Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Keith Urban Skips Oscar Events For Australian Performance


Keith Urban says he was happy to spend his weekend in his homeland.  The Australian-raised country star was in Adelaide on Sunday to perform at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars Championship Series.  After the event he tweeted that he was "so happy to be back down under," adding that his fans in Adelaide kept his "heart racing allll nite."  Britain's "Daily Mail" says Keith's wife Nicole Kidman didn't accompany the singer on his trip, but stayed in the U.S. to take part in festivities surrounding the Oscars.  Keith and Nicole were among the many co-chairs of the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 22nd Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, which took place at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles on Sunday.


Taylor Swift, Harry Styles Reunite At Pre-Oscars Party


Former couple Taylor Swift and Harry Styles may have had a run-in over the weekend.  UK's "Daily Mail" says the country star and the One Direction singer were seen together at The Weinstein Company's pre-Oscar party in Hollywood on Saturday.  A source tells the site that Taylor and Harry were "having a civil conversation" at one point in the night, although they were seated at separate tables.  The insider adds that the two "looked totally fine considering all their history." 


It's one of the first times they've crossed paths since last year's MTV Video Music Awards, where Taylor was rumored to have dissed Harry while accepting an award for "I Knew You Were Trouble" -- a song that's said to have been written about him.


Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert Buy A Nashville Home


Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are giving themselves a more permanent presence in Music City.  Lambert tells she and Blake "just bought a house" in the Nashville area, "outside of town."  She explains that they used to maintain a condo in Nashville, but they wanted to "kinda put roots down" because they're "always going to be in Nashville."  But Lambert adds that they aren't giving up their Oklahoma home, which is where she says they live "full time."  The country couple also leases a home in Los Angeles when Shelton is working on "The Voice." 


Shelton is one of the original coaches on the NBC reality series, which just began its sixth season last week.  This time around Lambert is involved with the show as well.  She'll be serving as an advisor to Team Shakira.  Miranda says she enjoys going out to L.A. at this time of the year, when it's "snowing and sleeting" in Oklahoma but "sunny and 75" in Southern California.


Charlie Daniels To Host "Scholarships For Heroes" Concert


Charlie Daniels will once again take the stage in support of the troops.  The veteran Southern rocker-country star is making plans for his 5th annual Copperweld Charlie Daniels' Scholarship for Heroes concert.  A number of other country artists are also on board for the show, including Clint Black, Kellie Pickler, and The Grascals.  The event is raising money for the singer's Scholarship for Heroes Fund, and supports Lipscomb University's Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program for eligible military families attending the Nashville school.  Lipscomb University's Allen Arena will host the benefit on March 25th.


Luke Bryan: Concerts Driven By Fans


Luke Bryan is having a great year playing to sold out crowds. Later in the year the singer will entertain in stadiums, a new headlining feat for him. Luke says making the decision to go into stadiums wasn’t easy, and he went mostly on gut feelings, listening to his fans and watching ticket demand at his shows last year.


Luke says he and his band love sitting on the bus after a show talking about how they can make the show a better experience for fans. The singer says they try to do bigger and better so fans will come back the next year.  Following last night's scheduled performance in St. Paul, Minnesota, Luke will be in Memphis on Friday at the FedEx Forum and at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, Louisiana on Saturday.


Country Stars Teaming With Doobie Brothers On Collaboration Album


Country stars are joining the Doobie Brothers for the classic rockers' next album.  The project which will also feature the band's former frontman Michael McDonald, will include collaborative remakes of some of the Doobie Brothers' biggest hits.  Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Sara Evans, and Chris Young are on board, along with the Zac Brown Band, Jerrod Niemann, Love and Theft, and others.  A track listing for the set hasn't been announced yet.  The Doobie's hits include the chart-toppers "Black Water" and "What A Fool Believes," as well as "China Grove, "Minute By Minute," "Long Train Runnin' " Takin' It To The Streets," and more.  The Doobie Brothers' country collaboration album is expected to be released later this year.


Florida Georgia Line Grateful For Nelly Collaboration


Florida Georgia Line is crediting their collaborative remix of "Cruise" with Nelly for attracting a broader group of listeners to their music.  The duo's Brian Kelley tells the Canadian Press that their concerts now draw "tons of different people," including "a lot of different ages and a lot of different colors."  Tyler Hubbard adds that the pairing was natural.  He explains that Nelly is "a country boy" who's "a big fan" of Florida Georgia Line, while he and Brian have "been big fans of him forever."  Tyler also says they've now become really good friends, and they expect to welcome Nelly to some Florida Georgia Line concerts this summer.


Dierks Bentley Describes Dad's Influence, Love Of Country Music


Dierks Bentley says his father was a big country music fan.  The singer tells his dad really appreciated "the simplicity of it," explaining he "loved that even if you didn't know a song, you could almost guess the next line" and "could always be singing along."  Dierks adds that in launching his own country music career he learned that it's "really hard to make it look that easy."  Bentley says that one of his dad's favorite songs was Dierks' 2003 single "My Last Name."  He recalls trying to create a bluegrass version of the song, and how his dad "did not like that at all.  He liked the original."  Dierks adds that his dad "was right."


Bentley says he can really hear his dad in four tracks in particular on his latest album, "Riser."  He says "Here on Earth," "Bourbon in Kentucky," "Damn These Dreams," and his current single, "I Hold On" aren't specifically about his father, but they remind him of his dad.  The singer explains that he didn't include any songs that are directly about his father because "that would've been too dark," and his dad "wouldn't have wanted that."  Bentley has said two major life events -- the death of his father and the birth of his son -- influenced "Riser," which is in stores now.


Jerrod Niemann Toasts His "Drink" Song


errod Niemann says he wasn't exactly sold on the idea of recording the song "Drink To That All Night" when songwriter pal Lance Miller first pitched it to him.


But his mind was quickly changed after he heard the song and he's now glad he decided to record it.  Niemann says "Drink To That All Night" is the kind of song that make him want to be in the same place he's singing about.  The song was the first single to be released from Niemann's upcoming album "High Noon," which is due out on March 25th.


Sarah Davidson Talks The Reality Of "Nashville Wives"


Sarah Davidson of the TNT series "Private Lives of Nashville Wives" says the  women on the show aim to present the city in a good light.


Sarah says people shouldn't get confused by her series and the ABC series "Nashville."  While the ABC drama features actors playing entertainers and songwriters, "Nashville Wives" is about real singers and songwriters striving to make it in the business.  A new episode of "Private Lives of Nashville Wives" airs tonight on TNT at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Country Birthdays Include


Johnny and June Carter Cash's son John Carter Cash is 44.

The Warren Brothers' Brett Warren is 43.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1963, Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Cowboy Copas played what became their final concert, taking part in a benefit event in Kansas City, Kansas.  The three country stars were killed in a plane crash two days later.


Today in 1980, the "What Goes Around" album by Waylon Jennings was certified Gold.


Today in 1986, Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc." album was released.


Today in 1994, "First Time For Everything" album by Little Texas was certified Gold.


Today in 1995, Tracy Lawrence hit number one on the charts with "As Any Fool Can See."


Today in 2000, Montgomery Gentry made their Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 2000, Tracy Lawrence's album "Time Marches On" was certified double Platinum, while John Michael Montgomery's "What I Do The Best" album was certified Platinum.


Today in 2002, George Strait performed at the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas, which was the last concert to be staged at the venue.  The Astrodome was torn down to make way for a new venue.


Today in 2002, Songwriter Harlan Howard died.  He penned more than four-thousand songs, including "I Fall To Pieces" and "Heartaches by the Number."  Howard was 72.


Today in 2004, Rascal Flatts was presented with double Platinum certifications for their album "Melt" and DVD "Rascal Flatts Live" during a performance at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.


Today in 2006, Dwight Yoakam hosted the Lil' Ole Oscar Hayride at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles a few days before the Academy Awards ceremony.


Today in 2009, Merle Haggard received the Career Achievement Award at the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Nashville.  The event took place in conjunction with the 2009 Country Radio Seminar.


Today in 2010, Darryl Worley was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center in his hometown of Savannah, Tennessee.


Today in 2012, Luke Bryan made his RodeoHouston debut.


Today in 2013, Ronnie Dunn and the late Roger Miller were among the inductees into the Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association Hall of Fame, along with The Crickets' Sonny Curtis.  Jack Ingram, Larry Gatlin, and Toby Keith -- who was made an Honorary Texan at the event -- were among those who took part in the ceremony in Austin, Texas.


Today in 2013, Trace Adkins began his winning run on NBC's "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice."


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