Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Jason Aldean To Make Announcement On "GMA"


Jason Aldean is getting ready to make his "big announcement."  The country star will be revealing his plans with an appearance today on ABC's "Good Morning America."  He'll also perform his latest single, "When She Says Baby," on the show.  Aldean has been teasing his upcoming announcement via Twitter.  Throughout the week he's posted different picture "clues," with images including a box of matches, a bonfire, a trio of burgers, and a flaming baseball.


Swift, McGraw Win, Shelton Paisley Participate In People's Choice Awards


Brad Paisley continues to hit the small screen to promote his latest single.  The country star performed "The Mona Lisa" at the 2014 People's Choice Awards, which aired on CBS Wednesday night.


And Paisley lost his cowboy hat to supermodel Heidi Klum during his performance, which wasn't his only camera time at the event.  Brad was also featured in the show's opening.  Playing on hosts Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs' "Two Broke Girls" waitress roles, the singer "ordered" a burger and fries from his seat in the audience.  While Brad stumbled in delivering his line, he still received his sandwich and side.


Blake Shelton appeared during the event as well, in a pre-taped bit of "The Voice confessions.  However, while the NBC reality series got the nod for Favorite Competition TV show, Blake didn't personally earn any hardware.  He was up for Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album with "Based on a True Story...," but Justin Timberlake captured both categories.  Shelton was also in the running for Favorite Country Artist -- a non-televised award that went to Taylor Swift.  Tim McGraw is a winner as well.  He was named Favorite Country Music Icon, another category that wasn't included in the TV broadcast.


George Strait Launching Final Leg Of Farewell Tour


George Strait is hitting the road for one final time.  The country legend is launching the final leg of "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour, which he's said will bring his formal touring career to an end.  And George will have different country stars joining him for shows throughout the six-month, 26-date trek.  Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Martina McBride, Ronnie Dunn, and Little Big Town are just some of artists who'll be opening select shows over the course of the run.  Jason Aldean is kicking off the tour with George Thursday night in Bossier City, Louisiana.  He's also on board for Friday's concert in Austin, Texas.


Aldean, Church, McBride, Lambert, and Dunn will also help George close out the trek.  Strait's last concert, taking place in Dallas, Texas on June 7th, features an all-star lineup that also includes Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney and others.


George Strait's 2014 "The Cowboy Rides Away" Tour Dates


January 9, 2014       CenturyLink¦Bossier City, La.

January 10, 2014     Frank Erwin Center¦Austin, Texas

January 17, 2014     CenturyLink Center¦Omaha, Neb.

January 18, 2014     Sprint Center¦Kansas City, Mo.

January 30, 2014     SAP Center¦San Jose, Calif.

January 31, 2014     Valley View Casino Center¦San Diego, Calif.

February 1, 2014     MGM Grand Arena¦Las Vegas, Nev.

February 7, 2014     US Airways Center¦Phoenix, Ariz.

February 8, 2014     Staples Center¦Los Angeles, Calif.

February 14, 2014   The Palace of Auburn Hills ¦Auburn Hills, Mich.

February 15, 2014   Nationwide Arena¦Columbus, Ohio

February 28, 2014   Wells Fargo Arena¦Philadelphia, Pa.

March 1, 2014         Prudential Center¦Newark, N.J.

March 7, 2014         KFC Yum! Arena¦Louisville, Ky.

March 8, 2014         Allstate Arena¦Chicago, Ill.

March 21, 2014       Bridgestone Arena¦Nashville, Tenn.

March 22, 2014       Philips Arena¦Atlanta, Ga.

April 4, 2014            Intrust Bank Arena¦ Wichita, Kan.

April 5, 2014            Pepsi Center¦Denver, Colo.

April 11, 2014         The Moda Center¦Portland, Ore.

April 12, 2014         Tacoma Dome¦Tacoma, Wash.

April 18, 2014         Wells Fargo Arena¦Des Moines, Iowa

April 19, 2014         BOK Arena¦Tulsa, Okla.

May 23, 2014          LSU Tiger Stadium Bayou Country Superfest ¦Baton Rouge,  La.

May 31, 2014          Gillette Stadium ¦ Foxborough, Mass.

June 7, 2014          AT&T Stadium ¦Dallas, Texas


Keith Urban Starting Final Leg Of "Fuse" Tour


Keith Urban is spending the rest of this month on the road.  The country star is launching the 2014 portion of his "Light The Fuse" tour with a show in Grand Rapids, Michigan Thursday night.  Over the next three weeks Urban will play a dozen shows across the U.S. and Canada, with Little Big Town on board as an opener.  Dustin Lynch will also perform at U.S. shows, while Brett Eldredge will help warm up the crowds in Canada.


Urban is touring in support of his most recent studio effort, "Fuse."  The chart-topping album features the number one hits "Little Bit of Everything" and the Miranda Lambert duet "We Were Us," as well as Keith's latest single, "Cop Car."


Keith Urban 2014 "Light The Fuse" Tour Dates


1/9 -- Grand Rapids, MI -- Van Andel Arena

1/10 -- Chicago, IL -- United Center

1/11 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Target Center

1/15 -- Vancouver, BC -- Rogers Arena

1/17 -- Calgary, AB -- Saddledome

1/18 -- Edmonton, AB -- Rexall Place

1/20 -- Winnipeg, MB -- MTS Centre

1/23 -- London, ON -- Budweiser Gardens

1/24 -- Toronto, ON -- Air Canada Centre

1/29 -- New York, NY -- Madison Square Garden

1/31 -- Knoxville, TN -- Thompson-Boling Arena

2/1 -- Nashville, TN -- Bridgestone Arena


The Band Perry Launching 2014 Tour


The Band Perry is back on the road.  The country group is launching the 2014 portion of their "We Are Pioneers" tour with a show in Penticton, British Columbia Thursday night.  The sibling trio will be spending the rest of the month north of the border.  The first U.S. date of the trek is in Bangor, Maine on January 31st.  And most of their shows are slated for Northern and Midwestern states.  But The Band Perry will head South to wrap up the trek.  The group will close out the run in Florida with an appearance at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City on March 9th.


The Band Perry has tapped Easton Corbin and Lindsay Ell to join them as openers for most of the dates on the trek.  The Maine concert will feature Scotty McCreery.


The Band Perry's "We Are Pioneers" North American Tour Dates


January 9 - Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, at the South Okanagan Events Center

January 10 - Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, at the Interior Savings Centre

January 11 - Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, at the CN Centre

January 12 - Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, at the EnCana Events Centre

January 15 - Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, at the Enmax Centrium, Westerner Park

January 16 - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, at the Enmax Centre

January 18 - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, at the Brandt Centre

January 21 - Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, at the Sudbury Arena

January 22 - Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, at the Memorial Auditorium

January 28 - Kingston, Ontario, Canada, at the K-Rock Centre

January 29 - Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, at the General Motors Centre

January 31 - Bangor, Maine, at the Cross Insurance Center

February 6 - Independence, Missouri, at the independence Events Center

February 7 - Brookings, South Dakota, at the Swiftel Center

February 8 - Bemidji, Minnesota, at the Sanford Center

February 9 - Grand Forks, North Dakota, at the Ralph Englestad Arena

February 13 - Dubuque, Iowa, at the Five Flags Center

February 14 - Kearney, Nebraska, at the Viareo Event Center

February 15 - Rapid City, South Dakota, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

February 16 - Billings, Montana, at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPak

February 20 - Rockford, Illinois, at the BMO Harris Bank Center

February 21 - Cape Girardeau, Missouri, at the Show Me Center

February 22 - Corbin, Kentucky, at The Corbin Arena

February 23 - Saginaw, Michigan, at the Dow Events Center

February 27 - Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the Resch Center

February 28 - Mankato, Minnesota, at the Verizon Wireless Center - Mankato

March 1 - Duluth, Minnesota, at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

March 2 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the U.S. Cellular Center

