Country Music News

  • How Sam Hunt’s Left Hand Adds Height - by Alison Bonaguro 4h ago Sam Hunt was already about 6’3″ when he married Hannah Lee Fowler a month ago. But now, somehow, it sounds like he might have grown a little. On the red carpet before the Billboard Music Awards, Hunt stopped to catch up with E! News, and he showed off his new wedding band. “It feels great — there’s a spiritual strength to it,” Hunt said of the new ring on his left hand, “and I feel a little bit taller now that I’m wearing it.” He also talked about throwing Fowler into the deep end of awards shows, which was his intention at the Academy of Country Music Awards show in April. It was during his performance of his hit “Body Like a Back Road” that he came down to her seat in the audience to sing to her. “I told her that I might come Continue Reading
  • Love Comes First for Blake Shelton - by Alison Bonaguro 4h ago Did you hear the collective sighs of all the women tuned in to the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (May 21)? When Blake Shelton took the stage to accept his top country artist award, he gave his girlfriend Gwen Stefani the sweetest, most romantic compliment ever. “Wow! That was pretty cool. I had a good feeling. I felt like I was the luckiest guy in the room anyway because Gwen is here with me, so I had a good feeling about it,” Shelton said. It was as if he was trying to get nominated for some kind of a Most Loving Boyfriend award. Which he’d win, hands down. Shelton went on to thank the people who put him there: the fans. “I know this award is based on facts and industry things, sales and streaming and radio airplay and all that stuff,” he said. Continue Reading
  • Adopt a Puppy or Meet a Country Star at CMA Fest - by Lauren Tingle 22h ago The artist meet-and-greet has been a longtime tradition at the CMA Music Festival since it first launched as Fan Fair 46 years ago. That tradition continues with the 2017 Xfinity Fan Fair X, running June 8-11 at Nashville’s Music City Center. It’s the one place at CMA Fest where fans will have an opportunity to meet their favorite acts, catch some live music at three different music stages and maybe make a furry new forever friend. Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation will be on site offering daily dog adoptions starting at noon. Johnny Cash’s “One Piece at a Time” Cadillac will also be on display for photo opportunities. Martina McBride and Brad Paisley will each host Artist of the Day discussions giving fans an inside look inside at what it takes to bring music to the world. McBride will give a retrospective on her first 25 Continue Reading
  • Where Luke Bryan Is the “Happiest Man on the Gulf” - by Alison Bonaguro 21h ago The inside of Luke Bryan‘s four-story vacation home sweet home in Florida is nice. Extremely nice. But honestly, after seeing some of the outdoor living spaces, I don’t know why anyone would ever go into the house. The porch overlooks the ocean, and has a couch and a hanging daybed, which is like one part bed and one part hammock. Then there is basically a full dining room on the terrace. And if you need a quick shower after a swim, there are even outdoor showers — with vintage surfboards as their backdrops. So it makes sense that the outdoors is Bryan’s happy place. “This is where Luke and I can actually relax and not run 100 miles per hour,” Caroline Bryan told Traditional Home. “Typically, all five kids (sons Tate and Bo, nieces Kris and Jordan, and nephew Til) are here with us. There Continue Reading
  • Rascal Flatts Take the Nashville Skyline for Back to Us - by Lauren Tingle 21h ago If there is one thing that hasn’t changed about Rascal Flatts in their last 17 years as a band, it’s their ears for infectious country pop with rich musical arrangements and lyrics that cut deep. That showed at Thursday’s (May 18) sunset celebration for their 10th album Back to Us. With a breathtaking view of a glowing Nashville skyline as a backdrop, Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney took over the Westin Nashville’s L27 Rooftop for an intimate live performance of the title track, the current single “It’s Yours If You Want It,” the Chris Stapleton and Luke Laird co-written “Vandalized,” “I Know You Won’t” and “Life Is a Highway.” Before “I Know You Won’t,” DeMarcus revealed how the 10-year-old Carrie Underwood song ended up on their album. Hit-makers Steve McEwan, Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher wrote the track, which originally appeared on Continue Reading
  • Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band Eulogize Chris Cornell - by Lauren Tingle 24h ago Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band join Chris Cornell fans in mourning the death of the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman. Considered one of grunge music’s greatest voices, Cornell died Wednesday night (May 17) in his Detroit hotel room of an apparent suicide following a Soundgarden show at the Fox Theatre. He was 52. Cornell’s work in country music includes an appearance on “Heavy Is the Head” from Zac Brown Band’s 2015 album Jekyll + Hyde. The song went No. 1 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart in March that year. Chris Cornell touched so many & we were fortunate to have worked w/ him. He was a true talent & gentleman. Our thoughts are with his family. — Zac Brown Band (@zacbrownband) May 18, 2017 Cornell and Aldean performed “Just Gettin’ Started” together from Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt at the 2014 CMT Artists of Continue Reading
  • Blake Shelton’s Unexplainable Bond - by Alison Bonaguro 20h ago Typical Blake Shelton. You can never really tell how serious he is. So in this new interview with The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, I have to assume he’s being mostly honest … but with a little bit of sarcasm. When it comes to Adam Levine, his fellow coach on The Voice, Shelton described their combative relationship like this: “We’re those two guys you knew in high school where we have this bond that is unexplainable. It brings out the best and worst in both of us. It truly is an explosive relationship.” He added that they are constantly at each other’s throats, and sometimes they really do get mad at each other. “I know every trick to get under his skin,” Shelton said of Levine, noting that the Maroon 5 member knows how to reciprocate by driving him crazy, too. “Until someone is crying, it Continue Reading
  • Why Granger Smith Didn’t Share New Song - by Alison Bonaguro 2h ago You’d think that if you went to a Granger Smith show the night before his new single was released, you’d be one of the first to hear it. But that’s not at all how it happened on Thursday night (May 18). Smith played an intimate acoustic show at a Kmart store outside Chicago, and he explained why he wouldn’t be playing his new song “Happens Like That.” “We have a brand new song coming out tomorrow, but I’m not gonna play it,” Smith told the crowd packed in tight around the stage in the outdoor living area of the store. “I have very strict rules. Everyone has to experience it at the same time.” Before the show started, Smith told me the story behind the song, and a little bit more about why he was keeping it to himself until the whole world could hear Continue Reading
  • “Boy” Is Lee Brice’s Tribute to Takoda and Ryker - by Alison Bonaguro 47 mins ago Lee Brice didn’t write his new song, “Boy.” But with two boys at home, it sounds like he’s made the tune his own. “We wanted to make ‘Boy’ our first single for a couple of reasons. First, Sara and I have two sons, Takoda (9) and Ryker (3). This song is a tribute to them,” Brice said in a press release about the single. “It’s my way of saying how proud I am to be their dad.” But the timing of the song is important to Brice, too. Because very soon, it won’t be just him and his boys. “We have a daughter on the way in a couple of weeks,” he added, “and we wanted to share this song for our boys before she arrived.” “Boy” was written by Nicolle Galyon and Jon Nite, and will be on Brice’s fourth studio album, due Continue Reading
  • Karen Fairchild on the Woman’s Intuition - by Alison Bonaguro 3h ago In a new Q&A on TheNewPotato.com — an online food and fashion magazine — Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild reveals some of her favorite foods, cities, and styles. It’s a very breezy and casual conversation. But when the talk turns to music, Fairchild gets down to business with some very solid advice for any girls trying to get into the industry. “As women, we have to always remember to listen to our instincts and go with our guts,” Fairchild said. “I think too often girls feel like they have to make concessions or change who they are, or what their music says, to make it in this industry,” she said. “We need to nurture these women to write honest songs, to write from their hearts, and not to pander. Let’s give them some room to do what they do.” Being a woman is a very Continue Reading
  • Dierks Bentley on What Glues Things Together - by Alison Bonaguro 22h ago When Dierks Bentley sits down to make a set list for a concert, he tries to keep things interesting. In an interview with the Hartford Courant newspaper in Connecticut, Bentley explained why he doesn’t just play the party songs. “I have a set list full of songs about parties and girls, and I rely heavily on those songs during a live show,” Bentley said. “That’s where a lot of the energy comes from, those party songs. But I think the most important songs in the live show are the ones in between those huge, uptempo hits, the ones that kind of glue the whole thing together.” You can’t have a roller coaster that goes downhill the whole time, Bentley said, so you have to have some ups and downs. “You have to find ways to take the audience on a ride,” he said. “I know Continue Reading
  • Chris Stapleton’s From a Room, Volume 1 is Week’s Top-Debuting Album - by Edward Morris 20h ago Here we go again. One hundred and six weeks after Chris Stapleton hit the Billboard country albums chart with Traveller, he’s back at No. 1 with a new collection, From a Room, Volume 1. And get this: Traveller, after all this time, is still at No. 2! From a Room debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 all genres listing, right behind Logic’s Everybody. Blowing in (I couldn’t help myself) at the top of the country airplay songs chart is Luke Comb‘s “Hurricane.” It arrives there after a 30-week swoop. There are three other new albums — Colt Ford‘s unpunctuated Love Hope Faith (at No. 7), Upchurch’s Son of the South (No. 29) and Ryan Upchurch’s Summer Love EP (No. 35). (Upchurch and Ryan Upchurch are the same.) Moving back onto the chart are the Zac Brown Band‘s Jekyll + Hyde (No. 46) and Continue Reading
  • Billy Ray Cyrus: The Blessing of “Achy Breaky Heart” - by Alison Bonaguro 4h ago It’s been a little more than 25 years since we first heard of Billy Ray Cyrus and his “Achy Breaky Heart.” And the star of CMT’s Still the King recently talked with industry publication Country Aircheck about the song and its special anniversary. “I wish I’d written ‘Achy Breaky Heart,’ but I wouldn’t want to take that away from Don Von Tress. He wrote it, and I got the blessing of hearing it at the right time. I was looking for one more song for my debut album, and that thing landed in my lap,” Cyrus said of his hunt for songs for Some Gave All.So for Cyrus, it was a little bit of a right-place-right-time situation that led to the best-selling, highest-charting song of his career, and according to ABC News, earned him $40 million in one year. “I knew something very big was Continue Reading
  • Will Brad Paisley Be Your Best Last? - by Alison Bonaguro 3h ago If you’re part of the class of 2017, you’re already halfway there. In Brad Paisley’s Last Time for Everything contest, he’s asking high school seniors — the class of 2017 — to send in their bests “lasts” via Instagram and Twitter. All you have to do it use the hashtag #BPGrad17Contest so he can find the posts. Then Paisley himself will choose the winner, who will get to host a concert for the entire senior class. “The heart of the song ‘Last Time for Everything’ for me is, the senior year of high school,” Paisley said in a recent radio interview. “When you’re saying goodbye to an entire group of people that you’ve been on a journey with for years. Life if full of those moments, but the thing about high school is you realize things are changing. “And this time of year as kids Continue Reading
  • Thomas Rhett Says Tour Bus Renovation Is “Nuts” - by Alison Bonaguro 1h ago Now that Thomas Rhett’s infant daughter Willa Gray Akins has arrived from Uganda, and his wife Lauren is due with their other little girl in August, you might be wondering where everyone is going to sleep if the whole family comes out on the road during his Home Team Tour. In a recent radio interview, Thomas Rhett described some of the tour bus renovations going on to prepare for his growing family. Basically, more crib and less bunk. “So we took one whole side of bunks out and made a crib and drawers. And then on the other side, we knocked out two bunks and put two dog crates under there, so literally there’s one bunk left on our bus,” Rhett said. The dog crates will have to go, though, because they will be adding another crib for the next baby. “It’s pretty nuts,” he Continue Reading
  • Nashville Cast Mourns the Loss of Powers Boothe - by Claire Heinichen 5/15/2017 Powers Boothe, the Emmy-winning actor who portrayed the memorable and often villainous Lamar Wyatt on Nashville, died Sunday night (May 14) at age 68. The patriarch of the Wyatt family had a strained relationship with his daughter Rayna Jaymes for the show’s first two seasons, where they often fought over the time she devoted to her music and her family life. Wyatt also helped Jaymes’ first husband Teddy Conrad become Nashville’s mayor. He left the series in 2014. Boothe, also known for his work in TV’s Deadwood and films such as Tombstone, Sin City and The Avengers, died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, his publicist said. The cast of the show remembers Boothe fondly, having spent two years getting to know the man behind Lamar. Charles Esten, who portrays Deacon Claybourne, posted a video to Instagram of Boothe from the show’s season Continue Reading
  • See Lady Antebellum’s Smokin’ New Video for “You Look Good” - by Samantha Stephens 21h ago No, Lady Antebellum, you look good, especially in this brand new video for their soul-powered single “You Look Good.” The trio’s sexy swagger is on full display in the smoking video directed by Shane Drake and Roger Pistole, which takes us to a small, hole-in-the-wall type club — you know, the kind of place where a real party happens. Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood are sweating it out and working the stage with their signature harmonies as the crowd works it out Dirty Dancing-style on the dance floor. There’s some serious flirting going on in the crowd and we see a story brewing, but it looks like we’ll have to wait ’til the next installment to find out what happens next. “You Look Good” is the debut single from their forthcoming album Heartbreak, set for release on June 9. The trio’s You Look Continue Reading
  • Chris Stapleton on the Balance of Things - by Alison Bonaguro 20h ago Chris Stapleton has a knack for writing songs that head directly to the top of the country charts. Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer,” Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn,” Darius Rucker’s “Come Back Song” and Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” are a few that he’s co-written. But he also knows that for every big ol’ radio hit, there is also room for another kind of hit. Those are the ones Stapleton calls “move-the-needle” songs. In a recent interview with CBS This Morning, he talked about how there’s a place for both kinds of songs in country music. “When you’re a songwriter, that’s part of your job is to write those songs,” Stapleton said of the radio hits. “But there’s two songs kinds of songs you can have on radio: There’s songs that can be a hit, and there’s songs that move the needle and can Continue Reading
  • Cam Explains All the Yellow - by Alison Bonaguro 4h ago It’s rare to find Cam wearing anything other than yellow. It has become the “Burning House” singer’s signature since her debut album was released in 2015. And she recently explained her thinking behind it. “Yellow is just a positive, friendly color,” she said in a Q&A with Wayfair.com. “I find that I feel happier and am in a better mood when I’m wearing yellow, but also that people are nicer to me when I’m wearing yellow, so I’m just drawn to it. “Also, I’m from California, so yellow for me is like me getting to have a little bit of my California sunshine wherever I am.” She also admitted she wants to get that California feel from the home she shares with her new husband Adam. “I really wanted to incorporate pieces of California into the design, since my husband and I are both from Continue Reading
  • Brantley Gilbert, Wife Amber Share Baby News - by Alison Bonaguro 20 mins ago If you saw Brantley Gilbert at his February concert in Louisville, Kentucky, you might have noticed that he was a little more emotional than usual. Because that’s the night he found out his wife Amber was pregnant. According to People magazine, Amber surprised her husband on his tour bus before the show. “She handed me a box and there were three pregnancy tests in there and all of them were positive. I think I stared at it for at least two minutes without saying anything because I was literally in shock. We’d been told it was just not in the cards, and I’m staring at this answer to many, many, many prayers,” Gilbert said. The news has him crying like a baby, he added. “I’m pretty good around other folks now, but when I’m by myself, if I look at one of the pictures Continue Reading