Hunter Hayes burst onto the music scene with the hit song “Storm Warning” and now he’s hitting the radio waves with a new tune called “Wanted.”
I don’t know if Keith Urban has any influence on him, but I can see Keith recording this song. It’s very raw and the video is very cool. The production quality of the video is stunning and Hunter’s voice sounds like butter.
Check out his new video and comment…
Most of us haven’t heard Keith Urban sing since before Christmas when he had vocal chord surgery…but we all got a taste of how he is recuperating with his performance at the ACM Awards a week or so ago. His new song is off the Act of Valor soundtrack. The song, “For You,” was written especially for the movie which chronicles and pays tribute to the Navy SEALS. Not only is the song very beautifully written and part of a very special film, but all proceeds from the song will go to the Navy SEAL Foundation, which serves to support SEAL families and their parent commands by easing financial burdens, establishing support networks, and funding command sponsored activities.
Check out the music video for “For You.” I also recommend watching Keith’s ACM performance as well.
One of my favorite bachelors is no longer on the market…Jake Owen proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend. If you check out some of Jake’s latest music videos you might just spot the future Mrs. Jake Owen…her name is Lacey Buchanan and she’s starred in Jake’s videos for “Eight Second Ride” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.”
The act was completely spontaneous…there was no ring, just Jake on bended knee. He popped the question after singing his hit song “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You.” I’m sure he had family members in crowd, considering he was performing in his hometown of Vero Beach, FL on Easter weekend. Congrats!
Check out fan footage of Jake’s proposal…
Carrie Underwood was front and center at this year’s ACM Awards…she was not only nominated but she opened the show with her new single “Good Girl.”
On the red carpet, Carrie talked to Extra about the future with her husband Mike Fisher and how they are in no rush to start a family. “I’m good right now. As long as he’s playing [hockey] and I’m doing this, it doesn’t make sense…so no babies,” Carrie said. The couple has been married since 2010 and she’s been super busy, so motherhood isn’t something she’s thinking about right now.
She told Extra, “I have my best friend around me all the time. Everybody’s like ‘the first year is the hardest’ and I’m like, ‘that’s it? That was the hardest? Come on, you can do better than that!’ It’s great; he’s wonderful.”
In other Carrie news, besides the release of her new album on May 1, she’s been rumored to be a new judge on Simon Cowell’s show X Factor. However, Carrie has made it quite clear that she would ever turn her back on the show that made her a superstar…American Idol. In the same red carpet interview with Extra, Carrie said, “I think it’s great that Simon has the X Factor show, and I love seeing all of these shows giving nobodies a big opportunity. But I’m an Idol girl all the way. That’s the one that I love and watch. I can’t see myself being a part of any other show like that.”
I’m totally okay with Carrie waiting to have children…I would just like to see her decide on what she’s doing this summer. Is she going to tour to support this new album? I’ll bet she’ll be at the iHeartRadio concert in Las Vegas in September…but what about an arena tour or something. Maybe she’ll wait until this fall…but make some sort of announcement. I also think it’s about time she return to Idol. A J.Lo/Carrie song would be awesome! What do you think?
I’ve been waiting to see how Lady Antebellum would tackle making a music video for one of my favorite songs of theirs…”Dancin’ Away With My Heart.” I really don’t know how the heck they write these fantastic songs. They way they craft the songs around both Hillary and Charles’ voices is spectacular. This song is not only relatable but is one of those tunes you would wave your lighter in the air to at a concert. I get lost in the song every time I hear it…I’m taken right back to high school and thoughts of how much things can change in one summer run through my head. I don’t know if this video was really what I was expecting or even wanted for this song. I’m a fan for getting a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes and the concert footage used in the music video but I was hoping for more of a storyline based video. Take a look at the video and share your thoughts.
If you like country music then you probably caught the Academy of Country Music Awards last night…if not, I’ll sum up my favorite part of the show…THE PERFORMANCES. Many artists debuted new music, whether new singles or music from new albums. I think the music this year was very fresh and wasn’t repetitive from many of the last award shows.
Carrie Underwood opened the show with a performance of her new song, “Good Girl,” from her upcoming album Blown Away. Carrie’s fourth album hits shelves on May 1. There hasn’t been a tour announced for this summer yet, but the iHeartRadio Music Festival organizers told the media today that there would be another event this September and hopefully Carrie will be reprising her performance again. Check out Carrie’s performance below…I wasn’t too impressed by this one, she still blows away a lot of the other vocalists even for a “bad” performance, but she seemed winded at times. She makes up for it by her stunning looks and awesome stage presence…decide for yourself and leave a comment below.
Another great performance of a new song is Eric Church’s “Springsteen” off his amazing record Chief. If you’re not a fan of Eric’s yet, you need to start listening to him NOW. I think this song will be a summer hit, people just need to give him a listen and they’ll be hooked. Eric took part in the annual pre-ACM tradition of playing to hundreds of fans at the Fremont Street fan concert this year. The video below is from that show, but he also sang the song during the award show telecast. Take a listen and see how much he interacts with his audience…once you see how fun his show are, download or buy his album, you won’t regret it.
One of my favorite performances of the evening was with Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. By now everyone knows they are touring together this summer, but it was news to me (until last night) that they recorded a song together. “Feel Like A Rockstar” is off Kenny’s upcoming album Welcome To The Fishbowl. It’s definitely a departure from Kenny’s laid-back, beach approach to music…which he’s successfully taken advantage of in the last decade, but certainly didn’t upset any fans who most likely enjoyed the performance last night. It’s clear Tim and Kenny will be having one helluva good time this summer and for those of you who have a ticket to any of those shows you are in for a good time. Watch the video below and let me know what your think.
The last of the performances that I’m highlighting is Rascal Flatts. Their new single, “Bango,” hit the radio a few weeks ago and the group sang a great rendition of the tune with banjo-afficionado, comedian Steve Martin. The band’s new album called Changed features the new hit, but minus any Steve Martin banjo playing. It’s a good tune but nothing spectacular. The group has been over-shadowed the last few years by Lady Antebellum and this song isn’t going to make a run good enough to pass them. I think people will like it because it’s catchy but if you want to win back any old Flatts fans that have become Lady A fans…they’re going to need to try a little harder. Judge for yourself and leave a comment below.
Other notable performances:
-Chris Young was on par with his performance of “Save Water, Drink Beer.” It’s a departure from his last few singles…”Voices,” “Tomorrow,” or “You”…but definitely still connects with fans.
-Zac Brown Band hit the stage to sing “Whiskey’s Gone” and was joined by Brad Paisley in a great guitar matchup that made for a great unexpected collaboration.
-Miranda Lambert pulled on the heartstrings with the Blake Shelton-penned tune “Over You.”
-I loved, loved, loved the new song from The Band Perry…”Postcard From Paris”…if you haven’t gotten their album, go get it!
-Jason Aldean (who was robbed of the Best Album) performed “Fly Over States.”
-A Bono-endorsement for Dierks Bentley was well-deserved for his tune “Home.” Another great album, if you don’t already have it.
-I don’t need an excuse to watch Luke Bryan…ever. Even though “I Don’t Want This Night To End” has been out for a while now, I still thoroughly enjoyed the performance. I think he sounded great, maybe even the best sounding artist of the night.
-Lady Antebellum also sang my favorite song of theirs…”Dancing Away With My Heart.” This trio is the best around and whether they are singing the alphabet or one of their hit songs, I will still be listening.
There were other great performances but I think I summed up the best-of-the-best. I was a little bummed we didn’t hear Taylor Swift or Sugarland or even co-host Reba McEntire…but the on-stage wedding with Martina McBride and Train’s Pat Monahan or the country take-over of Lionel Richie or the odd appearance of rock legends KISS…there was certainly something for everyone.
If you’ve been wondering why there hasn’t been a post in a while…I’m working on changing up my blog, on April 2 you will see a new look and new content…STAY TUNED!
2011 brought many news stories to the country music world. Whether it was good or bad, stars made an impact either with marriages, an awards sweep or personal happenings. I’ve recapped some of the news stories this year in this blog, but check out my list of the top stories to 2011 to catch you up on what went down this year.
5. Award Show Dominations
Some of this year’s big winners include Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Jason Aldean…they each had a HUGE year.
Taylor Swift…she won ACM and CMA Entertainer of the Year. Plus was named Artist of the Year at the AMA Awards and was named Billboard Music’s Woman of the Year. It really doesn’t get much better than that…top honors at almost all the music award shows sums up a fabulous year. In total, Taylor took home 11 awards this year. Plus, topped the list of tours by country artists for her Speak Now World Tour.
Lady Antebellum…cleaned house at this year’s Grammy Awards. The massive crossover hit “Need You Now” helped the group take home five trophies. They swept the country categories and the tune won Song and Record of the Year in the all-genre categories.
Jason Aldean…stepped into the spotlight with big wins at the CMA and ACA Awards. He took home a top honor of Album of the Year for My Kinda Party and for Musical Event of the Year for the very successful duet with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” Then he hit it big at the ACA being named Artist of the Year. He took home five other awards that night.
4. Wedding of the Year
Two stars collided when Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert tied the knot this year. The May 14 nuptials included a who’s-who of the music industry. Miranda wore her mother’s dress and the wedding make their five year relationship official. Besides getting married this year, both Blake and Miranda had a great year professionally…being named Male and Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMA’s. Blake also took on the role of a judge on the popular music competition show, The Voice and they both will be headlining tours in 2012. As of 2011, the pair is offically country music’s newest power couple.
3. New Country ‘Idols’
Country music fans were introduced to two new faces this year via the hit show American Idol. The show and its southern competitors brought country to the forefront and made it look cool. At the May 25 season finale, the fans voted Scotty McCreery the winner and Lauren Alaina runner-up. Both of the finalists are teenagers and were welcomed with open arms to the country music industry. They both are doing tremendously well with their debut albums…Scotty’s album, Clear As Day, was certified gold and Lauren will be opening for Jason Aldean in 2012 on his My Kinda Party Tour. Listen for Scotty’s single “The Trouble With Girls” and Lauren’s “Georgia Peaches” on the radio.
2. Shania & Faith Announce Return
This might be the best news I’ve heard this year. We got a glimpse of Shania’s return in her documentary television series Why Not? With Shania Twain, which chronicled her return to music. Plus this year she announced her residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas begining in December 2012. Also, in the seven years she’s been away, she focused on her family but divorced a few years ago and then married her new husband on New Year’s Day 2011. So you can be sure to see more of Shania in the new year.
There were rumors of Faith’s return to music for a while now but with her CMA performance of “Come Home” and a scheduled release date for new music in February, we now know that it’s the real deal. She’ll probably be all over the talk show circuit in the new year promoting the new album. It’s been six years since her last album, Fireflies, and I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’ t wait to hear more.
1. Stage Collapse at Sugarland show
One of the biggest stories to come out of Music City was the events that occurred at the Sugarland show in Indianapolis. The August 13 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair happened after wind gusts of 60 miles per hour toppled the stage scaffolding and sent equipment falling into the crowd. The horrible accident will forever live with Jennifer Nettle sand Kristian Bush. To show the town its sentiments they held a free concert for those who were at the show and raised more than a million dollars for the victims. In all seven people were killed and many others injured. Some of the survivors and family of some of those killed are suing the band, the show’s producers and stage crew for an undisclosed amount. And to top it off, two women were arrested for claiming to be victim’s and lying about their injuries. The two are facing forgery, attempted theft and perjury charges. They submitted faked hopsital records to steal more than $22,000 a piece from funds meant for actual victims.
Not only is the music this year top notch, but everyone was looking good too. Whether at an awards show or other special event, there were a few stars who stood out. I picked a male, female and group winner as my Best Red Carpet Look this year. Let me know if you agree.
BEST FEMALE: CARRIE UNDERWOOD
BEST MALE: KEITH URBAN
Much like Carrie, Keith has a great companion in wife Nicole Kidman to accompany him at most, if not all, his public appearances. Keith always looks sharp and most might think it’s easy dressing for red carpets as a man, but not all guys can pull it off. Here’s Keith and Nicole looking great at the Golden Globes, where Nicole was nominated.
BEST GROUP: LADY ANTEBELLUM
The fashion of Lady A has certainly gotten better over the last couple of years. Hillary has made some good choices lately and the boys are taking her lead. The band does tend to wear black…a lot…but it works, so why change something that looks so good. One of my favorites this year was the trio at the Grammy Awards.
– Taylor Swift –
Along with the top country albums this year comes top country songs. My list is clearly personal and by no means is determined like lists posted through Billboard.com or any other year-end lists…but I’d like to think that my choices are some of the songs that you liked listening to this year too. So check out what songs I appreciated this year and let me know your thoughts.
–Brad Paisley/Carrie Underwood “Remind Me”
When this song came out I got very excited when I found out Carrie was on it. She doesn’t sing on the song right away so you wouldn’t know it until the chorus comes around. The song received more hype when the video came out. It featured Carrie and Brad on the desert. Knowing their comedic relationship, it was weird seeing them singing a romantic song…with Carrie’s dress practically blowing off her body and Brad looking good strumming his guitar…but the two made it work. It got even better seeing them perform it live on this year’s CMA Awards.
–Luke Bryan “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”
This song became a favorite of mine really quickly and it even convinced me to buy the album. I can proudly say that I’m am hooked on Luke and will listen to him constantly. I first starting liking him with “All My Friends Say” and I completely fell in love after his hot performance on this year’s CMT Awards. There are a couple other songs off Tailgates & Tanlines…but this song sets the tone and has really catapulted Luke’s career.
–Thompson Square “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”
The husband and wife duo really took off running with their debut single. The song picked up a few trophies at this year’s ACA’s and the they are also up for two Grammy Awards for the song. It’s a great tune that peaked at number one and is a great starting point. I think their voices mesh really well together and they have a style and swagger that is very appealing. Other songs from Thompson Square include one of my favorites “I Got You” and I look foward to seeing what this duo does in 2012.
–Blake Shelton “Honeybee”
If you didn’t know who Blake was before 2011, you sure do now…he’s everywhere. Considering he is very blunt and sarcastic, it’s very refreshing to hear him sing a song like “Honeybee.” I don’t see many other artists getting away with singing a song about flowers and sunshine. However, he does so magnificently and everytime I heard the song on the radio I turned it up. The number one song boosted the album to number one and ended 2011 for Blake on a high note.
–Jake Owen “Barefoot Bluejean Night”
The song became Jake’s first number one. He’s had a lot of great hits in the past few years, but this certainly is one of those songs that will age with him…a true career song. It was released at the right time…over the summer…and was very relatable. There’s nothing better than a fun, upbeat song to get you through the hot summer months. His heartthrob status was confirmed in a great video that captured his personality perfectly.
–Kenny Chesney/Grace Potter “You And Tequila”
One of my favorite Kenny songs came in this tune. His move to include a female voice on this song was genius and even moreso when he chose Grace. The song didn’t reach number one on the charts, but it’s a number one song in my books. The CMA’s agreed too, because the song was awarded Best Music Video Of The Year. It captured Kenny’s beach mentality and will forever be one of my go-to songs.
–Eli Young Band “Crazy Girl”
This band has been around for a couple years and caught my attention with their album Jet Black & Jealous…but didn’t start getting attention until this year. With the release of Life At Best, the band is finally getting recognized especially with the number one song “Crazy Girl” which helped the album to Platinum status. I suggest checking them out because big things are going to happen for the Eli Young Band in the future.
–David Nail “Let It Rain”
I don’t think I spent a single commute to and from work without hearing this song the last couple months. He has a very distinct voice and no matter what he sings, I am mesmerized. I loved “Red Light,” “I’m About To Come Alive,” and “Turning Home” from his previous album so I was excited when we started hearing new stuff on the radio. This song hasn’t charted higher than number four or earned any award nominations but I really think this song is guiding him in the right direction. Keep it up!
–Taylor Swift “Mean”
This is the third single from Speak Now and is definitely a departure from her usual fluffy, love songs. I definitely wasn’t in love with this song off the bat, but I have become much more appreciative of it over time. Her ode to those who have criticized her is refreshing and is a lot more pleasant to hearing in song than in verbal complaints. The song itself has two nominations at the Grammy Awards…plus the record has one. She also cleaned up at the award shows this year…highlighted by being named Entertainer of the Year at the CMA’s and ACM’s. Not a bad year…
–The Band Perry “If I Die Young”
We found out this year that Kimberly Perry is a fantastic songwriter after winning both Single and Song of the Year for “If I Die Young” at the CMA Awards. She penned the number one tune and opened our eyes to the new side of country music. The newcomers also earned their first Grammy nomination. After being out on tour all year, part of the year with Tim McGraw, they are set to start 2012 on the road with Brad Paisley…but not before appearing on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. The band has been making appearances on many talk shows and holiday specials, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing even more of this sibling band in 2012.