Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDon’t miss Reba performing her new single, “Until They Don’t Love You,” Wednesday night on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Jennifer Nettles will play a member of Dolly Parton‘s family in the upcoming NBC-TV movie, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors. Look for actors Rick Schroeder and Gerald McRaney to join Jennifer onscreen when the movie airs this holiday season.

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Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line Finally Get Together to Toast “Burnin’ It Down” Success

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean has scored three consecutive #1 hits from his latest album, Old Boots, New Dirt, but he hadn’t had the time to celebrate that feat with the songwriters until Tuesday afternoon. Of course, Florida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley were co-writers on the first of those three #1’s, “Burnin’ It Down,” so it was a challenge to get them all in the same room.

Jason explains, “With just with everybody involved, with us being on the road and FGL, those guys being on the road, it’s kinda hard to get everybody in the same place.”

The party was supposed to celebrate “Burnin’ It Down” and the follow-up hit, “Just Gettin’ Started.” When “Tonight Looks Good on You” hit #1 a few weeks ago, Jason decided to include the writers from that song in the party, too.

“It’s still exciting every time a song goes #1,” Jason says. “It’s just one of those things, you know, at some point, you know that run is going to come to an end. You know, it’s always nice to enjoy it.”

Jason actually got to celebrate the success of “Burnin’ It Down” with FGL last year when they were on the road together. Getting to watch the reaction from the crowd was a big thrill for Brian Kelley.

He says, “Watching the fans live that out. You can’t argue that. You can’t argue the heat of that song. It was cool kind of riding that wave with him, man. It was very special.”

FGL’s lead singer, Tyler Hubbard, was excited to have Jason’s unique voice delivering “Burnin’ It Down.”

Tyler says of Jason’s vocal style, “He may not be singing all these crazy runs and stuff, but as a singer and an artist, man, he can sing. He nails it, and it does look effortless. He does it the right way with having the unique tone and sound.”

Jason is going for another #1 hit with his brand-new single, “Gonna Know We Were Here.”

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Keith Urban Meets with Middle-School Music Students in New York City

CMA/Adam SnyderKeith Urban met with some music students from the Bronx after his performance on NBC’s Today last Friday. The middle-schoolers recently received guitars Keith donated through the CMA Foundation’s Music Education Matters initiative. Keith also wanted to make sure the young musicians had a front-row seat for his five-song set Friday.

The students from the Bronx are involved in the Education Through Music Program. It is just one of the music initiatives across the country benefiting from Keith’s guitar donations, and money raised during the annual CMA Music Festival in Nashville.

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Michael Ray Stays in Touch with Florida Roots as His Career Skyrockets

ABC/Fred LeeMichael Ray‘s life has gone into overdrive, with his self-titled debut album coming out last Friday and his debut hit, “Kiss You in the Morning,” sitting at #1 on the country chart. Michael got confirmation the song had hit the top spot at midnight Sunday.

“Oh, I was freaking out,” Michael tells ABC Radio. “We kind of knew Friday there was a strong possibility, but you never know until charts are done. Especially being the first single, it’s such a rare thing, and it’s something that doesn’t happen all the time. So, it’s overwhelming.”

Michael is keeping in touch with his roots back home in Florida, too. On the album release date, Michael made an appearance at the Walmart near his hometown of Eustis. His aunt and cousin actually worked at that location when he was a kid, and Michael spent hours looking at all the CDs in the store’s music department. The Walmart was packed for Michael’s four-hour meet-and-greet, but he didn’t get to live out his dream of seeing his album on display in the music section.

Michael explains, “I actually didn’t get to see it on the shelf, because [the fans] bought ’em all. So, that was cooler than seeing it on the shelf.”

Michael capped off his big release week with a Tuesday performance on ABC’s Good Morning America. He tells us his phone was blowing up with all the friends and family excited to see him on national TV.

Michael was excited about the early morning gig, too.  He says, “I don’t really sleep a lot anyway. So, whenever you’re playing Good Morning America, that already cuts the four hours I normally get in half. So, I went to bed about 1:00 and woke up at 2:30 pretty much wide awake.”

Michael heads to Farmingville, New York Thursday for a sold-out show with Sam Hunt.

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Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Getting Stars on the Music City Walk of Fame September 10

Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are getting their stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville next month.

The ceremony will take place September 10 at Walk of Fame Park. Garth and Trisha’s stars will be the 64th and 65th added to the Music City Walk of Fame, located just across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

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Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook May Be Singing the High Notes Following Vocal Cord Surgery

Capitol NashvilleGood news for Little Big Town fans. The group’s Jimi Westbrook is talking again after undergoing vocal cord surgery earlier this summer.

In a video posted on the band’s Facebook page, Jimi starts off talking in a really high-pitched voice. Thankfully, he was only kidding — Jimi should be back in the mix for LBT’s signature vocal harmonies very soon.

Little Big Town gets back on the road August 22 with a show in Canada.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLuke Bryan and Cole Swindell were both in the Sigma Chi fraternity at which college? ANSWER: Georgia Southern University.

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Jason Aldean’s Burn It Down Tour Hits the Two Million Tickets Sales Mark

Greenroom PRJason Aldean‘s Burn It Down tour has now sold more than two million tickets, with shows coming up at MetLife Stadium near New York and two shows at Boston’s Gillette Stadium. In addition to playing stadium dates with pal Kenny Chesney, Jason continues playing amphitheaters and arenas around the country.

“I’ll always be surprised to look up and see that many people…the Aldean Army is rocking harder than ever,” Jason says. “But the thing that really kills me is when I look up and see their faces and see how much these songs really mean to them.”

Go to JasonAldean.com to see where he’s playing next.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLittle Big Town has released the title track from their latest album, Pain Killer, as the follow up to their monster hit, “Girl Crush.”

Sam Hunt will perform on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on August 18.

Big & Rich‘s Big Kenny and his wife and four sons will be featured in a new, one-hour special, Big Kenny and Family, on Wednesday, September 2 at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.

Dolly Parton raised more than $500,000 with her four sold-out shows at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this past weekend. The proceeds go to Dolly’s Imagination Library program, which has mailed more than 71 million free books to children around the world.

Maddie & Tae took second place in the Boots and Hearts Bass Classic fishing tournament in Ontario, Canada last Friday. The duo’s Tae Dye also claimed first place for catching the Biggest Bass Overall.

Chris Janson will release his new album this fall featuring the hit single, “Buy Me a Boat.” Chris says the songs topics include boats, love, kids, drinking and Jesus.

Zac Brown Band welcomed Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler on stage Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston. The two collaborated on Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion.”

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Kelsea Ballerini Dreams of Adding Pyro and Hydraulic Lifts to Her Live Shows

CMAKelsea Ballerini has big dreams for her live show once she gets a few more #1 hits under her belt. Back when Kelsea first signed with her booking agency to go on the road, she let them know she wanted to make a dramatic entrance to kick off her concerts.

“I said, ‘I want to come up [onstage] on a hydraulic lift,'” Kelsea recalls of that first meeting. “That’s on my bucket list. That’s a real thing. I’m not even sorry about it.”

Kelsea got some big inspiration for her own show when she recently caught Shania Twain‘s concert in Detroit.

She says, “I was sitting with my band, and she came up from a hydraulic lift and [there was] just fire everywhere, and this sick, sparkly dress. I leaned over to my bass player, Scott, and I go, ‘That is what we’re doing.'”

For now, Kelsea is still working her way up in the touring world. She’ll hit the road with Dan + Shay this October.

Of note, Kelsea had a party in Nashville Monday night to celebrate her #1 debut hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It.”

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