Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves Make “Forbes” 30 Under 30 in Music List

Image Courtesy Dick Clark Productions/ABCFlorida Georgia Line and Kacey Musgraves have made Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 in Music list for 2015. As always, the list includes the most influential and successful music acts under 30, although musicians who made the list in previous years, like Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars, weren’t eligible for repeat appearances this time around. That means new faces — including pop acts Ed Sheeran, Meghan Trainor, Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea — are also among those making the list for the first time.

Florida Georgia Line, who earned an estimated $24 million last year, leads this year’s pack with a full interview accompanying the 30 Under 30 countdown. The guys are definitely honored to be on the Forbes‘ radar.

“It’s a huge honor to be named one of the 30 Under 30. For us, it’s something that if you’d asked us three years ago, we would’ve laughed at you,” says FGL’s Tyler Hubbard. “We had about negative $30 in our bank account about two years ago. I’m not really exaggerating.”

Tyler’s duo partner Brian Kelley adds, “Forbes is one of those prestigious outlets, you feel like can’t touch it, you can’t get near it. It’s well respected, it’s big time. So it is an honor. Very, very surreal for us to be a part of anything Forbes.”

Florida Georgia Line will take their unique brand of country music overseas to the U.K. and Australia this year. Their Anything Goes tour launches January 15 in Toledo, OH.

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Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard Still Not Able to Fully Grasp Their Runaway Success

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line has been one of the hottest acts in country music since their debut hit, “Cruise,” took over the airwaves in 2012.  Now that it’s 2015, you’d think they’d be used to fame and success — but the duo’s Tyler Hubbard insists they’re still blown away by it all.

“We’ve been tryin’ to wrap our mind around just what’s goin’ on,” Tyler says of their success.  “It’s been a dream come true and a huge blessing for us and somethin’ that we could have never imagined.”

Tyler credits FGL’s fans for making all their success possible.

He says, “It’s a huge testament to our fans that have made our dreams come true and sold out all these shows and just showed up and spread the word. We see it every night, it’s unbelievable.”

Of course, country radio has gotten Florida Georgia Line’s music out to those fans, and Tyler applauds the programmers for taking a chance on the duo’s hip-hop influenced sound.

Says Tyler, “Country radio has been amazing to us and truly accepted us for who we are and what we wanna do and our sound, and a sound that we believe in, and kind of a ‘get out of the box’ a little bit — it’s a beautiful thing.”

Florida Georgia Line is racing up the country chart with their latest hit, “Sun Daze.” It’s the follow-up to their #1 hit ballad, “Dirt.” Both songs are included on the duo’s sophomore album, Anything Goes, out now.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockSam Hunt‘s debut album, Montevallo, is named for a town in which southern state? ANSWER: Alabama.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockFlorida Georgia Line‘s Brian Kelley is man enough to get a pedicure with his wife, Brittany. He posted an Instagram photo of himself in the nail salon with the caption, “Gotta freshen up my feet for the beach!”


I let @bcole429 talk me in to getting a pedicure. Gotta freshen up my feet for the beach!

A photo posted by Brian Kelley (@playbkplay) on Jan 1, 2015 at 12:23pm PST


Garth Brooks is spending a sixth non-consecutive week at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart with his latest project, Man Against Machine.

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Chase Bryant Thankful He Got to Release Debut EP on His Own Terms

Image Courtesy Red Bow RecordsCountry newcomer Chase Bryant is kicking off 2015 with his debut hit, “Take It on Back,” all over the radio. The song is the lead single from Chase’s self-titled debut EP, and the 22-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist wants fans to know just how intimately involved he was in making the new music.

Chase tells ABC News Radio, “If you listen to that record, you know it’s me because I’m singing it, I’m playing it, I’m producing it, I’m writing it. It’s the Chase Bryant record. It’s like, that, for me, is something I hold close, I cherish.”

Chase signed his record deal in the summer of 2013, and immediately began work on his EP. He says he’s thankful his record label gave him creative control over the project, despite his rookie status.

Says Chase, “I’m very happy that I got the leeway, and got to run and grow my wings, as just a musician and as an artist.”

Chase gets back on the road January 23 with a show in Madison, WI.

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Sell 131 Acres of Farmland for $3M

Red Light ManagementTim McGraw and Faith Hill have sold 131 acres of their 750-acre farm in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, for $3 million, the Tennessean reported Friday.

The new owners, Brian and Carin Terp of Houston, plan to build a home on the land.

The remaining 621 acres are available for $18.5 million, or as separate 353-acre and 268-acre tracts for $10 million and $8.5 million, respectively, realtor Steve Fridrich told the newspaper. The 353-acre track includes a log home, 12-stall barn and caretaker residence.  The 268 acres includes an antebellum home.

Tim and Faith purchased all 750 acres 13 years ago for $13.75 million and used the farm as a second home before putting it up for sale last year, according to The Tennessean.

Fridrich noted that while “the owners would’ve liked to sell it as one…the demand seems to be stronger from something smaller than 750 acres.”

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Big & Rich Releasing New Single, “Run Away with You,” on January 19

Image Courtesy Webster PRBig & Rich scored their biggest hit in years last month with the top-10 single, “Look at You.” That song sold more than 300,000 digital copies, and now they’re following it up with the brand-new single, “Run Away with You.” The song is included on their latest album, Gravity, and will hit the country airwaves January 19.

Big & Rich head to Dallas to perform on the CMT Ultimate Kickoff Party special airing Friday, January 9. The show is one of the events surrounding the College Football Playoff National Championship coming up Monday, January 12 between Ohio State and Oregon.

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Keith Urban Super-Fan Auditions for “American Idol”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleOne of Keith Urban‘s biggest fans auditioned for American Idol this season. 18-year-old Riley Brea of Tennessee aced a Keith trivia quiz rom the show’s host Ryan Seacrest before going in to sing for Keith and fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr.

Riley even sang one of Keith’s songs, but you’ll have to wait to see which song he chose until the new season of Idol premieres January 7 on Fox.

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Grand Ole Opry Legend Little Jimmy Dickens, Dead at 94

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryGrand Ole Opry legend Little Jimmy Dickens has died at age 94 due to cardiac arrest following a stroke he suffered on Christmas Day.

Dickens was born in Bolt, West Virginia on December 19, 1920. He was discovered by late Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff and went on to join the Opry cast in 1948. Dickens was the longest-running member of the Grand Ole Opry at the time of his death and gained a big following for his novelty hits “Out Behind the Barn” and “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait).” His flashy, rhinestone suits, slight stature — he was 4’11” tall — and quick wit made him a favorite on the Opry and around the world. Dickens became the first country artist to circle the globe on a world tour and has played Europe 13 times.

Dickens scored his biggest hit in 1964 with the humorous song, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” The song stayed at #1 on the country chart for 10 weeks and landed Dickens a coveted performance slot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson after it crossed over to the pop chart.

Jimmy Dickens was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983. He’s best known to newer generations of fans through his multiple appearances in Brad Paisley videos and as a member of the Kung-Pao Buckaroos, along with Bill Anderson and the late George Jones, on bonus comedy tracks on Brad’s albums.  Jimmy also made several appearances with Brad on the CMA Awards.

Jimmy is survived by his wife, Mona, whom he married in 1971.

Little Jimmy Dickens will be remembered with a Celebration of Life Service this Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The service starts at 11 a.m. local time and is open to the public. A public visitation will be held Wednesday evening at Woodlawn Roesch Patton funeral home in Nashville.

Brad Paisley released a statement via Twitter Friday night paying tribute to his friend and hero, Little Jimmy Dickens. He spoke of Jimmy’s longevity, sense of humor and charm. Brad also said Jimmy was the best friend anyone could ask for.

Brad continued, “Do not mourn Little Jim. Celebrate him. Relive and share the memories. Aspire to be like him. And above all, laugh at the punchlines, the craziness, and the way he so gracefully made this planet a funnier, better, richer place while he was alive. And in doing so, will continue to for years to come.”

Here is a roundup of other statements on the passing of Little Jimmy Dickens:

Dolly Parton — “I often perform one of Little Jimmy’s best known songs ‘I’m Little But I’m Loud.’ I’ve always related to him and loved him as a person, as a friend, and as an entertainer.  He will always be loved and remembered.”

Randy Houser — “What a life of 94 years. Rest in peace and thank u for being good to us young bucks.”

Reba — “Rest in peace Little Jimmy. Thanks for all the smiles, great music and your big loving heart.”

Parmalee — “RIP Little Jimmy Dickens. Country Music will definitely miss you!!”

Chase Bryant — “RIP Little Jimmy Dickens… I’ll never forget all the great times hanging out with you at the !!! You’ll be greatly missed.”

Chris Young — “RIP Little Jimmy Dickens… Loved fishing with you, loved your music, and loved you as a person most of all.”


RIP Little Jimmy Dickens… Loved fishing with you, loved your music, and loved you as a person most of all.

A photo posted by Chris Young (@chrisyoungmusic) on Jan 1, 2015 at 4:55pm PST


Dustin Lynch — “Celebrating Little Jimmy Dickens tonight….what an honor spending time and sharing the stage with him.”


Celebrating Little Jimmy Divkens tonight….what an honor spending time and sharing the stage with him!

A photo posted by Dustin Lynch (@dustinlynchmusic) on Jan 1, 2015 at 4:53pm PST

Rascal FlattsJay DeMarcus — “My heart is broken. Little Jimmy, we will miss you forever… Thank you for being a friend, and for inducting us into the greatest circle ever. Rest peacefully… What a sweet, sweet man.




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Sam Hunt Flying Solo These Days Due to Career Demands

Image Courtesy David McClister/UMGSam Hunt wrote his debut album, Montevallo, while in a long-term relationship, but he’s flying solo these days. The demands of the road leave very little time for Sam’s social life these days.

He tells the Toronto Sun, “I’m still adjusting to this lifestyle so I’ve pretty much invested all of my time into this music so there’s not much left to invest in relationships right now.”

Of course, Sam’s concert crowds are full of adoring women ready to throw themselves at him, which Sam finds “flattering.” He hopes to keep the focus on his music, though.

He says, “There’s that fine line where I always want the enthusiasm to be about the music as opposed to me.”

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