• BILLY CURRINGTON HAS WAITED YEARS TO TOUR WITH TIM McGRAW.

    Billy Currington teams up with Tim McGraw this summer on the Shotgun Rider Tour ’15. The cross-country tour kicks off June 5th in Little Rock, Arkansas and runs through September 19th with stops in Dallas, Boston, Chicago and Sacramento.

    “I’ve been wanting to tour with Tim for so long,” says Billy. “I met him quite a while ago, five, six, seven years ago. Actually met him and got to hang out with him, and I think we went hunting together on his property and just had a great day. And since then, deriving from all the good talks we had and the inspiration he gave me and the advice and on and on, I always say, ‘Man I’ve got to tour with this guy someday.’ And so now it’s happening and here we are. I really look forward to it.”

    With nine iconic career No. 1 hits, Currington recently released “Don’t It”, the lead single from his forthcoming sixth studio album produced by Dann Huff. “Don’t It” received 4 out of 5 star praise from Billboard and continues to quickly rise on the country radio Top 30 chart. Written by the hit-making trio of Ashley Gorley, Jaren Johnston and Ross Copperman, the lead anthem offers an exciting preview of Currington’s highly-anticipated new project expected later this year.

    Tim McGraw 2015 Shotgun Rider Tour Dates:

    6/5 – Little Rock, Ark. – Verizon Arena
    6/6 – Dallas, Texas – Gexa Energy Pavilion
    6/11 – Wantagh, N.Y. – Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
    6/12 – Boston, Mass. – XFINITY Center
    6/18 – Phoenix, Ariz. – Ak-Chin Pavilion
    6/19 – Albuquerque, N.M. – Isleta Amphitheater
    7/10 – Raleigh, N.C. – Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
    7/11 – Charlotte, N.C. – PNC Music Pavilion
    7/16 – Toronto, Ontario – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
    7/18 – Holmdel, N.J. – PNC Bank Arts Center
    7/19 – Virginia Beach, Va. – Farm Bureau Live
    7/24 – Bonner Springs, Kan. – Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
    7/30 – Darien Center, N.Y. – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
    7/31 – Cleveland, Ohio – Blossom Music Pavilion
    8/1 – Cincinnati, Ohio – Riverbend Music Center
    8/2 – Detroit, Mich. – DTE Energy Music Theatre
    8/7 – Indianapolis, Ind. – Klipsch Music Center
    8/8 – Chicago, Ill. – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
    8/9 – St. Louis, Mo. – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
    8/14 – Birmingham, Ala. – Oak Mountain Amphitheater
    8/21 – West Palm Beach, Fla. – Coral Sky Amphitheatre
    8/22 – Tampa, Fla. – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
    8/28 – Washington, D.C. – Jiffy Lube Live
    8/29 – Philadelphia, Pa. – Susquehanna Bank Center
    8/30 – Pittsburgh, Pa. – First Niagara Pavilion
    9/4 – Seattle, Wash. – White River Amphitheatre
    9/5 – Portland, Ore. – Amphitheatre Northwest
    9/9 – Denver, Colo. – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
    9/10 – Denver, Colo. – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
    9/12 – Salt Lake City, Utah – USANA Amphitheatre
    9/17 – Sacramento, Calif. – Sleep Train Amphitheatre
    9/18 – Mountain View, Calif. – Shoreline Amphitheatre
    9/19 – Irvine, Calif. – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

    Audio / Billy Currington talks about touring with Tim McGraw this summer.

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    Billy Currington (touring with Tim) OC: …forward to it. :28
    “I’ve been wanting to tour with Tim for so long. I met him quite a while ago, five, six, seven years ago. Actually met him and got to hang out with him, and I think we went hunting together on his property and just had a great day. And since then, deriving from all the good talks we had and the inspiration he gave me and the advice and on and on, I always say, ‘Man I’ve got to tour with this guy someday.’ And so now it’s happening and here we are. I really look forward to it.”

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Lady A, Keith, LBT, Billy, Kacey, Dierks and more

    Lady Antebellum surprised an elementary school in Ontario, Canada this week with new music instruments. The band donated more than 35 instruments to staffers of Fitch Street Eleentary School backstage at their concert in Niagara Falls. It’s part of their Lady A 7FOR7 campaign, which started last fall granting wishes to fans.

    Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and Little Big Town are set to perform during the ACM Lifting Lives One Night, Two Cities, All Music benefit gala in Dallas and Forth Worth April 17th. The thing is they’ll be performing at different venues simultaneously. The event, hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, will feature performances by Lady A and Hunter Hayes at the Omni Dallas Hotel, while Keith and LBT will perform from the Fort Worth Zoo. Proceeds from the event will go to Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids and the Child Life Zones in Children’s Health of Dallas and Cook Children’s of Fort Worth. It precedes this year’s ACM Awards, which will broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas April 19th at 8pm ET on CBS.

    Little Big Town will perform their hit “Girl Crush” on the Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday (February 24th).

    Billy Currington is set to tour with Tim McGraw on his Shotgun Rider Tour 2015, kicking off June 5th in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    Billy Currington and Kacey Musgraves are among the artists who have been added to the lineup for the 24th Annual Country Jam in Grand Junction, Colorado. They’re joined by Eli Young Band, Thompson Square, Parmalee, Frankie Ballard, as well as the previously announced headliners Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw and The Band Perry. The four-day festival takes place June 18th through June 21st.

    Dierks Bentley and his wife Cassidy led the Krewe of Orpheus parade in New Orleans on Monday (February 16th). He happened to run into and hang out with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump.

    Dierks posted a photo with her, along with the caption: “y’all…today at #mardigras. thanks NO country fans. made a new friend on our #orpheus float @LisaVanderpump

    Ms. Vanderpump also joined Dierks on stage during his performance at the annual Lundi Gras Celebration in NOLA. She tweeted: “Had so much fun playing with you tonight on stage @DierksBentley,” along with a photo. She also admits, she might fancy the country singer. “Bow down my loyal subject have to say it might be wrong,but I’ve a bit of a crush.
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  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.”