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Big & Rich, Jana Kramer, Brett Eldredge & David Lee Murphy Take Part in ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp 2012

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ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp just concluded a week in Nashville with campers from across America participating in various activities and excursions around Nashville. The Camp has two purposes: a study of Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities and providing music enrichment through performance and education.

The camp featured a Monday songwriting session led by Brett Eldredge and David Lee Murphy, who led campers in a songwriting session, creating “We’re Having a Party,” an original song based on campers’ personal experiences and inspirations.

Later in the week, on Thursday, Jana Kramer stopped by the Vanderbilt campus for a cookout and sing-a-long. The camp wrapped on Friday at the Grand Ole Opry with a performance from Big & Rich. Additionally, the campers performed “We’re Having a Party.”

Check out the photos from this incredible week!

Tate Stevens’ album hits number 4 on Billboard

Tate Stevens.

The self-titled debut album from FOX’s The X Factor Season 2 winner and Syco Music/RCA Nashville recording artist Tate Stevens has debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart this week. The album, produced by Blake Chancey, features his current single, “Power Of A Love Song.” Stevens co-wrote three songs on the album, which also features such acclaimed songwriters as Carson Chamberlain, Dallas Davidson, Drew Davis, Joe Diffie, Ashley Gorley, Ben Hayslip, Wade Kirby, Shane Minor, David Lee Murphy, and Rivers Rutherford, among others.

About the success of the album, Tate said:

“I am so proud of this album and so excited that music fans have chosen to spend their hard-earned money to buy it. It has been my life-long goal to record an album that people would enjoy, and to see it debut at No. 4 is truly a dream come true. I am a blessed man and so thankful for all my fans.”

Stevens is sure to celebrate his album’s debut tonight (May 1) when he performs at Renegades in West Palm Beach, Fla., and tomorrow (May 2) when he performs at Joyland in Bradenton, Fla. For additional tour dates, visit tatestevensofficial.com.

X Factor Winner Tate Stevens to be featured at GRAMMY awards

Tate Stevens.

Belton, Missouri native Tate Stevens captivated viewers worldwide on FOX’s The X Factor Season 2 with his emotive and powerful country vocal performances—never placing less than second throughout the entire competition. Now, from appearances on one star-studded stage to the next, Stevens will unveil a first look of his debut music video for the song “Holler If You’re With Me,” at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on February 10 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST/PST. The new music video will debut during the GRAMMY broadcast complements of The X Factor sponsor Pepsi, as part of the grand prize awarded to Stevens in addition to his $5 million recording contract with Syco Music/RCA Nashville. Additionally, the song, “Holler If You’re With Me,” will be available for download on iTunes beginning Tuesday, February 5.

Starting out the competition as a 37-year-old blue collar construction worker with humble roots and a seemingly far-fetched dream of becoming a country music superstar, Stevens’ recent win on The X Factor proved to the world that in fact, dreams do come true.

Tate shares:

“Things are moving very fast since the finale of X Factor, and we’re already laying down tracks for my new album that will be out this spring. I truly feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity.”

Viewers of the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards can expect the new video “Holler If You’re With Me” to be what Stevens calls “a feel good anthem song,” and the accompanying video to encompass the picturesque scenery of Simi Valley, Calif.

“Having chased this dream for nearly a decade, I was certainly familiar with the concept of a music video, but I had no idea what to expect. In spite of the 50 mph winds, everyone on the set had a great time. It’s a party song and so it was only fitting that we threw a party! I’m sure more than a few folks watching the GRAMMYs at home can relate.”

As spring approaches, Stevens is gearing up for the release of his debut country album, which he says will have an overall upbeat, feel-good tone. A true singer’s singer and songwriter, he plans to write many of the songs on the record, teaming up with Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Shane Minor and David Lee Murphy. Renowned Nashville producer, Blake Chancey, will produce the record.

Included in his co-writes for the album, Stevens recently collaborated with his long-time idol, country singer/songwriter Joe Diffie.

“The moment I sat down in that room with Joe it hit me – this is my life now, this is my chance to follow in the path of my heroes and make my own unique mark on the genre – and that’s exactly what I plan to do.”

Make sure to tune in February 10th to see Tate’s first-ever country music video! Are you excited for the latest reality show winner?

Florida Georgia Line to Release Debut Album “Here’s to the Good Times” on 12/4

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All summer long, the guys of Florida Georgia Line have been cruising up the charts with their infectious first single, “Cruise,” which was recently certified GOLD and has drawn Twitter buzz from the likes of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban & Jennifer Nettles. On the heels of that hit, the duo will be releasing their debut album, Here’s To The Good Times, on December 4th.

“Releasing our debut album is a dream come true! We can’t wait to share our lives through music with our amazing fans,” said FGL’s Brian Kelley. His band mate, Tyler Hubbard  added, “There truly is something for everyone on this album and we could not be more proud of it!”

PHOTOS: ACM Lifting Lives Camp with Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, and More!

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Throughout the week, the 3rd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp has been taking place in Nashville, TN with some of country’s famous faces volunteering their time to help out. The music camp is a week-long residential program open nationwide to those with developmental disabilities who are talented in music. ACM Lifting Lives camp has partnered with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, which is for individuals who have been diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder similar to Autism but with musical ability or intense music interest. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the camp, which allows the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to enhance their training and research and to dedicate their service to improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

So far this week, the campers have had the opportunity to participate with some of country’s biggest stars, including Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, and hit singer/songwriter David Lee Murphy and producer Paul Worley.

Third Annual “Lifting Lives” Music Camp

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ACM Lifting Lives® and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities will partner again for the 3rd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp, June 18-June 22, 2012, in Nashville. Country artists Lauren Alaina, Big & Rich, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge and Jana Kramer, along with hit singer/songwriter David Lee Murphy and renowned producer Paul Worley, have selflessly agreed to volunteer their time with the special-needs campers throughout the week.

The camp is a week-long residential program open to individuals with developmental disabilities. The camp’s mission is to study Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities while providing music enrichment through performance and education. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the camp, in addition to providing scholarships to several campers.

Grammy Pre-Telecast Country Winners!

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It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – The GRAMMY’s are airing tonight! All but 8 of the GRAMMY categories are handed out during the pre-telecast, including the majority of the Country categories. Find out who the winners were below!

Best Country Solo Performance

Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean
I’m Gonna Love You Through It – Martina McBride
Honey Bee – Blake Shelton
Mean – Taylor Swift – WINNER
Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Don’t You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean With Kelly Clarkson
You And Tequila – Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter
Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars – WINNER
Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not – Thompson Square

Best Country Song
Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not – Jim Collins & David Lee Murphy – songwriters (Thompson Square)
God Gave Me You – Dave Barnes, songwriter (Blake Shelton)
Just Fishin’ – Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell & Ed Hill – songwriter (Trace Adkins)
Mean – Taylor Swift – songwriter (Taylor Swift) – WINNER
Threaten Me With Heaven – Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Will Owsley & Dillon O’Brian – songwriters (Vince Gill)
You And Tequila – Matraca Berg & Deana Carter – songwriters (Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter)

Best Country Album will be announced and awarded tonight on the televised awards.

You can catch the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards tonight on CBS at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Country artists set to perform tonight are Jason Aldean (with Kelly Clarkson), Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood (with Tony Bennett) and The Band Perry and Blake Shelton will join Glen Campbell and the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award winner for a very special performance. Be sure to tune in!

ACM Songwriter of the Year Nominees

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The Academy of Country Music have just announced their nominees for Songwriter of the Year for the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Congratulations to all the nominees!

The nominees for Songwriter of the Year are…

Rhett Akins
Dallas Davidson
Ben Hayslip
Luke Laird
David Lee Murphy

Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Induct Five

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Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and songwriters John Bettis, Thom Schuyler, and Allen Shamblin were the five inductees into the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame last night at the 41st anniversary of the Hall Of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony. The event was held at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

Garth was inducted by manager Bob Doyle and Hall of Fame songwriter and producer Allen Reynolds. Five of Garth’s songwriting buddies performed a medley of his hits including “The Thunder Rolls,” If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “We Shall Be Free,” “The River,” and, “When You Come Back To Me Again.”

Alan was inducted by Capitol Nashville boss Mike Dungan. The Wrights performed a medley of Alan’s greatest hits including “Good Time,” “Remember When,” “Chattahoochie,” “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” and, “Here In The Real World.” Taylor Swift then took the stage to perform “Where Were You.”

John Bettis was inducted by songwriter Michael Clarke, with Brett James and Wayne Kirkpatrick performing a medley of his hit songs. Lynn Anderson joined the set with a performance of “Top Of The World.” Thom Schuyler was inducted by Don Schultz. Fred Knoblich, Tony Arata, and Jelly Roll Johnson performed Thom’s songs including “16th Avenue” performed by Lacy J Dalton. Allen Shamblin was inducted by songwriter Mike Reed, with Lionel Cartright performing a mix of Allen’s songs. Wynonna came onstage for the finale performance of the medley for Allen with “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” also received recognition at the ceremony, winning “Song Of The Year” honors for lead singer, and songwriter, Kimberly Perry. Chris DuBois was once again named “Songwriter of the year,” and Taylor Swift won “Songwriter/Artist Of The Year” for the fourth straight year.

The NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) also named its “10 songs I wish I had written” at the ceremony. Check them out below:

Rodney Atkins Is Taking A Back Road Today

Rodney Atkins.

Rodney Atkins must be feeling pretty good these days. His fourth studio album “Take A Back Road” was released everywhere today. The album features the title track, a sixth career number one hit, holding the top spot for two weeks in both the United States and Canada. It was his second number one single in Canada. His single has sold over 600,000 copies at almost 40,000 a week. His album features tracks “Cabin In The Woods,” “He’s Mine,” and “Take A Back Road.” Rodney co-produced the album with Ted Hewitt.

To celebrate its release, Rodney is spending the day doing radio interviews from Wrigley Field in Chicago. He’ll throw some pitches for Chicago Cubs players later on in the day, and will mow the field with a Massey Ferguson tractor.

Rodney will be featured on GAC tv on October 12th with his own special on the channel. “Origins: Rodney Atkins” will explore the career of the Tennessee native and the stories behind the songs on his latest album. It will premiere at 10 pm EST on GAC.

See the full track listing for “Take A Back Road” under the “read more” button.