Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Ray Price Out Of ICU; Denying Death Rumors


Ray Price wants his fans to know he's still around,  The 87-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer is trying to dispel rumors that have cropped up claiming he's died.  In a Facebook post, Price credits his fans' prayers for getting him through his current medical ordeal.  He's also asking "whoever is spreading this story" to "not rush" him, because "the end will come on its own soon enough."  The singer's wife, Janie, explains that Ray's condition has actually "improved so much" that he's now out of the intensive care unit.  He was admitted to the ICU a few weeks ago after developing sepsis.  Janie says the treatment was effective, but the blood infection caused significant damage to Ray's kidneys.  She explains that Price is now staying at a physician supervised dialysis center so doctors can monitor his condition and see how well his kidneys are functioning.


Price, who also has pancreatic cancer, began experiencing kidney problems following a bout of severe dehydration back in the spring.  The dehydration was attributed to a medication for his cancer, which Price has said is in remission.


Adean, Bryan, Shania Featured On Pre-CMA Special


Some of country music's biggest stars are stepping "in the spotlight," and shedding light on their personal lives.  Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Shania Twain are among the stars featured on ABC's fifth annual pre-CMA Awards special "In The Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Countdown to the CMA Awards."  For the show Aldean discusses his life as a celebrity and how it's affected his family -- including the scandal he admits contributed to his divorce.  Bryan opens up about a pair of family tragedies.  Shania talks about her battle with stage fright, and takes viewers backstage at her Las Vegas show.  Viewers will also get a behind the scenes look the ABC drama "Nashville," and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton count down the top five country duets ever.  "In The Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Countdown to the CMA Awards" airs on ABC Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Taylor Swift Tapped For CMA Pinnacle Award; Show Lineup Grows


Taylor Swift will be honored at this week's Country Music Association Awards.  The country-pop superstar will be presented with the CMA's Pinnacle Award at the event.  She's becoming the second recipient of the honor, which recognizes artists who have broken boundaries with their music and gained prominence on both a national and international level.  CMA President of the Board Ed Hardy says Swift is an excellent choice for the prize, explaining that her "outstanding career epitomizes the definition of the Pinnacle Award."  Garth Brooks is the only other recipient of the award, which was established in 2005.


Meanwhile the lineup for the event continues to grow.  Jake Owen, Kip Moore, Lee Brice, and Brett Eldredge are on board as presenters, along with the Eli Young Band, Kellie Pickler, Kelly Clarkson, and Sheryl Crow.  Thompson Square will give a nod to the Music Video, Musical Event, and Musician of the Year winners, which will be announced earlier in the day on ABC's "Good Morning America."  Others slated to participate include "Nashville" stars Connie Britton, Charles Esten, and Lennon and Maisy Stella; "Duck Dynasty's" Jase and Missy Robertson; and "Pretty Little Liars'" Lucy Hale.  The 47th annual CMA Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Nashville, and air on ABC on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Brad Paisley Shares How He, Underwood Gelled As CMA Hosts


Brad Paisley says he still remembers when he and Carrie Underwood really found their comedy comfort zone as hosts of the Country Music Association Awards.  He recalls it was a bit during the 2010 ceremony in which he supposedly didn't know Lady Antebellum, and confused the country trio with Lady Gaga.


Paisley adds that while the Lady A-Lady Gaga bit might not seem very risky, at the time it felt like a big risk to them.  Brad and Carrie will once again be at the helm for this year's event.  The 47th annual CMA Awards will mark Paisley and Underwood's sixth consecutive year hosting the ceremony.  The event will air on ABC  Wednesday night.


Kacey Musgraves Honored To Compete Against Self At CMAs


Kacey Musgraves admits she's amazed to have two bids for Song of the Year at the upcoming Country Music Association Awards.  The country singer-songwriter says she's thrilled to receive such recognition for her work.


Song of the Year honors go to the songwriters.  Musgraves in the running for her own hit, "Merry Go 'Round," which she wrote with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, as well as for Miranda Lambert's top five hit "Mama's Broken Heart, which she penned with McAnally and Brandy Clark.  But the Song of the Year bids are just two of Kacey's six nominations.  She's also a contender in four other categories, including Female Vocalist and New Artist of the year.  The 47th annual CMA Awards will take place in Nashville and air on ABC on Wednesday.


