Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Kellie Pickler Blames "Jack" For Being Tongue-Tied On "Ferguson"


Kellie Pickler comes from a military family, and is a strong supporter of the troops.  But  when the country star tried to tell CBS' "Late Show with Craig Ferguson" about the places she's performed with the USO she got a little tongue-tied, which she blamed on some liquid refreshments she had earlier.


Pickler was on the show to promote the new season of "Dancing With the Stars."  She said she loves being on the ABC reality series, even though she has no background in dance.  The singer admitted that she'd been a cheerleader and took some dance classes in high school, but hasn't ever done any ballroom dancing.  Kellie added that she really benefits from the spray tans she gets before each episode.  She explained that she's so fair skinned she's practically "translucent," and if she didn't have some color added her partner Derek Hough "would look look like he was dancing by himself."  Kellie and Derek will hit the dancefloor to present a new routine on the next episode of "Dancing With the Stars," which will air on ABC on Monday.


Taylor Swift Outs Harry Styles As "Trouble"


Taylor Swift is coming clean about the identity of one of her song subjects.  The Grammy winner confirms in an interview with "The Times of London" magazine that her current hit "I Knew You Were Trouble" is about One Direction band member Harry Styles.  Taylor says she channeled her anger at her ex-boyfriend while singing the song at the BRIT Awards in February. She told the mag, "It's hard not to access that emotion when the person the song is about is standing by the side of the stage watching."  Styles was in attendance at the same show.  "I Knew You Were Trouble" is featured on Taylor's latest album "Red."  The album was released last October, around the time Taylor and Harry appeared to be developing a friendship beyond their first meeting at the Kids' Choice Awards earlier in the year.  The romance was short-lived, however, and Swift has seemingly taken a few swipes at Harry in recent performances since their split. 


Swift kicked off her "Red" tour last week.  She's scheduled to perform in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday and Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday.


Garth Brooks, George Strait Honoring Dick Clark At ACM Awards


Garth Brooks is the latest star to sign on for the Academy of Country Music Awards.  The country legend has been tapped to join George Strait for a special tribute to the late Dick Clark.  In addition, the ACM is renaming its Artist of the Decade award after Clark.  Strait and Brooks are the most recent recipients of the ACM's highest honor, which is only presented once every ten years.  Both George and Garth say they feel honored to give Clark a musical salute.  Strait credits Clark for helping "make country music accessible to a larger fan base," and says "his efforts will not be forgotten."  Brooks adds that there "may be others who have contributed as much to the music industry, but there is definitely no one that has contributed more than Dick Clark."  He calls Clark "music's best friend" as well as "a dear friend" to him.


Clark began producing the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1979.  He passed away last year, on April 18th -- less than three weeks after the 2012 ACM Awards.  This year's 48th annual ACM Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Las Vegas on April 7th.


Vince Gill Headlining Third Annual Johnny Cash Music Festival


Vince Gill is on board for this year's Johnny Cash Music Festival.  He's leading a lineup for the third annual event, which will also include Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and the Statler Brothers' Jimmy Fortune.  Johnny's sister Joanne Cash Yates will perform as well, while the country legend's brother Tommy Cash is slated to host the show.  The Johnny Cash Music Festival honors the late Man In Black while raising money for the restoration of Cash's childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas, which Arkansas State University now owns.  The 2013 Johnny Cash Music Festival is set for the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro on August 17th.  Tickets go on sale April 1st.


Arkansas Heritage Sites Director Dr. Ruth Hawkins says they've "made great progress" on the restoration project, and are now researching and looking for "the appropriate furnishing" to put into the home.  She adds that "thanks to Joanne's and Tommy's great memories," once they're finished "it's going to seem as if the Cash family has just stepped outside the door to head to church."  The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home museum is on track to open next spring.


Gary Allan Celebrates How "Every Storm" Stormed The Charts


Gary Allan says he paid close attention to "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)" as it made its way up the charts.  The country singer adds that it was the first and probably only time he'll ever monitor the progress of one of his songs.


Allan gives a lot of the credit to his promotional team.  He admits that he felt "abandoned for a while" by his label.  But he says that new management has "rejuvenated" the company, which is now giving him and his music a lot of support.


"Every Storm" topped the Billboard country singles charts last month to become Gary's first number one hit in nearly a decade.  It's also the first chart-topping hit he's had a hand in writing, and is his first single to go Platinum.  Allan celebrated the song's success with an event in Nashville on Tuesday.  At the gathering Gary received a number of awards signifying his accomplishments with the song.  "Every Storm" is the lead-off single from Allan's most recent album, "Set You Free."


Taylor Swift Enjoys Performing For Enthusiastic Crowds


Taylor Swift isn't just playing to packed houses on her "Red" tour -- she's also performing before hoards of screaming fans.  The country-pop superstar says she loves their enthusiasm, explaining that it makes the shows more fun for her.


Swift launched her "Red" tour last week, performing before a capacity crowd of 13-thousand-800 at Omaha, Nebraska's CenturyLink Center.  A write-up on last Wednesday's show in the "Omaha World-Herald" said there was an "explosion of sound" from the audience when Taylor hit the stage.  The reviewer added that "screams, whistles and cheers melded with her powerful backup band to create a relentless cacophony" throughout the first four songs of the show.  Swift continues on her trek this weekend.  Her next concert is set for Charlotte, North Carolina Friday night.


