Top Country Stories
|» Sun Sets On The Sun: In front of 111,209 fans (including NE Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and former QB Doug Flutie), Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw's Brothers Of The Sun 23-stadium summer tour came to a record-breaking conclusion over the weekend, playing two shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. "I live less than 20 miles from Gillette, and it took me three hours to get from my driveway to the parking lot," our on-site reporter told us. "Kenny christened a new name for the regulars who come back to Gillette time and time again: 'No Shoes Nation.'" Highlights from the final night also included McGraw singing "I Need You" with wife and surprise guest Faith Hill. "At the end of the song, they gave each other a nice, slow, big kiss for all the fans to see, which made the crowd go even crazier," our insider says.
Also during the final night, opener Grace Potter surprised Chesney with a Flying V electric guitar, which featured a beach scene she painted on the back. The final performance of "You And Tequila" ended with a bang – literally. At the end of the song, the band pranked Chesney by whacking a giant gong while a single firework went off. "I couldn't imagine bringing this incredible journey to a close anywhere else but Gillette Stadium," Chesney said. "The fans in New England welcome us with such energy year after year, and it was the perfect ending to one of the most fun tours I've been a part of." Full weekend recap here.
|» On The Homefront: Before closing their Own The Night tour in Australia at the end of the month, Lady Antebellum have spent time in Nashville doing pre-production for their fourth studio album. "It almost feels like how we felt when the first record was being recorded ... that newness and that excitement is all there again," Hillary Scott says. "We're pumped." Working again with producer Paul Worley, the group has seven songs prepped for the upcoming collection, and more are in the works. The Australian leg kicks off Sept. 25 in Melbourne.
|» Don't Bet On It: Josh Turner rolled taped on 12 live shows to create his new Live Across America album (out now). The Cracker Barrel collection includes live renditions of several hits including "All Over Me," "Firecracker" and closer "Why Don't We Just Dance." "We recorded 'Why Don't We Just Dance' in a casino in Atlantic City. Needless to say, that was one of the most energetic crowds we had," Turner said. "Right before the song, one fan yelled out for me to take my shirt off. We had to edit stuff like that out. Little things like that kind of make me laugh." Cracker Barrel is offering a chance to meet Turner and see him perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Enter through Sept. 14 here.
|» Ice Fight Baby: Looks like Carrie Underwood is locked into at least two more years of cheering for the Nashville Predators, as her better half Mike Fisher just inked an extension with Music City's NHL team. "I'm not worried about Mike on the ice," Underwood says. "I've learned he's a tough guy. He could have a broken ankle and you'd never know it. [But] when he fights, which is rare ... I'm like, 'Get him, baby! Get him! Punch him! Hurt him!' I don't enjoy watching him fight, but I know he can take care of himself."
|» In Case You Missed It: Josh Turner made a Frogmore Stew (low country boil) with Mario Batali and discussed his album Punching Bag on Thursday's The Chew (8/23). Watch the appearance at the 26:00 minute-mark here. Turner also performed "Time Is Love" on last night's Late Show With David Letterman. Watch the performance at the 39:04 minute-mark here.
Rodney Atkins closed Fox & Friends' All-American Concert Series Friday morning with "Just Wanna Rock N Roll" and "Farmer's Daughter" (8/24).
- Taylor Swift has been named the recipient of the Canadian Country Music Association's inaugural Generation Award. The honor recognizes international artists "who have pushed country music forward to new audiences and have brought awareness of this genre of music across the globe." Swift will receive her award during the Sept. 9 CCMA Awards in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
- Tom T. Hall will be honored as BMI's Icon in recognition of his "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." Hall's catalog includes "I Love," "Harper Valley P.T.A." and "Little Bitty." Hall will receive his award during the PRO's 60th annual Country Awards Oct. 30 in Nashville.
- Congratulations to San Benito, TX's Madelyn Victoria Vallejo, whose cover of "Still The One" landed her a trip to see the Shania: Still The One show and a performance slot at the Piano Bar at Harrah's Las Vegas this December. Runner-up Robyn Dewar from Haileybury, Ontario also won a trip to the show with her rendition of "Today Is Your Day." More than 100 participants covered Twain songs during the CMA Music Festival to enter. Submissions were also accepted online via the Caesars Palace Facebook page.
Sherrié Austin (8/28)
LeAnn Rimes (8/28)
Shania Twain (8/28)
The late Kitty Wells (8/30)
The late Conway Twitty (9/1)
The late Hank Thompson (9/3)
Tuesday (8/28): Dierks Bentley, Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Noteworthy At The Opry (GAC).
Wednesday (8/29): Trace Adkins, Great American Heroes (GAC).
Thursday (8/30): Reba, Reba: All The Women I Am (GAC).
Upcoming Album Releases
Kix Brooks New To This Town (9/11)
Bucky Covington Good Guys (9/11)
Aaron Lewis The Road (9/11)
Little Big Town Tornado (9/11)