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More Interesting facts
Taylor Swift has now sold a quarter of a million copies of Speak Now World Tour her live CD/DVD set. Making it gold as a ‘recording package’ and well over platinum as a ‘video package’).

Chris Young’s Neon has now sold over a quarter of a million copies itself. With a couple more hits, Gold is likely in this album’s future as well.

Martina McBride has now sold 140,000 copies of Eleven as “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” moves up the charts to the Top 10 and beyond.

The Civil Wars have now sold over 265,000 copies of the Grammy-nominated Barton Hollow.

Hunter Hayes’ self-titled debut album has now sold nearly 70,000 copies and we expect that number to exponentially grow this year as he leaps from talented up and comer to full-fledged star.

David Nail’s The Sound of A Million Dreams returns to the Top 200 SoundScan Albums chart this week at #165 and the singer, which has this week’s #1 single in “Let It Rain” (a song which features Sarah Buxton), has now sold nearly 40,000 copies of the record. Like Hunter, we expect those sales numbers to drastically increase as Nail’s follow-up singles run up the charts.

Sara Evans, who has had a strong come-back with Stronger, has now sold nearly 349,000 copies of her album.


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Complete list of 2012 CMT Music Awards nominees:

USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year
 Lauren Alaina -- "Georgia Peaches"
 Brantley Gilbert -- "Country Must Be Country Wide"
 Hunter Hayes -- "Storm Warning"
 Scotty McCreery -- "The Trouble With Girls"
 Pistol Annies -- "Hell on Heels"
 Thompson Square -- "I Got You"

 Collaborative Video of the Year
 Best video that featured a special collaborative appearance by artists; awarded to the artists (individual, group or duo)

 Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter -- "You and Tequila"
 Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwood -- "Remind Me"
 Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield -- "Easy"
 Lionel Richie With Shania Twain -- "Endless Love"
 Taylor Swift Featuring the Civil Wars -- "Safe & Sound"
 Zac Brown Band Featuring Jimmy Buffett -- "Knee Deep"

 CMT Performance of the Year
 (Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT)

 Jason Aldean -- "Tattoos on This Town" from 2011 CMT Artists of the Year
 Lady Antebellum -- "Dancin' Away With My Heart" from 2011 CMT Artists of the Year
 Little Big Town -- "Fix You" from Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert
 Blake Shelton -- "Footloose" from Invitation Only: Blake Shelton
 Sting and Vince Gill -- "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" from CMT Crossroads: Sting and Vince Gill
 Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood -- "Just a Dream/Dream On" from CMT Crossroads: Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood From the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam


’Red’ Alert: Taylor Swift to sell 1 million in first week.


Taylor Swift is poised to become the first female artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991 to present) to have a pair of albums sell more than a million units in a single week.
 According to industry sources, first-day sales for "Red" (Monday, Oct. 22) surpassed 500,000 units, including a record opening day sum at Target, as the mass-merchant scored exclusive rights to the album's deluxe version which includes three additional songs and three remixes. According to sources, Target shifted more than 160,000 units.
 The Red Alert - Taylor Swift 
 Though not confirmed, unit sales at the iTunes Music Store appears to have also been record-setting. The digital retailer reportedly accounted for nearly half of all units sold on "Red's" first day of availability. With that start, "Red" should break the first-week iTunes sales mark, recently set by Mumford & Sons "Babel," which moved roughly 390,000 units just three weeks ago, according to those in the know.

From This Week's Billboard: How Taylor Swift's 'Red' Is Getting A Boost From Branding Mega-Deals

Swifts last studio set, "Speak Now," debuted on the Billboard 200 chart dated Nov. 13, 2010, with 1.047 million units. Only one album since that date, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (1.108 million) has surpassed 1 million units in a single week. Gaga's final number was aided by Amazon MP3's sale pricing of the set at 99 cents for two days during release week.
 If "Red" reaches 1 million units in the current SoundScan sales week (which concludes this Sunday, Oct. 28), it will be the 18th album in the Nielsen era to reach that magical seven-figure threshold.
 Only three acts have ever surpassed 1 million units in a sales frame with a pair of albums: Backstreet Boys ("Millenium" in 1999 and "Black & Blue" in 2000), 'N Sync ("No Strings Attached" in 2000 and "Celebrity" in 2001) and Eminem ("The Marshall Mathers LP" in 2000 and "The Eminem Show" in 2002).
 Final numbers will be announced next Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, although Billboard will update the sales progress of "Red" throughout the week.

The Band Perry Well Over Platinum

The Band Perry continue to sell units of their self-titled album and like Aldean, they’re more than likely to release a new record in 2012. Eric Church’s Chief is #7 on this week’s SoundScan Top Current Country Albums chart and has now sold 554,000 copies. The album is likely to score a Platinum certification at some point this year, particularly with big hit “Springsteen” likely to follow sure to be #1 next week “Drink In My Hand” (Which would be E.C.’s first #1) as a single. Taylor Swift’s “Ours” is currently rising up the charts while she’s less than 70,000 copies away from having Speak Now scan past the 4x Platinum mark. She too, like Aldean and The Band Perry  will be releasing a new record some point in the year. Miranda Lambert’s late fall release Four The Record is well on its way to becoming a Gold album and will eventually hit Platinum (her three other albums have as well). Speaking of Gold, it’s a mark that Brantley Gilbert’s major label debut album Halfway To Heaven (Deluxe Edition) has nearly achieved. With “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” getting better buzz than #1 single “Country Must Be Country Wide,” Gilbert’s future prospects for Gold/Platinum seem very strong as well


Martina McBride - Eleven
There’s never been any doubt of Martina McBride’s vocal ability. In fact, it’s a great reason for why she became a country star to begin with. And while she’s gained a “rep” for being somebody who will sing social issue types of songs, she’s really always sang songs that just touched upon life issues and if that life issue happened to be about domestic violence (“Independence Day,” “A Broken Wing”), child abuse (“Love’s The Only House”) depression (“When God Fearing Women Get The Blues”) or cancer (current single “I’m Gonna Love You Through It), so be it. It’s just the kind of songs she’s always been drawn to and to be honest, I often love these “mini-movie” songs too.

Carrie Under - Billboard Cover

Yet perusing the Hot Country Songs chart in any given week, it's obvious women are in the minority. Underwood, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert consistently fare well, but for most female artists, country radio is an uphill battle. Country programmers "are reacting to their research," Overton says. "I don't know why listeners don't want to hear as many females. All you can do is find compelling music, which, obviously, Carrie has delivered."

Clay Hunnicutt, senior VP of programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, considers Underwood's believability as key to her winning streak.

 "She knows exactly who she is, what she's about, what her fans want and expect, and then she delivers it like very few can," he says. "She is a clear and present woman of substance. If you think about some of the greatest women in country music, past and present -- Loretta [Lynn], Martina [McBride], Reba [McEntire], Taylor [Swift], Miranda [Lambert] and Carrie -- they are all women of substance. It's not a story that has been created to fabricate a career. Carrie is not fake . . . She's married, lives her life like she says she does, is serious when she needs to be, and then shows her sense of humor and style when the times call for it."

Hunnicutt is a big fan of Underwood's new single. "I really love it, great energy," he says. "It shows off Carrie's voice in multiple places, while also having a good ebb and flow in the song that treats you like you're on a roller coaster. It comes out of the gate fast with a jolt, then slows a little to climb back up, then back down the other side at 100 mph."

KRTY San Jose, Calif., GM Nate Deaton notes Underwood's overall commitment to country and her willingness to embrace the format. "Carrie has kind of grown up with us. Go back and compare [first single] 'Inside Your Heaven' to 'Good Girl,'" he says. "She has always been, first and foremost, a country artist."


Album Review: Miranda Lambert - Four The Record

Country Music is littered with artists the mainstream created and then never really knew what to do with. Miranda Lambert is one of those. She is not quite an Outlaw, but rather a reminder that Outlaw was a marketing term in the 1970’s that has been corrupted into a gimmick today. She is a much more complicated sort of rebMiranda Lambertel. Like The Dixie Chicks before her she created a packag e that fuses the kind of hardco re country older fans have missed with the kind of post Cosmopolitan attitude that younger women crave with a media friendly appearance. And like The Chicks, she comes complete with rough edges that don’t fit well into the image of a safe, clean role model. Miranda Lambert has had some issues with the mainstream, with her angry, violent songs and, oddly enough, her weight. However, as she releases her fourth album, pop culture may well be on Miranda Lambert’s side. Disney has put a hold on their once popular series of Princess themed movies and The Hunger Games, with its ferocious heroine Katniss, stands poised to take their place. With Four the Record, Miranda Lambert may have just become the female superstar country music needs


Complete list of 2012 CMT Music Awards nominees:

 Video of the Year
 Jason Aldean -- "Dirt Road Anthem"
 Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter -- "You and Tequila"
 Toby Keith -- "Red Solo Cup"
 Lady Antebellum -- "We Owned the Night"
 Miranda Lambert -- "Over You"
 Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwood -- "Remind Me"
 Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield -- "Easy"
 Blake Shelton -- "God Gave Me You"
 Taylor Swift Featuring the Civil Wars -- "Safe & Sound"
 Carrie Underwood -- "Good Girl"

 Male Video of the Year
 Jason Aldean -- "Dirt Road Anthem"
 Luke Bryan -- "I Don't Want This Night to End"
 Eric Church -- "Drink in My Hand"
 Toby Keith -- "Red Solo Cup"
 Blake Shelton -- "God Gave Me You"
 Keith Urban -- "Long Hot Summer"

 Female Video of the Year
 Sara Evans -- "My Heart Can't Tell You No"
 Miranda Lambert -- "Over You"
 Martina McBride -- "I'm Gonna Love You Through It"
 Kellie Pickler -- "Tough"
 Taylor Swift -- "Ours"
 Carrie Underwood -- "Good Girl"

 Group Video of the Year

 Eli Young Band -- "Crazy Girl"
 Lady Antebellum -- "We Owned the Night"
 Pistol Annies -- "Hell on Heels"
 Rascal Flatts -- "Banjo"
 The Band Perry -- "All Your Life"
 Zac Brown Band -- "Keep Me in Mind"

 Duo Video of the Year
 Love and Theft -- "Angel Eyes"
 Montgomery Gentry -- "Where I Come From"
 Sugarland -- "Tonight"
 The Civil Wars -- "Poison and Wine"
 Thompson Square -- "Glass"
 Thompson Square -- "I Got You"

All Country Music news with my thanks to Roughstock. The pulse of what’s happening in Country Music.





George Strait has decided to stop touring end of 2014.

When George Strait announced The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, his final structured series of tour dates, he chose the specific cities he’ll visit carefully. He’ll stop in 40 cities over the next two years to say farewell.

“These are cities that we have gone to a lot over the years,” he said. “We just tried to pick the ones that were somewhat special to us and to just go and be able to say thanks. We start out in Lubbock. We’re going to go up there and play for a bunch of Red Raiders, that’s always fun. We always enjoy playing Lubbock. We’re going to end this next year in my hometown of San Antonio at the Alamo Dome so that’ll be a great night also.”

George’s Ace In the Hole band has been with him throughout most of his career. Breaking the news that they were embarking on their last stretch of dates was hard, but it wasn’t a complete surprise to the band, either.

“I think they had it in the back of their minds,” George said. “It’s not like it’s going to happen tomorrow. Two years is a long time. We’ve got 40 dates to do in the next two years and they’re going to be so much fun. The band and I will have a lot of time to visit in that time about what we’re going to do after that.”

George chose to name his tour after his 1985 hit of the same name. He’s closed his shows with the song for years, making it the perfect final tour name. “It’s an obvious play on words,” he said. “You know, cowboy rides away. I can’t think of another song title that would be any better.”

JAN 18 | Lubbock, Texas | United Spirit Arena
JAN 19 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Chesapeake Energy Arena
JAN 25 | Salt Lake City, Utah | Energy Solutions Arena
JAN 26 | Nampa, Idaho | Idaho Center
JAN 31 | Sacramento, Calif. | Power Balance Pavilion
FEB 1 | Fresno, Calif. | Save Mart Center
FEB 2 | Las Vegas, Nev. | MGM Grand Garden Arena
FEB 15 | St. Paul, Minn. | Xcel Energy Center
FEB 16 | Grand Forks, N.D. | The Alerus Center
FEB 22 | Buffalo, N.Y. | First Niagara Center
FEB 23 | Hartford, Conn. | XL Center

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