And speaking of Knucklehead Blake, if you are looking for a Valentine greeting that's...well, not exactly mainstream, shall we say, Blake has several options for you to send via his new BlakeMail program.

Lee Brice, writer and singer of the #1 song "Love Like Crazy," confesses to being pretty experienced on the dating front, knowing exactly how relationships go. “Alright, I don’t know you, hello, I like you, I love you, I’m in love with you, I don’t like you very much but I still love you.” His grandparents were married 50 years and he's hoping to have that same experience someday.

Well, turns out the rumors were true. Carrie Underwood's husband, Mike Fisher, will join the Nashville Predators hockey team. In a statement, Carrie said, "We will both truly miss Ottawa. Mike has been such a big part of the community, and I will never forget how they welcomed me with open arms. We obviously love Nashville, and the teams’ decision for him to now play with the Predators is an exciting opportunity for Mike. I support him wherever he plays!”

Carrie Underwood is up for a Grammy award on Sunday night for the song "Temporary Home." It's nominated in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category, up against Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, Jewel and LeAnn Rimes. Carrie said the idea for the song came to her one morning during the time she and hubby Mike were reading "The Purpose Driven Life." “One day, I was, like, getting ready, and a flood just hit me. Like, just immediately, I thought of three different people, different places, different really bad things happening to them, but the song itself isn’t sad to me. It’s hopeful.”

Rascal Flatts' three members have a combined 24 years of marriage, so when they were asked to pick the most romantic love song ever, they picked "Bless the Broken Road." According to Joe Don, “Not just because we sung it. It's just one of those incredible lyrics about everything that you go through leads you up to the point to where you finally fall in love with the one you're meant to be with.” The song was written in 1994 by the members of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, co-written with Marcus Hummon. The biggest hit version was by Rascal Flatts, but it's also been recorded by Carrie Underwood, Jamie Slocum, Selah, Sons of the Desert and Melodie Crittenden. Rascal Flatts version went to #1 in 2005 and also won the Grammy for Best Country Song that year.

Road trip alert - head for Nashville the weekend of March 4 & 5, as the Grand Ole Opry is attracting lots of stars then. On the 4th, Carrie Underwood and Rodney Atkins will be performing, on the 5th, The Band Perry and Terri Clark will be performing and Blake Shelton will perform both nights.

The tweet of the day is from Dierks Bentley: "why cant we just put music city on a double wide and relocate it to southern california or florida for the winter?"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

There seems to be a baby boom in Nashville, with country star babies cropping up everywhere. Keith Urban, Clay Walker, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Jay DeMarcus and Zac Brown have all welcomed babies into their lives in the last few months, and there are more on the way. Blake Shelton, of course, has an explanation for the phenomenon: “Uh, people having sex.” He goes on to explain why Luke Bryan now has two kids and is talking about more: “He married over his head. And he probably figures he’s got a hot wife and she’s funny and cool… The only way he can really keep her is to try to get her pregnant. That’s what’s going on with Luke.” After thinking a bit, he thinks there could be a climate-related explanation, too: “There’s been several ice storms in Nashville lately. And the cable goes out and there’s nothing else to do. I mean, you’re sitting there with your wife or husband. You know if there’s nothing else to do you’re probably gonna end up hookin’ up. Next thing you know Jay DeMarcus actually has a kid. You know, it’s weird.” Blake and Miranda Lambert are set to be wed in May. Bet there's a bookie in Las Vegas who's got action on when they'll have their first child. At least Blake will have an entertaining explanation for it!

Martina McBride will be part of a salute to Aretha Franklin Sunday night at the Grammy Awards. And if she can get out of snowy Texas, Jewel is scheduled to be a presenter, so we get to see her growing baby-bump. She's expecting her first child in early July. The Grammys will air live from LA Sunday night at 8 eastern.

What are you doing on March 16th? If you're a Josh Turner fan, you might want to be in Nashville, as he and his wife Jennifer headline the third annual "Stars Go Blue" benefit concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Ford Theatre. They'll be joined by Linda Davis and her husband Lang Scott, along with Charlie Kelley and his wife, GAC personality Nan Kelley. Charlie is a colon cancer surviver, and this show is a benefit for colon cancer research. Tickets are $100 per person and include not just the concert, but a VIP coctail reception and an auction.

And speaking of benefit concerts, Clay Walker's second annual "Chords of Hope" show will be at the Wildhorse Saloon on March second. It raises money and awareness for Multiple Schlerosis, which Clay suffers from. Call 615-902-8211 for tickets.

Here's how they received Taylor Swift in Singapore for her opening concert in the "Speak Now World Tour 2011." Ten thousand fans camped out for 24 hours outside the Singapore Indoor Stadium to be sure of getting in. The 90-minute show included two stages, huge video screens and lots of set and costume changes. After the show, Taylor tweeted, "That show ruled! Thank you, Singapore. My band and I love you. And your dancing and jumping and singing and screaming! Good times." has a photo gallery of the show.

Little Big Town was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and performed a song exclusively for the web. Check out "Shut Up Train."

Andy Griggs is performing as part of the Daytona 500, the first time he's ever been to that race. He has a new song he'll be singing...check it out...

Yes, that IS Lee Brice singing "Love Like Crazy" in your local McDonald's. He's part of the chain's new video entertainment screens, and his music is also about to be featured on all Continental Airline flights. Between March 1 and April 30, several songs from his debut album will play for passengers with headphones.

Congrats to Jason Aldean, who has the #1 country album this week. His "My Kinda Party" knocks Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" out of the spot it has held since being released late last year.

Happy birthday to Lionel Cartwright, who turns 51 today.

The tweet of the day is from Terri Clark: "I did not leave the door open when I left Canada. It was not me. Nashville is a snowy disaster...stay home everyone."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley is polishing up his best NASCAR gear, because he's performing the pre-race concert before the Daytona 500 this year. Fans who purchase the Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the February 20th race will get to see the three-song set, as well as the driver introductions from the grass tri-oval area. Pre-race coverage starts at noon on FOX.

In other Brad news, if you're looking for a really special way to spend Valentine's Day with your sweetie, and your sweetie happens to adore Brad Paisley, whip out your checkbook. He's part of a Nashville event called "La Fete Du Cinema" which happens at The Standard in downtown Nashville. Dinner will be from the gifted mind and hands of Top Chef All-Stars contestant Richard Blais, with wine expert Tom Black handling the pairings. During the cocktail hour, Brad Paisley will create a painting to be auctioned off later Valentine's evening in the live auction. Tickets are $2,500 per couple and $8,000 per table, with proceeds benefiting the Nashville Film Festival. To buy tickets, call 615-742-2500.

The CMA announced the first group of performers for the 2011 CMA Music Festival, scheduled for June 9 through 12 in Nashville. Here's the list:

Trace Adkins
Jason Aldean
The Band Perry
Sheryl Crow
Lady Antebellum
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Rascal Faltts
Darius Rucker
Blake Shelton
Keith Urban

The ACM Awards are April 3rd, and the headliners for the "ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience" shows on April 1 and 2 have been announced. The rest of the acts are TBA, but on the first, Ronnie Dunn headlines and on the second Sara Evans closes the show. The free outdoor concerts are part of "The "Week Vegas Goes Country" and are hugely popular.

Gretchen Wilson is in southern California for the next week or so, attending pre-Grammy celebrations, the Grammy Awards, where she's nominated for Best Country Female Vocal Performance and Best Country Song, then staying for some television appearances. Does she love LA? Not so much. Gretchen explains, “I don’t know why, but it seems like every time I go out to L.A. something happens. I either get a cold on the plane on the way out there or I get in a fight with somebody at the bar when I get there. L.A. and me have, have been rubbing for a while. But maybe this’ll be the trip.”

Remember when Sara Evans was on "Dancing With the Stars?" Well, she was almost on "Celebrity "Apprentice" too. Apparently producers wanted her on the show and she nearly said yes, until she found out that she would only be able to see her family once per week for ten weeks. Said Sara, “I just can’t do that. I’m not that kind of a mom. Like, I see these moms that like leave to go on The Bachelor and it’s literally weeks away from their kids. I’m like ‘how can you do that?’ I’m weird about that, like I want to be with my kids all the time.” Sara's new album, "Stronger," hits stores March 8th.

Justin Moore's daughter Ella turns one on Friday, and the party started two weeks ago, when his wife Kate decorated their front door. What does it look like? According to Justin, “It looks like, uh, a flamingo exploded onto our front door right now. I’ve never even heard of a birthday door decoration in my life. I don’t know how I feel about that. But if it’s your kid you just kind of let everything go.”

Taylor Swift's world tour kicks off today in Singapore. She'll tour the world until May 27, when she'll bring the "Speak Now" experience to America.

Happy birthday to Travis Tritt, who turns 48 today.

The tweet of the day is from Emily West: "Helloooo Nashville! You look pretty today! I don't know why you think you need to hide your face with all that snow! Go Sunshine!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

It's happened twice before in country music history, and this week it happened again. John Conlee released "Backside of 30" and it was ignored. He released it again months later and it took off, ending up at #1 in 1979. Randy Travis released "On The Other Hand" and it was ignored. He released it again and it landed at #1 in 1986. And this week, Chris Young joins that club, as his song "Voices" is #1. The song was released in 2008 and didn't make it into the top 30. He and his label believed in it, so they released it again, and the second time was a charm, earning Chris his third #1 single in a row. Congrats, Chris!

This past Friday night, there was a party in Nashville, honoring Miranda Lambert for selling a million copies of each of her three albums. Her entire record company was there, and the food was billed as "upscale down-home." Gourmet corn dogs were on the menu, as well as her signature drink, the Miranda-rita. Everyone at her record label was awarded a platinum plaque in appreciation of their work on her behalf.

After 10 years with the same management team, Rascal Flatts has decided to move in a different direction. They've parted ways with Turner Nichols & Associates and are handling things in-house for the time being. In a prepared statement, the trio said, "We will always consider Trey and Doug to be part of our family. And we have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for the work that we've done together over the past 10 years."

Lady Antebellum is trying out new music in concert. Here's a sneak-peek at "Dancing Away With My Heart"...

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Christian Bush are in the United Kingdom, where "Incredible Machine" was just released. They're making the media rounds there, and also learning to look left before crossing the street, since they drive on the other side of the road in the British Isles. They're making time to creatively see some sights while there, according to Jennifer's blog.

Taylor Swift is in Singapore, getting ready to kick off the international part of her Speak Now World Tour 2011 tomorrow. Before she left, a pop station in Nashville dubbed it'self "The Taylor" for a day, and she stopped by. Did she sing? Well, sort of...

Today, the CMA will announce some of the performers at this year's CMA Music Festival, but you have to be a Facebook friend to get the news. Psst...Reba's already spilled the beans on her website that she's performing on Saturday night during the festival.

The numbers are in: last week in Asheville, NC, Dierks Bentley and his band laid down fifteen songs in five days, working on his 6th studio album. Over 30,000 fans used the live camera feed that Dierks offered in order to watch the recording process. And only once did Dierks turn the sound on, letting viewers actually hear one of the songs they recorded.

Darius Rucker is the latest star to add his voice to the American Cancer Society's "Birthdays" campaign, singing the Happy Birthday song in his own style.

Talk about your odd couples - Jamey Johnson and Matthew McConaughey just returned from an 18-day trip to Brazil, where they spent time along with Matthew's partner and children. Says Jamey, “It's summertime down there. We went to the beach, went swimming. Matthew loves Brazil. Why, I even learned a little Portuguese." The two became friends when they met at the ACM Awards last year in Las Vegas.

Didja miss Keith Urban on the Super Bowl pre-game show? Here's some rehearsal video, to give you a tiny taste of it.

Gwyneth Paltrow will perform the Grammy Nominated "Coming Home" during the "83rd Annual Academy Awards Show" on February 27th, live from Los Angeles.

The "American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits" hits stores March 15th and will include Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" along with songs by Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and Adam Lambert. You can preorder it now.

In stores today, the Waylon Jennings tribute cd, featuring Alabama, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Trace Adkins, James Otto and lots more country artists covering classic Waylon songs. Thompson Square's self-titled debut hits stores today.

Little Big Town is on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon, and Merle Haggard is on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "I've decided there is no win 2 doing the half-time show.Every1 just seems 2 want 2 criticize.Every year.I'm sure it's a nervewracking gig."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

While the Packers were gearing up to win the Super Bowl, Garth Brooks was kicking off his birthday celebration by doing something he loves - helping underprivileged kids. He hosted about 200 of them on Saturday at Super Camp near Dallas, giving them the chance to learn about football and cheerleading from the pros, and talking about how to be a success in life.

Did you see Faith Hill's Teleflora commercial during the first half of the Super Bowl last night? it is, in case you missed it...

Because of heavy snow and ice, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and Willie Nelson all had to reschedule Friday night's shows. It was to have been Lady A's first show on this leg of their tour...bummed!

If you're Facebook friends with Luke Bryan, the police could come calling. Someone started a fake Luke Bryan page, populated it with actual photos of his wife and family, and sent out friend requests. Fans caught on to the fraud and reported the page to Facebook authorities, who shut it down and brought the police in. Luke is on the road with Rascal Flatts right now and is reportedly a bit shaken up by the whole thing.

Miranda Lambert is on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal, discussing keeping her Oklahoma property even after she marries Blake Shelton in May, her childhood and the insanity of her life when fame was just starting for her, traveling on a bus filled with a dozen men and not one other woman. She called her business manager and asked, "How much is it to live in an insane asylum and how much is it for a second bus? Because I either have to do one or the other." The whole article is online, saving you a trip to the store. She's been writing songs for her follow-up to "Revolution" and kicks off her tour on the 24th of this month.

Dierks Bentley's song "Sideways" gets a new life as the theme song for 2011 NASCAR coverage on FoX Sports.

Get a free download of the JaneDear Girls' song "Shotgun Girl" by sharing them on Facebook or Twitter. You'll automatically become a follower of theirs, too.

Steel Magnolia is on the David Letterman Show tonight.

Happy birthday to Garth Brooks, who turns 49 today.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "On my tour bus. Looking online at Christian Louboutin's 2011 Spring Collection. New shoes make everything better. :)"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Congratulations to Kenny Chesney, who is celebrating several milestones with one song. For the third week in a row, "Somewhere With You" sits atop the Billboard Country Singles chart. It's his 21st #1 song, and according to Billboard, it marks the 53rd week he's sat at the top of their chart since 2000. That's more weeks at number one than any artist this millennium. "Somewhere With You" and "The Boys of Fall" were also the fastest gold certifications that Kenny's ever had. In other Kenny news, there's a new app from Qello for users of iPhones and Droids that want to see his movie, "Summer in 3D" on their phones. You won't get the 3D effect, but you can watch in 2D HD.

Now this is funny - Tuesday morning, Jason Aldean was sleeping. His phone started blowing up and he feared someone had been in a car wreck or some other bad news. Nope - it was family and friends calling to congratulate him on his ACM Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year nominations. He thought people were playing a joke on him. Jason's Dad sent him a text message congratulating him, and Jason still didn't believe it was true, so he went online and looked up the news. How did he celebrate? He took his daughters to school, then stopped by Wal-Mart to have his oil changed.

Here are some of the best artist quotes after the ACM nominations were announced:

"I wasn't even expecting any ... seven is unbelievable, especially Entertainer of the Year. It's hard for me to grasp that I'm in that category because I haven't done some of the numbers and some of the amazing things that other artists have. I'm just thankful that I have my foot in that door as a nominee." — Miranda Lambert

"In making Hemingway's Whiskey, it was important for me to push myself and my audience while at the same time staying true to who I am as an artist. That's why I'm so proud of this album and even more proud of the nomination for ACM Album of the Year." — Kenny Chesney

"This is something I've wanted all my life. To be able to do this for a living and have people like it, I couldn't ask for anything better. I am so blessed." — Easton Corbin

"I never dreamed I would get a nomination for anything. I just wanted to make a good song with my friend Jamey [Johnson]. I am so humbled to even be mentioned with the amazing artists in this category. I promise no one is more grateful than me!" — Colt Ford on his first ACM nomination for Vocal Event for "Cold Beer" with Johnson.

"It means the world to the band and crew. We take this seriously, obviously, and it's our livelihood, so being included in a category that is recognized nationally like that is validating for us, for sure. I am proud to represent all of the hard-working touring bands who are in the trenches playing 200 shows a year that have strong fan bases." — Randy Rogers Band's Randy Rogers on the Vocal Group nod.

"I am speechless. I can't believe we have been nominated for Top Vocal Duo of the Year! I remember playing out acoustically with Susie in backyards and colleges, living on taco soup, like it was yesterday. This doesn’t seem real.' — the JaneDear girls' Danelle Leverett

"What a way to start the day! I'm out on the West Coast deep in dreamland, and my hotel phone starts ringing at 5:30am and it's my manager screaming, 'Wake Up! We got three ACM nominations!' I grinned from ear to ear."— Lee Brice

"The triumph ... is shared by my family, my friends, bandmates, producers, my staff, my label, my booking agents, my publishers, my management, my publicists, my handlers, my wranglers, my fans, my dog, Willie's braids and that beautiful brunette in Toledo. Thanks all for the hard work and dedication. You all deserve each accolade. And thanks to the Academy voters for the recognition." — Jamey Johnson

"I hold my breath hoping for a nomination every year. It was nice to wake up this morning and hear the great news." — Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman on their Vocal Group nod.

North of the border, the Canadian Juno Award nominees were announced, and Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum are up for International Album of the Year, along with Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Eminem. Canadians love country music...don't be surprised if that award goes home to Nashville. The Juno Awards will be handed out March 27th in Toronto.

Martina McBride showed off her kitchen to The kitchen is her favorite spot in her home because it's where she connects with her family. Martina says, “Maybe 5 nights a week we sit down and I cook or…sometimes we order in pizza but you know I try to cook a meal and we sit down and we just…that’s when we really connect because with kids those ages they are going a million directions and so we just sit and talk and sometimes we’ll sit around the dinner table for 30 minutes after we get finished eating just talking and it’s just great.” She must be doing something right - yesterday she tweeted, “Just got home from Parent-Teacher conferences. All good reports!”

Yes, that's Miranda Lambert staring at you from the cover of Ladies' Home Journal. In the accompanying story, she talks about being a small town girl, life with Blake Shelton and her recent weight loss.

Reba is the guest-star on CMT's "Working Class" tonight.

Country Music and the Super Bowl collide this weekend, with Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Keith Urban all in Dallas to take part in the festivities. Garth and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten host tomorrow's "SuperCamp II" for kids aged 7-14, "CMT Crossroads: The Pretenders and Faith Hill Live from Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam" airs tomorrow night at 10 Eastern on CMT, Keith Urban will perform during Fox Super Bowl Sunday before the kickoff, and Martina is in town to play a private event. During the Super Bowl, watch for the Teleflora commercial, which features Faith Hill and her new lne of flower arrangements.

After the Super Bowl Sunday night, a special, extended episode of "Glee" will air, featuring their version of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." If you're setting your DVR, allow an hour and 15 minutes, to be sure you get the entire show. You can download the gleeked-out version of "Need You Now" now on iTunes. Here's a sneak-peek...

Happy birthday to Clint Black, who turns 49 today, Sara Evans celebrates 40 tomorrow and Garth Brooks will be 48 on Monday.

The tweet of the day is from Joe Nichols: "Just started Yoga. Great workout... Now I need therapy and chiropractor. Ha!"