Country Stars The Scoop

The Scoop

Leesa Mitchell scoops out the biggest and best nuggets on Big Cat 105.5


Wynonna Judd says she has a lot to be thankful for, despite her bus catching fire Wednesday night.  The country star revealed on Twitter that the vehicle's generator triggered the blaze, which she says could have been a lot worse.  While she tweets that she's "certainly not thankful" for the fire, she lists seven reasons why she is thankful.  She says she's grateful that she and her band weren't actually on the road when the fire occurred, that everyone is "OK," and that she had another bus to get her to her show in Pennsylvania Thursday night.  The singer adds that she's glad her driver was with the bus at the time, and could "out the fire" so all her road gear didn't go up in smoke.  Wy even speculates on a reason for the fire, saying, "This distraction is probably causing us to stop now so that we avoid something even worse that could have happened up the road."

Wynonna is currently on her "Stories & Song" tour.  From Pennsylvania she'll head to New York for shows in Westbury on Friday and Verona on Saturday.  She'll perform in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday.

Sam Hunt, and Maddie and Tae are among the emerging acts who'll help bring this year's Country Radio Seminar to a close.  They'll join Frankie Ballard, Cole Swindell, and Eric Paslay in performing at the New Faces of Country Music Show Friday to cap off the annual convention taking place this week in Nashville.  But they're just a few of the stars taking the stage over the course of the three-day event. says mix of stars ranging from veterans to newcomers were on hand for Universal Music Nashville's showcase Thursday.  Keith Urban and Eric Church both debuted new songs and teamed up for their current single, "Raise 'Em Up," while Kacey Musgraves introduced her next single, "Biscuits."  The track -- the lead-off release from Kacey's upcoming sophomore album -- is slated for release on March 17th.  The extensive lineup of performers also featured Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, and others.

Keith Urban is set to return to CRS on Friday, but not to perform.  He's been tapped to serve as a featured speaker.  In "Keith Urban: Being Present" the singer will share the ways he's broken down the walls between himself and his audience to be in the moment with his fans, and build a stronger, closer connection with them.  The session will also address how radio stations can apply his techniques to enhance the business environment and help on-air personalities develop stronger bonds with their listeners.

Shania Twain admits it was scary to make her return to the stage.  But the country star says one of her siblings gave her the courage to sign on for her Las Vegas show "Shania: Still the One."
Shania adds that it was "a turning point" for her when Carrie agreed to be part of the show, because her sister wasn't just offering moral support.  Carrie served as one of Shania's backing singers for the two-year run, which wrapped up last December.  Twain's show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace marked her concert comeback following an eight-year absence from the stage.

And now fans who weren't able to attend the show in person are now able to see Shania's performance.  "Shania: Still The One Live From Vegas" will air on ABC Saturday night, and be released on CD and DVD on Tuesday.

RaeLynn says she thinks she has something to offer aspiring singers.  The country star and "The Voice" alum admits she'd jump at the chance to serve as a mentor on the show that launched her career.

"The Voice" just launched its eight season.  RaeLynn was a finalist on season two of the NBC reality series in 2012.  Last month she released her debut EP, "Me," and is currently opening shows on Miranda Lambert's "Certified Platinum" tour.  Upcoming stops include North Little Rock, Arkansas on Friday and Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.

Luke Bryan and Lady Antebellum are among the stars exporting country music.  They're the headliners for the 3rd annual C2C: Country To Country festival, which launches this weekend in Europe.  The expanded event now encompasses two weekends in four countries.  This Saturday, Luke will cap off a show that also features Florida Georgia Line, Lee Ann Womack, and Doug Seegers in Stockholm, Sweden, while Lady A performs along with Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, and Kip Moore in Oslo, Norway.  The performers will then swap places on Sunday.  They'll move the festival to the UK and Ireland next weekend, with Brandy Clark taking Seegers' place in the lineup.  

London event, set for March 7th and 8th, has also grown beyond the main stage.  Sam Hunt and "Nashville" star Sam Palladio are some of the performers slated for the Satellite stage.  Hunt will also give a couple of performances on the Pop Up Stage.

Keith Urban might have been born in
New Zealand and raised in Australia, but he's a nominee in the International categories at the Australian Country Music Channel Awards.  Keith is one of 20 American-based stars vying for the International Artist award, along with Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, and others.  Urban is also in the running for International Video of the Year with his hit "Cop Car."  Lady Antebellum's "Bartender," The Band Perry's "Chainsaw," Maddie and Tae's "Girl in a Country Song," and Sam Hunt's "Leave The Night On" are among the 20 nominated clips in the category.

Balloting in the fan-voted event closes on Sunday.  Fans can see the full lists of nominees and place their votes at  The 5th annual
CMC Awards will be presented in Brisbane on March 12th.

The Grand Ole Opry House now has historic designation.  The Nashville venue, which has been home to the Opry since 1974, has just been added to the National Register of Historic Places, listing cultural resources worthy of preservation.  The Opry House opened on March 16, 1974 with a VIP guest list that included President Richard Nixon.  It is the Grand Ole Opry's sixth home and only home built specifically for the Opry.  Its distinction comes as the Opry itself prepares to launch a nine-month celebration of its 90th anniversary beginning with a kick-off show on March 24th.  The Opry's 90th Birthday Bash Weekend is scheduled for October 2nd through October 3rd.

The life and work of the late Ray Price is going on display in his home state.  The exhibit "For The Good Times" is opening this weekend at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.  Ray's widow, Janie Price, will be on hand for Saturday's exhibit launch in Carthage, Texas.  She says she believes it would mean a lot to Ray to be honored in this way, and "so close to home."  Janie says her husband was "so proud" to "accomplish his dream of becoming an international star."  But she admits Ray was "most proud to be a Texan, and to be able to give back to his home state."  Janie adds that it's "a special honor" to "continue to write the last chapter in his life story" with this exhibit.

"For The Good Times" features memorabilia from Price's life and career.  Displays include his Grammy and other awards, wardrobe selections, and personal items such as his custom saddle, a 1972 thank you letter from former President Lyndon Johnson, and other keepsakes.  Price was inducted into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.  He became a Texas Country Music Hall of Famer in 2006.

Florida Georgia Line's producer doesn't work exclusively with country acts.  The duo has recorded both of their albums with Joey Moi, who is perhaps best known for his work with Nickelback.  But Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard sees no problem in sharing a producer with the Canadian rockers.

And Florida Georgia Line isn't the only country act to work with Joey.  He's also produced a few projects for Jake Owen, and was at the helm for RaeLynn's hit "God Made Girls."

New Music Tuesday is becoming New Music Friday.  The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has announced a major change in the day the music industry puts out new releases.  The British-based organization said Thursday that the plan to release new music on Fridays instead of Tuesdays would go into effect this summer.  The organization hopes the move will combat piracy, since albums are often released internationally before the
United States.  IFPI says an aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in one country when the music is available in another country.

It also says it hopes the move to Friday will "re-ignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music" allowing artists to better focus their social media campaigns.  The change has been in the works for a while now.  Citing consumer research, the IFPI says more people are more interested in buying new music on Fridays and Saturdays than mid-week.


Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott says she and her bandmates are "just so humbled" by their new honor.  The trio is this year's recipient of the Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Humanitarian Award, which they received Wednesday at the 2015 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. says last year's honoree Carrie Underwood appeared in a pre-taped video to help make the presentation.  In accepting the award, Scott recalled how from the start one of their goals as Lady Antebellum was to "get to a point as artists to use this platform for something good."  She said she, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood are "passionate" about their charitable work and "don't take it lightly."  The singer added that they're "so grateful" for the recognition and support they've received from the CRB.

The Artist Humanitarian Award was among the opening day events for the three-day Country Radio Seminar.  Country newcomer Mickey Guyton helped launch the conference with a performance of the national anthem, while Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood took part in honoring the new inductees into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.  Lady A will return Thursday to take part in a panel discussion about the group.  The conference will come to a close Friday, wrapping up with the annual New Faces of Country Music Show featuring Sam Hunt, Frankie Ballard, and others.

Three times’s the charm for Taylor Swift.  The country-turned-pop superstar has earned her first BRIT Award, getting the nod for International Female Solo Artist.  But in her acceptance speech, Taylor gave the credit for her success in the UK to another singer-songwriter.

And Taylor wasn't just a BRIT winner but a performer as well.  She sang her hit "Blank Space" during the ceremony.  The 2015 BRIT Awards -- the UK's equivalent to the Grammys -- were presented in London on Wednesday.

Taylor had been nominated for a BRIT Award twice before.  In 2013 she was also up for the International Female honor, which went to Lana Del Rey.  In 2010 Taylor was in the running for International Breakthrough Act, but lost to Lady Gaga.

Glen Campbell is benefiting from his Oscar nomination, even if he didn't win. says all the songs performed during Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony have seen an increase in sales.  Campbell's last recording, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from the documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me," was in the running for Best Original Song.  He lost to Common and John Legend's "Glory" from "Selma," which also saw the biggest Oscar bump.  But "I'll Be Me" was the biggest gainer among the soundtrack albums featuring the nominated songs.  Just under three-thousand copies of the disc sold during Oscar week, which is an 805-percent increase from the previous week.

Glen, who's battling Alzheimer's disease, wasn't at the ceremony.  Tim McGraw performed "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" during the ceremony.

Shania Twain is giving fans a glimpse of her upcoming live DVD.  The country star has posted her performance of "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" on YouTube.

In the video, Shania -- in a short, sparkly black outfit with long black gloves and thigh-high boots -- is singing and dancing with a troupe of six well-dressed men at her side.  The clip is from the upcoming release "Shania: Still The One Live From Vegas."  The concert film, which was taped during her recently concluded Las Vegas residency, will be available on CD and DVD on March 2nd.  ABC will also present the concert in a special broadcast airing Saturday night.

Garth Brooks is adding two nights in Portland, Oregon to his ever-unfolding world tour.  The country superstar has announced April 12th and April 13th stopovers at Portland's Moda Center with tickets going on sale March 6th through Ticketmaster.  Brooks has been trickling out tour dates piecemeal over the last several months.  He began his comeback tour run last September with a multi-night stand at Chicago's Allstate Arena.  He's scheduled to wrap up a four-night stint in Detroit this weekend with shows scheduled for Friday and Saturday.  After that it's on to Buffalo, New York for another four-night stand, starting March 5th.  Concerts in Denver and Sacramento are also on the itinerary before Garth's tour arrives in Portland in April.

Randy Houser says he couldn't be happier for "The Voice" winner Craig Wayne Boyd.  The country star adds that he believes the reality show was the perfect vehicle for Craig to advance his career.

Randy has known Craig for more than a decade.  The two toured together back in 2004, with Boyd opening shows for Houser.  Craig was the season seven winner on "The Voice," taking the title last December.  Blake Shelton served as his coach.  Craig is now opening shows for the "Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot!"  They just launched the nine-date engagement at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in
Las Vegas this week.  Shows are scheduled through March 14th.

The late Johnny Cash is returning to TV, courtesy of a tribute artist.  Oklahoma City-based performer Philip Bauer will be demonstrating his talents as the legendary Man In Black in an upcoming episode of AXS [[ access ]] TV's "The World's Greatest Tribute Bands."  Shows air live from the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California, with the tribute artists performing before an audience.  The series will launch its fifth season next month with Las Vegas' Gary Anthony performing as Frank Sinatra.  Bauer is scheduled to take the stage as Cash on April 28th.  New episodes will also feature tribute performers as Stevie Wonder, the Eagles, U2 and others.  Host Katie Daryl says she's "so proud" of all the tribute bands that have performed on the show.  She adds that the singer's post-appearance success is a testament to the impact "The World's Greatest Tribute Bands" has had on the music world.

Zac Brown Band's Zac Brown lives by the motto "if you want something right, do it yourself."  The band's Coy Bowles says Zac plays an active role in everything the group does, and always has.

But Zac says he's not doing everything on his own.  He adds that as the group has grown as a business they've brought on a number of other people to work with them, and he's "not any more important" than anybody else.  However, Coy gives Zac the credit for building the band's team.  He explains that Brown hires good people who are "really good at their job and they love working for him."

Zac Brown Band is currently promoting their latest single, "Homegrown."  The group is also prepping for their "Saturday Night Live" debut, which is coming up on March 7th.

Thomas Rhett says Blake Shelton can write more than songs.  The country star recalls when he was a kid Shelton once gave him a hand with his homework.
Those types of country star encounters weren't all that unusual for Thomas growing up, since his father is singer-songwriter Rhett Akins.  He adds that he remembers getting a "B" on that English paper, which was better than he expected.