HOT DISH: George Jones Confirms 2013 Farewell Tour

More News About Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw Carrie Underwood and Other Country Stars

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also hosts CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her recipes at

It was no more than a paragraph. But every word touched my heart and cut to the core. George Jones, my all-time favorite singer and the singer of my all-time favorite song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” announced his farewell tour for 2013.

“It’s tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come,” said Jones in a statement.

His farewell tour is expected to visit 60 cities. In the meantime, he has concerts booked through December of this year, including stops on Aug. 30 in Woodstock, Va., and Aug. 31 in Northampton, Mass.

I’m sure George is doing what he knows is right in his mind. He’s given us more than 50 years of beautiful music. He’s got the right to rest.

Thanks, George, for the music. And thanks to his wife Nancy for taking care of him and giving him a better life than he’d ever had.

I am a blessed person for the friendship of George and Nancy. Thank you, God, for that gift. For my entire life I have known who George Jones was — the greatest singer who ever lived.

Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw Break NYC-Area Attendance Record
With 56,285 tickets sold for their concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw’s Brothers of the Sun concert broke all-time attendance records for the New York City area. Of course, it’s worth noting Kenny broke his own record — the one he set in 2011 during his Goin’ Coastal tour.

And if you aren’t proud of that, well, you ain’t much of a fan. It takes country music to make the records then break the records in sales and attendance.

Carrie Underwood Makes Canadian Pitch
Before performing at the first-ever Boots and Hearts music festival in Canada, Carrie Underwood and husband Mike Fisher arrived at the Rogers Centre in Toronto via helicopter so she could throw the first pitch before the Blue Jays took on the New York Yankees. The pilot flew Carrie and her hubby all over the area.

Carrie and the incredible Brad Paisley will co-host the 46th annual CMA Awards live from Nashville on Nov. 1 on ABC.

Dierks Bentley Brings Miles & Music for Kids Back to Music City
Good guy Dierks Bentley’s Miles & Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle rides and concerts have taken place 12 times in seven cities and raised more than $2 million for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

He’s revving up again Oct. 14 in Music Town with special guests Sheryl Crow, Chris Young, Brantley Gilbert, the Cadillac Black and Craig Campbell.

“I really want to blow Miles & Music out this year and make it bigger and better than ever,” Dierks says. “We’ve had the chance to help a lot of communities across the country, but the heart and soul of this event is downtown Nashville with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the artists and friends who come out and help raise money. It’s my favorite thing to do all year.”

Thanks, Dierks, for all this.

Keith Urban Hosts Online Tour of Nashville
Keith Urban takes viewers around his hometown of Nashville for an episode of Ram Country’s Going Home on Yahoo Music. He talks about his first days in Music City, his first gigs in town, his favorite part about creating an album and why Nashville is so special to him.

His first stop is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where he points out the beauty of the museum and its history. He talks about his We’re All for the Hall benefit concerts with Vince Gill and last year’s show when he was surprised by being invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. He also visits his favorite live venue, the Ryman Auditorium. The last stop is Blackbird Recording Studio, where he recorded several of his albums. The magical place is owned by Martina and John McBride.

“When I moved to Nashville, it was referred to as the third coast,” Keith says. “It has all of this country all around it. But the songwriting has a particular flavor that you don’t find anywhere else.”

More News
Oh! Gloriana. Their new album, Thousand Miles Left Behind, recently debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s country albums chart.

And congratulations to Colt Ford. His new album, Declaration of Independence, just debuted at the top of Billboard’s country albums chart — and No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the trade publication’s rap chart. What are the odds of all that happening at once?

It is with pride for me to report that “Angel Eyes” by Love and Theft is certified gold.

Dustin Lynch is on a West Coast run of headlining shows. Also headlined and sold out Buck Owens’ legendary Crystal Palace. “Cowboys and Angels” became the No. 1 CMT ringtone — 422,000 downloads sold to date. He co-wrote the song with Grammy-winning songwriter Tim Nichols and chart topper Josh Leo.

Have you heard the Jana Kramer jingle when she sings, “Nationwide is on your side.” Really cute, and so is she. She’s on tour with Brad Paisley.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id=”1691932″]Waldorf Salad.[/news]