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Country Music News

ABC/Image Group LAThe video for Brett Young's latest hit, "Catch," retells his love story with his wife, Taylor, recapturing the part of his life when the California native played baseball for Ole Miss. 

While it's basically true-to-life, Brett warns it's not necessarily 100% accurate.

"We crack up about it all the time," he tells ABC Audio, "because with songwriting and with music videos and things like that, we are really given the opportunity to glamorize the story a little bit."

"But every once in a while like with this video, we do get to tell the story," he continues. "For anybody that doesn't really know all of the story, they assume that it's all true."

Brett and Taylor actually started dating when he was back in Orange County after finishing his year in Mississippi, while his future bride was a student at Arizona State. 

"What's the quote? 'Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story,'" he laughs. "That's how we song-write most of the time. But it's fun when every once in a while, it is straight to the letter and it's our story, and it's still moving and touching people."

There was one embellishment that turned out to be true. Director Seth Kupersmith didn't realize Brett and Taylor were expecting when he planned the video's ending.

"Ironically, he didn't know we were pregnant yet when he wrote that treatment," Brett explains. "So to write in a child at the end of the video I think was, you know, really fortuitous. And it's fun to have that out. It's really great timing."  

The "Catch" video was shot in March of last year, before Presley Elizabeth was born in October. Right now, "Catch" is on track to be her dad's sixth consecutive number one.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockSeveral Nashville artists are virtually coming together for a special telethon on Saturday. Rosanne CashJohn Oates, Molly Tuttle, Keb Mo, Soccer Mommy and more will gather online for the People Supporting Artists Telethon to raise money for MusicCares' COVID-19 Relief Fund. It will be broadcast live on the official telethon website at 7 p.m. ET.

The Grand Ole Opry is hosting an Easter celebration during its Saturday night show. Trace Adkins will host the show and perform alongside T. Graham Brown and Christian singer Jason Crabb. The special show will broadcast on the Circle network and the Circle Facebook and YouTube channels at 8 p.m. ET. Maddie & Tae will perform during the pre-show telecast at 7:30 p.m. ET.  

Drake White is releasing his new EP, Stars, later this month. Produced by Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three, it marks the first musical project Drake has released since recovering from a rare brain condition known as arteriovenous malformation. Stars drops on Aril 24.

American Idol winner Laine Hardy is releasing two new songs on Friday, “Ground I Grew Up On” and “Let There Be Country."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

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Paul Natkin/Getty ImagesInfluential Grammy-winning singer/songerwriter John Prine has died at 73, ABC Audio has confirmed.  Known for folk/country songs that often featured humor and social commentary, Prine influenced giants like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson

His rep confirmed on behalf of Prine's family that his death was due to complications due to COVID-19.

In late March, Prine's family announced that he'd been hospitalized in critical condition due to COVID-19 and was on a ventilator.

Prine weathered several health issues over the past few decades. In the late 1990s, he announced that doctors detected squamous cell cancer in his neck.  Following radiation and surgery, he was able resume his career, albeit with a deepened voice. In 2013, he announced he had an operable “non-small cell carcinoma,” in his left lung and took time off to heal. 

An Illinois-born Army veteran, Prine was a part of Chicago's 1960s folk revival scene. After being championed by Kris Kristofferson, he released his debut album in 1971.  It included some of Prine's signature songs, including "Paradise," "Illegal Smile," "Hello in There," "Sam Stone" and "Angel from Montgomery," the latter famously covered by Bonnie Raitt.

Prine released albums at a steady clip throughout the '70s and his songs were covered by other artists: David Allen Coe's version of "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," written by Prine and his friend Steve Goodman, was a top-10 country hit.

In 1981, Prine co-founded an independent label called Oh Boy Records to release his work.  Other artists continued to cover his songs: Don Williams took "Love Is on a Roll" to number one on the country chart in 1983 and in 1985, and the country supergroup The Highwaymen -- featuring Cash, Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson -- cut Prine's song "The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over."

