» Words With Taylor: The single is out, and her new album is ready. Well ... almost. There's one last thing Taylor Swift has to do to finish Red – come up with secret liner note codes and messages. "I'm working on those right now," Swift says. "It's pretty difficult to come up with because I know you guys are going to figure them out. I'm trying not be too cryptic with it, but I'm also trying not to give it all way because with the last album ... people pretty much figured everything out. I thought I was more clever and cryptic about it than I really was."
Without naming names, Swift interviewed with ABC News and told the story behind her current single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." "I was writing it with Max Martin and Johan Shellback, who are two of my absolute songwriting heroes," Swift said. "Then this guy walks in who was a friend of my ex's [who has] heard we're getting back together – and that was not the case. Max and Johan were like, 'Well, what's the story behind that?' I [told] them the story of this 'breakup, get back together, breakup, get back together' – just the worst. I picked up a guitar and Max said, 'This is what we're writing.'"
» Urban Living: Ever wondered how Keith Urban does Nashville? He's more of a tourist in his own town than one would think. Ram Country On Yahoo! Music followed Urban as he toured his favorite Music City attractions including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Ryman Auditorium and Blackbird Studio, where he has recorded several albums. "It's a really magical place," Urban says of the Berry Hill-area facility. "When you create in a studio, it's captured, and when you play onstage, it's gone in a moment – that's it." Watch the full clip here.
» Endless Love: Jake Owen's four-song EP Endless Summer hits stores Sept. 25! The collection includes Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals' "Steal My Kisses," as well as "Summer Jam" by newcomers Florida Georgia Line and Craig Wiseman (Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying," Kenny Chesney's "Young"). "If you look on people's iPods, they'll always have a 'Summer Mix' [playlist]," Owen says. "And I want their 'Summer Mix' to include my music." Owen executive-produced and Joey Moi (Daughtry, Nickelback, Santana) produced.
» Tape A Little Live: Fans will get a little taste of new Jason Aldean music on an upcoming Live On Letterman webcast. The show will stream live from New York City's Ed Sullivan Theater Sept. 5 at 9pm ET on CBS.com and Vevo and include songs from Aldean's forthcoming album. Time Square's JumboTron, Radio.com mobile applications and select radio stations also will carry the concert. The webcast immediately follows the taping of Aldean's Late Show With David Letterman appearance, which airs Sept. 6 on CBS-TV.
» Standing Down: Trace Adkins has called off his concert in Cle Elum, WA Friday (8/17) due to wildfires that are spreading in the area. "I cannot in good conscience stage a concert while the community is under such strain," Adkins said in a statement. "We look forward to returning and celebrating the community's strength once this crisis has passed." More than 22,000 acres have burned so far, and Adkins is asking fans to help here.
» In Case You Missed It: On Wednesday's Today show (8/15), Matt Lauer asked Carrie Underwood about how much life has changed since winning American Idol in 2005 and whether she would consider being the third judge on the show's upcoming season. "I haven't been asked, but I don't know when that would even be possible," Underwood said. "But I'm looking forward to seeing who they do get locked in as a judge." Underwood also performed "Before He Cheats," "Blown Away" and "Good Girl." Watch her appearance here.
Lionel Richie discussed his upcoming tour on Thursday's episode (8/16). "We're actually planning on starting in February to come across America, which I have not done in the last eight or nine years," Richie said. "Life on the road is probably where I live best. Playing with the kids and now the grandkids, I have to show them what Pop-Pop does for a living now." Richie also performed "Easy," "Dancing On The Ceiling" and "All Night Long."
Dwight Yoakam premiered "Nothing But Love" on Wednesday's Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Watch his performance at the 39:11 minute-mark here.
Billy Currington is the final artist to join the Ram Truck brand's Road To Ram Jamsweepstakes, which offers a chance to win swag and tickets to Dec. 29's invitation-only Ram Jam concert in Nashville. The full lineup includes Easton Corbin, Currington, Brantley Gilbert, Kellie Pickler and Zac Brown Band.
Rodney Atkins will headline the Republican National Convention's Welcome Event Aug. 26 in Tampa. More here.
David Nail will launch a fall tour Sept. 6 in Cincinnati. Complete list of dates here.
After more than 50 years on the road, George Jones will embark next year on his final tour. "It is tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come," he says. The Grand Tour will hit approximately 60 cities in 2013.
Clay Walker (8/19) Lee Ann Womack (8/19)
Friday (8/17): Blake Shelton, GAC Top 20 Love Songs Countdown.
Saturday (8/18): Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Easton Corbin, Kip Moore, Noteworthy At The Opry (GAC).
Sunday (8/19): Eric Church, Origins (GAC).
Monday (8/20): Martina McBride, Opening Act (E!); Rascal Flatts, Ellen DeGeneresShow (re-air) (syndicated).
Upcoming Album Releases
Dierks BentleyCountry & Cold Cans EP (8/21) JT HodgesJT Hodges (8/21) Dustin LynchDustin Lynch (8/21) Mac Powell Mac Powell (8/21)
» Take A Back Road:Craig Morgan hangs with the participants of his Sixth Annual Charity Motocross Ride, Concert and Sporting Clay Shoot, which raised more than $73,000 for the Craig Morgan Charity Fund. Proceeds support foster children in Dickson County and Middle Tennessee. Pictured (l-r) are pro motocross riders Kenny Bartram and Fred Andrews, HLN's Robin Meade, Morgan, Darryl Worley, GAC's Nan Kelley and riders Andrew DeLong and Kevin Windham.
» Shinin' On We:Jerrod Niemann ("Lover, Lover") visits with a patient at Nashville's Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital to help launch Musicians On Call's 11th Weekly Bedside Performance Program, which provides bedside entertainment in health care facilities. Donate directly here.