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Time is quickly ticking down for singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett! He’s engaged to his childhood sweetheart Lauren Gregory. The pair met when they both went to first grade together, and started dating at fifteen. They broke up, but quickly found their way back to each other. They dated for another eight months after college before Thomas finally proposed.
The future Mr and Mrs Rhett will get married this October. The ceremony will take place just outside Nashville, Tennessee. We wish them the best!
The Valory Music Co’s rising star in Thomas Rhett has been forced to cancel two upcoming shows this weekend. The “Something To Do With My Hands” singer was advised to do so by his doctor following a diagnosis of both mononucleosis and tonsillitis. He was to be the special guest on Toby Keith‘s Live In Overdrive tour stops on Friday, August 24th in Atlanta, Georgia, and Saturday August 25th in Charlotte, North Carolina. He joins label mate Brantley Gilbert on the tour. Toby and Brantley’s shows will still go on as scheduled.
Thomas feels bad for having to cancel the two dates and wrote a message for his fans who were hoping to see him this weekend at both dates:
“I was really looking forward to Atlanta and Charlotte with Toby Keith and Brantley Gilbert this weekend. Cannot wait to get back and see the fans.”
Tickets are still available for the shows this weekend by visiting ticketmaster.com. Us here at Keepin’ it Country wish Thomas a speedy recovery and hope to see him back out on the road again soon!
Toby Keith’s “Live In Overdrive” tour kicked off over the weekend with stops in Salt Lake City, Denver, and Albuquerque.
Opening acts, Brantley Gilbert and Thomas Rhett, both Georgia natives, had the opportunity to meet one of their football heroes, Denver Broncos’ running back and former Georgia Bulldog, Knowshon Moreno, Friday night at Denver’s Comfort Dental Amphitheatre. Both artists’ singles are currently racing up the charts with Gilbert’s second single, “You Don’t Know Her like I Do” headed to #1. Thomas Rhett’s debut single, “Something To Do With My Hands,” is already Top 20 and rising, making him one of the hottest new acts out this year.
Country newcomer Thomas Rhett has partnered with Hand On Nashville and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to encourage volunteers to help out and serve their community.
On Thursday, June 7 at 9:45 AM at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee (331 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN, 37228), Rhett will have an intimate, acoustic concert for the volunteers who come to pack and sort food. Rhett hopes to encourage volunteers to get involved in their community and find “something to do with their hands.”
Photo Credit: Justin Nolan Key
The Valory Music Co proudly announced their new signing of Thomas Akins to their artist roster today. The Georgia native is the son of songwriter Rhett Akins. He was a student in 2010 at the Lipcomb University in Nashville, Tennessee and signed his first EMI publishing deal. He wrote the Jason Aldean track “I Ain’t Ready To Quit” on his mega-hit “My Kinda Party” album.
“I honestly can’t believe all of this is finally here! I am so pumped to be working with The Valory Music Company!” said Thomas. “There is no doubt in my mind that Scott Borchetta and his staff are the most caring, family-oriented, hardest working team in the business. It truly is an honor to be labelmates with Brantley, Justin and Reba.”
Thomas is currently working on his debut album for the label, and he’ll join Brantley Gilbert out on the road on select dates.
Hank Williams Jr has been named as a headliner for this year’s 2nd Annual Taste of Country Music Festival. This iconic performer will be hitting the stage as part of a bevvy of acts that will be on at the Hunter Mountain Resort between June 13 to 15, 2014.
Williams was announced along with artists Eric Paslay, Leah Turner, The Cadillac Three and Jamie Lynn Spears. They will be joining the previously announced list that included: headliner Brad Paisley, co-headliners Dierks Bentley and Brantley Gilbert, and Randy Houser, Thompson Square, Craig Morgan, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr, Charlie Worsham, Chase Rice, Blackjack Billy and Gwen Sebastian.
Although a relatively new festival, only in its second year, the Taste of Country Music Festival has already become one of summer’s most highly anticipated events. The “Pretty Early” price level tickets are sold out, but y’all can take advantage, still, of the “Not So Early” pricing at www.tasteofcountryfestival.com. For a limited time, general admission tickets start at the Not So Early price of only $150.00 for a 3-day pass, and VIP packages start at $525.00 for a 3-day VIP “Outlaw Pass” with “Super Outlaw Pass” and “Ultimate Outlaw Pass” packages available as well. Information on VIP package details and pricing, hotel accommodations, mountainside camping, directions and more is available online. But, will Hank Williams Jr being announced, these tickets are not expected to last much longer!
Photo: Taste of Country Music Festival official logo
The Grammy nominated and chart-topping Jake Owen will headline the Military Appreciation Day Ceremony for The Players Championship. The annual PGA tournament will run May 6th to May 11th, and Owen’s performance will take place on May 7th at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse Lawn. Throughout the day, there will be special activities and programs celebrating our servicemen and women as well as a military pageantry and high-profile speakers, including PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.
Jake is proud to be a part of the event: “Performing for the military is always a true honor. I admire what these men and women do to serve our country and I can’t wait to show my support.”
The Players are providing active, retired, and reserved military members and their immediate families with complimentary admission during the tournament week. Also, veterans will be offered discounted admission. For more information, visit: http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/the-players-championship.html.
Meanwhile, Jake is about to embark on his Days of Gold Tour in March. Special guests for select dates will include Eli Young Band, Parmalee, Thomas Rhett, and The Cadillac Three. For tour dates, check out: http://www.jakeowen.net.
*Photo Credit: Jeff Lipsky/Sony Music Nashville
The Academy of Country Music has announced the headliners and full lineup for their 2nd Annual Party For A Cause® Festival. Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban were named the festival’s headliners, taking the main stage on Friday, April 4th, and Saturday, April 5th, respectively.
This year’s star-studded lineup also includes Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, and The Cadillac Three. Joining them, will be the three ACM New Artist of the Year nominees and many more to be announced.
This year’s Party For A Cause® Festival will be hosted by Outnumber Hunger and ACM Lifting Lives and held at Caesars Entertainment’s The LINQ. The festival will be the first ever special event to be held in this open-air lifestyle complex at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Over the two days, The LINQ will transform into a country-lover’s playground with elements already tied to this ACM event, such as: multiple stages to hold ongoing LIVE country music performances, interactive games, a country marketplace, and more activities to be announced as the Festival approaches!
“We are thrilled to kick off the first of many large-scale concerts and events at The LINQ with the Academy of Country Music,” said Jon Gray, vice president and general manager of The LINQ. Caesars Entertainment has always been an industry leader in presenting top-of-the-line entertainment experiences in Las Vegas, and our space at The LINQ offers many new opportunities for us to continue to raise the bar of the city’s entertainment landscape.”
The Party For A Cause® Festival is part of The Week Vegas Goes Country® leading up to the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on CBS.
“The Academy is honored to have Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban headline two separate nights of incredible music during The Week Vegas Goes Country®” said Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “Fans nationwide plan their vacations around ACM events, and they will be blown away by The LINQ and all that Caesars has put into the property. We’re privileged to be the first event in this very special space.”
Country music is probably the most accepting and welcoming genre in music. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that newcomers enter the scene often and immediately imprint our hearts with their sincerity and gratitude, and win our support with their undeniable talents. The staff at Keepin’ It Country has compiled a list of those we are Keepin’ Our Eyes On in 2014. We suggest you all take notes and keep a close lookout for these up and coming artists. We have a feeling they will be filling your iPods and blaring from your stereo speakers in the very near future.
Jenn Bostic – With a hit record in the United Kingdom and nearly half a dozen Independent Country Music Awards under her belt, “Jenn Bostic” is becoming a name commonly uttered by country music fans alike. If you haven’t heard Bostic’s breakout song, “Jealous of the Angels,” you are missing out on a song that will simultaneously touch and break your heart, all the while soothing your soul. It won’t take long until the United States’ radio stations take notice of this talented, warm, and beautiful artist. Mark our words.
Brandy Clark – She may hate orange and she may not look good in stripes, but she sure does sound sensational singing about same. With impressive songwriting credentials under her belt, Clark contributed her vocal talent to Sheryl Crow’s 2012 tour. Clark later released an EP, entitled Brandy Clark, and a full-length album, 12 Stories, which has received countless rave reviews. With the release of 12 Stories taking place so late in 2013, the album has barely had time just yet to circulate to its fullest potential, but we anticipate that radio stations are going to take notice sooner, rather than later, and make Clark a household country music name.
Lucy Hale – You may have been watching Hale for years in her role as Aria Montgomery on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. However, you might have been unaware that Hale first entered our homes on the small screen due to her musical talents. Ten years after Hale introduced her vocal abilities to America, she has returned, honoring her Tennessee roots, and recently released her debut country music single. If “You Sound Good To Me” is any indication of what Hale’s entire album is going to prove, consider Hale the next successful crossover artist from television to music.
Caroline Kole – She entered the scene as a pre-teen, sharing the stage with iconic country singer, Reba McEntire. She shares management with McEntire, Blake Shelton, and Kelly Clarkson. She is only sixteen years old. At sixteen, Kole has had experiences that most of us could only dream about and she is not even close to being done. Kole’s debut EP is being released this Tuesday, January 14, 2014, and is unmistakably a perfect introduction to country music fans. What will fans take from this album? Kole is mature; Kole is talented; Kole is bringing country back … and Kole, along with her classic country sound, are here to stay.
Jamie Lynn Spears – You have likely known of Spears for most of her life because of her family. You might have watched her on Zoey 101 or read about her in a magazine or twenty. However, this is a Jamie Lynn Spears you never knew before and is worth taking time to get to know. Bursting into country music with a song that people were initially skeptical about, Spears shocked the country music world with her raw, beautiful vocals on “How Could I Want More?” The track left country music fans wanting more, and we anticipate that Spears will provide more … and continue to make a name for herself in music.
Frankie Ballard – Although Frankie Ballard had moderate country success a few years ago with “A Buncha Girls,” his current single “Helluva Life” is currently climbing the radio airwaves in anticipation of the release of his forthcoming album with Warner Brothers, Sunshine and Whiskey. Ballard possesses a laid-back style and an effortlessly country voice that is sure to continue to endear him to country fans and help him truly break out in 2014.
Austin Webb – We dare you to listen to Austin Webb’s “Slip On By” and not stop in your tracks and feel the goosebumps rise on the back of your neck. Then give a listen to “It’s All Good” and you’re sure to find a smile creep over your lips. Webb possesses a soulful voice and storytelling ability that is hard to come by in today’s music scene and he’s also killer on the harmonica. His sound hearkens back to a seemingly bye-gone era in country music that we’d fully support him ushering back. He’s currently working on his debut album with Byron Gallimore (Lee Ann Womack, Tim McGraw) and we can’t wait to hear it.
Chase Rice - Once upon a time, Chase Rice was just another contestant on CBS’s Survivor, and although he may not have won that reality show, his country career took off in a big way due to a little song named “Cruise.” He co-wrote the Florida-Georgia Line megahit and released his own EP “Ready Set Roll” that is sure to win over country music fans. Rice will hit the road with Billy Currington and Brett Eldredge later this year, while also hopefully completing a full-length album.
Eric Paslay – There’s absolutely no denying the ear-wormability of Eric Paslay’s current single, “Friday Night.” While that catchy tune has finally given Paslay attention as an artist, you’re undoubtedly already a fan of his work. He’s written tracks like Jake Owen‘s #1 hit “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Love and Theft‘s “Angel Eyes” and Eli Young Band‘s “Even if it Breaks Your Heart.” At six feet, four inches, the man is a giant walking hit factory and we expect to hear much more from Paslay in 2014, as he continues to hone his leading man skills on tour with Brantley Gilbert and Thomas Rhett.
Dan + Shay - This Warner Music Nashville duo, consisting of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, was formed just a little over a year ago, but they have come onto the country scene in full force. They released their debut single “19 You + Me” back in October, and it was the most added debut single of 2013. It is currently climbing the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts, and this week, it also debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100. “19 You + Me” is one of those songs that you love on first listen and then hit repeat, and we expect it to continue its rise. Plus, we hear a bit of Rascal Flatts in there, and really, that’s always a good thing. If the single and their YouTube videos are any indication of what is to come, Dan + Shay will definitely be making a big name for themselves.
Jill and Kate – We have been fans of Jill Pickering & Kate Rapier, collectively Jill and Kate, for years. After being long-time members of Kelly Clarkson‘s band and touring worldwide, the girls decided in 2012 to focus full-time on their own music. They have independently released a handful of albums and EPs (their most recent – Heart of Stone), and will be releasing new music this year. There are not many voices who sound as cohesive and blend as effortlessly well together as Jill and Kate’s do. Keep your eyes on this talented duo… we think this may be their break-out year.
The Swon Brothers – With Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery already impacting country music in a big way, we think this fellow The Voice/Team Blake duo is next (Blake Shelton really has an ear for talent, doesn’t he?). The Swon Brothers, signed to Arista Nashville, recently released their new single “Later On” and the song hit number one on the iTunes Country Songs Chart within 24 hours. It will officially be sent to radio next month and their debut album is set for later this year. The brothers – Zach and Colton – are well on their way.
Striking Matches - Striking Matches, made up of Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis, recently signed with Capitol Records’ new label, I.R.S. Records Nashville. They have been gaining momentum and much notoriety with writing several songs for the hit ABC television show, Nashville, as well as partnering with CMT and having the backing of the Grand Ole Opry. The duo already has a self-titled EP under their belts, and they are now hard at work on their debut album. They are sure to continue their rise in country music.
Blackjack Billy - Composed of Rob Blackledge, Noll Billings, Jeff Coplan, Patrick Cornell, and Brad Cummings, this country rock band independently released their debut single “The Booze Cruise” last March. The song became a SiriusXM “The Highway” find as well as the biggest-selling song on iTunes by a band without a major label for the first half of 2013. Later in the year, the band was signed to Bigger Picture Music Group and released a five-song EP entitled Get Some. They have the sound; they have the look… With the backing of the label, we are sure to hear even more from them this year.
The 49th Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards airs April 6th on CBS and, as always, fans will vote and choose the winner for “New Artist Of The Year”.
The ACM and Great American Country have announced the talent-filled list of eight semi-finalists: Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett, and Parmalee. With these great artists, it is sure to be a tight race.
Voting begins on Jan. 21st and runs through Feb. 4th. The three top nominees will then move on to the final voting round, which goes from March 24th until April 6th.
The winner will be announced live during the ACM broadcast this spring.