Carrie Underwood could just paint her baby’s nursery yellow. That’s always a pretty safe and gender-neutral go-to color for expectant parents. But it sounds like she and her husband Mike Fisher have decided to wait on any kind of décor until they find out if the baby is a boy or a girl.
“We haven’t really worried about too much,” Underwood told CMT Radio’s Cody Alan about the holding pattern she is in right now, so early in her pregnancy. “Until we find out if it’s gonna be a boy or a girl. We haven’t really done anything with the room or anything.”
But that’s not to say she hasn’t started stockpiling some baby essentials with a little online shopping.
“I bought a few books online — kids books and stuff — that I grew up with. Just little things. But we’re kind of waiting to see if it’s a he or a she,” she said.
And so far, Underwood admits her pregnancy has been all good.
“I feel really good. I think I’ve been really lucky in my symptoms thus far,” she said. “It’s still strange to honestly wrap my head around it, as I’m sure it is with all pregnant people. But it’s exciting.”
One thing she isn’t so sure about is how she’s going to maintain her ever-changing styles on the CMA Awards stage.
Underwood told Alan she doesn’t think she’ll be able to pull off the standard 10 wardrobe changes in a night like she’s done in the past. “I don’t know if I can keep up with those numbers,” she admitted, “just from pure exhaustion.”
- 2010, Miranda Lambert’s “Revolution” album is certified platinum
– 1991, Atlantic releases Tracy Lawrence’s debut single, “Sticks And Stones”
– 1978, The Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame inducts Joe Allison (“He’ll Have To Go”), Tom T. Hall (“Harper Valley P.T.A.”), Hank Snow (“I’m Moving On”) and Don Wayne (“Country Bumpkin”)
– 1969, Kimberly Roads (now Schlapman) is born in Toccoa, Georgia. She is destined for membership in Little Big Town, a harmony-based group known for “Boondocks,” “Tornado,” “Pontoon” and “Little White Church”
A list of the most influential artists in history chosen by country stars themselves, another honoree is announced each week on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.
McEntire’s natural charm, one-of-a-kind voice and stunning looks have made her a multitalented entertainer with success as a country singer and as an actress.
Her first No. 1 hit came in 1982 with “Can’t Even Get the Blues,” and she has gone on to release a total of 40 No. 1 singles and 14 No. 1 albums to date. She has sold more than 80 million records worldwide.
One of the first country artists to embrace music videos and treat them like minimovies, her performances in videos like “Fancy,” “Whoever’s in New England” and “Is There Life Out There” led to a memorable role in the film Tremors and eventually to starring roles in the Broadway reboot of Annie Get Your Gun and her own television sitcom, Reba.
Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011, she continues to tour and record, releasing the spiritually-minded single “Pray for Peace” in 2014.
Kix Brooks, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are just a few of the artists who named McEntire as one of the most influential artists in country music history.
“She’s very unique in that she has so many talents,” Brooks said. “Our first real opening tour was with Reba, and we got to see how real pros did it. She sings so good, she’s a really good actor and onstage she’s so funny and natural with people. That’s what a big star is all about.
“She’s got all the tools, and she brings them in spades because she enjoys it so much. She goes out there and just slays it every time she does it. For anybody that really wants to do this for a living — especially for women, because it is a different game for guys — if you don’t go to Reba McEntire school, you are missing a big part of the book.”
“I mean, she’s an icon,” Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott said. “She’s a one-namer. There’s not very many of those, you know? Personally, I’ve had the chance to know her since I was 5 years old because both my parents were in her band, and my mother, Linda Davis, did a duet with her — ‘Does He Love You.’
“Not only does she record great music, she is the best at reinventing herself,” Scott continued. “I feel like she has such a thumb on the pulse of where she is in her career, what people want from her and keeping things interesting and exciting for all the fans. She’s the ultimate to me.”
“Everybody everywhere knows who Reba is,” Bryan said. “All you gotta do is say ‘Reba.’ You don’t have to say anything else. That red hair, and (she’s) just an entertainer beyond entertainers. To entertain the way she can and has for so many years, she knows every in and out of the business. Nobody’s figured it out better than Reba McEntire.”
For a fellow vocalist like McBride, McEntire is the gold standard of female country singers.
“I can remember listening to Reba McEntire back in Kansas in my bedroom in high school,” McBride admitted. “I sang in my dad’s band, (and one of my first songs was) ‘Can’t Even Get the Blues.’
“She just had such a unique sound. And she’s a really great singer. … When you try to sing ‘You Lie’ or ‘Rumor Has It,’ they’re hard songs to sing. Her range is amazing, and her control is amazing, so I really admire her as a vocalist. … I don’t know if I can describe what that vocal thing is. It’s just Reba. There’s nobody else that does that. She sounds like Reba when she comes on the radio. You just know it’s her.”
Shelton, who’s become close with McEntire over the years through business ties and personal friendship, agrees.
“She’s a stylist,” he said. “There’s nobody else that’s ever sounded like Reba McEntire, and she’s just a class act, too. I don’t know anybody — and it frustrates me — that works harder than Reba does. We have the same manager, so every time I’m like, ‘Man, I need a week off,’ he’s like, ‘Well, Reba hasn’t really taken any time off in like 30 years.’ … It’s like, ‘Oh, well.’
“She’s just so talented in so many different ways, that the sky’s the limit for somebody like Reba,” Shelton concluded.
His wife Lambert expressed a similar reverence for the iconic redhead.
“I respect Reba so much,” she said. “Not just as an artist but as a woman and as a businesswoman. … Just because she’s Reba McEntire, you already respect her. She’s a legend, but then how she’s run her business and how she presents herself is always classy, and it’s always Reba. She’s never strayed away from Reba McEntire.
“I love that she’s country as hell, and it’s never gone away and it won’t go away,” Lambert added. “It’s country music, and she does it with pride. And that accent and that red hair, she carved out a spot for herself that will never be taken by anyone else.”
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- 2011, The Zac Brown Band’s “Keep Me In Mind” video debuts on CMT
– 2000, Bryan White marries “One Life To Live” actress Erika Page at the Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas. In attendance: Lila McCann
– 1974, The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines is born in Lubbock, Texas. Her feisty lead vocals provide a base for the trio, one of country’s biggest acts from 1997-2003, until her offhand comment about the president derails the band’s mainstream standing
– 1957, The Everly Brothers score a #1 country single in Billboard with “Wake Up Little Susie”
Lunar Madness: Does It Hurt, Heal or Hang Loose? We Report, You Decide
Brad Paisley calls his latest album Moonshine in the Trunk, thereby continuing country music’s long-running fascination with all things moonlit (including the nocturnal manufacture of a potent form of liquid illumination).
Inspired by his album title, we sifted through history and found these 15 moon-related memorables:
“There’s a New Moon Over My Shoulder,” Tex Ritter (1944)
His gal promised him she’d return with the next new moon. But several have come and gone as she’s stayed gone, leading him to lament, “There’s a new moon over my shoulder/And an old love still in my heart.”
“Blue Moon of Kentucky,” Bill Monroe (1946)
His moon is blue — no surprise here — because his lover has said goodbye. But there have been a few compensations since. The song became Monroe’s signature hit, helped launch Elvis Presley‘s career and has been recorded by just about everyone with access to a microphone, including Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Levon Helm and an impromptu rendition by former Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Not bad, as heartbreaks go.
“Howlin’ at the Moon,” Hank Williams (1951)
Williams has caught a real bad case of lovesickness, a condition so intense that it has him “chasin’ rabbits, scratchin’ fleas and howlin’ at the moon.”
“Mr. Moon,” Carl Smith (1951)
Smith seems to have a pretty chummy relationship with the celestial spotlight, first asking it to help him win his love and then to brighten their honeymoon should it ensue. “It seems your golden beauty just makes a perfect night/Somehow it seems my cutie looks cuter by your light.” Awww!
“Blame It on the Moonlight,” Johnny Wright (1965)
Moonlight makes you do strange things. At least that’s the excuse Wright’s girlfriend gives him when he spies her kissing another guy one night. Well, it can work both ways as he sputters, “Go on and blame it on the moonlight, blame it on the moonlight/Or blame it on some crazy star up in the blue/But if I ever grieve you, hurt you or deceive you/Don’t blame me if I blame it on the moonlight, too.”
“Blue Moon With Heartache,” Rosanne Cash (1981)
Could it get any worse? Not only is the moon blue, her beloved comes back home not treating her right. Everything’s falling apart. This description leads up to one of the most poignant and despairing lyrics in all of music: “What would I do to be a diamond in your eyes again/What would I give to bring back those old times/What did I say to make your past turn out this way/Maybe I’ll just go away today.”
“Shame on the Moon,” Bob Seger (1983)
Although a rock singer, Seger actually made the country charts with this Rodney Crowell composition, taking it all the way to No. 15. The song describes the delicate interplay and unshared secrets between lovers. And, as we’ve been told repeatedly, the moon has a lot to do with these tricky affairs. “Oh, blame it on midnight,” Seeger sings, “Ooh, shame on the moon.”
“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song),” Conway Twitty (1984)
Twitty seeks relationship advice from the man in the moon, only to be told, “I don’t know a thing about love/I just kind of hang here above/I just watch from the sky/Will love grow or will it die/I don’t know a thing about love.” Sounds like Mr. Moon is trying to avoid a malpractice suit.
“Cajun Moon,” Ricky Skaggs (1986)
Skaggs needs that little extra boost only the moon can give to get his love affair in motion. So amid all the music and bonfires, he cries out, “Cajun moon, nugget of gold/River of light on the bayou/You’re just like rain to a love in bloom, so/Shine on me, oh, Cajun moon.” It seems to be working.
“Talkin’ to the Moon,” the Gatlin Brothers (1986)
The Gatlins are getting absolutely nowhere in convincing their lovers to return. As lead singer Larry Gatlin, puts it, “I keep on hopin’/For all the good it does me/Lord, I might as well be talkin’ to the moon.” Well, Twitty could have told him that.
“The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder,” Michael Johnson (1987)
The man Johnson sings about is still dazzled at how young his wife seems and how much he still loves her even after the kids have grown up and married. In his mind, she’s still the same lovely creature as the one whose picture he carries in his wallet. “And the moon is still over her shoulder/And the stars are still falling above/And she never gets one minute older/And he is still falling in love.” No doubt this song has brightened many a wedding.
“Paint the Town and Hang the Moon Tonight,” J.C. Crowley (1988)
Crowley came to country music after having had a modicum of success as a member of Player, the group that scored the 1977 pop hit, “Baby Come Back.” Here he’s full-throttle honky-tonk: “I broke the saddle off my horse/It’s Friday night, and I’ve done my chores/Shined my boots, I’m ready to dance/Them little ladies ain’t got no chance/I’m gonna paint the town and hang the moon tonight.” Guess somebody has to do it.
“Neon Moon,” Brooks & Dunn (1992)
Ronnie Dunn is about as low as you can go in this tearfest. His lover has gone. He’s sitting alone at a table for two in a seedy bar. And the only “moonlight” coming his way is powered by neon. “If you lose your one and only/There’s always room here for the lonely/To watch your broken dreams/Dance in and out of the beams/Of a neon moon.” And you think you’ve got troubles.
“Even the Man in the Moon Is Crying,” Mark Collie (1992)
Remember those Shakespearean plays where all the elements of nature go crazy right before something bad happens — like the assassination in Julius Caesar? That’s basically what we have here, except the tragedy has already occurred. Collie has just taken his girlfriend to the airport and senses things have fallen apart. “Now I hear voices in the wind/Sayin’ she ain’t comin’ back again/I look for guidance in the sky/But the stars have all gone out tonight/I feel like the love of my life is dyin’/Even the man in the moon is cryin’.”
“Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You,” Toby Keith (1996)
At first, Keith was glad to see the love affair break up. Not so now. He misses her terribly and wonders if she ever feels the same. Looking up at that cold orb of light, he muses mournfully, “Does that blue moon ever shine on you?” We’re rooting for you, Toby. We love happy endings.
- 2001, Alan Jackson’s “Where I Come From” tops the Billboard country chart
– 1984, Ricky Skaggs’ version of Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen” tops the Billboard country chart
– 1975, Presenter Charlie Rich lights fire to the envelope when John Denver wins Entertainer of the Year during the ninth annual Country Music Association awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Denver also takes Song of the Year with “Back Home Again”
– 1946, Lacy J. Dalton is born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The husky-throated singer wins the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female award in 1980 on the way to such hits as “Takin’ It Easy,” “Black Coffee” and the songwriter anthem “16th Avenue”
- 2012, Thomas Rhett marries Lauren Gregory
– 1993, Giant Records releases “Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles,” with some of the royalties to benefit the Walden Woods Project. Among the artists contributing: Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood
– 1987, Randy Travis takes home three honors during the 21st annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House: Male Vocalist of the Year; Album, for “Always And Forever”; and Single, for “Forever And Ever, Amen,” also named Song of the Year
– 1981, Barbara Mandrell becomes the first act to win consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards from the Country Music Association during its 15th annual show at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. Mandrell, who co-hosts with Mac Davis, also wins Female Vocalist of the Year
- 2005, MCA releases Gary Allan’s “Tough All Over” album
– 2002, The Dixie Chicks’ “Home” album goes triple-platinum
– 1981, The Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame inducts Bobby Braddock and Ray Whitley. Braddock is noted for George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.” Whitley wrote Gene Autry’s theme song, “Back In The Saddle Again”
– 1953, Paulette Carlson is born in Northfield, Minnesota. She becomes the sassy lead vocalist for Highway 101, essential on such hits as “The Bed You Made For Me,” “Somewhere Tonight” and “Cry, Cry, Cry”
- 2012, The Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” plays as ABC debuts the country-music soap opera “Nashville.” Also heard in the episode: John Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses,” Greg Bates’ “Did It For The Girl” and Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man”
– 2001, Lonestar’s “With Me” video debuts on CMT’s “Most Wanted Live.” The piece represents the directorial debut of drummer Keech Rainwater
– 1988, Hank Williams Jr. wins his second Entertainer of the Year trophy and claims Album of the Year, for “Born To Boogie,” during the 22nd annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. K.T. Oslin joins him as a double-winner
– 1981, T.G. Sheppard’s “Party Time” hits the top of the Billboard country chart
Featuring 14 tracks that stretch from the group’s 2008 breakthrough “Chicken Fried” to 2013’s “Sweet Annie,” the collection will also include hits like “Toes,” “Free,” “As She’s Walking Away” (featuring Alan Jackson), “Goodbye in Her Eyes” and more.
The songs are sourced from the band’s major label album debut, The Foundation, as well as its follow-ups You Get What You Give and Uncaged.
The band’s latest release is the concept EP The Grohl Sessions: Volume 1. Featuring the single “All Alright” and three other songs, the project was produced by Dave Grohl, lead singer of the rock group Foo Fighters and former drummer of the iconic grunge band Nirvana.
As previously reported, Brown and his Southern Ground Artists collective have signed a strategic partnership with Universal’s John Varvatos Records, Big Machine Label Group and Republic Records. The new label team with oversee Brown’s future album releases, with the first one tentatively scheduled for spring of 2015.
The group currently has performances scheduled through the month of October, including the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival — an event Brown created and curates — in Charleston, South Carolina, on Oct. 11-12.
Here is the complete track listing for Zac Brown Band’s Greatest Hits So Far …:
“Whatever It Is”
“Highway 20 Ride”
“As She’s Walking Away” (Featuring Alan Jackson)
“Knee Deep” (Featuring Jimmy Buffett)
“Keep Me in Mind”
“Jump Right In”
“Goodbye in Her Eyes”
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