Garth Brooks Will Try to Relax and Enjoy Himself at Sunday Night’s ACM Awards

Image Courtesy Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks was just a few weeks into his World Tour when he was nominated for Entertainer of the Year at this Sunday’s ACM Awards. Since the nominations were announced earlier this year, Garth has gone on to play his 100th show on the trek, with ticket sales topping the two-million mark. Despite those impressive statistics, Garth knows he’s facing some stiff competition with Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line all vying for the fan-voted trophy.

He tells ABC Radio, “The talent level is crazy, and again, there’s five names in there we can name. Keith [Urban], Blake [Shelton], Eric [Church] — you could name, there’s guys that should be in there as well that aren’t, so this is gonna be a tough category to walk away with it.”

Garth has actually won ACM Entertainer of the Year six times, and was named the ACM Artist of the Decade for the 1990s. Still, it took a request from his wife, Trisha Yearwood, to calm his nerves going into Sunday night’s show.

“My wife said, ‘Do me a favor. Let’s go there with no expectation. Let’s be the happiest couple in the room, and let’s have fun,’” Garth says. “I don’t know if an award show I’ve ever done that, ’cause [with] awards shows, you’re always nervous and everything, but this one — I’m just gonna go there and have fun.”

The fun starts Friday night at Garth and Trisha co-host the ACM Lifting Lives charity gala in Dallas featuring performances from Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, The Band Perry and more. The next day, Trisha flies to the East Coast to launch her new furniture line before flying back to Texas for Sunday night’s ACM Awards.

Garth says, “Her schedule is a lot more hectic than mine. I’m just gonna come there and play music and have some fun.”

Fan voting in the Entertainer of the Year category is open now at VoteACM.com. Look for Garth to also perform on the 50th Annual ACM Awards, broadcasting live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.


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“Nashville” Recap: “Nobody Knows but Me”

Image Courtesy Bob D’Amico/ABCPop superstar Christina Aguilera made her debut on ABC’s Nashville Wednesday, playing another pop star named Jade St. John. The pink-haired diva was in Music City playing two sold-out shows at the Bridgestone Arena, and Jade’s ex-fiancé, Jeff Fordham, convinced her to use his management client, Layla Grant, as one of her opening acts. This is just the beginning of Jade’s role in Layla’s life.

Christina says, “Jade takes Layla under her wing a little bit, and kind of plays the big sister to her and wanting to encourage her growth and coming up in the business.”

Jade also finds herself in the middle of some drama between Layla and Juliette Barnes in the next few episodes.

Christina adds with a laugh, “Juliette definitely tells me where to go.”

During Wednesday night’s show, Jade also performed a new song, “The Real Thing,” which is now available on iTunes as part of the Nashville soundtrack. So, does this mean Christina is planning a move to country music in her real life?

She says, “Jade definitely makes me discover a new side to who I am and what more I have to offer, even as an artist, you know, crossing into a little bit of experimenting with country. So, it’s fun and it’s music and, you know, it’s all love.”

Elsewhere in Nashville, Juliette Barnes isn’t adjusting well to life as mother to her baby girl, Cadence. While husband Avery Barkley is off performing the new song “On a Rail” with his band, The Triple Exes, Juliette gets word that the producer of her Patsy Cline biopic wants her to write and record a new song for the film.

Grasping this opportunity to get away from the screaming baby, Juliette hires a nanny without telling Avery and boards a private plane to Los Angeles to work on the movie. Once Avery finds out about the situation, he decides to leave The Triple Exes. The act is now a duo consisting of former lovers Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O’Conner.

Closeted country star Will Lexington‘s songwriting sessions with the openly gay Kevin Bicks may be over, but it looks like their personal relationship is just heating up. After a few missed opportunities, Will finally let Kevin know he’s interested in going out on a date. Kevin said yes by planting a big kiss on Will’s lips.

Nashville mayor Teddy Conrad managed to embezzle the $500,000 his hooker, Natasha, needed to get out of town before the feds learned he was her client. It turns out she’s working as a witness for the FBI and got Teddy’s drop-off of the money on tape.

Deacon Claybourne decided to move in to Rayna Jaymes‘ house after their daughter, Maddie, noticed he has stayed over several nights in a row. There was no update on Deacon’s liver cancer as he continues waiting for a donor liver.

Nashville returns with an all-new episode featuring Christina Aguilera next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Young will perform at the 20th Annual Key West Songwriter’s Festival May 6 through 10 in Florida.

Darius Rucker appears on ABC’s The Chew Thursday.

Florida Georgia Line played a secret show for 150 fans Tuesday afternoon at Nashville’s Sutler Saloon. According to People, the show celebrated FGL’s new drink with Mountain Dew, DEWShine.

Tune in to catch Reba on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live Thursday night.

Scotty McCreery performed for patients at Nashville’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt earlier this week. The appearance is part of the Grand Ole Opry’s Cause for Applause initiative to support nine important causes through 2015 in celebration of the Opry’s 90th anniversary.


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Kellie Pickler Unveils New ‘Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler’ Home Goods Collection

Sheri Oneal Photography/Grand Ole OpryKellie Pickler has partnered with the Grand Ole Opry to launch a new home goods collection — Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler. The line is named for Kellie’s great-grandmother, who inspired Kellie’s design choices on the collection’s picture frames, dishes, aprons, candles and select furniture pieces.

Says Kellie, “My great-grandmother had a simple, loving touch that made her house a home like no other.  It’s really nice being able to take things I know she would have loved and create a line inspired by her.”

You can check out the Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler now at the store at Opry.com or at one of the two Grand Ole Opry retail stores in Nashville.


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Easton Corbin’s Third Album, “About to Get Real,” Due Out June 30

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleEaston Corbin‘s third album, About to Get Real, will be out June 30. The project features Easton’s latest top-15 hit, “Baby Be My Love Song.”

As for that album title, Easton explains, “When country fans listen to this album, I want them to take away that even though the music mixes the modern with the classic, it’s entirely real. Like the music of my heroes, it’s the real deal.”

Look for Easton’s new video for “Baby Be My Love Song” on Vevo.


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ACM Backstage App Offers Fans Unprecedented Access to the ACM Awards

Image Courtesy ACMThe new ACM Backstage app gives you an unprecedented view behind the scenes of this Sunday’s 50th Annual ACM Awards. Live cameras placed throughout AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas will be streaming footage to the app all night as the show broadcasts live on CBS. Viewers will get access to red carpet footage, the backstage press room, and exclusive messages from artists on the show following their performances.

Also, fans who use the Shazam app during the CBS broadcast will be entered to win a trip for two to next Year’s ACM Awards, as well as a guitar autographed by co-hosts Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton.

Download the ACM Backstage and Shazam apps at iTunes or Google Play. Go to ACMBackstage.com for more details.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards air Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.


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Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Releasing New Album, “Django and Jimmie”

Image Courtesy Sony LegacyCountry icons Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are releasing a new album together June 2.  Titled Django and Jimmie, the title track pays tribute to the relationship between jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and the late Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmie Rodgers.

Willie explains, “Both of those guys were very influential in both of our careers.”

Willie and Merle also take solo turns on selections from each other’s respective catalogs on the new project.  Willie wrote a few new tracks for Django and Jimmie, too.

Merle says, “[There's] new songs, a couple of classics and Willie sang like he was a teenager.”

Willie and Merle first found success together with their #1-selling 1983 album, Pancho & Lefty. They’ve recorded and toured together several times since then.

Here’s the Django and Jimmie track listing:

“Django and Jimmie”
“It’s All Going to Pot”
“Unfair Weather Friend”
“Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash”
“Live This Long”
“Alice in Hulaland”
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”
“Family Bible”
“It’s Only Money”
“Swinging Doors”
“Where Dreams Come to Die”
“Somewhere Between”
“Driving the Herd”
“The Only Man Wilder Than Me”


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Thomas Rhett Streaming Live Concert from Dallas Friday Night on Yahoo Music

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett is kicking off the ACM Awards weekend with a live streaming concert on Yahoo Music Friday night at 9 ET. He’ll perform at the legendary club Gilley’s in Dallas as part of the Ram Country Live! series.  You can watch at RamCountry.Yahoo.com/Thomas-Rhett-Live.

“I can’t think of a better way to start things off than with a full set for my fans on a rowdy Friday night at Gilley’s,” Thomas says. “It’s one of those iconic Texas clubs that everyone has played at some point in their career, and even if you aren’t in Dallas for the weekend, you can tune in online and be part of it, which is really cool.”

Thomas is up for the fan-voted ACM New Artist of the Year award; voting is still going on at VoteACM.com. Thomas will be performing “Make Me Wanna” on the 50th Annual ACM Awards, broadcasting live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.



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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich member of Rascal Flatts is married to former Playboy Playmate of the Year, Tiffany Fallon? ANSWER: Joe Don Rooney.


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Rascal Flatts “Humbled and Honored” with ACM Vocal Group of the Year Nomination

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts has been named ACM Vocal Group of the Year seven times since they first took the category in 2002, but it’s been a few years since they’ve been nominated in that category. The rise of vocal groups like Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band and Little Big Town has made that award one of the toughest to win, so the Flatts are excited to be back in the running this year.

“You miss what you don’t have,” says lead singer Gary LeVox. “So, we were just so humbled and honored. We were just filled with joy.”

Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus admits he had stopped looking at the ACM nominations in the past few years because he just assumed they wouldn’t be in the running anymore. Looking back on the morning the ACM nominations were announced earlier this year, Jay says, “It was a fantastic way to start the day. I had so many great emails and phone calls from friends, from people that were pulling for us to be back in there. I was really speechless.”

Look for Rascal Flatts to collaborate with Christina Aguilera on this Sunday’s 50th Annual ACM Awards. The show broadcasts live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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