Cole Swindell’s Country Stardom Is Right on Time

Image Courtesy CMACole Swindell's career has taken off like a rocket with his first two singles both hitting #1 on the country chart. Before he set out as a solo artist, Cole spent three years as a songwriter in Nashville. After superstars like Luke Bryan started cutting his songs, record labels in town started noticing Cole's singing voice on the demo tapes he made for his songs.

Cole says, "They would be like, 'Why aren't you singing these?'"

That encouragement from industry insiders led Cole to book a few shows in Nashville, and he felt right at home on stage. Still, he's thankful for that time he spent in the trenches writing songs. It gave him a chance to learn the ropes of the music business before he stepped into the spotlight.

"I think everything needs to be ready when you get your shot, 'cause sometimes you don't get but one," Cole explains. "I'm gonna give it all I got."

Cole is nominated for ACM New Artist of the Year, and fan voting is now open at VoteACM.com. The trophies will be handed out Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Cole Swindell’s Country Stardom Is Right on Time

Image Courtesy CMACole Swindell's career has taken off like a rocket with his first two singles both hitting #1 on the country chart. Before he set out as a solo artist, Cole spent three years as a songwriter in Nashville. After superstars like Luke Bryan started cutting his songs, record labels in town started noticing Cole's singing voice on the demo tapes he made for his songs.

Cole says, "They would be like, 'Why aren't you singing these?'"

That encouragement from industry insiders led Cole to book a few shows in Nashville, and he felt right at home on stage. Still, he's thankful for that time he spent in the trenches writing songs. It gave him a chance to learn the ropes of the music business before he stepped into the spotlight.

"I think everything needs to be ready when you get your shot, 'cause sometimes you don't get but one," Cole explains. "I'm gonna give it all I got."

Cole is nominated for ACM New Artist of the Year, and fan voting is now open at VoteACM.com. The trophies will be handed out Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Loves Giving Her Fellow Country Stars a Pat on the Back via Text

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCountry stars took to social media to thank their fans and industry voters once the ACM Awards nominations were announced Friday morning, but there were plenty of texts and phone calls between the country artists, too. Carrie Underwood was certainly sending and receiving congratulatory texts with her famous pals, and she likes to keep that kind of digital encouragement going throughout the year.

Says Carrie, "In today's world of technology, it's easier to stay in touch even if you don't get to hang out with people all the time. I mean, I'm texting Jennifer Nettles and Miranda Lambert and Kimberly Perry and Hillary Scott. I have good relationships with those ladies."

Every time Carrie sees one of her famous pals do something big -- like Jennifer Nettles making her Broadway debut in Chicago this week -- she likes to shoot them a little pat on the back via text.

"Anytime anybody does anything good or you see pictures of them or whatever, it's just nice to be able to say, 'You looked beautiful. You sounded great,'" she explains. "Kinda get that extra bit of support and know you've got some more people in your corner. I think that's really cool."

Carrie is up for three ACM Awards, including Female Vocalist and Vocal Event and Video of the Year for "Somethin' Bad" with Miranda Lambert. The 50th Annual ACM Awards will be handed out Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Loves Giving Her Fellow Country Stars a Pat on the Back via Text

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCountry stars took to social media to thank their fans and industry voters once the ACM Awards nominations were announced Friday morning, but there were plenty of texts and phone calls between the country artists, too. Carrie Underwood was certainly sending and receiving congratulatory texts with her famous pals, and she likes to keep that kind of digital encouragement going throughout the year.

Says Carrie, "In today's world of technology, it's easier to stay in touch even if you don't get to hang out with people all the time. I mean, I'm texting Jennifer Nettles and Miranda Lambert and Kimberly Perry and Hillary Scott. I have good relationships with those ladies."

Every time Carrie sees one of her famous pals do something big -- like Jennifer Nettles making her Broadway debut in Chicago this week -- she likes to shoot them a little pat on the back via text.

"Anytime anybody does anything good or you see pictures of them or whatever, it's just nice to be able to say, 'You looked beautiful. You sounded great,'" she explains. "Kinda get that extra bit of support and know you've got some more people in your corner. I think that's really cool."

Carrie is up for three ACM Awards, including Female Vocalist and Vocal Event and Video of the Year for "Somethin' Bad" with Miranda Lambert. The 50th Annual ACM Awards will be handed out Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Super Bowl 49: Idina Menzel, John Legend Deliver Powerful Pregame Performances

Credit: NFL MediaIdina Menzel knocked it out of the park at Super Bowl 49 on Sunday.

Wearing all black at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the Broadway star and Frozen actress sang a wonderful rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." It should silence critics who felt her performance of the Frozen hit "Let It Go" during ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve special a month ago was subpar.

Moments earlier, John Legend played a stirring version of "America the Beautiful" on the piano.

During NBC's extended pregame show, Phoenix native Dierks Bentley performed his song "I Hold On," while Gavin DeGraw sang his hit "Finest Hour."

Carrie Underwood was involved with NBC's coverage, too, although not live. The Sunday Night Football singer recorded a new intro for the Super Bowl referencing the game's two participants, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

Katy Perry headlined the halftime show.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Super Bowl 49: Idina Menzel, John Legend Deliver Powerful Pregame Performances

Credit: NFL MediaIdina Menzel knocked it out of the park at Super Bowl 49 on Sunday.

Wearing all black at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the Broadway star and Frozen actress sang a wonderful rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." It should silence critics who felt her performance of the Frozen hit "Let It Go" during ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve special a month ago was subpar.

Moments earlier, John Legend played a stirring version of "America the Beautiful" on the piano.

During NBC's extended pregame show, Phoenix native Dierks Bentley performed his song "I Hold On," while Gavin DeGraw sang his hit "Finest Hour."

Carrie Underwood was involved with NBC's coverage, too, although not live. The Sunday Night Football singer recorded a new intro for the Super Bowl referencing the game's two participants, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

Katy Perry headlined the halftime show.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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