Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

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Lady A's Hillary Scott Says Pregnancy Is Going Well

 

Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott says things are going very well with her pregnancy.  The country singer tells Minneapolis' BUZ*N@102.9 she hasn't "been sick at all," but she's been "really, really tired" and "just sleeping a lot."  She adds that she's noticed her eating habits have changed.  Hillary explains that these days just the thought of ice cream makes her "gag," but that's something she's hoping "continues post-baby."  Scott says overall it's been a really exciting time between the baby and Lady A's new music.

 

The group announced Hillary's pregnancy last month, and unveiled their new single, "Downtown," last week.  Lady A will be performing the song as Monday's musical guest on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

 

Jake Owen Visits Dad In Minnesota Hospital

 

Jake Owen's dad has cancer.  But the country star says his father is "doing great" in his fight against the disease.  Jake posted a photo on his Facebook page Friday of him with his father, with a caption saying he paid his dad a surprise visit at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  He adds that he sends his "love to all that have dealt with Cancer."  The singer's father is recovering after having surgery on his neck.

 

Dierks Bentley Calls Performing At Grammys "Most Awesome"

 

Dierks Bentley says there's only one way to describe getting the chance to perform at the Grammys -- "most awesome."

 

Bentley is finally getting his opportunity this year.  He'll be making his Grammy performance debut at next month's ceremony.  The country singer says he'd love to play his nominated song "Home" at the event, but that might not happen.  Dierks is slated to team up with Miranda Lambert, and just what they'll do together hasn't been revealed yet.  The 55th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles and air on CBS on February 10th.

 

Harry Styles, Taylor Swift Avoid Each Other During NRJ Awards

 

It looks like the rumors that Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are reconciling aren't true.  The stars, who ended their short romance earlier this month, both showed up at the French NRJ Awards in Cannes on Saturday -- but managed to stay out of each other's way.  A source tells "Us Weekly" that their appearances were "carefully timed" to avoid "a big media circus."  Apparently Taylor changed into her stage outfit at the hotel because she didn't want to have an awkward run-in with the One Direction singer backstage.  The British boy band and Swift also spaced out their red carpet appearances, leaving 25 minutes between each other so that they wouldn't cross paths.  Taylor was among the performers at the event.  She sang her hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" during the ceremony.

 

Taylor and Harry were rumored to be getting back together after the country star flew to London last week.  Sources are now telling the magazine that the breakup is "definitely going to be for good" this time.

 

Tim McGraw Describes New Album As "Fresh, Optimistic"

 

Tim McGraw says his new album is very upbeat.  The country star tells Billboard.com that while there are some tracks on "Two Lanes Of Freedom" that "aren't necessarily optimistic," he says "as a whole, sonically, this album has a real fresh, optimistic sound to it."  "Two Lanes Of Freedom" is McGraw's follow up to "Emotional Traffic," and is his first album under his new record deal with Big Machine.  The disc features guest vocals from Taylor Swift and guitar work from Keith Urban on the song "The Highway Don't Care," while "Billboard" points to the track "Number 37405" as another highlight.  McGraw's hit "Truck Yeah" and his current single "One Of Those Nights" are also on the disc, and fans can hear an exclusive preview of the title track on Billboard.com.  "Two Lanes Of Freedom" will be in stores on February 5th.

 

Sheryl Crow's Next Release To Be Her First Official Country Album

 

Sheryl Crow is making her first official country album.  The singer-songwriter admits it's not much of a stretch for her.  She says she believes many of her songs "would probably be played on country radio if they were just being released."  Sheryl adds that it's been an easy transition for her, saying "the country music community has been incredibly welcoming."  Crow's upcoming album will be her follow up to her 2010 disc, "100 Miles From Memphis."  She debuted the song "Easy," the lead-off single from the still-untitled project, as the musical guest on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last week.

 

Lady Antebellum Enjoy The "Swagger" Of New Single

 

Lady Antebellum is enjoying their new single, "Downtown."  The trio's Dave Haywood says they really like the song's attitude.

 

"Downtown" is the lead-off single from Lady A's next album, which is expected to be released later this year.  The group will give the performance debut of "Downtown" on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Monday night.

 

Gary Allan Shares History With "Every Storm" Co-Writer

 

Gary Allan is seeing great success with his current single, "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)," a song he wrote with Hillary Lindsey and Matt Warren.  Gary says he used to work with Matt in a different capacity, which wasn't quite as successful.

 

Gary and Matt also penned Allan's 2008 hit "Learning How to Bend" with James LeBlanc, but "Every Storm" has become a bigger song for Gary.  It's the fastest-rising single of his career, and the song's popularity prompted Allan's label to rush release his new album, "Set You Free."  The CD arrived in stores last week, and it's on track to become Gary's first number one on the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart.  The list will be revealed on Wednesday.

 

Chesney Tour Prompts Change Of Plans For Eric Church

 

Eric Church admits he wasn't intending to be very active this year.  But the country star says the invitation to tour with Kenny Chesney prompted a change of plans.

 

Church explains that he wanted to "take the year off" because he feels he needs "a separation point from the kind of record 'Chief' was as big as it was," and wants some time time to figure how to "go to what's next."  Chesney's tour isn't the only road work Eric has coming up.  He'll launch a 15-date Canadian tour in Abbotsford, British Columbia on Thursday.  Church will make his first appearance on Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" trek in Tampa on March 16th.

 

Country Birthdays Include

 

Ricochet bassist Greg Cook is 48.

 

 

Today In Country Music History

 

Today in 1956, Elvis Presley made his first TV appearance on "The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show."  Elvis sang "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Heartbreak Hotel" and caused a sensation while swinging his hips.

 

Today in 1985, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers were among the 46 stars who assembled in a Hollywood studio after the American Music Awards to record the African famine relief single, "We Are the World."  Sales of the single raised millions for starving people in Ethiopia.

 

Today in 1985, the album "40 Hour Week" by Alabama was released.

 

Today in 1994, John Michael Montgomery hit number one with "I Swear."

 

Today in 1995, Alan Jackson hit number one with "Gone Country."

 

Today in 1998, Tracy Lawrence was convicted of battery stemming from a quarrel in September with his then-wife, Stacie.  As a result of the conviction, he was sentenced to pay 500-dollars to a Las Vegas shelter for battered women.

 

Today in 2002, Alan Jackson's album "Drive" made "Billboard" Internet chart history with the highest unit sales debut for a country album.  The project not only topped the "Billboard" 200 and Top Country Albums charts, but it was also at number one on the "Top Internet Albums Sales" chart.  "Drive's" accomplishments gave Alan his highest week of album sales ever.

 

Today in 2004, Alan Jackson's single "Remember When" became his 31st number one hit.

 

Today in 2007, Diamond Rio's Team Rio met at Nashville's Crockett Park to train for the Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon.

 

Today in 2008, Phil Stacey began writing for the weekly blog "Idol Chatter" on USAToday.com, in which the singer shared personal stories about recording his album, life on the road, and his family.

 

Today in 2008, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and their daughters went on a shopping spree in Los Angeles.  Hill and the girls shopped at the women's boutique at the Lisa Kline store, while McGraw was on a quest for denim and purchased a pair of William Rast pants.

 

Today in 2008, country stars were well represented on TV, with Dierks Bentley on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Joe Nichols visiting "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," and Deana Carter on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."

 

Today in 2009, Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery had to miss the party in honor of the duo's chart-topping success with the hit "Roll With Me."  Montgomery was snowed in at his home in Lexington, Kentucky, and couldn't get to Nashville for the celebration.

 

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