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The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions have announced ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To the Troops, a concert event featuring some of the biggest names in country music paying tribute to our armed forces, which will be broadcast Tuesday, May 20th, 9:00-11:00pm EST, on the CBS Television Network.
The special will be taped Monday, April 7th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and feature performances by country music superstars Merle Haggard, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry among others (to be announced) as a part of the all-star lineup for the event.
Sarah Darling‘s “Blackbird,” a remake of the Paul McCartney penned Beatles classic, will be featured in the 200th episode of CBS’ Criminal Minds at 9 p.m. EST/PST tonight.
Darling was also in the news last week, receiving a nod from country music superstar Carrie Underwood in an interview with Glam, who said she would like to see more females doing really well in country music. “The ones who are out there — myself, Miranda, Reba, Taylor — are doing really well. I would just love to see more,” Underwood said. “It makes me a little sad when I do look at the charts and I see one female in the top 20. I really hope this is the year of the woman, and I really hope that there are some really breakthrough, amazing female artists that people can hear.” She goes on to specifically reference Darling, saying she has “such a sweet voice.”
Tune in to CBS to watch Criminal Minds tonight, and download Darling’s version of “Blackbird” here.
Ashliegh Lisset, a country artist from the great state of Texas, is down-to-earth and cognizant of the impact music has on its listeners. That is why Ashliegh strives in her career to be an attainable artist who embraces her ability to relate to fans, while providing herself with a creative outlet. We were privileged to sit down and speak with Ashliegh about her music career aspirations, how she is inspired in her career, and an upcoming announcement of which she gave us a little exclusive sneak preview!
Ashliegh’s story begins differently than most artists’. It is common to hear that artists were singing before they were talking and had a passion for music since they were in diapers. While Ashliegh sang as a young child, she discovered her true passion for music later in life and enveloped herself in this new companion when her world shattered around her. When Ashliegh was eleven years old, her father, who was serving his second tour for Operation Iraqi Freedom, was killed in the line of duty.
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announced today the first-ever iHeartRadio Country Festival. Country music’s biggest superstars will hit the stage at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, March 29, to celebrate all things country.
Straight from the heart of Austin, the music of the iHeartRadio app will come to life with an extraordinary lineup including: Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen and Dan + Shay, with more to be announced. The iHeartRadio Country Festival will be hosted by nationally-syndicated country music personality Bobby Bones.
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!
Cassadee Pope – Frame 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!
Thank-you to all of our KIC friends and readers for voting in our recent polls!
First we asked you to pick the Best Albums of 2013, and you did not disappoint!
Scotty McCreery and Danielle Bradbery fans showed up big time to vote for their favorites. It was a back and forth between the two at first. Bradbery’s self titled debut album had the lead for quite a while, but McCreery’s See You Tonight took the lead yesterday and won with 39% of the vote. Keith Urban and his Fuse album had a very strong showing too, and his fans brought him to the third spot. Blake Shelton, Cassadee Pope, and Kellie Pickler rounded out the Top 6 and also had solid support from the fans.
Here are your Top 10 Albums of 2013:
1. Scotty McCreery – See You Tonight
2. Danielle Bradbery – Danielle Bradbery
3. Keith Urban – Fuse
4. Blake Shelton – Based On A True Story
5. Cassadee Pope – Frame By Frame
6. Kellie Pickler – The Woman I Am
7. The Band Perry – Pioneer
8. Luke Bryan – Crash My Party
9. Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park
10. Brad Paisley – Wheelhouse
Our next polls were male & female Break-Out Artist for 2014.
Again, Danielle Bradbery fans brought in big numbers for the Break-out Female poll. Bradbery took the early lead and held it throughout the voting period. Caroline Kole came in at number two with Cassadee Pope finishing in third. It was a fight for second and third; only two votes separated Kole and Pope in the end and was a very close race.
Our Break-Out Male poll might be the most exciting. After countless requests and tweets for Casey James, we added him to the list of voting options. We have loved James since American Idol, and think he is very talented. It is just difficult to choose artists when you have to limit the voting options, but we are so glad you spoke out and we could include him.
And you really proved yourselves! Well done, Casey fans… he won with 38% of the vote. Thomas Rhett was an early favorite and held the lead for quite some time, before James topped him. Brett Eldredge had a solid showing as well and rounded out the Top 3.
And our final poll was Best Artist of 2013. We wanted to have a limited list here, and not have endless options. Our team chose who we thought were the top 5 artists of 2013 (Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, & Taylor Swift) and asked you to make the final decision. Voting was clear from the beginning and never wavered. Carrie Underwood is your pick for Best Artist of 2013. Shelton and Bryan finished second and third respectively.
There is a trend among our winners in these recent polls… Artists from American Idol and The Voice always have some of the most loyal fan bases around. We love how dedicated you are to your artists!
Thank-you all for making our polls a success and a great amount of fun for us! We really enjoy hearing your thoughts and opinions, so we appreciate your participation.
Until next time!
Who do you think deserves the title of “Best Artist of 2013″? We don’t think this list of unbelievable talents could make the decision here any tougher and we know you adore them, but we need you to pick just one. Let us know which of these elite artists gets your vote for 2013.
Best Artist of 2013
Total Voters: 340
In today’s music, it is common to hear a remix of some of your favorite songs; even heartfelt power ballads have turned into dance hits with the help of some of music’s most talented DJs. And just when you thought DJ’ing couldn’t become anymore unique, enter Dee Jay Silver, the first DJ to be signed to a major Nashville record label. Dee Jay has played in premier venues in virtually every major market in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, but has ultimately found his home in Nashville. Whether he is touring with Jason Aldean and playing in sold out stadiums, performing on the American Country Awards, or remixing the work of some of country’s best known artists, Dee Jay is bringing his talents to the fans of country music in a myriad of ways. Dee Jay took some time out of his day of “bad television” while he recovered from the ACAs in Las Vegas to talk with me about his music, his favorite tour stop to date, and his future plans (which included getting back to Nashville stat!).
Taking a classic Broadway show and movie and recreating the story in front of a live television audience cannot be an easy task. Doing same in a world of social media and skeptics ready to pounce … well, that is probably as easy as climbing a mountain and attempting to escape the Nazis. As a whole, this particular The Sound of Music guru thought the production was impressive, the sets were spectacular, and the hard work of everybody involved was certainly evident.
Let’s start at the very beginning … The moment Audra McDonald opened her mouth when the production began, there was no question that the part of Mother Abbess could not have been better cast. This fact held true throughout the entire production, but we will get back to Mother Abbess later, because her rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” deserves a separate discussion.
This past Friday night, Garth Brooks‘ Las Vegas show aired live on CBS from The Wynn to fans’ delight, and the highly anticipated television special certainly did not disappoint! With 8.7 million viewers spending their Black Friday nights curled up on their couches, watching one of country music’s best, the special doubled Lady Gaga’s recently aired Muppets event. Clearly fans do not live by the old cliche “out of sight, out of mind,” and are eagerly awaiting the day Garth announces that he will be bringing his show back out on the road!
Clad in work boots, baggy jeans, a hoodie, and a Wynn Las Vegas baseball cap, Garth owned the stage on which he was only accompanied by a guitar. With stories from his childhood and brief covers of songs on which he grew up, Garth entertained the live and television audiences with his sense of humor, charisma, and stellar vocals. While sharing tales about his large family and their many adventures during Garth’s childhood (such as riding shotgun and fearing for his life as his mother’s lead foot took over the vehicle), Garth covered some of the influential songs that impacted his career. The show could best be classified as “stand-up comedy … with a guitar.”
Garth also “surprised” the audience with a cameo by his superstar country vocalist wife, Trisha Yearwood, who joined her husband on stage for a performance of the couple’s “In Another’s Eyes.” Before leaving the stage, Trisha also gave us a brief sampling of one of her most infamous songs “She’s In Love With the Boy.” Luckily for us diehard Garth fans, we were also blessed with performances (albeit mere clips) of some of Garth’s oldies and goodies, including “Somewhere Other Than the Night” and party classic “Friends In Low Places.” Perhaps the most incredible moment of the night, at least for this particular huge Garth fan, was the performance of “Shameless.” Not only does Garth own the Billy Joel cover every time the words slip through his lips, but during this specific performance, Garth let go of his true and tried stage companion (his acoustic guitar), and sang a portion of the song a cappella. At that point, 8.7 million hearts simultaneously melted.
The two-hour event was a blast from the past, as well as a glimpse into the future, of Garth’s country career and left fans craving more … especially to the tune of a 2014 tour. Between the release of Garth’s eight-disc Blame It All On My Roots boxed set and the live airing of his final Las Vegas show, fans are buzzing about the possibility of Garth coming out of “retirement,” hitting the road, and sharing his music — new and old — with country music fans across the world.
Not only did fans of country music sit with their eyes glued to their televisions on Friday night, but Garth’s peers in the country music industry tuned in to watch their beloved idol entertain the masses. Below are some of our favorite reaction tweets from country musicians:
@DierksBentley: still the man… #garthbrooks
@carrieunderwood: Loving this #GarthBrooks special! Saw the show in Vegas a few years ago…so much joy and love for music! #Inspired #FellowOkie
@TheSwonBrothers: Who does Chuck Norris fear?? #GarthBrooks
@KCMuessigmann: Garth Brooks is the single greatest entertainer EVER born. Biggest influence on my music, as well as every other mid-20′s artist out there.
@jodeemessina: OMG! Watching Garth special. He is amazing! Some people have just “got it”. Ha. He just happens to have a LOT of it. Rock on Garth! Xoxo
@TheFarmMusic: That’s about as good as it gets folks …a true entertainer. #Garth
@johnrich: Watching #Garth right now. Country music’s Elvis! Also, I never realized how much he and @glennbeck look alike. Am I right?
@mallaryhope: Garth Brooks is the best ever. The end
@WillHoge: there’s some jackass on CBS TOTALLY ripping off Chris Gaines right now. He should sue this dude
@cavanaughmusic: Garth brooks is the man for a reason
If anything became evident during this event, it is that “retirement” has not affected the stunning vocals of this iconic performer, nor has time away from the limelight hindered his ability to bring a memorable show to his fans. Here’s to hoping that Garth is ready to travel the world again for one more “Rodeo”!