While rock, alternative rock, indie rock, or whatever is the most accurate and accepted term for the genre has gone the way of summer music festivals, country remains an industry still enjoying the touring season. One of the biggest country acts in the summer of 2012 is the Brothers of the Sun Tour. Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw are heading out together for another summer of tour dates around the country. This time the duo is on a 22-city schedule, with the first show of the Brothers of the Sun Tour beginning June 2, 2012.
Kenny Chesney is out on tour to not only continue his development as the country version of Jimmy Buffett. He is out to promote his 13th studio album, Welcome to the Fishbowl. The album is due out later this month making Kenny Chesney tickets special this time around. The lead single from the album is a duet with his tour mate, Tim McGraw. The song has actually been the second highest charting single since the Billboard charts were initially tabulated by Nielsen SoundScape.
McGraw is back with an album of his own. Emotional Traffic is his 11th release and it has already had time to top the country album chart and go platinum. The lead single from the album is “Better Than I Used to Be”, a top ten release.
Chesney and McGraw are co-headlining the concert series and Jake Owen and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are coming along as the support. Owen is rather new to the scene. He has three studio albums, each reaching Top Ten status but non so far have gone gold or platinum. Grace Potter is bring rock to country and has been busy touring since way back in 2005. She has made a name for herself among those in the industry. Now, with the help of Chesney and McGraw, she will be making herself known on a mainstream level.
Simply put, Kenny Chesney is a touring sensation. Pollstar reported that he earned $84.6 million in 2011 on the Goin’ Coastal Tour. That number was good enough to put him in the Top 5 selling concerts of the year. He is likely to repeat in 2012, when he heads out on the Brothers of the Sun Tour with Tim McGraw.
Unlike McGraw, Kenny Chesney is not promoting a new album. He will continue to tour to support Hemingway’s Bottle, his 2010 album. It took a year, but the album finally went platinum, in December. It certainly helped that the album had three number one singles: “The Boys of Fall”, “Live a Little”, and “Somewhere With Potter”. Right now the album has a fifth single out, “Reality”, which has entered the Top 10. It even has a new music video.
Chesney and McGraw will be joined by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Jake Owen. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals were featured on Kenny Chesney’s “You and Tequila”, which reached number three on the Billboard Country charts and went Gold according to the RIAA. Owen is touring in support of its own number one album, Barefoot Blue Jean Night.
The tour begins on June 2, 2012 at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and ends on August 25, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, the second of a two night show. So far the Brothers of the Sun Tour has sold nearly 300,000 Kenny Chesney concert tickets and is on pace to become Chesney’s eighth consecutive to sell more than a million.
The idea of genres in music is becoming increasingly archaic, or at least the idea of keeping the stars from different genres separate is becoming absurd. As the latest example of this soon to be principle is Taylor Swift proves.
Those with Taylor Swift tickets hardly expect the country singer and four-time Nashville Songwriter “Artist of the Year” honor winner to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Nicki Minaj and B.o.B. Well, she did when she asked them to come on stage and add to the performance while on the Speak Now tour. More recently, she hit up Atlanta on tour and requested the assistance of recently released rapper T.I. He graciously accepted and added his vocal talents to the performance of “Live Your Life”. Guess what? The audience absolutely lost when those hip hop stars appeared on stage.
Swift told MTV that she has enjoyed hip hop since she was a young child and has been blasting the genre in her car for years. This might disappoint those who hoped to keep country music a little more twang than hippity hoppity, but the country genre has been expanding for quite some time and this day has been inevitable.
To begin with, country music has embraced rock since the 1970s. Remember the Eagles? They introduced a soft rock/country hybrid that went platinum several times over. Country has already had its grunge period too. Groups like The National have been categorized as Alternative Western. So, the days of “Is it country or western?” are over. Country is a little bit everything now. A little bit rock and roll, a little but hip hop, and a little bit pop.
In reality, as soon as Kid Rock broke the barrier, this day became a certainty. Now Jason Aldean is doing a little bit of rapping on “Dirt Road Anthem” and the Taste of Country has recognized the five best country-rap collaborations. Nelly has even made an appearance at the CMT Awards.
The idea of music being carefully constrained by genre has dissipated. Perhaps this is the result of the modern audience having more accessibility to music thanks to the Internet or perhaps the demise of the major label has allowed these artists the freedom necessary to explore the musical stratosphere and make hits connection. Perhaps it is a little bit of both. No matter what the cause, the 21st century has undeniably left its mark on country music and there is no going back, so look forward to a Taylor Swift-Bruno Mars sometime soon.
