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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Garth Brooks Reveals Knoxville Show Dates

Nancy Seltzer & Assoc.Garth Brooks will bring his world tour to Knoxville, TN May 29 and 30 at the Thompson Boling Arena.

Tickets for the show, Garth’s first Birmingham dates in over 18 years, go on sale Friday, April 24 through KnoxvilleTickets.com. 

As always, you can find more information at GarthBrooks.com.  Garth’s also making a major push there for fans to give him their vote for ACM Entertainer of the Year.  The 50th annual ACM Awards air Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Band Perry is performing July 28 through 30 aboard Carnival Cruise ships docked in Nassau as part of the cruise line’s Carnival LIVE concert series. Go to Carnival.com/CarnivalLIVE for details.

Sam Hunt will headline the first Country Night Lights festival September 26 in Athens, Ohio, according to Billboard. More stars will be added to the lineup soon.

Little Big Town‘s Kimberly Schlapman has released her first cookbook, Oh Gussie!, available now online and at bookstores everywhere.

Billy Currington, Reba, Big & Rich and Chris Young are among the stars playing the Country Life Music Festival April 24 through 26 in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Darius Rucker remembered R&B legend Percy Sledge, who died Tuesday at age 73, with a tweet saying, “We lost a legend today. Prayers to Percy Sledge’s family, may he rest in peace.” Percy Sledge was best known for his 1966 classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

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Dierks Bentley Isn’t Preparing Speeches for Sunday Night’s ACM Awards

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/CapitolDierks Bentley has seven nominations going into Sunday night’s 50th Annual ACM Awards, including nods for Male Vocalist and Album of the Year, with Riser. The songs on that project, including “I Hold On” and “Drunk on a Plane,” have catapulted Dierks’ career to new heights as a headliner on the road.

He says of the recognition from the ACM, “I’ve been nominated for some stuff along the way, but to get the seven ACM nominations kinda at the end of that whole cycle is just icing on the cake, and I couldn’t be more proud for everyone in my camp. It’s just really awesome.”

Dierks won his first ACM Award back in 2004 with he took the New Artist of the Year category. Now that he’s older, Dierks says, “I have a lot more gratitude and perspective. Just being nominated is awesome, but it’d be fun to win.”

While Dierks is fully prepared for his performance on Sunday night’s ACM broadcast, he isn’t writing any acceptance speeches ahead of time.

He says, “It would be straight from the heart and it’d be very loud and probably a lot of arm motions. It’d be a lot of fun.”

The 50th Annual ACM Awards broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

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Eric Church Following in His Father’s Footsteps with New Furniture Line Launching Next Year

Image Courtesy Jon Peets/Capitol NashvilleEric Church is the latest country star to introduce a home collection. His Highway to Home furniture line will go one sale next year through a licensing deal with a North Carolina-based furniture company. Eric’s father, Ken, is a longtime executive in the furniture business, so the country star was raised around this industry.

“Highway to Home is a natural extension of my family heritage,” Eric explains in a Facebook post. “My dad was in the industry. My first job was in a furniture plant, so yes, it is in my blood. Staying connected with my roots has always been important to me…my history and connection runs deep in this business.”

According to FurnitureToday.com, Highway to Home is inspired by Eric’s life on the road as he travels from city to city. Some pieces will have a western-inspired look while other items in the collection will have more of a southern influence.

Eric will donate a portion of the proceeds from the Highway to Home line to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through his Chief Cares charity organization.

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Trisha Yearwood’s Third Cookbook, “Trisha’s Table,” Debuts on New York Times Bestseller List

Image Courtesy Clarskon PotterTrisha Yearwood‘s third cookbook is a New York Times Bestseller. Trisha’s Table debuts at #7 on the paper’s Advice, Hot-To & Miscellaneous book chart in its first week. The book features lighter takes on recipes from Trisha and her friends and family.

This weekend, Trisha returns with the sixth season of her Emmy-winning Food Network show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. The premiere episode airs Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET with Trisha preparing a breakfast spread for her friends.

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Lee Brice and Jerrod Niemann Co-Hosting Fan Bash June 10 in Nashville

Image Courtesy EB Media PRLee Brice and Jerrod Niemann are co-hosting their annual Fan Bash again, this time on Wednesday, June 10 in Nashville. This year’s show and fan event will take place at City Winery during the CMA Music Festival.

Tickets cost $50 and will go on sale Wednesday morning at FanBash2015.Eventbrite.com.

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Chris Young’s ACM Sessions Performance Now Live Online

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleChris Young‘s ACM Sessions is now posted at ACMCountry.com as part of the ramp-up to this Sunday’s 50th Annual ACM Awards. The feature includes an acoustic performance from Chris, as well as a Q&A session. Fewer than 100 lucky fans got to see Chris tape his ACM Sessions performance earlier this year at Nashville’s Bluebird Café.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards broadcast live on CBS Sunday night at 8:00 ET.

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Rascal Flatts Performing with Christina Aguilera on Sunday Night’s ACM Awards

Image Courtesy ACMPop superstar Christina Aguilera is teaming up with Rascal Flatts for a performance on the 50th Annual ACM Awards Sunday night. The collaboration will include Christina’s song, “Shotgun,” as well as the Flatts’ new single, “Riot.” Look for Christina to perform “Shotgun” during her three-episode story arc on ABC’s Nashville, starting Wednesday night at 10 ET.

Rascal Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus tells USA Today, “It’s going to be a nice, seamless transition and a really powerful performance.”

While Christina hasn’t yet met the members of Rascal Flatts, she’s a big fan of lead singer Gary LeVox‘s vocal performances.  Says Christina, “I really love the rich tone of [his] voice. He has a sound that fans recognize immediately.”

Of course, Christina has become friends with Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, since she and Blake are both coaches on NBC’s The Voice.

Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Florida Georgia Line are among the stars performing on the 50th Annual ACM Awards Sunday night at 8:00 ET on CBS.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockGarth Brooks‘ band is named for which Oklahoma town? ANSWER: Stillwater.

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