Pickler On Tour, Swift Twitters About Awards, More

kpKellie Pickler’s recent show at the Freeborn County Fair drew the highest grossing box office receipts in the event’s 126-year history. She opened the show with her Top 10 and gold certified single, “Best Days Of Your Life.” 90 minutes later with rain falling, she closed the show with “Red High Heels” and invited every young girl in the audience to join her onstage, passing the microphone around for the girls to sing with her. By the time the song ended, the stage was packed with fans singing in unison.

The Teen Choice Awards 2009 don’t air until 7 PM/CT tonight (8/10) on Fox, but Taylor Swift’s Twitter feed has been giving away some of the surprises. She posted, “Two of my best friends @therealpickler and Abigail came out and surprised me onstage tonight in Omaha. I won 2 Teen Choice Awards!! AHHH!!” and “Choice female artist and choice female album! YESSSSS!!!”

Swift, Carrie Underwood and Miley Cyrus are among the nominees for the popular show, honoring everything from music, TV, and film, to favorite athletes, celebrity babies and celeb pets.

There isn’t a Country category, so the music nominations listed here are all-genre. Swift received four nods, including favorite Female Artist, Love Song, Tour and Female Album. Underwood’s Carnival Ride is also competing for Female Album. Cyrus is one of the leading nominees, with the chance to take home 10 surfboard trophies, including one for her Country/Pop crossover single “The Climb,” which was written by Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe.

The most nominations, 12, went to vampire teen flick Twilight and its cast. Also up for 10 awards are High School Musical 3: Senior Year and its cast, and TV’s Gossip Girl.


Donovan is set to be named a BMI Icon at the performing rights organization’s annual Oct. 6 London Awards. The gala celebration honors UK/European songwriters and publishers of the year’s most played BMI songs on American radio and TV. The Icon award indicates, “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Other winners have included Bryan Ferry, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, the Bee Gees, Paul Simon and many more. Donovan’s hits include “Sunshine Superman,” which has earned over 3 million performances and “Mellow Yellow” which has tallied over 2 million. Other hits include “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” “Jennifer Juniper,” and “Lalena.” BMI collects royalties for Donovan in the U.S. and he is a member of British Performing Rights Organization PRS.

Christian rockers MercyMe (Provident-Integrity) were in an accident over the weekend in northeastern Indiana, when their tour bus hit a car which turned into its path unexpectedly. Witnesses told police the bus was going through a green light about 1:15 a.m. Saturday when the car made a left turn in front of it. Two passengers in the car were killed, as well as the pregnant driver’s unborn child. The driver remains in critical condition. There were no injuries reported on the bus. The band canceled its Saturday show in St. Louis.

Steel Magnolia Wins “Can You Duet,” Signs With Big Machine

Photo credit: CMT.com

Steel Magnolia Photo credit: CMT.com

Steel Magnolia are winners of the second season of the CMT music competition series Can You Duet. The on and off-stage couple, Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones, leave the show with a recording contract from Big Machine Records after being selected by judges Naomi Judd, Big Kenny, and Big Machine Records’ President Scott Borchetta.

The duo is hitting the ground running with the debut single, “Keep On Loving You,” which they performed on the season finale. It is now available for purchase at iTunes, and was digitally delivered to Country radio for immediate airplay. This week will be a whirlwind for Steel Magnolia as the duo has a full day of media at CMT on Monday, will shoot their first-ever music video on Tuesday and then on Wednesday will hit the road on a radio tour. The media blitz will also include multiple TV appearances, newspaper and online interviews as well as fan meet and greets.

A native of Ponchatoula, La., 23-year-old Meghan Linsey formed Steel Magnolia with her boyfriend of three years, Joshua Scott Jones. Before entering the competition she was a karaoke host at a Nashville karaoke bar, where the two met. Meghan’s musical influences include Bekka Bramlett, Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt. Jones, 28, is from Charleston, Ill. and lists Waylon Jennings and The Beatles as musical influences.

Photo attached features: John Hamlin - Senior Vice President, Production and Development, CMT; Joshua Scott Jones of Steel Magnolia; Scott Borchetta - CAN YOU DUET judge and Big Machine Records’ President; Meghan Linsey of Steel Magnolia; Naomi Judd - CAN YOU DUET judge; Big Kenny - CAN YOU DUET judge; and Lance Smith, CAN YOU DUET host   Photo credit: John Russell

(L-R): John Hamlin - Senior Vice President, Production and Development, CMT; Joshua Scott Jones of Steel Magnolia; Scott Borchetta - "Can You Duet" judge and Big Machine Records’ President; Meghan Linsey of Steel Magnolia; Naomi Judd "Can You Duet" judge; Big Kenny "Can You Duet" judge; and Lance Smith, "Can You Duet" host. Photo credit: John Russell

“People Country Special” On Newsstands And TV


Click to read

People Country magazine debuts on newsstands today (8/7), with an accompanying TV special set to premiere on CMT.

Dedicated entirely to the Country music scene and lifestyle, this edition, the third of five special Country issues to be published by People in 2009, takes readers inside the homes of Country’s biggest stars.

In the cover story, Reba McEntire opens the doors to the Tennessee home she shares with her manager and husband of 20 years, Narvel Blackstock. The 54-year-old singer also talks about the upcoming release of her 33rd album, Keep on Loving You, her first solo studio album since the new generation of females took over the charts. “Competition fuels me,” McEntire tells People Country. “I look at the charts, and I want to know where I am and whom I have to beat out. It’s more fun that way.”

Also inside: Miranda Lambert dishes on her favorite things, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill talk about their new fragrances, Jennifer Nettles counts her blessings, and Brad Paisley reveals the inspiration behind his newest single and reminisces about the first time he laid his eyes on his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, when he went to see 1991’s Father of the Bride with his then-girlfriend.

Also included:

Exclusive pics of Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley’s wedding to Cassie McConnell in the Bahamas, attended by brother Josh Kelley and wife Katherine Heigl.

The homes of Darius Rucker, Gretchen Wilson, Holly Williams, Kenny Rogers and Jimmy Wayne.

Yearbook photos of Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Lee Ann Womack and others.

Another bonus: free iTunes downloads from Jack Ingram, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and others. Go to www.people.com/free to get the promo code to download the free People Country playlist.

People Country on CMT is a 30-minute special with exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage of photo shoots and interviews (Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson and Darius Rucker). The special premiered today (8/7) at 1:30 p.m. ET/PT, and will encore on Sat., Aug. 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET/PT and Sun., Aug. 9 at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT.

Chris Young, Shawna Russell At CRB Meeting

RCA Nashville hitmaker Chris Young delivered a lunchtime performance for members of the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Board of Directors and CRS 41 Agenda Committee amid meetings recently in Nashville. Chris is currently all over the country airwaves with “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” from his upcoming sophomore album, The Man I Want to Be, in stores September 1.

Pictured (l-r):  RCA Nashville Promo VP Keith Gale; CRB Board President and KMPS Seattle PD Becky Brenner; Young; CRB Executive Director Ed Salamon; and Sony Music Nashville Executive VP Butch Waugh. Photo credit:  Kristen England Photography

Pictured (l-r): RCA Nashville Promo VP Keith Gale; CRB Board President and KMPS Seattle PD Becky Brenner; Young; CRB Executive Director Ed Salamon; and Sony Music Nashville Executive VP Butch Waugh. Photo credit: Kristen England Photography

Shawna Russell played the Country Radio Broadcasters Board Meeting Breakfast in Nashville. She and her band delivered a 6-song set to the radio and music industry luminaries. Russell’s label, Way Out West Records, of which she is a co-owner, sponsored the event, which was emceed by the label’s radio consultant, Mike Borchetta.

(l-r): Ed Salamon- CRB Executive Dir.; Michael Osterhout-MCC Radio;  Shawna Russell; Carole Bowen-WKIS Radio; Mike Borchetta Photo credits: Kristen England Photography

(l-r): Ed Salamon- CRB Executive Dir.; Michael Osterhout-MCC Radio; Shawna Russell; Carole Bowen-WKIS Radio; Mike Borchetta Photo credits: Kristen England Photography

Deana, Milsap, Swift, Seals, Daniels, and Towns

deanaDeana Carter will headline the Franklin 4 The Cure concert, an all-day event with a 5K Run/Walk and a nighttime concert on Sat., Sept. 19, in the Westhaven development in Franklin. The concert will be at 7 PM. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $125 per person. Proceeds will go to the fight against cancer.

Additional activities include a silent auction. Sponsorships are still available and silent auction donations welcome. Details and tickets at franklin4thecure.org.


A new single by BLEVE recording artist Ronnie Milsap featuring Capitol’s Trace Adkins will be released by BLEVE Entertainment Group. “My First Ride” will debut Sept. 1 and is the lead single from a compilation album. Proceeds will go to the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters’ disaster relief funds. The idea is the creation of Mickey Milam, a retired Metro Nashville police officer who founded BLEVE Entertainment.


Taylor Swift performs songs from her sophomore album Fearless in a new episode of Studio 330 Sessions on CMT.com. In a stripped-down studio presentation, Swift delivers new takes on some of her biggest hits including “Love Story,” “White Horse,” and the current hit “You Belong With Me.” Click here to watch.


