Garth Brooks, Reba, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert & George Strait to Receive ACM 50th Anniv. Milestone Awards

Image Courtesy ACMThis year is the 50th anniversary of the ACM Awards, and to mark the occasion, a special group of artists will be honored for their unique achievements over five decades of the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Reba, Taylor Swift, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, and Miranda Lambert will all be presented with the 50th Anniversary Milestone Award, which will mark their ACM history-making achievements.  Each will receive an exclusive trophy, created by famed jewelry designer David Yurman, during the ACM Awards, airing April 19th on CBS, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will co-host the awards.

Garth is the most-awarded ACM Entertainer of the Year, having won the category six times, while Kenny received the first-ever fan-voted Entertainer of the Year trophy.  Miranda is the most-awarded female solo artist in ACM History, have taken home a total of 18 trophies. 

Reba is the most-awarded ACM Female Vocalist of the Year, having won that category seven times.  George Strait is the ACM winner with the longest span between his first and most recent wins: 24 years.  Taylor Swift is the youngest ACM Entertainer of the Year: she took home the trophy when she was 21. 

Finally, Brooks & Dunn are the most awarded ACM act, having won 27 ACM trophies in all.  They’re also the most-awarded Vocal Duo, with 16 wins in that category.

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The Oak Ridge Boys, Jim Ed Brown Inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Oak Ridge Boys and Jim Ed Brown and The Browns are among this year’s inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Oaks are entering the Hall as this year’s Modern Era inductees.  The vocal quartet’s original roots reach back to the 1940s, but it was in the 1970s, when they switched from gospel music to country music, that they experienced their biggest success with hits like “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue” and “American Made.”  The group’s current lineup — Richard Sterban, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Joe Bonsall — have been together since 1973, except for an eight-year period when Golden left the group.

In a statement, Duane Allen said, “The induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the highest honor I could ever imagine receiving. It still gives me chills when I think about it really happening. I am humbled to the core. I know I speak for the other Boys when I say how grateful and honored we are to be chosen.”

Opry star Jim Ed Brown and his family group The Browns are this year’s Veterans Era inductee.  The Browns topped the Billboard pop and country charts with the song “The Three Bells” and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1963. In 1967, Jim Ed Brown scored his first solo hit with “Pop a Top,” his signature song, and later released a series of popular duets with Helen Cornelius, including “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You.”  Brown has also worked as a TV and radio host.  In the 1980s, the Browns once again started performing together occasionally.

In a statement, Jim Ed Brown said, “Today is an overwhelming day not just for me, but for the Brown family. Receiving this honor with my sisters, Maxine and Bonnie, is something I had dreamed about for years, but never knew if it would happen or not. Fame is fleeting, hit records change every week, award show winners and nominees change every year, but being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame will be forever!”

The late Grady Martin is being inducted into the category of Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980.  Songs on which he played include Roy Orbison‘s “Oh Pretty Woman,” Brenda Lee‘s “I’m Sorry,” Willie Nelson‘s “On the Road Again” and Loretta Lynn‘s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”  The artists with whom he’s worked include Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, and Patsy Cline.

The induction ceremonies will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThe 50th Annual ACM Awards will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 19. Where were the 49th Annual ACM Awards held? ANSWER: The MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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Craig Campbell Hosting Third Annual Celebrity Cornhole Challenge Sunday in Nashville

Image Courtesy Kristen Barlowe/Sweet Talk PRCraig Campbell will host his Third Annual Celebrity Cornhole Challenge in Nashville this Sunday at Centennial Park. The event raises awareness of and money for Fight Coloretal Cancer, and fans can bid online to join stars like Jerrod Niemann, Charlie Worsham and Lindsay Ell for the game of cornhole. To sign up, go to and search for “Craig Campbell.”

Craig will perform a concert following the Cornhole Challenge as well.

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Reba Performs on Tonight’s “Nashville: On the Record” Concert Special

Image Courtesy ABCThe second installment of ABC’s Nashville: On the Record concert special airs Wednesday night at 10 ET with special guest Reba. The country superstar performs her latest single, “Going Out Like That,” on the show. She also admits to playing favorites when it comes to the male cast members of Nashville.

“I got a crush on [Charles Easten], to tell you the truth,” Reba says of the actor who plays Deacon Claybourne. “He’s really good.”

Reba can rest assured the feeling is mutual. Charles actually got to sing Christmas carols with Reba at a mutual friend’s holiday party last December.

Charles tells ABC Radio, “I don’t know that anything will ever surpass that. That was one of those out-of-body moments that I love so much, but she, of course, makes you feel utterly at-ease.”

Will Chase, who plays Luke Wheeler, enjoyed getting to know Reba at the Nashville: On the Record taping even though he was a bit awestruck by the superstar.

Says Will, “She’s the coolest, like, down-to-earth lady. Like, you’re a trailblazer legend in this business, in this world, in this country industry.”

In addition to Reba’s performance, the stars of Nashville perform fan favorites from all three seasons, including Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen — A.K.A. Gunnar and Scarlett — singing “Fade into You.” Lennon and Maisy Stella are also featured singing “We Got a Love,” and the entire cast taking the stage for a sing-along on “Friend of Mine.” Sharing this music with the fans makes the experience a pleasure for the cast members, too.

Charles explains, “To get to interact with them and to get to feel what these songs mean to them, that’s what I love the most.”

Nashville: On the Record was filmed at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, which has become a special place to cast members who have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in the past few years.

Aubrey Peeples, who plays Layla Grant, says, “We feel so fortunate that we get to perform here outside of the show, and to get to do so with the show I think just provides more legitimacy and authenticity to what we’re doing.”

Nashville returns with brand-new episodes starting next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMontgomery Gentry has signed on to perform at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum 2015 Induction ceremony April 10 in Lexington. They’re among this year’s inductees along with Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys.

Sunny Sweeney‘s video for her new single with Will Hoge, “My Bed,” is now airing on CMT and

Blake Shelton opens up about three chins and man boobs in a new behind-the-scenes YouTube video previewing the 50th Annual ACM Awards coming up Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Tyler Farr’s Upcoming Album, “Suffer in Peace,” Includes Duet with Jason Aldean

Image Courtesy Columbia NashvilleTyler Farr has revealed the track listing for his new album, Suffer in Peace, and it includes a duet with a country superstar. Tyler sings with pal and current touring partner Jason Aldean on the track “Damn Good Friends.” The album also includes Tyler’s latest hit, “A Guy Walks into a Bar,” and fans can now pre-order two special album bundles at

One of the bundles comes with an autographed CD and an instant track download of Tyler’s cover of the AWOLNATION hit, “Sail,” which has become a highlight of Tyler’s live shows lately. The Deluxe Package includes all that plus a Tyler Farr leather and stainless steel flask and a real bullet bottle opener keychain.

Tyler Farr’s sophomore album, Suffer in Peace, comes out April 28.

Here is the Suffer in Peace track listing:

“A Guy Walks into a Bar”
“Damn Good Friends” (Duet with Jason Aldean)
“Suffer in Peace”
“Raised to Pray”
“Better in Boots”
“Poor Boy”
“I Don’t Even Want This Beer”
“Why We Live Here”

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Blake Shelton Releases Sexy New Video for “Sangria”

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton has released the video for his sexy, new single, “Sangria,” exclusively through, a new premium video service. It will be available only to subscribers at Vessel for 48 hours before becoming available everywhere on Thursday.

As for the song, Blake says, “‘Sangria’ is one of the sexiest songs I’ve ever cut. It sounds like something that came from a different time, almost like something Chris Isaak would have had on one of his records at some point.”

While “Sangria” isn’t “over-the-top,” Blake admits, “It’s pure sex — that’s the only way know to describe that song.”

Blake shot the video for “Sangria” at wife Miranda Lambert‘s The Ladysmith bed and breakfast in their hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. It’s the third single from Blake’s latest album, Bringing Back the Sunshine.

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Little Big Town Never Thought Twice About Recording Their Provocative New Single, “Girl Crush”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town‘s latest single, “Girl Crush,” has turned a few heads with some listeners thinking it’s about a woman experiencing romantic attraction toward another woman. That’s not the case, though. Once you get to the chorus, it’s clear “Girl Crush” is written from the perspective of a woman experiencing intense jealousy over the woman’s relationship with her male ex.

LBT’s Karen Fairchild, who sings lead on “Girl Crush,” admits the song is provocative, but the band never thought twice about recording it. The song’s writers played it for her and band mate Kimberly Schlapman during a writing session.

Karen tells ABC Radio, “[The songwriter] Liz [Rose] said, ‘Hey, I gotta play this song we just wrote. You guys’ll never cut it, but I gotta play it for you,'” Karen tells ABC Radio. “I couldn’t get finished with the song listening to it before I could say, ‘Can we please have this song?'”

Karen feels like every woman has experienced the kind of jealousy she’s singing about in “Girl Crush.” Her husband and band mate, Jimi Westbrook, was floored when he heard the chorus, which is when the full force of the woman’s jealousy is revealed.

He says, “Yeah, when that turns at the hook, it’s like, ‘Wow!’ That’s good writing.”

Watch Little Big Town perform “Girl Crush” on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night.

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Brad Paisley Hosting Stand-Up Comedy Show at Wild West Comedy Festival in Nashville

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryBrad Paisley‘s wacky sense of humor will be on display as he hosts a night of standup comedy in Nashville Thursday, April 16. The show features several comedians as part of the weekly Wild West Comedy Festival in Music City running April 14 through 19. Brad will emcee that event on the 16th in addition to interacting with the comedians, including Jon Reep, Greg Hahn, Theo Von, Sarah Tiana, and Keith Alberstadt.

Kevin Hart, Joel McHale, Nick Kroll and Saturday Night Live‘s Colin Jost are among the other comedians performing at the Wild West Comedy Festival. Go to for details.

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