Luke Bryan Says Winning ACM Entertainer of the Year Was a Real Game-Changer

Capitol NashvilleTaking the ACM Entertainer of the Year trophy last year was a real game-changer for Luke Bryan, who is co-hosting the show again this year with Blake Shelton on April 6.

Says Luke, “Winning Entertainer of the Year truly changed my life in a lot of ways and just put me in a whole other place professionally and mentally. It was just an amazing thing to happen and really, really kind of kicked off the top of last year with an amazing start.”

Luke earned great reviews in his first time co-hosting the ACMs, but he’s preparing just as hard for the big gig this year.

“I can’t believe I’m even hosting the ACMs again, that they would have me back,” Luke admits. “I’m so excited about getting to spend some time with Blake and start planning up what we’ll do and how we’ll host it and stuff like that. It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be a fun night.”

Luke is up for ACM Entertainer of the Year again this year. Fan voting is open now at VoteACM.com. The 49th Annual ACM Awards are set for Sunday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood will perform at the 2014 JAS Aspen Snowmass Experience in Colorado August 29 through 31.

Sara Evans, Kacey Musgraves and Kree Harrison will perform at the 19th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival in Florida May 7 through 11.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why Is Brantley Gilbert Going on Shopping Sprees at Babies-R-Us?

Photo Credit: James MinchinBrantley Gilbert just launched his Let It Ride tour Thursday night in Wisconsin, but he’s headed home April 3 to welcome a new baby to his household. No, Brantley isn’t the father.

He tells ABC News Radio, “I’m not pregnant, and I ain’t got nobody pregnant, I just got a baby on the way vicariously through somebody else.”

Brantley’s friend, Brandon, who he considers to be a little brother, is expecting a baby with his soon-to-be-wife Kayla. They’re going to be living at Brantley’s house in Georgia until they get on their feet, so the singer has been shopping like a mad man to get ready for the little one’s arrival.

Brantley says with a laugh, “I was in Babies-R-Us the other day. I walked in and them women that work there were looking at me like, ‘OK, what the hell.  Is this dude gonna steal a baby?’”

The sales people soon learned Brantley was ready to drop some serious cash on cribs and car seats. An older lady even helped Brantley pick out the safest car seat on the market.

“I was all excited about that,” Brantley says. “I was like, ‘This baby’s gonna be safe.’ Let alone in my house. You know, I’ve got an armory in there. Come on. I dare somebody to break into that house when that baby’s in there. “

Brantley also picked up a contraption that simulates a ride in a car for when the baby won’t go to sleep.

He says, “It’ll make the sound of a car, but it’s not little cheap speakers. They’re like, nice speakers and it really sounds like this baby’s in a car, and it rocks. Like, it’ll lean to where it feels like the car is turning or lean forward like it’s stopping, lean back like it’s accelerating.”

That machine will also plays wave sounds and rocks the baby like they’re floating in the ocean, but Brantley isn’t sure they’ll be using that feature.

He adds, “If I was a baby, I’d be like, ‘What the hell am I doing in the middle of the ocean? Is this like the deal in the Bible where they float away the first-borns? What’s going on here?’”

On the music front, Brantley’s latest hit, “Bottoms Up,” has sold more than 740,000 copies. It’s the lead single from his new album, Just As I Am, due out May 19.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Hosting This Is How We Cruise Aboard the Norwegian Pearl This Fall

Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line is hosting their first-ever This Is How We Cruise music festival at sea November 8 through 12. Nelly, Thomas Rhett, Colt Ford and The Cadillac Three are among the stars performing on the cruise along with FGL. Fans can expect a lot of collaborations as well as solo sets from each act aboard the cruise on the Norwegian Pearl.

For more information and reservations, go to FGLCruise.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Trace Adkins and Wife, Rhonda, Release Statement on Impending Divorce

Sunshine SachsTrace Adkins and his wife, Rhonda, have released a joint statement through Trace’s rep after news she filed for divorce surfaced Wednesday. The statement reads, “Trace and Rhonda are united in ensuring that their children’s interests come first. They thank everyone for respecting their privacy as they work through this personal matter together.”

