Tim McGraw Sandy Hook Fundraiser Causing More Fallout

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw’s Concert for Sandy Hook Promise is generating more headlines.  Eleven of the 26 families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT are now distancing themselves from the fundraiser.

According to the Hartford Courant, the families released a statement clarifying they aren’t associated with or supported by the Sandy Hook Promise organization. The non-profit’s stated purpose is to help protect children from gun violence, but these families want donors to understand the organization doesn’t represent all the victims’ families. Some of them feel Sandy Hook Promise is raising money off their dead children without their consent, in order to to lobby for tougher gun laws.

As previously reported, The Concert for Sandy Hook Promise in Hartford, CT this July is part of Tim’s Shotgun Rider tour with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, but Currington dropped out of the show last week, saying on his Facebook page he was bowing out because of the controversy, but would make a donation to a “local organization.”

McGraw received backlash from gun rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, after announcing his participation in the fundraiser.  He responded last week in a statement to the Washington Post, declaring, “As a gun owner, I support gun ownership.  I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety — most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children.  I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.  Through a personal connection, I saw first-hand how the Sandy Hook tragedy affected families and I felt their pain. The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering.”

The “personal connection” to which McGraw refers is his fiddle player, Dean Brown, a longtime friend of Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

Of note, country group Little Big Town has spoken out in support of Tim McGraw’s Concert for Sandy Hook Promise.

LBT’s Phillip Sweet tells Rolling Stone, “It is depressing that people have that much time and energy to invest, when they could be doing better things, like educating their child and loving people in the world instead of attacking someone who’s trying to do something good, like Tim McGraw. Why would you want to attack that?”


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Gary Allan Kicking off Riverfront Stage Concerts at CMA Music Festival on June 11

Image Courtesy CMAGary Allan is kicking off the CMA Music Festival’s free Riverfront Stage performances in Nashville Thursday, June 11. The shows will continue every day through June 14 with Rodney Atkins, Kristian Bush, Nashville‘s Charles Esten, Maddie & Tae, Eric Paslay, Dustin Lynch, Scotty McCreery, Ashley Monroe, Parmalee, RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope, and Chase Rice on the bill, as well as Canaan Smith, The Cadillac Three, Thompson Square, and The Swon Brothers.

Go to CMAFest.com for the full lineup and more details.



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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Brett Eldredge‘s first #1 hit? ANSWER: “Don’t Ya.”


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Sam Hunt Rises Above the Clichés with Latest Hit, “Take Your Time”

Image Courtesy UMG NashvilleSam Hunt‘s latest hit, “Take Your Time,” tells the story of a guy trying to pick up a girl in a bar, but he took pains to write the song in a way that would show a classy exchange between two people.

Says Sam, “I think those interactions between strangers, in terms of a guy going up and pursuing a lady or introducing himself or expressing his interest, that can get cliché at times. It can get kind of sleazy and shallow.”

Instead of listing all the great things about himself, the guy in “Take Your Time” is careful to point out what an honor it would be for the girl to spend a few moments talking to him.

“Hopefully, the singer in this song and what he’s saying overcomes some of those stereotypes,” Sam explains, “and you can see past just a surface attraction and you can see that he’s genuinely interested in this girl, who has just completely gotten his attention.”

“Take Your Time” is the second-consecutive #1 hit from Sam’s debut album, Montevallo, available now.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDarius Rucker has released the title track from his latest album, Southern Style, as the follow-up to his latest hit, “Homegrown Honey.”

Kelsea Ballerini’s debut album, The First Time, is now available for pre-sale at digital outlets before its May 19 release. Fans who place their order now will automatically get a free download of Kelsea’s self-titled EP, featuring her top-15 hit “Love Me Like You Mean It.”


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Brett Eldredge Finds the Groove with His “Wacky” New Single, “Lose My Mind”

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge‘s brand-new single, “Lose My Mind,” is all about the way a love interest can totally take over your thoughts, which is exactly what the song’s groove did with it first came to Brett the night before a writing session.

He says, “I’d been laying in bed, one of those laying in bed [up] all night kinda things, and this groove was in my head. I was going nuts. It was like, ‘What is this?'”

The next day at his songwriting meeting, Brett shared that groove with his co-writers and told them “Let’s just get wacky with this.” That’s how “Lose My Mind” came into being.

“You feel like you’re losing your mind when you’re listening to it, and that’s what I wanted,” Brett says. “I grew up listening to soul and bluesy kind of music, and I love Ray Charles, and there’s a little part in there that has a little Ray Charles-esque kinda thing to it.”

Brett just premiered the video for “Lose My Mind,” too. It takes place in a mental hospital with Brett wearing a straitjacket and seeing visions of his sexy co-star, Victoria’s Secret model Rachel Hilbert, appearing as a nurse, a therapist, a janitor and a fellow patient.

“Lose My Mind” is the lead single from Brett’s sophomore album, due out this fall.


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Keith Urban Celebrates 32nd Top-Five Hit with “Raise ‘Em Up”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban latest single, “Raise ‘Em Up” featuring Eric Church, has become his 32nd top-five hit and 33rd consecutive top-10 song at country radio.

Speaking about that accomplishment, Keith says, “The support I get from my friends at country radio and the fans, is absolutely astounding. It’s what makes ALL of this possible, and I can’t wait to hit the road again and thank you all in the best way I know how!”

Keith and Eric opened last Sunday’s ACM Awards with a performance of “Raise ‘Em Up.” It’s featured on Keith’s latest album, Fuse.


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Reba Shares the Details on Attending Her First Gay Wedding

Image Courtesy Jeremy Cowart/BMLGReba has fully embraced her gay following for many years now, so it’s no surprise she attended her first gay wedding earlier this year. The ceremony took place in California for her two friends Michael and Steven, who have been together 20 years.

 

Ready for the celebration to begin.Congratulations Michael and Steve! Love you both.

A photo posted by Reba (@reba) on Feb 15, 2015 at 4:25pm PST

 

Reba tells PrideSource.com the wedding was a celebration of the couple’s love, but it also solved a practical problem for her friends.

She says, “It wasn’t because they just wanted to get married. If one of them had gotten injured and gone to the hospital, the other one couldn’t make decisions for them. It’s very upsetting. It’s not only for convenience or for romantic reasons — it’s for practicality.”

Reba has also given her gay fans a little treat with the new Bummerman dance remix of her latest single, “Going Out Like That.” The original version appears on her album, Love Somebody, in stores and online now.


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Tim McGraw Performing at “TIME” 100 Gala Tonight in New York City

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw is joining Kanye West on the performers list for the TIME 100 Gala Tuesday night at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Both artists made the list of the magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, which was revealed last week.

Oscar winner Julianne Moore, comedian Amy Schumer, actress Juliana Margulies and Last Night Tonight host John Oliver are among the stars attending the gala.


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The Band Perry Describes New Music Just “Around the Corner”

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleWith the first single from their third album due to come out just “around the corner,” The Band Perry says we can expect a “less is more” approach from their new music.

“[It’s] very minimalist in the sense that we’re leaving a lot of space in both the visuals and the sound of the music as well,” Reid says, describing their concept for the CD.

 “I love minimalism ’cause anyone can find their own taste and their own love in something that’s minimalist,” Kimberly interjects. “So, we’re gonna leave enough blanks for people to use their imagination and take away from it what they want. We’re chasing melody more than ever before [in] the sound of the records,” she adds.

While the siblings may be simplifying their approach to the music, they admit they’re branching out when it comes to the way they look.

“We are known as the black leather country band, but we are starting to incorporate more colors,” Neil says, “And me as, like, the visual guy, that’s really exciting, ’cause you have so many more options with that.”

 Reid confesses it is a bit more challenging for the guys, joking they’re both color blind.

 
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