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Country News

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Are Married

 

The country superstar pair exchanged vows at the Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas - north of San Antonio

Wearing her mother's wedding dress, Lambert walked down the aisle in front of 550 family members and friends (including Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Charles Kelly and the Bellamy Brothers).

"I'm married to my best friend!" Lambert told Us after the ceremony. "Looking forward to a lifetime of laughter."

Added Shelton, 34: "I wanted to be married to Miranda the day I proposed. Finally, it's official!"

Brad Paisley heading to Ireland

Brad Paisley will play in Dublin this summer.

The Grammy Award winning singer will play the Olympia Theatre on Friday August 19th.

Tickets priced from €44.20 go on sale Friday March 25th at 9am

Brad Paisley's new album, This Is Country Music, is released in May and features a duet with Carrie Underwood.

The track, "Remind Me," is not the first time the pair has made country magic. The duo won a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2008 for their hit "Oh Love."

This Is Country Music features several collaborations including Blake Shelton, Don Henley, Sheryl Crow and Marty Stuart. Clint Eastwood adds whistling on an instrumental track.

The album features 12 new songs.

His first single, “This Is Country Music,” deftly describes the reasons country music is in the state it is today resonates so deeply with its audience, while “Old Alabama” reminisces about good times had while listening to Alabama songs.

The third single is tentatively scheduled to be “Jesus Take The Wheel,” which is about Carrie Underwood’s song of the same title. In it, Paisley relates how much that song meant to him personally and how his wife heard the song when she was nearly in a car accident on the way to an audition for a new Martin Lawrence sitcom.

Other tracks on the release include “Play Me Hank Jr., Junior,” “Tucker’d Out” and “Kid Rock’s ‘All Summer Long.’” The latter features Kid Rock on a verse, giving his appreciation to Brad for the shout-out and for solidifying “All Summer Long” as a yearly recurrent from May through August.

Dierks Bentley To Release New Album In August

Dierks Bentley says the album “will sound really good with the windows cranked down” and that “the louder you play it, the better it sounds.”

The new project will reportedly include his next single “Am I the Only One,” which hits country radio in a few weeks.

Although Dierks received high critical acclaim for his last album Up On The Ridge, which was a  full-length bluegrass album, Dierks says he’s going back to mainstream country on this next release.

“ It kind of covers all the bases that I love about country music — fun music, love songs, heartbreak songs, and more,” he says.

The album (which is still un-named) will be available in August.

Cher Going Country!

Cher is working on a new album in Nashville!

Mark Bright, who has produced hits for Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood confirmed he is about begin work on the legendary diva’s next CD.

“Cher knows that her listeners also listen to country music, so she felt it was a natural thing to develop a country music relationship,” he told Silk and Denim Music.

Besides working with Nashville notables Cher will also be collaborating with pop hit-maker Diane Warren.

This album will be Cher’s first solo effort since her 2001 release, Living Proof.

According to the latest reports, the ageless star isn’t turning her back on pop altogether.

If fact one source claims Cher is also set on making a full-on dance record

Next Single from Speak Now

Taylor Swift is getting ready to release Mean as her third single off Speak Now. It has been rumored that the song written about an ex of hers, which some believe it is about Joe Jonas.

However, Taylor has denied all claims about the song being based on an ex,. Instead she claims it was written about a critic.

Taylor has also wasted no time in jumping back on the love rollercoaster. She has a new boyfriend and is dating Glee star, Chord Overstreet.

On her Speak Now tour, Taylor Swift and her new man were spotted on a romantic date last week.

Taylor plays the UK and Ireland later this month.

Brad and Carrie Duet

Brad Paisley's new album, This Is Country Music, will feature a duet with Carrie Underwood. The track, "Remind Me," is not the first time the pair has made country magic.

The duo won a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals in 2008 for their hit "Oh Love."

This Is Country Music features several collaborations including Blake Shelton, Don Henley, Sheryl Crow and Marty Stuart. Clint Eastwood adds whistling on an instrumental track. The album will be in stores on May 24.

AccTop 20 Welcomes Sunny Sweeney

Sunny Sweeney is getting set for her upcoming tour with Brad Paisley.

The Texas native, who calls Austin home, disclosed that when she’s out on the road her mother plays her music for her dogs. “One of my dogs, we swear, is part person,” Sweeney says. “This is so stupid, but I promise you this is the truth. She sits like a man — she sits up and her bottom legs poke out — it looks like she’s sitting straight up. Then my mom will play my song for her and her ears will perk up. It’s totally weird, and I’m not kidding you, she doesn’t do it to any other song but mine,” the ‘From A Table Away’ singer gushes, adding, “I’m closer to my dogs than pretty much anybody else on the earth.”

But Sweeney also has close ties to her great uncle, for whom she was named. “That’s my given name. I’m named after my Uncle Sunny,” Sweeney admits. “He’s cool. He’s my mom’s uncle, but he’s probably 82 now and he still runs in marathons, so that’s cool. He’s in much better shape than I am,” she says with a laugh.

46TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire are to host the 46TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, on Sunday April 3rd

Entertainer of the Year nominees Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban are set to perform on the night.

Jason Aldean is nominated for two awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist.  This is Aldean’s first nomination for Entertainer of the Year.  Aldean won Top New Male Vocalist in 2005.

Miranda Lambert is nominated for seven awards, including Top Female Vocalist and, for the first time, Entertainer of the Year.  In addition, Lambert is nominated for Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “The House That Built Me,” and holds two nominations for Video of the Year for “Only Prettier” and “The House That Built Me.”  She is also nominated for Vocal Event of the Year with Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn for “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”  Lambert is the reigning ACM Top Female Vocalist.

Toby Keith is nominated for Entertainer of the Year.  He previously won the category twice – first in 2002 and then again the following year.  Keith has also won 10 ACM Awards, including two for Top Male Vocalist and Album of the Year.

Brad Paisley is nominated for two awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. If Paisley wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his first win in this category.  Paisley has won 13 ACM Awards, including four for Top Male Vocalist.

Taylor Swift is nominated for four awards, including her second consecutive nod for Entertainer of the Year.  If Swift wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be her first win in this category.  Swift is nominated as an artist and producer for Album of the Year for Speak Now and also received a nomination for Top Female Vocalist.  In 2009, Swift made history as the Academy’s youngest-ever winner for Album of the Year when she was honored as both an artist and producer for Fearless.

Keith Urban is nominated for three awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist.  Urban is also nominated for Vocal Event of the Year for “Blue Sky” with Emily West. Urban is a seven-time ACM award winner, including wins for Top Male Vocalist in 2004 and 2005, Album of the Year in 2004 and Top New Male Vocalist in 2000.

Lady A win five Grammys, including Record of the Year

Lady Antebellum, comprising the trio of Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scotts walked away with the awards for Song Of The Year, Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals, Best Country Song and Best Country Album.

Record of the Year: Lady Antebellum- Need You Now

Song of the Year: Lady Antebellum- “Need You Now”

Best Female Country Performance: Miranda Lambert- “The House that Built Me”

Best Male Country Performance: Keith Urban- “Til Summer Comes Around”

Best Country Performance by Duo or Group: Lady Antebellum- “Need You Now”

Best Country Collaboration: Zac Brown Band w/Alan Jackson- “As She’s Walkin Away”

Best Country Instrumental: Marty Stuart- Ghost Train: The Stuido B Sessions

Best Country Song: Lady Antebellum- “Need You Now”

Best Country Album: Lady Antebellum- Need You Now

My Kinda Party goes Platinum

Jason Aldean is celebrating PLATINUM certification for sales of one million copies for his fourth studio album My Kinda Party. The 15 track disc becomes Aldean’s third career PLATINUM album and brings the country rocker to five million total albums sold since his debut five years ago.

“I just can’t say enough about country music fans and the amount of loyalty they have for their favorite artists,” said Aldean. “To think that a million people already bought this record is hard for me to get my head around. And five million since I started? No way! I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to play music every night.”

Baby joy for Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

 

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have a new addition to their family: A baby girl from a surrogate

Faith Margaret, who was born Dec. 28 at a Nashville hospital, is the biological daughter of the entertainment industry power couple.

"Our family is truly blessed, and just so thankful, to have been given the gift of baby Faith Margaret," the couple, both 43, said in a statement. "No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier."

NEW Taylor Swift 'Back To December' Video

2010 CMA Awards Winners

Miranda Lambert

(Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Music Video of the Year)

Musician of the Year – Mac McAnally

Music Video of the Year – “The House That Built Me” Miranda Lambert, Director: Trey Fanjoy

Vocal Event of the Year – “Hillbilly Bone” Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins

Single of the Year – “Need You Now” Lady Antebellum, Producers: Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year – “The House That Built Me” Songwriters: Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin

New Artist of the Year – Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group of the Year - Lady Antebellum

Album of the Year - Miranda Lambert, Revolution

Vocal Duo of the Year - Sugarland

Male Vocalist of the Year - Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert

Entertainer of the Year - Brad Paisley

 

'Revolution' Certified Platinum

Miranda Lambert's current album 'Revolution' has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales exceeding one million units.

'Revolution' debuted at No.1 on the country album chart last year, putting Miranda in an elite group of five country artists to have their first three albums land in the top spot on its first week of release. The album has already produced two No.1 singles, 'White Liar' and 'The House That Built Me,' in addition to being named the Album of the Year by the ACM, and earning the same nomination for the upcoming CMA Awards.

More celebration may be in store for Miranda, who is up for nine CMA awards including Entertainer of the Year, a first-time nod in the category for the singer.

American Country Awards

Nominees for the first-ever American Country Awards have been announced! The inaugural fan-voted awards show will air LIVE from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on December 6.

Lady Antebellum and  Easton Corbin lead the nominees with seven nominations each; Carrie Underwood earned six nods; and Miranda Lambert and Josh Turner each garnered five.

Artist of the Year

Lady Antebellum

Taylor Swift

Miranda Lambert

Carrie Underwood

Zac Brown Band

Male Artist of the Year

Jason Aldean

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

Luke Bryan

Keith Urban

Female Artist of the Year

Carrie Underwood

Miranda Lambert

Taylor Swift

Reba McEntire

Jewel

New/Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Easton Corbin

Jerrod Niemann

Jaron and the Long Road to Love

The Band Perry

Danny Gokey

Duo/Group of the Year

Rascal Flatts

Lady Antebellum

Zac Brown Band

Sugarland

The Band Perry

Album of the Year

Miranda Lambert – Revolution

Carrie Underwood - Play On

Luke Bryan – Doin’ My Thing

Josh Turner – Haywire

Lady Antebellum – Need You Now

Single of the Year

Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”

Josh Turner – “Why Don’t We Just Dance”

Luke Bryan – “Do I”

Joe Nichols – “Gimme That Girl”

Easton Corbin – “Little More Country Than That”

Taylor Wins Songwriter's Award

Taylor Swift was named the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI) Songwriter-Artist of the Year on Sunday night at their annual awards dinner in Nashville. This is the third time in four year that Swift has earned the honor. She was honored for writing “Fifteen,” “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.”

“Since I can remember, my favorite thing in the whole world was a good story…going back to when my mom and dad would read me stories when I was little, and then discovering poetry in English class, she said while accepting the award. “Then I discovered this town called Nashville, where they tell the coolest stories. In my opinion, they tell them in the most magical ways.”

44th Annual CMA Awards Nominees

Entertainer of the Year

Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band

Male Vocalist of the Year

Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley

Female Vocalist of the Year

Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood

New Artist of the Year

Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann, Chris Young and Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band

Album of the Year

Need You Now- Lady Antebellum

Play On- Carrie Underwood

Revolution- Miranda Lambert

Twang- George Strait

Up On The Ridge- Dierks Bentley

New Artist of the Year

Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann, Chris Young and Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band

Single of the Year

 “A Little More Country Than That”

“Hillbilly Bone”

 “Need You Now”

“The House That Built Me”

“White Liar”

Song of the Year

 “A Little More Country Than That”

“Need You Now”

“The House That Built Me”

“Toes”

“White Liar”

Music Video of the Year

 “Hillbilly Bone”

“Need You Now”

“The House That Built Me”

“Water”

“White Liar”

Darius Rucker Album Number Two In October

Darius Rucker will release the follow up to his platinum selling album debut country album on October 12th. The album, titled Charleston, SC 1966, will feature 12 brand new tracks…even though Rucker wrote a total of 77 songs for the album.

One would think it would be tough to choose just 12 songs out of 77, but Darius says it was simple. “We just listened to them and saw what was rising to the top,” Rucker said. “When I say that, people say to me, ‘Man, that must be a hard decision.’ No, not really. The best songs really rise to the top.”

So what can fans expect from the new album?

“I don’t think it’s going to be light-years different [from Learn To Live],” Rucker said. “I don’t think we set out to reinvent the wheel or do a new sound. I think this record is more of an expansion of the last record than anything else. It’s like picking up where the last record left off.”

“Come Back Song,” is the first single from Charleston, SC 1966.

Golfer John Daly Releases Country Album

Golfer, John Daly has added a new shot to his repertoire, releasing an album of heartfelt and semi-autobiographical songs through Nashville-based digital label, GMV Nashville.

His latest effort, titled I Only Know One Way, is Daly’s second album release and features a mix of Country and blues-infused rockers (“Hit It Hard,” “Big John”), contemplative ballads (“Wrong Directions,” “Lost Souls”) and the occasional cover song (Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”). The insightful “I Only Know One Way” features chart-topping former Hootie and the Blowfish front man and current Country star, Darius Rucker. Rucker also helped Daly co-write the title track.

“The album itself is really my life,” said Daly in a recent interview with Airplay Direct. “All of the songs have a meaning to them… Most of the record is happening – or has happened in my life. I hope people can relate to some of the troubles I have had along the way. Everyone around the world has problems, and I want to connect with those people.”

I Only Know One Way is currently available as a digital album through GMV Nashville, an online record label that specializes in releases from classic and contemporary country artists.

Taylor Swift New Album Out In October

Taylor Swift has announced that she will release her third album titled, Speak Now, on October 25, 2010. The album will feature 14 brand new tracks, ALL of which Swift wrote BY HERSELF (no co-writers).

Swift will release “Mine,” the first single from the highly anticipated album, on August 16.“It’s a song that is about my tendency to run from love,” Swift says of the song.

She also announced that the song “Sparks Fly” will also be included on the album. “Sparks Fly” is a song that Swift wrote and played once or twice live at a concert and became a fan favorite.

Other topics discussed during the live video chat: Taylor gave decorating advice, talked about her love for Starbucks and cooking, gave advice to first-time songwriters, talked about her favorite summer fashion, and announced that she will go on a world tour to promote Speak Now.

Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury Debuts At Number One

Jerrod Niemann‘s debut album, Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury, claims the Number 1 spot on the country album charts after selling nearly 34,000 copies in the first week.

Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury has ended Lady Antebellum‘s six month streak at the Top Country Albums chart.

Niemann’s hit single, “Lover, Lover” is still climbing the charts, and fans can soon catch Jerrod on the road with Gary Allan and Randy Houser.

Another Country Baby On The Way

Josh Turner has just announced that his wife Jennifer is pregnant with their third child.

Josh tells People magazine “I come from big families – my momma was the oldest of three and my daddy was one of six – and I’ve always loved children. They bring a lot of joy to the world and they make us adults look at things in a better way. So it’s a natural thing for me and Jennifer.”

The Turner’s new baby will join big brothers Hampton and Colby early next year.

Luke Bryan Hits The Top Again

Luke Bryan scored his 2nd consecutive number 1 single this week as “Rain Is A Good Thing” tops the singles charts. The song was co-written by Luke and his longtime friend Dallas Davidson.

Luke took to his Twitter account to thank fans for helping the song reach the top. “I wanna thank everyone for my 2nd number 1. Thanks for requesting it and making it get there,” he tweeted.

Carrie Underwood Gets Married

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher were married on July 10, 2010 at an unnamed luxury resort, according to People.com.“We could not feel more blessed to have found each other and to have shared this day with our friends and family that mean so much to us!” the newlyweds told People in a statement, signing their names “Mike & Carrie Fisher.”

People also reports that 250 guests were in attendance and that Underwood “wore a Chantilly lace dress created for her by Monique Lhuillier.” The designer also created the bridesmaids’ gowns.

The couple was rumored to be wed at the Ritz-Carlton in Greensboro, GA.

The web is buzzing with reports about the wedding. Rumored guests include Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Paula Abdul, and Garth Brooks.

Fans will get a glimpse inside Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher’s wedding in this week’s People Magazine. The mag will feature a 5 page spread of photos from the ceremony, reception, and bridal party

Zac Brown Band To Release New Album In September

Best New Artist GRAMMY winners Zac Brown Band will release You Get What You Give, the much-anticipated studio album on September 21.

The album features a genre-defying collection of songs that the band has been testing on the road over the past year. Stand out tracks include: the somber piano-driven early fan favorite “Colder Weather,” the reggae-leaning, jam-inducing “Who Knows,” and a harmony-laced lesson on the merits of chasing after love “As She’s Walking Away.”

Praised for the ability to blend “down-home country with bits of reggae, bluegrass and rock to create a high-quality musical stew” (USA Today), front man Zac Brown notes that the new album “is representative of where we are right now. It combines elements of our southern rock and country roots, but also stays true to our jam-band style musicianship from the live show.”

You Get What You Give is the follow up to the band’s double platinum-certified, major label debut The Foundation, which is one of Billboard’s Top 20 albums of 2009 and features the band’s first four number 1 singles.

Blake Shelton's New Album

Blake Shelton's highly anticipated new Six Pak album, 'All About Tonight' will be available on August 10th. The album will feature six new tracks from Shelton, including his fastest rising single to date, “All About Tonight” and the song, “Draggin’ The River,” which features his fiancé Miranda Lambert.

All About Tonight, produced by Scott Hendricks, will be Shelton’s second Six Pak. The video for “All About Tonight” is currently available from all digital service providers and the single is currently at No. 11 on the country charts.

Shelton’s first Six Pak album, “Hillbilly Bone,” was released earlier this year and debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and No. 2 on the Top Country Albums Chart.

The Band Perry Debut Album Coming In October

The Band Perry will release its debut album on October 5th.

The self-titled album will contain the trio‘s current single, “If I Die Young,“ #27/#32 on the Billboard/Mediabase singles charts. Written by the band, “If I Die Young” is now available on the trio’s self-titled EP, released in April and available through all major online music sites. “If I Die Young” is The Band Perry’s second single for Republic Nashville; their debut single, “Hip To My Heart,” was a Top Twenty hit. The lush, thought-provoking video for “If I Die Young,” directed by David McClister, (Lady Antebellum, LeAnn Rimes), was shot at Nashville’s historic Two Rivers Mansion.

This summer, the band is putting the finishing touches on their debut album while also working an ambitious touring schedule. Their concerts will take them from one end of the country to another, opening shows for such artists as Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band.

2010 CMT Music Award Winners

Carrie Underwood was a 2010 CMT Music Awards multiple winner Wednesday night, picking up both Video of the Year for "Cowboy Casanova" and Performance of the Year for "Temporary Home."

The CMT Awards are chosen exclusively by fan voting, and the former "American Idol" winner thanked her fans from the bottom of her heart. "They were there before I had anything, an album, a record deal, a tour or anything like that," Underwood said. "They built me from the ground up."

Other winners included Lady Antebellum for Best Group Video for "Need You Now," and Miranda Lambert for Female Video of the Year for "White Liar."

Complete list of winners:

Video of the Year - "Cowboy Casanova," Carrie Underwood

Male Video of the Year - "'Til Summer Comes Around," Keith Urban

Female Video of the Year -"White Liar," Miranda Lambert

Group Video of the Year - "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Duo Video of the Year - "Indian Summer," Brooks & Dunn

Collaborative Video of the Year -  "Hillbilly Bone," Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins

CMT Performance of the Year -"Temporary Home (from Invitation Only)," Carrie Underwood

 

 

Luke Bryan is Country’s Hottest Guy!

Luke Bryan has been named by People magazine as one of “Country’s Hottest Guys” for the second year in a row.

The exclusive photo shoot for People Country took place at a private home on the cliffs of Santa Monica, California the day after Bryan made his first appearance on The Tonight Show last month.

“Country’s Hottest Guys” is part of the new People Country issue, which hits stands on June 18

Meanwhile, Luke and his wife are expecting their second child this summer, a son that will join big brother Bo who was born in March of 2008. Luke revealed that they’ll name their new arrival Tatum Christopher.

The newest addition to the Bryan household is due in August.

Taylor iPhone app

Taylor Swift has a new iPhone application coming out this month that features its own form of karaoke.

The app, called "Mix Me In2," lets you sing along with her band to the songs "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me."

Simply put - you can mute her vocals and record your own on top of the full band. You can also remove or change instruments. More Swift songs will be released after the app debuts on June 20th. After recording your versions, there will be an option for you to upload them directly to Swift's website.

Swift will debut the three dollar iPhone app on Sunday (June 13th) in Nashville, the same day she does her 13-hour meet and greet with fans. She's the first artist to release her original music via this app.

Swift recently wrapped up her Fearless tour and appeared at the CMT Awards this week in Nashville with straight hair instead of her normal curly locks.

Billboard Top 25 Country Artists

Billboard has counted down their top 25 country artists over the last 25 years…

  • 25. LeAnn Rimes
  • 24. Travis Tritt
  • 23. Martina McBride
  • 22. Dwight Yoakam
  • 21. Ricky Van Shelton
  • 20. Brad Paisley
  • 19. Keith Urban
  • 18. Dixie Chicks
  • 17. Vince Gill
  • 16. Faith Hill
  • 15. The Judds
  • 14. Shania Twain
  • 13. Hank Willliams Jr.
  • 12. Clint Black
  • 11. Rascal Flatts
  • 10. Brooks & Dunn
  • 9. Alabama
  • 8. Kenny Chesney
  • 7. Toby Keith
  • 6. Randy Travis
  • 5. Tim McGraw
  • 4. Alan Jackson
  • 3. Reba McEntire
  • 2. Garth Brooks
  • 1. George Strait

 

Lady A Breaking More Records

Lady Antebellum's Need You Now album hangs on to the Number One spot on the Billboard Country Albums chart for the 18th week in a row. The album's title track has officially become the longest-running Number One by a country group on the Adult Contemporary charts in the history of Billboard after 10 weeks. Rascal Flatts previously held the record with their 2006 hit, "What Hurts The Most," which stayed at Number One for nine weeks.

Billy Currington New Single

Billy Currington will release a new single, "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer," on Monday May 24th on Mercury Nashville.

It's the first single from his fourth album, due later this year. The single was co-produced by Currington and Carson Chamberlain and written by Troy Jones.

As previously reported, Currington will join Carrie Underwood's Play On tour in the autumn. His most recent album, Little Bit of Everything, was released in 2008.

Taylor's Third Album On the Way!

Taylor Swift is hard at work on her third studio album. She’s been writing songs for it for the past two years. So, what can fans expect from her new material? “What do you think? Boys and love,” she says.

“When I put out an album, I’d like to think that when people listen to that album it’s like a diary of what I’ve been through in the last two years,” she adds. “So it’s a really fun way to express how I feel and what I’m going through.”

Swift says she will put the final touches on the album this summer.

 Meantime Taylor and ex boyfriend Taylor Lautner are up for a 2010 MTV Movie Award for “Best Kiss” for their smooch in the flick “Valentine’s Day.”

Swift and Lautner dated for some time after they filmed the movie.

“That happens with young people,” “Valentine’s Day” director Garry Marshall said. “I usually always start with kissing or they worry about it the whole time.

We did like five, six takes. And the first take was a little uncomfortable. By the sixth take, they were dating! Life happens like that.”

The MTV Movie Awards will air Sunday, June 6 at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.

CMT Music Awards

Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band and host Kid Rock are the latest addition to the list of performers at the CMT Music Awards. Previously announced performers include Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.

The CMT Music Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 9th

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are getting married

After 5 years of dating, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are engaged! Blake popped the question to Miranda over the weekend and People magazine has the exclusive story…

He may be classified as a “hillbilly” singer, but Blake Shelton polished up his manners when it came to popping the question to Miranda Lambert.

“He called my dad and got his blessing first,” Lambert tells PEOPLE about Shelton’s surprise proposal on May 9. “That was so Southern and old-school and perfect.”

Equally perfect: The diamond-and-platinum ring “Hillbilly Bone” singer Shelton, 33, chose on his own.

“I was so proud of him,” says Lambert, 26. “We’ve been together five years, so he knew exactly what I wanted but it’s so much more perfect than I could have picked out myself.”

The setting for the proposal was distinctly down-home – in the woods near Lambert’s Tishomingo, Okla., home. And the celebration was similarly informal: “We had a couple of Bacardi and Diet Sprites – in a Solo cup!”

The engagement is yet another high point in a stellar year for Lambert, who in January scored her first No. 1 single with “White Liar” and in April won Album of the Year and Top Female Vocalist at theACM Awards. Tuesday morning, Lambert was nominated for two CMT Awards, while her groom-to-be also received a nod.

And the best may be yet to come. “Weddings are great and engagements are great and diamonds are especially great,” Lambert says. “But I’m just excited to be married because I want to tell Blake I really can love him the rest of my life and be happy and make him happy.”

Nashville Rising

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill announced that they will hold “Nashville Rising: A Benefit Concert For Flood Recovery” on June 22 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

“The damage that we’ve seen to people’s homes and the effect that the flooding has had on their lives is unimaginable. But we’ve seen the spirit of our community firsthand, as volunteers, church groups and our local business leaders rally to help. We all need to continue to support those in need in any way that we can, and for that reason we could not be more appreciative to all of the artists, the companies and the people behind the scenes who collectively will make June 22 a truly special night,” McGraw and Hill said in a statement.

Confirmed performers include:

Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Michael W. Smith, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

Additional performers and special guests will be announced soon.

Julianne Hough is set to return to Dancing With The Stars

Julianne Hough is set to return to ABC’s Dancing With The Stars next season.

Hough has won two mirror ball trophies in past seasons on the show.

The dancer-turned-country-singer was supposed to star in the remake of Footloose, before costar Chace Crawford bungled the production schedule by dropping out of the flick. Now that Hough's schedule is wide open, the 21-year-old is set to return to the Dancing with the Stars set for Season 11.

The last time Hough did a two-step with a D-list celebrity was in Season 8, when she danced with then-boyfriend Chuck Wicks - though the couple broke up soon after being voted off.

 But Hough still has plenty of good memories from her original run on Dancing with the Stars: she took home the big mirror-ball trophy in Season 4 (with Olympian Anton Ohno) and Season 5 (with Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves).

Hough's Dancing return will come at a busy time: she's expected to release her second country album and she'll also make her feature film debut in Burlesque, costarring Kristen Bell, Christina Aguilera and Cher.

 

Sammy Kershaw to run for Governor of Louisiana

Sammy Kershaw has officially announced his candidacy for Governor of Louisiana.

Sammy posted this statement on his Twitter page: "Its official I am running for Lt. Governor in Louisiana in 2010.”

Sammy, a native of Abbeville, La., plans to run on a platform that will emphasize the state’s tourism advantages and is offering what he calls, “A Real Plan for the Real People of Louisiana.” That includes more emphasis on arts education, reinventing the spirit of volunteerism and other topics.

In his announcement statement, Sammy pledged that, “I am running for the average, hardworking citizens of this state. The primary responsibility of the Lt. Governor is to serve as Louisiana’s Ambassador. This job is about introducing the unique people, culture and heritage of this state.” Sammy adds that he wants to focus on building the entertainment industry in the state.

Joe Nichols Hits The Top Again!

Joe Nichols has reached the top of the singles charts for the fourth time in his career with “Gimme That Girl.” The song is his eighth top ten single and is from his critically acclaimed CD Old Things New.

“The Lord has blessed me more than I deserve,” Nichols said. “I’m so happy to have my team and to have the staff of Show Dog – Universal on my side. And I’m proud to have so many great friends at country radio who believe in what I do – thanks to all of them. And the very best thing about this song is it connects with the country fans, and that’s all I could ever ask for, as they are the reason I do this.”

Nichols kicked off his tour in March and will remain on the road throughout 2010.

Brad Shoots “Water" Video

Brad Paisley and his band spent the better part of a recent day just outside of Nashville where they were submerged in water (including their instruments!) shooting the video for Brad’s most recent hit, “Water.” The video is directed by Jim Shea, who also directed Paisley’s award winning videos “Waitin’ On A Woman,” “Start A Band,” “Online” and “When I Get Where I’m Going,” and most recently “Welcome to the Future.”

“We had a blast making this video. The band and I were soaking wet for most of the day, but that was okay. It reminded me of when I was five years old and mom and dad would take me to the pool,” laughs Paisley.

Hilarious and sometimes painful home videos are used throughout the video and were acquired through radio contests from across the country.

Summer In 3D Is Box Office Smash

Kenny Chesney’s new 3D movie, Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3D, opened last week and earned over $1 million over it’s first four days in theaters. The film was also the No. 7 film on it’s opening day.

“When the director called to tell us our first night we’d out performed the entire theatrical showings of some very big acts, I was thrilled,” Chesney said

At the Las Vegas premiere of his new movie, Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3D, Kenny Chesney was asked why he decided to make the movie. His response was simple: “I wish they [the fans] could see this. I wish they could feel what I feel.” Listen below as Kenny explains his reasoning and also why it was so important for him to watch the film for the first time with his band and crew…

Taylor New Face Of CoverGirl

Taylor Swift has signed on to be the new face of CoverGirl. According to Swift’s official website, she recently finished shooting the ads for a new luxury line of CoverGirl products.

“I am so excited to become the next CoverGirl,” said Swift. “I have admired many of the CoverGirls since I was a little girl . . . great artists and actresses who are confident and still themselves. It’s like a dream come true to be a part of the future of CoverGirl.”

2010 ACM Award Winners

Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert are the top winners at the 2010 ACM Awards.

Lady A, who came into the show leading the pack with seven nominations, walked away with three ACM trophies -- Single and Song of the Year for their chart-topping tune, 'Need You Now,' along with Vocal Group of the Year.

Miranda Lambert is the ACM's Top Female Vocalist, to add to her Video of the Year trophy for 'White Liar' and Album of the Year honors for her critically-acclaimed project, 'Revolution.'

Carrie Underwood took home the ACM's top honors, Entertainer of the Year, in the second fan-voted category. Carrie also makes history as the first female ever to win ACM Entertainer of the Year twice.

Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn and Luke Bryan were the only other acts winning awards during the presentation at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Carrie Underwood

TOP MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Brad Paisley

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Miranda Lambert

TOP VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Lady Antebellum

TOP VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

Brooks & Dunn

TOP NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Luke Bryan

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

'Revolution' - Miranda Lambert (Columbia Nashville)

 

                                   

 

 

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR     

'Need You Now' - Lady Antebellum (Capitol Records Nashville)

SONG OF THE YEAR

'Need You Now' - Lady Antebellum

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

White Liar' – Miranda Lambert

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR

'Hillbilly Bone' - Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins

TRIPLE CROWN AWARD - Carrie Underwood

Academy of Country Music Voting

Fan voting for the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer and New Artist of the Year categories is underway online at VoteACM.com. The contenders for Entertainer are Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band. Luke Bryan, Gloriana, and Joey+Rory are competing for overall Top New Artist. The winners in both categories wil be announced live at the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 18th in Las Vegas. Voting for Top New Artist will continue through the start of the live broadcast and Entertainer of the Year into the third hour of the show.

In other ACM news, Entertainer of the Year nominees Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban have been added to the lineup of performers on the Awards show. They join Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood, who were both previously announced.

The ACM Awards will be hosted by Reba McEntire for the 12th time in her career.

The show will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets to the public are currently available.

Toby Keith has previously won the ACM's Entertainer of the Year twice - in 2002 and 2003.

Brad Paisley is nominated for four awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. He is the reigning Top Male Vocalist, and, if Brad wins the category, it will be his fourth consecutive Top Male Vocalist title.

George Strait is nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. If George wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his second win in that category, previously winning the award in 1989.

Taylor Swift is nominated for five awards, including her first nod for Entertainer of the Year. If Taylor wins Entertainer of the Year, she will be the eighth female in Academy history to win in this category.

Glen Campbell Retiring

Glen Campbell has announced that following the release and tour in support of his upcoming album Ghost On The Canvas, he'll be retiring.

The album's producer Julian Raymond described the album's sound by saying, "It's not your mother's Glen Campbell. He's playing guitar better than ever, singing and writing better than ever. It's really going to be a great final statement from him."

Campbell, who'll turn 74 next month, credits his Arkansas upbringing for turning him into the guitarist he eventually became: "Uncle Boo - he's the one that taught me that. 'Cause he used to play so fast. I don't play so fast now. I could, just 'cause of what he taught me to do. He'd have me doing calisthenics, y'know."

Campbell, who was a member of the legendary bunch of studio session players dubbed "The Wrecking Crew" both before and after he achieved stardom, added that although he was a country player at heart, he enjoyed every minute of being a studio musician: "It didn't matter because I look at everything like that as an experience. Especially in that time period. I didn't want to miss anything. I got to play on so many kinds of music."

There's been no release date announced for Ghost On The Canvas.

Lady Antebellum Are Everywhere!

Lady A continues on Tim McGraw's Southern Voice tour, which takes a short break for the holiday this week, but resumes in Tulsa on April 8th.

The trio will head to Las Vegas later this month for the Academy of Country Music Awards. They are nominated for seven awards, including Top Vocal Group, Album of the Year for Lady Antebellum, and Single, Song and Video of the Year for "Need You Now."

They will also perform on the show, which airs live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Lady Antebellum returns to the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart this week with Need You Now. This is the third time they've held that coveted position since the CD was released back in January. So far, the project has spent four weeks in the Number One spot, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

Also this week, the album's title track becomes the fastest-rising country crossover, topping the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart in only 10 weeks. "Need You Now" is the second country song in the chart's history to hit the Number One spot. The first was Faith Hill's "Breathe" in 2000.

Lady A also sits at the top of the Billboard Country Digital Sales chart with "Need You Now," which has been downloaded nearly 2.8 times to date.

The video has spent five weeks at Number One on the CMT Top 20 Countdown, and now it has also reached the top spot on VH1's Top 20 Countdown this week.

Miranda Lambert's New Single

Miranda Lambert is a big fan of her new single, "The House That Built Me." She didn't write the song, but tells us she knew from first listen that it was destined for greatness, if not the top of the charts. "I just don't see how anyone can listen to this song and think that it's mediocre or think that it doesn't matter, because it's one of the most amazing, timeless lyrics I've ever heard, and I'm just fortunate. I'm just the artist that happened to hear it first and grab it because I know anybody that would've heard it would've taken it. It's one of those songs that's gonna be... it's gonna make history, definitely."

"The House That Built Me" is the follow up to Miranda's career first Number One hit, "White Liar."

Darius Rucker wants to be American Idol Judge

If Darius Rucker were offered the chance to replace departing American Idol judge Simon Cowell, he'd take it. Darius thinks he would be a great addition to the current panel, considering his track record in the business. He told OK! magazine, "I think I'd be great as a judge. I don't think my friends think I'd be great because I've been told I'd be too nice. But I think I'd be great because I like a lot of different things. You can play a (Frank) Sinatra tune and I'll sing it. You can play a Hank Williams tune, and I'll sing it. Play an R.E.M. tune, and I'll sing it. I've had a little bit of success in this business. (laughs) I think I'd be an all right judge."

Darius added that he and his family rarely miss an episode of American Idol, and their time spent watching it often leads to a familiar argument. Darius said, "My wife says it every year - 'that person can't really think they sing great.' I go 'yes, they do.' That's a common debate in our house. I always say to her 'I'm not mad at them. I'm mad at their parents and their friends and their brother and sister who say 'hey, you can sing.' Those are the people you should be mad at."

Carrie Underwood Update

Carrie Underwood will return to the show that made her a household name. The superstar will appear on the "Idol Gives Back" episode of American Idol on April 21st. The annual show raises money for several charities, including Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, and Save the Children.

US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and former U.S. President George W. Bush are all scheduled to appear, along with entertainers Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, Josh Groban, Miley Cyrus, Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Celine Dion, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon, Bono, and Robin Williams.

Meantime Carrie and fiance Mike Fisher are still not firm on a wedding date or location! Carrie recently told a California radio station, "We kind of have a working date. There's a lot of stuff to work around, which I know that sounds so silly because it's your wedding date. You should put everything else on hold to get married."

Despite rumors that the nuptials will take place in Carrie's hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma, that just isn't happening. The singer said, "My hometown couldn't hold all our families."

And eloping is out of the question. Carrie said, "We definitely want our families to be there."

The couple will split their time between homes in Nashville and Ottawa, an arrangement that Carrie is actually pretty content with. She said, "I think it's really good for me because - this is going to sound crazy because I'm getting married - but I'm really not great with commitment, and being with somebody all the time. So I think it will be really nice... We'll be married, of course we'll spend more time together."

Carrie just charted her 12th Number One hit with "Temporary Home."

Taylor Swift on April cover of Elle magazine

Taylor Swift graces the April cover of Elle magazine. The cover reads, "Gorgeous, talented, smart, rich - and we still like her." Inside the pages, Taylor talks about her desire to remain a good girl, and how she has successfully avoided the pitfalls of fame at a young age. She told the magazine, "I've had countless opportunities to do some really bad things." But she hasn't, Taylor says, because then she opens herself up to become tabloid fodder. She said, "Then people start combing through everything that I do trying to find the next mistake and misperception. (That) leads to more scrutiny. Like, if I go to a bar, even if I'm not drinking, who's to say that a source isn't going to say that I was doing something I shouldn't have been doing? So it's not only about your own moral compass, but the moral compasses of other people that you don't know."

Nominations for the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards

Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and The Zac Brown Band were the big winners when the nominations for the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards were revealed in New York City.

Lady Antebellum's seven nominations in five categories follow the release of a new album, Need You Now, which has sold than 1 million copies in just four weeks.

Lambert and Underwood received six each nominations in five categories, and Brown netted a total of six nominations, including four as a member of the Zac Brown Band and another two as the group's producer.

Taylor Swift received a total of five nominations, including her first entertainer of the year nod from the ACM, and Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley garnered four nominations each.

Reba McEntire will host the show live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 18. The show will be telecast on CBS.

Jason Michael Carroll Parts With Arista

 

Jason Michael Carroll, the singer behind “Hurry Home” and “Livin’ Our Love Song,” has parted ways with his record label, Arista Records. Jason broke the news to his fans and the industry via his Twitter.

“First of all, I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to work with Arista Records! I’ve learned a lot and made some great friends! Unfortunately, Arista & I have decided to go our separate ways. They called & said that they would be moving forward without me!”

Jason says he is still working on his next album, and plans to shop that to other labels in Nashville. “Now, that being said, there are plans being made to go back into the studio & record new music, the second week of March! We will still be touring this year as much as we can! Nothing is over, just planning the next move…”

Simon Cowell Is Looking For Another Taylor Swift

 

Simon Cowell has given Taylor Swift a huge compliment. He says the next "American Idol" should be "somebody who represents what is going on at the moment." So, he would "love to find a Taylor Swift, somebody who's relevant rather than just a contest winner." Swift is the one name Cowell came up with when asked what he hopes for from his last season on "American Idol." Whether or not he finds a Taylor Swift, Cowell predicts the winner will be a female.

Keith & Nicole Help Build Haiti School

 

The couple will fund the school for the next five years.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are doing even more than performing at events like Help Haiti Now to help rebuild Haiti.

Keith says, “We’re actually going to be funding a school down there for the next five years. It’s in Port-Au-Prince. The kids will also have one hot meal a day. They’ll have all of their medical taken care of by the school, and clothing, as well.”

Nicole and director Paul Haggis will take the lead in fund-raising for the school with the help of the Artists for Peace and Justice Foundation.

Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton Will Reveal ACM Nominees on March 2nd

 

Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton will be in New York City on March 2 to reveal the nominees for the Academy of Country Music during a segment of CBS's The Early Show. McEntire and Shelton will be interviewed by co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez during the segment, and Shelton will also perform during the telecast. The 45th annual ACM Awards will take place in Las Vegas on April 18. McEntire will host the live telecast on CBS.

Miranda Lambert Tour

 

Miranda Lambert brings her “Roadside Bars And Pink Guitars” Tour to her fans this Spring.  Gearing up on March 18th in Beckley, WV, the tour will make stops in at least 22 cities and more to be announced.  This is Lambert’s first official headlining tour.  She will be joined by David Nail, James Otto, Randy Houser and Wade Bowen among others.

In addition to her own headlining tour, Lambert will take part in the prestigious Lilith Fair Tour and joins an A-list lineup including Kings of Leon, Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band and Norah Jones, performing at this year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival in June.

CMA Music Festival

 

Keith Urban, the Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley and Martina McBride are among the first round of acts who’ve been revealed for the annual CMA Music Festival June 10-13, a weekend that promises to bring plenty of tourism to Tennessee.

The Nashville-centered festival — which also promises Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker — occurs the same weekend as the ninth annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 65 miles away in Manchester.

That event is a multi-genre draw, though country music plays a role, too. The Zac Brown Band is booked, as it was last year, for both festivals. Bonnaroo also lists Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band among this year’s attractions.

Taylor Swift wins four Grammy's

Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band won their first Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in two of the night's highest-profile categories. 

Swift's Fearless claimed the evening's final honor -- album of the year. She also collected three country trophies -- best female country vocal performance and best country song for "White Horse," as well as best country album for Fearless.
 
"I just hope that you know how much this means to me and Nathan [Chapman], my producer, and to all these musicians you see on this stage that we get to take this back to Nashville," she said, leading to roars from the crowd. "Oh my God, our families are freaking out in their living rooms! My dad and my little brother are losing their minds in the living room right now. This is for my dad. Thank you for all those times you said I could do whatever I wanted in life. And my mom, you're my best friend."

Taylor excitedly continued, "All of us, when we're all 80 years old and we are telling the same stories over and over again to our grandkids, and they're so annoyed with us, this is the story we're going to be telling over and over again -- in 2010, that we got to win album of the year at the Grammys." 
 
                         

Meanwhile, the Zac Brown Band won the Best New Artist trophy. "There are so many people that we want to thank and it's such an honor to be on the stage, and then to be shared in this big amalgam of music here," lead singer Zac said at the podium. "We're so honored and blessed to be here and looking forward to playing for you all in a little bit. Thank you so much."
 
Lady Antebellum performed a moving version of their song, "Need You Now" and then capped off their evening by taking home the Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "I Run To You."
Keith Urban took home his third Grammy, for Best Male Country Vocal Performance on his song, "Sweet Thing."
Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood took home the Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for their pleading duet, "I Told You So."
 
Congratulations from the American Country Chart Top 20 to all the country winner and nominees.

Taylor Swift Autobiography??

Taylor Swift has already lived quite a life given that she's only 20 years old. Her journey has been so remarkable that she's ready to write her autobiography. Taylor recently told Britain's OK! magazine that so far she has a 350-page novel written and she's looking ahead to her own life story.

She said, "Years from now, it would be cool to write a book about all the crazy stuff and the insane things I've gotten to do. My life moves so fast... I have to write it all down, otherwise, I can't remember where I was yesterday. I will write my biography for sure."

Jason Aldean - 'Wide Open' Goes Platinum

Jason Aldean's current Wide Open CD was certified platinum for sales of more than one million units late last year, but he didn't get around to officially celebrating the feat until yesterday (Tuesday, January 19th). Jason and his record label hosted a private party at a restaurant in Nashville, where the singer told us that 2009 will go down as his best so far. "I've waited since I was 14 years old to have a year like we've had this last year. I knew when we were makin' this album, I felt like it was the best album we had made out of the three, but it's hard to say. You put songs out there and sometimes you just kinda hope for the best. It's something that we like, but you don't really know how that's gonna translate once people hear it."

Sales of Wide Open were propelled by his monster hits "She's Country," "Big Green Tractor," and his latest, "The Truth."

 

Darius Rucker stands by Tiger

Darius Rucker is quite the golf enthusiast, thanks in part to the influence of close friend Tiger Woods. But in spite of their friendship that spans almost two decades, the singer says even he has lost touch with the golfer since explosive news broke of Tiger's infidelity.

With Tiger's name splashed all over the headlines, Darius says he will stand by his friend. "I feel for everybody involved," the singer tells Chicago-based radio station US99. "I know how much he really does love his family, and I just feel for everybody."

Darius, who sang at both Tiger's wedding and at his father's funeral, says he was completely unaware of the secret life the golf great was leading. "I found out like everybody else," he admits. "You don't have to look up anything at all ... even if you don't want to see it, it's gonna be right there."

 

Tim McGraw Hires a New Manager

Tim McGraw has inked a new deal with Red Light Management, leaving longtime manager Scott Siman of RPM Management. Redlight Management, based in Charlottesville, Va., was formed in 1991 by Coran Capshaw as he became personal manager of Dave Matthews Band. With offices in Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and Denver, the company's clients include rockers Alanis Morissette and Cheap Trick as well as country acts including Jason Michael Carroll, the Lost Trailers and Heidi Newfield.

American Idol kicks off

With the ninth season of 'American Idol' kicking off this week, judge Randy Jackson is once again hunting for the country's best hidden talent. And with a long list of success stories spawned from the show, Randy admits he has two favorites.

"Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are my favorite 'American Idol' winners," he tells OK! magazine. "I think what they've done is amazing, and they've stayed tried-and-true to their audience. I love that."

Kelly -- the show's first winner, and Carrie -- Season 4's winner, both call Nashville home, but still find time to connect with the Los Angeles-based Randy. "I talk to them all the time, see them quite often," he says. "Really, really love them a lot. So talented."

Rascal Flatts 10th anniversary tour

Rascal Flatts will celebrate their 10th anniversary in country music in 2010, and the band will embark on a 10-year anniversary tour in the summer and a brand-new album is expected to come out in the fall. Describing the new tour, Jay DeMarcus says, "We're going to have a lot of big surprises and do some stuff that will throw some people off."

Shania Twain carries Olympic Torch through her hometown

Shania Twain carried the Olympic Torch through her hometown of Timmins, Ontario, Canada this weekend. Shania said, "It's a highlight of my life to be able to carry the light, to light the cauldron." After making her final turn toward the stage, Twain paused, held the torch aloft in her mittened left hand, and waved to the crowd. Thousands of fans were on hand braving the arctic conditions to see Shania. She said, "It wouldn't be Timmins if it wasn't 40 below with the wind chill factor."

Shania actually donated her Olympic torch and the clothes she wore at the rally to the Shania Twain Centre in Timmins on Saturday. One addition to her torch made it unique. Shania told the Canadian Press she'd put hockey tape on the base of her torch so she wouldn't drop it. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will begin in Vancouver on February 12th.

Carrie Underwood engaged

The 'American Idol' winner Carrie Underwood - who has kept her year-long relationship with Ottawa Senators hockey player Mike Fisher largely under wraps - is set to marry, her publicist has revealed.

The 26-year-old singer is yet to set a date for the wedding but "the couple couldn't be happier" announced Jessie Schmidt.

The country singer - who had the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history with 2005's 'Some Hearts' - recently spoke about how her family got on really well with Mike.

She said: "They love me and I would hope my parents would think we raised a good, smart girl, so she's going to do the right thing no matter what it is."

Carrie also gave Mike - who wears a number 12 jersey when playing - a very public shout-out in the sleeve notes of her current album, 'Play On', which was released on November 3.

She wrote, "Thank you number 12. You are the most amazing addition to my life! You are such a wonderful person and have had such an amazing hand in the building of this album and in the growth of me as a person. I love you so much! You make my life better in every way!"

Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner have split up

After 3 months of dating (that were never really confirmed), reports are that Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner have split up. Us Weekly magazine says that the Taylors have broken up. "It wasn't really developing into anything, and wasn't going to, so they decided they were better as friends," a source close to Swift, tells Us. "There was no chemistry." Because they have decided to remain as friends, don't expect any new break-up songs from Swift.

The two met on the set of the film Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day will be Swift's big-screen debut when it comes out in 2010. The source that reported the Taylor's break-up says that the media blew their relationship out of proportion, that they were really never seriously dating at the time. However, both Swift and Lautner did mentioned each other when they individually hosted Saturday Night Live. Swift included Lautner in a song she sang during her opening monologue, and Lautner did a skit where he pretended what would have happened if he was at the MTV Video Musico Awards when Kayne West stole the microphone away from Swift.

Rascal Flatts set for CSI

Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney from Rascal Flatts -- will appear as themselves in an episode of the CBS drama, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, scheduled to air early next year. In the episode, titled "Unshockable," one of the group's members will be the victim of a crime and the other two members will be suspects. The episode will be shot in January.

Brooks & Dunn farewell tour

Brooks & Dunn have announced dates for next year's farewell tour which begins April 23 in Sacramento, Calif., and concludes Aug. 8 in Chicago. The duo will visit 47 cities during their Last Rodeo tour, and an additional date for a special concert in Nashville will be revealed later.

In August, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn announced plans to dissolve their musical partnership after a final tour in 2010. In a joint statement, they said, "After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it's time to call it a day," the statement read. "This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed .... We owe it all to you, the fans. If you hear rumors, don't believe them. It's just time."

Taylor Swift Nets Eight Grammy Nominations

Taylor Swift claimed eight nominations -- second only to Beyoncé -- when the candidates for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles.

Significantly, she was nominated in three top categories representing all genres of music. Her latest album, Fearless, is nominated for overall album of the year, while "You Belong With Me," a track from Swift's album, is up for record of the year. Swift and co-writer Liz Rose's collaboration on "You Belong With Me" put them in the song of the year category.

Additionally, Fearless is nominated for best country album, and "You Belong With Me" is up for best pop female performance. Swift and Rose are also nominated for best country song for "White Horse," an album track that also earned Swift a nod in the best female vocal performance category. "Breathe," yet another track from Fearless, resulted in Swift and Colbie Caillat netting a nomination for best pop collaboration with vocals.

Taylor Swift has won just about every top music award there is this year, but the possibility of winning not just one, but eight Grammys, had the 19-year-old screaming for joy as the nominations were announced.

"I started freaking out and jumping up and down," Swift said in a telephone interview Wednesday night after learning of her nominations, which included album of the year for her sophomore CD "Fearless" and mentions for song and record of the year. "I honestly never would have predicted this, eight nominations — I'm ecstatic, and blown away and so so thankful," the stunned country sensation said.

The 52nd annual Grammy Awards show takes place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31.

Lady Antebellum's Upcoming Album

Lady Antebellum has released the cover art for their upcoming album “Need You Now“, whose title track has dominated the charts and our brains for the last several weeks. Lady A fans can get a little of what they need now as the trio tours with and opens for Tim McGraw this winter on the Southern Voice tour. Watch for the album to release in early January.

“Need You Now,” the title cut and first single off their upcoming CD, is already the fastest-rising single of their career thus far. It’s currently a Top 10 Billboard hit.

So what exactly can fans expect from Need You Now, to be released Jan. 26, 2010?

“This song, and what we’ve finished of the new album so far, is all about passion,” says guitarist/vocalist Dave Haywood.  “There’s a real sense of urgency and fire, almost like a spark has reignited us creatively in the studio…so when we started talking about album titles, ‘Need You Now’ felt like it summarized our vibe right now perfectly.”

Lady A’s self-titled debut CD is already platinum in the U.S. and gold in Canada. Additionally, 18 months after its release, it has never slipped from the Top 10 on the iTunes country chart.

“This is just beyond anything we ever could have imagined when we sat down to write our first song together in 2006,” said an overwhelmed Hillary Scott after hearing about their platinum status.  “I wish we could thank every one of the fans personally — that would be the coolest thing in the world for us”

Lady Antebellum have also landed two 2010 Grammy nominations in the following categories:

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals - "I Run To You"

Best Country Song - "I Run To You"

Taylor Swift to write and design greeting cards

Fresh off her triumph at the Country Music Association Awards, Taylor Swift has netted a deal to create a line of greeting cards.

American Greetings Corp. CEO Zev Weiss says Swift's abilities as a storyteller and songwriter make her a natural for writing cards that will appeal to all ages. The Cleveland-based company said Tuesday that cards, gift wrap, stationery, online greetings and other related products overseen by Swift will begin appearing in the spring. In a statement, Swift calls the opportunity to write and design greeting cards "a wonderful experience." The 19-year-old Swift, who was named the 2009 CMA entertainer of the year, says she has always been fascinated by feelings and how people express them.

Faith Hill and Business Manager Part Ways After 16 Years

Faith Hill and her longtime business manager, Gary Borman, have parted ways, according to Hill's publicist. "We are so proud of what we have achieved together over the past 16 years," Hill and Borman said in a joint statement. "We love each other like a sister and a brother but have made the difficult choice to dissolve our professional relationship." Hill released her debut single, "Wild One," in 1993. Borman's company, Borman Entertainment, also represents Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum.

Dierks Bentley Plans Two New Albums for 2010

Dierks Bentley has included one bluegrass song on each of his four studio albums, but now he's planning on dedicating an entire track list to the genre. The singer will spend the rest of his fall and winter writing and recording not only a bluegrass album, but also a country album -- both of which he plans to release next year.

"I've been looking forward to wrapping the tour we were on with Brad [Paisley], because I've been itching to come off the road and work on some new music," Dierks say's "The tour has been a blast but now I look forward to getting in the studio."

It's no secret that Dierks is a fan of bluegrass music. Before scoring a record deal, he had a weekly gig playing at Nashville's Station Inn, one of the most famous bluegrass venues in the South.

"Nashville is my hometown; I've been here 15 years, so I know a bunch of the grassers, a lot of the country guys, a lot of songwriters and musicians," Dierks explains. "Every album I've done has a bluegrass song on it, so it's not a surprise that one day I might make a bluegrass record. It would be a cool thing for me."

Carrie Underwood's advice

Carrie Underwood has a little advice for recent finalists from her musical alma mater 'American Idol' -- dance with the one that brought ya!

The superstar says she finds it strange that contestants will change their musical style upon leaving the show, especially since fans -- through their votes -- tell them exactly what they want to hear from them.

"I feel like any contestant that ... that does well on 'Idol' has to stay true to what people voted for," Carrie tells Reuters News Service. "I've seen it happen a few times where people are one thing on the show, and then they get off the show and try to do something else."

Tim McGraw Among PEOPLE's 'Sexiest Men Alive'

Tim McGraw joins the ranks of some of entertainment's hottest celebrities from TV, film and music in the upcoming PEOPLE issue, 'Sexiest Men Alive.'

 Tim, who called the honor "pretty cool," admits he does have mixed emotions about the title. "I like it, I have to say. Except, I have to explain it all to my friends who are sitting back there," he says, referring to his band, the Dancehall Doctors. "They're not gonna let me live it down."

One other person who might not let him live it down is his wife, Faith Hill, who has appeared in 'PEOPLE's Most Beautiful' issue multiple times. "She'll pull that out on me when it's to her convenience," he reveals.

Carrie Underwood explains 'Cowboy Casanova'.

Carrie Underwood says people are always asking about 'Cowboy Casanova' -- like, who's that? And they try to make it about one specific guy in particular. But 'country music' and 'cowboy' are part of my vocabulary, so I'm not aiming that towards any particular football team, or guy or anything! I sing country music, so I sing about cowboys. But 'Cowboy Casanova' is about a type of guy -- not about a cowboy. I think of cowboy as being quiet and strong and rugged and good looking ... and having an inner confidence kind of thing. Not necessarily just boots and hat.

Taylor Swift Chooses the Single Life

In spite of the rumors swirling that Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner are romantically linked, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year continues to insist the two are just friends. And even though they're often spotted out on the town together, the singer maintains she's happy to keep it platonic.
 

 "He and I have gotten really close," Taylor says, telling In Style (quote via PEOPLE), "I've never thought it was a curse to be single. And at this point in my life, I'm in the mind-set where I choose to be single ... I got to light scented candles and write in my diary. I wouldn't have time for that if I had a boyfriend right now!"

Taylor Swift Launching Own Guitar

Taylor Swift is launching her own signature model guitar with Taylor guitars. The actual instrument is a Baby Taylor, which is three-fourths the size of a standard acoustic guitar. Taylor's logo, the title of her current album Fearless and one of her favorite expressions, "Love Love Love," have been worked into the guitar's finish.

This partnership with Taylor guitars isn't random for the singer -- she's actually traveled with a Baby Taylor for years now. Taylor says, "I used to sit in the back seat of the rental car while I was  16, writing songs on my Baby Taylor guitar. I love the sound, and I love those memories." The Taylor Swift Baby Taylor model guitar retails for just under $400 and will be available starting November 5th.

 

Brad Paisley TV Show

Brad Paisley is branching out into the world of television. He's partnered with actor friend Zach Quinto of Star Trek and Heroes fame and a few others to create and co-produce a drama series, tentatively titled Nashville. It will follow an aspiring young singer and a male songwriter who is a little down on his luck.

The show is scheduled to begin airing next season on the CW network, and Brad plans to feature some of his hits in the show. He'll also appear as himself from time to time. Brad says, "Look for some of your favorite country music stars to make their acting debuts on the show -- either playing themselves or as a character in the script." Brad's no stranger to television. His wife is Kimberly Williams Paisley was a regular on the ABC sitcom According to Jim.

 

Garth is back!!!

Garth Brooks is back! The best-selling artist in the history of country music made the announcement at a press conference this morning at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House.

"It's a proud day for me and my family to announce [the news]," Garth was quoted as saying. "We're going to take the retirement roof off over our head."

Garth, who is married to fellow country star Trisha Yearwood, says the decision will not change much of his lifestyle for the next five years - until his youngest daughter, 13-year-old Allie Colleen, turns 18. He went on to say this move would allow him "to just go do whatever I want, and not have to worry about who I'm disappointing or what rules I'm sticking to."

After the Nashville press conference, Garth headed to Las Vegas to make an announcement about a series of shows he'll
be doing there.

Garth added that he has no immediate plans for recording or touring -- saying only that he would leave those possibilities open.

"What people are going to expect from us is 110 miles an hour tomorrow, and the truth is, if we ever do tour again, if we ever do make new music again, it's still going to be another five years," he says.

Carrie Underwood Wins ACM Entertainer of the Year

Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift won the two most prestigious awards at the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. In a fan-voted category, Underwood was named the ACM's entertainer of the year, making her the first female to win the title since the Dixie Chicks accepted the honor in 2000. Swift won album of the year honors for Fearless.

Other winners during the event at the MGM Grand included Trace Adkins, Jamey Johnson, Julianne Hough, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland and Brad Paisley.

 

Underwood was clearly surprised by her win in the fan-voted entertainer of the year category and was literally at a loss for words during her acceptance speech.

 

"I've had a lot of good moments over the past four years," she said. "This one takes the cake. ... I never thought I'd be nominated, and I never thought I'd win. I don't know what to say. I've got nothing!"

Taylor Swift is the youngest ever winner of the ACM Award for Album of the Year. The 19-year-old superstar takes home the honors this year for 'Fearless,' her multi-platinum selling sophomore album.

 

"I think a lot of people that know me know that if I talk to you more than five minutes, I'm probably going to write a song about you," she said. "That being said, I'd like to thank all the characters in my songs -- Abigail, Tim McGraw, Romeo."

 

Taylor is also the ACM winner of the Crystal Milestone Award, presented to her not only for her impressive sales, but also for bringing a younger fan base back to country music.

 

Awards show host Reba McEntire surprised Swift with the ACM's Crystal Milestone award to recognize that she's sold more albums than any other artist this year and has helped country music attract a younger audience.

"I want to thank my band and crew who go all over the world with us," Swift said. "And to the beautiful fans, to you guys who come out to my shows, I have absolutely fallen in love with you, and I will never forget you -- ever."

                               

 

Despite his success and string of hits, Trace Adkins has not won many awards, so he also seemed extremely surprised when his recording of "You're Gonna Miss This" was named single record of the year.

"I have to tell you the truth," Adkins said. "This song was recorded by a father whose oldest daughter had just gotten married. It was very personal to me, and I didn't think other people would relate to it the way that I did, so it was put on a greatest hits album as a bonus track."

Song of the year honors went to "In Color," an emotional song that put singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson in the public eye.

Julianne Hough won in another fan-voted category -- top new artist. She was first named top new female vocalist and was in a field with Jake Owen (top new male artist) and the Zac Brown Band (top new vocal duo or group) for the bigger prize.

Hough, a professional dancer who first gained national attention on Dancing With the Stars, apparently had a wardrobe malfunction on her way to the stage to accept her award

 

One of the other big winners -- Brad Paisley -- was not present to accept his award as top male vocalist. He was in Nashville, where his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, will soon be delivering their second child.

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles thanked several record company executives but made it a point to express her appreciation to the duo's band.

"We've never thanked you either, but you rock," she said. "And if you don't believe me, come see them. They'll blow your face off. I love it!

Rascal Flatts won in the top vocal group category, and Sugarland picked up a win as top vocal duo.

"God, what an amazing ride this has been," Rascal Flatts' bassist Jay DeMarcus said. "Now I know how Brooks & Dunn feel."

 

2009 ACM AWARDS WINNERS:

Entertainer of the Year

*Carrie Underwood

Top Male Vocalist

*Brad Paisley

Top Female Vocalist

*Carrie Underwood

Top Vocal Group

*Rascal Flatts

Top Vocal Duo

*Sugarland

Top New Artist

*Julianne Hough

Album of the Year

*Taylor Swift - 'Fearless'

 

 Carrie Underwood performs "I Told You So" at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 5, 2009.

Kelly Picker returns to American Idol

Kellie Pickler will return to the stage where America first fell in love with her. The country songbird will perform her new single, 'Best Days of Your Life,' on the April 8 episode of 'American Idol.'

"Going back to American Idol is like going to a family reunion -- well, it's more fun than going to my family reunions," Pickler jokes on her MySpace page. "Seriously, it's always great to see the gang and feel the excitement from the contestants."

Academy of Country Music Awards

Stars are shining in Las Vegas this weekend, as country music's biggest names descend upon Sin City for the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Brad Paisley and George Strait lead the pack of nominees with seven nods each. Paisley has already won two early awards: Video of the Year for 'Waitin' on a Woman' and Vocal Event of the Year for his 'Start a Band' duet with Keith Urban. Paisley, Strait and Urban are all also up for the night's biggest award, Entertainer of the Year, along with Carrie Underwood and last year's winner, Kenny Chesney.

Reba McEntire will host the ACMs and will also perform, debuting her new single, 'Strange.' The country icon says she's most looking forward to a surge of girl power on the show.

Martina Mcbride's New Album Debuts At No.1

Martina McBride's latest release has returned her to a familiar place -- the top of the charts. "Shine" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard's country album chart this week, and it also debuted at No. 10 on the overall album chart. Taylor Swift's "Fearless" was bumped down to No. 2 on the country album chart, followed by John Rich's "Son of a Preacher Man" debut in third. Darius Rucker holds steady at the top of the country singles chart with "It Won't Be Like This For Long." Swift's song "White Horse" is in second, and George Strait's "River of Love" is No. 3.

Keith Urban's daughter

When Keith Urban's daughter, Sunday Rose, learns to talk, she might have an Australian and a Southern accent. He's raising the baby in Nashville with his wife and fellow Aussie, Nicole Kidman. He tells Ellen DeGeneres that she may say "G'day, ya'll," which would be "a nice mix." Urban says the name Sunday has special meaning to him, because it used to represent the loneliest day of the week. But all that changed when he met Nicole Kidman. He says Sunday went from being "the most dreaded day" for them, to the most joyous.

Taylor Swift Has No Regrets About Kissing And Telling

Taylor Swift has no regrets about writing songs about her ex-boyfriends. That includes dishing about her infamous break up with Joe Jonas in the song "Forever and Always." She tells Seventeen magazine that she can't wish she hadn't written a song about someone, because if she hadn't, that song wouldn't exist. She says writing songs about people is the only way she knows how to do things.

Trace Adkins: Not A Fan Of "American Idol"

Randy Travis has done it. So have Martina McBride and Dolly Parton. But mentoring contestants on "American Idol" is one thing you'll never find Trace Adkins doing. He tells NASCAR.com that he's never been a fan of those talent shows. He says his kids like the show, but he needs "something a little more substantial."

 

 

Kenny Chesney has won entertainer of the year for a fourth time at the Country Music Association Awards (CMA). Click HERE for CMA Winners

                                        

New Taylor CD in US Stores

Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Fearless, hits stores Tuesday, Nov. 11.

The album includes Taylor’s current single, “Love Story.” Taylor co-produced the project and wrote or co-wrote all 13 tracks on the CD. “For fans, they should really try to know that I’ve tried to write a song about every sort of emotion you can go through in a relationship,” Taylor says. “I’m just really excited for people to hear it.”

New inductees to Music City Walk of Fame

Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Randy Travis, Michael McDonald, the late Elvis Presley, rock icon Little Richard and music executive Jo Walker-Meador were honored as the new inductees to the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville.

It’s just a huge honor,” Trace told Nashville’s daily newspaper The Tennessean. “I feel quite frankly out of place here . . . I mean, these are people I’ve been in awe of, and now I find myself in their company. It’s humbling, but I’m proud at the same time.” Each artist’s sidewalk star is now on display at the Music City Walk of Fame in downtown Nashville

Tim McGraw to host 'Saturday Night Live'

Live from New York, it's Tim McGraw! The country superstar, actor and author is adding yet another role on his ever-growing resume: 'Saturday Night Live' host. The first country artist to serve as host this millennium, he joins an elite list that includes Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton as the few country artists in the history of the show asked to host.

"I'm looking forward to hosting the show," said McGraw. "I'm not exactly known for my comedy, but then again if you've been to one of my shows you might feel differently!"

Jason Aldean Debuts New Single

Jason Aldean is set to debut his new single, “She’s Country,” on The 42nd Annual CMA Awards telecast, Wednesday, Nov. 12.

The single is the first from Jason’s upcoming new album. “This song is a shout-out to all the country girls out there, living in small towns and big cities from Georgia to Kansas,” explains Jason. "There’s a lyric in there that says, ‘She’s country from the songs she plays to the prayers she prays,’ and that says it all. It’s a way of life, the only one I know, and it’s nothin’ but country.” The 42nd Annual CMA Awards airs Nov. 12 from the Sommet Center in Nashville.

Taylor and Def Leppard Jam

Taylor Swift and English rock band Def Leppard will get together on the new edition of CMT Crossroads.

Taylor and the band jammed and swapped vocals on Taylor’s hits like “Picture to Burn” and “Love Story,” as well as Def Leppard standards “Photograph,” “Hysteria” and others.

Taylor commented that performing with the famed English group was a “childhood dream” come true.

Little Keith-ette

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman's baby girl, Sunday Rose, has affectionately been given a nickname, thanks to her striking resemblance to one parent in particular.

"It's fine by me, having a little Keith-ette. When he goes away, I can look at her and see him," Kidman tells Glamour magazine. "I didn't even get a look in. I think she got my fair skin and that's about it," she elaborated during a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Carrie Underwood quite on love life

After dating Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and 'Gossip Girl' actor Chace Crawford, Carrie Underwood has learned her lesson: No more sharing her love life with the media. But the country beauty does open up about the perils of dating in the upcoming issue of Elle magazine.

Underwood has been spotted out several times recently with Travis Stork, the 'Bachelor' from the reality show's 8th season, but she refuses to confirm or deny that the two are dating. She does, however, set the record straight about rumors that she went out with Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. "I never met the guy!," Underwood tells Elle. "I'm sure he's lovely. I'm sure he's a great guy. He made America proud! But I never met him, I never mentioned him in an interview, I never mentioned him in that way to anybody ... I've had people texting me and calling me: 'Do you know Michael Phelps?' No! I swear on everything, on my job, my house, my dog ... That's how serious I am."

Brad Paisley doing comedy

Brad Paisley is doing his comedy homework, preparing to co-host the 42nd annual Country Music Association Awards next week.

"I've watched some tapes of some old awards shows, watched a couple Oscars actually with Steve Martin and Billy Crystal," the reigning CMA Male Vocalist tells Nashville's Tennessean newspaper. "It's not that I could ever do what those guys do, but seeing how they handle stuff, because that's the part that you can't plan for. I mean, we can have a great script, but inevitably something is going to happen that we don't really expect."

Tim McGraw unhappy with Greatest Hits Album

Although Curb Records released Tim McGraw's third greatest hits package last week, McGraw wants fans to know he had nothing to do with the collection, and he's unhappy about its release. "I am saddened and disappointed that my label chose to put out another hits album instead of new music," McGraw said in a statement.

McGraw has been working on a new studio album for more than a year, and he debuted three new songs on this year's Live Your Voice Tour. While it was his desire to have a new record out this fall, Curb decided instead to release a collection of hits, thereby extending McGraw's recording contract term. "I've only had one studio album since my last hits package. It has to be just as confusing to the fans as it is to me," writes the country superstar. "I had no involvement in the creation or presentation of this record. Sure, I love the songs and I don't want to take anything away from all the creative people who were a part of making those records. But the whole concept is an embarrassment to me as an artist.

Reba Reincarnated

Although Reba McEntire fears that fellow Christians might criticize her for it, the singer says she believe she's been reincarnated.

"I believe I've gone both ways -- that I have been here before as a man," the 53-year-old (in this life, anyway) tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I believe I have spent time with my son Shelby before. I believe I have spent time with other people in my life before. Who knows? Maybe I'm part Buddhist."

As for reconciling her Christian faith with her belief in reincarnation, McEntire says, "I'm sorry, but this is how I live my life, this is what I believe."

Another Paisley on the way..!

Huck Paisley will soon have a little brother or sister. Brad Paisley and wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley have announced they're expecting their second child in April.

"We're having so much fun with our little boy Huck, and we are thrilled that he will have a sibling," Kimberly tells PEOPLE. "He's going to be a great brother."

Brad and Kimberly were married in March of 2003. Their little boy was born in February of last year.

Carrie Underwood on Pop Stars

Carrie Underwood has no problems sharing the country format with pop stars. In fact, the country 'Idol' thinks it's smart for artists like Jessica Simpson, Darius Rucker and Jewel to crossover.

"Country music is very open-minded to a lot of people, and I think that's great. It's one of the reasons so many people love it -- even if they don't make country music, they can appreciate it," Underwood tells the Press & Sun Bulletin. "As far as artists go, it's such a good place to be, and people are so nice -- the fans are great. If I were on the outside looking in, I think I'd probably want to be a part of it, too."

Underwood says the secret to country success is all in the lyrics. The Grammy-winner insists that her own career accolades have come from striking a personal chord with her fans.

"The most important thing is to be honest," she says. "I have some goofy songs that don't have an ounce of truth in them -- they're just for fun. Like 'Before He Cheats' -- hopefully nobody's ever gone out and keyed anyone's car, but maybe they've wanted to at some point. I think all of us have been cheated on at some point or another -- it's just relating those feelings you had about whatever person was a jerk to you and knowing what it's like to be that angry at someone."

Baby Girl for Dierks

Dierks and Cassidy Bentley are the proud parents of a baby girl. Evalyn Day Bentley was born late Saturday night at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 ozs. Evie, as they plan to call her, is the couple's first child, and Dierks is already thinking about a sibling for her.

"My baby is only 12 hours old, and I already feel like I'm missing moments, so I think there will probably be more kids," the country star told Steph in the City after his annual Miles and Music for Kids charity event on Sunday.

With the exception of a show in Japan later this month, Dierks plans to take a break from touring to stay at home with his new daughter.

 

Trace Adkins New Album

Trace Adkins is gearing up for the release of a new album, 10, in November, and it’s one that might be difficult for critics to pin down.

"Musically, it’s all over the place with no one theme to it," Trace told The Fayetteville Observer, of North Carolina. That description is one that could apply to Trace himself these days, since he’s been all over the place. He just returned from a USO trip to the Middle East, he’s touring with Alan Jackson, and he can be seen on the big screen in the new movie An American Carol, which debuted this weekend.

Of course, Trace was seen weekly during the first part of the year on NBC’s "The CelebrityApprentice." Next season, the show will feature Clint Black, and if his experience is anything like Trace’s, Clint’s patience will defnitely be tested. "It was an exercise in restraint most of the time," Trace recalled. "Just having to tolerate some of those personalities was really tough. But some of it was fun, and I don’t regret doing the show. The only reason I did it was to raise awareness about the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network."

Blake Shelton New Album

Blake Shelton had planned to release his next album after the first of the year, but with his new single, "She Wouldn’t Be Gone," looking like a hit, Warner Bros. has pushed the album’s street date up a couple months to Nov. 18.

"I’d like for this album to start some musical fires in some new fans and maybe fan the flames for the loyal fans who have been with me for a while," Blake says. "So, I named it Startin’ Fires, which comes from one of the songs on the album, ‘Good At Startin’ Fires.’"

The album is produced by Scott Hendricks, whose resume includes hits by Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill and John Michael Montgomery. But it also features cuts produced by Brent Rowan and Bobby Braddock, who’ve directed some of Blake’s previous hits, including "Home," "Austin" and "Some Beach."

Blake co-wrote "Bare Skin Rug," the closing track on Startin’ Fires, with girlfriend Miranda Lambert, who provides backing vocals on his performance, as she did on "Home." Blake and Miranda are currently co-headlining together.

Christmas Record from Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter's first Christmas album, Come Darkness, Come Light, was released on Tuesday (Sept. 30) on Zoe/Rounder Records. Featuring six of her original songs, the album is also comprised of rare traditional songs, plus material from other writers Tommy Thompson and Robin and Linda Williams. Other guests include longtime collaborators Jon Carroll on piano and John Jennings, who lent a hand on guitar as well as on co-production duties.

More CMA News

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have been announced as the hosts of this year's 42nd Annual CMA Awards. The two are the current holders of the Male and Female Vocalist Awards from last year's event. This also marks the first time that either artist will take the charge of hosting "Country Music's Biggest NightTM."

"We are excited to have our reigning Male and Female Vocalist host the CMA Awards this year," said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to their musical talent, Brad's quick wit and Carrie's gracefulness will serve them well in this role. CMA is happy to offer both of them their first opportunity to host a nationally televised network awards show."

Aside from hosting duties, Underwood and Paisley will also be featured as performers on the show. Other previously announced performers include Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban.

Toby Keith support for Sarah Palin

 

Toby Keith is fed up with the Democrats' treatment of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

"The kooks in the Democratic party -- this extreme left -- are hammering Palin so bad, that they're gonna cause John McCain to win this thing," the country superstar tells CMT. "I've never been a huge John McCain fan ... I appreciate everything he did for this country. But at the same time, the wackos are hammering her so hard, that they're gonna make that ticket win. They can't get out of their own way. They've got a chance to win it, and they're gonna blow it by hammering her."

Keith, a longtime Democrat, says he is now re-registering as an independent.

Performers at the CMA Awards

Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban have all been announced as performers for this year's CMA Awards. Chesney, Strait, Sugarland and Urban are all nominated for entertainer of the year. Brooks & Dunn, Jackson, Lambert and Swift also secured nominations this year in various categories. The CMA Awards will take place in Nashville on November 12th

Taylor Swift song to feature in the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy

Taylor Swift's song, "White Horse,"  will be featured in the two-hour season premiere of ABC's Grey's Anatomy Thursday. Taylor says, "You should've seen tears streaming down my face when I got the phone call that they were going to use that song. I have never been that excited. This is my life's goal, to have a song on Grey's Anatomy. My love of Grey's Anatomy has never wavered. It's my longest relationship to date."  "White Horse" will be on Taylor's upcoming sophomore CD, Fearless, which is due in stores November 11. She shares, "It's one of the songs that I am really proud of on the record because it's so sparse - it's guitar, piano and cello. It talks about falling in love and the fairy tales that you are going to have with this person, and then there is that moment where you realize that it is not going to happen. That moment is the most earth shattering moment."

Randy Travis' Christmas DVD

Randy Travis' very first holiday DVD, called Christmas On The Pecos, will be released on November 4th. The disc features live performances shot at the historic Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The 79-minute DVD includes footage of Travis performing "Silent Night" and "Rock Of Ages" in a cavern 850 feet underground. Songs featured on Christmas On The Pecos include "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", "Winter Wonderland", and "Three Wooden Crosses."

Get New Taylor Swift Songs on iTunes

Taylor Swift is giving fans early access to four of her new songs on iTunes with the Countdown to Fearless Campaign!

“Love Story,” the first single from Taylor's highly anticipated sophomore CD, Fearless, is already available for purchase and currently the Internet retailer's top-selling country song. The album's title track will be released Oct. 14, followed by “Hey Stephen” on Oct. 23 and "You Belong to Me" on Nov. 4. When Fearless is released Nov.11, iTunes customers will be able to utilize the “Complete My Album” feature, discounting the cost of the full album based on the number of tracks they already own.

Kenny Chesney Says Being On His Boat In The Islands Heals Him

Kenny Chesney says the islands keep him sane. Chesney, who owns a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, opens up about island life in the November issue of the magazine "Caribbean Travel and Leisure." Chesney says "The pace is slower, the vibe is easier." He adds, "A lot has happened to me over the last few years, and the islands is where I went to take stock." He says being on his boat heals him. He says "watching the sun moving across the sky, thinking about all that happened, how to move on." Chesney's new album "Lucky Old Sun" hits stores October 14th.

Grand Ole Opry Invites Craig Morgan To Become Its Newest Member

Craig Morgan is on the road to becoming the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Opry veteran John Conlee extended the invite, surprising Morgan on stage while he was performing for U.S. troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Morgan, who was stationed at Fort Bragg for two years while he was in the Army, choked up saying, "It's cool to be invited right here." He'll be formally inducted into the Opry family on October 25. Opry General Manager Pete Fisher says Morgan consistently shows a high degree of quality and integrity in his work, whether it's music or military service. Morgan is set to release his fifth CD, "That's Why," on October 21st.

Reba McEntire's 50 Greatest Hits box set coming soon

Reba McEntire's 50 Greatest Hits, a three-CD boxed set, will be released on Oct. 28 by MCA Nashville. Beginning with "How Blue," her first No. 1 for MCA, the collection spans her tenure on the label, concluding with "Because of You," her hit duet with Kelly Clarkson. McEntire and Clarkson plan to tour together again this fall. The boxed set, the first devoted to McEntire, does not reflect her earlier recordings for Mercury Records, which released her first single in 1976.

Each of the cuts landed in country music’s Top 20, with 20 of them reaching all the way to No. 1. In addition to such solo classics as "Whoever’s In New England," "Fancy," "Is There Life Out There" and "How Was I To Know," it also features the theme from her Reba sitcom — "I’m A Survivor" — plus collaborations with Vince Gill, Linda Davis, Brooks & Dunn and Kelly Clarkson.

For the complete track list, click on the Reba page link

Nominees for the 42nd annual CMA Awards

Kenny Chesney grabbed nominations in seven categories to lead the list of nominees for the 42nd annual CMA Awards. Jennifer Nettles followed close behind with a total of six nominations, including one as a songwriter and five as a member of Sugarland. George Strait snared five nominations, and Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley scored four each for the awards show taking place Nov. 12 in Nashville.

For a complete list of nominees for the 42nd annual CMA Awards: Click Here

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will embark on their first tour together

Country music couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will embark on their first tour together. They performed their first full concert together on July 28 in Monroe, Mich. "For obvious reasons, Miranda and I have wanted to tour together for a while now. We wanted to do something special that nobody else can pull off. The result is a unique show packed full of music and energy that will leave people wondering what the hell is going to happen next." Lambert added, "Pairing up for these shows will not only be fun for us, but I think it's going to be an amazing show for the fans. Anytime you play with a great artist it makes you strive to be even better ... and we will do that every night." The tour is scheduled to kick off Oct. 3 at the Virginia State Fair in Richmond. Shows are currently booked through Nov. 8 in Dallas.

Kenny Rogers to play The O2, Dublin

Raglane Entertainment is proud to announce the legendary Kenny Rogers at The O2, Dublin on Tuesday March 24th, 2009. Tickets at €66.25 including booking fee will be on-sale from 9am on Friday August 22nd, from Ticketmaster outlets. With more than 70 hit singles across various music genres and hundreds of awards including American Music Awards, Grammy Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards, Kenny Rogers is one of the most influential artists of all time. Success in recent years includes the Billboard Country Charts Top 5 album Water & Bridges. Kenny Rogers will play The Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Wednesday March 25th, 2009.

Taylor Swift officially unveils the cover of her new album

Taylor Swift has officially unveiled the cover of her new album, Fearless, which is now available for pre-orders at TheTaylorNation.com.

 

The 13-track album will be released on Nov. 11 by Big Machine Records.

As part of the pre-order promotion, Swift’s fans will get the opportunity to have their own images included in the album packaging within a mosaic photo poster which will also be featured online at TheTaylorNation site.

Rascal Flatts Greatest Hits

After selling more than 17 million albums, Rascal Flatts, will release its first ever greatest hits collection on Oct. 28. "Greatest Hits Volume 1" will include 16 tracks, including 13 hits such as "What Hurts The Most," "Life Is A Highway," "I'm Movin' On" and "Bless The Broken Road."

Kenny Chesney set to release his next album

Kenny Chesney is set to release his next album, Lucky Old Sun, on Oct. 14. Kenny is already enjoying a hit single from the album, “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven,” which is climbing up the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. “We didn’t think the record would be ready until next year,” Kenny told Billboard. “We’ve been on a real creative jag.”

Crystal Shawanda's U.S. debut album

Crystal Shawanda has released her U.S. debut album, Dawn of a New Day (RCA Nashville), after a successful release in her native Canada . Shawanda began singing regularly at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville when she was 16. Her first single is titled "You Can Let Go Now."

Taylor Swift's New Album

Taylor Swift's new album will hit stores on November 11th. The CD entitled "FEARLESS" contains 13 tracks, all written or co-written by Swift. The first single will hit radio next month. Swift's also coming out with a special deluxe box set of "FEARLESS" that includes the CD, a leather bracelet, a T-shirt and a picture book.

Brad Paisley Will Release His New Album On Election Day, November 4th

Brad Paisley is making it easy for fans to remember to pick up his new album. It comes out on Election Day, November 4th. The CD entitled "Play" is mostly instrumental. The guitar-based album has only four vocal tracks and they feature Paisley singing and picking with B.B. King, Keith Urban, Steve Wariner and the late Buck Owens.

Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus Nominated For '2008 Video Music Awards'

Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are both up for MTV Video Music Awards. They're nominated for Best New Artist. Swift is ecstatic about her nod, writing on her MySpace page, "I'm freaking out. I can't believe I get to go to the VMA's." Viewers helped vote on the nominees. The award show airs live on MTV Sunday, September 7th.

Josh Gracin is "Unbelievable"

With the title track from his latest "We Weren't Crazy" a hit, Josh Gracin is readying to release his newest single, "Unbelievable."

Written by Gracin for his wife of seven years, "Unbelievable (Ann Marie)," "Ann is an amazing woman and mother to our kids," said Gracin. "I just had to write this song to tell her how incredible she is. This is my favorite song on the record because it's 100 percent me."

Chris Cagle's new single

Chris Cagle will release "Never Ever Gone" as a new single to radio Aug. 19. The break-up song, penned by George Dulaney/Neil Thrasher/Tom Shapiro, was from Cagle's CD "My Life's Been a Country Album," which came out in February.

"For some reason this song reminded me of something Tom Petty would sing," Cagle said. "Not one line, not one lyric, not one note lets you down. It's the only love song with a negative connotation that I've heard that makes me feel good. Neil Thrasher sings background vocals and it's one of my personal favorites on the album."

 

Cagle has enjoyed five top 10 songs in his career, including "What Kinda Gone," the first single from the new disc.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman Moving to LA

New parents Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are going to be raising their daughter in a new home. The Los Angeles Times has reported that the couple purchased a new home in Beverly Hills for $4,795,000. The 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom house is set on an acre and a half lot in a gated community, and features plenty of glass to soak up the warm California sun.

Despite recent celebrity couples selling baby photos, Keith and Nicole still refuse to put a price tag on any of their family photos. Nicole is currently working with Hugh Jackman in Sydney on their upcoming film, Australia.

Olivia Newton-John and Keith Urban Team Up

Olivia Newton-John is partnering with Keith Urban on her new benefit album. The CD, entitled "Olivia Newton-John and Friends: A Celebration In Song," is due out September 2nd. Her other duet partners include Barry Gibb and Richard Marx. Proceeds will go to The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, a facility in Melbourne, Australia, that treats and researches cancer. Newton-John is a breast cancer survivor.

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