• DIERKS BENTLEY CALLS THE LATE JIM ED BROWN A ‘GREAT EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.’

    Grand Ole Opry member Jim Ed Brown passed away Thursday night (June 11th). Brown, who was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in March with his sisters Maxine and Bonnie, died at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee (south of Nashville). He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September. He was 81.

    Fellow Opry member Dierks Bentley said he always enjoyed running into him backstage at the Opry, and the legendary performer always had a nice word to say.

    He’s just a really nice, nice guy, a great singer and a great ambassador to the next generation of how country should be even as it grows and leaves some of its roots behind. He’s a great example of what it’s all about.”

    Audio / Backstage at LP Field during night one of the CMA Music Festival, Dierks Bentley talks about Grand Ole Opry member and Country Music Hall of Famer Jim Ed Brown. [NOTE: slight buzz in the audio]

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    Dierks Bentley (passing of Jim Ed Brown) OC: …all about. :28
    “What a great guy. I remember being at the Opry for one of my first times and him being there and being so gracious and so kind to us. I had a chance to wear his glasses one time, and mess around a little bit and got some great pictures together. He’s just a really nice, nice guy, a great singer and a great ambassador to the next generation of how country should be even as it grows and leaves some of its roots behind. He’s a great example of what it’s all about.”

  • CMT MUSIC AWARDS WILL INCLUDE SOME BIG PERFORMANCES.

    Several of your favorite artists will be attending Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards, including Video of the Year nominees Luke Bryan (“Play It Again”), Dierks Bentley (“Drunk on a Plane”), Darius Rucker (“Homegrown Honey”), Sam Hunt (“Leave the Night On”), Lady Antebellum (“Bartender”).

    Luke, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Darius and Sam, as well as Carrie Under, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Reba and Zac Brown Band, are scheduled to perform.

    Darius will sing to several thousand folks during an outdoor performance down the street from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, while Keith will perform his brand new single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” during the show. The members of Lady A are pairing up with DJ-producer Zedd with an EDM-inspired country performance.

    Dierks’ alter-ego Captain Holden Mike Johnson performed “Drunk on a Plane” during last year’s CMT Music Awards and apparently made out like a bandit. “Last I’d heard, he’d been demoted, and he’s flying a little Cessna smiling somewhere where there’s no FAA regulations after his CMT performance debut,” says Dierks. “He’s a strong man with a strong look, and I don’t know…He took my wife home from the CMT Awards, so he’s got some moves.”

    Darius says he’s just happy to be nominated this year. ““It’s really just one of those things where I’m really happy to be nominated, because I didn’t expect that all,” says Darius. “What I always look forward to is the performances, because you never get to see anybody because we’re always on the road and you only see the guys you play with.”

    Sam Hunt has two nominations – Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year — for his first official music video, “Leave the Night On.” He made a couple of videos prior to getting signed to MCA Nashville, and said he learned a lot. “I learned from making a few of these low-budget videos early on that the best way to go about doing it is just try to keep it honest and real and all of the people in the ‘Leave the Night On’ video was friends of ours,” says Sam. “We didn’t really want to hire actors and actresses to come in. It’s just hard to stage a good time. You kinda have to just let it naturally happen. So, that was a good thing about that video is that it turned into a just a fun day hanging out with all of our buddies, and we had a really good time making the video.”

    The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus will be on hand to dole out trophies, as will Little Big Town, Dancing With the Stars champ Rumer Willis, action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Nikki Reed, Aloe Blacc, Billy Ray Cyrus, Brett Eldredge, Cassadee Pope, Cole Swindell, David Spade, Hunter Hayes, Jana Kramer, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Houston Texans JJ Watt, Kellie Pickler, American Idol’s Nick Fradiani, Noah Galloway, Ron White, Sara Evans, Thomas Rhett and Tom Arnold will also present.

    The six finalists for video of the year will be announced at the beginning of the live show, and fans can then vote at CMT.com throughout the live telecast (ET/CT only) to determine the night’s big winner.

    The 2015 CMT Music Awards will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Wednesday (June 10th) at 8pm ET.

    Video of the Year
    Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
    Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”
    Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”

    Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
    Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
    Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
    Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
    Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
    Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
    Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
    Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
    Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

    Male Video of the Year
    Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
    Eric Church, “Talladega”

    Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
    Keith Urban, “Somewhere in My Car”
    Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
    Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”

    Female Video of the Year
    Carrie Underwood, “Little Toy Guns”
    Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
    Lee Ann Womack, “The Way I’m Livin'”
    Miranda Lambert, “Little Red Wagon”
    RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
    Reba, “Going Out Like That”

    Group Video of the Year
    A Thousand Horses, “Smoke”
    Eli Young Band, “Dust”
    Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
    Little Big Town, “Day Drinking”

    The Band Perry, “Chainsaw”
    Zac Brown Band, “All Alright”

    Breakthrough Video of the Year
    Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”
    Frankie Ballard, “Sunshine & Whiskey”
    Kelsea Ballerini, “Love Me Like You Mean It”
    Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
    RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
    Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

     

    Duo Video of the Year:
    Big & Rich “Look at You”
    Brothers Osborne “Rum”
    Florida Georgia Line “Dirt”
    Florida Georgia Line “Sun Daze”
    Maddie & Tae “Girl in a Country Song”
    Swon Brothers “Later On”

    Collaborative Video Of The Year
    Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe, Lonely Tonight
    Brantley Gilbert feat. Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, Small Town Throwdown
    Jennifer Nettles feat. Brandy Clark, His Hands
    Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, Wild Child
    Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, Somethin’ Bad
    Tim McGraw feat. Faith Hill, Meanwhile Back at Mamas

    CMT Performance Of The Year
    Brett Eldredge, Beat of the Music from CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party
    John Legend and Lee Ann Womack, You & I (Nobody In The World) from CMT Crossroads
    Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, Roar from Crossroads
    Keith Urban, It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World from 2014 CMT Artists of the Year
    Kenny Chesney, American Kids from Instant Jam
    Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc, Wake Me Up from CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party
    Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, Drink a Beer from 2014 CMT Artists of the Year

    Audio / Dierks Bentley gives an update on Captain Holden Johnson, who performed “Drunk on a Plane” at last year’s CMT Music Awards.

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    Dierks Bentley (CMT—Drunk captain) OC: …some moves, yeah. :26
    “Captain Holden Mike Johnson – I don’t know where he is right now. Last I’d heard, he’d been demoted, and he’s flying a little Cessna smiling somewhere where there’s no FAA regulations after his CMT performance debut. I don’t know. I think he’ll still come around every now and then. He’s a strong man with a strong look, and I don’t know. Management’s not too excited about him, but we’ll see. [laughs] He took my wife home from the CMT Awards, so he’s got some moves, yeah.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker says he’s just happy to be nominated at this year’s CMT Music Awards.

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    Darius Rucker (CMT performances) OC: …play with. :11
    “It’s really just one of those things where I’m really happy to be nominated, because I didn’t expect that all. I’m looking forward to, what I always look forward to is the performances, because you never get to see anybody because we’re always on the road and you only see the guys you play with.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about his music video for “Leave the Night On,” which is nominated for CMT Video of the Year.

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    Sam Hunt (Leave the Night On video) OC: …making the video. :38
    “‘Leave the Night On’ was my first official music video, although I have a bit of a passion for the video world because my manager, Brad, comes from the videographer world. That’s how our relationship started was shooting this little video for another song about six months before that. But I learned from making a few of these low-budget videos early on that the best way to go about doing it is just try to keep it honest and real and all of the people in the ‘Leave the Night On’ video was friends of ours. We didn’t really want to hire actors and actresses to come in. It’s just hard to stage a good time. You kinda have to just let it naturally happen. So, that was a good thing about that video is that it turned into a just a fun day hanging out with all of our buddies, and we had a really good time making the video.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley talks about the band's CMT video nomination for "Bartender."

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    Lady A (Bartender video) OC: …was perfect. :34
    “I think there’s no surprise why ‘Bartender’ is in video of the year — Kate Upton. You’ve got all these guys sitting there voting, and the first thing that pops in their mind is Kate Upton. And so, that was all part of the plan, so our evil plan worked. But, that was definitely one of the most fun videos to shoot, having Kate Upton and Tony Hale. He was hilarious. I mean, he took the video to a whole ‘nother level. So, we’re just really proud of that video. Shane Drake did a great job, and just kind of really actually took this basic concept and really brought it to life. I thought it was perfect.”

  • DIERKS BENTLEY KICKS OFF SOUNDS OF SUMMER TOUR WITH A BANG!

    NASHVILLE, TN – June 8, 2015 – “Plenty of fireworks – musically and literally” (Billboard) launched Dierks Bentley’s 2015 SOUNDS OF SUMMER TOUR this weekend as the roar of capacity crowds filled amphitheaters in Raleigh, NC (6/5) and Cleveland, OH (6/6). The multi-PLATINUM entertainer pulled out “top-tier production” (Rolling Stone Country) to create the ultimate summer party complete with fireworks, crowd surfing, beer shotgunning, a custom built wave-shaped video wall, a satellite stage for closer fan interaction and special guest performances.
    Critics’ opinion paralleled fan enthusiasm, noting his emotional delivery cemented “his ability to convey that kind of ‘I can relate’ emotions,” making him “a special kind of performer.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer
    “Dierks definitely ‘rises’ to a whole new level with the Sounds of Summer tour.  Here in Raleigh, the crowd went rabid for Dierks!!  He delivered incredible energy, and hit after hit after hit… The crowd (and I) enthusiastically belted back every word!” –Todd Nixon, WNCB/WTQR
    “Dierks set the bar high for the rest of the acts that will follow him this summer. 20,000 fans danced, sang and lived the Sounds of Summer.” – Janie Carothers, WQDR 
    “Dierks is on fire!  What an amazing show! Scary thing is it was the opening show and it was epic! It’s only going to get better! With Kip Moore, Canaan Smith and Maddie and Tae on point. This is a show that is worth the price of admission.” – Cody Clark, WQDR
    As the 2015 SOUNDS OF SUMMER TOUR heats up, PEOPLE simultaneously named Bentley “Country’s Hottest Guy” of the year. In addition to the news, the singer’s No. one hit “Drunk on A Plane” is nominated for “Video of the Year” and “Male Video of the Year” for the 2015 CMT Music Awards airing live this Wednesday (6/10) at 8P ET. Bentley will hit CMA Music Festival’s stadium stage at LP Field on Thursday (6/11) prior to resuming his headlining tour in Buffalo, NY (6/12) and Lansing, MI (6/13). For a full list of tour dates and upcoming appearances, visit www.dierks.com.

     

  • DIERKS BENTLEY NEEDS TO WATCH HIS BACK ON THE SOUNDS OF SUMMER TOUR.

    Dierks Bentley should keep one eye open on his Sounds of Summer Tour, because his tourmates Kip Moore and Canaan Smith have some ideas of how to prank him.

    Kip has already retaliated, after Dierks forced them into his annual polar jump in January, by spraying graffiti on his beloved Big White truck and putting a goat in the bed of the vehicle. So, he’s kind of laying low for the time being. However, he does warn Dierks, he will come after him if he tries to pull something else. “If he slips up and gets me, I’m just gonna one-up him, so the best thing he can do is just let the whole thing go.”

    Canaan, though, is deviously planning on something to get Dierks back. “. I have ideas, ideas churning in my head. But as an example of a recent prank, I got my band on April Fool’s Day. I told them I wanted to start this tradition right before we would go on stage, let’s eat a lucky Oreo,” says Canaan. “I snuck out to the bus, and I replaced all the cream in the Oreos with toothpaste, with minty white toothpaste, and strategically replaced them perfectly back in the package, so that they would just have no clue what was about to hit them.”

    The next stop on the Sounds of Summer Tour is June 18th in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

    Audio / Kip Moore says he’s going to lay low on the pranks on his Sounds of Summer tourmate, Dierks Bentley, unless he gets him back.

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    Kip Moore (laying off pranks on Dierks) OC: …thing go. :13
    “I’m laying off of [Dierks]. I got a feeling that he’s got it coming for me, so I need to kind of chill out. But if he does, if he slips up and gets me, I’m just gonna one-up him, so the best thing he can do is just let the whole thing go.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith has some ideas about pulling a prank on Sounds of Summer tourmate Dierks Bentley, and gives an example of a recent prank he pulled on his band.

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    Canaan Smith (pranks) OC: …kind of stuff. 1:08
    “I can’t give away my secrets. I have ideas, ideas churning in my head. But as an example of a recent prank, I got my band on April Fool’s Day. I told them I wanted to start this tradition right before we would go on stage, let’s eat a lucky Oreo. That was my idea. Why an Oreo? You’ll see why. But they didn’t know why. I said, ‘Let’s eat a lucky Oreo.’ I even primed it earlier in the day to make them think there was nothing wrong with these Oreos. I bought the Oreos earlier in the day. I’m like, ‘Hey! Here’s the idea guys. Let’s eat Oreos tonight.’ We’re all just eating out of this box of Oreos. But then later on, I snuck out to the bus, and I replaced all the cream in the Oreos with toothpaste, with minty white toothpaste, and strategically replaced them perfectly back in the package, so that they would just have no clue what was about to hit them. Right before we went onstage, I said something about, ‘Alright this is our first night, new tradition, love you boys, let’s do this! Here’s your Oreo.’ Boom. Pop it. Right away, one of ‘em called me an [beep] hole and went and threw up in the trash can. They’re all just like pissed, and now they’re threatening to get me back. But, yeah, I love that kind of stuff.”

    Video / Sounds of Summer Polar Plunge

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    Video / Kip Moore's retailiation

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    Video / Canaan Smith April Fool's prank

    Y'all knew I wouldn't let #AprilFools day pass without a trick or two on the band boys! Dan Shay. #loveyoulikethat

    Posted by Canaan Smith on Thursday, April 2, 2015
  • CMA MUSIC FEST 2015: Darius, Dierks, Easton, Church, Paslay, Josh, Keith, Lady A, LBT, Luke, Scotty

    It’s that time again! The CMA Music Festival begins this week in Nashville, and the stars are ready to come out to perform and check in with their fans!

    Audio / Darius Rucker is making a couple of appearances during this year’s CMA Music Festival. On Monday (June 8th), he hosts his 6th annual Darius and Friends concert at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon and his golf tournament. Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Darius is also set to perform at LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Sunday, June 14th where he will entertain the crowd with his list of hits.

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    Darius Rucker (CMA Music Fest) OC: …awesome. :48
    “Music Fest is like nothing else. I say all the time that country music is the only genre that could have something like that. It’s truly amazing, when I come that weekend, people are everywhere and they want to be your best friend. It’s always cool and I love coming here. The thing that always gets me is the show. The fact that you can get that many superstars at one show all playing for free, for the same goal, to entertain those people that are in that stadium that come here for the whole week from all over the world. They come here for one week to see country music, and it’s amazing that those artists say on Friday and Saturday night, this is country music come on out. That’s awesome.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about the lengths that fans will go to show their appreciation.

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    Dierks (fans) OC: …commitment. [laughs] :22

    “I know a lot of the early fans by name, because we played a lot of shows at a lot of small venues where we’d be around a lot after the shows. I’m not gonna say her name ‘cause I don’t know if she’d want me to or not, but she has like a dog print of Jake, my dog’s Jake, but she has this dog print on her shoulder with my name in the middle of the tattoo. So, tattoos are always, that’s a big deal when somebody gets your name tattooed on part of their body or something. It’s kind of a scary thing, because it’s kind of a lifelong commitment. [laughs]”

    Audio / Easton Corbin says his fans are very important to him.

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    Easton Corbin (fans) OC: …being here. :24
    “My fans mean a great deal to me, especially the fans that come out to the shows and the ones that make it to every show around their home or in that vicinity. And I even have people come here that I know every time, in this meet-and-greet lines or maybe at that fence over there by the fence where you’re getting off the red carpet, I try to always make it a point to recognize those fans, and just let them know how much that I care and I appreciate them being here.”

    Audio / Eric Church, who’s performing at LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Sunday (June 14th), says CMA Music Festival is special and unique to country music.

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    Eric Church (CMA Music Fest) OC: …to see. :32

    “Well, I think it’s what makes country music unique. Find me another format that happens in, it’s just not something that happens. I think it’s because country music is really the one format that the fans…the music is really about them. And we’re them; we’re not different than them. You got a lot of rock stars and a lot of the other guys where they’re their own person, they’re their own agenda…they’re not like the people that are listening to them. It’s different in country, we are. We come from there, we are that. I think it’s just a great thing for them to be able to come to our town and to get just this barrage of music.”

    Audio / Eric Paslay recalls the first autograph he ever received.

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    Eric Paslay (1st autograph) OC: …first autograph. :42
    “The first autograph that I ever got was in Branson, Missouri, and it was Shoji Tabuchi, and he’s a great fiddle player, and I always remember that, you know if you go to Branson, you know who he is. But I was a 9, 10 year old kid, and I always remember that. Every time I meet a kid, I don’t know if it’s their first concert. It could be their 100-thousandth, but whenever I sign an autograph for a kid, I really make sure it’s special and memorable, and with anybody, but especially with kids. I still have that Shoji Tabuchi autograph, you know? Because it meant that much to me. I didn’t know who he was until we saw him, but he tore the place down playing the “Orange Blossom Special.”

    Audio / Josh Turner recalls one of the weirdest things he’s ever had to sign from one of his fans.

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    Josh Turner (weirdest thing he’s been asked to sign) OC: …Sharpie, though. :10
    “A toothpick, an unused toothpick, let me throw that out there – an unused toothpick. It was quite challenging, actually, and it didn’t look anything like my autograph. It took a really small Sharpie, though.”

    Audio / Keith Urban, who is performing Sunday night (June 14th) at LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans), says he loves attending CMA Music Festival.

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    Keith Urban (CMA Music Fest) OC: …always love it. :25
    “I love it! It’s like summer camp. I mean, it is! It’s just a chance to obviously see a lot of people I don’t normally see, I don’t know. It’s just palpable. Since Fan Fair, it’s just been that sort of week-plus of energy, the whole town just explodes, and what it is we love about this genre and the community aspect of it. I always love it.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum, who are scheduled to perform at LP Field on Friday (June 12th) in front of a sold-out crowd, talk about performing on the big stage during CMA Music Fest.

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    Lady Antebellum (Music Fest) 1 OC: …over the world. :14

    “The electricity in LP Field every year for that, you can’t really beat it. It’s so much fun to be there, and to have a stadium full of the most die-hard country fans you could ever imagine, from all over the world.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott talks about her early Fan Fair (now CMA Music Festival) memories.

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    Lady A (Fan Fair Memory – Hillary) OC: …extra special. :23
    “I have been raised as being at the fairgrounds with no air conditioning and actually helping take photos of the fans with my mom. I would like stand and take everybody’s camera, so I was a part of it. And actually in high school, I volunteered at the City of Hope, the softball game, for a couple of years. So, I mean, born and raised in Nashville, this has been a part of my life, my whole life, so now to be a part of it as an artist is extra special.”

    Audio / Little Big Town recall their first appearance at Fan Fair (aka CMA Music Festival). The group will be making several appearances, including their performance at LP Field on Saturday (June 13th).

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    Little Big Town (CMA Music Fest) OC: (Phillip) …the best, man. 1:43
    KIMBERLY: “We played at the fairgrounds. I guess it was the last year at the fairgrounds. We had just gotten our record deal.” PHILLIP: “I remember we were just about to walk out on stage, and we had to play acoustic. I mean there was no backing band.” KIMBERLY: “We were at Mercury. They wanted us to play before Wynonna sang.” PHILLIP: “I remember, my hair was short and Wynonna walked by and tuffed my hair and was like, ‘Oh that’s cute…cute red hair boy.’ [laugh] I was like, ‘Oh great.’ Like little puppy dog, ‘You’re gonna be OK, kid.'” KIMBERLY: “We were nervous.” KAREN: “Oh my gosh, were so nervous. We were so green.” KIMBERLY: “We didn’t have many songs at that point. Maybe three songs, which is what we sang. It was all we knew at the time which is what we had worked up. Because literally we got our record deal in May, and that was June.” KAREN: “And they were like, ‘Why don’t you guys sing a couple songs?’ And, we’re like, ‘Good, because a couple is what we know.’ That was fun. And then moving form that to the stadium shows, to me that the most fun you can ever have…CMA Fest, Stadium shows. It is an energy unlike anything else. It was over the top and I could just come out of my skin at those moments. KIMBERLY: “Me too.” KAREN: “It’s like you just want to float.” PHILLIP: “And it’s like the best country crowd you could ever compile. Every country fan from all over the world wants to be there. That’s like the crux of country music awesomeness. I’m telling you it is the best fun.” KAREN: “It’s the best feeling out there.” KIMBERLY: “They let them line up and all come across the stage so you have all these people that are so giddy, crazy giddy, because they get to walk up close to the stage.” PHILLIP: “And they’re waving and their arms are about to fall off. They’re just so excited. It’s the best.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan, who performs at Nashville’s LP Field on Friday (June 12th), explains the name of his fan club.

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    Luke Bryan (fan club name) OC: …words, you know. :13
    “That’s the name of my fan club – the Nut House, because they’re nutty and my Daddy’s a peanut farmer. I figured I spent my whole life hauling around peanuts, I would name…just a play on words, you know.”

    Audio / Scotty McCreery talks about his fans.

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    Scotty McCreery (fan support) OC: …back to us. :31
    “My fans are incredible. I tell them that every night on stage, and a lot of artists say thanks to the fans and ‘you’re the reason I’m here,’ but for me, it’s literal because they voted me through (American Idol), they’ve been with me since then. They’ve helped make the album platinum, the album gold, come to my concerts. In a sense, I really owe all this to them. They’ve really kind of helped make me who I am. I enjoy the chance to go out there and make music for them. I enjoy going out there to sing a concert for them. The biggest thing for me is when I look out and see the fans and they’re smiling, having a good time. Dancing, singing the songs back to us.”

