Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Carrie Underwood Takes Top Honors At CMT Music Awards


Carrie Underwood isn't leaving the CMT Music Awards with the most trophies.  But she's walking away with the night's biggest prize -- Video of the Year -- for the clip to her hit "See You Again."  And she gave the credit to the fans.


Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line collected the most awards at the event, each earning two buckles including a shared nod for Collaborative Video of the Year.  Top nominee Miranda Lambert is among the winners as well, along with Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, and Cassadee Pope.  And Alan Jackson is the first-ever CMT Impact Award recipient.  His honor included a musical salute from Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves.


The star-packed event also featured many other performances and collaborations.  Bryan and Florida Georgia Line helped open the ceremony, literally leaping onto the stage with Jason Derulo to join ZZ Top for a three-song pile-up of "La Grange," "This Is How We Roll," and "Talk Dirty."  Little Big Town also gave an explosive -- and colorful -- debut of their new single, "Day Drinking."  Other highlights included Keith Urban's stripped-down solo rendition of "Cop Car," Eric Church rocking out with Halestorm's Lzzy Hale, and Jennifer Nettles and John Legend duet on "All Of Me," featuring Hunter Hayes on guitar.  Actress Kristen Bell added some humor to the mix as the event's host.  The 2014 CMT Music Awards aired on CMT from Nashville Wednesday night.


The 2014 CMT Music Awards Winners List


Video of the Year

Carrie Underwood - "See You Again"


Male Video of the Year

Blake Shelton - "Doin' What She Likes"


Female Video of the Year

Miranda Lambert - "Automatic"


Group Video of the Year

The Band Perry, "Done"


Duo of the Year

Florida Georgia Line - "Round Here"


Breakthrough Video of the Year

Cassadee Pope - "Wasting All These Tears"


Collaborative Video of the Year

Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan - "This Is How We Roll"


CMT Performance of the Year

Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie - "Oh No/All Night Long" (from 2013 CMT Artists of the Year)


CMT Impact Award

Alan Jackson


Alan Jackson Receives Inaugural CMT Impact Award


Alan Jackson is getting recognition for his successful and influential career.  The country legend is the inaugural winner of the new CMT Impact Award.  In accepting the CMT Music Awards honor Jackson said he was always focused on the music, but he appreciated how with music videos he was able to reach even more fans.  The singer added that in shooting the clips he was able to do some pretty special things.


Carrie Underwood introduced segment, making note of Jackson's impressive collection of 55 music videos.  In addition, Alan received a special musical salute, with Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves teaming up to sing Alan's 1994 chart-topper "Livin' on Love."  Later, host Kristen Bell humorously extended the tribute -- stepping out into the audience wearing a cowboy hat and mustache -- only to discover nobody else had joined her in dressing as Jackson in his honor.  The 2014 CMT Music Awards were presented in a ceremony at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, and aired on CMT Wednesday night.


Big & Rich Kicking Off CMA Fest Thursday


Big & Rich are set to officially launch the 2014 CMA Music Festival.  The country duo will get things under way with the traditional kick off concert at the Riverfront Stage Thursday morning.  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.  On Thursday, LeAnn Rimes will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open Fan Fair X.  Chris Young and Joe Nichols will be hosting their annual fan club gatherings, while Billy Ray Cyrus will present a special preview of his new film, "Like A Country Song."  Alabama will make their return to the festival, ending a 19-year absence by launching the first of four Nightly Concerts at LP Field.  Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, and Rascal Flatts are also among the opening night performers.


The 2014 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


Dierks Bentley Amazed At Growth Of CMA Fest


Dierks Bentley says he can't believe how much the CMA Music Festival has grown over the years.  The country star explains that he was involved with the event well before he was one of the performers.


This year Bentley is among the main stage performers at the Nightly Concerts at LP Field.  He's part of the opening night lineup along with Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Alabama, and others.  The 2014 CMA Music Festival begins in Nashville Thursday, and runs through Sunday.


Casey James Amazed By Fans' Generosity


Casey James says he organized his fan club party to be a benefit for the Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.  But the country singer explains that he got more than he anticipated from his followers.


In addition to giving Casey the two-thousand dollars for the hospital, the singer and his fans spent time Wednesday playing a variety of games including Frisbee golf, corn hole and kick ball.  Casey also previewed his new music.  He says it was exciting to have other people finally hearing the songs he's been working on for more than a year.


Lee Ann Womack To Perform At Maya Angelou's Funeral


Lee Ann Womack says she couldn't imagine not singing the late Maya Angelou's favorite country song at her funeral. says Womack has been asked to perform "I Hope You Dance" at the service, taking place Saturday at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Lee Ann will be accompanied by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  The singer admits she thought people were just "being nice" when they said her chart-topping hit was Angelou's favorite.  She says she realized it was true when her publicist was trying to book an appearance on "Oprah."  Womack explains that "suddenly, all the momentum changed," and she later learned "it was because Maya Angelou told Oprah" about her and the song.  Angelou passed away last week at the age of 86.


Randy Travis Attends Dolly Parton Concert In Oklahoma


Dolly Parton says it was "so great" to see Randy Travis at her show over the weekend.  "People" magazine says Dolly knew Randy was in the audience for her concert Saturday in Thackerville, Oklahoma.  She spoke to him from the stage, telling the crowd Travis is one of those people "you just love and admire for their talents," and she hoped he was "enjoying the show."  Dolly later met with Randy and singer Janie Fricke backstage.  Parton says Travis was "looking good and doing great."


Travis has made few public appearances since suffering a stroke last July.  The singer's reps haven't offered any official updates on his recovery progress since he left a physical therapy center last fall.


Miranda Lambert Thrilled With Guests On Her New Album


Miranda Lambert says she's not just a country musician but a country music fan.  The singer explains that's why it's so special to her to have a few guests contribute to her latest release.


Lambert has been performing "Somethin' Bad," her duet with Carrie Underwood, at recent awards shows.  The track "Smokin' and Drinkin'" features Little Big Town, while The Time Jumpers join Miranda on the Dixie and Tom T. Hall song "All That's Left."  "Platinum" is in stores now.


Trace Adkins Launching Summer Tour


Trace Adkins is back on the road.  The country star is formally returning his attention to his work with the launch of his summer tour, which begins in Sayreville, New Jersey Thursday night.  He'll play more than 30 shows over the next several months. with a variety of theater, festival, and fair dates on his schedule.  The trek follows a difficult few months for the singer.  In January Adkins had a relapse after 12 years of sobriety, and entered rehab following an altercation with an impersonator.  His father died just a few weeks later, and his wife filed for divorce in March.  But in officially announcing the tour last month Adkins said he was "excited, recharged, and ready" to return to the stage.  He added that the trek was his way of saying thanks to his fans for their support during his rough time.


Trace Adkins' 2014 Summer Tour Dates


6/05 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom

6/06 - Mt.Pocono, PA - Sherman Theater Summer Stage at Mt. Airy Casino Resort

6/07 - Atlantic City, NJ - The Concert Venue at Harrah's Atlantic City

6/13 - Niagara Falls, NY - Seneca Niagara Casino Theatre

6/14 - Fredericton, NB - Countryfest

6/20 - Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

6/21 - Baton Rouge, LA - Dixie Landin' Summer Concert Series

7/12 - Green Bay, WI - Oneida Casino

7/13 - Sault Ste Marie, MI - Kewadin Casino

7/18 - Sloan, IA - Riverfest 2014 - WinnaVegas Casino & Resort

7/19 - Prior Lake, MN - Lakefront Music Fest

7/20 - Peoria, IL - Country Life Music Festival

7/23 - Helena, MT - Last Chance Stampede

7/24 - Boise, ID - Eagle Park Pavilion

7/25 - Eugene, OR - Lane Country Fair

7/26 - Wendover, NV - Peppermill Concert Hall

8/01 - Huntington, NY - Paramount

8/02 - Cohasset, MA - South Shore Music Circus

8/03 - Hyannis, MA - Cape Cod Melody Tent

8/07 - Clear Lake, IA - Surf Ballroom

8/08 - Ft Wayne, IN - Headwaters Park

8/09 - Washington, MO - Washington Town & Country Fair

8/11 - Beaver Creek, CO - Vilar Performing Arts Center

8/12 - Douglas, WY - Wyoming State Fair

8/15 - Mahnomen, MN - Shooting Star Casino

8/16 - Thunder Bay, ON - Thunder Bay Community Auditorium

8/27 - Woodstock, VA - Shenandoah County Fair

8/28 - Cincinnati, OH - Horseshoe Casino

8/29 - Elkhorn, WI - Walworth County Fair

8/31 - Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs Grandstand

9/06 - Hot Springs, AR - Hot Springs Rally

9/26 - Rohner Park, CA - Weill Hall

9/27 - Laughlin, NV - Riverside Hotel and Casino


Carrie Underwood Shares Advice To Lucy Hale


Carrie Underwood is sharing a few words of wisdom with country newcomer Lucy Hale.  The "Pretty Little Liars" star is seeing her music career get under way with the release of her debut album.  And Carrie is pleased to see the actress make the leap, telling MTV "country music is definitely in need of more strong females."  She also expresses her hope that Lucy will help fill that void, saying her advice to Lucy is to "just be strong."  Hale's debut album, "Road Between," arrived in stores this week.  The album features the single "You Sound Good To Me."


Country Birthdays Include


The Statler Brothers' Don Reid is 69.

Carrie Underwood's husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, is 34.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1989, Mary Chapin Carpenter's "State Of The Heart" album was released.


