Briefs: News From Toby Keith, Ronnie Dunn, Taylor Swift And More
Hunter Hayes Gets A Guitar Endorsement
• In the strangest awards show pairing since Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth teamed up to host the American Country Awards, Toby Keith (right) will be partnered with actress Kristen Bell to co-host the 2012 CMT Music Awards, set for June 6 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The show will be televised live on CMT and CMT.com at 8 p.m. (ET).
The show will include performances from Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band.
• Ronnie Dunn has released a new version of his latest album, including two exclusive bonus tracks, at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and crackerbarrel.com. The CD, “Ronnie Dunn – Special Edition,” includes the 12 songs Dunn released last year, plus previously unreleased bonus tracks “I Love My Country” and “Keep On Lovin’ You.” A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that benefits our veterans.
• Taylor Swift was awarded the Woman of The Year Award at Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The top award honors “the achievements of a trailblazing female artist over the past 12 months, and acknowledges her overall success in the music business and her leadership in embracing the changing industry.” At 22-years-old, Swift is the youngest ever Woman of the Year winner.
Among the achievements she was honored for, Swift is the only woman in music history to release three No. 1 albums in a row, each selling more than five million copies, putting her in the company of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. With the release of her most recent album, “Speak Now,” she made history on the Billboard Hot 100 by charting a record-breaking 11 songs from one album in a single week. In addition, Swift also currently holds the Billboard Hot 100 record for the most Top 10 debuts by an artist in the 53-year history of the chart. Her self-titled debut album holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard 200 chart.
• Hunter Hayes has been named brand ambassador for instrument maker C. F. Martin & Co. The young singer will take his Martin guitar with him on the road this fall when he joins Carrie Underwood on her “Blown Away” tour.
“It is an absolute honor to be named an official Martin ambassador and to be recognized by the Martin family,” Hayes says in a press release. “The Martin brand is a name I can trust. They make timeless guitars and prove themselves time and again with their elegant tone and sound. The craftsmanship that goes into every piece is one that has shaped some of my favorite music, and is certainly at the forefront of my own sound. I can’t wait to show off my new Parlor 42-style model on the road.”
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.