Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

LeAnn Rimes To Perform At March On Washington Commemorative Event


LeAnn Rimes is spending her birthday celebrating another event.  The country star, who's turning 31 today, will be on hand to help the nation commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famed "I Have A Dream" speech.  NBC Washington says Rimes is part of a lineup of performers that also includes gospel artists BeBe, Carvin, and Marvin Winans; Christian singer Natalie Grant, and surviving Peter, Paul and Mary members Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey.  Peter, Paul and Mary were among those with King at the historic event back in 1963.  The ceremony will also feature an address from Georgia Representative John Lewis, who was also there with King 50 years ago.


President Obama, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Oprah Winfrey, and Jamie Foxx are expected to speak as well.  Other slated participants include actors Forest Whitaker and Hill Harper, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and Ambassador Andrew Young.


Florida Georgia Line To Perform On "Today's" Labor Day Show


Florida Georgia Line will be laboring on Labor Day.  The duo has been tapped to play a special holiday edition of the "Today" Toyota Summer Concert Series.  The group will perform their latest single, "Round Here," while rapper Nelly is expected to make a special appearance for their collaborative chart-topping remix of "Cruise."  The concert will take place early Monday morning at New York's Rockefeller Center.  Fans wanting to join the crowd are being advised to arrive at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.  "Today" begins an hour later.


Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley Impersonates Stars In Tour Announcement


Lady Antebellum is extending their "Take Me Downtown" trek into 2014.  And the band's Charles Kelley found a creative way to spread the news.  The country singer demonstrated his skills as a celebrity impersonator in a video announcing the new tour dates.  He names the trek's opening acts as Doobie Brother Michael McDonald.


Charles also appears in the clip as Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, and a naked Justin Bieber -- playing a strategically placed guitar.  Lady A's new string of dates begins in Charleston, West Virginia on January 9th, and continues into April.  The group will launch their "Take Me Downtown Tour" in Southaven, Mississippi on November 8th.  Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves are on board as openers for both the 2013 and 2014 shows.


Lady Antebellum "Take Me Downtown Tour" 2014 Dates


January 9 - Charleston, West Virginia, at the Charleston Civic Center

January 10 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at the PNC Arena

January 14 - Cincinnati, Ohio, at the U.S. Bank Arena

January 18 - Wichita, Kansas, at the Intrust Bank Arena

January 19 - Lubbock, Texas, at the United Spirit Arena

January 30 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Wells Fargo Center

February 7 - Tampa, Florida, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum

February 8 - Jacksonville, Florida, at the Veterans Memorial Arena

February 14 - Bossier City, Louisiana, at the CenturyLink Center

February 15 - Birmingham, Alabama, at the BJCC Arena

February 16 - Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Cajundome

February 20 - Washington, DC, at the Verizon Center

February 21 - New York, New York, at Madison Square Garden

February 22 - Uncasville, Connecticut, at the Mohegan Sun Arena

February 28 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Air Canada Centre

March 1 - London, Ontario, Canada, at the Budweiser Gardens

March 6 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, at the Credit Union Centre

March 7 - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at the Rexall Place

March 8 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at the Scotiabank Saddledome

March 10 - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at the Pacific National Exhibition

March 12 - Boise, Idaho, at the Taco Bell Arena

March 14 - Reno, Nevada, at the Lawler Events Center

March 15 - Ontario, California, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena

March 16 - Fresno, California, at the Save Mart Center

March 18 - Los Angeles, California, at the Staples Center

March 21 - Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center

March 22 - San Diego, California, at the Valley View Casino Center

March 24 - Phoenix, Arizona, at the US Airways Center

March 25 - Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the Pan American Center

March 27 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena

March 28 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the BOK Center

April 11 - Atlanta, Georgia, at the Philips Arena

April 12 - New Orleans, Louisiana, at the New Orleans Arena

April 26 - Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Time Warner Cable Arena

April 27 - Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Thompson-Boling Arena


Carrie Underwood's "Competition" For "Sunday Night Football" Theme Revealed


Carrie Underwood apparently wasn't the only star who sought to replace Faith Hill as the "Sunday Night Football" theme singer.  NBC SportsNetwork has posted some YouTube videos of other celebrity "auditions" for the job.  "Community" star Ken Jeong is among those who offered up a rendition of "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night."


Jeong's "Community" castmate Yvette Nicole Brown also gives it a shot, along with model Heidi Klum, Joan and Melissa Rivers, "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush, actor Craig T. Nelson, and others.  Underwood will officially make her debut with "Sunday Night Football" with the first broadcast of the season, coming up on NBC on September 8th.  And she'll have some muscle backing her up in the performance.  Football stars Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Terrell Suggs, Clay Matthews, and J.J. Watts are featured with Carrie for the premiere.  Over the course of the season she'll team up with a total of 13 NFL stars on the song.


Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Deny Divorce Rumors


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are assuring fans that their marriage remains rock solid.  Rumors that the country couple is splitting up began circulating after a "National Enquirer" cover story claimed they were headed for a supposed "135-Million-Dollar Divorce!"  According to the "Enquirer," Faith was concerned about "sexual chemistry" between Tim and his "Highway Don't Care" singing partner Taylor Swift, and they were both jealous about each other's alleged flirtations.  The "Enquirer" had no verifiable evidence to back the report, and now reps for both Faith and Tim are denying the story. says Hill's rep "scoffed" when asked for a comment, while McGraw's people are calling the "Enquirer" story "Totally false and ridiculous."


Tim and Faith recently announced plans for an "encore run" of their "Soul2Soul" show at The Venetian in Las Vegas.  Earlier this month they revealed the initial dates for the limited engagement, which they'll launch on October 25th.


Miley Cyrus' Father, Celebrities React To VMA Performance


Billy Ray Cyrus is breaking his silence about his daughter's controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.  In an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," the country star says he loves Miley "unconditionally," adding that "she's still my little girl and I'm still her Dad, regardless of how this circus we call show business plays out."  Miley has been the talk of Sunday's award show, receiving negative feedback over her provocative dancing and stage antics.  Billy Ray says he'll "always" be there for his daughter and "can't wait to see her" when she returns home.  Billy Ray also happens to serve on the board of the Parents Television Council -- one of the groups that has slammed MTV for Miley's "sexually charged" performance. 


John Rich Supporting Taylor Swift Following MTV VMA "F-Bomb"


John Rich says people need to "chill" regarding Taylor Swift's alleged mouthed obscenity caught on camera at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards.  The Big & Rich singer is coming to Taylor's defense, tweeting, "Everybody's so shocked that @taylorswift13 would drop an F bomb. Might be a little redneck left in her somewhere after all!"  Taylor was in the audience  when One Direction - the British boy band featuring her ex-boyfriend Harry Styles - accepted an award.  MTV cut to the crowd during the group's speech and Taylor was seen leaning over to friend Selena Gomez, mouthing what appeared to be the four-letter word.


Swift was at the VMAs as both a presenter and a nominee.  She took home the award for Best Female Video with her hit "I Knew You Were Trouble."


Chris Young Shares Details On "Scary" Leg Infection


Chris Young admits his recent medical drama was a scary ordeal.  The country star is recovering from a leg infection that landed him in the hospital a couple of weeks ago.  The singer says he felt fine when he boarded his flight to Denver, but by the time he arrived in the Mile High City his condition had radically changed.  Chris explains that doctors hadn't planned to operate until the next day, but when they couldn't stabilize him they knew they had to take immediate action.


Chris adds that it was really frightening to get "a jugular vein I-V" and to hear the medical staff use phrases like "organ failure" to describe what could happen.  But he says he was "fine" after surgeons operated and got the antibiotics in him.  Young says he now has a dime-size hole in his leg.  He says he's still walking with a limp, but he'll be OK.  Chris is also glad the worst of it is now behind him.


Young's health emergency forced him to cancel a number of concerts this month.  But he's now back on the road, performing his own headlining dates and opening shows for Brad Paisley this summer.  Chris' next appearance will be with Paisley in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on Friday.


Kenny Chesney Enjoys "Crazy Things" Fans Do At Shows


Kenny Chesney says his fans really know how to let loose and have fun at his concerts.  The country star admits a lot of strange activity goes on in the parking lots before his shows.


Chesney says he finds the wackiness inspiring, and it reminds him of why he's there doing what he does.  He explains that his audience is simply letting off some steam, and it's his job to provide them with that outlet.  Kenny just wrapped up his "No Shoes Nation" tour with a two-night stand in Foxboro, Massachusetts over the weekend, entertaining more than 109-thousand fans with shows Friday and Saturday night.  And it'll be a while before they get to see Chesney in concert again.  The singer recently announced that he would not be touring next year.


Eric Church, Darius Rucker Recall Their Worst Jobs


Eric Church says he won't forget his days working for the Shop at Home Network.  He explains that he took the job when he first arrived in Nashville to pursue a country music career.  But the singer admits it wasn't exactly a good fit.  He says he worked the graveyard shift, selling 200-piece knife sets, and most of the people calling in were drunk.


Church adds that "anytime somebody calls you at 3:00 a.m. and needs 200 knives, it’s automatically an alarming situation."  He says he also wondered if he should call the cops about some of his would-be customers.


