Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Carrie Underwood Continues To Tweet Against Ag Gag Bill


Carrie Underwood isn't willing to just sit on the sidelines.  She's continuing to champion the so-called "Ag Gag" bill, which puts guidelines on how whistleblowers can report suspected abuse of farm animals.  The country star tweeted on Monday, "Happy Earth Day! Let's win one this week for animals, consumers and the 1st amendment! You can help!!!"  Underwood's vocal opposition to the "Ag Gag" bill is being heard, and isn't sitting well with one Tennessee politician.  But Underwood isn't letting his comments deter her, tweeting, "I should stick to singing? Wow...sorry, I'm just a tax paying citizen concerned for the safety of my family."


Carrie is also using Twitter to champion her hockey player husband.  She tweets that she'll "be voting for Mike Fisher! ;) I hear he's pretty awesome!" for the cover of EA Sports' upcoming "NHL14."


Toby Keith Prepping For Annual Fundraiser, USO Tour


Toby Keith has a couple of special events on the horizon.  The country star is making plans for his tenth annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic.  The event will once again start off with an evening gala for golfers and guests, who'll enjoy fine food and entertainment including live and silent auctions.  The next day golfers will hit the course at the Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma.  But Toby says this year's event will be a little different from previous years.  He explains that their tenth anniversary event is "really a "thank you" to all of those people who have supported us over the years."  Money raised through the event will fund the new OK Kids Korral, a facility Keith is developing with the Oklahoma University Medical Center for young patients and their families.  The 10th annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic is scheduled for May 10th and 11th.


Before hosting his charity event, Toby once again show his support for the troops with a USO Tour.  The singer will visit the Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii on the trek, which he'll launch this Saturday.


Swift, Aldean Among Top Country Nominees For Billboard Awards


Taylor Swift is leading the way for country music heading into the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.  The country-pop crossover star has eleven nominations, including bids in country and all-genre categories.  She's in the running for Top Artist, Top Billboard 20 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Female Artist, and Top Country Artist.  Her album "Red" and hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" are also up for awards.  Jason Aldean is a multiple nominee as well, with his name showing up in the Top Male Artist category as well as for Top Country Artist and Top Country Album.  Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Hunter Hayes are also up for more than one award.


In addition to leading the list of nominees, Taylor Swift is also on board to perform.  The 2013 Billboard Music Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, airing live on ABC on May 19th.


Country-related nominees for the 2013 Billboard Music Awards:


Top Artist:

Justin Bieber

Maroon 5


Taylor Swift

One Direction


Top Country Artist:

Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Hunter Hayes

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood


Top Country Album

Jason Aldean, "Night Train"

Luke Bryan, "Tailgates & Tanlines"

Lionel Richie, "Tuskegee"

Taylor Swift, "Red"

Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away"


Top Country Song

Luke Bryan, "Drunk On You"

Eric Church, "Springsteen"

Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"

Hunter Hayes, "Wanted"

Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"


Top Streaming Song (Video)

Fun. featuring Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"

Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz, "Thrift Shop"

Psy, " Gangnam Style"

Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"


Top Female Artist


Carly Rae Jepsen

Nicki Minaj


Taylor Swift


Top Male Artist

Jason Aldean

Justin Bieber


Flo Rida

Bruno Mars


Billboard 200 Artist


Justin Bieber

Mumford & Sons

One Direction

Taylor Swift


Hot 100 Artist

Flo Rida


Maroon 5


Taylor Swift


Top Billboard 200 Album

Adele, "21"

Mumford & Sons, "Babel"

Taylor Swift, "Red"

One Direction, Up All Night"

One Direction, "Take Me Home"


Digital Songs Artist

Flo Rida


Carly Rae Jepsen

Maroon 5

Taylor Swift


Social Artist

Justin Bieber

One Direction

Katy Perry


Taylor Swift


Jason Aldean Proud Of Billboard Music Award Nominations


Jason Aldean admits his Billboard Music Award nomination in the all-genre Top Male Artist category is particularly meaningful to him.  The singer says he feels "really proud to be the guy" who gets to "wave that flag for country music" in the category.  Aldean explains that he's been "so focused" on his "Night Train" tour that the nominations "totally" took him by surprise.  But he's extending his thanks to "everyone who has bought a ticket or downloaded an album," adding that he'll do his best to "represent and make y'all proud."  Aldean is vying for the award along with pop stars Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars and rappers Drake and Flo Rida.


Top Male Artist is one of three nominations for Aldean.  He's also in the running for Top Country Artist and his CD "Night Train" is up for Top  Country Album.  The 2013 Billboard Music Awards will take place in Las Vegas, and air on ABC on May 19th.


Glen Campbell Ends Touring, Readies CD As Alzheimer's Gets Worse


Glen Campbell's road career is over.  The country star's publicist says Glen is "done touring."  Rep Sandy Brokaw explains that Campbell, who's battling Alzheimer's disease, "went on the goodbye tour and wanted to see how it was with his health," and "after Christmas they put a big bow" on the trek -- and that aspect of Glen's career.  Brokaw also admits that Glen's condition has become worse.  The publicist explains that Campbell gets "confused" and "can't do an interview," and is no longer "comfortable on live TV."


However, Glen -- who turned 77 on Monday -- has one more album on the way.  For "See You There" Glen reworked some of his biggest hits, including "Galveston" and "Gentle on My Mind."  He recorded the project with producer Julian Raymond while they were working on "Ghost on the Canvas," Glen's 2011 album which was originally expected to be his last studio project.  "See You There" is expected in stores on July 30th.


Hunter Hayes Performs Again With Wonder; Pickler Leads Pack On "Dancing"


Hunter Hayes continues his working relationship with Stevie Wonder.  The country star joined the Motown legend to open Monday's episode of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," teaming up on Wonder's "Ain't Gonna Stand For It."


Meanwhile, Kellie Pickler continues to shine on the show.  She earned a near-perfect score of 29 for her quickstep.  Judge Len Goodman praised it as "the best dance" he's seen this season.  While Disney star Zendaya also received a 29 from the judges Kellie sits alone at the top of this week's leaderboard, because the country star earned extra points for her group dance.  But having the best score doesn't guarantee that Kellie will still be on the show next week.  Pickler and the other contenders will find out who's staying and who's leaving on the "Dancing With the Stars" results show, airing on ABC tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


Zac Brown Band Announce Plans For Nashville Southern Ground Festival


Zac Brown Band is putting together an impressive lineup for the Nashville edition of their Southern Ground Music & Food Festival.  Willie Nelson & Family, Kacey Musgraves, and the Eli Young Band are among the artists slated to perform at the event.  Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are also scheduled to perform.  Meanwhile, Brown and company have tapped Kenny Chesney, John Fogerty, and Jason Mraz to join them for their headlining sets.  Zac Brown Band's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival will take place at The Lawn at Riverfront Park in Nashville on September 27th and 28th.


Lady A's Haywood Reflects On Impact Of Scott's Pregnancy


Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood says he believes bandmate Hillary Scott's pregnancy has made a difference on their new album, "Golden."  He explains that she's going through an amazing, life-changing experience which affects all aspects of her life, as well as those around her.


Haywood adds that Hillary has more confidence these days, and her singing is the best it's ever been on "Golden."  Lady A's new album features their latest chart-topping hit, "Downtown."  And fans who pre-order the disc via iTunes will get an instant download of the album track "Goodbye Town."  Lady A's "Golden" will be released on May 7th.


Craig Campbell Pleased, Worried That Daughter Is A Good Singer


Craig Campbell isn't the only talented vocalist in his family.  The country star says his young daughter Preslee sings all the time, and is very good.


Craig admits he's somewhat torn about his daughter's singing, but says he'll support her if she decides to pursue a career in music.  But he adds that right now he just wants her to enjoy music, have fun, and be a child.


Craig Campbell says his five-year-old daughter is a good singer, which leaves him with mixed feelings.


Thomas Rhett Shares What He Enjoys During His Free Time


Thomas Rhett admits he doesn't have much downtime these days.  But the country newcomer says that whenever he gets a day off he enjoys getting together with friends.


Rhett adds that during summer he'll go out fishing when he can.  He says he also enjoys golf, even though he's "not very good" at it.  But Thomas' schedule is packed right now.  In addition to touring, he just released his new single, "It Goes Like This."  Rhett will be headlining a show in Oxford, Ohio on Wednesday.  On Thursday he'll be opening a show for Jason Aldean in Evansville, Indiana.


Quick Bites


Tate Stevens' debut album arrives in stores today.  "The X Factor" winner's self-titled debut effort features his single "Power of a Love Song."  The disc's release follows a pair of homecoming shows in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday and Monday.  During the special shows Tate introduced the crowd to his wife Ashlie and children, crediting them for his career by signing him up for his "X Factor" audition.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1956, Elvis Presley played Las Vegas for the first time -- and bombed!  He opened for comedian Shecky Greene, and the middle-aged crowd hated him.  He didn't return to Vegas until 1969.


Today in 1991, Alan Jackson released the hit single "Don't Rock the Jukebox."


Today in 1993, Tracy Lawrence hit number one with "Alibis." 


Today in 1994, Lari White married her husband, Chuck Cannon.


Today in 1996, George Strait released his album "Blue Clear Sky."


Today in 1997, Brooks & Dunn were named Entertainers of the Year while George Strait and Patty Loveless took the Male and Female Vocalist of the Year titles at the 32nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  Trace Adkins and LeAnn Rimes were named Top New Male and Female Vocalists, and Rimes' "Blue" captured the honor of Single of the Year.


Today in 1998, Pam Tillis appeared on both "Promised Land" and "Diagnosis Murder," playing the same character -- a con artist named Kate Matthews.


Today in 1999, Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rhett Akins, Lee Roy Parnell and blues artist Johnny Neel surprised an audience of 13-thousand in Nashville when they joined Charlie Daniels for his Volunteer Jam '99 concert.


Today in 2002, new releases included Kenny Chesney's album "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems."


Today in 2003, Johnny Cash's album "American IV: The Man Comes Around" was certified Gold.  It was his first solo studio album ever recognized in that manner.


Today in 2004, the "Grand Ole Opry American Road Show 2004" -- featuring Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, the Del McCoury Band, and Rebecca Lynn Howard -- began in Uncasville, Connecticut.


Today in 2005, Wynonna Judd and Julie Roberts took part in the Divas Nashvegas benefit for the Oasis Center for teens.


Today in 2006, Joe Don Rooney, guitarist for Rascal Flatts, wed "Playboy" Playmate Tiffany Fallon on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


Today in 2007, Martina McBride's song "Anyway" anchored a trailer for the movie "A Life Interrupted" on the Lifetime Channel. The film was inspired by the true story of housewife Debbie Smith, who helped pass the most effective anti-rape legislation in U.S. history.  McBride said she dedicated "Anyway" to survivors of violence everywhere.


Today in 2007, Trace Adkins performed the national anthem at Wrigley Field prior to the Chicago Cubs/Milwaukee Brewers game.  He also came out during the seventh inning stretch to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from the broadcast booth.


Today in 2008, Lady Antebellum's self-titled album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2008, Rodney Atkins attended two parties in Nashville honoring his chart-topping hit "Cleaning this Gun (Come On In Boy)."


Today in 2008, Trace Adkins attended the screening of "Trailer Park of Terror" at the Nashville Film Festival, and participated in a question and answer session afterwards.  In addition, Big & Rich's Big Kenny Alphin was at the event for the premier of his documentary "Bearing Light: A Journey to Sudan."


Today in 2008, Trisha Yearwood's cookbook "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes from My Family to Yours" hit the number three slot on the "New York Times" bestseller list.


Today in 2008, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites took home honors for Top Bluegrass Album at The Dove awards in Nashville.


Today in 2010, Brooks & Dunn launched their final road trip, "The Last Rodeo Tour," with a show in Sacramento, California.  Jason Aldean was the opener.


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