Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban's Raise 'Em Up tour takes its name from the Eric Church duet on his latest album, Fuse. Keith felt the song's anthemic feel and empowering lyrics captured how he feels about performing for his fans.
Says Keith, "I thought the essence and spirit of that song is really what playing live is all about for me. It's a sense of community. It's a sense of oneness. It's a sense of optimism."
Unfortunately, Eric won't be on hand to sing "Raise 'Em Up" with Keith on this tour, but Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge will bring fans plenty of excitement as the opening acts. Jerrod's stint on the tour starts in New Hampshire Thursday night, which just happens to be his 35th birthday.
Jerrod calls opening for Keith "the best birthday present ever." He says, "Just want to say thank you to him for letting me and my buddy Brett Eldredge come out and spend a summer with him. It's gonna be a blast."
Go to KeithUrban.net to see the complete list of Raise 'Em Up tour dates.
Image Courtesy Blue Chair/Sony Music NashvilleKennyChesney will most likely return to the concert trail in a big way next year, and his latest hit, "American Kids," will be a centerpiece of his new live show. The song excites Kenny because it sounds unlike anything he's put out in the past.
"It's fun to have a melody that you may not have had before," Kenny says. "It was kind of the same way I felt about 'Somewhere with You' when that first came out. I knew exactly where I was gonna put that song in the show, and how it was gonna make our show a little bit different with a few more twists and turns. And I feel that way about 'American Kids.'"
Kenny can't tell you exactly where the new single will fall in his 2015 set list, but he can't wait to see his fans have a good time singing along with it.
Says Kenny, "It's such a fun, summer song. It's going to be a song that I feel like that is gonna be a part of our life for a long time. I can't wait to see how it comes across."
Kenny will be performing "American Kids" at his one-off show August 16 at the Florida-Alabama line on Perdido Key. His new album, The Big Revival, comes out September 23.
Image Courtesy Kristy Belcher/Schmidt RelationsAlan Jackson's new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville opens August 29.
"Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin' It Country" gives museum visitors a look at memorabilia including the water skis Alan wore in the "Chattahoochee" video, the guitar he played on the 2001 CMA Awards debuting "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" and the Harley-Davidson he posed with on the cover of his 1992 album A Lot About Livin' (and a Little 'bout Love).
Alan will also perform a few Artist-in-Residence shows at the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. His exhibit runs through March 2015.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is rocking out harder than ever on her just-launched Platinum tour, so she wanted her tour bus to be an oasis from the madness of being on the road. That's why she completely remodeled the interior with soft fabrics and colors for the 2014 tour.
Miranda showed off her new home on wheels in a new video posted on USA Today's website. She says, "When I come on here, I really just wanted to have a place that's like a cottage on wheels and I could really have relaxation before I have to go out there and hit the craziness."
The new tour bus is stocked with water, beer, wine, juice and snacks in her vintage-looking pink refrigerator. There's even a full-sized dresser and a laundry chute so Miranda can store and maintain all her stage clothes. After the shows, Miranda nods off to sleep in her back bedroom with about three dogs laying on top of her through the night.
Miranda is on the road all summer long on the Platinum tour. Go to MirandaLambert.com to see where she's playing next.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleA second volume of Randy Travis's Influence album series is due out August 19. Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am features Randy's take on classics from Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Johnny Cash, Vern Gosdin and more.
Randy says, "The 'Influence' that the older, great ones had on me, and the 'Influence' that I may, somehow, have on the ones that come along after me, is God’s way of allowing us to pay it forward. It is my prayer answered -- and, His will done -- it is what makes me, 'the man I am.'"
Randy's Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am is now available for pre-order at iTunes. Several songs will be released to pre-order customers in the weeks leading up to album release.
Here's the Influence Vol. 2 The Man I Am track listing:
"I’m Moving On" "Set 'Em Up Joe" "Are the Good Times Really Over?" "Nearly Lose Your Mind" "There I've Said It Again" "That's the Way Love Goes" "Sunday Morning Coming Down" "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" "Mind Your Own Business" "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" "For the Good Times" "California Blues" "Tonight I'm Playing Possum" (Solo Version)
Image Courtesy CMAIf she ever steps away from her music career, Taylor Swift definitely has a future as an advice columnist.
A fan named Hannah reached out to Taylor on Instagram asking the superstar for advice on how to deal with her unrequited feelings for a guy she's known for years.
Hannah, whose name on Instagram is SherbetSwift, describes her love interest as "a guy who's sweet and charming and makes me laugh. A guy who said sorry for eating in front of me after finding out I had to skip breakfast…A guy who was my first best friend." It turns out this guy has a girlfriend, whom Hannah describes as "pretty" and "nice" with an "amazing figure."
Taylor wrote a lengthy reply to Hannah, telling her that true love isn't just "the kind that lasts forever or is fully realized." She continues, "I think unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind. It's just as crushing and just as thrilling. No matter what happens in this situation, I want you to remember that what you are doing is selfless and beautiful and kind."
Taylor goes on to tell Hannah she'll someday find someone who loves her in that same, selfless way.
Image Courtesy Angelyn Tinsley/Edwards Photography StudiosCraig Morgan's 8th annual Charity Event raised more than $60,000 on Sunday in Dickson, Tennessee. Fellow country stars Tracy Lawrence and Chuck Wicks joined Craig and a few other motocross celebrities for a motocross exhibition and trail ride before performing a concert that night at the Dickson War Memorial Lawn.
Proceeds from Craig's Charity Event go to the Dickson County Craig Morgan Foundation to assist foster kids in that county and throughout Middle Tennessee.
Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsFlorida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are co-writers on Jason Aldean's brand-new, sexy single, "Burnin' It Down," and Jason was looking to include a vocal collaboration with FGL on his upcoming studio album. So, why didn't they just trade vocals on "Burnin' It Down?"
"I don't know if this particular song really would be the song that fits them," Jason says with a grin. "You know, three guys singing a song about burning it down with each other? I'm not sure that's a message we all want to send."
Speaking of the song's racy lyrics, Jason adds with a laugh, "Laying naked in the bed with Tyler and BK? I'm out. I mean, I like those guys, but not like that."
In all seriousness, Jason is a big fan of Florida Georgia Line, and they're touring together on Jason's Burn It Down tour all year long. Says Jason, "I love what they've brought to the table over the last couple years. I think it's been a shot in the arm for country music, for sure."
As for what fans can expect on his upcoming album beyond "Burnin' It Down," Jason says, "There are some different things on this new album, and I hope this sets a good tone for what's to come."
"Burnin' It Down" was released to radio and all digital outlets Tuesday.
Image Courtesy Red Bow RecordsJoe Nichols had to go back on tour shortly after he and his wife, Heather, welcomed their baby girl, Georgia Blue, nine weeks ago.
He tells ABC News Radio, "I feel for Mama right now 'cause I'm gone so much. She's kinda having to pull double-duty with the two-year-old and with our nine-week-old now. She's probably pretty wore out."
Joe now wants Heather to just kick back, relax and say "Yeah," just like he sings about it in his latest hit, so he's taking her to the Bahamas in the next week for some R&R. Joe expects Heather to get some good sleep on the trip as well.
"She can lay back on the beach and just say, 'Yeah,'" Joe says, before making a snoring sound. "A little bit of snoring. That's right."
This trip marks Joe's first time back to the Bahamas since singing at Anna Nicole Smith's funeral there in 2007. He says, "I think the place we're going to is a pretty stellar place. I hear it is."
Joe could definitely use some downtime after undergoing back surgery just four weeks ago, according to The Country Vibe. Joe went against his doctors to return to the road just four days after surgery to repair an injury in his lower back from long-distance running.
Image Courtesy Sony MusicIt's been more than a decade since Kelly Clarkson won American Idol. Since then, she's topped the charts several times, toured the world, sold millions of albums, appeared on all sorts of TV shows you can name, graced the cover of many major magazines, won several Grammys, and made headlines when she got married and then had a baby. So it's no wonder that she's surprised to meet someone who has no clue what she's been up to since 2002.
Kelly tweeted, "Lady says to me 'Oh I recognize your name. You were on that show American Idol. What are you doing now?' Hahahaha!!" She added the hashtag "#wherearetheynow."
In other Kelly news, she's one of the artists featured on "Pray for Peace," a new song and video by her stepmother-in-law, Reba. "So honored that Reba asked me to lend my voice to this new song she wrote!" Kelly tweeted.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge had a pretty cool meeting with a U.S. soldier on a Southwest flight Tuesday. Brett posted a picture on Instagram of himself sitting beside Army infantryman Chance Turner on the plane as the soldier made his way to serve in Kuwait. It just so happens Chance was in the audience when Brett performed at his army base, Fort Riley in Kansas, earlier this month.
Brett says, "Small world! Thanks for your service Chance."
Image Courtesy Blue Chair/Sony Music NashvilleKennyChesney and his longtime video director, Shaun Silva, have teamed up for a new documentary, The Believer, telling the story of famed college football coach Steve Spurrier.
Kenny and Steve became friends in 2007 when the country superstar invited him onstage during a show at the University of South Carolina. Kenny is once again partnering with ESPN and the SEC Network to produce the documentary, which features highlights from Spurrier's career as well as interviews with those who know him best.
Steve tells South Carolina's The State newspaper, "They spent a lot of time with my family, wife, kids, grandkids and so forth, and a lot of former players. So, hopefully, it will turn out OK."
The Believer premieres August 27 as part of the SEC Stories series on the SEC Network. Kenny previously produced the ESPN football specials The Boys of Fall and The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story.
Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleIt's hard to believe it, but Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott celebrates her baby Eisele's first birthday Tuesday. The little bundle of joy has gotten used to life on the road quite well, and Hillary is elated to be there for Eisele every day of the little one's life.
"She changes and grows so much, it's wild," Hillary told ABC News Radio backstage recently at Good Morning America. "Every day is different."
Taking care of an infant while traveling across the country is no easy task , but Hillary has the support of her husband, Lady A drummer Chris Tyrell, and a nanny as well as Hillary's assistant.
Hillary adds, "Chris is literally the only guy on our bus other than our driver."
Now that her band mate Dave Haywood is expecting to become a father this fall, Hillary can't wait to share parenting tips on raising a baby on tour.
She says, "It gives you more to talk about and sing about and it allows us to grow as friends because we're going through a lot of the same things at the same time. It's awesome. We're very, very blessed."
Lady Antebellum's Take Me Downtown tour continues through September. Go to LadyAntebellum.com to see where they're playing next.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockEli Young Band performs their latest single, "Dust," on CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday night.
The Band Perry, Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore will perform at events surrounding the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR race this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Zac Brown Band's "All Alright" video premieres Wednesday on CMT.
Darius Rucker's rock band, Hootie & The Blowfish, has launched a icraft beer, Hootie's Homegrown Ale, in conjunction with Tampa, Florida's Rock Brothers Brewing. Five percent of sales will go to the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation to help education issues in their native South Carolina.
Lucy Hale will sing her country single, "Lie a Little Better," on FOX's So You Think You Can Dance Wednesday night at 8 ET.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlakeShelton took over Chicago's Wrigley Field over the weekend to play for 40,000 fans on his Ten Times Crazier 2014 tour. Headlining a stadium show is a big leap for Blake, who got pretty comfortable opening for other big acts at those big shows in the past.
Looking back on that previous stadium experience as an opener, Blake says, "I remember thinking, 'Gosh, I would not want to be Brad Paisley tonight or Rascal Flatts or George Strait' -- whoever I was opening for at the time -- because this is -- talk about some pressure. I'm just gonna do my seven songs and see y'all later!"
Blake made it through just fine with his Wrigley Field show, and he'll play two other iconic venues -- Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl -- in the coming weeks.
"The names of some of those venues, I think, is what's really intimidating -- not the size of them," says Blake. He still hopes to impress his fans at those shows, adding, "You want to leave there having people say, 'Man, that's one of the better ones I've seen in this place.'"
Image Courtesy Starstruck EntertainmentReba released her new song and video, "Pray for Peace," Monday, and several other country stars got in on the act. The Band Perryposted a video of themselves doing the "Pray for Peace" hand motions, and Keith Urban enlisted his famous wife, Nicole Kidman, and their two kids to make a video as well.
Reba got the idea to write the anthem last year while walking around her home in Gallatin, Tennessee, just outside Nashville. She says, "For days I’d sing, 'Pray for Peace,' over and over. It wasn’t until several months later did the other parts start to fall in place. Some, not until we got into the studio to record it."
The country superstar considers "Pray for Peace" to be a gift from God.
"I have never worked on a song as long as this one," Reba adds. "It went from a bass drum, fiddle and singers to guest artist singing with me, adding more instruments and even a choir and a bagpipe! It’s an act of perseverance, prayer, hope, fellowship and mostly love."
Ronnie Dunn, Kelly Clarkson and newcomer Caroline Kole lend their voices to "Pray for Peace" as well. You can download it for free at Reba.com.