Craig Morgan Appearing on “The Talk” and “ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops” Next Week

Monarch PublicityCraig Morgan has two big TV appearances lined up next week starting with an appearance on CBS’s The Talk Monday at 2 p.m. ET. Craig is set to display his culinary skills in a cooking segment with the show’s co-hosts.

On Tuesday, May 20, Craig appears as a presenter on the ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops special at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. As an Army veteran, Craig is always proud to see the country music community rally behind service men and women.

He tells ABC News Radio, “I’m so proud of the fact that our format works so hard to pay so much respect to those men and women that are serving. This is just another way for them to do it.

On the music front, Craig is close to scoring another top 10 hit with this latest single, “Wake Up Lovin’ You.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Rep Says Singer Is Not Dating Zach Braff

CMATaylor Swift and Zach Braff apparently are not a couple, despite a rumor to the contrary.

Taylor’s rep tells Us Weekly the singer “has never been on a date with Mr. Braff” and the former Scrubs star “has never even set foot” in Taylor’s home.

The gossip website Sugarscape reported Tuesday that the pair was spotted hanging out together in New York, where Braff is starring in the Broadway show Bullets Over Broadway.

The website also claimed Braff had visited Swift’s NYC apartment and the two had even gone to a Manhattan farmers’ market together.

Taylor’s rep insists neither is true, telling Us, “Despite the rumors, Taylor has never been on a date with Mr. Braff, and he has never been to her home.”

The rep then added, “Like, never. Ever.” The teasing remark was apparently a nod to Swift’s 2012 hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Swift, 24, has been previously linked to actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Lautner, The Jonas BrothersJoe Jonas, and One Direction’s Harry Styles.

Braff, 39, split up with his girlfriend, model Taylor Bagley, last March after a five-year relationship.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Taylor Swift Wishes “Magical” Friend Lena Dunham a Happy Birthday

Image Courtesy Taylor Swift via TwitterTaylor Swift is Lena Dunham‘s biggest fan.  The singer took to Twitter on Tuesday to wish the Girls creator a happy 28th birthday, writing,Happy Birthday to my favorite person to have picnics with.. the magical, kind-hearted, wondrous @lenadunham.” 

She illustrated her post with a photo of Lena, and a photo of herself, presumably taken at the same time.  The photos appear to be taken on the rooftop deck of a building — Lena is lying on a quilt with some pillows around her, and Taylor is wrapped up in a quilt, with some pillows near her as well.

Lena and Taylor first connected with one another on Twitter, but they’ve since become fast friends.  Taylor recently told E! News that Lena is her fashion inspiration, because she always tips her off to the hottest blogs and the coolest stores.  Taylor’s friendship with Lena even extends to her boyfriend, Jack Antonoff of fun.: the two wrote the Golden Globe-nominated song “Sweeter than Fiction” together.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Darius Rucker Appearing on Hall and Oates Singer Daryl Hall’s Show, “Live from Daryl’s House”

Photo Credit: Ian JohnsonDarius Rucker is teaming up with Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates fame for a new installment of the series Live from Daryl’s House. The guys shot this episode in Darius’s hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and they learn to shuck oysters on camera in addition to swapping vocals on Darius’s hits “Come Back Song” and “Wagon Wheel.” Daryl and Darius also duet on the Hall and Oates song, “Do It for Love,” which was a dream come true for the country star.

Darius says, “Daryl is one of those singers that made me want to sing one day. I can remember laughing to his voice and crying to his voice. To actually get to perform with him was one of the highlights of my career. Daryl is a great artist and better guy!”

The episode of Live from Daryl’s House featuring Darius Rucker premieres Thursday on Palladia and May 24 on VH1.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Grand Ole Opry Saluting the Troops with Special Show This Tuesday, May 20

MCA NashvilleThe Grand Ole Opry will honor U.S. service men and women with a Tuesday night Opry performance next week. Opry stars Josh Turner, Ricky Skaggs and Army veteran Craig Morgan are on the bill.  The MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center will make their Grand Ole Opry debut after leading a group of troops down a fan-lined red carpet into the Grand Ole Opry House prior to show time.

The MusiCorps program helps wounded military personnel in their recovery through collaborations on music projects with accomplished musicians. Go to Opry.com for tickets.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Launching Platinum Tour July 10 in Ohio

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert will launch her Platinum tour July 10 in Ft. Loramie, OH in support of her new album, also titled Platinum, due out June 3. The set list will include Miranda’s latest hit, “Automatic,” as well as the title track from Platinum.

Miranda says, “Platinum represents a lifestyle for me. It’s the color of my hair, my wedding ring, my airstream trailer,  so it’s just a natural fit for the name of my new album and it’s why we decided to name the tour Platinum too.”

Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett will join Miranda for most of the dates on the Platinum tour. Miranda’s new stage show features a brand-new set and two new band members, including singer/songwriter Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

Here are Miranda’s Platinum tour dates:

7/10 — Ft. Loramie, OH
7/11 — Tuscaloosa, AL
7/12 — Rogers, AR
7/17 — Monticello, IA
7/18 — Cleveland, OH
7/19 — Cincinnati, OH
7/20 — Brooklyn, MI
7/25 — Twin Lakes, WI
7/26 — Pittsburgh, PA
8/1 — Sweet Home, OR
8/3 — Camrose, AB (CAN)
8/8 — Sacramento, CA
8/9 — Mountain View, CA
8/10 — Irvine, CA
8/15 — Chicago, IL
8/16 — Indianapolis, IN
8/17 — Bonner Springs, KS
8/21 — Raleigh, NC
8/22 — Virginia Beach, VA
8/23 — Washington, D.C.
8/29 — Darien Lake, NY
8/30 — Hartford, CT
8/31 — Bethel, NY
9/4 — Toronto, ON (CAN)
9/5 — Philadelphia, PA
9/6 — Boston, MA
9/11 — Pensacola, FL
9/12 — Lafayette, LA
9/13 — Corpus Christi, TX
9/20 — Honolulu, HI


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Brantley Gilbert‘s major-label breakthrough album? ANSWER: Halfway to Heaven.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood Has a Lot to Learn Before His Baby Arrives in September

Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum delivers their new single, “Bartender,” to radio this week, but the group’s Dave Haywood is preparing for another big delivery later this year. His wife, Kelli, is pregnant with their first child, and the reality of impending fatherhood is starting to set in for Dave.

He says, “Once we found out what we were having, you know, we found out we were having a boy, and you’re at those appointments and the ultrasound and stuff, it really becomes real, real fast.”

Dave recently discovered just how much he doesn’t know about raising babies when he and Kelli went to Target to register for baby gifts.

“I had no idea what I was even looking at on the shelves,” Dave admits. “We’d walk past with the little register gun, and my wife’s like, ‘We probably need some of these,’ and  I was like, ‘I don’t even know what I’m looking at. What is that?’”

Though he’s got a lot to learn, Dave looks forward to welcoming his baby boy into the world this September.

He says, “It’s a whole new world that I’m fired up and so excited for, but it’s gonna be a total unknown and I’m excited for that.”

As for their new single, fans can download “Bartender” starting May 20. It’s the lead release from the group’s upcoming, fifth studio album.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift’s Piano Playing Skills Landed Her Role in “The Giver”

Cliff Lipson/CBS Taylor Swift appears in the upcoming movie The Giver opposite such big names as Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Katie Holmes.  But it turns out that one of the reasons she got the role isn’t her acting skills, but her musical skills — specifically, her ability to play the piano.

According to The Washington Post, the producer of The Giver, Nikki Silver, appeared at an event at the Library of Congress to promote the film, along with Lois Lowry, who wrote the book on which the film is based.  Silver explained that the character Taylor plays, Rosemary, was originally written as someone who played the piano.  They auditioned several other actresses for the part, Silver said, but when the producers attended one of Taylor’s concerts last year, they saw her playing the piano and realized that she might fit the bill.

“She’s a very soulful, interesting young woman and we had this very out-of-the box idea that maybe it would make sense that she could be our Rosemary,” Silver said, according to the Post. “And she’s fantastic. I’ve spent a lot of time with her, and she had just been looking to dip her toe slightly in acting.”

“She doesn’t sing in the movie,” added Silver. “But she does play a little piano, which we had written for that character before we hired her.”

The Giver is set in a dystopian future where all the major problems of the world have been solved, but people unknowingly have been stripped of any real emotion. It’ll be in theaters August 15.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockFlorida Georgia Line will perform their latest hit, “This Is How We Roll” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday.

David Nail‘s new video, “Kiss You Tonight,” premieres on CMT Friday.

Brantley Gilbert‘s new single, “Small Town Throwdown,” features Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett. The track will be included on Brantley’s new album, Just as I Am, due out next Monday.

Frankie Ballard‘s #1 hit “Helluva Life” has been certified gold for sales and streams topping the 500,000 mark.

Greg Bates performed his song “Hurtin’ on Me” with Nashville star Chris Carmack last Friday night on the Grand Ole Opry. Chris performed the song as Will Lexington on the show, and his version of the song appears on the deluxe edition of The Music of Nashville Season 2 Volume 2, available only at Target.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio