December 19, 2014

» Around For The Count: The first American Country Countdown Awards aired live from Nashville's Music City Center on FOX-TV Monday night (12/15), hosted by Florida Georgia Line. Highlights included a musical tribute to Reba by Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson that featured a medley of "How Blue," "Take It Back" and "Fancy." Reba joined for the latter. "I feel very blessed to still be making country music and sharing it with the people in America and around the world who love it as much as I do," Reba said while accepting the inaugural Nash Icon Award. She also addressed some of the format's younger stars, saying, "I pray you have the chance to live a whole beautiful life making music for the people who give us the greatest job in the world – our fans." Actor Vince Vaughn introduced Kenny Chesney as the Groundbreaker Award honoree in another of the evening's highlights. Following a performance of "Til It's Gone," Chesney accepted. "God gave me an incredible gift ... He put a song in my heart. And that song has taken me to places that I never dreamed it would," he said. Other ACCA winners:


  • Jason Aldean – Artist Of The Year
  • Luke Bryan – Male Vocalist Of The Year
  • Miranda Lambert – Female Vocalist Of The Year
  • Florida Georgia Line – Group/Duo Of The Year
  • "Beat Of The Music" – Song Of The Year (Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman and Heather Morgan)
  • "This Is How We Roll," Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan – Collaboration Of The Year
  • The Outsiders, Eric Church – Album Of The Year
  • "This Is How We Roll," FGL featuring Luke Bryan – Digital Song Of The Year
  • Kip Moore – Breakthrough Artist Of The Year

» Voice-Activated: Country singer and Team Blake [Shelton] member Craig Wayne Boyd won season seven of NBC-TV's The Voice Tuesday night (12/16). Boyd also won $100,000 and a contract with Dot Records. Following Boyd's win, Shelton tweeted "Thank you @NBCTheVoice fans. @CWBYall deserves this. He will make you proud." Other artists also tweeted their congrats, including Travis Tritt who said, "Big time congratulations to @CWBYall on a well deserved win on @NBCTheVoice! I knew you were the one!" Randy Houser and Lynyrd Skynyrd also posted their congrats. Boyd's new single is "My Baby's Got A Smile On Her Face" – a song Shelton personally chose for him. Watch the video.

» O What Fun It Is To Write: Here are the top five modern Christmas songs of 2014 on Country radio, according to Country Aircheck/Mediabase. See the top 50 here.


  2. THE BAND PERRY/Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town 
  3. LADY ANTEBELLUM/A Holly Jolly Christmas
  4. LADY ANTEBELLUM/Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow 
  5. LADY ANTEBELLUM/All I Want For Christmas Is You

» Barrel Of Fun: Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood will headline the inaugural Big Barrel Country Music Festival at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway June 26-28 in Dover, DE. See the complete lineup here.

» In Through The Out Door: Reba McEntire fans, the wait will soon be over. On Wednesday (12/17) she revealed via Instagram she's releasing her new single Jan. 6 via iTunes. "When you listen to thousands of songs trying to find just the right one to record, a really great song jumps out at you," said McEntire. "That's exactly what 'Going Out Like That' did to me! It jumped out because it's a great song with up-tempo sassyness! The first time I heard it, a man was singing the demo. When I sang it coming from a female perspective it became a woman's power anthem! Sure hope you like it!"

» Ridin' 30: Who wouldn't want to be like Blake Shelton? The generous star donated more than $30,000 to ACM charity ACM Lifting Lives, teaming with CrowdSurge to give $1 from each ticket sold during the pre-sale for his 2014 Ten Times Crazier Tour. Now the ACM is encouraging fans to "Be Like Blake" and donate here through Jan. 5. Donors will be entered to win a copy of the Academy's book This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards, signed by Shelton.

» In Case You Missed It: Sara Evans, Angaleena Presley, Natalie Stovall, Frankie Ballard, Tracy Lawrence and Charlie Worsham are currently featured on YouTube's Country Now channel performing a variety of Christmas songs. The videos debuted Thursday (12/18) and can be seen here.


Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver performed "Hard To Be An Outlaw" Wednesday night (12/17) on CBS-TV's Late Show With David Letterman. Watch here.

Garth Brooks reminisced on his early days of touring in a van during Tuesday night's (12/16) appearance on ABC-TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live. Watch here. He also performed "Mom."

Also on Tuesday night, Team Blake contestant Craig Wayne Boyd won The Voice on NBC-TV. See the winning moment and Boyd's final performance on the show here. And see a celebration of sorts that has Blake Shelton paying homage to MC Hammer here.


Hit List

  • The Recording Academy has released its 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees. Country entries are: "Honky Tonkin'," Hank Williams And His Drifting Cowboys; "San Antonio Rose," Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys; and StardustWillie Nelson.
  • Hunter Hayes and The Band Perry are the latest additions to the People's Choice Awards lineup. Watch the show live from Los Angeles Jan. 7 on CBS-TV and get more info here.
  • Jake OwenMaddie & Tae and Thomas Rhett have been added to CMT's Ultimate Kickoff Party lineup. The 90-minute special airs live Jan. 9 from the College Football Playoff National Championship in Dallas, TX. Toby KeithLady AntebellumBig & Rich and Brett Eldredge will also perform.
  • New online music series Skyville Live launches Jan. 14 at 8pm ET via Martina McBrideGladys Knight and Estelle are the show's first three guests. All episodes will feature artists performing, sharing personal stories and interacting with the live online audience.


Friday (12/19): Little Jimmy Dickens, Janie Fricke, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band).

Sunday (12/21): Eric Gunderson (Love And Theft), Lee Roy Parnell, Brad Warren (Warren Brothers), Rhean Boyer (Carolina Rain), Christy Forester (Forester Sisters).

Monday (12/22): Chuck Mead (BR549), Lori McKenna.

Thursday (12/25): Jimmy Buffett, Barbara Mandrell, Steve Wariner, Brady Black (Randy Rogers Band), Laura Bryna, Alecia Elliott.

Saturday (12/27): Shay Mooney (Dan + Shay), Jeff Bryant (Ricochet).

Sunday (12/28): Joe Diffie, Marty Roe (Diamond Rio).

Monday (12/29): Jessica Andrews, Rose Lee Maphis.

Tuesday (12/30): Suzy Bogguss.

Wednesday (12/31): Memarie, the late John Denver.

Thursday (1/1/): Steve Ripley (The Tractors).

Friday (1/2): the late Roger Miller.

Saturday (1/3): Nikki Nelson.

Sunday (1/4): Patty Loveless, Deana Carter, Kathy Forester (Forester Sisters).

Tuesday (1/6): Jett Williams, the late Earl Scruggs.


Friday (12/19): Trisha Yearwood, The Talk (CBS); Big & Rich, The Queen Latifah Show (syndicated repeat).

Tuesday (12/23): Sam Hunt, Late Show With David Letterman (CBS repeat).

Wednesday (12/24): Scotty McCreery, Fox & Friends Christmas Special, (FOX); Blake Shelton, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated repeat) and Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC repeat).

Thursday (12/25): Scotty McCreery, Fox & Friends Christmas Special, (FOX repeat);

Monday (12/29): Big & Rich, AutoZone Liberty Bowl (ABC).

Tuesday (12/30): Lady Antebellum, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated repeat).

Thursday (1/1): Jason Aldean, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated repeat).

Monday (1/5): Taylor Swift, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated repeat).

Upcoming Album Releases

Jan. 19       Ralph Stanley Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man Of Constant Sorrow 

Feb. 17       The Mavericks Mono

» No Room At The Inn: Dierks Bentley (l) tweeted this all-star standing-room-only selfie at Nashville's legendary bluegrass club Station Inn when the Del McCoury Band (c) played there Dec. 17. "Me and @KeithUrban (r) hanging with @delmccouryband backstage @StationInn," said Bentley. "The world needs more Del! #DelYeah #TheMan"





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