Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Country Stars Perform With Troops For Tuesday's ACM Concert Special


Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, and Florida Georgia Line are just a few of the stars expressing their appreciation to the men and women in uniform -- and performing with them -- for the concert special "ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops."  The show was taped last month in Las Vegas, and raised money for the Academy of Country Music's ACM Lifting Lives.  Highlights include a song debut from Carrie Underwood.  She co-wrote "Keep Us Safe" specifically for the event.  And when she performs the song it'll be released as a digital single, with proceeds from sales going to Academy's charity.  Carrie says she's thrilled that she could do something special to honor the troops while supporting such a great organization.


George Strait, Merle Haggard, The Band Perry, and Kellie Pickler are among the many other performers taking part in the show.  "NCIS: Los Angeles" stars LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell serve as hosts for "ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops," which will air on CBS Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


Lady Antebellum Impressed With Military Performers On ACM's Concert Salute


The members of Lady Antebellum say the Academy of Country Music's TV special saluting the troops is something special.  The concert was taped in Las Vegas last month, and includes members of the military performing with the stars.  Lady A's Hillary Scott gets no argument from her bandmates when she admits their surprise at the talents displayed by the service members.


Hillary adds that they got to spend time with the troops they performed with, and learned a bit about their day-to-day experiences serving our country.  Charles says he wore a bracelet during the show that one of the servicemen gave him.  He admits he had a hard time accepting it, knowing it originally belonged to the soldier's friend who died in combat, but was proud to honor him by wearing it.


Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Florida Georgia Line and Carrie Underwood are among the many other stars who took part in concert.  "ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops" will air Tuesday night on CBS at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


Ralph Stanley Receives Honorary Doctorate From Yale


Ralph Stanley is getting new academic attention.  The bluegrass legend was among the celebrated guests Monday at Yale's graduation ceremony, where he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree.  In his citation Stanley is praised as "a living legend" and "the patriarch of traditional mountain and bluegrass music."  He's recognized for taking "a distinctly American sound" and making it his own.  Ralph is also credited for developing the "Stanley style" of banjo picking, and for influencing "generations of singers" with the "mournful sound and raw, emotional power" of his voice.


The Yale degree is the second honorary doctorate for Stanley, whose formal education ended with his high school graduation 69 years ago.  But he's been calling himself "Dr. Ralph Stanley" for nearly 40 years.  Ralph added the title to his name in 1976, after receiving his first honorary doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.


Team Blake Member Among Top Three Finalists On "The Voice"


Blake Shelton could be the winning coach once again on NBC's "The Voice."  The last member of Team Blake, country singer Jake Worthington, is among the top three heading into tonight's finale.  On Monday's show, Jake delivered a countrified version of Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting."


Jake's competition includes Christina Grimmie, who is on Adam Levine's team, and Josh Kaufman, who's on Team Usher.  Blake has the best record among the coaches on the show, leading a sinber to victory in three of the previous five seasons.  Shelton mentored season two's Jermaine Paul, season three's Cassadee Pope, and season four's Danielle Bradbery, who each took the title.  The new winner of "The Voice" will be announced on the season six finale, airing Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Brantley Gilbert Looking Forward To Performing For Hometown Crowd


Brantley Gilbert says he always enjoys performing at the Georgia Theater in Athens.  The venue isn't far from the country star's hometown, which he admits is part of the appeal.


But Brantley explains that while it's great to play large arenas, the Georgia Theater -- and other venues like it -- will remain special to him special because those were the places where he began his career.  He adds that he'll always perform in those smaller theaters.


Gilbert will perform at the Georgia Theater Tuesday night.  The show will serve as the kick-off concert to the singer's motorcycle tour in support of his new album, "Just As I Am."  Over the course of the six-day trek Brantley will make stops throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on his way to Washington, DC, where he'll wrap up his ride at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.


LeAnn Rimes, Jason Aldean Taking Part In Indy 500


Country stars are participating in the festivities surrounding this weekend's Indianapolis 500.  LeAnn Rimes has been tapped to sing the national anthem at the big race, which will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.  Jason Aldean will be on hand prior to the race.  He's slated to headline the Legends Day concert Saturday night.  Tyler Farr will open the special show, which is honoring racing great Mario Andretti.  The concert will also launch Aldean's new partnership with Firestone, which is sponsoring the show.


Country Stars On "Maxim" Hot 100 List


A few country women are getting recognized for their beauty.  "Maxim" magazine is teasing their upcoming Hot 100 list by revealing a few of the lovely ladies who've made the cut, and Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, and Kellie Pickler are among those getting the nod.  Kacey is landing at number 70, while Carrie has the number 56 spot.  Kellie is in the top half of the list, falling in at number 46.  Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter, Miley -- last year's leader -- is at number 25 this year, while Shakira, Beyonce, and Christina Aguilera are also among the 19 women on the list.  Rihanna has the highest rank, taking the number eleven spot.  "Maxim's" full reader-voted Hot 100 list will be unveiled next month.


Tim McGraw Pleased With Film Career


Tim McGraw says the film "Tomorrowland" really exists.  The country star shot his scenes in Vancouver last fall, but the movie isn't expected to hit theaters until next spring.  And Tim tells California's "Orange County Register" he can't say much about it,  The singer jokes that "it's such a hush-hush project" the producers have "threatened" to take his first-born daughter if he divulges any details about it.  But McGraw promises that "it's going to be a really, really big movie."  He adds that it was "a lot of fun to do."


Tim says he plays a rocket scientist in "Tomorrowland."  He admits he'd love to take on an action-adventure role, like a James Bond or Jason Bourne character, but he's naturally drawn to the more dramatic, "dark stuff."  McGraw adds he's been fortunate to get to work with Oscar-winning actors, because sharing a scene with such talented stars forces him to "sort of rise up and get better."  McGraw's castmates in "Tomorrowland" include George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Judy Greer.


Martina McBride Enjoyed Playing Cruise Ship Concerts


Martina McBride says she really enjoyed being a "Carnival Live" performer.  The country star recently played shows in Miami and Tampa, Florida for the cruise ship's concert series.  Martina admits she'd love to take a cruise, but that's just not possible for her right now.  But she says the concerts served as a good alternative for her.

Martina was the first country star to play "Carnival Live" shows this season.  Trace Adkins, Lady Antebellum, LeAnn Rimes, and Jewel are scheduled to perform later this year.  Olivia Newton-John, Gavin DeGraw, and Chicago are some of the other stars on the lineup.  Details are available at


Country TV Tonight


ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS (CBS) Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Antebellum are among the stars performing with members of the military in a concert honoring the men and women in uniform.

THE VOICE (NBC) The season six finale of the reality show includes Team Blake finalist Jake Worthington competing for the title.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1957, Marty Robbins "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)" debuted on the country charts.


Today in 1958, singer-songwriter Don Gibson joined the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1980, Alabama released "My Home's in Alabama," which became their first charted disc.


Today in 1989, Alabama scored a number one hit with the single "If I Had You."


Today in 1994, "The Video Collection" by Billy Ray Cyrus was certified Platinum.


Today in 1994, Toby Keith's "Wish I Didn't Know Now" topped the charts.


Today in 1997, Sara Evans' debut album "Three Chords and the Truth," was released.


Today in 1999, Tammy Wynette's death was officially ruled as natural causes.


Today in 2000, Jennifer Kinley became a missus when she married Adam Hughes in an outdoor ceremony in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.


Today in 2000, Tracy Lawrence made an appearance on the season finale of CBS TV's "Walker, Texas Ranger."


Today in 2002, Kix Brooks returned to his alma mater of Louisiana Tech to receive the school's highest honor, the Tower Medallion.


Today in 2003, Jeff Bates' "Rainbow Man," Jo Dee Messina's "Greatest Hits," the Oak Ridge Boys' "Colors," and Kenny Rogers' "Back To The Well" were among the new albums arriving in stores.

Today in 2004, Trace Adkins premiered his "Rough and Ready" video on CMT.


Today in 2005, Charlie Daniels performed the national anthem at Shea Stadium in New York City for the New York Mets-New York Yankees game.


Today in 2005, Diamond Rio performed the national anthem at Lowe's Motor Speedway Concord, North Carolina, kicking off the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 NASCAR truck race.


Today in 2007, Toby Keith performed for American troops at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan, during his fifth USO tour to the Middle East.


Today in 2007, Neal McCoy and Clay Walker performed on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."


Today in 2008, new releases included Julianne Hough's self-titled debut album.


Today in 2009, Carrie Underwood led the "Forbes" list of  the top earning stars to come to fame through "American Idol," with an average annual income of 14-million-dollars.  By comparison, Jennifer Hudson took second place with earnings of five-million-dollars.


Today in 2009, Keith Urban was among the guest performers on the "American Idol" season finale, in which Kris Allen earned the title.


Today in 2009, authorities determined that George Strait's brother, John "Buddy" Strait, died from heart disease aggravated by methadone toxicity, and ruled his death accidental.  Buddy Strait had been found dead in a San Antonio, Texas hotel room six weeks earlier.


Today in 2012, Taylor Swift was honored as the "Billboard" Woman of the Year at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, while Lady Antebellum and Jason Aldean were also among the winners.


Today in 2013, Toby Keith returned to his hometown to help his family, friends, and neighbors after a powerful and deadly tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma.


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