Florida Georgia Line Call "Cruise" A "Blessing"


Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley say crowds go nuts when they play their hit "Cruise" in concert, which makes performing the song a bit of a challenge.  But they also hope it's a problem that never goes away.


Tyler adds that a song like "Cruise" is "the stuff you dream about" as a songwriter, and it's "a blessing" to be able to travel throughout the country and play it for the fan.  "Cruise" could also bring Florida Georgia Line some Country Music Association awards.  The tune is in the running for Single of the Year, while their "Cruise" remix with Nelly is up for Musical Event of the Year.  Florida Georgia Line is also a nominee for Vocal Duo and New Artist of the Year.  The 47th annual CMA Awards are coming up on Wednesday, and will air on ABC at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Dierks Bentley Hosts His Biggest Miles & Music Event


Dierks Bentley has a hefty donation for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.  Nashville's "Tennessean" says the country star had his best turn-out yet for his "Miles & Music For Kids" event, drawing an estimated crowd of ten-thousand for the concert at Riverfront Park.  And the benefit brought in 307-thousand-dollars -- the most Bentley has ever raised through a single event.  Bentley kicked off his eighth annual Nashville edition of the fundraiser with more than one-thousand riders joining him for a 40-mile motorcycle trek from Columbia, Tennessee to Nashville.  They wrapped up the ride at Riverfront Park for the concert, which featured Bentley along with Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, and Easton Corbin and others. 


During his set Bentley called it "crazy to have this many people come out" for the event.  He also expressed his appreciation to the crowd for all their support.


Darius Rucker Announces 2014 "True Believers Tour"


Darius Rucker is making plans to hit the road early next year.  The singer will launch his 2014 "True Believers Tour" with a show at the University of Illinois in Champaign on January 29th.  The 15-date trek will make stops throughout the Central and Eastern U.S. before coming to a close in Loveland, Colorado on March 9th.  Rucker has tapped the Eli Young Band and David Nail to join him as openers.  Darius says he's looking forward to the tour, because "there's nothing like seeing the fans react to your music."  He adds that it'll be "an awesome show," because "both Eli Young Band and David Nail deliver live." 


Darius is touring behind his latest album, "True Believers," which features the chart-topping hit "Wagon Wheel" and his current single, "Radio."


Darius Rucker "True Believers Tour" Dates


January 29 - Champaign, Illinois, at the University of Illinois

January 30 - Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the Memorial Coliseum

January 31 - Ypsilanti, Michigan, at the Eastern Michigan Convocation Center

February 13 - Hershey, Pennsylvania, at the Giant Center

February 14 - Albany, New York, at the Times Union

February 15 - Verona, New York, at the T. Stone Event Central

February 20 - Charleston, South Carolina, at th North Charleston Coliseum

February 21 - Columbia, South Carolina, at the Colonial Life Arena

February 22 - Asheville, North Carolina, at the US Cellular Center

February 27 - Erie, Pennsylvania, at the Insurance Arena

February 28 - Youngstown, Ohio, at The Covelli Center

March 1 - Roanoke, Virginia, at the Roanoke Civic Center

March 7 - Enid, Oklahoma, at the Enid Event Center and Convention Hall

March 8 - Salina, Kansas, at the Bicentennial Center

March 9 - Loveland, Colorado, at the Budweiser Events Center


Kristofferson Honors Janis Joplin At Walk Of Fame Ceremony


Kris Kristofferson is helping to remember the late Janis Joplin.  The country legend took part in the rocker's Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling ceremony on Monday, performing "Me and Bobby McGee" at the event.


Joplin covered "Me and Bobby McGee" for what ended up being her last album, "Pearl."  Joplin's version of the song was released as a single in January 1971, a few months after her death.  It went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 to become Joplin's only chart-topping hit.


Country Birthdays Include


The Kinleys' Heather and Jennifer Kinley are 43.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1960, Johnny Horton died in a car accident after a show at the Skyline Club in Austin, Texas.  It was the same club in which Hank Williams played his last show as well.


Today in 1967, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition made their first network TV appearance, performing on the "Smothers Brothers Show."


Today in 1969, Jerry Reed recorded "Amos Moses."


Today in 1982, Alabama released its first holiday album, "Christmas in Dixie."


Today in 1990, Pam Tillis released the single "Don't Tell Me What to Do."


Today in 1995, BlackHawk released the single "Like There Ain't No Yesterday."


