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1) Jake Owen (Startin’ With Me) My dad said if you want to be the best you have to surround yourself with people that are the best. I have surrounded myself with Dierks (Bentley), Brad (Paisley), Carrie (Underwood). Brad’s such a sweet guy and great to all of us new artists. Carrie is not just a beautiful girl, she’s sweet, she’s a superstar. The Chesney tour and Dierks, that was fun. I was.excited to be on tour with Chesney. I never got pranked but I got picked on. The last show they removed our whole drum set before we started the song.

2) Carrie Underwood (Before He Cheats) My stylist got a bunch of stuff together and I tried it on, and this is what we came up with for tonight. I racked up all the awards…a lot of stuff has happened…it’s all so exciting. I’m not so scared of everything now. It’s good to have friends who don’t let you do anything too stupid and not get behind the wheel. I watch as much as I can of “American Idol”. The show is a really good gauge of what the audience thinks of you, and they are the ones buying albums and coming to see you in concert. Grammy’s have been around for a really long time and respected, and it was amazing to be considered among the names I was with and then…. to take home a couple.

3) Eric Church (Sinners Like Me) I make the music for the fans – if the critics like it, that’s icing on the cake. I’d love to always be the guy that does the music that is critically acclaimed, as long as it pleases the fans first.

4) Jamie O’Neal (God Don’t Make Mistakes) I’m coming to see the show and watch the performers. I’m working on a new album, and have a single out called “God Don’t Make Mistakes” and I finished the video last week…..The song is about how in life, when you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, or just when you think things are going your way, the rug gets pulled out from under you, and you’re pulled in a different direction. But then things work out for a reason, the best gifts happen when you least expect it.

5) Trent Tomlinson (Country Is My Rock) I have a new record written now and 3 new singles. As long as I have positive numbers on sales, I’ll keep releasing singles from it. I write all my own songs and I’m not shopping for new songs. Nobody knows me better than I know myself. Still, I’m not a fool- if a hit song comes my way, I’ll record the song. I like to ride motorcycles and do my thing.

6) Jack Ingram (Love You) It’s been a good year and a fast one. I think the idea of the Video Music Awards is to choose artists who are redefining what country music is and expanding the horizon. If there are people who have done that, it’s Buffett, Sheryl Crow and Johnny Cash. I’m glad to be a part of that. You have to believe you’re doing the right things, just don’t get out of line. Don’t change directions. Keep doing what you’re doing and be patient.

7) Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestler) My Dad is in insurance sales, but he’s a country dance loving man. My love of country music came from way back – I grew up in south Texas. I can’t sing or play music but got into wrestling and have a movie, “The Condemned” coming out April 27. It’s about 10 convicts condemned to die on death row who are sent to a remote island and forced to fight to the death. The event was to be broadcast live on the internet for $49.99.

8) Leann Rimes (This Woman, Family) I was raised properly with a great support system of friends and family, and I have a wonderful husband. I wanted more for myself and to prove that a child star can come out on the other side and have a successful career. I will be introducing Keith Urban tonight. I have an album coming out on Aug 28th , my 25th birthday, called “Family” and a single “Nothing Better to Do”. I co-directed the video and wrote every song on the album.

9) Brad Mates of Emerson Drive (Countrified) I am carrying “The Stanley Cup” down the red carpet to support the NHL and the Preds in the Playoffs. Our single “Moments” will be top 10 next week. We’re getting so much recognition for this new video and a lot of great people have worked hard over the years. Nothing new with the guys - everyone is still single.

10) Kris Kristofferson (2007 Recipient of the Johnny Cash Visionary Award) & Roseanne Cash (Congratulations on award) – Didn’t expect it and wouldn’t agree to it. (Are you going to thank your heroes ) First off would be Johnny Cash. He’s my hero and my champion and is responsible for me being here more than anyone else. His inspiration and the man that he was, the integrity, the courage and compassion, everything about him is great to copy. No one will ever have the effect Johnny Cash had.

11)Roseanne Cash I’m here because I wanted to give this to him. It’s unusual for me to be here but I am here for this man. I don’t make music videos any more, they’re for 25 year olds. Who wants to see a 50 year old woman in a gold lame mini skirt? I don’t! I’m writing a memoir that will be published in 2008. (About John and June Cash’s house burning down) The house is heartbreaking - I am going out with Kris to see the house. We both have many many memories there.

12) Gretchen Wilson (California Girls) (We didn’t have a chance to talk to Gretchen, but she looked great as always, so we included her picture here anyway)

13) Jennifer Nettles & Kristian Bush: Sugarland (Want To) It’s a great honor to be nominated and voted for by the people who buy the music and connect to it. We’ve been lucky to work with great video directors. The latest thing is we have a new record, “Enjoy The Ride” and now we’re out and touring with Kenny Chesney.

14) The “new”Trick Pony with lead singer Aubrey Collins……We cut 14 songs for our new album and we’re looking for a single right now and we’re busting it on the road. The majority of the work is done and we’re proud of it. And we had a good time doing it. (Aubrey) We’re testing a lot of new things for the audience and the amazing crowd has taken to it well. We’re having an adrenaline rush on stage.(Ira Dean) We’re writing for each other. Writing like crazy. (Aubrey, about her looks) …I want to bring that edge to it keeping it country and a rock and roll mix. (How did they find her?) We called a bunch of buddies in the business just to get some people in. One guy was Trey Bruce and he said ‘I got this girl’. I actually cancelled a fishing trip in the Caribbean and she flew in, and I’m glad I did, cause she’s perfect. I’m having more fun than I’ve had in the last 4 years. Making great music together. I feel like I’m 19!

15) Big Kenny (Big & Rich, Comin’ To Your City) Big Kenny says, love everybody..…Big & Rich style.

16) Bon Jovi We’ve got to go now, because the show’s about to start……

And the rest, as they say, is history!



 / Issue 70 - September 2018
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