ABC - Country Music News
FGL's Tyler Hubbard and wife Hayley welcome their son, the "bringer of light"
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 05:00:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LA Tyler Hubbard's second child -- a son named Luca Reed -- arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning.

The eight-pound, eleven-ounce baby was born on his due date, with Tyler's wife Hayley going into labor shortly after Tyler returned from the Florida Georgia Line tour this weekend.

The couple picked out the name and revealed it several months ago:

"The middle name, Reed, is my middle name," Tyler explains. "So we just wanted to carry that over, thought it kinda had a little ring to it, Luca Reed."

"We'd liked the name Luca," he continues, "thought it was kind of American, but kind of cultured as well, if you know what I'm saying. And also it means bringer of light. So we kind of thought that was cool."

Tyler admits Hayley was actually the creative force behind the name.

"I can't take a lot of credit," he says. "My wife's the one that came up with all that. But I definitely agree and think it's a cool name. It's got a good ring to it."

Luca joins big sister Olivia Rose, who'll turn two in December. 

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Nashville notes
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 05:00:00 -0500

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock

Old Dominion's Trevor Rosen has signed a new publishing deal with Twelve6 Entertainment. It includes both his previous hits and his new compositions. 

The Grand Ole Opry will host a special screening of part one of Ken Burns' eight-part, sixteen-hour Country Music documentary on Sunday, September 15, the same night it premieres on PBS. The evening will also feature a performance by Opry members Old Crow Medicine Show. Tickets for the event that benefits Nashville Public Television go on sale Friday. 

The new single from Aaron Watson is the track "Country Radio," from his Red Bandana album. 

You can check out Tanya Tucker performing her signature hit, "Delta Dawn," with newcomer Tenille Townes and Brandi Carlile on YouTube. It's part of Cracker Barrel's Five Decades, One Voice series.

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Tyler Hubbard's son Luca Reed arrives on cue, as his dad returns from the FGL tour
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:47:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LA

Tyler Hubbard’s second child -- a son named Luca Reed -- was born Monday at 3:40 a.m. in Nashville, arriving on his due date.

Tyler’s wife, Hayley, says his timing was perfect, as the process started just as Tyler returned from the Can’t Say I Ain’t Country Tour this weekend.

“The moment Tyler flew in from his last show of the weekend, the contractions started!” she tells People. “Tyler was so helpful in the birthing process from start to finish, and I’m so glad he made it home in time.”

The Florida Georgia Line hitmaker has plenty of praise for the new mother of two as well.

“Hayley was absolutely amazing throughout the whole labor,” Tyler says. “She was so patient, positive, and strong. She honestly made it look easy.”

“I feel so blessed to get to raise a family with such an incredible woman and amazing mother,” he adds. “She was meant for this and it’s so special to see.”

Eight-pound, eleven-ounce Luca joins older sister Olivia Rose, who’ll turn two in December.

“Luca looks a lot like Liv did as a newborn,” Hayley says.

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Kelsea Ballerini's new single is coming in the next few weeks
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:18:00 -0500

ABC RadioKelsea Ballerini’s third album won’t be out until next year, but we can expect its first single early next month, according to the Tennessean.

The “Miss Me More” hitmaker’s taken some time off the road this summer to work on the follow-up to Unapologetically, and she says she’s “really just settled into my voice” -- instead of trying to belt out songs in the tradition of Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride.

“I learned what it can do,” Kelsea tells the Tennessean. “I learned what makes it special. And, I stopped trying to sing like my heroes. I think vocally, on this record, I’m really excited about where that is laying.”

The Knoxville native reveals the album features a track about her hometown that makes her cry every time she hears it. And even though this is her first record since marrying Morgan Evans, Kelsea warns that you shouldn’t expect a bunch of happy love songs.

“I think now that I’m married, it gives me such a perspective on the other relationships that failed me,” she explains. “I’m writing the most heartbreaking songs I’ve ever written because I understand what went wrong before now.”

“I think the older I get … the more confident I feel about writing that kind of stuff,” she adds. “I write my songs, and I play guitar, and I write about what I’m going through. I’m just really excited to clean the slate again.”

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Keith, Miranda, Midland, Chris Young, Chris Janson and more to sing at Wednesday's ACM Honors
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:00:00 -0500

Walt Disney Television/Paula LoboKeith UrbanMiranda LambertChris YoungMidlandChris JansonLauren AlainaAshley McBrydeMaddie & TaeTenille Townes, and Caylee Hammack are all set to perform at Wednesday's 13th Annual ACM Honors at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. 

Barbara Mandrell and Trisha Yearwood will also present awards during the event, which honors Brooks & DunnMartina McBrideMiranda LambertKacey MusgravesRodney Crowell and more. 

The evening is an extension of the Academy of Country Music Awards, which took place in April in Las Vegas. 

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Dan + Shay have the top spot "All to [Themselves]," as they claim their sixth #1
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:48:00 -0500

ABC/Mark LevineThis week, Dan Shay manage to dethrone Luke Combs and claim their sixth career number one with "All to Myself."

"'All to Myself' is officially #1, and it feels extra special..." the duo posted on Instagram. "Thank you to our fans for believing in this song since day one, and fighting for it to be a single."

"We always trust you," they added, "because you’ve always got our backs... We’re just so unbelievably happy right now."

"This one damn near killed me," Dan Smyers later commented, referring to how hard they had to work to knock Luke's "Beer Never Broke My Heart" out of the top spot.

The duo's most recent number one, "Speechless," spent four weeks at the top in December and January. 

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The show must go on: Brad Paisley tweets his support for new CMA co-hosts Carrie, Reba, & Dolly
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:14:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LA Things will be decidedly different at this year's CMA Awards, with Brad Paisley sitting out the co-hosting gig for the first time in twelve years. Instead, Carrie Underwood will be joined by Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire during a night that pays tribute to country music's biggest female names. But Brad seems O.K. with it.

While fans will no doubt miss his trademark parodies and sense of humor, the West Virginia native is already reaching out to support Carrie and the two legends.

"As a fan of all 3 of these amazing women, I can't wait to watch," he tweeted Monday, along with the CMA's promo for the show.

The 53rd annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 13 starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Country star trivia
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:00:00 -0500

Comstock/Thinkstock Five years ago this week, this Georgia native performed his hits "Leave the Night On" and "Take Your Time" during his Grand Ole Opry debut. Can you name him? ANSWER: Sam Hunt.

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Jason Aldean will Ride All Night in Vegas this December
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:56:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LAACM Entertainer of the Decade Jason Aldean will play three consecutive nights in Las Vegas, starting Friday, December 6 at the Park Theater in the Park MGM.

“I’ve wanted to bring our show back to Vegas for a while now, and the timing feels right,” Jason says. “We’re going to pack up the show, set it up for a couple days and hang out with our Vegas family. I’m looking forward to being back.”

The December 6, 7 and 8 residency will be known as Ride All Night Vegas, just like Jason's current Ride All Night Tour. 

Pre-sales start on Tuesday, before tickets become available to the general public on Friday.  

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Bye Bye Brad: Carrie Underwood to host the 53rd Annual CMA Awards with Dolly and Reba
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:52:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LACarrie Underwood is returning to host the CMA Awards in November...but for the first time in 12 years, Brad Paisley won't be joining her.

Instead, Carrie will get some help from two legends: Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. Together, they'll be celebrating country's legendary women throughout the ceremony, which airs November 13 on ABC.

CMA CEO Sarah Trahern says in a statement, "In addition to awarding the year's best and brightest in the genre, the 53rd Annual CMAAwards will celebrate the legacy of women within country music, and we couldn't think of a more dynamic group of women to host the show."

The nominations will be announced Wednesday, August 28 during ABC's Good Morning America, and then via livestream after the telecast.

Together, Carrie, Reba and Dolly have won 22 CMA Awards, 11 of them for Female Vocalist of the Year.  They've also collectively been nominated 14 times for Entertainer of the Year, with Dolly winning it in 1978 and Reba winning in 1986.

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Nashville notes
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 05:00:00 -0500

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock If you missed CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban's appearance Friday on ABC's Strahan & Sara, you can check out his interview on the show's Facebook page.

Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis is releasing the new single, "Lead Me Home," which was recorded prior to his massive stroke in 2013.

Lee BriceBrantley Gilbert and Colt Ford are the new brand ambassadors for Paramount Outdoors' line of Engineered Hunting Gear that includes apparel, headwear, and accessories.

Newcomer Brandon Ratcliff pays tribute to his hometown of Cotton Valley, Louisiana in his new track, "Slow Down Hometown."

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Justin Moore may have "Late Nights and Longnecks," but his wife won't let him forget he's not a member of the "Drinking Class"
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 05:00:00 -0500

The Valory Music Co. Justin Moore has no problem admitting he's not the foremost authority on his own music: That happens to be his wife Kate.

"She's really good to run music by because she's completely honest -- brutally honest," the Arkansas resident tells ABC Radio. "And so, she'll go, 'Yeah, I don't really like that.' And I'm going, 'That's great! I mean, that was my idea. I wrote it!' She goes, 'I don't like it.'"

"So she's the one I usually rely on for that for that back home," he adds. "She's actually picked a lot of our hits. She'll say 'You need to put that out' or 'You need to put that out.'"

In fact, Justin admits he's messed up at times by NOT taking Kate's advice.

"I had a song on hold that I was going to record that I didn't," he explains. "And she was mad at me, and said, 'Man, you shoulda recorded that.' And then instantly Lee Brice made it a hit. It was 'Drinking Class.'"

"So she won't let me live that one down," Justin smiles.  

"Drinking Class" went on to become a platinum-selling hit for Lee, and Billboard's most-played song of 2015.

Of course, Justin has still done pretty well for himself. His latest single, "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home," is currently at number three on the chart. It's the lead release from his new Late Nights and Longnecks album.

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The Dixie Chicks return next Friday on Taylor Swift's "Lover" album
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 15:19:00 -0500

Valheria RochaThere’s new music from the Dixie Chicks on the way -- all thanks to Taylor Swift.

Taylor foreshadowed her collaboration with the trio earlier this year in her “Me!” video: If you look closely, you’ll see a picture of the Chicks hanging on the wall behind Taylor’s duet partner, Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, starting :36 into the video.

The Easter egg started rumors Taylor was cooking something up with Natalie MainesEmily Strayer, and Martie Maguire.

On Friday, Taylor confirmed it, releasing the track listing for her new album, Lover, which comes out August 23. The Dixie Chicks appear on cut twelve, on a song titled “Soon You’ll Get Better.”

Back in June, Natalie Maines hinted even more may be coming from the controversial Grammy winners, sharing a short video on Instagram where the trio simply said, “Dixie Chicks album coming -- someday,” adding the hashtag #dcx2019.

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Kenny Chesney invites you to celebrate National Rum Day in Blue Chair Bay
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 15:11:00 -0500

Blue Chair/Warner Music Nashville It’s National Rum Day -- and it’s Friday -- so Kenny Chesney’s hoping you’ll have some of his Blue Chair Bay brand on the “Tip of [Your] Tongue.”

Kenny’s Premium Rum comes in flavors like Spiced, White, Coconut, Banana, Vanilla, Coconut Spiced, Key Lime Cream, Banana Rum Cream, Pineapple Rum Cream, and Coconut Spiced Rum Cream.

You can check out his recipes for drinks like the Island Girl, Mojito, My My My Key Lime Pie, Riptide, and Spiced Mule online.

Kenny’s also in favor of you checking out his latest single, “Tip of My Tongue,” which was co-written with pop superstar Ed Sheeran. It’s already a top twenty hit.  

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Morgan Wallen's hitchhiking with Diplo in new "Heartless" collaboration
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:27:00 -0500

Sony Music EntertainmentMorgan Wallen’s already shared a number one with Florida Georgia Line and written a chart-topping hit for Jason Aldean, but now he has a new non-country collaborator: electronic producer/DJ Diplo.

