A few highlights from 2007, plus a preview of what to look forward to in 2008
By the CountryMusicOnline.net staff
• Jason Michael Carroll – Carroll has had a great debut year, scoring a top 5 single (“Alyssa Lies”) and a top 10 (“Livin’ Our Love Song”). Carroll’s debut album from Arista Nashville, entitled “Waitin’ In The Country” has currently sold 300,000 units.
• Bucky Covington – Covington got his start on “American Idol” and then entered the country scene with his debut single “A Different World.” The single reached #6 on the country charts. His current single “It’s Good To Be Us” is at radio now.
• Luke Bryan – Bryan’s debut single “All My Friends Say” reached the #5 spot on the country charts. His new single, “We Rode In Trucks” is at radio now. Both singles are from his debut Capitol Nashville album, “I’ll Stay Me” which has sold 91,000 copies. (Nielsen SoundScan)
• Chuck Wicks – Wicks’ debut single, “Stealing Cinderella” is in the top 15 right now and still climbing. His debut album, Starting Now, will hit stores on January 22. Wicks will join Brad Paisley on his Bonfires and Amplifiers tour starting later this month. (January 16, in Denver CO.)
• Lee Brice – Brice scored his first number 1 single as a songwriter for "More Than A Memory" by Garth Brooks. With the release of "More Than A Memory," Brooks became the first artist in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart.
Cole Deggs & The Lonesome – Cole Deggs & The Lonesome (Columbia)
Jason Meadows – 100% Cowboy (Baccerstick)
Sarah Buxton – Almost My Record [digital EP] (Lyric Street)
Lance Miller – Back In The New School (WBR)
Lori McKenna – Unglamorous (Warner Bros.)
Halfway To Hazard – Halfway To Hazard (Mercury Nashville)
Flynnville Train – Flynnville Train (Show Dog Nashville)
Whiskey Falls – Whiskey Falls (Midas/New Revolution)
SOME OF THE BEST FIRST-WEEK SALES OF 2007:
Rascal Flatts – Still Feels Good: 547,000 copies
Carrie Underwood – Carnival Ride: 527,101 copies
Kenny Chesney – Just Who I Am, Poets & Pirates: 386,685 copies
Reba McEntire – Reba Duets: more than 300,000 copies
Brad Paisley – 5th Gear: 197,151 copies
Bucky Covington – Bucky Covington: 61,000 copies
Jason Michael Carroll – Waitin’ In The Country: 57,608 copies
CARRIE UNDERWOOD and TAYLOR SWIFT 'YEAR-END' HIGHLIGHTS:
• Some Hearts (6x platinum debut) – is Billboard’s Top Country Album for the 2nd year
• “So Small” is a multi-week #1 for Carrie and her 5th consecutive #1 single
• All-genre Billboard 200 Artist Recap – #1 best-selling female artist of 2007
• Year-end issue of Billboard – Carrie is #1 on Top Country Artist, Top Country Artist (Female) based on sales and airplay, and Top Country Album based on sales.
• R & R Year In Music recap - #1 Female artist
• First week sales of 527,101 – make best-selling debut week of any female artist in 2007
• Album debuts on Billboard’s Country and Pop charts at #1
• “Carnival Ride” is the highest debut-week sales for any sophomore country album in the history of SoundScan
• The first week sales of Carnival Ride increased 60% as compared to Carrie’s debut, Some Hearts
• Carnival Ride scores the largest country debut in Digital Album Chart History, with digital sales of 44,928
• Carnival Ride goes on to be certified double-platinum (2 million sales)
• CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year, plus a double Grammy winner
• “Our Song” is a multi-week #1 hit
• She’s had 2 top 10 singles so far – “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops On My Guitar”
• Self-titled debut was certified double platinum – signifying sales of over 2 million units
• Received first Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist”
• Won the Horizon Award at the CMA’s
• Named the Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International
• Taylor becomes the youngest person to fully write and sing a #1 country single
• First female artist in the history of country music to write or co-write all songs on a double platinum debut CD
• Had biggest sales week (week of Dec. 17, 2007) – with 98,820 copies being sold… this biggest sales week comes 59 weeks after its release
NEW "BABY" ARRIVALS:
• Brad Paisley and his actress wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley welcomed a baby boy, William Huckleberry, on February 22, 2007.
• Kimberly Roads (of Little Big Town) and husband Stephen Schlapman welcomed a baby girl, Daisy Pearl, on July 27, 2007.
• Jason Aldean and wife Jessica welcomed their second daughter, Kendyl, on August 20, 2007. Kendyl joins big sister Keeley.
• Shooter Jennings and girlfriend ‘Sopranos’ actress Drea de Matteo welcomed a baby girl, Alabama Gypsyrose on November 28, 2007.
• Phillip Sweet (of Little Big Town) and wife, Rebecca Arthur, welcomed a baby girl, Penelopi Jane, on December 27, 2007.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES:
Click here to see upcoming 2008 CD releases
Fans can expect new music from Taylor Swift and Sugarland. Also, Jewel is finishing her country album with John Rich producing… and pop sensation Jessica Simpson will also release a country CD this year. Country music fans will also see another “American Idol” finalist making their debut. Phil Stacey from Season 6 is currently in the studio with Wayne Kirkpatrick (Little Big Town) and will release his debut in 2008.
2008 BABY UPDATES:
• Joe Don Rooney (of Rascal Flatts) and wife Tiffany Fallon are expecting their first child in May 2008.
• Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline are expecting a baby boy in March 2008. The couple plans to name the baby Thomas Boyer.
MAJOR HEADLINING TOURS:
• Reba McEntire & Kelly Clarkson: “2 Worlds 2 Voices” Tour – January 17-February 16
• Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood: “Love, Pain & the whole crazy Carnival Ride” Tour – 24-city tour featuring 12 #1 songs!
• Kenny Chesney with special guest LeAnn Rimes: “Poets & Pirates” Tour
*select dates will feature Keith Urban, Sammy Hagar and Gary Allan
• Martina McBride with special guests Jack Ingram and new trio Lady Antebellum
Martina will also tour Canada in March. She will be joined by Little Big Town and Johnny Reid in Calgary, AB (3/17/08); Edmonton, AB (3/19/08); Saskatoon, SK (3/20/08); and Winnipeg MB. (3/21/08). Emerson Drive and Johnny Reid will join Martina to round out her Canada dates. They’ll be playing in Hamilton, ON (3/28/08), Kanata, ON (3/29/08) and London, ON (3/30/08) Tour dates and information for Martina’s Canadian tour available at: www.martina-mcbride.com/tour.shtml
• George Strait with special guests Little Big Town and Sarah Johns –
• Trace Adkins with special guests Jason Michael Carroll and Bucky Covington (select dates) – “American Man” tour
• Dierks Bentley with special guests Bucky Covington and Luke Bryan – “Throttle Wide Open” tour
• Rascal Flatts with special guest Kellie Pickler
• Brad Paisley with special guests Taylor Swift, Rodney Atkins and Chuck Wicks: “Bonfires and Amplifiers” tour – Kicks off January 16 in Denver, CO
• Big & Rich, Terri Clark and Emerson Drive – 9-city Canadian tour
• Phil Vassar with special guest Jennifer Hanson – Acoustic tour, kicks off in January and runs through February
• Garth Brooks – five full concerts in two days – January 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM and on Saturday, January 26 at 1:00, 5:00 and 9:00 pm
• Sound and Speed 2008 – January 11-12, 2008 | Nashville, TN
• CMA Songwriters Series Salutes the music of RASCAL FLATTS – January 16, 2008 | 6:30pm ET
Bob DiPiero hosts this CMA Songwriters Series special at Joes Pub. Also appearing: Steve Bogard (“Praying For Daylight” / Rascal Flatts), Tony Mullins (“Backwards”, “Me and My Gang” / Rascal Flatts), Danny Orton (“Stand”, “Too Good Is True”, “Like I Am”, “Some Say” / Rascal Flatts) and D. Vincent Williams (“I’m Movin’ On” / Rascal Flatts) Purchase tickets at www.joespub.com (www.tickets.publictheater.org/calendar/view.asp?id=4490) or call 212.967.7555 for more information.
• The 'Celebrity' Apprentice: – Catch Donald Trump's 'Celebrity' Apprentice on Thursday nights at 8pm et/pt on NBC. This special "Apprentice" season features various celebrities including country music star Trace Adkins and Tiffany Fallon, wife of Rascal Flatts' member Joe Don Rooney. The celebrities will compete in competitions like the regular Apprentice, but all of the money raised will be donated to charity. *Update: Tiffany Fallon was the first contestant voted off on Thursday, January 3, 2008.
• 50th Annual Grammy Awards – February 10, 2008 | Staples Center Los Angeles CA | 8pm et/pt CBS
• 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards – May 18, 2008 | MGM Grand Las Vegas NV | 8pm et CBS
• CMA Music Festival (Fan Fair) – June 5-8, 2008 (Information at: www.cmafest.com/2008/ - includes ticket information)
• 43rd Annual CMA (Country Music Association) Awards – November 5, 2008 | Nashville TN
"AMERICAN IDOL" 2008:
Season 7 of American Idol Starts back up on FOX Network – January 15
"THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND" (from 2007):
The Clark Brothers (Ashley, Austin, Adam) were the winners of The Next Great American Band in December. They may possibly go country (again), though that is not yet confirmed. Either way, new music from The Clark Brothers should be released this year. For those of you who don't know, the Clark Brothers include 3 of the 6 brothers who originally made up the country group The Clark Family Experience. Another country band, Sixwire finished 2nd on the show so they might be releasing new country music soon as well. Visit The Clark Brothers' MySpace at: www.myspace.com/ashleyclarkmusic
"CAN YOU DUET?" (On CMT):
BURBANK – In their quest to discover the next Johnny Cash and June Carter, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Big & Rich or The Judds, FremantleMedia North America, producers of “American Idol,” and CMT will hold an open call audition on January 12, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee, to find contestants for their new music competition show CAN YOU DUET? Performers can also audition via video-taped submission. Slated for Spring 2008, the weekly series is designed to find the best country music duet in America. More information from this press release at: www.countrymusiconline.net/nov15.html#anchor_250