Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Lambert, Church, Bryan Top Nominees For Tonight's CMT Music Awards


Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Luke Bryan are leading the way into tonight's CMT Music Awards.  They're each up for four awards at the fan-voted event, including the night's top prize of Video of the Year.  A number of other stars could earn buckles as well.  Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney and Florida Georgia Line are all in the running for three awards a piece, while Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are some of the other hopefuls.  Many of the nominees will also perform at the event.  Lambert will take the stage with Pistol Annies -- another nominee -- while Bryan and Swift are also on board.  Other performers include Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, George Strait, Hunter Hayes, and Little Big Town, while Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery, Lisa Marie Presley and "Nashville's" Charles Esten are just some of the presenters for the show.


The ceremony will also feature some special performances.  Florida Georgia Line will be teaming up with Nelly, while Jason Aldean -- who's co-hosting the event -- will take the stage with rocker Lenny Kravitz.  The event will also pay tribute to victims of the recent tornadoes that have struck Oklahoma.  Underwood will honor those in her home state with a somber rendition of her new single "See You Again" with help from a backing choir.  The 2013 CMT Music Awards will be presented at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, and air live on CMT tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Nominees for the 2013 CMT Music Awards:


Video of the Year:


Brad Paisley, "Southern Comfort Zone"

Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away"

Eric Church, "Springsteen"

Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"

Hunter Hayes, "Wanted"

Jason Aldean, "1994"

Kenny Chesney, "Come Over"

Little Big Town, "Tornado"

Luke Bryan, "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"

Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart"

Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

Tim McGraw, "One of Those Nights"


Male Video of the Year:


Blake Shelton, "Sure Be Cool If You Did"

Eric Church, "Creepin"

Hunter Hayes, "Wanted"

Jason Aldean, "Take a Little Ride"

Kenny Chesney, "Come Over"

Luke Bryan, "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"


Female Video of the Year:


Carrie Underwood, "Two Black Cadillacs"

Faith Hill, "American Heart"

Jana Kramer, "Why Ya Wanna"

Kacey Musgraves, "Merry Go 'Round"

Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart"

Taylor Swift, "Begin Again"


Group Video of the Year:


Lady Antebellum, "Downtown"

Little Big Town, "Pontoon"

Pistol Annies, "Takin' Pills"

Rascal Flatts, "Come Wake Me Up"

The Band Perry, "Better Dig Two"

Zac Brown Band, "Goodbye in Her Eyes"


Duo Video of the Year:


Big & Rich, "That's Why I Pray"

Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"

Love and Theft, "Runnin' Out of Air"

Thompson Square, "If I Didn't Have You"


Breakthrough Video of the Year:


Dustin Lynch, "Cowboys and Angels"

Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"

Jana Kramer, "Why Ya Wanna"

Kacey Musgraves, "Merry Go' Round"

Kip Moore, "Beer Money"

Randy Houser, "How Country Feels"


Collaborative Video of the Year:


Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh, "Rocky Mountain Way"

Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church, "The Only Way I Know"

Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill, "Don't Rush"

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, "Feel Like a Rockstar"

Rascal Flatts and Journey, "Changed"

The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis, "Three Wooden Crosses"


CMT Performance of the Year:


Dierks Bentley, "5-1-5-0"

Eric Church, "Homeboy"

Luke Bryan and Ryan Tedder, "Drunk On You/Feel Again"

Miranda Lambert, "Over You"

Rascal Flatts and Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"

Toby Keith, "Beers Ago"


CMA Fest Eve Includes Parade, Block Party, Late Night Jam


Kix Brooks is heading up Nashville's 9th annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade.  The former Brooks & Dunn singer is serving as the Grand Marshal for this year's event, which will make its way down Broadway to First Avenue for the 8th annual CMA Music Festival Block Party.  Joe Diffie is headlining the concert, which will also feature sets from The Henningsens, Brazilbilly, The Lacs, and The Cadillac Three.  Lyndsey Highlander has been tapped to sing the national anthem.  The parade and block party serve as the unofficial launch to the CMA Music Festival, which officially gets under way on Thursday.


Meanwhile, Marty Stuart's pre-CMA Fest tradition continues as well.  He'll host his 12th annual Late Night Jam tonight at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  The Mavericks, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Bobby Bare will be joining Marty for the charity event.  Charlie Worsham, Brandie Clark, Connie Smith, and others are also on board for the special show, which is raising money for MusiCares and the CMA's Keep The Music Playing Fund.


Eric Church: CMA Fest Highlights Unique Quality In Country Music


Country music fans are descending on Nashville this week for the annual CMA Music Festival.  Eric Church says the four day event really is unique to the genre.


Church says there's a greater distinction between the artists and the fans in other musical genres, explaining that many rock stars have very little in common with their audience.  Eric adds that he appreciates how the CMA Music Fest gives country fans the chance to visit Nashville and experience "this barrage of music."  The CMA Music Fest features numerous concerts on a variety of stages, as well as meet-and-greets, autography signings, fan club parties, charity events, and other activities.  This year's event officially gets under way in Nashville on Thursday, and runs through Sunday.


Country Stars Participating In Ceremony Launching Johnny Cash Postage Stamp


The Johnny Cash Forever Stamp is making its debut today.  Randy Travis, Marty Stuart, and Larry Gatlin are among the stars slated to join family members John Carter Cash and Carlene Carter at a special unveiling ceremony for the stamp this morning at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  Jamey Johnson, the Oak Ridge Boys, and The Roys will also be on hand for the free event, which will feature performances highlighting the career and influence of the legendary Man In Black.


The limited edition Johnny Cash Forever Stamp is part of the U.S. Postal Service's new Music Icons series.  The stamp features a black-and-white picture of Cash taken during the photo shoot for the 1963 album "Ring Of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash."  The image includes Cash's name in brown lettering at the bottom, and is reminiscent of the picture sleeves of old 45-rpm records.  The Johnny Cash Forever stamp goes on sale today at post offices across the country and online at


Hunter Hayes Headlining This Fall's CMT On Tour Trek


Hunter Hayes is stepping up as a headliner.  The country star, who spent the past eight months opening shows for Carrie Underwood, is leading the lineup for this falls "CMT on Tour" trek.  The road trip includes 23 shows in 20 cities.  Hunter will play two-night stands in Nashville as well as Minneapolis and Kansas City.  With the tour Hayes is supporting "Encore," the revamped edition of his self-titled debut album, which will be in stores on June 18th.  Pistol Annies' Ashley Monroe is also on board as Hunter's opener.  They'll kick off "CMT on Tour: Hunter Hayes Let's Be Crazy" in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 10th.  Tickets for select shows go on sale this month.  Details are available at


CMT on Tour: Hunter Hayes Let's Be Crazy Tour Dates


October 10 - Knoxville, TN - Knoxville Civic Auditorium

October 11 - Savannah, GA - Johnny Mercer Theatre

October 17 - Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre

October 18-19 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium

October 24 - Muncie, IN - Emens Auditorium at Ball State University

October 25 - Chicago, IL - Rosemont Theatre

October 26 - Louisville, KY - The Louisville Palace Theater

November 1 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Concert Hall

November 2 - Greensboro, NC - War Memorial Auditorium

November 8 - Evansville, IN - The Aiken Theatre at The Centre

November 9 - Cleveland, OH - State Theatre at Playhouse Square

November 10 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre

November 14 - St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre

November 15 - Sioux City, IA -Orpheum Theatre

November 16 - Omaha, NE - Orpheum Theater

November 20 - Lafayette, LA - Heymann Performing Arts Center

November 22 - Dallas, TX - Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

November 23 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theater

December 4-5 - Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theater

December 6-7 - Kansas City, MO - The Midland by AMC


Rhode Island Authorities Supporting Taylor Swift In Beach Access Dispute


Taylor Swift is getting support from local authorities in her dispute with her Rhode Island neighbors.  A Watch Hill Fire District official tells that the country-pop superstar has every right to monitor access to the beachfront adjacent to her home, explaining that there's been "an ongoing problem with people climbing onto her wall."  The rep adds that the public portion of the beach only extends to the high tide mark, so people can "legally walk on the beach below the high tide mark" only when the tide is out.  When the tide is in people "can't be on her beach at all."  Some area residents have complained about the security at Swift's house, claiming that guards have been blocking their access to the public beach.


Jake Owen Sees Benefits To Road Testing New Material


Jake Owen isn't just playing the hits in shows this summer.  The country star is also previewing tracks he might include on his next album.  Jake says bringing his latest material to the stage actually serves a couple of purposes.


Owen adds that the songs he's road tested so far have gone over well with his fans.  The singer recently told his sets have featured a track called "Days Of Gold" along with the new song "Beachin'," which he calls a "sister song" to his hit "Barefoot Blue Jean Night."  But Jake is also singing the hits, including his current single "Anywhere With You."  Owen is performing at festivals and fairs this summer in addition to opening shows on Jason Aldean's "Night Train" tour.  Jake's next appearance is coming up at the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Friday.  Owen expects to have his new album in stores in December.


Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift Reflect On Performing With The Stones


A couple of country's leading ladies are marveling at their chance to perform with one of the biggest rock bands of all time.  Carrie Underwood joined the Rolling Stones for "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" at the group's show in Toronto late last month.  She says it was an incredible experience.


Taylor Swift was also in awe when she performed "As Tears Go By" with the Stones Monday night in Chicago.  She admits it was something she never imagined she'd ever get the opportunity to do.  Swift adds that she considers the Stones a concert role model.  She explains that the group has an incredibly loyal fan base that has followed them for decades because band members "give everything they have for every single performance."  Taylor says the Stones' dedication to their audience has influenced her in her career.


George Strait's Dad Dies At 91


George Strait has lost his father.  The country superstar says in a website post that his dad, John Byron Strait, died Tuesday at the age of 91.  He doesn't reveal a cause of death, but says his father had been hospitalized for the past month.  John's death comes just days after George finished the first leg of his "Cowboy Rides Away" farewell tour.  John was a Texas rancher who also taught junior high school math. George says he and the rest of his family are "grateful for the time over the last few weeks" they had to "spend with Daddy before he passed away."  He also extends his thanks to "everyone for their prayers and support during this difficult time."  Fox29 in San Antonio, Texas says private funeral and burial services for John are scheduled for Thursday.


Quick Bites


It's a big day for Carrie Underwood.  Her new video for the song "See You Again" will be featured on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning, and have its online premiere on  In addition, her exhibit at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is opening today.  "Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour" is showcasing the country singer's latest tour, with displays featuring stage costumes, accessories, and pieces from the set.  The exhibit will be open through November 10th.


Kellie Pickler is getting a warm reception in Nashville following her win on "Dancing With the Stars."  After singing her first song on last night's Grand Ole Opry show the crowd rated her performance, raising numbered paddles with her score.  Kellie received all tens.


Country TV Today And Tonight


GOOD MORNING AMERICA (ABC) The show will include a preview of Carrie Underwood's new video for "See You Again," which will have its online debut today at

2013 CMT MUSIC AWARDS VICEO OF THE YEAR SPECIAL (CMT) Jana Kramer hosts a rundown of the nominees for the CMT Music Awards' top prize.

2013 CMT MUSIC AWARDS RED CARPET (CMT) Check out the country music stars as they arrive for the 2013 CMT Music Awards.

2013 CMT MUSIC AWARDS (CMT) Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, and Luke Bryan are the top nominees heading into the event honoring the fans' favorite country music videos.  Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Pistol Annies, and Luke Bryan are slated to appear, along with Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Florida Georgia Line, Scotty McCreery, Kellie Pickler, and others.  Jason Aldean is co-hosting the ceremony, which will air live from Nashville.



Country Birthdays Include


The Statler Brothers' Don Reid is 68.

Carrie Underwood's husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, is 33.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1989, Mary Chapin Carpenter's "State Of The Heart" album was released.


Today in 1992, Wynonna's debut album was certified Gold and Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1993, the legendary Conway Twitty passed away.  He was 59.


Today in 1993, Toby Keith's first single, "Should've Been A Cowboy," hit number one on the charts.


Today in 1995, the 29th annual Music City News Country Awards were held with Alan Jackson and Reba McEntire walking away the night's top winners.


