Return to Countryville

Sunday, May 31, 2009

'George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All-Star Concert'

Durable George Strait
Monty Btinton / CBS
DURABLE: The honoree of "George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All-Star Concert" with his wife, Norma.
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Alan Jackson and others honor the country music hit maker, and it all makes for good TV.
By Randy Lewis
May 27, 2009
Honoring elders always has been a cornerstone of country music, a trait that makes for good TV in "George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All-Star Concert," airing tonight on CBS.

The two-hour program, filmed last month in Las Vegas the night after the Academy of Country Music's latest award ceremony, is packed with current country stars who were in town for that event, among them Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Miranda Lambert and Toby Keith.

They even roped in Jamie Foxx, introduced as "a man who has won absolutely no Academy of Country Music awards," but who turns out to have been a Strait fan as a kid growing up in Texas.


Billy Currington "Crazy" Over New Single

Billy Currington photo by Danny Clinch, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

May 29, 2009 — Billy Currington edged his way into the Top 15 this week on the USA Today country singles chart with "People Are Crazy," a song that's turned plenty of heads among his fans and in the business.
And Billy pretty much predicted that would happen. The hook — "God is great, beer is good and people are crazy" — has a simple, unique twist. And it even stands out in a list of songs.
"I loved the title alone," Billy told The Norfolk Daily News. "It's so true because we are all crazy in our own ways. When I first saw the title of the song, it made me smile. I just couldn't wait to hear it."
In the end, of course, one of the characters in the song dies, leaving a bundle of cash to someone he spoke to only once in a bar. It's darkly humorous, but it's also insightful about the human condition.
"You never know who you're talking to and how you affect them with whatever you said or did in that short time — and what's going to become of it after that," Billy noted. "In this case, the guy ends up with quite a few million dollars."
The "People Are Crazy" video currently ranks at No. 5 on GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown. Billy will the song when he opens for Sugarland Friday in Kansas City and when he headlines Saturday at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth.

"Carrie Underwood" Goes Missing

March 15, 2008 - Randy Travis surprises Carrie Underwood during her Opry performance to invite her to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry! Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry.

May 29, 2009 — Given the success Carrie Underwood is enjoying with her remake of Randy Travis' "I Told You So," she might want to consider a cover of Ferlin Husky's "Gone" as she records her third album. It would be appropriate: The sign that once welcomed visitors to the "Home of Carrie Underwood" is gone from the city limits.
Four signs recognizing her local connection were posted along Interstate 40 and U.S. 69 in Checotah, Okla., in August 2005, just months after Carrie won American Idol. But, according to The Oklahoman, each of the green markers was taken down.
Rejected by her hometown? Not at all. As it turns out, the signs were given to Checotah by Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, but the state's Department of Transportation c ode does not allow them to remain on state property longer than two years. Once they came down, the state gave the prideful plaques to Checotah. It's possible they could be erected again, but they would have to be posted on city property.
The city of Nashville will be Carrie's focus in the near future. She's currently working on her third album, and she plans to sign autographs during the CMA Music Festival June 11-14. Among other artists who'll pen their names for fans during the festival: Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Gretchen Wilson and the Lost Trailers.

Darryl Worley Visits GAC’s Top 20

Darryl Worley photo courtesy of

May 29, 2009 — Darryl Worley's got a new album on the way, and he'll join host Nan Kelley to talk about it on this weekend's edition of GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown.
The title track, "Sounds Like Life To Me," is about resilience in everyday events, and Darryl appropriately demonstrated plenty of personal strength at a recent show in Montana when wind gusts blew a microphone stand into his head, requiring seven stitches. According to The Tennessean, Darryl had to visit the hospital but came back to continue the concert for the fans who waited for his return.
The Sounds Like Life album arrives June 9.
Top 20 Country Countdown counts down the week's top country videos from No. 20 to No. 1 as voted by viewers on each week on A new countdown premieres every Friday at 8 p.m. ET on GAC and airs again Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET ; Sundays at 1 p.m. ET; and Mondays at 10 a.m. ET. Viewers can vote for their favorite videos, as well as purchase Top 20 artists' albums and ringtones at
1. Carrie Underwood "I Told You So"
2. Kellie Pickler "Best Days Of Your Life"
3. Taylor Swift "You Belong With Me"
4. Lady Antebellum "I Run To You"
5. Billy Currington "People Are Crazy"
6. Miley Cyrus "The Climb"
7. Alan Jackson "Sissy's Song"
8. Trace Adkins "Marry For Money"
9. Jason Aldean "She's Country"
10. Rascal Flatts "Here Comes Goodbye"
11. Kenny Chesney "Out Last Night"
12. Dierks Bentley "Sideways"
13. Taylor Swift "White Horse"
14. Darius Rucker "It Won't Be Like This For Long"
15. Rodney Atkins "It's America"
16. Billy Ray Cyrus "Back To Tennessee"
17. Zac Brown Band "Whatever It Is"
18. Gloriana "Wild At Heart"
19. John Rich "Shuttin' Detroit Down"
20. Dolly Parton "Backwoods Barbie"

Jason Michael Carroll Writes Stress Away

Jason Michael Carroll performs at the "Country Kickstart Show" at the Greased Lightning Riverfront Daytime Stages Thursday, June 5 in Downtown Nashville during the 2008 CMA Music Festival. Photographer: Theresa Montgomery / CMA

May 29, 2009 — The life of a country singer is anything but normal: It requires large chunks of time away from home and traveling from city to city in a way that almost guarantees something will go wrong every single day in an unfamiliar place. It's packed with stress, but Jason Michael Carroll has found a good way to counter that.
"Part of my stress relief," he told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader, "is to write music."
Jason's musical past was initially restricted. His father was a preacher and forbid listening to anything but gospel. Nonetheless, Jason found Aerosmith and country music and set a pattern for his current path, including his recently released sophomore album, Growing Up Is Getting Old. The job does indeed have its drawbacks, but he's not complaining.
"Having a wife and kids at home while I'm on the road is definitely difficult," he said, "but this job is the only thing that I've been able to do with a 100% commitment. This is, without a doubt, the best thing that I can do for my family."
Jason will be on hand with many of his fellow artists during the CMA Music Festival in Nashville next month. He's slated to play a stage at Riverfront Park on his birthday, June 13, when the bill will also feature Tracy Byrd, Emerson Drive, Jo Dee Messina, Keith Anderson and Chris Young, among others.

Gary Allan Stalking Case in Court

Gary Allan photo courtesy of MCA Nashville.

May 28, 2009 — Gary Allan went to court in a Nashville suburb Wednesday with hopes that legal action would end what his attorney says is four years of stalking by an obsessed woman.
Gary was on hand at the Sumner County Court in Gallatin as Katherine Walker admitted to vandalizing his property earlier this month. According to The Hendersonville Star News, she told the judge she "lost it" when she believed Gary was going to meet her at a bar for drinks. Instead, she discovered another woman's vehicle outside his home and proceeded to toss potted plants, throw a heater off a second-floor balcony and dump patio furniture in his pool. She also admitted to taking the auto registration and a miniskirt from the other woman's vehicle.
Security footage from Gary's house allegedly identifies the 47-year-old woman. He maintains she has shown up multiple times at his home and embarrassed him publicly at a local club. Katherine originally chased Gary's guitar player, Jake Kelly, Gary's attorney said, until Jake left the band four years ago. Gary says she began harrassing him at that time, though Katherine told reporters that the singer had in fact been stalking her for the past two years.
"He's really, really hurt me," she insisted, "and basically ruined my life."
She is accused of stalking, vandalism and burglary, among other charges. In addition, the court ordered her not to contact Gary or his associates. He is expected to file a civil lawsuit, perhaps on Thursday, to keep her away permanently.
A grand jury is slated to hear the case July 24.

Sammy Kershaw Considers Another Political Run

May 29, 2009 — In October 2007, Sammy Kershaw got taken to the cleaners when he ran for lieutenant governor in the state of Louisiana. Despite the loss, he's mulling a return to the ballot.
"I'm seriously thinking about 2011," he told The Monroe News Star. "That's the job I want. I know I can do that job better than anybody ever has. It's an entertainment job, a promotional job for the state of Louisiana. It's not exactly a political office. It's about bringing in tourism, promoting the people, all parts of entertainment, the different cultures. I believe — I don't just believe, I know — I would be the best at it."
The first time around, Sammy finished second in the voting, pulling in a mere 30% at precincts. But he figures he learned a little something from the experience. He entered the race late, and he didn't make it his only focus.
"I didn't stop doing music, even during the campaign," he said.
The 2011 election is still more than two years away, and Sammy is keeping his focus on music for now. He's finishing work on an album that should be out in the coming months with the working title Better Than I Used To Be.

Taylor Swift Undeterred by Fame

Taylor Swift photo by Anthony Joseph Baker, courtesy of Big Machine Records.

May 28, 2009 — With her position in the limelight, Taylor Swift has developed a number of friendships with other famous young women, including Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus.
It's a unique situation. Oftentimes, they're vying for the same magazine covers or competing with each other to get sales from their audience, which has a lot of overlap. The business competition, however, does not interfere with their personal relationships.
"I've always approached this from the place where I don't compete with other girls," Taylor told the Associated Press. "I don't compete with other people in the industry, I compete with myself. If I looked at every other girl in the entertainment industry as competition, my life would be really lonely. I wouldn't have some of the coolest friends that I'm so glad I've gotten to know over the last couple of years. ... It's really awesome to get to hang out with those girls and to call them friends."
Her friendship with Kellie has been particularly satisfying for Taylor as she conducts the first headlining tour of her career. Kellie is the opening act, and they're making good use of the time.
"She and I will like sit in the dressing room 'til 2 or 3 a.m. just talking and painting our nails," Taylor said. "It's so much fun to just have another person out on tour with you that you know you're so close with and you've known you for a really long time, to the point where you really just feel like they're family."
Kellie ran into a health problem this week, and it forced her to cancel a pair of shows in Salt Lake City and San Juan Pueblo, N.M.
"I've been coughing like crazy, my throat is on fire, and I've pretty much lost most of my voice," Kellie wrote in her MySpace blog. "I feel like it's only a matter of time before I cough up a lung. Anyhow, I met with a doctor today, and he said that I had bronchitis. I just started an antibiotic, and so it should kick in soon, hopefully."
She's got plenty of time before she and Taylor resume the Fearless Tour. The next round of dates comes June 11-13 in Columbia, Md.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Camden, N.J.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mindy McCready Selected for Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew

Mindy McCready has been selected as a cast member for the new season of the VH1 reality series, Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew. Hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky, the season will consist of eight episodes that follow the real-life experiences of celebrity patients undergoing detoxification and treatment at the Pasadena Recovery Center. Joining McCready are actress Mackenzie Phillips (One Day at a Time), former Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss, NBA great Dennis Rodman, Lisa D'Amato (America's Next Top Model), former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, former Miss United States Teen Kari Ann Peniche and Joey Kovar (Real World Hollywood). McCready, who scored a No. 1 country hit in 1996 with "Ten Thousand Angels," was arrested in 2004 for fraudulently procuring a prescription painkiller. In 2005, she was charged with driving under the influence but convicted only of driving with a suspended license. The new season of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew is scheduled to premiere in early 2010.

Grand Jury to Consider Case of Gary Allan's Alleged Stalker

Singer Appears at Hearing but Does Not Testify
Gary Allan
Gary Allan
Although singer Gary Allan and his alleged stalker, Katherine Walker, sat only a few feet apart in a Gallatin, Tenn., courtroom Wednesday morning (May 27), they never got to face each other in front of a judge.

Police in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tenn., arrested Walker May 4 and charged her with burglarizing and vandalizing Allan's home as well as stalking him.

In court, Walker asked General Sessions Judge James Hunter to appoint an attorney to represent her. After that was done, she agreed to forego a preliminary hearing and have her case bound over to a grand jury to determine if she will be indicted for the offenses.

The judge ordered Walker not to make any contact with Allan, his family or his property and warned her that any violation of the order will land her in jail.

None of the evidence Allan's lawyer, Bill Ramsey, compiled against Walker was presented during the hearing, but samples of it were handed out afterward to the media. It included copies of menacing messages Walker allegedly posted on MySpace and a DVD of a surveillance tape showing a figure who looks like Walker vandalizing Allan's property.

Following the hearing, Ramsey told reporters that Allan has also filed a civil suit against Walker to buttress the criminal charges.

"He just wants [the stalking] to be over," Ramsey said.

John Rich Charged With Assault

Posted May 29th 2009 10:00AM by Beville Darden
Filed under: Country News

John Rich turned himself into police Thursday to face misdemeanor charges of assault and harassment filed by former 'Nashville Star' contestant Jared Ashley.

The charges stem partly from an alleged altercation at Rich's private Nashville nightclub, The Spot, where Ashley claims the country mogul punched him in the face. Rich insists that he simply had security throw the aspiring singer out, as he was in the club without permission.

"This entire ridiculous situation is nothing more than an effort by Jared Ashley and Music Row attorney Chris Sevier, to try to obtain money from me," Rich writes in a statement obtained by "Mr. Sevier and Mr. Ashley have falsely accused me of misdemeanor crimes. I trust that the truth will come out through the process of our American justice system and that I will be completely exonerated at the end of the day."

The feud between the two singers has been brewing for a few years. Rich once accused Ashley of breaking into his Nashville home -- a claim Ashley vehemently denies. Just one day after the incident at The Spot, Ashley posted a YouTube video of his performance at a downtown Nashville honkeytonk, during which Rich gets up on stage and interrupts the set. And in April, Rich sued Ashley for defamation, taking Ashley to task for saying in a radio interview that Rich had punched him.

"It's unfortunately common in my line of work that there are a very small number of people who want to take advantage of another person's success and try to get something for nothing," Rich says in his prepared statement. "I truly did make every effort to work this out in connection with the defamation lawsuit I filed against Mr. Ashley."

Rich explains that he turned himself in to police because he'd rather defend himself through the law than try to settle with Ashley.

"I decided that a civil settlement would be impossible due to the fact that Mr. Ashley and his attorney demanded that I pay Jared Ashley 2.9 million dollars, even though he is the one who has defamed me," Rich insists.

Rich was released Thursday on $3,000 bond.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gary Allan Has Courtroom Drama

Gary Allan photo courtesy of Universal Music Group Nashville.

May 26, 2009 — Gary Allan has established a dedicated fan base, but one of his admirers has allegedly crossed the line in her obsession with the singer. He'll encounter her face-to-face Wednesday in a Tennessee courtroom.
Gary's house was burglarized and vandalized May 2, and Hendersonville police arrested Katherine Walker 12 days later in conjunction with the incident.
A hearing is slated at the Sumner County Court House in Gallatin, and Gary is expected to attend as evidence is presented in an attempt to document a four-year pattern of stalking.
Female acts are most typically the victims of stalkers, though Gary's not the only male country singer who's made the news with legal proceedings against obsessive women. The late Bill Monroe and Eddy Arnold likewise filed charges against inappropriate fans.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Montgomery Gentry Hangs on "Top 20"

Montgomery Gentry on the set of GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown with host Nan Kelley on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. Photo by Cheryl Ecton.

May 22, 2009 — With a three-day weekend on tap, Montgomery Gentry is a very appropriate guest as the duo joins host Nan Kelley on this weekend's edition of GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown.
The band's party anthem "One In Every Crowd" is currently at No. 6 on the USA Today Mediabase country chart, joining such raucous MG staples as "Hell Yeah," "My Town" and "Gone." That upbeat kind of song is essential in helping Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry establish their personalities.
"We'll sing about the serious stuff, but we also like to sing stuff about havin' fun," Eddie says. "I reckon the easiest way to put it is: sing about the good, the bad, the ugly and the party on the weekend. Every once in a while, man, you want to kind of forget how much this whole week cost you and get out and just hang loose and let it fly."
Top 20 Country Countdown counts down the week's top country videos from No. 20 to No. 1 as voted by viewers on each week on A new countdown premieres every Friday at 8 p.m. ET on GAC and airs again Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET; Sundays at 1 p.m. ET; and Mondays at 10 a.m. ET. Viewers can vote for their favorite videos, as well as purchase Top 20 artists' albums and ringtones at
1. Kellie Pickler "Best Days Of Your Life"
2. Carrie Underwood "I Told You So"
3. Rascal Flatts "Here Comes Goodbye"
4. Taylor Swift "You Belong With Me"
5. Lady Antebellum "I Run To You"
6. Alan Jackson "Sissy's Song"
7. Miley Cyrus "The Climb"
8. Taylor Swift "White Horse"
9. Trace Adkins "Marry For Money"
10. Jason Aldean "She's Country"
11. Billy Currington "People Are Crazy"
12. Darius Rucker "It Won't Be Like This For Long"
13. Kenny Chesney "Out Last Night"
14. Dierks Bentley "Sideways"
15. Billy Ray20 Cyrus "Back To Tennessee"
16. Rodney Atkins "It's America"
17. Dolly Parton "Backwoods Barbie"
18. John Rich "Shuttin' Detroit Down"
19. Zac Brown Band "Whatever It Is"
20. Gloriana "Wild At Heart"

Trace Adkins Honors Wounded Warriors

Trace Adkins pictured at the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 8, 2009. B) Sara De Boer / Retna Ltd.

May 22, 2009 — Trace Adkins views his performance of "'Til The Last Shot's Fired" as one of the high points of his recording career, and it's a big part of his plans this weekend as he sings it in a Memorial Day concert and has pegged sales of a recent performance for the Wounded Warrior Project.
"Last Shot" pays homage to American soldiers from the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and the war in Afghanistan, and Trace is set to deliver a version of it during the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.
Trace's rendition of "Last Shot" during April's "44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards", featuring the West Point Glee Club, is20currently available for download via iTunes, with proceeds slated to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
He's not the only country star contributing to the organization. Montgomery Gentry has a 12-track album, For Our Heroes, available at Cracker Barrel stores beginning Monday to raise money for Wounded Warrior.

Brad Paisley Improves with Repetition

Brad Paisley stopped by the GAC studio on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 and clowned around with (l-r): GAC hosts Suzanne Alexander and Storme Warren; GAC Sr. VP of Programming, Sarah Trahern; and GAC host Nan Kelley. Photo by Cheryl Ecton.

May 22, 2009 — Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Paisley-Williams, expanded their family last month with the birth of Jasper, but raising a boy is no longer the daunting challenge it was not so long ago.
Brad and Kim's first son, Huck, is two years old, so they've gained a little experience as parents. As a result, Brad finds the job a lot less stressful.
"It's easier this time," he says. "You just know what you're doin' a little more and you don't feel like you're gonna blow it as much as you do the first time. And your hands are full, so you don't have as much time to worry about things, and it's great. It's actually a lot easier, I think, the second time around."
Not that Brad is always able to help out. He'll be gone from home often this summer as he launches his American Saturday Night Tour June 5. Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne are supporting acts on the package, which debuts in Charlotte.

Joe Nichols Makes "Impossible" Impression

Joe Nichols on the Grand Ole Opry stage in April 2008. 2008 Copyright Grand Ole Opry® Photo by Chris Hollo, Hollo Photographics.

May 22, 2009 — A simple song can make a huge impression, and Joe Nichols was reminded of that fact when he used his stardom to help a STARS program at a school in South Carolina.
A class at the John T. Simpson Alternative School in Easley had undertaken a letter writing campaign to get Joe's attention after the teacher, Sonya Boyles, used Joe's 2002 hit "The Impossible" to encourage the kids in her Students Taking Active Responsibility (STARS) class. Joe was on his way to a show in Asheville, N.C., and got in touch with Sonya to arrange a visit on just one day's notice.
"These kids find themselves in a situation not of their making," Joe says. "I think it's great that their teacher is trying to teach them that nothing is impossible, and that you should never give up. And she didn't [give up] with me. Heck, I felt like if I didn't get over to the school and do this performance for the kids, she'd put it on my permanent record! It was a trip we were happy to make, and I applaud Sonya and her students for their hard work."
The positive message Joe set up with "The Impossible," his first hit, continues to make waves. Not only is that song still having an emotional impact on fans, his current single "Believers" likewise puts an inspirational spin on moving through life. And Joe is getting set to do something he might once have thought was impossible: He'll be taking the lead role in Pure Country when the George Strait film debuts as a Broadway production next year.

Eli Young Band Hits New Plateau

Eli Young Band photo courtesy of Universal Records South.

May 22, 2009 — Nearly nine years after the Eli Young Band played its first live show, the group's dedication is paying off as its current single, "Always The Love Songs," eased into the No. 10 position on the USA Today Mediabase country chart.
It marks the first time the Texas-based foursome has reached the Top 10, and after making a huge impression in the South as a touring act, it represents a new level of acceptance with mainstream country radio, one of the most important outlets for the genre.
"The four of us are extremely excited to have a Top 10," lead singer Mike Eli says. "It feels like we've been embraced by the listeners who've responded to our sound and called into their local radio stations. This is a great first step to growing our fan base and building our career."
This weekend, EYB has a full slate with a Friday show in Chicago, a Saturday concert in Cincinnati and a Sunday commitment in Colorado Springs.

Buddy & Julie Miller Lead Americana Nominees

Buddy and Julie Miller photo courtesy of New West Records.

May 21, 2009 — Buddy & Julie Miller's Written In Chalk album took the couple to the head of the class as nominees for the eighth annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards were announced Wednesday in Nashville.
Written is a finalist for Album of the Year, the track "Chalk" is in the running for Song of the Year, and Buddy & Julie were tabbed for Duo Group of the Year. In addition to those three nominations, Buddy picked up two additional bits of recognition as a contender for both Artist and Instrumentalist of the Year.
Written In Chalk — which included guest appearances by Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Robert Plant, who took two trophies at last September's Americana Honors — was a critics' favorite upon its release in March, though it emerged at a crucial time for Buddy. Just weeks before it hit the market, he suffered a heart attack and had to undergo bypass surgery during a tour with Emmylou, Patty and Shawn Colvin.
Justin Townes Earle tied Julie for second on the Americana nominee slate with three nods, while Alejandro Escovedo, the Flatlanders, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson copped two apiece.
The Americana Music Association Honors & Awards will be presented at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium Sept. 17.
The complete list of nominees follows:
Real Animal, Alejandro Escovedo
Written in Chalk, Buddy & Julie Miller
Jason Isbell & The 40 Unit, Jason Isbell & The 40 Unit
Midnight At The Movies, Justin Townes Earle
• Alejandro Escovedo
• Buddy Miller
• Justin Townes Earle
• Raul Malo
• Buddy Miller
• Gurf Morlix
• Jerry Douglas
• Sam Bush
• Band of Heathens
• Belleville Outfit
• Justin Townes Earle
• Sarah Borges
• "Chalk," written by Julie Miller, performed by Buddy Miller & Patty Griffin
• "Country Love," written & performed by the Gourds
=E 2 "Homeland Refugee," written by Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock, performed by the Flatlanders
• "Rattlin' Bones" written & performed by Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
• "Sex And Gasoline," written & performed by Rodney Crowell
• Buddy & Julie Miller
• Flatlanders
• Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
• Reckless Kelly

Vince Gill, Amy Grant Will Host Concert for Disabled Veterans

Vince Gill and Amy Grant will host a benefit concert for disabled veterans on June 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The event will launch their new national initiative, Challenge America, an outgrowth of Challenge Aspen that helps wounded soldiers return to a daily routine through sports. Other artists scheduled to perform at the concert include American Idol's Melinda Doolittle, Alison Krauss, Michael McDonald and Darius Rucker.

Carrie Underwood Is American Idol's Top Earner

Carrie Underwood earned an estimated $14 million last year, making her the year's top earner among American Idol contestants, according to Forbes magazine. The tally reflects her touring income, recording royalties and endorsement deals. Jennifer Hudson comes in second with an estimated $5 million, followed by Kelly Clarkson with $4.2 million. Kellie Pickler came in fifth, with $2.3 million, due to strong album sales and her Sexy Hair product endorsement deal.

Taylor Swift Accepts BMI President's Award in L.A.

