Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Darius Rucker Officially Becoming Grand Ole Opry Member Tuesday Night

Darius Rucker says he's not taking his Grand Ole Opry induction lightly.  The singer explains that it means a great deal to him, and as a member he'll play the Opry every chance he gets.
Grand Ole Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher doesn't doubt Rucker's commitment.  When the singer was named as the next star to join Opry family, Fisher said it was "clear from the moment Darius first stepped on our stage in 2008 in what high regard he holds the Grand Ole Opry."  Rucker received his invitation to join the Opry earlier this month from Brad Paisley.  His Opry induction will take place during Tuesday night's show.  The event will be covered live on GAC's "Noteworthy at the Opry," airing at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

T.G. Sheppard Hospitalized With Bladder Infection

T.G. Sheppard is battling a bladder infection. says the 68-year-old singer was hospitalized over the weekend with the condition.  His wife, Kelly Lang, says in a Facebook post that Sheppard was admitted into the intensive care unit of because the infection is affecting his heart rate.  She adds that T.G. is "very week," and it has been "a challenge" for doctors to get Sheppard's heart rate down.  The country couple just performed at the Reunion of Professional Entertainers banquet and awards ceremony in Nashville last Thursday.

Man Arrested For Stealing Opry Stars' Identities

Little Jimmy Dickens admits he was stunned to learn he's the victim of identity theft.  Hendersonville, Tennessee Police Detective Steve Malach tells Nashville's NewsChannel5 that authorities have taken Johnny Lee Presley into custody for allegedly stealing the identities of a number of Grand Ole Opry stars and opening up credit card accounts in their names.  Presley, who says he's Elvis Presley's relative, has been charged with I.D. theft and fraudulent use of a credit card for unlawfully using the identity of Opry great Stonewall Jackson.  Malach says more charges will be filed regarding Dickens' I.D. theft case. 

He explains that Presley was able to obtain just enough personal information about the stars to open up credit cards in their names.  Presley is due in court on the matter on November 7th.

Rascal Flatts To Launch "Changed Tour" 2013 In January

Rascal Flatts will be getting an early start to their road work next year.  The group has announced plans for the "Changed Tour" 2013, which they'll kick off in Green Bay, Wisconsin on January 10th.  The 20-date trek will continue through a stop in Tupelo, Mississippi on March 2nd.  Rascal Flatts is also continuing with their "band" theme for the tour.  The trio has tapped The Band Perry to join them as the opener.

Rascal Flatts will be wrapping up their "Changed Tour" 2012 this month, which has also been an "all band" trek.  Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band, and Edens Edge have been the supporting acts on the tour throughout the summer and fall.  There are just five more stops left to Rascal Flatts' 2012 tour.  The group's next show will be in Greenville, South Carolina on Thursday.  They'll also perform in Nashville, Atlanta, and Tampa before bringing the trek to a close in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 27th.  Rascal Flatts has been on the road supporting their most recent album, "Changed."

Rascal Flatts "Changed Tour" 2013 Dates

January 10 - Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the Resch Center
January 11 - Moline, Illinois at the iWireless Center
January 12 - Springfield, Missouri, at the JQH Arena
January 17 - Sioux City, Iowa, at the Tyson Events Center
January 18 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the BOK Center
January 19 - Wichita, Kansas, at the INTRUST Bank Arena
January 24 - Spokane, Washington, at the Spokane Arena
January 25 - Missoula, Montana, at the Adams Event Center
January 26 - Billings, Montana, at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark
February 7 - Terre Haute, Indiana, at the ISU Hulman Center
February 8 - Lexington, Kentucky, at Rupp Arena
February 9 - Columbus, Ohio, at the Nationwide Arena
February 14 - North Charleston, South Carolina, at the North Charleston Coliseum
February 15 - Greensboro, North Carolina, at the GreensboroColiseum
February 16 - Charlottesville, Virginia, at the John Paul Jones Arena
February 23 - Pikeville, Kentucky, at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center
February 24 - Youngstown, Ohio, at the Covelli Centre
February 28 - Topeka, Kansas, at the Landon Arena
March 1 - Jonesboro, Arkansas, at the ASU Convocation Center
March 2 - Tupelo, Mississippi, at the BancorpSouth Arena

Taylor Swift Offers Up Final "Red" Preview On "GMA"

Taylor Swift's latest release from "Red" is called "State Of Grace."  The singer-songwriter tells ABC's "Good Morning America" the track is about the potential of a new relationship.

Swift adds that "State Of Grace" has "a really big sound," which she says is "like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way."  "State Of Grace" will be available from iTunes now.  It's the fourth and final song from "Red" that Taylor is previewing through "GMA."  The album will be in stores next Monday.  Swift will return to "Good Morning America" next week to celebrate "Red's" arrival.  She'll be on hand to launch the album on October 22nd, and give a special live performance on the show on October 23rd.

Jason Aldean Says New Albums Isn't Another "My Kinda Party"

Jason Aldean says fans shouldn't expect another "My Kinda Party" with his new album.  The country star also admits he's hoping people won't try to compare "Night Train" to its predecessor.

Aldean will be celebrating Tuesday's arrival of "Night Train" with an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America."  His album promotion also includes a visit to the syndicated "Live with Kelly and Michael" on Wednesday, and he has something special coming up on Thursday.  A website post titled "Ride on the Night Train" is promising "huge news," adding that it "isn't big, it's epic."  Fans should learn more Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern at

Shelton, Lady A, Eli Young Band, Gilbert Join CMA Lineup

More stars are signing on for next month's Country Music Awards.  Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, the Eli Young Band, and Brantley Gilbert are the latest additions to the upcoming ceremony.  They're joining a list of performers that also boasts Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and Miranda Lambert.  Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, and The Band Perry are also slated for the show, along with Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, and Kelly Clarkson.  Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will each perform as well.

The newly announced performers are also nominees heading into the event.  Shelton's four bids include Entertainer of the Year.  Lady A is in the running in two categories including Vocal Group of the Year.  The Eli Young Band is also up for the Vocal Group honor.  Gilbert is among the New Artist of the Year hopefuls.  The 46th annual CMA Awards will be presented in Nashville, and air live on ABC on November 1st.

Weather Forces Dierks Bentley To Change "Miles & Music" Plans

Dierks Bentley didn't host his seventh annual "Miles & Music For Kids" event in Nashville over the weekend as originally planned.  Bad weather forced the singer to postpone Sunday's event.  He admits it was "a tough call," but he "had to make it for everyone's safety."  However, fans who turned out for the fundraiser weren't just sent home.  Dierks explains that he knows some people travel from other parts of the country to support his cause, and he felt like he had to "do something to thank them for their time and donations over the past seven years."  Bentley's "thank you" came in the form of an impromptu concert at Nashville's Hard Rock Café.  Sheryl Crow also took part in the spontaneous show.  Crow was among the artists slated to appear at the "Miles & Music" concert following the motorcycle ride.

Bentley has been hosting "Miles & Music For Kids" fundraisers since 2006.  In addition to his annual Nashville event, the country star has staged the benefit in six other cities.  He held his first "Miles & Music" event outside Nashville in the fall of 2009 in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.  Dierks has also taken his charitable effort to Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, and Columbus, Ohio, and has raised more than two-million-dollars for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the U.S.

Thomas Rhett Now Married -- In Part Due To Luke Bryan

Thomas Rhett is now a married man.  "Country Weekly" says the singer and his bride Lauren Gregory tied the knot with a ceremony in Nashville on Friday.  There's one person who's always had faith in the young couple -- Luke Bryan.  Country star Rhett Akins admits many people were advising his 22-year-old son against getting married, but Luke was unwavering in his support.  He adds that he believes Luke's encouragement played "a huge part" in Thomas making the commitment and going through with the wedding.  But Akins says he's also a believer.  He explains that when he saw Thomas and Lauren "stare at each other the entire 20 minutes they were saying their vows," it was "like these two people are meant to be together."  He describes his son and daughter-in-law as "beyond in love," and adds that "all the doubts are gone now" for any skeptics who attended the wedding.

Thomas and Lauren became engaged last December, and earlier this month Thomas announced their plans to have an October wedding.  The couple is currently on a Hawaiian honeymoon.  Next month Thomas will be hitting the road with Chris Young.  He's an opener on Young's "Liquid Neon" tour, which they'll kick off with a show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on November 15th.

Country Holiday Music Arriving In Stores Tuesday

A couple of new holiday albums are arriving in stores.  "Christmas With Scotty McCreery" is the first seasonal offering from the former "American Idol" winner.  The eleven-track set features standards such as "Jingle Bells," "Winter Wonderland," "O Holy Night," and "The Christmas Song," along with two original tunes.  Meanwhile, several country stars are included on "A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary."  Rascal Flatts contributes "Mary, Did You Know," Martina McBride sings "Please Come Home For Christmas," and Jewel adds "Angels We Have Heard On High."  Amy Grant and Vince Gill are also featured on the album, along with Cheap Trick, Michael Buble, Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera, and others.  The collection of seasonal songs raises money for Special Olympics.

Randy Travis, Avett Brothers Teaming Up For "CMT Crossroads"

Randy Travis is taking the stage for an upcoming installment of "CMT Crossroads."  The country star will team up with the folk group The Avett Brothers for the show.  The CMT series pairs a country artist with a performer from another genre to play each other's songs and discuss their influences to see where their musical paths intersect.  The Avett Brothers just released their seventh album, "The Carpenter," last month.  The group has also had songs featured on a number of TV series, including "Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood," and "One Tree Hill." 

Meanwhile, the stars have a host of hits from Randy's catalog to choose from, including the chart-toppers "Diggin' Up Bones," "On The Other Hand," "Forever and Ever, Amen," and "Deeper Than The Holler."  "CMT Crossroads" featuring Randy Travis and The Avett Brothers will have its debut on CMT on November 23rd.

Jerrod Niemann Likes Kix Brooks Musically, Personally

Jerrod Niemann admits he's a Kix Brooks fan.  Niemann says there's not much to dislike about the former Brooks & Dunn singer.
Jerrod says he first met Kix several years ago courtesy of another Brooks -- Garth Brooks, whom Niemann knew through his songwriting.  He recalls that Garth had tickets to Ronnie Dunn's "Rockin' the Barn" party but couldn't go, so Garth passed them along to him.