Kristen Bell to Return as Host of Next Month’s CMT Music Awards

CMTActress Kristen Bell has signed on to host the 2014 CMT Music Awards again this year. She previously co-hosted with Toby Keith in 2012 and Jason Aldean in 2013.

Kristen says, “After two years of duets with amazing partners, I’m really excited for my first solo effort. I love that the country community has welcomed me so warmly and I can’t wait to head back to Nashville for what’s sure to be another amazing show this year.”

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood will perform their duet, “Somethin’ Bad,” on the 2014 CMT Music Awards Wednesday, June 4 live from Music City at 8 p.m. ET. Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton are among the other stars set to sing on the show. More talent will be announced soon.

Fan voting for the CMT Music Awards is now open at

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich 2005 hit features Tim McGraw and rapper Nelly? Answer:  “Over and Over.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Unveils “Sundown Heaven Town” on The Voice

Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw unveils the title track of his new CD Sundown Heaven Town tonight with a live performance on the season finale of The Voice. Even though the album doesn’t come out until fall, fans will be able to purchase the track digitally immediately after the song’s debut.

Tuesday, Tim also stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, before playing the Today Summer Concert Series Friday on NBC.  The full album, featuring the latest single “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” with wife Faith Hill and “Lookin’ for That Girl,” will be out September 16.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops Puts Heroes Center Stage with Stars

ACMTo commemorate Armed Forces Day, tonight’s CBS special, ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops, does something a TV show has perhaps never done before– it gives servicemen and servicewomen the rare chance to perform with their favorite country artists.

Navy member Destiny Coates, who sings with Keith Urban, says it’s especially significant for her, since she laid her musical aspirations aside to serve and protect our country.

“Performing here is a dream come true…So many people here wanted to sing, and I think we all gave up that dream…We make those decisions to serve, and it’s really awesome how things turn around and…You don’t have to give up on that dream just because you went towards another one.”

Both Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum  were really impressed by the musicianship of the military performers.

“One of these guys had a breakout line on ‘Compass,’ you’ll hear him sing,” Hillary Scott recalls. “It’s like, it’s awesome! It was just really, really cool.”

“The fiddle player was really good,” Dave Haywood chimes in, agreeing. “They’re up there with all these A-list session guys that are in the house band.”

But for Charles Kelley, the most poignant moment came when one of his fellow performers gave him a Kevlar bracelet in honor of one of his fallen comrades.

“He…gave it to me and said, ‘Man, if he knew that you were wearing it and being up onstage and doing this.’ I was like, ‘I can’t take this. This is like your friend that died in battle.’  I was like, ‘I can’t do that,” Charles remembers. “He’s like, ‘Just trust me. This would mean so much to me.’”

King of Country George Strait says the experience took him right back to his days as a soldier.

“I’m an ex-military guy myself. I served three years in the military,” he recalls. “It was a great experience for me. It really was. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. So, just to be able to do my little thing with them, it makes you feel good, and I love doing it.”

Carrie Underwood performs a new song she co-wrote. Proceeds from “Keep Us Safe” will go to the ACM’s charitable arm, Lifting Lives. Dierks, on the other hand, sang his most recent number one, but “I Hold On” took on a whole new meaning.

“It feels very, kind of patriotic, in a sense, and a perfect song for that night. So, I was pretty fired up. I walked off the stage pretty excited,” he remembers.

The Band Perry honors those who’ve paid the ultimate price with a performance of their breakthrough song, “If I Die Young.”

“They sacrifice time away from their families, away from the comforts of our country for those who are overseas, and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice with their life,” Kimberly Perry says. “It’s just a true honor to get to honor these guys for their ultimate sacrifice.”

Hunter Hayes says he hopes the collaborations between country artists and the military will become a tradition.

“It was a beautiful evening. It was absolutely awesome. The collaborations were really cool, too. I loved that aspect of it. I thought that was brilliant.”

ACM Presents: An All-Star Tribute to the Troops airs tonight on CBS at 9:00 Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDolly Parton is selling her 1,095-square-foot cottage in West Hollywood for an asking price of $1.395 million. She bought the childhood home of actress Natalie Wood in 2007 for $1.2 million. You can see pictures of the property on the real estate website Trulia.

Big & Rich, Deana Carter, Clint Black, Randy Houser and Cowboy Troy play the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis June 3 to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

You can see Justin Moore perform his latest single, “Lettin’ The Night Roll,” tonight at 8 p.m. ET on the season finale of NBC’s The Voice.

LeAnn Rimes will sing the national anthem at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 Dierks Bentley Sets Funny or Die Record with “Drunk on a Plane”

Greenroom PRAfter performing for more than 50,000 fans on the Riser tour this weekend, Dierks Bentley takes to TV to reach an even wider audience. He plays the Today show Tuesday morning on NBC, before singing his hit “I Hold On” that evening on ACM Presents:  An All-Star Salute to the Troops on CBS. Wednesday night finds Dierks on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Last week, Dierks debuted his video for “Drunk on a Plane” on Funny or Die, getting the most votes for “funny” in the website’s history.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney and Reese Witherspoon Recreate a Johnny & June Moment

Sony Music NashvilleReese Witherspoon reprised her role as June Carter Cash for a moment Saturday night, as Kenny Chesney called her onstage to sing “Jackson” at the House of Blues in New Orleans. The occasion was a fundraiser for Matthew McConaughey and Drew Brees‘ charities, called Just Keep Livin’ and Dream Foundation, respectively.

Afterwards, the Oscar winner Instagrammed a photo of her performance with Kenny, with the hashtag “amazing night.” Reese won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2006 for her portrayal of Johnny Cash‘s wife in Walk the Line.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Shows Off His Fitness for Men’s Health

Greenroom PRTim McGraw reveals his latest secrets for staying in tip-top shape, as he steps onto the cover of the July/August issue of Men’s Health. The magazine is also treating two fans to the VIP treatment at Tim’s June 27 stop on the Sundown Heaven Town Tour. The winner scores roundtrip airfare and a two-night hotel stay in Chicago as well. You can enter to win on the Men’s Health website.

This isn’t the first time the magazine has put a country star front and center, featuring Kenny Chesney on the June 2012 cover. Tim’s issue goes on sale June 24.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was Rosanne Cash‘s first number one country hit? ANSWER:  “Seven Year Ache,” in 1981.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Plans Performance with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. for American Idol Finale

FOXEven though Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. are hoping to perform together Wednesday on American Idol, deciding what to sing hasn’t been easy.

“The three of us have been trying to figure out a song we can do for the final,” Keith says. “It’s proved to be a bit challenging to find one song that works for all three of us, ’cause we are very, very different musically and vocally even. So we may put together several songs in sequence that we can do.”

Keith says that’s when having a record producer around comes in handy.

“We got Randy Jackson on that trying to figure out a game plan… but I hope we get to do that ’cause I’d really like to sing with them, both of them.”

Find out what the judges come up with, Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern on the American Idol season finale on Fox.