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Carrie Underwood Serenaded by New Kids on the Block in Concert [Watch]

May 28, 2015 -- 3:35pm



It turns out that Carrie Underwood is a total Blockhead.

That’s the nickname some hardcore New Kids in the Block fans give themselves, and Underwood earned the moniker on Wednesday night (May 27), when she fangirled her boy band idols online after they sang her special request during their concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

The country superstar apparently sent the request to the band before the gig, and they responded by pointing her out in the crowd during the show, saying, “She said if you don’t play a certain song, I’m going to be very upset.” NKOTB then launched into “Single,” a duet with Ne-Yo from their 2008 album, The Block. They dimmed the house lights for an intimate performance of the melodic ballad that brought out the teenage girl in Underwood, who swayed along to the music on the Jumbotron, then gushed about the experience on Twitter:

The singer has been making time for herself a little bit recently, posting some vacation photos after taking time off from her thriving career to be with her newborn son. She’s been getting back to work recently, posting some social media pictures from the studio where she’s been recording new music, and announcing an upcoming appearance at the 2015 CMA Music Festival in June.


Top Consultant: Take Females Out’ of Rotation at Country Radio

May 28, 2015 -- 3:25pm


It’s no secret that women aren’t getting a fair shot at country radio right now, but now it’s official. In a new interview with Country Aircheck, one of the top programming consultants in the business asserts that not playing women is part of the pathway to success for a country radio station.

“If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out,” Keith Hill tells the industry publication. “The reason is mainstream country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners at the rate of 70 to 75 percent, and women like male artists. I’m basing that not only on music tests from over the years, but more than 300 client radio stations. The expectation is we’re principally a male format with a smaller female component. I’ve got about 40 music databases in front of me and the percentage of females in the one with the most is 19 percent. Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”

It didn’t take long for some of the top women in the genre to respond.

“Wow…..just wow.” Martina McBride posted to Facebook. “Just read this from a major country radio publication. How do you feel about this statement? I especially want to hear from the females. Do you not like to hear other women singing about what you are going through as women? I’m really curious. Because to me, country music is about relating. Someone relating to what you are really going through on a day to day basis in your life. Did you girls (core female listeners) know you were being ‘assessed’ in this way? Is this how you really feel? Hmmm….”



19 Idiotic (But Real) Travel Complaints

May 28, 2015 -- 3:22pm


A vacation is supposed to be your time away from the crazy. Remind me never to travel to any of the same vacation spots these people have booked. I'll take that upgrade and trade you a bus tour of "OH MY GOD THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!"


These are actual complaints received from dissatisfied customers by Thomas Cook Vacations (based on a Thomas Cook/ABTA survey):

1. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

2. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

3. "On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

7. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

8. "No one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."

10. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."

12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."

14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort'. We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."

15. "There were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."

16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."

17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."

19. "My fiance and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

What's your most memorable vacation nightmare? People, place, or thing?

Remember When Keith Urban and B.B. King Led an All-Star Jam? [Watch]

May 19, 2015 -- 3:01pm



A few country stars had a chance to jam with B.B. King over the years, but none got the opportunity Keith Urban had in 2009. The country picker and the blues great led an all-star jam at the Grammys that year. King died at the age of 89 on Thursday night (May 14).

Urban, King, bluesman Buddy Guy and John Mayer performed “Bo Diddley” at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. The then-83-year-old leads off this clip, with Mayer singing the next couplet. Then, it’s Urban’s turn. He smiles as he sings at King riffing on Lucille, his signature guitar. It’s as sound as iconic as any in music, as pure and simple as a bar of Ivory.

Guy jams along before his own blistering solo. If you love great guitar playing, this February 2009 performance was your heaven. At only two minutes long, the moment is over before you know it. Urban and the band finish with a flourish before the Staples Center crowd erupts.

King’s death was not a surprise, as his health had been failing in recent years. In April he was hospitalized with dehydration, and news slowly began to leak that his playing days were coming to an end. He was one of the blues’ first great showmen. Few have enjoyed the commercial success King had during a long (nearly 60-year!) career. Television commercials and restaurants were part of his empire. The music was always paramount, however. A few of his well known hits include “Why I Sing the Blues,” “Sweet Sixteen” and “The Thrill Is Gone.”


Remember When George Jones and B.B. King Collaborated? (WATCH)

May 19, 2015 -- 2:58pm



George Jones and B.B. King were two of the most important musicians of the 20th century in their respective genres, and they teamed up for a powerful rendition of the classic song “Patches.”

Originally recorded by the Chairmen of the Board in 1970, the song tells the poignant story of a boy was raised ”on a farm way back up in the woods” and has to take over responsibility for his family from his dead father. Soul singer Clarence Carter recorded the definitive version of the track that same year, scoring a huge chart hit. “Patches” won a Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Song in 1971.

Jones and King recorded the song in 1994 for an album titled Rhythm Country and Blues, which featured cross-genre collaborations from other all-stars pairings, including Vince Gill and Gladys Knight, Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood, and Natalie Cole and Reba McEntire. Their version takes full advantage of their different vocal approaches, with Jones’ signature soulful country voice leading most of the verses, alternating with King’s gritty blues delivery.

The track is highlighted by a guitar solo from King, employing the signature clean tone and lyrically melodic approach that made him one of the most important and distinctive blues musicians of his generation.

Jones passed away in 2013 from hypoxic respiratory failure at the age of 81, and King died on May 14, 2015 at the age of 89. Check out the clip above for a rare collaboration between the two music legends.


Keith Urban and Eric Church Take Us Behind the Scenes of ‘;Raise ‘;Em Up’ [Watch]

May 19, 2015 -- 2:55pm



Keith Urban and Eric Church‘s collaboration video for “Raise ‘Em Up” is a beautiful visual, and now the two singers are taking us behind the scenes of the filming. The new clip shows what went into the making of the music video.

In the clip, Urban is seen in a dimly lit room playing his guitar — much like the video. It shows the cameras preparing to shoot the two men, and also allows fans to see that Urban and Church had a lot of say in the “Raise ‘Em Up” video — Urban is actively speaking to the director and watching the framing of the shots. He provides input and ideas to the director, clearly wanting to make the video the best he can. Urban also opens up about the song and why he chose it.

“Well I got sent this song, ‘Raise ‘Em Up,’ and it was just one of those songs that was magical for me,” he says. “The second I heard it, it just really, really went in and I could feel it. And the song’s not written as a duet, but I’ve known Eric for a couple of years, and I was really hoping I would find something we could do together on this record.”

Urban says it was the second verse that helped him realize it was the perfect song to do alongside Church.
“When he sent it to me, what I was floored with is it felt like I’d written it,” Church explains. “I was blown away. It was a hit. It was a big song and I was honored to sing on it.”

We’re pretty glad the collaboration came about. Watch the video above to go behind the scenes with the two singers for the filming of “Raise ‘Em Up,” and catch Urban this summer performing at fairs and festivals, including headlining slots at the Taste of Country Music Festival and Country Jam in June.


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