» Cool Aid:Lady Antebellum launched LadyAID (clever!) at an event in Nashville Monday, aiming to help children in need locally, nationally and globally. The new charity will benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, myLIFEspeaks and The UN Refugee Agency through donations and fundraising efforts that include the band's upcoming Ping Pong & Songs event due in early 2013. More here.
Shortly after the press conference to announce LadyAID, CMA CEO Steve Moore presented the band with the organization's International Artist Achievement Award for the work they've done to raise awareness and develop country music outside the United States. “We’re so honored,” said Hillary Scott. “This year especially, being able to take our tour to Europe and then to Australia, and meet even more of our fans all over the world, and to take country music that far, we don’t take that lightly. We really, truly do want to make this town and the country music community proud when we go overseas and perform."
» Mark Twain Down For Two: Shania Twain debuted Shania: Still The One Saturday (12/1) at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The show marked the beginning of Twain's two-year residency and our insider got the skinny at a sneak preview performance: "It's more than just a concert ... it’s a full-blown Vegas production complete with set and costume changes," he says. "Shania arrives on a flying motorcycle and at two different points during the show she comes onstage riding a horse." Twain covers all of her hits and includes an acoustic, stripped-down portion of the show in which she brings audience members onstage to sing around a campfire. Shania's post-divorce vocal issues weren't a problem. "Her voice is solid and she makes up for any weaknesses with showmanship, which has always been her strength," our source says. "And I’m guessing that after two dress rehearsals and opening night, she’s feeling even more comfortable now.
» Haiti Did: Garth Brooks held the nails and Trisha Yearwood hammered for Habitat For Humanity's 29th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The couple spent last week in Léogâne, Haiti to help build 100 new homes. Repairing damage and providing recovery support from Haiti's 2010 earthquake has been the Carter Work Project's focus in 2011 and 2012. Brooks and Yearwood have contributed both years. More info on Habitat here.
» In Case You Missed It: "They're really desperate in country music for an entertainer right now," Blake Shelton joked regarding his recent CMA Entertainer of the Year win during his visit with Chelsea Lately last week (11/29). The two discussed Shelton's upcoming NBC-TV Christmas special and how getting lost in translation with new The Voice coach Shakira has put his life in harm's way. Watch here.
ABC-TV has ordered five additional episodes of Reba's Malibu Country, bringing the season total to 18. Not quite the typical length of a television season at 22, but still ... more Reba!
Brantley Gilbert has extended his Hell On Wheels Tour with seven new dates added in 2013, starting Jan. 31 in Kansas City. Kip Moore will be on the road with Gilbert as the opening act; complete list of dates here.
Marty Stuart will be honored for his 20th anniversary as an Opry member Dec. 8 with two shows that night to include performances from wife and fellow Opry member Connie Smith, Charley Pride, Old Crow Medicine Show and songwriter Brandy Clark.
Martina McBride will donate $5.00 from every ticket sold at her West Long Branch, NJ show Dec. 9 to New Jersey Hometown Heroes, which provides assistance to the communities that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Omnivore will release Townes Van Zandt's Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972 Feb. 5. The two CD set contains 28 never heard before versions of some of Van Zandt's most notable songs.
Gary Allan (12/5)
Tuesday (12/4): Dwight Yoakam, Chelsea Lately (E!); Reba, Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (CBS).
Wednesday (12/5): Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes, Luke Bryan The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! (CBS).
This Week's Album Releases
Florida Georgia LineHere's To Good Times (12/4)
Powered by their hit single "Cruise" and produced by Joey Moi (Jake Owen, Nickelback), country and hip-hop influences are blended on FLG's debut 11-song album. The duo wrote six of the songs, plus two bonus tracks available on a Target exclusive.
» Almost Framous:Josh Turner and director Peter Zavadil find the framework during Turner's latest music video shoot for "Find Me A Baby." With that green screen behind them ... these boys are going places.
» Bedside Man:Brantley Gilbert rocks a gown while tending to girlfriend Jana Kramer during a recent hospital stay. Kramer was treated for illness following her West Palm Beach, FL show and later tweeted, "Alright so here's the update! I'm okay. I'm on morphine and lots of liquid and other stuff. #dehydration #flu #etc ! Thanks for the love!" Morphine?!?