Darius Rucker says he went through his worst employment experience as a teenager.  He recalls getting a job at a pizza place at the age of 15, and his manager not only had him mopping floors and washing dishes but also making the pizzas.


Country TV Today And Tonight


CELEBRITY MOTOR HOMES (GAC) Luke Bryan shows off his tour bus in one episode, while Gretchen Wilson and the Eli Young Band give viewers an insider's look into their homes on wheels in a second episode.

BRAD PAISLEY SPINS THE WHEELHOUSE: LIVE IN VEGAS (GAC) Brad Paisley showcases material from his latest album and discusses his "Beat This Summer" tour.

ZAC BROWN BAND: UNCAGED IN VEGAS (GAC) Zac Brown Band is featured in concert performing such hits as "Chicken Fried" and "Colder Weather."  The hour-long show also includes interviews with the band.

HIT EXCHANGE: TRACE ADKINS & EXILE (GAC) Trace Adkins joins Exile to remake the band's 1978 hit "Kiss You All Over."


Country Birthdays Include


Shania Twain is 48.

Sherrié Austin is 43.

Jake Owen is 32.

LeAnn Rimes is 31.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1971, John Denver's single "Take Me Home, Country Roads" peaked at number two on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1981, Kenny Rogers' "Share Your Love" album was certified Gold and Platinum.


Today in 1982, George Strait had his first number one hit with "Fool Hearted Memory." It was the lead-off single from his second album, "Strait from the Heart," and the fourth single of his career.


Today in 1982, "Love Will Turn You Around" by Kenny Rogers peaked at number 13 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1988, Charlie Daniels and several band members escaped injury when their motor home burst into flames on the Ventura Freeway in Southern California.


Today in 1992, the single "I Still Believe In You" by Vince Gill hit number one.  The song was named the CMA Song of the Year in 1993.


Today in 1992, Lorrie Morgan's "Something In Red" album was certified Platinum.


Today in 1996, "Trace Adkins Day" was declared in his hometown of Sarepta, Louisiana.


Today in in 1997, Alan Jackson's wife, Denise, gave birth to their third daughter, Dani Grace.


Today in in 1997, Kenny Chesney's number one hit "You Had Me From Hello" charted.


Today in 2001, Brad Paisley and Faith Hill scored six nods apiece to lead the pack while The Dixie Chicks and Lee Ann Womack received five bids each when nominations for the 34th annual Country Music Association Awards were revealed.  Brooks & Dunn and Jo Dee Messina handled the announcement.


Today in 2002, Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry celebrated the success of the album, "My Town."  During the event the guys received a Gold album for the CD "Carrying On," and a dual metal plaque which contained the Platinum and Gold albums for the duo's debut, "Tattoos & Scars."


Today in 2003, Johnny Cash won an MTV Video Music Award for the video for the song "Hurt," which took the Moonman trophy for Best Cinematography in a Video.  Cash had been expected to attend the ceremony, but had to skip the event because he was in a hospital battling a stomach ailment.


Today in 2006, Alan Jackson celebrated the Platinum certification of his CD "Precious Memories" at a party in Nashville.  During the event he surprised his mother and mother-in-law with 100-thousand-dollar checks to donate to the charities of their choice.  Alan had originally recorded the album, a collection of hymns, as a 2005 Christmas gift for his mother.


Today in 2007, The Oak Ridge Boys appeared at an opening for the exhibit "The First of Many to Come," a display of band member William Lee Golden's paintings at the Nashville International Airport.  The artwork was up for six months.


Today in 2007, Crystal Gayle celebrated the 30th anniversary of her hit "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" with the release of "Crystal Gayle: Greatest Hits."  The 25-track collection includes 16 number one hits.  Other new releases included Sarah Johns' debut disc "Big Love in a Small Town" and the "Dale" movie soundtrack, featuring contributions from a number of country stars including Brooks & Dunn, Alabama, Travis Tritt, and Charlie Daniels.


Today in 2010, Kenny Chesney's football documentary, "The Boys Of Fall," had its premiere on ESPN.


Today in 2011, Taylor Swift was a nominee at the MTV Video Music Awards with "Mean," which was in the running in the new category, Best Video With A Message.  Taylor's song lost to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."


Today in 2012, The Oak Ridge Boys, who were bumped from singing the national anthem to launch the Republican National Convention in Tampa a day earlier, performed "Amazing Grace" to kick off the evening session.  The group's earlier appearance had been postponed due to Tropical Storm Isaac.  Trace Adkins and Montgomery Gentry also entertained at convention-related events.


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