ACM Announces Hosts For Spring Awards Show
• Keith Urban is among the country artists who have contributed a new song to the soundtrack of the upcoming action thriller film, “Act Of Valor.” His song, titled “For You,” marks the first time Urban (right) has written and recorded a song for a movie. It will be featured during the end credits of the film, which is in theaters Feb. 24. The soundtrack, which will contain songs from several more as-yet-unannounced country stars, is available Feb. 21. The film stars a group of active duty Navy SEALS as well as professional actors.
“I loved the challenge of writing for a film,” Urban says in a press release. “After seeing ‘Act Of Valor,’ my co-writer (Monty Powell) and I wanted to capture the essence of not only what these men and women do so extraordinarily, but how that relates to all of us. ‘Valor’ shows us what they are willing to give their all for, which made me wonder, ‘What am I willing to give my life for?’ ‘For You’ is intended to allow the listener to define who that is for them.”
• Scotty McCreery’s debut album, “Clear As Day,” has been certified platinum for sales of more than a million copies, just three months after its release. In a press release, the “American Idol” winner (left) says the certification “means the world to me. It’s one of the highest honors you can get with your album, and it’s a huge testament to the loyalty of country music fans and how great they have been to me this year. 2011 was absolutely an incredible, life-changing year for me. I want to say a huge thanks to the fans for this.”
• Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire (right) will be back as hosts for this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards show, set for April 1 in Las Vegas, and airing live on CBS. The Zac Brown Band will host the companion Fan Jam show taking place at another Vegas venue at the same time. As they did last year, the ACM Awards producers will occasional cut away from the award show to air scheduled performances from the Fan Jam venue, including a live performance from Zac Brown Band.
The following night in Las Vegas, the ACM will stage a special tribute to Lionel Richie, “ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends - A Lifetime of Hits,” which will be taped to air on CBS at a later date. Confirmed performers for that show, who will be singing Richie’s hits, include Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers and, of course, Richie.
• Curb Records has made a fourth song from Tim McGraw’s upcoming “Emotional Traffic” album available on iTunes. The new release, “The One That Got Away,” is available now. A fifth song is planned for iTunes release before the full, 12-song album streets on Jan. 24.
Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton Top Country Dance Club Hits
• Luke Bryan (pictured) and Blake Shelton topped the list of dance club hits in 2011, according to the Marco Club Connection’s eighth annual ranking of country dance favorites. Every December, the Nashville-based company surveys a panel of nearly 250 club owners, DJs and dance instructors from across the country to compile its rankings.
Here are the top 10 dance club hits of 2011:
1. Luke Bryan - “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”
2. Blake Shelton - “Footloose”
3. Big & Rich - “Fake ID”
4. Blake Shelton - “Honey Bee”
5. Gloriana - “Wanna Take You Home”
6. Billy Currington - “Love Done Gone”
7. Jason Aldean - “Dirt Road Anthem”
8. Dierks Bentley - “Am I The Only One”
9. The Lacs - “Kickin’ Up Mud”
10. Chris Young - “You”
• Strong ticket sales have caused Eric Church and his booking team to announce an additional leg of dates for the singer’s Blood, Sweat & Beers tour. The new dates include shows in New York; Minneapolis; Nashville; St. Louis; Orlando, Fla.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo.; and 18 other cities. The full list of tour dates is here. Meanwhile, Church is enjoying his first-ever top five single on the radio airplay charts, “Drink In My Hand,” which is continuing to ascend.
• Craig Morgan has set Feb. 28 as the release date for his sixth studio album, “This Ole Boy.” The release is Morgan’s first new full-length album in nearly three years, and his first with new record label Black River Entertainment after signing with the company in April 2011.
Singer Going Forward With Plans To Host Public Events On The Property
Singer Billy Dean has revealed that while he was touring with Kenny Rogers over the holidays, there was a fire on his farm in Smithville, Tenn.; a property the singer has dubbed “Dean Acres.” The fire broke out in his 1,500 square foot barn, which was destroyed by the blaze, taking with it its contents, which included Dean’s fishing boat, his tractor and many career keepsakes.
Among the items lost were demo and master recordings that dated back to the early days of his career, before he was signed to a record label. Vintage posters and photos from when Dean was in his early 20s were also lost. He is pictured here sifting through the debris after the fire.
“I lost a lot things that were very meaningful to me but no one was hurt and that’s really all that matters at the end of the day,” Dean said in a press release statement. “We’ll rebuild, but I’m really going to miss that tractor and fishing boat this spring.”
The blaze is not expected to affect the country star’s plans to host public events at his home, a side business he is expected to announce in the coming weeks.
Also Featured In Upcoming Episode of ‘Oprah’s Master Class’
Reba McEntire’s search for her ancestral roots will be featured in the third season of the NBC series “Who Do You Think You Are,” which returns on Feb. 3. (The date for the hour-long episode featuring McEntire has not been announced.) Other celebrities starring in the show this season are Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen.
The show—an adaptation of the award-winning hit British television documentary series—leads celebrities on a journey of self-discovery as they unearth their family trees that reveal surprising, inspiring and even tragic stories that often are linked to crucial events in American history, according to its PR materials.
McEntire will also be featured in an episode of this season’s “Oprah’s Master Class,” joining a cast of celebrity profile subjects that also includes actors Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier and Morgan Freeman, musician Jon Bon Jovi, businessman Ted Turner and professional athletes Laird Hamilton and Grant Hill. An airdate for the McEntire episode has not been scheduled.
Singer Plays An Actress And Potential Crime Victim In Her Acting Debut
Miranda Lambert will make her acting debut on an upcoming episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” according to a story broken by TVGuide.com. Lambert will play an actress who claims to have been sexually assaulted by the producer of a reality show, played by Michael McKean (“This Is Spinal Tap”) in a role TVGuide.com describes as “the alleged sleazebag.”
Harry Connick Jr. has also been cast on the NBC show as a new love interest for Det. Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay. He will appear in four episodes, including the one guest-starring Lambert.
Lambert has some experience with reality shows. She first gained national prominence as a contestant on USA “Nashville Star” in 2003. Her husband, Blake Shelton, stars in another reality show, NBCs “The Voice.”
The Lambert episode of “Law & Order: SVU” has not yet been scheduled.
Couple Posts A Video Message To Fans After The Wedding
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and fiancé Chris Tyrrell were married on Saturday, Jan. 7 in what is being described as an “intimate ceremony” just before sunset in upstate New York attended by family and close friends.
Scott wore a custom Vera Wang strapless mermaid dress with abstract all-over lace underlay, layered tulle skirt with horsehair banding and hand-cut corded lace appliqué with hand-applied crystal and pearl beading. She also donned a long mantilla veil with hand-cut Chantilly lace appliqué. The groom wore a gray Ermenegildo Zegna suit.
Watch a brief video message from the couple in matching t–shirts here that also includes video of their wedding portraits being shot. The groom introduced the bride by her new name, Hillary Scott Tyrrell.
New Set Also Includes Songs From Jewel, Justin Moore, Hank Williams Jr. And More
The second volume of a Waylon Jennings tribute project is set for release at retail Feb. 7 and, like last year’s volume one, it is packed with contributions from country stars performing the music icon’s best-loved songs. A third volume is still in the works.
The eleven-track album, titled “The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Volume II,” features a lineup of acts who were heavily influenced by Jennings’ legacy. They include Dierks Bentley, Justin Moore, Hank Williams Jr., Jessi Colter, Montgomery Gentry, Jewel, Jack Ingram, Colt Ford, Josh Thompson, and Pat Green. The final song on each volume is reserved for an unknown artist.
Recording for the three volume series started more than three-and-a-half years ago, and has been a labor of love for Jennings’ widow, Colter, son Shooter Jennings, and guitarist Reggie Young. They, along with producer Witt Stewart, have assembled a cast of artists to pay tribute to Jennings and highlight his musical and cultural influence.
“Waylon was so original,” says Colter in a press release. “For his songs to be [sung] by other people and to take me somewhere else is not an easy task.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised of the fact that the people involved chose to make the songs their own. They add something to it and, to me, that’s what makes it interesting. They made it their own because they could never walk in Waylon’s tracks. They’d be stepping in holes.”
Here’s the full track listing for volume two:
1. Lonesome, On’ry and Mean - Dierks Bentley
2. Waymore’s Blues - Hank Williams Jr.
3. Good Ol’ Boys - Montgomery Gentry
4. I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This - Justin Moore
5. Bob Wills Is Still The King - Jack Ingram
6. Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line - Colt Ford
7. Rainy Day Woman - Pat Green
8. Love of the Common People - Josh Thompson
9. Mama - Jessi Colter
10. Dreaming My Dreams With You - Jewel
11. A Long Time Ago - Wyatt McCubbin
First Collaboration Between The Country Trio And Legendary Irish Folk Group
Hot country trio Pistol Annies has collaborated with legendary Irish folk group The Chieftains for the latter band’s 50th anniversary album, “Voice of Ages,” due out Feb. 21.
Pistol Annies—which consists of members Miranda Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe—sing “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies” on the album, which also includes collaborations between The Chieftains and Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Civil Wars, among other acts. It was produced by Chieftains leader/founder Paddy Moloney and T Bone Burnett.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.