Taylor Swift made her glorious return to the stage this past week, playing the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 14th and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on back to back nights July 15th and 16th. Those thousands of Canadian country fans were relieved when they heard their Taylor Swift tickets would not be rescheduled as four concerts in the Southern states were.
Those Southern cities that have had their concert dates rescheduled are Louisville, Atlanta (back-to-back nights), and Charlotte. As is common knowledge by now, Seift missed those shows after developing bronchitis in the weeks following her concert in the rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. Now Taylor Swift would be remiss if she did not give her fans in those Southern cities a chance to see her at a later date on the Speak Now Tour.
The Louisville show at the KFC Yum! Center has been rescheduled for October 11th, fit in between her Arlington, TX and Lubbock, TX shows. The two concerts in Atlanta at the Philips Arena have been rescheduled for October 1st and 2nd. The lone Charlotte performance at the Time Warner Cable Arena has been rescheduled for November 16th, the night before she pays another North Carolina city, Raleigh.
Certainly the fans that planned to attend the original concert dates are excited that the shows have been rescheduled for later in 2011. They simply have to contain that excitement for a few more months and keep on cursing those damn Yankees for ruining their July nights.
Here comes another new reality TV show and this one is being spear headed by Jessica Simpson. After the ordeal she went through personally when she wore those high waited unflattering jeans and the “body bullying” she experienced she has come up with the idea for her new show. At the moment the title is “The Price of Beauty. The plan is that she would travel around the world in order to find out “what people find beautiful and why”. She would take a friend and they would head out on this great road trip and find the answers to these questions. They would also delve into taking a look at some of the outrageous things women go through and do to themselves to look beautiful. Jessica would be taking a very active role in the show and feels that this is a very important topic to learn more about and make people more aware. At this time that is about all the details that are out there.
Big congratulations go out to Mr. George Strait who has been named artist of the decade by the Academy of Country Music. You can watch the show on CBS this Wednesday. It is an all star country music event with performances by all your favorites. Faith Hill and hubby Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Martina McBride are just a few of the greats that you can see perform. This is quite a big award, since only 4 other people have been recipients, including, Marty Robbins, Alabama and Brooks and Loretta Lynn.
Well if you have been waiting to hear first hand from Chris Brown, the time has finally come. Chris who has a new album, “Graffiti”, coming out soon, has made a short video along with his friend Bow Wow. Chris is excited about his album and is ready to get back out there and put all the bad stuff behind him. Chris says “Everybody that’s haters, they just been haters. All my real fans, I love you all. I ain’t a monster.”Hmmm…doesn’t sound like an apology of any kind to me? You can see it for yourself and be the judge. It sounds like he wants to sell some albums and hopes he still has a few fans out there. The investigation to his case with Rihanna is still ongoing and could even be dismissed. That would be a shame, but it seems that police misconduct could have played a role and if that was the case the whole thing could just go away. There is another hearing today so we will just have to wait and hear what comes out of that.
Sad sad news on the story I told you about yesterday that involved Mike Tyson’s 4 year old daughter. After somehow getting tangled up and strangled by a cord on the family’s treadmill, the little girl did pass away after being on life support. In a statement from Tyson, he says”We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love and prayers from all over the world. There are no words to describe this tragic loss or our beloved Exodus. We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal”. The mother’s name has not been released and she had been doing some house cleaning at the time of the accident.
Country music has always been about heart break and real folks with real problems and that is still true with new music coming from the country music industry. The news songs seem to be talking about the recession head on and how it is affecting the average family. Listen to some of these country titles…”Red White and Pink Slip Blues” from Hank Williams Jr. He sings about a guy who loses his job, his house and his truck. That is about as much heartache as I can take. Then there is John Rich’s song “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” and Phil Vassar’s, “Prayer of a Common Man”. Fear not if country is getting you down switch over to Billboards top 100 which is not as focused on the hard times. The dance music and pop musicians are still trying to have some fun… just check out the Black Eyed Peas or Lady Gaga to pick up your spirits.
Talk about lifting your spirits… have you seen the new Biggest Loser winner? Helen Phillips lost 140 pounds and 20 dresses sizes. The 48 year old mother of 2 is hardly recognizable. Trainer Jillian Michaels was her coach and her “Pink Team” won for the 3rd time in a row. Phillips will walk away with not only a stellar new body but also a cash prize of $250,000. She plans to take her husband to the Bellagio in Las Vegas as a thank you, for being such a great support to her. Also through this Helens’ daughter, Shanon lost 92 pounds as her mom’s other half in the couple’s part of the program. Honorable mention also goes to 19 year old Mike Moreli who lost an astounding 207 pounds, so you can imagine he is also a winner and Tara Costa who lost 155 pounds. Amazing transformations and an incredible show.
Miss California is smiling after the announcement from Donald Trump that she gets to keep her title. Carrie Prejean, Miss California, found herself surrounded by yet more controversy. Some questionable photos of the former model showed up (as they always seem to do) but as Trump so eloquently put it, “We are in the 21st century. We have determined that the pictures taken were fine.” Seriously it is hard to not find something on someone now a day. Carrie herself says, “I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.” Good for you Donald for not overreacting. Donald also gave Tara Conner, Miss USA, back in 2006 a second chance when she was surrounded by issues of drug use.
And last but not least in the gossip news for the day. It seems that yet another judge was fired from “America’s Next Top Model”. It seems that Paulina Porizkova is the most recent judge to not be returning. She shared the news with Craig Ferguson on his show Tuesday night. First Janice Dickinson, then Twiggy and the latest Paulina. Maybe Tyra just needs Tyra and not another beautiful former model sitting by her side. Paulina did say that the reason they gave her was that they were cutting expenses, so we shall see who turns up next season, if anyone. We will miss you Paulina!
Big honors for the country duo Brooks and Dunn along with Dierks Bentley who were honored in Sydney Australia for promoting their country music abroad. They were honored by the Country Music Association and Bentley actually won the International Artist Achievement Award. So it was a pretty big achievement for all of them. In the past some winners have included Keith Urban, Shania Twain, Dwight Yokam, the Dixie Chicks and Trisha Yearwood. Congratulations guys!
I have to admit this is getting a bit ridiculous. There are new rumors swirling around the Gosselin family of “Jon and Kate Plus 8”. This time the rumors are aimed at Kate saying that she is having a “more – than- platonic” relationship with the body guard that travels with her and her family. How ironic that this is being said right after all the stuff they are dealing with from her husband’s alleged indiscretions. Honestly they are the “it family” at the moment and it seems that the paparazzi just can’t leave them alone. Kate is fighting mad and in an exclusive interview with People Magazine, says these are just complete lies. She does say that yes they are friends with the people around them like their body guards, publicist, managers etc. because that is who they spend a lot of time with and these work relationships naturally evolve into friendships. She is also very upset and scared that they will lose the friends that they do have because the paparazzi are camped out at their houses. Kate feels that, hey we signed up for this, (we may not like it but it was our choice to put ourselves in the public eye) but their friends did not and it’s just not fair to them. I have to say I am a fan of the show and feel bad for Kate. Who knows what is really going on in her marriage but regardless; she is raising 8 kids and doing the best she can under the circumstances. She is just a regular mom so really, give her a break. Can you even imagine having your life – the good, bad, and ugly played out in front of millions? How did this sweet little show about her sweet kids turn into this? I am sure she asking herself the same thing.
Do you remember Shirley Jones from the Partridge Family? Well if you can believe it she is 75 and looks fabulous. In fact yesterday there was some talk that she was in talks with Playboy Magazine to pose nude. However Playboy has said that is not true, she will not be posing nude. If she had she would have been the oldest woman to do so for the magazine. So Nancy Sinatra will still hold that record posing at 54 along with Farrah Fawcett and Joan Collins who did it at the age of 50. And speaking of some of our favorite aging celebrities, Cher performed this weekend in Las Vegas and appeared in a black see through body suit just like the one she wore almost 20 years ago when she did her “Turn Back Time Video”. And it looks like if anyone can turn back time it is Cher…she looked amazing and it was hard to even believe she is 62 years old.
Who do you think is going to be this year’s “American Idol” Winner? Simon Cowell told Oprah Winfrey on Monday that he thinks it will be Adam Lambert. It’s hard to believe the season finale is next week already and along with Simon, Randy Jackson is also predicting that Adam will be the winner. We shall see. Tune in tonight for the semi finals and we will see if these guys are right.