Oct 032013
 

Taylor Swift took home her first-ever MTV Video Music Award on August 25 when her “I Knew You Were Trouble” was named Best Female Video of the Year, and a couple weeks later when the nominees were announced for the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards, she, along with hot newcomer Kacey Musgraves, topped the list of nominees with six nods each. Swift will vie for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist, Album of the Year for Red, and she is up for Single, Video, and Musical Event of the Year along with Tim McGraw & Keith Urban for “Highway Don’t Care.” Musgraves’ first-ever CMA nominations include Female Vocalist of the Year, New Artist, Album of the Year for Same Trailer Different Park, and Single of the Year for “Merry Go ‘Round.” As a songwriter, she received nominations for Song of the Year for “Merry Go ‘Round” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.”

Following behind Swift and Musgraves with five nominations each are Mr. & Mrs. Blake Shelton. Shelton will vie for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, Album of the Year for Based on a True Story, and Musical Event and Video of the Year for “Boys ‘Round Here” along with wife Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley, better known as Pistol Annies. Lambert will vie for Female Vocalist of the Year, and Single and Video of the Year for “Mama’s Broken Heart,” in addition to the collaboration nods with Shelton.

And the nominees are: Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Taylor Swift; Female Vocalist of the Year: Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood; Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban; Vocal Duo of the Year: Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, Love and Theft, Sugarland, The Civil Wars, and Thompson Square; Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Zac Brown Band; and New Artist of the Year: Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Kip Moore, and Kacey Musgraves.

Album of the Year: Little Big Town’s Tornado, Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park, Blake Shelton’s Based on a True Story, Taylor Swift’s Red, and Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away; Single of the Year: Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban’s “Highway Don’t Care,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round,” and Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel”; Music Video of the Year: Lady Antebellum’s “Downtown,” Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Little Big Town’s “Tornado,” Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban’s “Highway Don’t Care,” Blake Shelton & Pistol Annies’ “Boys ‘Round Here,” and Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away”; Musical Event of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan & Eric Church’s “The Only Way I Know,” Kelly Clarkson & Vince Gill’s “Don’t Rush,” Florida Georgia Line & Nelly’s “Cruise,” Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban’s “Highway Don’t Care,” and Blake Shelton & Pistol Annies’ “Boys ‘Round Here”; Song of the Year (songwriter award): “I Drive Your Truck,” “Mama’s Broken Heart,” “Merry Go ‘Round,” “Pontoon,” and “Wagon Wheel”; and Musician of the Year: Sam Bush—mandolin, Paul Franklin—steel guitar, Dann Huff—guitar, Brent Mason—guitar, and Mac McAnally—guitar.

The CMA Awards will be handed out in Nashville on November 6. The awards ceremony will be hosted once again by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Congratulations and best wishes to all the nominees!

Oct 022013
 

The ACM Honors, which are recognitions the Academy of Country Music Awards are unable to include during the ACM’s annual televised awards program, were handed out last month and a couple Kentucky acts were among the honorees. Ashland, Kentucky natives Wynonna and Naomi Judd, better known simply as The Judds, and Sandy Hook’s late, great Keith Whitley were recognized during the honors. These Kentucky artists were honored with the prestigious Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. Whitley’s widow, Lorrie Morgan, and children Morgan and Jesse Keith Whitley accepted this honor after Lorrie and Jesse performed “‘Til a Tear Becomes a Rose.”

The Voice coach Blake Shelton, who has mentored three of the show’s four winners thus far, was honored with the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award. Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood, who make up the trio Lady Antebellum, were awarded the Jim Reeves International Award for taking country music around the world on their last international tour. Jason Aldean was honored with the Crystal milestone Award for his outstanding concert ticket sales, including the sell-out of two shows at Boston’s Fenway Park, a whopping 70,000 tickets.

And the winners are: Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award: The Judds and Keith Whitley; Jim Reeves’ International Award: Lady Antebellum; Mae Boren Axton Award: Tommy Wiggins; Songwriter of the Year: Dallas Davidson; Poet’s Award: Guy Clark and Hank Williams; Casino of the Year: Red Rocks Casino & Resort in Las Vegas; Venue of the Year: Ryman Auditorium; Nightclub of the Year: Joe’s Bar in Chicago; Promoter of the Year: Ed Warm of Joe’s Bar; Talent Buyer of the Year: Jerry Hufford of Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California; Audio Engineer of the Year: Chuck Ainlay; Producer of the Year: Jay Joyce; and Musician of the Year: Matt Chamberlain—percussion & drums, J.T. Corenflos—guitar, Aubrey Haynie—fiddle, Mike Johnson—steel guitar, Michael Rojas—piano & keyboard, Jimmie Lee Sloas—bass, and Ilya Toshinsky—specialty instruments.

Aug 082013
 

If you were unable to attend the CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville back in June, or if you were fortunate enough to attend and want to relive the magic, then you’re in luck as ABC-Television is airing a three-hour recap, titled “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” on Monday, August 12 at 8 p.m.. The must-see special will be hosted by Little Big Town and will include performances, interviews and special appearances by: Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and The Zac Brown Band. Also appearing will be the cast of Duck Dynasty, actors/musicians Charles Esten and Lennon & Maisy Stella from ABC’s Nashville, Kellie Pickler’s Dancing with the Stars champion partner Derek Hough, Kid Rock, and Lenny Kravitz.

Jul 082013
 

Following the devastating tornadoes which ripped through Oklahoma on May 20, numerous country artists have stepped up to the plate to offer assistance and raise money for the victims of this natural disaster. Checotah, Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood collected $1 from each ticket sold on her recent “Blown Away Tour” and donated a whopping $1 million to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in her home state. Speaking of the donation, she said, “With the help of my fans who attended my concerts over the past year, we can offer the Red Cross a little extra help in comforting those affected by the recent tornadoes.” Country crooner and recent three-peat winning The Voice coach Blake Shelton, who was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma, teamed up with the NBC network to host last month’s one-hour musical telethon Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert with fellow Okies Reba McEntire and Vince Gill, as well as wife Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Usher, and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. The event raised more than $6 million for the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund to be used for recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Moore, Oklahoma native Toby Keith, who now lives in neighboring Norman, Oklahoma, will host the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert on July 6 at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in his hometown. Keith recently said, “I grew up in Moore, I live in Norman, and I’ve got lots of family and friends who were directly affected. I know these folks, and they’re resilient, but we’re going to keep helping them any way we can. I’m proud to get together with some others from around here who are just as committed as I am to supporting these communities.” Joining Keith for this benefit show will be Oklahoma natives Garth Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood, and the legendary Willie Nelson. Brooks recently said, “Once we got the news that the tornado had hit Toby’s hometown, Miss Yearwood and I told Toby we were at his service for whatever he chose to do. I am amazed at the human spirit the tornado victims have shown. I am humbled by the giving of the volunteers. It is an honor to get to be a part of this healing process.” Proceeds from this special concert will also benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund.

Our hats are off to all the country artists and all Americans who have extended a helping hand and money to victims of the tragic Oklahoma tornadoes!

May 042013
 

When the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were handed out last month at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, ceremony co-host Luke Bryan was the big winner when he was named the coveted Entertainer of the Year, an award selected by the fans. Bryan also shared the Vocal Event of the Year award with Jason Aldean and Eric Church for “The Only Way I Know.” In addition, Aldean was named Male Vocalist of the Year and Church won Album of the Year for Chief. Bryan’s co-host, Blake Shelton, shared an award with his wife, Miranda Lambert—the Song of the Year award for having co-written Lambert’s “Over You” about Shelton’s late brother. Lambert took home two additional trophies: Female Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year for “Over You.” Little Big Town won two trophies: Vocal Group of the Year and Video of the Year for “Tornado.”

And the winners are: Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan; Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert; Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean; Vocal Duo of the Year: Thompson Square; Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town; New Artist of the Year: Florida Georgia Line; New Female Vocalist of the Year: Jana Kramer; New Male Vocalist of the Year: Brantley Gilbert; and New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year: Florida Georgia Line.

Album of the Year: Eric Church’s Chief; Single Record of the Year: Miranda Lambert’s “Over You”; Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert’s “Over You” (written by Lambert & Blake Shelton); Video of the Year: Little Big Town’s “Tornado”; Vocal Event of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan & Eric Church’s “The Only Way I Know”; Songwriter of the Year: Dallas Davidson; Guitarist of the Year: J.T. Corenflos; Fiddle Player of the Year: Aubrey Haynie; Steel Guitarist of the Year: Mike Johnson; and Producer of the Year: Jay Joyce.

Congratulations to all the winners!