» OKC In Crisis: As the Oklahoma City area faces its trial and the nation watches and hopes for good news, a number of country artists find the tragedy hitting close to home. Among the many artists who hail from Oklahoma is Toby Keith, whose Norman, OK residence is not far from the devastated town of Moore. In fact, a source close to Keith tells us his house was narrowly missed by the tremendous storm. The Keith family is safe, thankfully, and Toby's focus is already on his neighbors. "Hometown got hit for the gazillionth time," he posted on Facebook. "Rise again Moore Oklahoma. Godspeed. Prayin - T."
» 2013, A Trace Odyssey: The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice came down to a lot more than who had the best ponytail. "I delivered the best ice cream, I made the best commercial, I put on the best show, I brought in the biggest celebrities and I raised the most money," Trace Adkins told Donald Trump just prior to being selected as the show's first-ever winner over Penn Jillette Sunday (5/19). Watch here. Additionally, Trace was honored with the Red Cross Crystal Cross award at an event held by the organization Saturday (5/18). Over the course of the season, Trace raised more than $1.2 million for his charity of choice.
» You Goat Me Good: Goat vocals have become increasingly popular since Broken Goat appeared in Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were A Goat When You Walked In" video. Watch here. In the tradition of pranking your tour opener on their final night, Carrie Underwood recently got Hunter Hayes' goat in Alberta, Canada, by making one appear during his performance of "Light Me Up." Watch here. Carrie later tweeted, "Tee hee! Thanks @HunterHayes for being on the road with us! You will be missed!"
» Sugar Free: Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles will release her first solo album this fall with producer Rick Rubin at the helm. "I am absolutely thrilled and wholly proud to be working with Rick," she says. "If you ask any musician who is on their producer bucket list, Rick would be on each and every one." Rubin has worked with The Dixie Chicks, Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash and many others.
» The Sixties: George Strait celebrated 60 No. 1 singles before his 61st birthday Saturday (5/18) thanks to #60for60 campaign and his song "Give It All We Got Tonight." Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisely, Miranda Lambert, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, Gary Allan and many, many more took a moment to congratulate George and wish him a happy birthday. Watch here.
» Black & White & Web All Over:
Shelly West (5/23)
Mac Wiseman (5/23)
Tuesday (5/21): Darius Rucker, Good Morning America (ABC); Wynonna, Kellie Pickler, Dancing With The Stars (ABC); Blake Shelton, The Voice (NBC); Thompson Square, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC).
Wednesday (5/22): Jewel, The Talk (CBS); Hayden Panettiere, The Ellen DeGeneres Show; Brad Paisley, Nashville (ABC); Darius Rucker, Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC).
Thursday (5/23): Little Big Town, Good Morning America (ABC).
This Week's Album Releases
Darius Rucker True Believers (Capitol)
Produced by Frank Rogers, Rucker's third country album includes his cover of Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel" which they completed from a song sketch by Bob Dylan. Other highlights include "Love Without You" featuring Sheryl Crow and "I Will Still Love You" with Mallary Hope.
Restless Heart The Very Best of Restless Heart (RCA/Legacy)
The 14-track album includes 12 of the group's biggest hits, and two new previously unreleased songs, "Memphis Rain" and "Home."
Angie Johnson Sing For You - EP (Sony)
Currently a Tech Sergeant in the 571st Air National Guard Band, Johnson's cover of Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" scored more than 3 million views on YouTube. That attention led her to join Team Cee Lo on the second season of The Voice and release her debut EP.
Upcoming Album Releases
Aaron Tippin, Joe Diffie, Sammy Kershaw All in the Same Boat (5/28)
The Henningsens The Henningsens (5/28)
Lonestar Life As We Know It (6/4)
LeAnn Rimes SPITFIRE (6/4)
Hunter Hayes Encore (6/18)
LoCash Cowboys LoCash Cowboys (6/18)
Various Artists Live From The Archives of 650 AM WSM - Volume 1 (6/25)
Joey + Rory Inspired Songs of Faith and Family (7/16)
Brett Eldredge TBD (8/6)
» No Material Girl: The Band Perry catch Madonna moments before she put her pants on backstage at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night (5/19).