Tyler Farr returned on Friday with his new single, “Only Truck in Town.” A high-octane anthem of small-town love, the song fits perfectly into a catalogue of hits including 2013’s “Redneck Crazy” and 2014’s “A Guy Walks Into a Bar.”
This time around, though, there’s something extra special about the new song: It was produced by Jason Aldean. He and Tyler are good friends, and they’ve been in the studio for quite a while working on Tyler’s next batch of songs.
“Everyone knows Tyler’s voice but they haven’t heard him like this before,” says Jason. “We all had such a blast working on this and I’m excited for fans to crank this one up.”
More information about Tyler’s next album is expected to come out in the weeks ahead. It’s not Jason and Tyler’s first time working together; Jason has previously brought Tyler on the road as an opening act. Outside of country music, Jason was also the best man for Tyler’s wedding in 2016.
UMG NashvilleAfter releasing their debut single, a duet with Travis Tritt called “Pick Her Up,” on Thursday, the Hot Country Knights are upping the ante with an action-packed new music video for the song, brimming with ‘90s references.
The storyline follows the band as they encounter a guy who’s just scored a date with the girl of his dreams and proceed to give him a makeover -- Knights style. By the end of the song, he’s ready to go in high-waisted jeans, a mullet wig and, of course, a massive pickup truck.
Travis makes an appearance in the song’s music video, too, as does Tiffani Thiessen, the star of ‘90s sitcom Saved by the Bell. Frontman Douglas “Doug” Douglason, the goofy alter-ego of country star Dierks Bentley, says both guest stars were dream collaborators for the group.
“Travis Tritt is our longtime spirit animal and we have spent many a long night in the back of the van dreaming of working with or maybe even FOR Tiffani,” he explains. “When UMG finally came around and signed us...they were two of our demands for the music video.”
The oddball group also revealed this week that they’re at work on a full-length album of original material.
Essential Broadcast MediaScotty McCreery revisits his career-changing 2017 single, “Five More Minutes,” in a new, digital-only EP called The Soundcheck Sessions. The project includes an acoustic recording of the single, which was Scotty's first-ever chart-topping hit at country radio.
“It’s no secret that ‘Five More Minutes’ is my favorite song I’ve ever written,” the singer says. “I announced that on Twitter that very day, and I’ve stated it frequently. That song was inspired by my grandfather and we wrote it two weeks after he passed away. It was fitting that it became my first #1 hit.”
The Soundcheck Sessions also includes acoustic versions of three more of Scotty’s best-loved songs, including his latest single, “In Between,” and “This is It,” a romantic ballad he wrote for his now-wife, GabiDugal. The last track on the EP is a fan favorite, “Still,” which he included thanks to fan demand.
Scotty is also sharing a new music video for his acoustic rendition of “Five More Minutes,” which he filmed onstage at the Cascade Theatre in Redding, CA.
ABC/Image Group LAKelsea Ballerini lays her insecurities bare on “la,” the latest new song to be shared off her forthcoming third studio album, kelsea. The song comes clean about Kelsea’s nerves over being part of the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles, while admitting that sometimes, California can be a lot of fun.
It’s part of a larger theme of vulnerability on the songs she’s already shared off kelsea: Lead single “homecoming queen?,” which is currently a top-twenty hit, is all about admitting that things aren’t always perfect, even if they may look that way from the outside.
“As I grow up, as a woman and an artist, I’ve felt myself changing my perspective, from my view on love and life, to how love and life make me feel,” the singer explains of her next record. “Naturally, that turns more personal, more therapeutic, and more rewarding. This album is honest, it’s country, it’s experimental, it’s fun, it’s introspective, and it’s 100% me. It’s the album that’s puts us on a first name basis.”
Kelsea announced her new record on Wednesday, just two days before dropping “la.” She shared the album cover for the new project and also revealed the release date, March 20.
Schmidt PRMitchell Tenpenny returns with a brooding, atmospheric new track called “Can’t Go to Church.” Despite the title, the singer says that the song’s subject matter comes from a real story -- but it’s not about a loss of religious faith.
A Nashville native, Mitchell grew up going to a Christian school, and he says that he saw his school friends when he went to church, too. That became a problem once he went through a high school breakup.
“The girlfriend I had at the time broke up with me and the first thing you do at that age is try to avoid them. And I knew if I went to church, I would see her,” the singer says in a press release. “So I wrote this song, not because I didn’t believe in God and didn’t want to fellowship, I just didn’t want to see her. I said a prayer to God that ‘I will praise you, I just can’t walk in there anymore.’”
“Can’t Go to Church” follows singles like 2018’s “Drunk Me,” which was Mitchell’s first-ever #1 hit, and “Anything She Says,” a duet with Australian duo Seaforth. Mitchell wrote the new song with co-writers Jordan Schmidt and Matt Rogers.
Speaking of Seaforth, Mitchell just hit the road with the down-under duo for the second leg of his Anything She Says Tour, which also features opening act Adam Doleac.
BBR Music GroupIt’s been over two years since Chase Rice released his last album, but now the singer is back with a project that he says his best work to date. On Friday, the singer surprise-released a seven-track project called The Album Part I, which includes his current single, “Lonely if You Are.”
“I chose to call this The Album because it’s the first thing I would encourage someone to listen to if they want to know who I am as an artist,” Chase explains. “My career has been such a roller coaster journey, but it’s all led to this moment and these songs. So much of what I’ve learned, so much of what I’ve fought through -- it’s all reflected in this music.”
The 34-year-old has led quite an eventful life. Before concentrating solely on music, he was a college football linebacker at the University of North Carolina, and later, a NASCAR pit crew member. Chase has also done a stint on reality television, appearing on Survivor: Nicaragua.
He scored his first #1 hit on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with “Eyes on You” in the spring of last year, building plenty of momentum leading up to the release of his new album.
Here’s the track list for The Album Part I, complete with songwriter information:
“American Nights” (Kevin Griffin, Martin Johnson; produced by Martin Johnson) “Lonely If You Are” (Chase Rice, Lindsay Rimes, Hunter Phelps; produced by Chris DeStefano and Chase Rice) “Everywhere” (Chase Rice, Zachary Kale, James McNair; produced by Zachary Kale) “Best Night Ever” (Chase Rice, Chris DeStefano, Matt Jenkins; produced by Chris DeStefano) “Messy” (Seth Ennis, Kylie Sackley; produced by Chris DeStefano) “In the Car” (Chase Rice, Jesse Rice, Hunter Phelps, Mark Holman; produced by Chris DeStefano) “Forever to Go” (Jordan Minton, Casey Brown, Geoffrey Warburton; produced by Casey Brown)
Catherine PowellIt's not a bad week to be Dan Shay. They're currently at the top of the country airplay chart with "10,000 Hours" with Justin Bieber, and on Sunday, they could claim their second Grammy.
So far, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have a perfect record when it comes to the respected show. Last year was their first nomination, and they took home the Best Country Duo/Group Performance trophy for their career-changing crossover smash, "Tequila." This year, they nabbed their second nomination in that same category for "Speechless," their subsequent hit that also made a home for itself on the pop chart.
They could also win Best Country Song for "Speechless" as writers as well.
Ultimately, the ever-humble duo's just thankful to be able to represent country music during a night that showcases all formats.
"The Grammys are such a huge deal," Dan reflects. "It's an iconic award and it's an all-genre award[s show], which is really cool for us to be recognized in the country music genre."
"And to be able to go out there and represent Nashville," he continues, "We're so proud of what's going on in Nashville and on Music Row. We moved to Nashville to write songs and the fact that people are digging those songs [is gratifying]."
It also means a lot to the duo to be honored by their fellow musicians.
"It's I guess like an industry-voted award," Dan says. "You know, to be acknowledged by our peers like that is really special."
"So we work hard for it," he adds. "[We're] thankful for the support of the fans. And, you know, to be supported by the industry is special as well."
Find out if Dan Shay can preserve their flawless Grammy record Sunday night starting at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Comstock/ThinkstockToday, the comedic country star who is best known for hits like “The Streak” and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019 is celebrating his 84th birthday. Do you know who he is? ANSWER: Ray Stevens.
Capitol NashvilleSunday night in Los Angeles, Little Big Town could take home their fourth Grammy, as they're nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for "The Daughters."
The recognition is particularly gratifying, since the Nightfall track about the struggle for female equality wasn't released as a traditional single.
"It was a sweet victory for that song," Phillip Sweet says, "and that message being recognized not only just by the Grammys, but the world stage. And that is a sweet victory."
"It's such a beautiful message about those double standards we still seem to be putting on the daughters," he continues. "And hopefully this message just keeps reminding us that we need to shake that off for the next generation, [so] that they won't have to have this tired conversation anymore."
Karen Fairchild co-wrote "The Daughters," and believes the fact that it resonated with Grammy voters means we still have a ways to go.
"It just proves that there's still work to be done -- equal play, equal pay, just the treatment for the daughters," she explains. "See, now that's why [the idea] was proposed [as] kind of a question or a commentary on society."
Still, Karen says she won't have to walk away with a trophy to know "The Daughters" is doing its job.
"It's incredible that this song is taking us to the Grammys," she reflects. "I could have only hoped that when we wrote it. It's nice just to see feedback from people."
"And even in the shows you just see girls," Karen adds, "they feel so understood when that's sung, and that's the whole intention of it."
You can watch the 62nd Annual Grammys Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn case you missed it, Tenille Arts made her Today with Hoda & Jenna Show debut this week, performing her current single, “Somebody Like That.” It’s not the singer’s first time bringing the song to the small screen: earlier this month, she also performed it on The Bachelor.
Brandi Carlile wrapped a six-night, sold-out residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Tuesday. Next up, she’s headed to the 2020 Grammy Awards, where she’ll serve as presenter, as well as perform with Tanya Tucker.
Mary Gauthier, Nicole Atkins, Erin Rae and more mainstays of Nashville’s music community are on deck to perform at an upcoming benefit to support Australian bushfire relief efforts. Set for Feb. 1, the event will take place at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge.
ABC/Image Group LAMidland channel their unmistakable live energy in the music video for “Cheatin’ Songs,” the new single off their 2019 album, Let it Roll. The trio filmed the clip at North Hollywood’s Palomino Club, an iconic but long-defunct honky tonk that they re-opened for one night only, just for the video.
The throwback theme fits seamlessly into the message of “Cheatin’ Songs,” which tells the classic story of love gone bad. In the songs on Let it Roll, the band delves even further into their signature vintage style.
“There are certain songs that are very traditional country. But if you actually listen to our arrangements, there’s also stuff that’s unconventional that really pulls it into the modern age,” frontman Mark Wystrach mused in an interview with Flaunt magazine. “We’re interested, personally, in believing in the music. The greatest curse is going to play music that doesn’t compel you.”
“Cheatin’ Songs” follows Midland’s previous single, “Mr. Lonely.”
ABC/Mitch HaasethDan Shay’s massively popular duet with Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours,” continues to reach new milestones. The song is now #1 across multiple country charts, including the Billboard Hot Country Songs, Country Streaming Songs, Country Digital Song Sales and the Aircheck/Mediabase and Billboard Country Airplay chart.
It’s also the fastest country single of 2019 to hit 1,000,000 track equivalents, earning U.S. platinum certification. Abroad, “10,000 Hours” has also made its mark, netting over 650 million global streams and 100 million in China alone.
“When I got the news that 10,000 Hours was No.1 on Aircheck/Mediabase and all 4 Billboard Country Charts simultaneously, my mind was truly blown,” Dan Shay's Dan Smyers says in a press release. “We know that it takes the support of a lot of people to make the stars align like this, and we’re incredibly grateful for every bit of it.”
Not a bad way to head into the Grammys weekend for the country duo, who are nominated for two awards. The ceremony airs Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
UMG NashvilleDierks Bentley’s alter-ego, Douglas “Doug” Douglason, is leading the charge back to country music’s ‘90s heyday in his group The Hot Country Knights. The band just dropped their debut single, “Pick Her Up,” which is a duet with Travis Tritt.
The new song is a lesson in how to impress a true-blue country girl, arguing that the first step, of course, is to show up to a date with a pickup truck. The band roll-calls all the ingredients for a country couple’s perfect first date, from ice-cold beers to honky tonk tunes.
An upcoming music video for “Pick Her Up” will get an extra ‘90s jolt from a cameo by actor Tiffany Thiessen, who plays her character from sitcom Saved by the Bell, Kelly Kapowski.
“She’s an honorary Knight,” Douglas told Billboard of Kelly’s participation in the video. “She held her own. I think she might even have made the video better by being in it, which is saying a lot because we were in it.”
Upon releasing their debut single, the Knights hinted that there’s much more new music to come. The group recently signed a record deal with Universal Music Group, which is Dierks’ record label, too. The “Living” superstar has said he plans to produce a forthcoming batch of songs for the Knights.
ABC/Image Group LAShania Twainand Keith Urban will be representing the country genre as presenters at the 2020 Grammy Awards. They’ll join a number of all-genre musical A-Listers presenting awards during the ceremony, including Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile, who are doing double duty as presenters and performers on the big night.
Other presenters at the 2020 awards show include the legendary Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, as well as newer musical stars such as Common and Dua Lipa. Also presenting during the show is Bebe Rexha, who made a splash with country fans as a featured artist on Florida Georgia Line’s 2017 hit, “Meant to Be.”
