Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan Hosting Biggest ACM Awards Broadcast Ever Sunday Night

Image Courtesy ACMBlake Shelton and Luke Bryan are back for a third turn as co-hosts of ACM Awards, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this Sunday. Instead of airing from its traditional locale in Las Vegas, this year’s big anniversary show broadcasts live from the 60,000-seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the hosts want viewers to know it’s taken a lot of planning to get to this point.

Luke says, “Some of the people in charge showed me and Blake plans of it the first year we hosted, so this hasn’t been just a snap your fingers and make this thing happen. They’ve worked hard.”

The talent lineup will be just as impressive as the massive production elements producers have in store for Sunday night’s show.

Says Blake, “It’s gonna be the biggest stars in country music, and when I say biggest stars, I mean from past, present, future. It’s all gonna come together.”

So, why are the ACM Awards organizers allowing Luke and Blake to come back and emcee the entire evening?

Blake says with a laugh, “We’re the only two in country music that can read. I’m telling you. Have you met some of these artists? God almighty. Idiots.”

When Luke suggests the illiterate country stars try Hooked on Phonics, Blake shoots back, “I think you gotta be able to read to even start that.”

Luke and Blake are also set to perform on the ACM Awards along with Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Reba, George Strait, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town. Rascal Flatts will sing a duet with Christina Aguilera, and Dan + Shay are teaming up with Nick Jonas. New artist nominees Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell and Sam Hunt are also performing.

Here are the nominees for the 50th Annual ACM Awards:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Florida Georgia Line

Female Vocalist of the Year
Brandy Clark
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

New Artist of the Year
Sam Hunt
Thomas Rhett
Cole Swindell

Album of the Year
Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean
Pain Killer, Little Big Town
Platinum, Miranda Lambert
Riser, Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders, Eric Church

Song of the Year (Award to Songwriter)
“American Kids,” Kenny Chesney
“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert
“Drink a Beer,” Luke Bryan
“Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves
“Give Me Back My Hometown,” Eric Church
“I Hold On,” Dierks Bentley

Single Record of the Year
“American Kids,” Kenny Chesney
“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert
“Dirt,” Florida Georgia Line
“Drunk on a Plane,” Dierks Bentley
“I Don’t Dance, “Lee Brice

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
The Swon Brothers

Vocal Event of the Year
“Lonely Tonight,” Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe
“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
“Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert Duet with Carrie Underwood
“The South,” The Cadillac Three featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli
“This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan

Video of the Year
“American Kids,” Kenny Chesney
“Cop Car,” Keith Urban
“Drunk on a Plane,” Dierks Bentley
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell
“Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert Duet with Carrie Underwood

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Sam Hunt’s “Montevallo” Hits Half-Million in Sales

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleSam Hunt continues to rack up more career milestones. Sam’s record company UMG Nashville reports that this week Sam’s album, Montevallo, has reached a half million in sales, climbing to that mark faster than any debut album since 2012.

Meanwhile, Sam’s single “Take Your Time” is spending its 10th week atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.  According to the magazine, “Take Your Time” is one of only sixteen tunes to accomplish that feat since the chart was launched in 1958. 

This Sunday, the former college football quarterback will performs at the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards where he’s vying for the New Artist trophy. The ACM Awards air Sunday night at 8 on CBS.

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Listen to a Mashup of 10 Years of Carrie Underwood Hits

Image Courtesy Arista Nashville/Jeremy CowartDJ Earworm, who’s known for producing annual five-minute long mashups that include all the big songs from the year, has now applied his technique to a decade of hits from Carrie Underwood.  

The DJ’s audio and video montage, posted to YouTube,  contains more than fourteen songs, including Carrie’s number ones “Something in the Water,” “Good Girl,” “Undo It” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” as well as her current single “Little Toy Guns.”

All the songs are included on Carrie’s latest album, the 25-track Greatest Hits: Decade #1. She’s up for Female Vocalist, Vocal Event and Video at this the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, airing Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

David Nail to Play “Secret” Post-ACM Show for Uber

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleCountry fans in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this weekend have a chance to win a free invitation to an exclusive post-ACM Awards concert by David Nail, courtesy of ride-sharing service Uber and Ram Trucks. From now through noon Central time on Saturday, anyone who enters the promo code UBERCOUNTRY on the Uber app will have a chance to go to the show.

The lucky winners will be notified by 5 p.m. on Saturday and told the secret location of the concert. Uber riders will have a second opportunity to score tickets  at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, after the ACM Awards are handed out.  In addition to his number ones “Let It Rain,” “Red Light” and “Whatever She’s Got,” Nail teases he may also unveil some of the new music he’s been recording. You can find out more details about the contest on the Uber blog.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio


Little Big Town Is Grateful for Continued Recognition at the ACM Awards

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town will perform their latest hit, “Girl Crush,” on Sunday night’s ACM Awards. It’s included on their latest project, Pain Killer, which is up for Album of the Year. Speaking of that nod along with their mention in the Vocal Group of the Year category, band member Kimberly Schlapman says, “We’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. So, these nominations really, really do mean a lot to us, because there were so many years when there was just birds chirping in the background.”

The 50th Annual ACM Awards broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThe Academy of Country Music is not based in Nashville like the Country Music Association. Where are the ACM offices located? ANSWER: Encino, California.

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Tim McGraw Facing Backlash Over Sandy Hook Benefit Concert

Nino Munoz/Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw’s facing some online backlash for his scheduled performance in Hartford, CT this July — a performance that benefits Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, whose stated purpose is to help protect children from gun violence.

McGraw on Monday announced the show, dubbed the Concert for Sandy Hook Promise, part of his ongoing Shotgun Rider tour with supporting acts Billy Currington and Chase Bryant.  But because the show’s proceeds go to what some are calling a pro-gun control cause, the criticism from some parties has been harsh —  particularly from gun rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, which tweeted, “Country musicians @TheTimMcGraw and @billycurrington to promote and play at gun control fundraiser.”

That NRA tweet, reported by the Washington Post, has since been deleted, but others from critical parties haven’t been.  Many critical comments were posted to McGraw’s Facebook page, with some noting the alleged hypocrisy of McGraw’s Shotgun Rider tour name, given the Sandy Hook benefit, though the “shotgun” in that context refers to a vehicle’s front passenger seat.

McGraw responded 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.

Even so, the fallout was apparently enough to cause Billy Currington to back out of the concert altogether.  He posted a note on his own Facebook page, declaring in part, “I’ve never been one to take on controversial issues — I’m a singer. I do feel strongly about honoring and supporting the Sandy Hook community and will be making a donation to a local organization.”

TIME magazine on Thursday named McGraw one of its 100 most influential people.

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Lead Nominee Miranda Lambert Feels Right at Home as the ACM Awards Take Over Texas

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert grew up just 80 miles from Dallas, Texas, in the town of Lindale, so it’s only fitting she is the lead nominee going into Sunday night’s ACM Awards in nearby Arlington. Miranda has eight nods including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year for Platinum.

She says, “I feel like of all the times for it to be in Dallas, now is perfect for me because I’m still on a high from this album, and from everything that’s going on. Now to be like, at home doing the ACMs, is kind of crazy.”

As for that Entertainer nomination, Miranda adds, “That’s what I said from day one when I started first playing the guitar and learning to sing. It was like, I really wanna be — I at least want to be nominated for Entertainer of the Year at some point. Winning would be great, too.”

Miranda is also a favorite to win her sixth consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year trophy this weekend. Look for her to perform on the 50th Annual ACM Awards Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockTim McGraw will perform on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live next month. We’ll keep you posted on exact airdate.

Martina McBride will headline the St. Jude Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon concert April 25 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. 

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Florida Georgia Line “Blown Away” by First ACM Entertainer of the Year Nomination

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line has their first-ever nomination in the Entertainer of the Year category going into Sunday night’s ACM Awards. The duo’s Brian Kelley admits he and singing partner Tyler Hubbard were “blown away” by the nod.

“That’s something that we’ve been working for for a long time,” Brian says. ‘It’s been a dream. It happened so fast for us. We’re very, very blessed and honored. “

The nod comes just months after FGL released their sophomore album, Say Anything, and Brian says that project has made them step up their game on the road.

He says, “It’s changed our show. I think there’s just a new breath of fresh air with the whole tour, the whole crew. It’s just exciting.”

Fan voting in the Entertainer of the Year category is now open at The 50th Annual ACM Awards broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

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