Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMichael Ray will make his debut appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday.

Nashville-based record label president Scott Borchetta will return as a mentor for the 15th and final season of Fox’s American Idol in January 2016.

Luke Bryan performs on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night.

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Kenny Chesney Doesn’t Feel Famous When He’s Not Onstage

Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney can’t help but feel like a superstar when he’s onstage playing for 50 thousand fans, but he doesn’t let that celebrity status take over his personal life. In fact, when he’s away from the spotlight, he sometimes forgets he’s a superstar.

He explains, “I don’t feel that famous, and especially when I’m offstage. I get reminded of it a lot that I am.”

Kenny makes sure the people around him don’t pull the celebrity card, either.

Says Kenny,I will not let somebody call a restaurant and say, ‘I have Kenny Chesney coming. Can we get a table? I know you’re full. I know you’re busy, but can we get in?’ It’s just, I hate that. It’s rude, and I won’t let people do that for me.”

Kenny will continue to play the rock star all summer long on his current The Big Revival tour.

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Hunter Hayes Planning Intimate Shows for His 21 Tour This Fall

EB Media PRHunter Hayes is playing 21 special shows on his 21 Tour this fall, including some events on college campuses. Hunter looks forward to connecting with his fans in an intimate setting.

He says, “We’re going to make it all about the music, with every night holding something unique only to that show.”

Hunter’s latest single, also titled “21,” is closing in on 21 million streams around the world. He’ll announce tour dates and cities for the 21 tour very soon.

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Zac Brown Band Doesn’t Confine Themselves to Country Music

Danny Clinch/ShorefireZac Brown Band has scored hits at both country and rock radio from their latest album, Jekyll + Hyde. That’s fitting, since the group has never considered themselves just a country act.

Speaking of their latest project, ZBB’s Clay Cook tells The Boston Globe, “It’s not necessarily country music; it’s just that country radio plays us, and they’ve given us a home.”

In the end, the music itself dictates whether Zac Brown Band records a song with an EDM beat or a touch of reggae.

Clay adds, “It’s always been 90 percent what we feel like the song is asking for, and the other ten is our own fancy, seeing what we can come up with.”

Zac Brown Band has three shows at Boston’s Fenway Park this weekend.

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Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Theme Park Announces World’s Fastest Wooden Roller-Coaster

Webster PRDolly Parton‘s Dollywood theme park will introduce what they claim is the world’s fastest wood roller-coaster in March 2016. The Lightning Rod is also the world’s first launching wood coaster, and will reach a top speed of 73 miles per hour.

The coaster’s design is inspired by 1950s-era hot rods. It reminds Dolly of the classic cars she saw growing up near Dollywood in the Smokey Mountains.  She says with a laugh, “I remember all those souped-up cars, but what I remember most were those good lookin’ boys behind the wheel with those flat-top and ducktail haircuts.”

Dollywood is shelling out $22 million for The Lightning Rod, which is the biggest attraction investment ever for the theme park, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

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Jake Owen Announces Divorce from Wife of Three Years, Lacey Buchanan

John Russell/CMAJake Owen and his wife, Lacey Buchanan, are the latest country couple to call it quits: they’re splitting after three years of marriage. They have a daughter, Pearl, who was born in November 2012.  Jake released a statement via Twitter Friday calling the split “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

He says, “I wanted to let my fans know how much I’ve appreciated their support of not only my career, but my family as a whole. Sadly, Lacey and I have decided to end our marriage. We want to focus on our daughter Pearl and make sure that she has a beautiful life with loving parents.”

Jake goes on to ask for privacy as they face the divorce. The couple got married in May 2012 after they met on the set of Jake’s “Eight Second Ride” video.

News of Jake’s divorce follows this week’s news of Reba ending her marriage to husband/manager Narvel Blackstock. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert announced their divorce on July 20.

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Luke Bryan Having Fun Promoting “Kill the Lights” in New York as His Boys Head Back to School

Ida Mae Astute/ABCLuke Bryan is having a blast while promoting his new album, Kill the Lights.

ABC Radio caught up with Luke after his Friday performance on ABC’s Good Morning America to ask him about the unique LukeBox promotion he did via Twitter on Thursday. Luke and three of his songwriter buddies came up with original songs on the fly using topics from fans submitted through social media. Famous friends like Little Big Town and Lionel Richie got in on the action, but most of the songs were written for everyday fans like @KindaCraftyMom. She requested a song about rainbows, sparkly unicorns, car keys and bacon for her kids. Luke was happy to fulfill her request.

The LukeBox promotion was designed to let fans know about the Target-exclusive deluxe version of Kill the Lights, featuring three bonus tracks. Even though it all looked like a lot of fun, Luke and his songwriters put a lot of pressure on themselves to make the songs decent. He tells ABC Radio, “What’s funny, you know, [is] how critical we were of ourselves, because this stuff will live out there forever. So, it was daunting. You wanted it to be good enough to live out there forever. You just didn’t want to sing something completely off the wall.”

Overall, Luke is feeling relaxed as he unleashes his new music on the world. “You have a lot of anxiety with every album,” Luke explains. “And this album, I’m just really comfortable and confident and loving the songs and ready for the fans to finally get it.”

As Luke was performing on Good Morning America, his son, Bo, was headed out for his first day in first grade back in Nashville. Luke tells us, “It’s kinda crazy how early it starts. He enjoys school. He’s not, like, the scholar of the class, but he enjoys going and seeing his buddies.”

Luke’s nephew, Til, who came to live with the family last December when his father passed away, is headed back to school, too. The boys are enjoying some extracurricular activities as well.

Says Luke, “Til is all up in football right now, and Bo’s starting football. So, we’re having fun.”

Kill the Lights features Luke’s latest #1 hit, “Kick the Dust Up,” as well as his sexy new single, “Strip It Down.”

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Family Man Jake Owen Has Curbed His Partying Ways on the Road with Kenny Chesney

Sony Music NashvilleJake Owen has toured with Kenny Chesney many times in the past, but he admits it’s an adjustment being on the road with Kenny now that he is married with a daughter.

Jake says with a laugh, “I’m at a little different place in my life now than I was the previous times I was out on tour with him, livin’ a single bachelor, lifestyle, which tends to lend itself towards different scenarios.”

Even though he’s not partying quite as much as he used to on the road, Jake is still having a lot of fun hanging out with Kenny and watching the superstar’s show every night.

Says Jake, “Anytime you can have an opportunity to go out on the road with somebody that literally will go down in country music history as like a legend and someone that has built a career so large that it’s only something you can dream of attaining, is an amazing opportunity.”

Of course, Jake is enjoying some of the perks that come with opening for Kenny.

“He’s got a jet,” Jake says with a laugh. “I don’t. So, I…you know, every now and then I get a ride home, and I get home a little quicker than my bus.”

Go to JakeOwen.net for a full list of Jake’s tour dates.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockJake Owen hails from which oceanfront town in Florida? ANSWER: Vero Beach.

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Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Wife, Cassie, to Welcome Their First Child

Capitol NashvilleBaby makes three for trio Lady Antebellum — the group’s Charles Kelley has announced he’s expecting his first child with wife, Cassie.

Charles is the third and final member of the band to become a parent. Lady A band mates Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott both welcomed babies with their respective spouses in 2014.

Charles and Cassie announced the news on her lifestyle blog, Womanista. Cassie says, “Charles and I are SO BEYOND EXCITED to share with y’all that we are expecting a baby! He or she is due in February and we are so happy we can hardly stand it. Like, ecstatic and I’m crying even as I type those words!”

check it out! go to http://Womanista.com

A photo posted by @charleskelley on

The post goes on to detail the couple’s battle with infertility after being given a one percent change of having a child naturally. Cassie goes on to thank Charles being “the most incredible human throughout the journey.

She says, “His love, support, passion for our marriage and our future children has never, EVER wavered, even when the frustration seemed insurmountable. I am so lucky to have a best friend and partner in life like him, and our child couldn’t have scored a better dad!”

Cassie plans to share stories from her pregnancy on Womanista.  The baby is due in spring 2016. Charles and Cassie tied the knot in the Bahamas in 2009.

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