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Jul 23

Watch Dierks Bentley & Jerrod Niemann Tonight on Top 20

Nan Kelley & Dierks Bentley share a laugh on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown.

Nan Kelley & Dierks Bentley share a laugh on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown.

Two guys who have a lot to celebrate — Dierks Bentley and Jerrod Niemann — will share their excitement this weekend with host Nan Kelley on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

Dierks announced this week that he and his wife, Cassidy, are expecting their second child in December. It’s a big moment in his home life, even as Dierks’ professional life continues to unfold. His album Up On The Ridge ranks No. 7 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, and he’ll make two late-night television appearances next week to support it. He’s set to perform “Fallin’ For You” on “The Late Show With David Letterman” Tuesday and “Draw Me A Map” on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Wednesday.

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Posted at 10:34 am | Permalink
Jul 9

LeAnn Rimes Leaves Twitter, Comes to GAC

Suzanne Alexander and LeAnn Rimes on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown. Photo by GAC staff.

Suzanne Alexander and LeAnn Rimes on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown. Photo by GAC staff.

LeAnn Rimes may have given up on Twitter this week, but she’s still hanging out with GAC, joining host Nan Kelley and guest interviewer Suzanne Alexander on this weekend’s edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

LeAnn made headlines for announcing her departure for the moment from Twitter, the social-network outlet that allows people to send and follow messages 140 characters at a time. Lots of artists, such as Blake Shelton and Jack Ingram, have found it’s a good way to keep in touch with their fans, but those two in particular have shown a strong ability to hurl back at mean-spirited Tweeters. It’s been tougher for LeAnn to do that.

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Posted at 1:33 pm | Permalink
Jul 1

Laura Bell Bundy Visits Top 20

Laura Bell Bundy with GAC's Nan Kelley on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown.

Laura Bell Bundy with GAC's Nan Kelley on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown.

Behind her catchy single “Giddy On Up,” Laura Bell Bundy has found a way to make a big splash in country music this year, and she checks in with host Nan Kelley as a guest on this week’s edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

Check out this hilarious sneak peek with Laura talking about her fictional characters from “Cooter County”:

Raised in Lexington, Ky., Laura Bell first came to prominence on Broadway, where her roles included a one-year stint as the lead in “Legally Blonde.” With her move to country, she got a key performance slot on the Academy of Country Music Awards in April, when “Giddy On Up” became part of a huge line-dance number. The song, co-written with Jeff Cohen and Mike Shimshack a week after she moved to Nashville, has a silly hookline, and that light-heartedness is a big part of the song’s success.

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Posted at 11:32 am | Permalink
Jun 25

Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Visit Top 20

Nan Kelley, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill at the Nashville Rising Flood Benefit. Photo by Jenny Dew, GAC staff.

Nan Kelley, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill at the Nashville Rising Flood Benefit. Photo by Jenny Dew, GAC staff.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill assembled an impressive array of stars for this week’s Nashville Rising flood-relief concert, and a bunch of them join host Nan Kelley on this week’s edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

Jason Aldean, Julie Roberts, Luke Bryan and LeAnn Rimes all found their way onto the stage at Music City’s Bridgestone Arena as Nashville’s music community gathered together to assist the town as it recovers from a devastating flood the first weekend in May. Altogether, organizers expect the show will generate $2 million to $3 million total to aid a bevy of rejuvenation efforts.

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Posted at 11:42 am | Permalink
Jun 18

Nan Kelley Visits Grand Canyon for Top 20

GAC's Nan Kelley on the south rim of the Grand Canyon during a Top 20 Country Countdown shoot.

GAC's Nan Kelley on the south rim of the Grand Canyon during a Top 20 Country Countdown shoot.

“If there was a Grand Canyon/She could fill it up with the lies he told her”: When Jamie O’Neal sang about one of America’s natural landmarks, she used it as a symbol for personal pain. But it forms an epic backdrop for this week’s edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown as host Nan Kelley visits the park to play the nation’s biggest country videos.

The Top 20 installment was shot at the south rim of the Canyon, with its gorgeous views and scenic reminder of the nation’s natural resources. It’s all part of a good cause, too — the Nature Valley Granola Bar campaign to raise money for the conservation and restoration of the national parks.

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Posted at 11:30 am | Permalink
Jun 11

Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean on Top 20

Nan Kelley & Carrie Underwood on the field during the 2010 City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge. Photo by Jason Mease.

Nan Kelley & Carrie Underwood on the field during the 2010 City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge. Photo by Jason Mease.

Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean joined a bundle of country stars Monday at the annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge, and a number of them appear with host Nan Kelley on this week’s edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

Carrie and Jason counted Craig Morgan, Justin Moore, The Band Perry, Julianne Hough and GAC’s Storme Warren among their teammates on the Grand Ole Opry squad. Unfortunately, they weren’t enough for the “After MidNite With Blair Garner” team, which pounded out a 15-10 victory. The “After MidNite” crew included Joe Nichols, Luke Bryan, the Oak Ridge Boys, Vince Gill, Chuck Wicks and David Nail, among others. Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:23 am | Permalink
Jun 4

Jaron Travels the Long Road to GAC’s Top 20

Jaron and the Long Road to Love photo courtesy of Big Machine Records.

Jaron and the Long Road to Love photo courtesy of Big Machine Records.

When host Nan Kelley runs through this week’s edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown, the list will include a new name, Jaron And The Long Road To Love, which represents an artist who’s as stunned as anyone to be on the countdown.

Jaron Lowenstein established himself as one-half of the pop duo Evan & Jaron, which picked up a Top 20 hit in 2000 with “Crazy For That Girl.” Jaron’s twin brother, Evan, has moved down another career path, but Jaron continued pursuing life as a solo act. He was completely surprised when “Pray For You,” an acerbic kiss-off song, became an instant hit with fans.

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Posted at 10:44 am | Permalink
May 28

Clay Walker Visits GAC’s Top 20

Clay Walker photo courtesy of Curb Records.

Clay Walker photo courtesy of Curb Records.

Clay Walker is positioned nicely on the chart with the video for “She Won’t Be Lonely Long,” and he’ll drop in to talk with host Nan Kelley this weekend during GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

Currently at No. 6 on the countdown, the song is the title track for Clay’s next album, due out June 8. On the day of release, he’ll be spending time with GAC, joining network personality Suzanne Alexander to handle the host/emcee duties during the fourth annual Country Weekly Fashion Show and Concert at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon. The event, which raises money for a hospital-visitation agency called Musicians On Call, will also feature Aaron Tippin, Joe Nichols, Bucky Covington, Love And Theft, Pam Tillis and Bo Bice, among others.

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Posted at 11:48 am | Permalink
May 21

Emily West Throws Down Her “Freak Flag” on Top 20

Emily West photo courtesy of Capitol Nashville.

Emily West photo courtesy of Capitol Nashville.

Emily West, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson and Jack Ingram are among the stars on the multi-act Country Throwdown Tour, and GAC’s Suzanne Alexander checks in with the crew from the tour launch in Tampa on this weekend’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

The central theme of the Throwdown is a sort of gritty, edgy, left-of-center brand of country that might seem a little out of character for Emily, who seems a bit sweeter than the Throwdown might imply. But her recent appearance on “The Celebrity Apprentice” might provide a clue about why Emily fits in with the outside-the-box lineup.

Emily and Luke Bryan were the subjects of image makeovers for the series’ two competing teams on that episode, which also featured “Apprentice” album Trace Adkins. Emily was thrilled when one of her childhood icons, Cyndi Lauper, was part of the celebrity team that attended to her, in great part because Cyndi’s quirkiness was always appealing to Emily.

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Posted at 7:53 am | Permalink
May 14

Jewel Talks Videos on Top 20

Jewel visits with host Nan Kelley on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown. Photo by GAC staff.

Jewel visits with host Nan Kelley on the set of Top 20 Country Countdown. Photo by GAC staff.

Jewel’s “Stay Here Forever” is at No. 3 on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown, and she’ll be the featured guest when Nan Kelley hosts this weekend’s edition.

It’s been 14 years since Jewel first came to national attention with her pop hit “Who Will Save Your Soul,” and in that time, she’s gotten to know a good bit about videos and how they fit in a career.

“I love doing videos because they allow you a chance to complement your lyric and your writing,” she told The Tennessean.

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Posted at 11:13 am | Permalink