Spotlight: Sing Me A Story Foundation

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take the chance to highlight…

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…the unsung heroes found in Sing Me A Story Foundation!

I hope you all had a nice, long, and restful 4th of July weekend! I’ve just been quiet on the interwebs enjoying my holiday weekend as a treat to me. After all, I’ve been battling sickness too so every good writer deserves to put the pen down for a couple days every once in a while. Am I right? 😀

Partially the most annoying part of being a music blogger is that some days there is nothing to write about! I’m going to find a remedy for that here soon, but I haven’t put my finger on it yet. Between hopping back into discover blog posts and album reviews…I might just have the cure for Nothingtowriteabout-itis!

Well let’s give 3 points to this foundation for giving me something fresh and exciting to write about! My hats off to y’all!

And my tears roll on for my favorite actor being here without telling me…

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..Love ya Tom Cruise & thanks for spending your 4th with us!

Boy meets girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy & Girl start a foundation together and give a voice to the songs of children to help them feel better?!

Well, that’s exactly what happened when Austin Atteberry moved to Nashville with the dream of becoming a famous songwriter. He met a beautiful girl next door and married her!

Austin says of Sara: “She happened to work at the local children’s hospital as a Child Life Specialist and she encouraged me to volunteer.”

austin-atteberry-2-800He got the girl! 🙂

Austin went from room to room at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital right here in the heart of Nashville with a guitar covered in Dora the Explorer stickers. Not exactly the quintessential country music star, but he certainly is a music super hero!

He didn’t just go around and sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and nursery rhymes…Oh no! He took it a step forward and decided that he knew how to write songs to give kids hope so what better way than to pen songs that were what they wanted to hear and that personally related to their lives?!

At 27 years old, his little Nashville songwriter dream became bigger than he could ever have imagined. It wasn’t all Top 10 hits and performances on Ellen and the Country Music Awards, but it was unique, valuable, and transformative!

Austin said, “A 6-year-old kid may not know how to write a song but they sure know how to tell you a story. So I’d ask them to tell me a story about anything they wanted and I’d turn that into a song.”

I love the idea of them writing their own songs! What a cool thing that must be! Mine would have been about exploring, annoying my sister, and playing my plastic guitar, I’m almost 100% certain!

persons-0012_mediumI was a crazy kid!

So then Austin and his wife Sara started Sing Me A Story Foundation as an online organization that seeks to globally connect songwriters with children!

That’s right people! I’m not talking about just Nashville or just the US! Austin & Sara have gone global with writing songs inspired by kids for the sake of music therapy to help them heal and keep their spirits lifted while they battle illnesses!

I cannot say enough good things about this foundation!!!

Since 2011, Sing Me a Story has grown to feature over 1,500 songwriters who work with an additional 50 organizations that all seek to help children in need!

One of the coolest of the cool bands has joined in too…

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…I love me some Mayday Parade!

Austin boasted: “We have everyone from world-class musicians from Nashville to the little grandma that plays the ukulele in Appleton, Wisconsin.” 🙂

I love the flavor and the heart behind this organization! It’s simply beautiful and such a thoughtful idea/initiative!

The way it works is that kids write stories and then the songwriters write the songs and send that finished product back to the kids as MP3 files! I love that process and I appreciate every songwriter who donates their time to this wonderful cause!

For more information about Sing Me A Story Foundation go to their official website here: [singmeastory.org].

Congrats Austin & Sara and thank you for the work you do!

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Music Row has been named a national treasure!

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I’m so excited to tell y’all that Nashville’s very own Music Row has now been named…

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…a national treasure!!!

It’s a pretty big deal to be considered a national treasure and I’m so pleased that the Row has been given that level of recognition in the US!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington D.C. made the announcement that Music Row is a national treasure on Monday morning! They explained that selecting the row was because of its “central importance to Nashville’s identity as Music City, U.S.A. and the strong desire to preserve it as a cornerstone of America’s cultural and music heritage.”

MV5BMTg0MjEyODg0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODk2OTkzNg@@._V1_SX640_SY720_I couldn’t agree more!

The Nashville mayor’s race is suspected to bring up the issues of “saving” Music Row as I had told you was in need of saving from developers who want to build huge high rises and take away the homestyle feel that the Row celebrates.

Most of the music businesses on the Row exist in converted houses so the presence of skyscrapers is something that people are advocating strongly against. I agree with the masses that Music Row should maintain its elegance and its historical roots. I don’t think it would be the same with high rises sprouting up because country music and songwriters thrived and still thrive on southern pride. Pride in one’s humble Music Row is just another piece of the puzzle 🙂

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Houses > Skyscrapers

A wonderful Nashvillian and representative for “Save Music Row”, Ben Folds, started the conversation when he was in DC last year to perform a concert. He got to talking with Tom Mayes from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the rest is history.

In respect to his time spent in our nation’s capital, Ben said: “I remember meeting with Tom Mayes after one of my concerts in Washington, D.C., just days after I posted my first open letter of concern for Studio A. Tom had reached out to me to offer the support of the National Trust, the first such outreach by any organization for our cause. That meant a lot to me, and has since led to a great partnership for Music Row, for the people who make the music here, and for our city.”

Ben is referring to saving RCA Studio A which in a shocking turn of events was able to be saved! For a minute there it didn’t seem as though it were possible.

Check out this cool MSNBC video with Ben Folds: http://on.msnbc.com/1xKrLL6

I’m so happy that Music Row is being saved and not only that…it’s being nationally recognized as a treasure 😀

Long live Music Row and a big thanks to Ben Folds for fighting for it!

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The Ryman Auditorium begins $14 Million renovation!

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When I think of my favorite concert venue in the world, I think of the Ryman and today…

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

…they are working on their extensive renovation!

The Ryman has been around since the 1890’s and today it’s still going strong as one of the world’s premiere live concert venues! The thing that I love the most about the Ryman is that every single seat (except for the first two rows) is in a pew since it was once an old church! Not to mention the stained glass windows are exceptional!

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It seems as if every single show at the Ryman ends up selling out, and for good reason! Everyone boasts that it has the best acoustics in the world, and to be honest, I’ve never heard any better! 😀

Concerts are not the only thing that happen at the Ryman however! They have tours of the venue daily from 9 am to 4 pm! I’ve taken the tour before and I really enjoyed it! You would be surprised how many display cases you breeze on by at a concert without taking a closer look to realize what incredible artifacts they contain!

Ryman17Like my favorite display case showing Johnny Cash & June!

Ryman Hospitality Properties (owners of The Ryman Auditorium) announced that they were going to personally fund a $14 million dollar renovation of Nashville’s and the world’s beloved, intimate venue! This process of renovating the Ryman doesn’t mean that it will be closing down for tours or for concerts during the project’s time! I think that’s a very impressive feat and just goes to show how much everybody needs the Ryman in their life 😉

The renovation technically started on October 1st with the removal of the Thomas G. Ryman statue who built the venue back in 1892!

Ryman Auditorium Expansion GroundbreakingSee yah later!

If you have taken a look at the front of the Ryman recently…it’s difficult to see because of green construction fences and a whole lot of renovation happening to the entrance. That’s what I noticed at the Sam Smith concert the last time I was there on October 7th.

Check out a nice video about the history of the Ryman here:

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The renovation is to be completed by June 2015 and will include an expanded lobby, an expanded gift shop, a cafe that extends to the outdoors, and an interactive multimedia tour! The auditorium itself is a national historic landmark and will remain unscathed throughout the renovation 😀

I’m really excited to see how the new Ryman will be and I hope you are too!

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Music Row fire destroyed businesses!

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On Monday night there was a fire on Music Row that destroyed several businesses…

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…and since I’m Music Row Girl, I have to tell you all about it!

Music Row is better known as 16th and 17th Avenue located in Music City AKA Nashville, Tennessee. There are many music businesses up and down “the row” such as: SESAC, ASCAP, BMI, Warner Music, Warner/Chappell, Sony Music Entertainment, and Great American Country (GAC) just to name a few.

So all the major performing rights organizations (PROs) and 2 of the big 3 record labels call the row home which means you can only imagine how special those streets are considered in the music industry! 😀

Monday night was a true tragedy for the row when a fire broke out in the red barn on 17th Avenue and left no hope for the businesses within to come back to work the next day. Businesses in the barn included: Pura Vida Vintage clothing, Only One Tailoring, Encore Publicity, and the offices of attorneys James Rose, Marshall Snyder, and Michael Mills.

Let’s take a moment to reminisce about the amazing barn it once was:

pura-vida-exterior-21I’m gonna miss it!

According to local news, the fire started in the top floor of the building and is likely to be an electrical fire. Unfortunately there were people in the building when it began a little after 9 pm, but they escaped without major injuries. One person was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation and water & smoke damaged the parts of the building that weren’t engulfed in flames.

The good news is that Pura Vida Vintage only lost 10 of their 40 vintage gowns so that’s better than a total loss for sure!

I better get out to walk the row soon to survey the damage and to check up on it! I like to do that once a week whenever I get the chance 🙂

The Row has been in the news lately because of demolition and big businesses trying to take it right out from under Nashville’s feet. Ben Folds, Keith Urban, and many more prolific songwriters are trying to preserve the originality of Music Row by not letting it get over developed by high rises. Most businesses on the row are in converted houses which gives it a special feeling like no other business district I’ve ever known!

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 10.38.49 PMSongwriters built the clout of the row by recording in RCA Studios A & B!

I’m team #SaveTheRow and I hope you are too! I’m so sorry to the businesses in the barn and I wish you all the best in your endeavors while you await a new place on the row to hold office hours!

God Bless Music Row & I hope that we can save the history that songwriters made there!

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Demi Lovato Neon Lights Tour review

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Last night I had the sheer pleasure of going to my nearby hockey arena in Nashville known as Bridgestone Arena  to see Demi Lovato  with my parents who were here on vacation! 😀

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I’ve been a Demi Lovato fan my whole life since I first saw her opposite Joe Jonas in Camp Rock, a cheesy Disney Channel Original movie. I love cheesy movies so I’m not at all hating on Camp Rock.

camp-rock-wallpaper-camp-rock-2-6896138-1024-768I’ve seen Demi open for the Jonas Brothers, I met her that night after the show, and saw her 2 other times in concert during her double headlining tour with David Archuleta and her appearance on a Jingle Ball Christmas concert sponsored by my then local radio station in the Tampa Bay area, 933FLZ.

Demi has always struck me as an amazing singer as well as a female artist with an incredible message to share! 😀

Last night on her stop in Nashville, there were no disappointments and my image of Demi has possibly even been upped a few notches!

This was a Simon Cowell  showdown y’all! Let me tell you why…

simonAll seven of his girls were on this tour! The 5 girls of girl group Fifth Harmony, pop diva in training Cher Lloyd, and of course his fellow X Factor judge Demi Lovato.

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Fifth Harmony  opened the show and I thought it was pretty neat that they were all in designer boxes and the front of them blew off as a special effect. It was kind of reminiscent to 5 Barbie dolls in boxes…so if they were going for that look: I got the message loud and clear!

DSC08710They were all very kind to the audience and spoke to us a lot. My only real complaint I will insert here is that their dancing was a little too “adult” for me. It just didn’t seem to be sending such a great message to the youngest of young girls in the audience. I will say that they were all great singers though and they did a great job.

Next up was Cher Lloyd, one of my favorite up-and-comers to the pop music scene over the past couple of years, and I was so excited to see her since I never had before!

I really had no freaking idea that Cher Lloyd was going to blow my socks off! She was absolutely exquisite and her band was so rock and roll! I couldn’t believe how full of a band she had as a pop solo artist, but it made the music equally as rocking as her vocals!

DSC08770My mom kept asking me “Where are her pants?” LOL #NoIdea

Cher WOWED the crowd with her “very first love song”, the new radio hit Sirens and I even made this little Instagram video…and if you listen carefully you can hear me singing really loud! http://instagram.com/p/mJg-WISZMb/

And before I forget there was this guy between every act doing magic tricks with members of the audience! His name is Collins Key and he was doing tricks that made no sense! HAHA I wanted to be able to guess how he did it, but there just was NOOO WAYYYY! (His tagline) He is from America’s Got Talent come to find out from a friend of mine…just another TV show that Music Row Girl has no time to watch! 😦

collinsCollins was there to warm up the crowd and he did a great job of it!

Next up was the one and only, Miss Demi Lovato!!!

DSC08855The first thing that caught my eye about Demi’s tour was her stage! Talk about a thing of sheer beauty!!!

Demi came out of a square shaped riser in the center of the cat walk, there were circles of different heights for the band members to be displayed on, there were many lights, and there was a wonderful, oval-shaped screen in the center.

DSC08877Here is the setlist according to http://www.setlist.fm/:

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.41.58 PMI will go ahead and vouch to say that setlist is 100% accurate! 😀

The neat part that I saw in the beginning of Demi’s show is that every song flowed right into the next seamlessly without any hiccups! Cher Lloyd came out to do her famous rap on Really Don’t Care which was fabulous and my fellow Demi Lovato superfan, Brianna, who sat next to me at the show said that she really hoped that Cher would do the song with her so we screamed when it really happened! HAHAHAHA 😀

DSC08892So the first 5 songs were seamless and very upbeat! The show had such an incredible momentum unlike any show I’ve ever seen before!

Then there was a wonderful acoustic version of every Lovatic’s favorite Lovato ballad entitled: Catch Me, and the coolest ever version of an old throwback Demi song called Here We Go Again.

Right before Catch Me, Demi gave us this amazing quote:

I had to tweet it because it shows how much people are respecting Nashville!

Then Demi did a riveting performance of her ballad Nightingale and I truly forgot how amazing her song Two Pieces was, but during her performance I remembered just how well written that song really is! 😀

Then Demi sat at the piano and things got real. She said to the crowd that she wanted to take the time to tell us what she stands for.

She told us that she has been through a lot in the past couple of years. “Most people get tired of hearing me tell my story, but I figure if I tell it again…at least one person will hear it for the first time, and they may be inspired to give recovery a chance.”

Demi went on to say that she used to be very depressed and troubled…”I’m pretty f***ing happy now.” She said she was sorry for cursing and that her mom was in the audience and hates to hear her curse. Demi has openly stated her love for cussing like a sailor and it’s so widespread in the music industry so I don’t mind it.

She said the following and I quote: “If you open your mind to the possibility of surrendering to happiness and health, you won’t believe how beautiful your life can be.”

If this little pep talk from a former self-harmer, substance abuser, and altogether pain stuffer wasn’t enough to inspire everyone in the audience…I really don’t know what is!

Demi makes recovery not only her path in life, but her message for everyone she meets! She’s truly an inspiration!

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I decided to stand during the encore when Demi broke into Skyscraper  because I thought that she stands for so much, and I want to take a stand for her and her ongoing recovery.

I’m so grateful to have seen Demi again and I look forward to more years of music and inspiration! 😀

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Discover: Sarah Davidson + EP Review

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So as you may know, if you’ve been keeping tabs on Music Row Girl,  I just started doing a post 1 day a week, no specific day, for the past 2 weeks in which I tell you about a new artist that I’ve discovered and can’t ignore!

This week’s feature is: Sarah Davidson

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Sarah is a fresh face to the country music scene right here in good ol’ Nashville!!!

In a recent interview with Billboard, Sarah describes her southern roots: “I’m from South Georgia, and grew up singing and writing. I wrote my first song when I was eleven. I moved to Nashville to study music business at Belmont. I fell in love with this town, got my first internship on the row, then got my first publishing deal. I was trying to make it as an artist.”

My mouth is agape at this point because I didn’t know she went to Belmont!

That’s where Music Row Girl  is currently finishing up her degree in Music Business in order to graduate in May!!!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.20.36 AMWe both went (one is still going) to that beautiful garden of a school in Nashville!!!

I’m really not sure what I’m more excited about, Belmont University’s Music Business program being thrown around in Billboard or the fact that Sarah moved to Nashville to attend the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business!  I’m going to have to say I’m equally excited over both!!! 😀

Shameless plug to my soon to be alma mater:  http://www.belmont.edu/cemb/

Before I go any further, let me just mention that Sarah is 1/6 of the wives that have been cast in a new series that’s only 5 episodes in on TNT called: Private Lives of Nashville Wives

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.15.17 AMMonday nights at 10 pm for Nashvillians like Sarah & myself

It’s not a Bravo version of The Real Housewives so less shade & fights happen 😉

I have admitted to you now on numerous occasions that I barely watch any TV at all, yet I did watch the first episode when in premiered around a month ago on February 24th! 

I know! Shocking right?! Music Row Girl watched a TV show?! Oh stop! HAHAHAHA 😀

Well on the first episode is where I discovered America’s new favorite country sweetheart because she was premiering her music by being filmed in songwriting sessions and even at an outdoor performance in Nashville as part of CMA Fest!

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Let me just mention that Sarah owes her last name to country superstar songwriter Dallas Davidson, who wrote Honky Tonk Badonkadonk among other top hits in country music, yet they have very-recently parted ways and are heading for divorce.

Sarah is remaining so positive since the news fell on the 18th of this month, even though the split is so fresh! You’ve got to hand it to her for that!!! 😀

The day I tweeted her was the same day as the public divorce announcement, and I hadn’t known that at the time…well she responded!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 7.35.34 AMI’m still waiting on a tour and a Nashville concert answer but hey! A tweet 😀

So without further ado, I want to give you Music Row Girl’s  first ever album review:

Sarah-Davidson-EP-Album-Self-titled1-300x300Sarah Davidson – Sarah Davidson EP Review:

1. Drink You Up: I’m absolutely loving this first song in the collection! It’s a wonderful song that talks about longing to be with someone and experience them to the fullest. It’s a quintessential, longing love song done in a very modern, country way! The melody is so great and memorable! This song is a jam you would listen to with your girls in your car and sing at the top of your lungs!!! 🙂

Take a listen:

2. Ride Around: You know that on a country record today, I better hear a song about a car! HAHA Well this is Sarah’s car song…and I love it!!! What’s better than riding around in a car with no destination in mind…just wanting to be with your beau, roll the windows down, put your feet on the dash, and try not to get in trouble?! She nails it with this song too and the instrumentation is beautiful!

Take a listen:

3. Get Out: This song is describing how badly you want your ex to get out of your life, but their memory is too strong to Get Out. This is great songwriting right here straight out of music city. She is describing how bad she wants him to get out…and then the punch line: but your memory just won’t Get Out!!  Another stellar song in my opinion!

4. No Sad Songs: This is an awesome anthem for a girl who wants to go out on the town and forget about her ex. “I ain’t got time for no sad songsKeep it all about my girls going out tonight“…”Faster the beat, faster I’m movin’ on.”  What awesome lyrics paired with an incredibly fun banjo-picking melody and a great message! Move on and go out with your girls and live it up! Okay, Sarah! We’ll do that! 😀

5. Run Wild: This song is so much fun lyrically and musically. I really like how fun it is! She talks about wanting to run free and be wild while she’s young. “Might find me a country band, throw up my hands, and Shake it! Shake it!”  She’s funny on this song and really endearing. Very great song about youth, rebellion, and country crazy! Every country album needs a song like this…And I love, love, love the A Cappella ending!

The bonus track AKA the theme song from Private Lives of Nashville Wives, is only available with Sarah’s physical album at Wal-Mart, which is so smart because now I’m going to go buy one! HAHA 😀

That song is called Bright Lights Big City and you can listen to a snippet here:

There are 2 ways to get Sarah’s self-titled EP that just came out this Tuesday 3/25:

1. iTunes: Click on this link to buy it now for $4.99:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sarah-davidson-ep/id824286343

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2. Wal-Mart: Click on this link to buy it online for $5.00 w/free store pickup:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/35119534

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If you just happen to be in Wal-Mart  you can pick up the EP for it’s retail price of $8.98! 🙂

I’m going to most likely have to have the theme song, so I’ll be in a Nashville Wal-Mart very soon in because I have to have all the exclusives!!! 😀

For more information about Sarah Davidson…Check out her adorable and modern personal website: http://sarahdavidson.com/

And don’t miss her Instagram: http://instagram.com/sosarahdavidson?ref=badge

Or her Twitter: https://twitter.com/sosarahdavidson

I wish the best to one of Nashville’s own & I’m excited to see her perform soon!

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Miranda Lambert thought Carrie Underwood hated her!

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PonoPlayer blew up yesterday as did my blog views with an all-time best of 342 in a 24 hour period, but I couldn’t help but notice a little article about Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

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Country songtress Miranda was quoted as saying that she thought her duet with Carrie was “such a big deal”.

At first my thoughts were: “Wait! They had a duet?!” Then I thought “How can it be such a big deal?!”

Everyone knows everyone in country music and a good 90% of country artists live in Nashville!

nashvilleskyline2Well my fears are at bay now because the song will not be released for months when Miranda releases her fifth album Platinum! 😀

Carrie is set to sing on the song Something Bad and it’s obvious that Miranda is overly grateful that she agreed to do so.

Carrie just turned 31 this Monday, March 10th along with our buddy Robin Thicke!!!

1966859_739790132707879_586860937_nHappy Belated Birthday Carrie!!!

Mrs. Blake Shelton has promised us that Platinum will be full of humor, nostalgia, and femininity, which is great because that’s the Miranda that everyone knows and loves!

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Lambert admitted that her collaboration with Carrie was nerve-racking!!! I think that’s actually cute and quite flattering for Underwood to hear! I can only imagine how much Carrie has blushed since yesterday! 😀

Now I know that I’m right about Nashville because it was reported that Miranda asked Carrie, whom I like to call the country Beyoncé, to collaborate on a song via a “long, babbling email”!

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So it’s obvious to us that they have to be friends or at least business friends!

If you Google search “Miranda Lambert Carrie Underwood feud” there is nothing even close to that on the front page so I believe there isn’t one! 😀

Miranda did say however that she is not in competition with Taylor Swift in order to stop rumor mills of a possible feud that was questioned about just a month ago!

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In her interview with Yahoo Music, Miranda said and I quote: “Singing with Carrie Underwood is very, very intimidating — I mean, I’ll be honest…She is an amazing vocalist. I’m a big fan of hers, and asking her to do this was nerve-racking.”

Then she goes on to explain her email request to country Beyoncé: “I sent her an email…a long, blabbing email about if she wanted to sing on the record, it could be cool, but maybe she didn’t want to, and if she liked the song, but she didn’t have to like the song…when I sent it, I thought, ‘This sounds ridiculous!’”

I think it’s hilarious that she was nervous and babbling in her email! It just shows you that she’s human and literally a superfan of Carrie Underwood. I mean aren’t we all??? I’ve seen Carrie 3 times in concert already and enjoyed every last minute of it 😀 She’s phenomenal in every way!

Miranda said this about her and Carrie’s careers, “We’re really rocking in country music and we’re coming together as a force … I’m ready to rock and singing with Carrie really pushes me.”

I couldn’t agree more! I mean they both made the Billboard Top 40 Money Makers list that I reported about on Tuesday so we know they’re doing it all right! 😀

As we all know Miss Swift took the Top prize, but Miranda & Carrie are still awesome!

taylor-swift-money-makers-650Miranda concluded the interview by saying, “It’s been too long since two girls in our genre have come together like that, especially on a song that’s kind of in your face.”

That song wont be “in your face” until June 3rd when Platinum is released 😦

but while we’re waiting…

We should see how they’ve sang together in the past: