Friday, January 13, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah star in "Joyful Noise," which opens today. Dolly plays G.G. Sparrow, a feisty blonde with a passion for singing and leading. Sound familiar? Dolly says it should: “The character is very similar to my own person. Todd Graff, who wrote the movie, he patterned it after my personality. So, he tailor-made it, but it’s still a different character. But, the movie is good, very uplifting...a lot of great gospel music. I got to write four of the songs.” In the movie, Dolly and Queen Latifah are rivals, but they got along famously while working on the movie.

Three weeks from today, Keith Urban hits the stage for his first performance since vocal chord surgery in November. He'll perform on the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium for the final winter performance of the year there. Tickets are available, if you want to be there.

Speaking of the Ryman, there was something of an event there last night. The hottest new act in Nashville, The Civil Wars, took the stage for a set, and brought along a very famous fan. Taylor Swift has been high on their music for over a year, tweeting about the duo fairly often, and even settling down to write songs with them a time or two. At one point in last night's show, they said they wanted to help a struggling performer, since they were struggling just a couple of years ago. They introduced "newcomer" Taylor Swift, who came out and sang "Safe & Sound" with them. The song will show up on the "Hunger Games" soundtrack.

And speaking of star collaborations, John Rich shot a video yesterday, and starring in the video with him are Willie Nelson, John Anderson and Merle Haggard.

More artists have been revealed for this summer's CMA Music Festival, June 7th through 10th in Nashville. Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry and Jason Aldean had already been announced, and yesterday it was revealed that Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Faith Hill and Lady Antebellum will all do shows at LP Field during the festival. If you don't have tickets yet, get 'em through Ticketmaster.

Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson will perform at the Grammy Awards next month. Jason and Kelly will team up on "Don't You Wanna Stay," which is nominated. Jason loves to mix it up, saying “I love that. I love working with other artists. Like I was just saying over here, I grew up a fan of all different kinds of music, so you know I love doing that stuff, man. I’m always up for it. I think if the right song comes along, with the right artist, and it makes sense, I think it’s great.” He hits the road with Luke Bryan and Lauren Alaina on the 20th of this month.

Trace Adkins turns 50 today, a time of life when some people are still trying to figure out how to be authentic. Not Trace - he's always been true to himself, and always been one to say what's on his mind. “I’ve always found it easiest to live your life like that, you know? It’s a lot easier to have friends, because as soon as they figure out who you really are, you either see them a lot or you don’t ever see them again.” The dad of five girls is the reigning "Country's Sexiest Man" according to the readers of Country Weekly magazine.

Congrats to Toby Keith, whose "Red Solo Cup" has passed a million in sales.

And congrats to the Target in Rockford, IL, where Miranda Lambert dropped a grand in a shopping spree just before kicking off her tour last night.

Happy birthday to Trace Adkins, who turns 50 today.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Time to sleep. But a melody and a lyric keep ringing in my mind.'..and.. since... the Day I left Milwaukee...'"