Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Over the weekend, American Idol finalists had parties thrown in their honor in their hometowns, with the AI crews on hand to capture the fun. Country singer Scott McCreery's party was Saturday and about 30,000 fans turned out to celebrate his success. Who was on hand to celebrate with him? None other than Josh Turner, who said, "He didn't see me until we were almost face-to-face. I think I almost gave him a heart attack." The two performed "Long Black Train" and "Your Man" together. "Your Man" was the song Scott sang in his auditions for American Idol. Here's a sneak-peek of what this will look like when it airs this Thursday night on Fox.

Also Saturday night, but down the road in Lexington, Kentucky, Kenny Chesney was giving a concert at Rupp Arena. He started singing "Small Y'all," a song originally done by George Jones and covered by Kenny on "Hemingway's Whiskey." None other than the Possum himself strolled out onto the stage, surprising and delighting Kenny. The two of them sang "Small Y'all" and "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," after which Kenny invited George to hang around for one more song, and requested "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

There was some SERIOUS bling on the bride at Saturday's wedding of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. The two exchanged eternity rings crusted in diamonds. Blake's ring is custom-made and was inspired by the tatoo on his arm. Miranda sported a $1.2 million necklace made by Jonathan Arndt, the designer of their rings. Her necklace was a three-tiered diamond sparkler, set off by huge diamond teardrop earrings. For the reception, she added a quarter of a million dollar cocktail ring featuring over 60 carats of sapphires set in black gold.

The photographer who was hired to shoot Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton's wedding photos says some of the shots will be featured in Us Magazine this week. Robert Evans said that shooting a celebrity wedding is no different than shooting a "normal" wedding. "There is no difference. What makes for great wedding pictures for me is the personal connection I have with my bride and groom and the time to create photographic magic. From the first moment I met each of them I was touched by their big hearts and contagious personalities, which made the privilege of photographing their wedding an absolute joy, not a job.” According to Robert, they didn't follow wedding tradition, and by breaking a rule, they'll have better photos because of it. He explains, "They took my advice and saw each other before the wedding and took all their photos before their nuptials, so after they said ‘I do’ and walked down the aisle, they could go do whatever they wanted, instead of spending time taking photographs. Spending time alone or spending more time with your guests is a smarter choice, especially when your normal human reaction after you kiss and travel down the aisle is ‘Let’s go party and be with our friends and family.’ A wedding is a celebration, and when the months of planning are over, it’s time to PLAY!”

In more Miranda news, her latest song, "Heart Like Mine," tops the country singles charts this week.

How smokin' hot is Lady Antebellum? They've just had the highest chart debut of their career with the new song, "Just a Kiss." It landed at #7 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, which is an all-genre chart. In the first week the song sold over 211,000 digital copies, topping the iTunes country singles chart.

Head for an auction and get great stuff for an even greater cause. MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation have rounded up some amazing artist memorabilia for you to bid on, including a bass guitar signed by Kenny Rogers, an electric guitar signed by Keith Urban, a CD/DVD "Revolution" set autographed by Miranda Lambert and much more. The auction ends day after tomorrow, so hurry!

John Rich is out with not one but two six-paks of music. One is "For the Kids" with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The other is "Rich Rocks," a high-energy collection of vintage John Rich music. Both include high-profile duets with Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr. and Lil John.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "It's my lucky day. Found an old pair of jeans I wore in high school. There was a $10 bill in the back pocket! Best part is they still fit!"