Nashville News and Notes For MONDAY

Taylor Swift Discusses Making "Red," Arriving In Stores Today


Taylor Swift altered her record-making process for her new CD, "Red."  She explains that for her latest studio project she sought out the input of others.


While Taylor still wrote the majority of the songs herself on "Red," the disc features a number of collaborations.  She wrote three tracks with pop songwriter-producers Max Martin and Shellback -- including her hits "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble."  Taylor also penned tunes with Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody.  They're also featured on the songs they wrote with her.  Swift's highly-anticipated fourth studio album "Red" hits stores today.


The arrival of "Red" also kicks off a busy release-week promotional blitz for Swift.  She'll be a guest on ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday for the first of back-to-back appearances on the show.


Garth Brooks, Connie Smith, Hargus Robbins Honored At Medallion Ceremony


Garth Brooks is now officially a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The country superstar was among the honorees at the 2012 Medallion Ceremony, which took place in Nashville Sunday night.  "USA Today" says it was an emotional event for Brooks, who received his welcome from George Strait.  Brooks admitted that hearing Strait's "Unwound" inspired him to become a country singer, and his goal was "to be George Strait."  Strait also sang "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" in Brooks' honor.  The song is Garth's debut single and first top ten hit, but Brooks said he originally tried to pitch it to Strait.  James Taylor and Bob Seger also paid tribute to Brooks at the event.


Other honorees included Opry great Connie Smith and pianist Hargus "Pig" Robbins.  Merle Haggard handled Smith's induction, saying that when it comes to country singers "there ain't none better" than Connie.  Lee Ann Womack also paid tribute to Smith, saying "all the girl singers wanted to sing like Connie."  Charlie McCoy helped induct Robbins, who has worked with numerous stars including Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, and Conway Twitty.  Ronnie Dunn also took part in the salute to Robbins.  Additional stars were on hand to witness the ceremony.  Smith's husband Marty Stuart, Vince Gill, and Ricky Skaggs were in the audience, along with Barbara Mandrell, Gene Watson, Brenda Lee, the Statler Brothers' Jimmy Fortune, and others.


Rascal Flatts Honored For Concert Ticket Milestone


Rascal Flatts is being recognized for a touring milestone.  Singer Gary LeVox says the group is amazed to have reached the seven-million mark in concert ticket sales.


The seven-million in ticket sales date back to 2004, when Rascal Flatts began their headlining career.  The group was presented with a giant ticket to commemorate the achievement prior to their show in Nashville Friday night.  Rascal Flatts is currently on their "Changed" tour, which will come to a close in Florida later this week.  The band will perform in Tampa on October 26th and wrap up the trek in West Palm Beach on October 27th.


Lady Antebellum Planning Special Holiday Concert


Lady Antebellum is making plans for a special holiday concert.  The group will take the stage at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville for "On This Winter's Night."  The show will feature the trio performing seasonal music backed by a symphony.  They'll also perform some of their biggest hits with their touring band.  Lady A's Hillary Scott says "Christmas is such a magical time of year," so she and her bandmates "really wanted to plan something special to share these holiday songs."  She adds that the Schermerhorn is "such a gorgeous venue and the perfect place to celebrate the season."


Lady Antebellum is also releasing a holiday album.  The 12-track disc, also called "On This Winter's Night," features such classics as "Silent Night," "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "The First Noel," and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."  The album arrives in stores on Monday.


Chris Young Feels Good About Latest SIngle


Chris Young is very optimistic about his latest single, "I Can Take It From There."  The country singer says he thinks it's a good song, and adds that his fans have been quick to embrace it as well.


Young wrote "I Can Take It From There" with songwriters Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip.  The single is the fourth release from Chris' most recent studio album, "Neon."


Florida Georgia Line Debut Album Set For December Release


Florida Georgia Line's debut album will hit stores before the year is over. says the duo's first full studio project, "Here's To The Good Times," will be released on December 4th.  The project features Florida Georgia Line's hit single "Cruise."  The duo's Brian Kelley calls the upcoming release "a dream come true," and says he and Tyler Hubbard "can't wait" to share their lives with their fans through their music.  Hubbard adds that he and Brian are both very proud of the disc, and says there "truly is something for everyone on this album."


Florida Georgia Line is spending this fall on the road.  They're opening shows for Jake Owen on the "CMT on Tour" trek and playing dates of their own.  The next stop for "CMT on Tour" is coming up in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday, while Florida Georgia Line will also perform in Rome, Georgia on Thursday.


Taylor Swift Joins CMA Awards Lineup


Taylor Swift is on board for next month's Country Music Association Awards. says the singer-songwriter is the latest to sign on to perform at the event.  She's reportedly slated to sing "Begin Again" during the ceremony.  "Begin Again" is from Swift's new album, "Red," which hits stores today.  Swift is in the running in three categories heading into the event.  She's up for the top prize of Entertainer of the Year as well as Female Vocalist of the Year.  Her song "Safe & Sound," a collaboration with The Civil Wars for the movie "The Hunger Games," is nominated for Musical Event of the Year.  Many other stars, including Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, are also set to perform at the event.  The 46th annual CMA Awards will be presented in Nashville, and air live on ABC on November 1st.


Vince Gill Wins Two At Inspirational Country Music Awards


Vince Gill is among the big winners following last week's 2012 Inspirational Country Music Awards. says he captured two categories at the event.  He earned the title of Mainstream Country Artist, while his single "Threaten Me With Heaven" got the nod for Mainstream Inspirational Country Song.  Meanwhile, The Roys picked up their second consecutive Inspirational Bluegrass Artist award.  Backstage at the event, singer Lee Roy said he and his sister Elaine felt "thrilled and blessed" to earn the prize, adding that it's great to know they really are reaching people with their music.  The Roys were also in the running for Entertainer of the Year, which went to Chuck Day.  The 18th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards were presented in a ceremony at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center Thursday night.


Report: Taylor Swift, One Direction's Harry Styles Dated Briefly In April


Taylor Swift has said her new album, "Red," features songs about relationships, which means one of them could be about One Direction singer Harry Styles.  Apparently the country-pop superstar and the British singer were dating, and the world never even knew.  According to "Radar Online," Swift briefly dated the One Direction star back in April, just before starting up with her current boyfriend Conor Kennedy.  If the rumor is true, it's a miracle that the two managed to keep their brief relationship under wraps.  An insider told the site that Taylor and Harry were casually dating and although they weren't exclusive, Taylor was let down when she saw photos of Harry kissing model Emma Ostilly in Australia.  Apparently, Harry hinted at making it official with her before heading down under and he begged for a chance to explain.  The source says Taylor was "heartbroken."  But Taylor has since moved on with Kennedy and by all accounts seems as happy as ever.  Her new album "Red" comes out today.