Image Courtesy Blue Chair/SonyKenny Chesney scores his 13th #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart with his latest offering, The Big Revival. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the project sold 130,000 for a #2 arrival on the overall Billboard 200 chart just behind Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's new album, Cheek to Cheek. The Big Revival is Kenny's 12th top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Look for Kenny to continue promoting The Big Revival with his Live from the Flora-Bama concert special premiering November 14 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.
Image Courtesy Dot RecordsCountry radio is filled with men singing the praises of the women in their lives these days, but we have no idea what those women are doing when they're not dancing on tailgates, wearing short-shorts or opening a beer for their man. New duo Maddie & Tae have made a splash turning that supporting female role on its head with their debut single, "Girl in a Country Song."
Though the two 19-year-olds are stunningly beautiful, Maddie and Tae think it's important for country fans to acknowledge women as three-dimensional human beings with brains and hearts.
Maddie Marlow tells ABC News Radio, "Tae and I don't want to be that perfect Barbie doll girl, 'cause we're not. You know, some days our hair looks a hot mess or sometimes your makeup is crazy. And both of us, we're fairly short, so we don't have the long, beautiful, tan legs."
As they worked to land a record deal in Nashville, the duo grew tired of hearing an endless stream of male acts on country radio singing about the same prototype woman.
"We were like, 'Man, I would hate to be that girl in the country songs, because all you have to wear is cutoff jeans; you have to have long, tan legs; and you have to dance on tailgates,'" Maddie says. "All you do is play a part and look beautiful. That's all you get to do. You don't get to talk. You don't get to have a personality. Nothing."
Instead of just getting upset about it, they wrote "Girl in a Country Song" with their co-writer Aaron Scherz. He has a four-year-old daughter and is concerned about how she'll see herself portrayed in country songs, too.
Tae Dye explains, "He was like, 'Well, this is perfect, because I don't want her growing up thinking she has to look a certain way or do certain things to be beautiful.' So, we all pulled from our own experiences."
As you can see from the video for "Girl in a Country Song," Maddie & Tae are having fun poking holes in that country stereotype. The single is now available for download at all digital outlets.
Jim Wright/Capitol NashvilleLadyAntebellum surprised a nine-year-old New Jersey girl Wednesday as part of the band's ongoing 7FOR7 campaign.
The members of Lady A surprisedKate Koval inside the American Girl Store in New York City, and presented her with her own special doll. The trio also informed Kate that she will receive a year's worth of groceries, with the help of Crock-Pot Slow Cookers, and a trip to Walt Disney World.
Kate was taken in by her grandparents as a baby after her parents died. She was later adopted by her aunt after the death of her grandmother. Soon afterward, she and her aunt lost their home during Superstorm Sandy.
Lady A's 7FOR7 campaign will surprise a total of seven people with seven fulfilled wishes in celebration of their new album, 747.
Image Courtesy ABCThe drama continued on ABC's Nashville Wednesday night as Rayna Jaymes reluctantly gave up details on her engagement to fellow country superstar Luke Wheeler during an appearance on Good Morning America. Real-life country star Luke Bryan even appeared as himself on Good Morning America within Nashville to congratulate Rayna on her engagement. Luke also admitted he had ring envy over the huge rock Wheeler gave Rayna for their engagement.
Back at home, Deacon Claybourne admitted to his and Rayna's daughter, Maddie, that Rayna had turned down his wedding proposal. Deacon was surprised to learn Luke Wheeler still wanted him as an opening act after their altercation over Rayna in last week's episode. This development means Deacon and Rayna will be both be leaving Maddie behind to go on tour.
Layla Grant vowed to make her closeted gay husband Will Lexington's life a living hell if he didn't take her out on the road with him. Layla is forced to play the part of a happy newlywed on their new reality show, so she's using Will's secret as leverage against him to launch her own music career.
Juliette Barnes went in to end her pregnancy thinking the child was a result of her tryst with underhanded record label president, Jeff Fordham, four weeks ago. When the doctor told her she was actually eight weeks along, she realized her ex-boyfriend, Avery Barkley, is the baby's father. Of course, Avery and Juliette aren't speaking right now since he found out she cheated with Jeff. Also, Juliette will have to hide her pregnancy if she gets the role of Patsy Cline in a new biopic.
Old loves Scarlett O'Connor and Gunnar Scott ended up writing a song together at his new studio in East Nashville. Their chemistry is still undeniable, but Gunnar's girlfriend, Zoey, is growing suspicious of the time they're spending together. Scarlett told Gunnar she didn't even want credit on the new song they'd written, "When You Open Your Eyes."
Sam Palladio plays Gunnar on Nashville, and he thinks we'll see a lot more interaction between Scarlett and Gunnar in the coming weeks.
Sam tells ABC News Radio, "The two of them, Scarlett and Gunnar, have always had this chemistry -- musical chemistry, romantic chemistry -- a lot of different chemistry. A lot of different chemistries. And that's something that's really hard to shake off for the two of them."
Popular demand from viewers is another big factor in keeping Scarlett and Gunnar's attraction alive.
"That was one thing that the fans love as well, are the Scarlett and Gunnar duets," Sam explains. "And I love them. I love singing them, and we have some fantastic writers that compose these haunting songs."
"When You Open Your Eyes" is now available for download at iTunes. Nashville returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.
Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloRascalFlatts will flip the switch turning the Grand Ole Opry's famous red barn backdrop pink later this month for the show's annual Opry Goes Pink event. Danielle Bradbery, Montgomery Gentry, Sara Evans and Nashville star Will Chase are also on the bill for the show set for Tuesday, October 28. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Women Rock for the Cure to aid in its fight against breast cancer. Tickets are available at Opry.com.
Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsCongratulations to Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney and his wife, Tiffany Fallon, on the arrival of their third child. The baby girl is named Devon Olivia, and she came into the world Monday night in Nashville weighing six pounds, 11 ounces. She joins the couple's older children, six-year-old Jagger and four-year-old Raquel.
"We are so thrilled to finally become a party of five,” Joe Don tells People. “Jagger and Raquel are so happy to be her big brother & big sister.”
Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsFans curious to check out Jason Aldean's new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, can now stream the whole thing before it comes out next week. The project is now live at JasonAldean.CMT.com and on the CMT Artists app.
Jason has already released a few songs from Old Boots, New Dirt on iTunes, including his latest hit, "Burnin' It Down." That song recently hit the platinum sales and streaming mark faster than any other country single released this year.
Image Courtesy CMACarrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, and Dan Shay are all on the bill for this year's CMA Country Christmas special taping November 7 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Jennifer Nettles returns as host of the two-hour program, airing this holiday season on ABC.
Broadway and film star Idina Menzel will also appear on the CMA Country Christmas special, along with LeAnn Rimes and gospel star Michael W. Smith. Tickets for the show are now on sale at CMAChristmas.com.
Image Courtesy Webster PRKenny Rogers will kick off his 33rd Christmas tour November 12 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The Christmas and Hits Through the Year tour will play 25 dates before wrapping up December 23. Linda Davis is joining Kenny for the trek.
Kenny is also featured on a new song called "That Silent Night" coming out on Jim Brickman's new holiday collection On a Winter's Night: The Songs and Spirit of Christmas. That album is available exclusively at Amazon starting October 7.
Image Courtesy ABCLuke Bryan makes a cameo on ABC's Nashville Wednesday night sharing a scene with the show's resident country queen, Rayna Jaymes, played by Connie Britton. This season, Rayna is working hard to get her career back on track, and Luke applauds the Nashville script writers for portraying the country music business accurately.
"You know, there's some stuff that's obviously stretched for TV," Luke tells ABC News Radio, "but all of the producers of the show and the people that we know, they work to keep the show, for the most part, like the reality of Nashville and the music business. It's fun to see them doing that."
Luke also gets a kick out of seeing Music City shot so beautifully on Nashville. He adds, "I think Nashville is one of the most interesting cities. It's just got such an amazing feel and vibe to it. And the show has showcased the city."
Unfortunately, Luke has to keep up with the storyline of Nashville mostly through word-of-mouth since his hectic touring schedule keeps him away from home most of the time.
Says Luke, "Being in Nashville, you kind of know the storyline of the show. Like, this is probably the period of my life that I have watched TV the least."
Luke's fans will want to catch all of Wednesday night's episode of Nashville since his cameo comes towards the end of the show, which begins at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Warner Bros. RecordsIf you search the name Blake Shelton online, there’s a 18.47 percent chance you’ll click on a page that tests positive for viruses and other malware. That's according to a new study by the virus fighters at McAfee.
ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is number one. According to McAfee, you have an 19.38 percent chance of landing on a malicious website if you search his name.
Carrie Underwood made the top 50. She's ranked No. 47.
"Most consumers are completely unaware of the security risks that exist when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy," said McAfee's Gary Davis.
"Cybercriminals capitalize on consumers' attention to breaking celebrity news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data," Davis added.
Here's McAfee's top 10 Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrities of 2014:
1. Jimmy Kimmel -- 19.38% chance of downloading a virus. 2. Armin van Buuren -- 19.33% 3. Ciara -- 19.31% 4. Flo Rida -- 18.89% 5. Bruce Springsteen -- 18.82% 6. Blake Shelton -- 18.47% 7. Britney Spears -- 18.19% 8. Jon Bon Jovi -- 17.64% 9. Chelsea Handler -- 17.22% 10. Christina Aguilera -- 16.67%
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers have made the leap from finalists on NBC's The Voice to the top 20 on the country chart with their debut single, "Later On." It's taken a lot of hard work to get this point, and the duo's Zach Swon tells ABC News Radio he wouldn't have gotten this far if not for his partnership and friendship with brother, Colton Swon.
Says Zach, "We live together, we're on a bus together, we fly in planes together, but I think it makes us better. 'Cause I wouldn’t want to do this, nor do I think I would succeed as a solo artist, and I think he feels the same way."
While it's easy for Colton and Zach to focus on the daily demands of getting their country career off the ground, they make a point to maintain their relationship as brothers and best friends, too.
Colton explains, "We're running a business together, but you've also got to take time just to be brothers, like, out on the road. Laugh, enjoy it. And just take time doing brother stuff, you know, making fun of each other. Playing video games."
Zach and Colton spend a lot of time just talking on their tour bus when they're not playing the game Catch Phrase with their band members.
Zach says, "We're pretty tame. It's not really a party bus, or anything.
Colton adds with a laugh," And by tame, he means lame. We are lame. We like to sleep."
Look for The Swon Brothers' self-titled debut album to come out October 14.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleZacBrown Band teams up with The Doobie Brothers for a new version of "Black Water" on the new Doobie Brothers country collaborations album, Southbound. Zac Brown admits he jumped at the chance to perform that classic song from The Doobie Brothers catalog.
"I have seen a lot of people, including myself, make a lot of tip money because of ‘Black Water,’ so this is a full circle moment," Zac says. "“To collaborate and recreate this iconic song is just an amazing moment as an artist. As a new generation vocal band, it is an absolute honor to get to play with them."
Fans can now pre-order Southbound at iTunes or Amazon and get an instant download of The Doobie Brothers and Zac Brown Band's version of "Black Water." The full album comes out November 4.
Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley often returns to Nashville's famed bluegrass club, the Station Inn, to catch a show or even sit in with some of his musical heroes. Over the years, Dierks has become close friends with Ann Soyers, the woman who collects cover charges and books talent at the Station Inn. According to The Tennessean, Ann was an early supporter of Dierks' music before he became a staple of country radio. Now that she's battling cancer, Dierks has kept a regular vigil at her hospital room in west Nashville. He even took her out for "one last ride" in his vintage '67 Camaro this week.
Dierks posted a picture on Instagram of their ride. The caption says, "She's hanging tough. Enjoying good friend and music."
Image Courtesy Becky FlukeMiranda Lambert is taking her seventh annual Cause for the Paws festival to Las Vegas this Friday in conjunction with the first-ever Route 91 Harvest Festival. Miranda will headline the Friday night show, and all proceeds from her appearance will go to her charity, the MuttNation Foundation, to help homeless dogs get a new lease on life.
Miranda says, "I am so excited to be playing Vegas to raise money for a cause so dear to my heart. With your donations, we are able to watch happy, healthy dogs being given a second chance at life through adoption.”
The Cause for the Paws event also includes a sold-out VIP cocktail party prior to Miranda's show, complete with a live and silent auction of items from Miranda and her husband, Blake Shelton. An online auction will go live on eBay to coincide with the event.
Miranda's Cause for the Paws raised more than $400,000 event last year in Oklahoma. Overall, the MuttNation Foundation has generated $1.5 million to help dogs in need in the past seven years. For more information, go to MuttNationFoundation.com.
Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.If Brantley Gilbert ever starts feeling cooped up on his tour bus, he's got his choice of five Harley-Davdison motorcycles on the road with him all the time. His pal, Harley-Davidson dealership owner Ricky Kelley, actually gave Brantley three motorcycles to take with him on tour, but Brantley couldn't leave his own hogs at home.
He says, "My newest one and my '99, I'm so addicted to 'em, that I end up bringing them out anyway."
Over the past few years, Brantley has become friends with bikers all over the U.S. who are glad to show him around when he's in their city.
Brantley explains, "If we don't know a lot of road systems around there and what roads are good to ride and what's got a good bit of scenery, these guys will show up and we'll kind of follow 'em around and get a good ride during the day."
Brantley is on the road with his Let It Ride tour through December 13.