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Country Music News

ABC/Image Group LAChris Janson has topped the country charts with his current single, "Done." 

Co-written with Mitch OglesbyJamie Paulin and Matt Roy, the song is inspired by Chris' love-at-first-sight reaction to his wife Kelly, sharing in a statement that the moment he first saw her, he knew he was "done." 

“This song is about knowing right then and there that I’d work for the rest of my life to make her happy. It’s just the truth. That’s why it’s so special," the singer says. 

The couple wed in 2010 and share two children, in addition to Kelly's two other children from a previous marriage that Chris calls his "bonus kids." 

The song's success comes weeks after Chris' performance at Hwy 30 Fest at the end of June in Idaho came under fire, as it appeared that the crowd of fans gathered at the show were not wearing masks or social distancing.  

"Done" follows Chris' previous chart-toppers "Fix a Drink," "Good Vibes" and his 2015 breakthrough, "Buy Me a Boat." 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Disney Channel/Image Group LACarly Pearce has learned a valuable lesson during this quarantine-stricken year -- to embrace imperfection. 

In an honest Instagram post, Carly opens up about how she's often tried to live through the lens of perfection, but has learned to accept life's imperfections, leading to self-love. 

"This season of life has shown me that we will never be perfect. NEVER. We have to find beauty in the imperfections and in the things that life throws at us," she explains. "I am owning my version of 'imperfection' & in return, feel like I’m learning to love myself and my story on such a deeper level."

Part of this revelation comes with her new song, "Show Me Around." After debuting the song during an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in June, Carly recently recorded an official version of the track, which she shared alongside the thoughtful caption.

The video shows her singing a raw vocal cut of the song in the recording booth, marking the first time she's taken fans inside the studio with her in such an intimate way.

Carly wrote "Show Me Around" in honor of late songwriter and producer busbee, who passed away from a rare form of brain cancer in 2019. Busbee produced Carly's 2017 debut album, Every Little Thing, and self-titled sophomore album, released in February.

"I am so very proud of this song that I wrote for my late producer @busbee & he was always such a big believer in me being 'okay with not being perfect.' I felt that message ringing so true in the studio & felt him there as I sang this vocal," she remarks. 

Carly experienced another major life change this year when she announced that she and Michael Ray were divorcing after eight months of marriage. 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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CeCe DawsonSome of Nashville's top talent is coming together to honor the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. 

In honor of National Women's Suffrage Month, four female acts will be teaming up with the all-female singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes, every week in August for special performances to celebrate the ratification of the 19th amendment in August 1920. 

Ashley McBryde and Runaway June are among the stars performing during the Monday night shows alongside a collection of up-and-coming female artists in Nashville.

Lindsay Ell will serve as the troupe's first special guest tonight, with Maddie & Tae performing on August 10. The "Girl Goin' Nowhere" singer joins Song Suffragettes on August 17, with Runaway June bringing the commemorative shows to a close on August 24.

The shows will take place at The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville at 7 p.m. ET and stream live on the Song Suffragettes YouTube page.   

The events will be sponsored by Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, an organization funded by Congress that works to raise awareness and commemorate the passage of the 19th amendment. The name "Song Suffragettes" is a nod to the women who fought for the right to vote.  

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Warner Music NashvilleIngrid Andress is taking her new song to Today. 

The rising hit singer-songwriter will perform her summery tune "Waste of Lime"  live on the Today show on Thursday. 

The cleverly penned track finds the singer telling the lover who ghosted her that he's nothing more than a "waste of lime" from the margaritas they shared. It also includes a reference to the Beach Boys’ famous hit, “Kokomo.” 

"Waste of Lime" follows the release of Ingrid's debut album Lady Like in March. The project featured her debut  single, "More Hearts Than Mine."

She and labelmate Gabby Barrett made history earlier this year when Ingrid's hit and Gabby's chart-topping debut "I Hope" both sat in the top 10 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, marking the first time two solo female artists achieved the feat in the chart's history. 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LALuke Bryan and his wife Caroline bid an emotional farewell to their nephew Til Cheshire as he leaves for college. 

Caroline shared an emotional post on Instagram over the weekend revealing that the couple dropped off their 18-year-old nephew at a college in the couple's native state of Georgia.

She announced the news with a photo that shows her giving her nephew a heartfelt embrace, alongside the caption, "I left a big piece of my heart today in Georgia. Been dreading this day for years, but I guess it’s time for Til to fly. Still can’t handle it right now! Good luck in college my sweet boy." 

The country superstar is also emotional over the major life change, writing in the comment section, "I keep looking to see if his truck is parked next to mine," accompanied by a crying face emoji.  

The couple adopted Til and his sisters Jordan and Kris after the death of the singer's brother-in-law Ben Lee Cheshire in 2014. Ben was married to Luke's sister Kelly, who passed away suddenly in 2007. 

Luke and Caroline also share two sons, Bo and Tate

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 1999, one of country music’s icons got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The honor was conveyed posthumously, as this singer died in a private plane crash in 1963 when she was just 30 years old. Can you name her? ANSWER: Patsy Cline.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LACountry singer Luke Combs didn't let COVID-19 or impending Tropical Storm Isaias dash his wedding plans with longtime love Nicole Hocking.  The two tied the knot in a romantic beachside ceremony in Florida over the weekend.

The 30-year-old shared several images of his big day on Sunday, which not only showed off the lovely sunset ceremony but also Hocking's gorgeous wedding gown and bouquet.

"Yesterday was the best day of my life," wrote Combs. " I got to marry my best friend. I love you  @nicohocking, here’s to forever."

Hocking also announced her nuptials on Sunday, who wrote a little more about their ultra private ceremony and how the two plan to make up for having to rein in the guest list. 

"Yesterday was the most special day!! I’m so happy to spend the rest of my life with you!," She gushed to Combs in the caption. "Although we wish would could have had every single one of our family & friends there, we can’t wait to celebrate with everyone next year!"

Of course, the country industry flooded the newlyweds with an abundance of well wishes, among them Tanya TuckerKane BrownDan SmyersCarly Pearce and Baker Mayfield.  

Also sending their enthusiastic congratulations to the wedded couple were This Is Us star Chrissy MetzGood Charlotte frontman Joel Madden and celebrity chef and Nailed It! judge Jean-Paul Bourgeois

Combs and his wife, who started dating in 2016, expressed to their followers that they intend to share more about their big day sometime "soon."

By Megan Duley
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Eric Ryan AndersonWhen Brothers Osborne wrote "Hatin' Somebody" for their upcoming third album, TJ and John had no idea how relevant it would turn out to be.

"We wrote [it] with Casey Beathard," TJ explains, "and it's kind of interesting how it has turned out to be timely. But ultimately, the song really just talks about, in the chorus, 'Hatin' somebody's never got nobody nowhere/It's a bad seed to sow, it's a dead end road when you go there.' Honestly, that just kind of always applies."

"It was an idea that Casey brought to us," TJ recalls, "and we instantly were like, 'Man, I just love what that says.'"

"And everyone's been guilty of doing some hatin'. I have," he confesses. "And it's a song that, it's fun to sing for people to kinda just remind them, but also to remind myself..."

The Maryland natives also built some Osborne family history into the tune. 

"If you listen closely to the second verse," John tells ABC Audio, "we mentioned our grandfather who grew up in West Virginia and then moved to Baltimore for work. So it explains a lot about us, our family, our upbringing."

"I mean, hate has been around for a long time," John continues, "longer than all of us have been alive. So it's always going to be a topic. It just so happened that it has coincided with a lot of newer public events that have reached the media."

"One of my favorite lines," TJ interjects, "is 'You need a paddle on the left and a paddle on the right, because we're all on the same damn boat.' That is so true."  

Brothers' third album, Skeletons, arrives October 9, and also features their current hit, "All Night."

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Burke/Triolo Priductions/Thinkstock
Maren Morris dropped a three-track project called Maren Morris: Reimagined last week, putting a different spin on three of her best-loved songs. “Girl,” “The Middle” and “The Bones” all get fresh treatments in the new release.

RaeLynn released a new acoustic rendition of her recent song, “Me About Me." The track comes off of her forthcoming EP, Baytown.

Gary Allan returned last week with a new single, “Waste of a Whiskey Drink.”

Singer-songwriter and Garth Brooks’ daughter Allie Colleen dropped a pair of personal new singles last week called “Best Friend” and “Road You Take.” In the two songs, Allie documents the heartache that follows after a close friendship ends.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Warner Music NashvilleTucker Beathard brought Lindsay Ell into the studio for a new duet version of “Faithful,” a song he released as a solo effort early this month.

Lindsay lends harmony vocals and takes the lead on the second verse of the song. She also brings her noted guitar skills to the track. Tucker recently told CMT that shooting the video for the song’s new version provided a fun chance for the two artists to geek out over musical equipment.

“I always love nerding out with anyone over gear and guitars,” he admits. “...I also loved hearing another artist interpret and approach one of my songs their own way. She gave a whole different feel to ‘Faithful.’”

The solo version of “Faithful” is included on Tucker’s upcoming project, King. It’s the second half of his debut double album, which began with 2018’s Nobody’s Everything, and is due for release on August 21.

Tucker’s not the only one with new music on the horizon: Lindsay also recently announced a new album, heart theory. That project will come out on August 14.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Big Machine RecordsThis week, Rascal Flatts dropped their six-track EP, How They Remember You. The new batch of tunes marks their 20-year anniversary as a trio, but the bandmates agree that one of the most special parts of celebrating that milestone is being able to thank the listeners who love them.

“Our fans are so important to the three of us,” Joe Don Rooney reflects. “And so, with everything happening in the world, we still wanted to find a way that felt right to mark an amazing two decades together on this journey.”

The project’s track list includes a duet with newcomer Rachel Wammack called “Quick, Fast, in a Hurry.” It also includes Rascal Flatts’ take on a Kenny Rogers classic, “Through the Years.” The trio performed that song early this year during a virtual benefit show, which paid tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter following his death in March.

2020 is a special year for Rascal Flatts. Not only is it the group’s 20th anniversary, but it’s also the year they’d planned to embark on a massive farewell tour before disbanding their trio in order to focus on separate pursuits.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans are now in limbo. The Farewell: Life is a Highway Tour has been pushed back from its scheduled June launch date, but the band has promised that they will be back at some point to deliver their big final run.

In the meantime, the trio are focusing on their new EP and its title track single, as well as individual creative endeavors. Gary LeVox is working on a solo Christian album, and Jay DeMarcus will star in a new Netflix series.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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UMG NashvilleLauren Alaina shared the first taste of her next batch of new music this week, releasing her anthemic new “Run.” It’s the first of six tracks included in an upcoming EP from the singer called Getting Over Him.

“We’re all running. Constantly. Non-stop. Even in this quarantine, we are all still the busiest we’ve ever been,” Lauren reflects. “Life just keeps going and going in unbelievable paces as we try to race ourselves to the next thing.”

No matter who you are or what your position in life may be, the singer goes on to say, everybody has to work hard to accomplish their goals, and that drive is what inspired her to write “Run.”

“My idea with the song was to refer to examples of all things that run, because no matter what your walk of life is, we are all racing to the next thing,” she explains. “We are all trying to get where we are going. We all get our hearts broken. We all have these childhood dreams. We ‘run’ to make it all happen.”

The singer previously shared Getting Over Him’s full track list, which includes a duet with Jon Pardi as well as another collaboration with Danish pop performers Lukas Graham.

The project is due out in full on September 4.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Erick Anderson / eafotoCharlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam will return in 2021, highlighting the life and legacy of the late country and southern rock superstar. Alabama, Ricky Skaggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Cece Winans and Junior Brown were added to the bill this week.

The event previously announced performances from Chris Janson, Charley Pride, the Marshall Tucker Band and many more. Additionally, Charlie’s longtime outfit The Charlie Daniels Band will perform as part of the tribute to the late performer, who died on July 6.

“I am forever grateful for all of the love and support Charlie Jr. and I have received since Charlie’s passing,” says the singer’s widow, Hazel. “Charlie would be excited and extremely proud that his Volunteer Jam would continue. I want to express my sincere thanks to the artists paying tribute to Charlie.”

In a nod to the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is offering 500 free tickets to those who have donated their time in recent emergency relief efforts across middle Tennessee. Those tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The 2021 Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels is scheduled to take place next February 22 at 7PM CT. The event will be held in downtown Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Warner Music NashvilleHot on the heels of their new single’s release on Friday, Dan Shay dropped a gravity-defying video to match the dazzling vocal acrobatics of “I Should Probably Go to Bed.”

The clip begins inside an old mansion filled with vintage appliances and a recurring aesthetic theme of red and yellow. Bandmates Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney find themselves lost in different sections of the house, and before long, things start to go sidewise -- literally.

Whiskey glasses topple, furniture levitates, a hallway fills with fluttering sheets of loose paper and the two country stars find themselves sliding from wall to wall, as the song’s emotion ramps up to a climax. Meanwhile, in the town below, people stop at intersections and basketball courts to stare up at the sky in amazement, as the old house floats in the air above them.

“I Should Probably Go to Bed” follows “10,000 Hours,” the duo’s 2019 hit duet with pop superstar Justin Bieber. Dan Shay have been teasing their new single for several days, dropping short trailer teasers of the track and music video on social media.

If the duo plan on following a traditional album release format, then “I Should Probably Go to Bed” is likely the second single from an upcoming, as-yet-unannounced fourth album.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Eric Ryan AndersonBrothers Osborne put prejudice aside in their bluesy new “Hatin’ Somebody,” a feel-good jam session with an important lesson to share.

The song acknowledges that even though two different groups of people may never grow to like each other enough to be friends, they can still put aside their differences and coexist, because, as the duo sings in the chorus, “Hatin’ somebody ain’t never got nobody nowhere.”

The brother duo’s lyrics get personal in the second verse, where they recall a piece of wisdom passed down from their hillbilly-turned-city-transplant grandfather, who had to adjust to a different way of life when he changed his surroundings.

“We threw our grandfather into that song, imagining ‘A stubborn hillbilly in the middle of the city / Learning how not to throw stones,’” explains lead vocalist TJ Osborne. “As the song says, we’re all in the same damn boat, and ‘Hatin somebody ain’t never got nobody nowhere.’”

“Hatin’ Somebody” follows the Brothers Osborne’s Top 30 single, “All Night.” Both songs are included on the duo’s forthcoming third album, Skeletons, which is due out on October 9.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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EMI Music NashvilleEric Church surprised fans with a new song this week, dropping his gritty and soulful “Bad Mother Trucker.”

The song celebrates all the tough-as-nails ladies who can outpace any man they meet. Eric’s lyrics speak from the perspective of a female trucker’s son whose mama taught him everything he knows about respecting women.

“She is hell on wheels where the road meets the rubber / A real gear jammer, a white line wonder / Yeah, you only get one, and I wouldn’t want another / ‘Cause mama was a bad mother trucker,” he sings in the chorus.

In addition to the woman he sings about in the lyrics, Eric enlisted another “Bad Mother Trucker” to help him record the song. The country superstar’s longtime backup vocalist turned songwriting and duet partner Joanna Cotten, provides soulful vocal harmony throughout the song.

“Bad Mother Trucker” follows Eric’s latest single, “Stick That in Your Country Song.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 2001, one of country’s biggest hitmakers released his self-titled debut album. Since then, this Oklahoma native has scored 27 number-one singles and landed a coaching role on The Voice. Can you name him? ANSWER: Blake Shelton.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Home Grown MusicWritten and released from quarantine, Zac Brown Band’s newest digital single, “You and Islands,” is a tropical mini-escape.

“Got so much going on / The whole world’s going wrong / I wish that tide could reach us now / And wash away all the gray,” frontman Zac Brown sings in the song’s breezy first verse, as he looks ahead to more carefree days after the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

“This unprecedented time at home has given us the opportunity to write and share new music with our fans,” Zac explains of the new single. “As we continue to navigate through this together, we hope our music can bring you a little bit of positivity and transport you to a different time or place -- even if just for a few minutes.”

“You and Islands” follows the group’s latest single, “The Man Who Loves You the Most,” which is a quarantine-inspired ode to Zac’s four daughters. While that song found the group appreciating the little things about their unexpected downtime with family, “You and Islands” focuses more on a brighter future ahead.

“This was a fun track to record,” Zac adds. “We hope you sing along with us as we daydream about days to come!”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy ABCSince filling hotel ballrooms or stadiums with screaming -- and singing -- hopefuls is no longer an option amid the COVID-19 pandemic, American Idol is taking its auditions on the road virtually for the spring 2021 edition of the show.

Starting August 10, the show will kick off its "Idol Across America" remote auditions, which will take place in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. for the first time ever.  To sign up for a chance to virtually audition for an American Idol producer, visit www.americanidol.com/auditions. 

All the details are there -- you just need to be between the ages of 15 and 28. You're allowed to audition during any date, regardless of where you actually live.  The show will use "custom-built Zoom technology" to hold the auditions.

Earlier this year, American Idol became the first reality competition series to air remotely, with contestants performing and judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry commenting from their respective homes. Singer Just Sam was crowned the winner on May 17.

The audition dates are as follows:

Delaware, Florida and Ohio (Aug 10)
Louisiana, Missouri and Wisconsin (Aug 12)
Arizona, Oregon and Washington (Aug. 14)
Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Rhode Island (Aug 16)
Open Call Auditions (Aug 17)
Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas (Aug 18)
Idaho, New Mexico and Utah (Aug. 20)
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas (Aug 22)
Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia (Aug 24)
Open Call Auditions (Aug 25)
Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma (Aug 26)
Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota (Aug 28)
Connecticut, New Jersey and New York (Aug 30)
Colorado, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming (Sep 1)
Maine, South Carolina and West Virginia (Sep 3)
Alaska, California and Hawaii (Sep 5)
Kentucky, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania (Sep 7)
Massachusetts, North Carolina and Vermont (Sep 9)

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Warner Music NashvilleFans have been waiting for new music from Dan Shay ever since they topped the country chart with Justin Bieber back in January with "10,000 Hours." Today, the anticipation comes to an end, as Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney arrive back on the scene with their new tune, "I Should Probably Go to Bed."

The duo's latest single owes its origins to a trip west where Dan Shay picked up a trophy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at music's most prestigious night.

"We wrote part of this song in Los Angeles during Grammy week," Dan explains, "but finished it at my house, on my piano, kind of by accident."

"Shay had come over to record vocals on another song that we had written," he continues. "We took a break, went downstairs, started singing this song, and realized this song needs a big ending."

Dan's never been shy about bragging on his musical partner's vocal prowess, but he believes this time, Shay really hit it out of the park. 

"We really went for it," Dan says. "Shay delivered one of my favorite vocal performances of all time."

"We're so proud that this is our new single," he adds.

If Dan Shay are going the traditional route, this is likely the second single from their upcoming fourth album. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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