ABC/Image Group LAIt’s a well-known fact that Dan Shay and Dan Smyers and his wife, Abby, are huge dog lovers and passionate advocates for shelter pets. Last week, they added a fifth member to their pack by adopting a 16-year-old, two-pound chihuahua.
“16 years old. Emaciated. No teeth. Etc. All alone and terrified at the shelter,” Dan wrote on social media, along with a slideshow of pictures of his furry new family member. “We weren’t going to let her live the rest of her life like that.”
The couple started out by fostering the chihuahua, who goes by Missy, Tiny or Little Dog, according to an introduction post on Abby’s Instagram.
But after getting some worrisome news from the vet about her health, Dan and Abby decided to make the little foster dog a permanent addition.
“She was dealt a tough hand in her previous life, but we’re going to make up for lost love the rest of the time she has left,” Dan wrote. “We’re unsure of whether she had a family before, but we’re happy to say that she does now as we’ve decided to officially adopt her as our 5th dog.”
As for the other four dogs -- Joy, Chief, Ghost and Mac -- who call the Smyers' household home?
“They have been so calm around her and let her 2 pound self take an entire couch,” Abby shares.
When not spreading love and positivity to animals at home, Dan is spreading musical love and positivity with his bandmate, Shay Mooney: The pair recently shared their newest single, a message of gratitude toward their fans called “Glad You Exist.”
16 years old. emaciated. no teeth. all alone and terrified at the shelter. 💔 we weren’t going to let her live out the rest of her life like that. this tiny pup is safe now and finally getting to feel love (possibly for the first time). as always, please #adoptdontshop. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mRXgtUkMnW
Jeff LipskyBack in early 2020, Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, co-founded their free grocery store where those in need can shop with dignity.
The nonprofit, called The Store, opened just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and since then, Brad says it’s made him feel less helpless during what quickly became a tumultuous year for many Americans.
Now, about a year after The Store first opened its doors, Brad stopped by ABC’s The View to discuss his free grocery nonprofit’s continuing impact and share how it got its name in the first place.
“It gives people the dignity of choice,” the singer explains. “They get to come in, as opposed to a handout, they have a shopping experience. Their kids feel normal. It’s called The Store so that they can say, very simply, ‘Hey, we’re going to The Store,’ and the kids in the shopping cart feel like everything’s fine. The difference being, when they go through and check out, they don’t pay for anything.”
When The Store opened its doors last year, Brad goes on to say, they couldn’t have predicted the demand caused by the pandemic.
“We expected to do about 300,000 meals last year. And we ended up doing a million in January,” he explains. “I don’t know how we did it. But you rise to it, in a time like this, I think.”
In musical news, Brad recently shared his next single, “Off Road.” He’s also a guest vocalist on Jimmie Allen’s latest submission to country radio, “Freedom Was a Highway.”
ABC/Image Group LAA new bill proposed by Tennessee lawmakers is advocating to make Dolly Parton’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” the state’s official hymn, CMT reports.
The song was written in 1772 by captain of slave ships turned abolitionist John Newton, and the bill argues that it has “since been recorded by various artists with strong connections to Tennessee,” including Dolly as well as Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and many others.
In fact, Garth recently sang “Amazing Grace” on a national scale when he performed the hymn at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in January.
Dolly has performed and recorded “Amazing Grace” throughout her career. She even recast new lyrics onto the classic song’s melody for “Shine On” off her 1998 album Hungry Again, and performed it at Tammy Wynette’s funeral that same year.
It’s not the first bill involving Dolly to cross state legislators’ desks this year: A previous bill proposed erecting a statue of the singer on State Capitol grounds.
But in February, Dolly asked lawmakers to remove the bill from consideration, saying, “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”
Martin Philbey/RedfernsTalk about a star-studded wedding party! Tim McGraw may be used to high-profile country musical collaborations these days, but during his early days in Nashville, he once teamed up with Garth Brooks and Tracy Lawrence for a much more unusual project: They were bridesmaids together.
As Tim remembers during a recent interview on Apple Music Country, it all started when he was an up-and-comer making friends in his new hometown of Nashville.
“There was a girl named Tammy Rose who sort of took new artists under their wing when they first moved to town, and Garth Brooks was a friend of hers. I was a friend of hers. Tracy Lawrence was a friend of hers,” the “I Called Mama” star recounts.
“And so when she got married, she asked Garth, me and Tracy Lawrence to be her bridesmaids,” he adds.
At the time, Tim had a record deal, but hadn’t had a big hit yet. However, his fellow bridesmen were both bona fide country stars. He admits he felt a little starstruck, especially around Garth, who’d broken down so many barriers between country and mainstream rock.
At that wedding, Tim made a point to thank Garth for the barriers he'd broken down in country music, particularly in terms of bringing rock elements and influences to a mainstream country audience.
In the years since, Tim has paid it forward, influencing and getting to know many of the younger stars coming up after he did. Most recently, he collaborated with Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard on a new song, “Undivided.”
ABCDarius Rucker, Chris Janson, Lindsey Ell and Tenille Townes are just a few of the artists who’ve signed on for a 30-minute TV special to benefit Feeding America. The show will air on the Grand Ole Opry’s Circle Network.
Sara Evans and Travis Tritt will lead the event, called “Country Music -- Feeding America,” and John Rich will be on hand to share his experience with food banks as a child. The special will also offer stories from families who’ve lived through hunger and food insecurity.
Other participating country stars include Jeannie Seely, Ricky Skaggs, Jo Smith, Hailey Whitters and Mark Wills. Nan Kelley, who is the host of the Circle Network’s Authentic America, will host the special event.
You can watch the TV special this Saturday, March 6 on the Circle Network at 8:30PM ET. The show will also premiere across linear TV, FAST feed and AVOD streaming platforms next Wednesday, March 10.
For more information on how to watch, visit Circle’s website.
ABCJason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line: What do all these country stars have in common? They’ve all got their own bars on downtown Nashville’s buzzing Broadway strip. Now, Miranda Lambert is joining their ranks.
The “Bluebird” star will become the first female country performer to have her own little Nashville hotspot, according to the Nashville Business Journal. Called Casa Rosa -- which means Pink House -- the place will open this year at 308 Broadway, in a 17,400 square foot building that is already outfitted as a bar/restaurant space.
Per the Nashville Business Journal, permits show that Casa Rosa is undergoing some renovations, with a mezzanine and two restrooms being added to its second floor.
Located right in the heart of all the Broadway action, the building is across the street from Jason Aldean’s Kitchen Rooftop Bar and a block or so from Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.
Miranda partnered with TC Restaurant Group to open her new hot spot. The dining and entertainment company is also responsible for Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge, Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House and more celebrity bars.
ABC/Image Group LAWhile Christmas 2021 may seem like it's far in the future, Reba McEntire’s already cooking up her holiday plans. This spring, she’ll begin filming a music-themed holiday movie for Lifetime called Christmas in Tune, according to ET Online.
Christmas in Tune will be a part of the channel’s annual “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday lineup. In addition to acting in and producing the movie, Reba will also contribute an original holiday song to the film.
“I am thrilled to partner with Lifetime for a return to television movies!” says Reba, who’s no stranger to TV and has an extensive acting resume under her belt. “My fans and I enjoy their programming and loved watching the Reba show there for so many years.”
The plot of the new movie follows a woman named Belle, a marketing executive concerned about her job’s security. She tries to get her parents -- who formerly together worked as a singing duo -- to reunite for a charity Christmas concert. The catch? Her parents have been feuding for years, and aren’t planning to start speaking to each other again anytime soon.
But of course, along the way, Belle finds the answers to her own problems, and even starts a new romance with an intriguing leading man.
Prior to the announcement of her new holiday movie, Reba had a small but memorable cameo in Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s new comedy, Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 1980, a film called Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissy Spacek, premiered in Nashville. Can you name the country legend whose life story is the subject of the movie? ANSWER: Loretta Lynn.
BBR Music GroupListening to Runaway June's "We Were Rich" can be a lot like climbing in a time machine and re-living the best parts of childhood.
It's a phenomenon lead singer Naomi Cooke experienced herself the very first time she heard the trio's latest hit.
"There's a line in the song that says, 'One bathroom sink, we all took turns,'" she recalls. "It was like right at the beginning of the song... I kind of had a flashback of, like, all of us sharing this bathroom, banging on the door."
"You know, 'She's hogging the bathroom, and you're gonna use all the hot water...'" Naomi continues. "And my mom being like, 'Let your sister in!' And it was... so powerful, that memory. I just started crying."
Growing up in Florida, Naomi says she "felt lucky a lot."
"We got to sleep outside any time we wanted to, and I knew other kids weren't allowed to do that..." she tells ABC Audio. "Or my dad would let us vacuum out his work van, and we'd find change."
Naomi says a trip to get ice cream usually followed.
Natalie Stovall's family, however, found their treats in slightly more unusual places.
"We would go eat fried chicken after church," she explains. "But the best fried chicken in town was at the hospital cafeteria. And as a kid, I never thought that was weird. I didn't think it was weird at all."
"I was so excited," Natalie continues, as Naomi and Jennifer Wayne laugh. "'Can we go to the hospital today?' I wanted to go to the cafeteria and eat fried chicken in my Sunday dress!"
You can get a closer look at Natalie's hometown in the "We Were Rich" music video, which was filmed on the outskirts of Nashville in Columbia, Tennessee.
ABCMiranda Lambert got fans talking earlier this week when she responded to one follower’s suggestion that it would “save 2021” if she released a Texas red dirt album with a winking smiley face emoji.
In that post the singer also tagged two fellow Texans, Jon Randall and Jack Ingram, who she’s worked with quite a bit in the past: The trio co-wrote Miranda’s 2018 ACM Song of the Year-winning “Tin Man” and, more recently, “Tequila Does.”
After a few more days of dropping hints -- posting another cryptic photo, along with the caption, "We don't know what we're doing, but we know we're supposed to be doing it" -- Miranda is officially ready to share details.
“Every time I need an escape, I go to Marfa, Texas,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “[Jack Ingram] and [Jon Randall] come. We recharge. We get inspired by its beauty. We write songs. ‘Tin Man’ was the first we shared with you. ‘Tequila Does,’ the second.”
But those two tracks weren’t the last songs to emerge from her musical retreats in Marfa, Miranda continued: “In between, we’ve written 13 more. It’s about time to share them w/ y’all.”
So far, there’s no official word on when fans can expect the new music.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Miranda, who also released a new collaboration with rocker Elle King, “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” late last month.
Every time I need an escape, I go to Marfa TX. @JackIngram & @jonrandallmusic come. We recharge. We get inspired by its beauty. We write songs. Tin Man was the 1st we shared with you. Tequila Does, the 2nd. In between, we’ve written 13 more. It’s about time to share them w/ y’all pic.twitter.com/krh1NUeIli
Big Machine RecordsThe country trio known as Midland -- made up of Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson -- are taking fans behind the scenes of their early days with a new documentary, called Midland: The Sonic Ranch.
In the film, the three performers will share their earliest bonds and what led them to form a band together. It all started when acquaintances Mark and Jess reconnected during Cameron’s wedding, initially bonding over their mutual love of throwback, vintage country. In the midst of an era where “bro country” reigned on the radio, it was a style that seemed to be dying out.
While it was Mark and Jess who initially decided to book some time together at Sonic Ranch, a studio located in the middle of an operating pecan orchard in Tornillo, Texas, Cameron ultimately tagged along and organically became the third member of the group.
“We weren’t 100% when we walked in the door, beyond Mark and Jess were going to record these songs and see what this sound really was,” Cameron remembers. “By the time we walked out, all three of us knew this was a sound that didn’t exist, and it was a kind of country music we really loved.”
The 12 songs they recorded at Sonic Ranch that day will be released as the soundtrack to the documentary. Before the documentary premieres, the band are previewing the soundtrack with one track, “Cowgirl Blues.”
Midland: The Sonic Ranch will premiere on CMT on March 19. You can pre-order the soundtrack now.
ABCChris Stapleton has teamed up with Buffalo Trace Distillery to celebrate good whiskey for a good cause.
In honor of the anniversary of the Bottled in Bond Act -- which passed on March 3, 1897 and gives whiskey bottles a mark of authenticity -- Buffalo Trace created a limited-edition line of E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel bourbon, named for the Colonel who spearheaded the passage of the act.
As it turns out, that particular brand has an important place in Chris’ own musical history.
“The first glass of E.H. Taylor, Jr. I ever had was in the studio. Vance Powell, engineer of both music & good times, brought a bottle to the session for inspiration,” the singer recounts. “That week we recorded an entire album, and that album was Traveller. We’ve made it a point to keep a bottle around ever since.”
For the new, limited edition release, the distillery partnered with Outlaw State of Kind, the charity helmed by Chris and his wife, Morgane Stapleton. The first five bottles, which are personally autographed by Chris, are up for auction right now. Each one is valued at approximately $5,000.
All proceeds from the auction will support disaster relief in Texas and Kentucky. Bottles of the limited-edition E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel bourbon will continue to be auctioned throughout the year.
ABCDierks Bentley is gearing up for new music. The singer posted a smiling studio selfie on his social media this week, against a backdrop of recording equipment and instruments.
“Back in the studio with the band working on some new tunes. Album number 10...here we go!” the singer wrote alongside his post.
Dierks tagged himself as being in Nashville, so presumably he’s returned to Music City to make his record this time around. He wrote and recorded the bulk of his last album, 2018’s The Mountain, in Telluride, Colorado, the state where he and his family have also been hunkered down for much of the pandemic.
Most recently, Dierks also broke ground on a fourth location of his Whiskey Row bar and eatery in Denver.
But despite his love for the mountains, the singer has always made it clear that he planned to return to Nashville at some point.
“I am sure I will move back to Nashville because it’s the country music capital of the world and a great place to work out of,” he admitted to People last October.
Dierks has already shared the first taste of his next musical chapter with “Gone,” his current single, which is inside country radio’s Top 30.
That song -- an uptempo ode to being out of touch in the wake of a breakup -- has some metaphorical resonance with the pandemic era: Lots of people feel like they’ve been “gone” from everyday life, even if they haven’t left the couch.
“Gone” also earned Dierks a nomination at the upcoming ACM Awards ceremony for Video of the Year. He’s nominated for Male Artist of the Year at the show as well.
Constellation BrandsBack in early 2020, Luke Bryan officially announced a signature beer in partnership with the high-end beer, wine and spirits company Constellation Brands -- and now he's expanding the brand.
Called Two Lane American Golden Lager, Luke’s original beer was named for the hometown back roads that so often make an appearance in his songs. During the pandemic, Luke paused production on his Two Lane lager, but now, it’s back in stores across the southeast.
Plus, there’s a new addition to the Two Lane line: Fans in Luke’s home state of Georgia were the first to try his new Two Lane Hard Seltzer.
Available in four warm-weather flavors -- Cherry Limeade, Peach Tea, Blueberry Lemonade and Watermelon Punch -- Luke’s hard seltzer line has now expanded out of Georgia, and thirsty fans can pick it up in a variety of locations.
From the seltzer flavors to the Two Lane name itself, Luke’s new beverage line speaks to the southern values closest to his heart, and the singer says that’s no accident.
“It’s no secret that I love a good time, and I’m also deeply connected to my roots,” he says. “Two Lane has found the perfect balance, combining my celebratory approach to life and my connection to home.”
For more information on the beverages and where to find them, visit Two Lane’s website.
ABC/Image Group LAIt seems that Thomas Rhett’s got something new up his sleeve, but he’s not sharing many details...yet.
The singer took to social media this week to share the cryptic image of a sepia-toned square, with “March 5” written and underlined in the middle. Thomas didn’t explain the meaning behind the date, except to say in the caption, “That’s a Friday, y’all.”
He also linked to his website, where fans can find a countdown clock which counts down to -- you guessed it -- midnight on this Friday, March 5.
Though there’s no telling for sure what exactly Thomas is planning for Friday, fans were quick to speculate in the comments section, and many are hoping for new music. Either a new single or a new album from the singer is certainly plausible: He hasn’t released a new album since May of 2019, when his fourth project, Center Point Road, arrived.
Plus, the “Beer Can’t Fix” star has been sharing new music lately. His latest single, “What’s Your Country Song,” is the lead single from an as-yet-unannounced new album; that song is currently a Top 5 hit at country radio.
Comstock/Thinkstock On this day in 1990, this "Livin' on Love" singer made his Grand Ole Opry debut where he performed his first top 10 hit, "Here In The Real World." Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Alan Jackson.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Kalie Shorr has debuted an acoustic video for her latest single, "Amy." The track will be featured on her EP coming out later this year.
Danielle Bradbery is on the cover of the spring edition of People Health where she discusses her struggles with migraines, how she maintains her health during the COVID-19 pandemic and more. She is set to release new music this year.
Jeannie Seely is releasing her new single "If You Could Call it That" to country radio. It's inspired by a song that Jeannie's friend Dottie West had started writing in 1991. The song is featured on Jeannie's 2020 album, An American Classic.
When it comes to his top ten hit, "Lady,"Brett Young admits he was pulling a bit of double-duty, playing both doting father to his daughter Presley and adoring husband to his wife Taylor.
"We didn't do it on purpose this way," the California native explains, "but I knew once the song was written that I was gonna get credit for this song in two different stages."
"I knew that I was gonna immediately get credit from my wife for a love song," he continues. "And then years down the road, when my daughter was old enough to understand, I'd get credit for that one, too."
So how did Taylor respond to Brett's emotional lyrics like "Look at her, baby girl, and you'll learn to be a lady?"
"I got a text back with all the emojis of her bawling her eyes out," Brett reveals. "You know, you never really wanna make a woman cry, but in a situation like that, I think it's okay."
There are likely many more happy tears on the way for Brett and Taylor, as they're expecting their second child this summer.
ABCEric Church continues to share songs with fans off his upcoming three-part album, Heart & Soul.
The singer announced on Twitter on Tuesday that "Do Side" is the latest song to become available exclusively to the members of his fan club, known as the Church Choir. It's one of six songs featured on the middle album, &, and joins previously released track, "Lone Wolf."
A statement from Church's website says that no more songs from & will be released to the public. The album also boasts "Through My Ray Bans" and "Doing Life With Me."
Studio videos for "Do Side" and "Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones" off the Soul album are also available for the Church Choir to view.
The release of Heart & Soul will be spread out through April, with Heart arriving on April 16, the fan club exclusive & on April 20, and Soul concluding the trilogy on April 23.
Current single "Hell of a View" is inside the top 20 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.