Category: News and Info

2017 Billboard Music Awards – Top Country Song

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards nominations have been announced.

Drake and The Chainsmokers lead the pack with 22 nods. Among those, Drake will compete for Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Billboard 200 Artist. The Chainsmokers will also vie for Top Artist, as well as Top Duo/Group and Top 100 Artist.

Twenty One Pilots follows with 17 nominations, then Rihanna with 14, The Weeknd with 13 and Beyonce with 8.

The first five categories were announced by Pete Wentz and Julia Michaels earlier Monday on Good Morning America.

The Billboard Music Awards will air on May 21 at 8PM on ABC.

 

Top Country Song:
Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.”
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
Little Big Town, “Better Man”
Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

Kimberly Schlapman Is Launching a New Dishware Collection: ‘Cooking Is Just My Passion’

Kimberly Schlapman might rule the stage when she performs with her band Little Big Town, but at home, her kitchen is where she really shines.

Cooking is just my passion,” she tells PEOPLE.

The 47-year-old mom of two has been living her country music dream daily for years, but now she’s moving forward on a different goal that highlights her culinary aspirations: launching her Love & Daisies dishware line on HSN.

My first set of dishes my daddy bought for me when I was a little girl. And I still have them today,” she says. “I meet no stranger when it comes to a pretty dish. So when I found out we could do this beautiful line of kitchen and home things with HSN, I was like, ‘I’m in.’

The collection, which includes essentials like pans and knife sets, will debut on April 19th. The whimsical designs are inspired by Schlapman’s childhood, flea market finds and her love of cooking, which she’s passed on to another member of the household (who also makes a cameo in the line’s name).

[Daisy]’s been cooking since she could hardly stand up. She started on a stool by the counter just like I did,” Schlapman says of her oldest daughter, who became a big sister to baby Dolly in January 2017. “She used to put way too much baking soda in everything and it was wretched. But my husband would always eat it. Sometimes I would have to fake it,” she says, adding, “She still makes up her own recipes but now they’re really tasty.

He may be a champ when it comes to testing Daisy’s concoctions, but that’s about as advanced as Schlapman’s husband, Stephen, gets in the kitchen.

He’s cooked for me twice,” the singer says with a laugh. “When we were dating he made grilled salmon. It was amazing. I was like, ‘And he can cook!’ But then he didn’t cook for me for ten years. It’s ok, he can do everything else. I’ll cook for him.

Source: People

Billboard article + photoshoot: LBT, Nashville Royalty With an Outlaw Streak, Wants to Heal America


The members of Little Big Town — Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook, who have been married since 2006 — choose to believe that, in Westbrook’s words, “music always unites.” “We have simple things we fall back on as a foundation of the band,” explains Fairchild one recent afternoon in a drafty but bright downtown Nashville loft. “Family, faith, taking care of each other.” Which may be why they’re somewhat at a loss to weigh in on what’s happening just four blocks away, at the Municipal Auditorium, where President Donald Trump has staged a rally timed to the 250th birthday of Andrew Jackson. Roads have been closed, news cameras dispatched and thousands of people have gathered, despite the mid-March cold snap, to participate in — or protest — the event.
Fairchild, 47, who was busy choosing the band’s outfits for that day’s photo shoot, didn’t even realize Trump was in town. “That’s why all those people were out there with the hats on,” Westbrook, 45, points out to his wife in a tone of gentle amusement, referring to the wearers of “Make America Great Again” ball caps he’d spotted from the second-story window. Fairchild was “happier” not even knowing about the nearby spectacle, notes Schlapman, 47.

Indeed, the polarizing scene down the street clashes with the convivial conversation, fueled by paper cups of red wine, about the ability of music — in particular, country-pop like Little Big Town’s, all feathery, four-part harmonies, easy sentimentality and stylistic fluidity — to bring people together. But it also fits right into it: Before Trump came up, the band was discussing how the combination of politics and social media feeds an ugly impulse, as Westbrook says, to “tear people down.

Little Big Town is hardly radical in the context of pop music, and while it’s often compared to Fleetwood Mac, its four members agreeably sharing two tour buses — as they do now, with spouses and preadolescent kids in tow — is a far cry from the cocaine-dusted, partner-trading ’70s exploits of John, Stevie, Lindsey, Mick and Christine. Lindsey Buckingham even told them that they were wise to limit the romantic pairings in the group to the one between Westbrook and Fairchild. (The two have a son. Schlapman is married with two daughters, and Sweet, 43, has a daughter with his wife.)

