Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Country Stars Performing At Super Bowl Events This Weekend


Blake Shelton is taking part in one of this weekend's Super Bowl events that's also serving another purpose.  The country star is headlining a special Pepsi-sponsored free concert for military members and their families.  Shelton says he's honored to be taking part in the show, because "this event is a chance to express our deep appreciation for their service to our country."  During the show, which will take place Friday night at New York's Bryant Park, Pepsi executives will also present a one-million-dollar check to the Bob Woodruff Foundation to support the organization's "Veterans Helping Veterans" initiative.  And fans who can't attend the concert in person can watch online.  The show will be streamed at starting at 10:15 p.m. Eastern.


Zac Brown Band, Jake Owen, and The Band Perry are adding to the Super Bowl festivities as well.  Zac Brown Band and Owen are on the lineup for the Bud Light Hotel Super Bowl concert series, which is hosting shows on a cruise ship docked on the Hudson River.  Zac Brown Band will be featured on Saturday, while Owen will turn in a set Sunday prior to kick-off.  The Band Perry will actually be at the big game.  The sibling trio is among the stars taking the stage for the NFL Tailgate Party.  Fox will air a portion of their performance as part of the Super Bowl pre-game coverage on Sunday.


Luke Bryan, Jerrod Niemann Rooting For Denver To Win Super Bowl


Luke Bryan says he'll be cheering on Peyton Manning on Sunday when the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks at the Super Bowl.


The country star has been friends with the quarterback since last year, when the two made headlines for singing a duet to raise money for a children's hospital.  But Luke says that if Seattle does end up winning, he'll be giving that team his congratulations because they're "just an awesome football team."  He adds that he's excited to have the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday off, giving him some time to "get his bearings off the road" and "get pumped up" for the big game.


Jerrod Niemann says his loyalties are with the Broncos as well, because that was the closet team to him growing up in Kansas.  But the singer adds that he's a fan of the Seahawks as well, and is sure the match-up will make for a great game on Sunday.


Little Big Town, Darius Rucker Share Football Memories


Country quartet Little Big Town is sharing their favorite football memories with Super Bowl Sunday just around the corner.  Karen Westbrook remembers taking the sport seriously even when she was a girl.


Darius Rucker says he too is a lifelong football fan.  The singer say his love of the sport started when he was five years old, adding that it's a combination of its physical and "chess match" elements have always drawn him to the game.  The Super Bowl airs Sunday on Fox.  Among the country stars scheduled to perform at related events over the weekend include Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Jake Owen and the Band Perry.


Trace Adkins Leaves Rehab To See Sick Father


Trace Adkins is leaving rehab early. says the country star checked out of a Florida treatment center after just a two-week stay to see his father, who's very ill.  But this doesn't mean the singer has abandoned his sobriety efforts.  He reportedly sought referrals to therapists in his dad's area before leaving the facility.  But he might not return to an inpatient program.  Sources say Adkins plans to review his needs and his treatment options once his father's situation is resolved, and decide at that time what course of action to take.


Adkins entered a Florida facility to address his drinking earlier this month, following an alcohol-fueled confrontation with a Trace Adkins impersonator on a cruise ship.  Prior to the incident the singer had been sober for 12 years.


Miranda Lambert Joins Select Aldean Stadium Shows


Miranda Lambert has a few special shows coming up this summer.  The country star has signed on to perform at a few of the stops on Jason Aldean's "Burn It Down Tour," which features stops at a number of baseball stadiums across the country.  Miranda is on board for three of the shows.  She'll take part in the concerts at Cleveland, Ohio's Progressive Field on July 18th; Cincinnati, Ohio's Great American Ball Park on July 19th; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's PNC Park on July 26th.  Aldean's trek will also hit Nationals Park in Washington, DC on July 25th and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on August 1st, while more ballparks are expected to be added.  Most shows will also feature opening sets from Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr.


Billy Ray Cyrus Taps Dionne Warwick For Song Of Hope


Billy Ray Cyrus is looking to inspire optimism with his new single, and he's tapped a legendary vocalist to help him deliver his message.  The video to "Hope Is Just Ahead," which features R&B great Dionne Warwick, had its premiere online Thursday at


Billy Ray says "Hope Is Just Ahead" is "about change."  The country star explains that it's "about looking at our past mistakes and learning from them as a society."  He adds that the song is "about hope and a better tomorrow, if we will only allow ourselves to believe."  But Cyrus is doing more than simply singing about the issue.  He's donating some of the money generated from sales of "Hope Is Just Ahead" to the National Campaign to Stop Violence "Do The Write Thing Challenge."  More information on the program is available at


Keith Urban Already Familiar With One "Idol" Hopeful


One of the "American Idol" hopefuls is a person from Keith Urban's past.  Last night's episode of the Fox reality show featured the auditions in Omaha, where Quaid Edwards was among those hoping to win a spot in the competition.  He tried out with a rendition of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."


When Quaid entered the room and met the judges, he re-introduced himself to Keith -- who remembered him.  Quaid's mom was the frontwoman for the group Jolie and The Wanted, who used to perform with the country star.  After his performance Keith and his fellow judges Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez all agreed that Quaid has talent, along with a lot of room for improvement.  But in addition to Quaid's voice, the judges were impressed with how open and attentive he was to their feedback and criticism.  All three also said they wanted to see how Quaid develops as a vocalist, and unanimously decided to send him to Hollywood.  Once Quaid had his Golden Ticket in hand, Keith and Jolie were able to have a reunion of their own.  Meanwhile, Keith Urban fans got to see some unique images of the country star.  As Quaid was auditioning, Jolie shared some of her old photos of Urban with host Ryan Seacrest.


Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood Weigh In On Radio's Gender Imbalance


Kellie Pickler says she doesn't know why country radio is such a male-dominated entity.  The singer tells the few women who are getting their music played are "outselling the men, and people are listening to what they have to say."  But she also admits that the current country radio scene is "a big party right now."  And Carrie Underwood has her doubts that female artists could "get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately."


But Carrie adds that the issue runs deeper than the lyrical content of songs.  She says women "are the ones under the microscope," and they're "expected to be so much more than men."  The singer explains that female artists are not only "expected to sound perfect," but they have to "look perfect all the time" and "be style-setters," while the guys can simply "roll onto the stage in their jeans, t-shirts, and baseball caps," and don't really have to give their look a second thought.  Underwood admits she's not sure how to spark a change but she hopes it happens, because there are a lot of great female artists out there who deserve to have their music heard.


Country Birthdays Include


Mumford & Sons' Marcus Mumford is 27.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1967, Merle Haggard recorded "The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde" for Capitol Records.


Today in 1976, then-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw launched a short-lived country career with the release of the single "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," which eventually reached the top ten on the charts.


Today in 1992, Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart topped the country charts with the single "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'."


Today in 1993, Garth Brooks sang the national anthem at Super Bowl 27.


Today in 1993, Travis Tritt was number one on the singles chart with "Can I Trust You With My Heart?"


Today in 1997, Mark Chesnutt hit number one with the single "It's A Little Too Late."


Today in 1997, LeAnn Rimes' album "The Early Years" was released.


Today in 1999, Reba McEntire closed her first European tour with a sold-out performance in Munich, Germany.


Today in 2000, Alan Jackson's father, Eugene, died. Two years later, Alan celebrated his life and legacy in the number-one song "Drive" (For Daddy Gene)."


Today in 2001, Dixie Chick Emily Robison revealed that she was planning on donating her winnings from an upcoming "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" appearance to the Nature Conservancy of Texas.


Today in 2002, Tim McGraw made a return visit to the set of "The Rosie O'Donnell Show."  After performing the title track of his album, "Set This Circus Down," he sat down to chat with Rosie.  The interview was one of the first he did since the arrival of his daughter, Audrey Caroline.


Today in 2002, Kenny Chesney kicked off his No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems tour in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Opening acts included Sara Evans and Phil Vassar, and the outing went on to become the biggest-grossing country tour of the year.


Today in 2003, George Strait was in Chicago for a show on his "Road Less Traveled" tour when staff members from a local radio station interrupted his concert at Allstate Arena to present George with a plaque commemorating his 50 number one songs.  Then, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn declared it "George Strait Day" in Illinois.


Today in 2003, after taping an episode of the NBC drama "American Dreams," LeAnn Rimes and her husband, Dean Sheremet were involved in an auto accident in Los Angeles.  A woman, later identified as Kimberly Sever, allegedly ran a red light and slammed into LeAnn's Jaguar convertible.  Ms. Sever was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.  Other than being rattled and bruised, LeAnn and Dean were OK, although LeAnn had to cancel a series of appearances planned for Europe as a consequence of the crash.


Today in 2004, "Toby Keith's Shock'N Y'All Super Bowl Party: A CMT Crossroads Special" aired.  Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and Van Halen's Sammy Hagar were among the rockers who took part in the show.


Today in 2005, digital Gold singles were awarded for Kenny Chesney's duet with Uncle Kracker, "When the Sun Goes Down," Alan Jackson's "Remember When," and Brad Paisley's collaboration with Alison Kraus, "Whiskey Lullaby."


Today in 2006, Chely Wright met with students and teachers from three schools in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulfport, Mississippi area, and gave musical instruments to the facilities through her Reading, Writing, & Rhythm Foundation.


Today in 2006, Alabama's "Livin' Lovin' Rockin' Rollin':  The 25th Anniversary Collection" was released.


Today in 2007, Keith Urban's "Tonight I Wanna Cry" was featured in the climactic, message-from-beyond-the-grave scene in an episode of NBC's "Medium."


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood's single "Jesus, Take The Wheel" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and her single "Before He Cheats" was certified double-platinum.


Today in 2008, Carrie Underwood kicked off her first headlining tour in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with Josh Turner as the opening act.


Today in 2008, Rascal Flatts' album "Feels Like Today" was certified quintuple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift was among the big winners at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards.  She captured four categories, including Album of the Year for her CD "Fearless," and at 20-years-old became the youngest artist ever to win the Recording Academy's top honor.  Other country winners included Zac Brown Band, who was named Best New Artist; Keith Urban; Lady Antebellum; Carrie Underwood; Randy Travis; and Steve Wariner.  Lady A was among the performers, while Zac Brown Band collaborated with Leon Russell and Underwood participated in a tribute to Michael Jackson.


Today in 20011, Willie's Place -- a truck stop and entertainment complex in Carl's Corner, Texas --closed for business in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings


Today in 2011, Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, while Carrie Underwood's single "Undo It" was certified platinum and Kenny Chesney's single "Somewhere With You" was certified gold.


Today in 2013, Randy Travis was sentenced to two years probation in conjunction with his guilty plea on a DWI charge in Texas.  The country star was also ordered to spend a minimum of 30 days in an in-patient treatment facility, perform 100 hours of community service, pay a two-thousand-dollar fine, and put an ignition lock on his car that prevents him from driving drunk.  He was also warned if he failed to fulfill his probation requirements, he'd be spending 180 days in jail.


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