• ERIC CHURCH GETS A THUMBS UP FROM BRUCE! (AUDIO)

    Eric Church‘s recent two-week No. 1 hit, “Springsteen,” started off as a love affair that takes place in an amphitheater between two people who attended a show and years later would hear this artist’s songs and think about that person…only the artist wasn’t Bruce Springsteen. However, when the North Carolina native was writing the song with his two pals, he says that “The Boss” seemed to be the perfect guy to craft that story around because he’s such a big fan. He told AOL’s The Boot, “I have such a reverence for Bruce Springsteen’s career and how he’s built it.”

    It seems The Boss has given Church a formal thumbs up on his recent hit. 

    Church tells Billboard that Springsteen’s assistant and road manager Wayne LeBeaux, who is close friends with Capitol Nashville’s Diane Lockner (and who helped facilitate the meeting), attended his concert on Aug. 19th in Gilford, New Hampshire, bearing a gift from The Boss — a set list from one of Springsteen’s recent shows at Fenway Park in Boston, with a personal note on the back.

    “(LeBaux) came on the bus and was telling me this story,” Church recalls. “As they were leaving the Fenway show, (Springsteen) said, ‘Wayne, what are you doing this weekend?’ ‘I’m going to see Eric Church.’ “No kidding,’ and (Springsteen) took out a set list and wrote me a great note, filled up the whole back of the set list talking about how he was a fan of the song, how his family was a fan of the song. He signed it and said ‘I hope we cross paths somewhere’ and told (LeBeaux), ‘Make sure you deliver this to Eric.’

    “It’s a pretty incredible note. It’s the first time I’ve officially heard from him. I had heard he was a fan of the song, but it’s the first time I officially heard. It means the world to me — and the set list is three hours and 37 minutes. That impressed me, too.” Church says the set list note is currently “locked up” in a safe place.

    AUDIO: Eric Church talks about being a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen’s and why.

    Eric Church (big Springsteen fan) OC: …nights, and you know… :11

    “I’m a big Springsteen fan. I mean, I love the way Bruce built his career. It’s similar to the way we built ours in bars and clubs and little teeny-tiny places that we would sell out multiple nights, and you know…”

     

    Video / Eric Church - Springsteen

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  • LADY ANTEBELLUM TAKES FANS INSIDE THE STUDIO FOR A LITTLE PRE-PRODUCTION FOR THEIR NEXT ALBUM. (VIDEO)

    Lady Antebellum are back in the studio for some pre-production work on album number four!

    Video / Lady Antebellum - Webisode Wednesday - Episode 213

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  • KEITH URBAN CHECKS IN FROM THE STUDIO BEFORE HEADING OUT ON THE ROAD. (VIDEO)

    The latest episode of Urban Chat finds Keith Urban at Blackbird Studios where he recorded all last week. He was looking forward to hitting the road over the weekend.

    Video / Urban Chat: Video 17: Ready for the Road!

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  • LADY ANTEBELLUM & JASON ALDEAN WILL ANNOUNCE THE FINALISTS FOR THIS YEAR’S CMA AWARDS. (PRESS RELEASE)

    NASHVILLE – “Country Music’s Biggest Morning” will be held on the world’s biggest stage, when Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum announce the final nominees for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” on Wednesday, Sept. 5 from “Good Morning America” and the Hard Rock Cafe located in Times Square in New York City.

    Aldean and Lady Antebellum will announce the final nominees in five CMA Awards categories live from the “Good Morning America” studios on ABC. The announcement will air in the 8:30 AM/ET half-hour segment of the morning news program. Following the announcement, at 9:15 AM/ET, Aldean and Lady Antebellum will head over to the Hard Rock Cafe to announce the finalists in the remaining seven categories. The last time all of the CMA Awards nominees were announced in New York City was 2005.

    “The CMA Awards are ‘Country Music’s Biggest Night™,’ and it’s something that all of us look forward to all year. From the day the nominations are announced up until the show, there’s a lot of build-up and anticipation for the Awards and also for the performances,” explained Aldean. “I feel honored to be able to help make the nominations announcement on ‘Good Morning America,’ and hopefully I’ll get to read some of my friends’ names that morning.”

    “I’ll never forget our first CMA nomination and what that felt like,” added Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley. “The CMAs have been really good to us the last few years, and it’s still unbelievable to me when I see our name on a list of nominees. That night is always such a blast because it’s your chance to catch up with everyone and celebrate Country Music and all the hard work put in throughout the year.”

    In Nashville, members of CMA and the media will be invited to a breakfast (8:00 AM/CT) at CMA to learn the nominees with the rest of the country via live stream at CMAawards.com.

    Lee Brice will be on hand in Nashville to announce the finalists for the 2012 CMA Broadcast Award Personality and Radio Station of the Year in four categories (small, medium, large, and major markets), as well as the finalists for the CMA National Broadcast Personality of the Year at 8:15 AM/CT. CMA’s radio partner, Premiere Networks, will carry the Awards and Broadcast Award nominations to Country Radio.

    “This is the Year of Country Radio and we are very excited to include our membership in the announcement of the nominees as we recognize the outstanding achievements of these radio professionals and stations,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer.

    The six-time, CMA Award-winning and reigning Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum’s Platinum third disc Own The Night debuted at the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top 200 and has spawned two No. 1 hits, “We Owned The Night” and “Just A Kiss,” tallying six career chart-topping hits. The album also serves as inspiration for their current headlining OWN THE NIGHT 2012 WORLD TOUR, which recently marked an attendance milestone of more than one million fans after completing legs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The trio will wrap their World Tour in October with already sold out shows in Australia.

    Aldean received his first of seven CMA Award nominations in 2007 for the Horizon Award (now known as New Artist of the Year). In 2011, he was nominated for five CMA Awards, including Entertainer, Male Vocalist, and Single of the Year (“Don’t You Wanna Stay”). He picked up two trophies for Musical Event of the Year for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson and Album of the Year for My Kinda Party.

    Lady Antebellum has won six CMA Awards starting with New Artist of the Year in 2008; Single of the Year (“I Run to You”) in 2009 and again for “Need You Now” in 2010; and Vocal Group of the Year in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

    “We are pleased to have these dynamic artists bring these important and highly anticipated announcements to the media capital of the world, and still be able to share the excitement live with our constituents in Nashville,” Moore said.

    Brice recently topped the charts with his first Platinum-selling No. 1 hit, “A Woman Like You,” from his new Curb Records’ album, Hard 2 Love. Brice also scored back-to-back Billboard Awards in 2010 and 2011 for the most played Country Song of the Year.

    “It’s been a great year for me at Country radio,” commented Brice. “I’m proud to be able to honor those stations that have done so much for me this year by announcing the finalists for the CMA Broadcast Awards live from Nashville.”

    The audio announcement of the CMA Awards nominees will be available via satellite and FTP from CMA’s radio partner Premiere Networks. CMA Broadcast Awards finalist announcements will also be available via FTP. Premiere has provided outstanding radio coverage of the CMA Awards nominations since 1997. Any Country radio station interested in receiving the radio package, including the nominations feed, may contact Premiere Affiliate Relations at (818) 377-5300.

    The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by the 11,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was formed in 1958 as the first trade organization to promote an individual genre of music. The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast on NBC television for the first time – making it the longest-running annual music awards program on network television. The show aired on NBC through 1971 and on the CBS Television Network from 1972 through 2005 before moving to ABC in 2006. ABC will be the network home of the CMA Awards through 2021.

    The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Oct. 4. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends at 5:00 PM/CT, Oct. 22.

    The 2011 CMA Awards was the No. 1 entertainment show for the week among the key advertising Adults 18-49 sales demographic. The special beat its nearest competition by 5.6 million viewers and by 26 percent in Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.

    Held during November Sweeps (Nov. 9), “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” on ABC dominated the night winning all six of its half-hours in total viewers and Adults 18-49. With a primetime sweep, ABC finished No. 1 on Wednesday in Viewers across all key demos including Adult, Men, and Women (18-34/18-49/25-54), as well as finishing as the top broadcaster with Teens (12-17).

    In Total Viewers (16.4 million; 17.49 Live+7) and Adults 18-49 (4.8/13; 5.2/14 Live+7) it was ABC’s strongest Wednesday in two years with an estimated 35 million viewers watching at least some portion of the three-hour live gala.

    “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer, Paul Miller is the Director, and David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

    “Good Morning America” is a two-hour, live program anchored by Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Josh Elliott is the news anchor, Lara Spencer is lifestyle anchor, and Sam Champion is the weather anchor. The morning news program airs Monday-Friday (7:00-9:00 AM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

  • LITTLE BIG TOWN’S FRIENDS ARE JUMPING ABOARD THE ‘PONTOON!’ (VIDEO)

    Check out Little Big Town‘s friends who have boarded the ‘Pontoon’ in the video below. Catch Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Pistol Annies, Wynonna, Jake Owen, Kix Brooks, Sara Evans, Eli Young Band, Thompson Square, Hunter Hayes, Larry Gatlin, Charlie Daniels, Eric Paslay, Jon Pardi, Kelleigh Bannen, Joanna Smith and actor Scott Wolf (Party of Five, NCIS, Everwood).

    “Pontoon” is now sitting at No. 3 on both country charts!

    Video / Look Who's Joined The Pontoon Party...

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  • DIERKS BENTLEY RELEASES COUNTRY & COLD CANS EP! (AUDIO)

    Dierks Bentley is releasing a new four-song EP called Country & Cold Cans even while his current album, Home, continues to chart hit singles, including his latest “Tip It On Back.” Country & Cold Cans August 21st. The EP is a digital-only release available on iTunes initially.

    The EP features the title track, “Grab a Beer,” “Back Porch,” “Summer on Fire” and his current single, “Tip It On Back.”

    Bentley is supporting the EP with a quick three-date tour, which began August 20th at the University of Georgia (in Athens), followed by shows at the University of South Carolina and the University of Mississippi.

  • DIERKS BENTLEY GETS FIT AT HIS SOLD-OUT SHOW IN RED ROCKS, COLORADO! (VIDEO)

    In the latest episode of DBTV, Dierks Bentley and the guys get some exercise in before the sold-out show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Check out the red tank top Dierks wears during their amazing climb.

    It was a great kick-off to the Tuesday release of Dierks’ Country & Cold Cans EP on Tuesday (August 21st).

    Video / Dierks Bentley - DBTV - Episode 76: Red Rocks

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  • THE MEMBERS OF LADY A ARE A TIGHT-KNIT GROUP. (AUDIO)

    The members of Lady Antebellum have grown much closer since first forming the band in 2006. The reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year has gone through years of personal growth, especially now that all three of them are married, and through several career highs, with three albums under their belt and numerous awards and accolades on their shelves. It’s only tightened the bond between the three of them. “When I look back at the first record and listen to the music and remember us recording those songs and writing those songs, we were still figuring each other out. And not to say we’ve figured each other out, but we know so much more about each other,” says Lady A’s Dave Haywood. “We’re just so much more open to saying what we want to say.”

    The trio is currently riding high on the country charts with their latest single, “Wanted You More,” from their platinum album, Own the Night.

    AUDIO: Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood says the band has grown closer with each passing year and each album made.

    Lady A (band so close) OC: …been before. :39

    “I look at ourselves as a band who’s so close right now. I mean, when I look back at the first record and listen to the music and remember us recording those songs and writing those songs, you know, we were still figuring each other out. And not to say we’ve figured each other out, but we know so much more about each other. We’re just so much more open to saying what we want to say. And I think the song ‘Need You Now’ was a big step for us in that too. You know, we were real hesitant about putting that line in there – ‘I’m a little drunk, and I need you now.’ And I think we just went for it, and I think from that moment on and then a lot of this record [Own the Night] was all written out of a point of us being closer than we’ve ever been before.”

    Video / Lady Antebellum - Wanted You More

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  • LUKE BRYAN ANNOUNCES FARM TOUR 2012! (AUDIO)

    Nashville – (August 17, 2012) – Country superstar Luke Bryan will embark on his fourth-annual “Farm Tour” 2012 set for this October with eight concerts planned through several southern states, including five in his home state of Georgia. 

    The Farm Tour 2012 concerts will be held in the following cities with locations to be announced soon. Dates & cities subject to change: 

    October 3 *Claxton (Statesboro), GA

    October4 *Clemson, SC

    October 5 *Auburn, AL

    October 6 Valdosta, GA

    October 10 Villa Rica, GA

    October 11 *Colbert (Athens), GA

    October 12 Tallahassee, FL

    October 13 *Macon, GA

    For specific ticket and venue information, including where to get tickets locally, stay tuned to www.lukebryan.com/farmtour.

    *Tickets for Claxton, Clemson, Auburn, Colbert and Macon will be available for purchase online at 9am CST/ 10am EST today, Friday, Aug. 17th. 

    Farm Tour 2012 is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial ®, Harveys Supermarkets, Case IH, BMI, GAC and Carl Black Chevrolet. 

    The idea for the Farm Tour concerts came from Bryan as a way to give back to local farming communities by celebrating and lifting up the American Farmer and offering a fun escape with the outdoor shows. Proceeds from the concerts will go to a scholarship for a student from a farming family attending the local college. 

    AUDIO: Luke Bryan enjoys putting on his Farm Tour year after year. 

    Luke Bryan (Farm Tour) OC: …keep it rockin’. :24

    “We just want to have a little fun in the fall, and I think what’s cool about the Farm Tour is when we continue to go to places like Claxton (Georgia) and Valdosta (Georgia). These things are a big event for these towns, and I just love the fact that people can come out and have a big time, listen to some music. And it’s just a fun experience all the way around. I want to continue to do what I can to keep it rockin’.”

    Video / Farm Tour Promo

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  • LADY A’S FANS SING THEIR OWN VERSION OF THE BAND’S LATEST HIT, ‘WANTED YOU MORE!’ (VIDEO)

    There are some talented Lady A’ers out there, especially on YouTube. So for this week’s webisode Lady A wanted to highlight some of those who have covered their latest song Wanted You More. What an amazing job by all! Watch below!

    Video / Lady Antebellum - Webisode Wednesday - Episode 212

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