Tim McGraw

Lenny Kravitz to play Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show

Rock superstar Lenny Kravitz has performed at venues all over the globe but on Feb. 26 he’ll stand before more that 100,000 when he plays a pre-race concert before the Daytona 500.

Kravitz, a four-time Grammy Award winner, will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, the pre-race extravaganza — shown by FOX — leading up to the start of “The Great American Race” at Daytona International Speedway.

“Lenny Kravitz is an iconic performer and multi-talented musician – he will deliver a rousing performance prior to the start of the 54th Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Race fans will experience a first-class, heart-pounding pre-race show that will serve as the perfect prelude to what will be an historic and thrilling afternoon of NASCAR racing on the high banks of Daytona.”

He has sold more than 35 million albums and is the only musician in history to win the Grammy for best male vocals in rock music four times consecutively.

The world-renown musician will perform three songs prior to the start of the 54th annual Daytona 500 – the season-opening event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Kravitz’s ninth album, Black and White America, was released in 2011 and features a mixture of funk and hard rock hits like “Stand,” “Rock Star City Life” and his new single “Push.”

After a European tour, Kravitz recently kicked off his first American outing in five years in January. The 20-city tour will wrap up in Miami on Feb. 25.

Kravitz joins a long list of stars names that have performed in the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show that includes Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey and Brad Paisley.

The Big D And Bubba Show Names Tim McGraw “National Country Music Champion”

The Big D And Bubba Show Names Tim McGraw "National Country Music Champion"

The Big D And Bubba Show Names Tim McGraw "National Country Music Champion"

The Big D and Bubba Show put their spin on March Madness with the 2nd annual “Road to the Country Music Championship.” For the last week, the radio hosts randomly matched up Country artists and enlisted the help of callers to pick the winners.

2010 semifinalist Tim McGraw beat out Sugarland for the title of “2011 National Country Music Champion.” McGraw, who called into the program to accept the “golden biscuit” trophy, told Big D and Bubba he was listening to the show with his daughters when his name was chosen.

McGraw: “Well, my daughters were thoroughly impressed. I was in the car with those guys, and yeah, we all heard it at the same time. So they were pretty impressed. Course, I don’t impress them much at all. So any time I can score a point in that realm, then I’m happy.”

The Big D and Bubba Show is nationally syndicated by Premiere Networks on more than 50 Country radio stations. Please visit www.bigdandbubba.com for more information.

Academy Award-winning Gwyneth Paltrow has gone country.

Academy Award-winning Gwyneth Paltrow has gone country.

Academy Award-winning Gwyneth Paltrow has gone country.

Academy Award-winning Gwyneth Paltrow has gone country. Gwyneth Paltrow Releases Country Single
You may or may not remember her flop dramedy “Duets,” but her cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin’” with Huey Lewis actually became a #1 adult contemporary hit. Now, she has gone country. While reports are saying she’s releasing a country album, don’t hang up those boots just yet, Jessica Simpson. It’s simply for her role as Kelly Canter, a washed-up, out-of-rehab country singer try to make a musical comeback in the upcoming movie “Country Strong.” The song, “Country Strong,” has been serviced to radio under Kelly Canter, while plenty have started to catch on that it’s actually just clever marketing for the upcoming movie, which also stars country star Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester. “I won’t stay down long / Because I’m country strong,” Paltrow croons on the track, which features Vince Gill and Patty Griffin on background vocals. It’s the first single from the soundtrack to “Country Strong,” set to be released on RCA Nashville on October 26 and will likely feature even more Paltrow/Canter cuts. To further blur the lines between fact and fiction, RCA has already set up a website for Paltrow’s Kelly character, as well as MySpace and Facebook pages.   The movie, “Country Strong,” will hit theaters on December 22nd.

Carrie Underwood Leads CMT Music Award Winners

Carrie Underwood Leads CMT Music Award Winners

Carrie Underwood Leads CMT Music Award Winners

Carrie Underwood Leads CMT Music Award Winners. Carrie Underwood proves she is still country music’s sweetheart when she emerged as the big winner at the 2010 CMT Music Awards. The “American Idol” former champ won Video of the Year and Performance of the Year. It was clearly Underwood’s night at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday as fans voted to give her to major awards. Her chart-topping “Cowboy Casanova” won Video of the Year, while her “Temporary Home (from Invitation Only)” took home the CMT Performance of the Year trophy. “Awesome fans,” she said when she accepted the video of the year award. “Awesome, awesome, amazing, awesome.” “Just the fans. Thanks for seeing me out on the tour. God bless you guys. You are the best.” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert were also top winners as they accepted Male Video and Female Video of the Year respectively. Urban won for his “‘Till Summer Comes Around” video, while Lambert was cited for “White Liar.” Lady Antebellum won Group Video of the Year for their “Need You Now” track, while the legendary Brooks & Dunn took the Duo Video of the Year award for “Indian Summer.”  Kix Brooks accepted the award onstage without Ronnie Dunn, who was not present at the show. He joked, “We were very much not expecting this. We were not expecting this so much that Mr. Dunn has gone to the restroom – - in Santa Fe, NM. …If you think I’m bringing you this award, Ronnie, you’re crazy, man. This is just the kind of thing that will make ‘em think we’re breaking up the duo.” Other winners were Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins (Collaborative Video of the Year for “Hillbilly Bone”), Luke Bryan (USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Do I”), and Shaun Silva (Director of the Year). Kid Rock, who hosted the event, threatened to punch anyone in the face who would interrupt acceptance speeches with “Kanye West-ism” going on. He, along with an all-star cast of friends such as Martina McBride, Randy Houser, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson and Hank Williams Jr., opened the show with a medley of songs that include his hits “Bawitdaba” and “Cowboy.”Other performers of the night included Lambert, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, the Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, and Underwood.

Kenny Chesney Rules, Taylor Swift Moves Up On Forbes’ Biggest Country Moneymakers List

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney Rules, Taylor Swift Moves Up On Forbes’ Biggest Country Moneymakers List. We already know it’s good to be a country music star. But Forbes has detailed the earnings of some of the biggest names in country music, based on touring, publishing royalties, album sales, and more, and made it that much clearer. Among the top money makers this year on the country scene are Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, and Taylor Swift. Kenny Chesney continues to top Forbes’ list of Country Music’s 10 Top Earning Artists in 2010. Also ranking #1 last year, he pulled in an estimate earnings of $50 million from 2009-2010. His 2009 tour reportedly grossed $71 million, earning an average of $1.6 million a night. At #2 is Toby Keith, who moves up a spot from #3 last year. He made an estimated $48 million last year, including his tour earnings, publishing royalties, a chain of restaurants, and even a large stake in Big Machine Records, which counts Taylor Swift as one of its artists. Taylor Swift is on the list at #3, thanks to her sold-out “Fearless” tour and being one of the few artists still able to sell millions of their album during the low record-buying climate. Along with millions of digital singles sold and endorsement deals with brands like CoverGirl, Swift was able to sing all the way to $45 million, up from $18 million in 2008-2009. Tied with Swift this year earning $45 million are Rascal Flatts. The band earned $42 million from their 2009 tour, and a few other million from publishing royalties. At #5 is Tim McGraw who earned $30 million, thanks to early 2010 tour dates, a supporting role in “The Blind Side” and a new album. The rest of the list includes Keith Urban ($28 million), George Strait ($25 million), Brad Paisley ($22 million), Alan Jackson ($15 million), and Carrie Underwood ($13 million).Forbes’ List of Country Music’s 10 Top Earning Artists in 2010

