Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Jason Aldean Asking For Privacy As He Goes Through Divorce


Jason Aldean is asking for privacy as he takes the steps to end his marriage.  In a statement to "People" the country admits his entire family is going through "a really tough time."  He explains that he and estranged wife Jessica Ussery have been together since they were teenagers, and have "been through a lot of ups and downs over the years" as they "grew up together as a couple."  Jason adds that Jessica "will always be important" to him, because she's the mother of his children.  He also says their girls, ten-year-old Keeley and five-year-old Kendyl -- will always be both his and Jessica's "number one priority."  Aldean explains that his request for privacy is for his daughters.  He explains that he knows that because of his "job," he'll "have to go through a lot of this in the public eye."  But Jason says he's hoping people will give them "some level of privacy" and "at the very least be respectful" of his children.


Aldean took steps to formally end his marriage last week.  He filed for divorce in a Tennessee court last Friday, citing "irreconcilable differences."


Martina McBride To Sing National Anthem At Kentucky Derby


Martina McBride will have an up close seat at this weekend's Kentucky Derby.  The country star has been tapped to sing the national anthem at the start of the event.  Her performance will be part of NBC's coverage of the 139th Run for the Roses, which will take place at Churchill Downs in Saturday.  The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.  McBride's "Star-Spangled Banner" is expected shortly after 5:00 p.m. Eastern.  The race is slated to start at 6:24 p.m. Eastern.


Martina is the third country star to sing the anthem at the Kentucky Derby since the event started featuring live performances of the patriotic song.  LeAnn Rimes gave the inaugural performance in 2009, and Rascal Flatts followed in 2010.  "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks handled the task in 2011, and Mary J. Blige sang the anthem last year.


Chris Young To Sing Anthem At Talladega This Weekend


Chris Young is heading to Talladega.  The country star will be on hand to perform the national anthem at this weekend's NASCAR race.  Young will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the second day of "Aaron's Dream Weekend," which begins Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.  His performance will help launch the "Aaron's 312" on Saturday, which will be carried on ESPN at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.  In addition, Chris will treat NASCAR fans in attendance to a free concert Saturday night.  And Young just might include "Aw Naw" in his set.  The track is the fifth next single from his latest album, "Neon."


Kenny Chesney Reflects On His New Album


Kenny Chesney says "Life on a Rock" is an album he couldn't have made earlier in his career.  The country superstar had a hand in writing eight of the disc's ten tracks.  He tells that the words came first with many of the songs, explaining that he "just wrote the lyrics down" in an effort to capture "moments" from his life on paper.  Chesney adds that he wrote "without expectations," "without a timeline," and "without editing" himself.  Kenny also sheds some insights into the tracks.  He says "When I See This Bar" is about finding a life in the Virgin Islands that was "completely different" from how he lived in Nashville.  Chesney describes "Spread The Love," a collaboration with The Wailers, as "a perfect example of how universal music really is."  He calls "Must Be Something I Missed" "probably one of the most self-reflective songs" he's written in a while.  "Life on a Rock" also features Chesney's hit single "Pirate Flag."  The album arrives in stores Tuesday.


David Nail Working On "Completely Different" Album


David Nail fans will be hearing new music from him soon.  The country singer tells that he's working on a new album, and taking his sound in a new direction.  He says his upcoming studio effort is "completely different" from what he's done before.  David describes the project as "almost like a modern, 2013 bluegrass/country/pop record."  He adds that it's "really upbeat" and "fun," and believes "people are gonna be pleasantly surprised that there's a side of David Nail that they probably haven't seen."  Nail hasn't offered any titles or specific release dates, but says he plans to release his first single from the disc next month.


Report: Taylor Swift's New Single: "Everything Has Changed" Featuring Ed Sheeran


Taylor Swift is reportedly prepping her next single - the Ed Sheeran duet "Everything Has Changed."  According to, the country star is putting together an acoustic version of the song to be the fifth single off her chart-topping "Red" album.  She co-wrote the song with the British singer and has brought him along on the U.S. leg of her tour.  The "Idolator" reports that "Everything Has Changed" is scheduled to hit U.K. radio first in June, following her hits "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble."  Taylor and Ed - who seem to have successfully put an end to relationship rumors - will be getting a break from their hectic tour schedule for most of this week, before continuing on in Detroit on Saturday.


Taylor Swift's "Red" Her Fastest-Selling Album To Date


Taylor Swift's latest CD is also the fastest-selling album of her career. says that in its first six months, "Red" logged sales of three-million-612-thousand, which is the highest six-month sales figure for one of her albums.  However, sales for both 2008's "Fearless" and 2010's "Speak Now" also surpassed the three-million mark in just six months.  The six-month total for "Fearless" was three-million-189-thousand, while "Speak Now" had sales of three-million-361-thousand in the first six months it was available.  Only her 2006 self-titled debut fell short of the three-million mark, with 624-thousand in sales in its first six months.


Lady A Proud Of Upcoming Album


Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott says she's proud of the group's new album, "Golden."  She explains that the material comes from a pure place, and stems from the passion they have for music.


Hillary adds that they were fortunate to get pitched great songs from other writers as well.  She says overall Lady A was able to take a relaxed approach to the project, which enabled them to take more risks.  Lady A's "Golden" features their current hit, "Downtown."  The album will arrive on May 7th.


Rascal Flatts Working With Show Producer For Upcoming Tour


Rascal Flatts is doing something different with their upcoming tour.  The group's Jay DeMarcus says they've enlisted stage producer Raj Kapoor to help them develop their live show.  He adds that country music fans might already be familiar with his work.


Jay says he and bandmates Joe Don Rooney and Gary LeVox have always put together their shows.  But he admits it's been fun and exciting to work with an outsider who can "put a different set of eyes and ears" on what they're doing.  Rascal Flatts will soon begin rehearsals for their "Live and Loud 2013" tour, which will begin in Wantagh, New York on May 31st.


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley Getting Tattoo Honoring "Cruise"


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley has found a permanent way to commemorate the success of the duo's breakthrough hit, "Cruise."  He's getting a tattoo.


Brian says he believes bandmate Tyler Hubbard plans to get inked as well.  He adds that they might get matching tattoos, but they haven't settled on that idea just yet.  "Cruise" was Florida Georgia Line's debut single.  The song topped the Billboard Country Song and Country Airplay charts last December.  Brian says he thinks it's an important accomplishment to honor.  He explains that while he hopes Florida Georgia Line has more hits, there are no guarantees in the music business.


Greg Bates Not Getting Many Risque Responses To His "Blank"


Greg Bates is inviting listeners to let their imagination run wild with his latest single, "Fill in the Blank."  But the country newcomer admits the majority of things he's heard from fans have been pretty tame.


The song is about a new couple planning a weekend get-away, sung from the perspective of a guy who's letting his special someone "fill in the blank" regarding just how intimate the trip will be.  "Fill in the Blank" is the second single from Greg's self-titled debut album, following the hit "Did It For The Girl."


Stars Honor Willie Nelson On 80th Birthday


Kenny Chesney is among the many stars sending birthday wishes to Willie Nelson.


A host of stars have taken part in the special video campaign honoring the country legend, who is officially celebrating his 80th birthday today.  Country singers including Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley have submitted videos, along with a wide variety of celebrities ranging from Sharon Osbourne to Barbra Streisand to SpongeBob SquarePants.  The videos are posted at


Country Birthdays Include


Willie Nelson is 80.

The Mavericks Robert Reynolds is 51.

Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 42.

The Wilkinsons Tyler Wilkinson is 29.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1974, the album "The Best Of The Best Of Merle Haggard" was certified Gold.


Today in 1982, Willie Nelson's album "Always On My Mind" as certified Gold.


Today in 1993, Alan Jackson's single "Tonight I Climbed The Wall" hit the top of the charts.


Today in 1996, new releases included Mindy McCready's album "Ten Thousand Angels" and BR5-49's disc "Live From Robert's Western World Home."


Today in 1999, Jo Dee Messina appeared on CBS TV's Nash Bridges as "Tammy McGraw."  Along with acting in the show, Jo Dee performed her hit "Lesson In Leavin'."


Today in 2002, Tracy Byrd, Charlie Daniels, Andy Griggs, Blake Shelton, and Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry spent the morning on Nashville's Percy Priest Lake for the second annual "Fishing For A Cure" tournament, which raised money for the T.J. Martell Foundation for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.


Today in 2002, the albums "Cledus Envy" by Cledus T. Judd, "The Soul & The Edge" from Johnny Paycheck, and "Super Hits" by Collin Raye arrived in stores.


Today in 2003, Darryl Worley was enjoying his sixth week atop the "Radio & Records" Country Top 50 chart with the hit "Have You Forgotten."


Today in 2004, Terri Clark was in Nashville to begin shooting on the clip for "Girls Lie, Too."


Today in 2004, Brooks & Dunn, John Michael Montgomery, George Strait, and Travis Tritt were some of the celebrities who took part in the Kentucky Derby-related charity fundraiser Derby Eve Barnstable Brown Gala in Louisville.


Today in 2004, Carolyn Dawn Johnson spent her birthday in New York promoting her single "Simple Life" and album "Dress Rehearsal."


Today in 2005, Brooks & Dunn topped the "Billboard" country chart with "It's Getting Better all the Time."


Today in 2006, Big and Rich performed at the Save Darfur: Rally to Stop Genocide concert in Washington, DC.


Today in 2006, Pat Green and pro-partner Matt Weibring teamed up for the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament in Greenville, South Carolina.  Green, who out-played celebs Kevin Costner, Wayne Gretzky, and John Elway, drove away with a new BMW 24 Roadster.


Today in 2006, The Dixie Chicks were chosen by "Time" magazine as one of the "World's Most Influential People" of the year.


Today in 2006, The Johnny Cash Broadway musical "Ring of Fire" ended a 57-performance run at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York.


Today in 2007, Rascal Flatts' "Stand" hit number one on the "Country Aircheck" singles chart.


Today in 2008, Underwood received the title of "Female Celebrity Smile of the Year" from the consumer dentistry magazine "Dear Doctor."


Today in 2008, the book "Willie Nelson: An Epic Life" arrived in stores -- on Willie's 75th birthday.


Today in 2009, Dolly Parton's Broadway show "9 to 5: The Musical" opened at New York's Marquis Theater.


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift announced her new deal to be featured in ads for CoverGirl cosmetics.  She was chosen to be the face for the company's NatureLuxe line of makeup.


Today in 2010, Little Big Town sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the start of the Kentucky Oaks -- the "sister" race to the Kentucky Derby.  The group's performance marked the first time the anthem had been sung live at the event.  Meanwhile, John Michael Montgomery took part in the Barnstable Brown Gala, an annual charity fundraiser held in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby on the eve of the big race.


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