Dustin Lynch and CMT Team Up for Empowering Education Initiative

Broken Bow RecordsDustin Lynch and CMT are teaming up to encourage people in rural, economically-depressed areas of the country to head back to school. The CMT Empowering Education initiative hopes to shine a light on the role community colleges play in giving people the skills they need to advance their careers and pursue their dreams.

Dustin says, “Education has always been important to me and to my family. In fact, I made a promise to my family that I would graduate from college before pursuing a career in music. I’m proud to be working with CMT’s Empowering Education campaign to help others find their path to higher education and to new careers.”

Dustin and CMT hope to get 500 people to sign up in support of the initiative at Thunderclap.it using the search term “CMT.” Ten of those people who sign up will win a Dustin Lynch prize pack, including his new album, Where’s It At. One lucky winner will get a VIP trip to Nashville to attend the 2015 CMT Music Awards with Dustin.

For more information, go to CMTEmpoweringEducation.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Carrie Underwood‘s middle name? ANSWER: Marie.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hunter Hayes Plays One-Man-Band, Performs “Tattoo” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Image Courtesy Kristin Barlowe/Warner Music NashvilleOn Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday evening, Jimmy welcomed Hunter Hayes, who appeared both in a comedy sketch and to perform on the outdoor stage as part of Kimmel’s Summer Concert Series.  

Jimmy first introduced Hunter by explaining the nearly 23-year-old star can play 30 instruments. “I didn’t even know there were 30 instruments,” Jimmy quipped, then invited Hunter out to prove his skills.

Hayes came out, strapped up with dozens of instruments like one of those novelty “one man band” street performers, and began playing guitar and drums simultaneously — comically poorly.

“I think you might have took this a bit literally,” the overloaded Hayes said. “You can’t play them all at once?” Kimmel asked, joking. “I kinda prefer not to, but I’ll keep going…if you guys wanna keep rocking,” Hayes replied.

“We’ll figure it out and get back to you later,” Kimmel said, as the show went to a commercial. “That’s a better idea,” Hunter agreed. 

He later appeared to perform “Tattoo.” The performance was a preview of his upcoming Tattoo (Your Name) Tour, which kicks off October 30.

Before the tour gets underway in University Park, Pennsylvania, Hunter will pay tribute to the troops and their loved ones by playing one USO show in the U.S. and another one overseas.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks Kicks Off World Tour with Hit-Filled Show in Chicago

CMAGarth Brooks launched his World Tour with a sold-out concert at Allstate Arena outside Chicago Thursday night.

The show kicked off with a giant video cube dropping from the ceiling showing Garth’s logo as lights flashed around the stage. As the spotlight suddenly hit his face, Garth opened the show with a brand-new song, “Machines,” before delivering his classic, “Rodeo.”

He got emotional as the crowd sang along to “The River” and “Unanswered Prayers.” He also threw in “Beaches of Cheyenne,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” “Papa Loved Mama,” and also electrified the crowd with “The Thunder Rolls.” The lyrics to Garth’s latest single, “People Loving People,” were posted on the screen above the stage to allow fans to single along.

By the time Garth’s wife Trisha Yearwood joined him to sing “In Another’s Eyes,” he’d already sweated through his pressed shirt and jeans. Trisha then gave Garth a break singing her hits “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” “How Do I Live” and “She’s in Love with the Boy.” Garth joined her to sing along on Trisha’s brand-new single, “PrizeFighter,” before directing her to take a bow at center stage. 

After Trisha’s mini-set, Garth delivered big sing-along moments with “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance.” For his encore, Garth tore through “The Fever” before inviting Trisha back to play guitar and sing harmony with her on “Walkaway Joe.”

Garth’s stage set was state-of-the-art with an orb of lighted ribbons surrounding the drummer at the center of the stage. While Garth never took his eyes off what was happening in modern country music during his time out of the spotlight, he admits there are a few pop acts that inspired his new stage presentation and music, too.

Bruno Mars, does he influence me?” Garth says. “You betcha. Lady Gaga, does she influence me? You betcha. These are talented kids. I mean talented, talented people.”

Lady Gaga actually attended Garth’s show Thursday night with her boyfriend, Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney. She posted an Instagram photo of Taylor singing “Friends in Low Places” in her ear with the caption, “At the Garth Brooks show with my country boy. So much fun we’re screamin’!”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was also on hand to declare Thursday Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood day in the state. 

As for why Garth chose to open his world tour in Chicago, he reflected on the multiple sell-out shows he played there on his last major tour in 1997 and 1998. 

He says, “I played here with Miss Yearwood last time as well, so it’s kind of like a completing of the circle. So, you’re looking at the luckiest, most blessed guy on the planet.”

Garth has nine more shows in Chicago before taking his tour to Atlanta and Jacksonville, FL. More tour cities will be announced soon.

Here’s Garth’s Chicago set list:
“Papa Loved Mama”
“The Beaches of Cheyenne”
“The River”
“Unanswered Prayers”
“Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”
“Ain’t Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)”
“Much Too Young (To Feel this Damn Old)”
“That Summer”
“The Thunder Rolls”
“People Loving People”
“In Another’s Eyes” (with Trisha Yearwood)
“XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)” — Trisha
“Wrong Side of Memphis” — Trisha
“How Do I Live” — Trisha
“She’s in Love with the Boy” — Trisha
“PrizeFighter” — Trisha
“More Than a Memory”
“Callin’ Baton Rouge”
“The Dance
“The Fever”
“Walkaway Joe”(with Trisha Yearwood)

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockZac Brown Band will play the 2015 Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia on April 3. The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes and Train are among the other acts on the bill.  

Dolly Parton released a statement on the passing of Joan Rivers:  “Though her death is no laughing matter, her life was nothing but.  I know she would want us all to keep smiling.  And I know we always will when we think of her.  Rest in peace, Joan. We will always love you.”

Brad Paisley tweeted in memory of Joan Rivers: “The world will miss your incredible wit @Joan_Rivers. I sure loved getting to know you. Rest in Peace you hilarious soul.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Frankie Ballard and Sam Hunt Latest Artists Tapped for CMT “Listen Up” Series

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleFrankie Ballard is the latest rising star to be featured on CMT’s Listen Up series at ListenUp.CMT.com.  The campaign includes Frankie’s performances of his #1 hit, “Helluva Life,” and his latest single, “Sunshine & Whiskey,” as well as interviews and other updates on his career.

Sam Hunt is the next artist to be featured on CMT Listen Up starting October 2. Dustin Lynch, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves, Brett Eldredge and Brantley Gilbert are among the stars who have previously gotten career boosts from Listen Up.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Blake Shelton Reveals How Miranda Lambert Really Feels About Her Nine CMA Nominations

Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton found out about his three CMA nominations during a phone call from wife, Miranda Lambert, who got a leading nine nods. When Miranda told Blake she’d tied her own record for the most nominations of any woman in CMA history, Blake could tell she seemed a little embarrassed about her good fortune.

He tells People, “If it was anybody else, she probably wouldn’t even talk about it, but with me she’s pretty excited about it.”

Blake is also excited to see his former team members from The Voice, The Swon Brothers, get a Duo of the Year nomination.

He says, “They’ve worked really hard and to see them capitalize on the opportunity is just so gratifying.”

The 48th Annual CMA Awards broadcast live from Nashville November 5 on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hunter Hayes Previewing New Tour on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Tonight

Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes takes over the outdoor stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night to give fans a small preview of his upcoming Tattoo (Your Name) Tour. The trek kicks off October 30, and each fan in the audience will get a customized LED wristband that allows fans to actually be a part of the concert experience.

Says Hunter, “This tour is definitely going to be different than anything we’ve done before, and we’re using technology that’s never been used on tour before. Not only will fans be part of the show, but they will really BE the show.”

Hunter will also work with the USO to create special moments for U.S. troops and their families at each show. Before the trek kicks off, Hunter will play one USO show in the U.S. and other one overseas.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Performing Live on “Nashville” Season Three Premiere September 24

BBMA/Dick Clark/ABCFlorida Georgia Line will perform live on the season three premiere of ABC’s Nashville on September 24. They’ll actually perform twice that night — once for the East Coast and then later for the live West Coast broadcast.

As previously announced, Charles Esten‘s character Deacon Claybourne and Chris Carmack‘s Will Lexington will also perform live on Nashville‘s season three premiere.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs” Being Developed into a Six-Hour Limited Event TV Series

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood‘s hit song, “Two Black Cadillacs,” has inspired a new six-hour limited event series coming to Fox. According to Deadline.com, the project is in development, with Carrie joining Jerry Bruckheimer as an executive producer. In keeping with the song, Two Black Cadillacs will explore a murderous love triangle in the modern South.

Carrie co-wrote “Two Black Cadillacs” for her 2012 album, Blown Away. No word on whether or not Carrie will have an acting role in the series.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio