Miranda Lambert Earns First #1 on “Billboard” 200 Albums Chart with “Platinum”

RCA NashvilleMiranda Lambert has earned her first #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart with her fifth release, Platinum.

The set sold 180,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to become Miranda’s fifth #1 album on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart. It’s also Miranda’s best sales week ever, and the biggest for a female country act since Taylor Swift sold 241,000 copies of her album, Red, for the week ending December 30, 2012, nine weeks after it came out.

Miranda says to her fans, “THANK YOU to the music lovers who believe in albums and spent your hard-earned money on 16 songs! 16 songs that all say something important to me. I hope that they also speak to you, and I hope you enjoy listening to Platinum.”

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Justin Moore‘s duet with Miranda Lambert on his latest album, Off the Beaten Path? ANSWER: “Old Habits.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lee Brice Headlining Pre-Race Concert at Daytona International Speedway July 5

Photo Credit: Joseph LanesLee Brice heads to the Daytona International Speedway to headline a pre-race concert Saturday, July 5 prior to the 56th Annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A special VIP ticket is available allowing fans special access to Lee’s show and the race, too. Go to DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com for details.

Lee’s set will include his hits “I Drive Your Truck,” “Hard to Love” and the new single, “I Don’t Dance,” which is the title track from Lee’s new album, due out September 9.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Young will be playing his shows this weekend wearing a sling due to his recent hand surgery. He tweeted, “I won’t be telling you guys to clap with me.”

Luke Bryan‘s latest album, Crash My Party, has been certified double platinum for shipment of two million copies.

Luke Bryan and Justin Moore will be taking part in a Google Hangout with Cabela’s Wednesday night at 7 ET at Cabelas.com/ItsInYourNature.

According to the New York Daily News, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill went to see James Franco star in Of Mice and Men on Broadway late last month.

Sheryl Crow will perform at a benefit gala in New York City June 19 marking the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed nearly 280,000 people in 11 different countries. According to Rolling Stone, Bill Clinton is among the honorees at the event.

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Brantley Gilbert’s Hard Work Is Paying Off with Big Sales, Platinum Certifications

Valory Music Co.It seems everything’s going Brantley Gilbert‘s way these days. His breakthrough album, Halfway to Heaven, has just been certified platinum, and his latest release, Just As I Am, had the second-biggest country debut so far this year. When putting out the new album last month, Brantley tried to keep his expectations in check.

He says, “I usually don’t try to predict too much or get above even-keel. You know, you get too excited, you get let down. With this deal, I just wanted to see some dues paying off.”

More than 200,000 fans bought Just As I Am in its first week out, and Brantley is quick to share his success with his team members who’ve stuck it out with him through the lean times.

“I’m so happy for my guys,” Brantley says. “The guys in my organization that have been here forever to see those kind of numbers up with some major acts. It was a sense of accomplishment across the board for us.”

Brantley also picks up his third platinum single for the #1 hit, “Bottoms Up.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Got His Band Liquored Up to Record New Album, “Moonshine in the Trunk”

Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley doesn’t drink, but he’ll gladly pour you a tall Guinness or vodka soda at the recently installed bar at the studio on his Nashville-area property. The watering hole, which Brad describes as “a full-blown saloon,” was put in to create a party atmosphere for the band while recording Brad’s new album, Moonshine in the Trunk.

“It’s, ‘If you build it, they will cut,’ was what it was,” Brad explains. “The band will show up and they will cut.”

So, was Brad ever concerned about the musicians getting too drunk to record?

He says, “We would have made a terrible jazz record, but country music only gets better when they have a couple of drinks. I think you hear that on the album, you hear the party nature of that.”

While Brad admits his last album, Wheelhouse, was full of songs tackling tough issues like racism and domestic abuse, Moonshine in the Trunk is designed to give his fans a fun listening experience.

Says Brad, “It’s an overwhelmingly positive look at music and life, and I think you’ll have a smile on your face when you’re done listening to the whole thing.”

Moonshine in the Trunk is due out August 26 featuring Brad’s latest hit, “River Bank.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Wouldn’t Change a Thing About Her Career’s Slow Build to the Top

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is the hottest female act in country right now, but she didn’t hit her stride until her third album, Revolution, came out in 2009. In fact, Miranda only had one top ten hit, “Gunpowder and Lead,” from her first two albums. She wouldn’t change a thing, though.

Miranda tells CMA Closeup, “I’ve had the exact career I would want. I didn’t shoot to the top immediately. It’s been a slow, steady burn. And I got to do it the right way — my way.”

Now Miranda is a 30-year-old married woman, and that maturity is featured on her latest album, Platinum, which is expected to debut atop the Billboard 200 this week.

“I think Platinum is exactly the album I need right now,” Miranda adds. “It’s who I am and where I am at this moment in my life.”

Miranda will launch her Platinum tour July 10. Look for her on CBS’s The Talk and E!’s Chelsea Lately Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kip Moore and Frankie Ballard Help Raise $17,000 for Musicians on Call

MCA NashvilleKip Moore and Frankie Ballard helped raise $17,000 for Musicians on Call by performing at the Country Weekly Kick-Off Party last week in Nashville. The event took place at Mercy Lounge in Music City, with proceeds going to Musicians on Call’s efforts to bring live and recorded music to patients in healthcare facilities. Chuck Wicks hosted the event.

The fundraising continues through next month with the eighth annual Summer of Music auction benefiting Musicians on Call. Concert ticket packages, meet-and-greet experiences and memorabilia from Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and more are on the auction block. Go to MusiciansonCall.org to bid.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Celebrates His Fans’ Resiliency with New Single, “American Kids”

Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney is back with a brand-new single, “American Kids,” hitting the airwaves June 20. The song celebrates the spirit of youth and also speaks to the resiliency of Kenny’s fans.

He says, “If there’s one thing I’ve seen over the last ten years, looking out at the faces in the crowd: you can’t keep my fans down. These are people who no matter what are in love with life, and they’re gonna find the good times no matter what.”

You can download “American Kids” starting June 23. It’s the lead single from Kenny’s upcoming studio album, due out this fall.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum Gives Out 800 Cake Pops at CMA Music Festival to Celebrate Webisode Milestone

Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum has released a new webisode for their fans almost every week since they first hit the country scene in 2007 with “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.” The group recently posted their 300th webisode, so they celebrated the milestone by giving away 800 cake pops to everyone who came by to see them at the CMA Music Festival’s Fan Fair X over the weekend.

Band member Dave Haywood says, “That’s a lot of calories.”

As for their webisode series, Lady A’s Hillary Scott adds, “We’ve had a video camera following us around from the very beginning back to when we were behind the camera, and now having a really amazing professional, [Adam Boatman], putting it all together.”

Look for highlights from Lady Antebellum’s CMA Music Festival experience in an upcoming installment of their Lady A TV webisodes.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio