Jason Aldean Gears Up for Live Performance on Tonight’s CMT Music Awards

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean has been rehearsing all week long getting ready for his performance of “Tonight Looks Good on You” at Wednesday’s night’s CMT Music Awards. Since the show is broadcast live, Jason knows he has no room for error.

He says, “[If] you mess up, CMT’s gonna rerun it a hundred times that week, and everybody gets to see it. So, that’s sort of running through your mind, but we’ve done it before.”

Though he’ll try to deliver a perfect performance on the CMT Music Awards, Jason has learned to roll with his mistakes on live TV.

He adds, “Over the years, you finally just sort of come to terms with it and go out and have fun. Have a good time and whatever happens happens.”

Jason’s clip “Burnin’ It Down” is nominated for Male Video and Video of the Year at Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards, airing live at 8 ET on CMT and CMT.com.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge and Darius Rucker collaborated on a cover of the Frank Sinatra standard “That’s Life” Monday night at the 6th Annual Darius and Friends benefit concert for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The show took place at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon with Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses and Brothers Osborne also on the bill.

Country newcomer Chris Janson will perform his new single, “Buy Me a Boat,” on Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards. Look for the video for the song to premiere on CMT.com directly after the performance.

Chris Young‘s 2011 album, Neon, has been certified platinum.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Luke, Darius, Lady A and More Look Forward to Tonight’s 2015 CMT Music Awards

CMTLuke Bryan is one of the biggest stars performing on Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards, but it wasn’t that long ago he considered himself very lucky to get a slot on the show.

He says, “They took a chance on me a few years ago and let me perform ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me)’ on the show and really kinda sent my career into another level.”

Since the CMT Music Awards mean so much to Luke, he’s chosen to premiere his brand-new single, “Kick the Dust Up,” on this year’s broadcast.

“It’s gonna be a fun night,” Luke says. “Got a lot of smoke, lot of lights, it’s gonna be crazy.”

Luke is also looking forward to seeing some of the guest presenters at this year’s CMT Music Awards, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and co-hosts Erin Andrews of Dancing with the Stars and Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow.

Says Luke, “They always have really, really interesting guests. They think outside the box on a lot of things, and it’s a fun night for that reason.”

Darius Rucker loves the fun vibe of the CMT Music Awards, too. He says, “It’s really laidback. I love getting to play the CMT Awards ’cause you get to play and you get to have a good time. They always put together these cool things.”

This year, Darius will deliver his performance on an outdoor stage in downtown Nashville during the show. Since it is summer in the south, is Darius worried about insects possibly interfering with his live performance?

He says with a laugh, “I’m sure as soon as I hit the first note, a bug’s gonna fly right into my mouth, right into my throat.”

Darius adds, “I want to play outdoors for the folks, so it’s gonna be fun.”

Jake Owen performed outdoors on last year’s CMT Music Awards, so he’s excited to move back inside to sing his new single, “Real Life,” on Wednesday night. He promises the performance will have a lot of fun, summertime energy.

Says Jake, “We got a bunch of dancers and craziness going on.”

Brett Eldredge is presenting a trophy with his pal Thomas Rhett on this year’s CMT Music Awards.  While he used to be nervous about reading a teleprompter and being on camera, Brett has now mastered the art of being an awards show presenter.  So, what’s his secret?

Brett tells ABC Radio, “[You’ve got to] style yourself up a little bit, look good, turn up the charm and go up there and win ’em over and read those three lines with pizazz!”

In fact, Brett loves being on camera so much, you should probably expect to see him hosting an awards show some day.

He adds, “I’ll do everything but dance on stage.”

The CMT Music Awards will open with Lady Antebellum and Pop/EDM star Zedd  performing a mashup of the group’s current single, “Long Stretch of Love,” and his hit, “Beautiful Now.” While the songs are very different, Lady A’s Hillary Scott says, “I think it really works. I think it’ll be a really exciting start to the show. You know, we’re huge fans of what he’s doing.”

Other performances on the show include Eric Church delivering his latest hit, “Like a Wrecking Ball,” and Keith Urban debuts his brand-new single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, Kelsea Ballerini, A Thousand Horses, Frankie Ballard and Reba are among the other performers on the 2015 CMT Music Awards. The show broadcasts live from Nashville Wednesday night at 8 ET on CMT and CMT.com.

Here are the 2015 CMT Music Awards nominees:

Video of the Year

Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Male Video of the Year
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Eric Church, “Talladega”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Keith Urban, “Somewhere in My Car”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”

Female Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood, “Little Toy Guns”
Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Lee Ann Womack, “The Way I’m Livin'”
Miranda Lambert, “Little Red Wagon”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Reba, “Going Out Like That”

Group Video of the Year
A Thousand Horses, “Smoke”
Eli Young Band, “Dust”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Little Big Town, “Day Drinking”
The Band Perry, “Chainsaw”
Zac Brown Band, “All Alright”

Breakthrough Video of the Year
Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”
Frankie Ballard, “Sunshine & Whiskey”
Kelsea Ballerini, “Love Me Like You Mean It”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Duo Video of the Year
Big & Rich, “Look at You”
Brothers Osborne, “Rum”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Florida Georgia Line, “Sun Daze”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
The Swon Brothers, “Later On”

Collaborative Video of the Year
Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”
Brantley Gilbert featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, “Small Town Throwdown”
Jennifer Nettles featuring Brandy Clark, “His Hands”
Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, “Wild Child”
Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad’
Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”

CMT Performance of the Year
Bob Seger and Jason Aldean, “Turn the Page”
Brett Eldredge, “Beat of the Music”
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack, “You & I (Nobody in the World)”
Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, “Roar”
Keith Urban, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up”
Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, “Drink a Beer”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kacey Musgraves Explains Why She Refused to Do a Radio Edit for “Biscuits”

Mercury NashvilleInterest is high in Kacey Musgraves‘ sophomore album, Pageant Material, due out June 23, but the lead single, “Biscuits,” has yet to break into the top 40 at country radio. That chart position might have something to do with the line “Pissing in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener,” which her label suggested she change to “spitting my yard” for the radio version. Kacey refused.

She tells Rolling Stone, “People are so worried about offending that they water down everything. Come to a show, and that’s the line everyone loves. Don’t take that away from me!”

No matter how “Biscuits” fares on country radio, Kacey is sure to have people talking about Pageant Material. She’s hosting an album launch party at a Nashville gay club, Play, next week to promote the album.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Zac Brown to Appear at Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner June 18

Southern ReelZac Brown has joined the list of performers and presenters for the 46th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner Thursday, June 18 in New York City. Jennifer Nettles will also be part of the festivities along with Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Ne-Yo and Richie Sambora.

Toby Keith and legendary country songwriter Bobby Braddock are among this year’s inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Brett Eldredge Reveals Album Cover for Sophomore Project, “Illinois”

Southern ReelBrett Eldredge took to Snapchat and Instagram to reveal the cover of his new album, Illinois, Tuesday. The project comes out September 11 featuring the lead single, “Lose My Mind,” as well as the title track.

Brett says, “We’ve been performing a few of the new songs in our show and I can’t wait for fans to hear all of it.”

Look for Brett to present a trophy on the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night. He’ll give his first performance at the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts at LP Field this Friday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was the CMA Music Festival called when it was held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds? ANSWER:  Fan Fair.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A Thousand Horses Releases Their Road-Tested Debut Album, “Southernality”

Republic NashvilleA Thousand Horses first caught your ear with their #1 debut hit, “Smoke,” and now they’re following it up with their first full-length album, Southernality. The band members wrote all 13 songs on the album among themselves and a tight circle of songwriters in Nashville.

A Thousand Horses lead singer Michael Hobby tells ABC Radio, “These are guys we’ve known for a long time in town and always have written with. They’re all good buddies. So, it’s definitely cool to say, ‘Yeah, we wrote our record.’ That’s why it sounds like that is because it’s us, you know.”

The songs on Southernality were written over the last few years as the band played show after show. Seeing how the crowd reacted to the songs played a big role in determining which songs would stay in the show from night to night.

“One of the great benefits of being a band is we were able to go out and road-test songs,” says band member Bill Satcher. “Like, write songs, go out and play ’em four, five, six times, kind of work the kinks out over the couple years we were getting going.”

In addition to playing hundreds of shows, A Thousand Horses spent a lot of time in the studio learning how to record what they’d created on stage.  

Michael says of those early, independent recordings, “We released a few EPs that we’d throw together some money and try to go record and put those out, but it all led to this album.”

A Thousand Horses is releasing “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” as the second single from Southernality.

Here’s the Southernality track list:

“First Time”
“Sunday Morning”
“Smoke”
“(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”
“Heaven Is Close”
“Travelin’ Man”
“Back to Me”
“Southernality”
“Tennessee Whiskey”
“Hell on My Heart”
“Trailer Trashed”
“Landslide”
“Where I’m Going”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockFlorida Georgia Line is releasing “Anything Goes” as the follow-up to their latest hit, “Sippin’ on Fire.”

Rodney Atkins has recorded a new version of “America the Beautiful” to go along with Macy’s 39th annual 4th of July Fireworks display in New York City next month. The track will be available as a free download at Macys.com/Fireworks from July 1 through 5.

Rascal Flatts will perform the national anthem prior to game three of the NBA Finals Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio as the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors.

Luke Bryan‘s Kick the Dust Up tour played to 50,000 fans at Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High Saturday night. Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett joined Luke on the bill.

Cole Swindell‘s video for “Let Me See Ya Girl” premieres Friday, June 12 on CMT.

Reba helped celebrate former first lady Barbara Bush‘s 90th birthday over the weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine. She posted a photo on Instagram.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Young Kicking Off CMA Music Festival with Sold-Out Fan Club Party

Monarch PublicityChris Young hosts his 14th Annual Fan Club Party Wednesday morning at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, and the event promises to be one of the biggest get-togethers during this week’s CMA Music Festival. Tickets have been sold out for some time, and Chris can’t wait to say thank you to his hardcore fans who post about his music on social media and request his songs at country radio.

Chris tells ABC Radio, “People are doing that, taking up a part of their day to get word out about me and my music, which is just unbelievable.”

Though the crowds are much bigger these days, Chris has some fan club members that started coming to these parties years before he ever started having hits on the radio. That’s why Chris and his team like to get creative with the event.

“It’s definitely one of those things that we always try to get ahead of it and make it something special and change it up every year,” Chris says. “That way it’s not always the same thing. It’s become for me, it’s part of CMA Fest.” 

For more details on attending Chris’s 2016 fan club party, go to ChrisYoungCountry.com.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.