Today in 1992, Wynonna's debut album was certified Gold and Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1993, the legendary Conway Twitty passed away.  He was 59.


Today in 1993, Toby Keith's first single, "Should've Been A Cowboy," hit number one on the charts.


Today in 1995, the 29th annual Music City News Country Awards were held with Alan Jackson and Reba McEntire walking away the night's top winners.


Today in 2000, Garth Brooks' "Double Live" album was certified for sales of 13-million.  This tied the CD with Bruce Springsteen's "Live 1975-1985" as the biggest-selling live albums in history.  In addition, George Strait's 1995 compilation "Strait Out of the Box" reached the seven-million sales level, matching Led Zeppelin's 1990 self-titled collection as the highest-certified box set released in the '90s.


Today in 2001, Trisha Yearwood's album "Inside Out" arrived in stores.


Today in 2003, Fan Fair officially began in Nashville with the Country Kickstart Show featuring Kenny Chesney, Daryle Singletary, Sherrie Austin, Rhett Akins, Chad Brock, and John Conlee.


Today in 2003, Dwight Yoakam received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Today in 2003, Blake Shelton premiered his video "Heavy Liftin'" on CMT's "Most Wanted Live."


Today in 2004, Toby Keith performed with classic rocker Ted Nugent for U.S. troops in Baghdad as part of a USO tour.


Today in 2004, Sara Evans, Ricky Van Shelton, and Kenny Rogers were among the artists who took part in "Wavestock," a fundraising event to help the town of Waveland, Indiana bring in money for revitalization.


Today in 2004, Tracy Lawrence hosted his annual Homecoming Concert in Foreman, Arkansas.


Today in 2006, Lonestar hosted its second annual "Lonestar & Friends Strike out for the Kids" bowling party to help launch the CMA Music Festival.  Carrie Underwood, Trick Pony's Ira Dean and Keith Burns, Jimmy Wayne, Buddy Jewell, and "Nashville Star" winner Chris Young also participated in the event, which .drew more than 450 fans and raised 16-thousand dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Today in 2006, Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy were among the performers on the American Latino Music Awards, or ALMAs.


Today in 2006, Steve Azar released the single "You Don't Know A Thing."


Today in 2007, Chely Wright's annual Reading, Writing & Rhythm Benefit and Silent Auction took place in Nashville.  Keith Anderson, Emerson Drive, Kellie Pickler, and Taylor Swift were among the performers at the event, along with Trent Tomlinson, Clay Walker, Chris Young and Danielle Peck.


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, Rodney Atkins, and Craig Morgan performed on the Grand Ole Opry, officially kicking off the famed institution's participation in the CMA Music Festival.


Today in 2007, Clay Walker joined reps from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter for a press conference in Houston, Texas, during which he gave 100 aluminum rolling walkers to area residents living with MS.


Today in 2007, Jason Aldean's "Relentless" debuted at number one on the "Billboard" Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2007, Jimmy Webb, who wrote the Glen Campbell hits "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," and "Galveston," took part in the second annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Class in New York City.


Today in 2007, Big & Rich's album "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" and book "Big & Rich: All Access" hit stores.  Other new releases included Cowboy Troy's "Black in the Saddle," Marty Stuart's CD "Compadres: An Anthology of Duets" and his photography book "Country Music - The Masters," Porter Wagoner's "Wagonmaster," and the compilation disc "Anchored in Love: A Tribute to June Carter Cash."  In addition, Wynonna Judd's autobiography, "Coming Home to Myself," was released in paperback.


Today in 2008, James Otto celebrated the chart-topping success of his first number one hit, "Just Got Started Loving You," with a party in Nashville.


Today in 2008, Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Jewel, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hanson played on the first night of the CMA Music Festival's Nightly Concerts at Nashville's LP Field, while Keith Anderson, the Bellamy Brothers, Richie McDonald, Lee Brice, Mindy McCready and Aaron Tippin were among the performers at the Riverfront Stages.  In addition, Trace Adkins, Phil Vassar, Emerson Drive, Andy Griggs, and Neal McCoy hosted fan club parties.


Today in 2011, LeAnn Rimes played a special acoustic concert in Jacksonville, Florida to raise money for the  United Way's storm relief efforts in Alabama and Missouri.


Today in 2012, Darius Rucker, Kellie Pickler, Big & Rich, and Jeff Foxworthy were in Memphis for the "St. Jude Presents John Rich & Friends" benefit concert, supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, while Rodney Atkins, Clint Black, Lee Brice, and Jana Kramer took the stage for Nashville's "Music City Gives Back" concert supporting the American Red Cross.


Today in 2012, new country releases included Alan Jackson's "Thirty Miles West."


Today in 2013, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Florida Georgia Line were the big winners at the 2013 CMT Music Awards.


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