REVIEW: Garth Brooks Nashville 10 "The Rescue Party"

 The old saying states it is better to give than to receive, yet Garth Brooks accomplished both when he announced his benefit concert aptly named “Nashville 10  The Rescue Party” for Nashville flood relief. His giving started when the nine sold out shows garnered more than five million dollars in concert tickets and merchandise sales alone, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Community Foundation of Tennessee for Flood Relief. The donations brought much needed financial assistance to those who still struggle to rebuild homes and lives after the devastation of the May floods. The generosity and giving spirit encompassed not only the star of the show and his talented guests, Trisha Yearwood and Steve hotels and volunteers who all donated their equipment, time and talents. Due to the generosity of so many, lower Broadway businesses directly affected by the flood were “flooded” with business during the weeklong concert series, resulting in sales reports well above average and generating much needed revenue. One fan from Dallas said “Having spent my time in Nashville as a “tourist” I felt energy in the town that I didn’t expect.  I spent an afternoon walking downtown, stopping in many shops along the way.  It seemed to me that the town was abuzz and the native Nashvillian’s were genuinely grateful for the influx of folks brought to town by this monumental event. I had a mental image and expectation that there would be an element of depression in the area, but it’s clear that Nashville is resilient and focused on coming back better than before.” Many business fronts decorated their windows and hung banners thanking Garth for his support and boosting the economy. During the final show, Mayor Karl Dean took the stage to present Garth and Trisha with a framed commemorative thank you poster for the efforts and assistance to the city. In addition to concert donations, Mayor Dean reported an estimated $15 million dollars was brought to the city in hotel revenue alone.  

Wariner, but also included the entire production crew, countless individuals and too many businesses to mention; from catering and merchandise to

Opening the early show every evening for the duration of the concerts, and also contributing backup vocals was Wilmington, NC native Karyn Rochelle, currently a Nashville songwriter with hit singles such as "I Wonder", "Red High Heels", and "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" for Kellie Pickler, and also "Georgia Rain" and "This Is Me You're Talking To" for Trisha Yearwood. The tone of gift giving co

ntinued as concert attendees received a copy of Karyn’s new EP which was given out after each show as a thank you for the support to the cause.

A highlight of the event and continuation of the “giving” came for Ms. Yearwood during the Friday night performance. According to her Facebook status post she wrote Last night. Nashville. Marines on stage with me singing "How Do I Live" does NOT get any better than this!” The Marines were part of many who were on hand for the “Toys For Tots” collection which was stationed in front of the Bridgestone Arena for all nine of the concerts.  Another big moment during the week came when NFL Alum Ray Carolin delivered over 14,000 toys which arrived by semi-trailer trucks accompanied by Santa Claus on Sunday afternoon. “The opportunity to help Garth in his efforts to help our buddies in the U.S. Marine Corp. and their Toys for Tots program is an honor.” said Carolin. The toys were donated by a number of children’s to

y and sporting goods companies, and Spalding Sporting Goods.
The first three performances were filmed those serving in the Military; those giving up so much and making the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. On December 25th and again on December 26th, the AFN (Armed Forces Network) aired the concert for the troops as a great big thank you and Christmas gift. Each night during the nine shows, Ms. Yearwood announced the taping and the audience response was deafening, with repeated chants of USA echoing throughout the arena. “What an amazing gift for our troops over seas to have an opportunity to see the show broadcast.  Couple this with the entire “gig” being about charity and it gives an entirely different perspective on what is driving Garth and Trisha.  So much of what they are involved in now revolves around charity.  They are giving more than the gift of music.” a concert attendee who traveled to Nashville from Dallas shared with me.

Each night the performance seemed to get better and better, and those who attended all nine of the shows attested that Garth still has it; he has not forgotten how to entertain and make every person in an arena holding 17,000 people feel like they are the only person in the room and each show special. Garth alluded many nights that some of those in attendance were not even born when he started his career, but looking around the crowd, one could see fans of all ages filling the arena and most everyone knew every song he sang. Seventy-three year old “Ms Nita” said she “had never seen anything like the Garth show…she stood with her eyes wide and enjoyed the music. It was something she would never forget, something she would remember forever!!  And what a wonderful young man he was.”  A fan from New York told me “The love that pours out from his audience to him and from him to them is

quite magical. When he connects with an audience member and you witness it, you can't help but be almost as happy as the person is... and the reaction from the lucky ones is nearly always identical... a look of shock, and then turning to the person next to them and high-fiving them... it's so much fun to watch!”

