Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Swift, Musgraves Top Nominees At Wednesday's CMA Awards


Men might currently be dominating the country charts, but it's two women -- Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves -- who are the top nominees for Wednesday's 47th annual Country Music Association Awards.  Swift's six bids include the top prize of Entertainer of the Year, while Musgraves could be named New Artist of the Year.  Other Entertainer hopefuls include George Strait, who last won the award in 1990; Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, who are looking to capture the event's highest honor for the first time; and reigning CMA Entertainer Blake Shelton.  Shelton could also capture his fourth straight Male Vocalist title at the event.


Other multiple nominees include Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, and Florida Georgia Line -- one of this year's first-time nominees.  The top contenders are also among the many stars scheduled to perform at the ceremony.  Nominees Tim McGraw, Eric Church, and Lady Antebellum will take the stage as well, along with The Band Perry, Little Big Town, Vince Gill, hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, and others.  Special segments will include a Lifetime Achievement salute to Kenny Rogers, and a tribute to the late country legend George Jones.


The 47th annual CMA Awards will be presented in Nashville and air on ABC Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.  But the CMA festivities will get under way well before the televised ceremony.  Three categories will be announced on ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday morning.  In addition, Luke Bryan will give "GMA" viewers a preview of the event with a performance on the show.


Nominees for the 47th CMA Awards:


Entertainer of the Year


Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Blake Shelton

George Strait

Taylor Swift


Female Vocalist of the Year


Kelly Clarkson

Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood


Male Vocalist of the Year


Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Eric Church

Blake Shelton

Keith Urban


New Artist of the Year


Lee Brice

Brett Eldredge

Florida Georgia Line

Kip Moore

Kacey Musgraves


Vocal Duo of the Year


Big and Rich

Florida Georgia Line

Love and Theft


Civil Wars

Thompson Square


Vocal Group of the Year


Eli Young Band

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

The Band Perry

Zac Brown Band


Album of the Year


Little Big Town, "Tornado"

Kacey Musgraves, "Same Trailer Different Park"

Blake Shelton, "Based on a True Story"

Taylor Swift, "Red"

Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away"


Single of the Year


Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"

Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart"

Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, "Highway Don't Care"

Kacey Musgraves, "Merry Go Round"

Darius Rucker, "Wagon Wheel"


Song of the Year (songwriter's award)


Lee Brice, "I Drive Your Truck" (Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary)

Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart" (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves)

Kacey Musgraves, "Merry Go Round" (Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves, and Josh Osborne)

Little Big Town, "Pontoon" (Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, and Luke Laird)

Darius Rucker, "Wagon Wheel" (Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor)


Musical Event of the Year


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

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

Florida Georgia Line with Nelly, "Cruise"

Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, "Highway Don't Care"

Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies, "Boys 'Round Here"


Music Video of the Year


Lady Antebellum, "Downtown"

Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart"

Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, "Highway Don't Care"

Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies, "Boys 'Round Here"

Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away"


Musician of the Year


Sam Bush (mandolin)

Paul Franklin (steel guitar)

Dann Huff (guitar)

Brent Mason (guitar)

Mac McAnally (guitar)


Darius Rucker Hoping "Wagon Wheel" Takes CMA Song Award


Darius Rucker's hit "Wagon Wheel" is nominated in two categories at the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards.  If the track is named Single of the Year the prize would go to Rucker, while the Song of the Year award would go to writers Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor.  And Darius has no doubts about how he'd like to see the song honored.


"Wagon Wheel" hasn't exactly followed a traditional path to the CMAs.  Dylan originally came up with the framework of the song back in the early '70s.  Secor discovered the track on a Dylan bootleg album decades later and finished it, and his group, Old Crow Medicine Show, included the song on their 2004 self-titled debut album.  Rucker covered "Wagon Wheel" for his most recent country album, "True Believers," and his version topped the chart earlier this year.  Darius says he'd be thrilled to see the song finally "get the recognition that it's deserved all this time."  The 47th annual CMA Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Nashville, and air on ABC Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Tim McGraw Enjoys Award Shows


Tim McGraw is heading into the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards as a three-time nominee.  The singer says he enjoys these types of events.  He also admits he wouldn't mind taking home a trophy.


McGraw says he really enjoys seeing the new artists at awards events, because they represent the future of country music.  He adds that televised ceremonies are great for the newcomers, since they give emerging stars a chance to introduce themselves to millions of potential new fans.


McGraw is among the many performers slated for the 47th annual CMA Awards.  He's also in the running for Single, Musical Event, and Music Video of the Year with "Highway Don't Care," his collaborative hit with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.  The CMA ceremony will air live from Nashville on ABC Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Keith Urban Has Tough Time With Awards Show Performances


Keith Urban admits he has a hard time playing award shows and other televised events.  The country star explains that performers get very little time on stage, and the advanced prep work isn't very reliable.


