Country Legend. Outlaw. Card Tricker. Wait…what? Willie Nelson performs a card trick for his sister Bobbie. Watch out, Vegas:
With the second-longest span between No. 1s in the chart’s 50-year history, and the longest for a living artist, Willie Nelson closes a 28-year gap at the Top Country Albums summit, as “Band of Brothers” arrives as his 12th leader with 37,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Nelson had last reached No. 1 when “The Promiseland” spent its first of two weeks atop the May 31, 1986, list.
The only artist with a longer break between topping the chart is Johnny Cash, who spanned 35 years between “Man in Black” (1971) and “American V: A Hundred Highways” (2006). Cash died in 2003. That means your favourite new country performer would have to keep performing and hitting No. 1 around2050 or so to break the record – without having a No. 1 album in between.
On a side note, I love Nelson because of his environmental actions – he owns the bio-diesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the Advisory Board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.
Miranda Lambert’s Platinum tops Billboard’s country albums chart for the second week in a row while Brett Eldredge’s “Beat of the Music” scoots into first place on the airplay rankings following a 38-week climb.
The big Taylor Swift news this week is that she got another kitten. It is an adorable kitten named Olivia Benson — after the Law & Order character played by Mariska Hargitay — that makes her about 100 times cuter.
Is it fun to be a country star? Sure is. Luke Bryan was like a kid in a candy shop last week when he hit the field of Busch Stadium for a little batting practice with the St. Louis Cardinals. Sporting his own custom jersey, Luke hopped into the batting cage. He managed to hit a few line drives and shared plenty of laughs with the players. They seemed just as much in awe of Luke being there as the singer was of being there with them. Amidst the fun, Luke took to his Instragram page, where he posted a short video to allow his fans in on some of the action.
If you know anything about Kip Moore besides the fact that he’s a talented singer and songwriter, it’s that he’s as honest as the day is long. And his tolerance for things that are unjust or unfair, especially when it comes to his fans, is pretty limited. OK . . . that tolerance is actually nonexistent. Kip loves his fans. The other thing he has zero tolerance for is ticket scalpers. In a handwritten letter he shared on his Facebook page, Kip shows off that dedication to his fans’ well-being and his opposition to the shady business of reselling tickets to his shows. Kip writes, “I know what it’s like to live on a strict budget and wish you had funds to take your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, friend, daughter, son, etc. to a show or game, but you just can’t afford to.” He then lists several things that “piss him off” including “the thing that pisses me off the most is scalpers. I could sit back and ignore it, because I know it’s a losing battle, but I just can’t do that.”
Ray Stevens is known and beloved to fans as a versatile musician, comedian, singer and songwriter. Now you can add author to Ray’s list of accomplishments. Ray is set to release his book Ray Stevens’ Nashville, detailing his life and career, on June 22. Nashville takes readers from Ray’s humble upbringing in Georgia to his musical career in Nashville, where he became a successful singer, songwriter and music publisher.
Summer is here, which means the always-fun Teen Choice Awards are around the corner. The nominations have been announced and voting is underway, so get ready because some of your favorite country stars are in the running for the show’s signature surfboard trophy. And not just in country music categories! Taylor Swift has a nod for overall Choice Female Artist and for Choice Smile. And actress-turned-recording-artist Lucy Hale grabs a nomination in the Choice TV Actress: Drama for her part in Pretty Little Liars.
The country categories are as follows:
CHOICE MALE COUNTRY ARTIST
CHOICE FEMALE COUNTRY ARTIST
CHOICE COUNTRY GROUP
Florida Georgia Line
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
For a complete list of all the nominees, and to cast your vote (teens only), go to teenchoiceawards.com. The Teen Choice Awards take place Aug. 10 on FOX. Hosts, performers and presenters will be announced in the coming days.
Lady Antebellum enlisted a couple of famous friends for a drink-off in their new music video for their latest single, “Bartender.” The trio premiered the video, starring Kate Upton and Arrested Development’s Tony Hale, Thursday morning on NBC’s Today. Directed by Shane Drake, the video stars Kate and her friends on a girls’ night out, which ends with bartender Tony slinging his best shots in an effort to win an epic drinking battle. Willie Nelson’s Texas ranch, named “Luck,” suffered heavy damage from high winds as storms blew through the state last week. The ranch was built in 1986 to look like an authentic Western town as the set of his film, Red Headed Stranger. Willie shared the news of the damage on Facebook. “Our beautiful Luck wasn’t so lucky recently,” he wrote. “Last week’s tornado-force winds ripped several buildings apart, including the bank, the post office, and left World Headquarters holding on by a splinter.” The ranch, not open to the public, includes a church, bank and post office and has been used during SXSW’s Heartbreaker Banquet. Despite the damage, Willie was still able to find the “luck” in the situation. “We are happy to report no one was hurt and the church only had a few windows blown out,” he said. “Some towns got it a lot worse, so we aren’t complaining. Luck is a tough town. It can be rebuilt.”
With a total of six nominations, Miranda Lambert leads the field for the 2014 CMT Music Awards.
The nominees were revealed Monday morning (May 5) across CMT’s digital platforms by the cast of the network’s Party Down South through short video vignettes filmed at the house where the cast has been living while taping the second season of the hit series. The new season of Party Down South premieres June 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Voting is now underway at CMT.com and continues until June 1 at midnight ET.
Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan follow Lambert with five nominations each, while Keith Urban and Taylor Swift are tied with four each. Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes each pulled in three nominations, and two each went to Carrie Underwood, Cassadee Pope, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum, Pistol Annies, The Band Perry, Thomas Rhett and Tim McGraw.
Other nominees include Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay, David Nail, Dierks Bentley, the Eli Young Band, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow, Thompson Square, Tyler Farr, Willie Nelson and the Zac Brown Band. Additionally, nominations also went to Fall Out Boy, Jason Mraz, Lionel Richie, Neil Young, Nelly and OneRepublic for their collaborations with country artists.
Now in its 13th year, the 2014 CMT Music Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on June 4 at 8 p.m. ET. Performers, presenters and this year’s host will all be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for the show will go on sale Saturday (May 10) at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT at all Ticketmaster outlets and the Bridgestone Arena Box Office.
Capitalist, protector, hedonist, pioneer, showman, shaman . . . SUPERMENSCH.
Shep Gordon is the consummate Hollywood insider. Though he isn’t a household name, Gordon has become a beacon in the industry, beloved by the countless stars he has encountered throughout his storied career. Shep is known for managing the careers of Alice Cooper as well as stints with Blondie, Luther Vandross and Raquel Welch, among others — a career that began with a chance encounter in 1968 with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. He even found time to invent the “Celebrity Chef.” Though the chef as star is part of the culture now, it took Shep’s imagination, and his moral outrage at how the chefs were being treated, to monetize the culinary arts into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. Personal friends with the Dalai Lama through his philanthropic endeavors with the Tibet Fund and the guardian of four children, Gordon’s unlikely story will be told by those who know him best, his pals, including Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Emeril Lagasse and more.
(number of shows played)
The data comes from Songkick’s yearly infograph featuring bands tracked on their platform. Listed are the artists that played the most shows and how many kilometers they traveled going venue to venue.
1. Local Natives
2. Kendrick Lamar
4. Imagine Dragons
6. Papa Roach
7. One Direction
8. Willie Nelson
9. Two Door Cinema Club
10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
11. Justin Bieber
14. Tegan and Sara
15. The Lumineers
16. The Band Perry
17. Ellie Goulding
19. Asking Alexandria
Reagan Arthur, publisher of Little, Brown and Company, announced today that Little, Brown will publish the unvarnished, complete, and tremendous story of Willie Nelson’s life. World rights for the book were acquired by executive editor John Parsley in a deal by David Vigliano at Vigliano Associates. Publication is currently slated for summer 2015.
A beloved American icon, Willie Nelson and his music are embedded in the hearts and minds of
fans the world over, winning ten Grammys, being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame,
and receiving the Kennedy Center Honors. Nelson’s life story is rich and ripe for the telling.
Having recently turned eighty, Nelson is ready to open up about all aspects of his life. He starts
at the beginning, revealing a tough little kid abandoned by his parents, and moves through his
failures at various jobs, his early days as the self-starting proprietor of Willie Nelson Presents,
his struggles in 1960s Nashville, and then on to the profound success he has had as one of
America’s all-time most beloved singer-songwriters. And, in between, he shares stories he hasn’t
told involving a fascinating cast of characters, including Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, Johnny
Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and many more. Though Willie Nelson has published
several books, none will be as personal or as wide in scope as this.
“Willie Nelson is an extraordinary musician and man, and it is a deep thrill to announce Little,
Brown’s publication of his definitive autobiography,” said John Parsley. “One of the most
eagerly anticipated books by any performer alive, Willie’s book will be authentic to the core and
bursting with the stories, insight, and wild wit of this true American icon.”
And Reagan Arthur says, “The songs, the voice, the life: this will be the book that captures and
defines a music legend.”