ACM Awards Celebrate 50th Anniversary with New Commemorative Book, “This Is Country”

Insight/ACMIn anticipation of the ACM Awards’ 50th anniversary next year, the Academy of Country Music has opened its archive up for the new book, This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards. The 224-page book comes out September 23 featuring commentary from Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott, Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard and more. Reba wrote the forward for the book, which is full of candid, never-before-seen photographs from the ACMs.

Proceeds from the sale of This Is Country will benefit the ACM’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift’s New Pop Album, “1989,” Coming Out October 27, Featuring New Single, “Shake It Off”

 Big Machine Records/Republic RecordsTaylor Swift unveiled her brand-new single, “Shake It Off,” during her global Yahoo! live stream Monday. The song was co-written with her frequent collaborators Max Martin and Shellback with the challenge of breaking completely new musical ground for her. It’s about controlling her reaction to what people may say about her, and Taylor danced around with her invited guests in New York City.

“Shake It Off” is the lead single from her new album, 1989, in stores October 27. The project is titled for the year Taylor was born, and she says it was inspired by late ’80s pop music.

“I really loved the chances they were taking. I loved how bold it was. I loved how ahead of its time it was.” she says of that era of music. “So, being inspired by that, I started delving into the late ’80s and what that period of time actually meant.”  She went on to say that she feels the late ’80s were “limitless,” with “endless possibilities.”

The album cover features a Polaroid picture of Taylor with her face partially obscured with “T.S.” and “1989″ written on the bottom. Taylor also declared 1989 is her “first official pop album.”

1989 is the most sonically cohesive album I have ever made and my favorite album I have ever made,” said Taylor.”

A deluxe version of 1989 will include three new songs that are voice memos from her cell phone. The album packaging will also feature 13 Polaroid photographs.

Speaking about the inspiration for “Shake It Off,” Taylor said during the live stream that one lesson she’s learned over the past few years is that “people can say whatever they want about us at any time, and we cannot control that. The only thing we can control is our reaction to it.” 

She added, “I figure that we have two options. You can either let it get to you, let it change you, let it make you bitter or not trust people. Or you can descend into insanity if you want. Option two is you just shake it off!”

Taylor also debuted the video for “Shake It Off” during the live stream.  It features her and a series of different dance crews showing off various dance styles — including twerking!  At the end, she and a group of fans who’d been sworn to secrecy join her in a huge dance party.

“I love the idea that you can tell who someone is by how they dance,” she said of the inspiration for the clip. “And so, we started talking about ideas, and we basically decided that we would get this huge group of incredible, professional dancers of all different types of dance, and throw me into the middle of them and see what happens.”

Taylor also announced the “1989 Swiftstakes,” which will give fans an opportunity to win prizes: there are 1,000 tickets to a future tour up for grabs, as well as 500 meet and greets.  You’ll get a code to enter with every version of the album you buy: standard, deluxe or digital.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


George Strait’s Final Concert Airing as Two-Hour Special August 29; Live Album Coming Out Next Month

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleGeorge Strait‘s final concert will air as a two-hour special on CMT Friday, August 29 at 7 p.m. ET. George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away includes footage from the superstar’s sold-out show at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, along with guest appearances from Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Martina McBride and more.

Look for a live album recorded at the show to come out September 16 as well. The Cowboy Rides Away: Live from AT&T Stadium features 20 of George’s biggest hits, including “Ocean Front Property,” “The Chair” and “Fool Hearted Memory.”

Here’s the live album track listing:

“Check Yes or No”
“Love Bug” (with Vince Gill)
“Fool Hearted Memory” (with Jason Aldean)
“Arkansas Dave” (with Bubba Strait)
“Cowboys Like Us” (with Eric Church)
“That’s What Breaking Hearts Do”
“Marina Del Rey”
“Here for a Good Time” (with Sheryl Crow)
“I Can Still Make Cheyenne”
“Jackson” (with Martina McBride)
“A Showman’s Life” (with Faith Hill)
“Murder on Music Row” (with Alan Jackson)
“The Chair”
“Give It All We Got Tonight”
“Run” (with Miranda Lambert)
“I’ll Always Remember You”
“Ocean Front Property” (with Kenny Chesney)
“All My Ex’s Live in Texas” (with Jason Aldean, Ray Benson, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride)
“The Cowboy Rides Away”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Takes New Album Launch Out of This World

Image Courtesy Ben Enos/Bieber Public RelationsBrad Paisley headed down to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida last weekend to launch his new song, “American Flag on the Moon.” While standing on Launch Pad 39B, where a Saturn V rocket once launched three American astronauts on a trip to the moon, Brad sent a tweet of the song to NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, who’s currently on the International Space Station.

The astronaut listened to the song after Brad “leaked” it, though Reid tweeted Brad back, “We don’t usually like leaks at the launch pad.”

“American Flag on the Moon” is included on Brad’s new album, Moonshine in the Trunk, coming out next Monday.

In other Brad news, he’s a key player in the launch of the new country-lifestyle channel My Country Nation. The digital outlet will feature country concerts, grilling, hunting and comedy via new shows premiering daily at as well as through Twitter at @MyCountryNation, and Instagram: mycountrynation.

Brad says, “My Country Nation is a great concept and I’m glad to be working with a few of my friends to make it a reality.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich member of Florida Georgia Line tied the knot in a surprise ceremony last December? ANSWER: Brian Kelley.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Darius Rucker Choosing from 60 New Songs to Create Upcoming Country Album

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/OpryDarius Rucker has written about 60 songs for his upcoming country album, and he’s now in the studio deciding which ones will make the final track listing.

Darius tells Rolling Stone Country, “We’ll sit down and decide which 12 or 15 we want to cut. We’ve already cut six or seven.”

One song that’s sure to make the album is Darius’s new single, “Homegrown Honey,” which hits the airwaves in the coming weeks. The song is a bit of a departure for Darius.

He says, “It’s really a country party song. It’s talking about some country girl who lives in New York City. It’s got hooks galore.”

Darius co-wrote “Homegrown Honey” with Lady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley and songwriter/producer Nathan Chapman. Darius’s fourth country project will most likely come out in 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockPeople is counting down the 50 Amazing Moments in Country Music in a new collectors’ book on newsstands now.

Kacey Musgraves recently moved into a new house in Nashville across the street from a Sonic, which she says means she’s “winning and losing at the same time.”

Brad Paisley has teamed up with Annoying Orange to release a hilarious lyric video for his song, “Limes.” The track is included on Brad’s new album, Moonshine in the Trunk, due out August 26.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Jerrod Niemann Puts His Own Stamp on Pal Lee Brice’s Composition, “Buzz Back Girl”

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleJerrod Niemann considers his pal Lee Brice to be a musical brother of sorts, so it’s no surprise Lee is a co-writer on Jerrod’s latest single, “Buzz Back Girl.” In fact, Jerrod had a big smile on his face when he pressed play on the demo and heard Lee singing the song.

Says Jerrod, “I knew it was meant to be whenever my friends at the record label were pitching me my best friend’s songs.”

Before he cut it, Jerrod called Lee up to see if he was sure he didn’t want to record “Buzz Back Girl” himself.

Jerrod recalls, “He said, ‘Man, the album that I’m making now, it honestly doesn’t fit.’ He said, ‘I probably would have recorded it in the future, but if you want it, it’s all yours.’”

Jerrod then went into the studio to put his own stamp on “Buzz Back Girl.” It’s the latest single from his current album, High Noon, available now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Explains Why They Don’t Have Special Guests on New Album, “Anything Goes”

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line has found some of their biggest success teaming up with other artists like Nelly on the “Cruise” remix and Luke Bryan on “This Is How We Roll.” So, it’s a little surprising to see no special guests on the track listing for their new album, Anything Goes.

In an interview after the duo’s performance on ABC’s Good Morning America Friday, FGL’s Tyler Hubbard tells ABC News Radio, “Things just didn’t quite work out to collaborate right now with anybody.”

Of course, the guys could always add a superstar to one of their tracks at a later date. At the same time, Florida Georgia Line isn’t looking to add a big name to one of their songs just for the sake of creating a buzz.

“You gotta let that happen organically,” Tyler adds. “Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, you know. We’ll see what happens down the road. Right now, it’s just B.K. and myself.”

As for that album title, FGL’s Brian Kelley says they took an “anything goes” approach in the studio this time around.

He explains, “Anything Goes for us, is taking chances musically. Taking chances doing things with our voices. Taking chances with what we do with our music.”

Florida Georgia Line’s new album comes out October 14.

Here’s the Anything Goes track listing:

“Anything Goes”
“Sun Daze”
“Good Good”
“Sippin’ on Fire”
“Bumpin’ the Night”
“Like You Ain’t Even Gone”
“Every Night”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Performs at Flora-Bama

Danny ClinchKenny Chesney’s Flora-Bama-Jama appears to have been a success. He took the stage Saturday at the legendary Flora-Bama lounge, located on the Florida-Alabama state line. A crowd of over 40,000 people showed up to watch him perform behind the 50-year-old roadhouse that inspired his latest single, “Flora-Bama.”

“Man, when those people kicked in and started singing ‘Flora-Bama’ back to me, that just hit me in the heart,” Chesney said.

During a two-and-a-half-hour set, Chesney performed a mix of old favorites and songs from his upcoming album, The Big Revival. It was Chesney’s first time back on stage with his band in almost a year.

The show, which was free but required wristbands to get in, was filmed for a TV special set to air this fall. Chesney’s new album comes out September 23.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio