Tag Archives: country music

“Country Superstars Tribute” Act Temporarily Ends in Las Vegas

CountryStarsTributeThe “Country Superstars Tribute” is wrapping up their performances at Fitzgeralds in Las Vegas on June 28, with the “Marriage Can Be Murder” dinner show moving in the next day. 

The country show with the “Legends’ impersonator format has been growing strong for two years and more than 500 shows.  But the live band and multi-act format proved to be top-heavy for the room, which only seats about 120 people. 

Ron Keel, who originally co-produced and performed as Ronnie Dunn, has been spending more time out of the show, trying to revive his ‘80s rock band, Keel.  Producer Leonard Quenneville hopes to find a Las Vegas venue large enough to support the show’s format. 

“Marriage” will put the audience closer to fellow suspects when the dinner show gives up the Canyon Club at Four Queens for the cozier space at Fitzgeralds.

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Garth Brooks Roping In New Las Vegas Deal?

As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, Garth Brooks poo-pooed any plans he had of performing in Las Vegas, supposedly working out a deal with Steve Wynn.  Was it a smokescreen?  GarthBrooks

On Monday at the Wynn Encore he had a surprise concert for 600 to 800 VIP guests.  The guests arrived at the theater to find black hats on their seats.  Out came Brooks, who put on a full concert without a band behind him. 

Some say that Brooks already has a Encore contract in his hands, but the sticking point is ticket prices.   Brooks, like Bruce Springsteen before him, apparently isn’t comfortable with “Vegas” ticket pricing- at least not yet.

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‘Fearless’ Taylor Swift Makes Tracks Back to Las Vegas

Not many artists have an opportunity to make a concert entrance by descending from the rafters in an elevator and exiting to the showroom floor via a David Copperfield magic illusion, but young country music star sensation Taylor Swift had just that, stealing the moment at the 2009 Academy of County Music Awards at the MGM Grand Las Vegas on April 5.  taylorswift1

Swift will be back in Las Vegas on May 23 as she brings her Fearless Tour 2009 to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  Opening acts will be American Idol alum Kelli Pickler and country music group Gloriana. 

A few tickets are still available if you want to watch the Nielsen 2008’s top-selling artist perform.

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Jessica Simpson: Blond if you do, blond if you don’t

Jessica Simpson, a frequent Las Vegas visitor, is one of those talented types who can’t seem to catch a break.  As a pop singer she was constantly compared to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera – too voluptuous to be nice and not jessicasimpsongritty enough to be naughty.   

Her personal life has been the used as the source to create tabloid top sellers with pictures and stories of men who have, and who haven’t, spent time with her.  

And now only months after settling into her single woman skin and stepping up to the country music mic, Simpson appears to be ending her foray into her musical roots.  While she remains part of the Sony Music Group on the Epic label, Simpson is no longer involved with Sony Music Nashville.  Lauren Auslander a former spokesperson for Simpson said, “She (Simpson) was on loan to Sony Nashville for her country album.”   

Many fans believe that Simpson is a favorite target of the media and is often portrayed in a less than favorable light because of petty jealousy.  In a recent interview, Rascal Flatts’ lead singer Gary Levox said Simpson “..is in a spot where whatever she does, they pick her apart. They need to just leave her alone and just let her sing.” 

“She’s a wonderfully gifted singer,” added bassist Jay DeMarcus. “All the other stuff overshadows what she’s really about and it’s unfortunate, because there’s more to her there than just tabloid fodder.” 

It could be Jessica Simpson will spend her time in the spotlight being the blonde everyone loves to hate.  But with her talent, it’s more likely, Las Vegas Backstage Access believes, that she’ll find a way to rebound like blonde archetype Madonna than fall into the archives like Taylor Dayne.

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Las Vegas Goes Country, Hollywood Tags Along

When Las Vegas hosts a party, stand back- nothing is ever commonplace in the City of Entertainment.  Last night’s 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Arena proved to be no exception.   The buzz of the award’s evening followed a week of Las Vegas fun, glitz, and glamour as Hollywood stars joined with country music’s best and brightest. 

The three-hour awards show featured award presenters Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie Foxx and Matthew McConaughey, but all eyes were on legendary Reba McEntire as she hosted the show for the 11th consecutive year.  

Providing a fitting prelude to the awards, hundreds of frenzied fans greeted their favorite musicians and singers on the red carpet outside of the MGM Grand before the show. 

After Kenny Chesney performed “Out Last Night”, Jennifer Love Hewitt arrived on stage wearing in a long white flowing gown and announced the first award of the night for Song of the Year among award contenders George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Heidi Newfield, Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins. 

Jennifer said she was not only a big fan of country music but also of Vegas. “There’s no place I’d rather be,” she said before announcing, in a surprise win, that Jamey Johnson had won for “In Color.” 

In the competition for Top Vocal Duo award, the very popular Sugarland beat out Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry and Joey + Rory.  Sugarland is playing at live in concert at the Primm Valley Casino Resorts on July 24.  [Las Vegas Backstage Access February 11 article.] 

Las Vegas resident, MGM Grand illusionist and Magician of the Century David Copperfield, a coming-out country music fan that attended the ACM for the first time, donned a black Stetson while he pulled up his sleeves and made Taylor Swift magically appear from an overhead empty suspended box on the stage.  Swift hung around a bit to receive her crystal award for having the most record sales in the year and winning the Album of the Year Award for “Fearless.” 

Hollywood superstar and frequent Las Vegas entertainer Jamie Foxx, raised in Texas, confessed he was also a country music fan and then proceeded to introduce country music legend George Strait, saying he will be a guest singer for his friend at a taping in Las Vegas today for a May 27 CBS special when Strait is honored as Artist of the Decade.   Straight, with a career spanning 25 years, is the most nominated artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards with a total of 78. 

Las Vegas’ hometown product Julianne Hough – she attended Las Vegas Academy and her mother lives here – julieanne1provided a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction moment, though subtle, before gushing and accepting with pride her duo Top New Artist and fan favorite Top New Female Artist awards as her country singer boyfriend Chuck Wicks waited in the wings, cheering her on. 

Julianne and Chuck left this morning from Las Vegas on a flight to be back in Hollywood for tomorrow night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars, where they will partner for a Viennese Waltz to a Rascal Flatts number.   (Rascal Flatts won once again.)

The highlight and culmination of the evening came when Carrie Underwood won the Entertainer of the Year award, carrieunderwoodbeing the lone female among nominees Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban.  Matthew McConaughey made the awards presentation.   (Did she really venture out after the event and check out George Strait’s ‘white boots’ in McConaughey’s car?) 

There was never a dull moment.  Even before it started, Tim McGraw got in a production fracas that ended with him walking out before the show started. 

Sporting his ‘Made In USA’ labeled guitar, John Rich sang to a cheering crowd “Shutting Detroit Down,” a ballad of frustration on corporate greed and workers getting the short end of the proverbial stick. 

Toby Keith took the opportunity to single out a reporter from a Nashville newspaper over the publication of a Rolling Stone story by actor Ethan Hawke. Both Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson denied the story, but the Tennessean published it anyway without reaching out to Toby. He lambasted the reporter with a series of F-bombs, and it seriously looked as if he might leave the media stage and go after the writer — but cooler heads prevailed, and Toby left the room abruptly. 

Behind the scenes, Trace Adkins, who was the runner-up on the first season of Celebrity Apprentice, took a verbal shot at this season’s participant Dennis Rodman. Trace said that if the former bad boy of basketball didn’t change his ways, it would wind up killing him. 

All this action in just one grand and glorious Las Vegas evening.

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Country Music & NASCAR Rev Their Engines in Las Vegas

More than 10,000 NASCAR fans are expected to swarm the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas this weekend.   The sixth annual RaceJam will bring entertainment highlighted by country star Trent Tomlinson and former Lynrd Skynrd drummer Artimus Pyle in Saturday night performances from 9 to 11 p.m.   Also, from 6 to 8 p.m, on Saturday, Southern Stue, Tony Marques, and T.J. Weaver will be performing.  Still not having your music fill?  If so, come back on Sunday from 8 to 11 p.m. to listen to the Highwire Band and Speaks Brothers.

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Sugarland To Perform In Las Vegas

Las Vegas Backstage Access is not into the habit of providing a long listing of events.  That can be obtained from many sugarlandother publications.  However, when an event is really spectacular, new, or otherwise just kitschy, then we’ll bend your ear.  Such is the case – minus the kitschy – when this year’s Grammy winning Sugarland performs live in concert at the Primm Valley Casino Resorts on Friday, July 24.   If you haven’t seen them – country music duo composed of singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles (lead vocals) and Kristian Bush (background vocals, lead vocals, mandolin, and acoustic guitar) – or just want to take an escape from the Las Vegas neon, you’ll assuredly have lots of fun.  For more information, call 702-386-7867

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