Zac Brown Signs On to Perform at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18

Image Courtesy CMAZac Brown is teaming up with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello to perform at the 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18. They’ll honor inductees Paul Butterfield Blues Band on the show, taking place at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.

Look for the 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction to air as a special on HBO Saturday, May 30.


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Garth Brooks Opens Up About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad in New Issue of “People”

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryYou might assume Garth Brooks had nannies and assistants helping him raise his three daughters when he retired from touring in 2000, but you’d be wrong. In the new issue of People, on stands Friday, Garth talks candidly about his time spent raising Taylor, August and Allie. At first, the family of four was living in a one-bathroom bunkhouse on his ranch in Oklahoma.

“I’d just stare at them,” Garth says of his early days alone with the kids. “I knew their sweet faces and their dispositions. But I didn’t know who they were.”

Garth soon got the hang of making the girls lunches, assigning them chores on the ranch and driving the girls to soccer games and school plays.  He says, “You start being a part of the community. The dads across the soccer field looked at me as a dad just like them. And I was very grateful.”

Garth adds that he now prays for his girls more than ever now that they’re off living their own lives: “For some reason when they were under my roof, I felt like I might have had some control, you know?”

Garth is back on the road now, playing shows with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, whom he calls “the love of my life.” Check out the new issue of People to see Garth’s personal family photos, along with more thoughts on his return to touring.

Of note, Garth is slated to share some big news on ABC’s Good Morning America this Friday.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich ACM New Artist of the Year nominee is a co-writer on Kenny Chesney‘s #1 hit “Come Over”? ANSWER: Sam Hunt.


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Montgomery Gentry Releasing New Album, “Folks Like Us,” June 9

Image Courtesy Dennis EntertainmentMontgomery Gentry will release their first album in more than three years this summer. Folks Like Us finds the duo honoring their Kentucky roots and recording songs that capture where they are in their lives right now.

Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry says, “There are probably a few more introspective moments on the album, and front to back, this might just be our strongest record yet.”

Look for Montgomery Gentry’s album, Folks Like Us, to come out on June 9.  Here’s the track listing:

“We Were Here”
“Headlights”
“In a Small Town”
“Back on a Dirt Road”
“Two Old Friends”
“Folks Like Us”
“Pain”
“Hillbilly Hippies”
“Better for It”
“That’s Just Living”


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Band Perry‘s Kimberly Perry tells People she and her husband, baseball player J.P. Arencibia, went paddle boarding for two hours every morning during their honeymoon last year in Maui.

Reba will make an appearance as an adviser next week on NBC’s The Voice.

Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Brandy Clark performed alongside Country Music Hall of Fame member Kris Kristofferson on Skyville Live‘s second webcast Tuesday night in Nashville. Check out highlights at SkyvilleLive.com.


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Kip Moore and His Band Turn a Wedding Reception Upside Down in “I’m to Blame” Video

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleKip Moore came up with the concept for his brand-new video, “I’m to Blame,” which means he’s the one who made his band mates dress up in tacky, vintage tuxedos complete with puffy dress shirts. In the clip, the guys play a band hired to perform at a wedding reception for a very unhappy couple, and the guys aren’t happy with their wardrobe.

Kip tells ABC Radio, “We pull up in these suits because that’s what we were asked to do by the people having the party. [My guitar player] Dave‘s kind of like, ‘I’m done with these gigs. You’ve got to do something different.'”

To make matters worse, the wedding venue is a run-down VFW Hall. Once they see the sad wedding ceremony, the guys decide to change quickly into their regular stage clothes and start singing “I’m to Blame.” Kip ends up running off with the bride in the end, too.

He says, “I don’t know if it’s comedy, but there’s definitely some funny parts in it for sure.”

“I’m to Blame” is the lead single from Kip’s upcoming album. Look for him to hit the road with Dierks Bentley on the Sounds of Summer tour starting in June.


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Cole Swindell Keeping His ACM New Artist of the Year Nomination in Perspective

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell is keeping an open mind about his ACM nomination for New Artist of the Year. While he admits he would love to take home the fan-voted prize, Cole is keeping things in perspective thanks to some good advice from the woman in his life.

“My mom told me, ‘Cole you can’t be upset if you don’t win. Look, you made it in the final three,'” Cole tells ABC Radio. “I’m like, you’re right. You can’t get your hopes up too high ’cause everybody is so talented in this group, but to be in the final three, to represent the new faces of country music, that’s an honor to me. I take that seriously.”

No matter who takes home the New Artist trophy, Cole is happy to be playing a role in the ACM Awards’ 50th annual ceremony.

He says, “There’s no telling what all they’ve got planned. Being nominated, I’ll remember it no matter. It’s gonna be a special one for us.”

Cole is up against Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt for ACM New Artist of the Year. You can cast your vote in that category at VoteACM.com. The winner will be revealed on the 50th Annual ACM Awards airing live Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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Thomas Rhett Challenges Himself with Paradoxical New Single, “Crash and Burn”

Image Courtesy Ryan Smith/BMLGThomas Rhett was drawn to his brand-new single, “Crash and Burn,” because it may take a few listens to really understand what the song is about.

Looking back on when he first heard the song, Thomas says, “I immediately loved the paradox of how happy it sounds, even though the lyrics are about a guy who loses out in love.”

“Crash and Burn” also challenges Thomas’s vocal ability like never before, but he didn’t want to play it safe with his new music.  He adds, “For the new album, I really wanted to try new things, to stretch myself and explore that side of my sound.”

Now that “Crash and Burn” has been released, Thomas is gearing up for his performance slot on the 50th Annual ACM Awards, airing live Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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Darius Rucker to Attend Hermitage Grand Gala at the Kentucky Derby May 2

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker is one of the celebrities scheduled to walk the red carpet at the Hermitage Grand Gala, an official event of the 2015 Kentucky Derby, on Saturday, May 2 in Louisville.

Pop star Ne-Yo and chef Bobby Flay are also attending the gala, and Josh Groban will sing the national anthem prior to the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. The race will broadcast live May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.


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Luke Bryan Leads Country Nominees for 2015 Billboard Music Awards

Image Courtesy Schmidt RelationsLuke Bryan is the lead country nominee for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards with four nods, including Top Country Artist. Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line have three nominations each, while Brantley Gilbert has two mentions. The awards are based on music sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social media presence for the period of March 10, 2014 through March 8, 2015.

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards will air live from Las Vegas Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.  Here are the country nominees:

Top Country Artist
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Florida Georgia Line
Brantley Gilbert
Blake Shelton

Top Country Album
Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
Garth Brooks, Man Against Machine
Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
Brantley Gilbert, Just as I Am
Miranda Lambert, Platinum

Top Country Song

Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”
Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan, “This Is How We Roll”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”


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