The Boot rounds up today's (Jan. 14) country music news headlines from around the web.

Fan voting will begin Jan. 21 for the Academy of Country Music's new artist categories. The nine nominees were announced today (Jan. 14): Jana Kramer, Kacey Musgraves and Sunny Sweeney are nominated for New Female Vocalist. Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert and Hunter Hayes are up for New Male Vocalist. Florida Georgia Line, Love and Theft and Thompson Square will battle it out for New Vocal Duo or Group. The winner in each category will be announced in February, with the three going on to compete for New Artist of the Year at the live April 7 broadcast. [GAC]

Anderson Cooper will take his "AC360" show to Newtown, Connecticut tonight (Jan. 14), to mark the one month anniversary of the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Kenny Chesney has recorded a special version of "Amazing Grace" for the CNN show, which airs at 8:00 and 10:00 PM ET. [Keepin' it Country]

Alan Jackson is headlining the 5th Annual "Stars Go Blue" benefit concert at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium. Proceeds from the event, set for March 20, will benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance's Blue Note Fund, which helps colon cancer patients in need. The charity is important to the singer-songwriter, whose wife Denise beat colorectal cancer in 2010. Get tickets here.

Rhythm guitar player John Wilkinson, who performed with Elvis Presley more than a thousand times, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 67. "John and the beautiful music he made with Elvis will live forever in our hearts," write Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley in a statement. [Spinner]



The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
set an attendance record in 2012. Almost 565,000 people visited the Nashville landmark last year, which was a 15 percent increase from 2011's numbers. Museum director Kyle Young credits the boost to new exhibits featuring Patsy Cline, Buck Owens and Taylor Swift memorabilia. [The Tennessean]



Jason Aldean
admits he turned down a bigger role in the upcoming film, "Sweetwater." "If I was gonna be bad, I wanted to be on the film as least amount of time as possible," he jokes, also hinting that his character dies in the movie. Also starring Ed Harris and January Jones, "Sweetwater" will premiere at this month's Sundance Film Festival. [Country 92-5]

While in Los Angeles for the Golden Globes, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman attended the G'Day USA Black Tie Gala, which promotes all things Australian across the United States, including business, film and music. Coincidentally, it was at the G'day USA gala in 2005 where the pair met. "Look what happened from that chance meeting. We now have a two-year-old and a four-year-old who are waving us bye," Nicole told AAP, referring to the couple's two daughters. Other Aussies in attendance included Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts and Olivia Newton-John. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Julianne Hough was bugging out at Sunday's Golden Globes. Her earrings were made of real insects! See her look in the gallery below. [People]

Country newcomer Charlie Worsham has made a lot of critics' lists of artists to watch in 2013, as his uniquely infectious debut single, "Could It Be" gains attention at country radio. He's also perking a lot of ears with his "Cover Challenge" web series, this week putting a bluegrass spin on the hit PSY song, "Gangnam Style." Watch the clever video below. [CharlieWorsham.com]

Watch Charlie Worsham Cover 'Gangnam Style'


See Photos From the 2013 Golden Globe Awards

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