Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockReba‘s duet partner on the Grammy-winning hit, “Does He Love You,” is also the mother of Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott. What is this artist’s name? ANSWER: Linda Davis.


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Newcomer Mickey Guyton Ready to Take Her Place Among Country Music’s Big-Voiced Female Stars

Image Courtesy UMG/David McClisterCountry newcomer Mickey Guyton made her Grand Ole Opry debut this past weekend performing her first single, “Better Than You Left Me.” The song is shaping up to be a big hit at country radio, and Mickey is excited to follow in the footsteps of her country female vocalist heroes like Reba, Martina McBride and Faith Hill. In fact, it was another big-voiced female country star that first inspired Mickey to sing country music in the first place.

While attending a Texas Rangers baseball game with her family, an eight-year-old Mickey heard a then-10-year-old LeAnn Rimes sing the national anthem. The country newcomer calls that experience “a turning point” in her life.

Mickey tells ABC News Radio, “The voice that came out of her just mesmerized me. I couldn’t believe that someone close to my age sounded like a grown woman.”

From there, Mickey went on to find her own voice studying the music of Reba, Patty Loveless and Whitney Houston throughout the 1990s.

“That was the decade of female, powerful voices, especially in country music, which I miss hearing so much,” Mickey says. “I get that from, obviously, Carrie, Miranda and Kacey, but I miss all those voices. That’s what got me there.”

Mickey recruited her friends and her dog, Charlie, to appear in the music video for “Better Than You Left Me.” It’s now streaming on Vevo.


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Eric Church to Perform on Grammy Awards

EB MediaEric Church, who’s nominated for four Grammys this year, including Best Country Album for The Outsiders, is among the first performers announced for the Grammy telecast in February.

In addition to Eric, the first batch of performers announced includes Madonna, hard rock legends AC/DC, and pop stars Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

The Grammys air February 8 on CBS.



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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKeith Urban has released his collaboration with Eric Church, “Raise ‘Em Up,” as the new single from his Grammy-nominated album Fuse.

Trace Adkins is playing Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras concert series on March 7. The Band Perry will also perform as part of the Mardi Gras series on April 11.

The George Jones Museum in downtown Nashville will open on the weekend of April 24 to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the country legend’s passing on April 26. The museum is being spearheaded by George’s wife, Nancy, and will feature memorabilia and personal items telling the story of Jones’ career.


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Brantley Gilbert Ready to Expand His Horizons with Upcoming European Concerts

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is headed across the pond for a run of shows through Europe starting next month. It’s a long way from his native Georgia, and Brantley admits he didn’t do much traveling before he launched his country career.

Says Brantley, “Before this thing really got to the point it’s at, I was a southeast guy. I never really left Georgia all that much except for travelin’ to play shows.”

As part of the C2C: Country to Country festival tour launching February 28, Brantley will entertain fans in Norway, Sweden, Ireland and England. He’s not quite sure what to expect compared to touring in the United States, but Brantley is keeping an open mind as he prepares for the shows.

“As far as goin’ to another country, that’s definitely different,” Brantley says. “I’m definitely excited to see how much fun it’s gonna be, but I’m lookin’ forward to it. It’s gonna be a good time.”

Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and Kip Moore are among the other stars performing at the Country to Country shows this year.


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Zac Brown Band Is Back with New Single, “Homegrown,” and New Record Label Deals

Image Courtesy Southern GroundZac Brown Band is back with a brand-new single, “Homegrown.” It’s an upbeat love song with an electric guitar-driven track that marks a new chapter in the group’s sound. Fans can expect a full album from Zac Brown Band this spring.

Zac tells Rolling Stone Country, “There will be things that people will expect and things that they don’t.”

The group will release the new album as a joint venture between their own Southern Ground Records, fashion designer John Varvatos‘s record label and Nashville-based Big Machine Records, home of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line. Zac hopes having these support of these companies will give the band a global boost.

Says Zac, “We’ve never had any corporate support from Nashville; we’ve always been looked at as outsiders. So being a part of a team there is going to help us.”

“Homegrown” is now available for download at iTunes.


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Dierks Bentley Taking Kip Moore and Maddie & Tae on the Road This Summer

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley is taking Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and newcomer Canaan Smith on the road for the 2015 Sounds of Summer tour starting June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina. They’ll play 40 cities over the summer.  Dierks gathered his opening acts on Nashville’s Percy Priest Lake on January 4 to take part in his annual New Year’s polar plunge.

Dierks says of his opening acts, “If our first ‘tour meeting’ is any indication, they are up for anything, which is awesome. No one is going to have more fun this summer than us!”

A video of Dierks and company’s polar plunge is now posted at People.com. Keep checking Dierks.com for tour dates and on-sale information.

Here are Dierks’ 2015 Tour cities:

Raleigh, NC
Cleveland, OH
Buffalo, NY
Lansing, MI
St. Louis, MO
Chicago, IL
Pittsburgh, PA
New York, NY
Boston, MA
Philadelphia, PA
Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
Virginia Beach, VA
Washington, D.C.
Schaghticoke, NY
Morristown, OH
Charlotte, NC
Birmingham, AL
Oshkosh, WI
Twin Lakes, WI
Ft. Wayne, IN
Sweet Home, OR
Merritt, BC (CAN)
Quincy, WA
Detroit Lakes, MN
Prairie du Chien, WI
Norfolk, NE
Denver, CO
Albuquerque, NM
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
Fresno, CA
Mt. View, CA
Sacramento, CA
Corpus Christi, TX
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Cincinnati, OH
Indianapolis, IN



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Keith Urban and Kacey Musgraves Playing New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban is performing on opening night of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival April 24. The event stretches over two weekends, with Kacey Musgraves set to perform on the festival’s closing night, May 3.

Elton John, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, The Who, Jimmy Buffett, Ed Sheeran, and Jerry Lee Lewis are among the other acts playing New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course.

Go to NOJazzFest.com for ticket information.


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Tim McGraw Launching Shotgun Rider Tour This June with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw will launch his Shotgun Rider Tour ’15 this June with special guests Billy Currington and Chase Bryant. The tour takes its title from Tim’s latest #1 hit, “Shotgun Rider.” 

Tim will surely have to bump one of his other 34 chart-toppers to make room for the newer music, but putting together a new show is pure pleasure for him.  He says, “I love going through the process of making our set list and working on the production elements to bring the show to life. We just like to lay it all out there every night — sling sweat, have fun and help make some summertime memories for everyone who joins us.”

So far, Tim has only announced the tour cities for his new trek. They include:

Little Rock, AR
Dallas, TX
Wantagh, NY
Boston, MA
Phoenix, AZ
Albuquerque, NM
Raleigh, NC
Charlotte, NC
Toronto, ON (CAN)
Hartford, CT
Holmdel, NJ
Virginia Beach, VA
Darien Center, NY
Cleveland, OH
Cincinnati, OH
Detroit, MI
Indianapolis, IN
Chicago, IL
St. Louis, MO
West Palm Beach, FL
Tampa, FL
Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia, PA
Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Denver, CO
Salt Lake City, UT
Sacramento, CA
Mountain View, CA
Irvine, CA



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Luke, Blake, Miranda, Eric and More Playing Houston Rodeo Starting March 3

Image Courtesy ABC/Dick Clark ProductionsLuke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw are among the headliners for the 2015 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The nightly concerts kick off March 3 at NRG Park and run through March 22. Tickets are available at RodeoHouston.com and AXS.com/RodeoHouston.

Here are the country stars performing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo:

3/3 — Eric Church
3/4 — Hunter Hayes
3/5 — Miranda Lambert
3/7 — Alan Jackson
3/9 — Justin Moore
3/10 — Tim McGraw
3/11 — Brantley Gilbert
3/12 — Zac Brown Band
3/14 — Billy Currington
3/16 — Dierks Bentley
3/18 — Florida Georgia Line
3/19 — Blake Shelton
3/20 — The Band Perry
3/21 — Brad Paisley
3/22 — Luke Bryan



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