Today Grammy award-winning country music legend, Trace Adkins made an unexpected visit to a Country Inns & Suites By Carlson ℠ hotel in Cool Springs, Tenn. near Nashville for a surprise appearance and holiday performance for guests, hotel staff and veterans.
While in town for The Christmas Show 2014 tour stop in Nashville, Country Inns & Suites "hired" Adkins to help hotel staff during the busy holiday season, where he worked behind the front desk and gave a special holiday performance in the lobby.
Following Adkins' holiday performance to hotel guests, he joined the Carlson Family Foundation, in presenting a $50,000 donation to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to help fund the organization's Economic Empowerment pillar that helps families of veterans achieve long-term financial stability through training, education and employment services.
"It feels great to be back home in Nashville today working with Country Inns & Suites staff, guests and Wounded Warrior Project," said Trace Adkins. "Being able to perform a short holiday show and help the Carlson Family Foundation present a donation to Wounded Warrior Project makes my time here even more special!"
"Wounded Warrior Project and programs within its Economic Empowerment pillar perfectly align with the foundation's dedication to training and workforce development," said David Nelson, executive director of Carlson Family Foundation. "The Carlson Family Foundation supports organizations like Wound Warrior Project who are committed to giving individuals the tools and training they need to be successful in today's workforce."
"This generous donation from the Carlson Family Foundation will help make a significant impact on the lives of the many veterans and their families," said Teresa Nichols, Manager of Major Gifts at Wounded Warrior Project, who accepted the donation today on behalf of the organization. "Last fiscal year we placed more than 1,900 injured service members in meaningful careers through our Warriors to Work program and this donation should help us meet our goal of placing 2,500 more warriors this year."
Additionally, as part of Country Inns & Suites' commitment to making guests feel at home and serving them with a kind and caring spirit, the Carlson Family Foundation is sponsoring Trace Adkins' on-stage Christmas tree giveaway throughout his current The Christmas Show 2014 tour. At each of his 26 tour performances, Adkins will donate the large Christmas tree from his stage set to a local charity.
MADDIE & TAE may still be teenagers, but that doesn’t stop them from making history. Closing out a Cinderella 2014 with their first single, their first GOLD certification and their first #1 with the rollicking “Girl In A Country Song,” the spunky pair become only the second female duo to debut #1 on the BDS’ charts – the Wreckers’ “Leave The Pieces” in 2006 first. More impressive, they’re only the third on Billboard’s Country Singles chart – with the first being the Davis’ Sisters with “I Forgot More About Love Than You’ll Ever Know.”
“That’s crazy,” howled the harmony-weaving Tae Dye. “To think about something that happened so long ago, and then it took more then 50 years for the Wreckers to do it again! I can’t believe that... and it makes me love this start even more, as if that were possible.”
Though neither was familiar with the Davis Sisters, they got busy downloading – and were big fans for the bending harmonies from the non-related sisters from Dry Ridge, Kentucky.
“What they do shows how much bending a melody can take,” marvels Maddie Marlow. “It’s not always the note you expect, but it sure pulls you into the song. I think that’s the secret: don’t be obvious, but surprise people with stuff that’s a little off.”
There’s nothing off about the Ada, Oklahoman and Sugar Land, Texan, who’ve attracted the attention of such decidedly non-country publications Atlantic Monthly, Late Show with David Letterman, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone’s all-genre 10 New Artists You Need To Know and NPR. With the gender-role-spinning “Girl In A Country Song” clip surpassing 14 million Vevo views they show no indication of slowing down.
“We’re just two girls from Texas and Oklahoma,” says Tae. “Of course we wanted people to hear our music... We’ve been seriously writing for the past four years, we’ve commuted to Nashville while we finished high school... and, well, we kept chasing our dream. But the idea this song would hit such a nerve? It’s – like I said – crazy!”
“Yeah,” Maddie admits with a laugh, “what started as a song that made us laugh, because we knew we could never measure up to those girls in the songs... and honestly, who’d want to? If the most interesting thing is how you look, umm, I think you’ve missed the point!”
Slated to present at the American Country Countdown Awards, broadcast live on FOX Monday (12/15), the dynamic duo are spending the holidays with their family – and finishing the album they were recording when “Girl In A Country Song” exploded. Having debuted an EP at #1 on Billboard’s New Artist Heatseekers chart, visited tons of radio stations, been followed to airports by zealous fans and laughed a whole lot, it’s no wonder NPR lead critic Ann Powers said, “They’re songwriters, powerful harmonizers and in the video for ‘Girl In A Country Song,’ natural comediennes...”
Plans for 2015 are being firmed up now, but if the new year is anything like this year, Maddie & Tae may well follow the Davis Sisters to back-to-back #1s. Seventy-one years is a lifetime to some, nothing to these two with their eyes on a dream.
Today, at a press event in New York City, DICK’S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), and six-time GRAMMY® Award winner Carrie Underwood unveiled CALIA by Carrie Underwood, a fitness lifestyle apparel brand, which will be sold exclusively at DICK’S Sporting Goods stores nationwide and online beginning March 2015.
CALIA by Carrie Underwood is designed for today’s woman who embraces an active lifestyle and demands more versatility from her wardrobe. The fitness line features high-quality garments built to support the female body in motion, incorporating functional details and performance- driven fabrics into sophisticatedly feminine designs. With a collection that meets her needs during workouts and matches her personal style outside of the gym, CALIA by Carrie Underwood helps a woman to move confidently and comfortably through her day.
“It has been such a rewarding experience working with DICK’S Sporting Goods on all aspects of the design process for CALIA, from choosing fabrics to making sure the look, feel and fit is right for active women,” said Underwood. “The inspiration for this line came from my desire to have clothes that seamlessly take me from workouts, to errands, to rehearsals and beyond. As someone who is passionate about health and fitness, I’m excited to offer women a wardrobe that will move with them and encourage them to stay the path of leading an active lifestyle.”
“We are proud to be working with Carrie on this exciting new line,” said Lauren Hobart, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, DICK'S Sporting Goods. “From the very beginning of our partnership, we aligned with Carrie around a vision to provide fitness apparel and accessories that are as versatile as they are functional. The result is a collection that will truly fit the incredibly busy lives of active women.”
CALIA by Carrie Underwood will offer competitively priced women’s fitness apparel and accessories. Consumers are encouraged to visit caliastudio.com to sign up for more information on the collection and timing of product launches.
Miranda Lambert opens up to the magazine Marie Claire to talk about her weight loss. The magazine issue will champion the positive body image campaign for January 2015.
Lambert states, "When you have to walk out there in front of thousands of people, it does feel good to know that your shit's not jiggling," she said. "I'm just like anybody else, insecure and scared of looking bad or being criticized. But everybody's making this big, giant thing about it. It's way too much focus on women's bikini photos, and I hate it. Why do we care? I want women to love themselves whatever they've got going on."
After her 20 lbs weight loss, the singer explains that other weight-loss companies approached her to lose 40 lbs in order to be a spokesperson. But this isn't the first time the artist has been asked to change for others. "Early on, an artist told me, 'Don't be yourself. Perform and be someone else. And I thought, 'That seems like exactly the opposite of what I should be doing,'" she told Marie Claire. "Then I had people wanting me to adjust my lyrics to be more appealing to the masses or whatever. I said, 'No, that's bullshit.' I'd rather sell four copies of something that's real than 4 million copies of something that's fake."
To read the full interview with Miranda Lambert in Marie Claire, purchase it on newstands Dec. 16th
It looks like Justin Timberlake is also looking to honor the returning icon, Garth Brooks. During a show in St. Louis, Garth Brooks saw Timberlake in the front row at his show in the Scottrade Center on Dec. 4th. He later posted the pic online, with the caption, “One of my IDOLS. Garth… You are a MASTER of your craft. I am in awe of you, still.”
Afterwards, Timberlake gave tribute to Brooks by playing an acoustic guitar to perform his own rendition of the country singer's hit "Friends in Low Places." Even though the show was a pop audience- fans were still willing and ready to show their fanship of the country icon by singing along.