Country Music News

Jordan Davis recalls the "special day" writing "Buy Dirt" -- and its connection to "Fancy Like"

MCA Nashville

Jordan Davis and Walker Hayes have a special connection thanks to Walker's hit, "Fancy Like": songwriter Josh Jenkins.

"One of the co-writers on 'Fancy Like,' Josh Jenkins, helped me write 'Buy Dirt' too, so I'm just over the moon for him," Jordan praises. 

For Jordan, writing "Buy Dirt," his hit collaboration with Luke Bryan that is #1 at country radio this week, was a family affair, as he got to write the meaningful song with his own brother, Jacob Davis, alongside the brother duo of songwriters Josh and Matt Jenkins

"The brother duo, we had a special day that day. Those are three of the best songwriters, in my opinion, in Nashville, and so we don't get that song if I don't have those guys with me. I can't write a song like that by myself. I kind of just got out of their way on that one," Jordan describes of the writing session.

While Josh is one of the masterminds behind "Fancy Like," it was his brother Matt who pitched the idea for "Buy Dirt," Jordan knowing instantly that this story needed to be told. 

"Matt Jenkins came in and was like, 'what if it's something, 'Buy Dirt,' like what you do with the piece of dirt that you have? What you do with your house, what you do with the way you raise your kids, what you do with the way you spend your time?'" Jordan recalls. "And when he said that, we all were just like, 'that's what we're writing today.'" 

"Buy Dirt" marks Jordan's fourth #1 single following "Slow Dance in a Parking Lot," "Take It From Me" and "Singles You Up."  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Members of Keith Urban's official fan club will have special access to pre-sale tickets for the newly announced dates of his "Keith Urban Live - Las Vegas" show, beginning on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. 

The cover art of Kacey Musgraves' multiple Grammy Award-winning album Golden Hour appears on a new package design for M&Ms that features the green M&M posing like the singer on the front of the album. 

Cody Johnson is teaming up with Ian Munsick on the latter's new song, "Long Live Cowgirls." The ballad will be released on Friday. Ian opened for Cody on tour in 2021.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Miranda Lambert on writing "Y'all Means All" for 'Queer Eye': "I'm really honored to be part of it"


For Miranda Lambert, getting to write "Y'all Means All" for season six of Queer Eye was pure joy. 

The hitmaker called on frequent collaborators Shane McAnally and Luke Dick to help her write the inclusivity-themed song that appears in the new season of the Netflix show, which was filmed in her home state of Texas.

Prior to writing the song, the singer says she "binged" the "feel-good" show over the course of a weekend, and was up for the challenge when Netflix contacted her to pen the original tune. 

"We just got to bring out our fun, inner Texan. Netflix was great about sending some notes and making sure we were getting the message across for the show," Miranda explains to Billboard. "I haven't done a lot of writing for specific things for television and movies and stuff, so it was fun to try something different."

In fact, Miranda has a familial source to thank for the song's title -- her brother Luke, who is gay. Miranda reached out to him asking if he had any catchy phrases to offer, and he replied with the winning title.  

"My brother texted me a few and 'Y'all Means All' was one of them. I called my brother and I was like, 'I owe you a beach trip somewhere, because we're using your line.' But I guess right then, all around Texas, there were T-shirts with 'Y'all Means All,' so it was perfect timing," she points out. "The song is just really fun and I'm really honored to be part of it."

"Y'all Means All" appears in two episodes of Queer Eye. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kenny Chesney introducing "Everyone She Knows" as next single

Warner Music Nashville

On Tuesday, Kenny Chesney unveiled the news that the light-hearted "Everyone She Knows" will be his next radio single, following the chart-topping "Knowing You."

The song tells the tale of a free-spirited woman who's uninterested in settling down in life as she watches those around her getting married and starting families, the lyrics referencing Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy Onassis as Kenny sings, "she's stuck between 17/And everyone she knows."  

“I think there’s nothing as awesome as a woman living life the way she wants to. To see someone so in love with life, so in love with the adventure, out there doing it? That’s an incredible thing," Kenny reflects in a statement. "I know so many women who are their own compass...and this song is for them. Wherever you are, however you are, just love the adventure and don’t worry what people think." 

"Everyone She Knows" marks the fifth single off Kenny's 2020 album, Here and Now. It will officially be released to radio on February 14. 

The superstar is set to launch his Here and Now Tour in April visiting stadiums across the country, beginning on April 23 in Tampa, Florida and wrapping up with a two-night stay at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on August 26 and 27. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Thomas Rhett reflects on anniversary of "Die a Happy Man": "Changed my life and career forever"


Thomas Rhett is looking back on the anniversary of one of his biggest hits. 

The singer took to Instagram to reflect on the origins of his 2015 single, "Die a Happy Man," that became a multi-week #1 hit. Thomas shares that he wrote the song in January 2015 with Sean Douglas and Joe London and debuted it live a couple days later, knowing by the crowd's reaction that the song was special.  

"This video is from the very first time I played it live in Little Rock a few nights later…y’all embraced this song in a way that changed my life and career forever, and I’ll always be grateful to you guys for that," he expresses alongside a throwback video from the show where he's performing "Die a Happy Man" acoustically inside a packed arena.

"Die a Happy Man" was released as the second single off Thomas' sophomore album, Tangled Up. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts and became a crossover success, peaking at #21 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.    

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Breland says it's a "really exciting time" to be in country music


Breland may be a newcomer on the country music scene, but he's already making an impact with his breakthrough debut single, "My Truck," and as featured artist on Dierks Bentley's hit, "Beers on Me." 

In a new mini-documentary, Nashville Hat TrickBreland reflects on his place in country music, acknowledging how he's breaking down barriers with his multi-genre sound. 

"It's a really exciting time. I feel like the flavor that I'm adding to country music is unique," he describes. "There's not a lot of people who are blending country with R&B, hip-hop, pop, gospel and other genres in the way that I'm doing it." 

In the two years since he arrived in Nashville, Breland has made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and performed "Beers on Me" with Dierks and Hardy at the 2021 CMA Awards. The hit collaboration is currently climbing up the top 30 on country radio. 

Breland is also gearing up to open for Russell Dickerson on his All Yours, All Night Tour, kicking off tonight in New York City and concluding with a show at the Ryman on March 25.  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Keith Urban adds new dates to Las Vegas show


Keith Urban continues to expand his Las Vegas show. 

The country superstar has added five new dates to his Keith Urban Live - Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in March and April. The new shows take place on March 25, 26 and 30 and April 1 and 2. They join previously announced shows on May 27, 28, 29. 

Keith will take to The Colosseum to perform many of his hit songs, bringing his arena show to a theatre setting. 

Keith Urban Live - Las Vegas launched in January 2020, but several shows scheduled throughout the year were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He resumed the residency in 2021. 

Tickets for the new dates go on sale January 31 at 1 p.m. ET. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sam Hunt was originally feeling "22" when he wrote "23": "That was the thing that broke it open for us"

MCA Nashville

Sam Hunt's hit single "23," was years in the making. In fact, it originally had a different title and hook until he and co-writers Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Chris LaCorte landed on the defining version of the track.

"That was one that I've tried to write for a couple of years. I started writing it, it was '22' originally. 'I'll never be 22 with anyone but you,'" Sam describes of the initial approach. "And for whatever reason, one day we decided to try '23,' and that was the thing that broke it open for us and [we] ended up writing it in a couple of hours." 

While the Georgia native has a skill for writing hit songs, he reveals that the songs he writes evolve over time and sometimes end up on future projects.

"You try to write a good handful of songs and then you hope a few of those songs end up making it on the record," he explains of his songwriting process. "Then you also have an excess of ideas that maybe are skeletons or bones that never really get finished and they float around, and then you hope one day maybe they will get finished." 

"23" is the lead single from the superstar's forthcoming third studio album. It's currently climbing its way up the top 10 on country radio. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Garth Brooks is resuming his weekly Facebook Live show, Inside Studio Gtonight. It airs at 7 p.m. ET. 

Runaway June's Jennifer Wayne has opened a custom hat store, American Paint, in Nashville. 

Presale tickets for the new dates added to Jimmie Allen's Down Home Tour go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time. Tickets for the general public are available on Friday. 

Members of Jordan Davis' fan club, The Parish, will have early access to tickets for the new leg of his Buy Dirt Tour beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time. Tickets will become widely available on Friday. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"New normal": Maren Morris shares photos of life on the road with Ryan Hurd and son Hayes

ABC/Randy Holmes

Maren Morris is adjusting to the "new normal" when it comes to touring. 

Over the weekend, the superstar headed out on the road with husband Ryan Hurd during his tour stop in Kansas City, Missouri, and took to Twitter to share some behind-the-scenes photos of life on the road with her family.

Among the series of snaps are ones showing the husband and wife curled up on a couch backstage and performing onstage together. Another pic sees Maren tending to the couple's one-year-old son, Hayes, who's watching soundcheck while wearing a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

"New normal. Thanks for getting me outta the house last night @RyanHurd," Maren captions the candid moments. 

The hitmaker is currently prepping for the release of her new album, Humble Quest, set for release on March 25. The lead single, "Circles Around This Town," has leapt into the top 30 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jimmie Allen adds new dates to Down Home Tour, announces second annual Bettie James Fest

ABC/Paula Lobo

Days before the official launch of his Down Home headlining tour, Jimmie Allen is expanding the trek. 

The outing, which is Jimmie's debut headlining tour, is scheduled to kick off on February 3 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California, and he has added four new dates to trek, including a stop at the famed Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth on May 21. 

The singer's other new dates will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas, on April 22; The District in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on April 23; and the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, on May 14.

American Idol season 19 contestant Chayce Beckham and Madeline Merlo have been added as opening acts, alongside previously announced opener Neon Union, made up of the duo of Leo Brooks and Andrew Millsaps, who are the inaugural act signed to Jimmie's management and production company, JAB Entertainment.     

Additionally, Jimmie has announced that he will headline his second annual Bettie James Fest on August 13 in his hometown of Milton, Delaware. Named after his late grandmother Bettie and father James, the country singer hosted the inaugural event in August 2021.

In 2020, Jimmie released the seven-track Bettie James EP, featuring his hit collaboration with Brad Paisley, "Freedom Was a Highway," followed by the Bettie James Gold Edition full-length album released last year.

"I'm looking forward to the start of my first headlining tour 'Down Home' Tour. We are gonna be play a lot of songs from Bettie James Gold Edition album," Jimmie reveals on Twitter

Tickets for the newly added dates go on sale to the public this Friday, January 24, at 10 a.m. local time.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jordan Davis extends the Buy Dirt Tour


Jordan Davis is planting deeper roots with the extension of his Buy Dirt Tour.

On Monday, the singer announced he is extending the tour named after his hit single "Buy Dirt" featuring Luke Bryan -- which is #1 on the country charts this week -- with new dates scheduled in the spring.

Throughout April and May, Jordan and opening act Tenille Arts will visit 11 cities across the U.S., beginning on April 8 in Orlando, Florida and concluding on May 14 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Along the way, they'll stop in Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore and other major markets. The trek also includes a pinnacle headlining show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on September 27, with Seaforth set to open. 

"Pumped to extend the #BuyDirt tour in 22 with @TenilleArts and play at @theryman this fall," Jordan shares on Twitter

"My buddy @JordanCWDavis has the number one song in the country today ANDDD we’re going on tour together!" Tenille writes. "So excited to open up the #BuyDirt Tour this spring." 

Jordan launched the Buy Dirt Tour in fall 2021. Tickets for the new dates go on sale to the public on Friday at 10 a.m.  Visit Jordan's website for a full list of dates.  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Didn't want it to end": Luke Bryan reflects on 2022 Crash My Playa


Luke Bryan and friends had an epic weekend in Mexico at 2022 Crash My Playa. 

Luke's annual event brought the singer and pals Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Jordan Davis, Darius Rucker and others to Cancun for the four-day festival at the Moon Palace. A series of photos from the extravaganza show Luke performing with Jordan and Dustin, embracing his wife Caroline onstage and donning a festive lei while posing in front of a crowd of thousands of fans. 

"@crashmyplaya 2022 was one for the books. Didn't want it to end," Luke captions the gallery of photos from the weekend. "Good times!" Darius agreed in the comment section. 

Fellow headliner Jason also enjoyed the experience, so much so he is already planning for next year's event. "I love this guy to pieces!! My brother for life, thanks @lukebryan for having us back at @crashmyplaya this year," he professed on Instagram alongside a video of him and Luke hugging onstage and throwing beers into the crowd. "See y’all in 2023." 

"Unreal weekend @crashmyplaya," Jordan remarked alongside a series of photos from his headlining set.

"@crashmyplaya is in the books! Thanks @lukebryan and @dariusrucker for letting me join the night 4 fun," Dustin shared on Instagram Stories over action shots of himself performing with the aforementioned artists. 

Crash My Playa launched in 2014. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kelsea Ballerini is grateful for "what I have" in new song


Kelsea Ballerini is appreciating the little joys in life in a new song. 

Kelsea treated the audience at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night to a brand new song which she debuted live for the first time.  The singer shared she is in the early stages of making her new album, and one of the themes that keeps arising is using the forced downtime of the COVID-19 pandemic to take into account what we're grateful for.

"It's made you look at what you have differently. For me, I've started to really appreciate the little things a lot more," she expressed. 

Kelsea carries this mentality into the unreleased track wherein the lyrics state that comparison is the thief of joy, while encouraging others to honor where you're at in life. "I got a roof over my head/I've got a warm body in bed/I'm doing alright/Right where I'm at/With what I have," she relays in the chorus. 

"This is a song that I'm really proud of," Kelsea told the audience. "Maybe if you like it, I'll put it on the album." 

Kelsea's current single "Half of My Hometown," a collaboration with Kenny Chesney, is climbing up the charts, sitting inside the top 10 on country radio.  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The mysterious final resting place of Merle Haggard

Hachette Books

Accomplished biographer Marc Eliot tackles the tale of one of country music's greatest legends in his new book, The Hag: The Life, Times, and Music of Merle Haggard.

Previously, the best-selling author's written books with James BrownDonna Summer, and Barry White, and taken on the stories of the EaglesBruce SpringsteenJohn Wayne and others.

Since Haggard's death in April 2016, Eliot's uncovered a little-known fact about the Country Music Hall of Famer.

"His wife had him cremated," he tells ABC Audio, "and all he wanted was to be put in the family plot with his mother and dad, Jim Haggard."

"But the wife [Theresa], the widow, still has the ashes," Eliot explains, "and there's some kind of dispute going on between whether she will give some to be buried there."

"I'm not sure what the facts are," he adds, "but he's not in the family plot and that's what he wanted."

Eliot counts Haggard's daughter Kelli -- who rarely speaks about her father -- and Merle's closest friend and advisor of 30 years as two of his primary sources.

"He knew the end was coming," the writer says of Merle, "and he told his best friend, Frank Mull, 'I want to be with my parents.' But so far -- he's been passed away five years now -- and that hasn't happened." 

The cemetery's located in Bakersfield, California, near Oildale, where Haggard grew up. Eliot adds Haggard also believed he'd be reunited in heaven with his beloved mother, Flossie Mae, and his father as well. 

You can check out the 400-plus-page The Hag now. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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