Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Luke Bryan Joins American Music Awards Lineup


Luke Bryan is on board for the upcoming American Music Awards.  The country star is among the latest additions to the show's lineup.  He's slated to perform at the event, along with Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  Luke also has a pair on nominations heading into the event.  He's up for Favorite Male Artist - Country and Favorite Album - Country with his latest CD "Crash My Party."  Other confirmed performers for the ceremony include Florida Georgia Line as well as One Direction, Imagine Dragons, and Miley Cyrus.  More stars are expected to sign on in the coming weeks.  The fan-voted American Music Awards will be presented at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, and air on ABC on November 24th.  Balloting is under way now at


Dierks Bentley Hosting Annual Nashville Charity Event This Weekend


Dierks Bentley is hosting his Miles & Music For Kids benefit this weekend.  The country star's eighth annual Nashville event will take place Sunday, beginning with the "miles" portion of the event.  Participants will take a motorcycle ride from the Harley Davidson in Columbia, Tennessee to Nashville for the "music" part of the day -- a concert featuring Bentley along with Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Easton Corbin and Brett Eldredge.  Miles & Music For Kids supports Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.  Since launching fundraiser back in 2006, Bentley has raised more than two-million-dollars for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.


Florida Georgia Line Supports MusiCares, Preps Deluxe "Good Times"


Florida Georgia Line is giving back.  The country duo recently made a ten-thousand-dollar donation to MusiCares, a Recording Academy charity that supports musicians in financial need.  Singer Brian Kelley explains that when he and Tyler Hubbard learned about MusiCares they were astonished at all the things the organization does to assist the music community, and they "couldn't think of a better way" to help the charity.  Hubbard adds that 2013 has been "full of amazing blessings" for him and Kelley, and they're glad to have the chance to do something to show their gratitude.


Florida Georgia Line has something special on the way for fans as well.  "Here's To The Good Times...This Is How We Roll" is a deluxe CD/DVD edition of their debut album.  The upcoming release features the original disc's eleven songs along with six additional tracks -- including the "Cruise (Remix)" with Nelly and "This Is How We Roll" featuring Luke Bryan.  The DVD boasts the videos all the duo's hits as well as the previously unreleased clip to "It'z Just What We Do."  Behind-the-scenes footage from each video shoot is included as well.  "Here's To The Good Times...This Is How We Roll" will be in stores November 25th.


Lady Antebellum Plan Media Blitz Behind New Album


Lady Antebellum is making their release-week plans behind their new album, "Golden Deluxe Edition."  The album will be in stores on November 11th.  The country trio will mark the occasion with an appearance on NBC's "Today," and are slated to perform two songs on the morning show.  A few days later, on November 14th, Lady A will be a guest on Katie Couric's syndicated talk show.  They'll wrap up the week as the musical guest on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" on November 15th.  And the night before their "Letterman" appearance the group will play a full concert at the Ed Sullivan Theater for the "Live On Letterman" online concert series.


Ahead of their promotional appearances, Lady A will perform on the 47th annual CMA Awards, airing live from Nashville on ABC on November 6th.  At the event the group will play "Compass," the lead-off single from the album.


Dolly Parton Adding U.S. Dates To Upcoming Tour


Dolly Parton will be launching her "Blue Smoke World Tour" on these shores.  The country star will play a few dates in the Western U.S. before heading overseas for the Australian-New Zealand leg of the trek.  Confirmed stops include the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino in Rancho Mirage, California on January 24th, and Comerica Theater in Phoenix, Arizona on January 28th.  Dolly tells the "Los Angeles Times" she'll go on a more extensive North American run in May, but those dates haven't been set yet.


The singer is touring behind her new album, "Blue Smoke," which is also due next year.  Parton says the name reflects the disc's sound, explaining that it "has a tinge of the bluegrass of the Smoky Mountains -- a mountain music flavor."  She adds that her new record is similar to her 1999 release "The Grass Is Blue," which earned a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.


George Jones Tribute Concert To Include More Than 70 Performers


Vince Gill, Craig Morgan, and Gretchen Wilson are on board for the upcoming George Jones tribute concert.  The late country legend's wife, Nancy Jones, has unveiled what she's calling the "full performer list" for "Playin' Possum: The Final NO Show," which has grown to more than 70 artists.  The extensive lineup also features new Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Bare and other veteran stars including Little Jimmy Dickens, Jeannie Seely, and Stonewall Jackson.  Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert are just a few of the many other artists confirmed for the show.  Nancy adds that "some surprise guests" will also appear.


She also admits that the concert "might be long" but she doesn't think the audience will mind, since they "will witness the best musical tribute Nashville has ever seen."  The sold-out "Playin' Possum: The Final NO Show" will take place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on November 22nd -- the date that was supposed to be Jones' final Nashville concert.


Toby Keith's "Drinks" Became Single By Default


Toby Keith says it's because of the weather that he released the song "Drinks After Work" as a single.  The country star explains that the devastating storm that struck his Oklahoma hometown back in May disrupted his album-making process, and when it came time to issue a single he had few options.


"Drinks After Work" is the title track to Toby's new album, and the only song on the disc the singer didn't write.  Toby adds that if he hadn't been interrupted in making the album, and had been able to finish they disc as planned, "Drinks After Work" might not have ever become a single.  Keith's album "Drinks After Work" is in stores now.


Garth Brooks Credits Kenny Rogers For Help Launching Career


Garth Brooks says he owes a lot to Kenny Rogers.  He explains that Rogers took him on his first major tour, which included his first arena show in the round.  Garth admits it was an intimidating experience.


Brooks says he learned a great deal from touring with Rogers, saying "when it comes to Entertaining 101," Kenny is "the professor."  Garth adds that by touring with Kenny he was able to perform in communities that would have never accepted him without Kenny's endorsement.  Brooks was able to honor Rogers at Kenny's Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony last weekend.


Jonathan Jackson Doesn't Mind Being Called A "Jerk"


"Nashville's" Jonathan Jackson admits he doesn't exactly play a likable character on the ABC drama.  And the actor, who portrays Avery Barkley, says early in the show's run fans didn't hesitate to let him know how they felt.


But Jackson says he's never taken the negative remarks from viewers personally.  He explains that he actually sees the criticism as compliments, because it means he's doing a good job of bringing Avery to life.  "Nashville" airs on ABC on Wednesday nights.


Country Birthdays Include


Bill Anderson is 76.

Big & Rich's Big Kenny Alphin is 50.

Lyle Lovett is 56.

Bo Bice is 38.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1947,  Eddy Arnold spent the first of 21 weeks at number one on "Billboard's" country chart with "I'll Hold You in My Heart."


Today in 1976, Conway Twitty's "Greatest Hits Volume 2" album was released.


Today in 1980, Waylon Jennings topped the "Billboard" country chart with "Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol? Boys)."


Today in 1986, Suzy Bogguss married Doug Crider.


Today in 1988, "The Legendary Jim Reeves" album was released.


Today in 2001, Johnny Cash was released from Nashville's Baptist Hospital after receiving four days of treatment for bronchitis.  Cash suffered from autonomic neuropathy, a chronic condition, which made him susceptible to bronchial infections.  It was his second hospitalization in the past month.


Today in 2001, Aaron Tippin performed his patriotic single "Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly" on CNN's "Larry King Live."


Today in 2003, Jeff Carson and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child, son Dayton Grei Herndon Carson, at a Nashville-area hospital.


Today in 2003, Lonestar headlined the American Diabetes Association's 3rd Annual Jean Therapy Gala at the Vanderbilt Stadium Club in Nashville.


Today in 2003, Diamond Rio, Marty Stuart, and Connie Smith took part in the "Rhythms of the South" program, an initiative to promote tourism in Nashville.


Today in 2004, Toby Keith cancelled an upcoming show on his Big Throwdown tour because he was recovering from throat problems.


Today in 2005, Terri Clark's "Life Goes On" and Montgomery Gentry's "Something To Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005" were among the new releases hitting stores.


Today in 2005, Wal-Mart kicked off its "Home For the Holidays" ad campaign, with Garth Brooks and Martina McBride among the artists featured.


Today in 2006, Heidi Newfield announced that she was leaving Trick Pony to launch a solo career.


Today in 2006, Steve Wariner had gall bladder surgery at a Nashville hospital.  The procedure forced him to cancel a number of high-profile events, including the BMI Awards and the CMA Awards Reunion.


Today in 2006, Alabama's album "Songs of Inspiration" debuted on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart at number one.  Taylor Swift's self-titled effort entered the list at number three.


Today in 2007, the funeral for Porter Wagoner was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.  Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, Patty Loveless, John Conlee, Steve Wariner, The Whites, and Ricky Skaggs were among the numerous country stars who attended the service.  The 80-year-old Wagoner died a few days earlier, just weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer.


Today in 2007, Lyle Lovett received the Americana Music Association's inaugural Trailblazer Award at the organization's 2007 Honors and Awards show in Nashville.  He also performed at the event.


Today in 2007, Taylor Swift's ad campaign as the November Body By Milk feature artist began.


Today in 2008, thousands of people turned out for Porter Wagoner's funeral at the Grand Ole Opry.  Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, The Oak Ridge Boys' Duane Allen, and The Whites participated in the ceremony.  Mourners included Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Travis Tritt, as well as Patty Loveless, John Conlee, Steve Wariner, and Ricky Skaggs.


Today in 2008, "The Marty Stuart Show" began its run on the RFD Channel.


Today in 2011, new releases included Miranda Lambert's album "Four The Record," Brad Paisley's book "Diary of a Player," and Jimmy Wayne's novel "Paper Angels."


Today in 2012, Blake Shelton was the big winner at the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards, taking the Entertainer of the Year prize.   Miranda Lambert, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, and Eric Church also earned awards, while Willie Nelson was the inaugural recipient of the CMA's Lifetime Achievement Award, which has been named in his honor.


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