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ABC - Country Music News

Cody Johnson cancels three shows due to illness, thanks fans for “understanding and patience”

Cody Johnson is halting his weekend tour plans. The singer shared the news on social media, explaining that the cancelation is due to an illness.

“We understand the inconvenience this causes with travel, plans and with purchased tickets, and we apologize for this unforeseen circumstance,” the singer wrote in his post. “We very much appreciate your understanding and patience, and we will make every attempt to get back to these markets to make up the dates as soon as possible.”

The affected shows include a Thursday night appearance at the State Fair of West Virginia, plus a Friday night show in Richmond, Virginia, and a Saturday night show in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. According to Cody’s website, the shows in Richmond and Johnstown were sold out.

Randall King was scheduled to be the opening act for all three canceled sets, while Dillon Carmichael also planned to join the bill on Friday and Saturday.

Cody’s statement also indicates that fans who planned to attend those shows should be on the lookout for an email from their original point of purchase with details about their tickets.

The singer’s tour is scheduled to pick up again on August 18 in New York City. He’ll be supporting Zac Brown Band for that show.


Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Darius Rucker to take the spotlight for new installment of CMT Storytellers


Darius Rucker is the headliner for the next CMT Storytellers, a one-hour concert special featuring performances and never-before-heard stories about how some of the star’s biggest hits came to life.

“There have been so many nights when someone comes up to me after a show and tells me what a song means to them,” Darius recounts, “when they first heard it or how it became a song at a pivotal moment in their life, played at a wedding or even a memorial.”

After establishing himself as the frontman of rock group Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius turned to a solo career in country music in 2008. His episode of CMT Storytellers will feature songs from every era of his career, and underscore the special moments the songs create between the artist and his fans.

“The way music connects and how the story evolves for each person differently is perhaps the coolest aspect of music, which is what makes a show like CMT Storytellers so special as I think we can always use more moments of connection,” Darius continues.

CMT Storytellers: Darius Rucker will air on CMT on August 31 at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can catch five encore airings: August 31 at 11 p.m., September 4 at 12 p.m., September 9 at 8 p.m., and September 10 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Let’s go”: Cole Swindell teases a Jo De Messina cameo in upcoming “She Had Me at Heads Carolina” video

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Cole Swindell has said that he hopes to find a way to involve ‘90s country star Jo Dee Messina in his new song, “She Had Me at Heads Carolina.” After all, the single pays a pretty big homage to her 1996 country hit, “Heads Carolina.”

As he gears up to put out the song’s music video this week, it looks like Cole just might have achieved his goal. A teaser for the video shows scenes of a night out, and there’s a familiar face tending bar in the clip: that’s right, it’s Jo Dee herself.

“THURSDAY,” Cole wrote in the caption for the teaser. “‘90s Country Fans. Let’s Go!”

Back when he put the song out, Cole said that he hoped the ‘90s great would be able to participate in “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” but he didn’t specify how he hoped to make that happen.

“I hope somebody I get to sing it -- whether I do something, I want her to be involved, because we wouldn’t have the song without the writers and without her making it what it is,” he explained at the time.

At country radio, Cole’s updated version of the ‘90s hit is his fastest-rising single to date. Just eight weeks after being released, “She Had Me at Heads Caroline” is already inside the top-10 on the country chart.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood appreciates the "fun" aesthetic of her 'Denim & Rhinestones' album

Capitol Records Nashville

Denim & Rhinestones isn't merely the title of Carrie Underwood's new album, it also captures the spirit of the music she channels into the visual element. 

When naming the project, Carrie says she took every element into consideration and didn't want to simply name it after a song out of convenience. Instead, she thought about the fun, light-hearted spirit of the album that also carries over into the glamorous aesthetic.  

"When you think denim and rhinestones, you get a picture in your head of something, so that was part of it. It's nice when you have a theme and you can live there," she says. "For Cry Pretty, I felt like I was in pink a lot and there's a lot of glitter and stuff like that. So I like how each album has its own look and feel and vibe and aesthetic." 

On the cover of the new project, Carrie dons a denim dress with a matching denim jacket and sparkling fringe. The singer notes she's now seeing similar bedazzled looks everywhere, giving her more inspiration for her style as she prepares to go on tour. 

"I feel like this a fun one. Right now, there's denim and rhinestones everywhere, so I'd like to thank all the people in the fashion industry that totally made their clothes based off my album," she jokes. "It helps me when there's a wide selection of clothes to choose from." 

Carrie will hit the road on the Denim & Rhinestones Tour this fall, launching on October 15 in Greenville, South Carolina, and continuing through March 2023. Jimmie Allen joins her as the opening act. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: Jon Pardi on Fallon, Dan + Shay acoustic video & more

Jon Pardi is performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday. It airs at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC. 

Dan and Shay are releasing the acoustic video for "You" Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. 

Jordan Davis is releasing a new song, "Next Thing You Know," on Friday. 

Tyler Braden has released the fan-favorite track "Try Losing One" as his official single to country radio this week. It's featured on his debut album, What Do They Know. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lainey Wilson teases new single & big announcement coming this week

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Lainey Wilson has a new single coming and it sounds pretty sweet. 

On Monday, the singer revealed that her new single, "Watermelon Moonshine," will be released Friday. In a clip of the song posted on Instagram, Lainey teases the lyrics that associate young love with the libation. 

