ABC - Country Music News
Ronnie covers Eric Clapton and the Eagles, with the full 'RE-Dunn' album coming in January
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 17:00:00 -0600

Steven MartineSince September, Ronnie Dunn's been releasing two songs a month from his epic 24-track covers album, RE-Dunn. Today, the final pair arrives, ahead of the full record's release on January 10. And the Country Music Hall of Famer may have just saved the best for last.

You can now stream or download Ronnie's covers of the Eagles"Peaceful Easy Feeling" and Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight." As you might expect, the Oklahoma native has a personal connection to each one.

“I would drive back and forth from Tulsa to Nashville with Eric Clapton’s drummer, Jamie Oldaker," Ronnie recalls. "Jamie told me how Eric wrote 'Wonderful Tonight' for [his wife] Pattie."

"It’s hard to get as organic as Eric was because he wrote it on a personal level for his wife," Ronnie adds, "but we really enjoyed recording it." 

"Peaceful Easy Feeling" was Ronnie's initial introduction to Don HenleyGlenn Frey and the gang.

“It was the first song I heard from the Eagles," he remembers. "We had the album in the dorm room in college and I flipped. It never grows old for me. RE-Dunn wouldn’t be complete without including it.”

You can stream or download all of the preview tracks now, ahead of RE-Dunn's release on January 10.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton can't live without each other on "Nobody but You"
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 16:05:00 -0600

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImageGwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s new duet, "Nobody but You," has arrived.

The love song, which appears on Blake's album Fully Loaded: God's Country, is about realizing you can’t live without someone.

“I don't wanna live without you/I don't wanna even breathe/I don't wanna dream about you/Wanna wake up with you next to me,” the couple sings on the chorus.

"I don't wanna go down any other road now," the song continues. "I don't wanna love nobody but you/Looking in your eyes now, if I had to die now/I don't wanna love nobody but you."

Blake previously said the song fit with the couple’s story. “I was about to go in and record when I decided that it needed Gwen on it -- because it is our song,” he said. “I think it's magic."

This marks the third time the powerhouse pair has recorded a song together, following "Go Ahead and Break My Heart" on Blake's 2016 album, If I'm Honest, and the holiday duet "You Make it Feel Like Christmas" on Gwen's 2017 Christmas album of the same name.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"More Hearts Than Mine" hitmaker Ingrid Andress joins Dan + Shay on The (Arena) Tour next year
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 14:22:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LADan Shay will be sharing their fans with newcomer Ingrid Andress in 2020.

The “10,000 Hours” hitmakers have invited their label mate to open the spring leg of The (Arena) Tour next year. Ingrid’s debut single, “More Hearts Than Mine,” is currently climbing in country’s top twenty.

“Ummm R U KIDDING ME?!? I’m going on an ARENA tour?? W/ Dan Shay??... I’m dead,” Ingrid tweeted

“Y’all I can’t even tell u how excited I am to be on the road with these amazingly talented humans/to sing my songs for all your beautiful faces. Much tequila will be consumed,” she added, in a nod to Dan Shay’s huge hit.

Indie alternative group The Band Camino will be on the dates as well, which kick off March 6 with two nights at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The 12 Days of Pranksmas: The tale of Luke Bryan, wife Caroline, his mom, and "Trashy Tammy"
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 12:19:00 -0600

ABC RadioIf you keep up with Luke Bryan’s wife, Caroline, you know she lives for a good prank. So much so, in fact, that she’s sharing a Bryan family tradition known as the 12 Days of Pranksmas -- and the 2019 edition is off to an epic start.

“Here we go… Day 1!” Caroline captioned an Instagram video of the incident, which she named “Trashy Tammy Takedown.”

You never know who's the target during the 12 Days of Pranksmas, and this time, it’s Luke’s mom, LeClaire.

The incident starts as Luke and his mother are outside on a grassy hill talking, as LeClaire smokes a cigarette. Fairly quickly, a large woman in cut-off jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt approaches, as Luke yells, “Mama, that’s that girl!” and starts running away.

LeClaire -- who's about half the size of the woman -- follows, trying to block “Trashy Tammy,” who's chasing Luke and begging him, "Come here!"

Tammy tackles Luke and starts rolling around on the ground with him, shouting things like “I just want to hug him!” and “He’s beautiful!” The tiny LeClaire throws away her cigarette and climbs on top, trying to pull the woman off her son.

A man who appears to be a police officer rescues Luke, just as Caroline comes to check on him. After she makes sure her husband’s okay, she approaches “Trashy Tammy” like she’s ready to fight.

Just then, you hear Luke say “MAMA! Twelve days of Pranksmas!” as they both collapse, laughing. Ever a good son, he makes sure LeClaire is she warns him not to ever do that again.

A second, behind-the-scenes video shot earlier reveals that “Trashy Tammy” and “Officer Daniels” were both in on the joke.

Stay tuned to see what’s next.    

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Garth Brooks' stadium stop in Cincinnati sells out in a little more than an hour
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 11:23:00 -0600

Copyright 2018 8TEN, Inc.Garth Brooks’ May 16 Stadium Tour stop in Cincinnati, Ohio sold out in a little more than sixty minutes Friday morning.

Fans snapped up 65,000 tickets in less than an hour, and at 75 minutes in, all 70,000 seats were gone.

This will be the the seven-time CMA Entertainer of the Year's first time playing Paul Brown Stadium. It’s also Garth's  only planned stop on the Stadium Tour in the Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia region.

Garth does have a couple concerts before he heads to Cincinnati. He’ll play Detroit’s Ford Field on February 22, before taking over Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 2.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Amy & Vince invite "exhausted people to take a deep breath" at their "Tennessee Christmas" at the Ryman
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 10:00:00 -0600

Robby KleinThis week, Vince Gill and Amy Grant set in motion a much-treasured Music City tradition -- their series of Christmas shows together at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

For Amy, it's a labor of love -- especially considering she's just wrapped her earlier yuletide tour with pal Michael W. Smith.

"Christmas is for me, the best kind of nostalgia," she tells ABC Audio. "It just brings into sharp focus some of my favorite images of my family."

"I feel like the best gift we can give each other is time," she adds.

In fact, that's what the star of Christian, pop, and Christmas music tries to do with her holiday shows -- carve out a peaceful space for her audience in the season of hustle and bustle.

"The work that happens for me at Christmas time is a great combination of working on music that I love," Amy explains, "creating environments for exhausted people to step into and take a deep breath. That's how I feel about doing Christmas shows."

Even though she made "Tennessee Christmas" a classic and has recorded no less than four complete holiday albums, you get the impression Amy still considers doing her advent season shows a privilege.

"I can clear the calendar because this is my work..." she points out. "I'm not going to a bunch of Christmas parties, I'm not hosting Christmas dinners. We put on Christmas concerts and it's just like, 'What do we get to serve up this year?'"

"It needs to be faith and hope and family and disappointment, laughter, fun. And it's just like serving up a great meal."  

Nine more shows remain during Amy and Vince's run at the Ryman.

For the first time ever this season, Amy's first three holiday albums are available on vinyl in her new Christmas box set.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 10:00:00 -0600

Comstock/Thinkstock Ricky Skaggs introduced this country Christmas classic on his 1986 album, Love's Gonna Get Ya!, complete with backing vocals from the legendary James Taylor. Can you name it? ANSWER: "New Star Shining."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 05:00:00 -0600

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBlake Shelton promotes his new collection, Fully Loaded: God's Country, Friday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Check your local listings to see when the syndicated hour airs in your area.

The 28th annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival will take place March 24-28 in Nashville. Look for the lineup to be revealed February 25.

Wade Hayes' new album, Who Saved Who, is out today. It features the title song he wrote about his dog Jack, who was by his side through two bouts of cancer.

If you missed Jason Aldean on "Don't You Wanna Stay" duet partner Kelly Clarkson's daytime talk show on Thursday, you can check out his segment on YouTube.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Carrie and Trisha honor Linda Ronstadt at the Kennedy Center, while TR pays tribute to 'Sesame Street'
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 05:00:00 -0600

Gail Schulman/CBSSunday’s 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors is a night filled with some of the biggest names in country music, as Carrie UnderwoodThomas RhettTrisha Yearwood and more pay tribute to the likes of Linda Ronstadt, actress Sally Field, and Sesame Street.

Both Emmylou Harris and Don Henley honor their friend Linda Ronstadt with spoken tributes, while Carrie and Trisha perform some of the CMA and ACM winner’s biggest hits. Carrie does “Blue Bayou” and “When Will I Be Loved,” while Trisha tackles “You’re No Good” and recreates the pop hit “Don’t Know Much” with Linda's original duet partner, Aaron Neville.

TR rubs elbows with Elmo, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Bert, Ernie, and Cookie Monster in homage to the beloved children’s series, offering the signature tune “Sing a Song” in the familiar Sesame Street setting, as well as the anthem for the show's 50th anniversary, "This Is My Street."

The yearly special was recorded a week earlier on December 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. You can tune in to watch the two-hour gala starting at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS.

Experience Chris Young & Gavin DeGraw's stripped-down, emotionally-charged "Drowning" from 'CMT Crossroads'
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:00:00 -0600

CMTThings will get emotional on Friday night, when the new episode of Crossroads featuring Chris Young and pop star Gavin DeGraw premieres on CMT.

In one of the special’s highlights, the two team up for a new version of Chris’s current single, “Drowning,” which he wrote about the unexpected loss of his close friend. Gavin plays piano on the stripped-down version of the hit, while Chris sits by the piano and trades lines with him on the song.

In a social media clip promoting the show, Chris reveals his friend Adam would’ve “geeked out” to know Gavin DeGraw was singing a song Chris wrote about him.

You can preview the new take on “Drowning” on YouTube now. CMT Crossroads: Gavin DeGraw & Chris Young premieres Friday at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

VR Never Broke My Heart? How you can see Luke Combs in a new way
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:00:00 -0600

ABC/Randy HolmesLuke Combs wraps up his Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour this Thursday and Friday at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. While those are the last of his shows for this year, there’s still a pretty interesting chance for you to check out one of his concerts.

Just last month, MelodyVR captured the North Carolina native’s sold-out show at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. That means you can now watch Luke in “immersive 360 degree virtual reality.”

“My fans are the most important people to me,” Luke says. “They are the biggest reason I am even able to put on shows in the first place, so it’s really cool to me that MelodyVR and I were able to team up to give those fans who may not have had a chance to come out to the Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour an opportunity to get the full experience.”

“Even though they’re not physically there,” he adds, “it sure seems like it! It’s really awesome and I can’t wait for y’all to be able to experience it.”

You don’t really need any fancy equipment to try it out, either. You can download the MelodyVR app on your smartphone or use your Oculus VR headset if you have one. Find out more at

On February 7, Luke cranks up his What You See Is What You Get Tour with Ashley McBryde, playing a sold-out show in Columbia, Missouri.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Inject some energy into your holiday soundtrack with Chris Janson's "Run Run Rudolph"
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 14:00:00 -0600

ABC/Mark Levine If you enjoyed Chris Janson’s souped-up, harmonica-fueled performance of “Run Run Rudolph” on CMA Country Christmas this year on ABC, you can now make it a permanent part of your holiday collection.

The live version of the Missouri native’s tribute to Chuck Berry is available to stream or download now. If you’d like some video to go along with that, you can watch Chris’s original performance on YouTube as well.

There's one more yuletide tune by Chris you may want to check out as well. “It Is Christmas” is an original tune he wrote and put out last year, along with an accompanying music video.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tanya Tucker will be torn between the Titans and the Texans as she sings the national anthem Sunday
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 12:06:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LACountry legend Tanya Tucker’s the perfect person to sing the national anthem as the Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans on Sunday, since she was born in the Lone Star State and now lives in Nashville.

You can catch all the action from Music City’s Nissan Stadium starting at 1 p.m. ET on CBS, as the Titans and the Texans vie for the top spot in the AFC South. Tanya’s performance will be accompanied by a flyover by the 149th Fighter Wing’s Lone Star Gunfighters.

The “Delta Dawn” hitmaker’s enjoying a career renaissance these days on the heels of her new album, While I’m Livin’. She’s the most-nominated country artist at the upcoming Grammys, vying for four trophies at next month’s ceremonies.

In February, Tanya will kick off the annual CMT Next Women of Country trek, this year titled the Bring My Flowers Now Tour, after her Grammy-nominated song.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Notice": Thomas Rhett takes 'Center Point Road' on tour in 2020
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:14:00 -0600

The Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett will kick off next year’s The Center Point Road Tour May 29 with two nights in Gilford, New Hampshire.

Cole Swindell and HARDY will join him on the trek, though Cole will miss the first two shows.

The first tickets go on sale Friday, January 24, as part of Live Nation’s Country Megaticket.

You can check out TR’s performance Wednesday night of the Center Point Road track, “Notice,” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert online. On Sunday, he pays tribute to Sesame Street on The 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, which start at 8 p.m. ET.

Here’s the complete itinerary for Thomas Rhett’s 2020 The Center Point Road Tour: 

5/29,30 -- Gilford, NH, Bank of NH Pavilion
6/5 -- Indianapolis, IN, Ruoff Music Center
6/6 -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
6/7 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
6/11 -- Syracuse, NY, St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
6/12 -- Burgettstown, PA, KeyBank Pavilion
6/19 -- Tampa, FL, MidFlorida Credit Union Ampitheatre
6/20 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Coral Sky Amphitheater
7/9 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
7/10 -- Raleigh, NC, Coastal Credit Union Music Park @ Walnut Creek
7/11 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
7/16 -- Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
7/17 -- St. Louis, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
7/23 -- Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheater
7/24 -- Boise, ID, Idaho Center Amphitheater
7/30 -- Sacramento, CA, Toyota Amphitheatre
7/31 -- Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
8/7 -- Phoeniz, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
8/8 -- Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheater
8/21 -- Bangor, ME, Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion
8/22 -- Hartford, CT, Xfinity Theatre
8/23 -- Canandaigua, NY, CMAC
8/27 -- Wantagh, NY, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
8/28 -- Philadelphia, PA, BB&T Pavilion
8/29 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:00:00 -0600

Comstock/Thinkstock Forty-five years ago this week, cowboy legend Red Steagall saw this promising vocalist perform "The Star Spangled Banner" at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City, and was so impressed he set up some sessions for her in Nashville. Can you name the future Country Music Hall of Famer? ANSWER: Reba McEntire.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Trisha Yearwood discovers "You've got this, baby!" with her biggest hit in a decade
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 05:00:00 -0600

Gail Schulman/CBS When Trisha Yearwood got ready to put out her first all-new country album in more than a decade in August, she admits she wasn't focused on releasing a single, since so few female vocalists typically get played on country radio these days.

But her team at Gwendolyn Records -- named after her beloved late mother -- insisted, eventually scoring the highest debut of Trisha's nearly thirty-year career with "Every Girl in This Town."

It was empowering not only for the two-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, but for other women who related to the song's uplifting lyrics like "You got this, baby! So what if you don't?" as well. 

"I had no expectation of what was gonna happen with it," Trisha tells ABC Audio, "And would we even have a single at radio? Because I'm a woman and I'm 55 and I really just didn't know what to expect."

"So I think it's made it such a wonderful kind of icing on the cake to see the success, and see women and girls relating to it," she reflects. "Because it just tells us it's okay to be however you are, whatever that looks like. And we need to hear that message."  

"Every Girl in This Town" is currently just one spot away from country's top twenty-five.

This Sunday, you can tune in to see Trisha pay tribute to the woman who's perhaps her greatest musical hero, Linda Ronstadt, on The 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Trisha performs both "You're No Good" and "Don't Know Much" with Aaron Neville on the annual show that starts at 8 p.m ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 05:00:00 -0600

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJason Aldean's set to appear on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Thursday. Check your local listings to see when the syndicated hour airs in your area.

If you missed Sunday's premiere of Christmas at Dollywood on Hallmark Channel, you can catch it this Friday at 8 p.m. ET, complete with guest appearances by Dolly Parton herself.

Opry Entertainment will roll out its new Circle TV network on January 1, complete with sixteen new shows including Opry Live and Backstage at the Opry, as well as classic episodes of Hee Haw.

Midland's follow-up single to "Mr. Lonely" is the Let It Roll track, "Cheatin' Songs."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Move over "Cruise" and "Body Like a Back Road" -- 'Country Aircheck' says another song rocked the decade
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:24:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LAWhat’s the most-played country song of the past ten years? Well, the answer just might surprise you.

Finishing ahead of smash hits like Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” and Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road,” it’s Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” from 2011.  Sam’s “Body” comes in second, while FGL’s at number five, according to the tally by Country Aircheck.

Eric Church is the only artist to have two songs in the publication's top ten. 2012’s “Springsteen” is at number six, while 2011’s “Drink in My Hand” is ninth.

2012 CMA Vocal Duo of the Year Thompson Square makes a surprise appearance at number four with their biggest hit so far, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.”

The newest song on the list belongs to Dustin Lynch, who comes in tenth with 2017's “Small Town Boy.”

Here’s the complete rundown of the Top 10 Songs of the Decade, according to Country Aircheck:

1. "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" -- Jake Owen
2. "Body Like a Back Road" -- Sam Hunt
3. "Honey Bee" -- Blake Shelton
4. "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" -- Thompson Square
5. "Cruise" -- Florida Georgia Line
6. "Springsteen" -- Eric Church
7. "Wagon Wheel" -- Darius Rucker
8. "Knee Deep" -- Zac Brown Band with Jimmy Buffett
9. "Drink in My Hand" -- Eric Church
10. "Small Town Boy" -- Dustin Lynch

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

What Makes You Country's #1 artist of the decade? Just ask Luke Bryan
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 16:00:00 -0600

ABC/Craig SjodinLuke Bryan is the most-heard country artist of the past decade, according to Country Aircheck.

All totaled, 22 of the Georgia native’s 23 number ones happened in the past ten years, starting with “Rain Is a Good Thing” in 2010, and continuing through his most recent chart-topper, “Knockin’ Boots,” earlier this year.

Somehow, the superstar who’s also a judge on ABC’s American Idol manages to not let his busy life get to him.

“I love being the guy a lot of people count on. I don’t wake up with anxiety about it,” he tells Country Aircheck in the year-end issue, which comes out next week. “I wake up going, all right, let’s get after it and show the world what we’re going to do this year or this week.”

Back in October, the Academy of Country Music also gave Luke its first-ever Album of the Decade honor for 2013’s Crash My Party.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Blake & Gwen cover the new 'People,' as they prepare to release new duet
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:09:00 -0600

PEOPLEWhen Blake Shelton’s new album, Fully Loaded: God’s Country, hits the streets on Friday, he and girlfriend Gwen Stefani will also be on the cover of the new issue of People.

The accompanying article is titled “Gwen & Blake: Ready to Wed!” with the subtitle, “After four blissful years of dating, the Voice costars are excited to take the next step.”

A source tells People it was actually Gwen who convinced Blake to record their duet, “Nobody but You,” on the new record.

“Blake and Gwen were driving around in the car, and she put it on. They both loved it,” the unnamed insider says, adding “He feels like it’s their song. It just perfectly reflects where he is in his life right now.”

As for why the two aren’t married, People floats a theory that we’ve heard before. Gwen’s a devout Catholic, and before she and Blake can have a church wedding, her earlier marriage to rocker Gavin Rossdale must be annulled, which can take a long time.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"...Hold On," Dierks Bentley's 'Riser' is making its vinyl debut in January
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 14:30:00 -0600

UMG NashvilleDierks Bentley’s 2014 album, Riser, is coming to vinyl for the first time in January.

The record that includes the chart-topping hits “I Hold On,” “Drunk on a Plane,” and “Say You Do,” will be available as a translucent orange disc or simply on standard black vinyl as well.

Riser was the Arizona native’s fifth effort to debut at the top of the country albums chart, and was the first record he’d made since the passing of his father and the birth of his son.

You can pre-order your Riser vinyl now online, with the discs set to ship the week of January 31.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lee Brice maps out first UK run in 2020
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:24:00 -0600

CurbLee Brice is heading across the pond in 2020 for his first-ever tour of the United Kingdom.

The four-date run kicks off July 7 in London, England, and moves on to Birmingham and Manchester, before wrapping on the 11th in Glasgow, Scotland. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Back in the States, Lee’s latest number one, “Rumor,” finishes the year as the tenth most-played song of 2019, according to Country Aircheck. Meanwhile, his latest hit, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” with Carly Pearce, is climbing in the top thirty.

Here's the complete itinerary for Lee Brice's 2020 tour of the UK:

7/7 -- London, England, Shepherds Bush Empire
7/9 -- Birmingham, England, O2 Institute
7/10 -- Manchester, England, O2 Ritz
7/11 -- Glasgow, Scotland, The Old Fruitmarket

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Eric Church Doubles Down to become country's top touring act of 2019
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 10:28:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LAEric Church is country’s top touring artist of 2019, according to Billboard.

The North Carolina native raked in more than $65 million, playing for more than 718,000 fans during 48 shows on his Double Down Tour.

Florida Georgia Line is a close second, grossing nearly $53 million, though they played for more people, with a total crowd that exceeded 750,000. Carrie Underwood’s the only female artist on the list, finishing third with her Cry Pretty trek.

Thomas Rhett and George Strait are fourth and fifth, respectively, though it’s worth noting that King George made $46 million over nine shows, while everyone else worked close to fifty dates.

Here’s the complete rundown of 2019’s Top 5 Country Tours, along with their corresponding total gross, attendance, and number of shows, according to Billboard Boxscore:

1. Eric Church -- $65 million, 718K, 48
2. Florida Georgia Line -- $52.9 million, 750K, 46
3. Carrie Underwood -- $50.2 million, 648K, 58
4. Thomas Rhett -- $46.7 million, 674K, 50
5. George Strait -- $46.2 million, 291K, 9

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 10:00:00 -0600

Comstock/ThinkstockThree years ago this week, Maren Morris was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Can you remember what she sang? ANSWER: The Hero hits "My Church" and "80s Mercedes."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 05:00:00 -0600

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThomas Rhett guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night. You can watch for him starting at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.

If you missed Jason Aldean doing the 9 track, "Camouflage Hat," Tuesday on ABC's Strahan, Sara, and Keke, you can check it out online

Tyler FarrExileJamie O'NealDeborah Allen38 Special, and NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick are just some of the stars taking part in Christmas 4 Kids' annual Tour Bus Show next Monday at the Walmart in Hendersonville, Tennessee on the outskirts of Nashville. Proceeds from the behind-the-scenes look at tour buses and the organization's annual Ryman benefit go to take more than four hundred underprivileged children from Middle Tennessee on a holiday shopping spree. You can find out more at

Dierks Bentley and Brandi Carlile are set to headline the Shaky Boots Music Festival May 8-9 in Central Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Alison KraussGary AllanTanya TuckerDwight YoakamMorgan WallenClint Black and more will play as well.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Real or fake? Thomas Rhett reveals the one aspect of Christmas where he and wife Lauren don't agree
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 05:00:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LAThis year, Thomas Rhett rolled out two holiday tunes, for the first time ever: an original he co-wrote titled "Christmas in the Country" and his cover of the classic, "The Christmas Song."

He admits it's something his wife Lauren has wanted him to do "for a long time," and the time felt right, as the two are busy making yuletide memories with their daughters, four-year-old Willa Gray and two-year-old Ada James.  

TR says some of their traditions are drawn from their individual families, like "opening one gift on Christmas Eve, or always getting new ornaments for the Christmas tree." But he reveals there's one thing the couple don't exactly see eye-to-eye on.

"Making sure the Christmas tree is always real is something that Lauren is dead set on," he points out. "And I wish we could get a fake one, but, you know, we’re gonna get a real one for forever probably," he smiles.

Even though Willa and Ada are still fairly small, the family's already developing their own holiday rituals.

"We always watch The Santa Clause at least a thousand times before Christmas actually gets there," TR says. "And we still kind of celebrate Christmas five or six days after Christmas as well, because we’re not ready for it to end."

"And we always decorate our house..." he continues. "We love Christmas. It’s our favorite time of the year, and as our kids get older, hopefully they can help us make some new traditions."

TR and Lauren are about to get a little MORE help in that department. They're expecting their third daughter in February.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special' again, as his show re-airs on ABC
Tue, 10 Dec 2019 17:00:00 -0600

ABC/Mark LevineIf you missed Brad Paisley’s first-ever network variety show when it premiered last week on ABC, you’ll have another chance to check it out later this month.

Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special is set to re-air on Saturday, December 28 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. More than six million people tuned in to watch its first airing on December 3, making it the most-watched show on the network that night.

You can check out quite a few segments from the show -- specifically the ones starring Carrie UnderwoodTim McGrawJonas Brothers and more -- on YouTube now. Kelsea BalleriniDarius Rucker and Hootie & the Blowfish joined Brad on the show as well.  

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dan + Shay didn't take "10,000 hours" to grab country's fastest-selling platinum single of the year
Tue, 10 Dec 2019 16:13:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LADan Shay are closing out the year by setting another record.

Their hit with Justin Bieber“10,000 Hours,” has just been certified platinum, making it the fastest-selling country single to reach sales of one million units this year.

The collaboration, which just came out in October, is an international sensation as well. It’s already been certified platinum in Canada, and gone gold in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, New Zealand, and The Netherlands as well.

Currently, “10,000 Hours” is in the top ten on the country chart. It’s simultaneously a top fifteen hit on the pop chart.

Dan Shay will close out the year by performing on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the second year in a row December 31 on ABC. They’re also up for two trophies at next month’s Grammys.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Miranda Lambert wants to help you find a Christmas present for your pooch
Tue, 10 Dec 2019 15:00:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LAIf you’re looking for a holiday present for your pup, Miranda Lambert wants to help you.

Her full line of MuttNation pet products are now available from Tractor Supply Company, both in stores and online. That includes four styles of beds with matching collars and leashes, plus toys, bandanas and water bowls.

In the spirit of the season, Miranda’s giving all the money she makes to her MuttNation Foundation to help rescue shelters.

“We’re so thankful to our friends at Tractor Supply for the support they’ve given MuttNation since we first launched our partnership a few months ago,” Miranda says. “It’s really exciting to have such a great line of pet supplies and toys and to know that every mutt-lover’s purchase is helping another rescue dog find a loving home -- and with over 1,800 Tractor Supply stores across the country, that’ll make a lot of happy pups,” she adds.

Miranda herself has eight rescue dogs, as well as horses, cats and rabbits.

Musically, she’s just released “Bluebird” as the second single from her new Wildcard album.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bring My Flowers Now: Tanya Tucker to headline CMT's 2020 Next Women of Country Tour
Tue, 10 Dec 2019 14:00:00 -0600

ABC/Image Group LATanya Tucker will headline the CMT Next Women of Country: Bring My Flowers Now Tour in 2020, named after her Grammy-nominated song from her While I’m Livin’ album.

Brandy ClarkShooter JenningsAubrie SellersErin EnderlinHailey WhittersMadison Kozak, and Walker County will join Tanya for the run that kicks off February 5 in Vienna, Virginia.

Tickets for most dates go on sale this Friday, with more shows to be added in the coming weeks. You can find out more at both and

The legend famous for “Delta Dawn” is the most-nominated country artist at next month’s Grammys, where she’ll vie for four trophies.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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