Taylor Swift Leads Songwriter Honors

Taylor Swift couldn’t ask for much better timing. As she heads into the last week of promotion for her new album, Speak Now, she was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year Sunday night during the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s annual songwriter awards at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin took Song of the Year for penning the emotional Miranda Lambert hit “The House That Built Me,” and Chris DuBois earned Songwriter of the Year for his work as an author of Craig Morgan’s “This Ain’t Nothin’” and the Brad Paisley singles “Then” and “Welcome To The Future.” The awards were part of a formal evening that saw four new members added to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and had 11 titles recognized by the songwriting community as the cream of the crop: Songs I Wish I’d Written. That list included “Need You Now,” “White Liar,” “Big Green Tractor” and Taylor’s “You Belong With Me.” Read More

Faith Hill, Trace Adkins: Country Stars’ Brush With Politics

Intentionally or not, a number of country’s bedrock performers — including Faith Hill, Diamond Rio, Trace Adkins and Tracy Lawrence — have all found themselves linked to politics or politicians this week. For two artists, those connections involve actual campaigning for gubernatorial candidates. The others are tied to honoring people’s lives or accomplishments: Faith and Emmylou Harris will be performing at the White House; Trace and Diamond Rio paid their respects to 11 workers whose deaths are part of the tragic oil spill that has become a political nightmare. The stories: Read More

Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum Lead GAC’s Flood Relief Effort

The stars came out in a big way, as did a number of companies and the American people when GAC presented Music City Keep On Playin’ — A Benefit For Flood Relief. Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley were among the artists who delivered nearly 20 songs during Sunday’s three-hour live special from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The event raised more than $1.5 million on first airing, with more expected to come in during future telecasts. Music City Keep On Playin’ was the first national fundraiser organized to aid victims of a devastating flood that engulfed much of Nashville two weeks ago. In a scant 48 hours, the city took in over 13 inches of rain, more than the Middle Tennessee ground could absorb. The Cumberland River swelled over its banks, damaging some of the city’s landmarks, including the Grand Ole Opry House, LP Field, Bridgestone Arena and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Read More