» Shoe's Ever In New England: The final weekend of the No Shoes Nation Tour was personal on several levels for Kenny Chesney. Among the highlights was a Super Bowl-style banner hanging in the stadium that commemorated the naming of the "No Shoes Nation" at Gillette in 2012. Before the show, Chesney admitted that not many things really get to him anymore, but being told by New England Patriot's owner Robert Kraft that the banner will fly in Gillette as long as he owns the team had Chesney choked up.
Another moving moment was his visit to Boston Medical Center where he met with a Boston bombing victim and double amputee who told him that music gets her through. (Chesney's Spread The Love Fund works with the hospital to provide for those with traumatic injuries from the attack.) Back at the stadium, Chesney played host to a number of Patriot players, one of whom noted that Pats Head Coach Bill Belichick strongly suggested that they should avoid the weekend's festivities at Gillette. Tim Tebow and Rob Gronkowski were among those who ignored the suggestion.
And as with the last night of any tour, there were some lighter moments. Eric Church bore the brunt of it on Saturday when Kenny's crew covered him in beer and pelted him with ping pong balls during "Drink In My Hand." Friday, Church joined Chesney for "When I See This Bar," but was visibly surprised when he turned to look at Chesney and saw the headliner sporting Church's signature Aviator sunglasses, evoking laughter from both guys. Chesney said later this was the first time he donned the sunglasses during that song the entire tour.
» Wonder Struck: No one knew how much trouble Sunday's (8/27) MTV Video Music Awards were going to be, but Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" did when it won Best Female Video of the year. Swift thanked her fans for the trophy and said, "I also want to thank the person who inspired this song, who knows exactly who he is, because now I've got one of these." Cut to Harry Styles?
» Hale, Yeah: ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale is preparing to launch her country music career with help from producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts). "Music is my heart and I'm so blessed to say that this album turned out to be something I'm very proud of," says Lucy, who hails from Memphis and cites a childhood of singing along to Martina McBride, Faith Hill and Shania Twain. "I'm unbelievably excited to hit the road this fall to meet country radio."
» Doctor's Orders: Although an official announcement has yet to made by FOX-TV, the word online is that Keith Urban will be joined by Jennifer Lopez and pop producer Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson) at American Idol's judges' table next season. The other rumor circulating is that Randy Jackson may return to replace Jimmy Iovine as the show's in-house mentor. Season 13 premieres Jan. 2014.
» Pack It Up: 19/Interscope/Mercury artist and current North Carolina State University sophomore Scotty McCreery performed at the school's Packapalooza 2013 Friday (8/23). McCreery recruited the Wolfpack's Chancellor Randy Woodson and head football coach Dave Doeren to help him with "Wagon Wheel." Watch here.
» In Case You Missed It:Fox & Friends welcomed Sarah Darling to perform "Little Umbrellas" Saturday morning (8/24). Watch here.
Thompson Square played FOX & Friends All-American Summer Concert Series Thursday (8/23) and were surprised with a double platinum plaque for "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not." Watch here.
Mercury's Jennifer Nettles stopped by Good Morning America Tuesday (8/20) to debut "That Girl" from her forthcoming solo project. Watch here.
» Life Note: ACM Award winner Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The 67-year-old singer revealed during an interview with the AARP Blog that symptoms began to occur eight years ago and now she "can't sing a note." More here.
Eli Young Band will host their first annual House Party Nov. 9 at Rangers Ballpark in their hometown of Arlington, TX. The event takes place on the infield and includes performances from EYB, Thompson Square, Easton Corbin and the Josh Abbott Band. More here.
Lee Brice raised more than $28,000 for ACM Lifting Lives during his show Friday (8/16) at Joe's Bar in Chicago. This marks the third time the bar, co-owned by ACM board member Ed Warm, held an event to raise money for the charity. Past performers include LeAnn Rimes and Gary Allan.
ACM LIfting Lives also received $700,000 from the ACM on behalf of artists who participated in ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night. Money was raised from ticket sales to the Las Vegas event that featured McGraw along with Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, John Fogerty, Brantley Gilbert, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Nelly, Ne-Yo, Pitbull, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry.
Jeff Cook of Alabama (8/27)
Jeffrey Steele (8/27)
LeAnn Rimes (8/28)
Shania Twain (8/28)
Dan Truman of Diamond Rio (8/29)
Tuesday(8/27): Blake Shelton, The Talk (CBS); Brad Paisely, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC).
The 11-track album contains two new songs as well as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Jamey Johnson, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts and Trisha Yearwood contributing their own versions of Alabama classics.
Upcoming Album Releases
Sandra BoyntonFrog Trouble (9/3)
Craig Morgan The Journey (Livin' Hits) (9/3)
Keith UrbanFuse (9/10)
Sheryl CrowFeels Like Home (9/10)
George Jones Amazing Grace (9/10)
Chris YoungA.M. (9/17)
Billy CurringtonWe Are Tonight (9/17)
Justin MooreOff The Beaten Path (9/17)
Randy TravisInfluence Vol. 1: The Man I Am (10/1)
Robertson FamilyDuck The Halls (10/29)
» Things Are About To Get Wheel: "And by the end of the night, Lee needed it," tweeted Brad Paisley in regards to the wheelchair Lee Brice used to cart Chris Young onto the stage. Out of the hospital following treatment for a leg infection, Young used the illness to prank Paisley during a Beat This Summer Tour stop in Mountain View, CA Thursday (8/22).
» Torch Light: There was no electricity for the Pioneers, so The Band Perry quite appropriately lost power while playing songs from their current album Pioneer. When generators blew out at the band's Ohio State University show Thursday (8/22) the crowd turned on their cell phones. "The OSU students definitely lit up the house in more ways than one," says Reid Perry. "They were great and they were with us all the way!"