• KEITH URBAN TAKES A BREAK FROM THE STUDIO TO GIVE FANS AN UPDATE ON ALL THE HAPPENINGS, INCLUDING ‘AMERICAN IDOL.’ (VIDEO)

    In this week’s Urban Chat, Keith Urban takes a break from the studio to update you on a busy week, including American Idol!

    On Sunday night (September 23rd), Keith escorted his lovely wife, Nicole Kidman, to the Emmy Awards, where she was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn.

  • KEITH URBAN GIVES THANKS FOR HIS CMA NOMINATION. (VIDEO)

    In last week’s Urban Chat, Keith Urban wanted to thank EVERYONE for his CMA Nomination!! He is up for Male Vocalist of the Year, which after performances on several of his songs including the No. 1 tune, ‘You Gonna Fly,’ and the amazing ‘For You,’ for which he donated his artist and writer royalities to the Navy SEALS Foundation, is well-deserved.

    This year’s CMA Awards will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 1st at 8pm ET on ABC.

    Video / Urban Chat: Video 20: CMA Nomination THANK YOU!

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  • LITTLE BIG TOWN LEARNED ABOUT THEIR NO. 1 THROUGH A TEXT MESSAGE. (AUDIO)

    Little Big Town celebrated their first No. 1 single, “Pontoon,” at a rooftop party at the performance rights organization, BMI, on Friday (September 21st) in front of friends, family and Music Row executives. Along with the songwriters – Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird and Barry Dean – the members of Little Big Town were feted with a Mexican-themed party on what had to be one of the most beautiful days of the year in Middle Tennessee. The group received news of their No. 1 by text while on the road.

    “College football Saturday, it was kind of like dead time, I guess, it would’ve been during the daytime out on tour, and all of the sudden we all got the text, and I immediately got off the bus and went looking for Jimi,” recalls LBT’s Phillip Sweet. “We found each other and saw each other from across the way, and we were like, ‘Whoo Hoo.’ We both raised our arms up high like we just scored a touchdown. And it was like we were kids again.”

    The band’s new single, “Tornado,” is beginning to hit the airwaves, and it’s the second single from their new album of the same name, which just debuted at No. 1 on the country album chart with nearly 113,000 copies sold.

    Little Big Town will perform “Tornado” when they appear on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday.

    AUDIO: Little Big Town explain how they received the news of their first No. 1 single, “Pontoon.”

    LBT (finding out No. 1) OC: (Phillip) …kids again. :35
    KAREN: “We were on the road.” KIMBERLY: “We got text messages at the same time.” KAREN: “We were grilling out with Rascal Flatts. It was Saturday.” PHILLIP: “College football Saturday, it was kind of like dead time, I guess, it would’ve been during the daytime out on tour, and all of the sudden we all got the text, and I immediately got off the bus and went looking for Jimi.” JIMI: “Yeah, Phillip and I ran and hugged each other from across the parking lot and slapped each other five!” PHILLIP: “Yeah, we did the whole thing. We found each other and saw each other from across the way and we were like, ‘Whoo Hoo.’ We both raised our arms up high like we just scored a touchdown. And it was like we were kids again.”

  • DIERKS BENTLEY READY TO HOST ACM HONORS. (AUDIO)

    Dierks Bentley is making final preparations to host this year’s ACM Honors on Monday (September 24th) at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. The evening will recognize the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which took place earlier this year. “I don’t know how I’ll be as a host, but I know that the people being honored are people I really love – Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam,” says Dierks. “When I saw that, I was like, ‘I’m in,’ because all those people have been huge influences on me one way or the other.” Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Bobby Braddock and the late Roger Miller will also be honored, as well as Songwriter of the Year winner Dallas Davidson (Luke Bryan will perform in tribute to Dallas).

    Dierks is currently riding high with his latest single, “Tip It On Back.”

    Dierks Bentley (hosting ACM Honors) OC: …flask in the stand. :30
    “I don’t know how I’ll be as a host, but I know that the people being honored are people I really love – Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam. When I saw that, I was like, ‘I’m in,’ because all those people have been huge influences on me one way or the other. It should be fun. It’s a Nashville crowd, and it’s kind of an industry hang, so probably get away with more than you could on a broader scale, but I think it’s open to the public too. So, I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into, but we’ll see and hopefully, I won’t screw it up too bad. I’m gonna keep a little flask in the stand.”

  • LADY ANTEBELLUM READY TO HEAD DOWN UNDER! (AUDIO)

    Last spring, Lady Antebellum toured Australia for the first time as part of Keith Urban’s tour. The group is headed back next week to headline their own trek Down Under. They’ll kick off their Own the Night 2012 World Tour in Australia on Tuesday (September 25th) with a two-night stand in Melbourne, followed by two nights in Brisbane. The group will wrap up the tour October 3rd with the last of a three-night run in Sydney. The only other date Lady A has on the books is a performance at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 27th. Last year, Lady A’s Hillary Scott got to hold and pet a koala, which was the top item on her to-do list, and now she feels bandmate Charles Kelley should do the same. “I’m gonna make Charles go to a zoo, because he didn’t go last time,” says Hillary. “I’m not much of a zoo person,” responds Charles.  “It’s hard, man. I can sit there and go, ‘Alright, I can go play golf and get out and enjoy nature my way or I can go…and hold nature.”

    Whatever they decide to do, they’ll have fun doing it, especially when they hit the stage. “It’s very interesting, very high energy,” says Charles. “When they come, they seem genuinely excited and ready to kind of let it all out there in the audience and sing along and have fun, so they seem to really appreciate it.”

    Last night, the band performed at a benefit for the UCSF Children’s Hospital (where they ran into Dana Carvey). On Saturday, Lady A will perform a show in Honolulu, Hawaii, before heading to Australia. When they head back to the States, they only have one more date on the books – a performance at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina December 27th.

    AUDIO: Lady A’s Charles Kelley talks about heading back to Australia on their Own the Night 2012 World Tour.

    Lady A (Australia) 1 OC: …forward to it. :46
    “We were lucky enough to get to open up for Keith Urban last year in Australia, and we kind of found this whole little new world of fans over there for us. Everybody was super nice, and we love their accents, so it’s a beautiful place to be. But, it’s very interesting, very high energy. I think it was the same case in Australia as it was in Europe and stuff is they don’t get to see a lot of us, a lot of shows like a lot of people in the States get to do. We have a lot of fans that come back time and time again. So, when they come, they seem genuinely excited and ready to kind of let it all out there in the audience and sing along and have fun, so they seem to really appreciate it. So, we’re looking forward to it. I think we have multiple nights in every place we’re playing. We’d sell out the first night and add a show, which is pretty overwhelming, so we’re looking forward to it.”

    AUDIO: Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood feel bandmate Charles Kelley needs to experience nature up close and personal.

    Lady A (Australia) 2 OC: (Dave) …a koala. [LAUGHS] :24
    HILLARY: “I’m gonna make Charles go to a zoo, because he didn’t go last time.” CHARLES: “I didn’t. I’m not much of a zoo person.” DAVE: “You didn’t do the zoo! Man, they’ve got kangaroos, little joeys, you can hold a koala.” HILLARY: “You can at least go for half an hour.” CHARLES: “It’s hard, man. I can sit there and go, ‘Alright, I can go play golf and get out and enjoy nature my way or I can go…” HILLARY: “Or hold an exotic animal.” CHARLES: “…and hold nature.” DAVE: “There are no koalas in Brentwood. We need you to hold a koala.” [LAUGHS]

  • LUKE BRYAN HITS THE RACETRACK! (VIDEO)

    Luke Bryan goes to the Chicagoland Speedway and performs twice; the pre-race concert and the National Anthem. He also went in the pits and hung out with some of the drivers. Check it out! This was the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

    Video / LBTV Thursdays! Episode 34

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  • LUKE BRYAN WILL PAY HOMAGE TO HIS BUDDY AT THIS YEAR’S ACM HONORS. (AUDIO)

    Luke Bryan is set to perform at the 6th Annual ACM Honors in honor of his friend and songwriting partner, Dallas Davidson, who was named the ACM’s Songwriter of the Year Award (which had been previously given out, apparently only once, to Roger Miller in 1965).

    “The history between [Dallas] and I is just so deep. It’s amazing that I can have the opportunity to honor him on that night and do some of our songs, and the fact that he and I have even written big hits is just borderline comical,” says Luke, who is currently vaulting up the country charts with his latest single, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”

    Dierks Bentley will host this year’s ACM Honors, taking place Monday (September 24th) at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. This event recognizes special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards which took place in May in Las Vegas.

