Oct 062013
 

When “The Cowboy” George Strait announced last year that he is planning to retire from touring in 2014, local fans hoped that the legend would ride into the Derby City one last time, but Louisville was not included on the tour’s first leg. Well, fans can breathe a sigh of relief because the second half of “The Cowboy Rides Away” Tour was announced last month and Strait is scheduled to perform at the KFC Yum! Center on March 7. At press time, tickets for this must-see show had not yet gone on sale. Strait’s May 31, 2014 Foxborough, Massachusetts stop is the last show currently scheduled, but the big finale will take place in his home state of Texas in Dallas on a yet-to-be-announced date. The final leg of this tour will feature a variety of opening acts: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, and Chris Young. The opening act(s) for Louisville has not yet been announced.

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!

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.

Aug 032013
 

Nickelodeon’s 2013 Teen Choice Awards nominees were revealed last month and there were plenty nods for country artists. Taylor Swift received a whopping seven nominations, including: Choice Female Artist, Choice Female Country Artist, Choice Smile, Choice Summer Tour for “Red Tour 2013,” Choice Country Song and Choice Break-Up Song for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and Choice Single: Female Artist for “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Hot country duo Florida Georgia Line will vie for Choice Summer Music Star: Group, Choice Country Group, Choice Country Song for “Cruise,” and their remix of “Cruise” featuring Nelly will compete for Choice Summer Song. Blake Shelton will vie for Choice TV Personality: Male for The Voice. Choice Country Song nominees are Blake Shelton, Pistol Annies & Friends’ “Boys ’round Here,” Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” Hunter Hayes’ “I Want Crazy,” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Choice Female Country Artist nominees are Jana Kramer, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood. Choice Male Country Artist nominees are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, and Blake Shelton. Choice Country Group nominees are Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, The Band Perry, and Thompson Square. The Band Perry’s “DONE.” will also vie for Choice Break-Up Song. Nashville is up for Choice TV Show: Drama. Teenage fans can vote online at www.teenchoiceawards.com. The winners will be announced live on FOX on August 11.

The 2013 MTV Music Video Awards nominees were announced last month on MTV’s Vine and Instagram accounts, and Taylor Swift appeared in two of the categories. Her “I Knew You Were Trouble” will compete again Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” Macklemore, Ryan Lewis & Wanz’s “Thrift Shop,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” and Robin Thicke, T.I. & Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines” for Video of the Year. The same video is up for Best Female Video against Rihanna & Mikky Ekko’s “Stay,” Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop,” P!nk & Nate Ruess’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” and Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack.” In related country news, Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us” will vie for Best Video with a Social Message. The VMA’s will be handed out in Brooklyn, New York on August 25, airing live on MTV. To vote for Swift or Clarkson, log onto VMA.MTV.com for details.

When the nominations were announced last moclaynth for the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which are given to the best in television, actress Connie Britton was nominated in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for her portrayal of country singer Rayna James on ABC’s “Nashville.” She will compete against Claire Danes of “Homeland,” Michelle Dockery of “Downton Abbey,” Vera Farmiga of “Bates Motel,” Elisabeth Moss of “Mad Men,” Kerry Washington of “Scandal,” and Robin Wright of “House of Cards.” The Emmy Awards will be handed out on September 22 and the ceremony will air live on CBS, just three days before Britton and the rest of the Nashville gang return for the critically acclaimed series’ sophomore season.

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!