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Carrie Underwood Receives the Humanitarian Award at CRS

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In her song “Change,” Carrie Underwood sings, “The smallest thing can make all the difference.” These powerful lyrics demonstrate how small and simple actions can make a great impact on the world, something that Underwood has strived to do throughout her career.

On February 19 at the opening ceremony of Country Radio Seminar (CRS), Underwood was honored for her generosity with the Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Humanitarian Award.

Since her American Idol win in 2005, Underwood has given back to those in need in a variety of ways. She established the CATS (Checotah Animal, Town, and School) Foundation in her hometown of Checotah, OK to give back to local animal shelters, schools, and the town. She also donated $1 from every ticket sold on her Blown Away Tour to the American Red Cross – a donation that totaled over $1 million. Most recently, Underwood spent a number of days in January volunteering at a local animal shelter, combining her passion for animals with her love of giving back.

CRS 2014 New Faces of Country Music

CRS  2014

Country Radio Seminar (CRS) officials have announced which country music newcomers will show off their talents as the CRS 2014 New Faces of Country Music Show performers. The 2014 performers are Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Cassadee Pope, Thomas Rhett, and Charlie Worsham — a talented crew of country stars on the rise. Each of the artists will take the stage on Friday, February 21, 2014 at the Nashville Convention Center for radio programmers and key industry personnel.

This annual industry event takes place during the Country Radio Seminar, and the new artist showcase event officially closes out the three-day seminar. The New Faces Show is one of the most anticipated performances each year at CRS, as it allows these new artists the opportunity to showcase their talents to radio and industry professionals.

Congratulations to these phenomenal new artists who were selected by radio personnel to perform at this year’s CRS New Faces event! We are eager for what each of these artists has in store for us in 2014!

Kelly Clarkson Debuts New Song At CRS

Photo by Alan Poizner

In Nashville last week, the annual Country Radio Seminar (CRS) took place. Country music stars were out in abundance at various special events providing everyone in attendance with great performances, brand new songs, cool collaborations, and a whole lot of fun!

One of the biggest nights during CRS week is the Sony Boat Show, and Kelly Clarkson sure did wow the crowd this year!

Clarkson debuted a new song titled, “Ain’t Gonna Like This,” which she co-wrote with her long-time guitarist and close friend, Aben Eubanks. If you follow Clarkson’s career, you will know that a Clarkson-Eubanks collab always results in some great music.

In the song, Clarkson references her musical heroes and influences, and sings her love for all genres of music. “Singin’ what I’m feelin’ inside/I don’t care what it is, what you call it, here it is.” … If you don’t like Reba/If you don’t like Trisha/If you don’t like Aretha/I don’t even wanna meet ya/If none of my heroes make your list/Well then you ain’t gonna like this.” (Big thank-you to Aben Eubanks for the correct lyrics.)

To top off the excitement over the new country track, Clarkson had a little help from her friends, The Pistol Annies, who provided the background vocals for the performance.

Twitter was abuzz with compliments for the song as well as for Clarkson and the Annies. They even got a standing O!

Some of my favorite tweets from the night:

@JosephHudak3: @kelly_clarkson is playing the Sony boat and I may lose my mind. Her voice is That Good. #CRS2013 — Joseph Hudak

@shaunridder: It’s official, @kellyclarkson IS country. We love her. How can you not? #Adorable #CRS2013 @sonynashville — Shaun Ridder

@Linda1Ryan: Woah! @kelly_clarkson cutting it up with the @pistolannies #sonyboatshow #rockinmyworld — Linda Ryan

We hope this song is going to be released to country radio soon. It has the makings of a mega hit written all over it. With its rockin’ country soul vibe, it would be a great follow-up to her current hit ballad, “Don’t Rush.”

And no, Kelly, we don’t like the song… we love it!

There are not any high quality videos of the performance yet, but you can still hear most of the song and hear Clarkson wail some super high notes as only she can. Check it out below.

* Photo by Alan Poizner

Rascal Flatts To Receive CRS Artist Humanitarian Award

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As if we needed another reason to love Gary, Jay, and Joe Don!

Rascal Flatts have always been very involved in various charities throughout their career, and this year they are being honored at the Country Radio Seminar on February 22nd as the 2012 Artist Humanitarian Award recipients.

The trio donated $3 million to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s Pediatric Surgery Center in 2010. The super group also serves as spokespersons for the national suicide prevention organization, The Jason Foundation, and have been members of the American Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet for seven years.

CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne stated:

“The board is very pleased to honor Rascal Flatts with the CRS Artist Humanitarian Award. They join a long, distinguished list of celebrities who have received this prestigious award since it was instated in 1990.”

The CRS Artist Humanitarian Award was created to honor country music artists who have displayed extraordinary humanitarian efforts during their career. Past recipients of the award include Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, among others.

CRS will be held February 22-24 in Nashville. Visit www.countryradioseminar.com for more information.

Congratulations to Rascal Flatts on this deserving honor!

Exclusive Interview: Catching Up with Brandon Chase

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We first had the opportunity to chat with Brandon Chase last April, long before he caught Blake Shelton‘s eye on The Voice or had legions of loyal “Chasers” eagerly anticipating his every musical move. Since our very first interview, we’ve kept our tabs on Brandon, chatting with him periodically throughout the show, and now, we can’t watch to catch you up on what the future has in store for this Texan talent.

Since leaving The Voice, the ever-humble Brandon admits that his life hasn’t changed all too much. “As soon as The Voice ended, I just kept doing exactly what I was doing beforehand – working on my craft, doing everything I can to create new music and get it out to the fans.” He says, “Through all that, I’m trying to start up a tour to travel around and meet fans in different states and whatnot that haven’t had the chance to see me live. It’s been kind of usual, just working hard and doing what I do, which is music. There’s definitely been some doors that have been opened that might not have been without The Voice being there.”

One of those doors include the opportunity to bring new music to his constantly growing and loyal fan base. He’s currently working on an album, which he describes as “higher quality and just more me,” as well as “ten times better than anything I’ve ever put out.” Brandon admits that he can’t wait for fans to hear the new tunes. “I’m extremely excited. I feel like it meets the standard of where music’s out today and it just gives me hope to be a success on radio and I just hope that people will accept it and receive it.”

Joshua Scott Jones Releases Debut Solo Single

Photo courtesy of MSO

Joshua Scott Jones, best know as part of the country duo Steel Magnolia, is going solo!

Jones has just released his debut single, “Honk (If You’re Tonky),” and the track is available now on iTunes and other digital outlets. Regarding the new single, Joshua had this to share: “‘Honk (If You’re Tonky)’ spoke very loudly to me right off the bat as an anthem for guys. It speaks to the misunderstood side of men, that makes us rough around the edges while carrying the burden of a big heart and just wanting to live in harmony with yourself. What better than an ‘anthem’ for a first single?” You can stream and take a listen to the track here: http://youtu.be/feWZnCS5iHs.

The song serves as the lead single to his upcoming album, The Healing, due out later this year. You name the role, Joshua took it on with this album. From singing, writing, and playing multiple instruments (guitar, piano and even some percussion) to executive producing, this very personal album is all Joshua.

He explained: “It feels like a long time coming. It’s like moving into a new home or getting a new car; you have strong sentiment and deep attachment for the old car, but are eager to get behind the wheel of the new one.” He continued on to say, “I feel like at this point in my life as an artist, I can’t be anything but candid. The record certainly reflects my headspace over the last few years and tells the story of what I’ve gone through, especially the title track of the record, ‘The Healing.’”

Jones will be a playing a public showcase during Country Radio Seminar (CRS) week, Wednesday, February 19th at 12th & Porter. There, fans will get an advanced listen of his new material.

Jones is also looking forward to hitting the road again and connecting with the audience. Tour dates will be announced soon so stay tuned.

Itunes link to purchase: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/honk-if-youre-tonky-single/id789803809.

Keepin’ It Country’s Top Albums of 2013

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Although everyone on our staff loves country music, we have different tastes and don’t always agree. For this reason, we didn’t compile a comprehensive list of our favorite collective country albums of the past year. Instead, some of our staff picked their individual faves. Make sure to let us know your faves of 2013!

Jen’s Picks: 

Cassadee PopeFrame By Frame: I am admittedly one of those music lovers who listens to an album the first time and is simply incapable of forming an opinion. No matter how much I love the artist, I sit there with a blank stare after the first spin. So, in all fairness to the artist, I listen again. That was my experience with Frame By Frame. I listened the first time, and the true stand outs to me were, the already loved, “Wasting All These Tears,” “Easier to Lie,” “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart,” and “11.” And for me to find four songs I like in the first spin is pretty impressive. In subsequent attempts to listen to Frame By Frame, I have found myself loving every track and even using Cassadee’s debut country album to accompany me during long, tedious runs to help the time go by. Each track exemplifies Cassadee’s gorgeous vocals, versatility, and incredible range. Give it a whirl … you will be begging for more from this CRS New Face!

Tyler Farr Goes Platinum With “Redneck Crazy”

Tyler Farr

Tyler Farr has many milestones to celebrate lately!

His number one hit single, “Redneck Crazy,” has been certified platinum by the RIAA. Farr was surprised with his commemorative plaque at the Sony Music Nashville CMA Party.

“Redneck Crazy” is the lead single for Farr’s debut album of the same name, which was released in late September. Redneck Crazy, which opened at number two on the Billboard Country Albums Chart, is the biggest selling debut album by a male country artist since 2011.

In addition to celebrating his new platinum status, Farr has also been nominated for the CRS 2014 New Faces Country Music Show.

Farr’s newest single, “Whiskey In My Water” is impacting country radio and climbing the charts. He is currently on the road with Florida Georgia Line, and will join Jason Aldean on tour next year.

For more info and tour dates, check out: http://www.tylerfarr.com/home.

Congratulations, Tyler!

Tyler Farr Platinum

Join Jessica Northey for #Cmchat LIVE at The Ryman Wednesday 2/27

Ryman

Our friend Jessica Northey will be hosting a special edition of her famous #CMchat LIVE from the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, February 27th from 4-7 PM CST. If that’s not exciting enough, “#CMchat LIVE at the Ryman” will feature a TON of guests, including Tracy Lawrence, Jerrod Niemann, JT Hodges, KIC “One to Watch,” Rose Falcon, Sunny Sweeney and recent KIC Presents performer Logan Mize! Many more are expected to join in, so this is an internet event not to miss! The artists and panel will be interviewing the artists and interacting with fans/ viewers through Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus as a kick off to “CRS” week!

 Fans can RSVP HERE to get reminders on Google and we’ll be posting the event right here on our site! Make sure to join us! :)

Faith Hill Releasing New Single

Faith Hill.

One half of country music royalty will be returning to the charts this week. Faith Hill‘s brand new single, “American Heart,” was sent to country radio on September 17th, before it’s official add date of October 1st. It’s the follow-up to her comeback single, a remake of OneRepublic’s “Come Home.”

Her new song is a co-write by Jim Beavers and Jonathan Singleton. It was produced by both Byron Gallimore and Faith herself! The single is from her upcoming album, which Faith admitted backstage at CMA Fest is completed. There’s still no release date announced for her record.

“American Heart” was one of the three brand new songs Faith performed at CRS in February. There’s no word yet on when the single will be available for digital release, but keep your ears out and let us know if you’ve heard it yet on your local radio station!