NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (April 10, 2012) – Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winner Keith Urban was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry this evening by Opry member Vince Gill along with fellow members Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio and Oak Ridge Boys during Urban’s “All For The Hall” benefit at Bridgestone Arena. New Zealand-born and Australian-raised Urban will be the first artist from outside North America to become an Opry member. He will formally be inducted into the Opry on Sat., April 21st live on the premiere of “NOTEWORTHY at the Opry” on GAC at 8 p.m. Central. The 16-episode series will feature musical performances and personal stories from the top acts in country music plus interviews with other celebrities about the artists and music featured in each episode.Near the end of tonight’s show, Gill called Rascal Flatts back out on stage to bring a gift for Urban. As Urban opened a large black duffel bag revealing the Opry’s signature microphone stand, Gill said, “We would like to invite Keith Urban to be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry!” Urban covered his face in surprise as he began, “I don’t know what to say – but first, YES! Thank you very much to everybody at the Grand Ole Opry who made this possible. I’m shocked. How beautiful for this to happen tonight of all nights.”“I will always remember the first time I played the Opry,” Urban continued, “seeing this stand and standing in the circle was an extraordinarily surreal moment. So this right here is just a whole other stratosphere! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”“We are extremely excited that another of today’s most popular country music superstars will be joining our Opry family,” said Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher. “Keith has become a master at forging a unique musical path and building an incredibly successful career. He generates amazing enthusiasm from fans every time he plays the Opry, and he continuously demonstrates the deep regard he has both for the Opry and the entire country music community.”In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Keith Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future. He is the first Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year, a title he’s captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year. More than 15 millions albums later, Keith is a four-time Grammy Award winner, who has also won a People’s Choice and American Music Award. He’s won five Academy of Country Music Awards, had 14 #1s, including 28 Top 5 hits. His latest CD, Get Closer, comes on the heels of his fifth consecutive platinum or multi-platinum release. It has produced three consecutive #1s, “You Gonna Fly”, “Long Hot Summer” and “Without You.”In 2009, Urban was named radio’s most played country artist, thanks to #1 hits such as “Sweet Thing,” “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” “Better Life” and “Days Go By.” In addition, his 2002 smash “Somebody Like You” was named the #1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS (based on radio airplay and audience impressions).But Urban’s reputation as an elite songwriter, musician, vocalist and virtuoso guitarist is no more evident than when he is onstage. His electrifying concerts have played to sold-out venues from Australia to Germany to England to Canada and The United States, all while receiving high praise from critics. In fact, 2009’s Escape Together World Tour, as well as 2007’s Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour, were both, according to Pollstar, one of the top grossing tours for their respective years. Last year, his Get Closer 2011 World Tour solidified Urban as one of the music industry’s best live performers. As one accredited journalist put it, “Urban is one of the best reasons in the world to attend a live concert.”
Luke Bryan heads out on the road with his buddy Jason Aldean on Friday (January 20th) on the My Kinda Party Tour. The Georgia native, his band and crew took rehearsals pretty seriously, rehearsing in a couple of different ways. “We did a separate rehearsal just in our own space, and then we took all of our stuff and set it up on his big stage with all the big lights,” says Luke. “We kinda spent the day…getting our footing on all of the tracks, so we don’t slip and fall and look pretty stupid up there.” The tour, which is expected to run through the summer, also features opening act and American Idol finalist Lauren Alaina.
AUDIO: Luke Bryan talks about rehearsing for the My Kinda Party 2012 Tour, which kicks off Friday night (January 20th) in Greenville, South Carolina.
Luke Bryan (Party tour rehearsals) OC: …up there. :26
“We’ve been rehearsing a couple of times getting ready to gear it up and get out on the My Kinda Party Tour with Jason Aldean. We did a separate rehearsal just in our own space, and then we took all of our stuff and set it up on his big stage with all the big lights. And we kinda spent the day running, you know, kinda getting our footing on all of the tracks, so we don’t slip and fall and look pretty stupid up there.”
AUDIO: Luke Bryan is thrilled that tickets for the My Kinda Party Tour are selling out quickly.
Luke Bryan (Party tour tickets) OC: …very soon. :07
“If you haven’t got tickets already, sorry, you may not get a chance to get ‘em. They’re going fast. But hope to be coming to a town near you very soon.”
Luke Bryan‘s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” topped the list of dance club hits in 2011, according to the Marco Club Connection’s 8th annual ranking of Country Dance Favorites. Dierks Bentley‘s “Am I The Only One” came in at No. 8. Also on the list were Blake Shelton‘s “Footloose” (No. 2) and “Honey Bee” (No. 4), Billy Currington‘s “Love Done Gone” (No. 6) and Jason Aldean‘s “Dirt Road Anthem” (No. 7)
Lady Antebellum, Alan Jackson and Luke Bryan are among the artists scheduled to perform at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which will take place February 28th thru March 18th at Reliant Stadium. Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Kid Rock, Reba, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Alabama and the Zac Brown Band are also set to play the annual event.
Eric Church’s “Drink in My Hand” and Lady Antebellum’s “Just a Kiss” are featured on the 2012 Grammy nominees CD, which hits stores and online retailers January 24th. Proceeds from the sale of the compilation, also featuring songs by Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and The Band Perry, will benefit the Grammy Foundation and the MusiCares Foundation.
RECORD-BREAKING TICKET SALES INSPIRE EMI RECORDS NASHVILLE’S ERIC CHURCH TO ANNOUNCE SECOND LEG OF 2012 HEADLINING TOUR: THE BLOOD, SWEAT & BEERS TOUR
“Drink In My Hand” Marks Church’s First-Ever Top 5 and Climbing Single on Country Billboard Charts
Few albums demanded attention in 2011 like Eric Church’s CHIEF, and subsequently ticket sales for his headlining tour are smoldering with the plea. Having broken Jason Aldean’s record for the highest number of tickets ever sold for a live event at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS, and experiencing near sell-outs in additional markets, Church will now bring his “delightfully overemphatic outlaw aspirations and snarling power chords,” as SPIN describes them, to fans in Atlantic City, New York City, Orlando, Nashville, Minneapolis and more, (full list below). Meanwhile, the Best Country Album of the Year 2012 GRAMMY nominee is celebrating his first-ever top five and climbing single on the Country Billboard charts, “Drink In My Hand.”
Due to overwhelming demand, Church will now headline several coveted venues including Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO for the first time in his career. “Every good artist reaches a watershed moment and Eric Church has arrived at his with CHIEF,” wrote The Boston Globe; and there’s no challenging their prediction now as Church garnered placement on numerous “Best Of” lists for 2011.
Tickets for upcoming dates are on-sale now and fans also have the option to purchase a special “VIP Package” where they’ll be treated to an exclusive VIP pre-concert party and intimate acoustic performance from Church backstage. For more information and to purchase, visit www.ericchurch.com.
The full list of Church’s upcoming tour dates is below, with an asterisk (*) denoting a new addition.
Eric Church The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour Dates:
1/19 Fort Smith, AR- Fort Smith Convention Center
1/20 Cape Girardeau, MO- Show Me Center
1/21 Southaven, MS- Landers Center
1/26 Madison, WI – The Alliant Energy Center
1/27 Saginaw, MI- The Dow Event Center
1/28 Terre Haute, IN- The ISU Hulman Center
2/2 Savannah, GA-Savannah Civic Center
2/3 Knoxville, TN-Thompson Boling Arena
2/4 Norfolk, VA-Ted Constant Center
2/16 Greenville, SC-Bi-Lo Center
2/17 Salisbury, MD- Wicomico Civic Center
2/18 Greensboro, NC-Greensboro Coliseum
2/23 Battle Creek, MI-Kellogg Arena
2/24 Cleveland, OH-Wolstein Center at CSU
2/25 Ft. Wayne, IN- Allen County War Memorial Col.
3/1 Portland, ME- Cumberland Country Civic Center
3/2 Lowell, MA- Tsongas Center at UMASS Lowell
3/3 Indiana, PA- Kocalchick Center
3/8 Oklahoma City, OK- Chesapeake Energy Center
3/9 Jonesboro, AR – ASU Convocation Center*
3/10 Orange Beach, AL- Amphitheater at The Wharf
3/14 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom*
3/15 Binghampton, NY – Broome County Arena*
3/16 Reading, PA – Sovereign Center*
3/17 Atlantic City, NJ – Etess Arena*
3/22 Estero, FL – Germain Arena*
3/23 Orlando, FL – UCF Arena*
3/24 Tallahassee, FL – Tallahassee Civic Center*
4/12 Tupelo, MS – BancorpSouth Arena*
4/13 Bossier City, LA – Centurylink Center*
4/14 Auburn, AL – Alpha Psi Rodeo*
4/19 Evansville, IN – Ford Center*
4/20 St Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena*
4/21 Pikeville, KY – Eastern KY Expo Center*
4/26 Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena*
4/27 Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena*
4/28 Bloomington, IL – US Cellular Coliseum*
5/3 Springfield, MO – JQH Arena*
5/5 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena*
5/10 Toledo, OH – Huntington Center*
5/11 Hoffman Estates, IL – Sears Centre*
5/12 Youngstown, OH – Covelli Center*
5/17 Minneapolis, MN – Target Center*
5/18 Topeka, KS – Landon Arena*
5/19 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre*
Opening acts for various dates include Brantley Gilbert, Sonia Leigh, Blackberry Smoke, Jon Pardi, The Cadillac Black and Drake White.
AUDIO: Eric Church talks about rehearsing for his upcoming Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour.
Eric Church (tour rehearsals) OC: … translate to the show.
“I think this is the first time we’ve ever really had to rehearse for a headline arena tour, or any other kind of tour, because it’s such a big tour. I mean, it’s the first time that we’ve really had control of the stage, it’s the first time we’ve had this size set, this size of production. And it’s gonna be neat to go in, and you can kind of feel the energy already, even though we’re a couple of weeks away. You can feel it building. I mean, every day gets ya a little closer. It’s like a distant drum that gets louder and louder, and I’m excited. Usually, in touring season, I’m dreading starting again, because I don’t feel like we had enough time off. Every year, it gets shorter and shorter. This is the first year that I mean, I’m chomping at the bit. My band’s been chomping at the bit. We’re ready to get out there and play, and we’re as excited as we’ve ever been, and I think it’ll translate to the show.”
Eric Church and his wife, Katherine, enjoyed their first Christmas as new parents. As you know, they welcomed Boone McCoy into the world on October 3rd, 2011, and wouldn’t you guess, Boone already has his first guitar. The instrument was a gift from his doting dad. “I wanted to buy a guitar that was from the year he was born,” explains the “Drink in My Hand” singer. “I mean, as a guitar fan, one of the things you always ask about any guitar, you say, ‘What year is that?’ I wanted it to be something I could put up, and when the time came…I wanted to tell him the significance of it.” Eric promises he won’t be a stage dad and push guitar-playing or music in general on the young tyke, but he just wanted to be able to give Boone a cool memento of his first year in the world.
- “Drink in My Hand” is hovering close to the top of the country charts, which would make this Eric’s FIRST No. 1 single…EVER!
Eric Church (gave Boone 1st guitar) OC: …to your kid. :33
“I wanted to buy a guitar that was from the year he was born. I mean, as a guitar fan, one of the things you always ask about any guitar, you say, ‘What year is that?’ I wanted it to be something I could put up, and when the time came – it’s a really nice guitar, and when the time came, I wanted to tell him the significance of it. It’s just neat to have a moment like that, and whether he plays guitar or not. I mean it’s not something I’m gonna push on, but it’s something that was important to me to be able to say, ‘This was from the year you were born, and from right after you were born – your first Christmas.’ So, I just think that’s a neat thing – as a musician – to have something like that to be able to give to your kid.”
Lady Antebellum‘s Own the Night remains the No. 1 country album again this week. The collection sold nearly 54,000 copies to land at No. 1 on the country album chart and at No. 4 overall.
SINGER/SONGWRITER DIERKS BENTLEY SHARES MORE DETAILS ABOUT UPCOMING STUDIO ALBUM HOMEBentley Plans Album Release Show at Country Music’s HOME – The Ryman AuditoriumNashville, TN – Jan. 3, 2012 – Multi-PLATINUM singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley is sharing new details about his forthcoming sixth Capitol Nashville studio album HOME, in stores Feb. 7. One of country music’s most distinguishable voices, Bentley returns with a mainstream country collection for the first time since 2009.
“I definitely stepped away and explored some things that were more on the fringe of country music for a little while,” said Bentley. “So, this record feels fresh. It doesn’t feel like a continuation of any other project or series of recordings. I love being able to try different things musically, and I’m so thankful my fans have followed me to those places. But, I feel like my real ‘Home’ is in the center of country music.”
Bentley’s versatility as a writer shines on the disc that has already produced the rowdy No. one hit “Am I The Only One.” Bentley penned the good-time chart topper, as well as the disc’s spiritual anchor and title track “Home,” which has caught early attention from National Public Radio critics for the authenticity of its lyrics. Additional writing credits on the album are highlighted by the sonic seduction of “Breathe You In” and a father’s love letter in “Thinking of You.”
On other tracks, the signature gravel in Bentley’s voice pairs flawlessly with the smokiness of Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild‘s vocal on “When You Gonna Come Around,” while legendary bluegrass players Sam Bush and Tim O’Brien reunite with Bentley on “Heart of a Lonely Girl.” The country crankers “Diamonds Make Babies” and “5-1-5-0” have already been road tested and embraced by country music fans, who will also want to listen through the album’s closer for the recording’s hidden special guest.
HOME Track List:
1. Am I The Only One
2. Gonna Die Young
3. Tip It On Back
5. Diamonds Make Babies
6. In My Head
7. Breathe You In
8. The Woods
9. When You Gonna Come Around (Featuring Karen Fairchild)
11. Heart Of A Lonely Girl
12. Thinking Of You
When Keith Urban launches the first leg of his 2013 North American Tour this summer, he’s taking along Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch. This isn’t the first time he’s toured with Little Big Town – they have hit the road together several years ago and they’ve collaborated together on a few different projects, as well. “We’ve toured with Little Big Town before, and I love them. I’ve always loved them. I love the record they made, and I just felt like if they wanted to come out, it’d be a great time to collaborate together,” says Keith. “I feel it’s more collaborative when anybody comes out with us. All of us are putting on a show for the audience, ‘cause it starts the minute they walk into the arena.”
In the meantime, catch Keith on American Idol on FOX on Wednesdays and Thursdays [check local listings for times].
Keith Urban 2013 Tour Dates:
July 18 – Cincinnati, OH
July 19 – Twin Lakes, WI
July 20 – Monticello, IA
July 25 – Charlotte, NC
July 26 – Raleigh, NC
July 27 – Atlanta, GA
August 4 – Detroit, MI
August 8 – Washington, DC
August 9 – Canandaigua, NY
August 10 – Boston, MA
August 16 – Houston, TX
August 17 – Dallas, TX
August 22 – Birmingham, AL
August 23 – St. Louis, MO
August 24 – Indianapolis, IN
September 12 – Cleveland, OH
September 13 – Pittsburgh, PA
September 14 – Philadelphia, PA
September 21 – Mountain View, CA
September 22 – Sacramento, CA
September 27 – Los Angeles, CA
September 28 – San Diego, CA
September 29 – Phoenix, AZ
October 4 – Tampa, FL
October 5 – West Palm Beach, FL
AUDIO: Keith Urban talks about having Little Big Town on the road with him this summer.
Keith Urban (LBT on tour) OC: …the arena. :17“We’ve toured with Little Big Town before, and I love them. I’ve always loved them. I love the record they made, and I just felt like if they wanted to come out, it’d be a great time to collaborate together, ‘cause I feel it’s more collaborative when anybody comes out with us. All of us are putting on a show for the audience, ‘cause it starts the minute they walk into the arena.”
Thomas Rhett, who’s been opening some shows for Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert, wrote a song for Dierks called “Dierkin’ It.” Check it out in the latest DBTV episode below.
Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet makes a special appearance in the latest edition of Webisode Wednesday. He goes in the studio and behind-the-scenes with Lady Antebellum during the making of their latest single, “Downtown.”
By the way, “Downtown” will be available on iTunes beginning February 5th.