• ERIC, ALAN, KEITH, KIP, LADY A ADDED TO THIS YEAR’S ACM PARTY FOR A CAUSE FESTIVAL.

    Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Kip Moore, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum are a few of the latest performers announced for the 3rd Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival, taking place in Arlington, Texas April 17th and 18th. They’re joined by John Anderson, Deana Carter, Brandy Clark, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Ashley Monroe, David Lee Murphy, Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, Reba, Marty Stuart, Cole Swindell, Brooks & Dunn and The Band Perry.

    Previously announced performers include Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Patty Loveless, Ronnie Milsap, Dwight Yoakam, Alabama, Eli Young Band Clint Black and Florida Georgia Line.

    The event will be taped for a two hour special, ACM Presents: Superstar Duets, which will air May 15th on the CBS. Proceeds from ticket sales for the ACM Party for a Cause Festival will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy.

     

  • NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL ACM AWARDS 50 YEARS IS AVAILABLE TUESDAY.

    NASHVILLE, TN (March 10, 2015) – NOW That’s What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years, the milestone anniversary collaboration between the Academy of Country Music and NOW That’s What I Call Music!, is released Tuesday, March 31st.

    The collection of recordings celebrate the ACM Awards’ 50-year history and will feature 2 discs as well as a digital collection of ACM award-winning songs. The first disc will feature recent contemporary hits while the second will include timeless classics.

    The complete track listing for NOW That’s What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years includes:

    DISC ONE (1990-2015)

    1. Jason Aldean (with Luke Bryan & Eric Church) The Only Way I Know 2012
    2. Lee Brice I Drive Your Truck 2012
    3. Luke Bryan Country Girl (Shake It For Me) 2011
    4. Blake Shelton Honey Bee 2011
    5. Taylor Swift Mean 2010
    6. Lady Antebellum Need You Now 2010
    7. Miranda Lambert The House That Built Me 2009
    8. Brad Paisley & Keith Urban Start A Band 2008
    9. Reba & Kelly Clarkson Because of You 2007 
    10. George Strait Give It Away 2006
    11. Carrie Underwood Jesus, Take the Wheel 2005
    12. Tim McGraw Live Like You Were Dying 2004
    13. Kenny Chesney The Good Stuff 2002
    14. Lee Ann Womack I Hope You Dance 2000
    15. Faith Hill This Kiss 1998
    16. Alan Jackson Chattahoochee 1993
    17. Brooks & Dunn Boot Scootin’ Boogie 1991

    DISC TWO (1965-1989)

    1. Clint Black Better Man 1989
    2. Hank Williams Jr. There’s a Tear in My Beer 1989
    3. Randy Travis Forever and Ever Amen 1987
    4. The Highwaymen Highwayman 1985
    5. The Judds Why Not Me 1984
    6. Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Islands in the Stream 1983
    7. Willie Nelson Always on My Mind 1982
    8. Alabama Love in the First Degree 1981
    9. The Oak Ridge Boys Elvira 1981
    10. David Frizzell & Shelly West You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma 1980
    11. George Jones He Stopped Loving Her Today 1980
    12. Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Bros. All the Gold in California 1979
    13. Don Williams Tulsa Time 1978
    14. Glen Campbell Rhinestone Cowboy 1975
    15. Charlie Rich Behind Closed Doors 1973
    16. Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty Lead Me On 1971
    17. Merle Haggard Okie From Muskogee 1969

    The album will be released on March 31st, just in time for the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards broadcast LIVE on Sunday, April 19th at 8:00pm ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. All of the Academy’s proceeds from sales of the album will go to ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.

    NOW That’s What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years is a collaboration between Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and the Academy of Country Music, and the album will be distributed by Universal Music Group Distribution. The NOW That’s What I Call Music! series is a joint venture from Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.  NOW and NOW That’s What I Call Music!are registered trademarks of Universal Music Group and its affiliates.

    NOW That’s What I Call Music! debuted in the U.S. in 1998, following 15 years of multi-platinum international success. The series has generated sales exceeding 250 million albums worldwide, including more than 94 million in the U.S.  All 53 volumes in NOW’s numeric U.S. series have charted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Album Chart, 19 of which have reached #1.

    The 50th Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry.  The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will broadcast LIVE from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers.  Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

    ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

    Audio / Luke Bryan explains what he loves about his song, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”

    Download

    Luke Bryan (loves Country Girl) OC: …tiresome work. :33
    “What I love about the song the most is the verses. I really like how the verses came together. It seems like around every little corner there’s a fun, you know, with the little break-down dance – ‘like a dandelion’ and all that. All that stuff is like ear candy to me. I just felt like it was important, I felt like it was a young, fun song, and I felt like it said right away what we were going after and it’s certainly it’s kind of paced faster than anything I’ve ever had and that’s always rewarding. I think it makes everybody’s hard work, everybody can go, ‘Yeah, it’s worth all the sleepless nights and all the tiresome work.’”

  • ALAN JACKSON, LADY ANTEBELLUM AND LITTLE BIG TOWN ADDED TO LIST OF PERFORMERS AT THIS YEAR’S ACM AWARDS.

    Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town have been announced as performers at this year’s ACM Awards. They’re joined by Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts and Martina McBride, as well as special duets by Christina Aguilera with surprise artists and Nick Jonas with Dan + Shay.

    They join previously announced performers Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Sam Hunt, George Strait, Keith Urban, Reba, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell and Thomas Rhett.

    The 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards – hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton – will air live from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas April 19th at 8pm ET on CBS.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Alan, Sam, Mickey, Keith

    Alan Jackson has been announced as the headliner for this year’s Rock the South Festival June 19-20 in Cullman, Alabama. Brantley Gilbert, Blackberry Smoke, Travis Tritt, Tyler Farr and Sara Evans will also perform during the festival.

    Sam Hunt once again tops Billboard’s Country Album chart this week with Montevallo. The record sold nearly 16,000 units this past week. Coming in second is Shania Twain’s new collection, Still the One: Live From Vegas.

    Mickey Guyton will appear on Access Hollywood on Monday, March 30th as part of the program’s Access Breakthrough Week, which will spotlight a new artist each day. Her Good Morning America performance, which was set to air last week, was rescheduled for Monday (March 16th).

    Keith Urban won International Artist of the Year and International Video of the Year for “Cop Car” at the 5th Annual CMC Music Awards this week. He didn’t attend the awards, since he was in L.A. for the new season of American Idol. While Keith wasn’t there, a few of Nashville’s acts were attended and performed on the show, and they included Lady Antebellum, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Brice and Maddie & Tae.

  • LUKE, CHURCH, DIERKS, LADY A, AJ, LBT, DARIUS, KEITH AND SAM HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED AS PERFORMERS FOR THIS YEAR’S CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL.

    NASHVILLE – CMA Music Festival will be the hottest concert destination of the summer with today’s announcement that Country Music superstars Jason AldeanDierks BentleyLuke BryanEric Church,Brett EldredgeFlorida Georgia LineSam Hunt,Alan JacksonLady AntebellumLittle Big Town,Neal McCoyOak Ridge BoysBrad PaisleyRascal FlattsThomas RhettDarius RuckerCole Swindell,The Band PerryKeith UrbanWynonna & The Big Noise, and Zac Brown Band will each take the stage during the Nightly Concerts at LP Field. The 2015 CMA Music Festival takes place Thursday, June 11-Sunday, June 14 in downtown Nashville.

    Subscribers to CMA Exclusive, CMA’s e-newsletter, were the first to learn about the star-studded lineup Wednesday morning.

    “CMA Music Festival is all about the fan experience,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “Our fans snapped up LP Field tickets at a record pace, and we wanted to reward that loyalty by sharing this exciting lineup with them first this morning.”  

    While the relationship between artists and fans is the foundation for the event, CMA Music Festival benefits music education programs for children in need. Wednesday morning, Thomas Rhett welcomed guests to Nashville Children’s Theatre for a performance of “Jack’s Tale: A Mythic Mountain Musical,” which was funded by a $10,000 grant from the CMA Foundation from the 2014 CMA Music Festival. Threats of snow in Nashville prevented a majority of students from attending, but he warmly greeted the enthusiastic crowd.

    “When I was little I was in a play called ‘A Christmas Carol’. I was Scrooge,” Thomas Rhett told the student-filled crowd. “Music education was super important for me, and today was a good reminder of how neat it is to see the Country Music community band together to help give back to that through CMA Fest.”

    The CMA Foundation presents grants on behalf of the artists who perform at CMA Music Festival each year for free and has donated more than $11 million to music education initiatives across the country since 2006.

    Tickets to the Nightly Concerts at LP Field sold out in November. Across the river from the stadium, there are countless free and low-cost entertainment options for fans around downtown Nashville as part of the CMA Music Festival. Seven free entertainment stages give fans an opportunity to choose their musical adventure, including the hugely popular Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, which consistently fills the Cumberland riverbank each of the four days.

    AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X at Music City Center moves the CMA Music Festival party inside, with musical performances on three stages, artist interactions, meet-and-greets, shopping and other unique fan experiences. Tickets to AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X are available now atCMAfest.com (AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X admission is included in four-day CMA Music Festival tickets). AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X tickets are $10 per day or $25 for a four-day pass.

    The Nightly Concerts will be taped for a three-hour prime time special airing later this summer on the ABC Television Network.

    For upcoming talent announcements and all other info stay connected with CMA on Facebook.com/CMA,Twitter.com/CountryMusicInstagram.com/CMA, and sign up for CMA Exclusive, CMA’s e-newsletter. Fans can also download the 2015 CMA Music Festival mobile app foriPhone or Android to view the latest artist lineups and to plan their festival experience.

    -30-

    **Suggested Tweet**: The 2015 #CMAfest LP Field lineup is here! Download the app to plan your Fest experience http://countrymu.sc/MF15app 

  • ALAN JACKSON CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF ‘HERE IN THE REAL WORLD.’

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 24, 2015) – On February 27, 1990, country superstar Alan Jackson released his landmark debut album Here In The Real World. The album, certified Double Platinum by the RIAA for sales of over two million, spawned four no. 1 hits including his trademark self-penned hit of same name, “Here In The Real World,” as well as his self-penned hits “Wanted,” “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” and “I’d Love You All Over Again.”

    Jackson, currently on his 25th Anniversary KEEPIN’ IT COUNTRY TOUR, will be celebrating the anniversary with his fans at the Nokia Theatre LA LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on the actual anniversary date this week of Friday, February 27, 2015. Fans in attendance will be receiving a special limited edition commemorative poster celebrating Here In The Real World’s 25th anniversary.

    Since the release of Here In The Real World, Jackson has released 22 albums including two Christmas albums, two gospel albums and three Greatest Hits collections. The man from rural Newnan, GA, who claims he is just a “singer of simple songs,” has gone on to sell nearly 60 million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the 10 best-selling vocalists of all-time in all genres. He has released more than 60 singles—registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard #1s).  He has earned more than 150 music industry awards—including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards. Jackson received the first-ever ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014 having earned the title of most performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.  He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

    Alan Jackson is one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music.  He is in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that they’ve recorded and taken to the top of the charts.  Jackson is one of the best-selling artists since the inception of SoundScan, ranking alongside the likes of Eminem and Metallica.

    Alan Jackson’s 25th Anniversary KEEPIN’ IT COUNTRY TOUR, sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corporation, continues to be a memorable celebration for his longtime fans as well as legions of new fans who are discovering his music through the many songs that have withstood the test of time and influenced many new artists of today like the tour’s special guests Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark. Fans will hear the songs they love from the man who wrote them and made them famous – from his massive debut hit, “Here In The Real World” to “Chattahoochee,” “Drive,” “Gone Country,” the summertime party-anthems “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “Good Time,” and many, many more.

    Alan Jackson’s 25th Anniversary KEEPIN’ IT COUNTRY TOUR:

    FEB 27             Los Angeles, CA                              Nokia Theatre LA LIVE
    FEB 28             Phoenix, AZ                                      Ak-Chin Pavilion
    **MAR 06       Dallas (Grand Prairie), TX              Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie**
    ^MAR 07           Houston, TX                                    Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
    MAR 27           Augusta, GA                                      James Brown Arena
    MAR 28           Greenville, SC                                  Bon Secours Wellness Arena
    APR 09            Wilmington, NC                                North Carolina Azalea Festival
    APR 11            Nashville, TN                                    Bridgestone Arena
    APR 17           Kansas City (Independence), MO Independence Events Center
    APR 18           Enid, OK                                             Enid Event Center
    APR 24           St. Augustine, FL                               Augustine Amphitheatre
    APR 25           Roanoke, VA                                     Berglund Center Coliseum
    MAY 01           Sioux City, IA                                     Tyson Events Center
    MAY 02           Brookings, SD                                   Swiftel Center
    MAY 08           Green Bay, WI                                   Resch Center
    MAY 09           Bloomington, IL                                US Cellular Coliseum
    MAY 16           Salt Lake City (West Valley City), UT   USANA Amphitheatre
    MAY 17           Denver (Morrison), CO                     Red Rocks Amphitheatre
    ^JUNE 20        Cullman, AL                                      Rock The South Festival
    ^JULY 7           Calgary, AB, CANADA                    Cowboys Stampede
    ^JULY 28         Paso Robles, CA                             California Mid-State Fair
    ^AUG 30         St. Paul , MN                                      Minnesota State Fair
    ^SEPT 26         Panama City Beach, FL                 Chasin’ The Sun Music Festival

    **Jon Pardi and Ashley Monroe opening
    ^ Alan Jackson only (Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark not on bill)

    Jackson’s tour is an extension of the already year-long 25th anniversary celebration which kicked off last summer with the opening of his exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin’ It Country, which has been extended through June 21, 2015. The multi-platinum selling Grammy winner played two record-breaking sold out shows last October at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater making him the first simultaneous artist-in-residence and major museum exhibit subject.

    Tickets and information for all KEEPIN’ IT COUNTRY TOUR dates will be available via local outlets and by visitingwww.alanjackson.com, where you can find information about Alan, his tour schedule, music and more

  • VALENTINE’S DAY: AJ, Billy, Canaan, Darius, David, Dierks, Josh, Keith, LBT, Luke

    Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special someone. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

    141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. (This total excludes packaged kids valentines for classroom exchanges.) (Source: Hallmark research)

    2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually, which breaks down to more than 6,000 a day.

    Saturday is Valentine’s Day (February 14th), and we’ve got some thoughts and feelings more about love, romance and marriage from several of your favorite country artists. Some are new and some have become our favorites over the years. Which country stars are romantic? Which ones aren’t? Which ones have a good reason to celebrate the holiday that’s all about love?

    Audio / AUDIO: Alan Jackson talks about his love for wife, Denise, over the years.

    Download

    AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24

    “We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hitswas a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”

     

    Audio / Billy Currington recalls his first real Valentine’s Day.

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    Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day memory) OC: …took off running. :21
    “Yeah, I remember my first girlfriend. I was in first or second grade, but anyway, I remember it was Valentine’s Day and your mom going, ‘You’ve got to give your girlfriend something, and you’ve got to go give it to her.’ I’ll never forget — we got her a box of chocolates or whatever it was. I remember going down to her classroom and knocking on the door, getting her to come to the door. I remember handing it to her, and then I took off running.”

     

    Audio / Canaan Smith says he tries to show his wife how special she is every day.

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    Canaan Smith (Valentine’s Day) OC: …get lucky. :25
    “I bet I’m just like 99.9% of the rest of the men in the world who could really care less about that holiday. I want my wife to feel special, so I’m gonna take part in it. I’m gonna do my part to make her feel special and loved, but is it necessary? Shouldn’t we do that every day? I mean, it kinda is just another way to get a bunch of money out of us, but oh well. We’ll go see a movie or something. Maybe I’ll get lucky.”

     

    Audio / Darius Rucker knew he would marry his wife, Beth, on their first date.

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    Darius Rucker (wife) OC: …her and country music saved my life. :43

    “I don’t know what it was about her. I mean, it was EVERYTHING about her. I knew, I told her I was going to marry her on our first date, [laughs] yeah. Beth’s a strong woman. It takes a strong woman to be married to a musician, especially a musician who was drinking and partying as hard as I was, and I think life for us is where we are now. It took a long time for us to get to where we are now, and we say to each other all the time, ‘I love us. I love our family. I love us.’ And I thank her every day for staying with me and being the strong woman she is, because with Hootie & the Blowfish, I could be gone for three months and then I’d come home for two days and then I’d be gone again for a month, and she put up with all that crap. You know, her and country music saved my life.”

     

    Audio / David Nail says his songwriting abilities sometimes work against him with his wife, Catherine, especially around Valentine’s Day.

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    David Nail (Valentine’s Day) OC: …line for me. :47
    “Very early on when we first started dating, the fact that I was a songwriter actually worked against me, because anytime I would say anything or write a letter, it was ‘Oh, you’re a songwriter. This just comes natural.’ So, I’ve always had to really watch what I say and how I say it and try to make it sound as genuine and regular Joe as possible. So, I definitely think as a creative person I have that romantic side that most creative people do. Sometimes I can get a little carried away and head into cheesy land a little too far, so I try to keep it as regular as possible. [Valentine’s Day] pretty traditional with us. She’s a big chocolate person, so you obviously can’t go wrong there, and a nice dinner. It’s pretty straight down the line for me.”

     

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains the realities of Valentine’s Day.

    Download

    Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day realities) OC: …that’s awesome. :53
    “I’m gonna be the voice of truth and honesty for Valentine’s Day for a lot of the guys out there listening and for some of the girls listening, as well too. You may like this; you may not, but Valentine’s Day is a really difficult day for guys. When you’re single, it’s stressful for like a month leading up to it, and inevitably, you do something wrong. You don’t get the wrong thing or you say too much, and she’s wanting to get engaged faster than you want to get engaged. I don’t know. It’s just a very stressful holiday. I’m at a time in my life where I got a five-year-old, a three-year-old and a zero-year-old, and we’re just really trying to survive on a day-to-day basis. I mean, we get about four hours of sleep, and we’re literally in survival mode. So, I think there should be a hall pass for guys in that phase of their life. It doesn’t take much at this stage for us to get excited. A dinner alone is heaven. I mean, if we can just have a dinner and a glass of wine, that’s awesome.”

     

    Audio / AUDIO: Alan Jackson talks about his love for wife, Denise, over the years.

    Download

    AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24

    “We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hitswas a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”

     

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains how his heart got bigger and his love deepened when he became a father.

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    Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day) 2 OC: …could before. :27

    “You get married and that’s a long-term, bigger image of what love can be. Then you have a child, and your heart gets spread so thin and it’s so vulnerable, like it’s a really tough, tough feeling, and it can kill you. It can really be painful at times, and at the same time, it’s so great. But it definitely stretches your heart…and it doesn’t change anything, it just makes your heart, I think it just makes it bigger. I think you just find that you can love more than you ever thought you could before.”

     

    Audio / Josh Turner says his wife would call him a romantic, but now that they have four children, it takes a bit of work to make time for each other.

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    Josh Turner (Romantic) OC: …long time to come. :26
    “If you ask my wife Jennifer if I was a romantic, she would definitely say, ‘Yes.’ but she knows that sometimes my hectic schedule and our busy lifestyles can kind of interfere with the romantic side of things. But we do try to make efforts towards being together and having adult conversations and taking time away from the children and doing things that husbands and wives do, so we’ll definitely try to continue that for a long time to come.”

     

    Audio / Keith Urban says love means being aware of each other even as the newness of the relationship wears off.

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    Keith Urban (Valentine’s Day) OC: …just me or… [laughs] :60

    “I mean for me, I think a lot of it has to do with just staying present, because you know, when we start relationships, we’re so capable of honoring each other at the beginning off a relationship with cards and flowers and chocolates and attention and affection and priority. And then all of that all too many times starts to drift away, and it drifts away because it’s easy at the beginning. It just happens naturally. You’re almost overdoing it sometimes in the beginning. I was listening to the radio, [and] they’re talking about when is a relationship too soon to give Valentine’s gifts? [laughs] If you’ve been dating a guy six days, and it just started before the 14th…[laughs] and some woman said, ‘I was dating this guy three weeks and it was Valentine’s Day, and he gave me an iPad for Valentine’s Day.’ [laughs] That’s a ridiculous gift for Valentine’s Day. Is it just me, or…[laughs]”

     

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman says falling in love with her husband, Stephen Schlapman, came as a big surprise.

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    Little Big Town (Kimberly falling in love) OC: …healed me. 1:20

    Kimberly: “Well, I wasn’t planning on falling in love, at all. I didn’t want to…I wasn’t sure that I ever would.  So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friends. We had known each other for about six years and he started calling me just like everybody else did.  But, he started calling me more than everybody else did [laughs]. We had both been through similar losses, he hadn’t lost a mate but he had lost a close friend, so we kind of bonded over that. I grieved, kind of, at him a lot. He took my grief, I had a lot of grief left, and he just took it and listened and accepted it and was so understanding and let me talk about my late husband all the time. We still talk about him a lot, and he’s totally fine with it. He says that, that made me who he fell in love with and he never minds if I bring anything from the past up which is just really sweet. I was shocked, I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings. I just thought, OK, this is so weird.  What is this?  I haven’t felt this in a long, long, time. This is weird. But, eventually I allowed myself and it’s been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I’ve ever been in and healed me.”

     

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook had a chemistry performing together, but it wasn’t until they each found themselves single…at the same time…that sparks flew romantically. The pair, who wed in 2006, have a son, Elijah.

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    Little Big Town (Jimi & Karen fell in love) OC: (Kimberly) …to be together. :48

    JIMI: “We were in the band a long time before there was ever anything which is interesting. I think there was always something underlying there that we were kind of trying to ignore. And then when the opportunity came, when all of us, ended up single kind of at the same time, a very strange turn of events for the band in a lot of different ways. And those feelings, you were able to come out with them finally. It was like, we’re single. Let’s get together. And, you know, she has a beautiful heart and she’s absolutely gorgeous and I just love her dearly.”

    PHILLIP: “Get a room!” [laughs]

    KIMBERLY: “They’re a perfect match. They really are. They were meant to be together.”

     

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet was ready for love when he met Rebecca, his wife since 2007.

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    Little Big Town (Phillip – reasons fell in love) OC: …real love. :17

    “I think everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca.  So, it was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her…Now it’s just been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”

     

    Audio / Luke Bryan will be on a float for the Krewe of Endymion Mardi Gras Parade, along with a nighttime performance, for Valentine’s Day, and he’s a bit worried about it. He’s planning on taking his wife Caroline to New Orleans for the holiday.