1. Kenny Chesney

2. Toby Keith

3. Taylor Swift

3. Rascal Flatts

5. Tim McGraw

6. Keith Urban

7. George Strait

8. Brad Paisley

9. Alan Jackson

10. Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift Lead 2010 CMT Music Awards Nominees

Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift Lead 2010 CMT Music Awards Nominees

Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift Lead 2010 CMT Music Awards Nominees

Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift Lead 2010 CMT Music Awards Nominees. Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, and Jason Aldean lead the pack of nominees for the 2010 CMT Music Awards. They each scored three nominations each, including all appearing among the finalists for Video of the Year. Swift and Underwood also picked up nominations for Female Video of the Year, while Lady Antebellum earned one for Group Video of the Year, along with Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown Band, and Gloriana. Underwood and Lady Antebellum also appear together in the CMT Performance of the Year category for best musical performance in a CMT special, along with Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, and Brad Paisley.  McEntire, McGraw, Paisley and the Zac Brown Band all earned two nominations each, along with Sugarland, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, and Steel Magnolia. “When you look at the talent and diversity amassed within these categories, it’s easy to see why this has been CMT’s biggest year ever,” said CMT President Brian Philips. ”Hosted by our Nashville-brother-by-way-of-Detroit, Kid Rock, this night promises to be an unforgettable party!”    Among the nominees scheduled to perform are Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, and Miranda Lambert. More performers are set to be announced.   Fans can vote online at CMT.com for the night’s winners, including voting during the show for the final category, Video of the Year. The 2010 CMT Music Awards, hosted by Kid Rock, will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9th on CMT.

Celine Dion reaches peak of the decade’s Ultimate Top 10

Celine Dion

Celine Dion

All she had to do was stay in one place instead of touring like other top acts. Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews Band come in close behind in combined album sales and concert revenue for the decade. What’s the formula for success in the rapidly shifting music business? Roll the dice, then stay put.

That combination put Celine Dion atop the ultimate edition of Calendar’s annual Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking that combines artists’ album sales revenue with their take at the box office. Dion earned the title of Ultimate Top 10 champ for the decade that recently ended, thanks in large part to the money she piled up from her five-year engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where audiences are used to paying big bucks for big stars.  Her gamble to perform in one place for an extended period paid off big for the Canadian pop diva.  The Ultimate Top 10 isn’t meant to be the final word on artists’ finances. With merchandising, product endorsements, song placements in movies and TV shows, ring tones, website subscriptions and myriad other income sources, musicians today have seemingly limitless ways to bring in money. But by combining two of the biggest revenue sources, the Ultimate Top 10 is a good indicator of which artists fans are spending the most money on. The overall decade results suggest there’s still considerable long-term value in allowing artists time to build extensive catalogs and encouraging them to support those recordings by touring regularly.

The Ultimate Top 10 of the Decade:
1. Celine Dion, $747.9 million. Dion pulled in $522.2 million in concert-ticket sales for the decade. Adding $225.7 million worth of album sales during those same 10 years, she trumped all comers.

2. Kenny Chesney, $742 million. Close behind Dion was this road warrior, who toured hard and promoted records the old-fashioned way year in and year out. His total includes $455.6 million in concert ticket sales and $286.4 million in album revenue.
3. Dave Matthews Band, $737.4 million. Matthews’ decade concert total of $529.1 million put him first on the list of top North American live music attractions of the decade, as calculated by the concert-tracking publication Pollstar. The band posted $208.3 million in album sales.
4. The Beatles, $627.3 million. Although the quartet disbanded 30 years before the decade began, the Beatles still managed to generate $392.3 million from sales of 30.2 million albums (using an average of $13 per album). We folded in the individual box office figures racked up by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney ($221.4 million) and Ringo Starr ($13.6 million), given that their concert audiences consist in large part of Beatles fans. The Fab Four also logged the single bestselling album of the decade, the “1″ hits collection, with 11.5 million copies. And counting.
5. U2, $609.7 million. The Irish rock quartet brought in $391 million at the box office and $218.7 million in album sales.
6. Toby Keith, $591.9 million. The second of three country acts in the Top 10, the Oklahoma singer and songwriter logged $273.8 million on the concert trail, $318.1 million from album sales.

7. Bruce Springsteen, $588.3 million. On the road, both with the E Street Band and his various non-E Street tours, the Boss brought in $444.3 million. His album take: $144 million.

8. The Rolling Stones, $569.6 million. The Stones also benefited heavily from touring, earning $426.9 million at the box office in addition to $142.7 million in album sales.

9. Tim McGraw, $550.7 million. Strictly as a solo act, the country singer-songwriter ranks No. 14 on the list. But he toured several times with his wife, Faith Hill, during the decade. California being a community property state, we are awarding him half the revenue those outings generated. So his total includes $322 million in album sales, $133.7 million from his own tours and $95 million for his half of the McGraw-Hill shows.

10. Britney Spears, $494.3 million. Despite a rocky decade personally and professionally, Spears pulled in $195.7 million at the box office and sold $298.6 million worth of albums for the 10-year period.

The decade’s top album seller was Eminem, the Detroit rapper who posted $419 million from sales of 32.2 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But because he toured sporadically, he was only able to add $40.8 million to his Ultimate Top 10 total, which places him at No. 14; he is the sole hip-hop artist to land in the Top 20.

Looking at 2009 alone, the 14th annual Ultimate Top 10 title goes to U2. During the year, the band posted $137.3 million ($123 million box office, $14.3 million albums), a bit better than last year’s winner, Madonna, who finished on top with $120.1 million. Springsteen follows U2 with $102 million ($94.5 million box office, $7.5 million in albums).

The year’s biggest album seller finished at No. 3 overall: In the wake of his death, Michael Jackson posted total album sales of just under $100 million, without any revenue from the series of comeback concerts he was scheduled to give in London. (Those dates wouldn’t have counted toward the Ultimate Top 10 since Pollstar data come from North American concert tour figures.)

Spears ended the year at No. 4, with $82.5 million in concert ticket sales and $7 million in album revenue. The joint Elton John/Billy Joel tour tallied $88 million at the box office, with no corresponding revenue from albums that finished among the year’s top 200 sellers from the duo, placing the piano men at No. 5. John generated an additional $14.2 million during the year from solo performances.

The remainder of the 2009 Ultimate Top 10 shakes out as follows: No. 6: AC/DC with $83.8 million ($77.9 million in concert tickets, $5.9 million in album sales); No. 7: Taylor Swift with $83.2 million ($25.5 million at the box office, $57.7 million in album sales); No. 8: Chesney at $81 million ($71.1 million in concert, $9.9 million in album sales); No. 9: the Jonas Brothers with $77.9 million ($69.8 million in concert revenue, $8.1 million in album sales), and No. 10: the Dave Matthews Band with $69.8 million ($56.9 million in concert tickets, $12.9 million in album sales).

Carrie Underwood wins ACM entertainer of the year

carrie_underwoodCarrie Underwood captured the entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, the first female act to win the honor since the Dixie Chicks did it back in 2000 and only the seventh to do so in the show’s nearly four-decade existence. “I’ve had a lot of good moments in the past four years. This one takes the cake,” the tearful former “American Idol” champ said. “Thank you God, thank you fans, thank you to ACM for nominating me in the first place. I never thought I’d be nominated and never thought I’d win. I’m shaking. I don’t know what to say.”  With the win, Underwood, who also won top female vocalist, broke Kenny Chesney’s four-year win streak and denied him the chance to tie Alabama’s five years of dominance in the category. Besides Underwood, the other female acts to win included Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. Chesney kissed Underwood as she walked up to accept the honor.

Another female dominating not only country music but the entire music industry, Taylor Swift, won album of the year for her sophomore disc “Fearless.” Both of Swift’s albums have topped the 3 million mark — a rare feat in today’s music industry. She’s connected with fans both young and old for her intensely personal songs, which she writes usually on her own or with another writer. “A lot of people who know me know if you talk to me more than 5 minutes I’m probably going to write a song about you,” Swift said, as she proceeded to thank characters in her songs such as Tim McGraw and Romeo.  Other winners included Jamey Johnson, Sugarland and Julianne Hough, but the evening’s most memorable moments came via the performances.  Trace Adkins performed “‘Til the Last Shot’s Fired,” a somber salute to U.S. troops, with the West Point Glee Club in honor of the servicemen and women. The performance was introduced by Lt. Andrew Kinard, who had been wounded. He told the crowd, “As you listen to this song, please consider that it’s not about the war, it’s about the warrior.”  John Rich’s angry anthem “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” also stirred the crowd.  “I’d like to dedicate this song tonight to all the hard-working, taxpaying Americans from coast to coast who love this country as much as I do,” Rich said to the audience while holding a guitar tagged with the sticker “Made in the U.S.A.”  “We wrote this song specifically for you,” he said before launching into his searing song that feeds into taxpayer resentment about the bailouts on Wall Street.   Other performances included teen sensation Miley Cyrus, dancing atop a high staircase on stage; Heidi Newfield singing “Johnny and June,” inspired by the late Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, around an appropriate ring of fire; and Underwood in a burgundy dress so overwhelming that it took up most of the stage.  “Can I borrow that?” host Reba McEntire quipped afterward.  Newcomer Johnson beat out veterans like George Strait and Brad Paisley in nabbing the night’s first honor, song of the year for his poignant hit about an old man looking back on his life, “In Color.”  “Thanks to my band for going in on an off day and producing an off record,” Johnson quipped in a brief acceptance speech. Adkins also won single of the year for his heartfelt hit “You’re Gonna Miss This.” The deep-voiced singer said the song, about how people want to grow up and move on with life when they should slow down and enjoy the moment more, was very personal to him, but he didn’t think others would relate to it. When his label said they were going to release it as a single, he said, “Go ahead. Nobody’s going play it.”  “I’m glad I’m an idiot,” Adkins cracked. “Thank you very much.” Swift had four nominations going into Sunday’s show, but got a special honor as McEntire presented her with a special ACM Crystal Milestone Award for bringing so many young people to country music.  Sugarland broke Brooks & Dunn’s lock on the vocal duo award, while “Dancing with the Stars” champ Hough took the top new artist trophy during Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards.   Strait and Brad Paisley led all nominees with six. Paisley was linked up by video from Nashville, where his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley is expecting their second child, and accepted the trophy for male vocalist of the year from there.  “I wish I could be there but I didn’t want to take the chance of missing the birth of our next child. I hope you understand,” he said. Jamie Foxx introduced Strait’s performance of “Troubadour,” and joked that the country scene was getting more diverse.  “Things are changing,” Foxx said, mentioning his repeat appearance at the ACMs and Darius Rucker’s success on the country charts. “(An) African-American singing country. Things are changing. Got a black man running the country. Things are changing. … I mean what’s next, white people going to Tyler Perry movies?”

The show aired live from the MGM Grand on CBS.

Taylor Swift among nominees for ACM top album

taylor-swift-pictureThings just keep getting better for Taylor Swift: Besides having the No. 1 album in the country, she’s been nominated for album of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.  Swift joins George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Carrie Underwood and Montgomery Gentry as the nominees for top album at the ACM Awards. Most of the nominees were announced last month, but on Thursday, the academy announced another batch of nominees.  Swift was nominated for “Fearless”; the 19-year-old’s sophomore album has helped her move from a country sensation to pop’s newest superstar. Swift will perform at the ACM Awards along with Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Heidi Newfield and Tim McGraw.

The April 5 awards will be held in Las Vegas and aired live on CBS.

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