Country Stars The Scoop

The Scoop

Leesa Mitchell scoops out the nuggets on Big Cat 105.5.


It's Florida Georgia Line's second full release, but their first to top the Billboard 200. says "Anything Goes" is debuting on the all-genre list at number one, with first week sales of 197-thousand.  The disc is also at the top of the Country Albums list.  The duo's debut, "Here's To The Good Times," peaked at number one on the country chart as well, but stalled out at number four on the Billboard 200.  Florida Georgia Line also becomes the third consecutive country act to lead the Billboard 200.  "Anything Goes" is bumping Jason Aldean's "Old Boots, New Dirt" from the top spot.  Aldean, meanwhile, had unseated Blake Shelton's "Bringing Back the Sunshine."  It's the first time since October 2010 that different country albums have led the Billboard 200 for three weeks in a row.

Taylor Swift Tops Canadian iTunes Chart With White Noise. Apparently just putting Taylor Swift's name on something is enough to make it sell -- at least north of the border.  Topping the Canadian iTunes chart Wednesday was a song credited to Swift titled "Track 3," which is actually just eight-seconds of white noise.  According to, which has a screen shot of the chart, the audio file was intended to just serve as a placeholder for Taylor's next song, but somehow it got posted as an actual track.  And enough people paid a dollar-29 to download it and propel it to number one -- even though the track length is clearly posted as eight-seconds.
If that's any indication as to how eager fans are for anything Swift, the singer should draw a hefty crowd for her appearance Thursday on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."  They'll be shutting down Hollywood Boulevard for Taylor, who'll play an outdoor concert in conjunction with her appearance on the show.  The performance is similar to previous "Kimmel" events featuring Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake.  Swift is making her appearance in support of her new album, "1989," which will be released on Monday.

Jason Aldean will be crossing roads with a rock legend. says the country star is pairing up with Bob Seger for the next installment of "CMT Crossroads."  The series brings together country stars and artists from other genres to share stories and perform each other's songs to see where their musical paths intersect.  Both Aldean and Seger have just released new albums, while they each have plenty of hits to choose from for their sets.  Jason's chart-toppers include "She's Country," "Dirt Road Anthem," and his latest, "Burnin' It Down," while Bob's catalog features such classics as "Against The Wind," "Like A Rock," "Rock and Roll Never Forgets," and "Night Moves."  Aldean and Seger will tape their episode of "CMT Crossroads" before the end of the month.  The episode will debut on CMT on November 28th at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Justin Moore says he "can't wait" to be back on the road and performing for his fans.  The country star is launching the latest run of dates on his "Off The Beaten Path" tour, which begins in Columbia, Missouri on Thursday.  He'll play eleven shows over the next five weeks, and wrap up the trek just before Thanksgiving.  Jordan Rager is on board as Justin's opener for the road trip, while select shows will also feature Thomas Rhett or Colt Ford.  Moore is supporting his latest album, "Off The Beaten Path," which features the hits "Lettin' The Night Roll" and "Point At You."

Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild admits it's hard for her to believe she and her bandmates are now members of the Grand Ole Opry.  The country star explains that it certainly seems like an unlikely stroke of good luck for the group, given their history.
Singer Phillip Sweet calls Little Big Town's Opry induction "so full circle" for them, because the Opry was the first place the group "ever played in front of human beings."  The group, which also features Kimberly Schlapman, made their concert and Opry debut in 1999.  They were tapped as a last-minute replacement, and Phillip explains they didn't have their own band -- or even their own instruments for the show.  Jimi Westbrook says it was just the four of them "and one borrowed guitar."  Little Big Town was officially welcomed at the Opry's newest member on last Friday's show.

Keith Urban says he still enjoys being a judge on "American Idol."  The country star is marking his third season on the Fox reality show, and he explains that they're once again discovering some truly gifted singers.
Urban adds that it was very easy for him, fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., and host Ryan Seacrest to get back into "Idol" mode.  The singer says when they met again this summer to start the audition process "it felt like no time had passed at all."  "American Idol" will return to Fox in January.

Keith Urban will be taking part in next year's Country Radio Seminar.  The singer's reputation for remaining in the moment has earned him a spot on the schedule.  He'll discuss the subject at the event "Keith Urban: Being Present."  CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne says "having this incredible talent address this most critical skill in today's hectic professional business environment" will certainly be one of the highlights of the event.  He explains that Urban has "set the standard for the way any artist's relationship should be with his or her fans," and the country star's ability to "connect on a human level" both in person and through his music is "unprecedented."  "Keith Urban: Being Present" is scheduled the final day of CRS 2015, which will take place at the Nashville Convention Center from February 25th through the 27th.

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) Taylor Swift is a guest.
NIGHTLINE (ABC) Luke Bryan is featured in one of the show's segments.
HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, and Bucky Covington are among the featured stars.

Dwight Yoakam is 58.
Former Ricochet fiddle and mandolin player Junior Bryant is 46.
Brantley Gilbert hasn't given up on relationships.  After a failed engagement to singer Jana Kramer, the star has found love again.  And he revealed Tuesday on the syndicated "Bobby Bones" show that he's popped the question.  While Brantley wouldn't reveal his fiancee's name, he described her as "a hometown girl" he'd dated before.  The singer added that she's the subject of a number of his songs -- including "More Than Miles."  He also shared that they're "looking towards the end of June" for a wedding date, and he's "pretty excited" about tying the knot with her.

Taylor Swift says she's come to terms with certain dangers that come with her job.  In a new interview with "Esquire," the star opens up about the multiple threats that have been made against her and her family over the years.  Taylor says as much as she values "normalcy," she also understands the seriousness of the "sheer number of men [they] have in a file who have showed up at [her] house ... and threatened to either kill [her], kidnap [her] or marry [her]."  The singer says she hasn't taken a drive by herself in six years because of the threats, adding that the lack of privacy is "the strange and sad part of [her] life that [she] tries not to think about." 
Taylor's prepping for the release of her fifth studio album "1989," which arrives on October 27th.  Her upcoming TV appearances include performances and sit-downs on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "The View" and "Good Morning America."

Jason Aldean is once again getting recognition for a successful year in country music.  The singer is among the 2014 CMT Artists of the Year.  He's also the only star to receive the honor every year since CMT launched the event in 2010.  This time around Jason's fellow honorees include Luke Bryan, who was also a 2012 and 2013 CMT Artist of the Year; and Florida Georgia Line, who is getting the nod for a second consecutive year.  Miranda Lambert is also now a two-time honoree -- she was previously acknowledged in 2012.  First time recipient Keith Urban rounds out the lineup.  The five stars will be celebrated with a special event in Nashville later this year.  The star-studded ceremony will air live on CMT on December 2nd at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

CMT Artists of the Year" pays tribute to the year's top country music stars, based on a variety of factors including music and concert ticket sales, downloads, radio airplay, and video streams.    The lineup for this year's show hasn't been announced yet.

The 2014 World Series is under way thanks in part to Trisha Yearwood.  The country star took on the National Anthem duties Tuesday night ahead of Game One at Kauffman Stadium in
Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, Yearwood was joined by members of the military in honor of the Welcome Back Veterans initiative.  The World Series continues Wednesday night with "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips performing "The Star Spangled Banner."  Little Big Town will step up to the mic when the Series moves to San Francisco on Friday, while Santana will take the field on Saturday.

Taylor Swift is sharing another sample from her upcoming album, "1989."  The country-pop superstar tweeted that the Target commercial for the deluxe edition of her disc is now out, and it "features a brand new song you haven't heard yettttttt....."
The song is called "Style."  Target is the exclusive outlet for the deluxe edition of "1989," which features three bonus tracks and other extras. 
Taylor's album will be available on Monday.

Tim McGraw says he of course loved country music as a kid. But the star adds that he was also a big classic rock fan. Tim adds that he liked Elvis Presley, too.  He says he had an album that included "If I Can Dream" -- his favorite Elvis song -- and that was another disc he would "play over and over."  Today, McGraw just might have some young fans who are as passionate about his music as he was for Alabama, Rush, and Elvis.  And they have his latest release, "Sundown Heaven Town," to listen to over and over again.

Trisha Yearwood says she knows Kelly Clarkson is one of her biggest fans.  She admits when Kelly brought a friend with her to record "Prizefighter," she didn't really know what to do when they started expressing their adoration of her. Trisha adds that she's been a fan of Kelly's since her "American Idol" days, and calls her "the real deal."  But she suspects Clarkson "doesn't know how great she is," and jokingly claims if she did "she wouldn't speak to any of us."  The duet with Kelly is the title track to Trisha's upcoming album, "PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit," which will arrive November 17th.  It's one of six new songs on the disc, which also features "She's In Love With The Boy," "XXX's and OOO's," "Wrong Side of Memphis," and other favorites.

Chris Carmack is getting indications that his "
Nashville" character, Will Lexington, is pretty popular.  But the actor admits he doesn't country singer who hasn't come out -- and would like to keep it that way as he develops his career.  Chris says Will is resonating in the gay community.  He explains that it's usually the gay fans who will actually engage him about the show and his character.  Cormack adds that they usually compliment him, and tell him they appreciate the way he's portraying Will.  "Nashville" airs on ABC on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, and Lady Antebellum could become nominees for next year's People's Choice Awards.  The public is getting their say on their favorites in movies, TV shows and music.  Voting is now open online for 54 categories for the 2015 event.  Each category includes a list of at least ten options, while there's also a space for a write-in vote.  The top five in each category will become the official nominees.  In addition to country-specific categories, country stars are among the choices in several all-country categories.  Lady A and Florida Georgia Line are included for Favorite Group, while Miranda and Eric Church are among the Favorite Album hopefuls.  And Cole Swindell is on the list for Favorite Breakout Artist.  Nominees will be announced on November 4th.  The People's Choice Awards 2015 will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on CBS on January 7th.  Go to to cast a ballot.  
Little Big Town is now part of the Grand Ole Opry.  And singer Philip Sweet says it truly is something special. Little BigTown was officially inducted into the Opry during Friday's show.  The group, which gave their first-ever public performance on the Opry back in 1999, sang the hit "Bring It On Home" to honor their debut.  Little Big Town also sang "Boondocks" before Vince Gill, Little Jimmy Dickens, and the Opry's Peter Fisher joined them to make the Opry Member Award presentation.
The band's Karen Fairchild adds that their Opry membership is something they don't take lightly.  She says they feel a sense of responsibility to maintain the history and traditions of the Opry.

Dustin Lynch says when he finished his show Friday night, "it was just a little bloodier than usual."  The country star was performing at the MulletFest in Niceville, Florida when somebody threw a full can of beer toward the stage, striking the singer in the face.  Dustin tells "People" he was "walking down the catwalk and wham, out of nowhere" he was "nailed" by the can, which "felt like a baseball."  Video of the incident shows Lynch attempting to identify the culprit.  Some audience members tried to point out the person, prompting a small skirmish, but Dustin later tweeted that the guy "got away."  He added that he had to go to the hospital to get "a few stitches" to close the wound.
Dustin tells "People" the "moral of the story is don't throw beer cans, period.  It's not cool."  He adds that he didn't end the concert right then because "the crowd was insanely loud and supportive," and he didn't want to let one person ruin "a great night" for everybody else.

Reba McEntire is adding her voice to the fight against lung cancer.  She's slated to headline the upcoming "Dawn Sears & Friends" benefit, supporting the research being done at the Vanderbilt-IngramCancerCenter.  Sears, who's a member of the group The Time Jumpers, is an organizer of the event who's also battling the disease.  She says her goal with the concert is to "bring more hope" to others like her who have lung cancer.  The singer says she's in a unique position to stage such a concert.  Dawn explains that she's "in no way" a country music "superstar," but she has friends who are.  Along with Reba, another "superstar" friend is Vince Gill.  He's a member of The Time Jumpers, and will perform with the group at the event. The lineup also features Riders in the Sky, while Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton will be the night's emcee.  "Dawn Sears & Friends" will take place in Gallatin, Tennessee on November 30th.

Sara Evans is adding her name to the list of real-life country stars who've appeared on the ABC drama "Nashville."  The singer will portray herself, and perform her latest single "Put My Heart Down" as a duet with Will Chase's character, Luke Wheeler.  Sara says she's "a huge fan of the show," and admits she was "really excited" when she was asked to make a guest appearance.  She adds that she "had a great time" shooting her scene, and "everyone from the cast and crew were so great to work with."  Evans will be featured on the October 29th episode.  In addition, her duet version of "Put My Heart Down" with Chase will be available from iTunes immediately after the show airs.

Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard says the phrase "Anything Goes" is an appropriate title for the duo's second album.  The country star explains that it sums up their philosophy on life and work. Tyler explains that in country music today "the boundaries are being pushed," and he and Brian Kelley are taking full advantage of that freedom to write and record the music they want to play.  The fans seem to like their style as well.  Florida Georgia Line's "Anything Goes" features their current hit, "Dirt," the most recent of their six chart-topping singles.  The album is in stores now.

