Artists Announced for CRS 2015 New Faces of Country Music Show

Image Courtesy Aristo PRFrankie Ballard, Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Eric Paslay and Cole Swindell have been selected to perform at the CRS 2015 New Faces of Country Music Show in Nashville. The industry-only event takes place February 27, and the performers are voted on by country radio station employees.

The showcase is a huge launching pad for country stars. Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Reba and Luke Bryan are among the stars who have performed at New Faces in the past.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ronnie Dunn Hints at Brooks & Dunn Reunion

Image Courtesy Little Will-EIs there a Brooks & Dunn reunion in the works? It certainly looks that way based on Ronnie Dunn‘s recent Facebook post mentioning Kix Brooks.

On November 26, Ronnie posted a message saying, “…Talking to Kix. He’s talking back.” In the comments on that post, Ronnie stopped short of confirming a reunion, but he did say he and Kix were never completely on the outs as a friends.

Ronnie is expected to make a very big career announcement later this week.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Darius Rucker Added to “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” Lineup

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker has been added to the lineup for NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center special airing Wednesday night. He joins previously announced performers Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Rimes, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett and Idina Menzel. Mariah Carey will open the show singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Christmas in Rockefeller Center airs Wednesday night at 8 ET on NBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

RaeLynn Performing “God Made Girls” on “The Voice” Tuesday Night

Image Courtesy Susannah Barber/ValoryRaeLynn will perform “God Made Girls” on NBC’s The Voice Tuesday night. She competed on the show’s second season and has gone on to perform on coach Blake Shelton‘s song “Buzzin'” from his latest album, Bringing Back the Sunshine.

RaeLynn will tour with Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert, in 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood starred in a live performance of which classic musical last December on NBC? ANSWER: The Sound of Music.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood will perform on the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville December 13.

Zac Brown Band will perform on PBS’s A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Friday, December 5.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Holiday Season Officially Kicks Off with Tonight’s “CMA Country Christmas” on ABC

Image Courtesy ABC/CMAThe star-studded CMA Country Christmas special airs Monday night on ABC. Jennifer Nettles returns as host and teams up with Idina Menzel for a duet of the smash hit from Frozen, “Let It Go.” Carrie Underwood sings her duet with Michael W. Smith, “All Is Well,” which is included on his new holiday album, The Spirit of Christmas.

Carrie says, “This is the first time that we’ve performed it in a live setting in front of people. So, I’m really looking forward to it.”

For his part, Michael admits he was nervous to sing with Carrie, since she’s such a vocal powerhouse. He tells ABC News Radio, “You gotta bring the A-game. But you know what, I think it turned out great on the record. [Taping] the special was a magical moment. I’ll never forget it.”

Little Big Town also teamed up with Michael W. Smith for a rendition of “Silent Night,” along with their own performance of “I Pray on Christmas.”

Steven Tyler jumped at the chance to join Brad Paisley for a collaboration on “Run Run Rudolph,” which happens to be Steven’s favorite Christmas song. When he got the call to join the CMA Country Christmas lineup, Steven says, “I just hit the ceiling, and I said, ‘I’m in.’ We just did it, and the proof is in the pudding — Christmas pudding, that is.”

Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, LeAnn Rimes, and Lucy Hale are among the other stars performing on CMA Country Christmas, Monday night at 8 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rascal Flatts Back to Vocal Acrobatics with Brand-New Single, “Riot”

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox shows off his impressive vocal chops on the band’s latest single, “Riot.” The guys recorded the song at bass player Jay DeMarcus‘s house, where it took quite a bit of effort for Jay and band mate Joe Don Rooney to add harmonies to Gary’s high notes.

Joe Don tells Rolling Stone, “Luckily, Jay has an oxygen tank in the house.”

Jay is excited for fans to hear the new single as it climbs the charts at country radio. “‘Riot’ is one of the songs that we felt strongest about from the first day on the record,” he says. “We’re thrilled that that one is going to have a chance to see the light of day. Once people hear it, they’ll figure out what an incredibly crafted song it is.”

“Riot” is included on Rascal Flatts’ latest album, Rewind, available now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kip Moore’s Writing for the Love of Music Again

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleKip Moore knows his fans are waiting impatiently for the follow-up to his 2012 debut album, Up All Night. The first two singles he’s released from the sophomore record — “Young Love” and “Dirt Road” — stalled out on the charts. He’s now back in the studio recording new songs while trying not to overthink the music-making process.

Kip tells The Oakland Press, “I might have gone a little too aggressive or too intense with what I was doing. What I had to do was quiet thinking and just enjoy writing again and let it go from there.”

Kip expects to release his new single, and hopefully his new album, in 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood Avoids Holiday Shopping Crowds at All Costs

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleYou won’t find Carrie Underwood anywhere near a mall this holiday season.

“I do not do crowds,” she says. “Never have.”

Growing up in Oklahoma, Carrie went with her mother to Walmart just about every Black Friday, and the experience seriously freaked her out.

She explains, “I’d have to leave the store because I would hyperventilate and need to get out.”

These days Carrie ends up looking for good deals online instead of in stores.

She says with a laugh, “I like the online shopping. I’m more of a Cyber Monday kinda girl.”

Carrie has a gift for her fans this holiday season. Her double-disc Greatest Hits: Decade #1 compilation comes out December 9 featuring her latest hit, “Something in the Water.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio