» Belief In Relief: Toby Keith hosted the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert Saturday (7/6) and our insider was there to cover as John Anderson followed Mel Tillis to open the show. "The first real eruption of the night was for Garth Brooks," we're told. Garth opened by telling the crowd, "The healing starts today. It's time to smile." When asked backstage what he most looked forward to playing, Garth answered, "Friends In Low Places" because he doesn’t really have to sing. "He was right," our insider reports. "When those first chords were strummed the crowd blew up. The tightknit community known as Oklahoma was in one voice singing ... no, screaming that song!" The show continued with Willie Nelson, who was joined by Toby on "Beer For My Horses."Rocker Sammy Hagar came next and invited Ronnie Dunn to help do "Bad On Fords And Chevrolets." Ronnie's own set was followed by Carrie Underwood via satellite from the Grand Ole Opry. When Toby took the stage he got a screaming ovation. He grabbed his red Solo cup and lifted it high to the crowd as if to say, as our correspondant puts it, "Here’s to you, Oklahoma, my home and native land." A total of funds raised through the event is expected later this week.
» Cash In The Kitty: Miranda Lambert has raised more than $400,000 for her MuttNation Foundation so far in 2013. Recent events like May's 6th Annual Cause For The Paws benefit concert have helped build animal shelters, increase pet adoption and fund spay/neuter programs. "Aside from music, this is my biggest passion in life," Lambert says. "I find it so rewarding to help end animal suffering and homelessness."
» Chesney Approved:Kenny Chesney has endorsed My FitU, a new online fitness program and app from trainer Daniel Meng. "I've been training with Daniel for almost a dozen years," says Chesney. "He overhauled my everyday diet, pushed me past where I thought my limits were and gave me a mental edge when it comes to working out. I wish everyone could have Daniel by their sides to create a healthy plan based on their specific challenges and goals like I do ... My FitU does that." Details here.
» Red Solo Bucks: Most famous people are rich, but no one would know how rich without Forbes. The magazine recently revealed the "Highest-Paid Country Music Acts 2013" which includes Toby Keith at No. 1 with $65 million followed by Taylor Swift ($55 million) and Kenny Chesney ($53 million). View the full list here.
» Life Note: Randy Travis is in critical condition after being admitted to a hospital in Dallas, TX Sunday (7/7). He is suffering from viral cardiomyopathy.
Jake Owen posted pictures of himself in the hospital Sunday night (7/7) with the message, "Got in a little go kart accident tryin to beat [NASCAR drivers] @KevinHarvick & @ClintBowyer. I'll stick to singing country songs." No word from Jake's representatives on the seriousness of his condition, but his ability to operate his Twitter account appears to be a good sign.
» In Case You Missed It: The Henningsens made their national television debut on Good Morning America Thursday (7/4) to perform "American Beautiful." Watch here.
» Black & White & Web All Over:
Toby Keith's Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert is "packed with memorable moments" and "worth every star-studded minute." –The Oklahomanand Tulsa World
Kellie Pickler's Dancing With The Stars finale costume and mirrorball trophy are currently on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame And Museum. The items will be featured through 2013.
Florida Georgia Line, Martina McBride, Craig Morgan, Josh Turner and Wynonna will join this year's panel of judges for The International Songwriting Competition. Open to amateurs and professionals, the contest has a grand prize of $25,000 cash plus $30,000 in prizes. Details here.
Kacey Musgraves is the latest artist to lend vocals to Oreo cookies' "Wonderfilled" campaign. Musgraves follows Owl City with her version of "Daydream." Watch here.
Morgan Frazier has released her self-titled, five-song EP, exclusively at bestbuy.com. The album features the single "Yellow Brick Road" and will be available now through September.
Bela Fleck (7/10)
Gary LeVox (7/10)
Jessica Simpson (7/10)
Wednesday (7/10): Blackberry Smoke, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC).
Thursday (7/11):Darius Rucker, Late Show With David Letterman (CBS).
This Week's Album Releases
Travis TrittThe Calm After ... (Post Oak)
An updated version of his 2007 release The Storm, the album includes a duet with Tritt's 15-year-old daughter, Tyler Reese, on the Patty Smyth and Don Henley cover, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough."
Upcoming Album Releases
JJ LawhornOriginal Good Ol' Boy (7/16)
Joey + Rory Inspired Songs of Faith and Family (7/16)
Pam Tillis and Lorrie MorganGrits and Glamour (7/23)
Vince Gill & Paul FranklinBakersfield (7/30)
Brett EldredgeBring You Back (8/6)
Luke BryanCrash My Party (8/13)
Charlie WorshamRubberband (8/20)
Keith UrbanFuse (9/10)
Sheryl CrowFeels Like Home (9/10)
» Rustle Crow:Sheryl Crow tries to rustle up a crowd before her performance at NASCAR's Coke Zero 400 in Daytona Saturday (7/6).
» Extremely Crateful:Little Jimmy Dickens shows off a crate of cards and letters sent to wish him well as he undergoes three weeks of short-term radiation treatments. “If those are bills, you can keep ‘em,” Dickens said when he was handed the crate. “If they’re royalty checks or cards from the best fans in the world, I couldn’t be more excited or appreciative.” Doctors expect Little Jimmy to make a full recovery from a pre-cancerous condition on his vocal chords.
» Alabama Shakes It For Me:Luke Bryan joined Alabama Friday (7/5) in Orange Beach, AL to perform "Love In The First Degree." Pictured (l-r) are Alabama's Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, Bryan and Teddy Gentry.