Taylor Swift Says New Single, “Shake It Off,” Addresses Our “Take-Down Culture”

ABC/ Lorenzo BevilaquaNot only is Taylor Swift out with a new single, “Shake It Off,” she also has a new music video for it and a new album, 1989, to be released Oct. 27. Taylor said the single, which had its debut Monday night during her global Yahoo! live stream, encourages people to shake off negativity in their lives.

“The message in the song is a problem I think we all deal with, and an issue we deal with on a daily basis. We don’t live just in a celebrity take-down culture, we live in a take-down culture,” Taylor said on Tuesday’s Good Morning America. “People will find anything about you and twist it to where it’s weird or wrong or annoying or strange or bad. You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you, you have to have more fun than they do.”

Taylor added that when she first envisioned “Shake It Off,” she saw it being played during wedding receptions“I just said, ‘We need drums that make even the person who’s having a terrible night at a wedding, and she’s like “I am not in the mood to dance” and then like its comes on and she’s like “This is my song! This is my song!”‘ That’s the dream!” Taylor said, laughing.

Taylor also showed off her music video, which features her and a series of different dance crews showing off various dance styles, with Taylor executing most of them clumsily. The singer joked that they shot the video in three days, which is how long it took “to get that exquisite dance performance from me.”

You can pre-order 1989 now at Taylorswift.com.  You can also pre-order the Target deluxe edition of the album, which features three additional songs, plus three voice memos from Taylor’s phone which, according to Target, “offer a unique insight into Taylor’s songwriting process and document the early creation of three songs on 1989.” 

The artwork on the deluxe edition is slightly different: it’s the same Polaroid of Taylor with the top of her face cut off, but it has 1989 scrawled across it, and the letters D.L.X. written along the bottom.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Stars Rock Out on New Motley Crue Tribute Album, “Nashville Outlaws”

Image Courtesy Big Machine Label GroupFlorida Georgia Line, Darius Rucker, Brantley Gilbert and several other country stars salute heavy metal legends Motley Crue on the new tribute album, Nashville Outlaws. The project is in stores and online Tuesday featuring the lead single, Justin Moore’s collaboration with Motley Crue’s Vince Neil on “Home Sweet Home.” Even though it has a rock edge, Justin says, “This sounds like a Justin Moore song. I mean it doesn’t matter where the song originated from whether it was rap or rock or pop or country or whatever, this song is right down, you know, my wheelhouse.”

Florida Georgia Line took on the Crue song “If I Die Tomorrow” for the project. Looking back on their recording session for that song, FGL’s Brian Kelley says, “[It was a] pretty cool experience to be a part of that album. It felt like magic that day we were in the studio.”

Rascal Flatts contributed a version of “Kickstart My Heart,” and the band’s Jay DeMarcus was very impressed with lead singer Gary LeVox’s vocals on the song.

Jay tells ABC News Radio, “Gary was the perfect singer for that song, too, because not a lot of people can scream and sing as high as Vince Neil did, you know.”

Jay goes on to say the Flatts put their own stamp on the song. He explains, “The rule of thumb usually is, if you can’t outdo the original, you shouldn’t touch it.”

Darius Rucker didn’t even try to compete with the Motley Crue’s version of “Time for Change” when he went in to record it for Nashville Outlaws.

“We said we’re gonna start this record like we’ve never heard the song before,” Darius says. “You know, we pretended we didn’t know it,  and just went down to the basics and came up with something that I’m really proud of.”

Cassadee Pope, Eli Young Band, LeAnn Rimes and Big & Rich are among the other artists featured on Nashville Outlaws.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockAlabama will release a deluxe edition of their inspirational album, Angels Among Us: Hymns & Gospel Favorites, on September 8 exclusively at Cracker Barrel.

After his performance on NBC’s Today on Friday morning, Hunter Hayes will headline the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day tennis and music event on Saturday in Flushing, NY.

Pop star Ed Sheeran tells USA Today he and Florida Georgia Line have been talking about collaborating on a song. Ed explains, “We haven’t discussed it further than a conversation, but it’s something we both want to happen.”

Blake Shelton‘s new single, “Neon Light,” has been released to country radio as the lead song from his new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, due out September 30.

Garth Brooks is now playing seven shows at Atlanta’s Philips Arena starting September 19. Tickets are still available for four of the shows.

Luke Bryan entertained more than 50,000 fans at his sold-out show at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field Friday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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 MyCountryNation.com as well as through Twitter at @MyCountryNation, Facebook.com/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