Leesa Mitchell scoops out the biggest and best nuggets on Big Cat 105.5
Blake Shelton is known for his sass and swagger, but there are lines that he won't cross. He told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS radio show that he was asked to do a collaboration with Pitbull, but opted out because he wasn't sure how it would go over with his soccer mom fans. He said he was honored to be asked, though.
Willie Nelson is mourning the loss of his younger brother. Ira Doyle Nelson Jr. passed away on Wednesday at the age of 77 of natural causes. Doyle, as he's referred to on Nelson's Facebook page, was a bus driver for groups like Bon Jovi, Van Halen and John Fogerty. The post called Doyle a "gentle man who will be dearly missed."
More than 20 presenters will be on hand at Sunday's ACM Awards to hand out some of the night's biggest trophies. Among them will be celebrities from television, movies and sports. The 50th Annual ACM Awards will air live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Among 2015 ACM Awards Presenters…
Big & Rich
The Academy of Country Music's "Party for a Cause" festival is kicking off Arlington, Texas. More than 50 artists will perform at Globe Life Park during the two-day event, including Eric Church, Reba, Keith Urban, Jake Owen, Brooks and Dunn, Lady Antebellum, Brantley Gilbert, Alan Jackson, Cole Swindell, The Band Perry, Sara Evans, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. The outdoor concert is part of the festivities leading up to the ACM Awards on Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Segments of it will be taped for "ACM Presents: Superstar Duets," a two-hour special scheduled to air on May 15th on CBS.
Luke Bryan also hints that the Academy of Country Music has some interesting performances planned for Sunday. The Academy of Country Music Awards airs at 8 p.m. Eastern over CBS. The event will be held at ATT Stadium in Arlington, Texas, making it the largest venues to ever host and awards show.
Frankie Ballard will perform at the third annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival today and tomorrow in Arlington, Texas. The singer admits he might have to slip away to the Grassy Knoll, which played a huge part in the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination. Ballard is a history buff, so his fans might find him at some of the more historical places in the Dallas-Fort Worth area while he is in town for the ACM awards. Ballard won't be hard to spot if he is wearing the fancy suit he had made just for the Awards Show red carpet. The Academy of Country Music awards will air live from ATT Stadium in Arlington over CBS on Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan host the 50th anniversary edition of what is being called the largest awards show ever held in any genre.
Country star Tim McGraw is getting social media backlash from gun owners because he agreed to do a fundraiser to protect children from gun violence. McGraw's opening act, Billy Currington, announced Thursday night that he was dropping out of the show because of the criticism. McGraw says proceeds from the July concert in Hartford, Connecticut will benefit a non-profit organization with a mission of protecting children from gun violence. The non-profit was created after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. McGraw has responded to the backlash by saying that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety.
Kellie Pickler is partnering with the Grand Ole Opry to launch a collection of home furnishings. Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler is named for her great-grandmother. Kellie says she had a "simple, loving touch that made her house a home like no other." The collection includes unique frames, candles, pillows, dishes, aprons, canisters and select furniture pieces. They're available at www.opry.com and in the Grand Ole Opry retail stores in Nashville.
Martina McBride will headline this year's St. Jude Country Music Marathon concert. Admission is free for those who run in the April 25th race. Cost is 35-dollars for family and friends. Martina will perform at Bridgestone Arena after the awards ceremony from the marathon and half marathon.
Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Toby Keith will close out the daily concerts at the 2015 Taste of Country Music Festival. The three-day event will take place at Hunter Mountain in central New York State June 12th through the 14th. Friday night performances will feature Keith Urban, Eli Young Band, Colt Ford, LoCash, Logan Mize and Rachel Lipsky on the main stage. Saturday, it'll be Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, Easton Corbin, Tracy Lawrence, Chase Bryant, Jackson Michelson and Amanda Watkins. On Sunday, Toby Keith, Jerrod Niemann, Sara Evans, Josh Abbott Band, Western Underground and Sasha McVeigh will take the main stage. Three-day tickets start at 180-dollars, while single-day tickets are 99-dollars per day.
Easton Corbin will release his third studio album "About To Get Real" June 30th. Easton says when country fans listen to the CD, he wants them to take away that even though the music mixes the modern with the classic, it's entirely real. He says, "Like the music of my heroes, it's the real deal."
Jason Aldean is looking forward to going to Texas for the ACM Awards. He says the new location creates more excitement for the trip because it's "sort of a wildcard." The show is usually held in Las Vegas and Aldean says typically you know what to expect when you go there. The 2015 ACM Awards will be broadcast from AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Aldean played there last year with George Strait on his "Cowboy Rides Away" tour. Aldean is nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the ACMs, along with Album of the Year for "Old Boots, New Dirt."
Trisha Yearwood says her husband Garth Brooks is her "biggest cheerleader." In an interview with "People Country," Yearwood says he's the guy who says "There's nothing you can't do." She adds, one of the things they respect about each other is that they're both independent. They're both very opinionated too. Yearwood says "we try not to give each other advice unless we're asked." The couple is approaching their ten-year wedding anniversary.
RaeLynn may be the country queen of selfies. She told "Taste of Country" that the key to a good selfie is good lighting. RaeLynn even has a dedicated selfie window at her house and carries a selfie stick in her purse. When it comes to "duck lips," she says, "I won't judge you if you don't judge me."
Jo Dee Messina is paying tribute to moms in the new "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book. Messina co-authored the book, titled "Thanks to my Mom." It's described as a collection of 101 stories of love, learning and gratitude that say a big "thank you" to mothers of all ages across the country. Messina says the stories will make you smile, laugh out loud and even tear up a few times. She wrote the introduction and the first chapter as a tribute to her mother.
Toby Keith is gearing up for his 12th Annual Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic. It'll be held May 15th and 16th at the Belmar Golf Club and Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma. The event raises money for the OK Kids Korral, a home away from home for pediatric cancer patients and their families. Friday night's dinner will include live and silent auctions, and musical performances. The silent auction items include memorabilia from Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, George Strait and more. The winner of Saturday's Built Ford Tough Shootout will drive off in a new Ford truck.
Reba McEntire may be busy recording and touring, but she always has time to be a devoted grandma. During a chat with "Taste of Country Nights," McEntire said her granddaughter, River Rose, is already a music lover. She even has a favorite singer; her mother, of course. McEntire says, "Would you be complaining if your mom was Kelly Clarkson?"