Keith Urban Is Ready to Compete with Garth Brooks on the Concert Trail

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleGarth Brooks is returning to the road this September, and he’s put all other country artists on notice that he’s ready to raise the stakes when it comes to the live concert experience. That challenge is not news to Keith Urban, though.

“You won’t find a country artist who thinks that’s not the case,” Keith tells ABC News Radio. “We all know that. It’s Garth, you know? He hasn’t toured in thirteen years. So, the anticipation and expectation — all of that’s phenomenal. He’s a phenomenal live performer. People know that. It’s gonna be a behemoth tour for sure.”

Keith goes on to call Garth “creative,” “original” and “an icon.”

As for his own Raise ‘Em Up tour, Keith is keeping things fresh by changing up the set list every night. Fans have also requested a heavy dose of songs from his latest album, Fuse.

Keith explains, “The level of requests we get for songs off this particular album, off Fuse, has been exponential for the last couple of albums. So, I’m so happy about that.”

Keith expects to sing classics like “Somebody Like You” and “Better Life” during his shows, too. Even though he wrote those songs about a decade ago, Keith still finds ways to relate to the lyrics as the years go by.

“They take on a new meaning,” he says. “Why I wrote them may not be this sort of place that I sing from these days, but they take on new meaning.”

Keith has Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge on the road with him this summer. Keep up with his tour dates at

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw “Swatted” Female Fan During His Concert

Nigel PerryTim McGraw appears to have slapped a woman in the face during his concert this past Sunday after she reportedly tried to make contact with his private parts, according to TMZ.

The gossip website obtained a video of McGraw’s concert at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, in Atlanta. The clip shows the singer walking into the crowd as he sings his hit, “Truck Yeah.”

At 44 seconds into the clip, a woman appears to slap McGraw, first in the knee and then a little bit higher. At 50 seconds, Tim looks like he’s slapping her.

A rep for McGraw tells TMZ, “Tim was singing out in the audience and someone firmly grabbed onto his leg and wouldn’t let go as he was moving through the crowd.”

The rep goes on to explain, “He instinctively swatted to try to keep them from ripping his jeans and so he could get to more fans who could slap hands with him before the end of the show.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockHunter Hayes has signed on to perform at the 2014 NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show September 11 in Indianapolis. The event is part of the 2014 Radio Show taking place in the city September 10 through 12.

George Strait‘s Ocean Front Property was the first album Jerrod Niemann ever bought.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town Mentoring Blake Shelton’s Team on “The Voice” This Fall

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town will serve as battle round mentors for Blake Shelton‘s team on the upcoming season of NBC’s The Voice. The band made the announcement by posting a photo with Blake on their Instagram account.

Stevie Nicks will mentor Adam Levine‘s team, and rocker Gavin Rossdale will help out his wife Gwen Stefani‘s group. The mentor for new coach Pharrell Williams hasn’t been announced yet.

Season seven of The Voice premieres September 22 on NBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan, FGL, Jake Owen and More Ride Second Wave of Teen Choice 2014 Nominees

Image Courtesy CMAA few country stars have earned nods in the Teen Choice 2014′s second wave of nominations.

Luke Bryan is up against the likes of Justin Timberlake, One Direction, Katy Perry and Beyonce and Jay Z for Choice Summer tour. Florida Georgia Line is up for Choice Summer Music Star: Group, and they’re also nominated for Choice Country Song with Luke Bryan on “This Is How We Roll.” Luke’s  solo hit, “Play It Again,” gives him a second nominee in the Country Song category along with “Bartender” by Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen‘s “Beachin’” and “Somethin’ Bad” by Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Fans ages 13 to 19 can now vote for their favorites at through Saturday, August 9. The winners will be revealed on Teen Choice 2014, airing Sunday, August 10 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brett Eldredge Swims with the Sharks to Celebrate “Beat of the Music” Success

Image Courtesy: Katie Storr/Stuart Cove’s Dive BahamasBrett Eldredge made good on his promise to go shark diving if his latest single reached the top of the charts, taking the plunge off the coast of the Bahamas Wednesday. The trip was planned with the non-profit organization Rock the Ocean in celebration of his latest #1 hit, “Beat of the Music.” Brett even took the plaques commemorating his gold-selling hit down with him for an underwater photo op.  

Brett tells People, “The people who ran it told us the sharks are curious and would be swimming all around, but respect them and be smart and we’d be fine. I decided right away to be smart!”

He adds, “It was such a surreal feeling. I am definitely hooked on sharks!”

This isn’t the first time Brett has risked his life in celebration of a #1 hit. He went skydiving last year after scoring his first chart-topper, “Don’t Ya.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney’s Fans Snatch Up All the Wristbands for Free Flora-Bama Show in Just Five Minutes

Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Blue Chair/SonyWristbands for Kenny Chesney‘s free Flora-Bama-Jama show were gone just five minutes after fans could sign up for them at Kenny’s site Thursday morning. The show is set for August 16 at the Flora-Bama on the Florida-Alabama line on Perdido Key.  Kenny will preview songs from his upcoming album, The Big Revival, due out September 23.

This concert is the only show Kenny is performing in 2014. He says with a laugh, “Maybe the fans are as hungry to see me as I am them. ‘Cause I can’t wait to get out there and play.”

“American Kids” is the lead single from The Big Revival.  It’s currently racing up the country radio chart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Carries On a Second Generation “River Bank” Tradition

Arista NashvilleWhen you hear Brad Paisley‘s latest hit, “River Bank,” it’s not hard to imagine the West Virginia native enjoys the water.

“I grew up 500 feet from the Ohio River… and summertime, for me, was that body of water.  My dad got a boat when I was probably eight,” he remembers. “It was a little 75-horsepower Evinrude on the back of some mustard-yellow awful fiberglass thing, but I learned to ski there. I learned to fish. My fondest memories are with him and my granddad.”

When he had his first success, Brad put his money where his song is. He used his first royalty check to head out on the water.

“For $8,000, I bought a bass boat with a $10,000 check,” he laughs. “That’s how smart I am, ’cause boats never lose value. I just realized that that is really the trick in the summertime if you’re a country person at all. It’s like a body of water, an innertube, something to float, you’re good.”

Now that he’s a father himself, Brad continues the tradition with his boys.

“I have a pond on my property that I built, which is about a two-acre pond, and that’s fun. We’ll float around in that. We got bass in it, and I got a little jon boat with a little engine on the back… We have fun. “

“River Bank” is the first single from Brad’s new CD Moonshine in the Trunk, due out August 26.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was LeAnn Rimes‘ first number one hit? ANSWER:  “One Way Ticket (Because I Can),” in 1996.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Connected to “Dirt” Through Tragedy and Triumph

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleWith close to 183,000 downloads, Florida Georgia Line‘s “Dirt” has given the duo the largest sales week for a country digital song in a year, since their own “Cruise” sold 193,000 downloads in its first week in July of 2013, according to Billboard.

Even though Bryan Kelley and Tyler Hubbard didn’t write the song, the first single from their sophomore album, the two say it immediately hit home, partially because of a personal experience in Tyler’s life. His father died in a helicopter crash in Georgia while Tyler was in college in Nashville.

“Yeah, I think that’s the main reason that we were so touched by it,” Tyler tells ABC News Radio. “As songwriters, when you hear a song you didn’t write that you feel like you did write, there’s something to be said about that. For us, it was a no-brainer. As soon as we heard it, we were pumped that we were able to cut that song.”

But Tyler goes on to point out that “Dirt” doesn’t just remind him of sad times.

“Definitely, you know, we relate to that in so many different aspects of life, you know, through sports and through working hard and where we grew up and losing family members and just all types of different ways. For us, it’s just a very special song, and we look forward to singing it for a long time.”

Thursday night, the duo performs a medley of their hits on Nickolodeon’s first-ever Kids’ Choice Sports Awards.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio