Eric Church Finds Success by Staying Left of Country’s Creative Center

EB Media PREric Church had the biggest first-week sales of any country artist so far this year when his album The Outsiders came out in February. He credits that success with staying true to his art no matter what’s happening on the country charts at the moment.

Eric tells the San Francisco Examiner, “Any decision we make, we just try and be artistic. Because essentially that’s what we’re all supposed to be doing — making art and not worrying, ‘Is this going to commercially work?’”

Eric is now climbing the chart with his funky, new single, “Cold One” — the third release from The Outsiders.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cole Swindell, Brett Eldredge and More Performing at Warner Sound Event Next Week in Nashville

Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell and Frankie Ballard will perform the CMT Awards Official Fan After Party at aVenue next Wednesday, June 4. Their record label, Warner Music Nashville, has taken over that downtown Nashville venue again this year for the Warner Sound Event during CMA Music Festival, too.

On June 5, Cole, Jana Kramer and Gloriana will hold fan events at aVenue, with Charlie Worsham, Brett Eldredge and Dan + Shay following suit on June 6. For details, go to

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Teases New Song Lyrics via Twitter

CMAFlorida Georgia Line teased a lyric from their upcoming sophomore album via Twitter on Friday. It reads, “You ain’t gotta say it girl I know what you like…we do it #everynight.” The tweet also included the hashtag, “#awwwwebouttochangeitupagain.”

For now, Florida Georgia Line is enjoying a big hit with Luke Bryan on “This Is How We Roll.” Look for them to perform on the 2014 CMT Music Awards Wednesday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Announces Major TV Appearances to Promote “Platinum”

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert has lined up several big TV appearances to promote her new album, Platinum, due out Tuesday, June 3. She’ll be featured in an in-depth profile from her home in Tishomingo, OK on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend. On Monday night, Miranda performs “Automatic” on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Then she’ll be up early on Tuesday for an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Following her performance of “Somethin’ Bad” with Carrie Underwood on the 2014 CMT Music Awards Wednesday night, Miranda heads back to ABC’s The View on Friday, June 6, for another performance of “Automatic.”

Fans who pick up a copy of Platinum next week will hear Miranda’s most personal album to date.  “I feel I have a responsibility as a female artist, songwriter and musician to keep reinventing myself and stay fresh,” she says. “I didn’t know exactly what that was going to be but I didn’t want a concrete plan that we were locked into. So I actually felt pretty vulnerable writing this album and picking songs, and I think you can hear that on the record.”

Platinum also includes guest vocals from Little Big Town on the standout track, “Smokin’ and Drinkin’.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat does the “GS” on Cole Swindell‘s baseball cap stand for? ANSWER: His alma mater, Georgia Southern University.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Planning Her Album and Tour Plans Around Horse-Riding Competitions

Photo Credit: David McClisterMiranda Lambert is excited to release her new studio album, Platinum, next week, but all the TV appearances and interviews that go into promoting the project are distracting the singer from her favorite new hobby — horse-riding competitions. She recently picked up a few ribbons in her first competition, and Miranda is planning her upcoming Platinum tour around even more horse shows.

She says with a laugh, “I’m trying not to let myself take away from my career, but I already marked on the calendar, ‘Cannot tour this weekend and this week. I have a horse show.’”

Miranda’s obsession started last November when husband Blake Shelton bought her a Gypsy Vanner show horse for her birthday.  That’s when Miranda decided to begin taking proper English riding lessons.

She adds, “I knew how to ride a little bit here and there, but I wanted to learn for real. So, I’ve been three times a week, every week since January first.”

There have been mishaps along the way, though.

“A couple times I’ve jumped and she didn’t,” Miranda says with a laugh. “My horse didn’t, so that was fun, but you gotta hit the dirt a couple times to be a real cowgirl, I guess.”

Miranda has now added two Welsh Cob horses to her stable — one named Sayeth, as in “Sayeth the Lord,” and another named Ellie. Her love for those horses runs just as deep as her affection for her large pack of adopted dogs.

Says Miranda, “I’m just enjoying it. I love animals, and I’ve been really enjoying a challenge learning something new.”

Miranda will leave her horses at home in Oklahoma when she performs “Somethin’ Bad” with Carrie Underwood on the 2014 CMT Music Awards coming up Wednesday, June 4.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan Falls Off Stage During Thursday Night Concert in Charlotte

Capitol NashvilleGet well wishes go out to Luke Bryan, who fell off the stage during his Thursday night concert in Charlotte, NC. A fan video captures the moment Luke fell into the pit while performing a cover of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis pop hit, “Can’t Hold Us.” He later tweeted, “I’m good. Few stitches.”

Luke plans to continue his That’s My Kind of Night tour with a two-night stand in Bristow, VA Friday and Saturday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Brett Eldredge Promises to Go Shark Diving If “Beat of the Music” Goes to #1

Warner Music NashvilleAs Brett Eldredge watched his breakthrough hit, “Don’t Ya,” climbing the charts, he promised to go skydiving if the song went to #1. He made good on that promise when that song hit the top spot. Now he’s made a bet to go shark diving if his latest single, “Beat of the Music,” becomes his second #1 hit. That song is in the top five now, so Brett is sweating bullets about a potential trip to swim with the sharks.

“I can’t believe I actually might go shark diving,” Brett says, adding that he insists on having a cage to protect him during the dive. “They can throw all sorts of dead fish around there and let ‘em swim up to the cage for, like, five minutes and get me out of there. I need, like, 20 drinks.”

Brett never intended his bets about sky diving and shark diving to become public. He says, “I just like going to test yourself and push yourself to something that you would normally never do.”

“Beat of the Music” and “Don’t Ya” are both included on Brett’s debut album, Bring You Back, in stores now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockAlabama will kick off the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts Thursday, June 5 with a full performance at LP Field. This appearance marks Alabama’s first time performing at CMA Music Festival, formerly known as Fan Fair, in 19 years.

Luke Bryan will serve as the grand marshal for the FedEx 400 benefit Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway Sunday. The race starts at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.

Joe Nichols joins Lady Antebellum for a trio of concert dates this weekend starting Friday night in Cincinnati.

Luke Bryan takes fans to a recent Nashville concert featuring fellow Georgia musicians Cole Swindell, Jason Aldean and more in the new installment of LBTV.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Get a Sneak Preview of Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry’s CMT “Crossroads” Performance

CMTKacey Musgraves and Katy Perry‘s CMT Crossroads episode doesn’t premiere until June 13, but a sneak peek of their duet on Katy’s song “Roar” is now posted at

In addition to that pop hit, Kacey and Katy trade vocals on Kacey’s breakthrough single “Merry Go Round” and later hit “Follow Your Arrow.” Covers of Bonnie Raitt‘s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and Dolly Parton‘s “Here You Come Again” round out the Crossroads set list.

This installment of CMT Crossroads marks the show’s 50th episode.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio