Thursday, November 1, 2012

As you try to keep your hands out of the Halloween candy stash from last night, country stars share some of their favorite Halloween memories. Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood remembers his best costume as a kid – half of a pair of dice: “I was a die for Halloween. I had a big cardboard box that I had painted white and had the polka dots and stuff. And I remember I was walking up this hill to go to this hill and literally fell back down the entire hill, rolling in this giant cardboard box that I couldn’t do anything about, because I rolled down about 50-feet.” Luke Bryan says Halloween is great for researching your neighbors: “You can find out a lot about your neighbors by what kind of candy they put out. So, well, like full bars of Snickers bars, that’s what, and Reese’s cups, but the old chocolate popcorn ball of stuff, that’s no good either, like Dots – you get Dots one time of year and they pull your teeth.” And Taylor Swift has a different kind of Halloween memory: “All I remember about Halloween last year is that it’s when I bought my cat. She’s a Halloween cat. I didn’t really dress up for anything last year - I just went out and bought a kitten.”

Last week was the biggest sales week for any album in over a decade. Taylor Swift’s “Red” sold 1.2 million copies last week, meaning it is platinum after just seven days in release. It’s her second straight album to sell more than a million copies in its first week – “Speak Now” accomplished that feat in 2010. The last artist to sell over a million was Eminem in 2002, with the release of “The Eminem Show.”

What you’ll see tonight on the CMA Awards show: the show-opener will be Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church singing Jason’s new song, “The Only Way I Know How,” Tim McGraw performing his new single, “One of Those Nights,” Faith Hill performing “American Heart,” then Tim and Faith will be part of a tribute to Willie Nelson which will also include Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood performing separately, Taylor Swift doing her new single, “Begin Again,” Kelly Clarkson singing her new country song, “Don’t Rush,” backed by Vince Gill, and John Rich with the biggest smile on his face ever, because he and Big Kenny are nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year. “To see our name back in the lineup is pretty cool. It is like, ‘Alright there it is!’ It’s just a manifestation of what we’ve been doing for the last couple of years. You know, hookin’ the cables back together between Big Kenny and myself. It’s been quite a ride to do that, because you wonder if the fans are still there and you wonder if anyone gives a damn about your music anymore.”

The cash has finally all been counted, and Jason Aldean’s breast cancer benefit concert last weekend raised $509,125. Wanna bet he rounds the check up to $510,000?
Taylor Swift is the magazine cover queen right now – she’s on December’s Cosmopolitan magazine, plus the United Kingdom’s “You” and Australia’s “Sunday” publications.

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