Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan Set For iHeartRadio Music Awards


Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will be the country representatives at the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards.  The singers are nominees heading into the event, and are also slated to perform at the ceremony.  Shelton has two bids, but can only take one award.  His chart-toppers "Boys 'Round Here" and "Mine Would Be You" are both up for Country Song of the Year.  Luke's hit "That's My Kind of Night" is in the running for the honor as well, along with Thomas Rhett's "It Goes Like This" and Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's "Highway Don't Care."  Florida Georgia Line could also earn an award.  The duo is nominated for the all-genre Best New Artist.  Their competition includes Icona Pop, Passenger, Lorde, Imagine Dragons, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  Meanwhile, Taylor Swift's followers could get some recognition.  Her "Swifties" are a contender for Best Fan Army.


The main ceremony is set for the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, while the three-hour event will also include performances from other, more intimate L.A. venues like The Roxy and the Hotel Café.  The fan-voted iHeartRadio Music Awards will air live on NBC Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Florida Georgia Line To Perform At Billboard Music Awards


Florida Georgia Line is the latest act to sign on for the upcoming Billboard Music Awards.  The country duo announced that they'll be performing at the event during their appearance Wednesday on ABC's "The View."  They also performed their hit "This Is How We Roll" on the show.  Florida Georgia Line is in the running in four categories heading into the awards ceremony, including the all-genre Top Duo/Group.  They're joining a lineup for the event that also includes Luke Bryan, John Legend, and others.  The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will be presented in Las Vegas, and air on ABC on May 18th.


Joe Nichols, Wife Expecting Another Girl


Joe Nichols admits he's "outnumbered."  The country star tells "People" he and his wife, Heather, are having another girl.  The newest Nichols will be the second child for the couple, and Joe's third daughter.  The singer says with girls he's done things he couldn't have imagined as a single man.  He explains that they just celebrated daughter Dylan's birthday a couple of weeks ago with "a princess party."  Joe says he "never expected to wear a tiara" but did when "the two-year-old birthday girl says, 'Wear this, Daddy.'"  Nichols adds that he can't fulfill all of Dylan's requests.  He says the toddler knows there'll soon be a new family member, but a sister isn't what she has in mind.  Joe explains that Dylan "points to Heather's belly and says, 'Puppy!'"


The baby's due on May 20th and Joe plans to be there, saying he "wouldn't miss that for anything."  He doesn't say, however, if they'll also be welcoming a dog into their family anytime soon.


Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood Looking Forward To Fatherhood


Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood says he's excited about becoming a dad.  The country star tells CMT's "Hot 20 Countdown" he and his wife, Kelli, have "always wanted" to be parents.  He adds that finding out they were expecting a son so soon after their second wedding anniversary was "great timing."  The baby is due in September.  And Dave says he's been getting "some good practice" with babies, courtesy of bandmate Hillary Scott's daughter, Eisele .  Lady A is currently on their "Take Me Downtown" tour with Hillary's baby on board.  Hillary admits "there's a lot of plate spinning" when it comes to caring for a nine-month-old while prepping for shows.  But she says both Dave and bandmate Charles Kelley have "been incredible about having her out."  The singer adds that she suspects the guys like having Eisele with them "just as much" as she does.


Lady A's next show is coming up in Statesboro, Georgia on Friday.  The group will be featured on this weekend's "Hot 20 Countdown," airing on CMT Saturday and Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.


Brantley Gilbert Shares His Philosophy, Parents' Disapproval Of Tattoos


Brantley Gilbert admits he and his folks didn't exactly see eye-to-eye when he started getting tattoos.  But the inked country star says he's noticed a change of attitude with one of his parents.


Brantley adds that he doesn't get tattoos on a whim.  The singer explains that the images are "memories and stories in themselves" that represent the events of his life.  He says when he sees his tattoos in a mirror he's reminded of the experiences that inspired them, and the beliefs he carries that will get him through "everything else" that's still to come.  One thing on the horizon for Gilbert is the release of his next album.  "Just As I Am" is his long-awaited follow up to 2010's "Halfway To Heaven."  Brantley's new disc, which features the chart-topping hit "Bottoms Up," will be in stores on May 19th.


