Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Miranda Lambert A Performer, Top Nominee At CMT Music Awards


Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line lead the way heading into the 2014 CMT Music Awards.  Miranda is the top nominee with six bids stemming from three different songs, including her latest single, "Automatic."  Bryan and Florida Georgia Line follow with five nominations each, including two shared nods for their hit "This Is How We Roll."  Hunter Hayes, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church are some of the other stars also up for honors.


They're all slated to take part in the event as well.  Lambert and Underwood will sing their new duet, while Bryan and Florida Georgia Line will perform with pop star Jason Derulo.  Other highlights include a collaboration between Hayes, Jennifer Nettles, and R&B great John Legend; and a special tribute to Alan Jackson featuring Lee Ann Womack and nominee Kacey Musgraves.  Others on board for the show include nominees Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, and Dierks Bentley.  The fan-voted 2014 CMT Music Awards will be presented in a ceremony at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, airing on CMT Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Nominees for the 2014 CMT Music Awards


Video of the Year


Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies and Friends - "Boys 'Round Here"

Carrie Underwood - "See You Again"

Eric Church - "Give Me Back My Hometown"

Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan - "This Is How We Roll"

Hunter Hayes - "I Want Crazy"

Kacey Musgraves - "Follow Your Arrow"

Keith Urban with Miranda Lambert - "We Were Us"

Luke Bryan - "That's My Kind of Night"

Miranda Lambert - "Automatic"

Taylor Swift - "Red"

Thomas Rhett - "It Goes Like This"

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


Male Video of the Year


Blake Shelton - "Doin' What She Likes"

Eric Church - "Give Me Back My Hometown"

Hunter Hayes - "I Want Crazy"

Jason Aldean - "Night Train"

Luke Bryan - "Crash My Party"

Randy Houser - "Runnin' Outta Moonlight"


Female Video of the Year


Carrie Underwood - "See You Again"

Cassadee Pope - "Wasting All These Tears"

Kacey Musgraves - "Follow Your Arrow"

Miranda Lambert - "Automatic"

Sheryl Crow - "Easy"

Taylor Swift - "Red"


Group Video of the Year


Eli Young Band - "Drunk Last Night"

Lady Antebellum - "Compass"

Little Big Town - "Your Side Of The Bed"

Rascal Flatts - "Rewind"

The Band Perry - "Done"

Zac Brown Band - "Sweet Annie"


Duo of the Year


Dan + Shay - "19 You + Me"

Florida Georgia Line - "Round Here"

Florida Georgia Line - "Stay"

Thompson Square - "Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About"


Breakthrough Video of the Year


Brett Eldredge - "Beat Of The Music"

Cassadee Pope - "Wasting All These Tears"

Cole Swindell - "Chillin' It"

David Nail - "Whatever She's Got"

Thomas Rhett - "It Goes Like This"

Tyler Farr - "Redneck Crazy"


Collaborative Video of the Year


Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies and Friends - "Boys 'Round Here"

Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan - "This Is How We Roll"

Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly - "Cruise (Remix)"

Hunter Hayes featuring Jason Mraz - "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me"

Keith Urban with Miranda Lambert - "We Were Us"

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


CMT Performance of the Year


Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic - "Counting Stars" (from CMT Crossroads: OneRepublic and Dierks Bentley)

Jake Owen - "Days Of Gold" (from CMT Hot 20 Countdown)

Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks - "Rhiannon" (from CMT Crossroads: Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum)

Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie - "Oh No/All Night Long" (from 2013 CMT Artists of the Year)

The Band Perry and Fall Out Boy - "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" (from CMT Crossroads: Fall Out Boy and the Band Perry)

Willie Nelson and Neil Young - "Long May You Run" (from CMT Crossroads: Willie Nelson & Friends from Third Man Records)


Two Special Shows Provide Unofficial Launch To CMA Fest


The 2014 CMA Music Festival in Nashville unofficially gets under way Wednesday with the day-long Kick-Off Concert.  Shooter Jennings will make his CMA Fest debut with the free, outdoor show, starting at 11:00 a.m. local time.  The Grascals, Lindsay Ell, and the Marshall Tucker Band are some of the other artists slated to perform.


The party then heads indoors for Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam.  It's Marty's 13th year hosting the special pre-CMA Fest show, taking place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  The lineup for this year's event includes LeAnn Rimes, Travis Tritt, Connie Smith, and R&B star Sam Moore of the legendary duo Sam & Dave.  The concert, starting at 10:00 p.m. local time, supports The Recording Academy's charity, MusiCares.  The 2014 CMA Music Festival officially begins on Thursday, and continues through Sunday.


BlackHawk Returns With New Single


BlackHawk is back.  The country group premiered their new single, "Heart With A View," on Tuesday.


"Heart With A View" is BlackHawk's first release in 12 years, and will be on the group's upcoming CD. Frontman Henry Paul tells "Billboard" the song dates back to the early days of the band, and was co-written with their late bandmate Van Stephenson.  Paul adds that "having Van's talents as a singer and songwriter on this new album is a very magical musical moment" for him and fellow surviving member Dave Robbins.  He believes it'll also be special for the fans.  Stephenson is also featured on two other tracks on "Brothers of the Southland," which will arrive on July 8th.


Jewel Releases New Single For Charity


Jewel's latest release is a song with a purpose.  She's using the new track "Sing On" to help the American Lung Association raise both money and awareness for the fight against lung cancer in women.  The singer explains that she was motivated to act after learning that the largest number of cancer deaths among women are from lung cancer.  Jewel says her goals with "Sing On" are to "unite women and their loved ones to take much-needed action," and to let those fighting the disease know "there is hope, and that we are all raising our voices in support of their battle."  Jewel's "Sing On" is available now from iTunes.  All the money from sales of the song will go to the American Lung Association's new Lung Force initiative.


Jewel is also supporting the cause in a new public service announcement.  She's featured with Kellie Pickler in the 30-second clip.  Fans can see their video and learn more about the initiative at


Keith Urban Considers His Life A Divorce Rumor Denial


Keith Urban says he has no need to deny tabloid stories claiming he and wife Nicole Kidman are splitting up.  The singer tells "Rolling Stone Country" he's aware of the rumors, but thinks it's "pointless" to try to squash them.  He says their friends are the "most aghast by the whole thing," and can't believe he and Nicole don't speak out and defend themselves.  But Keith explains that they are responding to the rumors with their actions, saying their "life" is their proof that their marriage remains solid.  Keith and Nicole will celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary later this month.


Tim McGraw Discusses His Life, Music On "Oprah's Master Class"


Tim McGraw is sharing his story with Oprah Winfrey.  In a preview of his episode of OWN's "Oprah's Master Class," the country star recalls making the decision to pursue a music career, and his mom's reaction to his plans.


Tim explains that he took the risk, sold everything he had, and bought a bus ticket to Nashville.  He adds that he didn't have his sights set on superstardom, but just wanted to play music -- whether it was for a handful of people in a small club or a stadium packed with 100-thousand fans.


McGraw also admits he can't share the secrets to his success because there are none.  The singer, who has 50 top singles to his credit, says he has no idea what makes a hit.  He says he judges a song based on how it makes him feel, explaining that to him a good song is one that affects him "viscerally."  McGraw will be featured on the next episode of "Oprah's Master Class," debuting on OWN this Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Pistol Annies' Angaleena Presley Releasing Solo Album


Pistol Annies' Angaleena Presley is following in her bandmates footsteps, and offering up her own album.  The country star tells she's very excited about her debut solo disc, explaining that she's poured her "heart and soul into this record" and "can't wait to share" what she's done.  Presley had a hand in a number of aspects to the project, including writing and producing the material.  She tells serving as her own producer was important to her, because she's "lived every word" of the songs and knew "exactly" how she wanted them to sound.  Details, including a title and release date, haven't been announced yet, but Presley's album is due later this year.


Angaleena is the last member of Pistol Annies to release her own album.  Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert both had solo recording careers prior to forming the trio.  Monroe's second CD, "Like A Rose," arrived last year, while Lambert just released her fifth studio effort, "Platinum."


Jake Owen Amazed At Career Path


Jake Owen says when he was just starting out he never imagined he'd eventually be doing things like performing at awards shows.  The country star also admits it's involved a lot more administrative work than he expected -- but he's not complaining.


Owen adds that while it's taken a lot of effort to reach the level of success he's attained, he couldn't be happier -- and not just for himself.  Jake explains that he's also thrilled for the guys in his band, who've been with him "since day one."


Owen is a nominee heading into the CMT Music Awards with a bid for CMT Performance of the Year.  He doesn't say what he'll play at the event, but tells CMT he'll be bringing "a little beach vibe to the party."  Jake's currently in top ten on the charts with his single "Beachin'."  The 2014 CMT Music Awards will be presented in Nashville, and air on CMT Wednesday night.


The Band Perry Loves Being A Headliner


The Band Perry is thrilled that their career has grown to the point where they're now hitting the road as a headliner.  But singer Kimberly Perry says it's not that they revel in the prestige of topping the bill, but they're just so passionate about bringing their music to the stage.


Kimberly says The Band Perry started out as a live band.  She explains that long before they were writing songs, recording albums, and doing interviews, they were traveling from town to town playing music for anyone who would listen.  But Reid Perry adds that being a headliner satisfies their need to be in charge.  He admits that he, Kimberly, and their brother Neil Perry are "control freaks," and like to have a say in "everything" about their shows -- from the moment the doors open until the last audience member leaves the venue.


However, The Band Perry will have to relinquish some of that control this summer.  In addition to playing their own headlining dates, the group will serve as an opener on Blake Shelton's "Ten Times Crazier" tour, starting in Austin, Texas on June 20th.


Brad Paisley Westboro Selfie Sparks Reaction


Brad Paisley is getting a lot of attention for his recent selfie with members of the Westboro Baptist Church.  Paisley took a picture with the persistent protesters outside of his concert in Kansas City, Missouri Sunday and later added the caption: "Westboro Baptist Selfie!! Or west-Burro (ass) selfie."  But the group, which rails against almost anything it deems a violation of its religious code, is dismissing any notion that Paisley was mocking them, promoting a video of Brad's selfie moment as a show of support.


Paisley's pic has garnered hundreds of thousands of likes on Facebook and other social media outlets since it was posted Sunday.  Fans have also posted messages of support for Brad and ridicule of the group, which has protested a number of other country stars including openly gay singer Chely Wright, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift.


Country TV Tonight


THE 2014 CMT MUSIC AWARDS (CMT) Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line are the top nominees for the fan-voted event.  They're also part of a performance lineup that also includes Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, and others.  The event will also feature a tribute to Alan Jackson.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1974, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner performed together for the last time as a duo on the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1982, Alabama held their first June Jam in their hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama.


Today in 1984, Lorrie Morgan joined the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1996, new album releases included Kenny Chesney's "Me & You," Lorrie Morgan's "Greater Need," and Neal McCoy's self-titled effort.


Today in 1998, Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire performed a special concert simulcast via satellite on TV screens in over 12-hundred Wal-Mart electronics departments nationwide.  The show was part of a benefit for Children's Miracle Network in which Wal-Mart stores across the country gave the charity a dollar from the sale of every Brooks & Dunn and Reba album.


Today in 1998, George Strait's "One Step At A Time" album was certified Gold and Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1999, Tim McGraw and more than 400 fans were forced to evacuate his charity concert at the 7th House in Pontiac, Michigan, after a woman used pepper spray against a man she claimed groped her.  But McGraw was affected by the spray, and in the middle of a song he fell to his knees choking.  Frightened audience members also fled the hall, coughing and holding shirts over their faces.


Today in 1999, the Kinleys earned their first Gold album for "Just Between You and Me."


Today in 2000, after performing on the George Strait Country Music Festival's stop in Landover, Maryland, Martina McBride took the stage in Alexandria, Virginia to raise money for a reward fund for help in finding the person who killed Kevin Shifflett.  Two months earlier, the eight-year-old boy was stabbed to death as he played outside his grandparents' home in Alexandria.  The show brought in 100-thousand-dollars for the fund.


Today in 2001, John Hartford, who wrote "Gentle on my Mind," passed away from cancer at the age of 63.


Today in 2002, Shannon Lawson's debut album, "Chase The Sun," and Hometown News' disc "Wheels" arrived in stores.


Today in 2004, The Oak Ridge Boys took part in MSNBC's coverage of the 60th anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy, France.


Today in 2004, Vince Gill was among those who took part in the Crossroads Guitar Festival, a fundraiser for Eric Clapton's rehab center in Antigua.


Today in 2005, Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn became the first person to receive the distinguished alumni award from St. Andrews-Sewanee Academy in Sewanee, Tennessee.


Today in 2006, Loretta Lynn broke her shoulder in a fall at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.  A few days later she had surgery to repair the joint.  The injury forced Lynn to cancel several upcoming concerts.


Today in 2007, Lonestar hosted the group's third annual Lonestar & Friends Strike Out for the Kids bowling party fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Buddy Jewell, Emerson Drive, and Diamond Rio's Jimmy Olander were among the celebrity bowlers, while Chris Young was on hand to mingle with the crowd.  Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry, Darryl Worley, Tracy Lawrence, Trent Tomlinson, and Danielle Peck also participated in the event.


Today in 2007, Dierks Bentley made country music history when he became the first country artist to stream a live performance online to residents from 100 countries around the world.  For the event Dierks partnered with Nashville's Bluebird Café and virtual community Second Life to kick off "Superstars of the Bluebird" week at the legendary Nashvile club.


Today in 2007, Porter Wagoner received the International Fan Club Organization's Tex Ritter Award at the 40th Annual IFCO FunFest Show in Nashville.  Joe Diffie, Trick Pony, Aaron Tippin, Chris Young, and Ty Herndon performed at the event, which raised money for Nashville's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.


Today in 2008, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Montgomery Gentry, and Phil Vassar were among the players who took the field for the 18th annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge.  Keith Anderson, Sara Evans, Jo Dee Messina, Jake Owen, Chuck Wicks, and Chris Cagle also participated in the charity event, along with Luke Bryan, Jimmy Wayne, Joe Nichols and Danielle Peck.


Today in 2008, James Otto served as Grand Marshal in the CMA Music Fest parade.  Lonestar, Michael Martin Murphey, Trent Tomlinson and Chris Young also participated in the event.


Today in 2008, Chris Young, Tammy Cochran, and T. Graham Brown were among the performers at the "Countriest of the Country" show in Nashville.  The benefit supported Christmas for the Children, a non-profit organization that raises money throughout the year to take local underprivileged children Christmas shopping.


Today in 2008, Neal McCoy hosted the "Country Weekly" Fashion Show in Nashville.  Participants included Jimmy Wayne, Chuck Wicks, Alabama's Jeff Cook, Danielle Peck, and Phil Stacey, and Sarah Buxton.  he event supported Musicians on Call, which provide live music and recordings for patients in healthcare facilities.


Today in 2008, Charlie Daniels met fans and signed copies of his CD "Deuces" at the Charlie Daniels' museum in downtown Nashville.  Later, The Charlie Daniels Band performed during Marty Stuart's 7th Annual Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium.  The event supported MusiCares and the CMA's Keep The Music Playing programs.


Today in 2008, The Oak Ridge Boys performed at the annual Congressional Barbeque at the White House in Washington, DC.


Today in 2008, Mel Tillis received the International Fan Club Organization's Tex Ritter Award at the 2008 IFCO Fun Fest Show.


Today in 2009, Kenny Chesney came in at number 31 on "Forbes" magazine's list of the 100 most powerful celebrities. Other country stars making the list included Rascal Flatts at number 42, Toby Keith at number 59, Taylor Swift at number 69, and Carrie Underwood at number 75.


Today in 2011, Trace Adkins' Brentwood, Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.  The singer was on his way to play shows in Alaska when the fire broke out, but he returned home immediately after receiving the news.  Adkins' wife was also away when the fire started.  Trace's daughters, a guest staying with the girls, and the family's pets all escaped unharmed, but the house was deemed a total loss.


Today in 2011, Willie Nelson turned the Country Throwdown tour stop in Orange Beach, Alabama into a benefit concert to help tornado victims across the state.  All the artists on the trek, which included Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Craig Campbell, and others, donated their performance fees from the show to various storm relief charities in Alabama.


Today in 2012, Darius Rucker hosted his 3rd annual "Darius and Friends" concert and golf tournament in Nashville.  The event supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Today in 2013, George Strait lost his dad, John Byron Strait, who passed away at the age of 91.


Today in 2013, Carrie Underwood's video to "See You Again" had its premiere, while her "Blown Away Tour" exhibit began a five-month run at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.


Today in 2013, new country releases included LeAnn Rimes' "Spitfire" and Lonestar's "Life As We Know It."

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