Keith Urban Thanks Fans and “American Idol” Staff for Support After Nicole Kidman’s Father Died

Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban was devastated when Nicole Kidman‘s father, Antony, died suddenly in September after suffering a fall.

“I can’t even describe what that moment was like for our family,” Keith says. “I was very, very close to Nic’s dad. It’s very fresh. It’s very recent.”

Keith was scheduled to go to New York City for American Idol auditions at the time of Antony’s death, but Fox allowed him to skip the auditions.

Says Keith, “It was an amazing thing that a TV network would step in and say, ‘Don’t you worry. You be with your family. You’ve gotta be there. We’ll figure out a way to cover all of this. Don’t worry about it.’ I don’t take those things for granted.”

Former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert stepped in for Keith at the auditions. Keith also thanks his fans for understanding that he had to cancel some concerts due to the death.

He says, “It was an amazing thing to see that support. So, I was very, very grateful.”

Look for Keith to rejoin Harry Connick, Jr. and Jennifer Lopez at the judges table for the new season of American Idol premiering January 7 on Fox.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood Unveils Fitness Apparel Brand in NYC

Chris HolloCarrie Underwood was in New York City Wednesday to promote the recently-announced fitness lifestyle apparel brand she’ll launch with Dick’s Sporting Goods next year.

CALIA by Carrie Underwood is billed for women who embrace an active lifestyle and demand “more versatility from her wardrobe.”

Carrie said working with Dick’s Sporting Goods on the design process has been a rewarding experience. She added, “The inspiration for this line came from my desire to have clothes that seamlessly take me from workouts, to errands, to rehearsals and beyond.”

“As someone who is passionate about health and fitness, I’m excited to offer women a wardrobe that will move with them and encourage them to stay the path of leading an active lifestyle,” she continued.

CALIA by Carrie Underwood debuts at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and online in March.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Kix Brooks, Brandy Clark and Sam Palladio Taking CMA Songwriters Series to London

Image Courtesy Greenroom PRKix Brooks, Brandy Clark and Nashville star Sam Palladio are taking the CMA Songwriters Series overseas to ingio at The O2 in London on Friday, March 6, 2015. The show is part the annual C2C country music festival at The O2 that weekend. Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Kip Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Kip Moore are on the bill for that festival.

Hit songwriters Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall are also performing. Tickets go on sale Friday at AXS.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eric Paslay Extends Make Every Night a Friday Night Tour into 2015

Image Courtesy UMGEric Paslay is extending his Make Every Night a Friday Night tour into 2015 starting with a show in Chicago on January 2. The trek runs through April with stops in Charlotte, Minneapolis, Denver and Nashville lined up.  The tour announcement comes as Eric wraps up his most successful year ever in the music industry.

He says, “2014 has been such an amazing year for me with ‘Friday Night’ being my first No. 1 as an artist and the release of my debut album. I can’t wait to be back out on the road continuing to share my music in the New Year.”

Here are Eric’s 2015 tour dates:

1/2 — Chicago, IL, Joe’s On Weed
1/3 — Milwaukee, WI, The Rave
1/8 — Virginia Beach, VA, Eagle’s Nest Rockin’ Country Bar
1/9 — Greenville, SC, Blind Horse Saloon
1/10 — Charlotte, NC, Coyote Joe’s
1/15 — Overland Park, KS, Kanza Hall
1/16 — Springfield, IL, Boondocks
1/17 — Springfield, MO, Midnight Rodeo
1/31 — Nashville, TN, 3rd & Lindsley
2/5 — Duluth, MN, Grandma’s Sports Garden Bar & Grill
2/6 — Sioux Falls, SD, The District
2/7 — Minneapolis, MN, Mill City Nights
2/12 — Woodbridge, VA, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill
2/13 — Elizabethtown, PA, Leffler Chapel & Performance Center
2/14 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun — Wolf Den
2/20 — Denver, CO, Grizzly Rose
2/21 — Farmington, NM, Farmington Civic Center
2/22 — Flagstaff, AZ, Museum Club
3/5 — Providence, RI, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
3/6 — Jordan, NY, Kegs Canal Side Event Center
3/7 — Mount Laurel, NJ, Prospectors Saloon
3/26 — Grand Rapids, MI, The Intersection
3/27 — Shelby Township, MI, Coyoto Joe’s
3/28 — Cincinnati, OH, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill
4/12 — Breckenridge, CO, Breckenridge Ski Resort
4/23 — Macomb, IL, The Forum Live
4/24 — Urbana, IL, Canopy Club
4/25 — Medina, OH, Thirsty Cowboys



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Performing on NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly”

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton has signed on to perform on NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly coming up Wednesday, December 31. His fellow judges from The Voice Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams will perform along with Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett and Seth McFarlane.

New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly airs live from Times Square that night starting at 10 p.m. ET.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brett Eldredge Croons Frank Sinatra Standards at Private Nashville Show

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge won CMA New Artist of the Year on the strength of his #1 hits “Don’t Ya” and “Beat of the Music,” but those mainstream country hits only hint at the crooning Brett did Tuesday night at Nashville club, The Sutler.

In celebration of his CMA win, Brett performed an hour’s worth of Frank Sinatra standards with a jazz combo and a horn section for an invitation-only crowd. The set list included “Fly Me to the Moon,” “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and the holiday classic, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).”

 

Hey… Merry Christmas from the the sensitive soul of @bretteldredge

A video posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 9:00pm PST

 

Brett performed just one of his own songs at the show — the album cut, “One Mississippi.” He’s currently climbing the country chart with his latest single, “Mean to Me.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

 

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich member of Florida Georgia Line hails from Georgia? ANSWER: Tyler Hubbard.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley Among Stars Featured on New Ralph Stanley Collaborative Album

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley and Josh Turner are among the featured artists on bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley‘s new album, Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow. Dierks joins Ralph on the song “I Only Exist,” and Josh is featured on “We Shall Rise.”

Lee Ann Womack, Robert Plant, Ricky Skaggs and Elvis Costello are also featured on the album. Look for the project to be released through Cracker Barrel stores and CrackerBarrel.com on January 19, 2015.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLoretta Lynn will join her Van Lear Rose collaborator Jack White for his show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on January 28, 2015, according to The Tennessean.

George Strait, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are among the stars joining Asleep at the Wheel on their new tribute album to the King of Western Swing, Bob Wills. It’s titled Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Fans can pre-order the album now at iTunes before its release on March 3, 2015.

Kacey Musgraves is now in the studio working on her sophomore album. She just posted a photo on Instagram of a recording console with the caption, “And thus..it begins!”

 

And thus..it begins!

A photo posted by KACEY MUSGRAVES – official (@spaceykacey) on Dec 12, 2014 at 7:29am PST

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Maddie & Tae Open Up About the Tour Bus Accident That Almost Derailed Their Career

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae are on their way to becoming household names thanks to their debut hit, “Girl in a Country Song,” but their journey to stardom almost came to a screeching halt earlier this year. The duo was three days into their first promotional tour introducing themselves to country radio when they were involved in a tour bus accident. No one was hurt, but the experience left Maddie and Tae shaken.

Tae Dye tells ABC News Radio, “Our bus driver didn’t see a clearance sign when he was going through a bridge — not under it — and basically tore off, decapitated the top of our bus.”

The accident left the bus with what Maddie & Tae call “redneck sunroofs” as the air conditioning units actually fell into the tour bus.

Says Maddie, “We were almost hit in the head with the AC unit. So, thank God we are still alive.”

The sound of the metal scraping the concrete put Maddie & Tae on edge, too.

“It sounded like we were beings shot at.” Maddie adds with a laugh, “We were like, ‘Lord Jesus! Take us now! I know you got [us] one song on the radio, finally. So, you can take us now!”

It looks like Maddie & Tae have bigger things left to do in country music. Their big hit, “Girl in a Country Song,” is included on their debut EP, now available digitally.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio