<p>Pitbull and Tim McGraw perform at ACM&nbsp;Presents:&nbsp;Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night in Las Vegas Monday night.</p>

Pitbull and Tim McGraw perform at ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night in Las Vegas Monday night.

Credit: Ap Photo/Al Powers

We take you to the taping of Tim McGraw's upcoming TV special

Get the scoop weeks before you can see it on TV

LAS VEGAS - For the past four years, the Academy of Country Music has taken advantage of having a flotilla of country artists in Las Vegas for the annual ACM Awards to tape a special the following night that airs several weeks later.

Read Full Post
<p>Brad Paisley's &quot;Wheelhouse&quot;</p>

Brad Paisley's "Wheelhouse"

Credit: Sony Nashville/Arista

Album Review: Brad Paisley's wide-ranging 'Wheelhouse'

Hear his provocative song with LL Cool J, 'Accidental Racist'

Brad Paisley is country music’s consummate artist: he writes, sings, plays guitar, and entertains at a higher level in all four areas than most acts do in just one. On his ninth studio album, “Wheelhouse,” out Tuesday (9), he adds producer to the list.

“Wheelhouse” opens with a few seconds  of  the WW1 chestnut, “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm,”  which segues into “Southern Comfort Zone,” Paisley’s No. 1 hit about exploring the rest of the world, while still feeling there’s no place like home.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Lady Antebellum</p>

Lady Antebellum

Credit: Al Powers/Invision/AP

Live blogging the 48th annual Academy of County Music Awards

Join us in Las Vegas as we take you to the show and backstage

7:55: It's almost showtime. The big question is, even with the delay, how often will co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan say something that gets CBS in trouble? 

8:05: That took only a few seconds. After performing "Boys Round Here," Shelton and Bryan immediately go to making jokes about their man parts---or lack there of.  If you're watching at home, let us know if the "ball room" joke got bleeped. They definitely have a good ole boy vibe working for them, but it could wear thin by evening's end... chances are good, however, that's the most we'll see of them together. Their opening pokes fun at each other, but pretty much leaves everyone else unscathed. The opening number was fine but lacked much pizazz, even with the addition of folks like Pistol Annies, Brad Paisley and Sheryl Crow, who is trotted out at every country show now, for some reason, perhaps because she's now trying to transition to country because, well, that's what pop artists do when pop is tired of them... To be fair, she's  lived in Nashville for a while and has certainly had country chart success as a featured artist on songs. She's working on a new album for Warner Bros. Nashville now.

8:10: Kenny Chesney, who really does make enough to wear something besides the same old torn jeans and faded t-shirt every single time, comes out and sings "Pirate Flag." Two up-tempo songs in a row, but no performance that sticks with you more than 1 minute after its over.

8:18: Shelton and Bryan made it from the MGM Grand to the Orleans in no time flat. That was a fast police car. Now Brad Paisley is singing "Outstanding In The Field" with Hunter Hayes and Dierks Bentley from his new album that comes out Tuesday. This could mean it's the next single after "Beat This Summer" or just a good opportunity to add some star wattage to a performance since they are on the track on the album.

8:24: George Strait is performing his new single, "Give It All We Got Tonight," and, quite frankly the King sounds a little worse for wear, but, damn, he makes 60 look good.  This is the first of two times we'll see him tonight. He'll be back much later tonight with Garth Brooks. in a salute to Dick Clark, who passed earlier this year and who was the show's longtime producer. They keep cutting to the audience and everyone, whether it's Taylor Swift or Kix Brooks, is trying to sing along...somewhat unsuccessfully.

8:34: Eric Church is signing "Like Jesus Does,"  but I can barely focus because it's the first time I've ever seen him perform without his sunglasses on and with no cap. It's a little disconcerting. Plus, he's spending most of the time with his eyes closed, so I guarantee that some folks are asking if he's blind. The artsy attempt at shooting him in black and white and his backup singer in color isn't really adding anything. It is a beautiful song though and the best performance of the night so far.

8:37: As new artist of the year nominees Florida Georgia Line are performing a snippet of "Cruise," but there's no time for Nelly to join them on their styling new remix with him.

