Country Music News

Thomas Rhett "100 percent" agrees that daughter's camo fashion dress is "brilliant"

ABCThomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins may have a future fashion designer in their midst. 

Lauren shared a photo from the family's recent trip to Montana in which the couple's five-year-old daughter Willa decided to get creative and transform a camouflage-print jacket into an elegant gown, wrapping the coat around her and smiling happily with the results.

"Maybe it’s just me, but I think it's pretty brilliant that my 5 year old figured out how to make a men’s Sitka coat look like a camo runway dress," Lauren applauds in an Instagram post, jokingly setting her daughter up for an endorsement deal with the outdoor gear company. "@sitkagear if y’all ever need a fashion forward 5 year old designer, I can put in a good word for ya." 

Thomas was among the many people who took to the comment section to share how impressed they are with Willa's efforts. "100 percent," the "Life Changes" singer comments alongside a pair of crying laughing emojis.

Willa is the oldest of the couple's three daughters, followed by three-year-old Ada and 11-month-old Lennon.

 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lindsay Ell to present 'heart theory' Live online concert

BBR Music GroupLindsay Ell is staging a special livestream concert for her latest album, heart theory. 

On February 12, Lindsay will perform songs from the album live for the first time since heart theory was released last summer in a #LiveRedesigned concert experience to be streamed on VYE at 9 p.m. ET. 

The concert doubles as a charity event, with net proceeds from ticket sales benefiting Crew Nation, a global relief fund for live music crews in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other organizations. 

Fans will be able to interact on the online platform during the full-band set, and Lindsay will be unveiling a slate of special guests that will appear during the show. 

“To say that I’m excited to finally be able to play heart theory live for fans around the world is an understatement,” Lindsay says in a statement. "I hope this is a night of celebration and healing for so many. Cannot wait for music fans from around the world to join the show!”

Ticket prices begin at $7, in honor of the seven stages of grief that the album follows, and is based on a pay-what-you-can model. 

The concert will be available to view through February 14. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jimmie Allen shares teaser of "No Limits" with Blanco Brown

ABC/Jeff NeiraJimmie Allen and Blanco Brown have joined forces on a collaboration. 

The "Best Shot" singer has shared a teaser of a new collaborative track, "No Limits," with a 60-second clip playing over a black and white image of a speaker.

The hip-hop-meets-country melody is filled with hand claps and bass, with a twangy guitar mixed in. Blanco kicks off the song by transporting us inside a feel-good scene of raised glasses before Jimmie jumps in and bolsters the party vibe.

"Hey you bartender/Pour a round for two/'Cause we 'gon tear this mother down like we always do/So let's go/Pedal to the floor/Ain't no limits out here/Let's go/We on a roll/Ain't no limits out here," Jimmie sings.

Fans are already sharing their praise for the new tune, with Rita Wilson cheering "This is FANTASTIC!!!!" in the comment section, while Atlanta-based pop group Here The Band and duo Striking Matches respond with a series of fire emojis. 

Blanco burst on to the scene in 2019 with his dance bop, "The Git Up." Jimmie's current single is "Freedom Was a Highway" featuring Brad Paisley

Jimmie Allen X Blanco Brown pic.twitter.com/T9edfUZnbl

— Jimmie Allen (@JimmieAllen) January 27, 2021

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scotty McCreery donates more than $2,000 to ACM Lifting Lives

Billy Bob's TexasScotty McCreery has teamed up with Billy Bob's Texas to give back to ACM Lifting Lives

During a recent limited-capacity show that Scotty performed at the famed Fort Worth venue, the singer donated $1 from every ticket sold to the charitable branch of the Academy of Country Music, which funds music-based health programs, and launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to help music industry professionals in need. 

The donation total came to $2,100. 

“I love having an opportunity to help a great cause like ACM Lifting Lives, and doing it while performing at a legendary venue like Billy Bob’s Texas is an added bonus,” Scotty says in a statement. 

To celebrate Billy Bob Texas' 40th anniversary in February, several country artists will perform at the honky tonk throughout the month, including Lee Brice, Jimmie AllenJamey Johnson and Randy Houser.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chris Young Cafe opens at Middle Tennessee State University

Jeff JohnsonThe Chris Young Cafe at the singer's alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University, is officially open. 

On Tuesday, the university in Chris' hometown of Murfreesboro hosted the grand opening of the newly renovated cafe.  It'll serve as an entertainment venue on campus, where students can learn and refine their skills in music business, audio production, songwriting, lighting and rigging, and more.  The Cafe can accommodate 240 people post-pandemic and 74 people during the pandemic to allow for social distancing. It features an elegant stage and a portrait of Chris on the wall. The singer also donated microphones, soundboards and other equipment from his previous tours.

"This is a huge honor," Chris said during the grand opening, thanking MTSU for providing him with a "breadth of musical knowledges" including jazz education and learning how to sing in multiple languages.  

Representatives from the university also unveiled a plaque in front of the Cafe commemorating Chris' career.

The hitmaker hopes that student artists use the Cafe as a safe space to learn and display their talent through live performances, comedy shows and radio broadcasts. "I hope everyone finds a use for this space," he said. "This means the world to me." 

The Grammy nominee christened the stage with the debut live performance of his current single, "Famous Friends," a duet with Kane Brown that will be featured on his upcoming album. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Miranda Lambert celebrates "2 years hitched" with husband Brendan McLoughlin

ABCMiranda Lambert and husband Brendan McLoughlin commemorated their second wedding anniversary with a pair of celebratory posts. 

On Tuesday, Miranda turned to Instagram to share a photo from the set of the video for her latest single, "Settling Down," which also stars her husband.  The couple shares a sweet, face-to-face moment on their Tennessee farm next to Miranda's horse, Gibson

"2 years hitched!!" Miranda writes alongside the pic.

Meanwhile, Brendan showed off Miranda's playful side with his tribute, sharing a snap of her in the kitchen using a pair of wooden spoons as crossbones while wearing an apron with a bawdy message on it.

"Happy anniversary to this amazing woman," he writes.

The couple met in November 2018 when Brendan was working as a security guard as part of the New York City Police Department when Miranda and her trio Pistol Annies performed on ABC's Good Morning America. They tied the knot in January 2019.   

"Settling Down" is currently in the top 30 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Brett Young and wife Taylor expecting a baby: "We feel very blessed!"

Taylor Hill/Getty ImagesBrett Young and his wife Taylor are expecting their second child this summer. 

The new baby will join the couple's one-year-old daughter, Presley Elizabeth, born in October 2019. Brett and Taylor say they wanted their children to be close in age, like Taylor and her sister are. 

"We really wanted them to be close enough in age so they could have a lot of things in common and be best friends," Brett shares with People, along with photos of Presley wearing a "big sister" shirt and Taylor cradling her baby bump. "Tay is so close with her sister, and that's something we always knew we wanted for Presley. We feel very blessed!"

Brett reveals that Taylor is experiencing morning sickness, which she didn't while pregnant with Presley, and hopes it will pass after the first trimester.   

"And then we were 4. It seems like just yesterday we found out our little Presley was on her way. We are beyond blessed by this growing little family!" the "Mercy" singer writes on Twitter

Brett's current single, "Lady," is inspired by his wife and daughter. It currently sits in the top 20 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Country star trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock On this day in 1975, this country icon released "The Pill." Though controversial at the time for its reference to birth control, the song reached the top 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and has become one of her signature hits. Can you name her? ANSWER: Loretta Lynn. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gabby Barrett notches third longest-running no. 1 on country chart with "I Hope”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMediaGabby Barrett may be on maternity leave, but her smash-hit debut single "I Hope" is working overtime.  The song has just become the third longest-running number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

For 25 weeks now, Barrett has dominated the chart that tracks streaming, sales and airplay platforms.  By notching another week at the top, "I Hope" eclipsed Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" for having the third-most weeks in the number one spot.

"Cruise" topped the Hot Country Charts for 24 weeks between 2012 and 2013. 

Barrett is officially halfway to defeating FGL and Bebe Rexha's "Meant to Be," which stayed at number one for 50 weeks between 2017 and 2018.  

But first, the American Idol finalist has to overcome Sam Hunt's record. He has the second highest number of weeks in the top position with "Body Like a Back Road."  It dominated the chart for 34 weeks in 2017.

As for the accomplishments "I Hope" collected over the past week, the song was streamed 8.4 million times in the U.S., sold an additional 3,000 singles and reached 52 million people on the radio.

Billboard's Hot Country Chart has been tracking movers and shakers in the country industry since 1958.

Barrett has another single climbing up the very same chart.  Her sophomore effort , "The Good Ones," increased its foothold 31-25, reports Billboard, which is up 5 percent.   It was also streamed 4.8 million times and sold 4,000 singles.

Music career aside, Barrett previously announced on Tuesday that she and husband Cade Foehner welcomed a baby girl, named Baylah May, on January 18. 

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kane Brown admits writing "Worship You" was a religious experience

RCA NashvilleWhen Kane Brown came up with his latest hit, "Worship You," he admits he and his co-writers weren't necessarily on a hot streak. But once they found their inspiration, they were off and running.

"When we were writing it, we really didn't know what to write about. I think we tried like four different songs before we wrote that song..." Kane recalls. "But I remember us writing it. It came, you know, so fluent. We actually wrote it pretty fast."

Perhaps it's only fitting that writing a song titled "Worship You" should be a bit of a religious experience.

"Everything that we threw out, it was literally kind of like that we were in church, you know," Kane reflects. "Everything that we said: 'down on my knees praying,' 'If you were religion, I'd worship you.'"

"It was everything. It just felt right," he adds.

And once it was finished, Kane was obsessed.

"It's just one of those songs that I've listened to -- when I first wrote it, I listened to it a hundred times," he admits. "I was just like, 'This is the song. This is it. This is it.' And then [producer] Dann Huff did his magic on it."

Of course, "Worship You" was inspired by Kane's wife Katelyn and his daughter Kingsley, who both star in the song's music video. 

You'll find it on Kane's Mixtape Vol. 1 EP. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Randy Travis and his wife Mary Travis are featured on The Big Interview With Dan Rather this week where they discuss his recovery following a 2013 stroke. The episode airs tomorrow night on 8 p.m. ET on AXS TV. 

Lily Rose has signed a joint record deal with Big Loud Records, Back Blocks Music and Republic Records after her song "Villain" went viral on Tik Tok. The video for the single is available now. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jason Aldean hosting livestream to celebrate Wolf Moon Bourbon

ABCJason Aldean is raising a glass to his Wolf Moon Bourbon.

The "Dirt Road Anthem" singer is commemorating the one-year anniversary of the libation he co-created with Florida Georgia Line with a virtual event that includes a 30-minute, stripped down set from the singer himself, marking his first live performance in nearly a year.

In addition to the performance, fans drinking Wolf Moon during the interactive livestream may appear on-screen. A limited number of fans will also be randomly selected for a VIP experience that includes a chat session with Jason after the show. 

Wolf Moon Bourbon on the Rocks streams on January 28, the same night as the first full moon of the year, on VYE at 9 p.m. ET.  Tickets are free to reserve. 

#Ad Celebrate the first full moon of the year with a special stripped-down interactive livestream experience on January 28!

Reserve your free ticket at https://t.co/CZc0x17IvO

— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) January 25, 2021

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


A 'Dangerous' reign: Morgan Wallen tops 'Billboard' Artist 100 chart

Big Loud Records Morgan Wallen continues to dominate the charts, thanks to his new album, Dangerous. 

Morgan is spending his second consecutive week at #1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart that encompasses stats from the Billboard 200, Hot 100 and Social 50 charts, the latter of which tracks artists' social media engagement. 

The "Whiskey Glasses" hit maker is now the fifth country artist to spend multiple weeks at #1 on the Artist 100.

Jason Aldean holds the record for most weeks at #1 by a country act with three weeks, while Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Kenny Chesney trail behind him, each with two. 

Dangerous is also spending its second week at #1 on the Billboard 200 and has logged nine songs on the Hot 100, with current single "7 Summers" and fan-favorite "Wasted on You" both cracking the top 25.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Parker McCollum makes national TV debut with "Pretty Heart"

David McClisterParker McCollum charmed NBC's Today show this morning with his breakout hit, "Pretty Heart." 

The country crooner made his national TV debut while performing with his band inside a vacant Texas saloon, his voice simmering on the slow-burner, heartbreak ballad with neon signs glowing in the background.  

Released as his debut single, "Pretty Heart" also became Parker's first #1 hit. It's featured on his EP, Hollywood Gold, which was for the highest-selling debut country EP last year. 

Follow-up single "To Be Loved by You," co-written by Parker and Rhett Akins, is at country radio now. 

Additionally, Parker was recently invited by Dierks Bentley via video call to make his Grand Ole Opry debut. Dierks will be there cheering him on when Parker performs on the Opry on February 6.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Walking 9 to 5: Dolly Parton lends voice to Apple's Time to Walk

Valerie Macon/Getty ImagesDolly Parton wants to help get you moving as part of Apple's new audio fitness experience, Time to Walk, that allows users to exercise while listening to personal stories from major public figures across music and sports. 

Time to Walk episodes range from 25-40 minutes and revolve around the speaker's life-changing moments as they share words of wisdom, memories, and tokens of gratitude. 

