Headlines: Lauren Alaina, RaeLynn Set for CMA

SUPERSTAR TOBY KEITH TO PERFORM MERLE HAGGARD TRIBUTE AT THE “2016 AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS” -Superstar singer/songwriter Toby Keith will perform a heartfelt tribute in celebration of his friend and musical hero Merle Haggard at the 2016 AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS airing live from The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday, May 1 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Oscar®-winning actor Matthew McConaughey will introduce the tribute to the late legendary songwriter who inspired countless musicians and who is one of country music’s greatest icons. – Via dc productions pr

CMA Music Festival Reveals Lineup For Free Concerts – he lineup of performers for the series of free concerts at The Park Stage at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park during CMA Music Festival has been revealed. More than 40 artists will perform during the free concerts on June 9-12, beginning Thursday, June 9 at 10:30 a.m. and running each day until approximately 5 p.m. Confirmed artists include: Lauren Alaina, Keith Anderson, Drew Baldridge, Tucker Beathard, Big Smo, Kristian Bush, Ashley Campbell, Chris Carmack, Jason Michael Carroll, Russell Dickerson, Drake White and the Big Fire, Clare Dunn, Lindsay Ell, Emerson Drive, Andy Griggs, Halfway to Hazard, Ty Herndon, JT Hodges, Jack Ingram, Ryan Kinder, Natalie Stovall and The Drive, Native Run, Mo Pitney, RaeLynn, Julie Roberts, Maggie Rose, Lucie Silvas, Jamie Lynn Spears, The Swon Brothers, Josh Thompson, Tara Thompson, Chuck Wicks, Mark Wills, and Brett Young. – Read more at MusicRow.com

Kellie Pickler’s In-Laws to Join ‘I Love Kellie Pickler’ Party – The best episodes of I Love Kellie Pickler may not have been filmed yet. The singer tells Taste of Country her in-laws have moved to Tennessee, and they’ll play a role in Season 2 of the CMT reality show. I Love Kellie Pickler follows Kellie Pickler and husband Kyle Jacobs through love and life and music. Highlights from the first season were the USO episode, plus any that featured Pickler being, well, herself. – Read more at Taste of Country

“American Idol” runner-up sends lawmakers off on a high note – Mississippi lawmakers are closing their session on a high note. “American Idol” contestant La’Porsha Renae of McComb was honored by the House of Representatives Thursday. Renae is the runner-up to “American Idol” winner Trent Harmon of Amory. Both Mississippi natives dominated the fifteenth and final season of Fox TV’s hit singing contest. Renae says this year’s competition was really a “Mississippi Idol.” She says she’s proud to have represented the state she loves and is glad to be home. She sang a soulful, a cappella version of “Amazing Grace” for lawmakers before they ended a sometimes tense, divisive session. Rep. John Hines of Greenville says Renae’s rendition of the hymn was something representatives needed to hear. – Read more at the Fresno Bee

Washington’s Owen Danoff performs on his biggest stage yet: ‘The Voice’ – “It’s crazy,” Danoff said by phone from Los Angeles a day after the live show. “I have gotten so much farther than I ever expected.” If serendipity — or rather, the suits from Hollywood — hadn’t stepped in, his career might have unspooled in a different direction. Danoff is the son of Bill Danoff, who won Grammys for such singalong hits as “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Afternoon Delight.” Now, the folk-rock musician son, who started writing music at 15 and graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Northwest Washington, had been toying with the idea of auditioning for the show since Season 3 (in calendar years, September 2012). In July, now living in New York, he signed up for open calls. But he never showed up. “I chickened out,” he admitted. “I thought I occupied a different space in music than what you see on music shows.” – Read more at The Washington Post

School of Rock comes to Plano – The most exciting part was “American Idol” 2016 finalist Dalton Rapattoni’s special appearance. The crowd of 150 went wild when he walked through the door. “We’re huge fans of Dalton,” Carpenter Middle School student Becca McKinnon said. “I’m definitely considering enrolling at the School of Rock here.” McKinnon and fellow classmate and friend Madi Jackson arrived a couple hours early to wait for Rapattoni’s arrival. “He’s so inspiring and good at what he does,” Jackson said. “I’m so excited to meet him.” – Read more at Plano Star Courier

Josh Ledet talks new music, life after ‘American Idol’ – During the 11th season of “American Idol,” Josh Lededt became a fan favorite after his soulful rendition of Harold Melvin & the Blue Note’s “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.” It soon became evident that Lededt was one of the best contestants to ever enter enter the competition. After finishing in the top 3 that season, Lededt toured with American Idol LIVE! and even got an opportunity to sing at the White House during the “Memphis Soul” event in 2013. Laded recently sat down with rolling out to discuss his “American Idol” success and future projects. – Read more at Rolling Out

‘It’s Like Music to My Eyes’: Deaf Model Nyle DiMarco on Learning to Dance on Dancing with the Stars – Nyle DiMarco may not be able to hear, but that’s not holding him back on Dancing with the Stars. “At first we were concerned I’d be off on the timing, but [my partner Peta Murgatroyd] uses non-verbal cues – like a tap on the back or change in her facial expression – to help me figure it out,” DiMarco, 26, says in the current issue of PEOPLE. “I can’t hear, but I understand the music through Peta’s movement. It’s like music to my eyes.” – Read more at People

Survivor host Jeff Probst on that Tribal Council Super Idol shocker – ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Oh, Jeffrey, this was positively delicious. Please take me through every single second of what it was like being there and what happened at Tribal when Scot expected Tai to hand over his immunity idol to make the Super Idol and Tai didn’t do it. Give us some on the scene reporting! Well, I was exactly like you and everybody else watching. I really didn’t know what he was going to do. Tai is unpredictable and Tribal is unpredictable, so all that uncertainty was really suspenseful. After last week’s Tribal I think everybody was expecting Tai to stick with his alliance and use the Super Idol, so when he didn’t, it was definitely a surprise. It definitely rocked the jury and, of course, Scot and Jason. – Read more at EW.com

About mj santilli 33076 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!