The Band Perry, Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge and More Participating in ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp

Republic NashvilleThe 5th Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp runs June 23 through 27 in Nashville. Some of country’s top stars, including The Band Perry, Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge and Wynonna, will participate in songwriting workshops, field trips, studio recording sessions and other music enrichment events with campers diagnosed with Williams syndrome.

The week-long camp concludes with the campers performing on the Grand Ole Opry with Chris Janson Friday, June 27. The ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp is held in connection with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.


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Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX Ranch Heavily Damaged in Storm

Shock InkWillie Nelson‘s private Luck, Texas ranch was heavily damaged when tornado-force winds ripped through the spread last week. According to a post on Willie’s Facebook page, the bank and post office were destroyed, and the World Headquarters in Luck was “holding on by a splinter.” Several photos of the damage were posted on Willie’s page, too.

The post continues, “Some towns got it a lot worse, so we ain’t complaining. Luck is a tough town. It can be rebuilt.”

Willie built the town of Luck on his ranch outside Austin, Texas in the 1980s for the set to his film Red Headed Stranger. He kept it standing after filming and has hosted the Heartbreaker Banquet there during South by Southwest since 2012.

Of note, Willie’s new album, Band of Brothers, is now in stores featuring nine original songs and five other songs, including a cover of Vince Gill‘s “Whenever You Come Around.”


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Keith Urban Says Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey Were “Hoodwinked” into American Idol Feud

FOXKeith Urban says Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey got “a bit hoodwinked” when agreeing to appear as judges on American Idol‘s 12th season back in 2013. While Keith got along fine with both Nicki and Mariah at the judges’ table, the relationship between the two divas was reportedly full of tension and hostility.

Keith tells Australian radio show Fitzy and Wippa, “I think there was a sort of concerted effort to make this incredibly fricticious environment, to make the show something it was never intended to be. I really felt for both of them.”

While American Idol is a reality show, Keith adds he didn’t like seeing the drama between Nicki and Mariah become the focus of season 12.

Idol is not that kind of show,” Keith says. “I think that Jersey Shore type of mentality wasn’t a good way to go.”

Of course, Keith just completed a successful second season on American Idol with judges Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. He’s now on  tour in Australia through June 29.


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Miranda Lambert Doesn’t Let Newly-Toned Body Define Her Self-Worth

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert isn’t about to let all the buzz over her newly toned body go to her head.

“I’m recently a size six, which I’m proud of, but I’ve been a size eight all these years, and it didn’t hold me back,” the country superstar says in the July issue of Glamour. “My weight yo-yos because I like to live. I’m a Cheetos girl. I won’t give up vodka.”

The 30-year-old singer, who recently celebrated her third wedding anniversary with hubby Blake Shelton, believes there’s much more to a person than their waist size.

“If you’ve got a little muffin top, that doesn’t define you. You have so much more to offer: brains, talent, heart. You can spray-tan and suck in the rest. There’s Spanx for that!” Miranda adds. “And Blake? He doesn’t care if my weight changes as long as I stay the same inside.”

Miranda was just as level-headed about her approach to losing weight, which she did by eating more healthfully and exercising.

She says, “I jog. I work out with my trainer. Or I’ll trick myself: I’ll go horseback riding, or Blake and I will go walking in the woods, and it’s like, ‘Uh-oh, I think I accidentally did some cardio!’”

Miranda adds, “I drink juice, so I have one vegetable-packed juice in the morning, and I feel like I’ve done my good thing for the day.”


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Taylor Swift Gets Three Nods in First Wave of Teen Choice 2014 Nominees

Photo Credit: Sarah BarlowThe first wave of Teen Choice 2014 nominees have been announced, and Taylor Swift is mentioned in several categories, including Choice Female Artist, Choice Smile and Choice Female Country Artist. Jana Kramer, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood round out the Choice Female Country Artist category.

Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban are up for Choice Male Country Act. The Choice Country Group nominees are Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Parmalee, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band.

Rising country singer Lucy Hale is also nominated in the Choice TV Actress: Drama category for her work on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Keith Urban’s American Idol XIII is up against Blake Shelton’s music competition, The Voice, in the Choice TV: Reality Competition Show category.

Voting is now open to teenagers at TeenChoiceAwards.com. The show airs Sunday, August 10 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report: Sara Evans’ Ex-Husband Slapped with Arrest Warrant for Non-Payment of Child Support

Sony Music NashvilleIt looks like Sara Evans‘ ex-husband, Craig Schelske, could end up in jail for non-payment of child support. According to TMZ, Schelske has filed for bankruptcy reportedly owing $333,000 to Evans. A judge has given Schelske a contempt citation for non-payment of child support, which led to an arrest warrant being issued in the case.

The assets listed in Schelske’s bankruptcy filing include two trucks, 60 DVDs, 40 books, three firearms, three silver coins and 25 chickens. TMZ reports Schelske also lists four vacuum cleaners and a card table among his assets.

Evans and Schelske divorced in 2007, and she married current husband, Jay Barker, in 2008. Evans’ rep had no comment on the matter.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Cooks, Drinks, Talks Boys with “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten for “Food Network Magazine”

Jake Chessum/Food Network MagazineBack in March, Taylor Swift posted a photo on Instagram of herself posing with food guru Ina Garten, also known as The Barefoot Contessa.  Now, you can find out exactly went down between the two in the new “Music Issue” of Food Network Magazine.  Hint: It involved drinking.

The issue features four top Food Network stars cooking and hanging with their musician buddies, and Taylor and Garten were a perfect pairing, since Garten owns all of Taylor’s albums, and Taylor owns all of Garten’s cookbooks and considers Garten her culinary “hero.”  During their time together at Garten’s home in New York’s trendy Hamptons, the two cooked up some of Taylor’s favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes, including mustard-roasted fish and the meringue dessert known as a Pavlova.

Taylor and Garten also discussed their frustration over people who don’t enjoy eating.  “I’ll cook for these boys, and they’ll be like, ‘I’m on a diet,’” she told the chef. “I’m like, ‘I can’t hang out with you.’” 

Taylor’s mom Andrea and her brother Austin joined her for the shoot, and they all ended up downing cocktails together.  It started when Garten mentioned a guest of hers who’d chugged whiskey sours after claiming to be on a cleanse.  Taylor replied, “Oh, I’ve never had a whiskey sour!” to which Garten replied, “I have some in my refrigerator!”  Taylor then said to her mom, “Come over here. We’re day-drinking!”  Austin also joined in the fun.

In addition to Taylor and Garten, the July/August Music Issue features rapper Ja Rule and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, rocker Sammy Hagar and Iron Chef Michael Symon, and “Sandwich King” Jeff Mauro with Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan.  The issue hits newsstands June 24.

The Food Network is also sponsoring a music and food festival in Chicago in July, featuring John Mayer as headliner, and appearances by top Food Network stars like Sunny Anderson, Zakarian, Mauro and Anne Burrell.  Visit FoodNetworkInConcert.com for more info.


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Jerrod Niemann Busted a Move with Pitbull for “Drink to That All Night” Remix Video

Sony Music NashvilleJerrod Niemann just shot the video for the remix of “Drink to That All Night” in Miami with pop star Pitbull. So, how did Jerrod and Pitbull get along? Jerrod says he’s a “really, really nice guy.”

He adds, “It was really cool just to see someone that’s clearly got a lot going on to be a part of it. So, it was fun.”

It seems the new clip features the two artists cutting a rug, too. Says Jerrod, “He’s got a lot cooler moves than me on the dance floor. I’ve gotta get back to work on that.”

The “Drink to That All Night” remix is now available for download. The original version is included on Jerrod’s latest album, High Noon, which also features his latest single, “Donkey.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Kellie Pickler‘s hit-songwriter husband? ANSWER: Kyle Jacobs.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLuke Bryan took batting practice with the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend while in town on his That’s My Kind of Night tour.

Brad Paisley appears on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night.

Casey James and Gretchen Wilson appear on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Tuesday night at 8 ET. Songwriter “Jayce,” who penned a song on Jason Aldean‘s My Kinda Party album, is the featured on this week’s episode as he tries to lose weight.

Kellie Pickler‘s latest album, The Woman I Am, is available in an autographed, vinyl LP version at KelliePickler.com.


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