But in Music City, LBT is unique: It’s a coed vocal group that’s progressive but not polarizing and as steeped in soft-rock smoothness as it is in country’s core values of rootedness and authenticity. “They don’t sound like anybody else,” says Vince Gill, who asked them to sing harmony on his 2016 album Down to My Last Bad Habit. “In the history of country music, there’s nobody like them.” At this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards, LBT won vocal group of the year — its fourth win in the category.

The act is also open to — and adept at — reaching across musical aisles. It has performed with Ariana Grande; covered Alicia Keys, Oasis and Katy Perry; and in major TV appearances been called upon to honor both David Bowie and (at the 2017 Grammys, where it appeared twice) the Bee Gees. In 2016, LBT released a surprise album, Wanderlust, produced by hip-hop wizard Pharrell Williams, and while on tour, played Beyoncé’s Lemonade on repeat. When Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks stole the show at last November’s Country Music Association Awards, the whole band was thrilled. Sweet, who says he found the backlash to the genre-bridging performance “bizarre,” remembers thinking, “‘Man, country is legit right now.’

In other words, nearly 20 years since it initially formed and 15 since it released its first album, Little Big Town is not only Nashville royalty — with eight top 10 country singles, three No. 1 country albums and a 2016 Ryman Auditorium residency, the first in the history of the venue, among its credits — but a designated ambassador to the wider music universe. “Little Big Town fits a broader stage because of their musicality,” says Cindy Mabe, president of Universal Music Group Nashville. “They have the ability to bend genres and appeal to worldwide audiences.” The band’s Jay Joyce produced latest album, The Breaker, debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in late February and includes the group’s most recent hit, “Better Man,” which was written by none other than country-pop crossover queen Taylor Swift.

But it was “Girl Crush,” LBT’s No. 18 Billboard Hot 100 hit from 2015, that first won the band mainstream recognition — and also encapsulates how it (gently) challenges Nashville pieties. (Music Row aces Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose wrote the song.) Some radio listeners were scandalized by the lyrics, sung by Fairchild, in which a jealous woman fantasizes about her female rival. “We were secretly hoping people would use their brain power a little better and listen to the whole song, as opposed to just shut it off after they hear this one thing,” says Sweet. It wasn’t even the allusion to same-sex attraction that had the group concerned ahead of the single’s release: The song is a ballad with a 6/8 time signature. “Just the sheer tempo was controversial” for country radio — then dominated by rowdier party tracks — says Fairchild.

The intrigue over “Girl Crush,” naturally, helped attract pop fans. The track also won LBT two Grammys, for best country song and best country duo/group performance. “We ran into pop artists at the Grammys that had never given the band a look,” says Sweet. “Nick Jonas loved ‘Girl Crush.’

In 1998, Fairchild and Schlapman, friends from their time together in a choir at Alabama’s Samford University, handpicked Westbrook and Sweet to round out a coed quartet. The vision, which Fairchild now describes as “barefoot in Saint Laurent,” was to blend down-home warmth with decadent harmonies. LBT quickly joined the new-artist circuit with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, who began racking up hits while the quartet watched first one, then another label deal disintegrate. The band weathered divorces — Fairchild’s and Sweet’s — the sudden death of Schlapman’s first husband and new marriages all around.

It wasn’t until LBT had secured an enterprising new manager, Jason Owen, and signed with its third label, Capitol Nashville, that it finally scored a Hot Country Songs No. 1: the lighthearted 2012 summer jam “Pontoon,” its 13th single. And it was years into its recording career before it began writing songs that singled out perspectives from one gender and developed its arrangements into showcases for individual voices in the group. It’s most often Fairchild out front, but during the course of an album, everyone gets their chance.

We try to look for ways to show the individual talents, because we’re proud of each other,” says Sweet. It’s his low, grainy timbre that anchors the vocal blend. Schlapman’s twang supplies effervescence at the high end; she’s by far the most Southern-sounding in the bunch. (She’s also the one with the Southern cooking show — not to mention a nimbus of blond curls that might be the group’s most distinctive visual element.) Westbrook has a smooth tenor that sits closest to Fairchild’s broody alto.

They write from the perspective of the melody and how the harmonies will work together,” says Lori McKenna, who has written numerous songs for the band. “The way they line up the harmonies and the words is magic.

Theirs is an egalitarian outfit, but one shaped by the personas of the two women who got the ball rolling. Westbrook calls Fairchild, a fashionista who launched a Macy’s clothing line in 2016, “our big-city girl.” “Being Southern doesn’t mean you’re stupid,” says Fairchild, who was born in Gary, Ind., but like the rest of her bandmates has spent most of her life below the Mason-Dixon line. “And being a woman in country music doesn’t mean that you’re simpleminded. You can be a complex, powerful businesswoman — and there’s a lot of that in this business. We have a lot of role models.
The male members of LBT, maintains Westbrook with a wry grin, “don’t have side projects.” He’s the least serious of the four, or at least, the one most easily amused by face-warping Snapchat filters. Sweet, on the other hand, has the mindful air of an introvert who has learned to speak up, though he has a knack for entertaining the children with hand puppets — adults, too, when the whiskey comes out on the bus late at night.

All of their families travel with them. At this point, Schlapman’s the only one with a baby, her recently adopted daughter Dolly Grace, onboard. The three oldest children treat one another like siblings and regularly commander the green room for impromptu performances by their own band, Little Big Kids. Schlapman’s and Sweet’s daughters Daisy and Penelopi write folk songs together and strum an acoustic guitar flat across their laps like an Appalachian dulcimer. “Daisy’s dying for us to cut a Christmas record, because she has a song to pitch to us,” says Schlapman.

Lately, Westbrook and Fairchild’s son Elijah has been telling them he prefers Bruno Mars and INXS to country. But he’s hardly impervious to his parents’ musical world. A couple of weeks ago, Fairchild caught him practicing hip-thrusting dance moves. “I said, ‘Where did you learn that?’ ” she says. “And he goes, ‘That’s my Luke Bryan dance.’ Thanks, Luke.

It’s Swift, meanwhile, that LBT has to thank for its latest hit. She emailed Sweet “Better Man,” an anguished confession of a woman reflecting on her ex’s callousness, in 2016. That Swift, who’s not in the habit of offering her compositions to other artists, chose Little Big Town as her conduit back to the country airwaves says all one needs to know about the group’s current stature. Even so, the act got her blessing to play coy about its authorship for a bit — crediting it to a “young singer- songwriter from Nashville” — lest the song’s impact be overshadowed by people fixated on figuring out which of Swift’s former flings had inspired it. “Better Man” was beginning its climb up the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts when LBT admitted Swift wrote it, and a slew of Swifties were turned on to the band.

Little Big Town’s latest single, “Happy People,” is about the closest the group has gotten to a pointed political statement, which is to say, not close at all — Westbrook says the song is “a statement about humanity.” With their breezy delivery, Fairchild and her bandmates suggest that living in a world of difference isn’t a zero-sum game, that coexisting can actually add to people’s sense of well-being. “Here’s to whatever puts a smile on your face/Whatever makes you happy, people,” sings Fairchild.

There’s probably not a house in America that’s not divided right now, disagreeing about things going on in the country,” she says. “If you can’t learn to look across the table and go, ‘I love you and I totally disagree with you, but hey, let’s have a glass of wine…’” she trails off.

Why is it now OK to say horrible things about people?” echoes Schlapman, lamenting the venomous tone of social media. “Why is it now normal?

Because they didn’t go to Camp Elegance,” Fairchild shoots back, eliciting laughter. “They didn’t go to Mr. Manners class like we all did.” “Hashtag ‘bring back manners,’” says Schlapman.

Source: Billboard

New Single: ‘Happy People’

Reigning ACM Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town hit the stage last night at the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards for an uplifting performance of “Happy People,” the new single off their chart-topping latest album, The Breaker. Following “one of the most memorable performances of the 2017 ACM Awards” (Billboard), the “fearless foursome” (HITS Magazine) earned their fourth ACM for Vocal Group of the Year. This year’s nomination for ACM Vocal Group of the Year marked the Platinum-selling artists’ 23rd career Academy of Country Music award nomination.

Written by Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters, “Happy People” has already earned critical acclaim and early radio support as one of the most-added songs this week at country radio, and is the follow up single to Little Big Town’s multi-week No. 1 at Country radio, “Better Man.”

Tim Roberts, VP of Country Programming for CBS Radio calls the song “sunshine on the speakers with a positive message and LBT summertime fun…it all adds up to another big hit!” and Taste of Country notes, “more than anything, ‘Happy People’ just feels good.”

