• 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.

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

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Sam, Toby, Little Big Town, Lady A, Vince and more

    Sam Hunt climbs back into the top spot on Billboard’s Country Album chart this week, selling another 16,000 copies. The collection features the chart-topping “Leave the Night On,” as well as his current smash hit, “Take Your Time.”

    Toby Keith and Little Big Town are among the artists performing at the annual Mack, Jack and McConaughey event in Austin, Texas next month. The two-day gala was founded by ESPN analyst and football coach Mark Brown, country singer Jack Ingram and actor Matthew McConaughey and will take place April 16th and 17th.

    Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and Vince Gill will perform during the 23rd Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, March 24th through 28th in Nashville.

  • 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.”