Eric Church Excited to Celebrate the ACM Awards’ 50th Anniversary Sunday Night

Image Courtesy EB Media PREric Church is looking forward to performing at the 50th Annual ACM Awards Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. In a time where a new awards show comes along almost every week, Eric says of the ACMs, "The fact that it's 50 years and there's a history there, there's a heritage, I love that, and I love that they're celebrating that."

More than 60,000 fans will be in the audience for the show, and Eric can't wait to see that energy from the crowd captured for the live broadcast.

"It's a big room," Eric says of AT&T Stadium. "I've played that room with [George] Strait. That's a big room."

Eric is up for three trophies, including Album of the Year for The Outsiders, at the ACM Awards. The show airs Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich up-and-coming country group has a member named Zach Brown, who is no relation to Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band? ANSWER: A Thousand Horses.

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Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott Escapes Bus Fire on Way to Dallas; Everyone OK

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum's Hillary Scott had a close call Thursday morning when her tour bus caught fire on the way to Dallas for the ACM Awards. Everyone is safe and back on the road.

 

 

Hillary posted a picture of the burned-out bus on Instagram with the caption, "EVERYONE IS SAFE AND SOUND. It was me, my husband, our tour manager, and driver. Thanking God for our safety and the safety of all of those who helped put this fire out and keep us safe. Love you all!!"

Hillary's daughter, Eisele, was not on the bus, and her band mates, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, were traveling to Dallas separately.

Lady Antebellum will perform at the ACM Lifting Lives Charity Gala Friday night at the Omni Hotel in Dallas.

Of note, Hillary was asleep in the bus's back lounge when she had to evacuate. Later on, Hillary got a message saying all off her personal items were destroyed except for her Bible. She posted a picture of the Bible on Instagram saying, "The outside cover was burned and messed up but NOT ONE PAGE was missing. Yall, God's Word will always stand. He is FOR YOU, WILL PROTECT YOU, AND HIS LOVE FOR YOU WILL NEVER FADE. My faith is forever deepened because of today. I hope this story deepens yours."

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Garth Brooks Will Try to Relax and Enjoy Himself at Sunday Night’s ACM Awards

Image Courtesy Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks was just a few weeks into his World Tour when he was nominated for Entertainer of the Year at this Sunday's ACM Awards. Since the nominations were announced earlier this year, Garth has gone on to play his 100th show on the trek, with ticket sales topping the two-million mark. Despite those impressive statistics, Garth knows he's facing some stiff competition with Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line all vying for the fan-voted trophy.

He tells ABC Radio, "The talent level is crazy, and again, there's five names in there we can name. Keith [Urban], Blake [Shelton], Eric [Church] -- you could name, there's guys that should be in there as well that aren't, so this is gonna be a tough category to walk away with it."

Garth has actually won ACM Entertainer of the Year six times, and was named the ACM Artist of the Decade for the 1990s. Still, it took a request from his wife, Trisha Yearwood, to calm his nerves going into Sunday night's show.

"My wife said, 'Do me a favor. Let's go there with no expectation. Let's be the happiest couple in the room, and let's have fun,'" Garth says. "I don't know if an award show I've ever done that, 'cause [with] awards shows, you're always nervous and everything, but this one -- I'm just gonna go there and have fun."

The fun starts Friday night at Garth and Trisha co-host the ACM Lifting Lives charity gala in Dallas featuring performances from Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, The Band Perry and more. The next day, Trisha flies to the East Coast to launch her new furniture line before flying back to Texas for Sunday night's ACM Awards.

Garth says, "Her schedule is a lot more hectic than mine. I'm just gonna come there and play music and have some fun."

Fan voting in the Entertainer of the Year category is open now at VoteACM.com. Look for Garth to also perform on the 50th Annual ACM Awards, broadcasting live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

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“Nashville” Recap: “Nobody Knows but Me”

Image Courtesy Bob D'Amico/ABCPop superstar Christina Aguilera made her debut on ABC's Nashville Wednesday, playing another pop star named Jade St. John. The pink-haired diva was in Music City playing two sold-out shows at the Bridgestone Arena, and Jade's ex-fiancé, Jeff Fordham, convinced her to use his management client, Layla Grant, as one of her opening acts. This is just the beginning of Jade's role in Layla's life.

Christina says, "Jade takes Layla under her wing a little bit, and kind of plays the big sister to her and wanting to encourage her growth and coming up in the business."

Jade also finds herself in the middle of some drama between Layla and Juliette Barnes in the next few episodes.

Christina adds with a laugh, "Juliette definitely tells me where to go."

During Wednesday night's show, Jade also performed a new song, "The Real Thing," which is now available on iTunes as part of the Nashville soundtrack. So, does this mean Christina is planning a move to country music in her real life?

She says, "Jade definitely makes me discover a new side to who I am and what more I have to offer, even as an artist, you know, crossing into a little bit of experimenting with country. So, it’s fun and it’s music and, you know, it’s all love."

Elsewhere in Nashville, Juliette Barnes isn't adjusting well to life as mother to her baby girl, Cadence. While husband Avery Barkley is off performing the new song "On a Rail" with his band, The Triple Exes, Juliette gets word that the producer of her Patsy Cline biopic wants her to write and record a new song for the film.

Grasping this opportunity to get away from the screaming baby, Juliette hires a nanny without telling Avery and boards a private plane to Los Angeles to work on the movie. Once Avery finds out about the situation, he decides to leave The Triple Exes. The act is now a duo consisting of former lovers Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O'Conner.

Closeted country star Will Lexington's songwriting sessions with the openly gay Kevin Bicks may be over, but it looks like their personal relationship is just heating up. After a few missed opportunities, Will finally let Kevin know he's interested in going out on a date. Kevin said yes by planting a big kiss on Will's lips.

Nashville mayor Teddy Conrad managed to embezzle the $500,000 his hooker, Natasha, needed to get out of town before the feds learned he was her client. It turns out she's working as a witness for the FBI and got Teddy's drop-off of the money on tape.

Deacon Claybourne decided to move in to Rayna Jaymes' house after their daughter, Maddie, noticed he has stayed over several nights in a row. There was no update on Deacon's liver cancer as he continues waiting for a donor liver.

Nashville returns with an all-new episode featuring Christina Aguilera next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Young will perform at the 20th Annual Key West Songwriter's Festival May 6 through 10 in Florida.

Darius Rucker appears on ABC's The Chew Thursday.

Florida Georgia Line played a secret show for 150 fans Tuesday afternoon at Nashville's Sutler Saloon. According to People, the show celebrated FGL's new drink with Mountain Dew, DEWShine.

Tune in to catch Reba on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live Thursday night.

Scotty McCreery performed for patients at Nashville's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt earlier this week. The appearance is part of the Grand Ole Opry's Cause for Applause initiative to support nine important causes through 2015 in celebration of the Opry's 90th anniversary.

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