• SAM HUNT IS AMONG THE FINAL NOMINEES FOR THIS YEAR’S ACM NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD.

    Encino, CA (February 18, 2015) – The Academy of Country Music and Kohl’s Department Stores announced today that Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell have been named nominees for this year’s ACM New Artist of the Year Award Presented By Kohl’s. The winner will be announced during the LIVE broadcast of the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards, co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM – 11:30PM ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

    Hunt, Rhett and Swindell were determined as the final three (3) nominees for the ACM New Artist of the Year Award via first round fan voting with partner CMT.com, combined with the ACM professional membership vote. The final round of fan voting for the New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl’s begins on Wednesday, April 8 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT with voting partner CBS.com at VoteACM.com, and will close at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT on Sunday, April 19 when the LIVE telecast begins. In selecting the winner, professional member votes will again be combined with fan votes to obtain the winner of the category.

    Leading up to the show, CMT will premiere a special ACM-themed episode of its weekly series CMT Hot 20 Countdown featuring this year’s three nominees for New Artist of the Year, scheduled to air in conjunction with the second round of fan-voting beginning April 8th.

    About the Academy of Country Music Awards
    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.

  • SAM HUNT PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LADIES.

    Sam Hunt is paying tribute to the ladies of the ‘90s during his Lipstick Graffiti Tour. He’s performing hits from such female hitmakers as Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

    “A lot of the songs are songs that come from an era of country music that I grew up listening to, and just judging the fan base that we’ve had so far and the people who are coming out, they seem to have similar musical interests. It seems like they grew up probably listening to a lot of the same things I grew up listening to, and a lot of these female country singers doing their thing in the ‘90s when I was listening to country music,” says Sam. “It was kind of something I wanted to [do]; I don’t know if you’d call it a nod to that era and those great female artists who meant so much to me growing up, and to kind of acknowledge all that great music. And there’s gonna be some R&B we’ll do as well from some of the female artists that came up doing it in that genre.”

    The next date on Sam’s Lipstick Graffiti Tour, featuring Native Run as openers, is Thursday (February 19th) in Knoxville, Tennessee, followed by shows in Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

    Sam, who is up for ACM New Artist of the Year, is scaling the country charts with his latest single, “Take Your Time.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about the medley of ‘90s female artists he’s doing during his shows on his Lipstick Graffiti Tour.

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    Sam Hunt (Lipstick medley) OC: …together cool. :49
    “A lot of the songs are songs that come from an era of country music that I grew up listening to, and just judging the fan base that we’ve had so far and the people who are coming out, they seem to have similar musical interests. It seems like they grew up probably listening to a lot of the same things I grew up listening to, and a lot of these female country singers doing their thing in the ‘90s when I was listening to country music. And then also, the last few years, there hasn’t been a strong a presence from females in country music. I don’t know. It was kind of something I wanted to [do]; I don’t know if you’d call it a nod to that era and those great female artists who meant so much to me growing up, and to kind of acknowledge all that great music. And there’s gonna be some R&B we’ll do as well from some of the female artists that came up doing it in that genre. So, hopefully, it’ll all blend together cool.”

     

  • LADY ANTEBELLUM PREPARE TO HEAD OVERSEAS.

    The members of Lady Antebellum are getting packed and ready to head overseas for the unofficial kickoff of their Wheels Up Tour. The trek launches February 28th in Oslo, Norway, followed by shows in Sweden, Ireland, Scotland and London, before heading Down Under to Australia March 13th. The European leg will feature openers Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert and Kip Moore.

    “It’ll be the only time ever that Jason Aldean opens up for us,” jokes Lady A’s Dave Haywood. “Because he’s coming over – I think it’s his first trip to Europe. But we were laughing. We were like, ‘This’ll never happen again – Jason playing before us.’”

    The band does feel very comfortable with their crowds overseas. “We’ve been going over there for probably six years , and London and Dublin, I think especially, and then we’ve also had amazing shows in Norway too,” explains Dave. “Australia kind of feels, you know, a little more familiar, but the fans are just nuts. They know stuff from the first record that were just album cuts, and they sing it out loud in a big accent or whatever, and it’s a really cool thing.”

    They’ll begin the North American leg on May 1st in Lubbock, Texas. The tour will continue through the fall with Hunter Hayes and red-hot newcomer Sam Hunt.

    Lady A’s latest single, “Freestyle,” is making its way up the country charts. The song is from their recent album, 747.

    Audio / Lady Antebellum talk about heading over in a couple of weeks to tour in Europe and Australia.

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    Lady Antebellum (overseas trek 2015) OC: (DAVE) …cool thing. :33
    DAVE: “It’ll be the only time ever that Jason Aldean opens up for us.” [Charles laughs] HILLARY: “Ever.” DAVE: “Because he’s coming over – I think it’s his first trip to Europe. But we were laughing. We were like, ‘This’ll never happen again – Jason playing before us.’ It’s great.  I mean, we’ve been going over there for probably six years now and London and Dublin, I think especially, and then we’ve also had amazing shows in Norway too. Australia kind of feels, you know, a little more familiar, but the fans are just nuts. They know stuff from the first record that were just album cuts, and they sing it out loud in a big accent or whatever, and it’s a really cool thing.”

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Darius, Luke, Lady A, Sam, Vince and more.

    Darius Rucker will once again take on Big Band tunes in a one-night show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Tuesday (February 17th). The concert benefits the MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund, a non-profit organization that helps provide the best possible healthcare experience for MUSC’s youngest patients and their families.

    Luke Bryan enjoyed his time as Grand Marshal of the Endymion parade and headlined the huge post-parade Extravaganza at the Superdome several hours later. Pals Willie and Korie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) joined Luke and his wife Caroline for some of the festivities.

    luke-bryan-at-endymion-2015-7cc7c890053590faluke-bryan-at-endymion-2015-7559eba1811f738c

    Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley won a closest-to-the-pin contest and assured a victory for Team Clint Eastwood during the 3M Celebrity Challenge at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week in Pebble Beach, California. Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney and Clay Walker also played in the tournament.

    Sam Hunt shot the video for his latest hit, “Take Your Time,” last week in Nashville.

    Vince Gill and his lovely wife Amy Grant will return to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for eight Christmas shows this year beginning December 2nd. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster.

  • VALENTINE’S DAY LINERS: Brothers Osborne, Canaan, Darius, David, Dierks, Church, Paslay, Gary, Strait, Jennifer, Jon, Josh, Kacey, Keith, Kelleigh, Kip, LBT, Luke, Sam

    Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey, this is T.J., and I’m John, and we’re Brothers Osborne. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey, what’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Valentine’s Day)

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    “What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER David Nail (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey, this is David Nail, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”


    Audio / LINER Eric Church (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

     

    Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hi! This is Eric Paslay, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Gary Allan (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey, this is Gary Allan, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER George Strait (Valentine’s Day)

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    “This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Jennifer Nettles (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey! This is Jennifer Nettles, hoping you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Josh Turner (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey! This is Josh Turner, and I want to wish you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hi, this is Kacey Musgraves, and I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. This is Keith Urban. Make the day special for your ‘Once in a Lifetime’ love.”

    Audio / LINER Kelleigh Bannen (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey y’all, it’s Kelleigh Bannen, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

     

    Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey! What’s happening, everybody? This is Kip Moore. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

     

    Audio / LINER LBT (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

     

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

     

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day) 2

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    “Hey y’all. It’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day. Make sweet love to your other.”

     

    Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Valentine’s Day)

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    “Hi! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

     

  • SAM HUNT’S ‘MONTEVALLO’ CONTINUES TO TOP THE COUNTRY ALBUM CHART.

    Sam Hunt’s Montevallo once again holds the top spot on Billboard’s country album chart. The collection precedes the latest by Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood to hold at No. 1.

