Photo courtesy of DariusRucker.com.
Darius Rucker found inspiration for his new Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, in a blockbuster film. The project features a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Sheryl Crow, and while most duets are recorded separately, Rucker and Crow recorded the song together in the studio.
“When we got Sheryl to come and do it, and after sitting there with her in the studio right next to each other singing it over and over and laughing and having a great time, I knew it was a great choice,” Rucker said.
Rucker chose to record the song thanks to the holiday comedy Elf, starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. Continue Reading
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/kennychesney.
Kenny Chesney’s latest hit, “American Kids,” has earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Song. The track, featured on his new album, The Big Revival, was cowritten by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Rodney Clawson. Chesney knew it was a special tune, but wasn’t prepared for the impact the song would have.
“I knew the second I heard it that I was going to cut ‘American Kids,’” he said. “With two hooks, three rhythm scans and some of the most ingenious wordplay I’ve ever heard, this song’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. It feels good. It says something about the heart and the passion people in small towns have — and it makes you smile every time you hear it.
“The fact that the GRAMMY voters heard it, too, that they recognized how truly special and innovative this song is, makes me so proud for Shane, Luke and Rodney,” he continued. “This really is a song that breaks a lot of rules, does things you don’t expect and offers a picture of how it is that isn’t cliché or expected. What a cool thing to have happen to some very talented guys! I’m just glad I got to be the one who cut it.”
See which Kenny Chesney tune made our list of
Top 10 Country Christmas Songs »
Brett Eldredge’s “Mean to Me” comes in at No. 16 on this week’s chart. Photo courtesy of twitter.com/bretteldredge.
It was a jam-packed Top 20 Country Countdown this week! Host Nan Kelley sat down with Brett Eldredge to talk about the big year he has had as one of country’s hottest new stars.
Top 20 Photo Gallery»
On the countdown, Carrie Underwood makes it three weeks at No. 1 with her new video, “Something In the Water,” while Blake Shelton, with Ashley Monroe, and Brad Paisley round out the top 3. New videos from Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, Sara Evans, Josh Turner and Toby Keith also debut on the Top 20 Country Countdown.
Favorite Holiday Recipes from Country Stars »
Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Get Top 20 online extras, including videos and photos. You can also cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land.
This Week’s Chart
- Carrie Underwood – “Something In the Water”
- Blake Shelton w/Ashley Monroe – “Lonely Tonight”
- Brad Paisley – “Perfect Storm”
- Blake Shelton – “Neon Light”
- Tim McGraw – “Shotgun Rider”
- Lady Antebellum – “Freestyle”
- Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do”
- Jason Aldean – “Burnin’ It Down”
- Jake Owen – “What We Ain’t Got”
- Rascal Flatts – “Payback”
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/lukebryan
If you were in a venue with a jukebox in 2014, chances are, you heard a Luke Bryan song. According to TouchTunes, the largest in-venue interactive entertainment platform in North America, Bryan was the Top Played Artist in 2014, based on songs played across its network of over 60,000 jukeboxes.
“Since I started my career playing bars across this country, it makes me proud to be TouchTunes’ Top Played Artist this year,” Bryan said. “I hope I can continue to make music that makes people want to have fun.”
AC/DC came in at No. 2 on the list, followed by Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Kid Rock, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, George Strait, and Metallica round out the top 10.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/craigmorganmusic
Craig Morgan has come up with yet another way to say “thank you” to the members of our Armed Services. This time, he has partnered with MoonPie to send a treat to remind them of home. Together, Morgan and MoonPie will distribute more than 35,000 MoonPies to military personnel who will be spending the holidays away from home.
“Chattanooga Bakery has demonstrated its ongoing support for our troops since World War II,“ Tory Johnston, VP of Marketing at MoonPie, said. “Partnering with Craig Morgan and the USO was really perfect for this ‘thank you’ campaign for our servicemen and -women.”
Christmas music sets the tone for the holiday season, and everyone has a favorite song, whether it’s an old classic or new original. In no particular order, here are our picks for the Top 10 Country Christmas Songs.
“Let It Be Christmas” – Alan Jackson
Released in 2002, Alan’s Jackson’s “Let It Be Christmas” became an instant holiday classic with its nostalgic lyrics and acoustic guitar background.
“All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan” – Kenny Chesney
While some dream of a white Christmas, Kenny Chesney longs for sun and sand in “All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan.” He continues the trend in his newest holiday tune, “Christmas In Blue Chair Bay.”
“Where Are You Christmas?” – Faith Hill
Faith Hill’s rendition of “Where Are You Christmas” was featured in the 2000 film re-make of Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The song was originally set to be performed by Mariah Carey, but legal issues caused her to back out, opening the door for Hill.
“Merry Christmas From The Family” – Montgomery Gentry
The holidays are about family, but sometimes getting everyone together can be an ordeal. Montgomery Gentry covers all those dysfunctional family gatherings with his “Merry Christmas From The Family.”
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood has recorded a number of Christmas standards over the years, including beautiful renditions of “O Holy Night” and “The First Noel.” Her version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a standout, however.
Songwriters looking to have Taylor Swift cut one of their songs should look elsewhere. Swift, who wrote or cowrote all 33 of her singles, plans to keep her name attached to everything she records.
“I wouldn’t be a singer if I weren’t a songwriter,” she told Billboard. “I have no interest in singing someone else’s words. When I’m in a room with a writer for the first time, and I bring in 10-15 nearly finished songs as my ideas, I think they know that I’m not expecting anyone to do the work for me. I’m not going to be one of those artists who walks in and says, ‘I don’t know, what do you want to write about?’ or one of those things where they say, ‘So what’s going on in your life?,’ and I tell them, and then they have to write a song about it.”
Christmas is a time full of family traditions. For Little Big Town, some are passed through generations and some are brand-new, now that band members have families of their own.
Kimberly Schlapman’s favorite tradition involves sleepwear and has happened every year she can remember.
“We would go over to my grandmother’s house and have Christmas over there, and everybody would come home to Mama and Daddy’s house,” she said. “We’d sit down and Mama hands out everybody a gift, and we act like we don’t what it is, but we do ’cause it’s always Christmas pajamas. Everybody opens their Christmas pajamas and goes and puts ‘em on, and we come back to the living room and we sit around Daddy and he reads The Christmas Story.”
Get Little Big Town’s Georgia Crackers & Lemon Bars recipes »
Eric Church photo by John Peets, courtesy of EMI Records Nashville.
Eric Church gets nostalgic in his new video, “Talladega.” Directed by Peter Zavadil, the video begins with an old man in a hospital bed at the end of his life, reminiscing about days gone by. The clip then cuts to archived Super 8mm footage of family videos, as well as footage of Church and his band performing “Talladega” at the Nashville Speedway.
“It’s really about life, says Church. “NASCAR was as hot as any sport back in the ’90s, and it was a thing where a group of your buddies go take stuff, tents, camp out, stay a few days, walk back and forth to the track….I can’t tell you who won the race, but I could tell you all the experiences we had in a two- or three-day period.”
Watch the video below: Continue Reading
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/scottymccreery
Scotty McCreery raised $60,000 for the 12.14 Foundation during a benefit concert in Wallingford, Conn., over the weekend. McCreery serves as a national Goodwill Ambassador for the foundation, whose mission is to develop programs that help children gain confidence, inspiration and skills to rise above traumatic events. The organization was founded after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
“Music has always been a positive force in my life, whether as a fan or now as an entertainer,” McCreery said. “It feels great to bring people together with my music and help such a worthwhile cause as the 12.14 Foundation.”
“Scotty’s benefit concert last night was nothing short of incredible,” Michael Baroody, M.D., Founder of the 12.14 Foundation, said. “He showed his strong support of the 12.14 Foundation and love for his country, and honored the sacrifices of our troops. Even at such a young age, he serves as an example for all of us. In addition to his obvious musical talents, Scotty is genuine, kind and has unshakable conviction. His generosity from last night helps further our efforts to utilize the performing arts in helping children understand their strengths, passions and capabilities, preparing them with tools for tomorrow.” Continue Reading