■ IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE – VALENTINE’S DAY SOUNDTRACK RELEASED THIS TUESDAY 2/9: This Tuesday, February 9th, Big Machine will release Valentine’s Day Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which features 18 songs as featured in the film, which hits theaters February 12th. In addition to featuring new music from Taylor Swift and Jewel, plus spotlighting Steel Magnolia’s current hit single, the movie marks Taylor Swift’s silver screen debut. Fans can preview a scene featuring Taylor here, watch the Jewel music video for “Stay Here Forever” featuring clips from the movie here, and stream the full album here. In addition to launching in the US, Big Machine will also release the soundtrack internationally this week, to coincide with the worldwide theatrical release of the film.
■ TAYLOR SWIFT KICKS OFF 2010 FEARLESS TOUR IN AUSTRALIA; LAUNCHES MEDIA BLITZ IN LAND DOWN UNDER: Immediately following last Sunday’s GRAMMY Awards, where Taylor Swift became the youngest artist to ever win Album of the Year, the superstar departed Los Angeles for Australia, where she kicked off her 2010 FEARLESS Tour on February 4th in Brisbane. In addition to performing seven sold-out concerts across the continent, Taylor conducted interviews with key TV and radio outlets including Today Tonight [click here], TODAY Australia [click here], Hit List Radio [click here], Hit List TV [click here], and Hamish & Andy radio show [click here]. Taylor will also give her only Australian television performance to Oz’s version of So You Think You Can Dance which will air February 18th. Following her concert trek in Australia, Taylor jets to Japan for her first trip to the country, which will include media appearances and a much-anticipated concert appearance in Tokyo. She’ll be back in the States just in time to kick off Country Radio Seminar 2010 as she hosts the annual ACM All-Star Jam in Nashville on February 24th.
■ STEEL MAGNOLIA SINGLE GOES TOP 20; APPEARING ON TBS’ ‘LOPEZ TONIGHT’ THIS WEEK: Steel Magnolia soared into the Top 20 on the Billboard Country Songs chart this week with their hit, “Keep On Lovin’ You,” from the Valentine’s Day Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The hit marks the highest charting single from a debut Country duo in over three years. Steel Magnolia (Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones) also picked up an Academy of Country Music Awards nomination for Top New Vocal Duo -- a dream come true for the small town Louisiana chanteuse and the Illinois-bred heartthrob. "I remember watching the ACMs when I was a little girl and dreaming about my acceptance speech,” says Meghan. “I'm so excited that there's a possibility of it actually happening this year. It’s been such an incredible year for us both and we are so happy to be connecting with so many Country music fans. They have been so supportive! They make it possible for us to do what we do." "It's nice to have our music out there and give more people a chance to hear it,” adds Joshua. “Being nominated for an ACM is like the Holy Grail of all your hard work and passion that's put into your music." Fans can begin voting for the ACM Top New Vocal Duo Award atwww.VOTEACM.com beginning Friday, February 26th. This week, Steel Magnolia travel to Los Angeles to make their late-night debut on TBS’ top-rated Lopez Tonight! hosted by actor and comedian George Lopez. Steel Magnolia will perform “Keep On Lovin’ You” on the show which has become TBS’ buzz hit of the season. Steel Magnolia’s Lopez Tonight performance will air at 11 pm ET/ 10 pm CT on Thursday, February 11th on TBS. The late-night appearance caps off a whirlwind week for the duo who will also walk the red carpet and attend the Valentine’s Daymovie premiere in LA on Monday, alongside the film’s stars.
■ RANDOM NOTES: Steel Magnolia has been chosen as Clear Channel’s NEW! Featured Country artists for February. Songs from the hit duo’s forthcoming EP are exclusively streaming on Clear Channel sites in advance of the February 23rd release date. Click here to check it out…Jack Ingram will be featured in an upcoming issue of Country Weekly as part of Clorox’ Wipe It Out campaign, spotlighting his support for the charity initiatives of Tom’s Shoes…As we told you last week, Taylor Swift has been nominated for the 2010 BRIT Awards for International Breakthrough Act. Fans can vote here through February 16th…Taylor Swift took ELLEN viewers behind the scenes during GRAMMY Awards Week. Click here to watch Taylor’s GRAMMY Cam footage which aired February 4th on the hit syndicated show.