Steel Magnolia Have Split Up, But Still Touring Together


While Steel Magnolia is on the road, singer Meghan Linsey is confirming that the duo has split up -- both professionally and personally.  She tells "Country Weekly" that she and Joshua Scott Jones "basically took some time" for themselves then reconvened, and decided they could tour together.  But she says they're each working on solo projects.  Meghan says she sees it "as a positive thing."  She adds that she's "really grateful for the experience and to have had the success" they had as Steel Magnolia.  Linsey explains that she and Joshua were both pursuing solo careers before they teamed up and came to fame through CMT's "Can You Duet," and she believes they both knew all along that they would eventually go their separate ways again.  She also says she wouldn't rule out recording with Joshua again.


The two will be performing together throughout the spring and summer.  Steel Magnolia has dates booked into August.  They'll be appearing at Wild Bills in Duluth, Georgia on Friday.


Lauren Alaina Loses Personal Items In Car Break-In


Lauren Alaina is the victim of theft. says the 18-year-old country singer was on a bike ride with a friend Sunday at Chickamauga Battlefield, and when she returned to her car she discovered that someone had broken in to the vehicle.  The former "American Idol" finalist says some clothes and personal items were missing from the car.  Those with information about the incident are being asked to report what they know to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.


Lauren is the second country singer to experience a vehicle break-in over a matter of days. says Julianne Hough lost a 50-thousand-dollar watch and other jewelry worth a total of 100-thousand-dollars when someone broke into her Mercedes in Hollywood a few weeks ago.


Luke Bryan Loves Time On The Beach


Luke Bryan says he's always enjoyed spending time on the shoreline.  And the country star knows he's not alone in his love of the sand and surf.


Bryan says Panama City Beach, Florida has always been one of his favorite places.  The Gulf Coast community is only a three-hour drive from his Georgia hometown, and he recalls that when he was a kid his family would often vacation there.  Luke adds that there's "nothing like rolling the windows down and smelling the beach, salt air, all that stuff when you're rollin' into town."  Panama City Beach has become Bryan's go-to spot for his annual spring break celebrations.  He played this year's concerts at Spinnacker's last week.  A total of 120-thousand fans turned out for the two shows.


Jeff Foxworthy's "American Bible Challenge" Launching Second Season On GSN


"Redneck" comedian Jeff Foxworthy is once again putting the faithful's biblical knowledge to the test.  The second season of "The American Bible Challenge" debuts tonight on the Game Show Network. The tournament-style show features teams of contestants answering questions about people, stories, and events in the Bible in an effort to raise money for charity.  The inaugural winner earned a total of 140-thousand-dollars.  "The American Bible Challenge" launched on GSN on August 23rd, 2012 with a total of two-point-three-million people tuning in, which was the largest audience ever for a Game Show Network show.


Quick Bites


Wynonna is making another TV appearance this week.  The country star and current "Dancing With the Stars" contestant will be a guest on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday.  In addition to launching her run on the ABC reality show, Wy released her new single, "Something You Can't Live Without," this week.


The Carter's Chord family continues to grow. says singer Becky Scott is pregnant with twins.  She and her husband Jeremiah Scott expect to welcome their identical twin daughters into the world in August.  The girls will be Becky and Jeremiah's first children, but not the first babies for the group.  Becky's sister and bandmate Emily Fortney gave birth to her son, Tug, last October.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1955, Johnny Cash auditioned for Sun Records owner and producer Sam Phillips.  Phillips liked Johnny's "Hey Porter," and brought him back the next day to record the song.


Today in 1970, Elvis Presley's "Kentucky Rain" peaked at number 16 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1975, Jessi Colter's single "I'm Not Lisa" entered the charts.


Today in 1988, Hank Williams Jr. and Randy Travis were the big winners at the Academy of Country Music Awards.  Hank Jr. was named Entertainer of the Year.  Travis took the title of Top Male Vocalist, while his hit "Forever and Ever, Amen" earned Single and Song of the Year honors.  Reba McEntire, The Judds, and K.T. Oslin also took home awards.


Today in 1992, pop met country when the single "Justified & Ancient," by The KLF featuring Tammy Wynette peaked at number eleven on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1992, Alan Jackson's "Dallas" topped the "Billboard" country chart.


Today in 1993, Billy Ray Cyrus was among the winners at the Juno Awards, Canada's version of the Grammys, and Anne Murray was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1994, the video for John Michael Montgomery's song "Kickin' It Up" was released.


Today in 2000, it was announced that Faith Hill and Tim McGraw would participate in a July fundraiser for the Jackson Zoo in Jackson, Mississippi.


Today in 2000, new releases included Nickel Creek's self-titled album.


Today in 2002, Lonestar received three awards in the 13th annual American Songwriter Magazine awards,  The band took Country Artist of the Year, the hit "I'm Already There" earned Country Song of the Year honors, and lead singer Richie McDonald and co-writers Gary Baker and Frank Myers were named Country Songwriters of the Year.


Today in 2003, Tim McGraw joined rap-rocker Kid Rock to play a surprise benefit concert for the Red Cross in Detroit.


Today in 2004, Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox and his wife, Tara, welcomed their daughter, Brooklyn Leigh.


Today in 2006, Gretchen Wilson made a guest appearance on "Nashville Star."


Today in 2006, new releases included Kenny Rogers' first studio album in three years, "Water & Bridges," and Chicago's "Chicago XXX," which was produced by Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus.  Jay also co-wrote six songs for the project, and Rascal Flatts contributes vocals to one song.


Today in 2008, Carrie Underwood met hockey player Mike Fisher backstage at her concert in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  The two eventually became a couple, and were married in 2010.


Today in 2011, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood were among the performers at the "All Together Now - A Celebration Of Service" concert in Washington, DC honoring former President George H.W. Bush.


Today in 2011, Chris Young celebrated the chart-topping success of "Voices" and Luke Bryan had a party for his number one hit "Someone Else Calling You Baby" in separate events in Nashville.


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