Tim McGraw Announces Shotgun Rider Tour 2015 Dates

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw will kick off the Shotgun Rider Tour 2015 June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The trek continues through a September 19 show in Irvine, California. Billy Currington and Chase Bryant will serve as the supporting acts for the four-month tour.

Look for Tim to perform “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the documentary Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me at this Sunday night’s Academy Awards on ABC. The song is nominated in the Original Song category.

Here are Tim’s 2015 tour dates:

6/5 — Little Rock, AR, Verizon Arena
6/6 — Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
6/11 — Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
6/12 — Boston, MA, XFinity Center
6/18 — Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
6/19 — Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheater
7/10 — Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
7/11 — Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
7/16 — Toronto, ON (CAN), Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/18 — Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
7/19 — Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live
7/24 — Bonner Springs, KS, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
7/30 — Darien Center, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
7/31 — Cleveland, OH, Blossom Music Pavilion
8/1 — Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
8/2 — Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/7 — Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/8 — Chicago, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
8/9 — St. Louis, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/14 — Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheater
8/21 — West Palm Beach, FL, Coral Sky Amphitheatre
8/22 — Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/28 — Washington, D.C., Jiffy Lube Live
8/29 — Philadelphia, PA, Susquehanna Bank Center
8/30 — Pittsburgh, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
9/4 — Seattle, WA, White River Amphitheatre
9/5 — Portland, OR, Amphitheatre Northwest
9/9 – 9/10 — Denver, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
9/12 — Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
9/17 — Sacramento, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
9/18 — Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/19 — Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

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The Swon Brothers Debut Dramatically Hopeful New Video, “Pray for You”

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers‘ new video, “Pray for You,” is available exclusively on CMT and CMT.com starting Wednesday and running through Thursday. The duo shot the dramatic clip at The Snow White Drive-In in Tennessee, and in the video the restaurants’ late-night patrons get a dose of hope along with their coffee and hamburgers.

As for the song itself, the duo’s Colton Swon says “Pray for You” is really special to them. “It’s a message of hope and it really stood out when we were choosing songs for our record,”  he says.

“Pray for You” is the follow-up to The Swon Brothers’ debut single, “Later On.” Both tracks are included on their self-titled debut album, available now.

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Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell Are Final Nominees for ACM New Artist of the Year

Image Courtesy ACMSam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell are this year’s final nominees for the ACM New Artist of the Year Award.

The winner will be determined by combining a fan vote with votes from the ACM’s professional members. Fans can start voting Wednesday, April 8 at 3 p.m. ET at VoteACM.com, and the polls will close as the 50th Annual ACM Awards begin on the air Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. The winner will be announced during the show.

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Toby Keith to Be Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Image Courtesy Richard McLaren/Show Dog/UniversalToby Keith will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame Thursday, June 18 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Toby is being recognized for penning most of his biggest hits, including “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!” and “Beer for My Horses.”

Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Braddock is also going into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year. He’s the man behind country classics such as George Jones‘ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and Tracy Lawrence‘s “Time Marches On.” Bobby also wrote Toby Keith’s “I Wanna Talk About Me,” as well as “People Are Crazy,” by Billy Currington.

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Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Co-Hosting ACM Lifting Lives Gala in Dallas/Fort Worth

Image Courtesy Country Music Hall of FameGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are hosting the ACM Lifting Lives One Night, Two Cities, All Music benefit gala in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas on April 17.

The events will take place simultaneously at the Omni Dallas Hotel, featuring performances from Lady Antebellum and Hunter Hayes, and at the Fort Worth Zoo, featuring performances from Keith Urban and Little Big Town. Garth and Trisha will alternate between both shows throughout the evening.  Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell will co-host the Fort Worth gala.

Proceeds from the gala will go to Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids and the Child Life Zones in Children’s Health of Dallas and Cook Children’s of Fort Worth. The shows take place two days before the 50th Annual ACM Awards at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That show broadcasts live Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLady Antebellum performed with which rock legend on CMT Crossroads in 2013? ANSWER: Stevie Nicks.

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Craig Morgan Hosting Second Annual Billy’s Place 5K April 12 in Dickson, Tennessee

Image Courtesy Monarch PublicityCraig Morgan will hold his second annual Billy’s Place 5K Sunday, April 12 at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson, Tennessee.  Proceeds benefit Craig’s foundation to help foster children throughout Middle Tennessee. Participants who register by March 29 will get an official race t-shirt, and the top five runners will get a commemorative trophy.

Go to CraigMorgan.com for details on how to sign up.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGary Allan has a brand-new single, “Hangover Tonight,” hitting the airwaves March 2.

Florida Georgia Line has released “Sippin’ on Fire” as the follow up to their latest #1 hit, “Sun Daze.”

Country newcomer Canaan Smith will release his self-titled debut EP on March 24. The four-song project features his current single, “Love You Like That.”

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Lady Antebellum Ready to Introduce Opening Act Jason Aldean to Their European Fans

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum heads overseas later this month to headline the C2C Country to Country Festival shows starting February 28 in Oslo, Norway. Since they have a big presence in Europe thanks to their monster hit, “Need You Now,” Lady A is actually closing the show with stars like Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert going on before them.

Lady A’s Dave Haywood says with a laugh, “It’ll be the only time ever that Jason Aldean opens up for us. Because he’s coming over — I think it’s his first trip to Europe. But we were laughing. We were like, ‘This’ll never happen again.'”

Lady A has been playing shows throughout Europe for six years, and they’re very impressed with the fans’ dedication to their music over there.

“The fans are just nuts,” Dave says. “They know stuff from the first record that were just album cuts, and they sing it out loud in a big accent or whatever, and it’s a really cool thing.”

Following their European dates in England, Ireland and Sweden, Lady Antebellum will fly Down Under for a run of Australian shows starting March 13.

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Shania Twain Says Las Vegas Residency Doubled as “Personal and Professional Therapy”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCShania Twain spent the last two years headlining her own show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, but she spent months preparing for the residency before she ever performed for an audience. On top of being nervous about tackling such a big production, Shania faced considerable vocal troubles as she started getting ready for the Vegas gig. Having the show’s start date as a deadline helped her focus on overcoming those issues.

She says, “The deadline and everything like that and having the team involved, really put me on the spot, and I was up for putting myself on the spot. So, I put that pressure on myself, and took on the show, and it really worked. I guess it was sort of personal and professional therapy really.”

Shania goes on to say she really tested her limits and got out of her comfort zone with her Shania…Still the One residency in Vegas. Fans who didn’t make it to see the show in person can get in on the fun when her new DVD and CD, Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas, is released on March 3. A special one-hour version of the show will air on ABC February 28 at 9 p.m. ET.

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