Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The ACM Honors were last night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and Reba, Garth and Taylor were treated to special performances in their honor. Joe Nichols hosted the event, and Ronnie Dunn presented Reba's Career Achievement Award. Reba told the story of a childhood visit to the Ryman, where she got sick on the outside steps. Jerrod Niemann sang "Good Ride Cowboy" in Garth Brooks' honor as he was presented with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. Taylor Swift was her usual gracious self, talking with every film crew along the red carpet and personally greeting every fan lined up on 5th Avenue, signing autographs and posing for photos. She was honored with the Jim Reeves International Award for spreading country music worldwide, and she remarked, “Getting to go all these places I’d never dreamed I’d even get to see in my life and play arena shows there, it’s been an amazing, amazing year. You know, what I love the most is that all these people they speak different languages, but they knew all the words to our songs. It was so wonderful to get to see that first hand.”

Camera crews from CBS's "60 Minutes" followed Taylor Swift around Nashville last weekend as she staged two sold-out shows in her home town then was honored last night. The profile will air sometime in November.

Toby Keith was interviewed by the Boston Herald, and among the questions asked was why he carried a gun. Toby's reply? “If somebody asked me, ‘Why do you have one? What are you afraid of?’ I’d say, ‘I ain’t afraid of nothing. I carry so I don’t have to be.’”

Rodney Atkins takes over the top spot on the country music charts with his latest hit, "Take A Back Road." It's his 6th #1 song, and he credits songwriters Rhett Akins and Luke Laird for this success: “What makes this town so special are the songwriters, that’s where it all comes from. We wouldn’t have anything to sing without ‘em. My first love with…with music once I started playing music, I wanted to write songs. That was the best part of it.”

PollStar's Top 20 Tour list has juggled just a bit, with Kenny Chesney pulling ahead of Taylor Swift in total money raked in on tour so far this year. Seven of the top 20 touring acts are country: Keith Urban at 19, Sugarland at 18, Jason Aldean at 14, Rascal Flatts at 11, Brad Paisley at 9, Taylor at 3 and Kenny Chesney in second place, behind U2. Here's the list of the top 20, with gross revenues and average ticket price:

1) U2 - $6.9 mil. / $95.46
2) Kenny Chesney - $2.2 mil. / $75.18
3) Taylor Swift - $2.1 mil. / $73.70
4) Glee Live! In Concert! - $1.5 mil. / $84.10
5) Sade - $1.3 mil. / $97.93
6) Phish - $1.1 mil. / $52.95
7) Britney Spears - $928,133 / $83.23
8) New Kids on the Block w/ Backstreet Boys - $854,610 / $72.89
9) Brad Paisley - $692,410 / $37.29
10) Rush - $688,049 / $72.51
11) Rascal Flatts - $634,271 / $35.63
12) Michael Buble - $566,789 / $76.04
13) Motley Crue - $528,602 / $55.68
14) Jason Aldean - $522,061 / $30.98
15) Katy Perry - $490,625 / $42.24
16) Train w/ Maroon 5 - $489,043 / $42.31
17) American Idols Live - $486,495 / $54.52
18) Sugarland - $418,274 / $48.90
19) Keith Urban - $414,439 / $52.63
20) Luis Miguel - $358,164 / $92.72

Tony Bennett's Duets II album is out today, featuring duets with Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, and artists from other musical genres.

Kelly Clarkson is on the Tonight show.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "Congratulations to AT&T on their 1 billionth dropped call!!! And that's just on MY phone..."