Morgan’s featured on the second country song from the pop hitmaker, who’s releasing the tracks under his given name, Thomas Wesley. Back in April, he put out “So Long,” with vocals by Cam.

His collaboration with Morgan is titled “Heartless.”

“Couple a boys from the south makin music we love,” Morgan tweeted, referencing the fact that Diplo grew up in Florida, while he’s from East Tennessee.

“Why you gotta be so heartless/I know you think it’s harmless,” Morgan sings on the tune about love gone wrong.

“You’re tearin’ me apart and/Girl the hardest part is/You’re so high on attention/Taking miles from inches,” he continues, “Leave me in the darkness/Never finish what we started/Girl why you gotta be so heartless.”

Morgan and Diplo both star in a new lyric video for the song, which alternates between shots of the two hitchhiking while holding a cardboard sign. Morgan’s on a tree-lined country path, while Diplo’s in a more arid climate with cacti lining the road.

“Heartless” is available to stream or download now, or you can check out the lyric video on YouTube.

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Brooks & Dunn play "Cowboys & Indians" with Kane Brown and Jon Pardi
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 13:19:00 -0500

Cowboys & Indians/Robby Klein Soon-to-be Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn are on the cover of the October issue of the western lifestyle magazine Cowboys & Indians.

They’re flanked by Kane Brown and Jon Pardi on each side, who both collaborated with them on the new REBOOT remakes of their hits. Kix and Ronnie will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the annual Medallion Ceremony this October.

The “Country Music: Celebrating an Art Form” issue also features an interview with Tanya Tucker, whose While I’m Livin’ album comes out August 23. It previews Ken Burns’ new sixteen-hour Country Music documentary as well, which premieres September 15 on PBS. 
You’ll be able to pick up the new copy of Cowboys & Indians on September 3.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Old Dominion pours some drinks for the road crew in new "My Heart Is a Bar" video
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 12:09:00 -0500

RCA NashvilleOld Dominion not only delivered a new preview track from their next album on Friday as promised, they also made a video for it.

In the “My Heart Is a Bar” clip, the five-man band turns one of their trailers into a watering hole to have some fun with their crew while on the road.

But with lyrics like “My heart is a bar and I’m closing it down,” the song’s not nearly as happy as the video.

"'My Heart Is A Bar' might be the loneliest sing-along of all time," lead singer Matthew Ramsey admits. "It’s a song about feeling alone, and used, and pissed off at love to the point of throwing up your hands and saying, 'Screw this!'”

“That’s a feeling a lot of people can identify with,” he adds. “It’s lonely and liberating at the same time. That’s why we decided to treat this like a big, barroom sing-along so we can all sing and say 'Screw this!' together!"

The third album from the CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year is set to arrive October 25. For the first time, they co-produced it themselves, alongside longtime collaborator Shane McAnally. It features their current hit, “One Man Band,” along with their previous number one, “Make It Sweet.”

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Blake Shelton's ready to raise "Hell Right" with new single
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:24:00 -0500

Warner Music NashvilleAfter a week of anticipation leading up to Blake Shelton’s new single, the mystery is solved: “Hell Right” is a rap-influenced party song that features Trace Adkins and namechecks both “Old Town Road” and Hank Williams Jr.

“This song is about taking things to the max,” Blake explains. “You can raise hell or you can raise hell right. It’s about cutting loose and having fun the right way.”

“I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles these days,” he continues, “but when I hear songs like this on the radio, I am immediately thinking about being back home and what I’d be doing if I was there.”

The star of The Voice says his new single also has something in common with his most-recent, multi-week number one.

“The first time I heard ‘God’s Country,’ I was on my ranch in Oklahoma,” Blake recalls. “As a guy who actually lives this lifestyle, ‘Hell Right’ hits me in the soul now just as much as ‘God’s Country’ did then.”

“Hell Right” is available to stream or download now.

On Saturday night, Blake plays Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts with George Strait.

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Dylan Scott pays tribute to Keith Whitley, and relives 'An Old Memory' of riding around in his dad's truck
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 10:00:00 -0500


Dylan Scott's seven-song tribute to Keith Whitley, titled An Old Memory, is new today.

While the legend is almost universally revered for his vocals and his songwriting, Whitley died more than a year before the "Nothing to Do Town" hitmaker was born.

So for Dylan, his first exposure to Whitley is literally An Old Memory, one he shares with his father, who was also a touring musician. 

"It was with my dad," Dylan says of hearing Keith for the first time. "My dad had a single-cab Toyota pickup truck that had a tape player. And we're from Louisiana, so we would ride back roads, and we'd roll the windows down and my dad would just play that tape over and over again."

"It was 'Don’t Close Your Eyes,' and 'When You Say Nothing at All,' and 'Ten Feet Away.' That’s my first memories, just riding around with my dad listening to Keith Whitley."

Dylan covers all of those songs on his tribute. He says Whitley's appeal to him evolved over time.

"In the beginning, when I was a small kid, it was the tone of his voice," he remembers. "That’s what got me first, and then the older I got, it was his melodies. And then when I started writing and understanding, it was his lyrics.

"You know, it was just the whole package," Dylan continues. "But in the beginning, it was just his voice and the tone of it, and just how smooth his voice was. Even as a kid, I could tell he was such a great singer, so that's what did it for me."

Dylan Scott's An Old Memory is available to stream or download now. It also includes a duet with Keith's widow, Lorrie Morgan.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 10:00:00 -0500

Comstock/Thinkstock Forty-five years ago this week, Crystal Gayle recorded her first hit in Nashville. Can you name the song that would make it all the way to #6 on the country chart? ANSWER: "Wrong Road Again."

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Blake got so excited to go on Strait's bus, he "drank his face off" -- and may do it again this weekend
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 05:00:00 -0500

Warner Music NashvilleIf you want to see Blake Shelton turn into a fangirl, just ask him about George Strait.

The Oklahoma native was super-excited to get the call to play several stadium shows with his hero, like the one he'll do Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots.

"I had opened for George in 2007... or 2008," Blake recalls. "And it was one of the greatest things I ever did... just being a country music fan, and being able to stand on the side of the stage every night, watch him, and get a chance to visit with him a few times, you know."

"Not as many times as I wish I could have," he adds, "but that's George Strait. It's like, 'Where'd he go? How'd he get here?' He's sneaky!"

Blake actually gets a little speechless when he starts talking about the Country Music Hall of Famer.

"There's really nothing to say. You just say, 'George Strait,' and that's it," he explains. "To be able to now flash forward many, many years to get that call... I don't know if it was George himself -- I like to tell myself it was -- that asked for me. But I'm just happy to be doing it."

Back in June, Blake played Ohio Stadium with King George.

"Just like I hoped, I got that invitation to go up on the bus and hang out with him," he says. "And I literally don't remember leaving his bus, and it wasn't very long...I was so excited, I was just drinking my face off. Let's be honest."

"I was super pumped about it, and hopefully I can get the chance to do that again," he adds.

Blake's new single, "Hell Right," comes out today, ahead of his Saturday performance with George.

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Nashville notes
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 05:00:00 -0500

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock

Watch for CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban Friday on Strahan & Sara. You can tune in to watch starting at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.

Canaan Smith is the flagship artist for the new record label formed by Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line. "Beer Drinkin' Weather" is his first release on Round Here Records.

Alabama won't appear Saturday night at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, as lead singer Randy Owen is under doctors orders not to perform while he deals with cluster migraines and vertigo.

You can check out HARDY performing the multi-week #1 he wrote for Blake Shelton, "God's Country," on YouTube.

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Watch Maren Morris explore Hawaii's Road to Hana in "The Bones" music video
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 16:02:00 -0500

Columbia NashvilleYou can vicariously experience one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist attractions in Maren Morris’s new music video for “The Bones.”

Filmed during her vacation to Maui at the end of June, the clip follows Maren and her husband, singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd, as they explore the Hana Highway, a more than fifty-mile stretch of road through a lush, tropical rainforest.

“The Road to Hana is beautiful but a hell of a trek,” Maren shared on her socials. “Kind of like the most meaningful & lasting human relationships we get to have.”

“This is our journey on film for ‘The Bones’ directed by our friend and Maui aficionado Alex M. Ferrari,” she added.

The tender ballad about a strong relationship is the follow-up to the title track of Maren’s sophomore album, the #1 country hit, “Girl.”

While “The Bones” is just beginning its climb on the country chart, it’s already a top twenty hit on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs ranking.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Old Dominion decodes their album cover by releasing the track listing for "OD3"
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 14:56:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LA A day after Old Dominion unveiled the cover of their new record -- the first to feature the five-man band in its artwork -- the CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year is revealing its track listing.

The dozen-song album starts with the uptempo number one, “Make It Sweet,” and closes with the plaintive “Some People Do.”

Along the way, some of the titles also seem to explain the imagery on the album cover, which shows the band sitting on a sofa in a living room.

Hanging above their heads is a painting of a boat, perhaps a nod to “Smooth Sailing,” while the U.S. flag atop a wooden chest ties in with “American Style.” The room’s blue/green carpet may be a tip of the hat to “Paint the Grass Green.”

You can download the new track “My Heart Is a Bar” tonight at midnight.

Here’s the full track listing for the self-titled Old Dominion, which comes out October 25: 

“Make It Sweet”
“Smooth Sailing”
“One Man Band”
“Never Be Sorry”
“My Heart Is a Bar”
“Midnight Mess Around”
“Do It with Me”
“Hear You Now”
“I’ll Roll”
“American Style”
“Paint the Grass Green”
“Some People Do”

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Is Blake Shelton rapping on "Hell Right?"
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 14:15:00 -0500

Warner Music NashvilleIn the first tease for Blake Shelton’s new single, “Hell Right,” Trace Adkins urged him to “Tell ‘em that story you were telling me.”

Now we know how that story starts, thanks to the second clip of the song that Blake shared on his socials.

Earlier, Blake’s label hinted the new song is in the tradition of “Boys ‘Round Here” and his previous collab with Trace, “Hillbilly Bone” -- and that seems to be the case.  But “Hell Right” may also be veering into rap territory.

“Couple boys clock out ‘bout 5:35/Trying to put a little hammer in their head,” Blake talk-sings on the new track. “Standing in the liquor store staring at a fifth/But they picked up a handle instead/Hell right.”

Previously, Blake tweeted a mock apology to country purists, hinting they might be offended by the song. You’ll be able to hear “Hell Right” in full on Friday.

Meanwhile, the new promo for the latest season of The Voice is out with Kelly Clarkson describing it as “the blondes against the bros, y’all.”

The preview plays up the fact that Blake’s now competing against his main squeeze, Gwen Stefani, as she replaces longtime coach Adam Levine. Kelly and Gwen square off against Blake and John Legend, starting September 23 on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Damn Country Music: Tim McGraw tackles Lil Nas X in new "TIME" essay
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 12:32:00 -0500

ABC/Mark Levine Tim McGraw and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham consider the changing face of both country music and America in a new essay in the latest issue of TIME.

Titled “Country Music Should Be Political. After All, It Always Has Been,” the article accompanies the cover story featuring “Old Town Road” phenomenon Lil Nas X.

In the piece, McGraw and Meacham assert that country music “is undergoing a period of healthy redefinition and soul searching,” that's “not so different from the ones the broader nation is asking itself in the age of Trump.”

They argue that country is “more complicated and... interesting than the prevailing caricature," seeing "a strain of protest alongside the sentimental patriotism.”

The article also teases Ken Burns’ new sixteen-hour Country Music documentary, which traces the evolution of America alongside the growth of country music as well. It premieres September 15 on PBS.

In the end, McGraw and Meacham see Lil Nas X as “a hopeful sign” that “broad audience acceptance of artists of color may be the next big front in country,” while hoping country makes a larger place for female artists like Kacey Musgraves too.

