(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 CMT.com.)
In late June, Taylor Swift played to more than 110,000 fans during two concerts at Gillette Stadium near Boston. Even though it was pouring down rain the second night, she performed the entire show in the rain.
That's admirable but not necessarily wise. Sure, the young superstar loves her fans and doesn't want to let them down. However, nobody's superhuman, not even Taylor Swift.
First off, this has been one of the worst years for sinusitis. That can lead to bronchitis which often leads to pneumonia. And bronchitis is what forced Taylor to cancel a July 2 concert in Louisville, Ky., along with shows Friday (July 8) in Charlotte, N.C., and Saturday and Sunday (July 9-10) in Atlanta. She'll return to the markets later in the year and plans to resume her tour on July 14 in Montreal.
Someone needs to advise Taylor not to sing in the rain until she's drenched. Anytime she gets wet from rain or sweat, she needs to change clothes. She obviously got chilled to the bone performing in the rain. Singing with all the strength she had, breathing in the water was not good for her. I do hope she has a doctor she will listen to. She needs meds, rest, lots of soup and sleep.
Chris Young Goes Topless
This summer, a hatless Chris Young is opening shows for Jason Aldean, and young girls in their late teens and early 20s are hanging around the rim of the stage whenever he performs. Of course, women in their late 20s, 30s and 40s are crazy about the handsome 25-year-old Tennessee native whose songs are so good, they can hum along. He's enjoyed three No. 1 singles, and his current hit "Tomorrow" has already climbed to No. 5 on Billboard's country singles chart.
Why did he lose the big black hat he'd been wearing for years?
"I remember looking at a picture of me onstage with a hat and without a hat at one of the Rascal Flatts gigs, and I realized if you're out in the crowd, unless you're directly in front of me, they can't see my face," he told Billboard Country Update. "I felt it was easier to connect with people in the audience when I get to see them and they get to see me. I was wondering if [losing the hat] would be a negative, and it ended up being a positive for me."
Country Music Engagements
Lady Antebellum's token female, Hillary Scott, has announced her engagement to drummer Chris Tyrrell. Hillary told People magazine that Lady A's "Just a Kiss" was inspired by the couple's initial meeting last year when they were on tour with Tim McGraw. "Just a Kiss" is the trio's fastest-rising single to date. The smartest drum-playing hillbilly to date, Chris is currently on the road playing with Edens Edge.
Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey, that cute couple better known as Steel Magnolia, are engaged. Joshua thinks July 10, 2012, his birthday, would be a good time for the wedding. "But he doesn't know what day of the week that falls on," said Meghan.
Country's Heavy Metal
Lots of sales certifications from the RIAA:
Brad Paisley struck gold twice again with a single ("Water") and his latest album (This Is Country Music).
Sara Evans' comeback single "A Little Bit Stronger" is certified platinum.
With 1 million downloads, the hottest bridegroom on the planet, Blake Shelton, has earned his first platinum digital single with "Honey Bee." The song has spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart.
Others striking gold recently include Luke Bryan's "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," Rascal Flatts' "I Won't Let Go," Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" and Kenny Chesney's "Beer in Mexico."
Not only is Kenny gold, the man is millionaire rich! I see where 54,166 fans bought tickets to his show at Philly's Lincoln Financial Field for a concert gross of $5 million. Shows at smaller venues in Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis each grossed more than $1.2 million.
Welcome Home, Dwight
After a decade of hanging out on the West Coast where he resides, Dwight Yoakam has found his way back to where his career began, the Warner Music Group. The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actor and director is working on his first studio album in seven years, and I, for one, am excited.
I don't know how Dwight and Warner Bros. Nashville main guru John Esposito met and meshed, but I can tell you that Esposito has mainstreamed Blake Shelton. Country music business is being done again at Warner Bros. They're moving and shaking on 16th Avenue. No hearse is about to park there. All they are making these days is music! That's a good thing.
Big Machine Goes to the Races
Big Machine Records has been named the presenting sponsor for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, collaborating to create an environment that will appeal to music and auto racing alike. Taking place July 31, superstar acts Rascal Flatts and Reba McEntire will be there, as well as the hot trio The Band Perry, hitmaker Justin Moore, chart-climber Brantley Gilbert and newcomer Thomas Rhett.
Prior to the race, Rascal Flatts will perform a mini-concert to air on ESPN before singing the national anthem. Reba will sing "America the Beautiful." The rest of 'em will sing what they want to sing or what the fans request. Label owner/president Scott Borchetta has always tinkered and piddled with race cars, driving every chance he got. Now that he's so rich and famous, he must be in seventh heaven to be able to name a race, sponsor a driver and get greasy in the pits.
The Right Chord
Actor Chord Overstreet, the 22-year-old son of hit songwriter Paul Overstreet, will not be a regular on the next season of Glee, the hit Fox television show. However, Chord is busy on the show's concert tour and will be in Glee! Live! 3-D!, a movie based on the tour.
With Chord planning to start work on an album, he may be planning to spend some time with his dad and brother Nash, a member of the chart-climbing band, Hot Chelle Rae, who have a major hit with "Tonight, Tonight."
Chord was the right Chord and the cutest star of Glee. Plus, he and Taylor Swift enjoyed each other's company.
Jerrod Flexes for Charity
Jerrod Niemann is a good guy, and I'm proud to see he flexes his muscles for a worthy cause. The Muscular Dystrophy Association kicked off its "Make a Muscle, Make a Difference" campaign, and Jerrod is bringing attention to the disease with public service announcements.
"When I sing, it takes every muscle I've got," he said. "That's why it's so important for me to use my healthy muscles to help kids and adults who have muscular dystrophy. I know by working together, we can end muscle diseases. Be the next to flex."
Fans can see Jerrod this summer on the road during Brad Paisley's tour.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Hazel's Cake.