Rascal Flatts Leaving a Legacy of Giving Back to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryRascal Flatts has raised millions of dollars for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, and they often perform for the patients in the facility’s performance room. The hospital’s surgery center is named in Rascal Flatts’ honor, and that legacy of giving back makes band member Jay DeMarcus very happy.

He says, “I hope that people look back and say, even though Rascal Flatts was blessed with a very good career, we tried to give back as much as we could and we made the world a little better place by our contributions with the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.”

Jay says of the surgery center, “I think it’ll be a legacy that lives on long after we leave this planet.”

On the music front, Rascal Flatts’ new single, “Riot,” was just released to country radio.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Compares His Cowboy Hat to Superman’s Cape

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw never goes onstage without his signature cowboy hat. The accessory is essential for Tim while getting into performance mode.

He says, “It’s sorta like Superman’s cape I guess. It’s like I don’t really feel like I’m ready to hit the stage until I put my hat on.  It just sort of changes the whole character I guess.”

Tim is playing a show in Nevada this weekend.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman Dance with the Stars in Their Living Room

Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban and Nicole Kidman are constantly on the go with their busy careers, so it’s a thrill for them to just hang out at home and watch Dancing with the Stars. Nicole even performs some of the numbers for Keith in their living room.

Looking back on a recent night at home, Nicole tells People, “I got up and danced to an old Captain & Tennille song, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together.’ Keith was like, “Gosh, please continue to do that till the day we die!”

Nicole’s new movie, Before I Go to Sleep, is now in theaters.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sara Evans Explains Her Song Choice for Doobie Brothers Collaboration on “Southbound”

Image Courtesy RCA NashvilleSara Evans could have chosen any Doobie Brothers hit to sing with the rock band on their new country collaboration album, Southbound. So, why did she go with their Michael McDonald-era staple, “What  Fool Believes?” She says it’s all about the lyrics.

“That song is unbelievable,” Sara tells ABC News Radio. “‘What a Fool Believes/to see/The wise man has the power to reason away.’ In other words, this girl is terrible for him, and she’s bad news, but he reasons that it’s good somehow. It’s a good relationship, and he convinces himself of that. And how many of us do that all the time?”

Sara and Michael McDonald recreated that Doobie Brothers classic based on the version Michael does in his live shows today. Chris Young, Hunter Hayes, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith are among the other stars teaming up with The Doobie Brothers on Southbound, available now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum Performing on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” Live from Nashville

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum has signed on to perform live from Nashville on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015. The show begins December 31 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Gavin DeGraw will also perform live from Music City, and Taylor Swift is also slated to perform on the show live in Times Square just before the ball drop.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Literally Got an Ulcer Worrying over Her CMA Award-Winning Album, “Platinum”

Image Courtesy RCA NashvilleMiranda Lambert earned her second CMA Album of the Year trophy Wednesday night for her fifth studio album, Platinum. She first won that trophy with her 2009 release, Revolution, so it may come as a surprise that Miranda was especially nervous making her latest release.

“I literally got an ulcer over this record,” Miranda says, “but it was worth it. It represents everything I am right now as an artist and everything I have to say.”

Now that she’s in her 30’s and happily married to Blake Shelton, Miranda wanted to capture this new chapter in her life on Platinum.

She says, “I feel like I’ve reached a new place in life and a new place in music and I wanted to be able to portray all of the emotions that I feel like I’m going through.”

Winning Album of the Year for Platinum is proof Miranda isn’t alone in her experience.

She adds, “I know that it won the award because it just talks about things you’re going through as a female and people can relate to it.”

Miranda’s new single from Platinum is “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” featuring Little Big Town. They performed the song on the CMA Awards Wednesday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Image Courtesy Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Martina McBride and her husband John‘s recording studio in Nashville? ANSWER: Blackbird.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks on “Good Morning America” Today; Little Rock Tix On Sale

Sony NashvilleGarth Brooks continues his Man Against Machine media push today with a performance on ABC’s Good Morning America.  Garth has a history of making major announcements on GMA, such as last September, when he teased the news conference at which he announced his new album, his tour, and the creation of his music retail site, GhostTunes.  There’s no word on whether today’s Good Morning America appearance will include any new information.

In other Garth news, tickets for his December 12 and 13 shows with wife Trisha Yearwood in Little Rock, Arkansas go on sale today.

Man Against Machine is available now for pre-order.  It’s out on Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Nashville Notes

Image Courtesy Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMartina McBride, Sheryl Crow, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rodney Crowell are among the stars performing in honor of Emmylou Harris at a tribute concert January 10, 2015 at Washington, D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall.

Rascal Flatts has released “Riot” as the new single from their latest album, Rewind.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eli Young Band Following Up Japanese Shows with Texas Stadium Dates

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleEli Young Band just got back from a trip to Japan to entertain U.S. troops stationed in Okinawa before flying back to Nashville for Wednesday night’s CMA Awards. Next up, the guys head back home to Texas for the first of two House Party stadium shows this Saturday night at the home of the Texas Rangers — Globe Life Park in Arlington. They’ll follow that show up with a second House Party at Minute Made Park in Houston.

The group’s Jon Jones is quick to give credit to their staff for coordinating all the details on these shows while they were overseas. He also points to the amazing crowds for these shows last year.

Looking back on those shows, Jon says, “Last year, we had zero bad fan response. We didn’t get any emails of people really complaining about fights or lines or parking or any of those concerns we’ve had in past shows, which is a big reason that we’re doing the House Party. So, a huge success.”

Eli Young Band has performed as an opening act on multiple stadium shows with Kenny Chesney, who is known to play about 25 NFL venues every tour and the band has learned from Kenny’s example.

Eli Young Band front man Mike Eli says of Kenny, “He’s really one of the coolest, most down-to-earth folks, as much as someone like that could be as far as being that successful. And having all that on his shoulders and still, like, for stadium shows all across the United States, and then still being so calm and collected,  ’cause it really is a lot of work. And we’re only doing two of ’em. “

Eli Young Band is now in their 14th year as a touring act, so playing these massive shows with the help of Gary Allan, Thomas Rhett and Maddie & Tae as their supporting acts is really sweet.

“To be able to put on shows like that, it really feels good to have that kind of success,” says Mike.

For more details on Eli Young Band’s House Party shows, go to EliYoungBand.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio