David McClister/Sweet Talk PRKristian Bush is teaming up with actress/singer Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks, for an Academy of Country Music benefit concert at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. The show will take place Thursday, August 27 with proceeds are going to ACM Lifting Lives, the ACM's charity organization founded to help improve lives through music.
CMAKeith Urban has released a new documentary short revealing how he created his new single, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16." In the feature, Keith can be seen working out the foundation of the track on acoustic guitar, bass and a drum track. The clip even shows Keith recording his vocals while playing bass on the song. It's a must-see if you're ever wondered how Keith keeps cranking out hit after hit.
Keith says, "We couldn’t recall a song-specific documentary short that really gave a feeling for how a song comes together. We’re usually filming anyway and the evolution of 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16' really did happen in the studio, so we thought why not share some of the fun (and creative angst) that we usually have in the studio with our fans!”
"John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" is the lead single from Keith's upcoming studio album. We'll let you know when he announces the title and release date for that project.
Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan is playing a show at Irving Plaza in New York City to celebrate his new album, Kill the Lights, on the project's release date, August 7.
Luke says, "I am so excited to be getting this new music out to my fans and cannot wait to be on stage and enjoy the album release night with them!"
Tickets are on sale to Citi card holders only Wednesday, August 5. If you can't make it to the show, you can stream the concert live that night at 9 ET on the Live National Channel at Yahoo. The concert will also be available on the Yahoo Screen app on mobile devices or connected devices like XBox, Apple TV and Roku.
Kill the Lights features Luke's latest hit, "Kick the Dust Up."
Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge may the reigning CMA New Artist of the Year, but he isn't letting his rising star status go to his head.
"That is so weird to even think about being a celebrity now," Brett says. "My buddies will be like, 'Dude, you're famous. Is that weird?' I'll be like, 'I don't feel any different than I ever did.'"
Brett is so down-to-earth, he still likes to go hang out with the bar patrons and visitors on Nashville's Lower Broadway. While he doesn't get hammered down there like he did on his 21st birthday, Brett still enjoys having a few drinks and mixing it up with the people who are now buying his albums and concert tickets.
Says Brett, "I'm still that same kid. I still like to go down there and have fun, and I get up on stage and sing with people and whatever. I'm still the same old Brett and living life and playing music and dreaming every day and that's what I try to do."
Brett is gearing up to release his sophomore album, Illinois, on September 11. The project features his latest hit, "Lose My Mind."
CMAAs one of country's hottest rising stars, Thomas Rhett has started to play his own headlining shows here and there. He's spent most of this year on the road opening for his pals Florida Georgia Line, and Thomas sees advantages to both approaches to touring at this point in his career.
"They're just different," Thomas explains. "You know, when we do our own shows, we play longer. You don't really have to start at a certain amount of time, and you don't have to really end at a certain amount of time. So, I would say, when you do your own shows, there's a lot more freedom."
On the other hand, Thomas enjoys the comradery of hanging out with his pals FGL when they're on the road together. He also admires the way the duo runs their touring operation.
Says Thomas, "They treat everybody the same whether you're crew or whether you're an opening act. Everyone gets treated the same. Those two guys have become my best friends, so there's really no way that I couldn't have a blast touring with two of my best buddies out on the road."
In the next few years, Thomas hopes to be headlining full-time now that he's got a taste of playing sold-out shows of his own.
He says, "It is a lot of fun going and knowing that when you do sell out a place, you know that your name sold it out. And you weren't just a part of selling it out. Like, you were the reason a lot of people came."
After his stint with FGL is finished, Thomas is hitting the road with Brett Eldredge this fall. Look for Thomas's new album, Tangled Up, to come out September 25.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKelsea Ballerini has been added to the lineup for the annual New Year's Eve Bash on Broadway in downtown Nashville. She joins previously announced headliners Kings of Leon on the bill.
Congratulations to Gloriana's Tom Gossin, who is expecting his first child with his wife, Jamie, in February 2016.
Craig Morgan will host his second annual Billy's Place 5K August 22 at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson, Tennessee. Proceeds go to the Dickson County Craig Morgan Foundation to help foster children in Middle Tennessee. Go to CraigMorgan.com for details.
Randy Houser's new video for "We Went" features car chases, explosions and a lot of stunts, as seen in the sneak peek just released this week. Look for the clip to premiere on CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday morning.
Eric Adkins/Mercury NashvilleScotty McCreery will premiere his new single, "Southern Belle," on Fox News's Fox & Friends Friday morning. Scotty is performing on the show's All-American Summer Concert Series during the 8 a.m. ET hour. The full concert and additional interview footage will stream live on FoxandFriends.com/Concert.
"Southern Belle" is the lead single from Scotty's upcoming third studio album, due out in early 2016. The song will go to country radio in late August.
Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks tops this year's Forbes Country Cash Kings: 2015: The Top 15 Earners list with an estimated $90 million in earnings, thanks in large part to his current World Tour. That total is the biggest single-year amount Forbes has ever recorded for a country act.
Toby Keith is second with $53 million coming in from his shows and various business interests. Jason Aldean is third with an estimated $43.5 million payday.
Forbes' Country Cash Kings list is compiled using data from Pollstar, Nielsen, industry insiders and artists themselves to estimate income from concert tickets, merchandise, publishing and other business interests. The amounts only cover income earned between June 2014 and June 2015.
Here is the complete Forbes Cash Kings 2015 List:
1) Garth Brooks, $90 million 2) Toby Keith, $53 million 3) Jason Aldean, $43.5 million 4) Luke Bryan, $42.5 million 5) Kenny Chesney, $42 million 6) Tim McGraw, $38 million 7) Florida Georgia Line, $36.5 million 8) Zac Brown Band, $32 million 9) Miranda Lambert, $28.5 million (tie) 9) Blake Shelton, $28.5 million (tie) 11) Keith Urban, $28 million 12) Eric Church, $26 million 13) Brad Paisley, $24 million 14) Rascal Flatts, $19.5 million 15) Lady Antebellum, $17 million
Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes teamed up with 10 campers from the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp Tuesday night to perform at a special event at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The group sang "Heart to Heart," a song they wrote with songwriter Terry McBride earlier this summer in Nashville. Hunter rounded out the set with a few of his own hits.The performance took place at the Family's Picnic in the Park at Grand Park LA, a private event for Special Olympics athletes and their families.
“It was an honor to support such a fantastic cause and get to perform for all of these athletes and their families,” Hunter says. "I had the opportunity to meet the ACM Lifting Lives music campers earlier this summer, and it reminded me how pure and powerful music can be. Being part of this event tonight and getting to perform with them again was an experience I won’t forget.”
Republic NashvilleA Thousand Horses guitarist Zach Brown is heavily influenced by rock acts The Rolling Stonesand The Smashing Pumpkins. He might not have found his way to country music if it weren't for Tim McGraw's 1999 album, A Place in the Sun, which includes the hits "My Best Friend," "Please Remember Me," "Something Like That," and "My Next Thirty Years."
"It was the first country album I ever bought," Zach tells Country Aircheck. "I was in high school and I came late to country music, because I grew up with all my parents' classic rock records. But all the girls in school listened to country music, so I figured I should get in on that. After I heard that album, I was hooked."
A Thousand Horses is currently climbing the Country Airplay chart with "(This Ain't No) Drunk Dial." It's the follow up to their #1 debut hit, "Smoke." Both songs are included on A Thousand Horses' debut album, Southernality, available now.
EB Media PREric Church will be featured in a new cameo exhibit opening at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on September 18. It's called Eric Church: Inside the Outsider and will feature stage wear, guitars, song manuscripts and other items from Eric's personal collection.
Eric Church: Inside the Outsider will be open through February 2016.
Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is one of the more colorful country stars today, and it sounds like he's cut from the same cloth as his father. Brantley recently had his dad move onto his farm in Alabama, and Brantley says the state is "rubbin' off on him, slowly but surely."
The move has caused Brantley's dad to expand his views on guys wearing earrings, too.
"I thought he was gonna kill me when I got my ears pierced," Brantley admits, "and he called me one night and he said, 'You ain’t gonna believe this.' I said, 'I think you’re right, but go ahead, shoot.' He said, 'I’m just gonna send you a picture.' I said, 'All right.'"
Brantley was quite shocked when the picture of his dad came through.
Says Brantley, "He got his ears pierced, but they’re studs."
Country stars like Brantley and Jason Aldean are known for wearing little hoop earrings, but studs are usually associated with rap acts. You shouldn't have to worry about Brantley featuring his dad on a new song, though.
