BMLGNewcomer Drake White isn’t up for a Grammy this year, but he still has a shot at participating in the festivities. The “Livin’ the Dream” hitmaker was nominated by recent tourmates Zac BrownBand to be CBS.com’s Artist of Tomorrow.
The Alabama native is one of three finalists, including singer/songwriter Bailey Bryan, who is endorsed by Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, and Farina, who’s supported by rapper Wyclef Jean.
You can check out videos of all three contenders and the Grammy-winning artists who champion them before voting for your favorite at CBS.com. The winner will perform during the official pre-show online leading up to the 59th Grammys on CBS February 12.
ABC/Brett OronzioThe list of celebrities pitching in to help Dolly Parton with her Smoky Mountains Rise telethon next week is growing. Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, LOCASH, Chris Janson and Montgomery Gentry join the roster of talent that already includes Reba, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss.
The three-hour effort will raise money for Dolly’s My People Fund, which is giving $1,000 per month to anyone who lost a primary residence in the raging wildfires early last week.
“I’m truly honored that these artists are giving their time and energy to help us raise money for everyone affected,” Dolly says. “I’ve got so many great friends in the industry, and I’m so proud that they were so ready to step up and help me help my people in the Smoky Mountains through this telethon…”
It's also gaining more national TV exposure, with AXS TV, RFD and The Heartland Network now joining Great American Country in airing the fundraiser. USAToday.com also will livestream the event.
Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund starts Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, and also will be simulcast on many radio stations.
ABC/Image Group LANewcomer Tucker Beathard may have just wrapped his second successful European tour this year, but the “Rock On” hitmaker is already looking forward to 2017.
“When I played in Europe a few months ago, it definitely felt like something clicked, but I definitely didn’t know just how much. The connection I felt with the fans over there this time was pretty intense,” he says of his return as a headliner.
“They had done their research since I’d played last time and it showed," he adds. "The songs they were asking me for, singing along to -- it was insane and fired me up to keep going until they kicked us all out of there!”
You can expect to hear Tucker’s new single, “Momma and Jesus” January 14, when he makes his Grand Ole Opry debut at the historic Ryman Auditorium. On February 2, he heads out on The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour with Brantley Gilbert.
ABC/Image Group LAA host of country stars will come together February 8 to honor new Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis.
Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Rodney Atkins, Chris Janson, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Michael Ray, Ricky Skaggs, Tanya Tucker, and Josh Turner are just the first group of stars set to take part in 1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Seen as one of the leaders of country music's New Traditionalist movement of the '80s, Randy has battled back from personal problems and a massive stroke in 2013 that made it difficult for him to walk and left him largely unable to speak. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Randy Travis Foundation, which works to fund both stroke research and rehabilitation.
Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. CT via Ticketmaster, with more stars to be added to the lineup as the event nears.
ABC/Image Group LAIf you happen to be driving around Chris Young’s hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee and you spot an outrageously decked-out yard, there’s a good chance it might belong to his parents -- and Chris freely admits he’s the culprit.
“It's my favorite holiday, I mean it just is… I love putting gigantic inflatable Christmas stuff in my parents' yard since I don't have one. It's a little bit overkill. I probably need to stop, but it's funny!” he laughs.
This season, Chris translated his love for the holiday into his new yuletide project, It Must Be Christmas. And come December 16, the latest leg of his I’m Comin’ Over Tour wraps in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Chris confesses that’s no accident, either.
“That's pretty much the only time of the year that I've always made sure to be home is Christmas…” he says. “I like being around my family. I've always been real close to them, extended family included, not just my mom, my dad, my sister… It's funny, every year everybody starts, 'Well, we could go probably two weeks into December,' and then the next year, they're like… ‘Then we're going to add this other thing,' and I'll start having to be like, 'No...' That's the only time that I'll put my foot down about not booking stuff is around Christmas time.”
So far, Chris’s December is shaping up to be a good one. He just got a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Cassadee Pope on “Think of You,” and his latest single, “Sober Saturday Night,” just cracked the top 15.
Hatchette Book GroupFans and even Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks noticed the absence of nine-time CMA winners The Judds at last month's 50th anniversary awards show. In a new interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Naomi Judd opened up about some of the likely reasons the country legends weren’t able to be there for the celebration.
While discussing her own ongoing battles with anxiety and severe depression, Naomi revealed that she and daughter Wynonna are “a little estranged from each other.”
She went on to explain, “From the day I knew she existed, it was the two of us against the world. And then through the decades we kind of grew up together, ‘cause it was really just the two of us. And I’m always tellin’ her, ‘If I’d know better, I would have done better.’”
Naomi says her relationship with daughter Ashley Judd is a bit better, recalling how at her worst times, she’d often walk the mile from her house to the actresses' for a hug, to help make her feel better.
You can read more about Naomi’s struggles in her new book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope, which is out now.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Kelsea Ballerini gifted Nashville Public Schools with a $1 million grant from the CMA Foundation, during a visit with Oliver Middle School's wind ensemble. The money for music education is just part of what was raised at this year's CMA Music Festival.
Billy Currington marked the success of his two-week number-one hit "It Don't Hurt Like It Used To" Tuesday afternoon at a party at South near Music Row in Nashville. Even his grandmother made the trip to Music City to help him celebrate.
All-female band Farewell Angelina will sing the national anthem Thursday before the Chiefs take on the Oakland Raiders in Kansas City. You can catch the game starting at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC.
Shenandoah will kick off their 30th Anniversary Tour January 22 in Annapolis, Maryland. 2017 will mark three decades since the "Two Dozen Roses" hitmakers released their debut album.
Atlantic/Warner NashvilleBrett Eldredge will bring his own cold front to Live with Kelly on Friday, as he performs “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” from his new holiday album, Glow. Earlier in the day, he’ll also do “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on Good Morning America.
You can catch GMA starting at 7 a.m. on ABC. The syndicated Live with Kelly typically airs after GMA on most ABC stations.
While Brett may be focusing on his big-band Christmas tunes right now, his straight-ahead country ones certainly aren’t suffering. His latest single, “Wanna Be That Song,” currently sits at number three on the chart, on its way to number one.
Webster Public RelationsReba, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss are the first stars confirmed to join Dolly Parton for Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund. The three-hour telethon will air next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Great American Country, and will be simulcast on radio as well.
“My home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is some place special,” Dolly says. “Wildfires have affected many of the people -- my people -- who live in those beautiful mountains. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
Dolly’s My People Fund is providing $1,000 per month to families in Sevier County, where she was born, who lost their primary residences in the fires last week. During the telethon, viewers will be able to call 1-866-CARE-MOREto donate to the cause.
Expect more announcements about more of Dolly’s celebrity friends who’ll be joining her as next Tuesday’s fundraiser approaches.
ABC/Randy HolmesIf you’ve checked out Keith Urban’s Ripcord World Tour, you know there’s typically a time in the show where he picks one lucky audience member to come on stage and chat. That’s resulted in many memorable moments since he hit the road last June, and his first night in his native Australia was certainly no exception.
“Do you bring a guitar to every concert?” Keith asked, as he welcomed flummoxed fan Amy Jennifer to the stage, with her axe in tow.
“No just yours,” she replied, giggling, “I’m sorry. You’re so beautiful!” somewhere along the way.
“I’ve become a bloody guitar tech!” Keith quipped, as he got the young girl situated.
“What can’t he do, ladies and gentleman?” she countered, before delivering her original song called “Closing That Door.”
You can relive the moment in Adelaide, Australia via YouTube. Keith continues his string of dates Down Under with Carrie Underwood with two shows in Melbourne Thursday and Friday.
ABC/Image Group LAGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood want to see your biggest holiday fashion disasters! Inspired by a song on their new holiday album, the two launched 12 days of their own #UglyXmasSweater movement on Facebook Monday.
Garth explains how the idea for the track on Christmas Together came to be.
“I love this song!” he tells ABC Radio. "John Martin came to me and says 'I got this idea called "Ugly Christmas Sweater",' and the first thing I said was, 'Oh my God, how do you even make that lyrically work and how does it rhythmically work?' But it fell out -- it's like Bing Crosby meets Elvis Presley, if that tells you anything. I hope it becomes a Christmas standard!”
To participate in the #UglyXmasSweater madness, all you need to do is share your photo of your own unattractive seasonal threads and add the hashtag. You can also upload your picture to UglySweater.GarthBrooks.com. After a dozen days have passed, Garth and Trisha will share their favorites in a video montage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Disney/Mark AshmanThe Virginia cancer survivor who gained notoriety after Garth Brooks brought her on stage to sing with him at the Richmond Coliseum in November, is recording an album.
