Congrats to Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood. He and his fiance, Kelli Cashiola married this past Saturday evening on a farm outside of Nashville. According to People.com, guests including bandmates Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, were shuttled to the private location for the ceremony, dinner, and dancing.
The couple announced their engagement in December.
Congrats to the happy couple!
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 –
There must have been something in the Nashville water because there was a lot of great music released this year. Whether you like to real-deal or the pop-infused country music, there was something for everyone. I also found myself buying more albums and downloading more songs than ever this year, so I decided to recap what I consider the BEST ALBUMS OF 2011.
–Sunny Sweeney Concrete
If you’ve never heard of Sunny, consider this your wake up call…go out and buy some of her music. She comes off as a pretty looking girl’s girl that might remind you of Faith Hill or Deana Carter but once you hear that voice, she ranks with the likes of JoDee Messina or Miranda Lambert. Her tough as nails personality comes out in her songs and she is finally shining in her latest album. She caught my attention with her previous album Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame. I saw her live and met her in Nashville…and her vibe is country cool and she manages to make old school sound new. Check out “Next Big Nothing” or “Here Lately.” After listening to Concrete I definitely noticed some changes, in vocals and production quality. Sunny sounds better than ever and her producers did a tremendous job on this album. The album spawned her first three charted songs, “From A Table Away,” “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving,” and “Drink Myself Single.” Sunny even married her long time boyfriend in 2011…appropriately on 11-11-11.
–Luke Bryan Tailgates & Tanlines
Luke is finally hitting his stride with this latest album. It only took him three albums, but Luke is finally starting to get recognized. He started out in the business as a songwriter, having written hit songs like Billy Currington’s “Directions,” but he hit it big with another song co-written with members of Lady Antebellum. The song “Do I,” written with Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady A, peaked at number two and came from his sophomore album Doin’ My Thing. Luke continued with the radio friendly “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” off Tailgates & Tanlines. He performed the up-tempo tune on the CMT Awards and received nominations at the same show, the Teen Choice Awards and the American Country Awards. Other great songs off the album is the current single “I Don’t Want This Night To End”…plus “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” and one of my favorites “Drunk On You.” He sings a great fast song and knows how to slow it down, plus the tight jeans help!
–Miranda Lambert Four The Record
Miranda has hit the big time and in a big way…there was so much anticipation and importance put on this record and boy did she deliver. After all the success and accolades she received for Revolution, creating a follow-up record had to be tough. This album might not be quite as huge as her previous record but if being consistent is a sign of success than she reached it. All four of Miranda’s albums have debuted at number one and this album hasn’t produced any number one songs yet, but it’s still early. “Baggage Claim” hit the radio in mid-2011 and reached number three and “Over You” is set to be released in 2012. Miranda is also the reigning ACM and CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and she married fellow country star Blake Shelton in May. She’ll be back on the road in 2012, so don’t miss her!
–Lady Antebellum Own The Night
I am completely partial to anything that Lady A sings, but this is definitely a must-have album. Need You Now is one of my all-time favorite albums, but the group definitely provided a solid third album this year. If you’re still skeptical, listen to “Dancin’ Away With My Heart,” “Cold As Stone,” or “Heart Of The World.” The band certainly knows how to nail a ballad and croon to an up-tempo song, so if you’re already hooked to Lady A then this album is a no-brainer. What’s even better, is if you get the chance to see them live, don’t miss it. Lady A’s live concerts have gotten so good with their current “Own The Night Tour.” Plus, if that doesn’t convince you, they are consistently all over the awards shows, whether they’re collecting a group of the year statue or awards for songs. They’re even up for a Grammy this year. It always seems that whenever Lady A comes out with an album I am anxiously awaiting their next one!
–Sara Evans Stronger
I’ve been awaiting some of my favorite 90’s female artists to come back with some great music and Sara Evans is one that I’m glad is putting new music out. Her last album, Real Fine Place, came out in 2005 which makes this her newest full album in nearly six years. In between we’ve seen a greatest hits album and random releases, but nothing this complete. She was also on Dancing With The Stars a few seasons ago and got divorced and married again…so she’s still been busy. Stronger took me back to some of my favorite Sara Evans songs, like ones from her hit album Born To Fly. That was her break out album, back in 2000, and with tunes co-written by Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott on songs like “A Little Bit Stronger” and other tunes like “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” or “Desperately”…there’s a song on this new album for everyone. She’s also out on tour in 2012 with Rascal Flatts, so make sure you check that out.
–Pistol Annies Hell On Heels
The country super group made up of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley was formed by Miranda and for a while was just an awesome rumor going around. Nobody had heard their music or seen them perform until the ACM Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country special aired in April. The record was then released a few months later to fans who were waiting to hear what this new group was all about. If you love Miranda, you’ll love their music. The first single “Hell On Heels” is an edgy tune about sugardaddies and deals with the devil…but don’t get held up on just this song, the trio nails it with “Beige,” “Boys From The South,” and “Trailer For Rent.” If you’re looking for some down-home country, this is it. Personally, I’m glad to hear Ashley Monroe again…this is a perfect outlet for her, she is country music. You can catch the Pistol Annies on the road occasionally with Miranda.
–Eric Church Chief
It boggles my mind that people still consider Eric “new.” He’s made three albums but is nominated in categories like Best New Artist or the Horizon Award. Anyways, Eric’s latest album Chief is by far the best album of the year in my books. “Drink In My Hand” is out on the radio now and is one of my favorites…plus “Creepin’,” “Over When It’s Over,” or “Jack Daniels” are must hears as well. Plus, the first single “Homeboy” helped the album peak at number one on the charts. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of Eric in the future, I predict some more award show nominations in 2012. Plus, Eric will be headlining his “Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour” with Brantley Gilbert, Blackberry Smoke, Sonia Leigh, Jon Pardi, the Cadillac Black, and Drake White being featured on various dates throughout the tour. Check him out!
I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks with finals and the start of college basketball season…but I did enjoy myself this past weekend at the Lady Antebellum show. Friday night I caught Lady A up in Scranton at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Eden’s Edge and Josh Kelley opened the show…and Lady A rocked!
The stage set up for their first headlining tour was creative…a pit for fans to get realllly close and a stage the stretched out into the center of the arena. There were three large screens, to get close ups of each member (Dave, Charles & Hillary) of the trio. Stairs led up each side of the stage to the rest of the band which was spread out along the top of the stage. Lady A entered the stage through a hole in the stage and at a couple times during the show Dave’s piano appeared and disappeared depending on the song.
A lot of songs from the new album Own The Night were in the set list, plus a few old favorites. “Own The Night” opened the show and “Dancing Away With My Heart,” “Just A Kiss,” “Cold As Stone” and “Friday Night.” Plus, “Love Don’t Live Here,” “Lookin’ For A Good Time,” “I Run To You,” “Need You Now,” “American Honey” and “Hello World.” I’m sure I’m missing some others in there, but they sure sang an array of old and new…plus threw in a cover of “Black Water” with Eden’s Edge and Josh Kelley.
I took some video and made a mash up of some of the songs…check it out below!
Lady Antebellum performed on the season final of Dancing With The Stars last night. They sounded great and it was really cool to see dances choreographed to their music. They sang “Need You Now” and “Dancing Away With My Heart.” Check out one of their performances below.
This fall is great, especially if you’re a Lady Antebellum fan. Why you might ask…because they are literally everywhere promoting Own The Night.
This Saturday they are performing on Saturday Night Live. I am super excited…it will be the first time I’ll see them performing songs from the new album. I just bought my tickets today for the show in December in Scranton, so I’m ready to hear anything Lady A.
Also, Melissa McCarthy will be hosting SNL. If you haven’t seen Bridesmaids you are missing out. It’s a pretty hilarious movie and Melissa will not let you down in the laughing department. Plus, catch her television show Mike & Molly on CBS, also really funny.
Ok, click on the link to see the SNL promo for the episode Saturday!
Lady Antebellum was on Late Show with David Letterman the other night with a great performance of “Just A Kiss.” I could listen to them 24/7. Their new album Own The Night is out September 13!
Are you ready for some football? Plus it makes me even more excited that Kid Rock and Lady Antebellum will be kicking off the season with a pre-game concert.
Lady Antebellum and Kick Rock will join Maroon 5 to kick-off the NFL Season on September 8. The FREE concert will take place just prior to the season opener between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.
The 60 minute pregame show will air on NBC and NFL Network starting at 6:30 PM. Make sure you tune in! Lady A’s new album comes out soon after the concert on September 13 so make sure you get a copy.
Lady Antebellum is seeing gold after their latest single “Just A Kiss” is Number 1 on the country charts.
This is the fifth time the trio have topped the charts, following “I Run to You,” “Need You Now,” “American Honey” and “Our Kind of Love.”
“Just a Kiss” is the lead single from Lady A’s upcoming album, Own the Night, due in stores September 13. The song has already been certified platinum, signifying more than a million downloads.
“Seeing country radio and the fans embrace the first single off our new album like this has been amazing and also a little relieving,” says Lady A’s Charles Kelley. “There are definitely some nerves and anxiousness involved when you are introducing new music, and this reaction has been beyond what we hoped for. It just makes us even more excited for September 13 to get here.”
Check out the video for “Just a Kiss” below.