Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The RIAA has made it official - Taylor Swift has sold more digital singles than anyone, even Lady Gaga. Counting song certifications through March of this year, Taylor Swift has sold 22.5 million songs, with triple-platinum certification for "You Belong With Me" and platinum certifications for "Fifteen," "Back to December" and "Forever & Always." Her albums are doing ok, too, with each of them being triple platinum and 2006's "Fearless" topping six million copies sold. There were gold certifications for Eric Church's "Smoke a Little Smoke" and Jaron and the Long Road to Love's "Pray for You."

In more Taylor news, she's very exited to be part of "The Lorax," an animated movie based on the Dr. Seuss story of the same name. Taylor plays Audrey, and is loving the process. “It’s really fun because you can do it on your own time and you don’t have to be on set for two weeks at a time, or four weeks, or six weeks at a time – which I just can’t do. I’m really stoked about the cast and the writing is really good.” Danny DeVito plays the Lorax, and the movie is set for a March 2012 release.

Esquire magazine once again issued a songwriting challenge, and they asked Dierks Bentley to be part of it. This year's theme is "Last Night in Detroit" and all of the artists were challenged to come up with the best song they could around that theme. Joining Dierks in the fun are Brendan Benson, Ben Blackwell, Dhani Harrison and Raphael Saadiq. The songs are available on iTunes for .99 each, with all of the proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters Detroit. You can get some songwriting secrets from Dierks in the current issue of Esquire, hitting news stands next Tuesday.

Blake Shelton is one of the artists who'll be on hand for the T.J. Martell Foundation's Best Cellars Dinner this coming Monday night. It's a benefit for the Vanderbilt Cancer Center, and the event pairs Nashville's biggest stars with Nashville's top wine collectors. Blake's probably going to need to bone up on his wine etiquette, though! According to him, “The prize possession to have—and Miranda is the same way, whether we’re at home or on the road—is one of those—if somebody has access to one of those Route 44 Sonic cups, cause you can pour like a whole bottle of something in one of those and mix it—THAT’s where it’s at!" Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, Kix Brooks, Clint Black and Big Kenny will all be part of the event, too.

Willie Nelson's shows last night through this Saturday night have to be re-scheduled because Willie's under the weather. No word on exactly what the ailment is, just that no shows will be played this week. Everything set for Sunday night on will happen as scheduled. According to a tweet, Willie's sick from the weather changes met during travel from New York City to Hawaii to South Dakota. Pretty extreme changes, for sure!

Brad Paisley is in Charlotte, shooting a music video with one of the racing teams. Apparently they're not at the Hall of Fame or the speedway...hmmmm...

Chris Young is in the middle east, playing shows for the troops stationed there. He has been tweeting photos and said, “Loving these shows guys. Our troops are amazing.” Yes, they most certainly are!

In support of her book, hitting stores on May 3rd, Shania Twain is headed out on the "From This Moment On" book tour. It'll start in New York and stop in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota's Mall of America and in Ontario, Canada.

If you're a golfer who loves Toby Keith, mark your calendar for May 20th and 21st and make plans to be in Norman, Oklahoma for his annual Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic. Many big-name sports celebrties are always in attendance, plus there's great golf, great food and some amazing items up for bid in the auction.

Happy birthday to Wade Hayes, who turns 42 today.

The tweet of the day is from John Rich: "GaryB!When the stakes are $629,000 so far raised for St.Jude,there's no room for chaos. BIG respect 4 you!But the KIDS are 1st...BeWellGary!"