Category Archives: Featured

Taylor Swift Sees Red and Stays Country

By Kip Kirby © 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc. In just seven years, Taylor Swift has become a household name and a global phenomenon. She has won CMA’s Entertainer of the Year twice (2009 and 2011), been named Billboard’s Top Artist of the Year (2013) and taken home Album of the Year honors at the 2010 Grammy Awards – the youngest artist and the first female solo Country artist ever to do so. (Her Grammy total stands at seven, her CMA Awards at six.) Time has named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Rolling Stone has featured her twice on its cover. She writes or co-writes all her songs, has topped multi-genre radio airplay and digital download charts around the world and appeared in Hollywood films and hit television shows. She runs 13 Management, and is involved in every component of her publishing, recording, concert production and endorsement deals.

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Miranda Lambert Rides the Milk Wagon

By Bob Doerschuk © 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc. Country artists are hardly strangers to the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign. Still, when Miranda Lambert chose the day before the 2012 CMA Awards to unveil her portrait as the latest in this long line of celebrities, athletes and even cartoon characters, media filled the CMA atrium to witness the occasion. The image captures the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year on a weathered wood porch, a grassy field stretching toward trees and hills, with a glass of milk in her hand, a bowl of cereal on the ground and the inevitable white frost above her upper lip. Lambert looks as though she was at home on her Oklahoma farm, although the wall was a backdrop and the photo was taken in New Jersey, at a site scouted by photographer Annie Leibovitz and her staff.

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Taylor Swift’s Fourth CD, Red, Set for Worldwide Release on October 22nd

Taylor Swift’s highly-anticipated fourth studio album will be released worldwide on October 22nd, Taylor herself announced this evening during a live YouTube web chat with her fans. Entitled Red, the album will be released on Big Machine Records and contains 16 tracks. After writing her last album (Speak Now) entirely by herself, for this record Taylor collaborated with several artists, producers, and songwriters she had always wanted to work with. “For the last two years, I’ve been working on an album called Red,” Taylor says. “I called it Red because of the tumultuous, crazy adventures in love and loss that it chronicles. In my mind, when you experience love that’s fast paced and out of control and mixes infatuation, jealousy, frustration, miscommunication, and all of those lovely emotions…in retrospect, it all looks red.”

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Country Stars Share the Ups and Downs of Recording Alone

By Jeff Walter © 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc. While recording his major label debut album, Hunter Hayes clashed occasionally with his studio musicians. Problem is, they were all named Hunter Hayes. On his self-titled project, released last October on Atlantic Records, the artist, then just 20 years old, not only co-produced with Dann Huff but also sang every note and played every instrument. That included accordion, bass, bouzouki, Hohner Clavinet, drums, Fender Rhodes, guitars (acoustic, 12-string acoustic, baritone, electric, slide, resonator and steel), Hammond B-3, loops, mandocello, mandolin, piano, sitar, synthesizer and Wurlitzer.

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