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Country Music News
Big Machine

Lady A hasn't said much publicly since shortening their name last year -- removing the "Antebellum" reference out of racial sensitivity -- only to find that the updated moniker conflicted with another artist, a Black singer, also known as Lady A. 

But as their new collection, What a Song Can Do (Chapter One), arrives today, Hillary ScottDave Haywood and Charles Kelley give you a glimpse at what they're feeling.

"'Talk of This Town,' obviously, is about a small town, a relationship," Charles explains. "But after changing our name...and to feel how something got so twisted in [regards to] our intentions... It was such a hard thing."

He continues, "You felt like you couldn't defend yourself or tell your side of the story. I think that was the hardest thing... just feeling like your intentions...are misunderstood."

Continuing to believe "there's a purpose to all this," Hillary took a class in racial diversity, while Charles turned to the writings of Franciscan friar Richard Rohr for guidance.

"Almost every page had something about that you only learn during the dark times and the down times..." Charles reflects. "That's the only way growth ever really happens. And I started thinking about it and I was like, that's so true in my life."

Charles calls "Fire" the track perhaps "most representative of this year for us," and Hillary seems to agree. 

"Not to get super literal with fire," she adds, "but it's like, you can either let it burn you up or you can let it refine you." 

Potential legal outcomes aside, it seems clear you can count Lady A among those who've come through the fire.

"We leaned on each other so much..." Charles says. "I think we almost bought ourselves more longevity because of going through what we went through."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock

Laine Hardy is the headlining act for this year’s upcoming Monster Energy Tour, which launches July 22 and runs through November. Supporting acts are Chris Bandi, Kylie Frey, Wyatt McCubbin and Nick Walsh, who will appear on varying dates. Tickets go on sale July 1.

Morgan Evans shared his newest single, “Love Is Real,” this week. You'll have a chance to hear the new song live when Morgan returns to the road this summer as part of Brett Eldredge’s Good Day 2021 Tour.

Blake Shelton’s bar franchise, Ole Red, will be celebrating the July 4th holiday in style along with a group of performers who have appeared on The Voice, where Blake is a coach. Ole Red’s Nashville location will feature performances from Jake Hoot, The Swon Brothers and more.

A never-before-heard live album from Johnny Cash, called Bear’s Sonic Journals: Johnny Cash at the Carousel Ballroom April 24, 1968, will be released this September. Taped in San Francisco just days before Cash recorded his now-iconic At Folsom Prison album, the project will be released by the Owsley Stanley Foundation and Renew Records/BMG.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Sparrow Records

Chris Tomlin is crossing over into the country genre once again this summer, releasing a new, five-track project called Chris Tomlin & Friends: Summer EP.

Each of the songs features at least one of the contemporary Christian singer’s musical pals from the country world, with two tracks -- “Thank You Lord,” featuring Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett, as well as “Sing,” with FGL and Russell Dickerson -- already out in the world for fans to hear.

But there are three more never-before-heard songs on the project, and one of them, “Talk to Him,” features Russell both on vocals and as a co-writer.

“It’s about how talking to God is like talking to a friend. No matter where you are or what it is, He is always listening!” Russell explains of the song, which was the first he and Chris and ever written together.

Another new track, “Good to Be Loved,” features FGL’s Tyler Hubbard, who also executive-produced Chris’ new project. Finally, Jimmie Allen makes an appearance on Chris’ song, “Love People.”

“There is incredible power in collaboration and to be able to come together again with some of the biggest names in country music and write songs about our shared faith is something that could only be orchestrated by God,” reflects Chris.

Chris Tomlin & Friends: Summer EP is due out July 2. It follows the singer’s full-length Chris Tomlin & Friends album, which came out last August.

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Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images

Jimmie Allen and his wife, Alexis, announced earlier this month that they’re expecting their second child together. Now, Jimmie offered up more details on the next addition to their family in a radio interview, according to People.

“We didn’t do the whole baby reveal thing because we did it for the first one. We’re done [with that] -- whatever pops out, pops out,” Jimmie jokes. He and Alexis are already parents to 15-month-old daughter Naomi Bettie, and Jimmie also has a 7-year-old son, Aadyn, from a previous relationship.

Still, he doesn’t mind sharing the sex of his third child: “We’ve got a new girl, a baby girl, on the way,” he reveals.

The country star adds that he and his wife haven’t settled on a name yet, although Jimmie has offered a few suggestions. “I wanna name her Arya Stark Allen because I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, but Lex ain’t lettin’ that happen!” he reveals.

“So I don’t know what we’re gonna call her,” the singer goes on to say. “We might just name her ‘Hey You.’”

It’s not the first time Jimmie has incorporated his love for Game of Thrones into his parenting style. His pregnancy announcement was a montage of clips from classic movies, TV shows and even a snippet from popular Broadway musical Hamilton. Clips from Game of Thrones were featured in the compilation, of course.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Robby Klein

The Netflix film The Ice Road premieres on Friday, and the end credits will feature Gary LeVox’s latest release, an epic, inspirational anthem called “We Got Fight.”

Ahead of the movie’s debut, Gary has shared the music video for its song. Full of clips from the film as well as shots of the singer performing from a smokey, dazzling stage, the “We Got Fight” video conjures up the same action-packed excitement and drama as the film does.

The Ice Road, which stars Liam Neeson, tells the story of an ice road trucker who must lead a rescue mission over a frozen ocean. The multi-genre soundtrack comes from a cast of artists signed to Big Machine Label Group. Other country singers who appear on the soundtrack include Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Carly Pearce and many more.

“We Got Fight” is the latest installment of Gary’s solo career, which has kept him busy ever since his superstar trio, Rascal Flatts, disbanded at the end of 2020. The singer recently put out a solo Christian EP, called One on One.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Random House/Ballantine Books

Add 'published poet' to the long list of Kelsea Ballerini’s accomplishments.

The country star has announced plans to release her first-ever collection of poems, called Feel Your Way Through, which will be published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, in November.

Intimate and candid, the new book of poetry finds Kelsea navigating her way through youth and into womanhood.

“I’ve realized that some feelings can’t be turned into a song, so I’ve started writing poems,” she explains. “Just like my songs, they talk about what it’s like to be twenty-something trying to navigate a wildly beautiful and broken world.”

That’s a theme Kelsea has often addressed in her music: Her song “homecoming queen?” shares a particularly poignant story of embracing imperfections, both in herself and and in the world around her.

An audio version of Feel Your Way Through will simultaneously be released by Penguin Random House Audio. It’s not clear if Kelsea will voice the audio for the book. However, the singer did paint the book's jacket image.

Feel Your Way Through will be out in hardcover on November 16.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Chris Lane is getting his live music "Fix," thanks to a new partnership with Drinkworks “PRESS. PLAY. SWEEPSTAKES,” a contest created alongside Deep Eddy Vodka.

With many country music fans desperately missing live music after over a year of pandemic shutdowns, Chris says this contest is the perfect way for him to reconnect with a winning fan through a one-of-a-kind concert experience.

“The thing that I’ve missed the most this past year is being out on the road and playing shows, but even more so seeing fans,” the singer explains in a statement. “There is nothing better than live music and good drinks with family and friends. So I’m really excited to partner with Drinkworks and give fans the chance to bring everyone together for some good times and make new memories!”

Chris' show will be an exclusive block party in Los Angeles featuring a private performance from Chris, kicking off Drinkworks' "PRESS. PLAY. SWEEPSTAKES" concert. Four winners will receive a private concert with a local artist, catered by a mobile bar serving Drinkworks’ Deep Eddy Day Drink Variety Pack cocktails.

Fans who are over 21 years old can enter to win, and winners will be selected in August. In addition to the four winners, 50 additional contest participants will be selected to win Block Party Kits, including a Drinkworks Home Bar and a Visa gift card.

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Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry/Getty Images

Kane Brown is bringing live music and summer fun to life for one fortunate fan, with help from Pepsi’s “Summer Is Better” sweepstakes.

The winner of the contest will get to meet Kane, and will also receive tickets for them and 20 friends to see him on one of the stops on his Blessed & Free Tour, which kicks off in the fall. Plus, they’ll get a personally curated food spread from the country star, featuring his namesake Nashville Hot Royale chicken sandwich, which includes a beignet for a bun. Kane first debuted the sandwich on Guy Fieri’s Restaurant Reboot earlier this month.

“Nothing brings people together more than food and music, and Pepsi has always been the perfect match for both,” says Kane in a statement. “I am thrilled to be working with Pepsi to not only support our local restaurants, but to bring the ultimate live music experience for fans who have been missing it most.”

You can enter to win now. Those local to Nashville don’t need to win the sweepstakes to try Kane’s signature sandwich, though: It’s available -- along with Pepsi, of course -- at Nashville hot chicken restaurant Party Fowl until June 27.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Russ Harrington

Trisha Yearwood is revisiting her 2019 Every Girl album with a deluxe version of the project, which is due out in August.

In addition to new album artwork, the Every Girl deluxe album will feature three new songs, rounding out the track list to 17 in total. The additions include a new song called “I Dare You to Love,” as well as Trisha’s rendition of “Shallow,” her cover from the A Star Is Born soundtrack with her husband and fellow country star Garth Brooks.

Trisha’s also adding a new, acoustic rendition of her debut single and first-ever number-one hit, “She’s in Love with the Boy,” which she originally released in 1991. The re-recording of “She’s in Love with the Boy” celebrates the 30th anniversary of Trisha’s breakout hit.

“This one was so magical,” Trisha says of the process of making Every Girl. “The songs really showed up. I can’t imagine this record without all these songs on there...Everything happens when it’s supposed to!”

Trisha’s Every Girl deluxe album will arrive on August 13. It’s available to pre-order and pre-save now.

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Comstock/Thinkstock

On this date in 1987, a romantic ballad from Randy Tavis was in the middle of a three-week number-one streak on the Billboard country charts. It was the first song to accomplish that feat since Johnny Lee’s “Looking for Love,” which spent three weeks atop that chart in 1980. Can you name Randy’s now-iconic hit? ANSWER: “Forever and Ever, Amen.”

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock

Martina McBride will be at the center of a new exhibit opening at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on July 30, Rolling Stone reports. Called “Martina McBride: The Power of Her Voice,” the exhibit will feature a variety of artifacts and mementos spanning Martina’s career to date.

In case you missed it, Matt Stell stopped by The Kelly Clarkson Show to perform his new song, “That Ain’t Me No More,” this week.

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Robby Klein

Wednesday evening in Nashville, both Gabby Barrett and Music City marked a milestone. 

For the former American Idol contestant, it was the celebration of her first two chart-topping hits, "I Hope" and "The Good Ones." For Music Row, it was the first number one party -- a much-beloved Nashville tradition -- since the arrival of COVID-19.

The significance of both wasn't lost on the new mother, who welcomed daughter Baylah May in January. 

"Oh, my goodness. It's awesome," Gabby remarked. "It like kind of just solidifies everything for me because it's so traditional for people to have a number one party when they have a number one."

"We had to kind of stall from it for so long with COVID," she added.

"I Hope" topped the country radio chart in April of 2020, with "The Good Ones" following in April of this year. For Gabby, the number one party took her back.

"It's pretty cool," she reflects. "It brings all the kind of emotions back to when I first got the call that the song went number one -- for both songs... And so it's just cool. I'm glad to be here and I'm glad to be celebrating some really cool songs."

Next up, Gabby's new single, "Footprints on the Moon," aims to reach the same heights as her previous hits from her debut, Goldmine.

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Peacock

Miley Cyrus’ Pride Month concert special, Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You, airs on Friday, but before it does, fans can get a first look at the event now. A clip from the show, which was filmed at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, shows Miley sharing the stage with Maren Morris.

Decked out in glittering pink outfits, Miley and Maren trade verses on a duet rendition of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” The Swedish pop group first released “Dancing Queen” in 1976, and it quickly became one of their biggest hits, topping charts worldwide and becoming the band’s only U.S. number-one.

Maren shared the clip of herself and Miley rocking out to “Dancing Queen” on her Twitter feed, joking in the caption of her post, “I’m not sure we wore enough pink.”

Maren is just one of a number of country performers scheduled to appear on the bill. Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck are all also performing during the Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You special.

The show will stream exclusively on Peacock on Friday, June 25.

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ABC

Luke Bryan fans will get an unprecedented look inside the singer’s journey to stardom in a new, five-part docuseries, called Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary, which premieres this August. Ahead of release day, you can check out the trailer now.

“The devotion and support of my fans are the reason I have made it this far in my career,” explains Luke of his decision to put out the series. “Life can be tough, and the past 15 months have been very difficult for everyone. I hope in sharing this raw look into my life that it may be an encouragement to others. Through the heartaches, triumphs can come.”

Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary features exclusive interviews with those closest to the country superstar, like his wife, Caroline, and mother LeClaire, as well as home videos from Luke’s younger days.

The singer executive-produced Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary alongside Kerri Edwards and Ryan Schmidt. Fly High Films’ Michael Monaco also executive produces and directs.

All five episodes of the series will stream for free on August 6 on IMDb TV, which is Amazon’s streaming service.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Michael Chang/Getty Images

Less than a month after his Country Stuff EP arrived, and before he officially sends any of its songs to country radio, Walker Hayes has netted a number-one hit on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart with “Fancy Like.”

That’s due in part to the song’s breakout success on TikTok, where a clip the singer posted of him dancing to the song with his 15-year-old daughter, Lela, has been viewed over seven million times.

“I have my first number-one on Billboard with a song that’s completely me, through and through,” Walker says. “That’s the coolest part. It almost seems too easy because it was just me being me, in the song and with my family.”

“Fancy Like” cruised to the top of the Digital Song Sales chart for the week ending June 17, with 10,300 units sold. That’s a 943% jump, Billboard reports, according to MRC Data.

The song is one of six songs on Country Stuff. The EP features collaborations with Jake Owen, Carly Pearce and Lori McKenna.

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