Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw shares little snippets of his life with fans via Twitter and Instagram, but that kind of openness isn't exactly ideal for Tim's acting career. Tim, who's appearing in the upcoming George Clooney film Tomorrowland, admits it's hard to disappear into a character when everyone knows intimate details about his life as a country star.
He tells Rolling Stone, "When an actor is so good that you can know all that stuff about them and you still buy that character, still believe them every step of the way, that's something else. That's real art."
As for the complicated plot of Tomorrowland, which includes themes of time travel and rocket science, Tim says he's still scratching his head.
"There's not much I can say about it because I read the script, I acted in the movie and I still don't understand it," Tim says with a laugh. "It's a huge production; there's a lot going on. All the stuff I hear back, it's going to be spectacular."
Tomorrowland will be in theaters in May 2015. On the music front, Tim's new album, Sundown Heaven Town, is now on sale, featuring the singles "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" and "Shotgun Rider."
Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsThompson Square is back in the studio working on its upcoming third album, but the husband-and-wife duo is in no big hurry to issue a follow-up to 2013's Just Feels Good. Thompson Square has used Jason Aldean's backing band on its previous albums, but this time the group is working with different musicians for more flexibility.
The duo's Keifer Thompson tells the Albuquerque Journal, "This time we don't have to wait for schedules to match up. We're going to move ahead with the album and see how it works out. I know that we will put out the best music we can, and that's a top priority for us."
Thompson Square has concert dates lined up for the rest of the year, too. Go to ThompsonSquare.com to see where the duo is playing next.
CMAGarth Brooks has joined the lineup of stars honoring Jay Leno as he receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on October 19 in Washington, D.C.
The event takes place at the Kennedy Center with Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Seth Meyers and Jerry Seinfeld also set to pay tribute to Leno. The program will be taped for a PBS special airing November 23.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney has added his name to the list of country stars supporting Taylor Swift's full-time move into the pop world with her upcoming album, 1989.
He tells Entertainment Tonight, "She is such a global act. I mean, it's unbelievable. I have always been one of Taylor's biggest fans and I think that her songwriting has gotten really good. And I think that's the foundation of everything we do, songwriting."
While Kenny loves Taylor's new pop single, "Shake It Off," you won't find him flirting with a top 40 crossover anytime soon.
"I am going to be a country act just because of the way I talk and sing. I can't make those records," Kenny says. "If I did, it would be very disingenuous."
Kenny's new album, The Big Revival, is out Tuesday featuring the #1 hit, "American Kids."
Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloGarth Brooks' long-awaited new album will arrive November 11. Garth made the announcement during a Friday press conference in Atlanta, GA. The disc will feature his current hit, "People Loving People."
Unsurprisingly, you can now pre-order the as-yet untitled album on Garth's newly-announced digital music service, GhostTunes, as well as at GarthBrooks.com. While you're at it, you can also order a "mega-bundle" that includes digitally-remastered versions of all eight of Garth's studio albums; a new 25th anniversary edition of his concert disc Double Live, featuring 30 songs and 30 videos; an instant download of "People Loving People"; and a bonus track, "Send 'Em on Down the Road."
The new album will be Garth's first regular studio disc since 2001's Scarecrow.
Garth kicked off his world tour with a series of shows in Chicago earlier this month. He'll play a total of five dates in Atlanta, starting today through September 27 before heading to Jacksonville, FL for another five dates, October 10 through 18. Head to GarthBrooks.com for more info.
Image Courtesy CMAJerrod Niemann and his fiancée, Morgan Petek, will be married next month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but they're not looking for traditional gifts from their friends and family to celebrate the wedding. Instead, Jerrod and Morgan are asking for donations to his charity, Free the Music USA, to benefit music education programs.
The couple tells People, "We can't think of a better way to honor our upcoming nuptials than to combine the two things that we love the most: music and helping others."
Image Courtesy Big MachineFans who flip through the liner notes of Tim McGraw's brand-new album, Sundown Heaven Town, will notice a seemingly random photo of a teenage girl from the 1960s wearing a mini-skirt and go-go boots is included on the back page. It's a photograph of Tim's mother, Betty, in the mid-'60s, around the time she got pregnant with her now-famous son.
When the photograph was taken, Betty was part of a dance troupe that backed up pop stars who played in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Betty was also working on fulfilling her dream of joining the dance team on the ABC music variety show Where the Action Is, when she started up a summer romance with Tim's father, Tug McGraw, who was playing for a minor league team in Jacksonville at the time.
Tim explains, "She ended up getting pregnant. It was her senior year in high school. She found out she was pregnant with me, and she got a callback to audition for Where the Action Is, and she couldn't do it because she found out she was pregnant with me."
Betty had to drop out of school and go to Louisiana while she was pregnant with Tim so no one would know she was an unwed mother.
"To me, that was sort of the moment in time that my mom's whole life changed," Tim says of that picture of his mother. "To be on my album project and have a picture of her sort of is full circle in a lot of ways that maybe I helped her fulfill, at least vicariously maybe some of her dream."
Appropriately enough, Tim's latest hit is titled "Meanwhile Back at Mama's." That song is included on Sundown Heaven Town along with Tim's new single, "Shotgun Rider."
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIt looks like fans of ABC's Nashville will be getting a holiday album from the cast this Christmas season. Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus posted a photo with the show's star, Connie Britton, and vocal coach, Valerie Morehouse, on Instagram with the caption, "Wrapping up the Nashville cast Christmas record…Gonna be a great record!!!" The new season of Nashville premieres Wednesday, September 24.
Dierks Bentley suggests you pick up Tim McGraw's latest album, Sundown Heaven Town. Dierks tweeted, "Love that he is always trying to take the music to new places."
Image Courtesy Red Light ManagementTimMcGraw and Faith Hill will receive the Nashville Symphony's Harmony Award at the 2014 Symphony Ball on December 13. The honor recognizes individuals who represent the "harmonious spirit" of Nashville's music community. In addition to receiving the award, Tim and Faith will perform with the symphony at the event, according to Nashville's The Tennessean.
Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton and Trisha Yearwood are among the previous recipients of the Nashville Symphony's Harmony Award. Vince Gill and Amy Grant will host the 2014 Symphony Ball patron party December 9.
Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKennyChesney is scheduled to be all over TV next week to celebrate the release of his brand-new album, The Big Revival. The project comes out Tuesday, and he'll perform on NBC's Today program that morning. Kenny will sing on NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday before flying to Los Angeles for a September 25 performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The usually press-shy Kenny says, "Normally I don't get geared up for this much television, but this record makes me wanna get out and talk about it."
Look for Kenny to continue promoting The Big Revival with a performance on TBS's Conan on September 29, followed by an appearance on CBS's The Talk on October 2.
Image Courtesy Michael MonacoLuke Bryan is bringing Cole Swindell and top Nashville songwriters Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, collectively known as The Peach Pickers, along for his sixth annual Farm Tour. DJ Rock and female newcomer Chancie Neal are also on the bill for the trek, launching October 1 at Maple Lane Farms outside Knoxville, TN.
Luke's Farm Tour will hit eight Southeastern cities, with a portion of the proceeds going to students from farming families in the areas surrounding the concerts. Tickets for all shows are now available at LukeBryan.com.
Here are Luke's Farm Tour 2014 Dates:
10/1 -- Knoxville, FL, Maple Lane Farms 10/2 -- Auburn, AL, Ingram Farms 10/3 -- Tallahassee, FL, Cross Creek Place 10/4 -- Gainesville, FL, Whitehurst Cattle Farm 10/8 -- Statesboro, GA, Meldon Farm 10/9 -- Athens, GA, Meldon Farms 10/10 -- Columbia, SC, Culler Farms 10/11 -- Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton's new duet with Ashley Monroe, "Lonely Tonight," has already hit #1 on the iTunes Country Songs chart. Blake tweeted a screenshot of the chart Wednesday with the message, "Sooo…I'm guessing he word is out about my duet with Ashley Monroe…. Happy happy joy joy!!!"
