Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Kenny Chesney Kicking Off "No Shoes Nation" Tour This Weekend


Kenny Chesney is set take his "pirate flag" across the nation.  The country superstar is launching his "No Shoes Nation" tour this weekend, with a show in Tampa, Florida on Saturday.  Chesney will play 47 shows over the course of the five-and-a-half-month trek, which he'll bring to a close with a two-night stand in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 23rd and 24th.  The Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves are also on board for the majority of the dates, whileEric Church will take part in most of the stadium shows -- including the tour opener.  Select stadium dates will feature Zac Brown Band instead of Church.


Chesney is supporting his upcoming album, "Life on a Rock," with the tour.  The disc, which features Kenny's current hit "Pirate Flag," will be in stores on April 30th.


Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" Tour Dates


March 16 - Tampa, Florida, at Raymond James Stadium

March 21 - Albany, New York, at the Times Union Arena

March 22 & 23 - Uncasville, Connecticut, at the Mohegan Sun Arena

April 4 - Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Cajundome

April 5 - Austin, Texas, at the Austin360Amphitheater

April 11 - Orange Beach, Alabama, at The Amphitheater At The Wharf

April 13 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Rock The Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival

April 19 & 20 - Las Vegas, Nevada, at  The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

April 25 - Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Van Andel Arena

April 26 - Peoria, Illinois, at the Peoria Civic Center

April 27 - Des Moines, Iowa, at the Wells Fargo Arena

May 4 - Columbia, South Carolina, at Williams Brice Stadium

May 11 - Dallas, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium

May 16 - Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

May 18 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at Miller Park

May 23 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

May 25 - Landover, Maryland, at FedExField

May 30 - Boise, Idaho, at the Taco Bell Arena

June 1 - Seattle, Washington, at CenturyLink Field

June 6 - Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

June 8 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Lincoln Financial Field

June 13 - Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Klipsch Music Center

June 15 - Kansas City, Missouri, at Arrowhead Stadium

June 20 - Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at the Blossom Music Center

June 22 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Heinz Field

June 27 - St. Louis, Missouri, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

June 28 - Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Riverbend Music Center

June 29 - Columbus, Ohio, at Crew Stadium

July 6 - Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival

July 12 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Target Field

July 14 - Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada, at the Craven Country Jamboree

July 18 - Salt Lake City, Utah, at the USANA Amphitheater

July 20 - Denver, Colorado, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

July 24 - Fresno, California, at the Savemart Center

July 25 - Mountain View,  California, at the Shoreline Amphitheater

July 27 - Anaheim, California, at Angels Stadium

August 1 - Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

August 3 - Atlanta, Georgia, at the GeorgiaDome

August 7 - Bangor, Maine, at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion

August 10 - East Rutherford, New Jersey, at MetLife Stadium

August 15 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

August 17 - Detroit, Michigan, at Ford Field

August 21 - Canandaigua, New York, at the CMAC

August 23 & 24 - Foxboro, Massachusetts, at Gillette Stadium


McGraw, Underwood Headlining Inaugural UK Country Music Festival This Weekend


Tim McGraw, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, and LeAnn Rimes are taking American country music beyond our shores in a big way.  They're just some of the artists taking part in C2C: Country To Country -- the first-ever UK country music festival -- taking place at London's O2 Arena this weekend.  McGraw is the opening night headliner for the two-day event, and he expects it "to be a blast."  He adds that he's looking forward to playing material from his latest album, "Two Lanes Of Freedom," because he's sure the disc features songs British fans "will really dig."  McGraw will take the stage Saturday night, following sets from Gill, Little Big Town, and Sugarland's Kristian Bush.  Rimes, Darius Rucker, and Brantley Gilbert will perform on Sunday, with Underwood closing out the event.


Paisley, Bentley, New Artist Nominees Performing From ACM Fan Jam


Brad Paisley will be performing at least one song for a much bigger audience at the ACM Fan Jam.  The country star, who's the headline performer for the Academy of Country Music's awards show side party, will also face the cameras to appear on the 48th annual ACM Awards.  Dierks Bentley and Hunter Hayes will also perform at the televised event from the Fan Jam, along with New Artist of the Year nominees Brantley Gilbert, Jana Kramer, and Florida Georgia Line.  The New Artist winner will also accept the award at the Fan Jam.  The event will also feature a special appearance from rapper and actor LL Cool J.  The 3rd Annual ACM Fan Jam and Post-Award Concert will take place at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas while the 48th annual ACM Awards will be presented at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7th, airing on CBS.


More Stars Sign On For Tim McGraw's Concert Special


Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, and Dierks Bentley are among the latest artists to sign on for Tim McGraw's post-ACM Awards special.  Hip-hop star Pitbull is also on board for "ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night," taking place in Las Vegas next month.  They're bolstering a lineup that also includes Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Ne-Yo.  McGraw has said the show will highlight the concert experience and give the audience a preview of some of the acts who'll be out performing in the coming months.  The show is also a benefit for the Academy's charity, ACM Lifting Lives.  "ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night" will be taped at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 8th -- the night after the 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  A date for the special, which will air on CBS, hasn't been announced as yet.


Luke Bryan Proud Of Latest "Spring Break" Set


Luke Bryan is certainly seeing returns from his latest "Spring Break" release.  This time around Luke put out a full 14-track physical album featuring two new songs along with select cuts from his previous digital-only EPs.  The country star says he put some effort into choosing the material for the collection.


Luke adds that he's proud that the "little idea" they had a few years ago to put out special "Spring Break" music has "grown into something."  What "Spring Break...Here To Party" has become is Bryan's first Billboard 200 chart-topper.  In addition, with 150-thousand copies sold in its first week out, the album has given Bryan his best sales week yet.


Jason Aldean Prepping For Next Step, Appreciates Support From Aldean


Jake Owen says he'll soon be ready to take his career "to the next level."  The country star tells he plans to advance his touring next year, and start booking arenas.  He says he's been gaining a lot of experience touring with others, and he believes he'll be ready in 2014.  Owen is currently opening shows for Jason Aldean, and he really appreciates the opportunity.  Jake explains that it's been great to "have him kind of put his arm" around him and introduce him to his own fans.  Their next show together is coming up in Madison, Wisconsin on March 21st.


Florida Georgia Line Appreciate Jake Owen's Support, Friendship


The guys in Florida Georgia Line say they owe a debt of gratitude to Jake Owen.  The duo's Brian Kelley says Jake has been a great friend and supporter to him and Tyler Hubbard, and once even gave him a guitar when he needed one.


Kelley adds that Owen has been championing Florida Georgia Line all throughout their career -- even before they had a recording contract -- and he's really gone above and beyond for them.  He explains that Jake has served as a mentor to them, "not only musically but just in life in general."  Brian also plans to return Jake's generosity -- literally.  McPherson is creating custom guitars for both Brian and Tyler, and Brian says that when he gets his new guitar he'll give Jake's favorite guitar back to him.


Styles Distancing From Swift, Sheeran Not Dating Her


Taylor Swift won't be in One Direction's upcoming concert film if her ex Harry Styles has his way.  According to "InTouch," the British singer has made a special request to those creating the group's upcoming 3D concert movie --- leave all Taylor footage on the cutting room floor.  A source tells the magazine Harry is disappointed that Taylor has been talking about their relationship with the press and "really thought that she of all people would value another celebrity's privacy."


Meanwhile, another British star is denying that there's anything going on between him and the country singer.  Ed Sheeran, who's opening shows on Taylor's "Red" tour, tells New Zealand's TVNZ rumors of a romance aren't true.  While he admits he made a late-night visit to Taylor Swift's hotel room last month, he says he was only there to play the country star his new album.  He adds that they just "passed the guitar back and forth" all night.  The next stop on Taylor's "Red" tour is coming up in St. Louis, Missouri on Monday.


Tim McGraw Sharing The Rewards Of Fatherhood


Tim McGraw says he knows the time will come when he no longer has any children living at home.  But until that day arrives, he's enjoying watching his girls mature.


Tim says it's been "pretty amazing" to watch his daughters become more independent, and he just hopes he's given them "a good enough foundation that they can make wise decisions as they get older."  But McGraw adds that he and wife Faith Hill believe they've raised "really well-adjusted, smart, confident young women," which is "the best that you can hope for."  McGraw still has a number of years before he and Faith will have an empty nest.  Their oldest daughter, Gracie, is now 15 and Maggie is 14.  Their youngest, Audrey, turned eleven last December.


Quick Bites


Darius Rucker's next album has a new release date.  "True Believers," which features Rucker's latest single "Wagon Wheel," is now slated to hit stores on May 21st.  It'll arrive a couple of weeks after Darius launches his "True Believers" tour.


England isn't the only foreign nation hosting a country music festival this weekend.  Rascal Flatts and Big & Rich are among the headliners for this weekend's CMC Rocks the Hunter event in Hunter Valley, Australia.  The Band Perry and Chris Young are also part of the lineup, while Jack Ingram is among the stars performing at the event today.  The three-day festival continues through Sunday.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1966, the late Roger Miller took home six Grammy Awards, topping the record he set the year before.


Today in 1969, Glen Campbell's single "Galveston" entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1987, Barbara Mandrell was named All-Around Female Entertainer at the People's Choice Awards.


Today in 1989, Suzy Bogguss released her "Somewhere Between" album.


Today in 1991, Doug Stone's "In A Different Light" single debuted on the "Radio and Records" country chart.


Today in 1994, Mary Chapin Carpenter's album "State Of The Heart" was certified Gold.


Today in 1996, Lorrie Morgan's "Greatest Hits" album went Platinum.


Today in 1996, Patty Loveless hit number one on the charts with "You Can Feel Bad."


Today in 2000, Keith Urban made his debut on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."


Today in 2001, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and her husband, Adrian Pasdar, welcomed their first child, Jackson Slade Pasdar.


Today in 2002, Tommy Shane Steiner made his Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 2003, Brad Paisley married actress Kimberly Williams.


Today in 2004, Freddy Fender announced plans to resume touring, just a few months after undergoing a liver transplant.


Today in 2005, Miranda Lambert's debut CD "Kerosene" arrived in stores.


Today in 2005, Dierks Bentley's self-titled debut became his first Platinum album.


Today in 2006, Holly and Hilary Williams, daughters of Hank Williams Jr., were involved in a serious auto accident when their vehicle overturned several times on U.S. 61, about 45 miles south of Memphis.


Today in 2006, Montgomery Gentry returned from a USO tour that took them to Iraq and to U.S. military bases in Germany.


Today in 2007, Alabama appeared on the shopping network QVC, giving a live concert to debut songs from the album "Songs of Inspiration Volume 2."


Today in 2008, Carrie Underwood was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.  Randy Travis extended the invitation.  She was officially inducted a couple months later, and became the youngest member of the Opry.


Today in 2008, Brad Paisley set a new attendance record with his show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, performing before a crowd of just over 73-thousand paid attendees.


Today in 2008, Gary Allan launched an Australian tour with a with a headlining set at CMC Rocks the Snowys in Friday Flat, Thredbo.


Today in 2008, Steve Azar participated as a celebrity golfer and performer in Gino Torretta's three-day Celebrity Golf and Gourmet Weekend in Hollywood, Florida.


Today in 2008, Chris Young sang the national anthem at the Sharpie MINI 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.


Today in 2010, Sara Evans received a restraining order against her ex-husband, Craig Schelske, to keep him from speaking about their divorce in public.  The country star took the legal action after Schelske made statements about their divorce in an address before the Tennessee Legislature, which was considering a bill about divorce custody agreements.


Today in 2010, Faith Hill took part in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York, performing in honor of ABBA.


Today in 2011, new releases included Toby Keith's DVD "10" and Steve Martin's album "Rare Bird Alert."


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