Dolly's episode finds her reflecting on her illustrious career, her family, and her life growing up in the Smoky Mountains in rural East Tennessee. 

“I’ve loved walking ever since I was a little girl in the Smoky Mountains. I think it’s so important to be able to get out and walk if we can during this time. I do my best thinking when I walk," she explains in a statement.

"And while many of us feel confined during this time, I’m hopeful that people will take a walk down memory lane with me and we can all feel a little more freedom taking the time to walk together,” she adds. 

The country icon is one of four artists who has recorded an episode alongside Shawn MendesOrange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba, and NBA player for the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green.

Time to Walk episodes are available now.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Keith Urban to attend Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party

ABCKeith Urban is among the many esteemed guests attending the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy party. 

The famed producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member is known for throwing a lavish, star-studded party leading up to music's biggest night. But in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, his annual gala is being divided into two virtual events. 

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Keith and his Golden Globe-winning wife Nicole Kidmanare expected to attend as guests to the online soiree on January 30, the night before the Grammys were originally supposed to air on January 31.

Bruce Springsteen, John Legend and Alicia Keys are some of the many stars tapped to perform at the event. benefiting MusiCares.

The Grammy Awards will now take place on March 14 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Miranda Lambert and Ingrid Andress are the most-nominated country acts, with Maren Morris, Dan Shay and Old Dominion also picking up multiple nods.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockTen years ago today, the world was introduced to this deep-voiced country singer from North Carolina when his audition for American Idol's 10th season aired. He would go on to be crowned champion and score hits with "Five More Minutes" and "This Is It." Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Scotty McCreery. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gabby Barrett announces birth of daughter

ABCGabby Barrett and husband Cade Foehner have welcomed a baby girl. 

The 20-year-old singer shared on Instagram on Monday night that she gave birth to daughter Baylah May on January 18.

"Gotten to spend a very sweet week with our newest addition. Meet our girl Baylah May Foehner," Gabby writes alongside a photo of the baby in her bassinet, wrapped in a red blanket with a name tag written in elegant script. 

Cade was among the many people who flooded the comment section with congratulatory posts, professing "What an honor to be your husband. Thank you for bearing me a child my Wife."

Hayley HubbardTanya Tucker and Jana Kramer were among the "I Hope" hitmaker's peers who also extended well-wishes.

The couple met and began dating while competing on season 16 of American Idol in 2018 and tied the knot a year later. They announced in August that they were expecting their first child.

Gotten to spend a very sweet week with our newest addition.. meet our girl🥰
Baylah May Foehner
1.18.21 pic.twitter.com/5ZteHwhVj6

— Gabby Barrett (@GabbyBarrett_) January 26, 2021

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock UK country duo The Shires have released the video for their song "Lightning Strikes" featuring Lauren Alaina.

Lauren Weintraub has released her debut single "She's Mine" after the song went viral on Tik Tok, being viewed more than one million times in two days.  

James Robert Webb has released his new single “Okfuskee Whiskey." It's featured on his 2020 self-titled album. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Beers and Sunshine" and Zoom: How Darius Rucker's latest hit "threw a wrench" into his next album

ABC If you've had it with COVID-19 -- and who hasn't? -- Darius Rucker's latest hit may well be the antidote. "Beers and Sunshine" is the Hootie and the Blowfish front man's reaction to the coronavirus.

"We'd probably been locked down for a couple of months," Darius recalls, "and everybody was stir crazy, and we were talking about just how everybody wanted to just get out and do something. And we knew there's gonna be a whole bunch of songs, a bunch of ballads, and a bunch of really serious songs about what's going on."

"But, just the way we are and the way I am I guess, we wanted to write something that was fun and upbeat," he continues. "And when we got that line, "The only b.s. I need is beers and sunshine," I knew we had our song."

In fact, "Beers and Sunshine" may be the first country song to be written and recorded entirely via Zoom. 

"[Producer and co-writer] Ross [Copperman] figured out a way that he just called all the guys that we usually use, and they all had set-ups at their house and the whole song was recorded over the computer. I did my vocal at my house," Darius laughs. "Yeah, it was crazy."

Previously, Darius thought he already has his next album figured out.

"Oh, yeah, I thought I had it mapped out, I did..." he reveals. "And that song, when it came along, just threw a wrench into everything because we knew that had to be the first single."

As "Beers and Sunshine" nears the top of the country chart, we're still waiting for details on the follow-up to 2017's When Was the Last Time. Of course, in 2019, Darius also released the Hootie reunion record, Imperfect Circle.

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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