Big & Rich To Kick Off CMA Music Festival; Riverfront Stage Lineup Announced


Big & Rich will get things under way at this summer's CMA Music Festival.  The country duo will take Nashville's Riverfront Stage for a morning performance on June 5th to officially launch the four-day event.  And they're just one of more than 30 other acts who'll play the Riverfront Stage over the course of the festival.  The lengthy lineup features a mix of veterans and newcomers.  Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, Wynonna, and Billy Ray Cyrus are slated to perform, along with Frankie Ballard, Danielle Bradbery, and others.  The 2014 CMA Music Festival will take place throughout downtown Nashville from June 5th through the 8th.  Additional details are available at


CMA Music Festival Riverfront Stage Lineup


Big & Rich

Frankie Ballard

Danielle Bradbery

Kristian Bush

Craig Campbell

Jason Michael Carroll

Terri Clark

Billy Ray Cyrus

Dan + Shay

Tyler Farr

Colt Ford


LoCash Cowboys


Love and Theft

Dustin Lynch

Craig Morgan

Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis

David Nail

Jon Pardi


Eric Paslay

Kellie Pickler

Cassadee Pope

Collin Raye

Chase Rice

Maggie Rose

Corey Smith

Cole Swindell

The Cadillac Three

The Swon Brothers

Uncle Kracker

Clay Walker

Darryl Worley

Charlie Worsham



"Nashville" Live Album Makes Top Ten Debut


The live "Nashville" cast album is making a splash on the charts.  "Nashville: On the Record," featuring performances from the ABC series' recent music special, is debuting in the top ten on both the Billboard 200 and the Country Albums charts.  With 18-thousand in sales, the ten-track collection is opening at number eight on the all-genre list and at number two on the Country rundown.  It's the best showing yet on either chart for a "Nashville" disc, and the first to crack the top ten on the Billboard 200.


"Nashville: On the Record" features Hayden Panettiere, Sam Palladio, Charles Esten, and other cast members performing live at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  It arrived just ahead of the series' next official soundtrack album.  "The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 2" will be in stores on May 6th.


Dolly Parton Pleased To Record Duet With Kenny Rogers


Dolly Parton's latest duet with Kenny Rogers is among the tracks on her new album.  The country legend says she's glad she had the chance to work with Rogers again, because he's very special to her.


Dolly admits it's rare these days for singers to actually record duets together, and that was kind of the case with her and Kenny as well.  She explains that Rogers had already cut his vocals on "You Can't Make Old Friends" when she got to the studio, but he stayed there with her as she recorded her parts of the song.  Parton adds that "You Can't Make Old Friends" is an "emotional" song for both her and Kenny for the way it captures the special and unique experience of a long-term friendship.  Rogers used the song as the title track to his most recent album.  Dolly's next CD, "Blue Smoke," will arrive in stores on May 13th.


Rascal Flatts Sought To Expand Sound With Latest Album


Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney admits the group tends to gravitate toward songs that are uplifting.  But the country star says a lyric's storyline doesn't necessarily have to be happy.


Rooney says with their new album, "Rewind," they were looking to expand Rascal Flatts' signature sound, which at this point in their career isn't easy.  He explains that they're such an established act that writers will just automatically pitch them a "Rascal Flatts" song.  Joe Don adds that it's also difficult for them as songwriters to find fresh ways to convey the messages they want to put in their music.  Rascal Flatts' "Rewind" will arrive in stores on May 13th.  The group will launch their "Rewind" tour in St. Louis, Missouri three days later.


Country TV Tonight


AMERICAN IDOL (Fox) Keith Urban performs.

HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) Josh Turner, Jake Owen, Lady Antebellum, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Ann Womack, Danielle Bradbery, and the new Country Music Hall of Fame inductees are featured.


Country Birthdays Include


Tim McGraw is 47.

Rita Coolidge is 70.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu.


Today in 1980, the Academy of Country Music named Loretta Lynn its '80s Artist of the Decade.


Today in 1982, Alabama's "Mountain Music" topped "Billboard's" country chart.


Today in 1989, new releases included Reba McEntire's album Sweet Sixteen" and the video compilation "The Real Patsy Cline."


Today in 1993, Tracy Lawrence's "Alibis" went to number one on the country singles chart.


Today in 1993, Charley Pride became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1996, Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" was certified Gold.


Today in 1998, Garth Brooks announced that the four-billionth ticket had been purchased to his world tour.


Today in 1999, the Dixie Chicks' brood got a little bigger. Emily Erwin of the Texas-born country music group married fellow Texan and musician Charlie Robison. They made the wedding a Texas family-and-friends event rather than a Nashville extravaganza and did the planning themselves.


Today in 2000, Steve Wariner was in Colorado to help raise money for the construction of a new library at Columbine High School library.  He signed autographs in exchange for donations to "Hope Columbine," an organization formed by the Columbine High School families after the 1999 shooting tragedy.


Today in 2000, SHeDAISY staged a free concert at War Memorial Plaza in Nashville as part of the USTA festivities.


Today in 2001, new releases included Montgomery Gentry's album "Carrying On."


Today in 2002, Chely Wright was the only country artist to be featured in People magazine's annual "50 Most Beautiful" issue.


Today in 2002, Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" debuted at the top of "Billboard's" Top 200 Albums chart after selling more than 235-thousand copies in its first week of release.


Today in 2003, the Dixie Chicks launched their Top of the World tour with a show in Greenville, South Carolina.  It was the band's first U.S. show since Natalie Maines made her controversial comment about President Bush during a concert in London two months earlier.


Today in 2004, Trent Willmon made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 2004, Joe Diffie and his wife, Theresa, welcomed their daughter, Kylie Tarissa Diffie, into the world.  Kylie weighed in at six-pounds, ten-ounces, measured 19-inches long, and had lots of dark hair.


Today in 2004, Brad Paisley took part in at William Shatner's 14th annual Wells Fargo Hollywood Charity Horse Show in Los Angeles.


Today in 2005, Kris Kristofferson and Jim Foglesong were honored at an event recognizing them as the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.  Garth Brooks was among those who took part in the function.


Today in 2006, The Oak Ridge Boys, Gary Allan, Ricky Skaggs, Lorrie Morgan, the Whites, Del McCoury Band, Connie Smith, and T.G. Sheppard were among the performers for the "Night of Healing" benefit concert.  The fundraiser helped victims of the tornadoes that tore through Sumner County, Tennessee a few weeks earlier.


Today in 2006, Trick Pony hosted the Bridgestone Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament at Five Oaks Golf & Country Club in Lebanon, Tennessee.  The money raised went to the Arthritis Foundation.


Today in 2006, Tracy Byrd hosted the fifth annual Catch the Vision golf, shotgun, and music spectacular for the Catch-A-Dream foundation in West Point, Mississippi.  He was joined by friends Blake Shelton and Tracy Byrd.  It brought in 120-thousand-dollars for the foundation.


Today in 2006, the late Roy Orbison was honored in Nashville with a proclamation recognizing his talents and contributions to the local music scene.


Today in 2006, Tim McGraw was named the Mr. Mom that women would most like to clean their house and take care of their kids.


Today in 2007, Jason Aldean revealed at a listening party in Nashville for his then-upcoming album "Relentless" that his wife was pregnant with the couple's second daughter.


Today in 2007, Larry the Cable Guy performed as part of a USO visit to Andrews AFB, Maryland.  The appearance also featured a special screening of Larry's movie "Delta Farce."


Today in 2007, new CD releases included Blake Shelton's "Pure BS" and Miranda Lambert's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."


Today in 2008, Kellie Pickler performed at The Crown Royal Festival in the Field on the first of a two-day festival of music on the turf at Churchill Downs in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby.


Today in 2008, Sara Evans helped open the first ever CMT Crossroads Bar in Bossier City, Louisiana.  She sang "As If" and "Some Things Never Change" at the event.


Today in 2008, Jim Hager of the Hager Twins died of a heart attack last in Nashville.  Jim and his brother, Jon, were part of the "Hee Haw" cast for 19 years.


Today in 2010, Rascal Flatts sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the start of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville.


Today in 2010, a record-setting two-day rainstorm began in Nashville, which caused the Cumberland River to overflow its banks and flood the city.  The Grand Ole Opry House was among the many structures that were damaged, while Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley were among the country stars whose homes were flooded.  Many country stars also lost instruments and touring equipment.  The storm struck Kentucky and Mississippi as well as Tennessee, resulting in more than 30 deaths and two-point-three-billion-dollars in damage across the three states.


Today in 2011, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire, John Rich, and LeAnn Rimes were among those turning to Twitter to comment on the death of Osama Bin Laden.


Today in 2011, Shania Twain's OWN series, "Why Not? With Shania Twain" had its debut.


Today in 2012, new releases included Carrie Underwood's CD "Blown Away" and rapper B.o.B.'s album "Strange Clouds," featuring the Taylor Swift collaboration "Both Of Us," arrived in stores.


Today in 2013, the late George Jones' family held a private funeral for the country legend in Nashville.  The 81-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer died six days earlier.


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