Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert has released the video for his latest single, "One Hell of an Amen." The song is a tribute to two men who passed away in recent years, including Brantley's pal, Kory, who lost his battle with leukemia after a brave fight against the disease. A fallen war hero, named Jon, is the other person whose sacrifice inspired the song and video. Jon was the best friend of Brantley's pal from Georgia, Josh, who served several tours of duty in Iraq.
Brantley says of "One Hell of an Amen," "It’s easy to say the song’s about death, but to me, it’s about the good fight. It’s about the attitude, the strength and the courage those boys had for what they were going through. Kory battling leukemia and Jon fighting in Iraq…it’s about two different wars."
The video for "One Hell of an Amen" incorporates mementos from Kory and Jon's lives. The song is included on Brantley's latest album, Just as I Am.
Image Courtesy Monarch PublicityCraigMorgan and Trace Adkins have joined the lineup for Charlie Daniels' 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam, coming up August 12 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The Oak Ridge Boys and Tracy Lawrence also join the performers list, along with previously-announced stars Montgomery Gentry, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Travis Tritt.
Tickets for the show go on sale Friday at Ticketmaster. Proceeds from the Volunteer Jam go to help American veterans in support of The Journey Home Project.
Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum has signed on to perform at the 7th Annual T.J. Martell Nashville Honors Gala on March 30 at Music City's Omni Hotel. Nashville star Charles Esten will return to host the event, and Emmylou Harris joins Lady A on the performers list.
The Honors Gala recognizes individuals for their work on behalf of the T.J. Martell Foundation in their fight against cancer, leukemia and AIDS. The T.J. Martell Honors Gala has raised more than $2 million for the organization since the event was first held in 2009.
Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw will perform Glen Campbell's "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" at the 87th Annual Academy Awards Sunday, February 22 on ABC. The song is nominated in the Best Original Song category and is featured in the documentary about Glen's battle with Alzheimer's disease, Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. Glen's disease makes it impossible for him to perform the song.
Glen's family personally asked Tim to perform the song on the Oscars."I’m honored to be asked to sing this powerful song from one of the true legends of the music industry," says Tim.
Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleMost male country acts only cover songs made popular by other male artists. There's no doubt you've heard a guy in a cowboy hat take on Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" or a random Tom Petty hit at a country show in recent years, but Sam Hunt is always looking to break away from the pack. That's why he's covering songs from '90s female country stars like Reba, Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna on his new Lipstick Graffiti tour.
Sam tells ABC News Radio, "Covers are tricky, but we've been sort of working up a little thing where we're gonna do some cool songs that I grew up listening to. Maybe it's sort of a nod to a lot of the female country singers of the era."
While some songs Sam is covering, like Wynonna's "No One Else on Earth," could be sung by a guy or a girl, a few other selections are definitely written from a woman's point of view. Sam isn't overly concerned about getting the pronouns all worked out, though.
"At times, I think, as we cover those songs, I'll change a few lyrics," Sam explains, "but sometimes, like the song that we're gonna do, 'Fancy' by Reba McEntire, there's no real way to get around that, so I'm just gonna sing that one. It's such a great song that hopefully it won't matter."
As for the title of his tour, Lipstick Graffiti, Sam lifted that phrase from the lyrics of one of his unreleased songs, "Vandalizer."
He says, "The very first line of the song is 'Lipstick graffiti on the bathroom mirror/What happened to me ain't real clear.'"
Sam found those old song lyrics while searching for an intriguing name for his club tour. Something about the combination of those two words captured the vibe Sam hopes to create at his shows.
"When you look at a word or read a word off a piece of paper, they have emotions attached to them," Sam adds. "The words 'lipstick' and the word 'graffiti' have these two different emotions that somehow blended in a cool way."
Sam's Lipstick Graffiti tour launches Thursday night with a sold-out show at The Troubador in Hollywood, CA.
Capitol NashvilleLittleBig Town will be part of the Super Bowl festivities this weekend. They're set to perform Saturday at the 24th Annual Taste of the NFL Party with a Purpose in Scottsdale, Arizona, an event involving top chefs and NFL players to raise money in support of food banks.
Little Big Town's Jimi Westbrook explains in a new interview with ESPN.com how his band got involved: "We had gotten a call from our manager telling us about this amazing function where all of these chefs were coming in to do a tasting, and they invited us to come play while this is happening....To be able to be there with these amazing chefs is an exciting opportunity."
He adds, "You always think of hunger issues being in other places and other smaller countries, but to know there is so much hunger still going on within our own country, and to know that even with child hunger that one in five children in America are suffering from hunger -- that's an astounding thing to know. Anything we can do to help with that, we try to lend our talents."
The day after the event, the Seattle Seahawks will play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Westbrook analyzes both teams for ESPN.com, concluding that Seattle will win. He says of the defending champs, "That defense is super-intense....I think it's gonna be close but I think the Seahawks are going to edge 'em out at the end."
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Cadillac Three will launch their Aviators and Radiators tour Friday in Tampa, FL.
The Band Perry has been added to the performers lineup for the upcoming CBS special, Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute, airing February 16. The show tapes February 10 in Los Angeles.
Randy Houser's #1 hit, "How Country Feels," has sold three million copies.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleCarrie Underwood is releasing "Little Toy Guns" as her new single, and the emotional video for the song will premiere Friday on Carrie's Facebook page. A 30-second sneak preview of the video is now posted on Facebook. Look for E! News to air a first-look feature on the video Thursday.
"Little Toy Guns" is the follow-up release to Carrie's latest hit, "Something in the Water." The new single addresses the hurt a child goes through listening to her parents fight, and the video will play out that heartbreaking scenario.
Image Courtesy Clarkson PotterTrisha Yearwood has revealed details of her third cookbook, Trisha's Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life.
The book is due March 31 and will feature a mix of lighter dishes and a few traditional Southern comfort food recipes. The offerings reflect Trisha's new approach to dieting, which has helped her achieve a slimmed-down physique. The secret to Trisha's weight-loss success lies in allowing herself to indulge in her favorite Southern dishes 20 percent of the time while eating healthy for the rest of her meals.
Trisha says in the book's introduction, "I am not one of those people who gets so busy with my day that I suddenly think to myself, 'Wow, I forgot to eat lunch!' That never happens to me. Never. I think about food all the time, so making peace with eating is a daily battle for me. I won’t say I’ve completely figured it out, but I will say that right now, I win that battle more days than I lose it, and I believe that’s the key.”
Some of the lighter recipes in Trisha's Table include dairy-free angel hair pasta with avocado pesto and vegetarian smashed sweet pea burgers. More indulgent dishes, such as slow cooker Georgia pull-pork barbecue and chicken tortilla casserole, also are featured.
Trisha's Table is the first cookbook she has released since the premiere of her Emmy-winning Food Network show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, in 2012.
Imgae Courtesy Streamsound RecordsKristian Bush of Sugarland fame will release his debut solo album, Southern Gravity, on April 7. The project features the lead single "Trailer Hitch." Kristian says the new songs "feel like home" to him.
He says to his fans, "They are your stories as much as they are mine, and I hope you hear yourself in here, no matter if you are standing up, falling down or dancing in between the pieces of your life."
Kristian is a co-writer on all 12 tracks on Southern Gravity.
Here is the Southern Gravity track list:
"Make Another Memory" "Light Me Up" "Trailer Hitch" "Southern Gravity" "Flip Flops" "Giving It Up" "Feeling Fine California" "Waiting on an Angel" "Walk Tall" "Sending You a Sunset" "Sweet Love" "House on a Beach"
Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleJosh Turner, Eric Paslay, David Nail, Jon Pardi, Lauren Alaina and Mickey Guyton have signed on to be torchbearers in the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America. The torch will be lit in Athens, Greece and travel across all 50 U.S. states for 46 days before making its way to the Special Olympics World Games in July.
More than 20,000 people will participate in the relay -- you can sign up to participate at UnifiedRelay.org. ESPN will carry nightly highlights from the Special Olympics World Games, starting with the Opening Ceremony on July 25.
Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley is in his hometown of Phoenix to participate in several big events surrounding Super Bowl 49 on Sunday. His performance at the official NFL Tailgate will be broadcast as part of NBC's pregame show Sunday afternoon. Dierks is also hosting a pre-Super Bowl bash at his bar, Whiskey Row, on Friday night.
Says Dierks, "It's going to be a fun weekend in my hometown. There are a lot of country fans in the Valley and we are looking forward to taking over this week! I'm excited to have a lot of friends from Nashville in town and to be a part of some of the big events around the game."
Dierks kicked off his public appearances in Phoenix playing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open Annexus Pro-Am golf tournament Wednesday. According a few Instagram posts, Dierks flew in to town Tuesday night and enjoyed some drinks at Whiskey Row with pals Thomas Rhett and Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three.
Image Courtesy UMG NashvilleMickey Guyton clearly isn't singing the blues over her ex-boyfriend on her debut single, "Better than You Left Me." The lyrics were inspired by Mickey's old relationship that was clearly going nowhere when she decided to make the move to Nashville a few years ago. Mickey says it all came to a head for the couple during a final fight when he told her, "Don't make me find someone else."
Mickey tells ABC News Radio, "I can't even believe someone would even say that. We were together for four years, and he was always so back-and-forth and unsure with me, and he was always going and finding someone else, and he was always throwing me to the wayside."
At that point, Mickey found the courage to tell that guy goodbye once and for all.
"I realized that he was not the prize and that I was the prize," she says. "I said, 'No more,' and I told him to go find someone else."
Mickey has now moved on with her life, but she still gets emotional singing the song.
She says, "I'm so much better than I was -- just a better person than I was back then, and I'm so thankful."
Now that "Better than You Left Me" is climbing the country chart, Mickey has been busy promoting the single at radio stations across the country. She's been amazed to hear that a lot of other people find strength in her lyrics.
Says Mickey, "I've had a lot of women call in and just say, 'I had to pull over on the side of the road 'cause I was bawling my eyes out, because I'm going through that.'"
"Better than You Left Me" is now available for download at iTunes.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCNext month, Shania Twain is bringing her Las Vegas show to ABC.
The concert special Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas will air February 28 at 9 p.m. ET. It documents the show that Shania staged for two years at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace before wrapping it up in December. The ABC special features over an hour of never-before-seen footage documenting the show's development, as well as the entire performance, which features a live band, trained horses, a flying motorcycle and more.
Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas will be released on CD and DVD on March 3, exclusively at Walmart.
Image Courtesy CMALukeBryan is on track to score his sixth #1 hit from his latest album, Crash My Party, with the power ballad, "I See You." Luke always hoped the song would be a single.
He says, "You know, 'I See You' and 'Crash My Party' were the two that we were going back and forth with on what should be the [first] single, and we chose 'Crash My Party.'"
"Crash My Party" was released in April 2013, so it's taken quite awhile for Luke to get around to "I See You" as a single. As for why he was drawn to the song, Luke adds, "It’s got that youthful lyric, kind of almost a hip-hop lyric and then that big ol' chorus that really kind of jumps off the speakers at you."
Luke is also a big fan of the big guitar riff in "I See You." The song will be featured on Luke's That's My Kind of Night tour starting February 10 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn celebration of Glen Campbell's 79th birthday coming up on April 22, a remastered and expanded 40th Anniversary Edition of Glen's 1975 album Rhinestone Cowboy will be released on March 31. The album features five rare or previously unreleased tracks.
Kacey Musgraves and Chris Young are performing at the 40th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival in Florida May 6 through 10. Go to KeyWestSongwritersFestival.com for details.
Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleThe Band Perry has been named curators for the3rd annual Grammy Amplifier program.
The online music initiative, sponsored by Hyundai and The Recording Academy, aims to mentor aspiring artists and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent.
The Band Perry will help evaluate online submissions to narrow the field down to the program’s three winners. The winners will individually be awarded one of the following prizes: A studio recording session with a Grammy winning producer; filming and starring in their own music video with a noted director; or securing an opening act spot for an established musician and/or at a music festival.
The program is currently accepting submissions at GrammyAmplifier.com. Based on their track plays and social media performance, the top 25 finalists will be brought together for a mentorship experience, and then narrowed down by program curators to a short list of finalists. The program’s curators this year also include Ziggy Marley and singer/songwriter Allen Stone. Hit artist/producer Mark Ronson will pick the three winners and decide which winner gets what prize.
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