ABC/Image Group LAEarlier this year, Charlie Puth gave Gabby Barrett a leg up in conquering the pop world when he singer, songwriter and producer reached out to the rising country star via Instagram and asked to remix her hit debut single, “I Hope.”
The rest is history: The new version of “I Hope” shot to the top of Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs, Pop Songs and Adult Contemporary charts, and now the song is taking down yet another big chart milestone. Billboard reports that Charlie and Gabby’s “I Hope” has climbed to the top of its Radio Songs chart, becoming the most-heard song on U.S. radio overall.
In the same breath, the remix reaches a new high spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, jumping from number eight to number six.
Earlier this month, Gabby admitted that her crossover success has her pinching herself, as she never dreamed she’d be charting alongside some of pop music’s biggest names.
“It’s mind-blowing being put up next to names like Harry Styles and The Weeknd and people that are just huge,” she said. “So I don’t even think people listen to my music that are up there! Not even Charlie...but I guess he does!”
When it comes to the 2020 CMA Awards next month, Gabby’s hit song is giving her even more to “Hope” for: It is nominated for Single of the Year, and also helped the rising star score a nod in the New Artist of the Year category.
Connor DwyerYou'd be hard-pressed to think of a more-anticipated sophomore album than Sam Hunt's Southside, which arrived in early April 2020, more than five years after Montevallo in the fall of 2014.
"After I put out my first record and toured, toured, toured, I got a little bit out of shape in terms of making new music," Sam admits. "I won't say that I forgot how to write songs, but I certainly got out of rhythm, I guess."
Since the COVID-19 pandemic made touring impossible this year, Sam was unexpectedly able to resume the process that yielded Southside number ones like "Kinfolks" and "Hard to Forget."
"Because the tour got canceled," he explains, "I was able to just jump right back in the studio and kind of pick up where I left off with that record and build on it. And so, fortunately, I've been able to knock out some new songs over the past few months."
"And I'm hoping to be able to make up for lost time," Sam continues, "and put out music a little sooner than I maybe would have been able to had we been on the road for the entirety of the summer."
In fact, Sam says it's entirely possible his third record could be ready next year.
"I've been writing new songs and putting together a new project..." he reveals. "So I'm hoping to make up for lost time. I don't have a full record ready, but I certainly have some songs that I'd like to put out in 2021."
"If I can scratch up another several songs between now and January, February, March, I may have a full record," he adds.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLuke Combs is teaming up once again with Crocs. The star’s new limited-edition shoe, complete with a black “Skully” graphic and fuzz lining to match, will be available beginning November 10 at 12PM ET on the Crocs website.
Miranda Lambert makes a mega-watt cameo on “Polyester,” the new song from Nashville hitmaking songwriter Luke Dick. Luke and Miranda have a long track record of writing songs together, but they typically show up on her albums.
Just after his debut single, “Some Girls,” hit number-one on the country charts, Jameson Rogers made an appearance on the Country Outdoors podcast.
David McClister Rising star Parker McCollum is adding another accolade to his collection this week: His EP Hollywood Gold has officially become the highest-selling debut EP of 2020.
Debuting at number ten on the Billboard country chart, Hollywood Gold is a six-song collection that includes Parker’s breakout debut single, “Pretty Heart.” That song is currently in the top ten on both Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs. “Pretty Heart” recently earned Parker his first-ever RIAA gold certification, too, marking 500,000 units sold.
The singer co-wrote “Pretty Heart,” along with all the rest of Hollywood Gold’s songs -- with one star-studded exception. None other than country superstar Chris Stapleton had a hand in writing “Like a Cowboy,” Parker’s tribute to the rugged work ethic of earlier generations.
Courtesy of BMLG RecordsLady A are returning to their 2012 Christmas project On This Winter’s Night, and adding four new tracks to the album for this holiday season.
The deluxe version expands the album’s track list from 12 to 16 songs. The new additions include a cover of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” the Beach Boys’ “Little Saint Nick” and Ray Charles’ “That Spirit of Christmas,” which was featured in the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
But perhaps the most special song the trio is adding to the project is an original tune that all three members co-wrote. “Christmas Through Your Eyes,” was penned specifically with the trio’s children in mind.
“We’ve always loved the holiday season, but it has become even more magical now that we’re parents,” notes Hillary Scott. “So, we thought we’d add on a new, original song that was inspired by our kids, and our take on a few of our favorites, which [have] brought us so much joy."
She adds that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and what has been a difficult year for many, the band is hoping that their Christmas project will offer fans some festive joy.
“I think we could all use a little extra holiday cheer this year!” Hillary adds.
Allister AnnLame pick-up lines and cheesy advances get the eye-roll treatment from Carly Pearce in the music video for her new single, “Next Girl.”
While the song itself may be inspired by a heartbreak, “Next Girl” gets a lighthearted, empowering visual treatment, with Carly starring as a bar-goer, performer and waitress who dodges red flags from boring dudes left and right.
“This video was so fun to make!” the singer exclaims. “I feel like most of us have either been on the receiving end of these advances or have witnessed them. And while I truly hope the lyrics help the ‘next girl’ know that a jerk’s actions are not her fault, I also wanted to mix some of the often-experienced pick-up techniques with a little humor. Come on, do these really work?!”
Carly was inspired by iconic ‘90s women of country music, like Patty Loveless and Reba McEntire, to write “Next Girl.”
The song also came out in the wake of some personal heartbreak for the singer. She filed for divorce from her husband, fellow country star Michael Ray, over the summer.
ABC/Image Group LADan Shay are the most-nominated country act at the 2020 American Music Awards, with three nominations to their name. That includes a nod in the all-genre Collaboration of the Year category with their Justin Bieber duet, “10,000 Hours.”
They’re also in the running in the Favorite Duo or Group -- Country category, as well as in Favorite Song -- Country, also for “10,000 Hours.”
In the latter category, Dan Shay will go head-to-head against two other popular country choices, Maren Morris and Blake Shelton. Maren comes into the category courtesy of her cross-genre hit “The Bones,” while Blake clocks in with “Nobody but You,” his duet with his pop superstar girlfriend Gwen Stefani.
Maren and Blake each have two nominations this year: Maren’s also up for Favorite Female Artist -- Country alongside Gabby Barrett and Miranda Lambert. Blake’s also got a mention in Favorite Album -- Country for his Fully Loaded project. He appears as well in the Favorite Album -- Country category alongside Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs, who both also have two nominations apiece. Luke and Morgan scored nods in the Favorite Male Artists -- Country category, where they’re up against Kane Brown.
Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion also received mentions in the Favorite Duo or Group -- Country category.
Some of this year’s AMA nominees were announced on ABC's Good Morning America by Dua Lipa Monday morning. Rapper Roddy Ricch and singer-songwriter The Weeknd are the most-nominated acts overall, with a whopping eight nominations apiece. Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Megan Thee Stallion and many more also came in with multiple nods.
Comstock/ThinkstockThe CMA’s reigning Entertainer of the Year is celebrating his 53rd birthday today. A country superstar with hits like “The Fighter” under his belt, this Aussie is also known for his sweet love story with wife Nicole Kidman. Can you name him? ANSWER: Keith Urban.
ABC/Image Group LAOver the weekend, Maren Morris appeared at the massive “I Will Vote” concert for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who faces President Donald Trump in the upcoming general election.
Maren voiced her support of Biden with an impassioned speech that, she explained ahead of the event, was especially meaningful to her because it wasn’t a musical performance.
“Y’all, I have never been asked to speak at anything, only perform,” she wrote on Twitter before taking the virtual stage. “This Sunday, I am speaking to my country.”
The “Girl” star laid out her reasons for voting for Biden in the 2020 election. Maren says she grew up being taught to treat people with respect -- no matter their race, political affiliation or gender identity -- but the importance of those beliefs hit home in a new way after she became a mom to her son, Hayes, in March.
“It wasn’t about just me anymore. It was about him, and all of our children’s futures in this country,” she said. “What will they make of this moment 20 years from now?”
That’s the sentiment that inspired Maren to write “Better Than We Found It,” a new song that she released at the beginning of October.
“Now, I live in the world of country music, which has always been about telling the truth. And just like I believe that country music is for everyone, so is this country,” she continued, adding that she hopes the song sheds light on the importance of this election, especially for groups such as immigrants, the LGBTQ community and Black Americans.
“And it’s about those of us who have a civic responsibility to do everything we can to make our country better by saying, ‘We are better than this.’ It isn’t a punishment. It’s a plea,” Maren said.
Suzanne Cordeiro/Corbis via Getty ImagesCountry music has lost one of the greats, Jerry Jeff Walker. The singer/songwriter, who is best known for writing the classic tune "Mr. Bojangles," passed away at the age of 78.
Walker died Friday after a long battle with throat cancer, according to family spokesman John T. Davis.
Walker came into prominence in the 1960s after founding the psychedelic-folk-rock band Circus Maximus, where their 1967 single "Wind" achieved moderate success across progressive heritage stations.
Later, Walker embarked on a solo career and broke out in 1968 with his song "Mr. Bojangles," which was inspired by a New Orleans street performer. The tune became a #9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970, and also has since been covered by a variety of other well-known artists, including Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Sammy Davis Jr. and more.
Walker also recorded a notable cover of Guy Clark's "L.A. Freeway" in 1972 and later partnered with the Los Gonzo Band a year later to record ¡Viva Terlingua! -- an album that is considered a classic among country-rock music.
After securing his place in the Texas outlaw country scene, Walker satisfied himself by creating the record label Tried & True Music alongside his wife, Susan. He also released over 30 albums that spanned his music career.
Walker was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017. His last release came a year later, 2018's LP It's About Time.
Walker is survived by his wife Susan and their two children -- a son and a daughter -- Django and Jessie Jane.
LOWFIELD Even with multiple number ones, as well as CMA and ACM Awards to her credit, Sara Evans is still checking goals off her bucket list. The latest? A collaboration with Dolly Parton.
Both Sara and Dolly are featured on "Pink," alongside Rita Wilson, Monica, and Jordan Sparks. Co-written and produced by Victoria Shaw -- who wrote "The River" for Garth Brooks -- the cross-genre effort aims to raise awareness and money for breast cancer through the Susan G. Komen organization.
"I was so honored to be asked to sing a part on it," Sara tells ABC Audio. "So I went in the studio and Victoria Shaw was in there with her producer/engineer, and they just kind of directed me on what lines they wanted me to sing on. And when I heard the finished product, I was just absolutely blown away."
"And also, it's amazing to be on a song with Dolly Parton, which I've never done before..." Sara adds. "It's a beautiful song.
Sara's most recent encounter with the legend came almost exactly a year ago.
"My major Dolly moment was this past CMA Awards, when I was a part of the opening with all the females," she recalls. "And we're in the green room the day before for rehearsal, and I look over and Dolly Parton is singing 'Born to Fly' with me."
"It was one of those moments where I was like, 'I really wish my mom was here,'" Sara continues. "And I was texting her the whole time and sending her pictures of Dolly. And she just couldn't believe it."
Earlier this year, Sara released both her autobiography, Born to Fly, and her covers album, Copy That. Next month, she stars in A Nashville Christmas Carol on Hallmark.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCanaan Smith continues his outdoorsy theme with the release of his new song, “Cabin in the Woods,” the follow-up release to “Colder Than You.” The singer co-produced the track alongside Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley.
Ty Herndon and Kristin Chenoweth have dropped a powerful new single called “Orphans of God.” The song will be included on Ty’s upcoming Christmas project, Regifted, which comes out November 27.
Dolly Parton gets to coin a word of her own -- “Songteller” -- as a new “Word of the Day” in the hit mobile game Words with Friends. The word is also the title of her new lyric book.
Adam Hambrick continues the release of his Love is Quicksand project with two new songs, “Kill a Man” and “The Longer I Lay Here,” the latter of which is a duet with Jillian Jacqueline.
Warner Music NashvilleGabby Barrett is sharing her very first Christmas release this week, dropping her take on the timeless classic “The First Noel.”
It’s an especially powerful musical message for the rising star, whose faith is an important part of her artistic identity and her life.
“Christmas is one of my absolute favorite days of the year,” Gabby explains, “and my faith is the cornerstone of my life, so being able to share both with ‘The First Noel’ is a gift. I feel so blessed to do what I do every day, and I hope that this song adds something special to your holidays.”
The singer’s holiday release follows her massive, breakthrough debut album, Goldmine, which came out earlier this year. That project features the smash single “I Hope,” which was the first single Gabby sent to country radio and subsequently became her first chart-topping hit.
But that’s not all that the star has to celebrate this holiday season: She claimed her first awards show victory at the 2020 CMT Music Awards this week, winning the Breakthrough Video of the Year trophy for “I Hope”’s music video.
It’s an exciting time in Gabby’s personal life, too, as she and her husband, fellow American Idol alum Cade Foehner, are currently expecting their first child. Gabby will give birth to a baby girl in early 2021.
Courtesy of Glass Onyon PRWhen country superstar trio Rascal Flatts announced earlier this year that they planned to call it quits after their 20th anniversary celebration, they hinted that all three band mates were looking toward pursuing their own projects.
Now, bassist Jay DeMarcus is offering more details about what's in store. Jay is a member of a new supergroup called The Rise Above, a cross-genre outfit that also includesDeen Castronovo and Jason Sheff, formerly of Journey and Chicago. Chris Rodriguez and Tom Yankton round out the quintet.
A glimpse into the planned set list reveals that though the band may be new, the hits will be familiar. The Rise Above will perform Rascal Flatts classics such as “These Days,” “Bless the Broken Road,” “What Hurts the Most” and “Life is a Highway.”
Additionally, fans will be able to sing along to plenty of their favorite Journey and Chicago songs, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Stay the Night” and “Will You Still Love Me.”
The Rise Above's mission is to bring back the glitz and glamor of ‘80s rock to life, and they’ve been in the studio cooking up an album for release next year.
ABC/Image Group LATo commemorate Vote Early Day this Saturday, CMT is helping Nashville get out the vote, and they’ve got some serious star power in their corner.
Reba McEntire, Mickey Guyton, Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress and The Band Perry are just a few of the participants in CMT’s upcoming “Hometown Vote-a-Thon,” a digital event that will feature stars sharing their personal stories about how voting has impacted their hometowns.
Also chiming in with their experiences are Hailey Whitters, Midland, Lainey Wilson, Russell Dickerson, Runaway June, Ray Wylie Hubbard and many more country artists. The “Hometown Vote-a-Thon” is a partnership with Ingrid Andress, a rising star who scored her first chart-topping hit this year with “More Hearts Than Mine.”
The virtual event is also tied to Vote for Your Life, an early voting and get-out-the-vote campaign aimed at providing voters with the tools they need to participate in elections.
You can tune into the “Hometown Vote-A-Thon” on CMT’s YouTube page on Saturday between 8AM CT and 8PM CT.
ABC/Image Group LAMiranda Lambert is mourning the loss of one of her beloved four-legged friends.
The dog-loving singer shared an emotional post to social media this week, letting fans in on the sad news that her dog, Waylon, has died. His death comes after nearly 13 years of friendship with the country superstar.
Miranda shared the story of how she first met her dog and his sister, Jessi.
“I found him and his sister on the side of the road in Oklahoma in January 2008,” the singer wote. “They were abandoned, starving and freezing nearly to death. I was listening to Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings at the time me and mom saw them and pulled over to pick them up.”
At that time, Miranda recounts, Waylon’s chances of survival were slim because of his selfless love for his sister.
“I took them straight to the vet and she told me that the little boy was not doing too well (malnourished and dehydrated) because whatever they had found to eat while they were homeless, he always let her eat first,” she continues.
“She said he probably wouldn’t make it but he did. For almost 13 years,” Miranda adds.
Miranda’s love of dogs is well documented: Waylon was one of several rescue dogs that call the superstar’s farm home. She also established her MuttNation Foundation in 2009 to help rescued animals find homes.
Today I lost one of my best friends. My old pal Waylon. I found him and his sister on the side of the road in Oklahoma in January 2008. He was a rock in our family and always held down the fort. He lived his life with no fences. The way we all want to live. Dogs change your life. pic.twitter.com/q6vlc3T2RG
Legacy RecordingsFans of Johnny Cash will get the chance to revisit the country superstar’s Forever Words album, as a deluxe version of the project is being released.
Forever Words originally came out in 2018, as a collaborative album that featured the legendary singer’s poetry and lyrics set to music for the first time. Acts like Kris Kristofferson, Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly, Elvis Costello and Brad Paisley signed on to record the songs.
The 16 original tracks will be included in the new version of Forever Words, but the project will more than double, with 18 new songs being included in the deluxe version. Sixteen of those 18 songs are as-yet unreleased.
The new album will be released digitally in four installments, the first of which comes out on Friday. The first wave of new music includes performances from Ana Christina Cash, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Hard Working Americans and Shawn Camp, all with words penned by the Man in Black himself.
Included in that collection are “Big Hearted Girl” and “I’m Comin’ Honey,” two Cash songs that have never been heard before.
Much of the new material was recorded at The Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee. John Carter Cash, the only child of Johnny and June Carter, produced the album.
The second installment of the deluxe edition of Forever Words will appear on December 11.
Sony Music NashvilleMitchell Tenpenny is embracing the Christmas spirit.
The “Drunk Me” singer drops his Neon Christmas EP on Friday, a seven-track set of tunes that mix cozy Christmas favorites with a few seasonal originals.
Mitchell offers up his spin on classics like “Joy to the World,” “Let it Snow,” “O Holy Night” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” -- the latter of which the singer says is his favorite.
“It just makes me feel like sitting in front of a fire or watching an old Christmas movie at my family’s house,” Mitchell explains of the song. “I knew I could take and make that song more of my own, too, which can be hard with Christmas songs.”
Speaking of making the music his own, Mitchell literally included some of his own contributions on Neon Christmas, adding three original tracks into the mix. Those songs are “Snow Angels,” “Naughty List,” and the project’s title track.
Here’s the full track list of Neon Christmas:
“O Holy Night” “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” “Snow Angels” “Neon Christmas” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” “Joy to the World” “The Naughty List”
Kelia Anne/Universal Music GroupCanadian EDM duo Young Bombs enlisted some country royalty in the form of Darius Rucker to give an extra boost to their new single, “Wrong Side of Love.”
Placing Darius’ crooning vocals front and center, the song is a brooding ode to a doomed love story, set to a catchy and dance-able beat.
“Wrong Side of Love” comes off of Young Bombs’ debut EP, The Young Bombs Show.
The tune represents a new direction for the rising EDM duo, and is their first foray into twang-tinged country sounds and vocals. But for Darius, genre-blending styling is nothing new, of course -- he enjoyed a successful career as the frontman of pop-rock outfit Hootie & the Blowfish before making his move into country music.
Most recently in his solo career, Darius released a sunny new single called “Beers and Sunshine.”
Columbia RecordsRapper Nelly is no stranger to going country. He of course famously teamed up with Florida George Line in 2012 for a remix of the country duo’s “Cruise,” which appears on their Here’s to the Good Times album.
Since then, Nelly and FGL have shared stages and tours together. Now they’re joining forces once again for the release of the rapper’s new banjo-inflected banger, “Lil Bit.”
Speaking to Billboard, Nelly calls the decision to return to work with the guys of FGL a “no brainer,” adding that this song may not be the last fans see of the two acts together in the near future.
“My relationship with them is super tight,” he says. “We’ve done two tours together, we have a bunch of other tours planned, and things that we want to do...they’re family.”
The country-meets-hip-hop tune is a fun and flirty ode to new romance. The song’s lyrics even appear to name-check modern country-rap star Lil Nas X, nodding to his 2019 megahit “Old Town Road” with a line referencing a “new town road.”
Nelly also recently made another country cameo when he sang a verse on Kane Brown's "Cool Again" earlier this year.
“Lil Bit” comes off of Nelly’s upcoming EP, Heartland.