As the crush of CMA Music Fest activities gets in full swing, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum hosted a reception last night (6/4) to launch “Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour” exhibition which opens to the public today and runs through Nov. 10.
“There’s so many of us that spent so much time, so much energy and so much love putting together the Blown Away tour,” Underwood said after being welcomed by Museum director Kyle Young. “I really do feel like walking by the displays, people that got to come out and see a show can really relive those moments, and I do feel like people that never got the opportunity to come out and see us live can get a sense of what the show was like.”
The exhibit features gowns and other stage clothes created by designer Marina Toybina as well as jewelry, shoes and accessories. It also includes Underwood’s microphones, band member’s stage clothes and instruments. The “meet and greet” area of the exhibit features directors chairs, candles and a variety of signs, gifts and memorabilia created by Underwood’s fans.
“I really can’t believe that my stuff is hanging out there with all of those incredible artifacts and things from people that are far greater than I could ever hope to be,” Underwood gushed. “It truly is an honor to be a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and I’m so happy, especially that it happened this week because everybody gets to come by and see it. I’m honored and I’m blessed to be a part of this place.”
Underwood recently wrapped the Blown Away Tour having performed 112 shows in 110 cities before one million fans. The trek took her to three continents and six countries since launching spring 2012. “This very successful tour has enabled Carrie and her fans to donate one million dollars to the American Red Cross Tornado relief fund in Oklahoma,” Young said of the tour’s philanthropic side.
Among those gathered in the Hall of Fame’s rotunda to celebrate the new exhibit were Sony Music Nashville chairman/CEO Gary Overton, CAA agent Jeff Gregg, Leadership Music Executive director Debbie Linn, City National Bank senior VP Lori Badgett, Arista Nashville National director of promotion Lesly Tyson, Country Top 40’s Rob Simbeck, Grand Ole Opry Group president Steve Buchanan, senior VP of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum public relations Liz Thiels, VP of Museum Programs Jay Orr and Underwood’s producer Mark Bright, who chatted with one of his heroes veteran guitarist and Country Music Hall of Fame member Harold Bradley. Bright has been in the studio producing Ryan Griffin. Booked by Gregg and managed by Clint Higham, the Florida newcomer is currently looking for a record deal.
In addition to talk about emerging artists and of course, Underwood’s exhibit, attendees were gearing up for a busy week anchored by performances throughout Nashville from nightly stadium shows at LP Field to smaller stages scattered downtown. “I’m looking forward to seeing some of the classic country artists like Mark Chesnutt, Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence and Ronnie Milsap,” says Badgett. “Those are the people I grew up on and I don’t get to see them as often as we get to see some of the more current artists. They don’t tend to play around Nashville very much.”