"Lonely Tonight" and Blake's current hit, "Neon Light," are both included on his new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, coming out September 30.
In other Blake news, he and fellow The Voice coach Gwen Stefani engaged in an epic lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Blake showed off his tap dancing skills while lip syncing to "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Taco, but his gender-reversing performance with Gwen on Diana Ross and Lionel Richie's "Endless Love" convinced Fallon to throw in the towel and declare Blake and Gwen the winners.
Gwen and Blake join Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams as coaches on the new season of The Voice premiering Monday night at 8 ET on NBC.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr plans to include several songs about drinking beer, partying and driving trucks on his upcoming sophomore album because that's what he does to have fun. Instead of living near downtown Nashville, Tyler lives south of town in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, which is home to the largest tractor pull in the South.
He tells the Arizona Republic, "There's not a lot more that you do on the weekends than drink and party. And I write what I know about. So I am gonna have songs that have partying and hot girls and pickup trucks."
"A Guy Walks Into a Bar" is the lead single from Tyler's new album, due out next year. Fans can look forward to hearing a collaboration with his friend and tour mate Jason Aldean on the project, too.
Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLeeBrice still gets emotional talking about his performance of the national anthem with Luke Bryan during their September 12 concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Since it was the day after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Luke gave a shout-out to those who lost their lives on that day in the attack on the World Trade Center. As the crowd chanted, "USA! USA!" Luke brought Lee onstage and whispered in his ear, "I just feel like we should do the national anthem."
After they decided Luke would start it off, Lee then jumped in on harmony. Says Lee, "It was something really special. I've never heard a crowd sing the national anthem that loud. It was a moment I will never forget, and I think Luke's the same way."
Lee especially loves that the big display of patriotism was all off-the-cuff, too.
"I don't think he even knew he was going to ask me to do that," Lee says of Luke's decision to sing the anthem, "but he definitely just threw it at us as we're walking out onto the stage in front of people, he's whispering in my ear. So, that was the coolest part."
Lee is very thankful to Luke for letting him warm up the crowd every night on the That's My Kind of Night tour. They've played two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden this year before moving on to become the first country concert ever held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last week.
Lee says of the opportunity to tour with Luke, "There has been a lot of experiences that I, you know, who knows if I would have ever gotten to do?"
The good times keep rolling for Lee. He had a party in Nashville Wednesday to toast his latest #1 hit, "I Don't Dance." It's the title track from his latest album, which just debuted at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.
Image Courtesy Sugar Hill RecordsLee Ann Womack teamed up with pop/R&B star John Legend to tape a new episode of CMT Crossroads Wednesday night in Franklin, TN.
The eight-song set included the two singers swapping vocals on their biggest hits, including Lee Ann's "I Hope You Dance" and "I May Hate Myself in the Morning," as well as John's pop hits "All of Me" and "Green Light." Lee Ann's new single, "The Way I'm Livin'," also made the set list, as did John's new offering, "You and I (Nobody in the World)."
CMT Crossroads: Lee Ann Womack and John Legend premieres Friday, September 26 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT. Lee Ann's new album, The Way I'm Livin', is due out this Tuesday.
Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloGrand Ole Opry legend George Hamilton IV died Wednesday at a Nashville hospital at the age of 77, ABC News has confirmed. He'd suffered a heart attack last weekend.
Hamilton IV released his signature hit, "Abilene," in 1963. However, he'd scored a number of hits before then, including "A Rose and a Baby Ruth," "Before This Day Ends," "Three Steps to the Phone (Millions of Miles)" and "If You Don't Know I Ain't Gonna Tell You."
Hamilton was known as “The International Ambassador of Country Music,” a title he earned after becoming the first American country singer to perform in the then-Soviet Union and in Prague.
Hamilton had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1960.
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