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Lady Antebellum Helps Rebuild Henryville
Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood really came through last month when they hosted the "Rebuilding Henryville Charity Ball" for Henryville High School and the entire Henryville community at the KFC Yum! Center on May 16. Thanks to Silver Creek High School's video submission, Henryville won Lady A's "Own the Prom Night" contest, which Scott dreamed up, and she told a room full of press prior to the show that they were hoping the students had a "really fun night full of memories that they'll never forget … to give them something special to look back on for the rest of their life," which it's safe to say this was a night which these students won't soon forget. Kelley and Haywood were less than excited when Scott first mentioned this contest, thinking they were going to go "crash a prom, it'll be fun, we can put it up on the website and people will get a kick out of it," but it grew to be so much more, "and here we are doing something special, hopefully." It really moved the trio as they toured the school to see the devastation and the rebuilding efforts just hours before their benefit concert. Kelley stated, "we're going to try to make it as high-energy and as fun as we can … try to have fun with everybody and try not to make it too serious and too heavy 'cause I think everybody's been in that for a long enough time now, we're just going to try to be an escape from it all and raise a little money and have fun." It was refreshing to see this truly was an escape for Henryville and raised money to help the community.
Prior to the sold-out benefit, HHS juniors and seniors enjoyed a special prom on the top level of the Yum! Center, overlooking the Ohio River. Toward the end of the prom, Lady A made a surprise appearance and performed two tunes for the eager students, including the prom anthem "Dancin' Away with My Heart" while Kelley and Scott danced with some lucky attendees. Following the prom, the trio performed an unforgettable 90-minute show, interacting heavily with the students in the pit within the stage and those lining both sides of the runway leading to a small circular stage in the middle of the arena floor. The band gushed over the selfless acts of humanity of all the high school students around the country who urged the band to choose Henryville for this benefit. Early reports stated that the benefit raised over $285,000 which will be donated to the New Hope/Indiana Bankers Association for the benefit of the Disaster Relief Fund.
Hats off to Lady A for a job well done!
Country Stars Heat Up the Kentucky Derby
Louisville was swarming with country stars last month as horse racing fans from around the globe converged on the Derby city for the festivities surrounding the 138th "Run for the Roses," during which I'll Have Another won the garland of roses. Country sweetheart Miranda Lambert attended her first Derby last year along with a slew of girlfriends as they celebrated her bachelorette party just prior to her marriage to Blake Shelton the following week. Well, she enjoyed our Southern hospitality so much that she returned this year. Prior to attending the Derby, she took in the Barnstable Brown Gala on Derby Eve where she reportedly buried the hatchet with actor Ashton Kutcher, who offended her and country music last year at the CMA's when he poked fun at country music wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat and a hokey outfit attempting to sing some George Strait. Other country stars at the gala included Jason Aldean, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Travis Tritt, Lee Ann Womack, and local country boy J.D. Shelburne and Clay Walker, who played a free show at 4th Street Live! Derby week. Rodney Atkins heated up The Julep Derby Eve Gala as he was the featured performer, and Alabama front-man Randy Owen performed during the Unbridled Eve Gala, also held on Derby Eve. It's always good when country music comes to town!
Upcoming Live Country
Last month, Carrie Underwood released her long-awaited fourth album, appropriately titled Blown Away, and much to fans' delight, she also announced that she's hitting the road this fall for her headlining "Blown Away Tour." The tour kicks off September 14 in Manchester, New Hampshire, and will blow into the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday, September 22. Hunter Hayes, known for his debut single "Storm Warning," will be opening the show. Tickets are already on sale and range from $46 - $63.50. One dollar from each ticket sold will be donated to the American Red Cross for its disaster relief efforts.
Our buddies at 97.5-FM WAMZ just announced the majority of the line-up for the WAMZ "Hot Country Nights" concert series at 4th Street Live! and there are some serious heavy-hitters scheduled to perform. Kix Brooks, formerly half of the award-winning duo Brooks & Dunn, will kick off the series on June 8, Hunter Hayes on June 15, Kentucky boys Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, better known as Montgomery Gentry, on June 22, and Dustin Lynch and The Farm on June 29. In addition, Erika Martin and Rachel Timberlake will perform on July 6, followed by Easton Corbin on July 13, and David Nail on July 20. All of these concerts are absolutely FREE and begin at 8 pm. The shows are open to fans of all ages, but those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and after 9 pm, no one under 21 will be admitted.
Carrie Underwood Tops the 2012 CMT Music Awards Nominees
When the nominees for the 2012 CMT Music Awards were revealed on NBC's Today show recently, Carrie Underwood led the pack of nominees with a whopping five nods. She will compete for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for "Good Girl," Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year along with Brad Paisley for "Remind Me," and CMT Performance of the Year along with Steven Tyler for "Just a Dream/Dream On" from CMT Crossroads: Steven Tyler & Carrie Underwood from the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam. Miranda Lambert trails Underwood with four nominations: Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for "Over You" and Group Video of the Year and USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year as one-third of Pistol Annies for "Hell on Heels." Jason Aldean, The Civil Wars, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, and Thompson Square each received three nominations.
And the nominees are: Video of the Year: Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem," Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter's "You and Tequila," Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup," Lady Antebellum's "We Owned the Night," Miranda Lambert's "Over You," Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood's "Remind Me," Rascal Flatts & Natasha Bedingfield's "Easy," Blake Shelton's "God Gave Me You," Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars' "Safe & Sound," and Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl"; Female Video of the Year: Sara Evans' "My Heart Can't Tell You No," Miranda Lambert's "Over You," Martina McBride's "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," Kellie Pickler's "Tough," Taylor Swift's "Ours," and Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl"; and Male Video of the Year: Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem," Luke Bryan's "I Don't Want This Night To End," Eric Church's "Drink In My Hand," Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup," Blake Shelton's "God Gave Me You," and Keith Urban's "Long Hot Summer."
Duo Video of the Year: Love & Theft's "Angel Eyes," Montgomery Gentry's "Where I Come From," Sugarland's "Tonight," The Civil Wars' "Poison and Wine," and Thompson Square's "Glass" and "I Got You"; Group Video of the Year: Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl," Lady Antebellum's "We Owned the Night," Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels," Rascal Flatts' "Banjo," The Band Perry's "All Your Life," and Zac Brown Band's "Keep Me In Mind"; and Collaborative Video of the Year: Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter's "You and Tequila," Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood's "Remind Me," Rascal Flatts & Natasha Bedingfield's "Easy," Lionel Richie & Shania Twain's "Endless Love," Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars' "Safe & Sound," and Zac Brown Band & Jimmy Buffett's "Knee Deep."
USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year: Lauren Alaina's "Georgia Peaches," Brantley Gilbert's "Country Must Be Country Wide," Hunter Hayes' "Storm Warning," Scotty McCreery's "The Trouble With Girls," Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels," and Thompson Square's "I Got You"; and CMT Performance of the Year: Jason Aldean's "Tattoos on This Town," Lady Antebellum's "Dancin' Away with My Heart," Little Big Town's "Fix You," Blake Shelton's "Footloose," Sting & Vince Gill's "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You," and Carrie Underwood & Steven Tyler's "Just a Dream/Dream On."
Fans can vote for the 2012 CMT Music Awards nominees through June 4 by logging on to CMT.com or on CMT Mobile or the CMT Insider App on their mobile device. The awards program will broadcast live on Country Music Television from downtown Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 6. Artists currently schedule to perform on the show include Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and the Zac Brown Band.
And the 2012 Billboard Music Award Country Winners Are…
When the 2012 Billboard Music Awards were handed out at The MGM Grand on May 20, Jason Aldean was the top country trophy grabber with two statues. His "Dirt Road Anthem" was named Top Country Song and he received the Top Country Album award for My Kinda Party. Lady Antebellum took the highest country honor, Top Country Artist. And 22-year-old Taylor Swift was named Woman of the Year for her selfless philanthropic work, of which the latest was a whopping four million dollar donation to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The donation will fund the Taylor Swift Education Center, an exhibit and classroom space set to open in 2014 that will increase children's appreciation and knowledge of country music.
The Highway Is a Dangerous Place for Country Stars
Country stars and their bands risk their lives each and every day as they travel life's highways and byways to bring live music to the fans around the country. Just last month, two artists' busses were involved in traffic accidents. A band and crew bus of "Small Town USA" and "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away" singer Justin Moore's entourage was struck in the rear around 6 a.m. on May 12 on I-57 near Mattoon, Illinois. The driver of the car, 48-year-old Joseph Taylor of Chicago, got out of his car to assess the damage and was struck and killed by another vehicle. Regarding the fatal accident, Moore tweeted, "Thankful my band and crew guys are all good. They got hit by a car this morning in their bus. Prayers go out to the guy who lost his life and his family. You never know, man. You have to be prepared to meet God today, 'cause it may be your last."
On May 10, "A Different World" and "I Wanna Be That Feeling" singer and American Idol alum Bucky Covington's tour bus was hit by a Goodwill truck on I-65 outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Covington was not on the bus at the time of the accident as he had previously been dropped off for another appearance earlier that day. The truck driver was taken to the Cullman Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. None of Covington's band or crew on the bus were injured.
Jake Owen Says, "I Do"
Following an extremely brief engagement (translation: one month), "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" singer Jake Owen tied the knot with model Lacey Buchanan on May 7. The couple was wed during a barefoot sunrise ceremony on the beach in Owen's hometown of Vero Beach, Florida. The very intimate ceremony included only family, with Owen's twin brother, Jarrod, as best man and Lacey's sister, Leah, as maid of honor. Owen's uncle, Ron Owen, officiated. The happy couple and their family celebrated the wedding with champagne, cake, and a sit-down brunch on the patio of the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa.
Congratulations, Jake & Lacey!
Well, that's it for yet another month. Here's wishing each and every one of you a very safe and happy summer. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way."