Taylor Swift accepted the BMI President's Award on Tuesday night (May 19) in Los Angeles during a gala ceremony honoring the year's top songwriters. According to a press release, the award "honors an exceptional person in the entertainment industry deserving of special recognition." Swift also earned a BMI Pop Award for her crossover hit, "Teardrops on My Guitar." Swift is currently on her first headlining tour. Upcoming dates include shows Friday (May 22) in Los Angeles and Saturday (May 23) in Las Vegas.

NASHVILLE SKYLINE: New Sounds From Holly Williams and Del McCoury

Plus the Tractors, Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Earle, Steve Wariner and More
Nashville Skyline
Nashville Skyline
(NASHVILLE SKYLINE is a column by CMT/ Editorial Director Chet Flippo.)

This has been a listening week for me. Here are some of the sounds I've been enjoying.

Del McCoury, Del McCoury: Celebrating 50 Years: The great bluegrass innovator celebrates his 50th year in music with a nice, thick boxed set of 50 of his favorites from over the years -- most of which he recently re-recorded. Richard Thompson's great song "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" will endure forever.

Holly Williams, Here With Me: This CD is growing and growing on me. Holly has an indefinable quality to her voice that can intrigue and then hook you. Hank Williams' granddaughter has an elegant clothing store in Nashville and records music that is just as elegant. How wonderful.

The Tractors, Trade Union: How about some pure blue-collar, meat-and-potatoes, good-time music with a strong backbone? This is serious music. The world needs more Tractors and Leon Russell boogie. Head Tractor Steve Ripley reminds everyone that Oklahoma does rock.

Kenny Chesney, Greatest Hits II: Kenny is getting this youth-romantic-angst-thing down into a nice groove. "Anything but Mine" remains a personal favorite. I ran into some Parrothead friends the other night who said they're shifting their allegiance from Jimmy to Kenny.

Scott H. Biram, Something's Wrong/Lost Forever: Alt-country's great musical misfit has a whole album full of satisfying musical rants. "Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue" is a song I play often. I still haven't caught him live in concert, but I will.

The Oak Ridge Boys, The Boys Are Back: It's always risky to shift musical direction, but the Oaks are headed there, and the audience jury is still out on this new CD. I especially like the Jamey Johnson composition, "Mama's Table."

Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music: This re-issue of one of the most important and influential country records ever made is a cause for celebration. If you've never heard it, you're in for pure musical pleasure. First released in 1962, this music is so rich and textured, it serves to remind you that in the pre-digital age, artists paid careful attention to what they were doing, and great care was often taken with the recording. And it shows in the grooves.

J.B. Beverly & the Wayward Drifters, Watch America Roll By: Without trying to sound retro, Beverly manages to evoke the musical spirit and legacy of the late Hank Snow. Which is a very good thing.

Steve Wariner, My Tribute to Chet Atkins: What a musical treasure in hearing one great guitarist salute the greatest country guitar player ever. Wariner is one of only four guitarists that Atkins honored with his title of "c.g.p." ("certified guitar player"). The other three are Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles and the late Jerry Reed.

Steve Earle, Townes: A music master's nod to his own musical master, Townes Van Zandt. You can listen to this for weeks on end and discover new twists and turns in Townes' lyrics.

Johnny Cash, Original Sun Singles '55-'58: Twenty-four musical gems, from "Cry, Cry, Cry" to "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" in this new CD package. This amounts to a lifetime of music ... until you remember what Cash did later in his career.

Jonell Mosser, Trust Yourself: She may be Nashville's best pure singer, and she torches every living creature within a one-mile radius. I want to hear the title cut (a Bob Dylan composition) at least once a day.

Felicity Urquhart, Landing Lights: She's one of several very talented young Australian singer-songwriters who are making a name for themselves. Urquhart wrote or co-wrote all 12 cuts here. She sings with a deceptively understated style that I think could build an audience. I certainly like her.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!: The Austin-based blues band brings back the grand tradition of a high-octane, kick-ass blues outfit that's chock full of horns and energy. The current CD is a good introduction to their music.

I'm also liking what I have heard so far in advance music from the Parks, a father-son honky-tonk duo originally from Borger, Texas. You can hear some strains of Southern rock and even the Waylon-Hank Jr. thing in there. They have released a single, "As Long as You're Going My Way."

Ten Prime Alison Krauss Videos: Understated Triumphs

Subtlety Remains the Core of Her Artistic Charm
Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss
Editor's note: is commemorating Bluegrass Month with a series of feature stories on some of the genre's key players.

In at least 35 music videos (many of them shared with other artists), Alison Krauss has demonstrated that her spun-gold voice can lure viewers away from even the most stunning visuals. Then there are those endlessly eloquent eyes that brim or dim in disappointment or mischief, curiosity or numb resignation. Like her vocal delivery, Krauss' acting is exquisitely understated. There are no histrionics -- no flailing of arms or stamping of feet, no cheek-straining smiles or petulant frowns. Subtlety is the core of her artistic charm.

Among the artists who have appeared in her music videos or vice versa are Alan Jackson, Sting, Michael Johnson, the Cox Family, Shania Twain, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, Nickel Creek, Shenandoah and, most recently, Robert Plant. (Her "I'll Fly Away" video with Gillian Welch shows neither singer.) Krauss has also routinely featured her Union Station band in the videos, using them as a Greek chorus to comment instrumentally on the narrative within the songs.

Because there are no convoluted plots or profusion of characters, Krauss' videos tend to be on the simple side, both in action and location. Some of her most compelling pieces take place in and around a house (usually a mockingly beautiful one) where her emotional life is falling apart.

"When You Say Nothing at All" (1995) -- Krauss had already done five videos by the time this one came along. It stands apart from the earlier ones because it focuses so intently on her beatific facial expressions -- which is precisely what the song calls for. With its lyrical refrain, "You say it best when you say nothing at all," this could be Krauss' mantra.

"Maybe" (2000) -- Something is clearly amiss in this stately old home, with its polished floors, arched windows and antique furniture. White doves of peace fly outside, but there's a war within. Krauss sits unmoving as the man in her life packs and moves out. As he looks back from the street, she stands on a high perch silhouetted against the sky. It is for Krauss' character what Emily Dickinson described as the "hour of lead."