    Other special Award recipients include Bobby Braddock and the late Roger Miller, as well as Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam.

    AUDIO: Luke Bryan talks about honoring his friend, songwriter Dallas Davidson, at Monday night’s ACM Honors event.

    Luke Bryan (ACM Honors 2012) OC: …pretty special. :48
    “The fact that Dallas and I are in this business together, we still, we’ll go fishing or hunting and shake our heads and giggle. The history between he and I is just so deep. It’s amazing, I mean, that I can have the opportunity to honor him on that night and do some of our songs, and the fact that, gosh, the fact that he and I have even written big hits is just borderline comical. I think we’ve gotten together once or twice for this next album, and both songs are really, really great and will be on the album. It’s pretty fun to sit in a songwriting room with your buddy, and you know nothing you do, you can’t fool them or nothing and we’re not fooling each other, we’re just having fun trying to write a great song. I mean, it’s pretty weird. It’s pretty crazy. It’s pretty special.” 

  • LITTLE BIG TOWN’S KIMBERLY SCHLAPMAN HOSTS NEW COOKING SHOW ON GAC!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

    KIMBERLY SCHLAPMAN BRIGHTENS THE KITCHEN AS SHE PREPARES SOME OF HER FAVORITE SOUTHERN DISHES

    LITTLE BIG TOWN STAR PREPARES RECIPES FROM HOME AND THE ROAD ON GAC’S “KIMBERLY’S SIMPLY SOUTHERN”

    NASHVILLE, TENN. (September 20, 2012) – “I’m not a professional chef but when I was a kid, I would stand at the counter and pretend I was a cooking show host,” says Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town.  “I never, ever thought it would be a reality.”  Dreams continue to come true for the talented and engaging singer with the premiere of Kimberly’s Simply Southern, Saturday, September 22, 1:00 p.m./ET, on Great American Country (GAC). 

    With a day job that involves traveling the country, Schlapman has the unique opportunity to seek out culinary customs and treasures while on tour and she takes every opportunity to hop off the tour bus to discover America’s best local and regional food secrets.  The 13-episode series finds her in a different city or town each week, meeting folks that share her love of great food; while in Maine she learns about catching the perfect lobster from a 5th generation lobsterman; in Chicago she discovers the secret to the perfect pie crust at the Hoosier Mama Pie Company.  Once home in her Nashville kitchen, along with a little help from some of her famous friends, Schlapman combines her newly gained knowledge with traditional family recipes to create authentic southern meals. 

    Friends stopping by to chop, chat and enjoy great home cooking include band mate Karen Fairchild, Lauren Alaina, Holly Williams, Laura Bell Bundy and of course, Schlapman’s young daughter, Daisy Pearl.  “I always watched my mama,” Schlapman says of her childhood spent in the kitchen with her mom. “She was always cooking for people. When someone got married, when someone was sick or had passed away, when anyone had something to celebrate or grieve, she was at their door with supper or some kind of homemade goodie.”

    Kimberly’s Simply Southern is produced by Al Roker Entertainment for Great American Country. For recipes and more information, log on to www.gactv.com/simplysouthern.

  • LITTLE BIG TOWN WERE A LITTLE ANXIOUS BEFORE GOING INTO THE STUDIO TO RECORD ‘TORNADO.’ (AUDIO)

    The members of Little Big Town are celebrating a pair of No. 1s right now – what with their previous single, “Pontoon,” spending two weeks at the top of the chart, as well as their fifth studio album, Tornado, bowing at No. 1 on the country album chart. Before going into record their album, however, they were a bit nervous about the whole unfamiliar process of working with new producer, Jay Joyce. “We were kind of freakin’ out a little bit,” laughs LBT’s Phillip Sweet. “I think Karen or someone called Jay, and he was like, ‘Aw, don’t worry about it. Y’all get there a few hours earlier than everybody else, and we’ll sift through them.’ It’s just like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll work it out.’” Phillip goes on to say it was a discovery of sorts, and they all found working in that manner quite interesting. “When we would work through ‘em, the ones that came together, came together really quickly; the ones that weren’t quite jelling and vibing, we’d set over in pile B over here,” he explains. “We kind of came into the studio with eight songs that we thought, ‘Oh, these are for sure going to make the record,’ and some of those songs didn’t make the record.”

    Little Big Town, whose new single “Tornado” is currently hitting the airwaves, are set to perform on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Wednesday (September 26th). Fans can actually be on stage during their performance on the show as part of the “Band Bench” Sweepstakes. Just go to www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/about/band-bench/ and use the code LIT for a chance to win. 

    Little Big Town is nominated for three CMA Awards, including Vocal Group and Single and Video of the Year (for “Pontoon”). The awards show will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 1st at 8pm ET on ABC.

    AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet says the band was a tad bit anxious about going into the studio with Jay Joyce for the first time.

    LBT (night before going into studio) OC: …a discovery. :34
    PHILLIP: “We were kind of freakin’ out a little bit. [LAUGHS] And I think Karen or someone called Jay [Joyce], and he was like, ‘Aw, don’t worry about it. Y’all get there a few hours earlier than everybody else, and we’ll sift through them.’ It’s just like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll work it out.’ And really, it was kind of interesting, ‘cause when we would work through ‘em, the ones that came together, came together really quickly. The ones that weren’t quite jelling and vibing, we’d set over in pile B over here. We kind of came into the studio with eight songs that we thought, ‘Oh, these are for sure going to make the record.’ And some of those songs didn’t make the record. So, it was a discovery.”

  • KEITH URBAN WILL HOST NEW GRAND OLE OPRY RADIO ADS. (PRESS RELEASE & AUDIO)

    INFORMATION FOR RELEASE:

     KEITH URBAN TAPPED TO HOST NEW GRAND OLE OPRY RADIO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN

    Media note:  Keith Urban/Opry radio spots are available at http://www.opry.com/pressroom/keithurban/

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (September 19, 2012) Country music superstar and CMA Male Vocalist nominee Keith Urban is the voice of a new Grand Ole Opry radio campaign to begin airing this week in regional drive markets as well as on the Opry’s nationally syndicated radio program America’s Opry Weekend.  In the campaign, Urban reflects on having become an Opry member earlier this year, inviting radio audiences to visit Nashville and to stay connected to the Opry via its mobile app.

    “I’ll never forget that night,” Urban says in the spots, recalling his Opry induction. “Standing on the Grand Ole Opry stage and becoming an official Opry member. It was beyond my wildest dreams. I can feel the history and the excitement about country’s future every time I step on the Opry stage.”

    The spots can be heard here http://www.opry.com/news/2012/9-19.html

    The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®.  Opry performances are held every weekend of the year and on Tuesdays through Dec. 13.  To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com.

    About the Grand Ole Opry

    The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating 86 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard on 650 AM WSM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and opry.com. The syndicated weekly program, America’s Opry Weekend, airs on country radio stations across America and on the Armed Forces Radio Network. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels.  For more information, visit opry.com
    or www.gaylordentertainment.com

    About Keith Urban

    In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Keith Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future. He is the first Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year, a title he’s captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year.  More than 15 million albums later, Keith is a four-time Grammy Award winner, who has also won a People’s Choice and American Music Award.  He’s won five Academy of Country Music Awards, had 14 #1s, including 28 Top 5 hits and in 2012 became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  His latest CD, Get Closer, comes on the heels of his fifth consecutive platinum or multi-platinum release.  It has produced three consecutive #1s, “You Gonna Fly”, Long Hot Summer” and “Without You.”

    In 2009, Urban was named radio’s most played country artist, thanks to #1 hits such as “Sweet Thing,” “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” “Better Life” and “Days Go By.”  In addition, his 2002 smash “Somebody Like You” was named the #1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS (based on radio airplay and audience impressions).

    But Urban’s reputation as an elite songwriter, musician, vocalist and virtuoso guitarist is no more evident than when he is onstage.  His electrifying concerts have played to sold-out venues from Australia to Germany to England to Canada and The United States, all while receiving high praise from critics. In fact, 2009’s Escape Together World Tour, as well as 2007’s Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour, were both, according to Pollstar, one of the top grossing tours for their respective years.  Last year, his Get Closer 2011 World Tour solidified Urban as one of the music industry’s best live performers.  As one accredited journalist put it, “Urban is one of the best reasons in the world to attend a live concert.”