Jason Aldean Introducing His Brand of Country Music to Europe

Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean closes out his first-ever shows in Europe this weekend as the C2C Country to Country Festival wraps up. He’s on the bill with Lady Antebellum, Brantley Gilbert and Florida Georgia Line at London’s O2 Arena Saturday and Sunday, and Jason has had a blast playing tourist in between shows in Sweden, Ireland and Norway.

Before he left for the trek, Jason said, “I think it’s fun to go see things and be a tourist and get to play for people who have never heard your music or seen a show or any of that stuff.”

A big reason Jason wanted to tour in Europe is to introduce fans to his more aggressive style of country music.

“I still think there’s a lot of misconceptions around the world about what country music is. Like, what today’s country music is,” Jason explains. “For us to be able to go, ‘OK, this ain’t your grandaddy’s country music anymore. This is what it is.’ And it’s completely different than what, I think, a lot of people think.”

In the future, Jason hopes to play more shows in Europe and possibly expand these package concerts to other continents, too.

Says Jason, “I think it would be huge, not only for me, but for country music in general.”

Jason brings his tour back home to the U.S. March 26 with a show in Toledo, Ohio.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLee Brice is playing shows in Hawaii this weekend.

Hunter Hayes‘ has received a double-platinum certification for two million copies sold or streamed on his hit “I Want Crazy.” His singles “Everybody’s Got Somebody but Me” and “Invisible” have both been certified gold for 500,000 copies sold or streamed.


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Hunter Hayes Is Ready to Become Country Music’s Hottest New Awards Show Host

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes served as a host for last month’s pre-telecast at the Grammy Awards, and he’s definitely open to emceeing even more events in the future.

Hunter tells ABC Radio, “I’ve always wanted to host stuff. Really, honestly. That’s been a secret goal of mine for a long time.”

At first, Hunter was nervous about reading the Teleprompter at the live Grammy pre-telecast. He messed up several times reading his script from the Teleprompter during a video shoot to promote the Grammys, but Hunter got the hang of it when it came time to rehearse for the live event.

“We did rehearsals, and it was, like, phew, easy,” Hunter says with a laugh, “I was so tempted to drop the mic [after rehearsals].”

Now that he’s gotten his feet wet hosting a live music event, Hunter is ready to emcee other big events like the CMA or ACM Awards.

He says, “Anybody who needs a host anytime soon, I know a guy.  Call me. Plenty of people that I can have as a co-host, too.”

Hunter will host a press conference in Nashville next week to announce some changes coming to this year’s CMA Music Festival. Look for that update on Friday, March 13.


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Chris Young Announces Full Slate of International Dates for 2015

Image Courtesy Monarch PublicityChris Young has been a favorite of American audiences for years, but now he’s taking his brand of country music around the world.

Chris kicks off a tour of Australia and Asia March 11 in Melbourne, Australia. He’ll play military installations in South Korea and Japan on the trek, too.

In September, Chris heads over to Europe for a string of shows starting with a two-night stand in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Here are Chris’s 2015 World Tour dates:

3/11 — Melbourne, Australia
3/13 — Sydney, Australia
3/14 – 3/15 — Ipswich, Australia
3/17 — Pohang, South Korea
3/19 — Fuji, Japan
3/21 — Okinawa, Japan
9/11 – 9/12 — Gstaad, Switzerland
9/14 — London, England
9/16 — Glasgow, Scotland
9/17 — Dublin, Ireland
9/19 — Munich, Germany
9/20 — Cologne, Germany
9/22 — Berlin, Germany
9/24 — Stockholm, Sweden


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Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox Shaving Heads for Charity This Weekend in Las Vegas

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox is trading in his microphone for a pair of clippers this weekend in Las Vegas. Gary joins The Voice winner Craig Wayne Boyd and Olivia Newton-John among the celebrities shaving volunteers’ heads to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in their fight against children’s cancers.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gary and Craig will be shaving heads at Club Vinyl this Saturday. Olivia will be Rascal Flatts is currently performing their Vegas Riot! residency at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas.


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Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and More Playing ACM Party for a Cause Festival

Image Courtesy Academy of Country MusicLuke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Eli Young Band, and Florida Georgia Line are among the stars performing at the ACM Party for a Cause Festival April 17 and 18 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX. They’ll collaborate with country icons Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam, and Clint Black. The performances will be taped for a new TV special, ACM Presents: Superstar Duets! The new special will air Friday, May 15 on CBS.

Tickets packages for the ACM Party for a Cause are now available at Ticketmaster. The festival leads up to the 50th Annual ACM Awards, taking place April 19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The show broadcasts live on CBS starting at 8 p.m. ET.



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Zac Brown Band Releasing New Album, “Jekyll + Hyde,” April 28; Major Tour to Follow

Southern Ground/Big Machine/John VarvatosZac Brown Band‘s new album, Jekyll + Hyde, will be out April 28 featuring their latest hit, “Homegrown.” They’ll perform music from the album this weekend as they make their first appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The new project features collaborations with rocker Chris Cornell and pop star Sara Bareilles.

Zac Brown Band will launch a major tour in support of the new album on May 1 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Here’s the Jekyll + Hyde track listing:

“Beautiful Drug”
“Loving You Easy”
“Remedy”
“Homegrown”
“Mango Tree” (Featuring Sara Bareilles)
“Heavy Is the Head” (featuring Chris Cornell)
“Bittersweet”
“Castaway”
“Tomorrow Never Comes”
“One Day”
“Dress Blues”
“Young and Wild”
“Junkyard”
“I’ll Be Your Man (Song for a Daughter)”
“Wildfire”
“Tomorrow Never Comes”  (Acoustic Version)

Zac Brown Band 2015 Tour Dates:

5/1 — Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
5/7 — Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
5/8-5/9 — Alpharetta, GA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
5/16 — Gulf Shores, AL, Hangout Music Festival
5/21 — Maryland Heights, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
5/22 — Cincinnati, OH, PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
5/23 — Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
5/24 — Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
6/4 — Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
6/5 — Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
6/6 — Hartford, CT, XFINITY Theatre
6/7 — Bangor, ME, Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion
6/13 — Jacksonville, FL, Florida Country Superfest
6/27 — Ozark, AR, Thunder on the Mountain Festival
6/28 — Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
7/3 — Denver, CO, Coors Field
7/9 — Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
7/10 — Boise, ID, Taco Bell Arena
7/11 — George, WA, Gorge Amphitheatre
7/12 — Ridgefield, WA, Amphitheater Northwest
8/6 — Darien Center, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
8/7-8/8 — Boston, MA, Fenway Park
8/14 — Washington, DC, Nationals Park
8/15 — Philadelphia, PA, Citizens Bank Park
8/21 — Flushing, NY, Citi Field
8/23 — Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
9/6 — Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
9/11 — Chicago, Il, Wrigley Field
9/12 — Detroit, MI, Comerica Park
9/19 — Del Mar, CA, Kaaboo Music & Arts Festival



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Lady Antebellum and Kris Kristofferson Performing on “Skyville Live” April 7

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum and Kris Kristofferson are among the next group of artists performing on Skyville Live next month. The online broadcast will air live from Nashville April 7 at 8 p.m. ET. Taking part in innovative projects like Skyville Live appeals to Lady A.

Group member Dave Haywood says, “Helping kickstart a new and unique event, especially alongside an idol like Kristofferson, is a really great way for us to reach our fans across the world. Hopefully it’ll give us a chance to make a few new ones too!”

Skyville Live launched in January with a live online broadcast featuring Martina McBride along with R&B stars Gladys Knight and Estelle.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockRaeLynn is a featured vocalist on which one of Blake Shelton‘s #1 hits? ANSWER: “Boys Round Here.”


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“Nashville” Recap: “That’s the Way Love Goes”

Image Courtesy ABC/Bob D’AmicoCloseted country star Will Lexington wasn’t happy when his new label boss, Luke Wheeler, set up in a writing appointment with Kevin Bicks — a hit Nashville songwriter who just happens to be gay. Will was very uncomfortable with the writing session at first, but he and Kevin eventually bonded over their bad relationships with their dads. In the end, they managed to write a great song, too.

Will’s ex-wife Layla Grant stood up for herself as an indie artist in her new deal with Rayna Jaymes‘ label, Highway 65. Her new manager, Jeff Fordham, even managed to get some traction on her single via iTunes, but it looks like Jeff and Layla’s romantic relationship is staying on the down low for now.

Sadie Stone decided to use her interview on Good Morning America to expose her abusive ex-husband, Pete, who just took a big settlement to get out of her life. Pete was watching the segment, so we’re guessing this storyline will continue in the coming weeks with another altercation.

Meanwhile at the Grand Ole Opry, Deacon Claybourne left quickly after he sang onstage with Rayna and her daughters, Maddie and Daphne. He’d been missing in action for the past few weeks, so Rayna tracked Deacon down to his cabin, where he finally told her he has liver cancer.

Keeping Deacon’s illness a secret has taken a toll on his niece, Scarlett O’Conner, too. She went on a date with Deacon’s oncologist, Caleb, but ended up talking about her uncle’s disease the entire time. The evening went very badly, but Caleb accepted Scarlett’s apology the next day. It looks like they’ll be an item for at least the next few episodes.

Scarlett just happened to get a gig opening for Rascal Flatts in Nashville as one-third of a new trio with her two ex-boyfriends, Gunnar and Avery. She ended up taking Caleb as her date to the show, and he’s the one who gave Avery and Gunnar the idea for their new band name — The Triple Exes.

Scarlett, Avery and Gunnar debuted a brand-new song, “If I’m Still Dreaming,” during their big debut. Clare Bowen, who plays Scarlett, is happy to see her character back onstage after suffering a nervous breakdown last year. Clare admits there are some similarities between her and Scarlett.

Clare tells ABC Radio, “She is a part of me. We’re very different creatures. We both have that introvert quality about us. I think it’s wonderful that now, like, later on in the show, she is starting to enjoy being out onstage.”

Unlike Scarlett, Clare has always loved sharing her music with a live audience.

“Her happiness onstage is more merging with my own,” Clare says. “I love it out there. I love giving that gift to people. You’re giving them something to make them feel good. Make them feel something.” 

“If I’m Still Dreaming” and all of the other songs featured on Nashville are available at iTunes. Of note, Nashville is taking a break for the next two weeks. The Nashville concert special, On the Record 2, airs March 25th on ABC, and a brand-new episode of Nashville will air on April 1st.


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