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Academy of Country Music Awards Nominees

I wonder how long country music awards shows think they’re going to be able to claim Taylor Swift as a country artist. I think that train has sailed. Swift was among this year’s nominees for Album of the Year at the Country Music Awards for her shit-kickin’, twang fest Red, and garnered four other nominations, including Entertainer of the Year. Miranda Lambert, another Entertainer of the Year nominee, ties Swift with a total of five nominations.

The big leaders, though, are Eric Church, with seven nominations around his album Chief, and Hunter Hayes, with six, including Song of the Year and Single of the Year (because maybe the Song of the Year will be a deep cut, right?) for his song “Wanted.”

The 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live on CBS on April 7th and will be hosted this year by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton.

See the full list of nominees below.

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Christina Aguilera Premieres “Just A Fool” On ‘The Voice’

Between her regular stint on The Voice and promoting her album Lotus, Christina Aguilera has more than a few responsibilities on her plate. That’s why it came as no surprise that Aguilera took advantage of her surroundings by performing a new single off Lotus, called Just A Fool, on The Voice this past Monday.

Sharing the stage with her co-star, Blake Shelton, the two blew the audience away with their spot-on performance, backing up the album’s top ten debut last Tuesday.

Check out the performance right here and let us know-did they hit it?

 

 

If you like Christina Aguilera, check out OurStage artist Shianne Mariah Phillips.

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Usher And Shakira To Replace Cee-Lo And X-Tina On 'The Voice'

We previously discussed some of the big changes to The Voice as of Season 3, but there’s already huge news about Season 4: Usher and Shakira will be replacing Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera as judges. With all of the recent drama surrounding new American Idol judges, we were hoping that The Voice would continue to keep their loveable set of coaches. Sadly, the show must go on, and so must the coaches’ own careers.

With a new album and subsequent tour, X-Tina will be replaced by Latin/pop crossover artist Shakira. Shakira seems like an odd choice, considering the other coaches are constantly dominating the charts, but we’re willing to give her a shot. Usher, on the other hand, is an excellent replacement for Cee-Lo (though we’ll certainly miss Lo’s crazy outfits…and pet cockatoo). He will be leaving the show to work on his upcoming sitcom.

Season 3 of The Voice is currently airing on NBC on Monday and Tuesday nights.

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Exclusive Q and A: Juliet Simms Takes Us Behind The Scenes of ˜The Voice’

˜The Voice’ Is Back: What’s New For Season 3?

'The Voice' Is Back: What's New For Season 3?

It’s hard to believe that The Voice is already back, but we’re not complaining.

The second season of the hit singing competition, which stars Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee-Lo Green as judges, only just wrapped in May. With the third season kicking off tonight, here are some exciting new twists you can look forward to.

  • Bigger teams: The teams have been increased from 12 up to 16 contestants, which is twice as many as were on the Season 1 teams. The result? Battle rounds AND “knockout rounds.” This is going to be intense.
  • Stealing: We’ve all seen this happen: Two amazing contestants go up against each other, their coach rambles on about how much s(he) loves both of them, and said coach eventually has to make the heartbreaking elimination. Now, the other three coaches will have the ability to steal the eliminated contestant and add them to their team. This is sure to cause some drama (and heightened competition between the coaches).
  • New mentors: The Voice is all about musical diversity. Last season, we had the opportunity to see contestants of all backgrounds get mentored by the likes of Alanis Morissette, Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie and Ne-Yo. This time around, they’ll be working with mentors from completely different genres than their coaches, which is sure to make for some great TV. Offering up their pearls of wisdom will be Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (Team Christina), Mary J. Blige (Team Adam), Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 (Team Cee-Lo), and Michael Bublé (Team Blake).
  • More familiar faces: Viewers of the first two seasons may have noticed some singers they already knew, including Dia Frampton of Meg & Dia, Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter, and singer-songwriter Charlotte Sometimes. This season, we’ll be seeing former Hey Monday vocalist Cassadee Pope…and maybe even an OurStage artist or two?
  • More singing from all contestants: In the past, we’ve gone too long without seeing certain contestants sing, depending on the competition schedule. This season, all current contestants will sing during live shows, so you won’t miss your favorites.
  • More Purrfect: We all know that the real breakout star of Season 2 was Purrfect, Cee-Lo’s snow-colored, sour-faced cat. She randomly showed up in his arms about halfway through the competition, and was soon immortalized on his clothing (and on Twitter). Judging from her most recent tweets, the famous feline will be back on Mr. Green’s lap for more vocal warefare this fall.

Season 3 begins with a three-night premiere starting tonight at 8PM EST. Check out a special preview of the blind auditions below!

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Exclusive Q and A: Juliet Simms Takes Us Behind The Scenes of 'The Voice'

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsUp until Superbowl Sunday, Juliet Simms was known solely in the underground modern rock scene as the vocal powerhouse of  pop punk band Automatic Loveletter. On stage, she was a charismatic performer, earning her stripes on the Warped Tour circuit and on club tours with bands like Secondhand Serenade and Cute Is What We Aim For. But behind the scenes, Simms struggled to find a label to call home and was constantly battling those who believed a woman simply couldn’t hang in the male-centric world of rock music. Simms’ tight-knit fan community were by her side, but she couldn’t seem to break into the mainstream the way she wanted to.
In 2011, she took to The Voice‘s stage in hopes of impressing one of the four judges: Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Cee-Lo Green. Her rendition of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” in the blind auditions was good enough to make all but Shelton fight for her to join their team. After joining Team Cee-Lo, Simms continued to blow the competition out of the water with her covers of “Roxanne,” “Cryin’,” “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and more. She finished in second place on The Voice, but is undoubtedly the contestant that the world is waiting on. We caught up with Juliet to find out more about her experience on the show and what we can expect from her career in the future.

OS: What was your audition process for The Voice? What made you decide to sing “Oh! Darling” for your audition?

JS: I’ve never really been one for covering songs. I’ve always just done originals. However I grew up singing The Beatles and just felt if I was going to do this show, I was going to do it my way and represent the music I so much believe in.

OS: Before you auditioned, did you have a first choice for which coach you’d want to work with? How did it feel when three out of four coaches turned their chairs around for you?

JS: I walked onto the blind audition stage just hoping one would turn around for me. When I saw that three had turned for me I was dumbfounded. Cee- Lo spoke from his heart and I could hear the loyalty in his words. I knew he was the right coach to go with!

OS:  What has life been like for you since the show ended? Do you have any immediate plans of things you’d like to start working on?

JS: Life has been drunk…[laughs] no, just kidding. Being out in the wilderness again is taking some getting used to. I’m pretty much just resting…I was and still am pretty sick so I’m trying to get better. My plans are to take immediate action in making an album.

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Sound and Vision: Why Is the World So Obsessed with Lionel Richie Right Now?

Life is full of surprises, and sometimes, so is pop music. In recent weeks, it’s recovered its long-dormant ability to shock, or at least catch us off guard with the unlikely hit, or the unexpected comeback.

Several months ago, I never dreamed I would ever ask the question that is the title of this article. It had been more than twenty-five years since Lionel Richie’s commercial heyday, and on the charts, he had been succeeded by younger romantic leads in pop and R&B many times over (Babyface, Usher, Ne-Yo, among others).

Then came one of those surprise developments seldom seen in pop anymore: On Billboard magazine’s Top 200 album chart for the week following the March 26 release of Tuskegee, Richie’s first studio album since 2009’s Just Go (which didn’t make the US Top 20 and failed to go gold), he debuted at No. 2 with first-week sales of 199,000 copies, right behind Madonna’s latest, MDNA.

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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Sound and Vision: The Pop-Star Chatroom: Collision and Communion on Twitter

For a good time, call¦

On second thought, don’t.

That might have been what Justin Bieber was thinking in March when he found out he might be facing legal action for tweeting a fake phone number minus one digit to his 19 million Twitter followers, resulting in more than 1,000 phone calls being made to a man and a woman in Texas who threatened to take him to court. (The potential plaintiffs’ requests: an apology, concert tickets, free publicity and financial compensation for out-of-pocket expenses.)

It was a harmless enough prank, yes, but the next time Bieber tweets something, he might want to consider doing what so many pop stars are doing and tweeting it to someone who’s also famous”like his new BFF Carly Rae Jepsen, the recipient of several recent Bieber tweets, including one wishing a happy easter to his fellow Canadian and fellow Top 10 resident on Billboard’s Hot 100 (Bieber with Boyfriend, Jepsen with Call Me Maybe).

Who else is connecting on Twitter? I love you, you cray, Katy Perry tweeted on March 31 to Rihanna, who made news when she began following her ex Chris Brown on Twitter. Rihanna’s sometime collaborator Nicki Minaj had a brief war of words with Cher last November on Twitter over a third party’s misinterpretation of Minaj’s lyrics: “@cher did you know that b***h @NICKIMINAJ dissed you in her song DID IT ON EM.” Cher flipped. Minaj fans flipped, too, explaining that it was a “rap metaphor,” not a jab. Cher conceded defeat. Minaj offered, simply, “@Cher #stopit5.” Case closed.

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Exclusive Q and A: Justin Moore Talks about Life as one of Country Music's Young Guns

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsJustin Moore has been called one of the latest outlaw country artists. I was relieved, in a way, when I read Moore doesn’t think of himself that way. I don’t either.

Maybe the moniker came about because he is one of country music’s up-and-coming young guns”pun intended due to Moore’s hit song Guns.” So is his buddy Josh Thompson. And Kiefer Thompson, of Thompson Square. Scotty McCreery is another. The list goes on.

I formed my impression of Moore after talking to him a few times in the past eighteen months. I found him to be straightforward, honest, down-to-earth and incredibly humble. Let’s put it this way”mama would let her babies grow up to be cowboys if they were half as genuine as Moore.

But rather than tell you about Moore, we’ll let him tell you about himself in this exclusive Q&A.

OS: So you have been on tour with Blake Shelton on the Well Lit & Amplified Tour. What is that like?

JS: It has been a blast! Miranda [Lambert, Shelton’s wife] and I are good friends. We’ve toured together a lot in the past couple of years. Blake is as down to earth as they come.

OS: What’s the biggest difference in your show these days?

JM: This tour is different than any other tour [we’ve done]. For one thing, we have got production and I never had that before this tour. We have a tractor trailer pulling gear. That all makes a huge difference. The lighting, the staging. It takes so much pressure off me as an artist. People are not only looking at you, they see the cools staging.

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