Fresh off its nationwide release a couple weeks back, Country Strong, starring Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow, continues to be a hit and this time, not just with country music fans. The song “Coming Home” which was penned by songwriters Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey and sung by Gwyneth in the movie has been given an Oscar nod in the Original Song category. “Coming Home” is up against “I See The Light” (Tangled), “If I Rise” (127 Hours) and “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3) for the honor.
Other songs from Country Strong have proved to be popular with music fans and movie goers alike as well. The soundtrack is currently in the #2 spot on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart and #6 on the Billboard 200 for all genres respectively.
The 83rd annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 27th on ABC.
Tim McGraw is set to kick off his 'Emotional Traffic' tour beginning in March with over 50 dates announced. Luke Bryan and The Band Perry will be the show openers.
I just try to go in and find the best songs I can find, songs I really like, and try to let the music and the songs take you where they take you. I don't really put any kind of parameters on anything I'm doing. Ultimately, as an artist, you have to go in and cut songs you like and make them sound the way you want them to sound, and hopefully, the people will like it." -Interview with www.theboot.com
March 7: Houston, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo*
April 8: Corpus Christi, Texas, American Bank Center
April 9: Austin, Texas, Frank Erwin Center
April 10: Bossier City, La. CenturyTel Arena
April 12: Jackson, Miss., Mississippi Coliseum
April 16: Atlanta, Aarons Amphitheatre at Lakewood
April 17: Savannah, Ga., Savannah Civic Center
April 29: Tampa, Fla., 1-800-ASK-GARYAmphitheatre
April 30: West Palm Beach, Fla., Cruzan Amphitheatre
George Strait's tour with Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack comes in as the No. 1 country tour on this year's list of Pollstar's top-grossing tours. The Strait tour grossed $41.6 million over the course of 2010.
The three will once again hit the road next year. Their first date is in Austin, Texas on January 14.
Brad Paisley's H20 World Tour is No. 15 with $40.7 million, followed by Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum with $39.1 million. Other country artists on the list of Top 50 tours include Carrie Underwood with $38.3 million, Taylor Swift at $34.2 million, Rascal Flatts with $28.4 million, Brooks & Dunn with $25.7 million, Toby Keith at $25.5 million and Sugarland with $19 million. Bon Jovi's tour ranked at the top of the list overall with $108.2 million.
As some of you know, I'm really looking forward to seeing Country Strong, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. Paltrow sings the title track from the album and performed it live at this years CMA Award Show.
So needless to say, I was excited to see that AOL's The Boot (www.theboot.com) sat down in a Nashville studio with the Gwyneth Paltrow to talk about the movie and her challenges with playing Kelly. She also shares her thoughts about Music City's songwriting community, her new love and appreciation for country music and the artists who make it, as well as her obsession with the iconic Dolly Parton.
What made you want to take on the role of a country singer?
I was sent this script for 'Country Strong' when I was making 'Iron Man 2,' and I'm not a very good script reader. I'm not very responsive, I guess [laughs]. I've read so many bad scripts over the years that I stopped reading them at a certain point. But my friend Jenna was producing the movie, and she said, "You really should read this." So, I read it, and I got completely absorbed in the world, and it was such an amazing character. I knew nothing about country music. I was born in Los Angeles, and I grew up in New York City, and I wasn't really exposed to it. So, I was very daunted by the idea of taking it on, but I fell completely in love with the character and the world. So, I started doing research. I started with Hank [Williams] Sr. and Johnny Cash and just started educating myself. The amazing thing to me was I really fell in love with country music. I never expected that it would become a part of who I am. It was a completely unexpected side-effect of doing the movie. Now, I'll be having a party and my friends will be like, "What are we listening to?" And I'll say, "Miranda Lambert. Love it! It's the best thing in the world." I'm completely converted. The whole experience has been as surprising for me as it is for you.
Country superstar Tim McGraw is going to try to get to the roots of his family tree when he appears on the NBC series "Who Do You Think You Are?". Cameras will be rolling as Tim digs through his own family's history to see what he can uncover.
Many country fans know the story that Tim grew up thinking that his step-father, Horace Smith, was his father until he discovered his birth certificate in his mother's closet when looking for some pictures. It was then that the 11 year old Tim discovered that his father was really baseball great Tug McGraw, who also happened to be his baseball hero.
Tim's mother took him to see Tug, but Tug denied being his father. It wasn't until an 18 year old Tim once again tracked Tug down that the elder McGraw noticed the resemblance and admitted to being his father.
What family secrets will Tim uncover on "Who Do You Think You Are?" I guess we'll just have to tune in and find out!
It wasn't a great year for country tours in 2010 as none of the usual suspects cracked the Top 10 grossing concert tours of the year.
Tim McGraw was the highest grossing country act of the year, grossing nearly $45 million over 71 shows. McGraw's tour drew about 880,000 fans and finished at number 13 on the Billboard list.
The next country artist, Taylor Swift, finished at number 15, pulling in $40 million and 643,000 fans to 47 shows.
Bon Jovi was the top touring act on the list, drawing 1.6 million fans over 69 shows and grossing $146 million.
The rest of the Top 10: U2, AC/DC, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, James Taylor/Carole King, Eagles, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band and Paul McCartney.
Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow share the big screen in the new movie "Country Strong" about a washed up country singer. McGraw is no stranger to crossing over from one career to another, moving seamlessly between his music career and his acting, but he definitely took notice when Paltrow wowed the crowd at this year's CMA's, receiving a standing ovation. As he told Ellen DeGeneres recently:
"I'm sort of pissed at her though," McGraw said, jokingly. "I've been, what, twenty years I've been in the music business and I don't think I've ever gotten a standing ovation at the CMA's. After all the hard work I've done, after all the time and effort. And then she walks out and sings one song and everybody stands up."
You can watch McGraw's full interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Thursday, Dec. 16.
Tim McGraw's acting career seems to be hotter than ever. His current movie, Country Strong hits theaters next month and we've learned that he has signed on for a new roll that he will begin filming in March 2011.
McGraw will star next to Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington in the action film, Safe House. Playing the role of a spy, McGraw had this to say about his part:
I get to play something action packed. I get to shoot people and stuff. I’m looking forward to that.
The plot of Safe House centers on the only surviving agent of an attack on a CIA safe house (Reynolds) as he tries to get a lethal prisoner (Washington) to a second safe house before being taken out by violent forces that want them both dead.
Safe House is currently scheduled to be released in cinemas on February 10, 2012.
Taylor Swift Opens Up To E! in the "E! Entertainment Special: Taylor Swift" with a 1 hour special airing December 1, 2010.
The E! Entertainment Special: Taylor Swift also examines the singer's private life. Swift's determination was clear from early on as by the age of eleven, she and her mother, Andrea, were regularly traveling to Nashville where she would march into the record labels handing out demos to try and get a record deal.
Swift has built a career on writing her own stories and intimate details into her songs. The E! Special features an exclusive sit-down interview with Stephen Barker Liles, a country artist who toured with Swift and later became the focus of the song, Hey Stephen. Also examined in special is the now infamous VMA Awards show where Swift's acceptance speech was hijacked by Kanye West. Tim McGraw recalls, "My first impression is you wanna go kick his ass." Adds McGraw, "She's gonna have a long career. She's gonna do fine writing about the rest of her life."
When talking about her latest album, Speak Now, Swift says,
Country Strong, starring Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow, made it’s debut in Nashville. The stars walked the red carpet at the Regal Green Hills 16 Theater. The film tells the story of an emotionally unstable country star played by Paltrow, who embarks on a career resurrection tour behind her husband and manager, played by McGraw.
"I think it's just a lot of heart. It's very heartbreaking at times, and I think that it's just rich characters. It's sort of a study in characters. You really get caught up in their plight." -Tim McGraw
Paltrow will sing the title track on the movie's soundtrack, making her live country music debut at the 44th Annual CMA Awards show Wednesday night. And while this has spurred some internet debate, having a movie star take the performing spot of a country artist on an awards show, I'm excited to see her perform. Even though this is her singing debut in front of such a large audience, she's no stranger at portraying a singer on the big screen. Starring opposite Huey Lewis in 2000 in Duets. The girl can sing!