Buy the song on iTunes or listen to it on Spotify

Academy of Country Music Awards 2017 – ACM 2017 (Videos)

Winning “Vocal Group of the Year”

Backstage after winning

Performing ‘Happy People’

Thanx to LBTMedia for sharing the DailyMotion videos.

LBT to appear on Sesame Street on HBO

Reigning ACM Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town will be making a special stop before heading to the Academy of Country Music Awards this weekend.

The band will visit the award-winning program, Sesame Street, which will air (April 29th, 2017) on HBO in episode 4717 titled “Bike Shop with a Beat”.

The band performs “I is for Instruments.

LBT launching their own wine

Life is about the journey and the people that you meet along the way.
4 is the newest Washington wine that developed from the friendship of Little Big Town and the family behind Walla Walla based winery, Browne Family Vineyards.

COMING EARLY SUMMER 2017

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LBT open up about their new album (Video)

Some of the biggest names in country music made an appearance at the CMC Rocks QLD festival over the weekend.

The Dixie Chicks, Lee Kernaghan, The Mcclymonts, Adam Harvey and Little Big Town all performed in front of a sell-out crowd of 15,000 people.

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the event and Grammy award-winning band Little Big Town hit the stage on Saturday night.

It’s the bands first time in Australia and the Emmy award-winning group sat down with Sky News to discuss their new album, The Breaker.

Source: SkyNews.com.au

Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes to headline Stadium of Fire

Stadium of Fire lit the fuse toward ticket sales with the announcement Wednesday morning that Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes will be the musical acts headlining this year’s event at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Grammy Award-winners Little Big Town will be the overall headliner and are appearing on the heels of the release of their new album, “The Breaker,” in February.

“We feel thrilled about Little Big Town coming to Stadium of Fire,” said Paul Warner, executive director of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo, in a news release. “They are the reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year. They just recently won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Country Group. And their single “Better Man,” written by Taylor Swift for the group, has already sold half a million copies in less than six months. I don’t think there’s anyone hotter right now.”

Little Big Town is composed of four members — Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook. The country stars first hit the music scene 18 years ago. The band has achieved big success behind No. 1 singles “Pontoon,” “Tornado” and “Girl Crush” (the best-selling country single of 2015), and the recent “Better Man.”

Little Big Town has an impressive list of awards, winning Best Country Group/Duo Performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards along with “Girl Crush,” which won the grammy that year for Best Country Song. The group also was recently honored by the Academy of Country Music for Vocal Group of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year with Miranda Lambert, along with earning the Crystal Milestone Award. Additionally, the band was honored as the 2016 Music Business Association Artist of the Year in 2016.

Hayes will be handling the undercard duties at Stadium of Fire. The 25-year-old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hit it big with his debut album in 2011. The self-titled debut record reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 as well as going to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. Hayes not only co-wrote every song, he also played every instrument and co-produced the album. His smash single “Wanted” hit No. 1 on the Country Songs chart, making him, at 20 years old, the youngest solo male act to achieve that distinction.

Other hits by Hayes include “I Want Crazy” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak.” On Sept. 9, in conjunction with his 25th birthday, Hayes released three new songs from his as-yet-untitled forthcoming album. The three songs are “Yesterday’s Song,” “Young Blood” and “Amen.”

“There’s a lot of love for Hunter Hayes in this community,” Warner said. “He’s such a tremendous talent and will add so much to the show. We’re so pleased that he will be joining us on July 1 — the show wouldn’t be complete without him.”

Tickets to Stadium of Fire will go on sale to the general public on Friday at 9 a.m. at the BYU Marriott Center ticket office and online at stadiumoffire.com. Members of the Freedom Festival email list will have the option to buy tickets beginning Thursday. Visit stadiumoffire.com if you wish to sign up for advance ticket opportunities.

This year’s Stadium of Fire will take place on July 1, a Saturday, and will be the feature event of the city’s full Freedom Festival schedule.

Stadium of Fire is entering its 37th year. Little Big Town and Hayes should fit right in, as Stadium of Fire has primarily featured country music acts throughout most of its history. The event, which celebrates independence and love of country, also will be televised to over 1 million military men and women in more than 100 countries via the Armed Forces Network.

Source: www.heraldextra.com

LBT, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan will headline Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam

Little Big Town, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan will co-headline this year’s Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, Fox News can exclusively announce.

Fans can watch the country superstars at the three-day music festival in Panama City Beach, Florida this Labor Day weekend, September 1-3, 2017.

Previous performers include Eric Church, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley.

Tickets go on sale April 2.

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