8:43: Beth Behrs introduces Lady Antebellum, which is altogether appropriate since she's in the video for "Downtown," which ust happens to be the song they're singing now. Hillary Scott pulls off being several months' pregnant, looking comfortable and still looking stylish. I'm not saying the show is lacking a little excitement, but one of my colleagues in the press room is watching a viral video of foxes jumping on a trampoline and is infinitely more amused by that than the show.

8:48: Could someone please explain to me how Sugarland can be up for best vocal duo when they haven't put out an album since 1993? OK, I realize it's been a lot more recent than they, but please... Anyway, the award goes to Thompson Square, who won last year as well.

8:58: Carrie Underwood certainly makes the entrance of the night so far in a black Cadillac for song, wait for it, "Two Black Cadillacs."Like many of the performances tonight, there's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing that stands out, though. I will add, they are all singing live and maybe we're so used to hearing people lipsync that we no longer allow for any live foibles at all.

9:02:  Miranda Lambert, her breasts, and John Fogerty are presenting album of the year. Yes, entertainer of the year is the big award, but it still seems early to be presenting such a biggie. The winner is "Chief" by Eric Church. He has his sunglasses back on. "I can't believe I just met John Fogerty," he says.Nice, calm acceptance speech, which is slightly disappointing.

9:05: Blake Shelton is signing "Sure Be Cool If You Did," his most recent No. 1. I love the line "looking like a high I want to be on." He sounds the best of anyone, second to Church, tonight. Maybe the sound is just better geared for acoustic performances.

9:08: Thompson Square, individually known as Keifer and Shawna Thompson, are backstage. "I truly can't believe this is our life. We never thought we'd do anything like this, especially win it twice. It's hard to put into words, but it sure feels good. Shawna then teared up when asked about thanking her mom. Her father died recently, and her mom's "been having a really hard time, so I just wanted to thank her." 

9:10: The Band Perry's "Done" is hands-down the most energetic performance of the night. The song has got a little Pat Benatar, a little Led Zep, and, of course, since it has to pass as country, a little fiddle. Switch next to best new artist nominees Jana Kramer, whose fiance Brantley Gilbert performed earlier. She sounds terrible.

9:21: Duo Florida Georgia Line wins best new artist, a fan-voted award, ins the evening's first major shock. They'd practically already engraved Brantley Gilbert's name on the trophy everyone was so sure he'd win. Clearly, people from more than Florida and Georgia voted for them. One of them notes that this time last year they were watching the show on TV.

9:24: Jason Aldean is performing "1994," or as we call it, "Joe Diffie." For some reason in the images coming at us is a cassette with "Joe Diffie mix" on it, although it was already a CD world. There are also country cuties dancing on blocks. Please. Regardless, for a song that has some energy on the CD, this is a flat performance. Plus, there's no Joe Diffie. If there were ever a time for him to come out and surprise us, that would be it. I wonder if the performances are coming off as rough on TV as they are on the monitors we're watching backstage? I am a big country music fan and I don't get what's happening with the performances tonight, but the audio has been uniformly poor and too low.

9:27: Little Big Town wins vocal group of the year. A well-deserved win for a group that is having a phenomenal year after trudging along for years and years.

9:33: Blake Shelton really is the only one who can get away with talking about seeing his wife, Miranda Lambert, naked this morning and make it so damn charming. Lambert's performing "Mama's Broken Heart," which is one of my favorite country music videos of the year. Kasey Musgraves, whose debut album is fantastic, co-wrote the track. It's a spirited, sassy performance.

9:37:Song of the year goes to "Over You." performed by Miranda Lambert, written by Lambert and Shelton, about his brother who died when he was a teenager.  Shelton credits Lambert for teaching him to write a great song. I wonder if it feels weird to be the reigning country kind and queen of country, as they have been for a few years now, and know that it can't last. Can you just enjoy the ride or do you worry about when it will be over?

9:46: Little Big Town is singing "On Your Side Of The Bed," one of those ballads that seems destined to go to No. 1. I will root for it to do just that if I never have to see the couple doing an interpretive dance on a vertical bed suspended behind them. Is this country's version of Cirque du Soleil? 

9:49: Single record of the year goes to "Over You" and Miranda Lambert. I'm a fan of that song, but I really love  Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," which still hasn't gotten old for me. "As a songwriter having your song and your lyrics being recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets," a teary Lambert says.

9:57: Making a joke about your wife's body, making a joke about how great another man's wife's body is-- probably not cool, but Shelton and Bryan go there anyway with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who introduces her hubby. He's performing "Highway Don't Care" with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. It's an understated performance...perhaps unintentionally. It sounds like their microphones are turned way down.

10:01: Florida Georgia Line are now backstage. Brian Kelley says since the award is fan voted, they're going to take their award out on the road with them so they can share it with their fans. John Mayer has joined Brad Paisley for "Beat This Summer." Why are so many artists getting more than one performance? I'm a fan of Shelton's and Paisley's but aren't there other artists who deserved one spot? Still, I'm not even a guitar geek, but there's something sublime about watching guitar wizards like Paisley and Mayer play together.

10:10: Co-host Bryan gets his turn now with "Crash My Party." I like him better on his faster numbers.

10:19: Trisha Yearwood, who looks great, introduces Kelly Clarkson, who sings "Don't Rush." A back-up singer is performing Vince Gill's part. His not showing up is way more disappointing than Joe Diffie not showing up for "1994"... or as someone just wrote on FB, "diff-appointing." 

10:30: Jason Aldean wins male artist of the year. Trying to decide if that's a big loss for Shelton, although Aldean is also deserving. This follows Jewel's nice performance of "Hands" for the "Lifting Lives" segment. She's also performing from the Orleans and since she sounds fine, it's clear the sound at the MGM is the problem.

10:32: It's time for the tribute to Dick Clark featuring Brooks and Strait. Brooks is singing "The Dance," as photos of Clark with various country artist roll by. He looks and sounds great, so the problem is definitely with full bands.He recedes into the background as Strait sings "The Cowboy Rides Away," very shortly joined by Brooks. It's appropriate without being maudlin, plus Brooks is clearly delighted to be singing with his idol.Would love to hear them do more together.

10:44: Miranda Lambert wins female vocalist of the year. She cries, but it's because she realized her dream by hanging with  Kelly Clarkson, Shania Twain, and Faith Hill last night. She wears her heart on her sleeve and that's part of what makes her so endearing.

10:47: Hunter Hayes is singing "I Want Crazy," a new song. I'm not completely sold on him yet, but he certainly has promise and he has put in so much hard work already. He plays something like 32 instruments. He's now performing "Sir Duke" with Stevie Wonder. I don't know how you ever top that if you're an artist. Given the grin on Hayes' face, he may realize that too.

10:49: Eric Church is backstage. "I think our career is going to be pre-Chief and post-Chief for us," he says referencing how this album really took his career to a new level. He admits album of the year is the one award he wanted the most. Church just released a live album. He felt it was the right time to go back and revisit a small venue for the project as he becomes an arena headliner. "There's no critic, no fan" that can put more creative pressure on himself for the next album, he says Church, who played Metallica's Orion Festival last year, will be on Lollapalooza this year. "I feel like genres are gone in music, in the satellite age, genres are gone. There's good music and there's bad music." He called his Orion audience "one of the best audiences we've had." 

10:57: A very emotional Luke Bryan wins entertainer of the year. It's such a sweet reaction that even Miranda Lambert, who just lost, as did her husband, is crying. "I don't know what to say, guys. Thank you guys so much, fans... thank you so much for making my life what is is. All I ever wanted to be was a country singer who got to ride on a tour bus and show on a stage every night." He's now running through the laundry list now, but it's incredibly sweet and moving. "Every time I step on stage it is a blessing for me to play for fans...this is the defining moment of my life." Best moment of the night, hands down.

11:01: That well-known country artist Stevie Wonder is closing the show with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," with Hunter Hayes on drums (to my point earlier). Bryan and Shelton are singing with him, but Bryan is still too shell shocked to really do much.

11:05: The show's over, but we still have folks coming backstage, including Miranda Lambert, so hopefully, we're not done yet!

11:15: Jason Aldean says he was pretty surprised to win best male vocalist, which is typical for an artist to say, but this was a hard category to call. "It was shocking, but very cool. It was something I always hoped I would win." It's a big time for Aldean: he sold out University of Ga's stadium and will be playing it next week with Luke Bryan. He now joins George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Kenny Chesney as one of the few country artists who can sell out a stadium. "I was the guy who grew  going to all those shows, at the point in my career where we’re able to do that is kind of crazy."

11:25: Stevie Wonder and Hunter Hayes are working on some material together, Wonder says backstage. Hayes is appropriately speechless when Wonder raves about him, saying, "This young man is a blessing to country music and to America because he really has listened to all kinds of music. I see God working in him."

11:40: Miranda Lambert is as giddy and delightful backstage as she was on. She's quick to clarify that Shelton did not see her naked this morning. "There's no time for that the day of the ACMs," she says. Her win for female vocalist marked her fourth consecutive trophy in that category: "I can’t fathom that.. I can’t comprehend anything that’s happening right now. I was rooting for Carrie [Underwood], I’m such a fans of hers. I’m so jealous of her voice and her legs."

11:50: Luke Bryan is still on cloud nine. He came back to the press room and answered every single question, telling the handlers who were trying to rush him that he was not done yet. "When you’re in a category with Taylor Swift, you have to put her... there’s no competing" he says, when asked what he honestly thought his chance were of winning artist of the year. "I thought it was Taylor’s award. Gosh knows, I cannot even believe it’s happening. This is so unattainable that you can’t legitimately get it in your head that you might get it.”   As far as how he did as a co-host: "I feel like I knocked it out of the ball park." 


Read Full Post
<p>The Rolling Stones</p>

The Rolling Stones

Credit: Mark Seliger/AP

Music Power Rankings: Beyonce, Blake, Beatles and Bieber

Some folks without B in their names also make this week's tally

1. The Rolling Stones: The “50 & Counting” tour continues with 9 shows in the U.S. starting in May in Los Angeles. The top-tier ticket (with fees) is a staggering $655. You can’t always get what you want.

2. Blake Shelton: His new album tops the country charts, he rules on “The Voice,” he’s hosting this Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Meet the new King OF All Media. 

3. Beyonce: She and Andre 3000 will remake “Back To Black” for “The Great Gatsby,” because when I think Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, Amy Winehouse is the first thing that comes to mind...

4. Jonas Bros.
: The sibling trio comes roaring back with “Pom Poms,” which has hit  No. 1 on iTunes’ charts in 16 countries. That means it’s not just cheerleaders listening.

5. The Beatles: “It was 49 years ago today/The Beatles showed the world they were here to stay/On the Billboard Hot 100 they came along/ the only act to ever hold down the Top 5 songs/ So let me introduce to you/still famous after all these years/The Beatles”

6. Justin Bieber: A small town in Norway is postponing school exams so students can go see The Biebs perform in Oslo. Now if he could only get his monkey back. 

7. Lollapalooza:
The Chicago festival announces its line-up in April 1, but the ticket sales are no joke: By April 3, all single-day and 3-day passes had sold out.

8. Coachella: The desert festival’s promoters ink a deal to keep the event in Indio, Calif. through 2030. Won’t all the hipsters finally be gone by then? Please?

9. Music Streaming: A new NPD study shows that folks between 13-35 prefer streaming to downloading. Why buy when you can rent?

10. Phil Ramone: One of the greatest modern record producers ever. Thanks for all the beautiful music. RIP

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Justin Timberlake's &quot;The 20/20 Experience&quot; cover</p>

 Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" cover

Can Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience' make it 3 weeks atop the Billboard 200?

What are New Kids On The Block doing in the top 10?

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” makes it three weeks in a row, as the title looks like a sure bet to stay at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week. If it does, the album will be the first title to spent a trio of weeks at No.1 since Taylor Swift's "Red" last year.

Timberlake, whose third solo album has already surpassed the million mark in its first two weeks will likely at another 150,000 to its tally next week.

That gives it a good lead over The Band Perry’s sophomore set, “Pioneer,” which will come it at No. 2 with sales of up to 120,000, making the two titles the only two to top the 100,000 mark next week, according to Hits Daily Double.

Joining The Band Perry with Top 10 debuts are Tyler, The Creator, whose “Wolf” comes in at No. 3 with sales of up to 95,000; New Kids on the Block’s “10,” which enters at No. 6 with up to 50,000 in sales and Killswitch Engage’s “Disarm The Descent” at No. 7.

Rounding out the top 10, last week’s No. 3, Blake Shelton’s “Based on a True Story...” will likely fall to No. 4, Lil Wayne’s “I Am Not A Human Being II” drops three places to No. 5, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Vision” is at No. 8, Pink’s “The Truth About Love”  is at No. 9 and Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” is at No. 10.


Read Full Post
<p>Fleetwood Mac's Steve McVie and Stevie Nicks in 2009</p>

Fleetwood Mac's Steve McVie and Stevie Nicks in 2009

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Fleetwood Mac premieres new song 'Sad Angel' at tour opener

New EP with two new songs coming on iTunes

Fleetwood Mac kicked off its tour last night in Columbus, Ohio. Along with the usual hits, the veteran band debuted a new song, “Sad Angel.”

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Cee-Lo rocks the crowd at Coachella 2011.</p>

Cee-Lo rocks the crowd at Coachella 2011.

Credit: AP Photo

Coachella/Stagecoach promoters reach deal to stay in Indio through 2030

Goldenvoice's pact allows for two more festivals at Empire Polo Grounds

After threatening to pull out of Indio last year over raised fees, Coachella promoters Golden Voice have now agreed to a deal with the California city that could keep both Coachella and its sister festival Stagecoach on Indio’s Empire Polo Grounds through 2030.

As part of the deal, according to the Los Angeles Times, AEG subsidiary Golden Voice will more than double the city’s share of per-ticket revenue starting next year, when it will leap from $2.33 per ticket to $5.01 per ticket.

Goldenvoice’s proposal, which was unanimously accepted by Indio’s Planning Commission, includes the plan to expand the current three weekends of festivals (two Coachella and one for Stagecoach) to five if Goldenvoice wishes to. If they are added, the two additional festivals would happen in the fall.

Coachella has been held on the Empire Polo Grounds since it started in 1999. It expanded to two weekends last year. Stagecoach rolled into town in 2007.

The three festivals brought in $89.1 million in 2012 to the local economy according to the Direct Management Group,

Read Full Post
<p>Rihanna on her 777 Tour</p>

Rihanna on her 777 Tour

Watch: 5 things you don't see in the 'Rihanna 777' teaser for her May 6 TV special

Where's the streaking Australian journalist?

Rihanna gives fans a very short (17 seconds’ worth) teaser of what to expect from her upcoming “Rihanna 777” tour TV special, which airs on Fox on May 6.

The show chronicles her November promotional tour for "Unapologetic,"  during which she performed seven shows in seven countries in seven days, and was, indeed, very unapologetic for keeping folks waiting for hours time and time again.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Watch: Beyonce previews new song and challenges her past selves to a dance-off in Pepsi ad

Watch: Beyonce previews new song and challenges her past selves to a dance-off in Pepsi ad

Hear a snippet of 'Grown Woman'

Beyonce is confronted with the ghosts of Beyonce past in a new spot for Pepsi Max. The clip— which previews a new song, “Grown Woman”— could also be a hint at what’s to come on the Mrs. Carter Show world tour.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Listen: Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus duet on 'Ashtrays and Heartbreak'

Listen: Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus duet on 'Ashtrays and Heartbreak'

Do their voices mesh or clash?

The salvia-smoking, blunt-toking Miley Cyrus is leaving her teen queen image even further in the dust on “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,” a new song on Snoop Lion’s (aka Snoop Dogg) new album, “Reincarnated.”

The hazy, reggae-influenced track opens with Snoop Lion declared “tonight there’s going to be a lot of smoke in the air,” as he lifts a blunt for those no longer with us. Shortly thereafter, Cyrus comes in with refrain, “Now my buzz is gone/I need to re-up on reality.” She also sings the majority of the chorus (with some vocal assistance from Angela Hunte, according to Billboard).

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post