In the '90s, Prine won his first Grammy and released several albums produced by Howie Epstein of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers.  In 1999, Prine released In Spite of Ourselves, an album of country cover versions of his songs featuring duets with Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Lucinda Williams, Connie Smith and other country and Americana vocalists. A 2016 sequel, For Better, or Worse, featured duets with Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Kathy Mattea and Alison Krauss.

Prine's most recent album, 2018's The Tree of Forgiveness, debuted at number five, his highest chart ranking ever. It featured collaborations with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Jason Isbell, and Brandi Carlile, all of whom claimed Prine as an influence.

Prine was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. In January of 2020, he was a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Bonnie Raitt performed "Angel from Montgomery" in his honor.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LALuke Bryan is delaying the release of his new album and his summer tour in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The singer announced today that his album, Born Here Live Here Die Here, will now be released on August 7. It's original release date was April 24. 

Additionally, Luke is delaying the start of his Proud to Be Right Here Tour. The 35-date trek, which was supposed to start in May, will now launch on July 10 in Orange Beach, Alabama and run through the end of October, wrapping up in Bossier City, Louisiana on October 30. 

"What an incredibly confusing and scary time our world is facing right now, and it is important we continue to follow the guidelines we have been given and do our part to keep everyone safe," Luke writes in a statement.

"With that in mind, we are choosing to stay home at this time so we can have fun sharing this music and tour with you this summer," he continues. "I truly believe that music can provide all forms of emotional connections for everyone and I can’t wait to get on the road and share these new songs with you soon.”

Luke is one of many artists who has been forced to stop touring as the world engages in social distancing to halt the spread of coronavirus. 

Visit Luke's website for the full list of his new tour dates. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Darkroom/Interscope RecordsChris Lane has collaborated with EDM DJ and producer Gryffin for a new song, "Hold You Tonight." 

Chris' voice is smooth over the acoustic pop melody as he sings of a woman who's left a lasting impression on him. The song is reminiscent of a 90s pop layered with modern production. 

"Get up outta my head/Get up outta my mind/And come and fall in to my arms/And let me hold you tonight," Chris croons in the chorus. 

The video captures Chris' real-life love affair with wife Lauren Bushnell, showing clips of the couple on their wedding day, along with footage from Chris' live show and while recording the track in the studio. 

Chris celebrated his second number-one hit in 2019 with "I Don't Know About You." His current single, "Big, Big Plans," is out now.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAAshley McBryde will join up-and-coming artist Caylee Hammack today for the latest episode of CMT Next Women of Country Goes Live.

The "One Night Standards" singer -- who released her sophomore album, Never Will, on Friday -- will deliver a special performance. Fans will be able to connect with the two artists during the online broadcast as they perform together.

Next Women of Country Goes Live was launched as a way to keep country fans connected to the voices of a variety of artists in Nashville while isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Nothing will keep humanity from finding ways to connect with one another, this is just my way to connect with folks I love and also shine some light on other storytellers I know!" Caylee says of the program. 

Both artists have been inducted into the CMT Next Women of Country program. Ashley was inducted in 2018, while Caylee joined the 2020 class. 

The episode airs at 6 p.m. ET today on the CMT Facebook page.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAMaren Morris' crossover hit "The Bones" has set a new record. 

The song has peaked at number one the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart after a 45-week-long journey to get there, marking the longest trip to the top spot in the chart's history. 

Pop group The Script was the previous act to hold that record, with its 36-week climb to number one in 2010 with "Breakeven." Maren had previously claimed the top slot on the Adult Pop Songs chart in 2018 alongside Zedd and Grey with their global hit, "The Middle." 

"The Bones" sat in the number-one spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart for two weeks in February, giving Maren a total of three chart-toppers as a solo artist. She also has a number one with Thomas Rhett on the collaborative "Craving You."

Maren is still scheduled to embark on her RSVP: The Tour this summer.  

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAGarth Brooks continues to share words of encouragement as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Monday night episode of his Facebook Live show, Inside Studio GGarth again offered a simple, but sweet message, encouraging people to stay positive while remaining apart.

“Stay strong. Stay at home. Stay apart so we can be together sooner," Garth stated, reiterating a message he shared last week during he and wife Trisha Yearwood's TV special, Garth & Trisha Live! 

The CBS live concert featured the power couple performing beloved hits like Trisha's "She's in Love with the Boy," and Garth's anthemic, "We Shall Be Free." Though fans were watching from the safety of their homes, Garth says he could feel the unity through the screen. 

“I know this is crazy, but you could feel it. You could actually imagine hearing everyone singing -- especially on ‘She’s In Love with the Boy’ and ‘We Shall Be Free,'" he remarks. "That was fun.”

Garth has postponed two upcoming Stadium Tour dates that were originally scheduled in May. He'll now play at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 13 and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 27.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Warner Music NashvilleKenny Chesney has new music on the horizon.

The country superstar will release a new song called "Knowing You" on Friday, an instant gratification track off his upcoming album, Here and Now. 

Described as a "simple country waltz," "Knowing You" reflects on those who left a lasting impact on our lives, the singer celebrating the joy that person brought him before they parted ways. 

“When I heard it, ‘Knowing You’ knocked me out. It was such a classic kind of country song you don’t hear any more, and it was so pure," Kenny explains. "And then, the idea you’re wishing the best for the other person, kind of smiling, knowing just what they’re doing and thinking, ‘Yeah, go enjoy the moment...’ is something the best people in our lives make us feel." 

"Knowing You" arrives on on April 10. Kenny's 19th studio album, Here and Now, will be released on May 1. The title track and lead single is currently in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Walt Disney Television/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Several stars have seen boosts in sales following the ACM Presents: Our Country broadcast.

Billboard reports that the songs performed during the Sunday night show saw a collective 21,000 downloads in the U.S., compared to the 7,000 downloads the songs had the day before.  

Two of the biggest sales jumps were rewarded to a pair of duets. Kane Brown and John Legend's new collaboration, "Last Time I Saw Sorry," saw an increase of 4,000 downloads after the broadcast, while Blake Shelton's duet with Gwen Stefani on "Nobody but You" scored 2,000 downloads.  

Miranda Lambert's plaintive "Bluebird" rounds out the top three, earning 1,000 downloads. 

Keith UrbanCarrie UnderwoodLuke BryanLady Antebellum and Thomas Rhett were among the many other performers who submitted virtual performances of such songs as "Wasted Time," "Drinking Alone," "Most People Are Good," "What I'm Leaving For" and "Be a Light," respectively, from their homes for the CBS broadcast that took the place of the original ACM Awards date. The ACMs have been moved to September 16.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Comstock/ThinkstockFour years ago today, this popular reality singing show that launched the careers of Carrie Underwood,Kelly Clarkson, Scotty McCreery and more aired its final episode on FOX after 15 seasons. It was later revived in 2018 on ABC with Luke Bryan sitting on the judges panel. Can you name the show? ANSWER: American Idol.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAColbie Caillat and her longtime fiancé Justin Kawika Young recently announced that they've ended their relationship, but will remain best friends and musical collaborators -- which is a good thing, considering that they're quarantining together during the COVID-19 pandemic.  But as Colbie tells ABC Audio, they're managing very well.

"Right now we are social distancing and we just want to send love to everyone," says Colbie. "You know, this is a very stressful time for the entire world, which is pretty bizarre to think about. And we're all figuring out how to navigate this process. And what we're doing is staying home and hanging with our dogs and trying to get some exercise in -- when we can take some walks -- and fresh air."

Colbie says she and Justin are also making music together, including doing "a lot of stuff" with their country group Gone West, which also includes their friends and collaborators Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy.

And of course, like all of us, they are binging TV shows.

"We're watching Ozark. We love that show. We're always watching Ozark, basically," Colbie laughs. "And The Office and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Justin chimes in, "Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home!" 

Colbie and Justin are also performing together as part of the Uncancelled Music Festival, an online ongoing musical event.  Visit UncancelledMusicalFestival.com for details.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockSinger and actress Rita Wilson has teamed up with 90s hip-hop group Naughty by Nature for a remix of its signature hit, "Hip Hop Hooray." The song will be available on streaming services on Friday, with proceeds going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. 

Tenille Townes has released a reflective new tune, "The Most Beautiful Things." She debuted the song live during the ACM Presents: Our Country pre-show telecast on Sunday. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Eric Ryan Anderson Two years ago this month, Jordan Davis managed his first number one with his debut release, "Singles You Up." This week, the Louisiana native claims his third chart-topper with "Slow Dance in a Parking Lot." 

The romantic tune's basically a crash course for a perfect date.

"I kinda wrote you a study guide. You've just got to follow that, you know?" Jordan laughs.

"I wrote that with a good buddy of mine, Lonnie Fowler... in 2013 or 2014," he continues. "It's one of the oldest songs on the album... We wrote that song that day and we knew it was special."

Jordan reveals it was actually "Slow Dance" he believed would be his breakthrough.

"We sent it around town and [were] hoping somebody would cut it or I could get a publishing deal off of it and nothing really happened..." he tells ABC Audio. "It's just kind of crazy how long it took for this song to get heard. But they've always said that the great songs, they find a way to get to the world."

"And if it had been another 10 years, I'd have been cool with it," he adds.

Since the release of Jordan's debut album, Home State, a couple years ago, it's "Slow Dance" that repeatedly comes up as the stand-out favorite. 

"[It] was always the song that was like, 'Man, this is just a great song,'" he recalls. "I know that kinda sounds arrogant of me to say that, as I'm a writer on it, but it's just special. Some days you get lucky and the words come to you, and they come out in the form of a great song."  

Jordan's second single, "Take It from Me," made it to number one in March of last year.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LACarly Pearce is one of the many country artists feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that's brought the touring industry to a standstill.

Carly, who released her self-titled album in February, was eager to hit the road and share the new music with fans face-to-face. However, the social distancing guidelines put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus has left her and many other musicians to find ways to creatively bring music to fans from home.

“It is not fun," she shares with her label, Big Machine, about her inability to tour. "It is really difficult to be holding all this new music and be so excited and have a tour that you don’t know if it’s going to happen and have all these plans for the year that kind of came to a very screeching halt." 

Carly admits that she also feels a sense of responsibility to her band members, who have lost work since they're unable to be on the road. Meanwhile, her husband Michael Ray has been in the difficult position of having to cut the salaries of his band members.

But the singer is remaining positive, hopeful that the music community will find solutions and move forward. 

"Thankfully we’re all in it together and we’re all trying to figure it out together, and hopefully we will be able to find creative ways to get to fans," she concludes. "We’re all trying to figure out what this means for all of us, but we’re going to try to get music out in the best way we can and then hopefully have, like, the surge of fans ready for it when we do get to come back.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAFollowing her appearance last night during ACM Presents: Our Country, Miranda Lambert is reiterating an important message. 

Miranda delivered a lovely acoustic performance of her latest single, the heartwarming "Bluebird," during the ACM special on Sunday night, and turned to Instagram today to remind fans to keep music close to heart during these trying times. 

"I want to remind everybody to lean into music and to let that heal you right now, because Music is Medicine, and it'll help us get through this time," she shared, alongside the video of her performance of "Bluebird," which was delivered from the porch of her rural Tennessee home. 

Miranda was one of many country stars who offered uplifting songs and words of encouragement during the two-hour broadcast, which took the place on the night of what would have been the ACM Awards.  The Awards, which were postponed due to COVID-19, will now take place on Sept. 16. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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MCA NashvilleIn spite of the six-year gap between the release of Sam Hunt's debut album, Montevallo, and his follow-up album, Southside, the singer says he's as inspired as ever.

In a clip from Spotify's enhanced album experience, "Sam Hunt Presents Southside," the singer explains how he needed time to "re-center" following the release of Montevallo, which turned him into a country music superstar. In the interim, he was continuing to write songs and married his now wife, Hannah Fowler

As inspiration continues to thrive, Sam says he likely won't wait as long to release his third album as he did with his sophomore installment. 

"I'm as inspired now as I have been the past five or six years, so I'm looking forward to keeping the ball rolling this time and getting back on it sooner rather than alter as far as working on the next project goes," he declares.

Sam released Southside on Friday. Spotify's enhanced  album includes all of the tracks featured on Southside, along with with clips of Sam discussing the stories behind such songs as "Sinning with You" and his current single, "Hard to Forget." The Spotify album also features acoustic performances of "Hard to Forget" and "2016," along with other content.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAKeith Urban and Kacey Musgraves will participate in the upcoming global online benefit concert One World: Together at Home.

Presented by the World Health Organization and Global Citizen, artists from across the music spectrum are coming together to support healthcare professionals as they work to save lives amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, along with multi-Grammy Award winner and Golden Hour creator Musgraves, will represent country music during the broadcast that also features virtual performance by Lady Gaga, who helped curate the event, Paul McCartneyElton JohnStevie WonderBillie EilishJohn LegendChris Martin of Coldplay and more.

Several other superstar acts will participate in the special event in benefit of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund launched by WHO to provide aid around the world to those in need. Local and regional charities that are helping people in their communities gain access to food, shelter and other needs will also be supported by the broadcast. 

Additionally, healthcare professionals will be sharing their experiences during the telecast that will be hosted by a trio of beloved late night hosts: Jimmy FallonJimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert

One World: Together at Home will broadcast live on several networks including ABC, as well as on streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook and Instagram on April 18 at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAIt appears that Luke Bryan is caught in a case of mistaken identity with another country superstar. 

The American Idol judge shared a photo on Instagram showing a humorous mix-up. In a screenshot from a news broadcast recapping his performance during Sunday night's ACM Presents: Our Country, Luke's identified as The Voice coach and fellow country singer, Blake Shelton.

"I gotta work harder," Luke jokes in the caption.

Jason Aldean and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town were among the many to leave comments, both symbolizing their reactions with crying laughing emojis. 

This isn't the first time Luke has been misidentified. In 2017, he was cited as "Luke Bryant" by another news station in a photo he took with Dierks Bentley and former President George W. Bush.  

The superstar singer delivered his hit "Most People Are Good" during the CBS special that featured several country stars performing remotely from their homes. He also participated in the tribute to Kenny Rogers, singing "Coward of the County."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Vanderbilt University Medical CenterThomas Rhett and Craig Morgan are among the country artists this week who are sending Gratitunesto the staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Thomas will be joined by Sara EvansLindsay EllWalker Hayes and many others in performing an uplifting song on their individual Instagram pages that will go into a playlist that's streamed to the doctors, nurses and others medical professionals who work at VUMC.

The new program began last week with Brad Paisley's performance of "Southern Comfort Zone." Dustin Lynch and Jewel also delivered "Gratitunes," a program that's designed "to help lessen stress and anxiety, and lift spirits" of healthcare professionals as they battle COVID-19. 

You can also add "Gratitunes" to the playlist and submit encouraging social media posts that will be collected and shown to the hospital staff.

Songs currently on the multi-genre playlist include Carrie Underwood's reflective hit, "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Get Along" by Kenny Chesney, and Kacey Musgraves' "Rainbow."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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