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Country Music News
ABC/Chris Hollo

If you’ve been keeping up with Dierks Bentley’s social media channels lately, you’ve probably seen glimpses of all the on-stage fun as the singer embarks on his 2021 Beers on Me Tour.

He’s even had an extra-special guest with him now and again: Dierks’ 12-year-old daughter, Evie joined him onstage earlier this month. She showed off her impressive vocal talents in a live rendition of Dierks’ “Different for Girls,” where she filled in for her dad’s studio duet partner on the song, Elle King.

But in an interview with Good Morning America, Dierks says that as much as he loves singing with Evie and the rest of his kids, he’s not forcing them to follow in his country music footsteps.

“All my kids love performing. Evie’s got a pretty special voice right now,” he says. “We don’t really practice or rehearse a bunch...she’s just a kid, and I like her doing kid stuff.”

Still, the singer says, he’s impressed by his daughter’s affinity for the spotlight.

“She’s got a great voice, a great stage presence. She’ll jump out onstage sometimes and sing in front of 15,000 people, and I’m more nervous than she is,” he jokes. “She’s kind of a natural at it. It’s a special thing to get to share together.”

Dierks' Beers on Me Tour continues this summer, with opening acts Riley Green and Parker McCollum. He also recently notched his 20th number-one country radio hit with “Gone.”

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Gaither Music Group/Capitol Records Nashville

Carrie Underwood’s gospel album, My Savior, has a brand-new visual component. The singer released My Savior: Live From the Ryman on Friday, showcasing an album release livestream show that she performed at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

“This is an album I have always wanted to record and I’m thrilled to be able to bring these uplifting, inspirational songs to life in such a special way,” Carrie says of the album and DVD.

To celebrate the release of the concert DVD, Carrie also shared her performance video of “Because He Lives,” one of the tracks on the album. On the DVD, fans can also watch the singer duet with gospel great CeCe Winans and NEEDTOBREATHE frontman Bear Rinehart. Legendary musicians Buddy Greene and Mac McAnally, who played on the album, also appear during the performance captured on the DVD.

Carrie’s My Savior: Live From the Ryman TV special will air on Friday night on PBS, Circle and other networks.

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ACM

Keith Urban was among the celebrity guests who contributed to a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, People reports.

Joining him in the pre-recorded clip were pop singer John Legend, Spanish performer and composer Alejandro Sanz, Beninese singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo, and the Suginami Children’s Choir.

The group performance took place as athletes from each country gathered on the stage during the opening ceremony, underscoring "Imagine's" message of unity before beginning this year’s Olympics games.

“It’s one of those songs that feels like it’s just always been there,” Keith explains in a behind-the-scenes clip about recording of the group performance. “It’s sort of like a spiritual classic.”

Coming off of the 1971 album of the same name, “Imagine” was the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career. The singer-songwriter and former Beatles member has said that the influence for the song came from his wife Yoko Ono’s 1964 book, Grapefruit, and that she should receive co-writing credit for the song.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were rescheduled to summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ceremonies begin on July 23 and last through August 8.

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J. Kempin/FilmMagic

Garth Brooks is headed for Wyoming on Friday night, where he’ll play the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo. It’s the 125th anniversary of the 10-day event, and this year’s festivities are dedicated to the late country star and rodeo champ Chris LeDoux.

As he gears up for his sold-out set, Garth says he can’t help but think back on all the memories he made at the rodeo with Chris, who died in 2005 at the age of 56. In fact, one year, Garth was nervous he might have to miss the rodeo because his wife was about to go into labor with the couple’s daughter. Just in case he had to drop out, Chris came to town to play understudy, Garth remembers.

“1996 we’re playing Cheyenne Frontier Days...worried that our youngest daughter, Allie, is going to be born while we’re there and I’d have to fly out and miss the show,” recounts Garth. “So Chris LeDoux brings him and his band up there just in case. We get the word about 2pm in the afternoon [that] everything’s great, so we go ahead and play the show...with Chris LeDoux.”

This weekend, Garth will honor Chris by being a part of the official unveiling ceremony of a bronze statue dedicated to the rodeo legend. He’s also playing his Friday night show with country singer Ned LeDoux, who's Chris’ son. 

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BBR Music Group

Jason Aldean and fellow country superstar Carrie Underwood mix high-drama harmonies and powerhouse vocals on their new duet, “If I Didn’t Love You.”

The new song officially arrived Friday, after Jason started teasing it -- and his big mystery duet partner -- earlier in the week. According to Billboard, Jason says that Carrie’s vocal contributions made the song even better than he’d imagined it could be.

“She did her thing like only Carrie can,” he explains. “And I don’t know how, but she made the song sound even better than what we’d expected. It’s a really special song to start this album.”

“If I Didn’t Love You” is the first single off Jason’s upcoming tenth album. “We were pretty close to finishing up this album, but this song came in and we knew we had to record it. I went ahead and put my vocals down while we asked Carrie in the meantime,” he details.

“Luckily, she loved the song,” Jason adds, “and it was kind of like a rocket from there.”

It’s not Jason’s first time finding musical magic with a turbo-charged male-female duet. His 2010 collaboration with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” was a massive hit. Then, in 2018, he and Miranda Lambert topped the country charts with their “Drowns the Whiskey.” 

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Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMA

In his first major interview since February, when a video of him using the n-word at the end of a night of partying led to his swift removal from the spotlight, Morgan Wallen is opening up about the incident.

“It just happened,” he told Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan on Friday of the night in question, explaining that it was the last night of weekend filled with partying with some “longtime friends” who were in town.

“We say dumb stuff together. In our minds, it’s playful,” Morgan continued. “It sounds ignorant, but that’s really where it came from.”

He went on to say that his use of the word wasn’t intended to be derogatory, explaining the mistake came from ignorance and adding, “I don’t think I sat down and was like, ‘Hey, is this right or is this wrong?’”

After the tape’s release, Morgan’s promising path toward superstardom came screeching to a halt. His record label suspended his contract and his music was removed from a variety of radio networks and streaming services.

During the months that followed, Morgan says he accepted invitations to speak with advocacy organization the Black Music Action Coalition, and also with other prominent Black music industry members, like Kevin Liles, Eric Hutcherson and gospel singer BeBe Winans.

Morgan also spent 30 days in a rehab facility, “Just trying to figure it out," he explained.  "Why am I acting this way? Do I have an alcohol problem?”

He also donated $500,000 to BMAC and other Black-focused organizations. The figure is what he and his team estimated he made from the spike in his album sales following the incident.  Regarding that, Strahan asked Wallen if he felt country music has a race problem.

“I mean...it would seem that way, yeah,” Morgan replied, though he added, “I haven’t really sat and thought about that.” 

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Comstock/Thinkstock

A bluegrass superstar who netted mainstream attention when she performed on the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack is celebrating her 50th birthday today. She also has 27 Grammy Awards, making her the second-most awarded female artist in Grammy history, following Beyoncé. Can you name her? ANSWER: Alison Krauss.

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ABC/Eric McCandless

Luke Combs paid his respects to the three fans who died at Michigan's Faster Horses Festival by paying for their funerals.  Combs was one of the festival's headliners.

ABC affiliate WXYZ in Detroit reports that the three victims -- identified as Kole Sova, 19, Dawson Brown, 20, and Richie Mays Jr., 20 -- were found deceased inside a trailer at the campgrounds.  Authorities believe they died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a nearby generator.

A representative for Combs confirmed the "Beautiful Crazy" singer handled the victims' funeral expenses but declined further comment. 

No foul play is suspected at this time.  Authorities say that, in addition to the deceased, two other men were found in critical condition at the trailer and remain hospitalized. Authorities told WXYZ another woman was found deceased on the grounds but don't believe her death is related to the incident.

Combs was one of the headliners for the three-day music festival, which takes place at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  In addition to Combs paying the funeral expenses, the Michigan Center Athletic Boosters set up a GoFundMe page to cover medical costs and set up "future scholarships in honor of Dawson, Kole and Richie."  The campaign has raised over $62,000 as of Friday morning.

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Allister Ann

Shortly after Dolly Parton's surprise invitation last month to join the Grand Ole Opry, Carly Pearce wasted no time getting ready for an event she's dreamed of practically her whole life: her induction into the country music institution. 

"I feel like I'm getting to plan the best day of my life," the Kentucky native said just days later. "I'm like planning the biggest party of my life, so just trying to make a few special moments and working on that, and it feels surreal a little bit."

"I'd be lying if I said I don't already have my dress, because I do," Carly admitted.

Now with her August 3 induction a little more than a week away, fans have even more reasons to be excited.

"I feel like the next few months are just gonna be full of -- I've been working really hard on more stuff," Carly teases. "And I actually get to, without saying too much, I get to almost marry some of those people that I talk about from the Opry with my current music and some of the extension of 29 that I've been working on."

Right now, 29's first single, the autobiographical "Next Girl," is just a couple steps away from breaking into the top fifteen.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock

King Calaway’s next EP, Midnight, will be out on August 27. To celebrate, the band is planning a release show on August 26 at the Brooklyn Bowl Nashville; fans can attend in person or stream the event on Twitch. 

In case you missed it, Brandi Carlile made a stop on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week to debut her new song, “Right On Time.”

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ABC/Eric McCandless

Luke Bryan has always been a proud papa, but his two sons are at a particularly rewarding age right now, the singer tells People.

“As they grow older, it’s easier to let them tag along,” Luke explains, adding that 13-year-old Thomas “Bo” Boyer and 10-year-old Tatum “Tate” Christopher are becoming “little men” already.

“Their personalities are really different,” he continues. “...They become your buddies. I mean, they’re still your kids, you still have to do the discipline and you still have to teach them the right and wrongs of life, but they really morph into your buddies.”

Still, now that his kids are a little older, Luke’s enjoying involving them in his life and country music career. For example, during a show the singer performed on his birthday last week, Bo and Tate were among the family members to make a surprise appearance onstage.

“And I’m certainly in the golden years,” he concludes. “I mean, it’s like the sweet spot of being a dad right now, and you can let them tag along.”

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(L to R:) Jordan Pettit, Director, Artist Relations & Programming Strategy, Opry Entertainment Group; Trisha McClanahan, McClanahan Mgmt; Damon Moberly, Sr. Vice President Promotion, Mercury Records Nashville; Lauren Alaina; Royce Risser, Exec Vice President Promotion, UMG Nashville; Jackie Jones, Vice President, Artist and Industry Relations, RIAA; Stephanie Wright, Sr. Vice President, A&R, UMG Nashville; Courtesy of Schmidt Relations/UMG NAshville

Lauren Alaina got a major surprise backstage at the Grand Ole Opry earlier this week, as not one but four of her singles received official RIAA gold certification plaques.

Her 2019 single “Getting Good” was among them, as was the title track of her 2017 Road Less Traveled album, plus two more songs off that project’s track list: “Doin’ Fine” and “Like My Mother Does.”

“This achievement as a female in country music is such an honor,” Lauren reflected on social media, sharing a couple of snapshots of the special moment when her team surprised her with her new hardware.

“Thank you to my fans for listening & buying the music I pour my heart into. These gold records are just as much yours,” she added.

Looking ahead, Lauren’s got a number of diverse ventures on the horizon. She’ll serve as opening act for Florida Georgia Line’s I Love My Country Tour this fall, and she’s also planning a couple of on-screen roles, both in an episode of the CBS series Secret Celebrity Renovation and in a starring role in the Hallmark film Roadhouse Romance.

Plus, Lauren also recently authored her first-ever book. Part coming-of-age memoir, part survival guide, the new title -- called Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be -- will be on shelves November 2. 

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Disney Channel/Image Group LA

Jason Aldean started teasing a big mystery duet earlier this week, sharing that his next song, “If I Didn’t Love You,” will feature an exciting and familiar voice. “Who do y’all think is singing on this one with me?” Jason said in the caption of his post.

But Carrie Underwood made things even more interesting on Thursday when she replied to Jason’s tweet with an emoji of a woman raising her hand. Additionally, some particularly savvy fans have discovered that with a little bit of color contrast editing, the picture that Jason posted can be tweaked to reveal Carrie's face in the blank space beside Jason.

While neither star has officially confirmed the collaboration, it seems increasingly likely that when Jason’s new song comes out, it’ll feature Carrie on vocals.

Jason’s had quite a bit of success in the past duetting with female A-Listers. His 2018 collaboration with Miranda Lambert, “Drowns the Whiskey,” was a number-one hit, as was his 2010 single with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” a song that also had massive crossover success in the pop world.

Meanwhile, Carrie’s no slouch as a duet partner, either. “Remind Me,” a song she recorded with Brad Paisley, was an ACM Award-winning, chart-topping hit after its 2011 release. Another crossover smash was “The Fighter,” Carrie’s collaboration with Keith Urban.

“If I Didn’t Love You” arrives Friday.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean)

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Jeff Ray/Triple Tigers

Scotty McCreery’s long-awaited fifth studio album is on its way. After slowly rolling out new songs over the past several months, the singer announced this week that his next project, Same Truck, will arrive September 17.

A teaser clip shared to Scotty’s socials shows snippets of a photo shoot, with the singer posing for pictures in front of a truck. Meanwhile, his newly-released “Why You Gotta Be Like That,” which will be included on the album, plays in the background.

“My last album was about me as a young man getting ready to get married,” the singer explains, referring to his career-defining Seasons Change project from 2018. “Same Truck is me three years later, taking a moment to acknowledge where I am now as a 27-year-old, happily married man, sharing both what I’ve learned and where I want to go.”

Fans have already heard some of the 12-track collection, which includes Scotty’s top-fifteen single “You Time” as well as “Why You Gotta Be Like That.” The singer is listed as a co-writer on the bulk of the songs, including the album-leading title track.

Scotty hints that he might also be trying out some unreleased songs off the album during his current run of live shows, the You Time Tour.

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Surfdog Records/Big Machine Records

Back in August of 2008, Glen Campbell took the stage at West Hollywood venue the Troubadour, the stage known for career-transforming performances from rockers, country stars, comedians and more since its opening in the late 1950s.

Glen’s fourteen-song set at that show included many of the crossover star’s enduring hits, including “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Gentle on My Mind” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Now, more than a decade after that show took place, fans can revisit the singer’s performance with a new live album called Glen Campbell Live from the Troubadour. The collection arrives on Friday, July 23 from Surfdog Records/Big Machine Records.

An Arkansas native who toed the line between country and pop stardom while also enjoying a storied acting career, Glen died in 2017 at the age of 81 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He announced in 2011 that he’d been diagnosed with the disease. That same year, he was the subject of a documentary titled Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, which chronicled his last years on the road as he grappled with how his illness affected his abilities as a performer.

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