Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Eric Church Ranks Eleventh On 2012 Ticket Sales Chart


Eric Church continues to receive recognition for his work.  The country singer's latest accomplishment is his high ranking on's "Worldwide Ticket Sales Chart" for 2012.  Eric says he's amazed at the successes he saw last year.


Church's 2012 "Blood, Sweat, & Beers" trek has eleventh place on the "Pollstar" list, with more than 765-thousand tickets sold for 101 shows.  Other country tours on the list include Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw's "Brothers of the Sun" and Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party."  Other stars making the cut include Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, and Lady Gaga.


Zac Brown Band Members Singing Anthem At BCS National Championship


The Zac Brown Band is once again lending their voices to a sporting event.  Four members of the group will be on hand to sing the national anthem at the start of the 2013 BCS National Championship.  Zac Brown, Clay Cook, Jimmy De Martini and John Driskell Hopkins will tackle the performance before Notre Dame and Alabama face off in Monday night's college football game.  The event will take place in Miami, and air on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Zac and his bandmates are no strangers to performing at sporting events.  Last summer the group played a mini-concert at Major League Baseball's annual Home Run Derby.  In 2011 the band turned in the anthem at the start of the NFL playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons.


Shelton Jokes About Reba's ACM Awards Replacement As Twitter Campaign Begins


Blake Shelton says he expected it to be tough to find someone to serve as his co-host for this spring's Academy of Country Music Awards.  He jokes in an ACM promo video that they "pretty much gave up" trying to find someone who matches the star power of Reba McEntire, and "set the bar down just a little bit lower."  After joking further that they were ultimately hoping to "just get somebody that can read," Blake admits that they've found a "fan favorite" who's popularity is starting to rival his own.  He also humorously confesses that he plans to use the ACM Awards ceremony to "completely disrupt and derail this person's career."


But the name of Blake's co-host and other details about the event haven't been revealed yet.  But the Academy is giving fans the chance to find out before the official announcement through a special Twitter campaign.  A total of 25-thousand tweets will "unlock" the name of Shelton's co-host as well as the date the event will take place.  Details are available at


Report: LeAnn Rimes Could Get Second Chance At "X Factor"


LeAnn Rimes is reportedly being considered for a spot on "The X Factor." cites unnamed insiders who say the show is keeping the country singer in mind as a replacement for Britney Spears, whose future on the Fox reality series remains uncertain.  Show execs are reportedly planning to drop the pop superstar because her participation last season didn't bring in the ratings they expected.  Rimes has been up for the job before.  Last February LeAnn voiced an interest in becoming one of the show's judges, and said she was among the possible replacements for Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.  The insider says that once Britney "became the frontrunner," LeAnn "didn't have a chance."  The show brought in Demi Lovato as well as Spears to be the season two judges last fall.


Rimes sparked controversy with her appearance on "The X Factor" finale last month.  She was accused of being intoxicated for her performance with finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar.  Rimes immediately denied the allegations.


Faith Hill Admits To "Butterflies" But Enjoying Vegas Residency


Faith Hill admits she's nervous before a performance.  The singer tells CMT's "CMT Hot 20 Countdown" that she gets "butterflies" before her "Soul2Soul" Las Vegas show with Tim McGraw.  But she says she settles down "pretty quickly" once the show gets under way.  Faith adds that Tim's presence also helps, because she gets to "stand next to this good-looking man" throughout the night.  Hill hasn't toured or performed regularly for a while prior to last month's launch of "Soul2Soul," and the country star admits she's missed being on stage.  She adds that she's thrilled to once again have these performance opportunities through their Vegas engagement.  McGraw and Hill began a five-month residency at The Venetian in December.  They have "Soul2Soul" shows booked through April.


Jake Owen Not Looking Forward To Leaving Family To Tour


Jake Owen admits touring will be much harder for him this year than it has been in the past, because he's now a dad.  The country singer tells that little Pearl, who was born on Thanksgiving Day, has "added a whole lot more substance" to his life, and he's not looking forward to being away from her for long periods of time.  But Jake also knows he has to go.  He says he's "pretty aware that nothing lasts forever" and "you've got to make hay while the sun shines," and it's "shining pretty good" on him right now.  Jake will be opening shows on Jason Aldean's upcoming tour.  The trek will begin in Bossier City, Louisiana on February 21st.


Gary Allan Uses His Life For Song Inspiration


Gary Allan says his songs have always been a reflection of what was happening in his life at the time they were written.  The country singer adds that once early in his career, when he was working with songwriting great Harlan Howard, Harlan saw that strategy as a drawback.


But Gary says he hasn't stopped using his experiences for his inspiration, and the songs on his upcoming album reflect his life today.  He adds that these days he's "in a good place."  Allan's new CD, "Set You Free," features his current hit "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain.)"  The album will be in stores on January 22nd.


Band Perry Members Work Well Together In Business, Creative Process


The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry says she and her brothers work well together.  She explains that they each have their own niche when it comes to songwriting.


Kimberly says she Neil, and Reid have an "honest" working relationship, and they generally agree with one another on business matters as well as in creative decisions.  But she admits that The Band Perry is "a democracy," so the majority rules.  She adds that it's a good thing that they're a trio and not a quartet, so they don't run into any tie situations.


The Band Perry has been working on the follow up to their 2010 self-titled debut album.  The new effort, which features their current single "Better Dig Two," is expected to be released in April.


Country Birthdays Include


Grand Ole Opry star Jack Greene is 83.

Country star David Lee Murphy is 54.

Big & Rich's John Rich is 39.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1950, "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry hit number one on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1968, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition appeared on "The Smothers Brothers Show."


Today in 1978, Johnny Paycheck hit number one with "Take This Job And Shove It."


Today in 1988, Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens performed "The Streets of Bakersfield" for the first time, during a taping of the CMA's 30th anniversary special at the Grand Ole Opry house.  The song went over so well with the Opry House audience that the following summer, Buck and Dwight released it as a single.


Today in 1992, the U.S. postmaster-general announced that a stamp commemorating Elvis Presley would be issued the following year.


Today in 1998, legendary Nashville producer Owen Bradley died at Nashville's St. Thomas Hospital.  He was 82.  Many folks considered him the architect of the Nashville sound.  He produced numerous artists, including Bill Anderson, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Webb Pierce, Ernest Tubb, and Kitty Wells.


Today in 2000, Lonestar made their debut on NBC-TV's "Tonight Show."  The group performed the hit "Amazed."


Today in 2003, Alan Jackson was the top country contender for the 45th annual Grammy Awards.  He had four nominations, including a bid in the all-genre Song of the Year category.


Today in 2005, Craig Morgan made his 90th appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 2007, Travis Tritt performed at the inauguration of Georgia's Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. The show was held at The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.


Today in 2008, Jason Michael Carrol surprised families and Marines of Mike Battery 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment in Chattanooga, Tennessee, entertaining as part of a special lunch before roughly 150 Marines shipped out for two months of training in advance of their deployment to Iraq.  Carroll is a former Marine reservist.


Today in 2008, reps for Keith Urban's wife, actress Nicole Kidman, confirmed that the couple was expecting their first child together.  Kidman gave birth to daughter Sunday Rose


Today in 2008, Bill Belew, the man who designed Elvis Presley's jumpsuits, died.  While he had reportedly been battling a lengthy illness, he was said to have suffered a fatal heart attack.


Today in 2009, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, and Jewel were among the performers at the People's Choice Awards.  Underwood took three categories at the event, while Rascal Flatts was also a winner.  The trio also announced during the event that they were inviting fans to take part in creating the album art for the group's then-upcoming album "Unstoppable," which was released in April.


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift was named the top-selling digital artist ever, with more than 24-point-three-million digital sales to her credit.


Today in 2011, Frankie Ballard made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.


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