ABC/Image Group LALil Nas X has a new accolade to add to his collection. The country rapper and singer-songwriter behind 2019’s mega-hit, “Old Town Road,” is among the winners list for Smithsonian magazine’s 2019 American Ingenuity Awards.
Lil Nas X’s award is in the category of Youth; other categories include Social Progress, Technology, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and the Performing Arts, according to Smithsonian, which is the flagship publication of the Smithsonian Institution.
The honor is in recognition of Lil Nas X’s innovative approach to mixing musical genres, especially at a young age. The 20-year-old artist made serious waves in the country genre in 2019, after “Old Town Road” went viral on the TikTok app. During its rise, the track inspired heated debate over what qualifies a song to fit into the country genre, and a remixed version featuring Billy Ray Cyrus went on to spend 19 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Lil Nas X also took home his first-ever CMA trophy at the 2019 CMA Awards last week, when “Old Town Road” won in the category of Musical Event of the Year.
ABC/Lou RoccoAhead of the release of her new Netflix series, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, Dolly Parton is calling on fans to put their own unique spin on one of her best-loved songs. In a video she posted to Twitter, the legendary singer asked listeners to post videos of themselves covering her 1973 hit, “Jolene,” as part of the #JoleneChallenge.
Julianne Hough -- the actor, singer and Dancing with the Stars alum that plays Jolene in Heartstrings -- appears in the video, and first asks fans to submit their own covers of the song. At the end of the clip, Dolly herself shows up and sits down beside Julianne, jokingly asking the younger star what the TikTok app is.
“I am an old dinosaur, but I’m not extinct yet!” Dolly adds.
Heartstrings is set to drop on November 22. Each episode of the eight-part series will be based on one of Dolly’s classic songs, and will feature an on-screen appearance from the country legend herself. “Jolene” serves as the theme of the first installment of the show.
Country fans will likely recognize another face on the first episode of Heartstrings, too. Actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who is the wife of Brad Paisley, co-stars with Julianne.
Schmidt PRLuke Bryan’s annual destination festival, Crash My Playa, has announced its final line-up of performing artists for 2020. Old Dominion will appear as headliners during the festival, which will take place next January 22-25 in Riviera Cancun, Mexico.
Other newly-announced artists making stops at next year’s Crash My Playa include Lee Brice, Scotty McCreery, Granger Smith, Jordan Davis, Jon Langston, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack, Kendell Marvel and DJ Rock.
Now in its sixth year, Luke’s destination four-day party is already sold out. The country superstar will headline two nights of Crash My Playa, while previously-announced performer Jason Aldean will headline a third night. A slew of other artists are already on deck to perform during the event, including Dustin Lynch, who’s had plenty of practice soaking up all the fun and sun of Crash My Playa, having performed during each of its six years to date.
In addition to a stacked bill of country A-listers, Crash My Playa will offer festival-goers plenty of amenities to choose from. The event will be hosted by the Moon Palace Cancun, where guests can take advantage of 24-hour concierge service, pools, on-site bars and restaurants and much more.
ABC/Image Group LANewly-crowned CMA New Artist of the Year Ashley McBryde will hit the road in 2020 on The One Night Standards Tour.
The trek takes its name from Ashley’s new single, which is the first taste of her forthcoming sophomore album. Pre-sales are underway now for members of her fan club, known as The Trybe, before tickets become available to the general public on Friday.
The Arkansas native will also reunite with former tour mate Luke Combs on his What You See Is What You Get run next year.
Here’s the complete itinerary for Ashley McBryde’s The One Night Standards Tour:
1/30 - Birmingham, AL, Saturn 1/31 -- Oxford, MS, Lyric 2/28 -- Athens, GA, Georgia Theater 2/29 -- Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse 3/7 -- Indianapolis, IN, 8 Seconds Saloon 3/19 -- Lincoln, NE, The Bourbon Theater 3/21 -- Madison, WI, Majestic Theater 3/28 -- Mobile, AL, Soul Kitchen Music Hall 4/23 -- Helotes, TX, Floore’s Country Store
ABC/Image Group LAJordan Davis and his wife are now the proud parents of a baby girl named Eloise Larkin.
“Excited to announce that me and Kristen have welcomed a beautiful baby girl...” Jordan announced Tuesday morning on his socials. “Momma and baby are both doing great, and I wanna thank everyone for the well wishes and love.”
Eloise was born Sunday in Nashville, weighing eight pounds and measuring 19.75 inches.