Danielle El-Jor got her big break when she met Garth Brooks during a meet-and-greet arranged by a local country radio station. Brooks was so impressed with her he invited her to join him the following night.
Now, WTVR reports the Midlothian High School graduate is collaborating with a producer at Sony on four original songs for an album she hopes will land her a record deal.
“Something just clicked,” she says, “it was amazing.”
El-jor was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014. She was supposed to audition for The Voice but her chemotherapy treatments forced her to miss out.
El-jor was given a clear bill of health this year.
Gwendolyn Records/Pearl Records, Inc.For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, Garth Brooks accomplishes a rare feat on the country albums chart this week. With Christmas Together with wife Trisha Yearwood at #2, the Walmart-exclusive combination of the holiday record and his tenth studio album at #3, and the single-disc edition of Gunslinger at #four, Garth officially occupies three of the top-five spots on Billboard’s Top Country Albums tally.
While Christmas Together is composed of multiple Garth/Trisha collaborations as well as solo songs, Gunslinger also boasts a new duet from the two called “Whiskey to Wine.”
After a hit in 1997 with “In Another’s Eyes,” Garth tells ABC Radio it was high time for the two to make a record together.
“We're finally on the same label,” the CMA Entertainer of the Year says. “I think a Christmas album is the perfect way to kinda debut a duets thing because a Christmas album really lends itself to duets a lot. So we just wanted to get a low-pressure, kind of all-fun kind of thing together to see how the first one went, and it was a dream! It was great. She was fantastic, and you knew she was gonna be, but you never want to put everything up on the table and roll it not knowing. So now that we've got this behind us, I look forward to the first duets record.”
If you’re wondering who the last artist was to notch three albums in the top five, you don’t have to look very far. It was none other than Garth himself, who did it in 1992 with The Chase, Beyond the Season, and No Fences.
Blue Chair Bay/Columbia NashvilleKenny Chesney fans snapped up more than 106,000 tickets for his only two stadium shows next year in several hours, after they went on sale Friday morning.
After deciding not to tour in 2017, the “Setting the World on Fire” Grammy nominee admits he wondered if he’d done the right thing, after agreeing to two dates at the home of the New England Patriots.
“It feels a little like cheating,” Kenny says, “because I said I was taking the year off. But once we sent the trucks and the gear home and I stopped for a little bit, I was still hearing the cheers… in my ears,” adding “How often can you tap into energy that carries you for weeks, that inspires you and stays with you? So I called my manager and my promoter and said, ‘I know it’s unconventional, but I’d really like to play Boston…”
The Cosmic Hallelujah hitmaker has sold out the stadium 15 times since first playing it in 2005.
As of Monday night, only a few hundred seats remained for the August 25-26 shows. Kenny jokes the winter will pass a whole lot faster knowing these two summer dates are on the way.
ABC/Image Group LAWilliam Michael Morgan will welcome 2017 by making his national TV debut on the Today show. He’s set to perform his breakthrough hit, “I Met a Girl,” during the fourth hour of the NBC morning show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, starting at 10 a.m. on January 4.
Both the Mississippi native’s first number-one and his current single “Missing” are from his debut album, Vinyl, which appropriately will be available as an LP for the first time on December 16. That same day, he'll play the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman, before signing copies of his record at the historic venue.
On February 24, William Michael will occupy a coveted spot on the yearly New Faces show during Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.
ABC/Image Group LAWith a coveted nomination in the much-watched Best New Artist category at the 59th Grammys, Kelsea Ballerini confesses she’s had her eye on the gramophone trophy for some time.
“I was 15 the first time I saw a Grammy. It was in a studio I was recording some of my first demos in. I remember asking if I could hold it, being its biggest fan, and knowing how important it was," she recalled on Instagram. "I wish I could go back and tell that 15-year-old starry-eyed girl that she’d be nominated a few years later.”
Kelsea also took time to tape a special thank you for her fans, admitting in a Twitter video she has “zero percent chill” about getting the prestigious nod and adding how proud she is to represent Nashville along with Maren Morris, who’s nominated as well.