Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Luke Bryan Playing Daytona 500, Spring Break Shows


Luke Bryan says his fans are really identifying with his latest chart-topper, "Drink A Beer."


Bryan is performing "Drink A Beer" on his "That's My Kind Of Night" tour, which will be in Lexington, Kentucky Friday night.  On Sunday Luke will be in Daytona Beach, Florida.  The country star is slated to play the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show just prior to the big NASCAR event. 


Bryan will return to Florida for more special shows next month.  He'll be playing his annual Spring Break concerts at Spinnaker’s Beach Club in Panama City.  The free shows are set for March 11th and 12th.  The performances coincide with the arrival of Luke's new Spring Break set, "Spring Break 6...Like We Ain't Ever."  The six-track digital EP will be available March 11th.


Country Stars Sign On For Post-ACM Awards Concert Honoring Troops


Merle Haggard, Carrie Underwood, and Florida Georgia Line are among the first confirmed stars for this year's post-ACM Awards concert special.  Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and George Strait are also on board for the show, while more artists are expected to be added to the lineup.  This year's Academy of Country Music event is honoring the men and women in uniform.  "ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops" will be taped at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 7th -- the day after the 49th annual ACM Awards.  The concert special will air on CBS on May 20th.


Tickets for the show are available now through  The concert is supporting the Academy's charity, ACM Lifting Lives.


Eric Church Gives His Definition Of Success


Eric Church is having the biggest album launch of his career with his latest release, "The Outsiders."  But the country star says he doesn't include financial returns and other statistics when he evaluates his work.


Church adds that "The Outsiders" is the most creative, artistic album he's ever made, so compared to his last release, his new disc "beats 'Chief' in that regard." "The Outsiders" also beats "Chief" on a commercial level.  Eric's new album logged first-week sales of 288-thousand -- nearly double the 145-thousand "Chief" opened with following its release in 2011.


Blake Shelton Celebrates Latest Chart-Topping Hits


Blake Shelton admits he can't really explain his success.  Nashville's "Tennessean" says the country star reflected on his career during his celebration for his two most recent number one hits -- "Boys 'Round Here" and "Mine Would Be You."  Blake said with such an abundance professional riches "you almost feel guilty sometimes."  But he added that it quickly passes when he thinks back on the days when he was "just struggling to get something on the radio," hoping one hit "would create enough momentum to get the next one going."  Shelton also acknowledged that luck has played a big role in his success.  The singer explained that opportunities that have really fueled his career momentum, like hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards and becoming a coach on NBC's "The Voice," "just kind of fell out of the sky."


"Boys 'Round Here" and "Mine Would Be You" are the latest in Shelton's growing list of number one hits.   His last eleven singles, dating back to his 2009 Trace Adkins collaboration "Hillbilly Bone," have all topped the charts, while he has a total of 16 Billboard number ones to his credit.


Billy Ray's "Achy Breaky" Remake On Hot 100, Rap Charts


Billy Ray Cyrus has a hip-hop hit on his hands. says his remake of "Achy Breaky Heart" with Buck 22 just missed the top ten on the Hot Rap Songs chart, debuting at number eleven.  It's also opening at number 16 on the Streaming Songs chart, and at number 80 on the Hot 100.  The bulk of the song's chart points come from streaming.  For the week ending on February 16th, the "Achy Breaky 2" video had logged two-point-nine-million streams on YouTube in the U.S.


Jennifer Nettles Pleased, Frustrated With Country Music-Gay Community Relations


Jennifer Nettles says it's "exciting to see" country music opening up to the gay community.  But the singer tells it needs to "continue and be more."  Nettles admits she's a bit frustrated with the pace of progress in making the issue a thing of the past.  The singer explains that with any organized group or community, "in terms of social motivation and evolution and moving forward" she has little patience, and wants to "get there faster."


Jennifer adds that she's always had a strong a positive relationship with the gay community.  She says early in her career -- prior to Sugarland -- many people assumed she was a lesbian, based on her look, the sound of her voice, and the lyrical content of her songs.  Jennifer recalls one friend once told her she was the only person her friend knew "that had to come out as a straight person."  The singer adds that she's always been "so grateful" for the support she's received from her gay and lesbian friends and fans.  Nettles is currently on the road promoting her solo album, "That Girl."  She'll be in Biloxi, Mississippi on Friday and Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday.


Thomas Rhett Admits Being A Fan Of "Chick Flicks"


Thomas Rhett admits he doesn't necessarily like all the shows he watches regularly on TV.  But the country singer explains that it's something he does for his wife.

But Thomas says he doesn't have to make many concessions in choosing a movie to see with his wife.  He admits he's "a big chick flick kind of guy," so it's "really easy" for him to settle in with Lauren to watch a romantic drama like "Safe Haven" or "The Notebook."


Dierks Bentley Feels Exposed With New Documentary


Dierks Bentley says he's really baring all in his new documentary.  The "Tennessean" says the country star hosted a special screening of "Dierks Bentley: Riser" for an invited audience of music industry executives this week in Nashville.  In introducing the film he told his audience he feels very exposed on the screen.  The singer added that they could "save a lot of time here" if he simply pulled down his pants, because either way -- showing the film or showing his backside -- he'd be feeling the same level of discomfort once it was over.