The “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot” singer told Entertainment Tonight his first child’s name is a “family thing,” and also hinted he may regret the couple’s decision to not find out the baby’s sex ahead of time.
“I’m tired of calling it ‘the baby’ or ‘it,’” he said last week on the red carpet at the CMA Awards.
You can check out a picture of Eloise and her parents via ETOnline.
Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 1973, the country star known for hits such as “Must Be Doin’ Something Right,” “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer” and “Good Directions” was born. Can you name him? ANSWER: Billy Currington.
ABC/Image Group LAIf you're waiting for Dan Shay's Dan Smyers to cut his hair -- don't hold your breath.
Backstage at last week's CMA Awards, Dan even admitted he's gotten a bit superstitious about his long, dark locks.
"We've had pretty good luck since I started growing my hair, so as soon as we start losing awards and not getting hits, I'll cut the hair," he joked, as Shay Mooney laughed.
"But, it's been a great run..." Dan added. "It's fun, and my wife likes it, so that's kind of all that matters. So, [it's] all good."
Dan's theory holds up. Prior to the duo's self-titled, third album, both Dan Shay had hair that was short on the sides and longer on top. About the time that record came out in the summer of 2018, Dan started letting his grow.
Since then, every single the pair's put out has gone to number one, with "Tequila" and "Speechless" even finding success on the pop charts. They've also been named Vocal Duo of the Year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.
Right now, the lead single from their next album, "10,000 Hours" with Justin Bieber, continues their string of success on both the country and pop charts.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockAlabama has set a new date for a previously postponed stop on their 50th Anniversary Tour. The concert will now take place on Friday, July 17, 2020 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Additionally, due to high demand, they’ve announced a second show for the following day.
Kenny Rogers’ 2017 London Palladium stop on his farewell tour, The Gambler’s Last Deal, has been filmed for a new DVD CD package. Featuring live performances, archival footage of Kenny’s career and more, Kenny Rogers: The Gambler’s Last Deal will come out on December 13.
Florida Georgia Line is hosting an intimate night of performances from the artists of their brand-new record label, Round Here Records, at the band’s own FGL House in downtown Nashville. Scheduled for Monday, November 25, the event will support the USO and their Star-Spangled Patriot Pack, honoring servicemen and women and their families.
Nathaniel Rateliff has announced a 15-date solo trek in support of his forthcoming solo album. The And It’s Still Alright Tour will kick off on March 4 in Minneapolis, MN, and run through August 2020.
ABC/Image Group LAJason Aldean will be celebrating the release of his ninth studio album, appropriately titled 9, with a first-of-its-kind concert event set to take place in bars across the country. Jason partnered with over 100 Bar Louie locations nationwide for the event, and several independent bars across the country will join in on the fun, too.
Set to take place on November 27, the day before Thanksgiving, the “9 at 9” celebration will feature a special 9-song performance filmed at the singer’s Restaurant Rooftop Bar in downtown Nashville. The concert will air at -- what else? -- 9 p.m. local time.
In order to find the participating venue closest to them, fans can check out an interactive map showing locations where the “9 at 9” event will be broadcast. Additionally, those who are unable to attend in person can watch the show via LiveXLive or YouTube.
Jason’s new album is set for release on November 22. In early 2020, he’ll hit the road in support of the project, launching his 2020 We Back Tour.
ABC/Image Group LAIn the wake of last week’s CMA Awards, many of the country stars who took home trophies are seeing impressive bumps in album sales. According to data collected by Rolling Stone, the largest uptick actually came from a performer who isn’t a country star at all: Pink.
The pop star’s performance of “Love Me Anyway,” which she released back in September and features Chris Stapleton, preceded a whopping 6,000% jump in digital sales and became the most-downloaded track of all the songs performed during the CMAs.
Even so, country stars didn’t get left in the dust -- not by a long shot. Dan Shay received a 732% boost in sales for their self-titled third studio album, which came out in 2018, after they took home the title of Vocal Duo of the Year. New Artist of the Year Ashley McBryde saw a jump in sales after the ceremony, too, earning a 555% increase for her 2018 debut, Girl Goin’ Nowhere.
Sales of Maren Morris’ Album of the Year-winning record, Girl, jumped 380%, Vocal Group of the Year Old Dominion saw a 208% boost on their just-released new project, and sales of perennial favorite Golden Hour, by Female Vocalist of the Year Kacey Musgraves, were up 189%.
River House Artists/Columbia NashvilleLuke Combshad much to celebrate this weekend. On top of walking away with three CMA awards last Wednesday, the "Beautiful Crazy" singer now sits atop the Billboard 200 chart.
Billboardreports that Combs' What You See Is What You Get is his first all-genre chart topper. In addition, the album logged the biggest streaming week for a country album and scored the largest week for any country album in over a year -- the last being Carrie Underwood's Cry Pretty.
What You See Is What You Get, which dropped November 8, moved 172,00 units in its first week of release. Of that amount, 109,000 of those numbers were album sales alone. This is also the second country album to top the charts so far this year.
This is Combs' second album. His first, This One's for You, debuted within the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart, peaked in fourth and, since summer 2018, continues to hover within the top 40.
ABC/Image Group LABlake Shelton took home the trophy for Single of the Year at last week’s CMA Awards ceremony. The win was cause for celebration for Blake, of course, but it was also good news to fellow nominees Dan Shay: Apparently, they might have gotten roughed up if the trophy had gone to them instead.
“They were sitting directly behind me, and I said, ‘Hey, if you guys win this award, I’m gonna kick your a**, because I haven’t been nominated for any stuff in, like, a hundred years,” Blake said during a press conference the day after the CMAs, according to People.
While it hasn’t, in fact, been quite that long since he won at the awards show, Blake has had a five-year dry spell: he won his last CMA trophy in 2014.
Both acts had chart-topping mega-hits in the running at the CMAs. Blake was nominated for “God’s Country,” while Dan Shay were in the running thanks to “Speechless.” Ultimately, “God’s Country” won out, and the country duo got to leave the ceremony unharmed. However, they didn’t walk away empty-handed: They won in the category of Vocal Duo of the Year.
While Blake initially expressed relief that he and the duo didn’t have to fight, he did admit that it would have made for good television. “I think that might have helped with the ratings if they thought there was actually a chance that people were gonna throw down and fight on the CMAs", he declared.
ABC/Image Group LAOld Dominion invites fans into the inner workings of their songwriting and album making processes in a new short film exclusively available on Apple Music. Called Old Dominion: Band Behind the Curtain, the film will tell the stories behind some of the group’s best-loved songs.
In addition to their own hits, Old Dominion will recount some of the fan-favorite tunes they wrote that were recorded by other artists. The five band mates are responsible for penning songs such as Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do,” Sam Hunt’s “Make You Miss Me” and Kenny Chesney’s “Save it For a Rainy Day.” Those songs and many more are among the hits discussed in the new film.
“Once you find a great song, it’ll find its home,” bandmate Trevor Rosen says, in a press release, of the group’s approach to writing both for their own records and for other artists. “But first and foremost, you just gotta try to write a great song.”
Old Dominion: Band Behind the Curtain is available to watch now. The group released their self-titled third studio album at the end of October, and also took home their second consecutive Vocal Group of the Year trophy at the 2019 CMA Awards.
RCARyan Hurd will hit the road on the Platonic Tour in 2020, taking newcomers Adam Doleac and Niko Moon with him.
The trek takes its name from Ryan’s latest EP, which features his current top-25 hit, “To a T.”
Here’s the itinerary for Ryan Hurd’s Platonic Tour, with tickets going on sale this Friday:
1/30 -- Columbus, OH, The Bluestone 1/31 -- Lexington, KY, Manchester Music Hall 2/6 -- Nashville, TN, Cannery Ballroom 2/7 -- Memphis, TN, Minglewood Hall 2/21 -- Indianapolis, IN, 8 Second Saloon 2/22 -- Louisville, KY, Mercury Ballroom 2/28 -- Chicago, IL, Joe’s Sports Bar 2/29 -- Detroit, MI, St. Andrews Hall 3/5 -- New York, NY, Gramercy Theatre 3/6 -- Boston, MA, Paradise Rock Club 3/7 -- Philadelphia, PA, Theatre of the Living Arts 3/13 -- Kansas City, MO, The Midland Theater 3/14 -- St. Louis, MO, DelMar Hall 3/19 -- Atlanta, GA, Terminal West 3/20 -- Athens, GA, Georgia Theatre 3/21 -- Charlotte, NC, Coyote Joe’s
CMTChris Young will be crossing paths with pop star Gavin DeGraw for a new episode of CMT Crossroads.
“Love this guy, love his music and can’t wait to share the CMT Crossroads stage with him!” Chris tweeted on Monday.
They're set to record the new episode November 26. Stay tuned to see when it will air on CMT.
Of course, Gavin’s no stranger to Music City. He owns the lower Broadway hot spot Nashville Underground with his brother, Joey. Gavin recently teamed up with his pal Brett Young on the Ticket to L.A. track, “Chapters,” as well.
8 Ten, Inc.More than 84,000 fans turned out to see Garth Brooks’ Saturday night set at Knoxville’s Neyland Stadium. That not only makes it the venue’s most-attended show ever, but also the largest single concert event in Tennessee history.
Jon Pardi opened for Garth’s tenth stop on his Stadium Tour, with the next one coming up February 22 at Detroit’s Ford Field. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
The seven-time CMA Entertainer of the Year still has a couple more shows to play in 2019, however. He’ll wrap up his Dive Bar Tour on Monday, December 2, by playing two shows in the same night.
Garth will stop by Prospectors in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, before heading to Six String in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The only way to get tickets is to win them through local country stations in the area.
ABC/Image Group LAJon Pardi may be taking "Heartache Medication" up the country chart right now, but in real life, he's not too far from wedded bliss.
Last month during the sold-out kickoff of his tour at the Mother Church of Country Music, the California native asked his longtime girlfriend, Summer Duncan, to marry him.
"I thought it would be great if I asked her at the Ryman..." he tells ABC Audio. "It's always been kinda special to me because it was where all the history, where it all started."
"One of our first dates when she came to visit Nashville, I had a show at the Ryman," Jon explains. "I was a guest. I sang ['Dirt on My Boots,'] with [singer/songwriters] Rhett Akins and Dallas [Davidson] and [their band] the Peach Pickers. And she got to kinda go backstage for first time... And we always kinda remember that."
"And it worked out great," he says of his proposal. "She didn't want to get on stage. She didn't know what was going on, but she was super happy."
Jon and Summer don't plan to waste any time heading down the aisle.
"We're getting married in May in Montana," he reveals, "and it's not gonna be hot! You know, the worst thing is like, 'Yeah, we're getting married in July and you gotta wear a tuxedo, and it's outside.'"
"I'm excited for the wedding," he adds. "It's gonna be fun."
But not terribly traditional, according to Jon.
"It's just a big party," he says. "We're not very serious when it comes to weddings... Summer, she demanded that instead of cake... we can cut the pizza... That's what she wants."
"I was like, 'Fine by me, but we have to get some kind of cake!'"
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIt'll be another big week on Good Morning America for country fans. Watch for Garth Brooks on Tuesday, followed by his wife Trisha Yearwood on Wednesday. GMA starts at 7 a.m. on ABC.
Florida Georgia Line is featured on the new track by Grammy-nominated pop artist Tayla Parx. It's called "Fight."
Aubrie Sellers' new single, "Far from Home," is out now, ahead of her sophomore album, which takes its name from the track. Look for the full record to arrive February 7. You might recall that Aubrie is the daughter of CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Lee Ann Womack and hit songwriter Jason Sellers.
ABC/Randy HolmesAs the second decade of the 21st century comes to a close, Billboard’s looking back at the biggest songs and albums of the past ten years. And there’s one name that seems to be coming up a lot: Florida Georgia Line.
FGL has three of the top five hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs of the Decade chart, which takes streaming, airplay, and sales into account. “Meant to Be” with Bebe Rexha is number one, while “Cruise” and “H.O.L.Y.” follow at #3 and #5, respectively.
Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley’s 2012 debut, Here’s to the Good Times, is the third top-selling album of the decade as well.
Sam Hunt’s the only other act to show up in the top five of both the songs and albums rankings. “Body Like a Back Road” is Billboard’s #2 song of the 2010s, while the Georgia native’s debut, Montevallo, is the second-best-selling record as well.
Chris Stapleton’s Traveller finishes at number one on Top Country Albums.
Here’s a rundown of the top five on both lists:
Hot Country Songs 1. “Meant to Be” -- Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha 2. “Body Like a Back Road” -- Sam Hunt 3. “Cruise” -- Florida Georgia Line 4. “Tequila” -- Dan Shay 5. “H.O.L.Y.” -- Florida Georgia Line
Top Country Albums 1. Traveller -- Chris Stapleton 2. Montevallo -- Sam Hunt 3. Here’s to the Good Times -- Florida Georgia Line 4. Crash My Party -- Luke Bryan 5. This One’s for You -- Luke Combs