Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Big CMT Awards Night For Underwood, Lambert, Florida Georgia Line


For a second consecutive year Carrie Underwood is walking away with the top prize at the CMT Music Awards.  The country singer's hit "Blown Away" was named Video of the Year at Wednesday night's event.  Carrie had a lot of people to thank as she accepted the award.


Underwood also played a special role in the ceremony, taking the stage for a tribute performance of her current single, "See You Again," for those recovering from the recent tornadoes in her home state of Oklahoma.  But it was also a big night for Miranda Lambert.  In addition to performing and accepting the Male Vocalist prize on behalf of husband Blake Shelton, she captured two buckles including her fourth straight Female Video of the Year award.  Florida Georgia Line is a two-time winner as well, taking honors for Breakthrough and Duo Video of the Year.  They also provided the night's finale, performing their hit "Cruise" with rapper Nelly.


The night featured a few other collaborations as well.  Host Jason Aldean joined rocker Lenny Kravitz to launch the ceremony, while Keith Urban shared the stage with Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum performed with Darius Rucker.  In addition, Aldean sang a less formal duet with co-host Kristen Bell, while Sheryl Crow and Kenny Rogers included a refrain in their presentation of the night's final award.  Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes, and Luke Bryan also performed, while "American Idol" finalist Kree Harrison made her award show debut.  The event also gave a nod to the late George Jones, which included The Mavericks cover of "The Race Is On."  The fan-voted 2013 CMT Music Awards took place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, and aired live on CMT.


Winners from the 2013 CMT Music Awards


Video of the Year:

Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away"


Male Video of the Year:

Blake Shelton, "Sure Be Cool If You Did"


Female Video of the Year:

Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart"


Group Video of the Year:

Lady Antebellum, "Downtown"


Duo Video of the Year:

Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"


Breakthrough Video of the Year:

Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"


Collaborative Video of the Year:

Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church, "The Only Way I Know" (from the 2012 CMA Music Awards)


CMT Performance of the Year:

Miranda Lambert, "Over You" (from the "2012 CMT Artists of the Year" special)


Nationwide Insurance On Your Side Best New Live Act:

Hunter Hayes


Florida Georgia Line "On Cloud 9" Over "Unreal" CMT Awards


Florida Georgia Line is using Twitter to thank their followers for their success at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards.  After taking two categories at the fan-voted event, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard tweeted, "Wow!!! You all have blown us away.  Love ya'll."  An hour later they added, "Unreal night!!!! All because of you guys.  On Cloud 9 right now."  Florida Georgia Line entered the ceremony a three-time nominee.  They took home buckles for Breakthrough and Duo Video of the Year with their hit "Cruise," which was also up for Video of the Year.  But Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" earned the night's top prize.  In addition to collecting their awards, Brian and Tyler also took the stage at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena for the event's finale, teaming up with rapper Nelly to perform the collaborative remake of their award-winning hit.


Sara Evans Kicking Off CMA Fest This Morning


Sara Evan is set to officially launch the 2013 CMA Music Festival.  The country star will get things under way with the traditional kick off concert at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage this morning at 10:00 a.m. local time.  The four-day event brings thousands of country music fans to Nashville for a long weekend of fun and music, including concerts, meet-and-greets, fan club parties, charity events, demonstrations, and other activities.  Lady Antebellum will open the new Fan Fair X, while the Marshall Tucker Band will be making their CMA Fest debut as the inaugural performer on the new Transitions Performance Park stage.  Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, and Eric Church are some of the stars who'll be performing the first of the event's four Nightly Concerts at LP Field.  And Florida Georgia Line, Gloriana, Lonestar, Ronnie Dunn, Justin Moore, and Tate Stevens are just a few of the many other artists who'll be on hand to meet fans on Thursday.


The 2013 CMA Music Festival takes over downtown Nashville, with shows and events taking place through Sunday at various locations throughout the area.  Performance schedules and other details are available at


Lady A Appreciates Unique Relationship Between Country Stars, Fans


Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley says he really likes the CMA Music Festival.  The singer explains that it illustrates the bond country artists have with their followers.

Lady Antebellum will be meeting with their fans at the CMA Music Festival today.  The group will help open the new Fan Fair X area with their "Lady A Day at FFX" event.  The trio will meet fans at their own custom booth, while Charles will be taking on all challengers in ping pong to raise money for their LadyAID charity.


Casey James Hosts Frisbee Golf Tournament For Charity


Casey James says he's pleased with how things went with his Frisbee Golf Tournament.  The country singer explains they did what they could to make sure anyone could participate in the charity event.


James adds that he appreciates all the support he received from everyone who turned out for the event, which supported Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.  Casey held his Frisbee Golf Tournament at The Fontanel in Nashville Wednesday morning.  It was just one of many charity events taking place throughout the week in conjunction with the 2013 CMA Music Festival.


Steve Wariner Co-Hosting Opry's Guitars Of The Stars Event


Steve Wariner will be helping the Grand Ole Opry raise some money for charity today.  The country star will join "Nashville" star Jonathan Jackson, who plays Avery on the ABC drama, in hosting the Opry's 5th annual Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction.  The fundraiser features acoustic guitars going up for bid that have been decorated by different country artists.  Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson, and Carrie Underwood are some of the stars putting their visual artwork on display with the instruments, along with Little Big Town, Alabama, Kellie Pickler, and Lauren Alaina.  Design themes run the gamut, with the stars celebrating their music, their hobbies, and their heroes on the instruments.  In addition to hosting the auction, Wariner and Jackson will also perform at the event.


The 5th annual Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction is one of many CMA Music Festival events taking place Thursday.  Money raised through the auction will go to the Opry Trust Fund, which supports country musicians in need.


Kellie Pickler Enjoys Her Opry Homecoming


Kellie Pickler says she always appreciates getting the chance to appear on the Grand Ole Opry.  The country star played the Opry Tuesday night, making her return following her run on "Dancing With the Stars."  Kellie says the show meant a lot to her.


Pickler's "Dancing" partner Derek Hough joined her for her Opry homecoming, which included a backstage party in her honor.  Kellie says she's always held the Opry in high esteem.  She recalls that her grandfather took her to her first Opry show just a few years before she made her Opry debut.  Pickler says she soaked up every moment she had on the stage.  She explains that she wanted to make the experience very special, just in case it turned out to be her only Opry appearance.


Blake Shelton's Takes Aim At Music Critic Over "Voice" Elimination


Blake Shelton is raising eyebrows for cutting loose on the criticism over the elimination of his "Voice" team contestant Holly Tucker.  "Houston Chronicle" music critic Joey Guerra said "It took much too long" for Tucker to be ousted.  But it didn't take Shelton long to respond.  Amid other unrepeatable phrases and suggestions targeting Guerra, the "Voice" coach raised his voice on Twitter saying, said the music critic made him "sick."  In a follow up tweet Shelton apologized for "going off," explaining himself as "passionate about encouraging young people to follow their dreams."  Guerra responded saying he was "honestly shocked at the nastiness" of Shelton's responses and the responses of people on Twitter, which he says has included death threats. 


He also noted that he did commend Holly on a performance a few weeks ago, adding that his job "is to be a music critic, good and bad."  Shelton's fellow "Voice" coach Adam Levine took some heat last week when he muttered the words "I hate this country" after two of his contestants were sent packing from the NBC singing competition.  The Maroon 5 singer had to explain he was joking after social media lit up with users calling for him to be fired from the show. 


Blake Shelton's Album Returns To Top Ten


Blake Shelton is seeing other returns from his Oklahoma tornado benefit concert last week.  His latest album, "Based on a True Story...," had a 69-percent sales boost last week, which is attributing in part to the charity event.  The website says Shelton also helped his album with his performance of the hit "Boys 'Round Here" last week on "The Voice."  The disc is returning to the top ten, climbing from number 16 to number five on sales of 42-thousand.  Shelton's "Healing in the Heartland" benefit concert raised more than six-million dollars for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.


Shelton's single is also back in the top ten.  The 147-thousand downloads of "Boys 'Round Here" is a 36-percent increase from the previous week to give the song the number nine spot on the Digital Songs chart.


Country TV Today And Tonight


HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) LeAnn Rimes, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, and Justin Moore are among the stars included in a rundown of this week's events in country music.


Country Birthdays Include


Joe Stampley is 70.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1980, the Gatlin Brothers' "Straight Ahead" album was certified Gold.


Today in 1981, "Elvira" by Oak Ridge Boys entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1997, LeAnn Rimes' single "How Do I Live" was released.


Today in 2000, Lee Ann Womack made her debut appearance on NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."


Today in 2000, Rascal Flatts' self-titled debut disc and Ronnie Milsap's "40 #1 Hits" arrived in stores.  In addition, Trisha Yearwood's song "For Only You" was released as part of the soundtrack from the hit HBO series "Sex And The City."


Today in 2000, it was announced that AOL subscribers had dubbed Lonestar's "Amazed" as the "Top Love Song of All Time."


Today in 2001, it was announced that Vince Gill would be the recipient of the second annual "Country Weekly" Career Achievement Award at the TNN & CMT "Country Weekly" Awards.


Today in 2001, Travis Tritt's home state of Georgia announced plans to honor him by renaming a three mile section of Highway 92 "Travis Tritt Highway." 


Today in 2004, Trick Pony's Heidi Newfield and her hubby Bill Johnson said their "I do's" in an oceanfront ceremony in Destin, Florida.


Today in 2005, Lonestar hosted the Lonestar & Friends Strike Out For The Kids charity bowling event.  Big & Rich's John Rich, Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry, Tracy Lawrence, Trick Pony's Ira Dean and Keith Burns, and Cowboy Troy were among the "Friends" who participated.  The event was held at Hermitage Lanes in Nashville.


Today in 2005, Sammy Kershaw and Lorrie Morgan headlined a show in support of the Lymphatic Research Foundation at Nashville's Wildhorse saloon.


Today in 2005, Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar" and his duet with Willie Nelson, "Beer For My Horses," as well as Sugarland's "Baby Girl" were all certified Gold.


Today in 2006, Craig Morgan underwent surgery to repair damage done to his leg while competing in a motorcycle race weeks earlier.  After his release from the hospital, the singer made an appearance at his fan club party and performed at the CMA Music Fest.


Today in 2006, Jack Ingram and wife Amy welcomed their third child, Hudson Turner. 


Today in 2006, Chely Wright hosted her 6th annual Reading, Writing and Rhythm Benefit concert at the Wildhorse Saloon. Wynonna, Julie Roberts, Little Big Town and Keith Anderson performed.


Today in 2006, Josh Gracin returned to his home state of Michigan to perform the national anthem at Michigan International Speedway prior to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series 3M Performance 400.


Today in 2006, new releases included Danielle Peck's debut album; a DVD of the Broadway musical "South Pacific" starring Reba McEntire, taped during a Carnegie Hall benefit event a year earlier; and the "Cars" soundtrack, featuring Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts.


Today in 2007, Darryl Worley served as Grand Marshall of the 3rd annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade through Nashville, which also featured Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, Blue County, Jason Michael Carroll, Chris Young, Angela Hacker and her brother Zac.  After the hour-long parade, Worley, Carroll, and Angela Hacker joined Cowboy Troy, Mark Chesnutt, and others to perform at the Second Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party.


Today in 2007, various country stars hosted charity events in conjunction with the CMA Music Fest.  Little Big Town held its Ride for the Cure in support of the T.J. Martell Foundation.  Clay Walker hosted "Country Weekly" magazine's benefit Fashion Show, featuring Darryl Worley, Tanya Tucker, Lonestar, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Neal McCoy, Trent Willmon, Chris Young Danielle Peck, and Catherine Britt.  That event raised money and awareness for the charity Musicians On Call.


Today in 2007, Bill Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens were special guests at Brad Paisley's fan club party at the CMA Music Fest.


Today in 2007, Rascal Flatts, Aaron Tippin, SHeDAISY, Trent Tomlinson, Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington, Lari White, and Sarah Buxton were among those who stopped by the Country Music Hall of Fame to help their label, Lyric Street Records, celebrate its 10th birthday.


Today in 2007, Cowboy Troy announced that he and his wife were the proud parents of three new boys, triplets Riley, Reese and Reagan.


Today in 2007, Emerson Drive's "Moments" hit number one on the "Country Aircheck" singles chart.


Today in 2010, Trace Adkins received the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution's DAR Medal of Honor for his patriotism, leadership, and humanitarian work in a private ceremony in Brentwood, Tennessee.


Today in 2010, Chely Wright performed at the 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards will take place in San Francisco.


Today in 2011, Darius Rucker hosted his "Darius and Friends" fundraising concert for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann, Justin Moore, and Rodney Atkins were among those who took part in the event, which was staged at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.


Today in 2012, Carrie Underwood was the big winner at the 2012 CMT Music Awards, taking two awards including VIdeo of the Year for the hit "Good Girl."


Today in 2012, Montgomery Gentry played the kickoff concert to officially launch the 2012 CMA Music Festival in Nashville.


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