Hunter Hayes, Gary Allan, Carrie Underwood & More!
» Pajama Grammy Jam: Hunter Hayes and Taylor Swift lead country nominations for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards with three apiece. Announcements were delivered last night (12/5) in Nashville during the Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! on CBS-TV. Swift co-hosted and Hayes presented Best Pop Vocal Album with a performance medley of songs from each nominee. Watch here.
In overall categories, Hayes received a nod for Best New Artist while Swift's “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was nominated for Record Of The Year and her collaboration with The Civil Wars, “Safe & Sound," got a nom for Best Song Written For Visual Media. View the country categories below and the complete list of nominees in all 81 categories here.
Highlights from the telecast include a rap version of "Mean" from T Swizzle (that's Taylor's rap name, duh!) and LL Cool J (watch here) and a tribute to Johnny Cash from Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry thatstarted with a vintage clip of Cash singing his original Grammy theme song at the 1973 ceremony. Watch here. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards airs Feb. 10 on CBS.
Best Country Solo Performance
"Home," Dierks Bentley
"Springsteen," Eric Church
"Cost Of Livin'," Ronnie Dunn
"Wanted," Hunter Hayes
"Over," Blake Shelton
"Blown Away," Carrie Underwood
Best Country Album
Uncaged, Zac Brown Band
Hunter Hayes, Hunter Hayes
Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran, Jamey Johnson
Four The Record, Miranda Lambert
The Time Jumpers, The Time Jumpers
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
"Even If It Breaks Your Heart," Eli Young Band
"Pontoon," Little Big Town
"Safe & Sound," Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars
"On The Outskirts Of Town," The Time Jumpers
"I Just Come Here For The Music," Don Williams f/Alison Krauss
Best Country Song
"Blown Away," Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)
"Cost Of Livin'," Phillip Coleman & Ronnie Dunn, songwriters (Ronnie Dunn)
"Even If It Breaks Your Heart," Will Hoge & Eric Paslay, songwriters (Eli Young Band)
"So You Don't Have To Love Me Anymore," Jay Knowles & Adam Wright, songwriters (Alan Jackson)
"Springsteen," Eric Church, Jeff Hyde & Ryan Tyndell, songwriters (Eric Church)
» Sandy Dollars: In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, some of your favorite country stars have been lending a hand. Gary Allan, who was scheduled to perform in Atlantic City the week the storm hit, has launched a donate and download program to support the Red Cross. Allan will give away a free download of his song “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)” as incentive for fans to donate. “With the devastation in the northeast region by Sandy, I thought this song was extremely timely," Allan says. "I wanted to partner with the Red Cross on this because they have always offered hope for those in need.” More here. Martina McBride is also providing support with plans to donate $5 from every ticket sold at her Dec. 9 West Long Branch, NJ show to New Jersey Hometown Heroes, which has been providing assistance to affected communities. More about that organization here.
» Blown Overseas:When storms move across the ocean, sometimes they lose power and sometimes they pick up speed. Carrie Underwood hopes for the latter in 2013 asher Blown Away Tour makes landfall in Ireland and the UK with dates that include a March 17 headlining performance at the first-ever Country To Country music festival at the O2 Arena. Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes, Brantley Gilbert and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush are also on that bill. More on Underwood's tour here.
» Red Ripple:Taylor Swift washonored with the "Ripple of Hope Award" from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. “Taylor is just the kind of woman we want our daughters to be: authentic and mighty," RFK Center President Kerry Kennedy said. "Whether the tyrant they’re standing up to is a high school bully or a powerful dictator, all of the conflicts we’ve heard about tonight can only be stopped by courageous people who speak up and speak out when they see injustice.”
» From Beardo To Hero: Former American Idol contestant Casey James knows how to work a crowd ... and an electric razor. James recently stopped singing and started shaving during a performance in Shreveport, LA. The impromptu electric solo satisfied a pledge towards Team Casey James' $13,000 total for No Shave November benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Watch the whiskers fall here.
» In Case You Missed It: "It's 2012, it's on TV, people are singing ... it's a competition," Kelly Clarkson said before outdoing Blake Shelton with a single note on his Not So Family Christmas. Miranda Lambert, Reba, Christina Aguilera and Shelton's mom Dorothy Shackleford joined in for comedy routines, musical performances and a claymation tragedy with Larry The Cable Guy on the NBC-TV holiday special. Watch here.
Dwight Yoakam discussed his forgotten musical "Tidbit" with Kristin Chenoweth as she guest hosted Chelsea Lately. Song ideas for the musical that never was included Chenoweth's "Muffin Top" set to the tune of the Osborne Brothers' "Rocky Top." Watch here.
Capitol's Darius Rucker performed the title track from his upcoming album True Believers last night (12/5) onThe Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Watch here.
Kenny Chesneyhas added a second Gillette Stadium date to his No Shoes Nation Tour Aug. 23. The gig is one of 18 stadium dates Chesney has lined up for his 2013 tour, with the next night's show (8/24) closing the trek. More here.
Sarah Darling will be featured on cartons of chocolate 12-count Single Decker MoonPies, available nationwide in support of the Home To Me Sweepstakes. The snack brand will provide the winner with a trip to Nashville and stay at Gaylord Opryland to see Darling perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Details here.
LeAnn Rimes will be a celebrity wish ambassador for the social helping network, Wish Upon A Hero. Rimes will help grant local wishes at her holiday concerts throughout December. More here.
Friday (12/7): Reba, The Talk (CBS).
Saturday (12/8): Darius Rucker, American Giving Awards(NBC).
Monday (12/10):American Country Awards (FOX)
Upcoming Album Releases
Various ArtistsNashville Soundtrack (12/11)
Katie ArmigerFall Into Me (1/15)
Darius RuckerTrue Believers (1/22)
Ashley MonroeLike A Rose (1/22)
The MavericksIn Time (1/29)
Tim McGrawTwo Lanes Of Freedom (2/5)
» Envelope Envy:Taylor Swift posts before and after pics of her Record Of The Year nomination because ... besides rapping with LL Cool J, one of the perks of hosting the The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! is that you get to keep all the envelopes.
» Rosy Cheeks: The magic of Christmas is found in Santa's Butt, a holiday favorite Kelly Clarkson picks up while shopping in England.