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CBS Radio's Stars and Strings: Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, Sam Hunt & Lindsay Ell

Wednesday

Nov 15, 2017 – 7:30 PM

175 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601 Map

  • Brad Paisley
  • Darius Rucker
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Sam Hunt
  • Lindsay Ell

More Info

Brad Paisley: Brad Paisley is country music's reigning lyricist, guitarist, and vocalist. With hits like "Ticks", "Alcohol", and "Online", Paisley has proven time over time that he knows how to write a catchy song with an amusing hook. Brad Paisley tour dates are currently scheduled nationally with the country crooner as the headlining act on the "H20 Tour 2011".

Paisley hails from West Virginia, he taught himself to play the guitar at eight, and by 12 years-old, he had already written and performed his first single on the radio. Unlike other country stars, Paisley's talents were uncovered at a relatively early age and he perfected his songwriting craft through the paid support of ASCAP. He moved to Nashville and attended Belmont University on a fully-funded ASCAP scholarship and he interned with Atlantic Records. Paisley graduated from Belmont with a degree in Music Business and he immediately signed a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing. He immediately had a hit on his hands when he penned David Kersh's single "Another You", in 1996 when the single reached the top five of the country singles charts.

After early success with his songwriting career, Paisley was signed to Arista Nashville for a recording contract and he debuted his first single "Who Needs Pictures", and album of the same name in 1999. The album featured the #1 country single "He Didn't Have to Be", and it was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA, not bad for a debut album. Paisley also made his premiere at the Grand Ole Opry in 1999, and at the age of 28 he was the youngest member ever to join Country Music's biggest stage.

In 2000, he was named the Best New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music and was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. He released his follow-up in 2001 and won a CMA award for Music Video of the Year for the single "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)". The video featured a cameo from his future wife, Kimberly Williams, who would go on to be the inspiration for several of his other hits including "Then". In support of the album, Brad Paisley tour dates were scheduled across the country and he served as the opening act for Lonestar.

Paisley had his biggest commercial success with the album, "Mud on the Tires", which featured the platinum duet with Alison Krauss, "Whiskey Lullaby"; The song was also named Song of the Year by the Country Music Association. The album went on to be certified double platinum and remains Paisley's biggest selling album. He released his fifth album, "5th Gear", in 2007. Ever since 2007, Paisley has been awarded the Male Vocalist of the Year title at the Academy of Country Music, and was again crowned in 2011.

Paisley went on to release several more albums and headline more tours in the latter part of the 2000s. He won his first Grammy award in 2008 for "Best Country Instrumental" for the single "Throttleneck". Brad Paisley tour dates were announced on a national headlining tour entitled "The Paisley Party". For 2011, Paisley has a new album "This is Country Music" set for release in May, 2011.

All in all, Paisley has charted 25 singles on the Billboard country charts, 16 of them have hit #1 and he holds the record for the most consecutive #1 singles with ten #1s in a row. He has headlined several tours and is gearing up for his latest national tour, "H20 II: Wetter and Wilder World Tour". This 2011, the Brad Paisley concert schedule includes stops at the America's largest venues and will be supported by country stars: Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Jerrod Niemann, and Sunny Sweeney. Don't miss out on the ACM's Top Male Vocalist four years running when he comes into town. Use Eventful as your source for Brad Paisley concert dates and venue information.

Darius Rucker: Every now and then comes along a singer who can continuously reinvent themselves, break barriers, and create music that resonates. Darius Rucker is that versatile artist. He set records as a rocker with Hootie & the Blowfish, transitioned into the jazz-R&B world, and, most recently, has become a country music superstar.

Darius Rucker got his start as the frontman for Hootie & the Blowfish, which formed as students at the University of South Carolina. Their debut album, "Cracked Rearview Mirror", is currently ranked as the 15th best selling album of all time in the United States and the best selling debut for any act. With the band, who are also his lifelong friends, they released seven studio albums and are currently on a permanent hiatus while pursuing other interests. The band became a household name and they toured and continue to perform for benefits and at other scheduled events.

In 2001, Rucker signed with independent Jazz-R&B label Hidden Beach Recordings to produce an R&B album. The album "Back to Then" was released in 2002 and featured famed neo-soul artist Jill Scott on production. While the album was a modest success for the label, it didn't match the acclaim that Rucker had experienced with Hootie & The Blowfish and he didn't release any more records with the label.

While his R&B career may have floundered, Rucker made a surprising turn as a country artist in 2008 when he signed to Capitol Records. He co-wrote and produced his first single "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", and released it in 2008. It was an instant hit and reached #1 on the Billboard Country charts. He released his debut country album, "Learn to Live", in 2008 with production help from Frank Rogers who has worked with such artists as Brad Paisley. Rucker's accomplishment made him the first African-American country artist to have a top 20 hit since Charley Pride in 1988. Rucker's album was certified platinum by the RIAA and also produced the #1 singles "Alright" and "It Won't Be Like This For Long", which distinguished him as the first country artist to have his first three singles reach #1 since Wynonna in 1992. Rucker's success was solidified when he received the Country Music Association award for New Artist of the Year in 2009!

Rucker returned to the studio to record his highly anticipated sophomore follow-up. The album, "Charleston, SC 1966", was released in October, 2010, and featured the #1 single "Come Back Song". The second single "This", written by Rucker and Kara DioGuardi also reached #1 on the charts. Rucker experienced similar success with his third album, True Believers; the album shot to the top of the country charts, and even debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200. The album became so successful that Rucker was invited to join the Grand Ole' Opry in 2012, and his cover of "Wagon Wheel" featured on the album won him a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance. To date, Rucker is only the third African American to win a vocal award in the country music category.

After releasing the successful Southern Style, and the Christmas album Home for the Holidays, Rucker began to focus less on his music career and more in his partnership in MGC Sports. The sports agency represents a number of athletes across different sports, and makes use of Rucker's passion for sports as well as his numerous connections with famous athletes like Tiger Woods.

Kelsea Ballerini: Kelsea Ballerini was raised in Knoxville, TN on church choirs and dance lessons. With just one album released, Kelsea already has a hit single on her hands with "Love Me Like You Mean It", which she has also performed at the Grand Ole' Opry.

Lady Antebellum: Lady Antebellum's truth is in the music. But the alchemy which forged this six time Grammy award winning trio extends beyond its signature vocal blend and heartfelt song-writing gifts. With a self-titled double platinum debut album and triple platinum second effort—Need You Now—it's easy to applaud their amazing achievements, but equally significant is the underlying importance of the group's shared heartbeat.

"That's the core of our group, how we started," says Dave Haywood, harmony singer and multi-instrumentalist. "What spawned our friendship was that special writing chemistry. That's when we are the happiest, just sitting in a room together making music."

"Maybe it's a self preservation kind of thing," agrees co-lead singer Hillary Scott. "Especially on the road we have to work to nurture our relationship. I write so much from about what is happening in my life and the people closest to me, so knowing my friends care about what is going on in my life outside of Lady A, makes me more likely pour it all out into a song."

“Writing lets us chill and slow down a bit," says Charles Kelley whose edgy lead vocals merge and weave with Hillary’s velvet tone."

Lady Antebellum formed in 2006. Hillary and Charles decided to try writing together after a chance meeting at a Nashville music spot. Charles and his high school musician friend and co-writer Dave Haywood were living with Charles' brother Josh Kelley at the time. Late night songwriting sessions with the new trio soon became the genesis through which they discovered the remarkable emotional effect that was created when Charles and Hillary's vocals blended. With Dave's harmony sounds and instrumental prowess added to that mix the three young musicians realized they might not just be writing songs for other people, but perhaps would get to perform them, too. A Music Row "buzz" began to spread as the newly-formed trio started making appearances on local stages.

Soon key tastemakers began to believe in the group, including producer Paul Worley who has worked on all three Lady A albums. By April 2007, a blink of an eye in music industry time, Capitol Nashville had signed Lady Antebellum to a record deal and the trio began to ascend toward the constellation of country music stars with powerful hits such as "Love Don't Live Here," and "I Run To You."

The group's second album, Need You Now (released Jan. 2010) took the band to an even larger audience. To date the album has sold over five million copies worldwide, spawning three multi-week No. 1 hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey” and “Our Kind of Love”), and scored five Grammy Awards. It has also received over a dozen other award show trophies. ‘Need You Now’ introduced the world, outside North America, to Lady Antebellum. The single was a huge airplay hit around the globe, reaching the No. 1 spot in numerous markets and achieving Top 5 Airplay in 30 countries world-wide. The album has sold in excess of one million units outside the US, and ‘Need You Now’ remains in the airplay charts more than 18 months since release.

"We never expected to be thrust into the international spotlight in the way that we were…from the success of just one song," says Kelley. "It was six months or so after the album came out that we were finally able to go play overseas. When we got there, we were floored at the life that 'Need You Now' had taken on. The power of that one song re-ally changed the scope of our entire career at home and in all these places we had only dreamed of playing."

In The Studio – Own The Night: The pairing with Paul Worley has proved a good fit. His warm temperament, creative sensibility and platinum experience with acts such as the Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride helped guide Lady Antebellum's studio development.

"Recording for us is an open forum of ideas," says Dave who readily avows, "One of my first loves is messing around with studio production. Paul has great vision for where these songs need to go. Over three albums we've learned a lot about the recording process, how to speak the language and what it takes to get it done. Naturally, as songwriters we envision these songs a certain way. It's not some far removed kind of thing with a bunch of session guys and us just showing up to sing. This is from the ground up—we are writing these songs, playing these instruments and creating the arrangements."

Lady Antebellum's third album, Own The Night is scheduled for release Sept. 13. The upcoming 12-cut set features the band's fastest rising single to date, "Just a Kiss" plus 11 additional tracks. Charles, Hillary and Dave wrote or co-wrote 10 of the songs, including "We Owned The Night."

"'We Owned The Night' opens the album,” says Dave excitedly, "and I really love this song. We reworked the title slightly to make it present tense for the album title–Own The Night. When people come out to our live show it's a call to action. Be confident, live in the moment and enjoy the experiences you're going through—own them. That's the premise of what we wanted to say."

Part of the challenge of a new album is translating it into a live show. "When we were tracking 'We Owned The Night' in the studio," says Hillary, "I was in the control room with Paul (Charles sings lead on it). Listening to the track inspired me to visualize our live show. I grabbed a legal pad and began drawing out the stage. That was the first sign to me that the song would be a cornerstone of this third album."

"Many of our songs have an interplay between Charles and Hillary and we feel strongly about creating that emotion live," adds Dave. "And being on tour with artists like Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban has also given us a lot of ideas. So yeah, we're excited to get a chance to jump up into arenas and give that a shot."

"People want you to entertain them," says Charles. "The fans feed off your energy. They see it on your face. So we've learned to let ourselves go on stage. With three people the strongest moments are when we are close and tight together. But it's a giant stage to fill up."

Being themselves has worked for this group. As Hillary recalls, "I'll never forget when we were on our first radio tour and a programmer said, 'I don't think two lead singers, a girl and a guy are going to work.'

"Especially with the name too," remembers Dave. "Programmers weren't sure if people could identify with two singers. It was a risk at the time. But for us it was just like, well that's who we are. How can we not do that?"

It's All About Our Fans! "We stay connected with everybody in a huge way online with our webisodes and social networking,” says Dave. “After a show we pull up Twitter to see what people are saying, especially when we're introducing a new song. We care about what they think and the internet gives us a way to get an immediate reaction."

"All these people who spend their hard earned money on a concert ticket or a CD, they invest in us and who we are," says Hillary. "Not just in the music we play, but in our lives. So the least we can do in return is reciprocate that trust in the form of continuing to tour, create music and do our very best at both."

"We are just as vulnerable about this music, self-conscious and need approval like anyone else," says Charles quietly. "We recognize we've been given an amazing opportunity and don't want to let anyone down. We hit the lottery. We’re just lucky we can sing and play instruments."

"I hope people realize we aren't taking it all for granted," says Dave. "This is crazy, but we want to enjoy it and do our very best. Twenty years later I hope people will talk about us and say, ‘They were just genuine people who made genuine music based upon their life experiences’."

Sam Hunt: General Manager: Morris Artist Management

Booking Agent : Out N' It Entertainment - WorthingtonJohn@ymail.com

Press Contact : Out N' It Entertainment - WorthingtonJohn@ymail.com

Lindsay Ell: "My dad will tell you that when I was little, the car radio had to be on the country station," Lindsay Ell explains. "If my older brother touched the dial, I would beg him to turn it back. It got to the point that if they were listening to something else, all I had to do was get in the car and they'd automatically flip over to country."

Coming from a family with deep musical roots, the Stoney Creek Records’ artist started playing piano and guitar at a very early age. "I learned how to play guitar traveling to country-bluegrass camps with my dad, and knew right from the beginning of my strong passion for country music."

The 25-year-old Calgary native was discovered at 13 by BTO and The Guess Who's Randy Bachman ("American Woman," "Takin' Care Of Business"). "Randy learned guitar from master jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, so I dove head-first into this world of blues, jazz and rock guitar – learning all these different solos, switching radio stations and trying to get an idea of where all those techniques come from. I was listening to Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, Derek Trucks and all those incredible guitar players.”

Lindsay’s passion and study has served her well, leading to several unique opportunities, including an opening slot with blues icon Buddy Guy; however, her first songwriting trip to Nashville was the catalyst that brought her early affinity for country full-circle. "When I got here, it was like I was home," she says. "I didn't need to put on a facade of who I was or wasn't. And I finally fell back into my roots. Coming to Nashville brought me to who I am and who I'm meant to be."

In October 2013, Lindsay embarked upon one of her most exciting opportunities to-date: an opening slot on The Band Perry’s We Are Pioneers World Tour encompassing 50 dates throughout Europe and North America which ran through March 2014.

Because it is rare, she knows her six-string prowess is not the only focal point, but an accent to her vision as an artist. "There aren't a lot of girls who play electric lead guitar, and it can be a defining thing," she says. First and foremost, I want people to hear me and understand my voice as a country music recording artist. When they come see me, I'd love it if they were impressed at my guitar and piano playing. But by that point, hopefully they understand the artist behind it all has a lot of different sides to her music."

To get to that point, she knows radio will be key – and she can't wait. “Going out on a radio tour and having the chance to share my music and show people how ready I am continues to be one of the most exciting steps I've made yet."

Having spent a decade learning about the music industry from the front of a stage, Lindsay Ell is more than ready for that step – however big or small. "Playing live, honing my craft and developing as performer before taking my first serious try at being a recording artist and getting radio airplay gives me a foundation a lot of artists just don't get. I've had the cords fail, the monitors shut down and mics die. I've seen all kinds of crowds ... and no crowd at all. I feel ready as a singer and a musician. I have confidence as a performer. I've been writing for years and, since moving to Nashville, have found how best to communicate who I am. I'm comfortable in a conference room with six people or onstage opening for Keith Urban in front of thousands. It's really not that different. Both are exciting and a little humbling. Either way, I'm ready to go."

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