Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards, airing live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on ABC, will feature quite a bit of country flavor throughout the night. Kacey Musgraves and The Band Perry will join big-time nominee Taylor Swift on the performers lineup.
Taylor joins fun. and Maroon 5 as the lead nominees for the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, with 11 nods apiece.
All three of those artists are up for the Top Artist prize too, along with One Direction and Rihanna. Taylor is also up for Top Female Artist, and for Top Billboard 200 Album for Red. Other categories including a nod for Taylor are Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Social Artist and Top Streaming Song (Video) for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
Taylor also got a mention in the Top Country Artist field, along with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes and Carrie Underwood.
Jason also picked up a nomination for Best Male Artist against Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, Bruno Mars and Drake. Taylor's Red and Jason's Night Train projects are up also for Top Country Album honors, along with Luke Bryan's tailgates & tanlines, Carrie Underwood's Blown Away and Tuskegee by Lionel Richie.
The finalists for Top Country Song are Luke Bryan's "Drunk on You," Eric Church's "Springsteen," "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes' "Wanted" and Taylor's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
Look for Florida Georgia Line, Shania Twain, Jennifer Nettles and Nashville's Hayden Panettiere to present trophies on the show too.
The 2013 Billboard Music Awards will air live from Las Vegas Sunday, May 19 at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
Carrie Underwood fans will want to make plans to head to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum soon to relive her Blown Away tour. A special exhibit featuring 12 vignettes from Carrie's latest live show will run June 5 through November 10 of this year only at the museum. The exhibit will include custom outfits Carrie wore onstage and customized microphones made for and used by Carrie on the tour, as well as costumes and instruments from her band members. Those items will be shipped directly to the Country Music Hall of Fame once Carrie wraps up the Blown Away tour May 23. By the end of the trek, she will have played 112 dates in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Northern Ireland and Australia.
The multi-artist Alabama tribute album Alabama & Friends will hit stores later this year, and a slew of big-name country stars are hitting the studio with the band for the project. According to Billboard, the Eli Young Band recorded their version of "The Closer You Get" this week in Nashville. Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney tweeted they have been working on a cover of the Alabama classic, "Old Flame." Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Trisha Yearwood and Toby Keith are also contributing their takes on Alabama hits to the project.
Miranda Lambert picked up an MTV O Music Awards nomination for her "Fastest Girl in Town" video in the Best Interactive Music Video category. This particular awards ceremony celebrates the intersection of music and technology. As you may recall, Miranda released a special version of that clip that allowed fans to view multiple angles during her car chase scene with co-star Danica Patrick of NASCAR fame. That version also allowed fans to unlock bonus content and even win items featured in the video. The O Music Awards winners will be announced on June 19, and fans can vote for the winners at OMusicAwards.com or through the Awards Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Taylor Swift and Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the award-winning HBO series Girls, have a mutual admiration society going on Twitter, but now it appears as though they've taken their friendship offline and into -- gasp! -- the real world. Life & Style magazine reports that both Taylor and Dunham attended the star-studded Met Gala in New York City on May 6, and then afterwards, they grabbed a late dinner together. According to an insider, it was Lena who made the first move, telling Taylor that there was a "really cute diner" by her house, where they could have "like, salads and stuff." Not long ago, Taylor said she was "floored" to learn that Dunham was a fan of hers. "When I found out that she listens to my music...it absolutely floored me," said Taylor. "It made my day, honestly. So, I think, to me, for there to be someone with that creative of a mind and that impressive writing talent, for someone like that to listen to my music it was a real, really good day for me." Taylor doesn't just like Dunham and Girls; she's also a fan of Dunham's boyfriend, Jack Antonoff. He's the guitarist in the band fun., and Taylor told Billboard that they're one of her favorite bands right now.
The ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night special airs Sunday night, and fans can expect to see top country stars like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and, of course, Tim McGraw, on the show. Stars from the pop and R&B world are well-represented too with Nelly performing the "Cruise" remix with Florida Georgia Line. Tim also shares the stage with Ne-Yo and Pitbull on the show. Luke says the resulting set list looks an awful like some of the playlists he has on his personal iTunes collection. Says Luke, "I feel like so many country fans out there, they're rocking out to Nelly too, and Nelly's going to be here. It's a great thing that so many genres can come together, and it's based around country. And I think it's fun for the fans." Tim had a big hand in selecting which stars would appear on the show with him, and Pitbull was a pop star he definitely wanted on the bill. Tim and his wife Faith Hill first met Pitbull at the Grammy Awards earlier this year. Tim explains, "He came up and introduced himself to me and we started talking, and when we walked away, I told Faith that, 'That's just a real guy there, a really genuine guy.'" Tim was also really impressed with Pitbull's smooth dance moves at the show taping last month in Las Vegas. "I'd throw something out if I tried to move like that," Tim says with a laugh, "but he brought so much energy to the stage." Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum, Brantley Gilbert, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and rock legend John Fogerty also perform on ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Nights, airing Sunday night at 9 ET on CBS.