Today in 2000, Garth Brooks' "Double Live" album was certified for sales of 13-million.  This tied the CD with Bruce Springsteen's "Live 1975-1985" as the biggest-selling live albums in history.  In addition, George Strait's 1995 compilation "Strait Out of the Box" reached the seven-million sales level, matching Led Zeppelin's 1990 self-titled collection as the highest-certified box set released in the '90s.


Today in 2001, Trisha Yearwood's album "Inside Out" arrived in stores.


Today in 2003, Fan Fair officially began in Nashville with the Country Kickstart Show featuring Kenny Chesney, Daryle Singletary, Sherrie Austin, Rhett Akins, Chad Brock, and John Conlee.


Today in 2003, Dwight Yoakam received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Today in 2003, Blake Shelton premiered his video "Heavy Liftin'" on CMT's "Most Wanted Live."


Today in 2004, Toby Keith performed with classic rocker Ted Nugent for U.S. troops in Baghdad as part of a USO tour.


Today in 2004, Sara Evans, Ricky Van Shelton, and Kenny Rogers were among the artists who took part in "Wavestock," a fundraising event to help the town of Waveland, Indiana bring in money for revitalization.


Today in 2004, Tracy Lawrence hosted his annual Homecoming Concert in Foreman, Arkansas.


Today in 2006, Lonestar hosted its second annual "Lonestar & Friends Strike out for the Kids" bowling party to help launch the CMA Music Festival.  Carrie Underwood, Trick Pony's Ira Dean and Keith Burns, Jimmy Wayne, Buddy Jewell, and "Nashville Star" winner Chris Young also participated in the event, which .drew more than 450 fans and raised 16-thousand dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Today in 2006, Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy were among the performers on the American Latino Music Awards, or ALMAs.


Today in 2006, Steve Azar released the single "You Don't Know A Thing."


Today in 2007, Chely Wright's annual Reading, Writing & Rhythm Benefit and Silent Auction took place in Nashville.  Keith Anderson, Emerson Drive, Kellie Pickler, and Taylor Swift were among the performers at the event, along with Trent Tomlinson, Clay Walker, Chris Young and Danielle Peck.


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, Rodney Atkins, and Craig Morgan performed on the Grand Ole Opry, officially kicking off the famed institution's participation in the CMA Music Festival.


Today in 2007, Clay Walker joined reps from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter for a press conference in Houston, Texas, during which he gave 100 aluminum rolling walkers to area residents living with MS.


Today in 2007, Jason Aldean's "Relentless" debuted at number one on the "Billboard" Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2007, Jimmy Webb, who wrote the Glen Campbell hits "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," and "Galveston," took part in the second annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Class in New York City.


Today in 2007, Big & Rich's album "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" and book "Big & Rich: All Access" hit stores.  Other new releases included Cowboy Troy's "Black in the Saddle," Marty Stuart's CD "Compadres: An Anthology of Duets" and his photography book "Country Music - The Masters," Porter Wagoner's "Wagonmaster," and the compilation disc "Anchored in Love: A Tribute to June Carter Cash."  In addition, Wynonna Judd's autobiography, "Coming Home to Myself," was released in paperback.


Today in 2008, James Otto celebrated the chart-topping success of his first number one hit, "Just Got Started Loving You," with a party in Nashville.


Today in 2008, Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Jewel, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hanson played on the first night of the CMA Music Festival's Nightly Concerts at Nashville's LP Field, while Keith Anderson, the Bellamy Brothers, Richie McDonald, Lee Brice, Mindy McCready and Aaron Tippin were among the performers at the Riverfront Stages.  In addition, Trace Adkins, Phil Vassar, Emerson Drive, Andy Griggs, and Neal McCoy hosted fan club parties.


Today in 2011, LeAnn Rimes played a special acoustic concert in Jacksonville, Florida to raise money for the  United Way's storm relief efforts in Alabama and Missouri.


Today in 2012, Darius Rucker, Kellie Pickler, Big & Rich, and Jeff Foxworthy were in Memphis for the "St. Jude Presents John Rich & Friends" benefit concert, supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, while Rodney Atkins, Clint Black, Lee Brice, and Jana Kramer took the stage for Nashville's "Music City Gives Back" concert supporting the American Red Cross.


Today in 2012, new country releases included Alan Jackson's "Thirty Miles West."


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