Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Luke Bryan Takes ACM's Top Prize


Luke Bryan is the Academy of Country Music's new Entertainer of the Year.  The country star, who also served as the co-host of the CBS TV event, was deeply moved to receive the ACM's highest honor at this point in his career.


The Entertainer prize was one of two awards for Bryan, who also captured Vocal Event of the Year with Jason Aldean and Eric Church.  Aldean and Church also received multiple awards, as did Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town.  Bryan was also one of many stars who introduced new material at the performance-driven ceremony, which featured a few special guests.  After Hunter Hayes sang his latest release, he welcomed Motown legend Stevie Wonder to the stage to perform the classic "Sir Duke."  Wonder also provided the show's finale.


Bryan, meanwhile, helped launch the event.  He, Brad Paisley, Pistol Annies, and Sheryl Crow joined co-host Blake Shelton on his latest hit, "Boys 'Round Here."  Another special pairing included Garth Brooks and George Strait, who teamed up to honor the late Dick Clark.  Other collaborations included Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, and Paisley with John Mayer.  Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line, and Kelly Clarkson were also among the event's numerous performers, while Jewel played a special song to highlight the ACM's charitable efforts.  Shania Twain, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, LL Cool J and John Fogerty were some of the other big names who participated in the ceremony  The 48th annual ACM Awards took place in Las Vegas, and aired on CBS Sunday night.


Here's a list of winners from the 48th annual ACM Awards:



Luke Bryan



Jason Aldean



Miranda Lambert



Thompson Square



Little Big Town



Florida Georgia Line


ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

"Chief" - Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)

Produced by:  Jay Joyce


SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

"Over You" - Miranda Lambert (RCA)

Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf


SONG OF THE YEAR [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

"Over You" - Miranda Lambert

Composers: Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton

Publishers:  Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Sony ATV/Tree Publishing (BMI)


VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

"Tornado" - Little Big Town

Producer: Iris Baker

Director: Shane Drake


VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

"The Only Way I Know" - Jason Aldean With Luke Bryan & Eric Church (Broken Bow)

Produced by:  Michael Knox


Luke Bryan Appreciates The Fans For ACM Entertainer Nod


Luke Bryan says he's very grateful to be honored as the Academy of Country Music's new Entertainer of the Year.  Backstage at the event, he explained that capturing the award put his appreciation for his fans at a new level.


Bryan played a big role in this year's ACM Awards.  He also made his debut as Blake Shelton's co-host for the ceremony, and he performed.  And Entertainer of the Year wasn't the only award Bryan won.  He also got the nod along with Jason Aldean and Eric Church for their collaborative hit "The Only Way I Know," which was named Vocal Event of the Year.  The 48th annual ACM Awards were presented in a ceremony in Las Vegas Sunday night.


Miranda Lambert Stunned By Female Vocalist Win


Miranda Lambert says she didn't expect to get the ACM nod for Female Vocalist of the Year.  The singer admits she actually voted for Carrie Underwood.


Female Vocalist is one of three awards Lambert earned at the event.  She was also honored for her chart-topping hit "Over You," which was named Song and Single Record of the Year.  Miranda and husband Blake Shelton wrote "Over You," which is on Lambert's album "Four The Record."  The 48th annual ACM Awards were presented in a ceremony in Las Vegas Sunday night.


>>Jason Aldean Proud To Be ACM's Male Vocalist Winner


Jason Aldean says he's proud to have earned the ACM's Male Vocalist of the Year honor.  But the country star adds that he didn't think he'd hear his name when the winner was announced.


Aldean was named the ACM's Top New Male Vocalist back in 2006.  Since then Brad Paisley has earned the Male Vocalist award five times, and Blake Shelton captured the prize last year.  Aldean was also recognized for his hit "The Only Way I Know."  His hit collaboration with Luke Bryan and Eric Church was named Vocal Event of the Year.  The 48th annual ACM Awards were presented in a ceremony in Las Vegas Sunday night.


