Country Music News
ACM Awards announce the New Artist Finalists  2015-02-18
The Academy of Country Music and Kohl’s Department Stores announced today that Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell have been named nominees for this year’s ACM New Artist of the Year Award Presented By Kohl’s. The winner will be announced during the LIVE broadcast of the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards, co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM - 11:30PM ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

Hunt, Rhett and Swindell were determined as the final three (3) nominees for the ACM New Artist of the Year Award via first round fan voting with partner CMT.com, combined with the ACM professional membership vote. The final round of fan voting for the New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl’s begins on Wednesday, April 8 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT with voting partner CBS.com at VoteACM.com, and will close at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT on Sunday, April 19 when the LIVE telecast begins. In selecting the winner, professional member votes will again be combined with fan votes to obtain the winner of the category.

Leading up to the show, CMT will premiere a special ACM-themed episode of its weekly series CMT Hot 20 Countdown featuring this year’s three nominees for New Artist of the Year, scheduled to air in conjunction with the second round of fan-voting beginning April 8th.
Toby Keith named as one of the 2015 Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductees  2015-02-18
Toby Keith has been named as one of the 2015 inductees to the Songwriter Hall of Fame which includes iconic Bobby Braddock, Willie Dixon, Cyndi Lauper, Linda Perry and the Grateful Dead writing duo Robert Hunter and jerry Garcia.  The ceremony will be hosted at the Marriott Marquis in New York on June 18th.

"I write songs everyday. When someone writes their own things, to me they release their character in their music and that character shines through in all their songs. It is what I take the most pride in. I am honored to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. It means the world to me and it is the only award that I will display on my desk." - Toby Keith

"P.S. - And it was mostly hard rhymes."

Toby Keith has been one of the most consistent self-directed songwriters and hit makers of his era. From his first number one smash, "Should've Been A Cowboy" to "How Do You Like Me Now?!," "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," "Beer For My Horses," "I Love This Bar," and "As Good As I Once Was," his unparalleled success is strongly due to his songwriting, which includes having written a number one song for 20 consecutive years. It has powered an astounding succession of hits to the tune of more than 85 million BMI performances. He has been honored with the Nashville Songwriters Association International's Songwriter/Artist of the Decade distinction and is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. His albums have sold more than 40 million copies, and his tours have drawn more than one million fans each year for the last 14 years. He is set to continue on the road with the Toby Keith Good Times & Pick Up Lines Tour presented by Ford F-Series which will begin in May 2015.

Toby's most rewarding experiences come from giving back. Whether it's helping sick children and their families in his native Oklahoma through the Toby Keith Foundation and their cost-free home, the OK Kids Korral, or supporting US Troops including USO Tours throughout the world, Toby has never lost touch with the most important things in life.

Kenny Chesney and Band head to spring training  2015-02-18
It’s not just baseball players shaking off the off-season. As the sport’s biggest stars head to the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues to gear up for the Major and American League Baseball season, country music’s biggest star is bringing his band together for their first musical rehearsals in over two years.

With The Big Revival Tour slated to be one of Chesney’s biggest and most musical yet, the 4-time CMA and 4-time ACM Entertainer of the Year is locking down for four full weeks before the band kicks things off with a sold-out two night stand at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena March 26-27. Nearly two-dozen NFL-sized stadiums plays slated will be part of this year’s tour – and the songwriter/superstar can’t wait to get back out there.

“I’ve always said we’re a lot like a baseball team,” Chesney admits. “We’re six months on, six months off... and a lot of time to get ready. But you know, when it’s all heart and so physically demanding, there’s really no other way to do this.

“When we rolled into Pensacola last year for the FloraBamaJama, I was amazed how well we all came together. But it also showed how hungry everybody was to play. I knew when we all got back together, it would rock. So I can’t wait to get into the room with everybody.”

Having spent a year creating The Big Revival, his 13th No. 1 Billboard Country release, Chesney has been able to devote the same time to crafting this year’s show. Look for new songs, old songs and some surprises as well as the inclusion of the Academy of Country Music Single, Song and Video of the Year nominee “American Kids.”

“It’s funny how much energy this new music has brought to everybody,” Chesney marvels. “You don’t realize until you stop what the treadmill feels like, and when you really challenge yourself to push the music... You find things like ‘American Kids,’ ‘Rock Bottom’ and write things like ‘Wild Child.’ That freshness in the music is something I think every single band member has commented to me about.”

Having already yielded his 25th and 26th No. 1s with the two week chart-topper “American Kids” and “’Til It’s Gone,” “Wild Child,” Chesney’s duet with hippie rocker Grace Potter, moved ten spots – from No. 36 to No. 26 at Billboard and No. 43 to No. 33 on Mediabase – in only its third week.

Rolling Stone recognized the renewed verve of The Big Revival, writing it “continuously brings a sense of emotional urgency.” Certainly it’s something the man The Wall Street Journal called “The King of the Road” is sensing.

“When we were talking about what songs to play, a couple of us were imaging how the fans are going to respond to the new stuff – and everyone was like ‘Oh, yeah...’ Because I think as fired up as the crowds have always been, this year’s set is going to take everything to a whole other level. And that’s one thing about the No Shoes Nation: they come to have the time of their lives – and the beauty of my band is they’re determined to make it the best night of the summer.”

Chesney, who has sold over a million tickets each of his headlining tours, is the only country act in Billboard’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years. The Big Revival Tour, presented by Corona Light and sponsored by Blue Chair Bay, looks to be no exception.
Jason Aldean to hold his annual benefit at a Burn It Down Tour stop  2015-02-18
ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee and reigning two-time Male Vocalist of the Year Jason Aldean’s “most explosive tour ever” (Rolling Stone) 2015 BURN IT DOWN TOUR kicked off over the weekend, leading into today's announcement that his 10th Annual "Concert For The Cure" will be held at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre tour stop in West Palm Beach, FL on Oct. 24. Like years past, Aldean will set aside a portion of ticket sales throughout the year, which will be donated to Susan G. Komen South Florida to support the West Palm Beach Area. New this year, Aldean will honor two brave survivors at each show nominated through fan submissions at ww5.komen.org/jasonAldean.aspx. Additionally, Google Play is now offering Aldean’s Platinum certified OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT as the “Free Album of the Week.” Aldean will donate $1 for every complete album downloaded on Google Play HERE to this year’s “Concert For The Cure."

"We're always looking for ways to raise more money for Komen, but it's also really important to me to take time to support people in all stages of the battle against this disease," said Aldean. "This year, we're going to be sure we take the time every night to single out and celebrate a couple of fans who have won the fight and hopefully beat our record with a huge check for Komen this fall."

“We’re so proud to be a part of Jason Aldean’s ‘Concert for the Cure’ for the tenth year in a row,” said Komen President and CEO Dr. Judith Salerno, M.D., M.S. “This event has always been about more than great music. The survivors who will be recognized by Jason as he travels nationwide are a testament to how far we have come since Komen was founded more than 30 years ago, and to how events like ‘Concert for the Cure’ are so important as we continue our work to save lives and end breast cancer.”

Aldean is currently nominated for three awards at the upcoming 50th Annual ACM Awards, airing April 19 on CBS for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT. His ACM nominated album debuted at No. one on Billboard’s all-genre Top 200 chart and its newest single “Just Gettin’ Started” is racing up the Top 10, following the album’s Platinum No. one lead single “Burnin’ It Down.” The stadium headliner’s 2015 BURN IT DOWN TOUR continues this weekend with stops in Bossier City, LA; Tupelo, MS and Nashville, TN before heading overseas for his first-ever European dates. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit www.jasonaldean.com.
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood host the ACM Lifting Lives gala  2015-02-18
The Academy of Country Music’s philanthropic arm, ACM Lifting Lives®, announced today that country music luminaries Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will host its first-ever fundraising gala on April 17, 2015, just two days before the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards. The “One Night, Two Cities, All Music” gala presented by Mattress Firm will consist of two shows taking place simultaneously at the Omni Dallas Hotel and the Fort Worth Zoo. The Omni Dallas Hotel gala will feature headliner and ACM Awards nominees Lady Antebellum, and a special performance by Hunter Hayes. Fort Worth Zoo will feature ACM Awards nominees including headliner Keith Urban, and a special performance by Little Big Town. Nancy O’Dell, Emmy®-award winning journalist and co-host of Entertainment Tonight, will join Brooks and Yearwood to co-host the Fort Worth gala.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will alternate between both locations throughout the evening to entertain attendees in Dallas and Fort Worth. A host of celebrities along with prominent music industry and entertainment executives are scheduled to attend. The inaugural gala will kick off with a cocktail reception, followed by a dinner, live auction and a stellar line-up of performances by country music’s most celebrated artists.

ACM Lifting Lives will be donating funds raised from the gala to several Texas-based organizations including Garth Brooks’ charity, Teammates for Kids and the Child Life Zones in Children’s Health of Dallas and Cook Children’s of Fort Worth.

“The Academy has an almost 50-year history of charitable giving and wonderful relationships with Garth and Trisha. When Garth called about hosting this event, it was the culmination of years of hard work, and furthers the missions of our organizations - healing through the power of music, and improving lives by connecting fans, artists and the industry,” said Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music.

“Mattress Firm is passionate about improving lives and we are excited to partner with ACM Lifting Lives and their commitment to help others through music,” said Karrie Forbes, Mattress Firm Foundation Board Member and Chief Marketing Officer of Mattress Firm.

The “One Night, Two Cities, All Music” gala is among the highly-anticipated events held during the ACM Awards week culminating with the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music’s Party of the Year®. The ceremony, co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, will broadcast LIVE from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

For more information on the gala, including ticket inquiries and sponsorship opportunities, please contact ACM Lifting Lives at gala@acmcountry.com. The “One Night, Two Cities, All Music” gala presented by Mattress Firm is produced by ACM Lifting Lives and Encore Live (www.EncoreLive.com), an event production company based in Fort Worth, Texas.
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