Oklahoma natives Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert perform ‘Over You’ during the live elimination episode.
By Natasha Chandel
Oklahoma natives Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert perform ‘Over You’ during the live elimination episode.
By Natasha Chandel
The East Coast is only just beginning to recover from Sandy’s wrath, but nothing is going to stop country music’s biggest night. Hosted by country royalty such as Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley for the fifth consecutive year, the 46th annual CMA Awards will air live Thursday (November 1) at 8 p.m. ET/PT from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. This year, however, we may be seeing a little less cowboy boots and a few more pop superstars strutting down the red carpet.
Taylor Swift, whose fourth studio album, Red, sold 1.21 million copies in its first week, is competing in three categories tomorrow night: Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year. Swift took home Female Vocalist of the Year in 2009, but she’s got some stiff competition this year with Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and a couple American Idol alums.
“American Idol” is making quite a grand showing on the Bridgestone Arena‘s red carpet tomorrow night. Aside from host Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson is also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and we’ll be seeing Kellie Pickler as one of the evening’s presenters.
“The Voice” coach Blake Shelton is up for Song of the Year for “God Gave Me You,” Single of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.
But we’re most looking forward to a rather unlikely CMA appearance — Snoop Dogg a.k.a. Snoop Lion, who just premiered his video for “La, La, La,” is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” his collaboration with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson.
Thursday’s roster of performers includes Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, Eli Young Band, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton.
Which CMA Awards performance are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments!
There’s something sweet and sentimental about the old adage that you never forget your major firsts in life — first love, first kiss, first job, etc. That rings especially true when speaking to musicians about the first time they heard a song of theirs played on the radio.
When MTV News headed out to Las Vegas recently for the star-studded iHeartRadio music festival, which will be broadcast Monday night (October 1) on the CW, we asked a few of the show’s headliners to tell us about the first time they heard their jam played on the airwaves.
“The first time I ever heard my song on the radio, I thought I was dreaming, but I was wide awake,” Usher said. “I was in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I turned, and I heard my song.”
“I was stunned,” Gavin DeGraw said of the first time he heard his song “Follow Through.” “I was in the car with a friend and an old song was playing. I was like, ‘I love this song!’ and that song ended and my song came on next. I went, ‘What?’ and got real quiet and said to my friend, ‘Hey, can you turn that up please?’ and I went nuts.”
“Vampire Diaries” double threat Kat Graham didn’t believe what she was hearing at first. “I thought I was playing my own CD,” she explained. “I thought that I was maybe accidentally playing my iPod, and then I realized that I was on the radio, and that’s a crazy experience. Once it’s done, you text everyone you know.”
“I was driving in the car with my mom the first time I heard my song on the radio,” country star Miranda Lambert recalled. “It’s a pull-over-your-car, get-out-and-jump-around moment, something that you dream of when you’re a little girl and you want to be an artist. And that feeling doesn’t go away,” she said. “I’m still excited when I hear myself on the radio.”
The Jonas Brothers also caught themselves on air while on the road. “We were in Cape Cod [Massachusetts], of all places,” Nick Jonas said. “We had a show at the Melody Tent, and after soundcheck, we took a few minutes to go to the beach, and on our way to the beach, we heard the song on the radio, which was pretty exciting for us.”
Grammy winner Ne-Yo might win the award out of this group for most enthusiastic reaction to hearing himself on the radio for the first time, despite the fact that he put himself in danger.
“I was in Los Angeles, California, on the 405 freeway, and anybody that’s watching who knows the 405, you sit still for about two hours on that freeway,” he said. “So I’m stuck in traffic, my song comes on, I jump out of my car and run down the freeway knocking on people’s windows. I don’t remember the station, but I said, ‘Turn it on, turn it on, that’s me!’ I wouldn’t recommend that, because you could die, so I don’t recommend that.”
I’ll admit, speculating over the soundtrack for a movie that began production less than two weeks ago seems premature. But here we are, with buzz already beginning for the sonic accompaniment to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” due in large part to an intriguing tweet from We The Kings frontman Travis Clark (thanks to our friends at Hunger Games Examiner for the heads up).
“Just wrote a song for the Hunger Games soundtrack it sounds effin amazingggg,” he wrote on Wednesday. (I’m assuming he means the “Catching Fire” soundtrack considering “The Hunger Games” soundtrack dropped earlier this year with the movie.) And while there’s no confirmation from Lionsgate whether the song was commissioned, or is being written on spec, or is really a thing at all, it did get us thinking about the artists we’d like to see in the album’s liner notes. And really, if we fans send our suggestions out into the ether now, maybe they can actually be considered! So here are five of my picks for artists I’d like to see on the “Catching Fire” soundtrack:
Florence + The Machine
I’ve been pining for 26-year-old Florence Welch to visit Panem since before the first installment hit theaters in March. The English songstress has such a powerful pair of pipes, and her ethereal ballads lend an air of epic-ness to everything they touch (see: “Snow White and the Huntsman” and the recently released “Beautiful Creatures” trailer). I think we can all agree storytelling doesn’t get much more epic than 24 children battling in a televised death match.
No, this won’t be an entire list of English bands with punctuation marks in the middle of their names. Anyway! The franchise’s first soundtrack leaned heavily on country influences, what with the inclusion of Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and the Secret Sisters. If the film’s music supervisor decides to stick with a similar theme, the rock group’s folk sensibility would be at safe and sound here.
Again with the country. Blake Shelton‘s wife Miranda Lambert and his “The Voice” co-judge Adam Levine (of Maroon 5) both appeared on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack, so he’ll have two artists to ask for tips and advice. Not that he needs to. But still.
Guys, her new single is titled “Girl on Fire.” It doesn’t get more fitting than that. Though Keys was not inspired by Suzanne Collins‘ dystopian tale (she said as much during an interview with Entertainment Weekly), there’s no denying her collaboration with Nicki Minaj is sufficiently inspiring enough to keep our heroine Katniss Everdeen alive in the arena.
Because she can do no wrong.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” hits theaters November 22, 2013.
Which artists do you think should be on the “Catching Fire” soundtrack? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me @amymwilk with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!
Earlier “Hunger Games” columns:
» ‘Catching Fire‘ Ignites: The Scenes We’re Anticipating Most
» Fall Movie Preview: ‘Hunger Games‘ Edition
» ‘Hunger Games‘ DVD Viewing Party: Foxface Has Tips!
» ‘Catching Fire‘: Finnick Is Just One Casting Mystery
» ‘Catching Fire‘ Casting: Who Is Mags?
Wondering who will take the stage at the second annual iHeartRadio Music Festival this year? Well, on Monday (July 9), the A-list-filled roster was announced.
In a press release, Clear Channel confirmed that Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, Rihanna, Usher, Bon Jovi, Lil Wayne, Green Day, Swedish House Mafia, No Doubt, Brad Paisley, Pitbull, deadmau5, Miranda Lambert, Enrique Iglesias, Linkin Park, Jason Aldean, Pink, Mary J. Blige, Calvin Harris and Shakira will all take the stage during the two-day festival. Ryan Seacrest will host.
“The iHeartRadio Music Festival is a unique celebration of music — it’s the biggest names in the industry coming together for an impressive weekend of live entertainment,” Seacrest said in a statement. “The momentum, energy and music experience around the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival was incredible, and I’m excited to be a part of this must-see event.”
More artists are expected to be added to the lineup closer to the show, which will take place on September 21 and 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Tickets for the two-day fest will go on sale on July 14.
“The iHeartRadio Music Festival is the ultimate celebration of what’s hot in all genres of music, from rock, pop and country to electronic dance music, RB and hip-hop,” Tom Poleman, president of Clear Channel national programming and executive producer of the festival, added in the release. “For the first time, fans from across the country will get to see today’s megastars like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Usher on the same stage as legends like Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige and Bon Jovi. I’m sure we’ll have hundreds of memorable moments throughout the festival. It’s the concert line-up of the year for both fans and artists.”
“American Idol” has struggled to produce hit rock and RB stars lately, but the show clearly has a knack for pumping out country acts. Just look at the winner’s circle for Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards ceremony, where “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood took home two major honors and Scotty McCreery went home with some hardware as well.
Underwood, who also performed on the broadcast hosted by Toby Keith and actress Kristen Bell, snagged her third Video of the Year honor for the “Good Girl” clip, and hit the podium once again for Collaborative Video of the Year for her work on the “Rescue Me” video with Brad Paisley.
Underwood’s man, professional hockey player Mike Fisher, played the role of dutiful husband by giving his wife a big hug and kiss when she and Paisley won their award, then held her purse during the acceptance speech. Paisley had some fun, too, wrapping his arms around Fisher before taking the stage and giving him a long hug before thanking, “this beautiful woman for being in the video, or else it’s just a dork walking through the desert.” He concluded, “to my wife at home, there’s nothing between me and Mike,” to which Underwood added, “not yet!”
Season 10 “Idol” champ McCreery continued his winning ways by scoring the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year for “The Trouble With Girls,” which he accepted just hours before his high school graduation ceremony.
Other winners included Luke Bryan for Male Video of the Year for “I Don’t Want This Night To End,” Miranda Lambert for Female Video of the Year for “Over You” and Lady Antebellum for Group Video of the year for “We Owned The Night.”
Bryan was clearly excited about his win, saying, “When you’re at this level of what we do as singers, and your fans vote, it speaks huge volumes and it’s crazy to be fan-voted for an award and win it … I don’t really get caught up in trying to be cool, trying to play a part. I just freaking get so excited about this stuff and I will always enjoy it.”
Lambert’s acceptance speech was one of the most emotional of the night. Celebrating her third straight Female Video win for the song she co-wrote with husband Blake Shelton about the death of his brother, she thanked Shelton’s brother, “from heaven, for inspiring us to write this song.”
Thompson Square accepted the Duo Video of the Year (“I Got You”) and Jason Aldean took home his first belt buckle with CMT Performance of the Year for “Tattoos On This Town.”
The show opened with a bang, with a video bit pitting the hosts against each other in a battle to anchor the show alone that featured cameos from Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make since I’ve been in office, but I decided I want them both,” Obama said when forced to decide between the country star and the actress. Not wanting to offend any potential swing voters, Romney split the difference too, suggesting the pair work together. “See, I just put two people back to work,” he joked.
The show also featured performances from Willie Nelson with Toby Keith, Jamey Johnson, Darius Rucker and Zac Brown Band, as well as Paisley with Hank Williams Jr., Lambert and Journey with Rascal Flatts.
Universal Records added a new artist to their roster Tuesday night (May 8) when Jermaine Paul of Team Blake was named season-two champ during the finale of “The Voice,” which also featured some major star power appearances from the likes of Justin Bieber and Flo Rida.
“I just wanted to say thank you for everyone that voted for me,” the former Alicia Keys backup singer said on the sparkler-filled stage, before giving credit to his wife, children and parents. “God bless y’all, man. Nobody but Jesus, man, nobody!”
It was a close call, as host Carson Daly revealed just moments before the announcement that only a mere 4 percentage points separated Paul and runner-up Juliet Simms.
Kicking off the two-hour episode was a brief contestant introduction with Paul, Simms, singer/songwriter Tony Lucca and classically trained Chris Mann, before segueing into a recap of the previous night’s live final round and some thoughts from each of the judges about their contestant.
But it wouldn’t be a big ol’ finale without some collaborative performances from our season’s favorite former contestants, so Paul rallied up Jamar Rogers, James Massone and Pip to lead the pack on a cover of the Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back.” It was a solid effort that most importantly proved why Paul stands as the last remaining singer of the bunch and won the contest.
After a montage of silly bloopers from the panel (proving that Xtina is surely more than just full of sass) and a quick commercial break, Simms of Team Cee Lo joined Flo Rida for a medley of his singles “Whistle” and “Wild One.” Missing in action was singer Sia, but Simms took over for the Australian crooner’s chorus, temporarily walked away from her rock element and jumped to some fist-pumping Top 40.
Team Xtina’s Chris Mann brought back his lady favorites Lindsey Pavao and Katrina Parker for an appropriate cover of the Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” and the couple complemented Mann’s lively onstage urgency.
It may have been an intense evening for the contestants, but “The Voice” kept the show lighthearted by dedicating an entire segment to Shelton and Levine’s on-camera bromance with highlights of their cutesy interactions. “It is clear that Adam has a crush on me, and Miranda is a little bit jealous, but I think it’s cute,” Shelton joked about wife Miranda Lambert.
