Tag Archives: carrie underwood

Sarah Darling and Guy Penrod Performing ICM Awards

Sarah Darling ICM Awards

In 2009, rising country music star Sarah Darling spent days at her grandfather’s hospital bedside as he battled a serious illness. A spiritual man, he comforted her greatest fear of him succumbing to the fight by sharing his thoughts on the meaning of life, and what happens when someone leaves this world. Forever moved by what she heard in those precious moments, Darling later sat down with Nashville songwriters Dave Robbens and Billy Austen and wrote the song, Knowing What I Know About Heaven, never knowing years later, internationally-known Christian recording artist and former lead singer of the Gaither Vocal Band, Guy Penrod, would make it be heard by millions around the world. In celebration of the song’ success, Darling and Penrod will perform the song together as a duet for the very first time at the 2013 Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Awards on October 24, 2013. Penrod is nominated in the “Entertainer” category at the awards.

Exclusive Interview: Introducing Mariah Grace

mariah-grace-interview

We had the chance to chat with rising country star, Mariah Grace. She couldn’t have been sweeter and opened up to us about everything from songwriting to releasing her first EP to her faith and her musical inspirations. Despite an impressive resume that includes magazine features, high-profile performances and acclaim, she remains grounded, humble and thankful for everything that’s come her way so far.  Without further ado, meet Mariah Grace.

KIC: For those readers who may be ‘meeting’ you for the first time in this blog, can you give us a little bit of a back story as to how you began performing? 

MG: I have been singing my whole life. My family has always said I was singing before I could talk. When I was only a few months old I was humming and singing twinkle twinkle little star with my Mimi who was an amazing singer, and My Momma said she knew then that God had blessed me with my gift to sing. I first stepped out onto a stage to perform at age 2, and have been performing ever since. My whole life I have been in front of the camera, in front of a crowd, and singing everywhere and anywhere I could and for everyone and anyone. The stage is my home.

KIC: You list Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton as your biggest inspirations – What do you take from them and are there any current artists you idolize?

MG: I have looked up to Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton my whole life. They have both taught me to go after what I love, and to never give up. I idolize anyone who goes after their dreams. As for an artist right now that I idolize, That would hands down be Carrie Underwood. I am so blessed for all of the country music artists before me who make it possible for girls like me to be living out our dreams. I have certainly been blessed with the best of them. My fellow artist friends and mentors have helped me so very much.

Exclusive Interview: Emily Brooke

EmilyBrooke

Emily Brooke (@emilybrookestar) is a normal teenager who attends school, hangs out with her friends, and does everything you would expect an adorable teenage girl to do … and more (except for homecoming! Emily skipped her homecoming this year, as someone handed her Miranda Lambert tickets the same day and “Miranda won”)! She may be young, but her talent and wisdom for the music industry far exceed her years. With several prestigious live performances under her belt, a YouTube channel that will knock your socks off, and a contestant role on a singing competition television show, there is no doubt that Emily Brooke is someone you will be hearing about for years. Mark our words!

Two Acts, Two Duos, One Night, One Great Cause

j&k2sr

As you all know, we are having our next Stageit show this Sunday, October 20th, at 8:00pm EST with one of our staff’s favorite duos, JillandKate. However, the night just got even better, as Jill and Kate have teamed up with country music duo, Two Story Road, and the two duos will share the Keepin’ It Country Blog Presents Stageit stage as our first collaborative show to date!

We have introduced you to Jill Pickering and Kate Rapier in the past, but the girls have done so much since our initial exclusive interview with them exactly one year ago that we need to boast about some of their achievements and projects. When we introduced you to JillandKate, the girls were working hard on promoting their album Heart of Stone. The girls continue to perform their music, while continuing to entertain their fans with new and unreleased songs in their catalogs, blogging, making music videos, creating jewelry, and flying up the iTunes charts. They have also released the live version of Heart of Stone, which continues to prove why these girls are on their way to being one of the hottest duos in Nashville.

Two Story Road is categorized as a “new” country duo, but make no mistake — Jamelle and Brandon are no strangers to the country music scene! Both Belmont University graduates, Jamelle and Brandon have each hit the road with some of country music’s biggest acts and have worked with some of Nashville’s most prestigious executives. Jamelle has worked closely with Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton, and Sheryl Crow), but perhaps her biggest gig to date has been touring as a background vocalist for country powerhouse, Carrie Underwood. Brandon is also quite familiar with touring with extremely well-known artists, as he hit the road with Gretchen Wilson and Danny Gokey, also hitting the stage with Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Sugarland. After years of hitting the road separately, the talented couple decided to merge their talents, working with Tommy Sims and Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Sara Evans), and are ready to travel their future musical path as a united front. As so eloquently stated on http://www.twostoryroad.com, the Fraleys bring to the table “[t]wo incredible stories, finally traveling down the same road.”

We are so excited to see these two duos come together on Sunday night on our very own stage. This is history in the making and would hate for any of you to miss this event! To purchase your Stageit ticket (which is conveniently “pick your price”), click here. Remember, all ticket proceeds are benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so not only are you going to experience fantastic music, but you will be supporting an amazing cause!

Next Round of Performers Added for 47th Annual CMA Awards

florida-georgia-line-cma-awards

“Country Music’s Biggest Night,” the 47th Annual CMA Awards, just got even bigger. The lineup of newly-added performers will include Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Alan Jackson.

Jackson and Strait will join forces  to perform a tribute to the legendary George Jones, who passed away in April of this year.

Other previously announced performers include Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift.

The CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 6 at 8pm EST on ABC.

Julie Andrews Speaks Out About Carrie Underwood Recreating Her Iconic Role

JulieCarrie

As an avid The Sound of Music fan (okay, geek … I know every line and I’m not ashamed of it!), it has crossed my mind on several occasions whether Julie Andrews has an opinion on the upcoming live performance of the classic, award-winning film, starring country music megastar, Carrie Underwood. Well, the original cinematic Fraulein Maria has spoken!

“I think she’s great,” affirmed Andrews who was nominated for an Oscar and a Bafta for her performance as the iconic governess. “It’s going to be the original show, I believe, and I think after 40 or 50 years it’s probably time somebody else had a crack at it.”

Meanwhile, Carrie has been spending time auditioning children for the production. Carrie predicts the children will be one of the best parts of the production. “I think once we get in there and I start working with the kiddos, I’ll probably get favorite moments in the show once we start working on it.”

As far as having the opportunity to perform the classic songs from the original production, Carrie explained, “Right now, I’m happy with them all, and I’m happy I get to sing them.”

The three-hour live television production will air December 5th on NBC.

Celebs Tweet the Darnedest Things!

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If you follow us on Twitter (@keepinitblog), you know we are relatively active and love to chat with our readers. We also occasionally tweet sarcastic and comedic (at least WE think we are being comedic!) comments out to the over 32,000 people who see us in their timelines. Lucky for us, the artists we report on share our senses of humor. As such, we thought it would be fitting if we started sharing with all of you some of our favorite celebrity tweets that we come across in our timeline each week. With that being said, we would like to introduce you to our new feature, entitled Celebs Tweet the Darnedest Things!

How Do You Solve a Problem Like…Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood The Sound of Music

As you may recall, we previously reported that Carrie Underwood would be taking on the role of Maria von Trapp in my all time favorite movie, The Sound of Music, for a one-time performance on live television.

NBC has released the advertisement (to be pronounced ad-vert-is-ment in honor of the queen, Julie Andrews) for the special re-make of the award-winning classic. The Sound of Music, Carrie Underwood-style, will air LIVE on NBC on December 5, 2013 at 8:00pm EST/7:00pm CST. Set your DVRs now for an epic television event!

And a word of advice from this extremely biased Keepin’ It Country writer (who absolutely adores Carrie Underwood), if you have never seen this movie before, please treat yourself to a showing of the Julie Andrews version first so you can truly appreciate the original and the adaptations made for this live performance of the film! Your life will be forever better after spending several hours watching cinematic perfection!

CMA Award Nominees list

Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood. photo credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC.

The official nominees for the 47th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards were announced live this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America. As a CMA Member, I was lucky enough again this year to vote in the first two rounds and got a choice in the final nominees. I’ll get to vote for the winners of each category as an industry member as well.

There were some surprises, and some regulars, who made it to the final ballot this year. Check out the full list below and let us know what you think of this year’s nominees – do you think someone was snubbed? What shocked you? Who are you cheering for?

Entertainer Of The Year

JASON ALDEAN

LUKE BRYAN

BLAKE SHELTON

GEORGE STRAIT

TAYLOR SWIFT

Male Vocalist Of The Year

JASON ALDEAN

LUKE BRYAN

ERIC CHURCH

BLAKE SHELTON

KEITH URBAN

 Female Vocalist Of The Year

KELLY CLARKSON

MIRANDA LAMBERT

KACEY MUSGRAVES

TAYLOR SWIFT

CARRIE UNDERWOOD

New Artist Award

LEE BRICE

BRETT ELDREDGE

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE

KIP MOORE

KACEY MUSGRAVES

Vocal Duo Of The Year

BIG & RICH

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE

LOVE AND THEFT

SUGARLAND

THE CIVIL WARS

THOMPSON SQUARE

Vocal Group Of The Year

THE BAND PERRY

ELI YOUNG BAND

LITTLE BIG TOWN

LADY ANTEBELLUM

ZAC BROWN BAND

 Album Of The Year

“Blown Away” – CARRIE UNDERWOOD

“Red” – TAYLOR SWIFT

“Tornado” – LITTLE BIG TOWN

“Based On A True Story” – BLAKE SHELTON

“Same Trailer Different Park” – KACEY MUSGRAVES

Single Of The Year

“Cruise” – FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE

“Highway Don’t Care” – TIM McGRAW and TAYLOR SWIFT

“Mama’s Broken Heart” – MIRANDA LAMBERT

“Wagon Wheel” - DARIUS RUCKER

“Merry Go ‘Round” – KACEY MUSGRAVES

Song Of The Year

“I Drive Your Truck” – LEE BRICE

“Mama’s Broken Heart” – MIRANDA LAMBERT

“Merry Go Round” – KACEY MUSGRAVES

“Pontoon” – LITTLE BIG TOWN

“Wagon Wheel” – DARIUS RUCKER

Musical Event Of The Year

“Don’t Rush” – KELLY CLARKSON and VINCE GILL

“The Only Way I Know” – JASON ALDEAN, LUKE BRYAN and ERIC CHURCH

“Boys Round Here” – BLAKE SHELTON and PISTOL ANNIES

“Cruise” – FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE and NELLY

“Highway Don’t Care” – TIM McGRAW and TAYLOR SWIFT

Video Of The Year

“Tornado” – LITTLE BIG TOWN

“Blown Away” – CARRIE UNDERWOOD

“Boys ‘Round Here” – BLAKE SHELTON

“Downtown” – LADY ANTEBELLUM

“Highway Don’t Care” – TIM McGRAW and TAYLOR SWIFT

“Mama’s Broken Heart” – MIRANDA LAMBERT

 Musician Of The Year

SAM BUSH – Mandolin

PAUL FRANKLIN – Steel Guitar

DAN HUFF - Guitar

MAC McANALLY – Guitar

BRENT MASON – Guitar

Exclusive Interview: Introducing Maggie Sajak

Maggie sajak wild boy

Rising country star Maggie Sajak recently took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us, and we’re thrilled to introduce you to her. We chatted about everything from her hot new single “Wild Boy” to her love of Carrie Underwood to her impressive school-music balance.

Maggie recently released a video for her new single, “Wild Boy,” which is a song that she loved immediately upon hearing. (Us too!) While most girls deal with a wild boy or two, the song has a unique twist on the typical tale. “I love the song because it’s powerful for a lot of people. A lot of girls end up having a boy like that in their life at some point, for better or worse. Sometimes they stick with us, sometimes they don’t,” Maggie says. “What’s cool to me is that the song doesn’t just focus on the guy, but it’s more about a girl making the decision about the guy and whether or not to put her heart on the line.”

On first listen to “Wild Boy,” Maggie immediately connected with the lyrics and knew it was a perfect fit. “When I received it, I definitely got the chills the first time I heard it and it really touched me, so I was thinking that it would touch a lot of other people. That’s the most important thing to me, always, the lyrics and the impact it has.”