But Urban will be taking the stage at the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards.  He's slated to team up with Miranda Lambert to deliver a rendition of their collaborative hit "We Were Us" during the show.  Urban is also a nominee heading into the event, with a bid for Male Vocalist of the Year.  He has three other nods as a featured performer on Tim McGraw's hit "Highway Don't Care," which is up for Single, Musical Event, and Music Video of the Year.  The 47th annual CMA Awards will take place in Nashville, and air on ABC Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Blake Shelton Leading Country Into People's Choice Awards


Blake Shelton is the top country nominee for the upcoming People's Choice Awards.  The singer and "Voice" coach has three chances to win, including bids in a couple of all-genre categories.  He's in the running for Favorite Male Artist along Justin Timberlake, Michael Bublé, Bruno Mars, and Avicii.  Blake's latest CD, "Based on a True Story...," is also facing Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" and Bublé's "To Be Loved" as well as Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" for Favorite Album.  Meanwhile, Blake is up against Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and Carrie Underwood for Favorite Country Artist.  The event also includes one other country category -- Favorite Country Music Icon.  Alan Jackson, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, and Willie Nelson are vying for that honor.


The public picks the winners in the fan-voted People's Choice Awards, which includes various music, movie, and television categories.  Balloting is under way now at  The 2014 People's Choice Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Los Angeles, and air on CBS on January 8th.


Country Stars To Participate In Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Carrie Underwood isn't just in New York City this fall for "The Sound of Music Live!"  The country singer will also be taking part in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  She's slated to join her "Sound of Music" castmates for a special appearance at the holiday event.  And Carrie isn't the only country star on board for the parade.  Florida Georgia Line, Kellie Pickler, and Brett Eldredge will also be taking part in the festivities, along with the "Duck Dynasty" cast, Kristin Chenoweth, football greats Joe Namath and Hines Ward, rockers Fall Out Boy and the Goo Goo Dolls, the "Sesame Street" cast, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, and many, many others.


The 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will also feature numerous floats, balloons, marching bands, clowns, cheerleaders, and other performers, as well as an appearance from Santa Claus.  More than eight-thousand participants are slated to walk the route past an estimated three-and-a-half-million spectators, while another 50-million viewers are expected to be tuning in at home.  The parade will air on NBC on November 28th -- Thanksgiving morning -- at 9:00 a.m. in each time zone.


Country Stars Open Up About Personal Loss, Difficulties


Luke Bryan says he's hoping his story of loss will help others.  The country star is just now opening up about the deaths of his siblings.  His brother Chris was killed in a car accident just days before Luke planned to leave home for Nashville, prompting a six-year delay in the launch of his music career.  And just days after Bryan made his Grand Ole Opry debut, his sister died.  Luke says he's telling his so those experiencing similar losses will know they aren't alone.


Shania Twain also opens up about personal tragedies -- including the car accident that took her parents' lives and the end of her marriage.  The singer says the two incidents are similar in that they trigger similar emotions.  She explains that she'll "never be OK" with her best friend's betrayal that led to her divorce, or with the way her now ex-husband handled the situation.  But Shania says she doesn't let her anger "eat away" at her, and she's "not hung up about it" anymore.  And Jason Aldean is shedding insights into his divorce as well.  His eleven-year marriage ended earlier this year, seven months after flirtatious photographs surfaced of him with a former "American Idol" finalist.  Jason admits that there were "obviously...things going on" and his marriage "wasn't very happy."  Aldean didn't give a direct answer when asked if he cheated on his wife.  But he pointed out that the same night the photos were taken, the paparazzi also caught him leaving the bar with some buddies -- not another woman.


The ABC special also featured a countdown of the top five country duets of all time.  Taking the top spot on the list -- Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream."


ABC's "In The Spotlight" Top Five Country Duets of All Time


1. Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream"

2. Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, "Jackson"

3. Reba McEntire, Linda Davis, "Does He Love You"

4. Trisha Yearwood, Don Henley, "Walkaway Joe"

5. Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, "It's Your Love


Josh Thompson Returns With New Single


Josh Thompson admits he's "very excited" to have a new single out.  "Cold Beer With Your Name On It" is the lead-off release from the country singer's sophomore album.  Josh describes his upcoming studio effort as "a tempo record," calling it "one of those albums that you can get a speeding ticket to."  He adds that it's "definitely something to party to."  Thompson admits it's been a while since he's had new music for his fans, and he appreciates how they've stuck with him over the past couple of years.


But Josh says his followers "don't care" if he has radio hits, explaining that they "just want to show up and have a good time" at his shows. The singer adds that it's why he's spent much of the last two years on the road.  Thompson is currently touring with Justin Moore.  He and Randy Houser are the openers on Justin's "Off The Beaten Path" trek.  Their next show is coming up in Huntsville, Alabama on Thursday.


Kris Kristofferson Reflects On Janis Joplin


Kris Kristofferson says Janis Joplin "means so much more" to him "than a star on a sidewalk."  The country legend penned the late rocker's biggest hit, "Me and Bobby McGee," and performed the song at her Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling this week.  Kris tells "Rolling Stone" he didn't know Janis very long, but says in the short time they knew one another they grew very close.  He adds that he can still remember the first time he heard Joplin's rendition of "Me and Bobby McGee."  Kristofferson didn't know Joplin had recorded the song when he received a copy from her producer on the day she died.  He admits it was "pretty hard to listen to."  Kris recalls that he was all alone in his publisher's office, and was "playing it over and over again" just so he could "hear it without breaking up."


Joplin recorded "Me and Bobby McGee" for what became her final album, "Pearl."  The song was released as a single in January 1971, just a few months after she died.  It went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 to become Janis' only chart-topping hit.



Country TV Tonight


THE 47th ANNUAL CMA AWARDS (ABC) Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood host the awards event, featuring performances from top nominees Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton, and many others.

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) Florida Georgia Line is the musical guest.


Country Birthdays Include


Stonewall Jackson is 81.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1961, "Crazy" by Patsy Cline entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1961, "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean peaked at number one on the pop singles chart and stayed there for five weeks.


Today in 1964, singer and actor Tex Ritter was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1990, K.T. Oslin's "Love In A Small Town" album and Clint Black's "Put Yourself In My Shoes" album were both released.


Today in 1992, Reba McEntire escaped injury when her twin-engine jet crash-landed in Nashville.


Today in 1999, Lee Ann Womack married Frank Liddell.


Today in 2000, Tim McGraw became the first artist ever to chart a single from a fan-taped version of an award show performance.  His live performance of "Things Change," which was recorded from 2000's CMA Awards Show telecast was uploaded by unknown fans to the Napster Internet site and country radio stations picked up on it.


Today in 2001, new releases included George Strait's "The Road Less Traveled" and Danni Leigh's "Divide and Conquer."


Today in 2002, Alan Jackson was the big winner at the 36th annual Country Music Association Awards ceremony, taking five categories in which he was nominated.  Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts, the Dixie Chicks, and Martina McBride were also among the winners.


Today in 2002, Rascal Flatts' second album, "Melt," debuted at number one on the "Billboard" country albums chart, and at number five on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.


Today in 2005, Mark Wills made an appearance on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."


Today in 2006, Brooks & Dunn were the big winners at the 40th annual CMA Awards, taking three trophies, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were both two-time winners, and Kenny Chesney captured Entertainer of the Year.  Faith Hill caused a stir when she appeared to be angry that Underwood took Female Vocalist of the Year.  She later said her reaction was in jest.  Sara Evans made her first public appearance since leaving "Dancing With the Stars" amid her high-profile divorce filing.  In addition, George Strait was among the inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 2006, Steve Azar, Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson, and Mac Davis were among the celebrities who played in the Golf Digest Celebrity Invitational at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation.


Today in 2007, Willie Nelson received the BMI Icon honor at the annual BMI Country Music Awards in Nashville.  Keith Urban, Josh Turner, Kris Kristofferson, and Emmylou Harris were among those who took part in the salute to Nelson at the event.


Today in 2007, Clay Walker turned over a check in the amount of 25-housand-dollars to help further Vanderbilt hospital's multiple sclerosis research.  The money came from the singer's foundation Band Against MS.  He also pledged to donate the same amount for the next two years.  Walker made a similar donation last month, fulfilling his commitment for this year.  The singer was diagnosed with the disease in 1996.


Today in 2007, reps for Rosanne Cash revealed that the singer was going to have brain surgery at a New York hospital to treat, quote, "a rare but benign condition."  While she was expected to make a full recovery, her health situation forced her to cancel the last four dates of her fall tour.


Today in 2007, Country Music Hall of Famer Hank Thompson died of lung cancer at his home in Keller, Texas.  He was 82.


Today in 2007, Jo Dee Messina played a concert in Nashville for local volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the families benefiting from the organization's efforts in the city's Providence Park community.


Today in 2007, new releases included Garth Brooks' "Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Hits," Little Big Town's "A Place To Land," Lonestar's "My Christmas List," and the CD/DVD dual set "The Taylor Swift Limited Deluxe Edition."


Today in 2010, Garth Brooks set the new record for ticket sales in Tennessee when more than 140-thousand tickets were sold for his nine flood relief benefit concerts. The previous record holder was Michael Jackson, who sold 72-thousand tickets in one day for his concert at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.


Today in 2012, Brantley Gilbert admitted that he and Jana Kramer were a couple.  The two became engaged a few months later, but have since split up.


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