    Sam says the album represents who he is as an artist. “I hope that people, if they give the full album a chance, will have the ability to see what I want to represent as an artist; they will be able to get out of this music what I get out of music that I love,” he says. “The record is hopefully diverse enough to reach people of several different tastes. If there is something I could say to someone that was about to listen to this record for the first time, I would hope that they could put aside any preconceived notions or any direction that whatever they have stumbled across before has given them, they could open their mind and just listen to the music with an open mind and open heart and just see how they feel about it; see how it makes them feel.”

    Sam, whose latest single ‘Take Your Time’ is storming the country charts, is currently making his way around the country with his Lipstick Graffiti Tour. The next stop is Dallas on Thursday (February 5th).

    Audio / Sam Hunt explains what he hopes for when people listen to his debut album, Montevallo.

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    Sam Hunt (Montevallo expectations) OC: …makes them feel. :43
    “I hope that people, if they give the full album a chance, will have the ability to see what I want to represent as an artist, they will be able to get out of this music what I get out of music that I love, you know? The record is hopefully diverse enough to reach people of several different tastes. If there is something I could say to someone that was about to listen to this record for the first time, I would hope that they could put aside any preconceived notions or any direction that whatever they have stumbled across before has given them, they could open their mind and just listen to the music with an open mind and open heart and just see how they feel about it; see how it makes them feel.”

     

  • SAM HUNT’S ‘TAKE YOUR TIME’ HAS SMOOTH MOVES.

    Sam Hunt’s latest single “Take Your Time” is blowing up on the charts, in concert and now, in a YouTube dance video by famed choreographer Matt Steffanina. The dancer/instructor created moves to flow along with Sam’s song and posted it on his YouTube channel this week. Check it out below.

    Video / Take Your Time video @mattsteffanina

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  • THE 50TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON FRIDAY.

    WHAT:  The fourth annual ACM digital press conference, hosted by the Academy of Country Music, CBS Television and dick clark productions via ACM social media channels to announce the nominees for the 50TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, Country Music’s Party of the Year®.

    Hosted by four-time ACM Award winners Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, the ACM Awards will be broadcast LIVE from AT&T Stadium in North Texas on Sunday, April 19th, 2015 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

    WHEN:        Friday, January 30, 2015 at 8:30AM ET / 7:30 AM CT / 5:30AM PT  

    WHERE:  ACM Facebook Page:     www.facebook.com/AcademyOfCountryMusic

                       ACM Instagram Page:    www.instagram.com/ACMawards

                       ACM Twitter Feed:         www.twitter.com/ACMawards

    A full list of nominations for the 50th ACM Awards will be revealed immediately following the nominations announced via social media on www.acmcountry.com.

    MORE:   About the Academy of Country Music Awards

    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.

    The first round of fan voting for New Artist of the Year is underway at VoteACM.com and voteacm.CMT.com and will close Tuesday, February 10th at 6:00pm ET. The final three nominees will be announced in the coming weeks and will move on to compete in the final round of voting for the New Artist category at VoteACM.com. The final round of fan voting begins April 8th and will close on April 19th.

    Audio / Sam Hunt says he’s overwhelmed just being acknowledged in the initial category for ACM New Artist of the Year, along with Kip Moore, Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay and Chase Rice.

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    Sam Hunt (prelim ACMs) OC: …is special. :34
    “I really don’t know what to think about [the initial nomination], in a similar way that I didn’t know what to think about being on the radio when I had my first song on the radio. Growing up, I listened to the radio and watched the award shows, so those are the two biggest, I guess, outlets that represented the top of the top in the country music world. So, to be even potentially affiliated with the ACMs and the other associations that do so much for country music in a category that also has so many talented artists that are at the top of their game in country music. Just to be acknowledged in that community is special.”


  • SUPER BOWL 2015: Canaan, Darius, Dierks, Easton, Keith, Lady A, Little Big Town, Luke, Sam

    This Sunday (February 1st), millions of people around the world will be tuning in to the Super Bowl (the Big Game), including some of your favorite country artists. Some will be rooting for the Seattle Seahawks, while others will be pulling for the New England Patriotsto win the Big Game. Canaan Smith, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Easton Corbin, Kip Moore, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and Little Big Town are definitely fans of football…Check out all the action at the University of Phoenix stadium on Sunday at 6:30pm ET on NBC.

    A handful of artists will be out in Phoenix for events preceding Sunday’s game.

    Dierks Bentley returns to his home state to perform at the annual Night Before concert, along with Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. The show takes place January 31st at the US Airways Center.

    Sam Hunt will perform at the first-ever DIRECTV Super Fan Festival in Glendale, Arizona, along with the Zac Brown Band, Thomas Rhett and the Cadillac Three.

    The members of Little Big Town are set to perform at this year’s Taste of the NFL Party With a Purpose Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s a strolling wine and food event featuring a chef from each NFL city serving their signature dish, alongside a current or alumni NFL player. All proceeds go to benefit food banks in every NFL city. “It’s a privilege to perform at this year’s Taste of the NFL event and to help raise funds and awareness for hunger relief,” says LBT’s Karen Fairchild. “Working together to support the fight against hunger is something that we are very passionate about. We are excited to help support local food banks and are eager to defeat hunger throughout the U.S.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith always has a good time watching the Super Bowl.

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    Canaan Smith (Super Bowl) OC: …It’s cool. :21
    “Super Bowl’s all about pizza and commercials. You gotta sit down, you gotta drink your beer, get a little buzz. It’s pepperoni and banana peppers for me and my family. We sit down, we have a a good time, we have friends over. We have a nice TV, plenty of space. We have a good time. Usually, when it’s all said and done, we have a little dance party afterwards too. It’s cool.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker is a HUGE football fan, as everyone probably knows by now. He even has a special man cave with probably six or seven (or more) televisions mounted on the wall to catch all of the games being played during the season. He explains why he loves football so much. SIDENOTE: He’s a huge Miami Dolphins fan, and word has it, just to be able to meet then Dolphins quarterback, Dan Marino, he asked him to be in a Hootie & the Blowfish video for “Only Wanna Be With You.”

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    Darius Rucker (football) OC: …football season. :20
    “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve loved football, and I love how physical it is. I love the chess match of the game. I love the speed of the game. I love college football, but for me watching pro football is better because the speed is so much more. For me, there’s two times a year, man — football season and waiting for football season.”

    Audio / Easton Corbin says you can’t go on the bus during football season without a game being on the television.

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    Easton Corbin (football) OC: …that’s on. :07
    “That’s all that’s on the bus on the weekends. That’s it, and we’ve got three TVs on the bus, so that’s all that’s on.”

    Audio / Keith Urban says his wife, Nicole Kidman, got him interested in football.

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    Keith (Nicole and football) OC: …new to me. :04

    “She’s a big NFL fan, and she sort of turned me on to it.”

     

    Audio / The members of Lady Antebellum reveal their favorite tailgate foods, just in time for the Big Game.

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    Lady A (tailgate food) OC: (Charles) …football watching. :21
    HILLARY: “Honestly, chips and salsa, salsa or cheese dip or something. That’s like what I always go for. I could eat that every meal. No joke.” DAVE: “Best tailgate food is a big ole burger soaked in Dale’s sauce. That’s all you need.” HILLARY: “Or bratwurst. I forgot that. Those are good.” CHARLES: “Cold beer! A couple of little finger foods, but without cold beer, it’s not football watching.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s beautiful and talented Karen Fairchild was a badass growing up when she was playing quarterback for her powder puff football team.

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    LBT (football story) OC: …my lip. :40
    “I was the quarterback to my powder puff team. I was running the ball and I came around the corner – this was in high school – and a foreign exchange student, I think her name was Inga (KIMBERLY: “Inga.”), and I didn’t want to fumble ‘cause my brother and my dad were there, and I come from this very athletic family, so I held onto the ball. I knew I was going to go down, so I let my head hit first and I bit all the way through, but I didn’t fumble and I had a hole in my face, though. The sad thing is that it was just flag football, but I left my flags on and cleats and everything, ‘cause it looked cool, and I had blood running all down my jersey. I went to the emergency room like that, and they sewed up my lip.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan gives his pick for this year’s Big Game matchup between Seattle and New England. Luke Bryan (Super Bowl food) OC: …over again. :22 “Definitely Super Bowl is like the queso, the Frito Lay scoops with the Ro-tel situation. I guess it’s like, what’s the black-eyed pea stuff too? All of that, just stuff that you can sit there and have lots of sodium, and then just, it’s like Thanksgiving all over again.” Former UAB quarterback Sam Hunt talks about his thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

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    Luke Bryan (Super Bowl 2015) OC: …love ya! :26
    “My thoughts on the Super Bowl – I am, hmmmm, that’s a toughie. Patriots and Seattle – I’m completely neutral. I’m gonna sit back and enjoy the Super Bowl, kind of lean to the Patriots a little bit, ‘cause I’m East Coast. Seattle’s way out there, but I love Seattle, so don’t take it personally. Love ya!”

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about some of the food he likes to have while watching the Super Bowl.

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    Luke Bryan (Super Bowl food) OC: …over again. :22
    “Definitely Super Bowl is like the queso, the Frito Lay scoops with the Ro-tel situation. I guess it’s like, what’s the black-eyed pea stuff too? All of that, just stuff that you can sit there and have lots of sodium, and then just, it’s like Thanksgiving all over again.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt, a former UAB quarterback, talks about his thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

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    Sam Hunt (Super Bowl 2015) OC: …pick a team. :46
    “I don’t have a die-hard team, but when it comes to playoff time, Super Bowl time, I definitely come in and get caught up in that whole world. I was pulling for (Green Bay Packers Quarterback) Aaron Rodgers, and especially after he hurt his leg, I thought it would be really cool for him overcome that. So close. He’s such a phenomenal quarterback. He did a really great job. But all of the quarterbacks at this point are gonna be at the top of their game, and it’s hard not to be a fan of any of them – anybody who’s that talented at that level at anything. I was pulling for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, but now that the Super Bowl’s here, I don’t know. I’m gonna have to kind of educate myself on the seasons that each one of them has had, see who I feel like deserves it most and pick a team.”



  • SAM HUNT READY TO KICKOFF HIS ‘LIPSTICK GRAFFITI TOUR.’

    Sam Hunt launches his first headlining tour, the Lipstick Graffiti trek, in Los Angeles Thursday (January 29th) at the Troubadour. You may be wondering where the title came from, so we asked him how he came up with the tour name.

    “The phrase Lipstick Graffiti comes from a song that I wrote a couple of years ago called ‘Vandalizer.’ The opening line from the song says ‘Lipstick Graffiti on the bathroom mirror,’” says Sam. “I was going through the lyrics of old songs and listening for just little phrases, buzz phrases, that caught my attention, and that was one that I wrote down and continued to look at it, er, look at that list of potential tour names over the next couple of weeks, and it kept standing out. When I look at that phrase, I feel like [it] captures what we’re going to be doing on this tour. It just fit.”

    Sam’s latest single, “Take Your Time,” has hit the Top 25 on the country charts.

    Audio / Sam Hunt reveals where he came up with the title of his headlining Lipstick Graffiti Tour.

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    Sam Hunt (Lipstick Graffiti Tour) OC: …just fit. :31
    “The phrase Lipstick Graffiti comes from a song that I wrote a couple of years ago called ‘Vandalizer.’ The opening line from the song says ‘Lipstick Graffiti on the bathroom mirror.’ I was going through the lyrics of old songs and listening for just little phrases, buzz phrases, that caught my attention, and that was one that I wrote down and continued to look at it, er, look at that list of potential tour names over the next couple of weeks, and it kept standing out. When I look at that phrase, I feel like [it] captures what we’re going to be doing on this tour. It just fit.”