March 7 - Savannah, Georgia, at the Savannah Civic Center

March 8 - West Palm Beach, Florida, at the Cruzan Amphitheater

March 9 - Plant City, Florida, at the Florida Strawberry Festival


IHeartRadio Country Festival To Launch In March


The iHeartRadio Music Festival is going country.  Organizers behind the star-studded Las Vegas music fest will launch iHeartRadio Country Festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday, March 29th.  Set to take place at the Frank Erwin Center, the music lineup will include superstars from the world of country music including Luke Bryan, Florida George Line, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood.  Tickets go on sale to the general public on January 18th.  Fans who won't be able to attend the iHeartRadio Country Festival in person will be able to listen to it live on Clear Channel's Country music radio stations in local markets or on


Last fall's iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas include big names such as Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, Queen and Adam Lambert, among others. 


Rascal Flatts Introduces New Single


Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus says he doesn't want anything to influence his opinion of a song that's pitched to the group, so he'd rather not know who the writer is in advance.  The country star explains that it's the quality that counts -- the song's writer doesn't really matter.


Don Rooney credits Jay with finding the group's new single, "Rewind," which he believes is "the perfect song" for them right now.  And it was written by three of Nashville's hottest songwriters -- Eric Paslay, Ashley Gorley, and Chris DeStefano -- who've penned chart-topping hits for Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, and others.  But DeMarcus says he was looking for a sound, not a pedigree.  He explains that Rascal Flatts is launching a "new era," and he thought "Rewind" would be a good song to bridge their past and their future.  "Rewind" is the lead-off single from Rascal Flatts' upcoming album, which will be the group's follow up to their 2012 release, "Changed." 


Rodney Atkins Featured On Rapper's Album


Rodney Atkins says he's glad he was able to put his voice on Bubba Sparxxx's song "Right."  But the country star isn't looking to take his career into a hip-hop direction.  He tells "Country Weekly" that while "everybody's rapping these days," he's not a rapper and isn't even attempting it.  He says on "Right" he sings the chorus, and calls it "a real country chorus."  Rodney adds that he thinks it's a "cool song," and he loves the message it sends.  The song takes the perspective of someone who knows they've made mistakes, and is hoping to change and eventually "get it right."  "Right" is on Sparxxx's latest album, "Pain Management," which is in stores now.


Jimmy Wayne Pleased With Book Publisher's Support


Jimmy Wayne says he's making progress on his autobiography.  The country star adds that he really appreciates all the assistance he's received from his publisher as he works on the project.


Wayne also admits he's hoping his book along with his other recent projects, will eventually lead to a chance to return to music on his own terms.  The singer explains that he's working on an album based on his 2010 "Meet Me Halfway" walk to raise awareness of the needs of foster children, as well as a film adaptation of his single "Paper Angels."  Jimmy says he's hoping all these projects will eventually catch the attention of someone "who truly gets what the mission is."


Kip Moore Following NFL Playoffs


Kip Moore says he'll be tuning in to the football playoff games this weekend.  The country star explains that he really enjoys the sport.


Kip adds that he's hoping to see the Denver Broncos go all the way.  The singer admits he's not necessarily a Broncos fan, but he likes quarterback Peyton Manning.  He explains that since his favorite team -- the Atlanta Falcons -- are no longer Super Bowl contenders he has to "pull for Peyton."


But Kip won't be able to watch the games from the comfort of his own home.  He's hitting the road this weekend.  Moore is an opener on Lady Antebellum's "Take Me Downtown" tour, which begins in Peoria, Illinois on Friday.


Haggard, Cline Added To Hit Parader Hall Of Fame


Merle Haggard and Patsy Cline are getting new recognition.  They're among the new inductees into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.  The country legends are part of the Hall's Class of 2013, along with Rod Stewart; Bob Seger, and Donna Summer.  The Hit Parade Hall, which is now in its eighth year, recognizes stars who have had at least two top ten hits in a 30-year span since 1950.  Previous inductees includes Kenny Rogers, Marty Robbins, and Brenda Lee.  Other stars already in the Hall include Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder.  Ronnie Milsap was among those who received the honor last year.


Elvis Presley Celebrated In Memphis


Elvis Presley is being remembered in the city he called home.  The Memphis "Commercial Appeal" says approximately 200 Elvis fans braved the elements Wednesday to join local officials and invited guests in celebrating what would have been The King's 79th birthday.  The ceremony included the annual "Elvis Presley Day" proclamation and the presentation of a multi-tiered, six-foot high birthday cake.  David Thibault, the Canadian teen who became a YouTube sensation last month with his cover of "Blue Christmas," was on hand to lead the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" before helping to cut and serve the cake.


Other tributes came from guest Knox Phillips, son of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.  He said when he first heard "That's All Right," he discovered "the power of music and especially the power of Elvis."  Veteran radio and TV personality Wink Martindale, who was at the station that debuted Presley's first single, said Knox wasn't alone in his revelation.  He recalled how "That's All Right" triggered a tremendous reaction from listeners, adding that Elvis "changed music that night."  Martindale will be the featured guest at Thursday's "Elvis Insiders Reception," one of the many events taking place in conjunction with the 2014 Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration that continues through Saturday.


Country TV Tonight


THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (NBC) Vince Gill and Paul Franklin are the musical guests.


HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) The first new episode of 2014 features Jennifer Nettles, Billy Currington, Tyler Farr, and more.


Country Birthdays Include


Crystal Gayle is 63.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1976, C.W. McCall's single "Convoy" hit number one on the country and pop singles chart.


Today in 1977, Emmylou Harris married her producer, Brian Ahern.  They have since divorced.


Today in 1982, Johnny Cash became the first living inhabitant of Hendersonville, Tennessee, to have a road named after him, as the Johnny Cash Parkway was opened.


Today in 1995, Diamond Rio's single "Night is Fallin' In My Heart" peaked at number six on the chart.


Today in 2002, Tim McGraw earned two American Music Awards, for Favorite Album - Country with "Set This Circus Down" and Favorite Male Artist - Country.  Faith Hill, Brooks & Dunn, and Trick Pony were also winners.  In addition, Garth Brooks received the AMA's Award of Merit.


Today in 2003, Clint Black was named as a mentor to contestants on the upcoming competition series "Nashville Star."  In addition to helping the hopefuls throughout the show, he would be assisting the winner in the studio.


Today in 2003, Tracy Lawrence and his wife, Becca, announced that they were preparing for the arrival of their second child. Mary Keagan made her entry into the world on Tax Day -- April 15th -- joining big sister Skylar JoAnn.


Today in 2005, country artists received their own categories for the first time in the 31st annual People's Choice awards.  Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, and Brooks & Dunn were among the winners at the event.


Today in 2005, Willie Nelson headlined a tsunami relief concert for victims of the previous month's catastrophe that hit Asian countries bordering the Indian Ocean.  The show, which took place at the Austin Music Hall, also featured Joe Ely, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis, and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines.


Today in 2006, Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" was certified double-Platinum, making it the fastest-selling debut country album to date, and the fastest-selling album released by an "American Idol" alumnus.


Today in 2007, Toby Keith's movie "Broken Bridges" was released on DVD.  Keith co-stars in the film, with Kelly Preston as his wife and Lindsey Hahn as his 16-year-old daughter.  The movie also features Willie Nelson and Burt Reynolds.


Today in 2007, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, and Kenny Chesney were among the winners at the 2007 People's Choice Awards.  Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles was also recognized in a less direct way, as Bon Jovi's "Who Says You Can't Go Home" took Favorite Rock Song.  Nettles is a guest vocalist on the track.


Today in 2008, Taylor Swift's self-titled debut CD returned to the top of "Billboard's" Country album sales chart, and climbed to number five on the magazine's all-genre Hot 200 album sales chart.  It marked Taylor's ninth week at number one on the country sales chart.


Today in 2009, Jon Hager of the Hager Twins died at his home in Nashville.


Today in 2010, Brad Paisley's dad helped save a life at his son's concert in Wichita, Kansas.  When a man collapsed backstage Doug Paisley went to his aid, performing CPR until paramedics arrived.


Today in 2013, Taylor Swift was among the winners at the People's Choice Awards, while Jason Aldean performed at the event.


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