» Tim Taylors New Album: Tim McGraw's new album Two Lanes Of Freedom is on the way in 2013 and it's the first release from his new label Big Machine. One of the perks of being on that label is that it makes it a whole lot easier to get labelmate Taylor Swift for a duet. Or is it tri-et? Swift and Keith Urban help McGraw sing "Highway Don't Care" and guess what? It's track number 13. That's Taylor's favorite number and Urban's, too! (We're making that last part up. No idea what Keith's number might be.) The album is due Feb. 5, and we're pretty sure "No. 1" is McGraw's favorite number.
» Globetrotters: Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Nashville actresses Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere might as well get a table together. And Nicole Kidman can sit there, too, because they've all been nominated for Golden Globes. Urban and co-writer Monty Powell received a nod in the Best Original Song From a Motion Picture category with "For You" from the film Act Of Valor. At the Globes, Swift is up against Urban with "Safe & Sound," her collaboration with the Civil Wars from the Hunger Games soundtrack. Britton joins the leading ladies in Best Actress in a Television Drama Series and Panettiere makes the list for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The Golden Globe Awards air Jan. 13 on NBC-TV. Speaking of awards, "For You" also has Urban and Powell nominated for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, which airs Jan. 10 on the CW.
» Luke-y Charms:Luke Bryan opened the American Country Awards in Vegas with a hip-shaking performance that would make your grandma blush, and closed the night with an earthquaking nine award wins that would make your grandma fall out of her rocking chair and say, "That boy's teeth are super white!" Bryan's triple threepeat included the coveted Artist Of The Year guitar. Miranda Lambert was on hand to pick up three awards, followed by Carrie Underwood's two, which turned her ACA total up to 11. Lady Antebellum won Artist of the Year: Group and Single of the Year: Group. Full list of winners here.
» Midnight Runners: Jason Aldean will perform during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2013. Aldean joins Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Ellie Goulding, The Wanted and more on the Fergie-hosted West Coast segment while Seacrest drops the ball with Taylor Swift, Psy, Carly Rae Jepsen and Neon Trees in Times Square Dec. 31 on ABC-TV.
» Her Majesty's Royal Pleasures: There are artists. There are songwriters. There are artists that are songwriters. Then there are artists that are songwriters like Chris Young and Sugarland's Kristian Bush who will travel to the UK and Ireland in February as a part of the CMA Songwriters Series. The show stops in Dublin, Belfast and London to share stories and songs and maybe a pint or two. More here.
» A Right Jolly Old Elf: Kenny Rogers will host a Toy Drive for children in Bergen County, New Jersey and other areas hit by Hurricane Sandy. The Christmas And Hits Tour stops at Bergen Performing Arts Center Dec. 19 and along with help from the Englewood Fire Department and sponsors Fisher-Price and Mattel, Rogers will match monetary donations up to $10,000 to purchase toys. More here.
» I Love, I Love, I Love My Calendar Boy: The 2013 Keith Urban Calendar is on sale to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Each month features different photos of KC that were taken by fans and submitted online. Since 2003 the Keith Urban Calendar has raised more than $750,000 for the hospital. More here.
Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band lead the way with WhyHunger's 2012 Hungerthon auction. A fly away to meet Chesney during his No Shoes Nation Tour has brought in $12,000 and Zac's eat-and-greet passes to any on of their 2013 concert dates raised $3,000. Items from Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift have totaled more than $5,000 so far. Take a look at the auction here.
New band Parmalee ("Carolina") will host a live Stageit show Dec. 18 and donate a portion of proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The show will be held in the studio where the band is currently recording their debut full-length album. More here.
The Recording Academy Special Merit Awards recipients include "Tennessee Waltz" singer Patti Page as a Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. The invitation-only ceremony for the award will be held Feb. 9 and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Feb. 10 on CBS-TV.
Blake Shelton's Cheers, It's Christmas album has gone gold, selling a half-million copies. The 14-song album features collaborations with Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé and Shelton's mother, Dorothy Shackleford.
Tracy Byrd (12/17)
Friday (12/14):Blake Shelton's Not So Family Christmas (NBC).
Monday (12/17): Blake Shelton, The Voice (NBC).
Upcoming Album Releases
Katie ArmigerFall Into Me (1/15)
Darius RuckerTrue Believers (1/22)
The MavericksIn Time (1/29)
Tim McGrawTwo Lanes Of Freedom (2/5)
Ashley MonroeLike A Rose (3/5)
» Any Man Of Mime: It was only a matter of time before Carrot Top found out Shania Twain was in town. Now that her Las Vegas residency is underway at Caesars Palace, expect more random pics with some of Sin City's finest celebs.
» Fleetwood Madkins:Trace Adkins (r) takes advantage of a photo opp with Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham during the ACAs. Adkins hosted the show while Buckingham was on hand to introduce Keith Urban's performance with the Grammy Camp musicians.