It’ll be a particularly busy night for Tanya and Brandi: In addition to performing and presenting, they’re both nominated for awards during the Grammy Awards ceremony.
Hosted by Alicia Keys, the 2020 Grammys take place on Sunday, Jan. 26. The show kicks off at 8PM ET on CBS.
Walt Disney Television/Paula Lobo; ABC/Image Group LAJust a month into his 2020 Las Vegas residency, Keith Urban has already expanded the run with four new shows in response to fan demand. The country star’s Vegas schedule will now include an additional performance on July 9, 2020, as well as three more on Labor Day Weekend, September 4-6.
Called Keith Urban -- Live in Las Vegas, the residency highlights Keith’s electric musicianship and arena-sized chops as an entertainer, in a scaled-down theater setting. All the show dates take place in the Coliseum at Caesar’s Palace. The string of dates first kicked off on Jan. 10 and runs through November.
Tickets for the newly-announced batch of dates go on sale beginning Friday, Jan. 31 at 10 AM PT. However, members of Keith’s official fan club, the ‘Ville, can grab their seats during a special presale beginning Monday, Jan. 27 at 10AM.
ABC/Image Group LALil Nas Xand Billy Ray Cyrus will be taking their megahit duet, “Old Town Road,” to the 2020 Grammy Awards, and they’ve got a long list of featured artists along for the ride.
DJ and songwriter Diplo and K-Pop superstars BTS are just a couple of the special guests they’ve enlisted for their performance. Another viral sensation who rocked the country genre will also join them on the Grammys stage: Mason Ramsey, the 13-year-old singer who rose to Internet fame thanks to a viral video of him performing Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” in a Walmart in 2018.
A press release hints that the already star-studded lineup will grow even bigger, with surprise guests sure to make the big moment even more unforgettable.
In another major onstage collaboration, the awards show will pay tribute Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich. After 40 years of producing the show, the 2020 Grammy Awards is set to Ehrlich’s last, and an array of artists associated with his career will send him off with a performance of “I Sing the Body Electric,” from the film Fame.
Americana and roots duo The War and Treaty are contributing to that showcase, along with mega-stars such as singer-songwriter Camila Cabello and icon Cyndi Lauper.
Previously announced Grammy performers for this year include Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile and many more. The show takes place this Sunday, January 26.
Black River EntertainmentKelsea Ballerini's third album will be titled kelsea and will be out March 20, she revealed on her socials, along with the cover image. It's a simple photo of the 26-year-old lying in the grass, wearing an off-the-shoulder ruffled dress.
The collection's first single, "homecoming queen?," is currently a top-twenty hit. So far, Kelsea hasn't revealed the full track listing, though we know it will feature the previously-released cut, "club."
kelsea follows Unapologetically, which came out in November of 2017.
ABC NewsTuesday on ABC's Good Morning America, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugantold her side of the story in a contentious debate that's roiled the music industry just days before the Grammy Awards.
Dugan claims she was pushed out after exposing alleged sexual harassment, nomination rigging, and what she described as a toxic "boy's club" that sidelined women and minority groups. In response, the Recording Academy alleges it was Dugan who created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment and is investigating both Ms. Dugan's alleged potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations.
Regarding the nomination rigging, Dugan told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Thursday, "There are incidents of conflict of interest that taints the results."
Stephanopoulos then read out loud what's written in her complaint: "One artist who initially ranked 18 out of 20 in the 2019 Song of the Year category ended up with a nomination. This artist was actually permitted to sit on the Song of the Year nomination committee. Incredibly, this artist is also represented by a member of the Board."
"Who is this person?" Stephanopoulos then asked.
Dugan and her lawyer wouldn't reveal the artist's identity, but Dugan went on to say that that alleged incident wasn't an isolated one.
"It's not even just that one room. I have evidence that in another room....there were complaints made in the jazz category," she began, before Stephanopoulos interrupted her, saying, "That was gonna be my next question, so you do have evidence?
"I do," she responded.
As a reminder, last year's Song of the Year winner was Childish Gambino's "This Is America." The other nominees were Lady Gaga's "Shallow," "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai, "God's Plan" by Drake, "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes, "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, and "The Joke," by Brandi Carlile.
Comstock/Thinkstock Twenty-nine years ago this week, this former defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals hit number one on the Billboard chart with "Walk on Faith." Can you name him? ANSWER: Mike Reid.