» The Las Trailers: The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards' guest list just got bigger with performers Sara Evans, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Presenters 2 Broke Girls' Beth Behrs and Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O'Dell have also been added to the telecast. Lee Brice, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, JT Hodges, Kip Moore, Craig Morgan and Thompson Square will perform at the ACM Experience's Salute To The Military Presented By NRA Country. HLN's Robin Meade will host the free March 31 concert at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, and check presentations will be made to the Folds Of Honor Foundation, Nellis Air Force Base Youth Programs and the Wounded Warrior Project.
» Campaign 2012: Epic concert footage, fan videos and a Scottish Fold (huh?). Those are just some of the highlights in vote campaign videos from New Artist and Entertainer of the Year ACM nominees. Since the polls opened Monday (3/19), New Artist candidates Scotty McCreery and Brantley Gilbert posted campaign videos starring their legions of fans lobbying for votes. Fellow nominee Hunter Hayes dug up an old clip of himself playing with Hank Williams, Jr., who endorses Hayes as the future New Artist winner. Entertainer nominee Jason Aldean delivered a personal message, while Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley videos lean heavily on tour footage. Taylor Swift co-stars with her Scottish Fold cat Meredith in her clip. Click the links for the videos and go to VoteACM.com to support your favorites. The New Artist ballot closes Sunday (4/1) at 5pm PT, while the Entertainer ballot will remain open during the April 1 telecast.
» Miles & Music: Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill and Alan Jackson are among those who scored early ACM Awards this week. Off-camera honors included Chesney's Crystal Milestone award for selling more than 10 million tickets and popularizing country outside the genre. Career Achievement went to Gill for his work over the past year to promote country throughout the entertainment industry, and Jackson is the Jim Reeves International recipient for his contributions to the worldwide acceptance of the genre. Emmylou Harris, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam are the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award recipients for being pioneers of the genre. All honorees will be celebrated during a Sept. 24 event in Nashville. View the full list here.
» That Does Impress Me Much: Lionel Richie assembled an all-star cast of country duet partners for his highly anticipated album Tuskegee: Jason Aldean ("Say You, Say Me"), Kenny Chesney ("My Love") and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles ("Hello") are among the luminaries. But for the classic "Endless Love," Richie enlisted Shania Twain to tackle the part made famous by Diana Ross in 1981. "I did not know that Shania has not done a vocal in seven years," Richie says. "We were scheduled to record in the Bahamas, and she walked in the studio then announced to me 15 minutes before we were supposed to record that she couldn't do it. I told her, 'We have something in common. We're both scared to death.' She said, ' But you're Lionel Richie.' And I said, 'And you're Shania Twain.' So, when you hear the first time she comes in, that's the first note she ever tried after seven years." Tuskegee hits stores Monday (3/26).
» Heaven 111: Happy Odd Numbers Week to Taylor Swift! "Ours" is the fifthNo. 1 song from the five-times platinum Speak Now album. On Sunday (3/18), she performed the 111th and final show of the 13-month Speak Now World Tour with a capacity three-night stand at Auckland, New Zealand's Vector Arena. Additionally, the Hunger Games soundtrack featuring Swift's "Safe & Sound" and "Eyes Open" is No. 1 on the iTunes Albums chart. She's also up for three ACMs including Entertainer. And the 25thAnnual Kids' Choice Awards has her in the Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Song ("Sparks Fly") categories. The Lorax starring Swift as "Audrey" is also the year's top grossing film to date. Oddly exhilirating!
» Deer In The Sunlight: Craig Morgan is back on the mainland after last week's jaunt in Hawaii filming an episode of Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors, which is in its third season on the Outdoor Channel. "Hawaii is the best-kept secret in the hunting industry," Morgan attests. "I've never seen so many deer. At night, it looked like the Serengeti in one of the fields out there. You'll see 300-400 deer, and you can hunt year-round. On the island of Lanai, they started with six deer in the '60s, and there are that many deer there now." While filming, Morgan scored two Axis deer, a Hawaiian goat and a Spanish goat. The show airs Saturdays at 11am ET.
» Buddy Flick: Blake Shelton and fellow The Voice coach Adam Levine share the cover of Peoplemagazine (out Friday 3/23). "A few weeks ago, somebody asked me, 'What about you and Adam's bromance," Shelton says in the piece. "'Is there anything to it?' It's fun. It's just like we're sitting around the bar, making jabs at each other."
» Silver Medal: Lady Antebellum named Henryville, IN's Henryville High School the winner of the Own Prom Night contest for the community's resilience following devastating storms that hit the area earlier this month. Several schools nationwide entered videos lobbying for HHS to win, including neighboring Silver Creek High School, which created the winning submission. Due to a previously scheduled commitment, Lady A won't make HHS's April 27 prom. Instead, the band will host a bigger event May 16 in Louisville for the school's juniors and seniors followed by a benefit for the community.
» In Case You Missed It: Josh Turner, Lee Brice, Randy Travis and John Rich filled in for Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today show this week as Hoda Kotb's guest co-hosts. Brice sang "Love Like Crazy" and tested his knowledge of allergies with a myth vs. fact game. Travis and Kotb went through unusual fan-submitted photos on the segment "What The What?!" The pair also discussed the popularity of "Forever And Ever Amen" as a wedding song. Rich dished about the upcoming show The Star Next Door, and raided Gifford's dressing room before the segment "Awkward Situations."
Blake Shelton invited Gwen Sebastian to join the Well Lit & Amplified tour following her stint on The Voice. Sebastian Monday last night's battle round to Erin Willett after their performance of Pat Benatar's "We Belong" (3/19). Shelton advanced Jermaine Paul after he and ALyX battled on Billy Ocean's "Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car." Watch the full episode here.
Eric Church performed "Springsteen" on Monday's (3/19) Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Watch the appearance at the 37:20 mark here.
The Toby Keith Live In Overdrive Tour Presented by Ford F-Series launches June 14 in Salt Lake City. Brantley Gilbert will support. Complete schedule here.
Willie Nelson, Uncle Kracker and NeedToBreathe have been added to the BamaJam 2012 lineup, which already includes Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band and Kid Rock. The June 14-16 festival will be held at Enterprise, AL.
Josh Turner will headline May 5's free outdoor Southern Nights concert, which is the final event of Opry Mills' grand re-opening in Nashville. The Opry Mills mall was severly damaged in Nashville's May 2010 flood. Second Harvest Food Bank will be collecting canned goods at the event.
Brantley Gilbert has been added to the Ram Truck brand's Road to Ram Jam sweepstakes, which offers a chance to win swag and tickets to Dec. 29's invite-only Ram Jam concert in Nashville. Gilbert joins previously announced performer Kellie Pickler.
Kenny Chesney (3/26)
Friday (3/23): Taylor Swift, Live With Kelly (syndicated); Kellie Pickler, Today (NBC); Lionel Richie, CMT Presesnts: Lionel Richie: Tuskegee.
Sunday (3/25): Dierks Bentley, LeAnn Rimes, Eric Church, Chris Young, Opry Live (GAC); Lionel Richie, Weekend Today (NBC); Lauren Alaina, Fox & Friends (FOX News)
Monday (3/26): Lionel Richie, Top 20 Country Countdown (GAC); Jake Owen, Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC); Blake Shelton, The Voice (NBC); Lauren Alaina, Today (NBC).
Upcoming Album Releases
Lionel RichieTuskegee (3/27) Hank Williams, Jr.Best Of Hank Williams, Jr. (3/27)
» Home Boyz:Rascal Flatts and Boyz II Men hang backstage at Orlando's Music For Champions concert. The event benefited the TJ Martell Foundation, and the two groups closed the show together with "Life Is A Highway." Pictured (l-r) are BIIM's Shawn Stockman, RF's Joe Don Rooney, BIIM's Wayna Morris, RF's Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus and BIIM's Nathan Morris.