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    Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day 2015) OC: …be toast. :43
    “The biggest challenge of that day is obviously being Grand Marshal of the Parade and then, I’ve got to be on the float, like, once you’re on the float, you’re on the float. And then I’m like, ‘Alright, don’t get drunk. Don’t get drunk. Don’t get drunk.’ And I don’t know if there’s any way around that, and then I’ve got to do the show at like 11:30p, so man, we may have a no cell phone clause on that show, a no Youtube (video). See, first of all, I’ve NEVER been to Mardi Gras, and I’m the worst about getting excited about something and then overdoing it. So, yeah, I’ll be toast.”

     

  • Alan Jackson Offers Exclusive Guy Harvey Designed 25th Anniversary Tour T-Shirt To Benefit Ocean Conservation.

    FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—JANUARY 13, 2015— An avid boater and fisherman, country star Alan Jackson, and celebrated marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey, have collaborated on a message behind the music to raise money and awareness for ocean conservation and research.
    Harvey, known for his colorful and highly popular depictions of marine wildlife and support for science and research, has created a colorful logo to commemorate Jackson’s 25th Anniversary Tour, which kicked off this past weekend in southwest Florida. The logo, depicting Jackson in a fishing fighting chair with leaping sport fish, will adorn several Official 25th Anniversary merchandise items including an official Tour T-Shirt which will be sold at each concert date, as well as other 25th Anniversary items that will be available exclusively at www.guyharvey.com.

    Alan Jackson and Guy Harvey have agreed to donate back $5 for every item sold to marine conservation through the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a non-profit that advocates sustainable fishing practices, funds inspired scientific research and supports innovation educational programs.  Last year, Harvey’s foundation distributed approximately $1 million to more than 60 organizations involved in research and education.

    “We are honored to work with Alan, who as responsible fisherman, clearly understands and supports our mission to conserve our marine environment and resources for future generations,” said Harvey, who has a Ph.D in Fisheries Biology.

    Jackson, who has sold over 60 million records worldwide, registering 50 Top 10 hits and 35 Number One hits, got into offshore fishing 25 years ago.

    “I’ve fished everywhere most people do, including the Bahamas, off Florida in the Keys, Mexico and the Virgin Islands,” the Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and musician told The Boot.

    Jackson’s 25th Anniversary Tour is an extension of the already year-long 25th anniversary celebration.  KEEPIN’ IT COUNTRY TOUR will make stops over the coming months in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Phoenix and Nashville, to name a few, wrapping for the spring with a show at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver (Morrison), CO on May 17, 2015.  For tour dates go to www.alanjackson.com.

    Harvey is also popular with country fans having attended several regional concerts for guest appearances to spread his message, and has created an interactive Conservation Village, which has served as the centerpiece for Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Tortuga Music Festival, which promotes ocean conservation.

    About Guy Harvey

    Guy Harvey is a marine wildlife artist and conservationist who earned a Ph.D. in Fisheries Biology. His depictions of marine life, especially of sportfish such as marlin, are very popular with sport fishermen and have been reproduced in prints, posters, t-shirts, jewelry, clothing, and other consumer items. Harvey is also a very vocal and active advocate for marine conservation, having established the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University of Fort Lauderdale, Florida as well as the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, an organization that funds marine conservation research and educational initiatives. www.guyharvey.com

    About Alan Jackson

    In his 25-year career, Jackson has been steadfast in his love for traditional music while enjoying major chart success.  Since signing his record deal in June 1989, he has sold nearly 60 million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the 10 best-selling vocalists of all-time in all genres. He has released more than 60 singles-registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26Billboard #1s).  He has earned more than 150 music industry awards-including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards. Jackson received the first-ever ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014 having earned the title of most performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.  He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.www.alanjackson.com.

     

  • ALAN JACKSON SHARES MEMORIES AND THOUGHTS ON THE TRAGIC EVENTS OF 9/11, AND DISCUSSES HIS SONG, “WHERE WERE YOU (WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING).”

    On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever with the devastating attacks on both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the events that took place 10 years ago.

    The chorus and melody of “Where Were You…” came to Jackson in the middle of the night several weeks after the 9/11 tragedies. He awoke…sang the words into a recorder and wrote down key elements of the chorus…and completed the lyrics and verses later that same day. Initially reluctant to record the song, he was convinced by family and friends to share it with the world and debuted “Where Were You…” live on national television in early November at the 35th annual CMA Awards.

    “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the 2001 events. Written by Jackson, the song was called “…one of the most touching, powerful songs to come after the tragedies” by USA Today and dubbed “a reflective hymn that Americans will be listening to well into the second half of this century” by Salon.com. The New York Times singled out “Where Were You…” as “one of his finest songs,” and Billboard noted “a multitude of songs have been written and recorded in the wake of September 11, but none captures the myriad emotions unleashed by the terrorist attacks on an unsuspecting nation more perfectly than Jackson’s eloquent ballad.” The song went on to be honored with a Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards.

    This year, as part of the national observance of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Jackson will perform “Where Were You…” at Washington National Cathedral on the evening of Sunday, September 11 as part of an event that will also include remarks by President Barack Obama.

    Audio / AJ (Where Were You) 1

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    Audio / AJ (Where Were You) 2

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    Audio / AJ (Where Were You) 3

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    AUDIO: Alan Jackson explains why he feels “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” still resonates with music fans in concert ten years after the events of September 11, 2001.

    AJ (Where Were You) 1 OC: …big changes. :50

    “At the time, it was very meaningful to people and I felt really good about contributing something. And then I thought it would just fade away and then we’d ease it out of the show, but now I see people out there that I feel like are waiting for that song, you know? I think it’s more than just the 9-11 connection. I mean, the real hook in it is quotes right out of the Bible anyway. And still, at night, it’s one of my biggest songs in the show. It’s hard to follow it, but I see so many that are holding up them lighters and are glad to hear it, and I think are moved by it and glad I did it. And I heard so many stories back during that time when it was happening. People said, ‘Oh, they quit their jobs, and they changed their lifestyles and started going to church and found somebody to marry!’ It was just like all these things that affected…those were big changes!”

     

    AUDIO: Alan Jackson describes how the events of September 11, 2001 impacted him…and talks about writing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” a few weeks later.

    AJ (Where Were You) 2 OC: …same feelings. 1:33

    “Well, I don’t know – I think I was probably like most people that were impacted with that day and the months that followed. You know, everybody was glued to the news and television and I think it really affected a lot of people – their perspective on their lives and their jobs and their families and where they were and what they were wanting to do and how they looked at things. And I guess…I mean, that’s what I was thinking, too. And I just pretty much visualized a lot of those scenes and stories I’d heard and seen on television or heard people talk about. The song came out of nowhere in the middle of the night – the chorus did. Just a gift. And I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it, and then the next day I started piecing all those verses together that were the thoughts I’d had or visuals I’d had, and…that was about it. I think it was just really…I had so many people tell me that there’s always a line or something in there that they did, whether it was go to church or pick up their Bible or go see their mother or watch a sunset – I mean, just a lot of things in there people told me that they had actually done those things, so…I guess I was like everybody else, just feeling those same feelings.”

     

    AUDIO: Alan Jackson recalls sharing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” with all of us for the first time live on national television during the 35th Annual CMA Awards.

    AJ (Where Were You) 3 OC: …meant something. :56)

    “It was a tough performance for me. You know, just the whole idea of releasing that song was a little bit tough. I wasn’t sure I wanted to put that out, but everybody convinced me that it was the thing to do…and in retrospect, I agree with that. But, you know, I hadn’t really sung the song much, first of all. It was just in the studio, basically, and when I wrote it…so it’s hard to go out there and sing something new anyway, and just the topic made it nerve-wracking, too. You know, I didn’t think about what was going to happen or anything  –  we just sang it. And I just remember, other than being relieved that I got through it, I just felt very proud that it seemed to cause a reaction in people…and I was proud that I got to do it, and that it seemed like it meant something.