Rhonda Towns (Dawn Records) made the rounds to visit media outlets and radio in New York City recently, where she appeared on “The Strategy Room” (Fox.com) and the syndicated radio show “The Joey Reynolds Show” to introduce her current single “Slow Rain.” She also spent time with the staff of KISS FM 98.7 and radio talk personality Bob Slade.


Brady Seals with the cover character from new album "Play Time."

Brady Seals with the cover character from new album "Play Time."

StarCity Recording Company artist Brady Seals sat down with Maxim.com to film a two minute segment dubbed “A Drink with Brady Seals” where he discusses his new album, video games and Richard Marx’s hair. Seals is preparing to release his new album, Play Time, on Aug. 18 and is currently on tour promoting the first single, “Ho Down,” which, as Brady says, isn’t your average square dancin’ song.


Tennessee Titans’ kicker Rob Bironas surprised Charlie Daniels with one of his game worn shoes after a recent Charlie Daniels Band appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.  The shoe had been dipped in gold and was given to Charlie as a thank you for the golden fiddle Charlie had presented to Rob a few months prior. The plaque reads…”To Charlie Daniels, Keep Playin That Fiddle. – Rob Bironas #2.”

Photo Credit: Mindy Knight

As Ubiquitous Availability Becomes Reality

radio_towerA wave of change is approaching the terrestrial and satellite radio industry—like a tsunami headed for shore. Sirius XM is fighting to retain paying subscribers. Radio conglomerates face plunging revenues, rising costs and eroding listenership. But there are additional, perhaps insurmountable factors undermining radio’s future.

The radio business is largely built upon two foundations.
Scarcity—terrestrial radio is built upon demand for a limited number of FCC licenses.
Barrier To Entry— costs to purchase a frequency plus operate are substantial.

Enter the Internet. Startup costs become basic—a URL web address, some readily available low cost software, content and music royalties. Scarcity and barriers to entry are no longer part of this equation. In this morning’s subscriber-only @MusicRow an article about streaming radio says that over half of teens 13-17 are already using the quickly proliferating number of available online services.

Now imagine that in addition to getting the signal on your computer and mobile devices (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) Internet is also available on your car radio. As ubiquitous availability becomes reality, virtual Internet stations will mushroom overnight.

Kenny Chesney is surfing this wave of change with his newly launched No Shoes Radio channel (www.noshoesradio.com) which features the artist’s music, plus a diverse sampling of other artists and formats. Demand from fans was so high that over 50,000 streams were served on launch, temporarily freezing the servers in the process. “It’s…knowing that you’re still in sync with the fans,” said Chesney. Commenting upon the launch glitch he said, “When you try something that people tell you is crazy, in the back of your mind you’re glad there was so much demand.”

So where is this going?
Will it change the country music business which is still tied tightly to country radio exposure and the radio charts?
Will a changing radio landscape open up playlists and expand the format’s diversity?

What do you think?

Ads In CDs, Twitter, Nashville Symphony

mariah-carey-memoirs-of-an-Advertisements are coming to liner notes near you. Mariah Carey’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, set for release on Sept. 15, contains a 34-page mini magazine as the CD booklet. It was co-produced with Elle magazine and will include the usual liner notes and lyrics, as well as ads from Elizabeth Arden, Angel Champagne, the Bahamas Board of Tourism and more. Hypebot says WalMart will display the CD and Carey’s signature Arden fragrance together in the music aisle, as well as in the beauty department.

“The idea was really simple thinking: ‘We sell millions of records, so you should advertise with us,’” Antonio “L.A.” Reid, chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group told Brandweek. “My artists have substantial circulation—when you sell 2 million, 5 million, 8 million, that’s a lot of eyeballs.”


When Twitter went down yesterday, it was because a group of Russians were trying to stop a blogger from the Republic of Georgia from communicating with sympathizers, reports the Telegraph. The denial of service attack also interrupted Facebook and LiveJournal. The Telegraph says, “This technique uses a network of tens of thousands of compromised computers, known as a botnet, to flood a website’s servers with access requests, leaving ordinary traffic unable to get through, and causing the system to overload and crash.” Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, corroborated the story to CNET News.


The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce recently won the nationwide award for Chamber of the Year. It was given by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Although The Nashville Symphony doesn’t even charge tax, it is joining in the Sales Tax Holiday festivities this weekend (Aug. 7-9) by offering a 9.25% discount on all SunTrust Classical Series concerts. You can redeem this discount online by using the promo code TAXFREE, over the phone at 615-687-6400 or by visiting the box office in person. www.nashvillesymphony.org

Appearances: Adkins, Worley & Bacon Brothers


Adkins and Simmons

Trace Adkins will appear on this week’s episode of A&E’s reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, set to air Aug. 9 at 8:30 CT. In the episode, titled “Rootin’ Tootin’ Gene,” Simmons travels to Nashville as a favor to KISS’ manager and takes a country band under his wing. Adkins stops by the studio to surprise his former Celebrity Apprentice co-star and friend. Also in the episode, Simmons visits the Loveless Cafe along with Jypsi and Drew Davis Band.


The Bacon Brothers will make their Opry debut Tues., Sept. 1 when they appear alongside the Bellamy Brothers to perform the Bellamy’s current single, “Guilty of the Crime,” on which both sets of brothers appear. This marks the first public appearance for the Bacons and the Bellamys together. The song is the first single from The Bellamy Brothers’ newest album The Anthology, Vol. 1 available digitally now and in stores Sept. 29.


Darryl Worley will perform at the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, TN on Mon., Aug. 24 at 7 PM. For more information, visit www.wilsoncountyfair.net.

Rascal Flatts Sell Out Second Stadium

Rascal Flatts at Wrigley Field

Rascal Flatts at Wrigley Field

Rascal Flatts will perform their second sold-out stadium show of the summer Sunday (8/9) at Columbus’ Crew Stadium. This weekend a total of 65,000 fans are expected at the Rascal Flatts American Living Unstoppable Tour’s three stops, including Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

Last weekend the band played a sold-out show last month in front of 37,000 screaming fans at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and became the first country act to perform a concert in the historic ballpark.

Rascal Flatts is also announcing the continuation of the tour with more dates through October. Darius Rucker will stay on board as opening act.

Rascal Flatts recently placed their fourth consecutive studio album atop the Top 200 chart with the release of Unstoppable with first week sales of 351,000 albums. It became the biggest country release of 2009 to date, and the best in country first week sales since November 2008. Since they launched their career in 2000, they have sold 20 million albums.

Artist News: Luke Bryan, Due West, Kingbilly, More

Sarah Buxton opened for Luke Bryan last month at the WGKX Kix on Beale show in Memphis. Buxton later joined Bryan onstage to sing the last two songs with him.

Sarah Buxton opened for Luke Bryan last month at the WGKX Kix on Beale show in Memphis. Buxton later joined Bryan onstage to sing the last two songs with him.

Capitol Nashville recording artist Luke Bryan and zooppa.com have joined forces to host a fan generated online video contest for Bryan’s latest single “Do I,” launching on Aug. 17 and continuing through Oct. 11. Zoopa.com is a social network focused on user-generated advertising. Fans can win autographed copies of Bryan’s soon to be released album Doin’ My Thing, due in stores Oct. 6, and cash prizes by clicking here.


New country trio Due West now has their own iPhone application which allows fans to watch videos, browse photos, sample music, read blog posts and latest news, and more. The group is gearing up for the release of their debut album later this year. They recently shot their first video for “I Get That All The Time” which has just been added to GAC.



Nashville country band KingBilly performed Thurs., July 30 at Chicago’s hot spot Joe’s Bar, rocking the crow with songs like “I Wanna Come Back As Her Beer.” Richard Marx took the stage, joining KingBilly on performances of “You Never Take Me Dancing” (recorded by Travis Tritt) and Keith Urban’s hit “Better Life.” Then actor Hugh Jackman made a surprise appearance, leading to Marx, Jackman and KingBilly performing one of Marx’ biggest hits, “Right Here Waiting."


Wrangler and The Parks are partnering to give fans the chance to register to win one of twenty autographed advance CDs or a grand prize consisting of a Wrangler gift certificate, autographed guitar and autographed copy of the father/son duo’s CD, Born Into It. In addition, fans can preview the record and download free Wrangler/The Parks desktop wallpaper here.


American Roots Records group TelluRide wrapped up their west coast radio and concert tour on Sunday. A two-night stint headlining the Tenino Wine and Music Festival raised $24,000 for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. The group is now trekking back across the country for several dates throughout New York this week. The four-man-band wrap up the week at the Watkins Glen race track on Saturday and singing the national anthem live on ESPN prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup road race. The band’s Ricky Schroder-directed music video for the debut single, “Pencil Marks,” was completed last week and will begin hitting television and internet airwaves in the next couple of weeks.


Country/hip-hop singer Colt Ford is teaming up with NASCAR for the release of a new single, “Racin’ The Way It Ought’a Be,” which is part of the racing-themed CD, Bristol Nights: The Official Music of Bristol Motor Speedway. The 12-song compilation is available on iTunes and Amazon. Bristol Motor Speedway hosts its next NASCAR weekend on Aug. 21-22 where more than 160,000 fans will flock to Thunder Valley.