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Bug Country Music News

Blackbird PresentsWillie Nelson will lead an all-star cast in paying tribute to his longtime friend and contemporary Roger Miller during a Sunday, March 22 show at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Chris JansonToby KeithTrisha YearwoodWynonnaLee Ann WomackLarry GatlinKris KristoffersonRodney CrowellJamey Johnson and more will take the stage during King of the Road: Celebrating the Music of Roger Miller.

“I’m thrilled to see all these great artists coming out to celebrate my ol’ pal Roger Miller,” Willie says. “He was certainly one of a kind. His songs will live forever.”

Tickets go on sale this Friday.

In addition to “King of the Road,” Miller had hits like “Dang Me” and “Husbands and Wives.”  Along the way, he won eleven Grammys, as well as a Tony for the 1985 musical, Big River. He passed away in 1992 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame three years later.

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Jill TrunnellHe’s not giving away many details just yet, but Kenny Chesney’s teasing that his next record is on the way.

The superstar “seems to be getting ready to finish his first full-on album for Warner Music Nashville,” a new press release teases, revealing that Kenny’s been recording “over the last 18 months in Nashville, Key West, Malibu, and on the road.”

“Rather than just churn out a record, because it was time, I wanted to give myself the opportunity to just get inside the music,” Kenny says. “I’m always looking and listening, and this time getting to record in the moment over the course of many, many months was incredible.”

The new record’s the follow-up to 2018’s Songs for the Saints, which was a benefit for the Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

So far, Kenny’s most recent hit, “Tip of My Tongue,” which he wrote with Ed Sheeran, is all we’ve heard from the new record. He kicks off his Chillaxification Tour 2020 April 18 in Dallas, Texas.

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ABC RadioThis week, Luke Bryan’s busy entertaining thousands of fans at his sixth annual Crash My Playa getaway vacation in Riviera Cancun, Mexico in the Caribbean. But later this spring, he’ll be headed for the racetrack.

The American Idol star is set to headline this year’s Legends Day concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 23, the day before the Indy 500. Tickets are on sale now.

Luke’s new album, Born Here, Live Here, Die Here, arrives about a month prior, on April 24. Its second single, “What She Wants Tonight,” just entered country’s top ten.

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Jason Kempin/CMTYou can check out the first taste of Kelsea Ballerini’s new CMT Crossroads special with pop singer/songwriter Halsey on YouTube now.

Recorded at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater last October, Kelsea and Halsey duet on the latter’s hit, “Graveyard,” which she also performed on November’s CMA Awards with Lady Antebellum.

Kelsea’s been a Halsey fan for some time, going to see her in concert in Music City back in July of 2018, and then going out to sing karaoke together afterwards at Nashville hot spot Santa’s Pub.

CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year Old Dominion also did a little karaoke themselves, recording Halsey’s breakout smash, “Bad at Love,” for Spotify as well.

You can see Halsey and Kelsea’s full CMT Crossroads performance when it premieres Wednesday, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.

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John Shearer/Getty Images via ABCGwen Stefani’s ready to tie the knot with Blake Shelton, even if her earlier marriage to rocker Gavin Rossdale isn’t annulled by the Catholic Church, according to Us Weekly.

The magazine’s previously reported that Gwen’s been trying to have her former union annulled for the past year, and that’s what’s been keeping her from making her four-year relationship with Blake official.

Now, a new article cites an insider who claims Gwen’s ready to proceed without the blessing of the Catholic Church, after Blake’s become “restless” and the issue’s caused some “tense moments.” The unnamed source also predicts a church ceremony in Beverly Hills, followed by a party at Blake’s Oklahoma ranch.

Us Weekly’s inside information also alleges that Gwen would very much like to have a child with Blake, adding that “if that doesn’t happen, Blake’s content with her three kids.” Gwen’s sons range in age between thirteen and five.

You can read more in the latest issue of Us Weekly, which is on newsstands now.

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ABC/Randy HolmesLuke Combs will make his Saturday Night Live debut on February 1, as the musical guest alongside the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, who’s hosting.

As of now, we don’t know what the North Carolina native will sing. He recently spent three weeks at the top of the chart with “Even Though I’m Leaving,” his seventh consecutive number one. So far, he hasn’t revealed the follow-up single from his album, What You See Is What You Get.

You can tune in to watch Luke on SNL Saturday, February 1 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 1969, this country idol received his first gold single for his iconic hit, "Wichita Lineman." Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Glen Campbell.

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Bryan Bedder/Getty ImagesFormer Recording Academy CEO and President Deborah Dugan and her lawyers spent Tuesday trading accusations with the Academy in the wake of Dugan's complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the organization behind the Grammy Awards of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Dugan's complaint alleges, among other things, that the Recording Academy engaged in "egregious conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by Board members, voting irregularities with respect to nominations for Grammy Awards and other misconduct."

The complaint further alleges that the Academy, "unlawfully retaliated against Ms. Dugan by placing her on administrative leave (only after she indicated her intent to commence legal action and refused to settle her claims on terms dictated by the Academy), threatening Ms. Dugan with termination and publishing false and defamatory statements about Ms. Dugan to the media."

Dugan's lawyers, one of whom is Douglas H. Wigdor, who represents 20 women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, compared the Recording Academy's response to the embattled film mogul by attempting to "impugn the character of Deborah Dugan [in] a transparent effort to shift the focus away from its own unlawful activity."

In response the the EEOC complaint, the Recording Academy hit back by claiming Dugan "never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally by a female employee who alleged Ms. Dugan had created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct.’"

Dugan's attorneys responded with a followup statement calling the Academy's claim that she didn't raise concerns prior to the accusations against her "completely false."

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ABC/Image Group LAToday, Luke Bryan's sixth annual Crash My Playa getaway vacation gets underway in Riviera Cancun, Mexico. And that means it's time for Dustin Lynch to assume his official duties.

"In year two, [Luke] made me the official mayor of Crash My Playa," Dustin recalls. "This is our sixth year... and I've been back every year with Luke to do this festival."

"There's pool parties during the day," he continues, "and then actual shows on the beach at night. And it's become quite the circus down there."

Through the years, Mayor Lynch has picked up a couple tricks to help him survive the "circus."

"I've just got to be on top of my game and take a lot of Pedialyte down there with me," he laughs.

Dustin's Crash My Playa reputation has its roots in his ability to bring the fun by the pool.

"Our pool party is what's kind of turned into my own animal over the years," he explains. "And that's what everybody always talks about and looks forward to."

"Gosh, there's 5000 people there," he adds. "So it's literally wall to wall people in the pool. They're all over the place, in the bushes."

"But there's no rules at the pool party. So anything and everything goes," he reveals. "There's no set list. We kind of just start drinking tequila and see what happens."

In 2020, Dustin promises it'll be more unpredictable than ever.

"Each year, the pool party becomes a bigger and bigger circus," he says. "So I'm bringing in some friends to pull off some stunts."

"It's its own thing. I don't give too much away. You've got to be there to see it. And a lot of things are a little illegal," he teases.

Dustin's new album, Tullahoma, came out on Friday.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn case you missed it, Old Dominion performed their current single, "One Man Band," on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night.

Dustin Lynch brought his most recent hit, "Ridin' Roads," to ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday. The song is his seventh #1. 

Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, Drew Baldridge and Abby Anderson are among those performing at the Dustin J. Wells Foundation’s The Gift of Music concert in benefit of the W.O. Smith Music School and the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation. The concert will take place at the Ryman Auditorium on January 30. 

Jordan Rager has released the video for his new song, "The Wrong Ones."

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ABC/Image Group LAGeorge Strait is selling his extravagant San Antonio home. 

According to Realtor.com, the superstar is selling the custom-designed home in San Antonio's exclusive Dominion neighborhood for $8.9 million. The three-bedroom, six-bath mansion was designed by Bill Tull and features 14 hand-carved fireplaces, hand-painted murals and stained glass windows, in addition to an infinity pool and multi-use sports court. 

“He just wanted to move further out of the city. If he could pick that house up and move it, he would. It’s still his dream home," says realtor Tamara Strait of Strait Luxury and Kuper Sotheby's International Realty about why the country icon is selling the property.  

The home was completed in 1995 for George and his wife, Norma

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ABC/Image Group LAHeadwaters Country Jam has announced its 2020 lineup. 

The 13th annual festival, which takes place June 18-20 in Three Forks, Montana, will feature Dustin LynchMidland and Clay Walker as headliners. A mix of veteran and rising stars will also perform throughout the three-day festival, including Tanya TuckerCraig MorganAshley McBryde and Mitchell Tenpenny.

Additionally, The Cadillac Three will appear, along with "The Git Up" star Blanco Brown and Madison Kozak, the flagship artist signed to Nashville's new all-female label Songs & Daughters."

The Headwaters Country Jam will set up shop at a site called The Bridge that houses an arena and 2,000 campsites. Tickets go on sale January 24 at 10 a.m. ET.

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Erika Goldring/WireImageLoretta Lynn is sharing the story of her friendship with Patsy Cline in her own words. 

The "Coal Miner's Daughter" singer has teamed up with her daughter, Patsy Lynn, to pen Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dusta new memoir chronicling her friendship with Patsy Cline before the latter's untimely passing in 1963. 

Set to be published through Grand Central Publishing company, the book will shine a spotlight on what it was like for two women to navigate the music industry in the South during the 1960s and how Nashville has turned into the music Mecca it is today.

"Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who’d be damned if they’d let men or convention tell them how to be," Grand Central Publishing says of the book.   

News of the memoir comes on the heels of the 2019 Lifetime movie, Patsy & Loretta, starring Megan Hilty and Jessica Mueller as Patsy and Loretta, respectively, that also shares the story of their friendship.  

Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust has an anticipated released date of April 7.

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Courtesy CMTCMT has instituted a new initiative to combat the ongoing issue of unequal airplay on country radio.

The country music channel has announced that it will now feature 50/50 video airplay for female artists on both its TV and music channels. CMT features 29 primetime hours of video content, half of which will now be devoted to female artists. Previously, CMT says women were being featured 40 percent of that time while, male acts made up the remaining 60 percent. 

“Time is really up in 2020! All the talk around what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform into action, once and for all,” says CMT Senior Vice President of Music & Talent Leslie Fram. “At CMT, we are stepping up our own commitments, in addition to our work through the CMT Next Women of Country franchise, and will be announcing a new initiative in the coming weeks that will spark this much-needed change in our industry.”

CMT Next Women of Country launched in 2013, giving a platform to up-and-coming female artists in the genre, including the CMT Next Women of Country Tour, which brings a headlining act, along with a series of aspiring female acts, to cities across the U.S.

Tanya Tucker is currently headlining the 2020 trek with Aubrie SellersBrandy Clark and others serving as support now through June.

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ABC/Image Group LAGeorge Strait has announced a series of new live shows for 2020, including a stadium stop. 

The country legend will perform at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 22, with Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town joining him. Additional acts will be announced soon. The country king has also scheduled two dates for his Las Vegas residency, Strait to Vegas, in August, returning to the T-Mobile Arena for back-to-back shows on August 28 and 29. 

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Caitlyn Smith will open for George in Vegas.  She's the writer behind "Tacoma" by Garth BrooksMeghan Trainor and John Legend's duet "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," and Trisha Yearwood's latest single, "Every Girl in This Town." 

Tickets for the show in Minneapolis go on sale January 31 at 11 a.m. ET, while tickets for the new Strait to Vegas sets become available the same day at 1 p.m. ET. 

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ABC/Image Group LACarrie Underwood is celebrating the first birthday of her son, Jacob

The superstar singer penned a thoughtful note to her child on Instagram, calling him "smiley," "crazy" and "smart." She also shared photos of his beautiful cake, adorned with a baby figurine on top wrapped in a green blanket. 

"Happy birthday, Jacob! How are you already 1 year old?" Carrie writes alongside a gallery of photos of the 1-year-old shoveling the cake into his mouth. "I can’t wait to see your personality continue to shine! I have a good feeling you’re going to keep us all on our toes for years to come! I thank God for you each and every day. You are truly our miracle baby!!! Mommy loves you!"  

Jacob is the younger sibling to Carrie and husband Mike Fisher's eldest son, 4-year-old Isaiah.

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Comstock/ThinkstockThree years ago on this date, this "Drunk on a Plane" hitmaker headlined Bridgestone Arena for the first time, bringing out special guests Elle KingKelsea BalleriniJon Pardi and others. Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Dierks Bentley

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Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton and Gwen Stefani have released the dramatic, romantic video for their latest duet, "Nobody but You." 

In the new video, the couple can be seen singing the lyrics of the song directly to the camera while shots of Gwen wearing a ball gown caught in the midst of a storm in a dark forest also appear. Clips of the couple holding one another in front of a beach setting, cuddling on the couch with their dog and singing in the car round out the cinematic video.

"Nobody but You" is featured on Blake's new album, God's Country: Fully Loaded. 

The superstar couple will perform together at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, where Blake is also nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for "God's Country." 

The 2020 Grammy Awards take place at the Staples Center in LA and will air live at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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ABC/Mitch HaasethDan Shay get to rule the country chart this week thanks to their hit with Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours," which has risen to number one on the radio airplay ranking.

 While Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have been performing the duet sans Bieber on tour, they're looking forward to their first opportunity to sing it live with Justin.

"We miss him!" Dan says admiringly, as Shay laughs. 

"No, it's so incredible, it's awesome [doing it live]," Dan continues. "When we originally wrote it, Shay was singing the second verse anyway. So we, you know, we've got the groove down."

"But it would be awesome to do that song with Justin Bieber live somewhere," Dan adds. "I'm not sure where or when, but we'll make it happen for sure."

Since "10,000 Hours" is the lead single from Dan Shay's fourth album, fans are anxious to see what's next.

"We're always working on new music and we hope to have some stuff out for our fans on the Arena Tour," Dan tells ABC Audio. "But right now, we're just focusing on '10,000 Hours' with Justin, and it's crazy watching it climb the charts."

"This is our fastest-climbing single. Not that we refresh the charts every five minutes -- ultra competitive!" Dan admits. "We've got some stuff in the tank, though."  

Dan Shay kick off The (Arena) Tour March 6 with two nights at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGene Watson has been invited by Vince Gill to join the Grand Ole Opry, 55 years after he made his Opry debut at the age of 21. 

Lauren Jenkins has released two Bruce Springsteen covers: "Hungry Heart" and "Stolen Car." Both appear on Bruce's legendary 1980 album, The River. 

Country a cappella group Home Free has released the video for their new song, "Why Not." It's featured on their 2019 album, Dive Bar Saints.

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