Lee Brice Reveals the Lessons He Learned from Garth Brooks

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLike many modern country stars, Lee Brice probably wouldn’t be making music if he hadn’t gone to see a Garth Brooks concert as a teenager.

Lee tells Kentucky’s Lexington Herald-Leader, “I was way up in the top of the stands and felt like he was talking to me. At that moment was when I knew I wanted to do this. That was what I was trying to follow.”

Now that he’s playing arenas and stadiums on the road with Luke Bryan, Lee still tries to give his fans that feeling he got from Garth.  “One of the most special things is that moment of connection,” Lee says, “like trying to look somebody in the eye all the way in the very, very back.”

Lee’s new album, I Don’t Dance, has several songs designed to connect with fans in big arenas. Look for that project to hit stores September 9.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jerrod Niemann Thanks His Parents for Supporting His Dreams of Country Stardom

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleWhen he first moved to Nashville more than a decade ago, Jerrod Niemann became fast friends with other aspiring country stars like Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Randy Houser and Billy Currington. As they all got to know each other, Jerrod began to realize not all of his singer/songwriter pals had their parents’ support in chasing their dreams.

Says Jerrod, “I noticed that most of my friends, their parents were really upset with ‘em for moving to Nashville. They thought it was a cop out that they didn’t want to actually do something with their lives.”

Luckily, Jerrod’s parents never asked him to come up with a plan B should his dreams of country stardom not come true. In fact, they even sacrificed to give Jerrod financial support in the early years.

“We definitely didn’t come from a rich, wealthy background,” Jerrod says. “They’ve worked their whole lives and at times when they certainly probably didn’t need to be giving me money or helping me out or just making sure that we got a starter in the van fixed that we’re hauling around the country.”

He adds, “Just things like that they’d help [with] along the way really helps you get from point A to point B over all those years.”

Jerrod’s parents recently came to Nashville to help him celebrate his latest #1 hit, “Drink to That All Night.” Jerrod is now back on his way to the top of the charts with his brand-new single, “Buzz Back Girl.”

Look for the remix video of “Drink to That All Night” featuring Pitbull now on Vevo.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrad Paisley‘s new album, Moonshine in the Trunk, has been moved up one day for a Monday, August 25 release.

Florida Georgia Line‘s debut album, Here’s to the Good Times, has been certified double platinum for sales of two million copies.

The Swon Brothers perform their debut single, “Later On,” and a few other songs on Yahoo! Music’s Ram Country.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Parmalee Premieres New Video for “Close Your Eyes”

Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsParmalee’s new video for “Close Your Eyes” is now airing exclusively at Vevo. It’s the follow-up to the band’s debut hit, “Carolina.”

Lead singer Matt Thomas says, “It’s all about that first kiss. I think everybody remembers where they were with that special girl or guy and they went in for that first kiss.”

Both tracks are available on Parmalee’s debut album, Feels Like Carolina.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley’s “Riser Bird Movement” Has Fans Flocking to Miles & Music for Kids Event

ABC News RadioOrange bird cutouts in the shape of Dierks Bentley‘s Riser logo were spotted on several Nashville lawns Sunday night. The “flockings” are part of Dierks’ “Riser Bird Movement” to announce his ninth annual Miles & Music for Kids event September 28 in Nashville.

Fans can “follow the flock” by following Dierks’ social media accounts and searching #riser and #flockit. To get in on the act yourself, keep an eye on Dierks.com in the coming days. All proceeds from the Riser Bird Movement go to the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

We’ll keep you posted on ticket information and lineup announcements for Dierks’ Miles & Music for Kids event.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Shares Photo of Herself with Emma Stone, Lena Dunham and Other Stars

ABC/Jon LeMayTaylor Swift‘s holiday weekend was a star-studded affair.

She took to Instagram on Sunday to post what she called a “family portrait.” The photo actually features Taylor with several of her celebrity friends: singer Ingrid Michaelson, plus The Amazing Spider-Man actress Emma Stone, Girls star Lena Dunham, Sin City‘s Jaime King, and Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr. Dunham is seen flipping the bird to the camera.

Taylor has posted several other photos of her Fourth of July weekend activities.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Colt Ford Named NRA Country Featured Artist of the Month for July

Image Courtesy Average Joe’sColt Ford has been named NRA Country’s featured artist for the month of July. As a tie-in with his just-released album, Thanks for Listening, NRACountry.com is now streaming Colt’s new songs “Farm Life” with Justin Moore and “Cut Em All” with Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson.

Speaking about his partnership with NRA Country, Colt says, “America was built on hard work, love of God, family and friends – these are the core values that I grew up with and that I instill in my own family. I’m proud to share these same ideals with my NRA Country family and am honored that I can be a role model for all of our nation’s kids.”

Look for Colt to take part in a Twitter chat with NRA Country on Thursday, July 17 at 5 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Trace Adkins Returns Home to Louisiana for Muddin’ for the Military Celebration Saturday

Image Courtesy Sunshine SachsTrace Adkins returns to his hometown of Sarepta, Louisiana, on Saturday night as part of the city’s Muddin’ for the Military Fourth of July celebration at Muddy Bottoms ATV & Recreation Park.

Trace says, ” It’ll be nice to come back home and see something that’s not only great for the area and the folks who live there, but also puts Sarepta on the map because it’s the biggest, baddest mud park in the country.”

According to the Shreveport Times, the Muddin’ for the Military celebration raises money for Lone Star Warrior Outdoor to provide hunting and fishing trips for wounded war veterans.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Leading the Celebration on “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” Friday

Image Courtesy David Giesbrecht/NBCMiranda Lambert is leading the celebration on Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular live from New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Friday night. She’s set to perform along with Hunter Hayes and Zac Brown Band on the annual special.

“Getting to bring joy through my music to people, to come together and celebrate music and celebrate our country is such a great feeling,” Miranda says. “To see the flags waving in the air in the crowd, it makes you smile. Just a permanent smile on my face.”

Look for Miranda to sing her new songs “Platinum” and “Priscilla” on the special. Her husband, Blake Shelton, won’t be performing with her, but Miranda plans to spend some time with him on Independence Day.

She says, “One of us tries to not be working so we can be together on the Fourth, and there’s always sparklers involved on the Fourth for me. That’s my big thing. I gotta have sparklers.”

Miranda goes on to say Fourth of July is one of her favorite holidays, but she always takes a moment to reflect on the reason for the celebration.

“It’s about freedom, and freedom is what we get to have by living in this country,” Miranda explains, “and we get to do what we love and be who we are without fear ’cause we live in a free country. We need to celebrate all the people that fought for us and that serve our country to let us live this amazing life.”

Nick Cannon hosts the two-hour Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular special at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Eric Church Dominate Mid-Year Country Sales Numbers

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Eric Church dominate the 2014 mid-year album and single sales figures, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Luke and FGL’s single, “This Is How We Roll,” is the #1 digital track so far with more than 1.5 million copies sold. Luke’s “Play It Again” is at #2 on that list with just under 1.3 million downloads.

Eric Church‘s The Outsiders is country’s biggest-selling album so far, with 642,000 units scanned. Luke’s Crash My Party is second, with 455,000 copies sold this year, while Brantley Gilbert follows at #3, selling 412,000 copies of his latest album, Just As I Am.  

Albums sales and digital download figures are down significantly this year as fans switch from purchasing music to streaming it.

Here are the top 10 best-selling country albums so far this year:

1) Eric Church, The Outsiders
2) Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
3) Brantley Gilbert, Just As I Am
4) Florida Georgia Line, Here’s to the Good Times
5) Miranda Lambert, Platinum
6) Cole Swindell, Cole Swindell
7) Dierks Bentley, Riser
8) Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story
9) Jennifer Nettles, That Girl
10) Johnny Cash, Out Among the Stars

Here are the top 10 best-selling country digital songs so far this year:

1) Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan, “This Is How We Roll”
2) Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
3) Brantley Gilbert, “Bottoms Up”
4) Jake Owen, “Beachin’”
5) Keith Urban, “Cop Car”
6) Eric Church, “Give Me Back My Hometown”
7) Luke Bryan, “Drink a Beer”
8) Jerrod Niemann, “Drink to That All Night”
9) Thomas Rhett, “Get Me Some of That”
10) Rascal Flatts, “Rewind”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio