Country music couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are to headline the inaugural Route 66 Harvest festival in Las Vegas in October (14). Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Brantley Gilbert will join them at the The Lot at the Luxor Hotel & Casino for the three-day country music event.
Country hitmakers John Anderson, Paul Craft, Tom Douglas and Gretchen Peters are set to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The four musicians will be feted by officials at the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) at the Music City Center in the Tennessee capital in October (14).
Pat Alger, Chairman of the NSAI Board of Directors, says, "Here in Nashville where the music industry has always been built on a foundation of great songs written by legendary songwriters, each year only a few are elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
"This year we are very pleased to welcome the class of 2014: Tom Douglas and Gretchen Peters in the songwriter category; Paul Craft in the veteran songwriter category and John Anderson as our songwriter/artist."
Douglas is known for penning songs for Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert, who scored huge success with The House That Built Me, while Peters wrote McBride's Independence Day and The Chill Of An Early Fall for George Strait.
Craft famously created Ray Stevens' novelty smash It's Me Again, Margaret and singer/songwriter Anderson is famed for tracks like Swingin, Seminole Wind and Shuttin' Detroit Down, which he co-wrote for John Rich.
Last year's (13) honourees included Alabama star Randy Owen and singer Jeffrey Steele.
Country star Miranda Lambert made an unexpected stop in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and surprised fans with a free gig at a local nightclub. The Over You hitmaker was on her way to perform at the Florida Country Superfest in Jacksonville on Sunday (15Jun14), but decided to prepare for her set with a warm-up show at Block, a popular Fort Walton Beach venue on Saturday night (14Jun14).
Speculation began early in the day when nearby residents noticed Lambert's tour bus parked outside the club, but it wasn't confirmed until 2.00pm (local time) when the singer posted a photo on her Instagram.com account of her Airstream trailer, inviting fans to come out to the free concert.
According to TasteofCountry.com, her followers packed out the venue for the two-hour show.
Lambert belted out some of her hits including Gunpowder & Lead and Fastest Girl in Town, as well as tracks from her new chart-topping album, Platinum.
Blake Shelton's wife kicks off her Platinum Tour on 10 July (14) in Fort Loramie, Ohio.
Bon Jovi star Richie Sambora added some rock 'n' roll to the 2014 CMA Music Fest by performing with the Zac Brown Band on Sunday night (08Jun14). The group headlined the final night of the country music event at the LP Field stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, following performances from the genre's biggest stars, including Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley, across the four-day festival.
Zac Brown's group gave the audience a night to remember by bringing out special guest Sambora during the set to perform Bon Jovi's huge hit Wanted Dead Or Alive.
The guitarist said after the show, "What a blast playing with my brother Zac Brown. Nashville has always welcomed me with open arms, and it was incredible to jump on stage and feel the energy of that amazing crowd."
Country star Miranda Lambert surprised pal Carrie Underwood over the weekend (24-25May14) by handing her the keys to a brand new motorcycle. Former American Idol winner Underwood took to her Twitter.com blog on Sunday (25May14) to share her delight at the unexpected gift and posted a photo of herself posing on the black and chrome bike.
In the accompanying caption, the star wrote, "Well, it's not every day @mirandalambert buys you a motorcycle!"
However, Underwood revealed she would need a little training before hitting the road with her new toy, adding, "Next stop, motorcycle driving lessons!!!"
Lambert has yet to reveal the reason for her generosity, although the bike was delivered a week after the pals shared the stage at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on 18 May (14) to perform the TV debut of their new song, Somethin' Bad.
"Happy anniversary blakeshelton! I love you! Cheers to 3 years!" Miranda Lambert congratulates her husband three years after their country-style wedding. The singer also posted a picture of the newlyweds on their wedding day on Instagram.com.
Country star Blake Shelton's ex-wife is hoping to make extra cash by selling her wedding dress on auction site eBay.com. The God Gave Me You hitmaker wed Kaynette Williams in 2003, but the couple split after three years of marriage. Now she's ready to sell off the gown she wore on her big day.
The strapless, size six Demetrios wedding dress with rhinestone embellishments has been listed with a starting bid of $700 (£415).
The listing, posted by a friend of Williams, includes photos of the used dress as well as photos of Shelton and Kaynette, who now works as a school teacher in Kansas, tying the knot.
Five years after their divorce, Shelton married fellow country singer Miranda Lambert in 2011.
Singer Blake Shelton is constantly baffled by tabloid reports suggesting his marriage to Miranda Lambert is on the rocks, insisting their strong bond is unlike any other he's ever experienced. For months, the country music supercouple has been shooting down rumours of its separation as reports continue to swirl alleging Shelton and Lambert are on the verge of splitting after almost three years of marriage.
Now Shelton is hoping to put the gossip to rest once and for all by declaring his dedication to his wife.
In an interview on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (21Apr14), The Voice judge made it clear that the speculation couldn't be farther from the truth, explaining, "I would take this opportunity to say, to clear the air. You might pick up a magazine or a tabloid any day of the week that'll say something about my relationship with Miranda, that it's in turmoil...
"The truth is, I've never felt a stronger bond with... not only with her but with any other human being in my life. She's my life."
Miranda Lambert made history and ruled the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday (06Apr14), earning three top prizes, including Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time in a row. The House That Built Me singer became the only female artist to win the honour five consecutive times, edging out Reba McEntire, who won the award for four successive years, and seven in total.
Lambert also took home the Record of the Year prize for her song Mama's Broken Heart, as well as the Vocal Event of the Year prize for her duet with Keith Urban, We Were Us, which was handed out on the red carpet before the ceremony began.
Country music icon George Strait won the ultimate prize of the night for Entertainer of the Year, beating out Taylor Swift, Lambert, her husband Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. The latter two also co-hosted the event for the second year in a row.