Pointing to songs like 1975’s “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” by Waylon Jennings, they conclude that country’s current identity struggle is nothing new.

“We can embrace tradition, and... the more current sounds of the day -- this is, after all, what our musical forebears did so brilliantly,” they write.

Ultimately, they believe “country is the music of inclusion and universality” and “Complexity is country’s friend, not its enemy, and more people need to realize that.”

You can read the full article online or in the new issue of TIME, which arrives Friday.

McGraw and Meacham’s book, Songs of America, is a New York Times bestseller.

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Miranda Lambert's got a "Wildcard" up her sleeve for November 1
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 12:21:00 -0500

Vanner Records/RCA Records NashvilleMiranda Lambert will play her Wildcard on November 1.

Wildcard is Miranda’s seventh studio effort, and her first since 2016’s double album, The Weight of These Wings

“When people listen to this record, I want them to know that I see them and hear them,” Miranda says. “I feel you, because I’m just a girl from East Texas, writing about all the things that go on in my world and in the worlds of people around me.”

“I want people to get along,” she adds. “You know, just be who you are, own it and move on from the moments you couldn’t live in.”

Wildcard is Miranda’s first time working with producer Jay Joyce.  It features her latest single, “It All Comes Out in the Wash,” as well as the new track “Bluebird,” which she just released today.

Next month, she heads out on her all-female Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour with Maren Morris, Elle King, Pistol Annies, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes and Caylee Hammack.

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Kane Brown reveals he plans to name his daughter Kingsley
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:57:00 -0500

ABC/Image Group LA Kane Brown’s first child -- a girl -- will be named Kingsley, he revealed Wednesday evening, at a baby shower thrown by his current tour mate, Jason Aldean.

“Officially announcing our baby’s name! KINGSLEY can’t wait for u to be here!!!” Kane shared on Instagram, along with a photo showing himself touching his wife Katelyn’s stomach while she holds a purple balloon bearing the baby’s name and a crown.

“Thank you Jason and Brittany Aldean for throwing us this awesome baby shower,” he added. “Love you guys!!!”

The ACM Entertainer of the Decade shared a picture with Kane as well, though he couldn’t resist giving him a little grief.

“My dude! Kane Brown is about to be a daddy!” Jason added to his selfie with Kane. “So happy for him and Katelyn.” 

Jason teased him with the hashtag #KaneWearingAJacketInAugust, to which Kane shot back, “If I remember correctly u had it on at one point.”

The two friends will be together again on the Ride All Night Tour with Carly Pearce next Thursday, August 22 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Jason Aldean's new mansion will boast a bowling alley and a pool "like Sandals beach resort"
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:00:00 -0500

Broken Bow

(NOTE LANGUAGE) These days, Jason Aldean and his family are living in a temporary space after selling their house in January, as he and his wife, Brittany, await completion of their dream home.

When it's finished, Jason's new address will have quite a few features worthy of an ACM Entertainer of the Decade.

"I kind of always feel like a douchebag talking about this stuff," the Georgia native confesses.  "But my old house had a bowling alley... and had a bar in it.  And it was just kind of like the man cave, you know, that I would go and watch football and stuff like that on the weekends."

Jason goes on: "And so that was something that I used a ton.  And, you know, we used it a lot for Thanksgiving. We had family and stuff come over. So when we built our new house, that was the one thing I was like, 'We have to at least have that again. We use it too much not to.'"

Jason admits he may have gone a little overboard when it comes to the pool.

"The pool is pretty good, too. It looks kind of like Sandals beach resort," he laughs. "We got a little carried away. I'll say that. But it's gonna be fun when it's finally done."

Back in March, Brittany estimated she and Jason were a year away from moving into their new home.

In the meantime, Jason's latest single, "Rearview Town," is currently in country's top five.

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Country star trivia
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:00:00 -0500

Comstock/Thinkstock Country Music Hall of Famer Connie Smith scored her most recent top ten in 1976 with this cover of a 1959 hit by The Everly Brothers. Can you name the classic written by Don Everly? ANSWER: "('Til) I Kissed You."

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