CMT Awards 2013: Expect the unexpected

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Country music has been good to the rapper Nelly, and he’s back in Music City because of it.

Nelly will perform the crossover hit “Cruise” with country duo Florida Georgia Line during the CMT Music Awards. The imaginary, but once impenetrable, lines between American music genres are blurring more each day, and Nelly’s happy to serve as an eraser.

“Obviously our views today aren’t the same as our grandparents’, so when you look at the way the youth migrates and the way everything intertwines, the Internet has brought so many people together around the world in the same place at the same time,” said Nelly, who’s also scored a hit with Tim McGraw.

“Music was only in line to be integrated like that. It’s a beautiful thing because you want your kids to be multifaceted. You want your kids to experience a lot more than you did as a child,” he said. “So I welcome it. My kids are Taylor Swift fans. They love Florida Georgia Line. But they also love Lil Wayne.”

More than any of the legion of country music honors shows, the CMT Awards have helped push boundaries. Nelly’s not the first rapper to appear, and rockers like Lenny Kravitz, who will perform with co-host Jason Aldean, are common as well.

The fan-voted awards show will air live at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Aldean hosts with actress Kristen Bell.

Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Luke Bryan lead with four nominations apiece. They’re among 10 nominees for top honor video of the year. Six finalists will be announced for the award at the top of the show and fans will vote for a winner at the network’s website during the broadcast. Voting in other categories has closed.

Aldean and Kenny Chesney are among the acts with three nominations.

The awards usually are overshadowed by performances, off-brand celebrity appearances and the occasional weird mashup.

Take Wednesday night’s announced kickoff segment. It will feature country heavyweights Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan and…Dr. Drew Pinsky, Kelsey Grammer, Lorraine Bracco and Vince Vaughn.

The network doesn’t describe what this unlikely group of eight will be doing together.

Underwood will pay tribute to the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes during the show. And Swift, Bryan, Keith Urban and Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum with Darius Rucker also will perform. Presenters include Sheryl Crow, Ed Sheeran, “Dancing with the Stars” winner Kellie Pickler, brothers Kevin and Michael Bacon and Lisa Marie Presley.

Tell us: Do you plan to watch the CMT Awards?

Source: Cbsnews

Watch: Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones perform “As Tears Go By”

Taylor Swift got a taste of some classic rock and roll this week.

The country/pop darling joined none other than The Rolling Stones onstage during the band’s stop in Chicago on Monday. And the Rolling Stones just unveiled a video of it. Swift hit the stage during the Stones’ performance of the 1965 song, “As Tears Gone By,” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was also a hit for Marianne Faithful — so perhaps the Stones though Swift be a good fit to take it on in concert.

After the appearance Swift said backstage, “You know that’s not something I thought was going to happen in my life!”

Swift isn’t first star to pop up at the Stones’ “50 and Counting” tour. Other guests have included Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Tom Waits and Dave Grohl.

Source: Cbsnews

‘America’s Got Talent’: Mel B Previews the Good (and Bad) Auditions, New Judges’ Panel

The Spice Girl tells THR what viewers can expect from season eight of NBC’s talent competition, premiering Tuesday night.

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America’s Got Talent viewers will get their first real look at the two new — but familiar — faces on the judging panel when the NBC talent competition returns Tuesday night.

Mel B and Heidi Klum join returning judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern on season eight of the reality show, which also will relocate from Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center to New York’s Radio City Music Hall when the live episodes begin July 23.

Ahead of Tuesday’s premiere, Spice Girl Mel B, who also has served as a judge on the Australian and U.K. versions of singing competition The X Factor, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what viewers can expect, how the judges are meshing and who are some of the most memorable talent — both good and bad — so far.

The Hollywood Reporter: How did you become involved with America’s Got Talent?

Mel B: I got the phone call and got offered the job and was like, “Yeah!” I love this show, and of course the fact that it’s now in New York at Radio City Music Hall — that’s a legendary place that makes the show even more exciting. It’s a great family show, and people love watching it. I’ve watched for many years; I sit down with my kids and watch it. It’s nice to be a part of it.

THR: How has your experience as a judge been so far?

Mel B: I was actually a judge on The X Factor in the U.K. and Australia, but this is different because I have no idea what to expect next. Someone comes on the stage and all of a sudden there’s a snake around their neck or they’re putting a sword down their throat. Then there’s also singing and dancing. It’s truly a proper variety show, and anything can happen. It’s like experiencing a roller-coaster ride, everyone is so different, but thoroughly enjoyable.

THR: What can you tell us about the auditions?

Mel B: They’re all over now. We’ve been going up and down America from San Antonio to New Orleans, from Los Angeles to New York — literally everywhere. We’ve seen so many interesting acts — good ones and bad ones. There was one guy and his girlfriend piercing each other wire, through his nose and then through his wife’s nose, and then his cheek and his wife’s, backward and forward, zigzagging their bodies with this piece of wire. I found it repulsive. They were bleeding, literally. Then someone went up an 80-foot-pole with no safety net and did a handstand. There were normal acts too — cloggers, dancers. It’s been an interesting journey so far. The talent definitely upped the ante over last year. Now they are combining things, riding a unicycle while jugging and balancing a dog on their face. One guy shoved 27 swords down his throat and brought out an X-ray machine to show the swords going down in his stomach. Howard and Howie loved it; Heidi and I were like, “No.”

STORY: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel Dish on Season 8

THR: What’s the chemistry like among the four judges?

Mel B: I’ve known Heidi for quite some time, and we get along like a house on fire. We give off a girl-power vibe. Howard and Howie are absolutely hilarious. We all come from entirely different backgrounds, but we all have something valid to say because of our experiences in life.

THR: How would you describe your style of judging?

Mel B: I don’t think I have a style of judging. I’m just very, very honest. That’s it. When you watch the show, you can judge my judging for yourself, but I’m just honest. At the end of the day, whether it’s a magic act or a dancing act or a singing act, if I want to buy tickets to come see your show, I’m going to like it. As long as you’re professional and entertaining, I appreciate that.

THR: Do you think the Radio City Music Hall setting will bring a new energy to the show?

Mel B: I think it will make everybody feel a little more nervous because legends perform on this stage. It’s one of the stamp marks of America.

Hear Miley Cyrus’ new single ‘We Can’t Stop’

“This is a song that says where I’m at in my life right now,” Cyrus says.

 

Miley Cyrus is still partying in the USA with her new single, but she’s partying harder than ever. On the 20-year-old singer’s new single We Can’t Stop, she sings about “shaking it like we at a strip club” and “trying to get a line in the bathroom.”

We Can’t Stop, produced by Mike Will Made It, is the first single from Cyrus’ still-untitled debut album for RCA Records. For the album, due later this year, Cyrus has been collaborating with Pharrell, Future, Dr. Luke and will.i.am.

Cyrus premiered the song Monday on On Air With Ryan Seacrest, telling the host, “Everyone always judges and says what they want, but my fans … have really stood by me no matter what I’ve been through … and this is a song that says where I’m at in my life right now.”

Source: Usatoday

“The Voice”: Adam Levine explains “I hate this country” remark

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Adam Levine lost two of his team members on Tuesday’s episode of “The Voice,” but it was a comment he made post-elimination that got people talking.

The Maroon 5 frontman was overheard muttering “I hate this country,” after Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons were ousted from the NBC singing competition.

His remark drew quick reaction online, with some criticizing Levine and others defending his comment as a joke.

Later, he released a statement saying, “I obviously love my country very much and my comments last night were made purely out of frustration.”

“Being a part of ‘The Voice,’ I am passionately invested in my team and want to see my artists succeed,” Levine added. “Last night’s elimination of Judith and Sarah was confusing and downright emotional for me and my comments were made based on my personal dissatisfaction with the results. I am very connected to my artists and know they have long careers ahead, regardless of their outcome on the show.”

The elimination of Simmons and Hill — both judges’ favorites — leaves Levine with just one singer left on his team (Amber Carrington). Usher and Shakira also have one team member remaining (Michelle Chamuel and Sasha Allen, respectively), while Blake Shelton still has three contestants on his team (Holly Tucker, Danielle Bradbery and the Swon Brothers).

You can hear Levine’s remark at the 1:14 mark in the video below:

Source: Abcnews

Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert Support Oklahoma at Tornado Benefit Concert

Healing In The Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert

The “Healing in the Heartland” concert, which aired live Wednesday on NBC, also included performances from Reba McEntire, Usher and Luke Bryan, among others.

“Everyday people are the ones who are making miracles / And it’s beautiful,” Reba McEntire sings on the chorus of “Everyday People,” her 2007 duet with Carole King.

On Wednesday night, as McEntire performed the song in Oklahoma, those words held truer than ever before, especially with the backdrop of destruction and the hope that it brought.

PHOTOS: Country Crossovers

McEntire was just one of many performers at the Healing in the Heartland concert in Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena, which benefited those whose lives were impacted by the tornadoes that ravaged parts of the state on May 20. The one-hour show, organized by country artist and Oklahoma native Blake Shelton, featured a number of musicians, all of whom urged viewers to donate to United Way’s tornado relief fund by texting, calling or visiting the organization’s Facebook page.

Shelton kicked off the evening with a heartfelt performance of “God Gave Me You,” he and his backing band donned in black. “But you stay here beside me / Watch as the storm blows through / And I need you,” he sang, before explaining the methods viewers and attendees could follow to donate to the relief efforts.

Shelton wasn’t the only Oklahoma native to perform. Fellow country star Vince Gill served up one of the more poignant moments of the evening. “It’s sure good to be home. I’d like to do this song for 24 people that didn’t make it,” Gill said, referencing the lives lost in the tornado before performing an intimate “Threaten Me With Heaven.”

Fellow Oklahoman and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, Shelton’s “Tulsa buddy,” appeared sans his usual band on “Counting Stars,” one of the more upbeat tunes of the evening, against a backdrop of shooting stars while he danced across the stage.

Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, sang a tribute to the pets lost or displaced during the storms. “The House That Built Me” featured shots of animals found in the rescue efforts, while Lambert, overcome with emotion, prompted the audience to sing along while she gathered her composure.

PHOTOS: Meet ‘The Voice’s’ Season 4 Coaches

The evening’s only collaboration included The Voice cohorts Shelton and Usher, who teamed up onMichael Buble’s “Home.”

Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts filled out the evening’s country music leanings. Bryan performed one of the night’s more upbeat tunes with “Crash My Party,” while Rucker delivered a positive message on “True Believers.” Rascal Flatts, meanwhile, delivered a stripped-down “I’ll Stand By You,” flanked by hundreds of lighters in the crowd.

In addition to the performances, many celebrities appeared onscreen to express their support for the relief efforts, including country legend Garth Brooks, NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and NBC late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno.

Tickets for the Heartland concert went on sale Saturday morning and sold out in less than five minutes, according to NBC, which aired a live broadcast. The also aired on cable networks Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT on either a live or delayed basis.