Friday, May 27, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Tonight kicks off the North American leg of Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" tour. It starts in Omaha, Nebraska, and she does 78 shows in 63 cities, 42 states and a Canadian province or two through November. She's reached the point in her career that she has more hit songs than she has time to do in a concert. According to Taylor, “It was a big thing that I had to…think about. Like, which songs do we stop playing? Which songs do we add? You only have two hours to play a show. So, thankfully we got it to a place where I’m really stoked about the set list. I can’t believe that we get pyro and costumes…things that are sparkly and just…wonderful ways to tell a story in a really theatrical way.” Christian rock group NEEDTOBEATHE, Randy Montana, James Wesley, Josh Kelley, Hunter Hayes, Danny Gokey and Charlie Worsham take turns being the opening act on this tour.

The Grand Ole Opry has lined up an action-packed, star-studded summer line up this year. Check it out:
Vince Gill tonight and tomorrow night
Josh Turner tomorrow night
Steel Magnolia May 31st.
Rascal Flatts June 4th
Carrie Underwood June 7th
June 7th and July 1st, Darius Rucker
Randy Travis and Billy Ray Cyrus June 10th
Kellie Pickler June 17th
Dierks Bentley July 19th

Carrie Underwood is in Us Weekly's annual Hot Bodies issue. How does the 28-year-old stay in shape? "Bouncing on stage is a workout in itself. But if I can get myself up to run on the treadmill, I'm good," proclaims Carrie. Julianne Hough is also part of that list of hotties.

Zac Brown is making sure his friends get a taste of the spotlight during the CMA Music Festival. He's invited several guests to join him and the band onstage for their June 9th performance. Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, folk-jazz singer Amos Lee and Sonia Leigh will jam with ZBB that night.

Tuesday night's American Idol was the worst-rated performance finale in the series' 10-year history. But Wednesday night made up for it, adding half a million viewers for the results show. And Scotty McCreery's song, "I Love YOu This Big," was the top-selling song on iTunes yesteray, with Lauren Alaina's song showing up at #3. And here are details you won't find in a lot of places, but will get here: Scotty earns $250,000 for winning and delivering his first album. Lauren Alaina wins $87,500, which will double if she delivers an album. Scotty's parents tell media outlets that their son will continue his education at Belmont University. Both will be on June 2nd's Today show and August 12th's Good Morning America.

Wanna see all the fun we missed at Dierks Bentley's lates Miles and Music for Kids ride in Columbus, OH? Here you go...

Luke Bryan and Longhorn Steakhouse have teamed up to let one lucky person win a trip to Sundance, UT through the "Go West With Luke" contest. One winner gets to take a guest for a weekend stay at the Stewart Mountain Lodge, where Luke will give them a private acoustic show. Airfare and accomodations are included.

Congratulatons to Blake Shelton, whose latest single, "Honey Bee," has been certified gold for half a million units sold. That's the fastest any country male solo act has ever reached gold with a single.

And congratulations again to Blake and Reba, whose tornado benefit concerts raised half a million dollars for Tushka, OK relief.

Darryl Worley and Lee Greenwood are the performers at the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.

Kellie Pickler hits the Indy 500 this weekend, singing "Tough," the first single from her upcoming album, then ride in the parade before the race. Sunday's Indianapolis 500 is the 100th anniversary of the race.

Dolly Parton will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show today.

Happy birthday to Don Williams, who turns 72 today.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "Thank y'all for a great two nights.. We raised $500,000 for the Tushka Oklahoma tornado relief efforts!!!!"