Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Eric Church Tops 48th Annual ACM Nominations


Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift lead the list of nominees for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  Church leads the field with seven nominations including male vocalist and best album.  Hayes received six nominations, including new male vocalist and video of the year for "Wanted."  Lambert and Swift are the leading female nominees with five each.  The nominations were announced today on social media.  CBS will televise the ACM Awards live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 7th, starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Here are the list of nominees for the 48th AMC Awards:




Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Miranda Lambert

Blake Shelton

Taylor Swift




Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Eric Church

Toby Keith

Blake Shelton




Miranda Lambert

Martina McBride

Kacey Musgraves

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood




Big & Rich

Florida Georgia Line

Love and Theft


Thompson Square




The Band Perry

Eli Young Band

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

Zac Brown Band




Florida Georgia Line

Brantley Gilbert

Jana Kramer


ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]


Blown Away - Carrie Underwood (19/Arista Nashville)

Produced by: Mark Bright


Chief - Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)

Produced by:  Jay Joyce


Red - Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records)

Produced by: Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker, Dan Wilson


tailgates & tanlines - Luke Bryan (Capitol Nashville)

Produced by: Mark Bright, Jeff Stevens


Tornado - Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville)

Produced by: Jay Joyce


SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]


Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville)

Produced by: Mike Wrucke


Over You - Miranda Lambert (RCA)

Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf


Pontoon - Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville)

Produced by: Jay Joyce


Springsteen - Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)

Produced by: Jay Joyce


Wanted - Hunter Hayes (Atlantic/WMN)

Produced by: Hunter Hayes, Dann Huff


SONG OF THE YEAR [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]


A Woman Like You - Lee Brice

Composers: Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, Jon Stone

Publishers: 3JB Music (BMI), Adios Pantalones (SESAC), Hears That Skyline Music (SESAC), Sixteen Stars Music (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)


Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band

Composers: Will Hoge, Eric Paslay

Publishers: Cal IV Songs (ASCAP), Will Hoge Music (BMI)


Over You - Miranda Lambert

Composers: Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton

Publishers:  Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Sony ATV/Tree Publishing (BMI)


Springsteen - Eric Church

Composers: Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell

Publishers: Bug Music (BMI), Ole Purple Cape Music (BMI), Sinnerlina (BMI), Sony ATV/Tree Publishing (BMI)


Wanted - Hunter Hayes

Composers: Hunter Hayes, Troy Verges

Publishers:  Happy Little Man Publishing (BMI), Songs From The Engine Room (BMI), Songs Of Universal Inc. (BMI)




Rodney Clawson

Josh Kear

Luke Laird

Shane McAnally


VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award) [TIE]


Creepin' - Eric Church

Producer: Iris Baker

Director: Peter Zavadil


Merry Go 'Round - Kacey Musgraves

Producers: Perry Bean, Kacey Musgraves

Director: Perry Bean


Tornado - Little Big Town

Producer: Iris Baker

Director: Shane Drake


Wanted - Hunter Hayes

Producers: Stephanie Reeves, Eric Williams

Directors: Traci Goudie, Patrick Hubik


We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift

Producer: John Nguyen

Director:  Declan Whitebloom


The Wind - Zac Brown Band

Producer: Ben Kalina

Director:  Mike Judge


VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company] *(Off Camera Award)


Don't Rush - Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill (19/RCA/Columbia Nashville)

Produced by: Dann Huff


Easy - Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield (Big Machine Records)

Produced by: Dann Huff, Brian Kennedy, Rascal Flatts


Feel Like A Rock Star - Kenny Chesney (Duet With Tim McGraw) (Blue Chair/BNA)

Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney


Let It Rain - David Nail  Featuring Sarah Buxton (MCA Nashville)

Produced by:  Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell


The Only Way I Know - Jason Aldean With Luke Bryan & Eric Church (Broken Bow)

Produced by:  Michael Knox


Gilbert, Kramer, Florida Georgia Line Become ACM's New Artist Nominees


Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer now have his-and-hers ACM trophies.  The country couple learned Wednesday that they're both Academy of Country Music Award winners.  Brantley got the better of Lee Brice and Hunter Hayes to capture the ACM's New Male Vocalist title, while Jana surpassed Kacey Musgraves and Sunny Sweeney to be named the ACM's New Female Vocalist.  But that also means Gilbert and Kramer are now competing against each other.  With their wins, they're now nominees for New Artist of the Year.  Florida Georgia Line rounds out the category.  They beat out Thompson Square and Love And Theft for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year to advance in the event.


