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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.
We have said it before, and we will say it again – Caroline Kole is a soul much older and wiser than her age. You needn’t have a conversation with Caroline to substantiate that statement. You can simply listen to her music, focus on her beautiful vocals, and let the lyrics take you someplace else in order to understand that Caroline is an artist who is years ahead of her time. This EP contains six original tracks, each of which is distinct in sound and story, and allows Caroline to explore different characters, capturing each one seamlessly and effectively.
After several days of fan bases battling out, the winners have been declared. Your favorite female country music veteran is Shania Twain, and your favorite male country music veteran is Garth Brooks. Just behind Shania were the queen of country music herself, Reba McEntire, and the beautiful songstress, Martina McBride. Riding in Garth’s coattails were the king of country music, George Strait, and country crooner, Vince Gill.
Now that you all have narrowed your choices to one female and one male favorite, it’s time for the artists to go head-to-head for Keepin’ It Country‘s ultimate favorite veteran! Shania and Garth, let the odds be ever in your favor. Let the games begin!
Shania vs. Garth - Who's Your Favorite Veteran?
Total Voters: 177
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.
Try saying that title three times fast!
As you have probably seen advertised recently (during The Sound of Music, The Voice, or a myriad of other NBC specials), Kelly Clarkson is bringing some of her best assets to the network for her Cautionary Christmas Music Tale. Specifically, Kelly will bring her talent, sense of humor, and impressive cast of characters in her life to a television audience.
During this special, Kelly presents the brattiest possible version of herself (“Scrooge, diva’d out,” she calls the character) while trying to enlist celebrities to appear in a Christmas special. “We’re doing a show within a show, kind of like White Christmas,” Kelly says. “Let me tell you this, though … it’s nowhere near that good. I love what we’ve done, but that’s a classic.”
Kelly’s show will feature musical performances from mother-in-law, Reba McEntire, along with Trisha Yearwood, both of whom appear on Kelly’s Christmas album Wrapped in Red. The show will also include cameos by Jay Leno, Matt Lauer, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, William Shatner, Danica Patrick, Heidi Klum, Community‘s Ken Jeong and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy‘s Jai Rodriguez will make appearances. Oh, and did we mention Blake Shelton … as an elf?
This will be an event that Kelly fans and country fans will not want to miss! Tune in to NBC or set your DVRs tonight for the 10:00pm EST airing of Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale! And check out some behind-the-scenes footage of the special, featuring Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton:
When you speak to Caroline Kole (or hear her speak), you cannot even fathom that she is a teenager. While we had been familiar with Caroline’s name in the past, we fell in love with her during the recent CMA Awards preshow when she walked the red carpet. Caroline has an intelligence, wit, and poise about her that makes her quite the teenage anomaly. However, when Caroline explained to us that she has been involved in music for half of her life, it became clear that Caroline, as a whole, is an exception to the rule. While you may find Caroline studying for an upcoming Physics test and keeping up-to-date on her school assignments one day, you could find her opening for Reba McEntire the next. And, by virtue of her humble, grateful attitude, Caroline might seem like an everyday teenager … but let’s be real, there is nothing run of the mill about her!
Another CMA Awards night has come and gone, but certain moments left lasting impressions on our staff. If you follow us on Twitter, you know we spent the majority of the show cracking on Sheryl Crow‘s hair, Dolly Parton‘s assets, Zac Brown Band‘s beards, and Kacey Musgraves‘ b****y resting face. While those particular things set the stage for our jokes, puns, and #sarcastictweets, our staff compiled a list of our other favorite moments of the night. The following are those award show memories that are ingrained in our minds:
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!
The lineup for George Jones‘ Tribute Concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena just got even bigger. In addition to an already packed lineup, it was announced today that George Strait, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Reba McEntire and Alabama will also be performing at the November 22nd show.
“I am thrilled and honored that so many of George’s friends are coming to what would have been his last concert, but is not a fitting tribute,” says Nancy Jones. “George loved these artists and before passing had actually wrote letters to almost all of them.”
The new list of performers will join an already star-studded lineup that includes Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Josh Turner, The Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Sam Moore, and others. All previously announced artists are currently being reconfirmed.
For more information on George Jones, please visit www.georgejones.com.
Her name is synonymous with country music and no one is more deserving of the “Queen of Country” title.
Besides being country royalty, Reba is a star in all entertainment genres: television, Broadway, film… she does it all. Not to mention, she’s also a very successful businesswoman.
That being said, it is only fitting that Reba be honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with her very own exhibit!
As you may know, the exhibit opened earlier this month. It is entitled “Reba: All The Women I Am” and displays memorabilia from her iconic life and career. Awards, performance clothes, childhood achievements, personal possessions, photographs, videos, etc… Reba shared it all and it is on display!
The exhibit runs through June 8, 2014. This is something no fan wants to miss!
Congratulations to Reba on this honor and an incomparable career!
For more information, visit: http://countrymusichalloffame.org/current/view/reba-all-the-women-i-am
Check out the video below of The Band Perry, Kelly Clarkson (her soon-to-be daughter-in-law), and Blake Shelton sending their best wishes.