» All Rise: American Idol ended last season with a judge's chair cliffhanger. Producers and the network were rumored to be cleaning house, but Keith Urban signed back on early and Tuesday (9/3) Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. finalized their deals to join him. Former judge Randy Jackson spent a few months trying to find a hobby before deciding to come back to the show. He replaces Jimmy Iovine in the role of mentoring the performers. Season 13 premieres Jan. 2014 on FOX-TV.
» Fuse Control: Speaking of Keith Urban, if you've ever seen him live, you know he likes to get down and mix it up with the crowd. To celebrate the Sept. 10 release of his new album Fuse, Keith will go honky-tonking on Nashville's Lower Broad by playing free back-to-back-to-back shows. World famous Tootsies, Legends Corner and The Stage will host the performances Friday night (9/6) beginning at 9:30pm. Expect a little bit of everyone to show up.
» Fisher & Chips: Carrie Underwood's husband and NHL star Mike Fisher came to the rescue Saturday (8/31) to remove a chipmunk from behind the couple's toilet. "A squirrel got into our house," Carrie said in a Vine video post (watch here). Mike corrected her as he grabbed the intruder: "No. It's a chipmunk." Carrie posted another Vine to show where the "mighty chipmunk" left his mark on Mike. Watch here.
» Should've Been A Jackaroo: There's only one Keith associated with country music and Australia ... until now. Toby Keith will headline his first-ever show Down Under at the CMC Rocks The Hunter next March. The three-day festival down under will include performances from Eli Young Band, Kellie Pickler, Craig Campbell, Love And Theft and more. Details here. (By the way: "Jackaroo" is Australian for "cowboy." Thank us later.)
» More Countrier: Taylor Swift already donated one of her own, but the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is still in need of 20 more. Millions of dollars, that is. Yep, it's going to take another $20 million to complete the museum's expansion from 140,000 square feet to more than 350,000, which will accomodate the Taylor Swift Education Center, the ACM Gallery, the CMA Theater, the new Hatch Show Print shop and more. So far, $78 million has been raised; completion is slated for March 2014. More here.
» Life Note: Condolences to up-and-coming artist Cole Swindell ("Chillin' It") on the passing of his father yesterday (9/2). Cole was Luke Bryan's merch guy before he started writing songs and signed his first record deal last month. "Lost the greatest man I've ever known today," Swindell tweeted. "The kind of Dad that made this world a better place."
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.
Randy Houser has received platinum certification from the RIAA for "Runnin' Outta Moonlight." This is Houser's first million-selling single.
Noel Haggard (9/4)
Thursday (9/5): Taylor Swift, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
This Week's Album Releases
Sandra BoyntonFrog Trouble (WMN)
For children of all ages, Alison Krauss, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Dwight Yoakam, Josh Turner, Kacey Musgraves and more contribute to songs written by the author and illustrator responsible for the children's books Moo Baa La La La and Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs.
Craig Morgan The Journey (Livin' Hits) (Black River)
Co-produced with longtime collaborator Phil O'Donnell, Morgan created four new tracks for the album featuring the single "Wake Up Lovin' You." The album also contains new recordings of eight hits including, "That's What I Love About Sundays."
Upcoming Album Releases
Keith UrbanFuse (9/10)
Sheryl Crow Feels Like Home (9/10)
George Jones Amazing Grace (9/10)
Chris Young A.M. (9/17)
Billy Currington We Are Tonight (9/17)
Justin Moore Off The Beaten Path (9/17)
Will Hoge Never Give In (10/15)
Robertson Family Duck The Halls (10/29)
Jake Owen Days Of Gold (12/3)
» Surfin' LBTV: Just like parties, Luke Bryan doesn't mind wave crashing either on the latest installment of LBTV. Watch him show off a brand new boat and shoot the curl in a lake surfing session here.
» Parachute Plants: The chute opened, now "Don't Ya" singer Brett Eldredge (l) hopes his partner is good enough to stick the landing.