Hall Oates were up next to sing their classic “Rich Girl” alongside the men of the evening: Tony, Jermaine and Chris. As the duo jammed out to their 1977 hit, the trio of finalists crooned on the side as background vocalists to the iconic act.
Living out one more performance were former contestants Naia Kete, Cheesa, Kim Yarbrough and Sera Hill with a performance of “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. Full of energy, attitude and smiles, the quartet blended their distinctive voices for a great number. But it wasn’t enough to outshine Juliet Simms‘ group performance alongside Erin Willett, RaeLynn and Jamar Rogers for a cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.” It was the best of the all-star performances and brought all the judges to their feet for standing ovations.
NBC doubled up when they brought some buzz for the season finale of “Parks and Recreation” as Cee Lo took to the set of the comedy sitcom and had the cast cater to his guest appearance and, of course, the famed swivel chair.
Lady Antebellum repped for country music when they appeared for a performance of “Wanted You More,” but the biggest rumble of cheers went to Justin Bieber, who served up a flashy debut performance of his hit “Boyfriend.” As teased a few weeks ago, the teen superstar took the stage for an elaborate production of his lead single. Entering through the floor, the pop singer walked down an alley of bright lights and spent much of the number as the center of attention for a crew of dancers with misty smoke seeping in between his choreography.
Before the Biebster took center stage, Team Adam’s Tony Lucca re-emerged for his main number of the night with Jordis Unga to sing Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” It was a friendly throwback to the competition’s battle rounds, as the two played off each other’s lines and catered to different parts of the stage before joining together for an ending hug.
What did you think of Jermaine winning “The Voice”? Let us know in the comments!
Skylar Laine, the mud-slinging, boot-stomping, gun-shooting country girl, was given the ol’ heave-ho on Thursday night’s “American Idol” after receiving the fewest of nearly 60 million votes.
It was a results night definitely to be reckoned with, considering the show has proven time and time before that country fans are never to be underestimated — think Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and, most recently, Scotty McCreery. In true Southern style, the spit-fire singer went out with guns blazing, leaving the show with a performance of Miranda Lambert‘s “Gunpowder and Lead” and just happy to be embraced by people from her neck of the woods.
“I’m so happy that the South was rooting for me,” Laine explained. “Country fans were rooting for me. That’s all I want. All I want is a country group. Winning would have been great, but I just want to make an album. I want people to buy it. I want to be on the radio.
“Miranda Lambert, my idol, didn’t win ‘Nashville Star.’ She got third, and look at her now — winning everything, pretty much. I’m just so happy to be here. So humble and just so thankful for everything.”
With contestants asked to sing a song from the ’60s as well as a British pop song the night before, Laine seemed to take each challenge head on, with all three judges praising both performances, and even Jimmy Iovine calling her a “fighter” with “great energy.” However, the 18-year-old said goodbye to America after being joined in the bottom two with fellow Southern belle and roommate bestie Hollie Cavanagh. There are no hard feelings, though, said the Mississippi native.
“I love Hollie, and I know Hollie loves me,” she said. “I know she’ll support me in my career, and I’ll support her in hers. I hope that she kills it next week — I hope that they all kill it next week. I’m so happy for them, for them all, and I’m gonna miss her, miss her and Josh a lot.”
With this self-proclaimed singer-songwriter already looking to make a country album, what better way to show her appreciation to her close contenders than by writing a song about their once-in-a-lifetime experience together.
“I think the title for the song that I would write for all of us, all of my fellow contestants, would be ‘Strength’ because we have strength through all of this,” she said, after pondering for a moment. “Strength through the hard times, strength through the happy times, and I’m going to have strength through this.”
So, what’s next? Laine will return to her roots for a little while after a whirlwind of press.
“Next for me now is 4′o clock [a.m.] wake-up call for press tour right now,” she explained with a smile. “So, I’m gonna have to go home and pack really quick. It’s gonna take awhile, but then I just can’t wait to get home.”
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.
Did you agree with Skylar’s elimination? Sound off below!
NEW YORK — Among the celebrities who have spoken out against Chris Brown over the past few weeks, Miranda Lambert became the driving force behind the criticism of the RB singer’s recent Grammy win and performances.
After Brown took the Grammy stage February 12, Lambert shared her disappointment on Twitter that Brown had been handed an award and performed twice, just three years after he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna the night before the 2009 Grammys.
The country superstar’s comments last month certainly didn’t surprise her husband, fellow country singer and “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton, who spoke to MTV News about his wife’s remarks.
“Miranda’s always [outspoken]. If there’s anybody that should be getting a fun, fearless award it’s Miranda,” he told MTV News at Cosmopolitan‘s Fun Fearless Awards, where he was being honored. “She’s not afraid to speak her mind.”
Brown responded to Lambert’s complaints on Twitter, writing, “Using my name to get publicity? I love it! Perform your heart out! Go buy Miranda Lambert album! So motivational and ‘PERFECT’!”
But that didn’t stop Lambert: She later talked about Brown onstage during one of her concerts in February, telling her fans, “I just have to speak my mind, because where I come from, beating up on a woman is never OK. So that’s why my daddy taught me early on in life how to use a shotgun.”
While Lambert’s outspokenness didn’t surprise Shelton, he was surprised that his wife’s anti-Brown comments stopped — for now, at least. “She’s like me in that we’re not politicians; we’re not trying to run for office,” he said. “We’re just singers. We have opinions, and clearly a lot of Miranda’s music is about domestic abuse and it doesn’t surprise me she spoke about Chris Brown,” he said. “I’m surprised she stopped talking about it.”
What did you think of Miranda and Chris’ back-and-forth? Let us know in the comments.
It’s an interesting time for Chris Brown. With several career highs, which include a Grammy win and performance at the show earlier this month, come several personal lows, including feuds with two other celebrities.
On Tuesday, Brown took to Twitter to address some comments made by WWE wrestler CM Punk in a video he released on TMZ, which itself came in response to an ongoing Twitter feud the guys have been having.
“I’m a lifelong proud, drug-free, straight-edge individual, so Chris and I come from two completely different worlds,” Punk said in the video, referring to a previous tweet Brown had posted accusing Punk of taking steroids. “I don’t have a manager, I don’t have a bodyguard, I don’t have an assistant, I have no need for a PR team what to tweet or when to delete tweets, and I don’t hit women. Period. In my world women are to be revered and respected and I firmly believe that in this life there are consequences and repercussions for people’s actions, and I don’t think Chris has paid for what he’s done. Picking up trash on the side of a highway does not make amends for repeatedly striking a woman in her face and sending her to hospital.
“So if Chris wants to throw stones my way now, I say that’s fine. Let’s put some gloves out and get in the ring and I will choke you out and I will make you feel as weak and as powerless and scared and alone as any woman who has had the misfortune of knowing a sad, cowardly, little boy such as yourself. And all proceeds can go to a women’s shelter of my choosing … Chris Brown isn’t a man and that’s fine. I just know that someday, somewhere, somehow, somebody will put Chris Brown exactly where he belongs and that obviously doesn’t have to be me, I would just really like it to be.”
After the video was released, Brown responded, “@cmpunk the video u just posted was cute! It’s so funny how defensive u are. And the fact that I really don’t know who you are and could give a sh– is the funny part! I miss the real wrestlers! (Hacksaw Jim duggan, Brett the hitman heart, coco beware, rowdy roddy piper) #Notnopunks.”
Several tweets later, he brought it back to Punk, but noted that he would no longer be addressing the issue. “Note: today will be the last day I bring @cmpunk existence up! The confrontations that people continuously bring my way are very amusing,” he wrote. “Cuz honestly, that sh– is too time consuming to argue wit every person who has their own issues to deal with!”
It all started on February 20, when Punk tweeted about Brown’s 2009 assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna. From there, the two became involved in a Twitter back-and-forth. Since Brown’s last tweet about the video, as of press time, Punk has not tweeted about it again.
This is hardly the first bit of criticism that Brown has received since his Grammy win on February 12. While a number of celebrities tweeted their criticisms of Brown’s win and performance that night, country star Miranda Lambert has been the most vocal about it.
Brown responded to her post-Grammy tweets, writing, “Using my name to get publicity? I love it! Perform your heart out! Go buy Miranda Lambert album! So motivational and ‘PERFECT’!”
Not only did she tweet about it, but in concert last week Usmagazine.com reported Lambert addressed the issue further, saying, “I just have to speak my mind, because where I come from, beating up on a woman is never OK. So that’s why my daddy taught me early on in life how to use a shotgun.”