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Kenny Chesney No Shoes Nation Tour Kicks Off; Johnny Cash Music Festival Lineup Announced + More: Country News Roundup

Ebet Roberts, Redferns

The Boot rounds up today’s country music news from around the web.

Pirate flags were waving from the upper sections of Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium this weekend as Kenny Chesney kicked off his 2013 No Shoes Nation tour. The superstar entertainer’s fans began tailgating early as part of Kenny’s Beach Party outside the venue, then settled in for the two-plus-hour show, which had them almost as excited as the singer himself. “It was our third time coming to Tampa to kick off the tour, and there’s a reason,” he explains. “It’s Florida, it’s warm, it’s near the ocean, and these fans are just off the chain.” Among the highlights of the show was opening artist Kacey Musgraves joining Kenny for a duet on his hit, “Come Over.” The crowd of 47,492 included ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, Philadelphia Phillies pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, New York Yankee Kevin Youkils and USC quarterback Matt Barkley. In addition to the headliner and Kacey, the star-packed bill also features Eric Church and the Eli Young Band.

Kenny Chesney is among the latest round of superstar acts scheduled to perform for the 48th Annual ACM Awards telecast next month. His tour mate Eric Church, along with fellow superstars Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town have also been added to the lineup, which includes the show’s co-hosts, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Previously announced performers include Kelly Clarkson, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, George Strait and the Band Perry. The show will air live from Las Vegas, Sunday, April 7 at 8:00 PM ET/delayed PT on CBS.

The inaugural Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam will have a star-studded lineup for country fans in Panama City, Fla., this fall. The six beachfront stages will boast sets from Toby Keith, Brantley Gilbert, Trace Adkins, Eli Young Band, Kip Moore, Charlie Daniels Band, Tate Stevens, Darryl Worley and Blackberry Smoke. Get tickets and more information on the event, which is set for Sept. 26-28, here.

In an interview with Billboard, The Band Perry reveals their upcoming album, Pioneer, was truly a labor of love. The sibling trio wrote and re-wrote each track on the project four times, and then looked over videos of each live show “like a game tape” to see what they could do better. “Even more than pressure, we felt responsibility to even have the opportunity to record a second album,” Kimberly Perry says, “because the fans making the first record such a success was in itself such a gift. The three of us felt the responsibility to dig as deep as we could, and we definitely dug deep.” Pioneer is due in stores April 2.

Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers and Joanne Cash Yates will join show host Tommy Cash for the third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, set for August 17 at Arkansas State University’s Convocation Center in Jonesboro. Tickets will go on sale April 1 and proceeds from this year’s event will once again help fund the restoration of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess, Ark., as well as support a scholarship fund established in the iconic entertainer’s name. The restoration of the home is well underway and the museum is projected to open in the spring of 2014. Tickets for the Johnny Cash Music Festival are available at www.johnnycashmusicfest.com, or by calling 1-888-278-3267.

Kip Moore is set to perform his new single, “Hey Pretty Girl” on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” tonight (March 18). The song follows two chart-toppers from his debut album, Up All Night, and is his fasting rising single to date.

The music, sports and TV worlds will collide on April 23 at the Pine Creek Golf Course in Mount Juliet, Tenn., for the annual Christmas 4 Kids Celebrity Golf Tournament. Golfers will include Tracy Lawrence, Bo Bice, David Ball, Lisa Matassa, Del Gray of Little Texas, Mickie James, Mark Cooke, Ty Brown, Lucas Hoge and Eric Heatherly. The Roys will host the tournament, which benefits underprivileged kids in middle Tennessee. For tickets and more information, click here.

The “Road to the Ram Jam” series continues this week with the auction of Easton Corbin‘s 2012 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. Starting at 7:00 PM ET today (March 18), fans can bid on the singer’s truck here, with all the proceeds from the auction benefiting the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to children of American service members who have sacrificed their lives or a limb by defending our country. Zac Brown’s Ram truck was auctioned off last week and raised $39,300 for his Camp Southern Ground.

Watch Easton Corbin’s ‘All Over the Road’ Video

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