Taylor Swift: “People Wouldn’t Listen to My Songs If They Weren’t Heartbroken…”

ABC/Jon LeMayTaylor Swift has never been afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, and she thinks it’s a big reason for her success.

The 24-year-old singer tells Entertainment Tonight, “To me emotion is such an important part of my life and now I guess my job.”

Swift continues, “People wouldn’t listen to my songs if they weren’t heartbroken or deeply affected and hurt and jilted and sad and bitter and all those wonderful things that I write songs about.”

The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter finds herself on unfamiliar turf in the upcoming film The Giver, in which she plays a character named Rosemary, who seems to have no emotion.

Even more surprising is the fact that Swift didn’t even have to audition for the part.  ET says she was offered the role a week after one of the producers caught her Los Angeles Concert.

The Giver is based on the popular young adult novel, and tells the story of a perfect world where everyone is happy. Jeff Bridges fills the title role of “The Giver,” an old man who reveals a “real world” that is filled with pain, sadness and war.  Meryl Streep also stars.  The film opens August 15.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Performs Free Concert for 60,000 on Atlantic City Beach

Image Courtesy of Warner Music NashvilleMore than 60,000 people went to the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Thursday to enjoy a free Blake Shelton concert, Philly.com reports.

Shelton greeted the huge crowd by declaring, “I didn’t drag my big ass out here today to play volleyball or go swimming or build sand castles. I came here to drink and play country music.”

The free concert was presented by The Atlantic City Alliance and Live Nation to showcase the New Jersey city and attract visitors.

Shelton was joined on stage at one point in the concert by Danielle Bradbery, the season 4 winner of The Voice.

Dan + Shay opened for Blake.

Blake’s Ten Times Crazier Tour 2014 continues Friday night with a show at Madison Square Garden in New York.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban “Horrified” to Learn of Alleged Rape at Boston Concert

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban has released a statement regarding the alleged rape that occurred at the Mansfield, Massachusetts, stop on his Raise ‘Em Up tour last Saturday.

“My team and I were horrified to learn of the events reported in Boston this past weekend and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected,” Keith writes in a statement posted on his official website. “This type of behavior stands in stark contrast to the spirit of our shows,” Keith’s statement concludes.

Mansfield Police say the alleged rape occurred on the lawn of Xfinity Center as onlookers watched with some shooting videos of the attack.  Police say the attack ended when a woman intervened. Eighteen-year-old Sean Murphy of Boston has been charged with one count of rape in connection with the attack.  Officials have not released the alleged victim’s name or age.  Murphy has pleaded not guilty.  He is being held on $10,000 bail.

Keith’s Raise ‘Em Up tour visits St. Louis Friday.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJake Owen will host the 8th Annual ACM Honors ceremony September 9 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Tickets are now available through Ticketmaster.

Little Big Town spent Thursday having fun at Disneyland in California.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Chase Rice Gears Up to “Ready Set Roll” onto NASCAR Tracks Later This Year

Image Courtesy Jon-Paul Bruno/EB MediaWhile most country artists claim to be NASCAR fans, newcomer Chase Rice actually worked for Hendrick Motor Sports before launching his music career.

He tells ABC News Radio, “I was in the pit crew going over the wall, changing tires doing all that.  I was one of the dumba**es running out in front of a car when it’s coming at you at 60 miles an hour. That was me.”

Chase insists he wasn’t seeking danger working on the NASCAR track. He’s just always been something of a thrill-seeker, which is why he also played football while he attended the University of North Carolina.

Says Chase, “It’s just something to get your adrenaline going. Football’s the same way, when you’ve got a crowd screaming, getting your adrenaline up. I’ve always had that in my life, and I love it.

Chase is currently getting that adrenaline rush from the roar of the concert crowds as he opens Dierks Bentley‘s Riser tour this summer.  Now that he’s scored a hit single with “Ready Set Roll,” Chase is ready to take his music back to the NASCAR track.

“I don’t see why you can’t have a concert at a race track,” Chase explains.” You know, I plan on hopefully, this year even, doing a couple of shows later in the fall at some racetracks. Pre-race, post-race-type stuff. Anything with NASCAR.”

Look for Chase’s debut album, Ignite the Night, to come out August 19. He’ll perform on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers on August 6.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Billy Currington Remembers His Grandparents’ Lost Record Player and Vinyl Collection

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleSome of Billy Currington‘s favorite childhood memories were made listening to the big record player at his grandparents’ house back home in Georgia.

He says, “They had this old, in perfect shape record player with an eight-track cassette tape player in it, and also a radio and speakers. It was a whole cabinet thing.”

Unfortunately, Billy’s grandfather decided to get rid of the record player after Billy moved to Nashville.

“They didn’t know I loved that thing that much,” Billy explains, “and my granddad put it in the paper or something for free — somebody to just come get it. That thing was worth everything to me — not money-wise.”

Even though the record player is long-gone, Billy always thought his grandmother kept their classic country record collection in the attic. He finally got around to asking her about the collection last week.

Billy says, “She said, ‘Honey, I think your granddaddy gave all them records away with the record player that he gave away.’ So, I was bummed to hear that, ’cause it was everything.”

Billy has a personal record collection handed down from his parents, but it’s lighter on classic country and pretty heavy on dance music.

“[It's] ’70s gold,” Billy says with a laugh. “Disco! All that stuff. My mom had it all.”

Billy is helping his fans make musical memories of their own on the road this summer. Go to BillyCurrington.com to see where he’s playing next.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Newcomer Sam Hunt Releasing Four-Song Album Preview, “X2C,” August 12

Image Courtesy David McClister/UMGCountry newcomer Sam Hunt is dropping a four-song album preview, titled X2C, to all digital outlets August 12. The set includes Sam’s brand-new single, “Leave the Night On,” and gives fans a taste of his full-length debut album, due out October 27.

Says Sam, “I can’t wait to share a few early tracks from the album. We’ve been having so much fun with the music out on the road and I’m excited to get this music out to our fans.”

So far, Sam has sold more than 197,000 copies of “Leave the Night On.” He’s also a co-writer on Kenny Chesney‘s “Come Over,” Keith Urban‘s “Cop Car,” and Billy Currington’s latest hit, “We Are Tonight.”

Heres’ the X2C track listing:

“Leave the Night On”
“Ex to See”
“House Party”
“Breakup in a Small Town”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Taking It Down to the Wire Recording Sophomore Album

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line‘s sophomore album is expected to come out by the end of 2014, but they’re still not finished recording the project. While they’ve got a lot of strong material —  including the lead single, “Dirt” — the guys just keep finding more great songs.

FGL tweeted Thursday, “Uh oh, another song came in last minute we have to cut. Ahhhhh Yeaya, we bringing some extra special heat on this one.”

You can download “Dirt” now at all digital outlets.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Mixes Up a Batch of Faith Hill’s Watermelon Salsa

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Big MachineTim McGraw is getting domestic backstage on his on his Sundown Heaven Town tour. He just posted a Twitter photo of fresh veggies and fruit with the caption, “Makin my wife’s famous watermelon salsa outside the bus in Washington!”

While he didn’t share a link to Faith Hill‘s recipe, it looks like Tim’s lined up a watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, an onion and some cilantro to go in the salsa.

Tim has cooked up a new batch of songs for his new album, Sundown Heaven Town, due out September 16.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Dierks Bentley‘s baby boy born last year? ANSWER: Knox.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio