Image Courtesy Dot RecordsFrom high school bullies to fishing, Maddie & Tae say they’ve covered it all on their first album.
“We poured our whole hearts into Start Here, and I cannot wait to just show our fans the whole Maddie & Tae spiel. Songs that cover all different topics,” Maddie says, as Tae chimes in her agreement.
One of Maddie’s favorite songs on the record is called "The Down Side of Growing Up," something she and her musical partner have apparently done while simultaneously making this record.
“We've been writing this record for five years, so we've had this kind of evolution of music and our journey over the past five years has changed a lot,” Tae reflects, “but it's been fun for us, 'cause we've gotten to write about it and kind of get our different emotions out.”
Look for Maddie and Tae’s debut in stores and online June 2. It features their first number one, “Girl in a Country Song,” as well as their current hit, “Fly.”
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGarth Brooks has broken his own record for ticket sales in the state of Nebraska. So far, he’s sold nearly 84,000 seats to his May 7-10 shows in Omaha, topping his 1997 benchmark, when close to 67,000 came to see him in Lincoln.
Justin Moore recently stopped by the Fire Station in Hershey, Pennsylvania, treating firefighters to free tickets to his show at the Giant Center. Justin also gave the firefighters a $5,000 donation to renovate their fire hall, courtesy of Crown Royal.
Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood officially introduced her her newborn son Isaiah Michael to fans via an Instagram photo on Sunday.
"The Predators are in the playoffs! Just waiting to get called up! #PutMeInCoach," the 32-year-old "Blown Away" singer captioned a photo of the sleeping baby holding a miniature hockey stick. The post is a nod to her husband Mike Fisher's team, The Nashville Predators, clinching first place in their division.
Carrie and Mike welcomed Isaiah on February 27. He's the first child for both.
“We’re definitely blessed to have him join us in our lives, Fisher told NHL.com earlier this month. "There’s no better feeling.”
“It really is such a miracle and such a beautiful thing,” Underwood told People magazine in February.
“I’m looking forward to reclaiming my body,” she added, “I’ve been saying it’s been on loan for the past many months … I’m excited to take it back.”
Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney says “Wild Child” is more than just his latest hit -- it’s actually a description of the kind of woman he hopes to find.
“I'm very attracted to women that are like that: that love hard, that they've got a little bit of island soul to ‘em, they got a little bit of hippie in ‘em, and a whole lot of free spirit,” he confesses. “And I guess, all my years in the islands, I just became attracted to that kind of person, you know, and met so many wonderful people from so many different parts of the world.”
The “American Kids” hitmaker admits he’s drawn to women who follow their passions, whatever they may be.
“Whether they want to be a doctor, or whether they want to play music in Hawaii, or whether they want to grow a garden, or whether they want to surf around the world or bartend in the islands, or whatever it is their passion is, that’s what drives them, and that’s what this song is about -- and I think that’s a beautiful thing to see.”
“Wild Child” is Kenny’s second hit with Grace Potter. The two ascended the heights of the country chart in 2011 with their duet “You and Tequila.”
Image Courtesy CMAOn what was her 60th birthday, Reba on Saturday performed at and emceed Muhammad Ali’s 21st Anniversary of Celebrity Fight Night charity event in Phoenix.
Reba performed “Going Out Like That,” “Time On Her Hands,” and “Radio" at the event, held at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.
Her birthday was celebrated with a video that included wishes from notable names including Carol King, Tom Hanks, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, CarolBurnett, The Band Perry and President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush.
Among the other performers were Blake Shelton, who sang “Drink On It,” “Home” and “Boys ‘Round Here"; Ronnie Dunn, who sang “Red Dirt Road” and “Boot Scootin Boogie”; and Reba's stepdaughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson.
In addition to the musical performances, there was a live auction with the proceeds going to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and other various charities.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleJust days after returning from an overseas tour that took him to Australia, South Korea and Japan, Chris Young is already hard at work on his next album, Instagramming the view from behind the sound board with the phrase “Back at it!” and #studio.
Chris says once he finishes this project, he'll actually want to get away from it for a bit.
“I don’t listen to it for a while just because I’ve listened to it so much in the process of tweaking,” he admits. “You know, you’ve just done so much of that stuff that you’re like, ‘Okay, it’s done. It’s done, and I’m just gonna get away from it for a little while, and then come back to it fresh and enjoy it.'”
No word yet when fans can enjoy Chris’s new album. “Lonely Eyes,” from his current album A.M., is in the country top five.
Image Courtesy BMLGIf you can’t wait until Reba’s new album Love Somebody comes out on April 14, you'll be glad to know that the country icon is already giving fans a preview. You can now hear a snippet of the uptempo “Until They Don’t Love You,” on YouTube, ahead of the song’s debut next week.
Those who pre-order Reba’s first album since 2010 on iTunes will also get an immediate download of “Enough,” her duet with Jennifer Nettles. Packages on Reba’s website also offer both an exclusive T-shirt and a vinyl copy of the record. Love Somebody showcases her current single, “Going Out Like That” as well.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton’s steamy new video for “Sangria” begins and ends with a naked woman submerged in a wine-colored bath. Shot at MirandaLambert’s bed and breakfast The Lady Smith in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, the clip features her husband performing his latest single as a model and her partner engage in a heavy make-out session that ends in the bedroom.
The video, which premiered earlier this week on Vessel.com, a new premium video service, hit YouTube on Friday. The Voice star says his latest video simply reflects the message in the song.
“It’s just about one of those nights where you drink too much and you’re gonna end up hookin’ up with this person, it’s just inevitable," he says.
“Sangria” is the third single from Blake’s Bringing Back the Sunshine.
Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairIf you’ve ever wondered what to do with your old iPod, Kenny Chesney has the answer. The country superstar has partnered with the non-profit Music & Memory to encourage fans to donate their old mp3 players to help people struggling with Alzheimer’s.
“The gift of a music player full of favorite songs can help reconnect people with Alzheimer’s to good memories and to the people around them, and that’s a ray of hope for a lot of people,” Kenny says in a PSA he taped for the organization.
Music & Memory provides patients with individually-tailored playlists that help enhance their quality of life. It started with four facilities in New York, and has grown into a nationwide program with 1,000 outlets.
This week, Kenny kicked off his Big Revival tour with two shows in Nashville.
Arista NashvilleNotorious prankster Brad Paisley shows off his comedic chops in primetime next week. Brad guests on Repeat After Me, the hidden camera show hosted by TheGoldbergs' Wendi McLendon-Covey. She communicates with celebrities via an earpiece, suggesting awkward and often inappropriate things for the stars to say and do, as they interact with unsuspecting civilians.
Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the half-hour series started as a sketch on her daytime talk show. Repeat After Me airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleSo far, fans have only glimpsed BrettEldredge’s talent as a thespian in his music videos. But if he has his way, we’ll likely one day see him on Broadway.
“I'd do it in a heartbeat,” he reveals. “I would totally do that. I mean, I was in that stuff. I was in musicals in high school and stuff. I loved it. I loved being onstage. I love acting. I definitely want to get into that as well. So, absolutely, I would do it. It's fun. I love to watch shows.”
Brett adds he’d also like to record a standards album inspired by his hero, Frank Sinatra, but it’ll be a while before he branches out to do either project. He’s currently climbing the country chart with his top ten hit, “Mean to Me.”
Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleEven though “Take Your Time” has turned out to be Sam Hunt’s latest top ten hit, he confesses he wasn’t always sure that would be the case.
“‘Take Your Time’ is a song I wrote two or three years ago,” he recalls, “and it was sort of my first experience using a unique cadence in the verses and flowing from that spoken thing into a melody and then back again.”
Along the way, Sam worried the song might just be too different for country radio.
“It probably represents a lot of the R&B influence that a lot of my music has, and I’ve always been really attracted to that rhythmic style of music. It’s a song that I’ve had for a while and been most antsy about putting out, because it is one of the first songs I wrote when I started working on my own project.”
Sunday night, Sam takes his Lipstick Graffiti tour to the campus of Iowa State University.
Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice goes back to school next month, as he launches the first leg of a unique tour of college campuses. He's partnering with REVERB, a non-profit that brings musicians and students together to work toward environmental and social change. The avid hunter and fisherman will focus on outdoor preservation and water conservation, even working to lessen the effect of the shows themselves.
"We're hoping to offset the environmental impact of the tour by supporting clean energy projects and using buses and trucks fueled with locally produced biodiesel," he says. "I have two sons and I look at this as investing in their future and that of kids around the world."
The South Carolina native plays his alma mater, Clemson University, on April 11.
Here are the dates so far for Lee Brice's college tour:
4/8 -- Buies Creek, NC, Campbell University 4/9 --Erie, PA, Penn State University 4/10 -- High Point, NC, High Point University 4/11 -- Clemson, SC, Clemson University 4/15 -- Saint Charles, MO, Lindenwood University 4/22 -- Conway, AR, University of Central Arkansas 4/24 -- Monroe, LA, University of Louisiana 4/30 -- North Andover, MA, Merrimack College 5/1 -- Slippery Rock, PA, Slippery Rock University
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockScotty McCreery co-hosts the Top 20 Countdown on Great American Country this weekend. The show premieres Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern, and repeats on Saturday and Sunday.
The new album from soon-to-be Country Music Hall of Famers The Oak Ridge Boys is called Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites. It’s new in Cracker Barrel stores this month.
Charlie Worsham and Casey James performed alongside The Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnson at Nashville’s Tin Pan South festival this week. Both Charlie and Casey re-recorded Doobie’s hits for the band’s latest album, Southbound.
Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker will be making the media rounds next week, as he unveils his fourth solo album, Southern Style on Tuesday. The admitted sports fanatic will make multiple appearances on ESPN on the release date, after starting his morning on the Today show. Darius guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, April 6, before stopping by ABC’s The Chew on April 16.
Darius co-wrote all thirteen tracks on the new album, including his current top 5 collaboration with LadyAntebellum’s Charles Kelley, “Homegrown Honey.”
Here’s the track listing for Southern Style:
“Homegrown Honey” “Good for a Good Time” “Baby I’m Right” (featuring Mallary Hope) “Southern Style” “High on Life” “Perfect” “You, Me and My Guitar” “Low Country” “Need You More” “Half Full Dixie Cup” “Lighter Up” “You Can Have Charleston” “So I Sang”
Even though the debut album by Striking Matches just came out stateside this week, the two are already big stars in the U.K., thanks to the popularity of the ABC show Nashville. So far, the duo has written eight songs that have been featured in the nighttime drama, and Sarah Zimmermann says it’s not uncommon to see fans overseas singing along to every word, thanks to the show’s huge British following.
Sarah met musical partner Justin Davis in 2007 when a professor paired the two together when both were freshmen guitar majors at Nashville’s Belmont University. Their CD Nothing But the Silence features their latest single “Hanging on a Lie.”