Today in 1996, Terri Clark's album "Just The Same" and Reba McEntire's "What If It's You" album arrived in stores.


Today in 2002, new album releases included Willie Nelson & Friends' "Stars & Guitars," featuring Vince Gill, Toby Keith, and Lee Ann Womack; Trick Pony's "On A Mission;" Alison Krauss & Union Station's "Live;" Mark Wills' "Greatest Hits;" and Alan Jackson's "Let It Be Christmas."


Today in 2003, Alan Jackson and the late Johnny Cash were the big winners at the 37th annual CMA Awards.  Jackson was named Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, and took Vocal Event of the Year for his collaboration with Jimmy Buffett on the hit "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere."  Cash captured nods for Single and Video of the Year for the song "Hurt" and Album of the Year with "American IV: The Man Comes Around," and he was honored with an all-star musical tribute.  Other winners included Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Joe Nichols, Rascal Flatts, and Randy Travis.


Today in 2004, Shania Twain launched "Good Morning America's" Womn That Rock concert series with a performance in Nashville.


Today in 2001, it was announced that Alan Jackson raised more than 200-thousand-dollars at his October 27th benefit concert for "Angels House," the Newnan-Coweta Children's Shelter, in his hometown of Newnan, Georgia.


Today in 2006, Reba McEntire and Ronnie Milsap were among the first inductees into the new Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville.


Today in 2006, Ricochet hosted "An Evening of American Country Music" at The New Century Palace in Huangshan, China, marking the first time an American country band had performed in the People's Republic.


Today in 2006, Emerson Drive performed at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville as part of the CMA's "Nashville Celebrates Country" activities.


Today in 2006, Tanya Tucker, Josh Gracin, Heartland, Julie Roberts, and Trent Tomlinson were among those who participated in the "Rhinestones & Roses" fashion event in Nashville honoring the designer Manuel.  Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Hank Williams, Sr. as well as Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, and Kenny Chesney are among the country stars who have worn Manuel's fashions.


Today in 2006, Reba McEntire hosted a special preview of the movie "Charlotte's Web" in Franklin, Tennessee.  Reba was part of the animated project, providing the voice for Betsy the cow.  Montgomery Gentry and Clint Black also took part in the event.


Today in 2007, Garth Brooks was recognized by the Recording Industry of America Association as the number one selling solo artist in U.S. album history with an event in Hollywood.  But while Brooks was also slated to be a guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," he showed his support for the Writers Guild of America strike by cancelling his scheduled appearance on that show -- as well as other upcoming talk shows -- before heading to Kansas City, Missouri to make his return to the stage with the launch of a nine-night concert stand.  His wife, Trisha Yearwood, opened the shows.


Today in 2007, Vince Gill, Barbara Mandrell, and Rodney Crowell, songwriter Bob DiPiero -- who's penned hits for such stars as Gill, Montgomery Gentry, George Strait, Martina McBride, and the Oak Ridge Boys -- and music publisher and producer Buddy Killen were among the new inductees into the Music City Walk of Fame.


Today in 2007, Brad Paisley visited with wounded troops at the Brooke Army Medical Center's Burn Unit in San Antonio, Texas.


Today in 2007, Whiskey Falls, Jennifer Hanson, and Lady Antebellum were among the performers at the CMA Global Showcase, while Jace Everett served as host.  The Country Music Association event was in conjunction with the CMA Awards, and presented new country artists to international media outlets.


Today in 2008, Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott took the top prize of Songwriter of the Year at the SESAC 2008 Nashville Music Awards, getting the nod as the co-writer of the trio's hits "Love Don't Live Here" and "Lookin' For A Good Time."  In addition, Kenny Chesney's hit "Better as a Memory" was named Song of the Year, with the honor going to writer Scooter Carusoe.


Today in 2009, Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival tour was named the Top Package at the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards in New York.  Chesney captured the category for a record sixth straight year.  Keith Urban was also a winner.  He earned the Concert Marketing and Promotion Award for his Escape Together tour sponsored by Kingsford and KC Masterpiece.


Today in 2009, Country Week continued on "The Late Show with David Letterman" with Keith Urban as the musical guest.


Today in 2012, Billy Ray Cyrus made his Broadway debut, launching a seven-week run in the role of attorney Billy Flynn in the musical "Chicago" at New York's Ambassador Theater.


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