Garth Brooks, George Strait Honor Dick Clark At ACM Awards


Garth Brooks and George Strait are helping the Academy of Country Music remember the late Dick Clark.  The two country legends teamed up for Sunday night's ACM Awards to play a special tribute to the late TV legend during the CBS broadcast of the event.


In addition to Strait's "The Cowboy Rides Away," the segment also included Brooks' hit "The Dance."  Brooks and Strait are the two most recent recipients of the ACM's Artist of the Decade award, which the ACM has also renamed for Clark.  Clark began producing the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1979.  He passed away last year on April 18th -- less than three weeks after the 2012 ACM Awards.


Tim McGraw's ACM Special Taping In Vegas Tonight


Tim McGraw will be keeping the country stars in Las Vegas for one more night.  He's at the helm for the upcoming Academy of Country Music TV special, "ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night."  McGraw is leading the lineup of stars for the concert special, which will be taped at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Monday night.  The Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Faith Hill are just some of the country stars joining McGraw for the show.  A few stars from outside the country music community are on board as well.  John Fogerty is slated to perform, along with hip-hop stars Nelly, Ne-Yo, and Pitbull.  McGraw has said that his goal with the show is to highlight all the great artists fans will be able to catch in concert this summer.  "Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night" will air on CBS on May 19th.


Pickler Working On New Album, Will Present Special Dance Monday


Kellie Pickler has a new album on the way.  The country star tells she's taking control of the project, describing it as "Kellie country, for sure."  Pickler doesn't say just when the album will be released, but adds that she's currently working on the disc while she's on "Dancing With the Stars."  Kellie is emerging as one of this season's top competitors on the ABC reality show.  She also has something special coming up this week.  She revealed on Friday's "Ellen DeGeneres Show" that she and partner Derek Hough will be dancing the rumba to "Say I Do," an original song her husband, Kyle Jacobs, wrote for their wedding.  Kyle will also be on hand to perform the song for Kellie and Derek's dance on Monday's "Dancing With the Stars," airing at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Brad Paisley Threw Out Rules On "Wheelhouse"


 (Undated)  --  Brad Paisley says he didn't stick to the usual formula on his upcoming album, "Wheelhouse," which he recorded in his home studio.


Paisley also produced the album himself, and decided to throw out the "rules" he's had to pay attention to on previous studio efforts.  But he didn't stop there.  Paisley says he applied that "no rules" mentality to his songwriting as well, and tackled topics that some might consider taboo like spousal abuse and racism.  He brings these issues to the forefront on "Wheelhouse," which arrives in stores on Tuesday.


Thomas Rhett Talks Doing The Diffie, Co-Writing "1994"


Thomas Rhett says he's trying to turn the line about "doing the Diffie" in Jason Aldean's hit "1994" into more than just a song lyric as he makes his way across the country with Aldean's "Night Train" tour.


Rhett co-wrote "1994," and calls it one of the coolest songs he's ever penned.  He explains that he's such a big Joe Diffie fan that the song just seemed to "fall out."  Rhett and Aldean's "Night Train" outing is scheduled to stop next in Athens, Georgia on Saturday, April 13th.


Taylor Swift Says Success Hasn't Changed Her


Taylor Swift says that she's still the same person she's always been.

She may still be the same, but Taylor does admit that life on tour requires making some adjustments.  The country star, who's currently on the U.S. leg of her "Red" tour along with Ed Sheeran, says that the definition of reality is all relative.  Her's requires her to constantly go back and forth between performing on stage to real life.  Taylor says that it can be difficult to fall asleep because of the adrenaline she gets from seeing her fans, but it's something she's still trying to get used to.


Tim McGraw Seeks But Doesn't Always Follow Wife's Advice


Tim McGraw says he "always" seeks wife Faith Hill's advice on his music.  The country singer tells "M Music & Musicians" magazine that he has "tons of respect for her opinion about everything" he does.  But he also admits he doesn't always agree with her, explaining that they're "two completely different artists" who are "stylistically different."  However, Tim adds that sometimes, after rejecting Faith's advice, he'll "end up doing something only to see she was right."  McGraw also says that -- unlike Faith -- he doesn't believe he'll ever have significant pop-crossover success because his voice has a more distinctive country sound.  Tim cites such legends as George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Charley Pride as primary influences, saying his "earliest memories" of music are of hearing these stars in his stepfather's 18-wheeler.


June Carter Biopic Preview Surfaces Online


Fans are getting a glimpse of the upcoming June Carter biopic "Ring Of Fire,"  Jewel stars as the country legend in the Lifetime TV movie.  In a preview of the film on, Jewel is featured as June singing "Wildwood Flower" during a 1952 appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.


"Country Weekly" says Jewel also gave guests a sneak peak of the film at her show Friday in Las Vegas, and discussed the project.  She explained that she wore dentures as June, and admitted that she was "smiling like a beauty queen in the mirror" because she'd never seen herself before "with straight teeth."  "Ring Of Fire" will have its premiere on Lifetime on May 27th.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1989, the single "I'm No Stranger To The Rain" by Keith Whitley topped the charts.  One month and one day later, he was dead of alcohol poisoning.


Today in 1985, George Strait's album "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" was certified Gold.


Today in 1991, Ricky Van Shelton's "RVS 3" album was certified Platinum.


Today in 1992, the "Shooting Straight In The Dark" album by Mary Chapin Carpenter was certified Gold.


Today in 1994, Lee Roy Parnell hit number one with the single "I'm Holding My Own."


Today in 1996, Aaron Tippin's "Tool Box" album was certified Gold.


Today in 1997, Alabama released "Dancin' On the Boulevard," Clay Walker released "Rumor Has It," and Wynonna released her greatest hits album, "Collection."


Today in 1999, it was revealed that Faith Hill would not only become a spokesmodel for Cover Girl cosmetics, she was also confirmed as a performer on the 1999 VH1 "Divas Live" concert.


Today in 2004, Tracy Lawrence's album "Strong" debuted on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart at number two, behind Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down."  Kenny's album was marking its eighth week at number one.


Today in 2008, Kenny Chesney previewed his "Poets & Pirates" show before a small group of invited guests in Nashville.


Today in 2008, Emerson Drive and Neal McCoy took part in opening day baseball games.  Emerson Drive sang the national anthem for the Kansas City Royal's home opener, and also performed "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.  Neal McCoy performed the anthem for the Texas Rangers first game of the season in Arlington, Texas.


Today in 2008, Clint Black displayed his skills as a stand-up comedian on the season premiere of CBS' "Secret Talents of the Stars."  Meanwhile, Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry served as coaches for actor George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on the original "Star Trek," as he competed on the show as a country singer.


Today in 2008, James Otto's "Sunset Man" was released.  The album was the last to be issued by the Muzik Mafia's Raybaw Records.  Big & Rich's Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich were among those who ran the now-defunct label.  Other new material hitting stores included Jeff Bates and Jypsi's self-titled albums and Trisha Yearwood's cookbook, "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen."


Today in 2009, Charlie Daniels received the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award from officials at Middle Tennessee State University at a special luncheon at the school.  MTSU presents the award to honor people whose work in government, education, or charitable efforts serves as an example of the American spirit in action.


Today in 2009, Kellie Pickler made a guest appearance on "American Idol," and performed "Best Days Of Your Life."


Today in 2010, Mark Chesnutt began a tour of U.S. bases in South Korea with a show at Camp Casey.  His trek included a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, which is the area that separates North and South Korea.  The singer traveled to Asia with the Tennessee National Guard.


Today in 2011, Zac Brown Band launched their inaugural Southern Ground Music and Food Festival.  The three-day event took place at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.


Today in 2011, Lady Antebellum made their Australian concert debut, opening for Keith Urban in Adelaide.


Today in 2011, Carrie Underwood's feature film acting debut, Soul Surfer," opened in theaters.


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