Brantley says with a laugh, "He’s not gonna break out mad beats or nothing."
Next up, Brantley joins Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean for a show this Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in St. Louis.
Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert performed with her songwriter friends and her favorite up-and-coming female acts Tuesday night at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley. The sold-out show was set up as a songwriter round, which meant Miranda sat on the stage with her special guests throughout the night.
Miranda admitted she was nervous as the show got started with her performance of "Bathroom Sink," a song about facing self-rejection from her latest album, Platinum. She also mentioned that she had been writing a lot this past week with her fellow songwriters onstage, including Jessi Alexander, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird and Jon Randall. That means you can expect to hear Miranda's emotions following her divorce from Blake Shelton show up on her next album.
Speaking of Blake, his music was played over the speakers for a solid hour before the show started. When it came time for Miranda's second song of the night, she admitted she was getting by on a lot of caffeine and sad songs these days. In keeping with that sad song theme, Miranda launched into the cheating song, "Dear Diamond," which she recorded a few years back with Patty Loveless. Miranda wore a sparkly Patty Loveless tour T-shirt throughout the night.
A video posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:18pm PDT
Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild made a special appearance to sing with Miranda on her latest single, "Smokin' and Drinkin'." Karen also sang "Pontoon" for the audience and returned to the stage at the end of the night to trade vocals with Miranda on "Girl Crush."
The other writers onstage mostly sang hits they had written for other acts with Miranda singing backup. Jessi Alexander sang two hits she'd written for Blake -- "Drink on It" and "Mine Would Be You." Natalie Hemby sang lead vocals on the songs she's written with or for Miranda, including "Baggage Claim," "White Liar" and "Virginia Bluebell," which is a song of hope Miranda says she's been listening to a lot in the past week.
Newcomers RaeLynn, Clare Dunn and Courtney Cole all performed their new songs. Miranda will take all three of those acts on the road this fall.
Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts gives Dan Rather an in-depth look at their life on the road on The Big Interview Tuesday night at 8:00 ET on AXS TV. The chat took place earlier this year during the Flatts' residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
Rascal Flatts guitar player Joe Don Rooney says, "To be able to offer such an esteemed reporter a look into our everyday life was an honor and I know we all really enjoyed talking with him and discussing things that are important to us as a band, as well as a little trip down memory lane, which is always fun.”
Rascal Flatts is currently headlining the Riot Tour 2015. Go to RascalFlatts.com to see where they're playing next.
Academy of Country MusicJake Owen returns at the host of the Annual ACM Honors Tuesday, September 1 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Jason Aldean, Randy Houser, Miranda Lambert, Roy Clark and Restless Heart are slated to perform, and Kelsea Ballerini and The Swon Brothers are among the presenters.
Look for more stars to be added to the 9th Annual ACM Honors lineup soon. The event recognizes the ACM Awards winners not presented on camera during the nationwide telecast in the spring. Tickets for the ACM Honors go on sale to the general public Friday, July 31 through Ticketmaster.
Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is using her position at the reigning ACM and CMA Female Vocalist of the Year to help up-and-coming women get a head start in the music business. The Miranda Lambert Women Creators Fund will provide $40,000 in scholarship money to outstanding female students at Belmont University's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
“I am so excited to establish this scholarship fund at Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business,” Miranda says. “To encourage and empower women to achieve their goals is why I am supporting outstanding women who want to pursue their dreams in the music industry.”
Proceeds from Miranda's sold-out acoustic show Tuesday night at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley will be used to establish the scholarship fund. Her songwriter pals Jessi Alexander and Natalie Hemby are also on the bill, along with RaeLynn, Clare Dunn and Courtney Cole. Of note, Clare, Courtney and Natalie all graduated from Belmont.
Sony LegacyThe 30th Annual Farm Aid concert will take place September 19 in Chicago. Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson leads the bill along with Farm Aid board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. Kacey Musgraves will perform, too.
Willie helped start Farm Aid in 1985 as a response to the farm crisis. He says, "Thirty years later, in Chicago, we’ll bring together so many of the people -- farmers, eaters, advocates and activists -- who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible."
Farm Aid will be held at FirstMeritBank Pavilion at Northerly Island in downtown Chicago. Tickets go on sale Monday, August 3 at LiveNation.com and at 1-800-745-30001-800-745-3000 FREE.