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Matthew Berinato

Lanco are "Honky-Tonk Hippies" in their upcoming EP and tour. 

The country group has revealed that they are releasing a new EP, Honky-Tonk Hippies, on July 2 and will embark on tour this fall.

Named after the EP, the tour launches on September 12 in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, and makes stops in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, at Joe's Live in Illinois and more, before wrapping at Grizzly Rose in Denver on December 17. Ross Ellis joins as the opening act.

"Making up for lost time y'all…Who's ready?!" the "Greatest Love Story" singers tease on Twitter. Tickets are available for pre-sale now. 

The five-song EP was recorded at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It follows their 2018 debut album, Hallelujah Nights, which reached #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Lanco recently shared the new songs "Near Mrs." and "Save Me." 

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As we begin to move towards post-pandemic life, Luke Bryan is ready to try something new in his career with his upcoming Las Vegas residency

Luke will welcome 2022 with an eight-night stay at the Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas in February 2022. The superstar says he's been pitched the idea of a Vegas residency multiple times over the years, but finally feels like the stars have aligned to make it happen. 

"I just said it would be fun to try it, to be able to do my regular tour dates and then pop in out there and just kind of turnkey," he notes in an interview with the Academy of Country Music's publication, ACM Tempo

The American Idol judge adds that he's excited about the opportunity to perform at a "brand new, shiny casino," and has "a lot of confidence" in the team behind Resorts World. He also says that with the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the music world, he believed Vegas would be ahead of the curve when it came to opening up venues.

"With a lot of the uncertainties of touring in COVID, I felt like the odds were good that Vegas was going to open up and would have it figured out too," he shares. "So it just kind of seemed like the smartest thing for all of us."

Carrie Underwood and Luke's fellow Idol judge Katy Perry have also booked residencies at Resorts World Las Vegas. 

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As Garth Brooks prepares to resume his Stadium Tour next month, he hopes to set a positive example.

The superstar has spent the past few weeks unveiling new stadium tour dates throughout the summer, including Kansas City and Lincoln, Nebraska, and will perform his first show at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on July 31, with more to follow.  

"Somebody has got to take the first step," Garth shares with USA Today. "The thing that's going to ease your anxiety the most is to know it's done right. Are these people taken care of when they come in the stadium?"

The legendary singer is working to ensure that his band and crew stay healthy, in addition to the venues providing face masks to guests.

"All the stars lined up and we feel very, very lucky that that happened for us. To be one of the first people out to step into the stadiums, it's an honor, but also it's a great responsibility," says Garth. "I owe it to this country to hopefully be some kind of example on doing things the right way. Let's show up and watch what happens. Music is a great unifier, but it's also a great healer." 

The Stadium Tour resumes on July 10 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

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BBR Music Group

Chase Rice has shared a reimagined version of The Album. 

Following the project's release in May, Chase has transformed each of the 15 songs into acoustic renditions after reconnecting with his acoustic guitar while being off the road during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As we all slowed down this year, I found myself gravitating back to how it all began for me -- writing songs with just myself and a guitar," Chase explains. "I started sharing videos of me playing some of the new music that way and fans really loved it, so that inspired me to go back to each song and create these acoustic versions, which give The Album a whole new perspective.”

The Album features current single "Drinkin' Beer. Talkin' God. Amen.," a collaboration with Florida Georgia Line that sits inside the top 10 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

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Blackened Recordings

Country music is crossing over into The Black.

Chris Stapleton, Mickey Guyton, Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi are all featured on The Metallica Blacklista remake of rock legend Metallica's Grammy winning 1991 self-titled album, also known as The Black Album.

In honor of the groundbreaking project's 30th anniversary, the iconic heavy metal band has called on more than 50 artists to help reimagine the album's classic tracks, with each one appearing on their favorite album cut.

Chris, Darius and Mickey lend their voices to individual renditions of "Nothing Else Matters," while Jon covers "Wherever I May Roam."   

Proceeds from all the songs benefit Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundation, with each artist also selecting a charity that their song will support.

Chris has chosen he and wife Morgane Stapleton's Outlaw State of Kind, while Darius' will support Music Children's Health in his home state of South Carolina. Mickey has selected the United Negro College Fund and Jon the Doug Flutie Jr.  Foundation for Autism

The Metallica Blacklist and a remastered version of The Black Album will be released on September 10.

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Matt Paskert

Jake Owen is giving back to the songwriters who helped shape his career, and paying it forward to the CMA Foundation in the process. 

On July 15, the singer will headline "Jake Owen & Friends: A Concert Made for You" at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The one-night-only show features Jake performing his catalogue of hit songs alongside the writers who crafted them, including “Homemade,” "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," “Down to the Honkytonk" and the recent chart-topper, "Made for You." Fans can also expect surprises throughout the night.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the CMA Foundation and their efforts to bring music education programs into schools across the country.   

“Being able to play the Ryman Auditorium is always going to be special, but to be able to share the stage with some of the people who helped shape my career with their songs is something that I will remember forever,” Jake shares in a statement. “This ‘Made for You’ concert is made for country music fans, and it’s going to be a special way to be a part of the shows that are welcoming live music back to Nashville.”

Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. ET.

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On this day in 1936, this "Why Me" singer was born in Brownsville, Texas. He was later a member of the Highwaymen and won a Golden Globe Award for his role in 1976's A Star is Born. Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Kris Kristofferson. 

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Brittney Spencer has released the video for her song, "Sober & Skinny." She'll appear on CBS This Morning on Thursday. 

Brett Kissel has released a DND remix of his song "She Drives Me Crazy" featuring Nelly

Brent Cobb's debut children's book, Little Stuff, is available now. 

Kane Brown's publishing company, Verse 2 Music, has signed another songwriter to its roster with Joybeth Taylor

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Anna Clary

Since Michael Ray grew up in Florida playing in his family's country band, there's no denying he enjoys a great classic, crying-in-your-beverage ballad. But he believes his latest hit, "Whiskey and Rain," is really more than that.

"I love sad country music, and sometimes you've just got [to] blanket [it] with a good two-step feel, you know, so people don't know they're hearing a heartbreak song," he tells ABC Audio. "But it is a heartbreak song, but it also kinda has a double meaning."

"I think the other side of the heartbreak," Michael continues, "is the fact that sometimes when you're going through stuff, you've gotta go through it, you know, and pour some whiskey and listen to the rain and just know that tomorrow's a new day, and a new 24 for you to make better than the last."

Though we don't know much about Michael's follow-up to 2018's Amos, he says his radio single is an appropriate appetizer.

"'Whiskey and Rain' is such a great introduction to this album," he explains, "and a good insight for fans to see where this record's going, and where my mindset is on all this -- this whole album and the making of this record."  

So far, the only other track released from Michael's forthcoming third album is "Picture," a song he co-wrote after the unexpected death of his beloved uncle. 

Earlier this month, Michael kicked off his Just the Way I Am Tour, which swings by the Smokin' Summer Jam in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday.

 

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Dierks Bentley is paying homage to a young fan who passed away from cancer. 

In May, Dierks shared photos and videos from his visit with Baylee Barradas, a fan in his home state of Arizona battling sarcoma, who he performed a private concert for at her home. The "Riser" singer revealed in a social media post on Monday that Baylee has passed away. 

"The phrase honored and humbled gets used a lot but it is the only one appropriate for how it felt to be included by this family and be able to spend this past weekend with them, Baylee, her friends, and her dogs Arlo and Arnie," Dierks shares in a sentimental letter alongside photos of him performing at Baylee's bedside, surrounded by her family. 

"Baylee's father said to me, 'it's never too late to make a lifelong friend.' Nothing could be more true for me and my friend Baylee. God bless," he concludes. 

Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, Tyler Hubbard and Cole Swindell also made videos for Baylee. 

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Matthew Berinato

Kane Brown spent his Father's Day sharing new music with fans. 

Over the weekend, the singer took to Instagram to share an unreleased song, "I Can't Love You Anymore." Seemingly an ode to his wife, Katelyn, the dreamy country-pop number features Kane singing about an endless love that can withstand life's obstacles. 

"Through heartbreak and laughter/ However many chapters/ One thing that I know for sure is/I'm gonna love you til I can't love you anymore," he croons. Fans replied to the post with heart emojis, Kane encouraging them to "tag your other half." 

“I can’t give away too much yet on the new music but I [definitely] want to keep pushing myself and making music for my fans,” Kane shares with Music Mayhem about his forthcoming album. “I think it will surprise people, but it’s still me.”

The album will follow his 2020 EP, Mixtape, Vol. 1.

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Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves are among the more than 300 artists who have signed a letter supporting the passage of the Equality Act. 

Created by The Ally Coalition and the Equality Time Coalition, the "Music In Action for The Equality Act!" is a letter on behalf of the music community in support of the Equality Act, legislation introduced by Congress that would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting members of the LGBTQIA+ community from facing discrimination in the workplace, housing, education and more. 

"As musicians and artists, we strongly believe that all people should be welcomed and celebrated as their true, authentic selves," The Ally Coalition states. "We believe that the passage of the Equality Act is an essential part in protecting trans youth and all LGBTQ people by providing full protections to the most marginalized communities from discrimination." 

Brothers Osborne and Tenille Townes are among the other country artists who have signed the letter. T.J. Osborne made history earlier this year when he became the first openly gay artist signed to a major country label. 

Taylor Swift, Bebe Rexha and James Taylor are also part of the vast list of artists who have added their names to the letter. 

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Jason Aldean is heading to Las Vegas. 

The country superstar will close out the year with “Back in the Saddle: Las Vegas 2021,” a three-night residency at the Park Theater at Park MGM December 9, 10 and 11. Shows are slated to start at 9 p.m. 

"Can’t wait to see y’all!" the singer shares with fans on Twitter

Jason previously headlined the venue with his "Ride All Night Vegas" residency in 2019. 

"Things a Man Oughta Know" singer Lainey Wilson will join the ACM Artist of the Decade as a supporting act. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

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On this date in 1970, Conway Twitty was at the top of the country charts with what would become one of his signature songs, a frequent set-opener and a track that was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Can you name the single? ANSWER: “Hello Darlin’.”

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Gwen Stefani surprised her husband-to-be, Blake Shelton, with a backyard birthday bash, and she shared a snippet of it on social media. 

On Friday -- the day Blake turned 45 -- Gwen posted a video clip of the moment guests surprised The Voice coach, alongside the caption, "celebrating my besties b day today love u @blakeshelton" and hashtags including "#favoritecountrysinger." 

In the clip, guests gathered in the backyard shout "surprise!" when Shelton finally reaches the back doorway. Stefani, who's close behind him, can be heard saying, "It's your birthday," after Shelton seems to think the surprise is for someone else.

A second clip shows guests, including someone dressed up as Superman, singing "Happy Birthday" to Shelton, before the DJ cuts to 50 Cent's hit "In Da Club." Stefani, 51, also included a cute snapshot in the post of the couple kissing. 

Stefani and Shelton confirmed their relationship in November 2015, after meeting as co-judges on The Voice. They announced their engagement in October 2020. 

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