ABC/Image Group LAOld Dominion are gearing up to share more new music, and from the snippet they posted to social media this week, the next song they’ve got coming is a flirty, tropical summertime anthem.
“This is one y’all haven’t ever heard yet,” the group revealed on social media, posting a 30-second clip of their new song along with a portion of the lyrics. Called “Everything to Lose,” the tune focuses on the early stages of a new relationship.
“Everything that you do is driving me crazy / Dancing and singing along and it’s catching my ear, catching my eye,” the song begins. “Think that it’s been long enough, girl, you know I ain’t playing / So let’s blow this popsicle stand, girl, and kiss it goodbye...”
“Everything to Lose” will be the first taste of previously unheard music from Old Dominion since May, when they dropped three older songs that they’d written for previous projects but that didn’t make the cut.
The band released their self-titled third album in October of last year. That project includes hits like “Make it Sweet” and “One Man Band.”
ABC/Image Group LARandy Travis and his wife, Mary, consider themselves to be lucky during the COVID-19 lockdown: They live on a farm, with plenty of opportunities for fresh air. Plus, the country legend has plenty of personal experience with having to adjust to a dramatic life change overnight. In 2013, he suffered a debilitating stroke that robbed him of his ability to speak or sing.
“Randy and I were talking about it, reflecting on how our world kind of shut down and came to screeching halt seven years ago, when the stroke happened in July 2013,” Mary tells Rolling Stone in the couple’s latest interview.
“That’s when we hit a brick wall and everything changed and we were isolated from everything we had known before,” she continues. “So to us, [the COVID-19 shutdown] was not that much of a transition.”
Still, the pair acknowledge that for much of the rest of the world, the pandemic has brought life changes on an entirely new scale.
“But for people that have never been through something like [Randy’s stroke] in life, or a tragedy where your whole world has shattered and it changes in an instant, I’m sure that it’s hard to adjust to, because it was hard for us to adjust seven years ago,” Mary reflects.
Though Randy is still unable to perform the way he could before his stroke, he continues to recover, even doing things that his doctors didn’t think he would ever again be able to do.
For example, Randy will deliver a landmark performance on Josh Turner’s upcoming project, Country State of Mind, contributing to Josh’s rendition of “Forever and Ever, Amen.” His participation in the new version of the song marks Randy’s first recording session since his stroke.
Atlantic RecordsIngrid Andress puts a fun-loving spin on heartbreak in her summery new song, “Waste of Lime.” Full of her signature quirks and humor, the new tune also tips its hat to the Beach Boys’ classic “Kokomo,” with lyrics that tell the story of a sweet romance that quickly sours.
“Just an empty margarita / Let me and this tequila high and dry,” Ingrid sings in the song’s chorus. “No drunk pick-up lines, no ‘Your place or mine’ / You’re just a waste of lime.”
In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Ingrid explained that her new song is an uncharacteristically lighthearted release for her.
“I’m sure everybody’s 2020 is not the most ideal. Mine is definitely the worst year up to this point," says Ingrid. "But honestly, I’m just glad I can still release music and create. And the song that’s coming out is probably the happiest song I’ve ever written. So soak it in, people, while you can. Because that’s the last time I’m ever going to write something like that.”
When she shared the song this week, Ingrid also dropped an equally fun-loving music video, which finds the singer creating her own mini-beach vacation in her backyard. In the clip, Ingrid splashes around a kiddie pool, reclines in a lounge chair and, of course, sips margaritas.
“Waste of Lime” follows Ingrid’s debut album, Lady Like, which arrived in March. Since then, she’s scored her first chart-topping hit with “More Hearts than Mine,” and sent her second single, “The Stranger,” to radio.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Academy of Country MusicChris Young’s planning to drop his next single on Friday, and the new song, called “If That Ain’t God,” is a particularly poignant message for the times.
“It’s just a positive, uplifting message,” the singer tells People. “It’s talking about some of the things in life that you take for granted, whether it’s little stuff or big stuff, and you look around and you’re like, ‘Man, if that ain’t God, I don’t know what is.’"
The song begins with a story about a young boy beating cancer and going on to live a healthy life, complete with a spot on his local youth baseball team. The message of overcoming stark odds resonated in particular with Chris, whose father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.
“[He] lost a part of one of his lungs and came back and you’d never know it if you saw him today that he went through all that,” the singer recalls. “I’m still lucky to have my dad around...and not taking it for granted.”
“If That Ain’t God” will be the second song fans have heard from Chris recently that delves into heavier, more introspective subject matter. In 2019, he released “Drowning,” a heartbreaking meditation on the grief he experienced after losing a friend.
And though Chris is no stranger to fun-loving, uptempo party songs, the singer says his faith has always been a quietly important part of his artistry.
“I grew up singing in church, and my grandfather was an elder in the church I used to go to. Somebody would go up and with a pitch pipe and they would blow a note on a pitch pipe and everybody would sing in [an] eight-part harmony,” he remembers. “So that was something I picked up on really early on.”
Electric Machine/CMA Carly Pearce and Lee Brice celebrated yet another milestone this week with their chart-topping duet, “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” The song officially received RIAA Platinum certification, and the two artists were presented with a celebratory plaque during Wednesday night’s CMA Summer Stay-Cay event.
“Having songs that meant something to people was always my dream,” Carly reflected of the new honor. “To see these songs reach such big milestones and see that my music is making an impact on people’s lives is more than I ever could have hoped for.”
The song, which comes off Carly’s self-titled sophomore album, has topped 225 million global streams.
“I knew when I heard this song for the first time that this was something special, and I’m honored that Carly asked me to be a part of it,” added Lee. “Thank you to all the fans for loving this song as much as Carly and I did recording it and making this a platinum hit.”
On the same day that “I Hope You’re Happy Now” earned her a platinum certification plaque, Carly also officially received gold certification for her 2017 single, “Hide the Wine.”
It was a night full of career celebrations during a recent period that's been pretty tumultuous for Carly. Just days after celebrating “I Hope You’re Happy Now”’s ascent to the top spot at radio, news broke that she was filing for divorce from her husband of eight months, fellow artist Michael Ray.
ABC/Mark LevineAtlanta-based upstart Breland dropped a bombshell during the CMA Summer Stay-Cay on Wednesday night: He’s planning to feature Keith Urban on an upcoming new track, which he describes as “country twerk.”
Even before officially announcing that a duet was in the works, Breland had been teasing some kind of collaboration with the country superstar.
Earlier in the week, he posted a montage video of himself quietly geeking out over getting to visit Keith’s house, ending the clip by proclaiming “I’m in Keith Urban’s house!” before panning across a recording studio to reveal Keith smiling and strumming a guitar.
Keith isn’t the first country A-lister who’s teamed up with Breland. Sam Hunt recently jumped on a remix of the rising singer-songwriter’s “My Truck,” a swagger-filled, genre-blending ode to the singer’s favorite set of wheels.
In addition to making waves with big-name collaborations, Breland recently marked Juneteenth by releasing Rage & Sorrow, an introspective, three-track EP that addresses police brutality, racism and his complicated relationship with masculinity.
Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 1991, this Georgia native and Grand Ole Opry member released her self-titled debut album. It included her breakout hit, “She’s in Love with the Boy.” Can you name her? ANSWER: Trisha Yearwood.
ABC/Eric GebhartJason Aldean highlights sweet family moments in the new music video for “Got What I Got,” which debuted during the CMA Summer Stay-Cay on Wednesday night.
Filmed during the COVID-19 quarantine in Destin, Florida, the clip focuses on the star at home with his wife, Brittany, and their two young children, Navy and Memphis. After the kids go to bed, the couple enjoys a date night in, complete with vinyl records and Jason’s own Wolf Moon Bourbon brand, which he created with Florida Georgia Line.
Elsewhere in the video, the couple stroll on the beach, take a drive around town and spend time with family. Given the current pandemic, keeping the video’s treatment small and scaled down was the only option Jason had. However, focusing on family fits perfectly with the single’s message of gratitude for a loving, lasting relationship.
“Got What I Got” was the second single to be released off of Jason’s newest album, 9. It followed the project’s hit lead single, “We Back.”
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockSugarland bandmate Kristian Bush is teaming up with Ram Trucks tonight for the next installment of their virtual concert series, Ram Jam Sessions. You can catch his live performance on Ram Trucks’ Facebook page at 7PM ET.
Country newcomers Avenue Beat have scored almost 10 million views on TikTok with a snippet of their very NSFW song, which shares how they really feel about the year 2020. The song found a famous fan in Maren Morris, who voiced her approval on Twitter.
John Prine has been named the first-ever honorary Poet Laureate in his home state of Illinois. He’s being honored posthumously, following his death in April of complications of COVID-19.
Matthew BerinatoAs America prepares to celebrate its birthday this weekend, it'll be an Independence Day unlike any we've experienced before, due to the ongoing protests and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, for Matt Stell, the Fourth of July brings back memories of summers spent in his native Arkansas.
"Me and my dad always threw a big Fourth of July party," he reminisces. "We'd cook and we'd eat and have people over, and we'd shoot off a bunch of fireworks and throw bottle rockets at each other. It was a lot of fun."
With everything going on, the "Prayed for You" hitmaker still has hopes of keeping the tradition alive, even if it's scaled down quite a bit.
"This year will be a little bit different for everybody," he reflects, "but man, hopefully, we'll still get to maybe get outside and cook some meat outside. That'll be fun."
Matt also has another reason to celebrate: His heartbreak ballad "Everywhere but On" is on the verge of cracking country's top twenty.
Meanwhile, Matt's just released the socially-distanced "Many Matts" music video for "If I Was a Bar," where he plays all the characters in the clip. At the same time, he's continuing to ready his major label debut for later this year.
ABC/Image Group LASince Maren Morris welcomed baby Hayes this spring, she and her husband, fellow artist Ryan Hurd, have been sharing plenty of adorable snapshots of him on social media.
However, the singer says that might change, in part because she's been the target of some mommy-shaming.
This week, Maren posted a photo of herself and Hayes enjoying a day at the lake, wearing matching swimsuits and sunglasses and riding on board an inflatable boat. Of course, one Twitter user had to chime in and ask why Hayes wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
While many fans jumped to Maren’s defense, the singer explained that she has to deal with that kind of commentary every time she shares a picture of her son.
“Honestly, I get so many criticisms of my motherhood on anything I post of Hayes, so I may just discontinue posting photos of him,” she responded. “Sucks but it’s kind of where I’m at.”
Among those who chimed in to support Maren: fellow country artist Mickey Guyton, who encouraged her not to take the Twitter trolls’ words to heart.
“You’re an amazing mother and those that have something to say don’t deserve to see this beautiful life you’ve created in love,” Mickey wrote.
In response, Maren thanked Mickey for the support, saying that she and Ryan had been considering scaling back how much they share about their baby for other reasons, too. Still, she admitted that the negativity she was facing was especially hurtful, since so much of it was coming from other moms.
“We talked about curbing posting photos anyway now that he’s a little bit older, but the added crap from (mostly other moms) folks definitely forced our hand,” Maren pointed out.
ABC/Image Group LAAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat, Brooks & Dunn are postponing their planned 2020 Reboot Tour until next fall. The tour’s launch date has been moved from this fall to September of 2021.
It’s not the first time concerns over the virus have caused the superstar country duo to push their trek, which will be the first they’ve embarked on together in a decade. The Reboot Tour was originally planned to kick off in the spring of 2020. The pair changed those plans in March, hoping that it would be safe to tour again by the fall. However, it's still too dangerous for large groups of people to gather.
“Brooks & Dunn’s Reboot 2020 Tour is proactively being rescheduled to 2021 out of an abundance of caution,” the band wrote on social media, explaining that tickets will be honored on the new dates and refunds will be available for anyone who can’t make it to the show in 2021.
“We want to thank you guys for your understanding,” they added. “Stay safe and patient, and we can all be together soon!”
Many other artists, including Kenny Chesney, Maren Morris and The Zac Brown Band, have also wiped their 2020 tour calendars clean in the interest of slowing the virus’ spread. Some acts, like Garth Brooks and Keith Urban, have tried to find creative ways to safely perform, even experimenting with a drive-in concert format.
As the months begin to pile up since the COVID-19 shutdown took effect, however, a few artists have chafed at the shutdown. Chase Rice and Chris Janson both played live shows last weekend, subsequently facing harsh criticism from other artists for putting their fans and crew at risk for exposure.
Brooks & Dunn’s REBOOT 2020 TOUR is proactively being rescheduled to 2021 out of an abundance of caution. Head to https://t.co/pqwY4Fijxe for more details. We want to thank you guys for your understanding, stay safe and patient and we can all be together soon! pic.twitter.com/ckuhu2Q1e2
Weston HeflinTenilleTownes hosted a virtual version of her annual “Big Hearts for Big Kids” fundraiser concert this week, performing a set from the stage of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
A long list of country stars offered from-home performances, too. Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Brandi Carlile, Ashley McBryde and more joined the lineup, helping the event raise a total of $89,000. Since its 2010 launch, “Big Hearts for Big Kids” has raised over $2 million for children in need.
“Thinking about how difficult circumstances can make the beginning of somebody’s story always breaks my heart,” Tenille wrote on Instagram after the event. “But nights like last night always inspire me because we really can show up for each other. Thank you for showing up last night.”
During her set, Tenille dipped into her brand-new debut album, The Lemonade Stand. The project features her breakout hit, “Somebody’s Daughter,” which is itself a meditation on the impact of homelessness and the fact that everyone has a story, no matter their circumstances.
In case you missed it, the "Big Hearts for Big Kids" concert will be available to watch on Tenille's YouTube channel for the next week.
What a night. You guys just absolutely blow me away. Last night we all came together for Big Hearts For Big Kids and raised $89,000 for The Sunrise House, and Girl Scouts Troop 6000 of Middle Tennessee. Thank you for believing in these kids & for your incredible donations. 😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/YzJc0SBWKn
View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesDue to the continued threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has once again extended its shutdown. The downtown Nashville location will now remain closed to the public through July 31.
In a statement, the Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young stressed the importance of keeping visitors and staff safe, especially as COVID-19 case numbers rise in Tennessee and beyond.
“With the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Nashville and throughout the country, we determined it was necessary to extend our temporary closure to protect the health of our staff and guests,” he explained. “We look forward to welcoming guests and having them explore our galleries once again. When we reopen, we want to make sure it is in the safest possible environment.”
Before making the decision not to re-open as originally planned in June, the Hall of Fame had already decided to cancel in-person events -- such as performances, screenings, summer camps, the internship program and family programming -- through the end of July.
However, the Hall of Fame is helming a number of online offerings to tide country fans over until it’s safe to re-open. Would-be visitors can listen to episodes of the museum’s Voices in the Hall podcast, watch its weekly Songwriter Sessions live on Instagram, and enjoy a number of family-friendly online workshops.
Disney Channel/Chris HolloIt’s been a little over a year since Granger Smith and his wife, Amber, lost their 3-year-old son, River, in a tragic drowning accident. In a new interview with People, Granger looks back on his healing journey over the last year, and confronts the grief and guilt he still experiences today.
“[Returning to performing after River’s death] was terrible. But I knew that would be a critical part of my healing process, and my gut instinct was right,” he recalls, adding that the worst part was imagining that the audience was “staring at me like, ‘There’s the failed father up there.’”
Though Granger and Amber did everything they possibly could to save River’s life, both parents admit that they still struggle with guilt in the wake of the tragedy.
“I know that there’s going to be a time when I’m going to forgive myself, but I’m not there yet,” Granger says.
“I don’t know if we ever truly will be able to forgive ourselves. I pray that we can. I hope we can,” adds Amber.
Granger says that the experience of losing a child and the grief that ensued have been transformative for him, both as a person and as a songwriter. Fans can already hear that shift in his latest release, “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads,” and it’ll continue to be present in his next musical project, which is due out in September.
“There is a lot of feeling from him in this album,” the singer acknowledges, though he says there won’t be many direct references to River in the project.
NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesThey're not even engaged, but US Weekly claims that longtime partners Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are so eager to get married that they may tie the knot this summer.
The mag quotes a source as saying the couple is “keen to make it happen as soon as possible,” but safety is their priority amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has turned their world upside down, as it has with so many families,” the mag quotes an insider as saying. "Gwen knows she is blessed and wants to have the wedding as soon as social distancing guidelines are lifted.”
So, while they want to go "all out” for a big summer wedding, the source notes, "It won’t be the end of the world if they have to move things back till the fall.”
Either way, there are allegedly two ceremonies planned -- one in L.A., and one on Blake's ranch in Oklahoma. A second source dishes, "Oklahoma gives the couple more privacy and the possibilities are endless for a wedding reception people will talk about for years."
Gwen started the process of annulling her first marriage, to Bush singer Gavin Rossdale, in March of 2019, so that she can have her marriage to Blake recognized by the Catholic church. However, she's apparently no longer willing to wait for that to happen.
A source told the mag last month that Gwen now realizes "waiting for the annulment at this point is just futile because it could take years for the church tribunal to issue the decision.”
Gwen and Blake went public with their romance in November of 2015. They've been quarantining together, along with Gwen's three sons with Gavin: Kingston, 14, Zuma, 11, and Apollo, 6.
BBR Music GroupJimmie Allen’s got a new EP in the works, and his next batch of tunes will feature more than a few special guests. Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Tim McGraw are just a few of the familiar voices that will make an appearance on the project, which is called Bettie James.
Other guest stars will include Charley Pride, Mickey Guyton and The Oak Ridge Boys. Jimmie isn’t limiting himself to country duets, though: Rapper Nelly, Christian artist Tauren Wells and actrRESS/singer-songwriter Rita Wilson are also featured on the project. Bettie James also includes “This is Us,” Jimmie’s current single with rising pop star, Noah Cyrus.
Despite the long list of big-name artists contributing to the project, Bettie James’ most meaningful special guests are the two family members who lend their names to Jimmie’s new EP. Those are his father, James Allen, and his grandmother, Bettie Snead, who both died over the past decade.
“My dad and grandmom were two completely different people, but both played a huge part in my life,” Jimmie reflects. “Since they died, I have been wanting to leave trails of their legacies throughout my music.”
Jimmie adds that this project, and all the artists who helped him make it, tie together his love of music and love of family. “Each artist has touched the life of my dad, my grandmother and me through their music,” he says.
Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 1955, this legendary "Crazy" singer made her Grand Ole Opry debut. She was introduced by Ernest Tubb and performed "A Church, a Courtroom and then Goodbye." Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Patsy Cline.
ABC/Image Group LACarly Pearce rocked the country world earlier this month when news broke that she'd filed for divorce from her fellow artist husband, Michael Ray. But this week, Carly revealed that she’s already found new love -- and it’s the furry, four-footed variety.
In her first social media post since her breakup became public, Carly posed with her adorable new puppy, whose name is June. The sweet selfie also features a backdrop of a few of the singer’s favorite things: Wine glasses, a snapshot of one of her live shows, and a framed copy of the sheet music to traditional hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
Carly hasn’t yet spoken publicly about her split from Michael. However, just days before the news of her divorce, she reflected that the pandemic has given her an unexpected burst of creativity, adding that she’s been hard at work on new material despite the fact that her last album just came out in February.
Michel and Carly tied the knot last fall, after an adorable courtship that quickly made them one of the genre’s favorite couples. Several weeks ago, some eagle-eyed fans began noticing that the two of them had stopped commenting on or appearing in each other’s social media feeds.
Sadly, after just eight months of marriage, the couple officially called it quits. It’s been an emotionally tumultuous few weeks for Carly, who also recently celebrated her latest chart-topping hit, a duet with Lee Brice called “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”
Country Music AssociationThe annual CMA Fest may've been impossible in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Country Music Association's still found a way to have a party -- several, in fact -- with the fans.
The first happens today at 6 p.m. ET, as CMA Summer Stay-Cay kicks off on YouTube and Facebook, hosted by Jimmie Allen and Lindsay Ell.
"It's gonna be fun," Jimmie predicts. "I have no idea what you can expect, because I have no idea what I'm going to expect, but I know it's gonna be fun."
"She's a friend of mine," he adds of Lindsay, "and every time, you know, we're around each other, it's always a good time. She always brings everything she's got. So it's gonna be fun, for sure."
Lindsay offers a few more details about what she has up her sleeve.
"Fans can expect a lot of laughs, a lot of games," Lindsay explains. "Jimmie and I always make fun of each other. We're label mates. We're good friends. So it's gonna be a lot of fun, let me just say."
The "What Happens in a Small Town" hitmaker also teams up with Lauren Alaina and Cassadee Pope for a trio version of the Garth Brooks classic, "Two Pina Coladas."
"My CMA Stay-Cay performance is full of summery things, beautiful girls -- some of my my best friends in town," Lindsay says. "I'm so excited for you to see it. You're definitely gonna feel like the summer has started."
The summer fun continues on Monday, July 13, when Luke Bryan hosts the three-hour CMA Best of Fest special starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Look for Kane Brown, Jason Aldean, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and many more on tonight's CMA Summer Stay-Cay as well.