Many country artists have been making headlines as of late, including Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood who are set to return as hosts for the 47th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards on Nov. 6 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The 2013 edition will mark the sixth straight time the country stars have served as hosts for the show. As artists, Paisley has taken home 14 CMA Awards since 2000, while Underwood has earned 15 nominations and five wins since her debut in 2006. Nominees will be announced in September.
New Albums from Luke Bryan, Keith Urban
Luke Bryan’s fourth studio album, “Crash My Party,” at last became available for purchase on Aug. 13. The eponymous single was released back on April 7 and peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s US Country Songs chart. Earlier this year, Bryan won the Academy of Country Music Awards’ honor for Entertainer of the Year, while his compilation release, “Spring Break…Here to Party,” became his first career No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in March. Additionally, his ongoing Dirt Road Diaries Tour has been a hit as well, with many dates still remaining through October.
In other country music news, Keith Urban’s latest album, “Fuse,” is scheduled to arrive on Sept. 10. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Urban admitted he was hoping to create his own personal “Achtung Baby,” referring to the popular 1991 U2 album that effectively reinvented the band’s sound by incorporating new influences. The first single, “Little Bit of Everything,” was released on May 13 and features elements of electronic music.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Extend Las Vegas Residency
The married country music team of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill spent 10 weeks at The Venetian in Las Vegas last year, but they’re not quite ready to hang up their hats just yet. The couple recently announced that the Soul2Soul Tour will return for a series of new performances at the Venetian starting Oct. 25. The residency is currently scheduled to run through April 12, but performances will come in sporadic sets of Friday-Saturday performances over the course of six months.
Darius Rucker Boulevard Paves Road in Charleston, SC
Hootie and the Blowfish frontman and breakthrough country star Darius Rucker was recently honored with his own street in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. “Darius Rucker Boulevard” leads up to the nearby North Charleston Coliseum, where Hootie and the Blowfish previously played during its ‘90s hey-day. Rucker’s solo country career has proven immensely successful, as his last three albums peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Country charts, and his latest album’s lead single, “Wagon Wheel,” peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Country Songs chart.