Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

CMT Artists Of The Year Honored Tonight


Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, and Florida Georgia Line are being celebrated for their success over the past 12 months.  The country stars are the 2013 CMT Artists of the Year.  They'll be recognized with an all-star tribute event, featuring Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, and Alabama.  Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam, and Cassadee Pope are also on board for the special show, along with Lionel Richie, "Nashville" star Hayden Panettiere, and others.  Blue Collar Comedy star Ron White will host the event.  The honorees were determined through a variety of factors, including music and concert ticket sales, radio airplay, and video streams.  And for the first time the gala will be broadcast live.  The 2013 CMT Artists of the Year special will air from Nashville on CMT Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


McGraw Calls Swift, Urban ACM Collaboration A "Big Highlight"


Tim McGraw says one of his highlights of 2013 was his Academy of Country Music Awards performance.  He teamed up with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban to perform their collaborative hit "Highway Don't Care" at the April event.  Tim tells "CMT Top 20 Countdown" it's always special to work with other stars, because "there's only so many times you get to do that in your career."  He adds that he believes he, Taylor and Keith turned in a great performance.


But McGraw isn't just mulling over the past.  He's working on his next album, and already looking ahead to his 2014 tour.  The singer says he really enjoys "building a new stage," which is difficult but fun.  Tim explains that at this point in his career it's "a big challenge" to "come up with something different," and it's "always exciting" to put together a new show.


Luke Bryan Likes Hosting ACM Awards With Blake Shelton


Luke Bryan says he thinks he and Blake Shelton make a great hosting team for the Academy of Country Music Awards.  The singer explains that they have a compatible sense of humor.


Bryan adds that he believes he and Shelton do a good job of keeping the show fresh and funny.  Luke made his debut as Blake's co-host at the 2013 ceremony back in April, and they'll be back for next year's event.  The 49th annual ACM Awards will take place in Las Vegas, and air on CBS on April 6th.


Taylor Swift Among Top Bing Searches For 2013


Taylor Swift has sparked a lot of curiosity this year.  The country-pop superstar is in the top five on Bing's new rundown of the top searches of 2013, taking fourth place.  Pop superstar Beyonce is the leading lady on the list.  The Microsoft search engine says Beyonce was the most searched person on Bing this year, bumping last year's top search subject Kim Kardashian down to number two.  Overall, women dominated the top five searches on Bing.  Rihanna ranks third while Madonna rounds out the top five. Miley Cyrus is coming in at number nine.  The only men who made the top ten include Justin Bieber at number six and President Barack Obama in tenth place.


Here are the top ten searches on Bing for 2013:


1. Beyonce

2. Kim Kardashian

3. Rihanna

4. Taylor Swift

5. Madonna

6. Justin Bieber

7. Nicki Minaj

8. Amanda Bynes

9. Miley Cyrus

10. President Barack Obama


Jake Owen Defines "Days Of Gold"


Jake Owen says there's an element of nostalgia to his current single, "Days Of Gold."  But the country star explains that it's a celebration of old and new memories, as well as those that haven't yet been made.


Jake adds that the song "Days Of Gold" is "something a little different than normal," which is why he made it the lead off single, title track, and first song on his new album.  The CD "Days Of Gold" arrives in stores Tuesday, and Owen has several TV appearances scheduled to support the project.  He'll give a release-day performance Tuesday on VH1's "Big Morning Buzz."  In addition, Jake will visit ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, and be the musical guest on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Thursday.


Country Stars Included On "Rolling Stone's" 2013 Best Albums List


Ashley Monroe, Kacey Musgraves, and Keith Urban have some of the best albums of the year, according to "Rolling Stone."  The country stars' 2013 releases are among the titles included on the publication's list of the 50 Best Albums of 2013.  Ashley ranks highest of the three, with "Like A Rose" taking the number 18 spot.  The magazine calls the album "a juicy old-school honky-tonk set," but says the lyrical content is proof that Monroe' record "isn't your grandma's country music."  Kacey's "Same Trailer Different Park," which lands at number 28 on the list, draws similar praise for blending a "commercial country sound" with modern, edgier lyrics.  Urban's "Fuse" ranks 39th.  The magazine says he's skilled at "synergizing dance-pop drive and countrypolitan pump," and knows how to add "'80s guitar flash and Euro beats to tight-crafted Nashville songs."


Wynonna Judd Launching Holiday Tour


Wynonna Judd is back on the road.  The country star is heading out on her 2013 holiday trek, "A Simpler Christmas."  The singer says the tour's name outlines her goal with the run.  She explains that the holidays are a hectic time of year for most people, so she and her band want to "give fans a chance to experience the simpler sounds of the season."


Wy's "A Simpler Christmas" tour will begin in Bakersfield, California on Tuesday.  She'll wrap up the 12-date road trip in Bethesda, Maryland on December 23rd.  Later this week Wy will also play two shows in Las Vegas, which are not part of her holiday tour.


Wynonna's "A Simpler Christmas" Tour Dates


December 3 - Bakersfield, California, at the Fox Theater

December 4 - San Jose, California, at the San Jose Civic Auditorium

December 6 & 7 - Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Orleans Hotel & Casino - not "A Simpler Christmas" shows

December 8 - Tucson, Arizona, at the Fox Tucson Theater

December 11 - Eagle Pass, Texas, at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel

December 13 - St. Charles, Illinois, at The Arcada Theater

December 14 - North Kansas City, Missouri, at Harrah's Voodoo Lounge

December 15 - Ralston, Nebraska, at the Ralston Arena

December 19 - Newberry, South Carolina, at the Newberry Opera House

December 20 - Charlottesville, Virginia, at The Paramount Theater

December 21 - Verona, New York, at The Turning Stone Resort & Casino

December 22 - York, Pennsylvania, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center

December 23 - Bethesda, Maryland, at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club


Love And Theft Singer Becomes A Dad


Love And Theft's Stephen Barker Liles has a new title -- dad.  The country singer and his fiancée Jenna Kennedy are celebrating the arrival of their first child, Jett Barker Liles, who was born in a Nashville hospital Monday morning.  Stephen says he and Jenna are "so thrilled to be parents," calling it "the best thing that has happened" to them.  He adds that his son's birth was "the greatest rush" he's ever experienced.  The singer also praises Jenna, saying she was "awesome, calm and collected" all throughout her labor -- during which they "stayed up all night and watched 'SportsCenter' and 'Friends.'"  Stephen adds that he didn't immediately introduce his son to his own music, but that they "listened to Mozart during the delivery."


Jett made his entry into the world one day early.  In announcing Jenna's pregnancy, Liles said the baby was due December 3rd.  And with Jett's arrival, both Stephen and his Love And Theft partner Eric Gunderson have become dads in 2013.  Eric and his wife, Emily, welcomed their son Camden William Gunderson on March 10th -- more than two months before the baby's May 18th due date.


Country Star Keith Anderson Celebrating Birth Of Son


Keith Anderson's family has grown by one.  The country star is celebrating the birth of his first son.  The singer has revealed via Facebook that Jaxon Creed Anderson was born on November 13th at 8:11 p.m., tipping the scales at five-pounds, eleven ounces and measuring 17 inches long.  Keith adds that "mom and baby are both perfect."  Jaxon is the second child for Keith and his wife, Lauren Woodruff.  Daughter Crozie J. Anderson just turned two in October.  Keith adds that life with an infant in the house hasn't been easy.  In a separate post he says he's become "so sleep deprived" since Jaxon's arrival.


Band Perry's Kimberly Perry Doesn't Have Many Hobbies


The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry admits she's not very comfortable talking about her hobbies.  The country star explains it's because she doesn't really have any. 


But Kimberly does have other interests.  She says she likes to read, and when she's at home she'll go for a drive to clear her head and "find peace and quiet."  The singer adds that she enjoys going antique shopping and doing "girly stuff" with their mother.  But Kimberly says it'll be a while before she's really displaying any gems she might find at those stores.  She admits she's looking forward to eventually having the time to put together a home, and not just decorate their tour bus.


Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr Among CRS New Faces Performers


Thomas Rhett and Tyler Farr are two of the emerging acts who'll be performing at the New Faces of Country Music Show at next year's Country Radio Seminar.  Brett Eldredge, Cassadee Pope, and Charlie Worsham are also on the lineup for the 2014 event.  The show is one of the highlights of the country radio executives' annual convention, and is already sold out.  The 2014 Country Radio Seminar gets under way in Nashville on February 19th.  The New Faces Show will close the convention on February 21st.


Previous New Faces performers have included Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Kellie Pickler, and Hunter Hayes.  Florida Georgia Line, Easton Corbin, and Brantley Gilbert were a few of the stars who took part in last year's event.


Country TV Tonight


CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR (CMT) Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, and Florida Georgia Line are the honorees, while Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, and Cassadee Pope are among the stars slated to take part in the tribute.

AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS: VIDEO PREVIEW (GAC) Trace Adkins and Danica Patrick give a behind-the-scenes look into the upcoming American Country Awards.

ORIGINS: THE BAND PERRY (GAC) The Band Perry discusses their career and rise to fame.

CHRISTMAS WITH SCOTTY MCCREERY AND FRIENDS (GAC) Scotty McCreery's 2012 holiday special features guest appearances from Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, and Gloriana.

ALABAMA & FRIENDS (GAC) Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line are among the stars who join Alabama for a special concert in the legendary band's honor.


Country Birthdays Include


Restless Heart bass player Paul Gregg is 59.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1948, "Here Comes Santa Claus" by Gene Autry entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1964, Bobby Bare married his wife, Jeannie.


Today in 1966, Charley Pride entered the charts for the first time with "Just Between You And Me."


Today in 1968, Elvis Presley's comeback special, "Elvis," aired for the first time.  It drew rave critical reactions and also the year's largest viewing figures for a musical special.  It was Elvis' first live performance in eight years, and his first TV performance in seven years.  It has since been cited by "TV Guide" as one of the most memorable moments in television history.


Today in 1993, Little Texas topped the country charts with the single "God Blessed Texas."


Today in 2001, Martina McBride won 125-thousand-dollars for the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Fund on a special celebrity edition of the syndicated game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."


Today in 2004, Tim McGraw became the first inductee into the Mohegan Sun Walk of Fame at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.


Today in 2004, Tracy Byrd, Trick Pony and Clay Walker took part in the 10th annual Celebrity Cutting competition in Fort Worth, Texas.  The star-studded benefit features celebrities riding the most athletic horses in the world to raise money for National Cutting Horse Association Charities, which helps un-insured and underinsured cancer patients.


Today in 2006, Dolly Parton was among those recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors gala in Washington, DC.


Today in 2006, Keith Urban made his first public appearance since entering rehab.  He was photographed having brunch with his wife, Nicole Kidman, at the Polo Lounge in Los Angeles.


Today in 2008, Toby Keith was at The Children's Hospital at Oklahoma's OU Medical Center, where he literally took up a sledge hammer in the fight against pediatric cancer.  He joined some of the patients in bashing in a wall that was being torn down so the oncology unit could be remodeled.  Ally's House, an organization Keith helped establish that assists pediatric cancer patients and their families throughout the Sooner state, funded the construction project.


Today in 2008, Taylor Swift served as co-host and performer for the primetime TV special "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live: Countdown To Music's Biggest Night," during which nominees in select categories for the 51st annual GRAMMY Awards were announced.  Other categories were unveiled online.  Alison Krauss was among the top nominees, while George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Lady Antebellum, Trisha Yearwood, and Sugarland were also multiple nominees, and Kenny Chesney received the first GRAMMY nomination of his career.


Today in 2008, Martina McBride appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," and with the help of technology performed "Blue Christmas" with the late Elvis Presley.


Today in 2008, Faith Hill and Rascal Flatts were among the stars featured on NBC's 11th annual special "Christmas in Rockefeller Center."


Today in 2010, Rascal Flatts and Martina McBride performed at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas.


Today in 2010, Tanya Tucker took second place at the 2010 Celebrity Cutting event in Fort Worth, Texas with partner Hal Brown.  Randy Travis and Joe Nichols also participated in the competition.


Today in 2011, George Jones played a special tribute concert in Fulton, Mississippi honoring the late Tammy Wynette.  The show raised money for a new memorial park in Tammy's hometown of Tremont, Mississippi.


Today in 2011, Brent Anderson made his Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 2012, Taylor Swift was one of the recipients of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award at the 2012 Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner in New York.


Today in 2012, Blake Shelton's holiday TV special, "Blake Shelton's Not So Family Christmas," debuted on NBC.


Today in 2012, Lady Antebellum launched their new charity, LadyAID.  The group also played a special holiday concert at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which was taped and released a year later as the DVD "On This Winter's Night."


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