  • ODDS AND ENDS: Dierks, LBT, Kip, Brothers Osborne

    Dierks Bentley was named People’s Hottest Country Guy in the new issue of the magazine, right before he kicks off his Sounds of Summer Tour.

    Dierks was also named an honorary co-chairman of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation’s Hat in the Ring Society.

    Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” is featured in a new commercial for Twisted Tea — Hard Iced Tea.

    Kip Moore is among the artists taking part in the annual Music City Gives Back concert Tuesday (June 9th) on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. The event, which also features Rodney Atkins, Tyler Farr, Lee Brice and Maddie & Tae, will help raise money for the W.O. Smith Music School.

    Brothers Osborne will perform at the Gratifonia Music Festival in Hughesville, Pennsylvania September 6th.

  • DIERKS BENTLEY SET TO KICK OFF ‘SOUNDS OF SUMMER TOUR’ WITH KIP, CANAAN AND MADDIE & TAE.

    Dierks Bentley has been rehearsing long and hard for his Sounds of Summer Tour that kicks off Friday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Arizona native also carefully deliberated on which acts to take out with him – ones that would “rally” the crowds and pump the fans up all night long. He finally decided on Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith.

    “The first person you pick when you’re out there putting on a tour is the guy that’s going on right before you,” Dierks explains. “You want someone who’s gonna go out there and rally the troops. You want them to just tee ‘em up. You want someone that can maybe even beat ya. It kind of puts you on edge, and it makes you go out there just swinging even harder. It makes you sing harder, it makes you run around harder. It makes you go for antics, you know, dive offstage sometimes, pull someone up and shotgun a beer. So, you want someone in front of you that’s gonna test you. And Kip, man, he’s got a great voice, great energy, and I know he’s gonna go out there and attack ‘em every night, and that just makes us better.”

    “Maddie & Tae…It’s an honor for me to have ‘em out; this is their first big tour to be on, so I get a chance to show ‘em how I think people should be treated out on the road,” says Dierks. “They just bring a real youthful energy to ‘em, and they’ll probably bring some different people to the show.”

    Dierks and Canaan have known each other for a long time, and the two “dudes” enjoy hanging out with each other. “Canaan I’ve known for a long time, Canaan Smith, and he’s really been working hard on his sound and made a great record, and he just has great energy,” he says. “He’s just a fun person to be around. Not only is that important backstage, but that just somehow, for some reason, I’m not sure why, but it translates out to the people at the very top in the grass.”

    Dierks is proud to have put this whole tour together, and he had a hand in just about every aspect of his show.

    “This whole thing was put together by me, and from the second you walk in and listening to the music that’s playing on the speakers to when you’re driving away, or walking away, and you’re hearing the outro music, it’s all been thought through and we just want to make it the best tour to roll through that particular amphitheater this summer. That’s our goal.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about Kip Moore and how important his role is on the Sounds of Summer Tour.

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    Dierks Bentley (Sounds of Summer—Kip) OC: …is great. :39
    “The first person you pick when you’re out there putting on a tour is the guy that’s going on right before you. You want someone who’s gonna go out there and rally the troops. You want them to just tee ‘em up. You want someone that can maybe even beat ya. It kind of puts you on edge, and it makes you go out there just swinging even harder. It makes you sing harder, it makes you run around harder. It makes you go for antics, you know, dive offstage sometimes, pull someone up and shotgun a beer. So, you want someone in front of you that’s gonna test you. And Kip, man, he’s got a great voice, great energy, and I know he’s gonna go out there and attack ‘em every night, and that just makes us better. And on the flipside, he’s someone I like hanging out with off the stage, you know, that’s where we spend 22 hours a day – off the stage. So, having a solid guy like that out there is great.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about bringing Maddie & Tae out on the road on the Sounds of Summer Tour.

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    Dierks Bentley (SOS—Maddie & Tae) OC: …be fun. :17
    “You know, Maddie & Tae, their first big hit. It’s an honor for me to have ‘em out; this is their first big tour to be on, so I get a chance to show ‘em how I think people should be treated out on the road. They just bring a real youthful energy to ‘em, and they’ll probably bring some different people to the show. Who knows? It’s gonna be fun.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about Canaan Smith and the goal for the Sounds of Summer Tour.

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    Dierks Bentley (SOS—Canaan Smith) OC: …our goal. :43
    “Canaan I’ve known for a long time, Canaan Smith, and he’s really been working hard on his sound and made a great record, and he just has great energy. He’s just a fun person to be around. Not only is that important backstage, but that just somehow, for some reason, I’m not sure why, but it translates out to the people at the very top in the grass. You’re playing for 23-thousand people, and they can just sense whether a tour has been put together by the artist that’s leading the way or by management and the label. This whole thing was put together by me, and from the second you walk in and listening to the music that’s playing on the speakers to when you’re driving away, or walking away, and you’re hearing the outro music, it’s all been thought through and we just want to make it the best tour to roll through that particular amphitheater this summer. That’s our goal.”

    Video / Dierks Bentley SOS

    Gas pedal down... The #SoundsOfSummer Tour kicks off in 5 days! #SoundingOff

    Posted by Dierks Bentley on Sunday, May 31, 2015
  • MEMORIAL DAY AUDIO: Dierks, Church, Keith, Kelleigh, LBT, Luke, Sam

    School is letting out for a few months; dads are firing up the bar-be-cues; pools, lakes and beaches will be packed with families celebrating warm days together. It’s the unofficial kick-off to summer…and it’s Memorial Day Weekend.

    Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. However, by the turn of the 20th century, Memorial Day celebrated Americans who have sacrificed their lives in all wars. The holiday also typically marks the start of the summer vacation season.

    Some of your favorite country artists talk about their favorite summertime activities – besides traveling around and performing for fans – as well as what it means to be free because of the brave men and women willing to fight and sacrifice for our freedom.

    Audio / Dierks Bentley, whose own father was a World War II veteran, talks about the sacrifices made by U.S. servicemen and women.

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    Dierks (Memorial Day) OC: …upon them. :37
    “On the most basic level, I think, for me on the road, I just think about being gone two, three days at a time, maybe a couple of weeks at a time, you know. That seems like a long time when you have kids and family, but these soldiers, they’re gone for months and years at a time – they’re doing 12 to 15 to 18 months — and they have family back home. That, in itself, is such a huge sacrifice, and that’s just the beginning of it. That’s just scratching the surface of what these guys [and gals] are doing every day – preparing for battle, actually being in battle, being wounded in battle, sometimes dying in battle. So, this country obviously, we would not exist without those courageous men and women, and our future depends upon them.”

    Audio / Eric Church says we should celebrate our freedom AND the people fighting for our freedom.

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    Eric Church (Memorial Day) OC: …those freedoms.
    It’s about, especially the soldiers I come in contact with on the road. And not only that, to be able to make the music that I’m able to make, to say what I want to say, and that freedom to be able to do those things and to be in a country where we’re able to do that and to be in a country where we’re able to play that stuff on the radio. I don’t think you’re going to have any America argue that America isn’t the best place to live, and I’m certainly one of them. I’m very proud to be from here and very proud that we have the soldiers. I know there are a lot of other countries out there in the world that don’t want to live the way we do, and that’s fine, they can keep living the way they are, but I’m very proud of it. I think that’s a time to celebrate being proud to be an American and celebrate those freedoms…and celebrate the people that are over fighting for those freedoms.”

    Audio / Keith Urban wrote and recorded “For You” a few years ago for the film, Act of Valor, which was inspired by real life events and stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs. After hanging out with the SEALS, he was very impressed with their commitment of service.

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    Keith Urban (SEALS mantra) OC: …conviction. :30
    “They have a mantra, and they say ‘the only easy day was yesterday’ and they had this spirit of brotherhood and that’s a particular thing that’s the way in which, I think, it exists is very specific to the Seals. I mean, military in general have this very strong brotherhood code; it’s a particular kind of thing in the Seals. As was the testament, to Lt. Roark who is the lead guy in the film; when he was interviewed talked about funerals he had been to, and he says ‘there isn’t really any one of us who isn’t just a little bit jealous of the guy who’s died,’ and ok, I heard that, that’s a particular way of being that I cannot relate to. That is an unbelievable depth of commitment and conviction.”

    Audio / Kelleigh Bannen says she’s very thankful for our men and women in uniform.

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    Kelleigh Bannen (Memorial Day) OC: …our families. :10
    “I am so thankful for our men and women in uniform, and it is their sacrifice and them putting their lives on the line that allow us to be able to celebrate with our families.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild says they’re overwhelmed by the huge sacrifices that both the military and their families make in order to be free.

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    LBT (Memorial Day) OC: …whenever we can. :44
    KAREN: “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. Kimberly and I met a young girl…she’s 21 years old, and she has a third baby, and her husband has served multiple times overseas. She’s raising these children at home and doing a great job and the best that she can, and he’s serving our country. He’s making a monstrous sacrifice, but so is she, and so are those children. And we just can’t take it for granted. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.”

    Audio / While Luke Bryan’s on the road on his Kick The Dust Up Tour, he’ll most likely check out some places where he can catch up on his favorite pastime – fly-fishing.

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    Luke Bryan (favorite summer activities) OC: …the family. :10
    “My favorite summer activity is definitely the opportunity to go fly-fishing out West when I’m out there touring, or really, just fly-fishing anytime…and obviously, getting a week off down at the beach with the family.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about his grandfather who served during World War II.

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    Sam Hunt (Memorial Day) OC: …those freedoms. :40
    “My granddad was in World World II. He was on the USS Texas battleship, and he was over at Normandy and over near Japan and he spent a lot of time right in the thick of World War II. He really took pride in what that meant, and it was something I got to see it first hand, as somebody who got to experience that; somebody who had that galvanized American trait. It’s hard to describe it. It was just somebody who’s been through that, seen that and really appreciates what that means. I try to channel that into my life, because I haven’t fought in any war, but I have a ton of respect for folks who have, folks who’ve sacrificed, families who’ve lost lives and just sacrificed years of their own lives and time and effort to maintain those freedoms.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about Memorial Day weekends growing up in Georgia.

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    Sam Hunt (Memorial Day) 2 OC: …experience. :47
    “I spent a lot of Memorial Day weekends on the lake especially as I got a little order in high school and on into college, and it was always that summer inauguration celebrating the beginning of what would be summer. And even though I’m finished with school, when May comes around, I get that kind of ‘school’s out’ feeling, even now. So, when summer’s here, it’s always an exciting time of year. I think it’s just an extra reminder just the freedom in that and the good times and it’s usually with your buddies and you’re celebrating all these great things and about what it means to be a product of all the sacrifices that people have made in years past and in the wars past that we can now experience.”


    Sam Hunt (Memorial Day) 2 OC: …experience. :48
    “I spent a lot of Memorial Day weekends on the lake especially as I got a little order in high school and on into college, and it was always that summer inauguration celebrating the beginning of what would be summer. And even though I’m finished with school, when May comes around, I get that kind of ‘school’s out’ feeling, even now. So, when summer’s here, it’s always an exciting time of year. I think it’s just an extra reminder just the freedom in that and the good times and it’s usually with your buddies and you’re celebrating all these great things and about what it means to be a product of all the sacrifices that people have made in years past and in the wars past that we can now experience.”

  • LUKE BRYAN AND DIERKS BENTLEY WILL PERFORM DURING GOOD MORNING AMERICA’S 2015 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES.

    Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will perform during Good Morning America’s 2015 Summer Concert Series on ABC. Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Hozier, Jason Derulo, Florida Georgia Line, Jessie J and 5 Seconds of Summer will also perform throughout the summer. Catch Dierks June 26th and Luke on August 7th.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Dierks, Darius, Lady A, Scotty

    Over the weekend, Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning joined Dierks Bentley on stage to sing “Folsom Prison Blues.”

    Darius Rucker appeared on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday (May 13th) and surprised U.S. combat wounded veteran Daniel Branham with a free home in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. “Daniel is an American hero. The things he did while he was deployed, he’s just an amazing guy. And he’s from my neck of the woods,” Darius said while sitting next to Branham on the set with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. “We’re going to be neighbors.”

    When Lady Antebellum appeared on NBC’s Today Show Wednesday, they met Pitch Perfect 2’s Anna Kendrick and Scandal’s Scott Foley. Later in the morning, Anna tweeted, “I just heard @ladyantebellum rehearsing harmonies in the dressing room next to me and my head exploded. k bye I’m dead now.”

    Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and wife Cassie are featured in the latest issue of Southern Living. They give tips for entertaining outdoors and much more.

    Scotty McCreery recently returned to his former school, Timber Drive Elementary, in Garner, North Carolina, to sing with the fifth grade class. The class performed his first hit, “I Love You This Big.”

    Prior to surprising the students, Scotty met with 18-year-old Courtney Moss, who has had a serious heart condition most of her life. She received a heart transplant at Duke Hospital nine months ago and was released on her 18th birthday. Her one wish: To go to a season finale taping of American Idol. Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina granted her wish to go to the American Idol finale this week.