Jason Aldean Mixes It Up

Jason Aldean is one of the most prominent voices in modern country music, but good luck trying to put the guy in a stylistic box. One of his biggest hits is named after country icon Johnny Cash, and you can’t get much more country than the farm-centered lyrics in “Amarillo Sky” or “Big Green Tractor.” On the other hand, the guitar chords on “She’s Country” sound more like AC/DC than Merle Haggard; his current single, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” teams Jason with pop singer Kelly Clarkson; and he even has a rap section on “Dirt Road Anthem,” one of the key tracks on his current album My Kinda Party. Jason grew up on the outskirts of Macon, Ga., and his background brought all of those different musical threads together. Read More

Lady Antebellum Gets Grammy Glory

Hello, world: Just in case anyone was left on the planet that hadn’t figured out how significant Lady Antebellum was this year, the Recording Academy slipped the band into three of the big-four, multi-genre categories on the prestigious Grammy Awards ballot. Finalists in the general-interest categories were unveiled Wednesday during a one-hour nominations special on CBS. “Need You Now” and the album of the same name were tabbed as finalists for Record, Song and Album of the Year, pitting Lady A against such pop, rock and rap acts as Eminem, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire. Miranda Lambert sang her snarky “Only Prettier” on the special, which also saw “The House That Built Me” gain a Song of the Year nomination for composers Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin. As a result, two country titles — “Need You Now” and “House” — are among the five Song of the Year finalists, something that’s only happened seven times in the Grammys’ previous 52 years. Read More

Taylor Swift Now Selling Big

Taylor Swift released her latest album on Monday. And you probably know that, because she’s seemingly been on every television show and in every newspaper and magazine talking about Speak Now or singing songs from the project. All that work is apparently paying off. Billboard is predicting the first-week numbers for the album could possibly go as high as 1 million copies. Right now, the magazine says music-business insiders are expecting it to sell in the neighborhood of 800,000-900,000 copies, which would make it the best start for any release in any genre this year. Eminem’s Recovery album has the best first-week numbers thus far in 2010 after selling 741,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, when it was first released. All of that talk puts Taylor in an awkward position. She’s a 20-year-old recording artist. Her focus is — and should be — creating music, not selling it. But the industry’s been in a big slump for years, and since she’s one of its biggest stars, there’s a lot of pressure being directed at her. Read More

Taylor Swift Leapfrogs Eminem For Top Spot

Late last week Taylor Swift’s new single “Mine,” originally scheduled to hit radio on August 16, was leaked and subsequently released to radio and as a digital download. With just four full days of sales, the song has grabbed the top slot for digital sales moving 297,000 downloads, slipping past Eminem’s “Love the Way You [...] Read More