Zac Brown Band Headlining DirecTV Super Fan Festival in Arizona Starting January 28

Image Courtesy Southern GroundZac Brown Band is one of the headliners for the DirecTV Super Fan Festival in Glendale, Arizona, in the days leading up to the Super Bowl next month. The event takes place January 28 through 30, and Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt and The Cadillac Three will also perform at the festival.

The DirecTV Super Fan Festival takes place at the Pendergast Family Farm in Glendale. Tickets are now on sale at StubHub.com/DirecTV.



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Reba Helps Raise More than $100,000 for Lung Cancer Research

Image Courtesy CMAReba headlined a fundraiser for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center November 30 in Nashville. The Dawn Sears & Friends Benefit for Lung Cancer Research raised more than $100,000 for the cause. Dawn Sears is a Nashville-based singer currently battling lung cancer, and Sears was on hand to speak about lung cancer research.

In addition to Reba, Dawn’s band, The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill, performed.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Reba and Brooks & Dunn‘s #1 hit duet from 1998? ANSWER: “If You See Him/If You See Her.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw’s Record Label President Is the New Mentor on “American Idol”

Image Courtesy FOXFlorida Georgia Line, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw‘s record label president, Scott Borchetta, will join American Idol as a mentor for the show’s 14th season premiering with a two-night event January 7 and 8, 2015 on Fox. Also, this year’s winner of American Idol will sign with Scott’s label, Big Machine Records.

Scott joined this season’s Idol filming during Hollywood week, and he plans to shepherd the winner onto success in the music industry once this season is over.

Scott says, “The entire label group will be invested and we look forward to bringing our energy, focus and know-how to help develop this young talent at the highest levels.”


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Darius Rucker, Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes Perform on Christmas in Rockefeller Center Special

Peter Kramer/NBCDarius Rucker, Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes were among the musical performers on the NBC special Christmas in Rockefeller Center Wednesday night.

Rucker, who just released his first holiday music collection, titled Home for the Holidays, performed his version of “White Christmas” at the tree lighting ceremony in New York City.

Rimes plans to release a series of three holiday albums over the next three years, the first titled One Christmas Chapter-1. She sang a tune from that collection called “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

Yearwood covered the bluesy Elvis Presley Christmas song, “Santa Claus Is Back in Town.”

The special, which was hosted by Matt Lauer and other members of the Today show, also included performances by Mariah Carey, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Cyndi Lauper,  Sara Bareilles and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane.

All the musical guests helped the Today show cast countdown the lighting of this year’s tree, an 85-foot tall Norway spruce.


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“Nashville” Recap: Two Sides to Every Story

Image Courtesy ABC/Bob D’AmicoMost of Music City was at the annual “Winterville Nashfest” event on Wednesday night’s Nashville. Will Lexington and Layla Grant dressed up like hipsters at the festival to avoid being recognized from their hit reality show. Will ended up finding a bar and unsuccessfully hitting on a partnered gay guy. Layla ended up wowing her record label president, Jeff Fordham, with an impromptu acoustic performance at the festival. Jeff liked it so much he took her to bed.

Scarlett O’Conner landed her homeless friend and former blues star, Terry, a gig opening the festival. After a well-received performance, Terry bolted from the stage haunted by memories of his wife and kids that died in a car accident on their way to one of his shows. When Scarlett caught up with Terry, he was drinking with some homeless guys and told her she was projecting her own dreams of stardom onto him.

Lucky for Scarlett, her best friend Zoey dropped out of a planned festival performance with her ex-boyfriend, Gunnar Scott, and Avery Barkley. Challenged by Terry calling her a coward, Scarlett stepped in to perform with the guys. That performance led to an offer for a tour from a big-time manager, but Gunnar is too focused on his son, Micah, to move forward with a tour right now. Meanwhile, Zoey left Nashville for Los Angeles to take another singing gig.

Rayna Jaymes and Luke Wheeler filmed a network Christmas special at her house, but Rayna was distracted when the Rolling Stone interview she gave about her ex, Deacon Claybourne, came out. After getting very upset, Deacon finally realized he needed to move on from Rayna, thanks to the article.  Rayna and Luke finished out the episode singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which is now available for download at iTunes.

That duet is part of the new holiday album, Christmas with Nashville, also available on iTunes. The project features the show’s stars singing Christmas classics like “White Christmas” and “Santa Baby.” Charles Esten, who plays Deacon, sings “Blue Christmas” on the album, and he was thrilled to work with the project’s producer, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts.

Charles tells ABC News Radio, “He is so hugely talented. Not only as the bass player and vocalist for Rascal Flatts, but as a producer, he’s, I really think, coming into his own and doing some great things.”

Vince Gill also played guitar and sang harmony on “Blue Christmas,” which was a big thrill for Charles. “I was like, ‘Man, oh man — just another one of the many gifts that have come out of this unbelievable show,” says Charles.

The winter finale of Nashville airs next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood will guest co-host CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday, December 6 at 11 a.m. ET. She’ll discuss her new compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, coming out Tuesday, December 9.

Blake Shelton will perform his new single, “Lonely Tonight,” with Ashley Monroe on NBC’s The Voice on Monday, December 8 at 8 p.m. ET.

Sara Evans will sing the title track from her new holiday album, At Christmas, on Live with Kelly and Michael Tuesday, December 9 during their “LIVE’s Holiday Hits Week.”


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Hunter Hayes and Darius Rucker Performing on “Christmas in Washington” December 19

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes and Darius Rucker are on the bill for this year’s Christmas in Washington special. It airs Friday, December 19 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. The president and first lady attend Christmas in Washington each year. Pop acts Rita Ora, Christina Perri and Aloe Blacc also are set to perform. Dwayne The Rock Johnson will serve as host.


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Grammy Nominations Rolling Out All Day Friday on TV and Twitter

Image Courtesy The Recording AcademyThe nominations for next year’s Grammy Awards will be rolling out throughout the day Friday, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET via CBS This Morning.  From 9 a.m. ET through 2 p.m. ET, additional categories will be announced on Twitter with the full list going live at 2 p.m ET at Grammy.com.

The Album of the Year nominees will be announced on CBS’s A Very Grammy Christmas special that night at 9 ET. Tim McGraw will perform on that show along with Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Mary J. Blige and Sam Smith.

After that show airs, the list of nominees in all 83 categories will be posted at Grammy.org.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jana Kramer Engaged to NFL Free Agent Michael Caussin

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleJana Kramer is engaged to her boyfriend, football player Michael Caussin. He surprised her on her birthday Tuesday night by gathering a small group of friends and family to witness his proposal.

Jana says, “It was a beautiful surprise. He was the perfect gentleman. Nervous, on one knee, and surrounded by some of the people that love us the most.” 

Jana was previously engaged to Brantley Gilbert, but they broke things off in August 2013. Brantley is now engaged to a schoolteacher named Amber Cochran.

As for Jana’s new fiancé, Michael Caussin played four years in the NFL and is currently a free agent.



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