Singer-songwriter Sam Hunt says Billy Currington's latest number one hit, "We Are Tonight," wasn't something he and co-writer Josh Osborne had set out to create.
Sam adds that he and Josh "just sort of kept going," and ended up with the song.  And Currington is thrilled to have recorded it.  Billy says he really likes connecting with the new talent that arrives in
Nashville.  He also admits he's surprised at how many great songs aspiring performers -- like Sam -- give away. Currington says he feels really lucky Hunt didn't choose to keep "We Are Tonight" for himself, adding that it reminds him of his hit "Good Directions."  Luke Bryan co-wrote that song, which became a chart-topper for Billy in 2007 -- just as Luke was launching his own recording career.  Sam will release his debut album, "Montevallo," later this month. Hunt's disc features the top five hit "Leave the Night On."

Tanya Tucker is the subject of a new exhibit opening this fall.  "Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough To Bend" will showcase the country star's career, which officially began when she was 13 with the 1972 hit "Delta Dawn."  But the Texas-born singer had been performing for years prior to that, starting when she was six.  Her surprising talent eventually led to an introduction to famed producer Billy Sherrill, who got Tanya a record deal.  Her storied career included a short but stormy relationship with the much older Glen Campbell, a stint in rehab, and controversy sparked by her decision to become a single mother.  But throughout it all Tanya cranked out the hits -- including nearly 40 top ten singles through 1997.  She's also been recognized with CMA and ACM awards and Grammy nominations.

"Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend" will open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on November 14th.  The exhibit will run through the end of May.
Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild says she and her bandmates recognize the significance of their Grand Ole Opry performance Friday night.  The country group will officially become the Opry's newest members on the show, and Karen says it's something the group takes "very seriously."  In an Opry tweet she explains that it's "so much tradition and responsibility," and the band will do their best to make the Opry proud to have them.  Little Big Town received their invitation to join the Opry earlier this month from Reba McEntire.  Vince Gill will handle the quartet's official induction in the last segment of Friday's show.  Chuck Wicks, Daryl Worley, and Bill Anderson are some of the other stars scheduled to perform.

Vince Gill is getting another shot at the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  The country star, who was on the ballot last year, is again one of the nominees for the honor.  This time around Toby Keith has been recognized as well.  They're among the 12 singer-songwriters in the running in the Performing Songwriters category, along with Tom Petty, Cat Stevens, Gloria Estefan, and others.  Meanwhile, Bobby Braddock is being considered for the honor once again as well.  Like Vince, Bobby was also a 2014 nominee.  His credits include George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and Tracy Lawrence's "Time Marches On."

Voting members of the Hall of Fame committee will submit their ballots in December.  The Songwriters Hall Of Fame's Class of 2014 will receive its official welcome with an event in
New York next June.

Florida Georgia Line is providing the entertainment on the latest installment of CMT's "Instant Jam."  The duo's set features the hit "Get Your Shine On."
For the show, Florida Georgia Line played a seemingly spontaneous show for a few hundred lucky fans at
Nashville's Exit/In last month.  The minimal advertising comprised of a tweet from singers Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, which quickly drew a capacity crowd.  The country duo also treated their audience to such hits as "Cruise," "Stay," "This Is How We Roll," and "Dirt," as well as other songs from their just-released sophomore CD, "Anything Goes."  Florida Georgia Line's episode of "Instant Jam" debuts on CMT Friday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.  An encore presentation is set for Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

Jason Aldean's new album and all the buzz surrounding it has helped propel him to the top of the Billboard Artist 100.  The chart ranks artists based on their activity on the Hot 100, Billboard 200, and Social 50 charts as well as album sales, radio airplay, social media interaction, and other data.  While Jason was already in the top ten, at number seven, last week's arrival of "Old Boots, New Dirt" gave the country star a 213-percent point boost which sent him to number one.  And just as he did on the album charts, Aldean is bumping Blake Shelton from the top spot of the Artist 100.

Scotty McCreery says his time on "American Idol" "seems like such a long time ago."  That could be because the country star has kept busy since he won the Fox competition in May 2011.  He tells
New Jersey's "Asbury Park Press" he's "worked hard" and hasn't "let up" since then.  Scotty says being on the show "was incredible" and "opened some doors" for him, and he's been "taking advantage of whatever opportunities" have come his way since then.  The singer adds that he always eager to improve, explaining that he wants to become "a better songwriter" and "the best performer" he can.
Scotty will continue honing his performance skills this fall.  He's launching the fall leg of his "See You Tonight Tour" in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Friday.  Danielle Bradbery will serve as Scotty's opening act at select shows on the trek, which extends into December.  Scotty will wrap up the run with a benefit concert in Wallingford, Connecticut in support of the 12.14 Foundation.  The organization was established to honor the victims of the December 2012 Connecticut school shooting.  McCreery was named 12.14 Foundation "National Goodwill Ambassador" earlier this year.