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Posts Tagged ‘Carrie Underwood’

The Story Behind Country Music’s Epic Mash-Up! Plus: Hear Blake, Carrie, Miranda and 27 Other Stars Sing ‘Forever Country’

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Shane McAnally was nothing short of terrified when he stepped into the studio to begin a project that, on paper, looked a little crazy.

The challenge of melding three iconic country song – John Denver’s “Country Roads, Take Me Home,” Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” – into one new piece of music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Association Awards, was “a very scary process,” McAnally tells People.

In fact, when a mash-up was first proposed as a way of marking the anniversary, McAnally, who’s written hit songs for Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and Kacey Musgraves among others, argued against it.

“I didn’t think it would work in our genre,” he says. “I said, ‘Maybe in pop music you can just take a piece of a song, but we tell stories. And we can’t just cut into them and take a piece.'”

But as McAnally, a CMA board member as well as a top producer in town (he’s behind albums by Sam Hunt and Musgraves), and other CMA members began to consider what songs could work, the idea took shape.

“I Will Always Love You” was a song that everyone felt like needed to be a part of it but I was having a hard time with the story – it’s such a personal song. It’s to one person,” he says. “But when you play that song over, ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’, they somehow take on a life together and it feels almost like you’re speaking more to the music, and to country music specifically, when you say, ‘I will always love you.’ It feels meant to be.”

An ode to the life of a traveling musician, Nelson’s classic seemed a natural addition to the mix.

“The line ‘The life I love is making music with my friends,’ kept coming into my mind and ‘On the Road Again’ felt essential,” McAnally says.

The result, dubbed “Forever Country,” was born and McAnally took on the task of producing the recording, a monumental undertaking with 30 artists, including one whom he especially wanted to impress.

“I was very scared when Dolly heard it that it might seem like a bit of a compromise to the integrity of the original song,” he says. “The song is such a simple, perfect sentiment. It was really important for her to know we handled it with care. She just listened and said, ‘Wow. That really works!’ It was really hard not to cry in front of her. I’ve cried a lot since then!”

The tune begins with West Virginia native Brad Paisley singing the opening lines of “Country Roads” (“Almost heaven, West Virginia) followed by a host of stars – Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Shelton”, George Strait – adding line after line until Musgraves begins “I Will Always Love You” (“If I should stay/I Would only be in your way”). Lyrics from the two songs weave in and out with different Nashville voices as Jason Aldean begins “On the Road Again,” joined by Rascal Flatts and many more.

The song premiered on country radio stations around the country Friday, but you’ll have to wait ’til Tuesday for the video, directed by Joseph Kahn, who won a VMA Award for Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”.

“The responsibility of this feels greater than anything I’ve done,” McAnally says of the project. “I hope this is a great timepiece for the legacy of country music.”

Profits from the sales and streaming of “Forever Country” will go toward music education causes supported by the CMA Foundation.

Carrie Underwood Celebrates with Fright from Ellen DeGeneres

To celebrate the 10th appearance of Carrie Underwood on her show, Ellen DeGeneres decided to give the singer a frightful celebration. Literally making Carrie jump out of her chair, a hockey gear clad man jumped out of the side table.

Carrie also performed her new single, “Dirty Laundry.” Check it out.

CMT Announces 2016 Artists of the Year!

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Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett have been selected by CMT as the premiere country artists of 2016 and will be celebrated at the seventh annual CMT Artists of the Year special, it was announced Tuesday (Sept. 13).

Additionally, Kelsea Ballerini is set to receive the second-annual Breakout Artist of the Year honor.

The 2016 CMT Artists of the Year special premieres from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Each artist will be honored with never-before-seen performances alongside lighthearted and emotional moments fueled by plenty of champagne during the 90-minute special on CMT.

Following last year’s nod as breakthrough artist, Chris Stapleton joins first-time recipient Thomas Rhett and veteran CMT Artists of the Year Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012, 2016), Florida Georgia Line (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and Luke Bryan, who now ties with Jason Aldean as the artists with most wins with five consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

This year’s five honorees collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles and selling out concerts across the nation.

Carrie Underwood Launches Fall Leg of “The Storyteller Tour – Stories in the Round”

Photo credit: Jeff Johnson

Photo credit: Jeff Johnson

Seven-time Grammy winner and Pollstar’s three-time top female country touring artist, Carrie Underwood, will launch the fall leg of “The Storyteller Tour – Stories in the Round,” the biggest tour of her career, tomorrow night in Anchorage, Alaska. Billboard ranked the tour the #1 country tour for the first half of 2016.

The fall tour dates of “The Storyteller Tour – Stories in the Round” begins with Carrie’s inaugural performance in Alaska tomorrow night, and will include stops at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN and Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. When the tour wraps at the end of November she will have played 82 arenas on tour.  In December Carrie will join Keith Urban on the Australian and New Zealand leg of his “ripCORD World Tour 2016.”

During the first half of 2016 “The Storyteller Tour” rolled in to 47 cities as well as seven different countries, playing to nearly 600,000 people since the tour launched January 30 in Jacksonville, FL. The dramatic in-the-round stage production has been seen by 360-degree sell-out arena crowds across North America in cities such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, St. Louis, Denver, Phoenix, San Antonio, Houston, Chicago, Toronto to name just a few. The tour crossed from one coast to the other coast and cities in between as well as traveling overseas to play in Sweden, Norway, Scotland, England, and Ireland as part of Country to Country (C2C), Europe’s biggest country music festival.

“The Storyteller Tour – Stories in the Round,” one of her most spectacular concert tours to date, has caught the attention of fans and music critics alike because of the stand-out performances and the dynamic production.

The 2016 tour is in support of Carrie’s Gold-certified Storyteller album, which made a historic debut in October 2015 when she became the only artist in the chart’s 51-year history to have each of her first six albums to enter the chart at #1. The album has produced three #1 singles so far with “Smoke Break,” “Heartbeat” and “Church Bells” with it’s fourth single, “Dirty Laundry,” currently climbing the charts.

A donation of $1 from each ticket sold on the U.S. dates of “The Storyteller Tour” will be contributed to the C.A.T.S Foundation to help aid its causes including Checotah, Oklahoma’s education and literacy programs. Established in 2009, the C.A.T.S. (Checotah Animal, Town, and School) Foundation helps with general causes, needs, and services in the area of Checotah, Oklahoma, Carrie’s hometown, to directly impact the community.

The North American tour, with the exception of Anchorage, is promoted by AEG Live and includes special guests Easton Corbin and The Swon Brothers. Tickets are available now for the fall dates of The Storyteller Tour at  www.aeglive.com. For information on fan club and VIP packages go to www.carrieunderwood.fm.

The Storyteller Tour fall dates:

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