Follow Your Arrow hitmaker Kacey Musgraves followed up her two Grammy wins in February (14) with the Album of the Year award for Same Trailer Different Park, and boasted, "I'm really proud to be a woman representing country music," in her acceptance speech.
For the second year in a row Jason Aldean picked up the Male Vocalist of the Year title, and other winners included The Band Perry (Vocal Group of the Year), Florida Georgia Line (Vocal Duo of the Year), Justin Moore (New Artist of the Year), Lee Brice (Song of the Year for I Drive Your Truck) and Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw, featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban (Video of the Year).
Garth Brooks presented veteran singer Merle Haggard with the Crystal Milestone Award to mark his 50th anniversary in the industry, and George Strait and Lambert teamed up to sing a medley of his hits, including The Bottle Let Me Down and I'm a Lonesome Fugitive.
The achievement coincided with Haggard's 77th birthday, and Brooks led the entire audience in serenading the singer on his big day.
The ceremony was also filled with stand-out performances, including sets from George Strait, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Toby Keith.
In addition, a number of artists joined forces for special collaborations - Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan teamed up for a pyrotechnics and bicycle stunt show during their performance of This is How We Roll; Tim McGraw was joined by his wife Faith Hill for a duet of Meanwhile; Stevie Nicks joined Lady Antebellum for a rendition of Rihannon, and The Voice stars Shelton and Shakira gave the country night a Latin feel as they reworked her song Medicine.
Prior to Sunday's ceremony, Carrie Underwood was given the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap were handed the Career Achievement Award, and Rascal Flatts were honoured with the Jim Reeves International Award for their success overseas.
The full list of winners is:
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Album of the Year: Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean
Song of the Year: I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice
Record of the Year: Mama's Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert
New Artist of the Year: Justin Moore
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Vocal Event of the Year: We Were Us by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert
Crystal Milestone Award: Merle Haggard
Video of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw, featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
Gene Weed Special Achievement Award: Carrie Underwood
Career Achievement Award: Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap
Jim Reeves International Award: Rascal Flatts
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With Jay Leno's second (and hopefully final) departure from The Tonight Show, the torch has officially been passed. SNL vet Jimmy Fallon is now set to take over the program after his wildly successful tenure on Late Night. NBC has announced which guests will be joining Fallon on the couch for his first week as host, and the list spans the gamut of Hollywood's heaviest hitters. With such an impressive lineup scheduled for his first few shows, we decided to compare Fallon's first week with the first weeks of the other recent recipients of The Tonight Show. So how does The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon stack up?
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (2014)Monday: Guest: Will Smith/Musical Guest: U2Tuesday: Guests: Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig/Musical Guest: Lady GagaWednesday: Guest: Bradley Cooper/Musical Guest: Tim McGrawThursday: Guests: First Lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell/Musical Guest: Arcade FireFriday: Guest: Justin Timberlake
Star Power: 10/10Musical Guests: 9/10Overall:Jimmy Fallon's fun and frenetic late night style has celebrity guests smitten. This fact is clear from the sheer star power he was able to attract for his first couple shows. Huge stars like Will Smith, Jerry Seinfeld, and even the FLOTUS herself, Michelle Obama are showing up to inaugurate Fallon into the 11:30 timeslot. Even more impressive are the musical guests. From U2 to Arcade Fire, there's a good mix of old and new favorites. The only caveat is that there's a lack R&B or hip hop. A bit of Kanye or Beyonce would have gone a long way.
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009)Monday: Guest: Will Ferrell/Musical Guest: Pearl JamTuesday: Guest: Tom Hanks/ Musical Guest: Green DayWednesday: Guest: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bradley Cooper/Musical Guest: Sheryl CrowThursday: Guest: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joel McHale/Musical Guest: John Mayer TrioFriday: Guest: Ryan Seacrest, Patton Oswalt/Musical Guest: Chickenfoot
Star Power: 8/10Musical Guests: 7/10Overall:Conan O'Brien started off his short-lived time as host of The Tonight Show on fire, with Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks making up his first two shows, but the week cools off considerably with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ryan Seacrest capping off the end of the week. Seacrest is fine and good, but he's not the caliber of guest that should be finishing off your "coming out" week. The musical guests suffer a similar fate as the regular ones: the week starts off strong with Pearl Jam and Greenday, but tapers off with Chickenfoot rounding out the Friday show.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2010)Monday: Guest: Jamie Foxx, Lindsey Vonn/Musical Guest: Brad PaisleyTuesday: Guest: Sarah Palin, Shaun White/Musical Guest: Adam LambertWednesday: Guest: Chelsea Handler, Apolo Ohno/Musical Guest: Avril LavigneThursday: Guest: Matthew McConaughey, Brett Favre/Musical Guest: LifehouseFriday: Guest: Morgan Freeman, Jason Reitman/Musical Guest: Robin Thicke
Star Power: 7/10Musical Guests: 7/10Overall:It seems that people weren't so excited to welcome back Jay Leno so soon after leaving The Tonight Show less than a year earlier. Leno's return to The Tonight Show was less of an event, and more of a "been there, done that" sort of affair as many saw Leno as the bad guy in the demise of O'Brien's incarnation of The Tonight Show. Jamie Foxx is a great opener, but Sarah Palin lost a lot of her novelty by the time 2010 rolled around. Chelsea Handler is just another late night host, and Matthew McConaughey was still in the middle of his transition between shirtless heartthrob and A-list serious actor. The musical guests are similarly disappointing with Avril Lavigne, Lifehouse, and a pre-'Blurred Lines' Robin Thicke making up the underwhelming lineup.
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