Country music is having a moment. Last night’s star-studded Academy of Country Music Awards and Jason Aldean’s seven-minute Madison Square Garden sell-out are proof that the guitar strummin’, banjo playin’ vocal powerhouses are moving outside of Nashville and into the mainstream…including our workouts. Worried you can’t get a good sweat on to something other than techno beats and peppy pop? We’re here to prove you wrong. In fact, last Saturday I ran a half-marathon and my playlist was mostly made up of Luke Bryan’s, Spring Break…Here to Party, The Band Perry’s Pioneer, and Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story. It’s time to try something new…and maybe swap your sneaks for cowboy boots post-sweat.
Now you tell us: who are your favorite country crooners?
While we love watching country crooner Blake Shelton on The Voice, it’s his spitfire wife, Miranda Lambert, that we are dying to know better. A well-known animal activist, she made our hearts swell as we learned about her involvement with Pedigree’s Pet Feeding Project, which provides dog food to animal shelters across the country at no cost. With Nashville and Chicago already being served, Pedigree turned to their Facebook fans to help determine which city would be next. People all over the U.S. nominated hometowns, and then voted, to select the top five finalists:
- Metro Detroit/Metro Flint, Michigan
- Erie, Pennsylvania
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Wausau, Wisconsin
Now it’s your turn to vote again, until April 12th, to help Pedigree narrow it down to the two winning cities, which will be announced in mid-2013. While we wait, we talked to Lambert about her soon-to-be-released sophomore album with band Pistol Annies, why she thinks this cause is so important and what it’s like to have her hubby swirlin’ around in a big red chair every week.
I hear you have a new album coming out with Pistol Annies?
Yep! I’m very excited about that. In the video for “Taking Pills” [from first album Hell on Heels], two of my rescue muts have cameos throughout the song. They’re like mini Annies, too.
Editor’s note: Their new album, Annie Up, hits shelves May 7!
What about a personal album? Can we expect one anytime soon?
Hopefully I’ll have one out in early 2014.
Your other half, Blake Shelton, is a judge again on The Voice. What is that experience like? Do you get to go to the set a lot and hang out?
I go to the set on the live shows. The reality stuff and the auditions are long, long days and frankly, it’s boring for me to just sit there and wait for them to get done. But I love the live shows; the energy of it. The Voice is very family-friendly. You see all of the judges and Carson [Daly]‘s kids running around – families, moms, wives, husbands. Everyone who works there is so nice. So it’s really welcoming, and I love to go there because they make you feel really at home.
Do you think you would be a guest mentor again?
I would love to be a mentor. The first year I performed with Dia [Frampton], and then the second year I was a mentor. I just watched as a fan the third season, and it was really fun to do that, so maybe it will be time for me to do something again. I tapped Blake on the shoulder and was like, “I know people…can I get back on The Voice somehow?” We’ll see.
We all know that working out with a buddy can be extremely motivational, but what’s a girl to do when her schedule doesn’t sync up with a friend’s? Country crooner Sara Evans doesn’t want you to forget about (wo)man’s best friend – your dog! Evans has partnered with The Nutro Company for their Room to Run initiative, a program that supports community dog parks and is offering 30 grants of $2,000 to make your pet’s experience a great one.
We caught up with the singer behind the hit single “A Little Bit Stronger” to find out how she likes being a doggy mom to her 18-month-old maltipoo, Roman, and which star she’d love to bust out a future tune with.
How long have you had Roman?
We got him when he was around six weeks old, so he was just a tiny little ball of fur. Now he’s basically human, and definitely a barker!
Is he your only pet?
Yeah; we love him so much. He swims with the kids in the pool and will climb on this little surfboard and just ride across! He’s the best dog I’ve ever had in my life, hands down. It’s almost like he can understand what we say.
How does he affect your daily fitness routine?
Walking Roman is definitely a priority. And we’ll take him to the dog park and let him run. I love being able to just take off his leash. Also, if I can’t play tennis that day (my favorite workout), then he plays a huge role in making sure I keep up my fitness. I’ll walk fast for about an hour with him.
Keep reading to find out more about Evans’ sweat sessions, and which rapper she wants to collaborate with!
Kellie Pickler broke onto the music scene at age 19 when she made it to the top six on season five of American Idol. The bubbly country star has only garnered more fans since the show, releasing three albums (including “100 Proof” earlier this year), winning PETA’s “World Sexiest Vegetarian” title and marrying songwriter Kyle Jacobs. All of this joy comes from a past filled with struggle—she was raised by her grandparents after her mom left when she was two and her dad was in and out of jail.
Most recently, the low-key Pickler (“If I’m not working, I’m in a ponytail, baseball cap and boots,” she says) signed on to be the face of Tone Skincare’s new Fruit Peel Body Wash. In honor of the partnership, we sat down with her to learn more about her beauty routine, fitness habits and musical inspirations.
“100 Proof” seems to be your best-reviewed album so far. What do you attribute that to?
I made it as country as I was allowed to! Traditional country is my favorite style. Everyone’s definition of country is different, but there’s room for it all. I co-wrote six songs on this album, including one with my husband called “Mother’s Day.” The album is really a reflection of my soul.
In “Mother’s Day” you sing about someday possibly having a loving relationship with a daughter of your own. Have you and Kyle given any thoughts to expanding your family?
That’s something that is important to talk about before you get married! You have to make sure you both want the same things. We’re not actively trying, but if it happens, it happens.
As a vegetarian, what are some of your favorite foods?
I love vegetables. Asparagus is my favorite and I really enjoy grilled onions, peppers, zucchini and squash. I love fruit too and drink a lot of water to get all of the junk out! It’s really true about “you are what you eat.” What you eat really is reflected on the outside. Still, I splurge and have a cake and ice cream, just not everyday.
Keep reading to find out how Pickler stays fit without the gym and which reality shows she tunes in for!
Country music is definitely having a moment. From Taylor Swift winning big at the Grammys to the ever-present “Red Solo Cup,” fans are dancing in their cowboy boots—or sneakers! So we asked the folks organizing the music for this weekend’s St. Jude Country Music Marathon in Nashville to share a playlist of greatest hits. Download the following songs to get a taste of some of the 50 artists who will be performing at the event, as well as the music that will pump up the runners (including our own editorial assistant Samantha, who’s tackling the half!).
- “Save a Horse,” Big & Rich
- “It’s America,” Rodney Atkins
- “Wild at Heart,” Gloriana
- “Blue Suede Shoes,” Elvis
- “Walkin’ in Memphis,” Various Artists
- “Holding Out for a Hero,” Footloose
- “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” Jo Dee Messina
- “Cowboy Up and Party Down,” Darren Warren
- “For the Kids,” John Rich
Now tell us: What genre of music pumps you up the most during your workouts?
This marks part two of our Face of FITNESS features on The Fit Stop this November! Click here to catch up on our first highlighted finalist, Maria Pontillo.
Jordan Fish, Charlotte North, Carolina
“Fitness is my constant,” says Jordan, 24, who sought solace in dance as a kid when her parents divorced. She spent two seasons as a dancer for the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, and now, as she finishes college, she makes time to rollerblade, hike or take dance nearly every day.
Stick-with-it secret “I make myself do new activities a full month before deciding whether to quit. Yoga seemed boring at first, but now I love it and find it so relaxing.”
On my fitness bucket list “I’d love to run a marathon, learn to ski (both on water and on snow) and scuba dive.”
Workout playlist “My ‘country girl’ playlist makes me want to get up and dance.”
- “Sin Wagon,” Dixie Chicks
- “Undo It,” Carrie Underwood
- “Gunpowder & Lead,” Miranda Lambert
- “Me and My Gang,” Rascal Flatts
- “Am I the Only One,” Dierks Bentley
- “Crazy Town,” Jason Aldean
- “She’s a Hottie,” Toby Keith
- “You and Tequila,” Kenny Chesney, featuring Grace Potter