Remember in the beginning I mentioned that it is better to give than receive? Well, Garth also received much love, respect and gratitude from the fans that have waited all these years for him to perform on stage again. A favorite part of the show for everyone is the encore, or as Garth likes to call it, “housekeeping.” Fans never know what songs he will do and what signs he will honor. It is usually him and his guitar as he sings songs requested off the many bright colored poster board signs seen throughout the arena.  Many of them requested older album cuts and when he performed them he was always in awe of the fact the audience would sing them right back to him as loud as if they were his biggest hits.... and he was humbled by that every time. He said “singing every word back to me is the best gift I could ask for.”

During the press conference held before the show on Thursday, Garth affirmed the end of the Rescue Party is not the end for his live shows. Garth’s scaled-down, acoustic performances in Las Vegas will continue, and Trisha has already given him a go-ahead to hit the road again once his daughters are no longer living at home.

“With Miss Yearwood’s blessing, once the children get off to school and we feel like we can kind of be our own people, I’ve asked her blessing to fire this tour back up for one more run,” he said with his charming smile. “I would love to go from city to city, and I’d love to do it at a price that is reflective of what I feel should be out there that I’m not seeing. No offense to anybody, but people need a break, and they need to have fun, and so she has said yes.” Fans can expect him to hit the stage close to 2014.

The definition of BELIEVE is to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to and with the Christmas following just days after the final encore you can say there is no such thing as Santa, but after witnessing all the miracles and generosity that emerged from these performances, I BELIEVE!

MUSIC ROW MAGAZIN: Copeland Debuts “Smashville” Theme

Copeland Debuts “Smashville” Theme

• December 21, 2010
Copeland poses with Nashville Predators Ice Girls who attended the "Smashville" after party. Photo: Bev Moser
Lewis Copeland recently debuted his original theme song “Smashville” at the Nashville Predators game vs. the San Jose Sharks (12/15). Later during a special performance at the Stage on Broadway, Copeland again performed the song. Among those present at the “Smashville” after party were several Nashville Predators Ice Girls who passed out Preds merchandise to fans.

INTERVIEW: Rachel Holder "Christmas Eve"

In a town full of attractive Country stars, it takes a lot for a young female singer to stand out and catch the attention of Nashville’s music industry crowd. Eighteen -year-old Rachel Holder is up to the challenge.
“I’ve already learned that it takes more than a few good songs to make it in Nashville,” says Holder. “These days, I don’t think that there’s any one formula for success; I know you have to have faith in yourself, passion for the music and a serious will to succeed. And great songs!” she emphasizes.
Rachel Holder embodies youthful energy and a spirit that is refreshing and new.  Her voice is powerful and strong and will win you over whether she is singing an original tune or a cover song. We recently met in the studio for a chat before she did a radio show to talk about her  new  holiday song titled “Christmas Eve”  and her bright future and journey this far.  

Bev: Rachel, you are not a newcomer to the music business by any means. Share some of your experiences that have gotten you to this point.
Rachel: I began performing when I was younger in contests, competitions and school talent shows.  I got my first real job at  age thirteen at Pigeon Forge and I performed about 200 shows that first season.  The second season, I did two shows a day for about 300 shows a year!  I guess you’re probably wondering how did I do school with all that?  I was home schooled.  But the first year I worked there I was in 7th grade and I would go to school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; then I would perform at Pigeon Forge and come back Sunday and then go to school on Monday; it was pretty crazy.
Bev:  All of the determination and your desire truly shows.
RACHEL:  I love the music business and that’s how I grew up. God has given me a talent and it’s amazing.
Bev: Coming from that kind of a background, where you really had to learn discipline, what’s the one thing that you gained the most from that experience really early on? What’s the one thing you think you’ve carried forward from that?
RACHEL:  My experiences made me grow up early.  I learned about the real life and real life experiences that others do not have to face so quickly, that has given me a step up I think.
Bev: Have you had an opportunity to perform with any other artists? 
RACHEL:  I have!  I performed with Vince Gill and sang a duet with him.  I opened up for James Otto and some other artists, Crossing Dixon to name a few.
Bev:  Most artists have a vision of what they think the industry and business side of the music is about; what has surprised you the most?
RACHEL:  Everything is surprising!  Everything in the music industry is surprising.  There’s nothing that’s dull about it, I can tell you that!   
Bev: Has there been anything that’s scared you or what do you worry about?
RACHEL: I think we all get the doubts in our heads.  What if this song doesn’t do good?  I think we worry about that the most. And all the waiting around, then you start worrying is it ever gonna happen?  So I think that’s what scared me the most.
Bev:  Let’s talk about your Christmas song "Christmas Eve" out on radio. Did you write the song?
RACHEL: No, I didn’t. Curtis Frasca and Maria Christiansen. I fell in love with it and we got in the studio and recorded it.  These past three weeks have been so crazy and we’ve worked so hard, but I think the outcome has been amazing. 
Bev: Was it hard for you to do a holiday song and get into the holiday season before it was really in full swing? 
RACHEL: You have to get yourself in Christmas mode. That’s the fun. We shot the video on October 1st and we did most of the recording in September and October; we really had to gear up for the season little bit early.
Bev: With so much already achieved, what are your goals for the future?  Do you prefer to be a solo artist? Do you have any other aspirations on where you want your career to take you?
RACHEL: My goal is to keep putting out my music, keep getting more fans and just soon having a platform where I am recognized as a respected female country artist.
Bev:  Do you have an  “I know I’ve made it when” picture in mind?  Have you had yours or is there something that  you are reaching for?
RACHEL:  We all have that “Pinch yourself” kind of moment, and I think it changes as you evolve.
Bev:  What has the reaction been to listeners who have heard you sing “Christmas Eve”?
RACHEL:  Oh they love it! When I perform it they love it and when they see the music video and they hear the song they’re like “Oh my gosh, Rachel, I can’t believe that’s you!”  So it’s amazing to hear the feedback.
Bev:  Rachel, it was wonderful sharing this time with you and I know we will see each other again. Your future is bright and I wish you a very happy holiday season and hope all your wishes come true this year and for many years to come.
RACHEL:  Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you again as well and appreciate you taking the time to interview me and support my music.
For more information on Rachel Holder visit

INTERVIEW: Nathan Lee "Bar Room Hymns"

He writes songs about desperation for those in despair, who no longer wish to be desperate.
He sings songs about brokenness for the brokenhearted, who no longer wish to be broken.
Darkness. Spotlight. Piano.
His journey, through minefields and madness of the music industry, has taken him to the edge of the abyss. He’s danced along its edge and flirted with the shadows. In fact he’s wallowed in the bleak and black desperation of uncertainty – professionally, personally, spiritually. And though he may still occasionally walk the tightrope over that abyss, he’s found his way out of the darkness. It was music that led him back into the light. Just like it always has.
Lee resides in the in-between – of chaos and order, sin and salvation, joy and pain. There’s a bracing honesty in his refusal to provide easy answers for the complex characters and narratives he creates. You can hear it in the songs of his projects "Risk Everything" & "Bar Room Hymns". They are unflinching in their honesty, uncompromising in their artistry. He possesses the hallmark of all great artists – an ability to find and communicate honest experience no matter how painful or euphoric.
Born into music, his father ran a recording studio in Pennsylvania, just outside New York City, Lee caught the performance bug at an early age. After honing his skills in the Northeast bar and club scene, he moved to Nashville when he was 19. Once there, he began writing with a friend who had a record deal. That led to a publishing deal for Lee with EMI. He learned to treat songwriting as a craft, but writing for other artists left him in search of his own distinct voice as a performer.
2010 brought the unknown and the uncertain. Nathan focused more of his 2010 performance schedule on cause related shows in U.S. Prisons & Military bases overseas. He finished writing "Bar Room Hymns" and took the songs to 22 year old producer, Zach Hall. (Released in November 2010) The sound of this project is unlike anything Lee has recorded thus far, Yet, staying true to his artistry.
As for 2011….God only knows…..  Nathan is once again committed to a residency at 12th & Porter in Nashville called “GIVE A DAMN SUNDAY", a series he will do for the month of February with proceeds will go to local charities each week.

Nathan is one of the best people I know, he speaks from his heart and sings from his soul and his journey has touched many people along the way. Always facing challenges he states that “Staying creative while not burning out & keeping my heart gentle” is one of his biggest hurdles.

As many musicians and artists will share with you, the misconception of what we think we want and what reality has in store is sometimes difficult to swallow; he honestly answered “Well….My dream was bullshit. My heart is music. My passion is people. I moved to Nashville 16 years ago…..and it has taken me almost 16 years to learn that your dreams and your heart might not be fond of each other.  Dealing with that reality is what makes you a man…for better or worse.”

Couples think long and hard about naming their children, people put thought and meaning into naming a pet, and artist put a lot of effort into the title of their CD and album projects. “Bar Room Hymns” is who I am and what I do. I’m a Bar singer…and I sing songs to give people hope… Bar Rooms.” Explains Lee “I think it came to me when I was trying to explain to my accountant what it is that I do for a living.”

Every person relates to music personally and every individual has their own relationship with a song. When I asked Nathan about his he confided with “It’s my time alone….Capturing emotions and words and melodies. Once a song is finished, everything changes….and it becomes commerce. That’s not a bad thing…..but the intimacy of chasing down a song is the best day I could ask for.”

In times of economic strain and change, many have secretly wished to win the lottery, to have just one wish to do whatever they wanted with, I asked Nathan if he could achieve anything musically, what did he hope for. “I would build a tour model without losing my butt, and have the financial outcome help others in need. This world doesn’t need more rock stars …. but they sure as hell need more hope. I’m slowly working towards this model. It’s gonna’ take a few more bucks, and possibly a few more mistakes … and I’m praying that I can retain the strength to see it through. I’d like to be part of something that involves real music, and helping people get ahead in their not-so-perfect emotional situations, without losing money. I hate the word “could” …. so I’m working towards figuring it out. In the process of learning how to do this, I’ve also had to do some unlearning as well. It’s going to take a team. This kind of heartbeat requires some serious clarity and a specific vision/direction. One day at a time … one breath at a time.”

With every “new baby” comes new obstacle and choices, Nathan and I spoke about “Bar Room Hymns” and what he struggled with during the creation of this project. “Honestly…this one wasn’t difficult. When I handed the songs over to Zach Hall, I completely let go. The tricky part was figuring out which songs to record. We had a lot of songs. As far as creative direction….I trusted him; and I’m glad I did. Zach Hall might be the best kept secret in Nashville. He rolls out of bed every morning with a fire under his belt, and the ability to keep a gentle heart. Hanging in the studio with him is about as good as it gets. He’s far more interested in creativity and what feels good, than he is impressing. We’ve written together over the years….and every time I left his studio with a demo, I’d be driving away thinking “Damn…that kid is good; he knows how to find a heartbeat”. He also knows how to work fast, which allowed ideas to be captured quickly. I couldn’t think of anyone better to take these new songs to. He aced it. We released it without mixing or mastering. I’m damn proud of It!”

Anyone who knows Nathan Lee knows he stands out on his own and as an individual. His style and his persona is not a copycat of anyone else. When asking him about how is “fans” were accepting and reacting to his latest CD, he responded with ”Let me start and finish by saying this. The word “fans” has never sat right with me. It’s very acceptable in country music and I believe it’s because country music listeners are far more sincere than other genres of music. That being said, I don’t want fans, I want intimacy! Do you realize how many years it has taken me to learn this? Of course I’d like to sell out Madison Square Garden, but not at the risk of being some Record Labels puppet, or selling my soul and time to a marketing/PR FIRM.  I’m an artist. I wake up every day and make art, and at night I share that art; In bars and clubs. If there comes a night when 300 listeners turns in to 3000 listeners. Fantastic! But a man can’t sing songs about Brokenness and Healing and act like a Rock star; that’s the simple truth! I prefer not to re-learn the lessons that taught me that simple truth, Otherwise I’d be a loudmouth poser and God knows we don’t need anymore of those.”

"I hope you hear my heart in this....I'm grateful to anyone who listens to the songs I write. Truly grateful. But I don't need my ego stroked to feel good about what I do. If that’s the path to musical success, I’d rather be a failure. The beauty in getting older is I want to make music for the people who want it; not the people who don't.

I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have said this ten years ago, and I'm curious as to what I'll think of these statements ten years from now.
The one thing I do know, there's more to learn. I’m certain of this.

For those of you who have shown me support; I am grateful for you. And if it's okay with you...I'd rather call you my friend, instead of my fan. Cool?"

The “Interlude” happened during the recording process. Near the end of recording the piano parts, Zach asked me to just sit down and play for a while. He recorded about an hour of  solo piano parts. I’ve always wanted to open and close a record with solo pieces….I’m glad we did it.
New York City” was actually written in NYC, over a period of 3 years. The lyrics are actually journal entries. Every time I was in NYC, I ended up thinking about back home, which is only an hour from the city. Earlier this year, I compiled all the entries, and turned them in to a lyric.
“What Love Is All About” was written the day after I got home from the 40 Day Risk. I was exhausted. I was sitting in front of a bible and a big ass bottle of whiskey….and I was clueless on what was next. These words are the quiet whisper I heard after a lot of prayer.
I wrote this with my buddy Rique Patire. After a long conversation, one thing we realized was simply this…..we all have heartaches that we carry….the question is. “Will you carry, or will you be carried”
There’s only one person I could of written this with…Tony Lucido. Tony is one of my few buds who is willing to break down the honest truth about moving forward as a man. It’s not comfortable subject matter….But it was important to us to take a look back, and look forward, at who we’ve been, and who we want to be.
I wrote this song 10 years ago with Marty Funderburk. I’ve had it sitting around ever since. When Zach went through my catalog, he instantly said that it needed to be on the record. This song isn’t easy for me to sing. It hurts. It’s honest. And I’m happy we finally released it.
7. DOWN.
“Down” was written in early 2010 in L.A. with Wyatt Earp. Wyatt is a true cowboy, and an amazing artist, writer, and actor. Zach took this song in a different direction from the way Wyatt and I originally wrote it. Originally, it was another minute and a half longer…..Zach made some serious changes. This one was tricky for me in the recording process. I’m guessing that I’ll take back to the original template for Live shows, but I’m really happy that we took some chances with this one in the studio.
“Gotta Keep Movin’ On” was written a couple years ago with my buddy, Kyle Wyley. It was one of those rainy Mondays, when we couldn’t seem to find our next step. This song has been a bit of an anthem for me over the past year.
“Use Your Voice” was written for a non-profit called World Vision. A buddy of mine, Jonny Morgan, was hired to shoot a video for them to help raise awareness, and help musicians get involved. In the process, they gave him 20 words to use as an outline for the storyboard. Jonny gave me those words, and I put em’ all in a song. For me, it was a fun and challenging writing process. When it was all said and done, we put the song on the new record as well. I’m proud of this song. I truly hope that More musicians use their abilities to help World Vision. It’s an amazing organization that truly gives hope and restores faith all over the world.
“Carnival Lights” is the one song on the album that makes me take a step back. The sound…the lyric….the mood….it feels like the old me and the new me all wrapped up. We used a vocoder on this track…..something I was making fun of only 2 years ago. I’ve become exhausted on survival in the music business. I’ve grown to realize that I’m not willing to do the things it takes to survive in the music business, simply because the value I have for people is starting to change. This was my gentle “F - You….It’s time to start being honest about what really matters”
The “Postlude” is what it is…..a gentle exit….without the words.

For more information and to order his AMAZING new CD visit his website

Press Conference: "RUDY" Ruettinger and Ross Browner

When one hears the name “Rudy”, most everyone immediately connects it with the 1993 classic inspirational movie “Rudy.”  On Saturday December 11th, Mount Juliet was blessed with the real life “Rudy” as Mr. Daniel Ruettinger, the world renowned playwright and name sake of the 1993 Rudy and his Notre Dame team mate, Ross Browner, served as Co-Grand Marshall’s of the 2010 Christmas Parade.

Winning isn't everything-it's the only thing!"  In the famous words of Coach Vince Lombardi, Ross Browner knows what it means to be a winner. Browner is a Nashville resident and one of the most honored and decorated collegiate players in history, who went on for more than a decade of NFL notoriety. At the University of Notre Dame he was a four-year starter at defensive end, voted  All-America his junior and senior seasons and won the Outland trophy as the nation's best interior or defensive lineman. The United Press International named him Lineman of the Year and is the only player ever to win it twice. The Lombardi Trophy , Maxwell Award  were also handed to Browner and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was the first round draft pick in the 1978 NFL Draft for the Cincinnati Bengals. Voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 1978, he played nine seasons for the Bengals. He set the Super Bowl record for tackles by a defensive lineman in Super Bowl XVI. Browner played one season (1987) with the Green Bay Packers before retiring.

Rudy transferred to Notre Dame in the Fall of 1974.  His focus at Notre Dame was his studies.  Rudy was so inspired to actually attend this University, that had been such a Dream for him as a child that he would do what ever it took to keep his grades up and earn the respect of his peers.  While at Notre Dame, Rudy developed another Dream to play football for the Fighting Irish.  Rudy walked on the team under the coaching staff of Ara Parseghian in 1974.  He played his guts out and treated every practice like it was a real game.  Rudy Never Quit and won the respect of his team mates.  It was this enthusiasm that eventually got Rudy in the game to live his second Dream.  While in the game Rudy saw an opportunity make his move.  He got the tackle.  “When the ball moved I moved,” said Rudy.  Rudy didn't get the tackle because he was lucky.  He prepared, he persevered.  He worked everyday and set his goals every day no matter how tough it got so when his opportunity came, he was ready.

The movie RUDY is a True Story.  Rudy's dream was real, the tackle was real, the carry off was real.  The struggle was real.  The victory was real.  The movie was made to tell a story that would inspire others – to let people know that no matter what the odds are, they can overcome them – they can win.  No matter what your background, your grades, your size – you can find a way.  It won't come easy.  The message is clear that you need to struggle, you need to prepare to earn your dream.  It's all about The Dream, The Struggle, The Victory!

ARTICLE: CMT "Artist of The Year"

Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band

Hosted by Kevin Costner with Performances by Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker with Adele, Jason Aldean and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Maroon 5 and Zac Brown Band with Amos Lee

Presenters include Celebrity Chef Cat Cora, Hayley Williams of Paramore,
Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett, Kid Rock, Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride,
Alabama’s Randy Owen, Randy Travis and Smokey Robinson

90-Minute Special Taped Last Night In Nashville and Premieres Friday, December 3 on CMT

NASHVILLE – December 1, 2010 – The stars were out last night in Nashville to honor CMT’s first ever ARTISTS OF THE YEAR, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band, for their successes of the past year.  Hosted by Kevin Costner, CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR will premiere Friday, December 3 from 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., ET/PT on CMT and 
During the 90-minute special, taped last night at the Factory in Franklin, the honorees were brought together with their peers, as well as celebrities from across the entertainment spectrum, including celebrity chef Cat Cora, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett, Kid Rock, Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Alabama’s Randy Owen, Randy Travis and Smokey Robinson who served as presenters for the glamorous evening.  Kevin Costner opened the night by taking the stage and reminding the five honorees that, “Tonight is about you.  It’s not just about numbers this past year…it’s about impact.” 
Some of the night’s honorees chose to perform their hits such as Jason Aldean, who kicked off the evening and was joined onstage by Aerosmith’s Joe Perry for the rockin’ “My Kind of Party”; Zac Brown Band who sang their new single “Colder Weather” joined by the soulful Amos Lee; and Carrie Underwood, who performed a medley of hits from the past year including “Cowboy Casanova,” “Temporary Home” and “Undo It.” Honorees Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum looked on as their hits were performed by others; Maroon 5 surprised Taylor Swift by performing her latest hit, “Mine” as the country superstar danced and sang along; and Darius Rucker and Adele performed Lady Antebellum’s smash “Need You Now” as the trio watched in appreciation.  Surprises were also in store as the honorees watched pre-taped segments that included words of praise from their biggest admirers, including Charlie Daniels, Reba McEntire, Ryan Seacrest, Selena Gomez and more. 
The night was filled with tears of gratitude and appreciation as the honorees took the stage to thank those who have aided in their recent successes.  Zac Brown Band accepted their Artist of the Year trophies first, which were presented to them by friend Kid Rock.  Carrie Underwood gave a tearful speech as she accepted her award from legend Randy Travis and Jason Aldean gave thanks to everyone who has supported him in his career thus far after receiving his award from Alabama's Randy Owen. Taylor Swift obtained her trophy from close pal Hayley Williams and Martina McBride presented awards to her former tourmates Lady Antebellum. 
In addition to the television taping, the evening also included an elegant three-course dinner created by the James Beard Award-winning chefs RJ Cooper (Washington, D.C., 2007); John Currence (Oxford, Miss., 2009); and Michael Schwartz (Miami, Fla., 2010), and chocolate truffles inspired by the night’s honorees created by Nashville chocolatier Bethany Thouin
Over the past 12 months, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band have collectively received over 2.5 million plays of their current songs; sold over 8.5 million copies of their current albums; sold over 21 million individual downloads of their current singles; and topped both the touring and charts, proving themselves to be the top country artists for 2010.
            CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR is produced by Audrey Morrissey and Chad Hines.  John Hamlin and Margaret Comeaux serve as executive producers for CMT.


Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum,