Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Keith Urban Admits "Idol" Judges Had A Rough Start


Keith Urban admits he and his other "American Idol" judges went through an adjustment period.  He explains that in many ways he, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj were just thrown into the show alongside Randy Jackson, which was evident during the auditions.


Urban says they received no directions or guidance at all.  He explains that they all met in New York one night for dinner, and the next day the four of them were behind the judges' table expected to work as a team.  He compares the process to a dance, saying they were all sent out on the floor and told to "dance together in perfect synchronized movements" and they "stepped on a few toes at the beginning."  "American Idol" is launching its 12th season on Fox with a two-part premiere airing Wednesday and Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Tim McGraw Announces 2013 Tour


Tim McGraw is making plans to hit the road.  The country star announced his "Two Lanes of Freedom" trek in a Tumblr video.


McGraw will launch his trek in Birmingham, Alabama on May 2nd -- the day after his 46th birthday.  The 30-date road trip spans three months, and comes to a close in Virginia Beach, Virginia on July 27th.  The "Two Lanes of Freedom" tour shares the name with Tim's upcoming album, which he says "marks a new sense of excitement and artistic freedom" for him.  The singer adds that he wants to "extend that same feeling to the tour and create a cool vibe for the fans."  The album "Two Lanes of Freedom," including McGraw's singles "One of Those Nights" and "Truck Yeah," is due in stores on February 5th.


In addition, McGraw is making the ticket sales an interactive process with the new "Fanticipation" program through Tumblr.  Starting next month Tim will call one lucky fan to let that person know when tickets will be available for the show in their area, and it will be up to that person to announce the on-sale date either through Tumblr or McGraw's website.  More information about "Fanticipation" is available at


Tim McGraw's "Two Lanes Of Freedom" Tour Dates


May 2 -  Birmingham, Alabama, at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

May 3 - Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

May 4 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

May 10 - West Palm Beach, Florida, at the Cruzan Amphitheatre

May 11 - Tampa, Florida, at the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre

May 12 - Atlanta, Georgia, at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood

May 17 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Susquehanna Bank Center

May 18 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the First Niagara Pavilion

May 19 - Detroit, Michigan, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre

May 23 - St. Louis, Missouri, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

May 24 - Chicago, Illinois, at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

May 25 - Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Riverbend Music Center

May 26 - Darien Lakes, New York, at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

May 30 - Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Klipsch Music Center

May 31 - Cleveland, Ohio, at the Blossom Music Center

June 1 - Washington, DC, at Jiffy Lube Live

June 7 - San Diego, California, at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre

June 8 - San Bernardino, California, at the San Manuel Amphitheatre

June 9 - Mountain View, California, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre

June 13 - Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents the Pavilion

June 14 - Salt Lake City, Utah. at the USANA Amphitheatre

June 15 - Denver, Colorado, at Fiddler's Green

June 20 - Beaumont, Texas, at the Ford Park Pavilion

June 22 - Dallas, Texas, at the Gexa Energy Pavilion

June 28 - Hartford, Connecticut, at the Comcast Theatre

June 29 - Boston, Massachusetts, at the Comcast Center

June 30 - Holmdel, New Jersey, at the PNC Bank Arts Center

July 25 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

July 26 - Bethel, New York, at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

July 27 - Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach


Kenny Chesney Adds Dates To 2013 Tour


Kenny Chesney's upcoming tour is growing.  The singer's "No Shoes Nation" trek has more than doubled with the addition of 28 more shows.  Kenny will still kick off the tour in Tampa, Florida on March 16th, and bring the trek to a close with a two-night stand at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 23rd and 24th.  But he's filled in the gaps in his five-and-a-half-month road trip, which has expanded from 17 to 45 dates.  The Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves are on board for the majority of the stops.  Eric Church will take part in most of the stadium dates, including the tour launch at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, while Zac Brown Band is on the bill instead of Church for a few shows.


Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" Tour Dates


March 16 - Tampa, Florida, at Raymond James Stadium

March 21 - Albany, New York, at the Times Union Arena

March 22 & 23 - Uncasville, Connecticut, at the Mohegan Sun Arena

April 4 - Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Cajundome

April 5 - Texas, city, venue TBA

April 11 - Orange Beach, Alabama, at The Amphitheater At The Wharf

April 13 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Rock The Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival

April 19 & 20 - Las Vegas, Nevada, at  The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

April 25 - Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Van Andel Arena

April 26 - Peoria, Illinois, at the Peoria Civic Center

April 27 - Des Moines, Iowa, at the Wells Fargo Arena

May 4 - Columbia, South Carolina, at Williams Brice Stadium

May 11 - Dallas, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium

May 16 - Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

May 18 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at Miller Park

May 23 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

May 25 - Landover, Maryland, at FedExField

May 30 - Boise, Idaho, at the Taco Bell Arena

June 1 - Seattle, Washington, at CenturyLink Field

June 6 - Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

June 8 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Lincoln Financial Field

June 13 - Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Klipsch Music Center

June 15 - Kansas City, Missouri, at Arrowhead Stadium

June 20 - Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at the Blossom Music Center

June 22 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Heinz Field

June 27 - St. Louis, Missouri, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

June 28 - Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Riverbend Music Center

June 29 - Columbus, Ohio, at Crew Stadium

July 6 - Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival

July 12 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Target Field

July 14 - Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada, at the Craven Country Jamboree

July 18 - Salt Lake City, Utah, at the USANA Amphitheater

July 20 - Denver, Colorado, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

July 24 - Fresno, California, at the Savemart Center

July 25 - Mountain View,  California, at the Shoreline Amphitheater

July 27 - Anaheim, California, at Angels Stadium

August 1 - Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

August 3 - Atlanta, Georgia, at the GeorgiaDome

August 10 - East Rutherford, New Jersey, at MetLife Stadium

August 15 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

August 17 - Detroit, Michigan, at Ford Field

August 23 & 24 - Foxboro, Massachusetts, at Gillette Stadium


George Strait Glad McBride Joining Him For Final Tour


George Strait is getting ready to saddle up and hit the road for the last time.  Later this week the country legend will launch the first leg of his two-year "The Cowboy Rides Away" farewell tour.  Martina McBride is also on board, and George says he's glad she's joining him for the trek.


George adds that he's excited about the tour.  He explains that he has "over 30 years of great memories out on that road," and he's "sure these last two are going to be just as good or better."  But he also admits it'll be a somewhat bittersweet experience for him, adding that he expects it "to be fun but at the same time sad."  Still, he says he "can't wait" to be out there performing for his fans.  Strait will launch "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour in Lubbock, Texas on Friday.


Chris Young Going To Europe, Earning CMA Honor, Appearing On "Nashville"


Chris Young has a number of special events on the horizon.  The country star will be making his concert debut in the UK and Ireland next month as the headliner of a special CMA Songwriters Series tour.  The trek will begin in Dublin on February 21st.  Chris will then play two shows in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 22nd and 23rd before wrapping up the tour in London on February 25th.  But prior to heading overseas Young will be honored by the Country Music Association.  He has earned the CMA's Triple Play Award for writing three hits that all topped the chart within a 12-month span.  Chris logged the accomplishment with his number one singles "Voices," "Tomorrow," and "You."  The singer will be formally recognized at an event on January 29th.


Meanwhile, fans will be able to see Chris on the small screen next week.  He and Brantley Gilbert are making guest appearances on ABC's "Nashville."  They'll both portray themselves on the episode airing January 23rd.


ZBB's Brown, Cook Set For John Mayer's Montana Firefighter Benefit


The Zac Brown Band's Zac Brown and Clay Cook are supporting John Mayer in his charitable effort.  The country stars are among the artists on board for Mayer's benefit concert for firefighters who battled the Pine Creek Fire near Livingston, Montana last summer.  The devastating blaze destroyed more than 85-hundred acres of forest and farmland as well as five homes.  The cause is personal for Mayer, who lives in the area.  For Cook, the show is his way of helping out an old friend.  Clay and John met in the 1990s while they were both students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and became buddies and songwriting partners.  They'll team up again for "The Livingston Town Proper: A Concert to Benefit the Fighters of the Pine Creek Fire," taking place at the Emerson Theater in Bozeman, Montana Wednesday night.


Rep: Mindy McCready's Boyfriend Committed Suicide


A rep for Mindy McCready has confirmed that the country singer's boyfriend, David Wilson, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday night.  The rep tells that McCready is now "working on funeral arrangements and figuring out where to go from here."  McCready issued a statement on Monday calling Wilson her "soulmate" and a "precious gift from God."  She and David had a nine-month-old son together, while the singer was awarded custody of her six-year-old son from a previous relationship last year.  The rep says McCready and the kids were alone for the first 24-hours after the shooting, but her family has since made the drive from Florida to her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas to be with her.  The rep adds that McCready is now "surrounded by people who love her and are there for her."


Dierks Bentley Celebrating Reunion With Dog Jake


Dierks Bentley is resting easier now that his dog Jake is back home safe and sound.  The country star as well as many friends and fans went on a massive dog hunt Sunday after learning Jake was missing.  But Bentley says that unbeknownst to them a woman had found Jake well before they ended their search.


Bentley explains that he was on his way to a rehearsal with Miranda Lambert for their upcoming "Locked and Reloaded" tour when his wife called and told him Jake had jumped a fence and disappeared.  While he tried to go on with the rehearsal anyway, Dierks admits that he "couldn't take" being "around Miranda and all her thousands of animals backstage," so he left and began cruising the streets of Nashville looking for Jake.  He says he finally gave up at around one o'clock Monday morning, and at 7:00 a.m. he learned that Jake had been found -- ending the 18-hour ordeal.  Dierks adds that he's "the happiest person in the world" now that Jake is back, because he "couldn't imagine life" without his "little buddy."


"X Factor" Winner Tate Stevens Signs With RCA Records Nashville


"X Factor" winner Tate Stevens officially has his record deal.  Syco Music/RCA Records Nashville has announced that the company has inked a contract with the Fox reality show's country singer. Stevens' prize as the season two "X Factor" winner was a five-million-dollar record deal.  The former construction worker from Belton, Missouri took the title on the show last month in a two-part finale that included him performing with Little Big Town.  After his win, Tate said his plans were to celebrate the holidays with his family, then get started working on his debut album after the first of the year.


Country Birthdays Include


Ronnie Milsap is 67.

Jim Stafford is 69.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1984, Alabama's "Roll On" album was released.


Today in 1998, Brooks & Dunn topped the charts with their single "He's Got You."


Today in 1999, Trisha Yearwood was invited to become a member of the Opry cast during a guest appearance on the historic Ryman Auditorium stage.


Today in 1999, Alan Jackson's single "Right on the Money" climbed to number one.


Today in 2001, the Warren Brothers issued a formal apology for their scuffle with a manager at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon during Fan Fair.  The charges filed in relation to the incident were officially dropped a week later.


Today in 2001, Trisha Yearwood announced that she was teaming up with the "4 Your Life: CPR" campaign to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to residents of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.


Today in 2001, the "When It All Goes South" album by Alabama was released.


Today in 2003, Kenny Chesney was in Tupelo, Mississippi to kick off his 2003 "Margaritas 'n' Senoritas" tour.


Today in 2005, Carrie Underwood was among the contenders as the fourth season of Fox's "American Idol" began.  She won the competition on the show, which served to launch her singing career.


Today in 2005, Darryl Worley, John Michael Montgomery, and Lee Greenwood were among the performers at "Saluting Those Who Serve," a military-themed concert at the MCI Center in Washington, DC which was part of the inauguration events for President George W. Bush.


Today in 2006, Dierks Bentley and Jace Everett went to London, Dublin, and Glasgow as part of the "New from Nashville" concert series in Europe.


Today in 2006, the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk The Line" won three Golden Globes.  The film took the title of best musical or comedy film, while the best actor and actress nods went to Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for their portrayals of Johnny and June Carter Cash.  In addition, Emmylou Harris' "A Love That Will Never Grow Old," from the movie "Brokeback Mountain," earned the Best Original Song prize for songwriters Bernie Taupin, who's Elton John's longtime lyricist, and composer Gustavo Santaolalla .


Today in 2007, reps for Keith Urban confirmed that the singer had been released from rehab after a nearly-three month stint receiving treatment for alcohol addiction at the Betty Ford Clinic in Southern California.


Today in 2007, Clay Walker performed at the inaugural ball in Austin for Texas Governor Rick Perry.


Today in 2007, Taylor Swift's self-titled debut album was certified Gold.  Other albums earning Gold certification included Alan Jackson's "Like Red on a Rose" and Kenny Chesney's "Live Those Songs Again."


Today in 2007, Roy Clark celebrated 60 years in show business with a benefit concert.  Mel Tillis, Moe Bandy, Mickey Gilley and George Lindsey were among those who joined him at John Q. Hammons Arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the event.


Today in 2008, Reba McEntire was among the stars who took part in Lifetime Networks' "Every Woman Counts" campaign, encouraging women to vote in the upcoming elections.  Other stars on board for the campaign included singers Patti LaBelle and Mary J. Blige, and actresses Fran Drescher, Kim Delaney, Jodie Foster, and Halle Berry.


Today in 2010, Gretchen Wilson performed at the Indianapolis Colts-Baltimore Ravens NFL Divisional Round playoff game in Indianapolis.  She sang her hit "Work Hard, Play Harder" during halftime."


Today in 2010, Country Music Hall of Famer Carl Smith died at his Franklin, Tennessee home at the age of 82.  Smith was Carlene Carter's dad, and ex-husband of the late June Carter Cash.


Today in 2011, the final episode of "Hannah Montana," starring Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus, aired on the Disney Channel.


Today in 2011, Carrie Underwood, Julianne Hough, Keith Urban, and Nicole Kidman all attend the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles.


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