Nashville News and Notes for Wednesday

Alison Krauss Celebrating 20 Years With The Opry


Alison Krauss is marking a milestone.  She's celebrating her 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  The singer will celebrate the occasion with a special Wednesday night Opry show.  Union Station will be joining Alison for tonight's show, while Jamey Johnson, John Conlee, Kristen Kelly, and Mandy Barnett are some of the other artists slated to perform.


Alison's 20th anniversary event is part of the Opry's "All American All-Star Week," which continues with special events and performances through Saturday.  There'll be free music, food, and fun activities on the Opry Plaza, including a dunk tank fundraiser for the American Red Cross.  And big names are turning out for this weekend's concerts.  The Band Perry will be taking the Opry stage for both of Friday's shows, while Jimmy Wayne, Eric Paslay, and Lennon and Maisy -- from TV's "Nashville" -- are just some of the performers on board for Saturday.  Carrie Underwood will play both shows both nights.  Additional details and complete show lineups are available at


Toby Keith Topping "Forbes" Magazine's Inaugural "Country Cash Kings" List


George Strait might be known as the King of Country, but Toby Keith is earning a new royal title as well.  Toby is leading "Forbes" magazine's inaugural "Country Cash Kings" list, which ranks country stars based on their earnings over the past year.  The publication is calling Keith a "cowboy capitalist," who raked in 65-million-dollars between June 1st, 2012 and June 1st of this year.  He amassed his wealth in a variety of ways, including his music career as a performer, songwriter, and label executive; his I Love This Bar And Grill chain; and his other business interests.  Taylor Swift, who also has a diversified career that includes a perfume line, endorsement deals, and other income-generating ventures, comes in at number two with earnings of 55-million.  Kenny Chesney is a close third with 53-million.  He's earned the bulk of his wealth through album sales and touring, but is also launching his own brand of rum this year.  Tim McGraw made 33-million-dollars to take the number four spot on the list, while Carrie Underwood round out the top five with earnings of 31-million.


Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, and Rascal Flatts are also in the top ten, along with George Strait, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan.  "Forbes" adds that several other acts are also doing quite well financially, even though they didn't make the cut.  The magazine says Lady Antebellum, Alan Jackson, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban "fell just short" of the top ten this year, but that could change for the 2014 list.


"Forbes" Magazine's "Country Cash Kings" -- The Top-Earning Country Music Acts of 2013


1. Toby Keith, 65-million-dollars

2. Taylor Swift, 55-million-dollars

3. Kenny Chesney, 53-million-dollars

4. Tim McGraw, 33-million-dollars

5. Carrie Underwood, 31-million-dollars

6. Brad Paisley, 30-million-dollars

7. Zac Brown Band, 26-million-dollars

8. Rascal Flatts, 25-million-dollars

9. George Strait, 18-million-dollars

10. TIE - Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, 17-million-dollars


Toby Keith "Uncomfortable" Drawing Attention For His Money, Success


Toby Keith admits he's not particularly fond of his new title.  "Forbes" recently called the singer country music's "500-Million-Dollar Man," in reference to the publication's estimate of Keith's total earnings over the course of his career.  But Toby tells he thinks it's "weird" that people find his income "important," and adds that he's "uncomfortable with that."  He also says he's "not comfortable" with his success.  The country star explains that while he headlines concerts, has a chain of restaurants, owns race horses, and has other business interests, he's "just not that Donald Trump kind of guy."  Keith describes himself as someone who drives a pickup truck, and golfs with his "shirttail out."


But "Forbes" is celebrating Keith as a "cowboy capitalist," whose independence, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit have made him one of music's multi-millionaires.  He's also leading the magazine's inaugural list of "Country Cash Kings," which ranks country stars based on their earnings over the past year.  Between June 1st, 2012 and June 1st of this year, Keith raked in 65-million-dollars.


Scotty McCreery Excited About Taking Part In "A Capitol Fourth"


Scotty McCreery is among the performers slated for PBS' annual Independence Day concert special "A Capitol Fourth."  The former "American Idol" winner admits he's excited about the gig.


appearing on "A Capitol Fourth" is very different from what he's typically done on the holiday.  The singer explains that prior to this year he's always been in North Carolina for the Fourth of July, and has traditionally gone to the symphony concert and fireworks show at the lake near his home.  But this year McCreery will still be going to a symphony concert.  "A Capitol Fourth" will feature a number of performers, including the National Symphony Orchestra.  The show will air on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Kellie Pickler Introducing New Video This Morning On "GMA"


Kellie Pickler is ready to unveil the video to her latest single.  The clip for "Someone Somewhere Tonight" will receive a special preview this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America," during the show's 8:30 a.m. time block.  Once the sneak peek airs, the clip will be up for viewing on "GMA's" website, which will carry the video exclusively for 24 hours.  The clip features Kellie along with her "Dancing With the Stars" partner Derek Hough.  They recently shot the video in Nashville with director Roman White.  Pickler has made several videos with White, including the clip for her top ten hit "Best Days of Your Life."


But Kellie isn't just remembering her "Dancing With the Stars" days in her new video.  The outfit the country singer wore on the show's finale is going on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.  Kellie performed her final dance on the show -- the Instant Jive -- in a two-piece, rhinestone-adorned chiffon costume, and earned a perfect score of 30.  Kellie's "Dancing With the Stars" mirrorball trophy, which she earned as the season 16 winner, will be displayed along with the dress.  Pickler's "Dancing" memorabilia begins its run at the museum today.


Jewel Joins NBC's "The Sing-Off"


Jewel has been added to the judges' panel of NBC's "The Sing-Off."  On Tuesday, the singer-songwriter tweeted the news. saying she's "excited" and "honored" to be joining the show.  The four-time Grammy nominee has been tapped to join Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman and pop singer Ben Folds as a judge on the show, while 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey will be returning as the host.  "The Sing-Off" -- featuring the country's top a cappella groups -- will be returning in its original format as a multi-night special holiday program later this year.  NBC had tried to make the show a weekly series in 2011, but the program couldn't draw an audience.


Taylor Swift Dominates's "2013 Mid-Year Music Awards" Poll


Taylor Swift is getting the nod as the MVP of the past six months in's "2013 Mid-Year Music Awards" poll.  The country-pop superstar took the title with 26-percent of the vote, far surpassing the second place Justin Timberlake, who received support from 16-percent.  And First-Half MVP is just one of several categories in which Swift appears.  Her latest CD "Red" has been voted the Favorite Billboard 200 Number One Album, and her trek in support of the disc leads the Best Tour list.  Meanwhile, Swift's appearance at the Billboard Music Awards is taking a close second place to Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show for Best TV Performance, and her collaborative single with Ed Sheeran, "Everything Has Changed," ranks third for Best Music Video.  However, Taylor is also seeing a bit of a backlash.  She's landing in the number two spot behind Justin Bieber for Most Overrated Artist.


Miley Cyrus also leads three categories.  Her song "We Can't Stop" has the nod for Best Music Video, while she's been named Best Comeback and tops the Best Style list.  Pink, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Bon Jovi are some of the other stars earning recognition in the poll.'s "2013 Mid-Year Music Awards" poll results


First-Half MVP:

1. Taylor Swift (26%)

2. Justin Timberlake (16%)

3. Beyonce (15%)


Best Newcomer:

1. Ariana Grande (50%)

2. Icona Pop (16%)

3. Jessica Sanchez (12%)


Favorite Hot 100 No. 1 Song:

1. P!nk featuring Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me a Reason" (29%)

2. Bruno Mars, "Locked Out Of Heaven" (15%)

3. Bruno Mars, "When I Was Your Man" (14%)


Favorite Billboard 200 No. 1 Album:

1. Taylor Swift, "Red" (25%)

2. Justin Bieber, "Believe: Acoustic" (20%)

3. Bon Jovi, "What About Now" (11%)


Best Music Video:

1. Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop" (27%)

2. Selena Gomez, "Come & Get It" (19%)

3. Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran, "Everything Has Changed" (17%)


Best Comeback:

1. Miley Cyrus (36%)

2. Justin Timberlake (31%)

3. Paramore (10%)


Most Memorable Feud:

1. Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey (40%)

2. Justin Bieber vs. Black Keys' Pat Carney (25%)

3. Drake vs. Chris Brown (17%)


Most Shocking Moment:

1. Beyonce's Lip Sync Performance at Inauguration (44%)

2. Paris Jackson's Attempted Suicide (33%)

3. Lil Wayne's Death Scare (16%)


Best Festival Performance:

1. Swedish House Mafia's farewell show at Ultra Music Festival (35%)

2. Paul McCartney at Bonnaroo (19%)

3. Kanye West at Governor's Ball (17%)


Best Style:

1. Miley Cyrus (30%)

2. Rihanna (19%)

3. Justin Timberlake (18%)


Best Tour:

1. Taylor Swift's Red tour (27%)

2. Rihanna's Diamonds tour (20%)

3. Bon Jovi's Because We Can tour (16%)


Coolest Marketing Stunt:

1. Jay-Z Announces Album in Samsung Ad (27%)

2. Fall Out Boy Unveils Comeback, Album Release, Single, Video in One Day (25%)

3. Kanye West Projects New Song on Buildings Around The World (16%)


Best TV Performance:

1. Beyonce at Super Bowl (32%)

2. Taylor Swift at Billboard Music Awards (30%)

3. Adele at Academy Awards (21%)


Best Music Reality Show:

1. The Voice (45%)

2. American Idol (25%)

3. America's Got Talent (10%)


Most Overrated Artist:

1. Justin Bieber (37%)

2. Taylor Swift (24%)

3. Beyonce (13%)


Most Disappointing:

1. Lady Gaga Cancels Tour Dates (35%)

2. Justin Bieber's Chaotic European Tour (33%)

3. Season 12 of "American Idol" (17%)


Most Anticipated Event of 2013's Second Half:

1. New Music From Britney Spears (23%)

2. New Music From Lady Gaga (19%)

3. Beyonce's 'Mrs. Carter' Tour… And Album? (17%)


Joe Diffie's Latest Single Not A Response To Aldean's "1994"


While Joe Diffie is crediting Jason Aldean's "1994" for helping to revive his career, the country star says his latest single wasn't specifically written as a response to Jason's hit.  But Joe admits he was hoping to name-check Aldean in "Girl Ridin' Shotgun."


Shotgun" with D-Thrash from the hick-hop group Jawga Boyz.  Joe admits the pairing was his manager's idea, but he was open to it.  The singer adds that when they met, he realized D-Thrash was "just an old, redneck country boy."  "Girl Ridin' Shotgun" marks a comeback of sorts for Diffie.  While he's said he never really went away, and has always been out there touring, "Girl Ridin' Shotgun" is Joe's first single in nearly ten years.  It's also his first release under a new record deal, and will likely be included on Diffie's upcoming album


Jake Owen Says Mechanic Told Him "Barefoot" Was Hit Album


Jake Owen says his mechanic, Brad, apparently knows about tunes as well as tune-ups.  The country star says Brad predicted early on that the album "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" would be a huge success.


“Night" has taken Jake's career to a new level.  It became his first chart-topping album, while the title track was the singer's first number one hit -- and the first of four consecutive singles to top the chart.  In addition, the song "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" was Owen's first single to be certified Gold, Platinum, and double-Platinum.  Jake's other number one hits from "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" include "Alone With You," which is also a Platinum single; "The One That Got Away," which has gone Gold; and his current hit "Anywhere With You."


Country Birthdays Include


Johnny Lee is 67.

Aaron Tippin is 55.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1954, Johnny Cash was discharged from the U.S. Air Force.


Today in 1965, Roy Rogers' faithful steed, Trigger, died at the age of 33.  In heartfelt tribute, Roy had Trigger mounted and put on display at the Roy Rogers Museum in California.


Today in 1980, Willie Nelson's "Electric Horseman" soundtrack album was certified Gold.


Today in 1982, Ronnie Milsap's "Any Day Now" hit number one on the Billboard country chart, while Alabama's "Take Me Down" peaked at number 18 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1992, Alan Jackson's single "Midnight in Montgomery" hit number one on the "Radio & Records" country chart.


Today in 1993, Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  She was inducted by Garth Brooks, and was the first bluegrass performer to join in 31 years.


Today in 1996, Joe Diffie's "Life's So Funny" album was certified Gold.


Today in 1998, Kenny Chesney's "That's Why I'm Here" hit the top of the "Radio & Records" country chart.


Today in 1999, John Michael Montgomery performed prior to the race at NASCAR's Pepsi 400 at the Daytona Motor Speedway in Florida.


Today in 2001, the funeral for Chet Atkins was held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Steve Wariner, Connie Smith are among those that participated in the service.


Today in 2001, Opry star Johnny Russell died in Nashville of diabetes.  He was 61.


Today in 2001, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood performed at the Delaware River & Bay Authority's sixth annual hospital benefit.


Today in 2001, it was revealed that the "Girls' Night Out" tour, which featured Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Jamie O'Neal, and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, had entered into a charitable partnership with USA Harvest.  The ladies asked those attending the shows to bring non-perishable food donations to collection points at each stop on the tour.


Today in 2003, Darry Worley and Andy Griggs performed a free concert for military members and their families at Fort Bragg, near Fayetteville, North Carolina.


Today in 2004, Josh Gracin sang the national anthem prior to the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona Motor Speedway in Florida.


Today in 2004, Montgomery Gentry sang for soldiers at the Fort Leonard Wood Army Base in Missouri.


Today in 2005, Willie Nelson opened a biodiesel station in Carl's Corner, Texas, between Dallas and Waco.  The pollution-reducing fuel, which is a blend of soybeans or cooking oil with gasoline, can be used in diesel tanks.


Today in 2007, new releases included Josh Turner's concert album "Josh Turner: Live at the Ryman" and the "Evan Almighty" soundtrack, featuring LeAnn Rimes, Blue County, Jo Dee Messina and Hal Ketchum.


Today in 2007, Boots Randolph died at a Nashville-area hospital, eight days after suffering a brain hemorrhage.  He was 80.


Today in 2010, Craig Morgan's launched his reality series, "Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors," on the Outdoor Channel.


Today in 2010, Loretta Lynn marked the reopening of the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee with a special pre-Fourth of July concert.  The expansive property, which Lynn opened to the public in 1974, was forced to close temporarily after suffering damage in the flood that hit Middle Tennessee two months earlier.  It was the first time Lynn had closed the property, which includes the singer's one-time home, the Coal Miner's Daughter Museum, a simulated coal mine, a doll museum, a Native American artifact museum, a Western store, and other attractions.


Today in 2012, new music arrivals included Tim McGraw's single "Truck Yeah," his first release under his new label deal with Bigh Machine Records.


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