‘Billboard’ Music Awards postponed due to COVID-19

dick clark productionsIt was inevitable: The Billboard Music Awards ceremony, which was originally scheduled to take place April 29 in Las Vegas, has now been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

The show, produced by dick clark productions, "will be rescheduled to air on NBC at a later date," according to a joint statement.

“In accordance with the current guidelines set forth by national and local health officials and in order to ensure the health and safety of our artists, fans, guests and staff, we are postponing the Billboard Music Awards," the statement reads. 

"For more than two decades, the Billboard Music Awards has honored the best in music based on the Billboard charts, and we look forward to celebrating the incredible artists who topped those charts over the last year." 

The nominations hadn't yet been announced for the BBMAs, though Kelly Clarkson was set to host for the third year in a row, and Garth Brooks had been named the recipient of the ICON Award. 

Another dick clark productions awards show set to take place in Las Vegas next month -- the Academy of Country Music Awards -- was postponed a few days ago until September.

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Report: Concert promoter Live Nation to pause all concert tours worldwide through end of March

iStock/Cesare FerrariFor several weeks, artists have been announcing concert tour cancellations.  But now, all the tours are being canceled for all the artists.  Well -- almost all artists.

Live Nation, one of the world's biggest concert promoters, plans to press pause on all of the tours it's currently promoting, both foreign and domestic, through the end of March, Billboard has learned

According to Billboard, Live Nation told employees that while a few shows will continue on Thursday or Friday, any shows starting this weekend will be postponed.  Billboard reports company executives told employees that March is generally a slow month anyway. Live Nation plans to re-evaluate in April, with an eye towards getting artists back out on the road in May or June.

The tours affected span all musical genres: Just some of them, Billboard notes, include Billie Eilish, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band, Cher, Kiss, Post Malone, Tool, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shania Twain's Las Vegas residency, Chris Stapleton and more.

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Taylor Swift sends love to Nashville after deadly hurricanes

Valheria RochaTaylor Swift has homes in a variety of cities and spends a lot of time in New York City, L.A. and London, but her heart still belongs to the town where she started her career.

After two tornadoes struck Nashville, TN on Tuesday morning, 22 people were killed and homes and businesses were destroyed.  Taylor wrote on Twitter, "My heart is with everyone in Tennessee who has been affected by the tornados [sic]."

As a teenager, Taylor lived in Hendersonville, TN, a Nashville suburb, as she got her country music career off the ground.  Many other stars weighed in on social media on Tuesday, including Dan + Shay, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, and the artist whose name inspired Taylor's debut single, Tim McGraw.

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Garth Brooks to receive ICON Award, perform at ‘Billboard’ Music Awards

Blue Rose, Inc.Garth Brooks will be honored with the ICON Award at this year's Billboard Music Awards, and will also perform during the April 29 telecast.

There have only been eight other artists who've received the ICON Award: Janet Jackson, Prince, Cher, Neil Diamond, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Garth is the first country artist to be so honored.

Garth has won 10 Billboard Music Awards in his career, in addition to countless other honors.  He's the number-one best-selling solo artist in U.S. history, has scored 19 number ones on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, and is the only artist in history to have eight of his albums be RIAA certified Diamond, for sales of more than 10 million copies.

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards, hosted by Kelly Clarkson, will air live from Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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Carrie Underwood surprised with Platinum album for ‘Cry Pretty’ at Country Radio Seminar

ABC AudioCarrie Underwood was in tears Friday afternoon at Country Radio Seminar as she received a Platinum album for her most recent release Cry Pretty, which she co-produced.

"This means a lot, 'cause I feel like this is the project that I've done, and the album that I've done, that is the most 'me,'" Carrie said through sobs, as two executives from her record label gave her the giant plaque.

"And the fact that you guys were there supporting the whole way and didn't laugh at me when I said I wanted to produce, and were equally as excited about these songs as I was...just, thank you," she continued. "I'm honored and I'm humbled and God is good."

The presentation came at the end of a sit-down interview Carrie did called Finding Your Path, whose name was inspired by the title of her upcoming book Find Your Path.  She discussed her artistry, her role as a leader in the music industry, and her personal life, including how she manages to juggle country superstardom with being a wife and mother of two.  Bottom line: Her husband Mike is super-supportive and, she says, "We figure it out."

Carrie also revealed her secret musical passion: heavy metal.  She confessed to listening to Ozzy Osbourne's new album before taking the stage on Friday, and recalled attending concerts by HoleGreen Day and Slipknot as a teenager. 

Carrie also described going to a recent Guns N' Roses concert, where she watched from the audience, rather than in a special VIP box.

"It was one of the best nights of my life," she raved. "I was losing my mind -- and it was amazing, amazing, amazing!"

Of course, for anyone who remembers Carrie covering Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" for the American Idol farewell song one year, this won't come as a surprise.

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28 songs in 28 days: Eric Church’s new album is “as far out there as I’ve gotten”

ABC AudioEric Church doesn't do things like everyone else, and nothing underscores that like the way he created the songs for his new album.

Wearing regular glasses instead of his signature shades, The Chief gave the keynote address at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on Thursday. The theme was "Chasing Creativity," and he certainly did that with his new project. 

"It was time to do something nuts," he admitted.

To that end, Eric and his band took over a restaurant in the mountains of North Carolina that's closed in the winter, moved all their recording gear in, and set a goal of writing and recording 28 songs in 28 days. 

"I would write a song in the morning, and we'd cut it that night," he explained.  "For me, it's as far out there as I've gotten. But I think by getting that far out there, it really opened up some really great stuff, 'cause I was really locked in creatively: My antenna was up."

"Looking back on what came out of it, it was exactly what had to happen," he explained. "Everybody had to be uncomfortable, including the producer, the band, the writers...they had no clue what they were in for.  I think all that is what made it great."

Asked how many of those 28 songs are actually good, Eric said he's trying to determine that now, but he thinks, "a lot." 

He then played one of the songs, which is either called "Jenny" or "Jenny Let's Go."  He explained that it was inspired by the people who kept on telling him during the recording process that the generator -- which they called a "genny" -- wasn't working.

No word on when we can expect Eric's new music, which will be the follow-up to 2018's Desperate Man.

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Carrie, Keith, Luke, Reba & more rock Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium at CRS Event

ABC AudioCarrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan and Reba McEntire, all on the same bill?  That's what fans got to enjoy Thursday during Country Radio Seminar, as the UMG record label group hosted its 11th annual luncheon and performance event at Nashville's iconic Ryman Auditorium.

Each year, the label group takes over the venue to showcase its lineup of superstars and rising acts.  The show usually ends with a performance from a surprise artist, and this time it was Reba. 

The country legend has re-signed with MCA Records, the label on which she scored many of her biggest hits, and marked the occasion Thursday by singing her 1984 number one hit "How Blue," as well as "And Still" and "Fancy." 

Carrie Underwood had never taken part in the Ryman event, so fans were thrilled to see her step onstage.  She sang a song which she hadn't performed on her current tour because, she said, it's so personal: "Spinning Bottles" from her Cry Pretty album.

Last year at this event, Keith Urban premiered his song "We Were" and on Thursday, he premiered another new song, "God Whispered Your Name."   And since Carrie was in the house, of course Keith brought her out to sing their hit duet "The Fighter" -- and the audience went wild.

Luke Bryan nearly took the stage without his band, who showed up at the last minute due to, of all things, parking problems.  He performed the title track of his upcoming album Born Here Live Here Die Here.

Dierks Bentley's 90s parody group Hot Country Knights opened the show with "Pick Her Up," complete with mullet wigs, sunglasses, cut off midriff shirts and super-tight jeans.  Dierks actually reached into the fly of his jeans and pulled out a flute, which he then played -- or pretended to play.

Here's who else played what at the event:

Sam Hunt: A new song from his Southside album, "2016"

Jon Pardi: "Ain't Always the Cowboy," from Heartache Medication

Brothers Osborne: A bluesy new song which may be called "Skeletons"

Kip Moore: "She's Mine," in a medley with another song which may be called "Janie Blue"

Travis Denning: "Abby" (which stands for "Any body but you")

Brandon Lay: "For My Money"

Mickey Guyton: "What Are You Gonna Tell Her"

Parker McCollum: "Pretty Heart"

Caylee Hammack:  "Small Town Hypocrite"

Adam Hambrick: "Forever Ain't Long Enough"

Kylie Morgan: "I Break Things"

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“It was so much bigger than us”: Rascal Flatts discuss their 20-year career and farewell tour

ABC AudioWednesday at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Rascal Flatts came together for a retrospective look at their 20-year career, which will come to a close in October when they wrap up their farewell tour.

The chart-topping trio discussed their many achievements, such as winning the CMA's Horizon Award, becoming members of the Grand Ole Opry and picking "killer songs" -- classics such as "Bless the Broken Road," "What Hurts the Most" and "My Wish" -- which Gary LeVox described as "songs that have saved lives throughout the world."

Despite the group using the words "sad" and "bittersweet" to describe the impending finale of their touring career, there were still plenty of moments of levity -- mostly made by Jay DeMarcus.  He, Gary and Joe Don Rooney poked plenty of fun at their questionable fashion choices over the years, and shared some hilarious stories about their video shoots.

When asked to sum things up, each man spoke from the heart about the effect that his band mates have had on him.

"Both of you guys saved my life, and gave me reason and purpose," said Jay.  "It's been an amazing ride, and I can't imagine going through all we've gone through in the past 20 years without you guys....I love you both."

Gary spoke about the milestones the group achieved, such as selling out Madison Square Garden and playing Wrigley Field.  "The impact that we had...it was so much bigger than us, and we'll miss it for sure," he noted.

As for Joe Don, he added, "The connection the three of us have together is so powerful and so special...now way could I have hand-picked two other people in this world to do this with. What a blessing it's been."

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“I’m most proud of the honesty”: Miranda Lambert talks about her life and career at CRS in Nashville

ABC AudioOn her way to perform eight shows in ten days, Miranda Lambert stopped off to make an appearance at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, TN on Wednesday.  In a rare intimate conversation, Miranda talked about her earliest days making music, her current album Wildcard, and more.

Miranda, who said that she was such a shy kid that she wouldn't even order by herself at McDonald's,  recalled that her first public performance came in the third grade, when she sang Holly Dunn's hit "Daddy's Hands" in the school talent show. Not long after, she wrote her first song, about a girl named Mandy Lee going to Nashville to become a star.   Her little brother said it wasn't that great but noted she was "getting there."

After that, Miranda entered a competition and came in third, which landed her a house gig at a bar at the age of 17.  Onstage, she recalled, "My personality came alive."  After that, she auditioned for Nashville Star and bombed, because, she says, she didn't put any effort into it. Her mom forced her to re-audition in a different city -- she sang "Crazy" a cappella and made it.  As most of us know by now, she came in third, and admitted she really didn't want to win.

Miranda then spoke about how making her new album Wildcard was a lot like making her very first album.  Following the somber record that was The Weight of These Wings, Miranda says, she wanted to get back to the kind of sassy, fun material that was on her first album, Kerosene.

Recalling the highlights of her career -- singing with Loretta Lynn, paying tribute to Merle Haggard with Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, and meeting Dolly Parton -- she admitted that sometimes when she gets down, it helps to remind herself, "You've done some stuff!"

And when asked to say what she's most proud of, Miranda said, "the honesty, and that I've never strayed away from exactly who I am. I've never cut a song I was iffy about...my manager and I have a saying: "If it's a maybe, it's a no."  

And even if her career hasn't always resulted in her topping the charts, she noted, "It's real and it's the truth."

Moving forward, Miranda says, she's looking to "quality not quantity" in her life and adds, "I just try to keep growing and moving forward."

She also treated the crowd to acoustic renditions of two Wildcard songs: "Dark Bars" and "How Dare You Love."

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Demi Lovato warms up for Super Bowl anthem by joining Dan + Shay for “Speechless”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Bud Light Super Bowl Music FestDemi Lovato and Dan + Shay are both managed by Scooter Braun, and that connection resulted in all three artists singing together on Saturday night.

Dan + Shay performed at the Bud Light Super Bowl Fest in Miami Saturday night, and ahead of that, they met up with Demi backstage, as Braun captured in an Instagram video.

In the video, Dan Smyers, Shay Mooney and Demi are seen rehearsing an acoustic performance of "Speechless." Braun wrote, "Moments when my job allows me to see moments that are just amazing. @ddlovato came to see @danandshay last night and they started talking music and this happened backstage which led to an amazing surprise on stage. Wow."

According to Billboard, that surprise came when Dan + Shay actually took the stage at the festival to sing the track, and Demi left her seat and came onstage to join them. You can watch fan-shot video of the performance now on YouTube.

Demi will sing the anthem tonight before the 49ers take on the Chiefs in Super Bowl 54.  The Jennifer Lopez/Shakira halftime show will also include J. Balvin, Bad Bunny and other surprise guests, according to reports.

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