Fans of both country music and college football will be the first to tell you that the two go hand in hand – just like beer and hot dogs. So this year, before they settle in their seats to see who will win the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship, fans will be able to celebrate the biggest college football weekend of the year with the first ever CMT ULTIMATE KICKOFF PARTY LIVE FROM THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, a live television special premiering on CMT on Friday, January 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The concert special marks a first-time partnership with CMT and College Football Playoff and is the kickoff entertainment event at the national championship playoff weekend. Superstars Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich and Brett Eldredge are scheduled to perform in the live 90-minute special, being broadcast from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. More artists will soon be announced.
From his first No. 1 smash "Should've Been A Cowboy" to his latest release Drinks After Work, Toby Keith has been one of the most consistent self-directed hit makers of his era. From one of his previous collections, Clancy's Tavern, the lead single, "Made In America," topped the charts as one of the fastest rising songs in a long line of chart burners from Keith's pen. The second hit, "Red Solo Cup," has become the most remarkable and commercially successful country single in recent memory with a viral video with more than 30 million views while having topped the top downloaded country songs charts. His latest single, "Drunk Americans," debuted at No. 1 Most Added on both the Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase charts. At the core of Toby's unparalleled success is his songwriting, which has powered an astounding succession of hit songs to the tune of more than 85 million BMI performances on commercial radio stations worldwide. He has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International with its Songwriter/Artist of the Decade distinction, is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year and was named the American Country Awards' Artist of the Decade. His albums have sold more than 38 million copies, ranking him among the top-selling all-genre artists on Billboard's Top 200 Artists of the Decade. Keith is also Billboard's No. 1 Country Artist of the Decade and No. 1 Country Songwriter of the Decade. His tours, including 2014's Shut Up And Hold On Tour, long sponsored by Ford Trucks, have drawn more than one million fans each year for the last decade. His roster of I Love This Bar And Grill restaurants continues to grow, and his signature spirit Wild Shot has become the No. 1 premium mezcal in the U.S. These, among other endeavors, have earned Keith annual recognition from Forbes as one of the very top-earning entertainer/musicians in the world. But Toby's most rewarding experiences, as exhibited in his continual devotion to them, come from giving back. Whether it's helping sick children and their families in his native Oklahoma through the Toby Keith Foundation and their cost-free home, the Ok Kids Korral, or supporting US Troops including USO Tours throughout the world, Keith has never lost touch with the most important things in life.
Seven-time GRAMMY winning group Lady Antebellum recently released their fifth studio album, 747. The 11-song disc has already spawned the PLATINUM certified multi-week chart-topping smash hit “Bartender,” and its new single “Freestyle” is quickly climbing the charts. The new album follows over 11 million albums sold worldwide, nine trips to No. one on the country radio charts, six Platinum singles and “Vocal Group of the Year” honors from both the CMA and ACMs three years in a row. Lady A just wrapped their headlining TAKE ME DOWNTOWN TOUR, which hit 80 cities in Canada and the US over the course of the year and delighted both fans and critics with the Dallas Morning News declaring "Lady Antebellum shows off its warranted leap to superstardom." For more information and a full list of appearances visit: www.ladyantebellum.com.
Big & Rich is comprised of Big Kenny and The Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich. The multi-platinum hit duo have garnered multiple GRAMMY, ACM, CMA and CMT Music Award nominations and were nominated as the 2014 ACM Vocal Duo of the Year. Their current single "Look At You" which is racing up the charts is from their newly released studio album, Gravity. The country superstars' first studio album, Horse of a Different Color, includes their hit infectious single, "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)." Other hits include, "Comin to Your City," "8th of November" and their #1 hit "Lost in this Moment." "Comin to Your City" is nearing a decade as the theme song for ESPN s “College GameDay” show.
CMA New Artist of the Year Brett Eldredge has always been drawn to singers, a fact that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s heard the Illinois native’s soulful, distinctive baritone. With a Country Music Association Award, Academy of Country Music Awards’ nominations, and back-to-back #1 singles with “Don’t Ya” and “Beat of the Music”, Eldredge is finally getting the chance to share a story of his own. His debut album, Bring You Back, has garnered rave reviews from critics and fans alike with People Magazine recently citing him as the only country artist in their “Ones To Watch,” issue. His current single, “Mean To Me,” is quickly climbing the charts. He’s co-writer on 10 of the albums 12 songs, including “Don’t Ya,” “Beat Of The Music,” and “Mean To Me.”
The inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship is on January 12, 2015, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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John Hamlin and Margaret Comeaux are executive producers for CMT and Amy Lin Johnson is producer.
The Country Radio Broadcasters have announced Lady Antebellum as the recipient of the CRS 2015 Artist Humanitarian Award, to be presented during the opening ceremonies of Country Radio Seminar on Feb. 25, 2015.The CRB Artist Humanitarian Award was created in 1990 by the organization’s board to honor those Country music artists who have exhibited exceptional humanitarian efforts during their career. Past recipients of the annual award have included Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Trace Adkins, Randy Owen, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Reba, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks and Charlie Daniels, among others.CRS President Charlie Morgan stated, "It is always humbling and inspiring to learn of the great work that Country Artists do behind the scenes to share the many blessings and gifts that come with fame and stardom. I would argue no format has a more generous group of artists than we do and at CRS 2015 we will pay special tribute to one of the best, Lady Antebellum with our Artist Humanitarian Award."Since the beginning of their career, Charles, Dave and Hillary of Lady Antebellum have used their music and their likeness to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it was their most recent week-long 7FOR7 campaign where they traveled across the country to surprise and fulfill seven wishes for seven fans in seven days; to taking on rebuilding a flood damaged elementary school in Kingston Springs or lifting the spirits of the community of Henryville, IN by performing at their high school after tornadoes ravaged the town, raising more than $240,000 for them; to raising money for at-risk youth, Lady Antebellum has been there to lend not only their voices and time, but also their hearts and money to make a difference.In December of 2012, Lady Antebellum established LadyAID, through which they continue to raise money and support kids in need on a local, national and global level through Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, and myLIFEspeaks. Armed with this overwhelming passion to help kids everywhere, Hillary Scott has spent time in Haitian orphanages helping to rebuild and serve the children. Charles Kelley has hosted his own golf tournament to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and his father’s John W Kelley MD Cardiovascular Endowment at University Health Care Foundation. And Dave, along with Charles and Hillary, established a ping-pong challenge called Ping Pong & Songs during CMA Music Fest to benefit the children supported through LadyAID (a component fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee).In addition, Lady Antebellum will be featured panelists on “How 3 Become 1: Lady Antebellum.” The panel, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26, will discuss how the three balance their talents and creativity to form one song, one album, and ultimately, one band. The morning show hosts, PDs and OM/GMs in the seminar know how hard it can be to take a group of creative people and get them to work towards one goal. They will find out what Lady Antebellum does to achieve this every day. This is a rare opportunity to see how a group of very creative people successfully navigate this process and make decisions as one band.Charlie Morgan adds about their panel participation, "Part of what makes CRS so powerful is the very unique relationship between radio and artists in the country format. Nowhere does the interaction happen with more frequency and intensity than at CRS each year. In 2015, Lady Antebellum will give us all rare access to their lives and their individual perspectives on being a part of one of the most successful bands in our format today”
Lady A and Gavin DeGraw are slated to perform on “Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015” live from Music City’s New Year’s Eve Bash on Broadway in downtown Nashville! They join the biggest live music celebration in show history featuring over 38 performances and 5½ hours of music. “Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015” will air on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31 beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Television Network.
The bi-coastal celebration will include hours of special performances and reports on New Year’s celebrations from around the globe. Ryan Seacrest will lead the traditional countdown to midnight, and before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, global music sensation Taylor Swift will perform live for over 1 million fans in Times Square.
“Being included in such an iconic music event like Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve further strengthens the Music City brand and Nashville as a destination,” said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “We have seen the Jack Daniel’s Bash on Broadway grow tremendously, and its inclusion on a national show is a natural extension of its growth and popularity. Lady A and Gavin DeGraw are great representatives of the music in our city, and we are excited to have them headline the night in Nashville.”