Balloting begins in the fan-voted category on March 25th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern at, and closes on April 7th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern -- which is when the 28th annual ACM Awards ceremony begins.  The event will air live from Las Vegas on CBS.


Florida Georgia Line Excited About ACM Win, Nominations


Florida Georgia Line is thrilled to already be an Academy of Country Music Award winner.  The duo, who made their mark last year with the hit "Cruise," got the nod for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year and are now in the running for the ACM's New Artist of the Year prize.  Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley calls the recognition "an unbelievable honor.  He says this past year has been "a whirlwind" for him and Tyler Hubbard, and they "never dreamed" that they'd "win an award or receive multiple nominations."  Hubbard adds that their fans deserve a lot of the credit, and admits that "this award and these nominations couldn't have happened" without them.  In addition to being in the running for New Artist of the Year, they're also up for Vocal Duo of the Year.  The 48th annual ACM Awards will take place in Las Vegas, and air on CBS on April 7th.


Luke Bryan's ACM Hosting Prep To Include Research On Co-Host Blake Shelton


In addition to being a nominee at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards, Luke Bryan will also be busy playing host at the event.  Bryan will share co-hosting duties with fellow nominee Blake Shelton who previously hosted the awards with Reba McEntire.  Luke says it isn't going to be easy sharing the spotlight with Blake, who is known for his spontaneous ad-libs.  But with a little prep work and insight from those who know him best, Luke says he's up for the challenge.


In addition to sharing hosting duties, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton are both nominated for Entertainer of the Year.  The category also includes Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, from whom Bryan hopes to get some insight on Blake before he tackles his role as co-host.  Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift are also nominated for Entertainer of the Year.  The 48th Annual ACM Awards will be presented April 7th in Las Vegas.  CBS will televise the event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena starting at 8:00 pm Eastern.


Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton Among Nominees For Kids' Choice Awards


Taylor Swift may never ever be getting back together with One Direction's Harry Styles, but she is competing against him.  The hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is one of three Kids' Choice Awards nominations for the country-pop superstar.  Taylor's chart-topping track is in the running for Favorite Song, along with One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" -- a song that features guest vocals from Swift.  Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and Psy's "Gangnam Style" complete the category.  Taylor is also up for Favorite Female Singer, and she has a bid in a movie category as well.  She's vying for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie for her work in the film "The Lorax."


Blake Shelton's name appears in one category.  He's facing off against Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, and Usher for Favorite Male Singer.  Meanwhile, "The Voice," where he serves as a coach, is up for Favorite Reality Show.  "American Idol," where Keith Urban is now a judge, is also a nominee.  The fan-voted Kids' Choice Awards lets the underage crowd weigh in on their favorites in entertainment and pop culture.  Categories cover sports, books, video games, and apps as well as music, movies, and TV.  Online voting begins Thursday at  The 26th annual Kids' Choice Awards will air live on Nickelodeon on March 23rd.


Country-related categories for the 26th annual Kids' Choice Awards follow


Favorite Male Singer

Justin Bieber

Bruno Mars

Blake Shelton



Favorite Female Singer


Katy Perry


Taylor Swift


Favorite Song

"Call Me Maybe" (Carly Rae Jepsen)

"Gangnam Style" (PSY)

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (Taylor Swift)

"What Makes You Beautiful" (One Direction)


Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie

Chris Rock (Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted)

Adam Sandler (Hotel Transylvania)

Ben Stiller (Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted)

Taylor Swift (The Lorax)


Favorite Reality Show

America's Got Talent

American Idol

The Voice



Reba, Chris Young Talk Relationships, "Nashville's" Connie Britton Talks Reba


Reba McEntire knows what it takes to have a successful marriage.  The country star and her husband Narvel Blackstock will be celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary this June.  But Reba tells ABC's "Katie" she doesn't plan to share any of her wisdom with Kelly Clarkson, who's engaged to Narvel's son Brandon -- at least not in any sort of direct way.


The talk show's "Katie Goes Country" episode also featured Chris Young, who says he's gets relationship pressures from his family.  The 27-year-old star recalls that over the holidays his grandmother was "so smooth," and "is like, 'Gettin' anybody a ring anytime soon?'"  But the single singer isn't lacking for female companionship.  He admits that with songs like "Gettin' You Home" his songs definitely appeal to women.


"Nashville" star Connie Britton was a guest as well.  She discussed her character, Rayna Jaymes, who's weathering personal storms on the show.  But she says it's pure fiction, and not about any actual country star.  Britton recalls Reba once said she'd read that Rayne was based on her, but Connie told her that isn't the case.  She adds that Reba has been "so supportive and wonderful," and any part of Rayna that has been inspired by Reba "would only be good."  "Nashville" airs on ABC on Wednesday nights.


Band Perry Members Are Romantics, Admit Career Poses Relationship Challenges


The Band Perry's Kimberly, Reid, and Neil Perry all describe themselves as more of a romantic than a realist.  But Kimberly admits that a country music career doesn't always make it easy to have a relationship.


Kimberly adds that she'd describe herself as "75-percent hopeless romantic, 25-percent realist."  Reid says he's primarily an optimist as well, but not quite as much as his sister.  But Neil admits that he enjoys "the drama," and says he's absolutely a "100-percent hopeless romantic."  The Band Perry is currently having success with a song about a rather obsessive romantic.  "Better Dig Two" is currently topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.


Alan Jackson Says Wife Denise Continues To Inspire


Country music superstar Alan Jackson need not look far for inspiration for his songs, especially those about love.  Jackson says his wife - and Valentine - Denise has always been an inspiration for his music.  Alan says he expects more songs will come out of their relationship in future songwriting sessions.


Alan and Denise have been married for more than 30 years.  The couple has had their share of ups and downs but have remained together through it all.  Jackson references their relationship in a number of his songs, including "She Likes It Too" and "Remember When." 


Scotty McCreery Launching First Headlining Tour


Scotty McCreery is heading out on his first headlining tour.  The former "American Idol" winner will make more than 20 stops on his "Weekend Roadtrip."  The trek's name reflects the singer's current lifestyle, which involves maintaining his career by playing shows on the weekend while he continues his education at North Carolina State University.  Scotty will kick off the trek with a concert in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Thursday night.  He has shows booked through mid-May.  Scotty's sets will include the hits "The Trouble With Girls", "Water Tower Town," and "I Love You This Big," along with other material from his debut album, "Clear As Day,"  He'll also pepper in some cover tunes and preview some new music from his upcoming sophomore album.


Scotty McCreery's "Weekend Roadtrip" Tour Dates


February 14 - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center

February 15 - Niagara Falls, New York, at the Rapids Theater

February 16 - Atlantic City, New Jersey, Golden Nugget

February 21 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at STAGE AE

February 22 - Dover, Delaware, at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino

February 23 - Charleston, West Virginia, at the Clay Center for the Arts

March 8 - Plant City, Florida, at the Florida Strawberry Festival

March 9 - Kansas City, Missouri, at the Uptown Theater

March 23 - Katy, Texas, at the Katy Crawfish Festival

March 28 - Aurora, Illinois, at the Paramount Arts Center

March 29 - Prior Lake, Minnesota, at Mystic Lake Casino

March 30 - Merrillville, Indiana, at the Star Plaza Theater

April 18 - Albany, New York, at the Palace Theater Albany

April 19 - Wallingford, Connecticut, at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theater

April 20 - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, at the F.M. Kirby Center

April 26 - Robinsonville, Mississippi, at the Horseshoe Casino Tunica

April 27 - Biloxi, Mississippi, at the MS Coast Colisum Crawfish Festival

May 10 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at the American Music Theater

May 11 - Hampton, New Hampshire. at the Casino Ballroom

May 12 - Morristown, New Jersey, at the Mayo Performing Arts Center

May 13 - Red Bank, New Jersey, at the Count Basie Theater

May 17 - Elizabeth, Indiana, at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana


Tim McGraw Tops Country Chart, Number Two On Billboard 200


Tim McGraw is leading the way on the new Country Albums chart with his latest effort, "Two Lanes Of Freedom." says fans picked up 107-thousand copies of the disc in its first week out to propel it to the top spot on the chart.  But Tim is falling a little short on the all-genre Billboard 200.  He's entering that list at number two behind Josh Groban.  Groban's new release, "All That Echoes," saw sales of 145-thousand last week to easily land at number one.


"Two Lanes Of Freedom" is McGraw's first album under his new contract with Big Machine Records.  The set features the hit singles "One Of Those Nights" and "Truck Yeah."  It's Tim's 14th Country Albums chart-topper, and marks his 15th time in the top ten on the Billboard 200.



Quick Bite


Brad Paisley is revealing details about his upcoming album, "Wheelhouse."  The interactive process at unveils the cover art, an interview with Brad, and other special items.  "Wheelhouse," featuring the hit "Southern Comfort Zone," will be in stores on April 9th.


Country Birthdays Include


Razzy Bailey is 74.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1973, Patsy Cline's "Greatest Hits" album was released.


Today in 1973, Johnny Cash's film "Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus" premiered in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Today in 1988, Kathy Mattea married songwriter Jon Vezner, who co-wrote her Grammy-winning hit "Where've You Been."


Today in 1995, Trisha Yearwood's "Thinkin' About You" album was released.


Today in 1997, Ty England and his wife, Shanna, welcomed their third child, Levi Wyatt, into the world.


Today in 1998, Hal Ketchum and makeup artist Gina Pacconi tied the knot on Valentine's Day in Austin, TX. Hal's hits include "Small Town Saturday Night" and "Past the Point of Rescue."


Today in 2001, Emily Robison and Amy Grant were contestants on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," while Jo Dee Messina was on "Hollywood Squares."


Today in 2002, Steve Holy was in Newport News, Virginia, to help 40 couples get hitched in a mass Valentine's Day ceremony.  As the lovebirds said, "I do," they took their first dance as newlyweds while Steve performed "Good Morning Beautiful."


Today in 2002, Alan Jackson's album "Drive" was certified double-Platinum for sales surpassing the two-million mark -- just one month after its release.


Today in 2006, Dierks Bentley shot the video for the song "Settle for a Slowdown" in Los Angeles.

Today in 2006, Ronnie Milsap was honored with Country Radio Broadcaster's Career Achievement Award At the 37th annual Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.  Joe Nichols and Phil Vassar performed at the event.


Today in 2007, Danielle Peck performed at a mass Valentine's Day wedding of 50 couples in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


Today in 2007, Clint Black and his wife, Lisa Hartman Black, were guests on "Dr. Phil's" television show. They sang their duet "When I Said I Do" from Clint's new album "The Love Songs."


Today in 2010, Gretchen Wilson sang the national anthem at the start of the 2010 NBC All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


Today in 2010, Tim McGraw played a pre-race concert at the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida.


Today in 2010, Trace Adkins cancelled his concert in Pensacola, Florida.  A day earlier his tour bus had been involved in a fatal accident in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.  Trace wasn't on the bus at the time of the crash.  He was touring with Martina McBride, who still performed as scheduled.


Today in 2011, Gary Allan made his concert comeback with a performance at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.  It was his first show since undergoing vocal cord surgery three months earlier.


Today in 2012, Carrie Underwood's clip to the song "Before He Cheats" was named Best Cheating Video while "Cowboy Casanova" got the nod for Best Use of Lingerie in the CMT Teddy Awards.  Chris Young, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, and Lauren Alaina also received recognition in the Valentine's Day special.


Today in 2012, Dierks Bentley's CD "Home" debuted at number one on the Country Albums chart.


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