Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

CMT Music Awards Nominees To Be Announced Today


The stars will soon learn if they're in the running for any CMT Music Awards.  CMT will unveil the nominees for the fan-voted event today.  The ceremony recognizes today's top country artists along with recent videos the viewers like best, in categories including male, female, group, duo, and breakthrough artist of the year.  Collaborative and live performance videos are also honored, and one clip will be named Video of the Year.  Jason Aldean and "House of Lies" star Kristen Bell are set to host the 2013 CMT Music Awards, which will take place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 5th.  Performers and presenters for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.  Tickets for the ceremony go on sale on Saturday.


Garth Brooks Returning To Vegas; May Shows On Sale Today


Tickets go on sale today for Garth Brooks' upcoming Memorial Day weekend shows in Las Vegas.  The country star is returning to The Encore Theater at the Wynn to play a total of six more shows.  He'll give four performances later this month, as well as two shows over the Fourth of July weekend.  Garth will take the stage for two shows each on May 24th and 25th, and play one concert on July 5th and another on July 6th.  Both the May and July performances will be taped for a TV special as well as an upcoming DVD.  Tickets for the July concerts will be available on June 3rd.


Lady Antebellum Do Things Differently On "Golden"


Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood says the group did a few things differently for their new album, "Golden."  The country star explains that recording the disc immediately after a tour had an influence on the project.


In addition to limiting the number of musicians they worked with, Dave says Lady A also backed off on the production.  He explains that in doing so listeners can clearly hear each instrument, and it "really allows the vocals to shine."  Lady A's "Golden" features the hit single "Downtown."  The album will be in stores on Tuesday.


Top Ten Debuts Expected For Chesney, Randy Rogers Band Albums


Kenny Chesney likely has another chart-topper with "Life on a Rock." says projected first-week sales of the disc are in the 140-thousand range, which should be enough for a number one debut on the Billboard 200.  Chesney's CD features the hit single "Pirate Flag."  The Randy Rogers Band could also make a top ten debut on the all-genre chart with their new album, "Trouble," which has estimated first-week sale of 20-to-25-thousand.  The group has only made a top ten debut on the Billboard 200 one other time.  Their last set, 2010's "Burning The Day," entered the list at number eight with sales of 28-thousand.  The new Billboard 200 is scheduled to be revealed on Wednesday.


George Strait Admits Having Concerns About Current Single


George Strait admits he wasn't sure "Give It All We Got Tonight" was right for him after he first heard it.  The country star explains that he liked the track, but was concerned it might be a bit too racy.


A campaign is currently under way to drive "Give It All We Got Tonight" up the chart, and make it Strait's 60th number one single before his 61st on May 18th.  The track is currently at number eight on the "Billboard" Country Airplay chart, and at number 13 on the Hot Country Songs list.  "Give It All We Got Tonight" is the lead-off single from Strait's next album, "Love Is Everything," which will be in stores on May 14th.


Scotty McCreery Happy To Be Writing Songs For Second Album


Scotty McCreery is making his debut as a songwriter with his new single, "See You Tonight."  The country star admits he's glad he's getting the chance to pen material for his second album.


"See You Tonight" is the first release from Scotty's upcoming sophomore CD.  The singer has been working on the project this spring, between college classes and shows on his "Weekend Roadtrip" tour.  The next stop on the trek is set for Lancaster, Pennsylvania on May 10th.


Keith Urban A Surprise Guest At Rolling Stones' Tour Launch


Keith Urban is thrilled to have had the chance to perform with the Rolling Stones.  The country singer joined the legendary group for their tour launch in Los Angeles on Friday.  He's captured on YouTube adding guitar and vocals to the Stones' classic "Respectable."


Keith says he'd never have passed up the opportunity to share the stage with the Rolling Stones.  He admits if his options had been a trip to the moon or sitting in with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and their group, he'd be saying "screw the moon" while strapping on his guitar.  Urban is also getting praise for his performance. says the country star "sang the hell out of" the song, and also "held his own trading guitar solos" with Richards and Ron Wood.


Kellie Pickler Thinks Elton John Would Be "Amazing" For CMAs


Kellie Pickler has a suggestion for the Country Music Association:  Book Elton John for the CMA Awards.  That idea came to the country star last Friday, while she was at the 20th annual Race To Erase MS benefit in Los Angeles.  The event featured a performance from the legendary "Rocket Man, and marked the first time Kellie had seen Elton in concert.  At the gala she told "Rolling Stone" she thought it "would be amazing" to have him take part in the CMAs.  She added that he could "do anything he wants to do.  He's Elton John."  But if she had the chance to perform with him, Picker says she'd like for them to sing "a classic country song" along the lines of a George Jones-Tammy Wynette duet.


Details on this year's year's CMA Awards haven't been announced yet.  The annual country music event typically takes place in Nashville in November.


Miranda Lambert Enjoys Being A Party Planner


Miranda Lambert knows what her alternate career choice would be.  The country star tells "Parade" she'd want to have a job as a party planner if she weren't a musician.  It's something the singer is apparently pretty good at.  Lambert's efforts in helping bandmate Ashley Monroe with her upcoming wedding have earned Miranda the nickname "Plannie Annie."  And because she's a famous, Miranda also has some elegant events from which to draw ideas.  Louisville's "Courier-Journal" says Lambert was among the guests at the 25th anniversary Barnstable Brown Gala.  The star-packed charity event took place on Friday -- the night before the Kentucky Derby.  Kid Rock, actors Emilio Estevez, Valerie Harper, and Jason Biggs, Motown legend Smokey Robinson, and TV personality Star Jones were some of the other stars who also attended the black-tie fundraiser.


Quick Bite


Tickets for the Boston benefit concert go on sale today.  Jason Aldean is among the many stars on board for the upcoming fundraiser, which will support victims of last month's Boston Marathon bombing.  "Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration" will also feature Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, New Kids On The Block, James Taylor, and many others.  The show will take place at the TD Garden in Boston on May 30th.


Country Birthdays Include


Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 68.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1935, the Carter Family recorded "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."


Today in 1977, Dolly Parton made her New York City debut, performing at the Bottom Line.


Today in 1989, Naomi Judd married Larry Strickland.  In addition, The Judds' single "Young Love (Strong Love)" topped the country charts.


Today in 1991, Alan Jackson released the single "Don't Rock the Jukebox."


Today in 1993, IRS agents seized possessions from the Mississippi home of Jerry Lee Lewis because he failed to pay more than one-point-six-million-dollars in overdue taxes.


Today in 1994, Randy Travis' "Before You Kill Us All" topped the country singles charts.


Today in 1994, Garth Brooks hosted his second TV special on NBC.


Today in 1996, Lee Roy Parnell released the single "Givin' Water to a Drowning Man."


Today in 1998, Shania Twain's single "You're Still The One" was certified Platinum.


Today in 1999, Tammy Wynette's widower, George Richey, was dropped from a 50-million-dollar lawsuit that had been filed a few months earlier by Wynette's daughters.


Today in 2003, Lonestar's Richie McDonald took part in the 24th annual Words & Music program at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  The event allows school-aged kids to bring in songs they've written and perform them with professional songwriters.


Today in 2003, the American Red Cross announced that Lonestar and Tim McGraw signed on for another year as members of the American Red Cross' National Celebrity Cabinet.


Today in 2003, Tim McGraw's "She's My Kind of Rain" bumped Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten" to take the top spot on the country singles chart.  Worley's song had been at number one for the previous six weeks.


Today in 2003, Faith Hill's first DVD, "When the Lights Go Down," arrived in stores.


Today in 2004, Charlie Pride was admitted to a Dallas-area hospital for a subdural hematoma.


Today in 2005, Toby Keith launched his second annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic in Oklahoma City.


Today in 2005, Mindy McCready was arrested and charged with DUI after being pulled over by police in a Nashville suburb for speeding.  The singer was on probation at the time, in conjunction with a conviction on charges of using a fraudulent prescription to get drugs from a pharmacy.


Today in 2006, after performing at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California, Brad Paisley invited fans to a free show in honor of his friend, the late Buck Owens, at Owens' club, The Crystal Palace.  Josh Turner joined Brad and his band for the tribute.  Thousands of people had to be turned away at the door.


Today in 2006, Carrie Underwood returned to Oklahoma to receive her college diploma from Northeastern State University.  Prior to participating on "American Idol," Underwood needed to complete one more semester to earn her degree.  After taking the "Idol" title in 2005, she fulfilled the college requirements and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism.


Today in 2006, Tracy Lawrence hosted his annual Arkansas Homecoming fundraiser concert in Texarkana, Arkansas.  Neal McCoy was among those who joined him for the event.


Today in 2007, George Strait was officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  George Jones officially welcomed Strait into the prestigious Hall.  Strait's wife Norma and son Bubba were in attendance.  Performers included Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack, and singer-songwriter Dean Dillon.


Today in 2007, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, Kris Kristofferson, Pat Green, Gary Allan, Ricky Skaggs, and Marty Stuart were some of the country stars who performed on the second day of the inaugural Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.


Today in 2008, Phil Vassar performed on the South Lawn of the White House in a ceremony honoring the six recipients of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.  He sang the national anthem prior to President Bush's speech.


Today in 2008, A memorial service for Jim Hager of the Hager Twins was held at the Ryman Auditorium.  Hager died of a heart attack five days earlier in Nashville.  Jim and his brother, Jon, were part of the "Hee Haw" cast for 19 years.  They also released a number of singles, including "Gotta Get to Oklahoma" and "Daddy's Making Records in Nashville."


Today in 2008, Taylor Swift was on the cover of "Seventeen" magazine.


Today in 2008, best-of collections highlighted the new country releases, with Dierks Bentley's "Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory," Toby Keith's "Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits," and Tim McGraw's "Collector's Edition" arriving in stores.  In addition, Aaron Tippin's "He Believed" and the reissue of Blake Shelton's "Pure BS" were released.


Today in 2009, Brooks & Dunn and Dierks Bentley received the Country Music Association's International Artists Achievement Award in recognition of their efforts to promote country music outside the U.S.  They got their awards in a presentation backstage at their concert in Sydney, Australia.


Today in 2010, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, and Julie Roberts were among the stars who performed on a local flood relief telethon in Nashville to raise money for the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Second Harvest Food Bank.


Today in 2011, Garth Brooks received an MBA from Oklahoma State University.  This wasn't an honorary degree, but a diploma he earned through academic studies at the school's business program.


Today in 2011, Taylor Swift's video "Mean" had its debut on CMT and


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