Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Taylor Swift Launches Ladies Shoe Line With Keds


Taylor Swift is going further with her partnership with the Keds shoe company.  "The Taylor Swift For Keds Collection" features sneakers with butterflies and floral designs, polka dots and cat's paws, and other designs, and are available in a variety of colors.  The shoes also come with charms, including a heart-shaped 13 and a guitar pick.  Fans can learn more about Taylor's ladies' shoe line for Keds at


"The Taylor Swift For Keds Collection" is the latest collaboration between the singer and the shoe maker.  The began their partnership late last year with a special limited edition "Red" shoe, created in honor of Swift's most recent album.  Earlier this year Swift-inspired designs were featured in the Keds' Bravehearts campaign for girls.


Taylor Swift, Emerson Drive Fall Short At Junos


Neither Taylor Swift nor Emerson Drive are adding a Juno Award to their trophy cases.  The country stars were among the nominees heading into the event, which is the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys.  Taylor was in the running for International Album of the Year with her latest studio release, Red," but the honor went to Mumford and Sons' "Babel."  The Juno is the latest recognition for the British folk-rock group's sophomore CD, which took the Album of the Year prize at the Grammy Awards back in February.  Emerson Drive received recognition for their most recent studio project, "Roll," which was among the hopefuls for Country Album of the Year.  But Johnny Reid's "Fire It Up" got the nod.  The 2013 Juno Awards were presented in ceremonies in Regina, Saskatchewan over the weekend.


Select winners for the 2013 Juno Awards follow:



Mumford & Sons, "Babel"



Johnny Reid, "Fire It Up"



k.d. Lang


K.D. Lang Tweets Appreciation For Hall Of Fame Honor


Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is sharing her appreciation for her induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.  She formally received the honor at the 2013 Juno Awards Sunday night.  After the ceremony k.d. tweeted, "A thousand fold thanks to all my fans in #canada!!!! Big time love!!!!"  She's also getting credit for being a breath of fresh air at the event. says lang provide "the night's most exhilarating moment" by "breaking away from the monotony of the standard acceptance speech."  In addressing the crowd lang praised her homeland, saying that "only in Canada could there be a freak like k.d. lang," as well as other less conventional stars such as the late Stompin' Tom Connors and Rita MacNeil.  She added that in Canada, it's "OK to let your freak flags fly" and to "embrace your inner quirkmeister."  She also performed at the event.  The Juno Awards are the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys.


Kris Kristofferson To Help Honor Streisand For Film Career


Kris Kristofferson will be on hand to help honor one of his film co-stars.  The country singer and actor is slated to speak at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 40th Annual Chaplin Award Gala, which this year is paying tribute to Barbra Streisand.  Kristofferson played opposite Streisand in the 1976 film "A Star Is Born."  The movie captured numerous awards, including a best actor nod for Kris at the Golden Globe Awards.  Kristofferson was also featured along with Streisand on the film's chart-topping soundtrack album.  Actors Pierce Brosnan, Blythe Danner, and Amy Irving will join Kris in saluting Streisand at the event, while Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, and Liza Minnelli will perform.  Former President Bill Clinton has been tapped to present the award to Barbra.  The event takes place in New York City Monday night.


Willie Nelson Confident West, Texas Will Recover From Explosion


Willie Nelson says it wasn't a tough decision to turn his upcoming birthday concert into a benefit for West, Texas.  The country legend adds that he knows he's not alone in wanting to help the small town, which last week was the site of a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant.  Nelson tells "Texas Monthly" he's learned from Farm Aid and other benefits that "people are generous."  He says people "want to be asked to help," but they also "need to know their money is going to the right place."  Nelson adds that benefit concerts are helpful in situations like this because "music is the healer."  He explains that "people drive a long way and pay good money to clap and sing along" because "it's therapeutic."


Nelson will be giving the money he earns from his April 28th concert at The Backyard in Austin, Texas to the West Fire Department.  On his website he's also posted five things others can do to help the residents of West, ranging from monetary donations to giving blood to contacting vets in the area that are treating animals injured in the blast.


Hunter Hayes In His "Comfort Zone" On Stage


Hunter Hayes says he doesn't mind his extensive touring schedule.  The country star tells "Esquire" magazine that he likes playing 200 shows a year because performing live is what he's "always wanted to do."  Hunter says he doesn't suffer from stage fright at all, and calls the stage his "comfort zone."  The singer adds that he loves the way "things evolve" in concert, and says he plays a song in his headlining shows that has "a 20-minute outro."  Hayes says he also loves how "country music busts the wall between performer and audience."  He explains that there's "a vulnerability" and a "confessional quality" to "so much of the songwriting" which allows for "a connection" to be made between the performer and the crowd.


Hayes is currently opening shows on Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" tour.  The next stop on the trek is coming up in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.  Hayes has a special appearance set for Monday.  He's slated to appear on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which this week is honoring Motown legend Stevie Wonder.  Hunter also performed with Stevie earlier this month at the Academy of Country Music Awards.


Chris Young Prepping Fourth Studio Album


Chris Young says he's finished with his next album.  The singer tells that his fourth studio effort "sounds different" from what he's "done in the past."  He explains that his new record is faster paced and more uptempo than his earlier work, and is more in line with his live shows.  However, Chris doesn't offer any other details on the album, including a name or proposed release date.  Young's new album will be his follow up to 2011's "Neon."  That disc features the chart-topping hits "Tomorrow" and "You" as well as his current single, "I Can Take It From There."


Eric Paslay Releasing His "Friday Night" This Week


Eric Paslay is putting out his own version of "Friday Night."  The country singer-songwriter says he has great memories of Friday nights from when he was a kid.

          {EricPaslayFriNight1}          Q...they say yes.          :14.9

Eric will unveil his rendition of "Friday Night" on Monday, and the track will be available from iTunes on Tuesday.  It's a song Lady Antebellum fans just might know.  The trio included their version of "Friday Night" on their 2011 album "Own The Night."


Taylor Swift Shares Her Strategy For Getting Through Photo Shoots


Taylor Swift says she enjoys photo shoots.  But the country-pop superstar admits that the task isn't something that comes to her naturally.


Swift says that when she steps in front of the cameras she pretends she's playing a part.  She explains that it's fun for her because she gets to create her own character, and the role she gives herself is "a character that doesn't have insecurities."  Over the years Taylor has graced the cover of many publications, including such fashion magazines as "Vogue," "Glamour," and "Elle."


Brantley Gilbert Shares His Dislike Of Air Travel


Brantley Gilbert admits he's not a fan of flying.  The country star says logging hundreds of miles over land is preferable to him than air travel.


Brantley says he doesn't mind flying in private jets, but that's a luxury he doesn't get to enjoy very often.  The singer explains that he's "on a commercial budget," so he usually flies economy class.



Country Birthdays Include


Glen Campbell is 77.

Ricochet's Heath Wright is 46.

Kellie Coffey is 42.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1961, the first annual Country Music Festival opened in Jacksonville, Florida.  The roster included Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Flatt and Scruggs, Porter Wagoner, and Mel Tillis.


Today in 1989, Clint Black made his Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 1994, Faith Hill topped the charts with her single "Piece Of My Heart."


Today in 1996, Diamond Rio released the single "That's What I Get for Loving You."


Today in 1997, new album releases included George Strait's "Carrying Your Love With Me," Joe Diffie's "Twice Upon A Time," and Little Texas' self-titled debut.


Today in 1998, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, were the big winners at the 33rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, taking four awards -- Single, Song, and Video of the Year and Top Vocal Event -- for their duet "It's Your Love."


Today in 1998, a Harris poll dubbed Garth Brooks the second-most popular singer among adult Americans.  Alan Jackson was fifth, while the Beatles and Alabama were tied for sixth place.  George Strait was seventh with Reba McEntire at eighth place.


Today in 2002, Johnny Cash received the National Medal of Arts from President George Bush in a ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.


Today in 2003, Billy Gilman was a co-headliner at a benefit concert for The Station Nightclub Fire Relief Fund.  The show raised money for those affected by the blaze two months earlier at the West Warwick, Rhode Island, club that killed 100 people and left nearly 200 more injured after pyrotechnics during a rock show ignited the ceiling tiles, engulfing the club in flames in a matter of minutes.


Today in 2003, Country Music and National Songwriters Hall of Fame composer Felice Bryant, who with her husband Boudleaux co-wrote numerous country and early rock hits, died at her home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  She was 77.


Today in 2003, Tim McGraw & the Dancehall Doctors launched the second half of their "One Band Show" tour in New Orleans, Louisiana.  They also staged one of their Red Cross fundraising "Bread & Water" concerts at a local club after the big venue show.


Today in 2003, the Dixie Chicks got some support from Bruce Springsteen in the wake of the group's controversial remarks about President Bush and the war in Iraq.  He offered a post on his website saying the trio had a, quote, "basic right to express themselves."


Today in 2004, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, John Michael Montgomery and Jeff Bates were at Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas, taking part in the welcome home festivities for the Soldiers of Task Force Ironhorse, including the troops who captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.


Today in 2005, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Joe Diffie, Jimmy Webb, Ty England, and Katrina Elam were among the performers at a tribute concert marking the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing.


Today in 2006, Megan Mullins made her solo Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 2007, Wynonna Judd was added to the Music City Walk of Fame, along with singer-songrwriters John Hiatt, Emmylou Harris, and Michael W. Smith; Buddy Holly's pioneering rock band The Crickets; and BMI Nashville founder Frances Preston.


Today in 2007, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performed at Sheryl Crow's "Stop Global Warming College Tour" show in Washington, DC.


Today in 2007, Blake Shelton launched his second Raindance charity event in Ada, Oklahoma.  The three days of activities included an archery tournament, team roping and a concert featuring Shelton with friends Steve Holy, Neal McCoy, and Craig Morgan.


Today in 2008, Rascal Flatts were the emcees and performers for the Symphony Spring Fashion Show at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.  The show featured Oscar de la Renta's fall collection.


Today in 2008, Willie Nelson took the number two spot, behind pop singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, on's 2008 "Green Ten" list -- a tally of the most environmentally-conscious musicians.  Nelson's earned the distinction for his efforts in developing and promoting his BioWilie biodiesel fuel.


Today in 2008, new CD releases included Phil Vassar's "Prayer of a Common Man."


Today in 2009, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley and Big & Rich's Big Kenny took part in the benefit Nashville 4 Africa.  The event supported The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which will use the money to assist in building schools and promoting education in Africa.


Today in 2010, Brad Paisley's short film "When Mom's Away" had its premiere at the Nashville Film Festival.


Today in 2010, Faith Hill served as a guest judge on the seventh season finale of "Project Runway," which debuted on Lifetime.


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