Eric Church Leads The Pack; Kelly Clarkson’s Nomination Most Controversial
The nominees for this year’s Country Music Assn. Awards are out, and they include pop star Kelly Clarkson (pictured) in a major category, plus a nomination for Lionel Richie, two for The Civil Wars, one for Semisonic lead singer Dan Wilson, and one for Snoop Dogg. Yes, THAT Snoop Dogg, the one who recently changed his name to Snoop Lion.
Plenty of country artists were also nominated, most notably Eric Church who landed nods in five categories, including his first ever in the male vocalist of the year category. Church (pictured below) earned his very first CMA Award nomination just last year in the new artist category, and has clearly come a long way in the span of time since then. Luke Bryan is also a first time nominee in the male vocalist category. He earned a second nomination this year in the album of the year category.
Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton each earned four nominations including one they share in the song of the year category as the writers of Lambert’s hit “Over You.” Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, and Taylor Swift each received three nods.
While not a stranger to the CMA Awards, Clarkson—who only dabbles in country music from time to time but has close ties to Nashville—was this year’s most controversial pick (at least in the country music industry) with her nod in the female vocalist category. She previously shared a CMA win last year for her duet with Aldean on “Don’t You Wanna Stay” in the musical event category. Clarkson also had a previous musical event nomination with Reba McEntire for “Because of You” in 2007.
Musical event is the category where we typically see out-of-format artists earning nods for their pairings. That’s also the category that gave recognition to Snoop Dogg this year for his collaboration with Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson on Nelson’s song “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die.”
Among the other interesting tidbits from this year’s nominations:
• Alan Jackson’s nomination in the musical event category ties him with George Strait for the most career CMA Awards nominations with 81 each.
• If Chesney wins entertainer of the year, he’ll take the record for the most wins in the category. Chesney is currently tied with Garth Brooks, winning the trophy four times in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
• Brad Paisley’s nominations this year keep him third on the list of artists with the most career nominations in CMA Awards history. He has been nominated every year since 2000 and has now amassed 58 nominations.
• If Carrie Underwood wins the female vocalist of the year trophy again, it will tie her with Martina McBride (1999, 2002-2004) and McEntire (1984-1987) for most wins in this category. McBride is also nominated in the category again in 2012.
• First time nominees Love and Theft earned two nominations, for vocal duo and new artist. Other first-time nominees include Eli Young Band, Richie, Snoop Lion, Hunter Hayes, and writer/artists Will Hoge and Eric Paslay.
Winners will be revealed during the 46th Annual CMA Awards, set for Nov. 1 on ABC Television Network. Paisley and Underwood will host for the fifth time.
Here are the final nominees:
Entertainer of the Year
Single of the Year (Award goes to artist and producer(s))
“Dirt Road Anthem”
Produced by Michael Knox
“God Gave Me You”
Produced by Scott Hendricks
Produced by Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten
Little Big Town
Produced by Jay Joyce
Produced by Jay Joyce
Album of the Year (Award goes to artist and producer(s))
Produced by Jay Joyce
“Four The Record”
Produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf
Produced by Brett Beavers, Luke Wooten, and Jon Randall Stewart
“Own The Night”
Produced by Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum
“tailgates & tanlines”
Produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright
Song of the Year (Award goes to songwriter(s))
“Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
Will Hoge and Eric Paslay
“God Gave Me You”
Dan Wilson, Brett Beavers, and Dierks Bentley
Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton
Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell, and Jeff Hyde
Female Vocalist of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Love and Theft
The Civil Wars
Musical Event of the Year (Award goes to each artist)
Alan Jackson featuring Zac Brown
“Feel Like A Rock Star”
Kenny Chesney (duet with Tim McGraw)
“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”
Willie Nelson with Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, and Jamey Johnson
“Safe & Sound”
Taylor Swift (featuring The Civil Wars)
“Stuck On You”
Lionel Richie (with Darius Rucker)
Music Video of the Year (Award goes to artist and director)
Directed by Shaun Silva
Directed by Trey Fanjoy
Little Big Town
Directed by Declan Whitebloom
“Red Solo Cup”
Directed by Michael Salomon
Directed by Peter Zavadil
New Artist of the Year
Love and Theft
Singer Gets A Buzz Cut To Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer Detection
During an appearance on “Good Morning America” this morning, Kellie Pickler revealed her dramatic new hairless look. She explained that the stunt was designed to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer early detection, while doubling as a show of support for her best friend, Summer Holt Miller, who was recently diagnosed with the disease at age 36.
“Cancer does not discriminate,” Pickler said on “Good Morning America.” Miller added that if the women’s shaved heads “compels even one person to change their mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then it will be worth it.”
Miller and Pickler have been friends since childhood. Miller, a mother of two, received her diagnosis in June, and subsequently had a double mastectomy. She will begin chemotherapy tomorrow, so yesterday in Nashville the two women got their hair shaved off together.
A behind-the-scenes video capturing the women’s haircuts and their discussion about Miller’s diagnosis and treatment will be posted on Athena Water’s website, athenawater.com, and Athena will make a monetary donation to the American Cancer Society in Miller’s honor. Athena will also contribute a minimum of $2 million to support breast cancer awareness, care, education and research by 2014.
Fans Can Win A Spot At The Taping And Meet The Star
Eric Church fans in Chattanooga, Tenn., will get the opportunity to be part of a live album when the singer records his two shows at the city’s Tivoli Theatre on Oct. 8 and 9. The resulting live project—Church’s first such set—is expected to be available in early 2013.
Church kicks off the fall leg of his headlining Blood, Sweat & Beers arena tour Sept. 13.
He is asking fans to share their thoughts on what it was about his music that first captured their attention as part of the “captured” video contest on his Web site. Church is encouraging fans to show him visually how his music has impacted them and why, all for a chance to win two tickets to the live album taping, a one-night hotel stay, and a VIP prize package including a meet and greet with the star.
Videos must be submitted by Sept. 12. Church will announce his top 10 favorite videos on Sept. 17 before the polls open to fans for the final vote. The grand prize winner will be announced Sept. 26. More information here.
Performers To Include Trace Adkins, Gloriana, Thompson Square And Others
John Michael Montgomery will once again host a two-day music festival in his home state of Kentucky Sept. 28 and 29. The second annual John Michael Montgomery Country-Fest 2012 will feature performances from Trace Adkins, Thompson Square, Gloriana, The Lost Trailers, Thomas Rhett, and Exile in addition to the event’s namesake. It will be held at Lykins Park in Winchester, Ky.
The festival will also include arts and crafts, family activities, and food vendors. A portion of the event’s proceeds benefit various non- profit and charitable community organizations.
Montgomery is best known for his string of hits from 1992 until 2004, including seven No. 1 singles, among them, “I Love The Way You Love Me,” “I Swear,” “Be My Baby Tonight,” “I Can Love You Like That,” and “The Little Girl.”
Singer Says He Wanted The Set To Reflect “The Real Reason For The Season”
Scotty McCreery is set to release a holiday album, “Christmas with Scotty McCreery,” on Oct. 16. It will include nine Christmas standards, plus two new, original songs.
“Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year,” McCreery says in a press release announcing the project. “And what is Christmas without music? We start listening to Christmas songs early in the McCreery household, so it felt right. I’ve always wanted to record a Christmas album since I’ve had my music career,” which began when he won “American Idol” 15 months ago.
The included standards are “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Back In Town,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” “Let It Snow,” “The Christmas Song,” “O Holy Night,” “Mary, Did You Know?” and “The First Noel.”
McCreery says of his goal for the holiday album, “I just wanted it to be holly and jolly and really lift people’s spirits in the Christmas season because it’s supposed to be a really happy time. But I also wanted to get across the real reason for the season. ‘Christmas in Heaven’ is my favorite song on the album and it really speaks to that.”
That song is one of the two new tracks that made the album. Says McCreery, “When I heard ‘Christmas in Heaven,’ I listened to the first verse and automatically said, ‘You can stop it. That is on the album.’
“The other new song is called ‘Christmas Is Coming Around,’” he continues. “That’s just a great story about Christmas time and really just lifting people’s spirits. Times may be tough, but during Christmas, it needs to be a happy time.”
McCreery also says he’s changed up his sound a bit on some of the tracks. “There will be some songs that sound like a different Scotty—not different as far as not country, but a different sound than they heard on the first album,” he says. “Hopefully, [fans] will be pleasantly surprised.”
The project will be McCreery’s second album release, following his platinum-selling 2011 debut, “Clear As Day.”
To help promote the new album, McCreery will be making Christmas calls to 100 random fans who purchase it from his Web site.
Singer Set To Resume His Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour This Month
Eric Church is preparing to kick off the 45-date fall leg of his Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour on Sept. 13, with openers Justin Moore and Kip Moore. In a recent interview with MSN Music, Church said the first leg of that tour was “far more successful than I thought. We sold out 25 or 30 dates. I just never thought that was going to happen, from where we came from . . . Every night I’m pretty surprised that we got here from where we came from, but it’s been fun to watch.
“I’m excited about Justin. I’m excited about Kip Moore. I’m excited to go out West and do the things we’re going to do on that tour,” he said.
In the last year, Church has taken an aggressive stand against ticket scalping, and has become one of the few country artists to take a vocal stand against the practice. He explained to MSN Music why that’s such a hot button topic for him.
“We make a certain number of tickets available for fans because we want them down front,” he said. “When scalpers don’t play fair—and what I mean by don’t play fair is a lot of the scalpers use ‘bots’ that are computer generated, and go out there and grab up any ticket before the fan can get a ticket—it just makes it an unfair advantage [against] the fans that I want down front to get those tickets. If I wanted the ticket to be a $200 ticket, I’d have made it a $200 ticket, but I don’t want it to be that. I want it to be something that the fans that have been with us a long time can afford and be up next to the stage. When the scalpers get involved, that goes out the window.
“It just aggravates me more than anything else,” he added. “We’re working as hard as we can to make it harder on the scalpers and keep those guys away from what we do.”
Church recently received a complimentary note from Bruce Springsteen about his No. 1 hit, “Springsteen,” which was clearly inspired by The Boss. But the Jersey-bred superstar isn’t the only artist who has inspired Church’s music.
Wearing a necklace that read “Hank,” Church said the man who gave it to him, Hank Williams Jr., is one of those influences. And there are others.
“Bob Seger was a huge inspiration,” he told MSN Music. “I love Lowell George and Little Feat. I love The Band . . . And there’s more, [including] Kris Kristofferson. I could go on for days, but those guys are very important to me.”
Show Is Inspired By Lambert’s Upbringing With Private Detective Parents
NBC has purchased the “light drama” being executive produced by Miranda Lambert, according to Deadline Hollywood.
Inspired by Lambert’s upbringing as the child of two private detective parents in Lindale, Texas, the show focuses on two parents running a successful private detective agency while trying to raise two teenagers.
When the project was initially announced last year, it was affiliated with the ABC Family network. In moving to NBC, Lambert joins husband Blake Shelton, who is signed to the network via his role as a coach on “The Voice.” Deadline Hollywood reports that Shelton’s relationship with the network played a role in Lambert’s project landing there.
Lambert and her manager, Marion Kraft, are among the show’s executive producers. Lambert’s mother, Bev Lambert, is a consultant.
Singer Says She Plans To “Emotionally Check Out” For 30 Days
LeAnn Rimes has voluntarily entered a 30-day, in-patient treatment facility, according to PEOPLE, which reports she is seeing help for “emotional issues.”
Rimes’ rep tells PEOPLE she entered the facility on Wednesday “to cope with anxiety and stress.” Rimes celebrated her 30th birthday on Tuesday.
“While there will be speculation regarding her treatment, she is simply there to learn and develop coping mechanisms,” says rep Marcel Pariseau. “While privacy isn't expected, it's certainly appreciated.”
Pariseau also says she is not seeking treatment for an eating disorder or substance abuse.
Rimes tells PEOPLE, “This is just a time for me to emotionally check out for a second and take care of myself and come back in 30 days as the best 30-year-old woman I can be.
“All the things in my life will be there when I get out, but you know what? I'm hoping they’re not going to affect me as much,” she adds. “I’ll have the tools to know how to deal with them.”
Rimes's husband Eddie Cibrian tells PEOPLE, “My wife is the most remarkable and courageous woman I know. I am so proud of her for having the strength to finally take some time for herself. I will be with her every step of the way.”
Rimes will still honor the tour dates she has booked over the next 30 days; taking breaks from her treatment to do so.
“The facility has granted her permission to keep her weekend tour obligations, as LeAnn doesn’t want to disappoint her fans,” says Pariseau. “She will report back after each weekend.”
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