Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band Lead American Country Awards Nominees

The second annual American Country Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Monday, Dec. 5, 8-10 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed, on FOX. Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band lead the nominees with eight nominations each; Thompson Square earned seven nods; and The Band Perry and Taylor Swift each garnered [...] Read More

Carrie Underwood Tops First American Country Awards

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Carrie Underwood won six times at the inaugural American Country Awards Monday night as victors took home Fender guitars instead of the traditional mantle pieces collected at most ceremonies. Carrie picked up the night’s biggest honor, Artist of the Year, in the waning moments of the two-hour FOX show, and like the rest of the evening’s speakers, she made a point of thanking the fans, who voted on the honors. Read More

Alan Jackson, Keith Urban Visit Top 20

Two guys with new albums and fresh Grammy nominations — Keith Urban and Alan Jackson — will join host Nan Kelley this weekend for the latest edition of GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown. Keith released his Get Closer album two weeks ago, picking up great reviews in the process and winning over fans with his energetic lead single, “Put You In A Song.” He picked up a Grammy nomination Wednesday for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, recognizing his work on “‘Til Summer Comes Around.” Keith has also put his 2011 calendar up for sale on his website. It’s $15, and all the money goes to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Alan got a Top 10 debut on the country album chart with a new compilation, 34 Number Ones, which features a few bonus cuts, including a remake of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” and his duet with the Zac Brown Band, “As She’s Walking Away.” That song brought Alan his latest Grammy nomination this week, for Best Country Collaboration. Read More

Keith Urban Targets New Approach

For years, the standard album has included 10-12 songs, but in today’s music industry, nothing is standard. That’s particularly true for the new Keith Urban album, Get Closer, which gets released on Tuesday. The basic version of the CD features just eight songs — including his current single, “Put You In A Song” — but Target is also offering a deluxe edition with seven extra tracks. It features three additional studio cuts plus live versions of four of his previous hits. It’s a bit of an experiment on Keith’s part as the entire music industry tries new ideas to stabilize the marketplace. Read More

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