Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Blake Shelton Hosting Oklahoma Tornado Benefit Tonight


Blake Shelton is hitting the small screen tonight to help his fellow Oklahomans.  The Oklahoma-based country star is leading the lineup for "Healing in the Heartland," a fundraiser inspired by last week's devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma.  The hour-long NBC special will also feature Shelton's wife Miranda Lambert and other stars with ties to the Sooner State, including Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts, and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.  Other artists are stepping up as well.  Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, and Usher are also on board for the benefit.


The sold-out "Healing in the Heartland" concert will be staged at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and air live on NBC, CMT, and E! at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.  G4 will carry the first half hour of the show, while other outlets, including Style and Bravo, are set to rebroadcast the concert.  Proceeds will go to the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.


Yearwood Hitting Talk Shows As "Southern Kitchen" Starts 3rd Season


Trisha Yearwood is sharing some of her culinary techniques, along with the secrets to her weight loss success.  The country star will be a guest on today's edition of "Katie," and discuss how she lost 30 pounds in four months.  She'll also have Katie helping her in the kitchen as she prepares one of her modified Southern dishes.  Yearwood will continue making the TV rounds next week with a visit to the syndicated "Wendy Williams Show" on June 4th.   The singer's TV appearances coincide with the return of her Food Network series.  She launched season three of "Trisha's Southern Kitchen" last weekend.  New episodes of the show, which has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy, air Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m.


Jana Kramer Wishing Big For Wedding, Tapping Stars For Advice


Jana Kramer has some pretty big names on her wedding wish list.  The country singer tells "InTouch Weekly" she "would die if Keith Urban or Tim McGraw sang" at her ceremony.  And she might just get the chance to actually ask McGraw to do her the honor -- her husband-to-be Brantley Gilbert is an opener on Tim's tour this spring.  Meanwhile, Jana intends to use her own road work to get some marital advice.  Kramer is slated to open shows on Blake Shelton's tour this summer.  She says she's "really excited to sit down" with him and his wife Miranda Lambert and learn how the two country stars make their marriage work.


Jana says she knows career demands will keep her and Brantley apart -- sometimes for extended periods of time -- and there are also "girls vying for him and vice versa."  She says that as a result she realizes how important it is for her and Brantley to maintain the trust between them, and she wants to know how Blake and Miranda do that.


LeAnn Rimes Sensitive To How Domestic Situation Affects Cibrian's Sons


LeAnn Rimes admits being a stepmom can be challenging.  While the country star has said that she has a good relationship with husband Eddie Cibrian's two young sons, she explains that it's taken an effort.

Rimes says Mason was six years old and Jake was just two when she met them back in 2009, and she knows Cibrian's divorce from their mom, Brandi Glanville, has been tough on the kids.  The singer adds that she tries to be understanding and empathetic toward the boys, because she realizes how hard it is for them to have to split their time between two homes. 


Keith Urban Names New CD, Announces Release Date


Keith Urban now has a release date and name for his next album.  The country star is planning to have "Fuse" in stores on September 10th.  The singer has spent nearly a year working on the project, and admits it "ain't even done yet!"  But he says making the album has been "so inspiring and liberating."  Urban explains that he wanted to "challenge" himself, and "expand the boundaries" of his "sound, rhythm, and melody" while "still remaining true" to who he is.  Urban released "Little Bit Of Everything," the debut single from the album earlier this month.  "Fuse" is Urban's follow up to his 2010 album "Get Closer."


Dierks Bentley Unveils First Single From Upcoming Album


Dierks Bentley says he's really excited about his new single, "Bourbon In Kentucky."  The country star says the duet is something new and different for him.


Bentley adds that he hopes "Bourbon In Kentucky" will spark an interest in his upcoming album, "Riser."  The Kacey Musgraves collaboration is the lead-off release from the disc, which Dierks describes as "an album project," not "just a bunch of songs thrown together."  "Riser" is the follow up to Bentley's 2012 effort, "Home."  His new CD is expected to hit stores later this year.


Hunter Hayes Making a Second "First Impression" With "Encore"


Hunter Hayes is calling his upcoming release "the second chance at a first impression."  The country star tells that "Encore" was "an experiment," and "not completely planned."  The project is a revamped version of Hayes' self-titled debut album.  Highlights include a collaboration with Jason Mraz on the song "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me," while Ashley Monroe joins Hunter on "What You Gonna Do."  The 17-track project also features Hunter's current single, "I Want Crazy" and the hits "Storm Warning," "Wanted," and "Somebody's Hearbreak," along with other new tunes and select cuts from the "Hunter Hayes" album.  "Hunter Hayes (Encore)" will be in stores on June 18th.


Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles Shares Thoughts On Solo Album


Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles says she's "super excited" about her upcoming solo album.  The country star explains in her website journal that the project is allowing her to branch out beyond the duo.  She says it's her opportunity to "prove some things" to herself and to "share other parts" of herself with her fans.  Nettles adds that it's also her chance to "simply shake it up and do something different, perhaps scary, and certainly fresh and new."


The singer also says she's really enjoyed writing songs for her still-untitled disc.  But she admits she's "very hesitant to go into much descriptive detail" about it, because the way a song sounds is "so subjective and relative to each listener's previous musical experience."  However, Jennifer adds that it's because of music's subjective nature that she's really looking forward to unveiling her new material, so her fans can "describe it" themselves.  Nettles has been working with famed producer Rick Rubin on the album, which is slated for a fall release.


Little Big Town Looking Forward To Keith Urban Tour


Little Big Town is excited about Keith Urban's upcoming tour.  But band members Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman admit it's for more than just the opportunity to perform with him.


Fairchild adds that they're pleased Dustin Lynch is also on the bill.  She says it's been great to see the way the singer-songwriter's career has taken off.  Urban's "Light The Fuse Tour 2013" will start in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 18th.


Country TV Tonight


HEALING IN THE HEARTLAND: RELIEF BENEFIT CONCERT (NBC, CMT, E!) Blake Shelton leads the lineup for the fundraiser to help victims of the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.  Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan, and Darius Rucker are also slated to perform.

KATIE (ABC) Trisha Yearwood is a guest.

BRAD PAISLEY SPINS THE WHEELHOUSE LIVE IN VEGAS (GAC) Brad Paisley is featured performing songs from his new album, "Wheelhouse," along with a behind-the-scenes look at the country star's "Beat This Summer" tour.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1952, Hank Williams Sr. divorced his first wife, Audrey, mother of Hank Williams Jr.


Today in 1992, Billy Ray Cyrus scored his first number one hit with "Achy Breaky Heart."


Today in 1993, Wynonna's second solo album, "Tell Me Why," debuted at number one on the country charts -- on the eve of her 29th birthday.


Today in 1996, Dana Williams of Diamond Rio and his wife, Lisa, became parents to son Jacob Keith.


Today in 1997, Bill Engvall's debut album, "Here's Your Sign," went Gold.


Today in 1998, Shania Twain launched her first major concert tour with a show in Sudbury, Ontario.


Today in 1998, Chely Wright attended a senior prom in Altoona, Pennsylvania with a fan named David Showalter.  Apparently the teen was tired of his mom bugging him to find a prom date, so he wrote to Chely and asked her to accompany him to the dance.  At the time Chely noted, quote, "I happened to have the evening off, so I said, 'Yeah, I'll do it.'"


Today in 2001, Mary Chapin Carpenter's album "Time*Sex*Love," and Brad Paisley's CD "Part 2" arrived in stores.


Today in 2004, Alan Jackson teamed up with George Strait and Jimmy Buffett for a concert at Texas Stadium in Dallas.


Today in 2004, Gretchen Wilson performed the national anthem before the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  In addition, her signature hit, "Redneck Woman," was sitting at the top of Billboard's country chart for the second week in a row.


Today in 2005, Trace Adkins performed at the national Memorial Day concert on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.


Today in 2006, Carrie Underwood headlined a concert and sang the national anthem as part of the pre-race show at the "Coca-Cola 600" at Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.


Today in 2006, Reba McEntire and Ronnie Dunn made a surprise appearance at the Station Inn bluegrass club in Nashville. They were there to help celebrate the birthday of producer and record executive Tony Brown.  At the event, Reba sang two Bob Wills classics -- "San Antonio Rose" and "Faded Love."


Today in 2007, Rodney Atkins hosted a free concert at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, in which the finalists for the ABC show "Six Degrees of Martina McBride" performed before members of a live audience who then voted for their favorite singer.


Today in 2007, Vince Gill, Chris Young, Keith Anderson and Lonestar's Dean Sams were among those who participated in the annual Cops & Jocks softball game in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.  Daryl Singletary, Linda Davis, Erika Jo, and Lee Brice also took part in the event, which supported Mothers Against Drunk Driving.


Today in 2007, new album releases included Jason Aldean's "Relentless" and Merle Haggard's "Working Man's Journey."


Today in 2011, Brad Paisley hosted his sister-in-law's wedding.  Actress Ashley Williams, the sister of Brad's wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley, tied the knot with producer Neal Dodson with a "farm-inspired" ceremony at Brad and Kimberly's Nashville home.


Today in 2012, new releases included The Mavericks' EP "Suited Up And Ready.


Today in 2012, folk legend Doc Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  He'd been admitted a week earlier for abdominal surgery after falling ill, and remained in critical condition for several days following the operation.  Watson was 89.


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