"The Lucky One" (2004) -- The band is playing on the porch of a ramshackle house. People are dancing in the yard. Kids are running and flirting. And there smirking among them all is the handsome cad Krauss calls "the lucky one." He's the guy whose game is about scoring and moving on. Krauss follows him with accusatory eyes, but he is unrepentant and already scouting out his next conquest.

"New Favorite" (2002) -- This is my favorite of all Krauss' videos because it implies so much emotional turmoil while showing so little of it. As the spurned woman, Krauss arrives at night at her lover's palatial hilltop home. She alights from her car, leaving the door open and the signal light blinking and walks up the hill to the house. The lover lets her in and stoically confronts her silent reproach as they sit at opposite sides of a table. Then she walks back down the hill and, one supposes, out of his life. Her wistful voice is the softest, yet most devastating, indictment of betrayal one can imagine.

"Forever and for Always" (2003) -- Strictly speaking, this is Shania Twain's video. But it deserves attention because it showcases two of the most remarkable female presences in country music. And when they blend their voices, there is magic.

"How's the World Treating You" (2003) -- In this split-screen presentation, James Taylor is bereft in one room, Krauss in another. Throughout the video, they sing this lament of separation together but without ever facing each other.

"Whiskey Lullaby" (2004) -- Krauss and Brad Paisley take turns telling this story of star-crossed lovers while real actors play it out. Their faces and voices are even more compelling than the action.

"Restless" (2005) -- Another fancy house, another night of loneliness. Here Krauss yearns for an absent lover -- or at least some lover. Abandoning her lonely rooms, she walks outside, clad in a long gown and high heels and looking to calm her restlessness. That seems an achievable goal as she steps onto a convenient streetcar and rides off into the night.

"Simple Love" (2007) -- Although this is a generic tribute to loving fathers -- Krauss didn't write the lyrics -- it looks uncannily autobiographical. That's because it uses segments of Krauss' own home movies from childhood. It is her warmest and most "country" video yet.

"Please Read the Letter" (2008) -- Pensive and love-stricken, Robert Plant moves moodily through his grand house as Krauss, dressed in a belted tunic and tights, tags along. He's importuning, she's enigmatic. It may sound a bit too contrived, but the acute sense of longing shines through.

Krauss has taken her dramatic turns in so many lovely houses that she deserves a feature in Architectural Digest.

BMI Salutes Jason Aldean and Writers of "She's Country"

Song Is Danny Myrick and Bridgette Tatum's First No. 1
Bridgette Tatum (left), Jason Aldean and Danny Myrick
Bridgette Tatum (left), Jason Aldean and Danny Myrick
Photo Credit: Steve Lowry
Jason Aldean was on hand at BMI's Nashville headquarters Tuesday (May 12) to help songwriters Danny Myrick and Bridgette Tatum celebrate their No. 1 single, "She's Country."

Aldean's recording of "She's Country" recently reached the top spot on Billboard's country songs chart.

The song is Myrick and Tatum's first No. 1 and Aldean's second.

Speaking to reporters before the party started, Aldean confirmed that he has been bypassing the usual "meet-and-greet" sessions at his concerts as a precaution against swine flu and that he will continue to do so during four impending dates in Texas, where cases of the flu have been fatal.

"When you release an album," Aldean said, alluding to the release of his third CD, Wide Open, in April, "the last thing you want to do is get sick." Besides, he added, he has a 2-year-old daughter who might be susceptible to the illness.

Aldean said one reason he believed "She's Country" had hit potential was the popularity of his debut single, "Hicktown," which has a similar theme.

Following his June 12 appearance at Nashville's LP Field during the CMA Music Festival, Aldean will hold his fourth benefit concert for breast cancer research at the Wildhorse Saloon. He said he was prompted to support this cause by the death of friend from breast cancer.

"When you have celebrity status," he said, "it would be kind of wasteful not to take advantage of it [for a good cause]."

Aldean has followed "She's Country" with the single "Big Green Tractor." He said he also has high hopes that "On My Highway," another track on the new album, will also be released as a single.

After serving as an opening act for Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, Aldean said he plans to headline several of his own shows this summer. He noted that he's still set to do "eight or nine" more shows with Urban.

Aldean seemed pleased when a reporter told him that "She's Country" has just been included in the Rock Band video game. He said he was an avid video game player.

During presentation ceremonies, BMI spokesman Clay Bradley pointed out that Aldean's albums have sold more than 3 million copies. He applauded producer Michael Knox for using Aldean's band in recording sessions rather than the usual session musicians.

Myrick and Tatum listened as a succession of award presenters praised their songwriting skills and persistence.

Of Tatum, Bradley said, "She is the character in her songs."

Songwriter Jeffrey Steele, who's Myrick's publisher, said he encountered Myrick in a coffee shop several years ago, just as he was about to abandon music and apply for a job at Home Depot.

Instead, Steele persuaded him to sign on as a staff writer at a publishing company he was forming. Myrick, a former member of the now-defunct group Western Flyer, had been in pursuit of a hit ever since.

"It's been an overnight 20-year ride," said Myrick.

"This is my first cut, y'all," Tatum burbled. "I'm freaked out."

Aldean thanked the people at his record label, Broken Bow, for "letting me do my thing and not messing with me too much."

View photos from the No. 1 party.

Jason Aldean Releasing "Big Green Tractor" as Next Single

Jason Aldean will release a new single, "Big Green Tractor," to country radio on Tuesday (May 26). It's the follow-up to "She's Country," from his latest album, Wide Open. "There's nothing more romantic than a tractor," Aldean says. "If you live in South Georgia, a Saturday night out on the tractor with your girl is probably not that far-fetched of what could be considered a good 'date night.' The song seems to be connecting already, so maybe tractors have always been romantic, and everybody just needed reminding."

Martina McBride Performs on The Bachelorette on Monday

Martina McBride will perform "Ride" and "I Just Call You Mine" on ABC's The Bachelorette on Monday (May 25). Both songs are from McBride's latest album, Shine. In the episode, this season's Bachelorette Jillian Harris and one of the show's contestants will attend a private concert at the House of Blues in Hollywood. In related news, McBride will host her annual YWCA Celebrity Auction at Hall of Fame Park in downtown Nashville on June 13.

