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Country Music

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockToday, one of country’s pioneering female artists is celebrating her 34th anniversary of becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Reba McEntire.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dan + Shay notch CMA International Awards nomination following global hit '10,000 Hours'

Catherine Powell, Warner Music NashvilleIn their seven years as a duo, Dan Shay have achieved worldwide success, and now they’ve got the accolades to prove it. The pair have been nominated for International Artist Achievement Award at the 2020 CMA International Awards. 

The recognition comes as their new duet with pop superstar Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours,” tops 600 million global streams. In China alone, the song hit 100 million streams at a lightning-fast pace. 

“There are people in nearly every corner of the Earth who are craving what we have to share, and Dan Shay are doing everything they can, from touring to content creation to music rollout, at the highest level to make sure they’re serving their fans,” Warner Music CEO John Esposito says in a statement. “Their impact is evidenced by the fact that ‘10,000 Hours’ just reached 100 million streams in China -- in half the time it usually takes a massive hit to get there.”

The International Artist Achievement Award celebrates U.S.-based artists who develop their fan base and expand the country genre internationally. Awards are voted on by CMA members across the world, and ceremony proceedings will take place in several events in several international locations, beginning in March 2020.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Small Town Boy" from 'Tullahoma': Dustin Lynch's new album is amped-up autobiography

ABC/Image Group LADustin Lynch invites you to experience Tullahoma this weekend. This time, the Tennessee-born hitmaker's not talking about his hometown, but his fourth album, which is out today.

For Tullahoma, the "Small Town Boy" took many of his cues from his multi-week chart-topper that was one of the most popular songs of 2017.

"There's a common thread," Dustin tells ABC Audio. "We... attempt[ed] from day one with this album... [to make it about] the 'Small Town Boy' -- that character I've got a mental image of who that guy is, what truck he drives, who he dates."

"I wanted to make sure every song was that guy," he continues, "and guys that dig that guy, that want to be that guy, and the girls that like that guy, to all enjoy."

And if you're wondering if Dustin is "that guy," he admits Tullahoma is fairly autobiographical.

"I step back and I go, 'Wait, all this is pretty much about my hometown and why I'm who I am now as a person,'" he says. "[It] is because of where I grew up, you know, the people that raised me, the friends I did life with, and discovered new things with for the first time."

"Selfishly, I get to name it Tullahoma and maybe make my town a little more famous than it already is," he smiles.

The 34-year-old goes on to reveal the "Small Town Boy" on Tullahoma may actually be an amped-up version of himself.

"I wish I had lived as -- well, maybe not as much drama as [is] on this record. But I wish life was as exciting as some of these songs are," Dustin reflects.

"But that's why we make music, right?" he asks. "It doesn't have to be totally real." 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMargo Price dropped “Stone Me,” her first new song in over two years, on Thursday. The singer debuted the song, which she co-wrote with her husband and fellow artist Jeremy Ivey, on an episode of TBS' Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.

Country songwriter Lance Carpenter, who co-wrote Kelsea Ballerini’s debut hit single “Love Me Like You Mean It,” has teamed up with Lonestar’s Richie McDonald for a good cause. The pair are debuting a new song, “Last Night in Memphis,” to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Kalie Shorr is kicking off her 2020 Too Much to Say Tour with a headlining performance at Nashville’s Exit/In on Jan. 31. The run is in support of her debut album, Open Book. For tickets, visit Kalie's website

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film Urban Cowboy, country performers Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee, who had radio hits from the 1980 movie's soundtrack, are joining forces for a year-long tour. The run kicks off this month and runs through November.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Cody Johnson saddles up for RodeoHouston 2020 appearance

Jay Trevino, Warner Music NashvilleFormer rodeo bull rider and country artist Cody Johnson will return to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo in 2020, following his sold-out appearance at last year’s show. Cody became the first independent artist to ever sell out the rodeo’s venue, the NRG Stadium, which seats over 74,000 concert-goers.

Cody found success at country radio with songs like “On My Way to You” and his current single, “Nothin’ on You,” winning fans with his staunch traditional style. His spot in the limelight was hard-won, though: The singer dropped five albums before seeing any kind of mainstream success. He also appeared at RodeoHouston in 2017.

Cody's country roots will serve him well on tour with fellow Texan Miranda Lambert: He’s opening for her 2020 Wildcard Tour, which kicks off today.

Tickets for Cody’s performance at Rodeo Houston are on sale now.  For more information, visit the event’s website.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Luke Bryan announces Born Here, Live Here, Die Here album, tour plans for 2020

UMG NashvilleLuke Bryan has just shared a huge announcement with his fans: He’s got plans to release his seventh studio album, Born Here, Live Here, Die Here on April 24, 2020.

The country superstar didn’t give away too many details during his announcement, which he made Thursday via Facebook Live, but he did offer a few tidbits about the new record.  He picked up an acoustic guitar and played a couple songs live, including a brand-new one off his new album. Called “Born Here, Live Here, Die Here,” the track is a sentimental, mid-tempo anthem about small-town life. 

In the same announcement, Luke also shared some exciting tour plans. He'll hit the road for the 2020 Proud to Be Right Here Tour this summer, along with openers Morgan WallenCaylee Hammack and Runaway June

The Proud to Be Right Here Tour kicks off on May 28 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The run will continue into the fall, wrapping on the West Coast in October. For details and venues, visit Luke's website.

Here’s the full itinerary dates and cities:

5/28 -- Cincinnati, OH
5/29 -- St. Louis, MO
5/30 -- Brandon, MS
6/5 -- Orange Beach, AL
6/18 -- Darien Center, NY
6/19 -- Hartford, CT
6/20 -- Columbia, MD
6/25 -- Milwaukee, WI
7/16 -- San Diego, CA
7/17 -- Mountain View, CA
7/18 -- Sacramento, CA
7/23 -- Bend, OR
7/24 -- Bend, OR
7/25 -- Portland, OR
7/30 -- Nashville, TN
7/31 -- Little Rock, AR
8/4 -- New York, NY
8/5 -- Gilford, NH
8/6 -- Gilford, NH
8/14 -- Bangor, ME
8/21 -- Virginia Beach, VA
8/23 -- Bristow, VA
8/28 -- Charlotte, N.C.
8/29 -- Raleigh, N.C.
8/30 -- Charleston, S.C.
9/24 -- Des Moines, IA
9/25 -- St. Paul, MN
9/26 -- Green Bay, WI
10/1 -- Bossier City, LA
10/2 -- Lafayette, LA
10-8 -- Fresno, CA
10/9 -- Los Angeles, CA
10/10 -- San Bernardino, CA

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maren Morris will bring the country to NYC for 2020 Governors Ball Music Festival

ABC/Image Group LAMaren Morris will represent the country genre at the 2020 Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City, which features a lineup of over 65 artists. Now in its 10th year, the festival will return to Randall’s Island Park from June 5-7. 

One of country’s fastest-rising young artists, Maren has also proven her talents for genre blending and reaching a wide array of audiences. She scored a massive crossover hit in 2018 with “The Middle,” a collaboration with producer Zedd and electronic duo Grey that marked Maren’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.

The 2020 Governors Ball will offer Maren a chance to further stretch her legs outside of country music.  She’ll perform alongside a number of megastars from all genres. Miley Cyrus, neo-psychedelic group Tame Impala and hip-hop legend Missy Elliot are just a few of the performers set to take the stage. 

By this summer, Maren’s tour family will have gotten a little bigger: She and her husband, Ryan Hurd, are expecting their first child in late March. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Old Dominion gears up for Summer 2020 We Are Old Dominion Tour with Dustin Lynch, Carly Pearce

ABC/Image Group LAOld Dominion are hitting the road this summer, and they’re taking a stacked lineup of opening acts with them. Carly Pearce and Dustin Lynch are joining the band for several U.S. dates in 2020. 

According to Old Dominion frontman Matthew Ramsey, Carly and Dustin aren’t just two of country's fastest-rising acts -- they’re old pals of the band's, too. 

“We are so excited for this lineup! We’ve had the pleasure of playing shows and making music with both Carly Pearce and Dustin Lynch for years now,” Matthew says in a statement. “Dustin brings the heat like no other, and it will be amazing to have a female act as strong as Carly out there with us!”

Before hitting the road with Carly and Dustin, Old Dominion plans to trek through Canada for the winter leg of their 2020 tour. Mitchell Tenpenny and Meghan Patrick are on deck as openers for those dates, and Carly will also play three of the shows. Between their own headlining dates, Old Dominion will also join Kenny Chesney for his 2020 Chillaxification Stadium Tour. 

The new tour announcement comes on the heels of the group’s eighth #1 single at country radio, “One Man Band.” They released their self-titled third studio album, which they co-produced with Nashville songwriting legend Shane McAnally, last October. 

The newly-announced shows kick off on May 5 in Key West, Fla. For a complete list of dates and ticketing information, visit the group’s website.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dan + Shay join all-star Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest lineup

ABC/Mitch HaasethDan Shay are among the newest acts to be added to the lineup for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. The star-studded, three-day event will take place at Miami’s waterfront AmericanAirlines Arena.  It kicks off Friday, Jan. 31 and lasts until the big game that Sunday.

The country duo are planning to perform on Saturday, February 1, on the eve of the Super Bowl itself. They’ll share the bill with pop rock superstars Maroon 5, who played Super Bowl halftime last year.

Other artists performing include rap legend Snoop Dogg and rock stalwarts Guns N' Roses, who will hit the stage on Friday. The bill for game day features some of today’s biggest names in hip hop, including headlining artist DJ Khaled

Dan Shay’s performance will come at the end of an eventful week for the country duo. The Sunday before the Super Bowl, they’re headed to the 2020 Grammy Awards, where they're nominated for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance, both for their hit “Speechless.”

The three-day party leading up to the Super Bowl will also feature appearances from athletes and celebrities, as well as an array of ticketing options and premium packages for fans. For more details, visit the Fest’s website.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock Five years ago this week, Capitol Nashville released the debut album by Jon Pardi. Can you recall its title? ANSWER: Write You a Song.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Reba McEntire will guest star in an upcoming episode of 'Young Sheldon'

Robby Klein, BMLGReba McEntire is headed to the small screen next month. The country icon and 2020 Grammy Awards nominee has a guest spot in a February episode of Young Sheldon, the spin-off prequel to hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory

In the episode, Reba will portray the spunky June, the ex-wife of Coach Ballard, played by Craig T. Nelson. The story line finds June starting an unlikely friendship with Meemaw, the Coach’s new love interest and the grandmother of Young Sheldon. 

Reba’s no stranger to television; for six seasons, she starred in the beloved sitcom Reba. The singer also starred in Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway in 2001, and has 11 movie credits and a Golden Globe nomination under her belt. 

Reba is planning a headlining arena tour this spring, and her latest album, Stronger Than the Truth, is up for Best Country Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards. 

Reba’s episode of Young Sheldon will air sometime in February, during the show’s 8 p.m. ET time slot on Thursdays on CBS.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Kelsea Ballerini's featured on a new version of "If We Never Met" by pop singer/songwriter John K, which comes out on Friday.

CMA New Artist of the Year Ashley McBryde's set to perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Friday. You can watch for her starting at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Nineties hitmaker Bryan White is launching a new podcast. Look for Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes on upcoming editions of The Bryan White Podcast.

If you missed Little Big Town doing the Nightfall track, "Sugar Coat," on the Today show, you can check out their performance online.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sample all the shades of 'Nightfall,' as Little Big Town's ninth album arrives on Friday

Capitol Nashville Little Big Town's ninth studio album, Nightfall, arrives on Friday, bringing with it the band's Grammy-nominated "The Daughters," as well as its lead single, "Over Drinking."

You can expect many more shades of Nightfall on the thirteen-track collection, Karen Fairchild teases.

"I think all the things that you think of when you think about Nightfall [are on the record]," she tells ABC Audio, "whether it's the romantic side of nighttime and the stars, and just all the good things that can happen at night."

"[There] also comes the loneliness sometimes of nighttime," she adds, "the party aspect of nighttime. So it kind of takes you through lots of moments."

The foursome confronts some difficult topics on their first self-produced album as well.

"We also can't help but write about current situations, not political ones, but just like the division in the country, the things that people seem to be struggling with," Karen explains. "The human condition, like we wrote a lot about that. Like '[The] Daughters' kind of leads you to other songs on the record, like 'Sugar Coat' and 'Problem Child.'" 

Karen, Kimberly SchlapmanJimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet also kick off their Nightfall Tour on Thursday with a show at New York City's legendary Carnegie Hall. On Friday and Saturday, they continue their stint in the Big Apple, headlining the iconic Apollo Theater.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

FGL heads back to the Brickyard to headline 4th of July concert in Indianapolis

Courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Florida Georgia Line’s headed back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this July 4 for a weekend of fun surrounding the Big Machine Vodka 400.

Last September, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley played for a crowd of 25,000 fans before the event’s move to Independence Day weekend in 2020. This year, they’ll headline a star-studded Saturday night concert, with the lineup to be revealed in the coming weeks. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, January 24.

The concert will follow the NASCAR Xfinity Series road course race that starts at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday, and precedes the 27th annual Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Sunday at 3:30. You’ll be able to watch both events on NBC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Go deeper into "Dive Bar" with Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton this weekend

ABC/Image Group LAThis weekend, Garth Brooks takes you deeper into “Dive Bar,” as his new behind-the-scenes special chronicling the music video for his top-fifteen hit premieres on CMT. Garth himself co-directed his first video in a dozen years, which also stars his duet partner, Blake Shelton.

Your first chance to see Garth Brooks: The Making of Dive Bar is Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on CMT. It re-airs the next day at the same time.

This weekend’s CMT Hot 20 Countdown will also be Garth-themed. You can check it out either Saturday or Sunday starting at 9 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, if you want to see the underwater-themed music video for "Dive Bar," you can watch it exclusively on Garth’s Facebook page.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Eli Young Band's ready to "Break It In" on the road in 2020

BMLG/Eli Young BandEli Young Band will kick off their 2020 headlining tour on Valentine’s Day in Denver, Colorado, with Canadian duo High Valley joining them for a handful of dates on the trek.

“After taking some time off over the holidays to regroup and reset, we’re so ready to get back to rockin’ on the road,” Mike Eli says. “We’ve been rehearsing a new show and new songs, and we can’t wait to share all of it with our fans!”

Pre-sales for the tour are underway now, before tickets become available to the general public on Friday. You can find full details at EliYoungBand.com.

EYB’s currently climbing the country chart with “Break It In,” their follow-up to their 2019 chart topper, “Love Ain’t.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Blake and Gwen book rare pre-Grammy interview with Gayle King

CBSBlake Shelton will sit down for a rare one-on-one interview with Gayle King in the days leading up to the Grammys. Blake’s appearance on The Gayle King Grammy Special will also include a special cameo by his superstar girlfriend, Gwen Stefani.

You can tune in to catch the chat Thursday, January 23 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. The Gayle King Grammy Special will also feature Blake’s fellow nominees Lil Nas XJonas BrothersLizzo, and Billie Eilish.

Blake’s nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for “God’s Country,” and he and Gwen are also set to debut their new single, “Nobody but You,” on the show.

“I can already tell you that’s going to be one of the greatest rushes I’m ever going to experience, being on stage with Gwen Stefani at the Grammys, doing our song together,” Blake says. “The easiest thing in the world I’ve ever done is to sing any song with Gwen."

"And, you know, look in her eyes and just know we know what each other are thinking,” he adds.

You can check out Blake and Gwen's performance when the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday, January 26 starting at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"We Back" for summer: Jason Aldean extends 2020 tour

Broken BowJason Aldean’s extending his We Back Tour into the summer.

Brett YoungMitchell Tenpenny and Dee Jay Silver will join him on the new dates, which kick off July 17 in Toronto, Ontario. The trek is set to wrap September 26 in Irvine, California.

Fans can buy the first tickets to Jason’s summer run as part of Live Nation’s Country Megaticket. You can find the complete itinerary at JasonAldean.com.

Later this month, Jason sets the winter leg of the tour in motion January 30 in Columbia, South Carolina, with Morgan Wallen and Riley Green opening.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 1992, this iconic star and Man in Black was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Can you name him? ANSWER: Johnny Cash

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Catch" Brett Young in the kitchen, creating recipes on the fly

ABC/Mark Levine So far, every song Brett Young's released has eventually made its way to number one, with his top twenty hit, "Catch," currently following that path as well.

Before the California native started pursuing his career in music, his baseball skills were so impressive he landed a scholarship to play at Ole Miss.

In addition to his talents onstage and on the field, it turns out there's one more place where Brett's pretty handy -- the kitchen.

"I think as far as guys go, I’m decent in the kitchen," he says. "I do enjoy cooking, so I’m really fortunate, both my mom, my mother-in-law, and my now wife are all very good in the kitchen. So, anything I screw up they’ve got like, a backup item."

Brett's specialty, however, is improvising recipes with whatever he's got on hand.

"One of the things I really like to do is kind of just like, throw things together," he explains. "You know, look in the fridge see what odds and ends we have and try to come up with something."

"I hate to waste food and so, yeah, I enjoy it," he adds. "I would say I’m average, maybe better than most guys."

Brett's help in the kitchen these days is certainly much appreciated, since he and his wife Taylor welcomed their daughter Presley in October.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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