Capitol NashvilleHillary Scott is rubbing elbows with some serious A-listers these days. The Lady Antebellum front woman recently sang at Stand Up to Cancer’s New York City gala, which was hosted by Nashvillian-turned-movie-star Reese Witherspoon. Sheryl Crow, Tony Bennett and Jamie Foxx also took the stage, performing for the likes of Katie Couric, Alec Baldwin and fashion icon Donna Karan. In all, the event raised more than $42 million for cancer research.
While Lady A has been on a break and her band mate Charles Kelley has been pursuing his solo endeavors, Hillary’s been working on a project of her own. She’s been recording a gospel album with her family, which includes her Grammy-winning mother, Linda Davis.
ABC On Wednesday night’s Nashville, a changed Juliette Barnes worked to win back the trust of her longtime manager and surrogate father Glenn Goodman, who was suspicious as to whether the often temperamental, impetuous star could’ve really changed.
Rayna Jaymes was determined to make Layla Grant’s new album a success, even if it meant striking out on tour with the young singer herself, after Autumn Chase rejected her as an opening act in favor of The Exes. As Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O’Connor started the tour with Autumn, they grew increasingly annoyed over the established star’s erratic behavior and her obsession with their romantic past.
Meanwhile, a desperate Layla — still reeling from Autumn’s rejection — went to Luke Wheeler, crying and begging for a spot on his show. Rayna was shocked when she learned her label’s artist had staged such a coup, but by then she liked the idea of getting back on the road herself so much, she decided to continue even without Layla.
With Rayna on the road, daughter Maddie was determined both to grow up and to continue pursuing her solo musical dreams. The underage teen ended up sneaking into a downtown bar to play a writers’ night, which closed with an ugly scene, after dad Deacon Claybourne found out and pulled her offstage after he spotted a guy making advances toward her.
Will Lexington and his ex Kevin Bicks were thrust together suddenly, as the two needed to work on the songs they’d started for Will’s upcoming album. When Will learned Kevin was already seeing somebody new, emotions boiled over, with the two eventually talking through the end of their relationship — and admitting they’d both loved each other.
In the end, Juliette’s sincerity won Glenn over, and the pair was reunited. Things were not so happy for Luke Wheeler, however, who learned his co-headliner Riff Bell had disappeared — just a day before their tour was to start.
Find out what happens next, when the drama of Nashville continues next Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Cliff Lipson/CBSEven though Jake Owen has had quite a few big hits like “Beachin’,” “Anywhere with You” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” he admits it’s still encouraging when people immediately love a song, like his latest top-30 hit, “American Country Love Song.”
“In this business, people don’t realize it’s not easy,” he chuckles, “and you can put out songs that you genuinely love — I’ve had moments over the past couple years where I’ve released songs, for instance, ‘What We Ain’t Got,’ which meant the world to me. But it was a huge departure from what people kinda perceive me as, as the ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night’ guy. And so the song didn’t do as well as maybe we thought we would. So to put out a new song now that’s kinda back in the vein of what people have come to expect from me, it feels good to see it like back on track again and see it rollin’.”
One of the things that’s helped the song find success is the road trip Jake took in his classic VW van the week the single was released.
“We stopped off along the way, and something about driving 55 miles an hour in the right-hand lane on the interstate,” he recalls, “usually if you did that in any other vehicle, people would be mad, like honking the horn. But people gave me thumbs-up, because you can’t get mad at a ’66 Volkswagen van, seafoam green. So I just watched people smile, and we pulled off on the side of the road, stopped at truck stops. People would say, ‘Man, tell me about that van,’ we’d just get to talkin’. And it was just cool to be able to just for a minute, not be in a hurry and just say, ‘We’re headin’ to Key West,’ and tell the story and along the way just meet great people. It was good.”
Jake says his trek from Nashville to the tip of Florida also helped teach him a new life philosophy.
“Every day we wake up and you live in this world, in this beautiful country. And sometimes if you just take a minute and turn it into your playground, it’s amazing how much fun and happiness you can not only bring to yourself, but to other people. I mean it’s pretty easy just to make someone smile and ask ’em how their day is,” he reflects.
The video for “American Country Love Song” was shot along the way during Jake’s VW journey. You can relive the trek on YouTube now.
Courtesy of The Best FestBob Dylan turns 75 in May, and Music City is throwing him a two-day party at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Brothers Osborne, Kacey Musgraves, Wynonna & the Big Noise and Emmylou Harris are just some of the country artists who’ll play songs written by the folk legend during Dylan Fest. A diverse array of artists, including Kesha, Heart’s Ann Wilson and Boz Skaggs round out the bill for the May 23 and 24 shows.
The concerts are a benefit for Thistle Farms, a Nashville non-profit that works to change the lives of women who are survivors of prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Tickets go on sale to the general public Saturday at 10 a.m. CT via Ticketmaster.
National Life Group announced today that Shane Thill, Director of Second Chance High School and Assistant Principal at Mitchell High School, in Mitchell, South Dakota, has been selected as the Grand Prize Winner for the national 2015-2016 LifeChanger of the Year award.
LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program that recognizes and rewards outstanding K-12 educators and school district employees who have demonstrated a proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students.
Thill was selected for the top award out of more than 600 teachers, administrators and school district employees from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. He was chosen for his dedication to going above and beyond to provide opportunities for at-risk students, helping them develop confidence and leadership skills.
“Shane exemplifies what it means to be a LifeChanger. He is selfless, compassionate and genuinely concerned about making a positive difference in the lives of students,” said Mehran Assadi, President andCEO, National Life Group. “The hundreds of comments we received on his nomination profile page from students, former students, parents, colleagues and community members are proof-positive that he is indeed changing lives.”
Thill established a high school level Rotary Club, called ‘Interact,’ and has coordinated with local businesses and organizations in the community to obtain scholarship applications, volunteer opportunities and work experience options for students. He has been known to stay up all night if students need him and invests personal time, energy and resources to help them succeed in life.
“Shane and his wife Deb opened their home up to me, helped me get a car, and cared in ways I would have never imagined,” said former student Selena Thomas. “I completed my schooling at the Alternative School in about two and a half months, but the lessons I learned went beyond the doors of that building.”
Colleagues report being inspired by Thill and many go to him for advice. Community leaders acknowledge the confident and engaged students he presents to them and appreciate his impact on Mitchell’s youth and their futures.
“I have worked with Shane for the past 10 years and he has always been an inspiration. Many of Shane’s students have every reason to fail, yet he is able to show them success,” said Mitchell High School Principal, Joe Childs. “He takes those who have little hope of succeeding, and he offers them a second chance. Shane gives all of his students a chance to buy in to the program, a chance to graduate, a chance to find success and, for many, he’s offering a chance at a better future. Many times, I have heard former students explain that they wouldn’t have made it without him.”
As the National Grand Prize Winner, Thill receives a $10,000 cash award, which is split between a $5,000 individual award and a matching $5,000 donation to Second Chance High School.
In addition to Thill, 14 other educators from across the country were recognized as 2015-16 LifeChanger of the Year finalists. Each received a cash award and was honored during a surprise ceremony at their school.
Capitol Records NashvilleJust as “Head over Boots” claims its spot in the top 20, Jon Pardi is putting out a playful new video for the first single from his sophomore album. Set in a roadhouse, the clip finds present-day Jon Pardi playing the song while propped up against a vintage jukebox, interspersed with some other incarnations of what the California native might’ve looked like through the years.
Along the way, Jon plays both a fringe-and-scarf-wearing singing cowboy and a seventies-era vocalist with an impressive mustache. You can check out his looks for yourself on YouTube. Jon’s second album, California Sunrise, comes out June 17.
John Shearer/Getty Images for The Country Music Hall Of Fame & MuseumMerleHaggard may have been laid to rest Saturday near his home in California, but Tuesday night in Nashville, his Music City family gave him a fitting send-off at the All for the Hall benefit at Bridgestone Arena.
“We are sending our love and prayers and really dedicating this show tonight to the great Merle Haggard,” host Keith Urban proclaimed. “If you ever wondered what Merle looks like with headphones on, there it is!” he added, referring to the picture on his t-shirt.
Early in the evening, Keith’s co-organizer and fellow house band member Vince Gill dedicated his set solely to Haggard tunes, doing both “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” and “Fightin’ Side of Me.” Emmylou Harris followed with “Kern River.”
Sam Hunt delivered perhaps the most surprising cover of the evening, “The Way I Am,” matching it with a haunting story.
“The other night I was missing being able to go home and go fishing or go home and go turkey hunt or go home and go see my folks back down in Georgia,” he recalled. “I started playing this old Merle song. The next day, I had a co-write in town, so I got up and I called my manager Brad and I said, ‘Hey call up and see if maybe we can do “The Way I Am” next week at the All for the Hall show.’ I walked into my co-write and I’m in there for about an hour and a half and my buddy looks at his computer screen and he just out of the blue says, ‘Oh my gosh.’ He said, ‘Merle Haggard just passed away.’ And it sent chills up my spine and it gave me this real eerie feeling,” Sam said before launching into the hit from 1980.
CMA Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan extended his set to deliver an impromptu rendition of “Big City.”
Urban ended the evening by revealing that the sixth All for the Hall benefit was officially the most successful one ever, raising nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for the Hall’s music education programs. Keith’s last musical offering was a reading of “Sing Me Back Home” that morphed into “Mama Tried,” with the night’s entire lineup returning to the stage for the final song.
Courtesy of Big Loud RecordsIf you’d like to meet newcomer Chris Lane, all you need to do is pick up a physical copy of his new EP. Just as his first single “Fix” is breaking into the top-20, his label is releasing his debut recording on CD exclusively at Target. The new edition of the FIX EP also includes two bonus tracks– a new song called “Drinkin’ Games,” plus an acoustic version of his breakthrough hit. The package also includes a pair of passes to meet Chris at a future show.
This weekend, Chris plays shows in his home state of North Carolina, just as the new version of his project rolls out at Target. This summer, he heads out on the Rhythm & Roots tour with Rascal Flatts.
Capitol NashvilleIf you wonder when Keith Urban’s ripCORD World Tour is coming to your area– well, all you need to do is check the superstar’s torso. In one of the most unusual tour promo videos ever, the tattooed Australian sits patiently while an artist inscribes the dates for his upcoming trek with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris all over his upper body, as his new single, “Wasted Time,” plays in the background.
The tour kicks off June 2 in Kansas City, Missouri. You can search for the name of the city closest to you in the video that’s now posted on YouTube.