Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDolly Parton is selling her 1,095-square-foot cottage in West Hollywood for an asking price of $1.395 million. She bought the childhood home of actress Natalie Wood in 2007 for $1.2 million. You can see pictures of the property on the real estate website Trulia.

Big & Rich, Deana Carter, Clint Black, Randy Houser and Cowboy Troy play the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis June 3 to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

You can see Justin Moore perform his latest single, “Lettin’ The Night Roll,” tonight at 8 p.m. ET on the season finale of NBC’s The Voice.

LeAnn Rimes will sing the national anthem at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.

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ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops Puts Heroes Center Stage with Stars

ACMTo commemorate Armed Forces Day, tonight’s CBS special, ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops, does something a TV show has perhaps never done before– it gives servicemen and servicewomen the rare chance to perform with their favorite country artists.

Navy member Destiny Coates, who sings with Keith Urban, says it’s especially significant for her, since she laid her musical aspirations aside to serve and protect our country.

“Performing here is a dream come true…So many people here wanted to sing, and I think we all gave up that dream…We make those decisions to serve, and it’s really awesome how things turn around and…You don’t have to give up on that dream just because you went towards another one.”

Both Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum  were really impressed by the musicianship of the military performers.

“One of these guys had a breakout line on ‘Compass,’ you’ll hear him sing,” Hillary Scott recalls. “It’s like, it’s awesome! It was just really, really cool.”

“The fiddle player was really good,” Dave Haywood chimes in, agreeing. “They’re up there with all these A-list session guys that are in the house band.”

But for Charles Kelley, the most poignant moment came when one of his fellow performers gave him a Kevlar bracelet in honor of one of his fallen comrades.

“He…gave it to me and said, ‘Man, if he knew that you were wearing it and being up onstage and doing this.’ I was like, ‘I can’t take this. This is like your friend that died in battle.’  I was like, ‘I can’t do that,” Charles remembers. “He’s like, ‘Just trust me. This would mean so much to me.’”

King of Country George Strait says the experience took him right back to his days as a soldier.

“I’m an ex-military guy myself. I served three years in the military,” he recalls. “It was a great experience for me. It really was. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. So, just to be able to do my little thing with them, it makes you feel good, and I love doing it.”

Carrie Underwood performs a new song she co-wrote. Proceeds from “Keep Us Safe” will go to the ACM’s charitable arm, Lifting Lives. Dierks, on the other hand, sang his most recent number one, but “I Hold On” took on a whole new meaning.

“It feels very, kind of patriotic, in a sense, and a perfect song for that night. So, I was pretty fired up. I walked off the stage pretty excited,” he remembers.

The Band Perry honors those who’ve paid the ultimate price with a performance of their breakthrough song, “If I Die Young.”

“They sacrifice time away from their families, away from the comforts of our country for those who are overseas, and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice with their life,” Kimberly Perry says. “It’s just a true honor to get to honor these guys for their ultimate sacrifice.”

Hunter Hayes says he hopes the collaborations between country artists and the military will become a tradition.

“It was a beautiful evening. It was absolutely awesome. The collaborations were really cool, too. I loved that aspect of it. I thought that was brilliant.”

ACM Presents: An All-Star Tribute to the Troops airs tonight on CBS at 9:00 Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


 Dierks Bentley Sets Funny or Die Record with “Drunk on a Plane”

Greenroom PRAfter performing for more than 50,000 fans on the Riser tour this weekend, Dierks Bentley takes to TV to reach an even wider audience. He plays the Today show Tuesday morning on NBC, before singing his hit “I Hold On” that evening on ACM Presents:  An All-Star Salute to the Troops on CBS. Wednesday night finds Dierks on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Last week, Dierks debuted his video for “Drunk on a Plane” on Funny or Die, getting the most votes for “funny” in the website’s history.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney and Reese Witherspoon Recreate a Johnny & June Moment

Sony Music NashvilleReese Witherspoon reprised her role as June Carter Cash for a moment Saturday night, as Kenny Chesney called her onstage to sing “Jackson” at the House of Blues in New Orleans. The occasion was a fundraiser for Matthew McConaughey and Drew Brees‘ charities, called Just Keep Livin’ and Dream Foundation, respectively.

Afterwards, the Oscar winner Instagrammed a photo of her performance with Kenny, with the hashtag “amazing night.” Reese won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2006 for her portrayal of Johnny Cash‘s wife in Walk the Line.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Shows Off His Fitness for Men’s Health

Greenroom PRTim McGraw reveals his latest secrets for staying in tip-top shape, as he steps onto the cover of the July/August issue of Men’s Health. The magazine is also treating two fans to the VIP treatment at Tim’s June 27 stop on the Sundown Heaven Town Tour. The winner scores roundtrip airfare and a two-night hotel stay in Chicago as well. You can enter to win on the Men’s Health website.

This isn’t the first time the magazine has put a country star front and center, featuring Kenny Chesney on the June 2012 cover. Tim’s issue goes on sale June 24.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was Rosanne Cash‘s first number one country hit? ANSWER:  “Seven Year Ache,” in 1981.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Plans Performance with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. for American Idol Finale

FOXEven though Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. are hoping to perform together Wednesday on American Idol, deciding what to sing hasn’t been easy.

“The three of us have been trying to figure out a song we can do for the final,” Keith says. “It’s proved to be a bit challenging to find one song that works for all three of us, ’cause we are very, very different musically and vocally even. So we may put together several songs in sequence that we can do.”

Keith says that’s when having a record producer around comes in handy.

“We got Randy Jackson on that trying to figure out a game plan… but I hope we get to do that ’cause I’d really like to sing with them, both of them.”

Find out what the judges come up with, Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern on the American Idol season finale on Fox.


Luke Bryan Named Top Country Artist at Billboard Music Awards

Image Credit: Joseph LlanesLuke Bryan won two awards, including top country artist, Sunday at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Luke also won top country album for Crash My Party.

Florida Georgia Line took home the Billboard trophy for top country song for their hit “Cruise.”

Luke and Florida Georgia Line teamed up for a rendition of “This Is How We Roll.” Luke later performed “Play It Again.”

Carrie Underwood received the fan-voted Milestone Award.  Backstage, Carrie told reporters, “It’s always a wonderful surprise when my name is called, and I know my fans love to vote and they’re so supportive.”

Carrie and Miranda Lambert debuted their new collaboration “Somethin’ Bad” on the show, and Carrie said backstage, “It was so much fun…I felt like we got to be strong women onstage and feed off each other, and it was just a great performance in my head! I hope I go back and watch it and think that still!”

Carrie also said work on her new album was looking “really good.”

Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard said backstage the duo enjoyed the show’s mix of different genres.  “For us, growing up listening to country radio, pop, rock, Christian, everything, all across the map, it’s the coolest thing to see so many amazing people gather for one common goal and one common love and that’s music.” The duo also said they were expecting to release a new album in October.

Backstage, Luke was asked about the fact that he appeared to be drinking while sitting in the audience. He copped to it. “I’ve learned that the right amount of drinks chills you out for award shows so, there’s a perfect little threshold.  Yeah, we keep it a little ‘under the chair!’”

He also spoke about bringing his kids with him to Las Vegas and attempting to explain Sin City’s appeal to them. “I was like, ‘You know how y’all love Disney World?  Well, Vegas is mommy and daddy’s Disney World. So they kinda understood after that!”

Michael Jackson was brought back to life — sort of — on Sunday night. A hologram of the King of Pop, surrounded by real-life backup dancers, performed “Slave to the Rhythm,” off the recently-released posthumous album Xscape. Wearing red pants and a golden jacket, the hologram showed off many of MJ’s patented moves — the spins, the gyrations, the kicks into the air.

Justin Timberlake was the night’s biggest winner, collecting seven awards, including top artist.

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Brantley Gilbert Bares His Soul About Breakup with Jana Kramer on “Just As I Am”

ValoryFor fans who want to know the intimate details of Brantley Gilbert‘s breakup with Jana Kramer, you’ll find the answers on his new CD, Just As I Am.

“It was the real thing,” he says of the romance.  “We went at it. We went at it hard and fast. It’s definitely a love story that’s a huge part of my life, always will be, and I was proud to represent it on the record. It’s part of that chapter.”

Since he’s been writing and recording, Brantley says he’s always been brutally honest about his life. So it really wasn’t an option to leave out even an unpleasant part.

“The past four-and-a-half years there was a lot of the good, and the bad and the ugly in there,” he says, looking back on his country career so far. “I didn’t skip anything… I take a lot of pride in being able to say I don’t sing anything I don’t write on. I don’t write about anything I hadn’t been through. I tell people, these albums are chapters of my life. Well, if you’re gonna say that you damn well ought to live by it.”

Brantley met Jana in June of 2012, and by January of the next year, he and the actress-turned-singer were engaged. But by August of 2013, they’d called off the wedding.  He’s quick to say rumors that circulated about the breakup were false, and what really happened is much less exciting.

“The stories that came up around that thing, I’ll be the first one to tell you, they’re not true. Obviously there’s a situation in relationships that exist where things just don’t work,” he says candidly. “That’s what happened to us.”

In fact, Brantley says the gossip about his ill-fated love affair actually reminds him of high school, and he’s still somewhat mad about it.

“The stories that were surrounding that whole deal that were made up — I had heard that Nashville was the biggest small town in America. I graduated with 66 people. Now, we could come up with a hella some stories. You know what I mean, and bend the truth like nobody’s business without breaking it, but when that happened and that went down, that was really the one thing that would make me pretty angry, and there’s some folks that’s lucky they ain’t got a dent in their head, and it ain’t over,” he laughs.

Even though the song “Dust” was written specifically about the breakup, Brantley’s quick to point out there were some positives to come out of his time with Jana too.

“It’s not just the negative things,” he interjects.  “Man, there are a lot of good things. More good than bad.”

In the end, Brantley says he has no hard feelings toward Jana and he wishes her well.

“She is an absolute wonderful person,” he reflects. “I think the world of her. She’s going to make someone a wonderful, wonderful wife — a wonderful, wonderful mother. Just between us, things didn’t work.”

Just As I Am is new in stores and online today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ ThinkstockRosanne Cash competes against ex-husband Rodney Crowell for Artist of the Year at the 2014 Americana Honors & Awards. She’s also up for Album and Song of the Year at the ceremony to be held September 17 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Steel Magnolia‘s Meghan Linsey is launching a PledgeMusic campaign to fund her first solo EP.

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