Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Ray Price Leaves Hospital


Ray Price is spending his final days at home.  The East Texas Medical Center in Tyler has issued a statement saying the Country Music Hall of Famer left the hospital on Thursday, after opting against undergoing any further treatments.  Price has been battling pancreatic cancer for the past two years.  The disease recently spread, and is now in his liver, intestines, and lungs.  Ray's wife Janie says her husband is "alert and aware of his surroundings and making decisions," and "has not had extreme pain."  She adds that it was Ray's decision to leave the hospital and return to "his beloved ranch surrounded by the comfort of his home, family and friends."


Price adds a goodbye to his fans, saying he loves them and appreciates all the support they've given him over the years.  He's also telling them that they shouldn't worry about him, because he's "at peace" and is "going to be just fine."  Fans who want to send messages to the singer can post notes on Ray's Facebook page, or mail cards and letters to Ray Price; P.O. Box 1986; Mt. Pleasant, Texas; 75465.


Kris Kristofferson To Receive Lifetime Achievement Grammy


Kris Kristofferson is among those being honored in conjunction with the upcoming Grammy Awards.  The legendary singer-songwriter has been tapped to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.  The honorary Grammy recognizes artists' overall accomplishments, contributions, and influence in the music industry.  Kristofferson is one of seven stars slated for the honor.  He's part of a group that also includes The Beatles, The Isley Brothers, and Kraftwerk, as well as Clifton Chenier, Armando Manzanero, and Maud Powell.  The Lifetime Achievement Award winners will be celebrated with a special event set for January 25th -- the day before the 56th annual Grammy Awards.  The honorees will also be acknowledged during the televised Grammy ceremony.


Taylor Swif Among Golden Globe Nominees


Taylor Swift is one of the familiar names in music vying for a Golden Globe next month.  Her "Sweeter Than Fiction," which she wrote with .fun's Jack Antonoff for the movie "One Chance," is among the tracks vying for Best Original Song.  Taylor's competition includes U2's "Ordinary Love" from the movie "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom," and Coldplay's "Atlas," from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."  Other nominees include "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel from the animated movie "Frozen" and "Inside Llewyn Davis'" "Please Mr. Kennedy," featuring vocals from the movie's co-stars Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver.  Winners for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards will be announced during a live televised event on NBC, Sunday, January 12th.


Brad Paisley Receiving Harmony Award This Weekend


Brad Paisley is set to be honored by the Nashville Symphony this weekend.  The country star is this year's recipient of the orchestra's Harmony Award.  He'll be recognized with a special presentation during the Symphony Ball, taking place at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville Saturday night.  The annual prize recognizes individuals who show ongoing interest and support for the Nashville music community, and who have been a significant addition to its development.  Previous Harmony Award winners include Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, and others.  Keith Urban received the prize last year.


Trisha Yearwood Cancels SeaWorld Appearances


Trisha Yearwood is among the latest acts who have opted against appearing at SeaWorld Orlando.  A rep for the country singer tells CNN that Yearwood decided to withdraw from SeaWorld's "Bands, BBQ and Brew" concert series "in light of recent concerns."  She was scheduled to appear at the park on February 22nd.  Cheap Trick has also decided to scrap their planned appearance at the park


Yearwood and Cheap Trick are the latest in a growing list of stars who are refusing to perform at SeaWorld Orlando following an online petition and Facebook campaign sparked by "Blackfish," a documentary about the 2010 incident in which an orca killed a SeaWorld trainer.  Heart, Barenaked Ladies, and Willie Nelson have also cancelled SeaWorld shows.


Swift, Underwood Among Highest-Paid Women In Music


Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are getting some recognition for their success.  The country stars are among the top earning women in music.  Taylor ranks third on the "Forbes" Highest-Paid Women In Music list for 2013, with 55-million-dollars.  She generated her fortune through album sales and her "Red" tour, as well as from her various endorsement deals and other business ventures.  Carrie is landing in the number nine spot with 31-million-dollars, which she made primarily through her album "Blown Away" and her tour behind the disc.


