*TAYLOR SWIFT took the top prize in country music last week at the CMA Awards, but she's also performed on the MTV Video Music Awards, scored several hits on the pop charts and toured Australia and Europe in the past year. In all these experiences, Taylor stays grounded in the format that first brought her success. She says, quote, "I am going to be forever grateful and forever proud to play country music, regardless wherever the venue may be."
Taylor has some pretty exciting venues coming up on her Fearless tour. She's set to play two concerts in the U.K. next week.
*TAYLOR SWIFT has already put her name on a line of sundresses and a signature guitar. Now she's extending her endorsement to a new line of greeting cards. Taylor has partnered with American Greetings to create the line of cards, gift packaging stationery and online greetings. She says, quote, "I've always been fascinated by feelings and how we express them to each other. Getting to write and design these cards is a wonderful experience." Look for Taylor's greeting card line to debut this spring. They'll be available in the United States as well as the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.
*ALAN JACKSON and his wife DENISE will celebrate 30 years of marriage on December 15th. Alan tells People magazine he's happy Denise has hung on with him this long. He says, quote, "She's lasted long enough for me to mellow out, probably [be] easier...to live with, so that's a good thing." Look for more with Alan and Denise inPeople's latest Country Special, on newsstands now.
*SUGARLAND has signed on to perform at the annual Christmas in Washington TV special, coming up Sunday, December 20th at 8:00 PM ET on TNT. GEORGE LOPEZ is set to host, and NEIL DIAMOND and ROB THOMAS are among the other stars on the bill. The President and first lady will also be on hand. Sugarland is expected to perform a tune from their new holiday album, Gold and Green, in stores now.
Also, look for Sugarland to perform on the Grammy Nominations Special Wednesday, December 2nd on CBS.
*BRAD PAISLEY is 10 years into a stellar career, and he feels like he's just broken through to a wider audience in the last few years. In a recent interview with CNN, Brad says, quote, "I hope I still have people's ears as long as I have things to say....I just hope that I can stretch this out for a long time." The title cut from Brad's latest album, American Saturday Night, is now climbing the country chart.
*JIMMY WAYNE will release his new studio album, Sara Smile, this Monday after completing his first major tour with BRAD PAISLEY. His current success hasn't come easily, though. Jimmy tells Billboard magazine, quote, "I've found something that I really love, not something that feels like a job...I worked at it and believe with all my heart that it was going to happen." Jimmy's version of the HALL & OATES classic "Sara Smile," featuring DARRYL HALL and JOHN OATES, is now climbing the country chart.
*Does LUKE BRYAN remind you of any particular movie character? If you ask Luke himself, he feels he's most like Forrest Gump. In an interview with TheBoot.com, Luke says, quote, "[It's] probably because of the whole Southern aspect...For some reason I always wind up on the better end of all deals...I've just kind of got the old silly boy luck."
Luke sure is having good luck these days. His latest single, "Do I," is sitting at number three on Billboard's Country Songs chart this week.
*CLAY WALKER has executive produced the soundtrack to the new independent filmNoble Things, which features the big screen debut of LEE ANN WOMACK. TRACY LAWRENCE, MARK CHESNUTT, BLAINE LARSEN, TRACY BYRD and PAM TILLIS are among the stars who've contributed songs to the project. It's now available through iTunes. Bonus is Clay.