■ JUST IN: Jimmy Wayne, who kicked off his 1700-mile Meet Me Halfway journey on January 1st, is narrowing in on his destination of Phoenix, AZ. Jimmy, who is walking to bring awareness to youth homelessness, took a brief break from the road last week to visit Washington DC and speak with lawmakers about his mission, as well as update them on Nashville’s flood relief issues. Currently, Jimmy is battling extreme heat in the New Mexico desert on Highway 60, approximately 450 miles from his destination. To track Jimmy’s location status, and for more information on the campaign, click here.
■ JEWEL KICKS OFF ALBUM LAUNCH CAMPAIGN WITH MAJOR TV & RADIO APPEARANCES THIS WEEK: Jewel’s new album SWEET AND WILD [featuring both a regular version and a deluxe version with acoustic tracks of every song on the album under the banner of SWEET AND MILD], doesn’t land in stores until June 8th, but to coincide with the album’s pre-sale [live now hereand live this Tuesday on iTunes with an exclusive live track “Angel Needs A Ride”], the superstar will be making several key media appearances this week. Monday morning May 24th Jewel kicks off the week with a live appearance on Sirius-XM’s #1-rated Howard Stern program. Jewel’s segment, which will appear in the 8AM ET hour, can also be viewed online on HOWARD-TV here. On Tuesday May 25th, Jewel will perform new music on CBS’ The Early Show and also on LIVE! With Regis & Kelly. While in New York City, Jewel will also pre-tape appearances on multiple Sirius-XM channels to air street week, record an exclusive performance forBillboard LIVE on Billboard.com, and do an exclusive interview for Yahoo!’s fashion portal The Thread. Following her Tuesday television appearances, the superstar will jet to Tampa to appear live during two different programs on the popular Home Shopping Network (HSN). Jewel will perform live on the channel Tuesday evening in the 6PM ET hour and again Wednesday 5/26 in the 12PM ET hour. Then on Sunday, May 30th Jewel will perform the National Anthem at the Indianapolis 500 race broadcast live on ABC.
■ REBA’S ‘UNPLUGGED’ SESSION PREMIERES THIS WEEK ON CMT WITH CROSS-PROMOTION ON MTV & VH1: If you think you’d never see Reba on MTV, think again! Beginning this Monday, May 24th, Reba joins the list of superstar artists—including John Mayer, Nirvana, Tony Bennett and Rod Stewart—who have appeared on MTV Networks’ landmark series UNPLUGGED. Re-launched this year with the help of Starburst, the franchise is putting a new twist on things, by cross-promoting the series on its three music-centric networks: CMT, MTV and VH1. The series will also be spotlighted on each of the channel’s online, mobile and radio platforms, plus on CMT Pure. In addition to performing her recent hits “Strange,” “Consider Me Gone,” her current single “I Keep On Loving You”, and album tracks “Eight Crazy Hours (In The Story Of Love),” and “I Want A Cowboy”, Reba tried her hand at an unlikely cover song: Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy”. While it’s not the first time Reba’s covered powerful pop anthems [i.e. “Because Of You”; “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia”; “On My Own”, etc.], it is the first time she’s tackled Beyonce’s catalog. We asked the superstar what led her to choose that particular song. “I love the idea of her saying if she was a boy, she’d treat the girlfriend a lot better,” notes Reba. “I think she’s trying to open his eyes to being more respectful and caring but then she realizes, ‘you’re just a boy...’ Cool song.” To coincide with the launch of UNPLUGGED, CMT will be spotlighting the performance version of Reba’s current single “I Keep On Loving You” in power video rotation this week. For more info, visit www.cmt.com.
■ JUSTIN MOORE TAUGHT HIMSELF HOW TO PLAY AND WRITE AFTER MOVING TO NASHVILLE: Although Justin Moorebuilt a following performing in his hometown of Poyen, Arkansas prior to setting foot in Nashville seven years ago, unlike many artists who move to town, Justin didn’t begin crafting his songwriting and didn’t pick up a guitar until he got to Music City. We recently asked the rising star how he went about teaching himself, and how he knew what he wanted to say in his songs. “At first I really didn’t know what I wanted to say,” Justin states bluntly. “I was just an idiot kid who didn’t know any better to be scared of what I was doing. We were looking for songs trying to cut to get a record deal, and we weren’t getting anybody’s good material, and now I understand. They were trying to get it to people that were having hits at the time, and now I totally understand and agree with that philosophy. But I thought, ‘Well, gosh, I guess I’ll write ‘em myself.’ And I met my producer, Jeremy Stover, and we started writing together. And ‘Small Town U.S.A.’ was the second song we wrote when I moved here. The first song we wrote is possibly going to be on the next album. It was crazy. I started playing guitar, very badly,” Justin continues, laughing. “My manager helped me a lot too, helping me learn how to put songs together and play guitar. I’m still no guitar god, but I can beat on it enough to write a song, which is about all that matters.” And all that matters is a lot these days. This week Justin kicked off his run on Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tour in Virginia Beach, VA, and released his brand new single “How I Got To Be This Way,” which follows up two consecutive top 5 hits, “Backwoods” and the #1 breakthrough “Small Town USA”.
■ RANDOM NOTES: Jewel’s brand new music video for her current single “Satisfied” is live now, and airing in Turbo Track rotation onGAC and spinning on CMT, where on the network’s dot com, it was the #1 most-streamed video the first two days of release! Clickhere to watch the video…Justin Moore received a nomination this week for Music Row Magazine’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Justin joins Zac Brown Band, Chris Young, Randy Houser and Gloriana in the running for the award…This week Reba joined Brooks & Dunn on CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman to perform their hit “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”, promoting the duo’s CBS-TV special airing tonight. Click here to watch the performance from Friday’s show…Jewel will premiere her new album as part of VELOCITY Broadcasting’s First Spin program on June 7th, the evening before SWEET AND WILD hits stores. Fans will have the chance to see the live HD broadcast in theaters, Maggiano’s, Morton’s and private clubs via Club Corp in select cities nationwide and internationally in Australia. Click here to access tickets to the event and click here to watch a special sneak peek of the event with Jewel.