For the tally "Forbes" considers artists' income from between June 2012 and May 2013.  Madonna is leading the pack with 125-million in earnings.  Lady Gaga has second place with 80-million.  Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez round out the top five.


"Forbes" Highest-Paid Women In Music


1. Madonna - 125-million-dollars

2. Lady Gaga - 80-million-dollars

3. Taylor Swift - 55-million-dollars

4. Beyonce - 53-million-dollars

5. Jennifer Lopez, 45-million-dollars

6. Rihanna - 43-million-dollars

7. Katy Perry - 39-million-dollars

8. Pink - 32-million-dollars

9. Carrie Underwood - 31-million-dollars

10. Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj - 29-million-dollars


Little Big Town To Share Their Story Of Determination At CRS


Little Big Town's road to success hasn't always been a smooth ride.  But singer Kimberly Schlapman and her bandmates say they were determined to achieve their goals.


Little Big Town will be sharing their story in a panel about perseverance in the country music industry at next year's Country Radio Seminar.  Group members say they feel honored to discuss their journey, including the obstacles and challenges they've faced over the course of their 14 years as a band.  The 2014 Country Radio Broadcasters convention will take place in Nashville from February 19th through the 21st.


"Duck Dynasty" Stars Leading Hometown Christmas Flotilla


"Duck Dynasty" stars are helping their hometown of Monroe, Louisiana celebrate the holidays.  Lafayette's "The Advertiser" says members of the Robertson family are slated to serve as the grand marshals for Saturday's Christmas Flotilla.  The event is part of "A Very Merry Commander Christmas," featuring a day of "Duck Dynasty"-related events.  Activities include a Stars of "Duck Dynasty" Look-A-Like Contest and a Duck Commander Duck Derby, a "race" featuring as many as 30-thousand rubber ducks making their way down the Ouachita River.  A laser show and concert featuring the Trey Hawkins Band follow the Christmas Flotilla.


"Duck Dynasty Christmas Special" Draws In Viewers


"Duck Dynasty" is drawing flocks of fans. says the Robertson family's "Duck Dynasty Christmas Special" was one of the top shows of the night, grabbing an audience that rivaled ABC's "Modern Family."  The A&E show attracted eight-point-nine-million viewers, including four-point-five-million in the 18-to-49 age range.  That's an overall increase of 37-percent from last year's "Duck Dynasty" holiday special, and a 21-percent increase among the specific adult demographic.


The "Duck Dynasty" phenomena seemed to take off this summer, with eleven-point-eight-million people tuning in for the season four launch back in August.  That's the largest audience ever for a cable nonfiction series show.  Season five of "Duck Dynasty" will begin on A&E on January 15th.


Kix Brooks Explains Trace Adkins' Involvement In "A Country Christmas"


Kix Brooks says he was supposed to have an on-camera role in the new movie "A Country Christmas," and Trace Adkins wasn't originally in the film's cast.  But the former Brooks & Dunn singer explains that circumstances forced a change of plans.


Instead, Adkins is seen in "A Country Christmas" in the role of Sheriff Arrington, while Brooks provides the voice for Duke the Horse.  Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus is also part of the cast.  Brooks is the executive producer of the film, which his son Eric co-wrote.  In addition, Kix and Jay produced the movie's soundtrack.  "A Country Christmas" is available now on DVD.


Dean Dillon Recalls First Writing Session With Bill Anderson


Singer-songwriter Dean Dillon says country legend Bill Anderson knows how to keep a listener's ear.  Dean recalls that the first time they met for a songwriting session Bill started talking about his early days in Nashville, back in the 1960s.  He says Bill told him about hanging around with Roger Miller, who'd just arrived in town as well.


Dean says before they knew it the day "got away" from them, and they got nothing accomplished in terms of writing a song.  However, Dillon and Anderson have since had more productive songwriting sessions together.  Their collaborations include the Kenny Chesney hit "A Lot Of Things Different."


Country TV Today And Tonight


THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (NBC) Billy Ray Cyrus is a guest

TOP 20 COUNTRY COUNTDOWN (GAC) A rundown of the week's most popular country music videos.

HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) The American Country Awards, David Nail, George Strait, Tyler Farr, and Charlie Daniels are featured.


Country Birthdays Include


The Tractors' Ron Getman is 65.

Alabama's Randy Owen is 64.

John Anderson is 59.

Taylor Swift is 24.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1980, Waylon Jennings' "Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)" peaked at number 21 on the pop charts.


Today in 1991, Brooks & Dunn's single "My Next Broken Heart" topped the charts.


Today in 1994, Garth Brooks released his best-of album, "The Hits."  The disc is one of the best-selling country best-of discs in history.


Today in 1996, LeAnn Rimes hit number one with the single "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)."


Today in 2001, for the fourth consecutive week, Garth Brooks' latest album, "Scarecrow," held the number one position on "Billboard's" Top Country Albums chart.  At the same time, his holiday project "Garth Brooks & The Magic of Christmas: Songs from Call Me Claus" was number eight on the chart.


Today in 2003, Kenny Chesney's "There Goes My Life" hit number one on the Billboard country chart.


Today in 2004, Alan Jackson's "Remember When" was deemed the "most heard" song of the year, followed by Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down," on a "Radio & Records" year-end chart.  The publication also named Kenny the top country artist of the year, based on his overall chart presence for the previous 12 months.


Today in 2005, members of Sawyer Brown expressed their condolences to the family of the driver killed in an accident involving the group's tour bus.  The car apparently failed to yield while entering a highway near Holton, Kansas, causing the fatal crash.


Today in 2005, Kenny Chesney's "Somewhere in the Sun" trek was named the top-grossing country tour of the year by Billboard Boxscore.  Overall Kenny's road trip ranked fourth in dollars earned, but came in second in number of tickets sold for the year.  U2 topped the list both in terms of money made and tickets sold.


Today in 2005, Dolly Parton's "Travelin' Thru," from the "Transamerica" soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Song - Motion Picture for the 63rd annual Golden Globe Awards, while the Johnny Cash biopic, "Walk the Line," earned multiple nominations for the event.


Today in 2006, Heidi Newfield played her last show with Trick Pony, at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.  The trio picked this location for their final concert with Newfield because it was where the band played its first show a decade earlier.


Today in 2006, Mark Wills, Darryl Worley, and Keni Thomas embarked on a USO tour to the Persian Gulf.


Today in 2006, Dolly Parton, serving as the honorary chairman of the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, made a surprise appearance at a reception for the organization to announce that she was donating 500-thousand-dollars to help with the foundation's creation of a hospital and cancer patient center in her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee.  Parton has literally known Dr. Thomas her entire life -- he was the physician who delivered her when she was born.


Today in 2007, Clay Walker received a five-thousand-dollar check from fan club members at his concert at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The money came from the group's online auction, and went to Clay's non-profit charity, Band Against MS.


Today in 2007, Brooks & Dunn performed "Cowboy Town" to open the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Today in 2008, tickets for Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival tour show at Foxborough, Massachusetts' Gillette Stadium sold out in less than ten-minutes, setting a new record for a Chesney sell-out at a football stadium and becoming the fifth consecutive year the singer has sold out Gillette Stadium's nearly 60-thousand tickets.


Today in 2008, Travis Tritt and Steve Earle were among the performers on the second night of Warren Hayne's 20th annual Christmas Jam in Asheville, North Carolina.


Today in 2009, Sugarland took part in the taping of the annual "Christmas In Washington" concert at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.  Neil Diamond, Mary J. Blige, Rob Thomas, and Usher also performed.  The holiday concert aired as a TV special on TNT a week later.


Today in 2009, T Bone Burnett and the late Stephen Bruton's soundtrack to the film "Crazy Heart" got the nod for Music/Score from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.


Today in 2010, Josh Turner and his wife, Jennifer celebrated the birth of their son, Crawford Marion Turner.  The couple has two other children as well, sons Colby and Hampton.

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