Keith Urban Defying the Hard Times

It’s a tough time for a lot of people: bad economy, some folks in Nashville are still piecing their lives back together six months after a major flood. But it’s good times for some, including Keith Urban, who was the subject of a party at Music City’s Hard Rock Café on Monday. It served a dual purpose: It allowed Capitol Records to present him a platinum award for selling a million copies of his last album, Defying Gravity. It also celebrates the release of his next album, Get Closer. You can be sure that Keith is aware of — and sensitive to — the hard times others have experienced. Those floods in May bordered the Hard Rock — the same place they held the party — and Keith showed up in a lot of places to help raise money for water-logged victims in the past six months. He’s also aware of the tough financial times. They’ve hit the music business with a vengeance, and Capitol’s parent company, EMI, just went through a difficult lawsuit in New York from a financier who was unhappy with the way his investment worked out. Read More

Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins Among ACM Honorees

Martina McBride, Randy Travis, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kenny Rogers were among the artists who showed up to perform on their behalf. Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and Barbara Mandrell were among the acts who sent their support via video. But even more can be said by taking an inventory of the artists who were not on hand that were affected by the people who graced the stage Monday at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium: George Strait, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain… The real task would be to find artists who did not benefit from the raft of people — musicians, producers, concert executives, songwriters and pioneering artists #151; who were honored at the fourth annual ACM Honors. The event allowed the Academy of Country Music to give a more detailed account of the behind-the-scenes people and the pioneers of the genre than it could provide during its fast-moving televised awards. Read More