This weekend Bentley will be exposing himself to a much larger audience.  The movie documents both his work and his personal life over the past two years, as he was in the studio, on the road, at home with his family, grieving his father, and witnessing the birth of his third child.  "Dierks Bentley: Riser" debut on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.  CMT will present a special edited preview of the film Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Bentley's album "Riser" will be in stores next Tuesday.


Sony Music Facing Lawsuit Over "American Idol" Royalties


Sony Music could be facing legal trouble over the digital royalties of "American Idol" alums like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.  "The Hollywood Reporter" says a new lawsuit has been filed against the label by 19 Recordings, the company founded by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller that represents some of the show's biggest success stories.  The artists entered into deals with 19 Recording and Sony as a part of their participation in the singing competition.  The lawsuit claims Sony has been robbing the artists of digital and streaming royalties as a result of the contracts, and is seeking at least ten-million-dollars in damages. 


A rep from 19 Recordings says it did not want to file the lawsuit, but is doing so to protect its artists.  Clarkson, Underwood, Chris Daughtry and Clay Aiken are among the alums named. 


Country Stars Joining Fans For "Boots In The Sand"


Jana Kramer isn't just displaying her musical talents at "Boots in the Sand." The country star will show off her athletic abilities as well.  Along with performing Jana will be on hand to play beach volleyball with fans during the luxury Mexican vacation, which gets under way Sunday.  Brantley Gilbert also has a special fan experience planned.  He'll give two performances over the course of the trip, playing an intimate acoustic set as well as his nighttime concert.  Dierks Bentley will get the party started with an arrival-night concert, while Billy Currington will cap things off with his performance Wednesday night.


Vacationers can also take part in a number of other activities, including at golf tournament, a Texas hold 'em tournament, horseshoes, a snorkeling tour, and more.  Details on Tropical Nights Presents "Boots in the Sand," taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya from Sunday through next Thursday, are available at


Quick Bites


Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge will help close out this year's Country Radio Seminar.  They're among the performers taking part in the New Faces Of Country Music Show, along with Tyler Farr, Charlie Worsham, and Cassadee Pope.  The concert caps off the annual convention of country radio broadcasters, and is considered a highlight of the three-day event.  The show takes place at the Nashville Convention Center Friday night.


Country TV Today And Tonight


TOP 20 COUNTRY COUNTDOWN (GAC) Dierks Bentley is featured along with the week's most popular country music videos.


Country Birthdays Include


Mary Chapin Carpenter is 56.

Eric Heatherly is 44.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1948, Little Jimmy Dickens made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1953, Hank Williams' "Kaw-Liga" hit number one on the country singles chart.


Today in 1976, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson topped the country singles chart with "Good Hearted Woman" -- a track from "The Outlaws" album.


Today in 1981, "9 To 5" by Dolly Parton topped the pop singles chart.


Today in 1981, Boxcar Willie became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1990, k.d. lang, Lyle Lovett and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band took top honors at the 32nd annual GRAMMY Awards.  Also, Hank Williams Jr. won the Best Country Vocal Collaboration GRAMMY for his duet with his late father, Hank Sr., "There's A Tear In My Beer."


Today in 1994, Houston Astrodome security guards tackled two cowboys invited on-stage by Wynonna during a show. Officials later apologized and offered the men free Wynonna concert tickets.


Today in 1996, Garth Brooks' album "Fresh Horses" was certified Gold, Platinum and triple-Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1997, Alan Jackson's "Everything I Love" album was certified Gold and Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 2001, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw came in at number four and the Dixie Chicks took the number eight spot on "Money" magazine's list of the top 25 earners in the music industry and the VH1/"Money" Rock Star Index.  They were the only country artists on the list.


Today in 2001, and Ed Wood, AKA the "Fake Detective," reported that Shania Twain is one of most faked celebrities when it comes to nude photographs on the Internet. Some folks know that she turned down "Playboy's" offer to pose in the buff for their magazine a couple years ago and has declined to have herself photographed that way. Even so, many folks are fooled by the fakes floating around the Internet.


Today in 2001, Toby Keith's album "How Do You Like Me Now?!" was certified Platinum.


Today in 2002, Lonestar and Tim McGraw were among the stars on the American Red Cross' first-ever National Celebrity Cabinet.  Members committed to supporting the Red Cross mission for a one-year term of volunteer service.


Today in 2004, illness forced a couple of country stars to postpone concerts.  George Strait had to bump a show in Columbus, Ohio, because he had a throat infection, while Alabama had to put off a performance in Buffalo, New York, because frontman Randy Owen was recovering from an inner ear virus.


Today in 2005, Faith Hill was honored by her home state of Mississippi. Faith spoke in front of the House and Senate in an effort to promote the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center in Meridian.  But once she got there, legislators turned the tables on her and honored her as an ambassador of the state.


Today in 2006, Jessi Colter released "Out of the Ashes" and Merle Haggard had ten reissues on five discs arrive in stores.


Today in 2006, Wynonna Judd's estranged husband, D. R. Roach, entered the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. This is the same facility where Wynonna went for food addiction in 2006.  The couple had separated three days earlier.


Today in 2007, it was declared "Flatts Tuesday" in Nashville, in celebration of the group's four-million in sales with the albums "Feels Like Today" and "Me and My Gang" and a 2006 tour that drew more than a million fans.


Today in 2008, Dwight Yoakam and Crystal Gayle were among the new inductees into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.  Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery and his wife Tracy took part in welcoming the honorees.


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