Willie Becomes 'Texas State Musician'

Thursday, May 21, 2009 – Willie Nelson's interaction with government has not always been so positive, but he received an honor from the Texas state legislature Wednesday naming him the 2009 State Musician.
The bill said, "Honorees are chosen for the exceptional quality of their work and for their outstanding commitment to the arts in Texas; nominees must either be native Texans or have resided in the state for at least five years; in addition, they must have received critical recognition from state, regional, and national publications, and they must have attained the highest levels of excellence in their respective disciplines."
"Willie Nelson is the 2009 Texas State Musician; this legendary Texas performer was playing the guitar at the age of 6 and performing at 10; after establishing himself in Nashville as a hit songwriter, he returned to Texas and soon became world-famous as an interpreter of his own songs and as an icon of the outlaw country music movement; he has further distinguished himself as a film and television actor and entrepreneur, as well as an ever-popular touring concert artist who has been involved in numerous charity events such as FarmAid."
Nelson said, "I consider it a great honor, and I want to thank everyone who helped make it happen."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kenny Chesney’s "Young" Never Gets Old

Kenny Chesney photo courtesy of Sony BMG Nashville.

May 20, 2009 — It's been close to nine years since Kenny Chesney released his first Greatest Hits album, and as a result, his new Greatest Hits II digs way back in some cases, with "Young" dating all the way back to 2002 when it was the lead track from the album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.
The song's "woo woo" chorus was sheer fun, and its nostalgic theme was the first of several Kenny hits with backward-glancing lyrics. "Young" was also a turning point in his career.
"If I had to put my finger on one song that kinda took me to the next level and started this amazing magic-carpet ride that we've all been on over the last several years would be 'Young,'" he says. "It's still my favorite song to do live."
Fans can pretty much count on it being in the set list when Kenny cranks out a trio of concerts this coming weekend. He's set to play Greenville, S.C., Thursday; Columbia, Md., Friday; and Columbus, Ohio, S aturday. Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum open all three dates with Sugarland added for the Saturday gig at Crew Stadium.

Taylor Swift is Cost Conscious

Taylor Swift photo by Anthony Joseph Baker, courtesy of Big Machine Records.

May 20, 2009 — When Taylor Swift unveiled a line of sundresses earlier this year, she kept the prices at a modest $14 apiece. She followed a similar pricing model when she kicked off her Fearless Tour, insisting that at least some of the tickets for every show be available for an affordable $20.
Taylor's personal income has leaped into the stratosphere, but the teen-aged singer is well aware that her economic good fortune is not shared by all of her fans. And that's the biggest reason it was possible to pick up cheap seats when the shows first went on sale.
"It was really important to me to keep my prices affordable," she told The Seattle Times. "You look around and it's impossible to ignore what's going on with the economy now. I'd rather have people walk away and go, 'Wow, I got more than what I paid for.' It's a big priority to me to say thank you to the fans=2 0that got me here. I'm going to spend my whole life trying to think of ways to say thank you to them."
That's a primary motivation in her decision to return to the CMA Music Festival June 14 to sign autographs. She spent eight hours penning her name at the event last year. Others planning to sign at exhibit booths during the festival, which begins June 11, include Carrie Underwood, Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson, LeAnn Rimes, the Lost Trailers, Jack Ingram and Reba McEntire.

Kellie Pickler to Skydive with Ellen DeGeneres?

May 20, 2009 — Kellie Pickler visits Los Angeles this week to make an appearance with Taylor Swift in a sold-out concert at the famed Staples Center, and she's taking advantage of the location to get in an appearance on "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
Kellie plans to sing her current single, "The Best Days Of Your Life," when she tapes the program Wednesday.
"It's always so much fun being on Ellen's show, and they do such a great job showcasing music," Kellie says. "I've always wanted to go skydiving, and my birthday is coming so I'm going to ask Ellen to go skydiving with me! We can Twitter about it while we're plummeting towards the ground!"
The Staples Center date is part of a West Coast run that has Kellie, Taylor and Gloriana performing five shows in six days. The itinerary takes them to Phoenix on Thursday, L.A. Friday, Las Vegas Saturday, San Diego Sunday and Salt Lake City Tuesday.

Lost Trailers Lookin’ for Love

The Lost Trailers photo courtesy of Sony/BMG Nashville.

May 20, 2009 — Love is difficult to define, though philosophers say we all want it, and songwriters spend lots of time trying to figure it out for us.
The Lost Trailers' current single, "How 'Bout You Don't," embraces a recommitment to love, though the band's bass player, bachelor Manny Medina, still hasn't found it. One thing in his favor in the search: He knows what he's looking for in a relationship.
"First of all, it's something that's constantly evolving, you know, your definition of it when you're a little kid and different relationships and stuff," he told the national radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "You kind of learn from all these things. And to me love is just being comfortable with somebody, being able to be silent with somebody, and you know, obviously respect and trust, and these are things that continuously grow."
Ap propriately, "How 'Bout You Don't" has grown in popularity in the last couple months. The song is currently at No. 17 on the USA Today Mediabase country chart giving the Lost Trailers their second Top 20 hit.

Steve Wariner Heads Opry Guitar Auction

May 20, 2009 — Steve Wariner is best known as a singer and guitarist, but next month he'll become an auctioneer during the inaugural Guitars Of The Stars benefit auction at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Slated to raise money for the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund, the event takes place June 12 in the midst of the CMA Music Festival. Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Charlie Daniels, Craig Morgan, Miranda Lambert, Kellie Pickler and Pam Tillis are among the artists who've decorated guitars donated by Epiphone for the cause.
GAC's Bill Cody will emcee, and Steve will run the auction after kicking things off with a song from Steve Wariner, C.G.P.: My Tribute To Chet Atkins. The album is due June 23, and Steve will follow up with a live concert in Nashville July 7 to pay homage to his late mentor.
The Opry Trust Fund aids people in the country music community with financial and health related issues.
The Guitars Of The Stars auction is just one of several Ryman events taking place during the CMA Music Festival. Marty Stuart's eighth annual Late Night Jam raises money for MusiCares June 10 with a lineup featuring the Oak Ridge Boys, Connie Smith and Tanya Tucker, among others. Pam Tillis will be among the acts on an Opry At The Ryman matinee June 13. George Jones appears at the venue along with the Conway Twitty Musical June 14.

Montgomery Gentry in Money-Raising Mode

Montgomery Gentry photo courtesy of Sony BMG Nashville.

May 19, 2009 — Montgomery Gentry makes a pretty good living performing its rough-housing brand of country music around the U.S. They've also made an effort to bring in bucks for others of late with a charity bike ride for the Make A Wish Foundation and a new CD that aims to subsidize wounded war veterans.
The motorcycle ride took place Sunday as Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry were joined by Halfway To Hazard, "One In Every Crowd" songwriter Ira Dean and more than 100 fellow cyclists for the opening of a Harley Davidson facility in Columbia, Tenn. The group rode to the shop from the Harley outlet in Franklin, Tenn., raising $8,000 for Make A Wish and Camp Horsin' Around.
The duo has also teamed with Cracker Barrel to release For Our Heroes, a 12-track CD that earmarks money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Available at Cracker Barrel stores beginning Memorial Day, the album features five son gs that have had limited previous release, including "One Of These Days," which has never been on an album before.
"We think it's important to support the soldiers, the men and women who fight for us every day so that we can live in the freedom of this great country, the United States of America," Troy and Eddie said in a joint statement.
Montgomery Gentry appears on the Tuesday edition of the Grand Ole Opry this week with Luke Bryan, Eddy Raven, Bill Anderson, the Grascals and Little Jimmy Dickens. They'll also be featured on this weekend's installment of GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown, premiering Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

Bluegrass Singer Dale Ann Bradley Among New Album Releases

Dale Ann Bradley released a new album, Don't Turn Your Back, on Compass Records on Tuesday (May 19). The album is a mix of new songs, as well as remakes of Fleetwood Mac's "Over My Head," Patty Loveless' "Last Thing on My Mind" and Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Bradley is the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) reigning female vocalist of the year. Other new independent releases include singer-songwriter Ashley Cleveland's God Don't Never Change (Koch), Gregory Alan Isakov's This Empty Northern Hemisphere (self-released), Red Stick Ramblers' My Suitcase Is Always Packed (Sugar Hill), Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out's self-titled album (Rural Rhythm), Chris Pandolfi's Looking Glass (Sugar Hill), Angie Stevens' Queen of This Mess (Boss Koala) and the Tractors' Trade Union (Koch). Additionally, Sony Music Entertainment has digitally released Ashley Monroe's 2006 album, Satisfied, a Columbia Records project that was sidelined during Sony's corporate merger with BMG.

Kenny Chesney Releases Greatest Hits II

Kenny Chesney released his Greatest Hits II on Tuesday (May 19) on BNA Records. The collection includes his latest single, "Out Last Night," as well as collaborations with Dave Matthews ("I'm Alive"), Mac McAnally ("Down the Road") and Uncle Kracker ("When the Sun Goes Down"). Other tracks include "Young," "The Good Stuff," "There Goes My Life," "I Go Back," "Anything but Mine," "Be as You Are," "Living in Fast Forward," "Beer in Mexico," "Summertime" and "Never Wanted Nothing More." Chesney released his first Greatest Hits album in 2000.

Keith Urban, Steve Martin to Perform on American Idol Finale

Keith Urban and Steve Martin will perform Wednesday night (May 20) on American Idol's season finale. As previously announced, Carrie Underwood will perform "Home Sweet Home," this year's American Idol farewell song, during an appearance on Tuesday's (May 19) show. Details of Urban's appearance have not been announced, but Martin will play a song from The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, his bluegrass album that Rounder Records released to all music retailers on Tuesday (May 19) following an exclusive release by Martin is also scheduled to perform with the Steep Canyon Rangers in New York City on May 27 and 28. Martin will also be the featured guest during Vince Gill's portion of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on May 30.

Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift Top Nominees at 2009 CMT Music Awards

Fan Voting Resumes for the June 16 Awards Show in Nashville
Sugarland, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift have emerged as the top finalists for the 2009 CMT Music Awards. Sugarland heads the list with five nominations, and Paisley and Swift have four each.

The final nominees were announced Tuesday morning (May 19) during a CMT special hosted by Kellie Pickler and CMT's Lance Smith. Fans cast more than 2.5 million votes to determine the four finalists nominees in all categories except video of the year. The final nominees for video of the year will be announced at the beginning of the live awards show telecast on June 16.

The eight titles currently up for video of the year are considered in the tally for the final nominees. Those include Sugarland's "All I Want to Do," Paisley's "Waitin' on a Woman" and Swift's "Love Story" along with Trace Adkins' "You're Gonna Miss This," Kenny Chesney's "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," Toby Keith's "God Love Her," Kid Rock's "All Summer Long," Lady Antebellum's "Lookin' for a Good Time," Rascal Flatts' "Every Day" and Carrie Underwood's "Just a Dream."

Sugarland received two nominations for duo video of the year -- for "All I Want to Do" and "Already Gone." "Life in a Northern Town," the video of the duo's performance with Little Big Town and Jake Owen during last year's CMT Music Awards, is nominated for collaborative video and CMT performance of the year.

In addition to a video of the year nomination, Paisley's "Waitin' on a Woman" also netted him a nod for male video of the year. "Start a Band," his video with Keith Urban, is a finalist in the collaborative video division. Another of Paisley's collaborations -- one with Alan Jackson, George Strait and Dierks Bentley on "Country Boy" -- is nominated for CMT performance of the year.

Fans can now vote online at through June 14 to determine the winners. After the video of the year nominees are announced at the beginning of the awards show, fans in the eastern and central time zones only can vote at and via text on their Verizon Wireless phones throughout the live telecast to determine the night's big winner.

The 2009 CMT Music Awards will be held at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville. Performers include Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Def Leppard.

View a complete list of nominees and vote for your favorites in the 2009 CMT Music Awards.


Return to Countryville