Keith Urban Celebrates Latest #1 Hit, Weighs in on “Blurred Lines” Infringement Decision

Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban celebrated his latest #1 hit, “Somewhere in My Car,” with a party at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. The event featured Keith performing the song on the piano accompanied by a three-piece string section, and Keith’s wife, Nicole Kidman, was in the crowd among the music industry insiders.

“Somewhere in My Car” is the third #1 hit from Keith’s gold-selling album, Fuse. He thinks fans related to the song’s honest lyrics about remembering an old love.

Says Keith, “I always think the reason, firstly, is people relate to the story of that kind of painful, somewhat pathetic reminiscing — desperate, you know, that you can’t help yourself but sort of replay those memories over and over even though you know it’s never coming back.”

Before the party started, Keith spoke with reporters on several topics, including his thoughts on the verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams saying they copied Marvin Gaye‘s 1977 song, “Got to Give It Up” for their 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines.” Keith is something of a music historian, and he’s shocked the jury decided against Robin and Pharrell. Keith feels Robin and Pharrell only recreated the feel of “Got to Give It Up,” which is similar to what Marvin did when he first wrote and recorded the song in the first place.

“I’m more interested in the fact why Art Stewart, who produced [‘Got to Give It Up’], hasn’t been brought into the conversation as far as the way in which he put players together to create the sound, which was taken from another song called ‘Disco Lady,'” Keith explains. “Marvin literally heard that song, and Motown were asking him to make something a little more disco-sounding. He got the guy who produced that song by that artist to come and emulate a similar atmosphere in the studio.”

Keith goes on to say he believes the court is forcing Robin and Pharrell to pay more than $7 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for doing something Marvin basically did himself.

He adds, “I don’t know how much of a precedent this particular case is gonna set. I don’t know.”

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Dierks Bentley Hosting ACM Charity Motorcycle Ride & Concert April 18 in Texas

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley will headline the ACM Charity Motorcycle Ride & Concert Saturday, April 18 in Texas. The ride will begin at both Strokers in Dallas and the Longhorn Harley-Davidson in Grand Prairie. Riders from both locations will end up at Maverick Harley-Davidson in Carrollton, Texas for the concert.

Dierks is on the bill for that concert along with Thompson Square, Montgomery Gentry, James Otto and newcomers Clare Dunn and Joey Hyde.  Proceeds from the event go to the ACM’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives, as well as child abuse advocacy groups and military charities. Dierks is excited to lead the effort.

He says, “I’m really looking forward to just being outside in Texas. I’m from Arizona so that’s about as close as I get to being home. Just warm weather and motorcycles and good friends and raising money for great causes. “

Fans can purchase tickets to the ACM Motorcycle Ride & Concert starting this Friday at

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Luke Bryan Bows at #1 on Country Albums Chart with “Spring Break…Checkin’ Out”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleCongratulations to Luke Bryan on scoring his fifth #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart with his latest release, Spring Break…Checkin’ Out. According to Nielsen Music, the album moved more than 100,000 copies in sales and streams in its first week.

On the overall Billboard 200 tally, Luke bows at #3 behind the Empire soundtrack at #1 and Madonna‘s Rebel Heart at #2.

Spring Break…Checkin’ Out is the final release of Luke’s ongoing Spring Break series. He played his last Spring Break shows last week in Panama City Beach, Florida.

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Maddie & Tae Show Their Vulnerable Side with Latest Single, “Fly”

Image Courtesy Joseph Llanes/Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae‘s latest single, “Fly,” is a left turn from their sassy, debut hit, “Girl in a Country Song.” The duo wanted to dig a little deeper this time around, and they felt the inspirational message of “Fly” would help fans understand them more as artists.

The duo’s Maddie Marlow says, “‘Fly’ was not the obvious choice. You know, most people might go the up-tempo, rockin’ song to follow up, but sometimes what’s the easiest choice is not always the best choice.”

The decision to show their vulnerable side is paying off for Maddie & Tae. “Fly” is already getting a big response from fans when they perform it live.

Maddie adds, “They know every single word, and that just is proof that it’s resonating well.”

We can expect more unexpected moments when Maddie & Tae’s new album, Start Here, comes out June 2.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge hails from which Illinois town? ANSWER: Paris.

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Little Big Town Opens Up About the Brilliant Jealousy of Their Latest Single, “Girl Crush”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleThe members of Little Big Town didn’t write their latest single, “Girl Crush,” but the group’s Jimi Westbrook thinks the lyrics about a woman’s all-consuming jealousy make it one of the most brilliant songs he’s heard in years.

Jimi explains, “It’s taking a lyric that you’ve heard so many times, and the way it turns at the hook just catches you. So, it gives me chills every time I listen to it.”

His band mate, Phillip Sweet, adds that “Girl Crush” is just the latest in a long line of hit songs about wanting what we can’t have.

“Country music was built on songs about heartache and jealousy,” says Phillip.

LBT’s Kimberly Schlapman can’t help but sympathize with the emotion conveyed in “Girl Crush.”

She says, “This woman is just looking at the woman her man left her for and wondering, ‘What does she have that I don’t have? What am I missing? What is it that I can’t give you that she’s giving you?'”

“Girl Crush” is the latest single from Little Big Town’s current album, Pain Killer.

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New Group A Thousand Horses Rocketing to Stardom Thanks to Breakout Hit, “Smoke”

Image Courtesy David McClister/Republic NashvilleNew country group A Thousand Horses is on the verge of scoring a top-10 hit at country radio with their debut single, “Smoke.” The track entered the chart in January, and even the guys in the band can’t believe the song has become a hit so quickly.

Lead singer and South Carolina native Michael Hobby tells ABC Radio, “It’s been a fast and wild ride so far. We’re honored, and [to have] country radio to spin it as fast as it’s risen — it’s pretty overwhelming. It still sinks in every day. It’s like, ‘Oh wait, we have a [hit]? It’s in the top 20?'”

Michael collaborated on “Smoke” with two of Nashville’s top songwriters, and it ended up being the first song the group recorded for their upcoming album, Southernality.

Looking back on that day in the writing room, Michael says, “We said [it was] a cool metaphor to smoking and a girl being that addiction and danger that you necessarily, maybe, shouldn’t have, but want.”

A Thousand Horses guitarist Zach Brown, who is no relation to the lead singer of Zac Brown Band, adds, “I think it’s just about the story, man. Lyrically, it just tells a story that people can relate to, and we love it.”

A Thousand Horses’ album, Southernality, is out June 9. The band hits the road with Darius Rucker on May 14.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockA vinyl box set including all six of Johnny Cash‘s American Recordings albums will be released on March 24.

Plans for Brett Eldredge‘s sophomore album are moving along quickly. He posted an Instagram video from the album’s photo shoot Tuesday.


Photo shoot for the next album!!!!!! Wooohooo!

A video posted by Brett Eldredge (@bretteldredge) on Mar 17, 2015 at 8:24am PDT


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Zac Brown Knew It Was Love at First Kiss with Wife, Shelly

Image Courtesy Southern GroundIn the latest single from Zac Brown Band, lead singer Zac Brown sings that he’s “got good looking woman with her arms ‘round me.”  He’s singing about his wife of nearly a decade, Shelly, who is the mother of their five kids. Zac says it was love at first kiss for him and Shelly, who met after one of the band’s early concerts.

“We ended up New Year’s Eve playin’ a show. My date had stood me up,” Zac recalls of that night he first kissed Shelly. “I remember walkin’ back to my friends with like two minutes before midnight and thinkin’, ‘I’m not gonna have anybody to kiss on New Year’s,’ and there she was, standin’ right there and I remember kissin’ her. “

Zac says that moment was “game over” for him, and he’s been with Shelly ever since. “Homegrown” is the lead single from Zac Brown Band’s new album, Jekyll + Hyde, due out April 28.

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The Band Perry Added to ACM Lifting Lives Gala

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleThe Band Perry has joined the lineup for the ACM Lifting Lives One Night, Two Cities All Music Gala coming up Friday, April 17. The sibling trio will perform at both the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas and the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas that night.  They’re bringing along some surprise guests, too.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are hosting both events, which will run simultaneously. TV host Montel Williams will help host the Dallas gala, while Entertainment Tonight co-host Nancy O’Dell will serve as emcee at the Fort Worth event.

Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Keith Urban and Little Big Town are among the other stars performing at the ACM Lifting Lives fundraisers that night. Tickets are available at

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