Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum Taping “Front and Center” Performances for Public Television

Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum will perform on Public Television’s Front and Center this fall as part of the ramp-up to the 48th Annual CMA Awards. Dierks’ appearance celebrates the 10th anniversary of the CMA Songwriters Series, and hit writers Jim Beavers, Ross Copperman, Brett James and Jon Randall will join him for the show to share stories and songs.

Dierks says, “The CMA Songwriters Series is always a really cool gig. It’s like everybody in the room is in on a secret or something. You’ve got a couple guys with guitars, telling stories and drinking whiskey — anything can happen!”

Lady A will have a few special guests for their Front and Center performance as they gear up to release their fifth album this fall. We’ll keep you posted on air dates when they’re announced in the coming months.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Gets Birthday Love from Miranda, “The Voice” and Earl Thomas Conley

Warner Music NashvilleThe Voice had a little fun Wednesday with Blake Shelton for his 38th birthday. The team at the show covered his trailer with some old pictures of the singer looking extra vintage with his signature mullet and a great big Blake Shelton smile. The pictures are captioned “my apologies,” “forgive me” and “I’m sorry.”

Blake’s fellow coach on The Voice Adam Levine also planted a kiss on Shelton for his big day, which The Voice made a gif out of and tweeted out! The picture was captioned, “Birthday kisses from @blakeshelton’s favorite bro! #TheVoice.”

Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert, posted an adorable picture of Blake as a kid with the caption, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend in the whole world! @blakeshelton I love you! (And your dimples!)”

So, what was the best gift Blake got for his birthday? He tweeted Wednesday, “Few things in my life have made my heart swell up like the birthday text I got from Earl Thomas Conley this morning… #hero.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum Enlists Kate Upton and Tony Hale for Hilarious “Bartender” Video

Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum recruited supermodel Kate Upton and Emmy-winning actor Tony Hale of Veep and Arrested Development fame for their new video, “Bartender.” The clip, which debuted on NBC’s Today Thursday morning, features Kate and her girlfriends going out for a crazy night on the town. Tony plays the bartender, and the drinking battle they get into leaves just one member of the group standing.

Shooting the video last month in Los Angeles was a blast for Lady A.

“Kate and Tony took what could have been just another music video to a really cool place,” says band member Charles Kelley. “I mean, pretty much every guy in America is in love with Kate Upton.  And if I’m being totally honest, Dave and I now both have a little man-crush on Tony too…he’s hilarious!  Hands-down my favorite video we’ve ever done.”

“Bartender” is now available for download at iTunes.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Welcomes New Kitten Named After “Law & Order: SVU” Character

ABC/Jon LeMayTaylor Swift‘s beloved cat Meredith is named after Ellen Pompeo‘s character, Meredith Grey, on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.  And it seems she’s continuing the tradition of naming her pets after characters on TV dramas.

Taylor has posted a photo of herself with a tiny white kitten on her lap.  It’s captioned, “Meet Olivia Benson.”  That’s the name of Mariska Hargitay‘s character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The kitten appears to be the same breed as Meredith: a Scottish Fold, which has unusually-shaped folded-down ears.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockKelly Clarkson‘s husband, Brandon Blackstock, is a manager for which country superstar? ANSWER: Blake Shelton.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eric Paslay Wins Over Brantley Gilbert’s Hard-Rocking Concert Crowds

Universal Music GroupEric Paslay wasn’t sure how his music would go over with Brantley Gilbert‘s fans on the Let It Ride tour earlier this year. While Eric kicks things up a notch with “Friday Night” and “Song About a Girl,” he doesn’t rock quite as hard as Brantley.

Speaking to his fears of getting a cold shoulder from the crowd, Eric says, “Going out, I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know with Brantley’s [fans] — they’re gonna kill me.’”  

Eric’s fears were unfounded, though. The fans welcomed him and the other opening act, Thomas Rhett, with open arms.

“It was really cool just that his fans dug it also,” Eric says, “and it was a cool tour to be on.”

Unfortunately, Brantley was too busy promoting his new album, Just As I Am, to write any songs this time around, but Eric did get in some songwriting time with Thomas. Overall, Eric learned how major tours like Brantley’s operate on a day-to-day basis.

He says, “It was kinda my first big tour like that to where you don’t have anything to do until five in the afternoon, and it was cool just to go see the cities that you’re in.”

Look for Eric Paslay to play clubs, fairs and festivals all this summer as his latest hit, “Song About a Girl,” climbs the country chart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKacey Musgraves‘ new song, “The Trailer Song,” is now available for download at iTunes. She performed the song on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week.

The Oak Ridge Boys were presented with a plaque, during their recent appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, commemorating 41 million album sales worldwide.

Miranda Lambert spends a second consecutive week at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart with Platinum.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Band Perry’s Neil Perry Looking to Settle the Score with Blake Shelton This Summer

CMAThe Band Perry heads out on Blake Shelton‘s Ten Times Crazier tour this weekend, and the group’s Neil Perry is looking to settle a score on the road this summer. Backstage at the CMT Music Awards earlier this month, Blake kept pestering Neil all night long.

“Every time he’d pass me, he’d give me a wet willie,” Neil says. “I’m like, ‘What are you doing? We’re introducing you. Be nice to us.’”

Don’t feel bad for the youngest Perry sibling, though. Neil adds, “We’ll get him back. We’re good at pestering.”

The Ten Times Crazier plays huge venues like Chicago’s Wrigley Field, New York City’s Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles this summer. The first show is set for Friday night in Austin, Texas. Dan + Shay and Neal McCoy are also on the bill.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town Praying for Jimi Westbrook’s Nephew, Who Needs a Heart Transplant

Sandbox EntertainmentLittle Big Town‘s Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild are asking their fans to send prayers to their nephew, Tyler Holsted, who is in need of a heart transplant. All four members of Little Big Town posed in “Prayers for Tyler” t-shirts in a photo posted on social media Wednesday.

Jimi’s Instagram post reads, “Sending out prayers for my nephew, Tyler. He needs our strength and prayers right now. We love you, JW.”

For further details, go to the Prayers for Tyler Holsted Facebook page or use the hashtag #prayersfortylerholsted.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Tim McGraw Opens Up About Past Drug and Alcohol Issues in “Men’s Health”

Photo Credit: Ture LillegravenWhen Tim McGraw first started playing club shows at age 19, he’d always have a few drinks to calm his nerves before going onstage. His mother, Betty, warned him it would become a problem if he didn’t learn how to perform sober. Even though he went on to country superstardom, Tim admits he rarely hit the stage without something in his system until about seven years ago.

He tells Men’s Health, “I drank too much. I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but…use your imagination.”

Tim’s drug and alcohol use was fueled by the isolation of being on the road away from his family. It got to the point, his wife, Faith Hill, had to step in.

“When your wife tells you it’s gone too far, that’s a big wake-up call,” Tim says. “It got to the point where my kids were getting older, and it was way past the point that they noticed it. And I noticed that they noticed. That’s enough to straighten you out.”

Now, Tim is the picture of fitness on the cover of the July/August issue of Men’s Health, on stands next week.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio