Mac McAnally Wins Musician Of The Year
The 45th CMA Awards are still 15 minutes away from kicking off, and there are already three winners including Jason Aldean, who nabbed his first ever CMA trophy.
Aldean (pictured) and duet partner Kelly Clarkson won in the musical event category. Clarkson is not at the show, but Aldean took the stage to accept, thanking Clarkson and his record label and managers, adding, “This is really cool, I appreciate it.”
Kenny Chesney and his duet partner, Grace Potter, won for video of the year for “You and Tequila.” Director Shaun Silva accepted.
Also, Mac McAnally was named musician of the year. In a brief acceptance speech, he said, “I don’t even know if I belong in the same phone book as the rest of these guys I’m nominated with, but I’m grateful.”
Signs With Indie Stoney Creek
Singer Randy Houser has a new record label home, it was announced last night at a party in downtown Nashville.
The singer, who previously recorded for Toby Keith’s Show Dog-Universal Records, has left that label to join independent record company Stoney Creek Records, home to the hot, CMA Award-nominated duo Thompson Square.
Houser is best known for his 2009 hit “Boots On,” as well as the hits he’s written for other artists. No word yet on when we can expect new music from Houser.
Singer Lends Her Acting Talents To ‘The Lorax’
Taylor Swift gets animated as “Audrey” in the recently released trailer for the upcoming animated film, “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.” The film, which also stars Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Betty White, and Ed Helms, will be in theaters March 2, 2012, but you can get a sneak peek of Swift’s work here.
The film follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams (Swift). To find it, he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Includes A Collaboration With Fellow ‘American Idol’ Contestant Ruben Studdard
Josh Gracin has a new album in stories this week, “Redemption,” his first project for his new label Average Joe’s Entertainment, also home to Montgomery Gentry and Colt Ford. It includes a cover of the John Mayer song “Edge Of Desire,” and a collaboration with fellow “American Idol” contestant Ruben Studdard on the song “Catastrophe.”
Another song, “Can’t Say Goodbye,” is based on the true story about the continuing efforts of a war widow, Seana Arrechaga, to keep her husband’s memory alive. The song was written for the Sears Heroes At Home initiative, with all proceeds of single sales going to the charity’s efforts to support military service members, veterans, and their families.
“The album is 100% my interpretation, 100% my idea of what I wanted the record to be,” Gracin says in a press release. “Just in that alone, it’s going to sound different than anything else I’ve done.”
He produced the album with his longtime drummer, Kevin Murphy. Gracin also wrote or co-wrote off of the album’s songs with the exception of the Mayer cover.
Following his stint on “Idol,” Gracin landed four top 10 singles on another label, including the 2005 No. 1 hit “Nothin’ To Lose.”
Stars With Angie Harmon In Video; Appears On ‘Army Wives’
Craig Morgan has enlisted actress Angie Harmon (star of TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles”) to appear in his upcoming music video, “This Ole Boy,” which was recently shot in Nashville. They are pictured together on the set.
But that wasn’t Morgan’s only recent brush with Hollywood. Late last week he filmed a guest-starring role on the Lifetime series “Army Wives.” The episode featuring Morgan is set to air in early 2012.
The role would appear to be a good fit for Morgan, who spent 10 years of active duty in the Army and an additional nine years in the Army Reserves.
Morgan recently released the five-song digital EP, “This Ole Boy,” and has a full-length in the works for early next year.
CMA Presenters To Include Reba, LeAnn Rimes, Dierks Bentley And More
CMA Awards nominee Luke Bryan will serve as the red carpet correspondent for the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” at the 45th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 9. His CMA red carpet segment will air on “Ellen” the following day. Bryan is nominated in the new artist category, and will also be performing on the CMA Awards this year.
Bryan made his first appearance on “Ellen” in late September to perform his hit “Country Girl (Shake It For Me),” and also comically portrayed “Pierre” in DeGeneres’ ongoing soap opera drama, “As the Tide Turns.” Watch it here.
In other CMA Awards news, Lauren Alaina, Dierks Bentley, Billy Currington, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Reba McEntire and LeAnn Rimes have been added as presenters. Also, pop singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson will perform his new single “Run” with Sugarland, with whom he wrote the song and toured earlier this year. And singer/actress Laura Bell Bundy will host the pre-telecast award ceremony, where she will present awards to the winners in three CMA Awards categories as well as to all of the recipients of the CMA broadcast awards.
Rodney Atkins, Scotty McCreery To Appear In Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade
• Wynonna (right) is hitting the road for a 12-date holiday tour, which kicked off Thursday in Phoenix. She will return to the studio in December to continue working on her eighth studio album for Curb Records. It is being produced by her boyfriend, Cactus Moser of the country group Highway 101.
• Trailer Choir (pictured below) has released its first single since being dropped from Toby Keith’s Show Dog-Universal Records, and since downsizing from a trio to a duo. The song, “Love Me First,” was released to digital retailers on the band’s own Hollaville Records imprint. According to group member Butter, the song’s lyrics reflect all that he and bandmate Big Vinny have gone through in the past year, including Vinny’s diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes.
Meanwhile, Vinny moves into week seven on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” where he is currently appearing as a contestant. He has already lost 59 pounds on the show.
• Rodney Atkins and Scotty McCreery will be among the performers at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on Nov. 24. Adkins says he plans to wear his deer hunting gear to stay warm. Additional performers will include Mary J. Blige, Cobra Starship, Neil Diamond, Cee Lo Green, Avril Lavigne, actor Daniel Radcliff and the cast of Broadway’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
• Billy Dean will join Kenny Rogers’ annual “Christmas and Hits Tour” for the second time. This year’s tour kicks off the day after Thanksgiving and will hit 16 cities.
Procedure Forces Postponement Of Benefit Concert
Keith Urban is set to undergo throat surgery later this month, to remove a polyp, which has developed on his vocal chords. The outpatient procedure, while minor, will require complete voice rest followed by a recuperation period of undetermined length, forcing the postponement of the “All For The Hall” benefit concert Urban had planned to stage on Jan 18, 2012 as a benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. The event, which was to take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, was also set to include appearances from Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, the Oak Ridge Boys and Alison Krauss + Union Station.
Urban will be honoring his pre-existing commitments for which he is just scheduled to perform one song leading up to his procedure at the end of this month. All other appearances will be rescheduled in the new year.
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.