Thomas Rhett Ready to Rock Onstage This Weekend Following Recent Italian Vacation

Image Courtesy CMAThomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren, just got back from a two-week vacation in Italy, but Thomas admits he didn’t brush up on speaking Italian before the trip.

He says, “I don’t understand Italian language at all. I would just ask for pizza every day, and gelato.”

The couple started out in the south and traveled north to Venice during their trip. The time away gave Thomas and Lauren a chance to reconnect and relax following Thomas’s crazy summer on Miranda Lambert‘s Platinum tour.

“We played a ton of shows this year,” Thomas says. “So, definitely needed a week or two to kinda just rejuvenate, and now that we’re back on the road, we’re all back and refueled.”

Thomas is headed back out on the road with his pal Justin Moore starting this weekend. Also, the video for Thomas’s new single, “Make Me Wanna,” is now posted at

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Talks New Album and “The Voice” Coach Gwen Stefani

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleWhen Blake Shelton wasn’t sitting in that big red chair on NBC’s The Voice, he was in the studio working on his latest album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, available now. The country singer said it took less time than usual to get it right.

“We’ve taken years to make an album before and I think this one we made in just, I don’t know, maybe six months or something,” he said on Thursday’s Live with Kelly and Michael. “It was just like man, let’s make the record and keep doing the show. I’m having fun. God, who wouldn’t love to do this?”

Blake is indeed having fun with his new fellow coaches, Pharrell and Gwen Stefani, on the latest season of The Voice. Still, he admits he was a little reserved when first meeting Gwen.

“She’s very intimidating because she’s this rock icon, and she’s just — I don’t know, there’s just this presence about her,” he said. “But…she’s the most normal person probably in Hollywood.”

NBC’s The Voice, which also features Adam Levine in the coach’s chair, airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band Performing at The Concert for Valor on Veterans Day

Image Courtesy CMACarrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band are on the bill for HBO’s Concert for Valor special airing live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11.

The show starts at 7 p.m. ET and will also include performances from Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Eminem, Jamie Foxx and more. HBO also will be making the show available to non-subscribers.

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg will also be on hand for the concert honoring America’s veterans and their families.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho did Rascal FlattsJay DeMarcus play when he appeared on ABC’s Nashville during season two? ANSWER: Himself.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Scores Big Debut Chart Debut with Latest Album, “The Big Revival”

Image Courtesy Blue Chair/SonyKenny Chesney scores his 13th #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart with his latest offering, The Big Revival. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the project sold 130,000 for a #2 arrival on the overall Billboard 200 chart just behind Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett‘s new album, Cheek to Cheek. The Big Revival is Kenny’s 12th top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Look for Kenny to continue promoting The Big Revival with his Live from the Flora-Bama concert special premiering November 14 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum Surprises 9-Year-Old Girl in NYC as Part of 7FOR7 Campaign

Jim Wright/Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum surprised a nine-year-old New Jersey girl Wednesday as part of the band’s ongoing 7FOR7 campaign.

The members of Lady A surprised Kate Koval inside the American Girl Store in New York City, and presented her with her own special doll. The trio also informed Kate that she will receive a year’s worth of groceries, with the help of Crock-Pot Slow Cookers, and a trip to Walt Disney World.

Kate was taken in by her grandparents as a baby after her parents died. She was later adopted by her aunt after the death of her grandmother. Soon afterward, she and her aunt lost their home during Superstorm Sandy.

Lady A’s 7FOR7 campaign will surprise a total of seven people with seven fulfilled wishes in celebration of their new album, 747.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKenny Chesney appears on CBS’s The Talk Thursday.

Look for Big & Rich to perform on The Queen Latifah Show Thursday.

Here’s a random joke from Jake Owen via Twitter: “Why did the Banana go to the Doctor? He wasn’t peeling well.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Maddie & Tae Want Women to Step Out of Playing Supporting Roles in Country Songs

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsCountry radio is filled with men singing the praises of the women in their lives these days, but we have no idea what those women are doing when they’re not dancing on tailgates, wearing short-shorts or opening a beer for their man. New duo Maddie & Tae have made a splash turning that supporting female role on its head with their debut single, “Girl in a Country Song.”

Though the two 19-year-olds are stunningly beautiful, Maddie and Tae think it’s important for country fans to acknowledge women as three-dimensional human beings with brains and hearts.

Maddie Marlow tells ABC News Radio, “Tae and I don’t want to be that perfect Barbie doll girl, ’cause we’re not. You know, some days our hair looks a hot mess or sometimes your makeup is crazy. And both of us, we’re fairly short, so we don’t have the long, beautiful, tan legs.”

As they worked to land a record deal in Nashville, the duo grew tired of hearing an endless stream of male acts on country radio singing about the same prototype woman.

“We were like, ‘Man, I would hate to be that girl in the country songs, because all you have to wear is cutoff jeans; you have to have long, tan legs; and you have to dance on tailgates,'” Maddie says. “All you do is play a part and look beautiful. That’s all you get to do. You don’t get to talk. You don’t get to have a personality. Nothing.”

Instead of just getting upset about it, they wrote “Girl in a Country Song” with their co-writer Aaron Scherz. He has a four-year-old daughter and is concerned about how she’ll see herself portrayed in country songs, too.

Tae Dye explains, “He was like, ‘Well, this is perfect, because I don’t want her growing up thinking she has to look a certain way or do certain things to be beautiful.’ So, we all pulled from our own experiences.”

As you can see from the video for “Girl in a Country Song,” Maddie & Tae are having fun poking holes in that country stereotype. The single is now available for download at all digital outlets.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“Nashville” Recap: “How Far Down Can I Go”

Image Courtesy ABCThe drama continued on ABC’s Nashville Wednesday night as Rayna Jaymes reluctantly gave up details on her engagement to fellow country superstar Luke Wheeler during an appearance on Good Morning America. Real-life country star Luke Bryan even appeared as himself on Good Morning America within Nashville to congratulate Rayna on her engagement. Luke also admitted he had ring envy over the huge rock Wheeler gave Rayna for their engagement.

Back at home, Deacon Claybourne admitted to his and Rayna’s daughter, Maddie, that Rayna had turned down his wedding proposal. Deacon was surprised to learn Luke Wheeler still wanted him as an opening act after their altercation over Rayna in last week’s episode. This development means Deacon and Rayna will be both be leaving Maddie behind to go on tour.

Layla Grant vowed to make her closeted gay husband Will Lexington‘s life a living hell if he didn’t take her out on the road with him. Layla is forced to play the part of a happy newlywed on their new reality show, so she’s using Will’s secret as leverage against him to launch her own music career.

 Juliette Barnes went in to end her pregnancy thinking the child was a result of her tryst with underhanded record label president, Jeff Fordham, four weeks ago. When the doctor told her she was actually eight weeks along, she realized her ex-boyfriend, Avery Barkley, is the baby’s father. Of course, Avery and Juliette aren’t speaking right now since he found out she cheated with Jeff. Also, Juliette will have to hide her pregnancy if she gets the role of Patsy Cline in a new biopic.

Old loves Scarlett O’Connor and Gunnar Scott ended up writing a song together at his new studio in East Nashville. Their chemistry is still undeniable, but Gunnar’s girlfriend, Zoey, is growing suspicious of the time they’re spending together.  Scarlett told Gunnar she didn’t even want credit on the new song they’d written, “When You Open Your Eyes.”

Sam Palladio plays Gunnar on Nashville, and he thinks we’ll see a lot more interaction between Scarlett and Gunnar in the coming weeks.

Sam tells ABC News Radio, “The two of them, Scarlett and Gunnar, have always had this chemistry — musical chemistry, romantic chemistry — a lot of different chemistry. A lot of different chemistries. And that’s something that’s really hard to shake off for the two of them.”

Popular demand from viewers is another big factor in keeping Scarlett and Gunnar’s attraction alive.

“That was one thing that the fans love as well, are the Scarlett and Gunnar duets,” Sam explains. “And I love them. I love singing them, and we have some fantastic writers that compose these haunting songs.”

“When You Open Your Eyes” is now available for download at iTunes. Nashville returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rascal Flatts Flipping the Switch for Annual Opry Goes Pink Show Later This Month

Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloRascal Flatts will flip the switch turning the Grand Ole Opry’s famous red barn backdrop pink later this month for the show’s annual Opry Goes Pink event. Danielle Bradbery, Montgomery Gentry, Sara Evans and Nashville star Will Chase are also on the bill for the show set for Tuesday, October 28. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Women Rock for the Cure to aid in its fight against breast cancer. Tickets are available at

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio