The Band Perry, ‘Pioneer’ Cover Revealed; Whitney Duncan Engaged + More: Country Music News Roundup
The Boot rounds up today's country music news from around the web.
The Band Perry's highly-anticipated sophomore album will be called Pioneer, the sibling trio announced today (Feb. 14), also revealing the project's slick cover art (above). Due in stores April 2, the album blends country and rock with the help of two of the industry's most legendary producers. "When we set out to record Pioneer, the three of us drove across the country to work with one of our musical superheroes, Rick Rubin," Reid Perry explains. "Our time in the studio with Rick was so incredible because he challenged us to set higher goals as songwriters." "With that experience came the realization that we needed to take the music back home to Tennessee and have Dann Huff bring the songs to life with his production," adds Neil Perry. "Sometimes where one starts off is not where one ends up, which is a big theme for us on Pioneer." The album's first single, "Better Dig Two," marks the platinum-selling band's third chart-topper.
Blake Shelton has earned his very first platinum album with the 2011 disc, Red River Blue, recently certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales in excess of one million copies. Also in January, Taylor Swift's Red surpassed the four-million sales mark and "I Knew You Were Trouble" from the album hit three million. Lady Antebellum has now sold more than six million copies of their career-changing 2009 single "Need You Now."
Singer Granger Smith is getting ready to do a whole lot of walking -- in combat boots! On April 7, he'll begin a 100-mile journey in Austin, Texas, that will lead him to Fort Hood. Since 2011, the country newcomer has logged 200 miles in his boots as a way of paying tribute to those serving our country in the U.S. Armed Forces. He also recorded a song dedicated to military service members called, "That's What I Do With It." All funds raised through the Boot Walk will benefit the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization dedicated to showing appreciation of our active military, raising awareness of the challenges they face upon return and supporting their transition home. Granger's journey culminates on April 11, where he'll perform a concert. [Boot Walk]
Sarah Darling's performance during the Feb. 4 episode of "The Bachelor" resulted in a 220 percent increase in sales of her single, "Home to Me." Sarah returns to the reality dating show on Tuesday, Feb. 19 for "The Bachelor: Sean Tells All" special, airing at 9:00 PM ET on ABC. The one-hour special will feature the title star, 29-year-old Sean Lowe, sitting down with host Chris Harrison to talk about his journey as this season's Bachelor thus far. In addition to reliving some of the season's most dramatic moments so far, the episode will feature never-before-seen footage including Sarah's concert in Whitefish, Mont., where she performed for Sean and his date Lindsay, as well as a sneak peek at the rest of the season.
Taylor Swift prides herself on being tight-lipped about the real-life subjects of her songs. But there are a select few who know her closely guarded secrets: her co-writers. "I don't think it's fair for them to not know what I want to write about," she explains. "If I were to just play them the idea that I came in with, I want them to know the backstory. So I'll walk into a room with a co-writer and just say, 'Hey, nice to meet you. I really need to tell you what I've been going through because this is what I want to write about.'" [GAC]
Toby Keith and Luke Bryan have been tapped to headline the inaugural Flatlands Country Music Festival in Kansas City, Kansas. The event will be Sept. 12 - 14, with tickets going on sale tomorrow (Feb. 15) through Ticketmaster. [CountryMusicIsLove]
What a happy Valentine's it has been for Whitney Duncan! The country singer announced via Twitter today that she is engaged to Keith Tollefson, whom she met when they were both contestants on the hit CBS show, "Survivor." The two have been dating for almost two years. This will be the blond beauty's second marriage; she was briefly wed to KingBilly frontman Donny Fallgatter before her "Survivor" stint.
Watch a Video on Celebrity Valentine's Plans