Rhonda filed for divorce in Williamson County, TN on Monday citing irreconcilable differences.

It’s been a rough year for Trace, who sought treatment for alcohol addiction in January after getting in an altercation with a Trace Adkins impersonator on a cruise ship. He left rehab in February to be with his ailing father, who passed away days after Trace reached his bedside. The singer returned to complete his treatment program after his father’s death.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and More Added to “ACM All-Star Salute to the Troops” Lineup

ACMThe ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops special just added more star power with Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, Dierks Bentley and Kellie Pickler joining the lineup. NCIS: Los Angeles stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell will host the show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, April 7.

The two-hour special airs on CBS Tuesday, May 20. Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum and Merle Haggard have already been confirmed to perform.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dustin Lynch Connecting with College Students on the Road

Broken Bow RecordsNow that he’s wrapped up his year-long tour with Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch is filling up his calendar with concerts on college campuses around the country. It marks a return to Dustin’s early days before he scored his first #1 hit with “Cowboys and Angels.”

Dustin tells Towson University’s The Towerlight, “I actually got my start playing out and about at frat parties and sorority mixers and all that. So before I had my record deal, that’s what I was doing.”

Performing for students in their late teens and early 20s is a real rush for Dustin.  “The energy is always crazy,” he says. “Me and my guys are pretty young and we still like to have fun and party. We live to be on stage.”

Dustin’s new single, “Where It’s At,” has become a big highlight of Dustin’s set list. Go to DustinLynchMusic.com to see where he’s playing next.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Miranda Lambert‘s middle name? ANSWER: Leigh.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Vince Gill Headlining 16th Annual Jammin’ to Beat the Blues Concert April 1 in Nashville

CMAVince Gill will headline the 16th Annual Jammin’ to Beat the Blues concert Tuesday, April 1 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Ashley Monroe, Charlie Worsham and Vince’s daughter, Jenny Gill, are also on the bill.

Proceeds from Jammin’ to Beat the Blues go to the Mental Health of America of Middle Tennessee to fund mental health education and services. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“Nashville” Recap: Your Wild Life’s Gonna Get You Down

ABCOn Wednesday’s Nashville, country singer Will Lexington rushed girlfriend Layla Grant down the aisle to kill the mounting rumors that he’s gay. Knowing Will is gay, Gunnar Scott refused to be his best man. Gunnar denied his friend is gay when Will’s record label president, Jeff Fordham, asked him about it.

Juliette Barnes grew jealous of her boyfriend, Avery Barkley, spending so much time working on his ex-girlfriend Scarlett O’Conner‘s album. The fact that they were all on tour together made it even more intense, and Juliette began suspecting Scarlett is using drugs to keep up with the demands of a budding country career. Scarlett did turn in a beautiful performance of a piano ballad, “Falling,” on Wednesday night’s episode.

Deacon Claybourne broke up with his lawyer girlfriend, Megan, after discovering she cheated on him with Mayor Teddy Conrad. Teddy’s daughter with Rayna Jaymes, Maddie, recently discovered Deacon is actually her biological father. Maddie posted a video online of herself singing under the name “Maddie Claybourne,” but Rayna pleaded with her to take it down so the secret about Maddie’s paternity wouldn’t become tabloid fodder.

The music of ABC’s Nashville will be featured in a new one-hour music special airing Wednesday, April 23. The show’s stars Hayden Panettiere, Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio and Lennon & Maisy Stella will perform on Nashville: On the Record that night at 10 p.m. ET.

The special will be taped at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Bluebird Café, and several of the writers behind the music of Nashville will be featured on the show, too.

Connie Britton, who plays Rayna, has seen several shows at the Ryman Auditorium since making her home in Music City. Seeing Bonnie Raitt play that iconic venue last year was a real high for the Nashville star. She tells us, “That was pretty much my dream come true. Really, watching anything at the Ryman is a dream come true, but to see Bonnie Raitt at the Ryman was just like, ‘OK, I’m done.’”

Nashville returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio