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Country Music News
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©Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo

Tuesday night in Nashville, Dustin Lynch, Mark Wills, the Gatlins and more walked onstage at the Grand Ole Opry to help induct Luke Combs as its newest member.

Since Luke's mom sneaked him into a Vince Gill show as his first concert, the Country Music Hall of Famer led the honors.

"What I love about this guy: he opens his mouth [and] his singing is undeniable..." Vince declared.

"I found out not too long ago that the first concert he ever went to was one of mine. So I obviously didn't ruin him," Vince added.

Luke listened to hits like "Pickup Man" and "John Deere Greene" before he was in kindergarten, so it was Joe Diffie who actually pronounced him the Opry's latest addition.

"It's pretty hard to find anything to say that makes me feel like I wouldn't sound like an idiot right now," Luke said candidly as the audience laughed and applauded.

"Here I am onstage with people that... shaped me as an artist," he added, "and I just want to say thank you to you guys."

The North Carolina native went on to voice his appreciation for the ones that make it all possible.

"Thank you to the fans. You guys should always remember that you are the most important thing... that all of us have on this stage," Luke continued. "Without y'all, there is no country music. There is no Grand Ole Opry."

For his debut as an Opry member, Luke sang the title of his record-setting debut album, This Ones for You, changing some of the words for the special occasion: "There's a couple people in the Grand Ole Opry tonight I owe a beer to. And three or four I owe more than a few," he closed, ending to thunderous applause.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Big Machine Tuesday, Riley Green marked a coveted milestone, celebrating his debut single, "There Was This Girl," at a number-one party at Nashville's Sutler saloon.

Riley recalls hearing the song on the radio for the first time, not that long ago.

"I was coming back from a hunting trip in Georgia," he remembers, "and one of those stations in Atlanta were pretty early on playing it."

"And it's weird," Riley adds. "You hear the song eight billion times when you're in the studio, and then when you're going to shoot the video... But hearing it on the radio's got a different feel, for sure."

Even though Riley had been making music before, the Alabama native couldn't believe how things changed once he signed with Big Machine and put out his first single.

"I was really fortunate to be able to put out a lot of music before I ever signed a record deal and have a fan base kind of grow in the Southeast..." he explains. "But that was something that I couldn't get over, was... going to all these places I never thought I'd go, and places I've never stepped foot, and people are singing this song just louder and louder every week."

It's a phenomenon Riley's still noticing this summer, opening Brad Paisley's World Tour.

"It takes awhile for people to hear it, even when it was played on the radio for awhile..." he says. "Still even today, it just gets louder every show..."

"I may... be in a place where people don't know who I am. But I get there and play that song and they know it, and that's a pretty cool thing. It makes it a lot easier to go play in front of new crowds."

Riley's follow-up's the new single, "In Love By Now."

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJoLivi has released the music video for her new song, "Better." 

Teddy Robb has released his debut single "Really Shouldn't Drink Around You."

The Gatlin Brothers have partnered with Colorado-based company Newton Running to design a custom shoe that will benefit Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).  It's a nonprofit that provides resources and counseling to those grieving the loss of a loved one who served in the military.

Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith are teaming up for a seven-date Christmas tour later this year.  It kicks off November 30 in Cincinnati, Ohio and ends on December 8 in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 



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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicJimmie Allen put a ring on it! 

The "Best Shot" singer proposed to his girlfriend Alexis Gale, a nurse from his hometown of Milton, Delaware, on Monday, July 15, during a trip to one of his favorite places -- Disney World.

The two were surrounded by family and friends -- including both sets of parents -- when he popped the question in front of Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

Jimmie, 33, and Alexis, 23, began dating during the spring, and he says he knew she was the one because of the compassion she has for him and his five-year-old son Aadyn

“With Alexis being from my hometown, it is like always having a piece of home with me. We had an immediate connection. It was like we’d always known each other," Jimmie shares with People

“Her smile melts me, her pure heart challenges me to love better, the way she motivates and supports me is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, the way she loves me and my son is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced," he gushes. "It feels incredible to find the type of love I’ve been writing songs about all these years!”

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Scott Legato/NBCMaren Morris continues to climb the ladder of success with a series of new sales certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America. 

The star was surprised with four new plaques commemorating the success of her two albums, Hero and Girl during a private reception at the home of Randy Goodman, chairman and CEO of Maren's record label Sony Music Nashville.

Maren received a platinum certification for her debut album Hero -- signifying one million units sold -- and a gold certification of its fourth single, "Rich," as well as gold certifications for her songs "Girl and "The Bones."  Gold certifications signify 500,000 units sold.

"Tequila was served tonight. GIRL, The Bones, and Rich are gold and HERO IS AN EFFING PLATINUM ALBUM!" Maren writes on Twitter.  "Thank you Sony, my Columbia team and thank you to every writer, player, and fan who made this possible."

Maren continues on her Girl: The World Tour through the summer and fall before serving as an opening act for select dates of Miranda Lambert's Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour in October and November. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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ABC/Image Group LADierks Bentley has found a new way to energize his fans. 

The "Free and Easy" singer is expanding his partnership with energy drink brand 5-hour Energy through a new initiative. The 5-hour Energy Country Sweepstakes will give one fan the opportunity to meet Dierks during an exclusive trip to Nashville.

After buying a 5-hour Energy shot or 5-hour Tea shot now through Oct. 31, fans can upload their receipts to the official sweepstakes website or text "5HECOUNTRY” to 467467. One winner will be selected for the grand prize of a four-day, three-night trip to Nashville for them and a guest, including excursions  to the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and Country Music Hall of Fame. 

"I love the relationship my fans and I have with 5-hour Energy. We all work hard and when it’s time to play, 5-hour Energy is there," Dierks says. "The 5-hour Energy Country Sweepstakes is just another chance to further my connection with our hardcore fans. I’m looking forward to meeting the winner!"

Dierks initially partnered with 5-hour Energy on his 2018 Mountain High Tour, and appeared in a national advertising campaign for the brand.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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ABC/Image Group LA For the first time ever, you can now download the first volume of Eric Church’s 61 Days in Church recordings. 

The thirty live tracks were captured during the North Carolina native’s Holdin’ My Own Tour in 2017 and 2018. Previously, 61 Days in Church was only available to stream or on vinyl.

You can download the album via EricChurch.com now. If you like those, stay tuned: There are five more volumes of material captured on tour. 

Meanwhile, Eric's latest hit, “Some of It,” is at number two on the country chart, and is poised to be his next number one. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Country Music Hall of Fame and MuseumThe new exhibit Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon will open Friday, August 9 at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. The display honors Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who’ll be officially inducted as members of the Hall during the annual Medallion Ceremony in October.

"Ronnie and I are really fired up about having an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” Kix says. “We’ve shared some of our favorite things with the museum over the years, and it's going to be really special for us to revisit those moments from our career, especially in a format like the Hall that reaches all generations of fans.”

“When you’re reminded that what you have created is part of history like that,” Ronnie adds, “it’s beyond humbling. I’m so, so proud.”

The exhibit features rare artifacts like the red cowboy boots Ronnie wore when he was five, as well as an early draft of his lyrics for the hit “Red Dirt Road.” In addition to guitars and awards, you’ll also be able to see the racing suits Kix and Ronnie wore when they raced Legends cars in the nineties.

Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon will run through July 19 of next year.

Kix and Ronnie will also take part in a special discussion in the Hall’s CMA Theater on Saturday, August 24, along with their longtime manager, Clarence Spalding.

You can find out more about the program, titled Proud of the House We Built, online.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Comstock/Thinkstock Forty years ago this week, Anne Murray topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with this single, which also hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary ranking. Can you name the second #1 from her New Kind of Feeling album? ANSWER: "Shadows in the Moonlight."

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ABC/Randy Holmes Garth Brooks kicked off his Dive Bar Tour Monday night with a 100-minute set at Joe’s on Weed Street in the Windy City, according to the Chicago Tribune.

For his scaled-back tour, Garth brought six of his band mates, but left his back-up singers at home. He delivered his version of several country classics, plus the hits his fans expect: “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls,” “The Dance,” and “That Summer,” plus his chart-topping cover of Billy Joel’s “Shameless,” just to name a few.

The Oklahoma native sang Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning,” and granted a fan's request by doing “The Red Strokes.”

Fans also got two performances of the tour’s inspiration -- Garth’s new single “Dive Bar” -- because the performance was being televised on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Six more stops remain on the Dive Bar Tour, but as of now, they remain a mystery. Garth took suggestions during his weekly Monday night Inside Studio G session on Facebook, hinting the next show might be revealed there.

After weeks of being available exclusively on country radio, you can now get the duet version of “Dive Bar” via Amazon Music. Blake Shelton will perform the hit with Garth for the first time Friday during Brooks’ stadium show in Boise, Idaho.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Columbia Nashville

Most artists never forget the first time they hear themselves on the radio, and newcomer Tenille Townes is no exception.

For her, it happened last year with her debut single, "Somebody's Daughter," while she was on The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town

"I was in a rental car in Charlotte, North Carolina," Tenille recalls. "We were driving to soundcheck. I was like, 'Hold on a second. What is that sound?' And turned the song up and it was playing -- during the daytime hours -- and I was so excited!"

The native of Grand Prairie, Alberta remembers there were quite a few memorable moments on that trip.

"Charlotte's got a sweet spot in my heart," Tenille admits, "because it was the first town that I heard a song on the radio. It was the first sort of amphitheater that I played on my first big tour... And it was the first time I ever slept in tour bus. So it was a lot of firsts that happened in Charlotte."

"Somebody's Daughter" is currently nearing the top 25 in the U.S., after topping the chart earlier this year in Tenille's native Canada.  This fall, she's up for Female Artist, Single, and Video of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards.

Tenille continues on Dierks Bentley's Burning Man Tour this summer, before teaming up with Miranda for her Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour this fall.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock

Russell Dickerson recently picked up a platinum plaque for his second number-one single, "Blue Tacoma."

You can tune in to watch Brad Paisley as a guest judge Tuesday night on America's Got Talent. The popular talent show starts at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Amy Grant and others have are all donating a percentage of their single-day earnings as part of Heal the Music Day on October 18. It's put on by Music Health Alliance, an organization that works to help members of the music community who are uninsured.

If you missed Colbie Caillat and her country band Gone West doing their new single, "What Could've Been," on Live with Kelly and Ryan, you can check out their performance online.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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ABC/Image Group LA Chris Lane planned what he believed was the perfect proposal for his girlfriend Lauren Bushnell, writing and recording the song "Big, Big Plans" to play for her in her parents' backyard on Father's Day. But his current tour mate Brad Paisley didn't think it was such a great idea.

"I had some friends on the [tour] bus, and they were all like, ‘That sounds pretty awesome,’" Brad tells People. "And I’m like, ‘Don’t do that.’” 

“I’m glad he didn’t listen to me, because it worked out great," he adds.

When Brad proposed to his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley more than sixteen years ago, he approached it very differently.

"I surprised her, and we were completely alone out on the end of a pier in Venice in Los Angeles," he recalls. "Nobody could really see us, and that was a safety net -- in case she took off running down the pier.”

Ultimately, Brad believes Chris will make a great husband.

“I don’t give a lot of marital advice to people," Brad says, "other than a sense of humor is probably the key. And he’s great at that."

"Chris is a nut," he adds, "and getting to know him this year, I had no idea what a sort of free spirit, crazy guy he is. I think that kind of sense of humor will serve him well in his marriage.”

This weekend, Brad, Chris, and Riley Green continue their tour, with stops in Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington is paying close attention to the “Details” in his new single.

The Georgia native may also be doing some of the very best singing of his career so far, on the seductive, soul-infused, summertime song. 

“I’m completely focused on every/5’7”, 3/8 inches of you baby/How the salt in the air makes your hair kinda wavy/How you’re tongue-tied when you mix wine/With the Gemini,” Billy sings.

“Baby I memorized/Every brown sugar freckle that the Lord put on ya/How you lean to left, 45 degrees, right before/You’re gonna kiss me/If you can’t tell/I’ve been paying close attention to your details,” he continues. 

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel even gets a shout-out in the song’s second verse.  

“Details” is likely the lead single from Billy’s next album, his first since 2015’s Summer Forever.

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Country Music Hall of Fame and MuseumLuke Combs and Sheryl Crow are heading for L.A. this fall to put on the latest All for the Hall benefit with Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris.

Vince has been a part of every All for the Hall show since he launched the fundraiser for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum back in 2005. In all, it’s brought in more than $4 million for the Music City institution.

This year, the show will take place Tuesday, September 17 at The Novo in Los Angeles. Once again, it’ll be in the classic Nashville “guitar pull” format, with all the artists onstage at once, taking turns singing songs, telling stories, and accompanying each other.

Tickets go on sale this Friday at TheNovoDTLA.com. The money raised will go directly to the Hall’s education programs.

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ABC/Image Group LA Construction is now underway on Brad Paisley’s Nashville non-profit called The Store, with its four-thousand-square-foot headquarters set to open sometime during the winter of 2020.

Brad and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley co-founded the endeavor -- a free grocery store where those in need can shop with dignity -- with Brad’s alma mater, Belmont University.

The Brick Campaign is helping fund the construction of the $1.5 million dollar building. For a donation of $500 or more, you can buy a personalized brick that will be placed in the store’s sidewalk.

For $100, you can also get a special The Store cap, designed by New Era Co. The donation is enough to help The Store feed a family of four for a month.

You can find out more at TheStore.org.

Brad's latest single, "My Miracle," is his personal tribute to his wife Kimberly.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Big Machine This summer, Riley Green’s opening Brad Paisley’s World Tour; this fall, he's heading out on Jon Pardi’s Heartache Medication trek.  But Riley will also headline his own Get That Man a Beer Tour beginning in September, with newcomer Travis Denning joining him on the dates.

The tour shares its name with Riley’s new EP, which features his his latest single, “In Love By Now.” It follows his debut single “There Was This Girl,” which hit the top of the chart back in April.

Tickets go on sale this Friday. Here’s a look at the current itinerary, with more dates still to be added:

9/5 -- Statesboro, GA, The Blue Room
9/6 -- Phenix City, AL, Phenix City Amphitheater
9/13 -- Columbia, SC, The Senate
9/19 -- Billings, MT, Pub Station Ballroom
9/20 -- Bozeman, MT, The Rialto Theatre
9/21 -- Spokane, WA, Knitting Factory
9/26 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Troubadour
9/27 -- Las Vegas, NV, Stoney’s Rockin’ Country
11/8 -- Athens, GA, Georgia Theatre
11/15 -- Oxford, MS, The Lyric Oxford
11/21 -- Tulsa, OK, Cain’s Ballroom
11/29 -- Baton Rouge, LA, The Texas Club
12/12 -- Philadelphia, PA, The Foundry
12/13 -- Binghamton, NY, Touch of Texas
12/14 -- Norfolk, VA, The Norva

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Comstock/Thinkstock Elton John and Bernie Taupin discuss this Marty Robbins' classic in the new movie Rocketman. Can you name the track from the Country Music Hall of Famer's 1960 album More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs? ANSWER: "Streets of Laredo."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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ABC/Image Group LA Jordan Davis and his wife Kristen are expecting their first child sometime before the end of 2019.

“We are so thankful and so blessed,” the Louisiana native tells People. “This is a really special moment and we’ve been trying to drink it in and enjoy the process. We are looking forward to meeting the little guy or girl later this year.”

Jordan married Kristen, who’s an attorney, in 2017.

“We’re so grateful for this blessing,” he continues, “and if I can be anywhere near the type of father that my dad was to me, that will be a really good start.”

“I know Kristen is going to be an incredible mom,” Jordan adds.

Jordan’s video for “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot” is new today as well. You can check out the follow-up to his number ones “Take It from Me” and “Singles You Up” on YouTube now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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ABC/Image Group LA

Brantley Gilbert's duet with Lindsay Ell, "What Happens in a Small Town," is actually the autobiographical story of his romance with his wife, Amber.

The small towns it describes are in Northwest Georgia, where they grew up.

"I'm from Jefferson, Georgia," Brantley explains. "I was born and raised there, graduated with 66 people. It's a tiny town."

"My wife graduated from Commerce High School," he continues, "which is right across the river. It's literally like they're three, four miles from each other."

From the start, the couple's relationship had a built-in element of conflict.

"It was the most heated rivalry for high school football in the state of Georgia," Brantley recalls. "You weren't supposed to date across the river.  So we had like a little Romeo and Juliet thing going on, to the extent that we live in Maysville, which is, like, neutral territory.  It's right in between the two."

Brantley and Amber dated "for about five years" when they were "really young," and then "went five years without seeing or speaking to each other."

"What Happens in a Small Town" captures how Brantley felt during that time.

"This song talks about riding around, and it's basically like everything you see and everything you do in town reminds you of the love you had there," he says. "And I think all of us can relate to having the one that got away, you know. And for me that was my wife."

"Like a lot of songs," Brantley adds, "it was about her. You know, most of what I know about love is with my wife. So that makes it incredibly close to the chest."

Brantley and Amber ultimately tied the knot in the summer of 2015, welcoming their son, Barrett, in 2017. This fall, they're expecting their first daughter.

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