Taylor Swift Confirms VMA Performance; Says Upcoming Live Stream Event Could Feature “Multiple Announcements”

Douglas Gorenstein/NBCTaylor Swift confirmed during a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday that she’ll be performing at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on August 24.

E!Online had reported late last month that Taylor was planning something “explosive” for the VMAs.

Swift was a promotion machine Wednesday night.  In addition to making the VMA announcement, the 24-year-old singer also plugged her August 18 Yahoo! worldwide live stream event. Swift told Fallon, “There could be one announcement or there could be multiple announcements.” It’s most likely details about her brand-new album, or perhaps of the first single from that album. The live stream begins at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Swift also promoted her new movie The Giver, which opens nationwide on Friday and co-stars Jeff Bridges.  The singer said that in addition to acting with Bridges, the two also got a chance during down time to pull out their guitars and jam.

When Fallon asked what songs they played, Swift said Bridges had “really eclectic taste,” but recalled playing some well-known tunes as well. “I remember playing ‘Apologize’ by OneRepublic and playing ‘American Girl’ by Tom Petty,” Swift told Fallon.

Swift’s Tonight Show visit also included participation in Fallon’s recurring sketch, “Ew!” Fallon dresses as a young woman who hosts a show in her basement called Ew! Swift played “Natalie Benson,” a 13-year-old who wears braces, ponytails and likes to eat apricots and has a Band-Aid collection.

Taylor Swift is scheduled to visit NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Tyler Farr Raises a Glass to Toast “Whiskey in My Water” Hitting #1

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr‘s life is moving in overdrive these days due to his crazy touring and recording schedule. He took some time out Wednesday to take a breath and celebrate his second consecutive #1 hit, “Whiskey in My Water,” at a party at the BMI Building in Nashville.

Tyler describes having back-to-back chart-toppers as “pretty surreal.” He says, “I haven’t really had time to soak it in. It usually happens at these #1 parties where we actually have a chance to hug it out with some guy friends, people, like, ‘Man, this is crazy,’ and it really sinks in.”

These days, Tyler is either playing music onstage opening up Jason Aldean‘s Burn It Down tour or in the studio working on his upcoming sophomore album.

“My life is pretty much on the road and all that it consists of is music, and that’s alright for now,” Tyler says. “We’re just taking it day-by-day, and as long as they’re paying to come to shows, I’ll keep playing ’em.”

Just a year ago, Tyler was climbing the charts with his first #1 hit, “Redneck Crazy,” and he hadn’t graduated to traveling in a tour bus just yet.

He recalls, “It was a year ago that we were riding around in an Econoline and a U-Haul trailer. So, things are good, and we’ve been very blessed.”

Tyler debuted his brand-new single, “A Guy Walks into a Bar” on the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night. It’s the lead single from Tyler’s as-yet-untitled sophomore album, due out in the coming months.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Florida Georgia Line‘s Brian Kelley shows off the tricked-out treehouse he added to his Nashville property on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters this Friday night at 10 ET.  

Taylor Swift appears on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers Thursday night.

Eric Church‘s band hosted their third annual Put a Club in My Hand golf tournament in Nashville earlier this month. The event raised more than $112,000 for MusiCares, the charitable arm of The Recording Academy.

Cole Swindell hung out with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at the Giants training facility in New Jersey Wednesday, according to Cole’s Instagram feed.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


New Duo Brothers Osborne Releasing Self-Titled EP September 9

Image Courtesy EMI NashvilleNew country duo Brothers Osborne will release their first EP September 9, featuring summertime hit, “Rum.” The self-titled project features five tracks all co-written by the duo’s T.J. and John Osborne.

Two days after the EP comes out, Brothers Osborne heads out on as an opening act on Eric Church‘s The Outsiders World Tour, starting in Bossier City, LA. A full-length album from T.J. and John is expected to follow in 2015.

Here’s the Brothers Osborne EP track listing:

“Shoot from the Hip”
“Arms of Fire”
“Stay a Little Longer”
“Love the Lonely Out of You”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley is the latest country star to take the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of ALS. Video of his band mate, Dave Haywood,  dumping cold water on Charles’ head is now on YouTube. Charles also challenged their “Bartender” video star, Kate Upton, to take the ice bucket challenge next.

Charles joins several other country stars who have taken the ice bucket challenge, including Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Lee Brice, Chase Rice, Dierks Bentley and Randy Houser.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Florida Georgia Line Proud of Their ’90s Country Influences

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line incorporates rock and hip-hop influences into their brand of country music, but the duo’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard regularly keep it country with their own iTunes purchases. In fact, CMT.com reports Tyler just downloaded John Anderson‘s 1993 hit “Money in the Bank” on his iPhone.

Tyler’s singing partner Brian says, “Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, Blackhawk, Alabama. Man, we love all that stuff. That music is timeless. That is country music.”

Mixing up their favorite genres of music started when Tyler and B.K. first met as students at Nashville’s Belmont University.  “It was hip-hop, country and rock in college. We probably had iPod playlists with all three of those genres, as loud as they could go,” Tyler says. “I’d say that would probably cover our Friday nights.”

FGL will be incorporating all of those sounds into their new album coming out later this year. The lead single from that project, “Dirt,” is already a big hit at country radio.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockKenny Chesney hails from which East Tennessee town? ANSWER: Luttrell.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Brings One of her Favorite Stories to Life with Small, but Pivotal Role in “The Giver”

Image Courtesy The Weinstein CompanyTaylor Swift had several reasons to say yes to taking the small, but pivotal role of Rosemary in the new film, The Giver. On top of getting the chance to share a scene with Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, who plays her father, this acting gig allowed Taylor to help tell a story that had a profound impact on the way she sees the world.

The Giver is based on Lois Lowry‘s futuristic novel of the same name, and Taylor first read it in fifth grade. She says, “I didn’t do a lot of thinking about the distant future as far as our society goes at that point in my life. This really kind of switched that up for me, and it really kind of blew my mind in a way that stuck with me.”

In The Giver, society has done away with pain and sadness as well as happiness, music and love. One person, known as the Receiver of Memories, now absorbs all of society’s memories and emotions in case they are needed to make a decision. The story deals with the weight of carrying that burden while also imagining a world without emotional or artistic expression.

Taylor says, “It celebrates all the things that I hold really dear and the things that are most important to me —  like our history and our music and our art and our intellect and our memories. I think that that really had a great deal to do with why I wanted to be a part of this.”

Since Taylor writes songs about her own heartbreak and disappointment, a lot of fans reach out to her via social media to tell her about the tough times they’re facing. She thinks those fans will find a message of hope in The Giver.

“They can’t image that we can experience such great pain, such intense loss, such insecurity,” Taylor explains, “and the thing that I just wish I could tell them over and over again is that we live for these fleeting moments of happiness. Happiness is not a constant. It’s something that we only experience a glimpse of every once in awhile, but it’s worth it. And I think that’s what they’ll take away from this movie.”

Meryl Streep and Brenton Thwaites also star in The Giver, opening in theaters on Friday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLook for Luke Bryan‘s cameo on ABC’s Nashville to air October 1. He filmed his part with Connie Britton last Friday at ABC’s Good Morning America.

Tickets for the 48th Annual CMA Awards, airing live on ABC on November 5,  and the CMA Country Christmas special, taping Friday, November 7, will go on sale to the public Saturday, September 6 through Ticketmaster. Both events take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride are among the country stars joining gospel music star Michael W. Smith on his new holiday album, The Spirit of Christmas, due out September 30. U2 front man Bono, Vince Gill, Michael McDonald and Amy Grant round out Michael’s guest list.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Reveals “The Big Revival” Track Listing, Releases “Flora-Bama” on iTunes

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairKenny Chesney plays a headlining show at the Flora-Bama bar on Perdido Key on the Alabama-Florida line Saturday, and now he’s released a new track called “Flora-Bama” to fans who pre-order his new album, The Big Revival, on iTunes. The song is the second taste of Kenny’s new music after the hit lead single, “American Kids.”

“Flora-Bama” was inspired by a friend of Kenny’s who called him after spending an entire afternoon in that bar. Kenny explains, “He’d just ducked in for a beer, and six hours later, he’d emerged with a bunch of new friends, a great time and the sort of memory you keep going back to.”

Look for The Big Revival in stores on September 23.

Here’s The Big Revival track listing:

“The Big Revival”
“Drink It Up”
“Til It’s Gone”
“American Kids”
“Wild Child” (with Grace Potter)
“Beer Can Chicken”
“Rock Bottom”
“Don’t It”
“Save It for a Rainy Day”
“If This Bus Could Talk”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio