Friday News Round-up: Shania To Judge Idol? Casey James Signs with Sony Nashville?

It's a big news day for country 'idol' fans as Season 9's 3rd place finisher Casey James has big news while country/pop icon Shania Twain is in talks to be one of the show's new judges for Season 10.  All this and more in today's news round-up!

Shania Wanted By Idol Producers?

Last year when American Idol was using ‘guest judges’ to replace Paula Abdul in the 4th Judges seat, one of the best guest judges in fans eyes was international country/pop icon Shania Twain.  In addition to her providing good sound advice, Shania also provided a sense of honesty the show now really needs with Simon and Kara and Ellen all leaving the show.  While rumors have said that the show has inked Jennifer Lopez and negotiating with Steven Tyler, the show really should go back to a three judge panel and it looks as if Randy Jackson will remain (as will host Ryan Seacrest).  Shania Twain makes a lot of sense for the show and for herself as she looks to reset her career.  Also, with the show moving record labels to Jimmy Iovine’s  Interscope/Geffen label it will feel like a clean break from the past few seasons.

Luke Bryan and Wife Welcome Second Child

Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline welcomed to the world their second child Tatum “Tate” Christopher Bryan yesterday at a Nashville area hospital.  “Nothing like coming home after an eight day run and having an early surprise like this!,” exclaimed Bryan. “Such an amazing day for me and my family.”

“We are so blessed to have another healthy baby boy,” Luke Says. “All the fishing holes in Nashville better look out when I get out there the next few years with Tate and Big Brother Bo!”  Luke and Caroline’s first chold, Thomas Boyer – aka Bo – is two. 

Luke recently hit #1 with "Rain is a Good Thing" and is set to release "Someone Else Calling You Baby" off of his sophomore album Doin' My Thing

Taylor Swift’s “Mine” Debuts high on the charts

We mentioned that Taylor’s “Mine” landed at #1 on the Hot Digital Songs chart Wednesday weith over 297,000 singles sold last week and that was also enough for the singer to garner a #3 debut on the all-genre Hot 100 Singles chart.  The latter chart takes into consideration things like airplay and sales to come up with the chart’s rundown.  “Mine” is the lead-single from the October 25 release Speak Now.   Taylor also set a new record for most adds on the Country Aircheck chart with the single getting 106 first-week slots on radio stations across the USA.  The single also debuted at 26 on this week’s airplay charts after missing two and a half days of airplay. 

Craig Morgan and friends raise $$ for his hometown charity

With the help of friends Montgomery Gentry and Aaron Tippin, Craig Morgan raised over $35,000 at his annual hometown charity ride event in Dickson, TN this past weekend.  Over 400 fans gathered last Saturday (August 7) as they kicked off the two-day event  with a trail ride followed by a motocross exhibition with professional riders Cowby Kenny Bartrum, Kevin Windham, Fred Andrews and Barry Hawk (among other guest riders).  The second day featured an event-closing acoustic concert at the Renaissance Center where Craig was joined by his fellow country stars.  The proceeds got o “Billy’s Place, a temporary home for displaced children awaiting permanent foster care or until they can reunite with their biological families.

Craig's latest single "This Ain't Nothin'" is currently making it's way to the Top 10 while That's Why (Collector's Edition) CDs are available at Cracker Barrel stores nationwide.

2010 Idol Contestant Casey James Signs with Sony Nashville

When watching the Idol program last season, I immediately thought that Casey James (and Aaron Kelly) should focus on ‘mainstream’ country music for their post-idol careers.  Yesterday James tweeted that he has, indeed, chosen country music for his post-idol career.  With the relative success of Danny Gokey to go along with the success of Kellie Pickler and of course Carrie Underwood, it makes a lot of sense for Sony Nashville to continue their Idol signings.  Here's the whole tweet: "I will be working with Sony Nashville!!! Not sure the exact specifics, but there will be an official press release soon. Unreal. :)"

Speaking of Idol signings, last week former Sony Nashville and Idol star Kristy Lee Cook, who currently has a hunting show on the VS Network, has signed a record contract with Broken Bow Records.

Reba Selects Album Title:

Country icon Reba McEntire has chosen to title her upcoming album release All The Woman I Am. Featuring the recently released - and already Top 30 - single "Turn On The Radio," the album was produced by Dann Huff and comes out on November 9, 2010.  In other Reba news, she has passed the million fan mark on her facebook pageAll The Woman I Am is the follow-up to Reba's Gold Starstruck/Valory Record Co. debut Keep On Loving You.

Lady Antebellum's London Performance

Enjoy this short video from Lady A's London tour: