Charles Sykes, Invision/AP
Kenny Chesney has announced 28 new dates for his 2013 No Shoes Nation tour, putting it on track to be one of the year's biggest tours. The 46-date trek begins March 16 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Among the new dates announced are stops in Albany, N.Y., Uncasville, Conn., Lafayette, La., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Raleigh, N.C., and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. See the full list of dates at Kenny's website.
In other Kenny news, the singer is working with the non-profit organization Music and Memory to help bring personalized music players to seniors suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. Music has been found to be tremendously therapeutic, leading to improved social engagement and quality of life regardless of the patient's physical, cognitive, or social condition. Watch Kenny's PSA on behalf of Music & Memory here.
The Band Perry is off to a pretty good start with the first single from their highly-anticipated sophomore album, out April 2. "Better Dig Two" is the sibling trio's fastest-rising single to date, and is rapidly moving through the Top 10 on the country charts. With more than 700,000 digital downloads registered, the tune has already been certified gold. The trio also has a platinum single on their hands with their massive hit, "You Lie" having been certified for sales in excess of one million. [CMTT]
Country Music Hall of Fame members Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris will be among the performers when the Hall of Fame and Museum's All for the Hall fundraiser returns to New York City for the first time in more than four years. Set for Feb. 26 at the Best Buy Theater, the star-studded lineup of special guests (to be announced) will follow the familiar "guitar pull" format on stage, allowing attendees to witness the performers interacting with one another, taking turns swapping songs, stories and personal recollections. Get ticket information here, or call (615) 416-2069.
Chris Young will be honored Jan. 29 by the CMA with the coveted Triple Play Award for his No. 1 hits "Voices," "Tomorrow" and "You." The award recognizes songwriters who have written three chart-topping songs within a 12-month period. The CMA has also selected Chris as a featured artist to help further the popularity of country music overseas. In February, he'll make his inaugural trip to the U.K. and Ireland as part of the Country Music Association's Songwriters Series with stops in Dublin, Belfast and London.
Engaged singer Kelly Clarkson will soon become a stepmom to her fiancé Brandon Blackstock's two children -- and Reba McEntire's step-grandchildren -- but she admitted recently that she also wants a child of her own. "We'll definitely have probably one because he's already got two amazing kids," she told The Country Vibe. However, first she has to get through planning her wedding, which she calls "hell." "It's really hard. There's a lot of decisions from flowers to invitations," she says. "I didn't even know of a thing called 'save the date' until now. And we don't even have a date and everybody keeps asking." [The Country Vibe]
Jerrod Niemann wrapped up his Jägermeister Presents tour on Jan. 11 in Chattanooga, Tenn., at Track 29. The tour spanned nearly 30 dates and began in October 2012. Next up will be a series of solo dates at large clubs and festivals throughout 2013. See a list of his upcoming shows here.
Montgomery Gentry will return as celebrity hosts of the 5th Annual Country on the Beach event October 5-8 in Key West, Fla. Country on the Beach 5 will feature three days and four nights of private concerts, parties and beach activities at the Reach Resort and will benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation. Also scheduled to appear are Darryl Worley, Ray Scott and David Adam Byrnes, with more performers to be announced soon. [Roughstock.com]
Crystal Shawanda will perform during the Native Nations Inaugural Ball at The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on the evening of the Presidential Inauguration, Jan. 21. In addition to celebrating the inauguration, the event serves as a fundraiser for the museum in its effort to produce educational programs relevant to Tribal Nations issues. "To Native Americans, music is everything," says Crystal, a member of the Ojibway tribe who was born on the Wikwemikong Native Reservation on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada. "It's our history, our dance, and used to remember important events. I hope that my music on this historic evening with help honor and celebrate the inauguration of the nation's 44th President."