"I was his and every bit of that boy was mine/Too young to know what love was/We were learnin' on a sweet buzz/There's never nothin' like the first time/Mine's always gonna taste like/Watermelon moonshine," she sings in the chorus. 

"Not to be dramatic, but could this be a new single coming next week?" a fan asked, with Lainey replying, "sure is. #watermelonmoonshinewill be out Friday and there’s more big news coming then too," adding #bellbottomcountry and #countrywithaflare. 

The singer recently hit pause on touring to be with her father, who is experiencing health issues. She resumed her live shows last week.  

"A weekend out west - watermelons, birthday wishes, a little dancin’, a little more rock ’n roll, and a lot of hearts singin’ along with me in honor of my Deddy’s tough like a truck spirit," she says. "Especially grateful for y’all’s voices and prayers this weekend." 

The "Things a Man Oughta Know" singer has tour dates scheduled through November. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Living Lucky": Luke Combs offers fans chance of a lifetime with lottery experience

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Luke Combs fans have the chance to win a lot more than "a hundred bucks on a scratch-off ticket" with his new lottery experience.  

The country superstar is teaming up with Atlas Experiences for the "Living Lucky With Luke Combs" campaign, which gives lottery players the chance to not only attend one of Luke's concerts, but also to win half a million dollars.

Luke's likeness will be featured on select lottery tickets distributed by Atlas and North American Lotteries across 15 states in the U.S., beginning with Wisconsin. Over the next year, players can purchase the Luke-themed scratch-off tickets in participating states and enter to win the grand prize, which includes a private concert from Luke at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on February 6, 2024. One fan in attendance will have the chance to win $500,000.  

“I’m truly honored for the opportunity to give my fans the chance to live out the song ‘When It Rains It Pours,’ and a shot at half a million dollars. The lottery brought this great idea to me, and I had to get involved," Luke shares in a statement. "Good luck to everyone!”

The lottery is currently underway in Wisconsin, with the remaining states rolling out over the course of a year. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Keith Urban, Maren Morris & more pay tribute to Olivia Newton-John

ABC/Image Group LA

Country artists are paying tribute to Olivia Newton-John following her passing. 

Keith Urban took to Twitter to share a throwback picture of him and his wife, Nicole Kidman, with the Grease star. "Livvie brought the most divine light into the world ... so much love, joy, inspiration and kindness ... and we will always be hopelessly devoted to you," he writes in the caption.

Maren Morris shared a screenshot of a scene from Grease of John portraying the character of Sandy, wearing the famous black leather outfit with a cigarette in her mouth. "RIP Queen," the singer posted on Instagram Stories

Kelsea Ballerini turned her tribute into a song, sharing an a cappella cover of "Hopelessly Devoted To You," which John sings in Grease. "Olivia Newton-John forever," she captions the video with a heartbroken emoji. 

John died at the age of 73 on Monday. A statement from her husband, John Easterling, says that she "passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time." 

The actress experienced three bouts of breast cancer over the past 30 years. Throughout the 1970s, she had several hits that peaked on country charts, including "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)," "Have You Never Been Mellow" and "Please Mr. Please."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jordan Davis says it's "pretty cool" having his children watch him perform live

MCA Nashville

Jordan Davis' two young children are slowly but surely figuring out their dad is a rockstar.

Jordan and his wife, Kristen, are parents to 2-year-old daughter Eloise and 11-month-old son Locklan. While they're still too young to fully comprehend their dad's life in the spotlight, the singer says it's fun for him to watch them take in his live shows.  

"My daughter, she's almost 3, so [it's] connecting with her 'that's dad and all these people are singing with him,'" Jordan describes on the Today show, adding that baby Locklan is "just along for the ride." "I don't think it's set in that Eloise's dad does that kind of stuff, but I think it's fun for her to see side stage and see her react with it. It's pretty cool." 

Jordan also channels his family into his music, particularly with his current single, "What My World Spins Around," which is inspired by his wife. 

"She's used to hearing a lot of my songs, so most of them she doesn't pay attention to it. But this one, she locked in on, so maybe she picked up on who it was about," the singer says.

"World" follows Jordan's previous chart-topping single featuring Luke Bryan, "Buy Dirt."  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tyler Hubbard is fully "committed" to his solo career

EMI Records Nashville

Tyler Hubbard knows that being a part of Florida Georgia Line was an important chapter in his expanding story. Now, he's fully embracing his identity as a solo artist. 

In February, the hit-making duo of Tyler and Brian Kelley announced that they were taking a break, both pursuing their own careers. Tyler views his solo endeavor as a commitment, knowing that his vast experience with FGL helped him get here. 

"I truly feel that Florida Georgia Line was just a chapter in the book, an important chapter, and one I'm forever grateful for. But it's not my whole story," Tyler expresses. "I am having fun making my music and this is a win for me. Seeing the response, it's affirmation for me and it's validation and it inspires me [that] I can do this on the same level that I've done it before." 

Tyler already has a top-20 hit to his name with his debut solo single, "5 Foot 9," climbing the charts. The singer says he welcomes the challenge of being a solo act, ready to defy the odds he feels he's up against as he branched off from the highly successful duo. 

"There's this extra element of challenge that I love. I think the traditional mindset of people when they hear a band or duo's breaking up, 'they're going to have fun doing their solo stuff for a little while and they'll go back and do their thing.' I think that challenge really pushes me to not be the statistic," he explains. "So I am really excited and committed to giving this all I got." 

The Georgia native will join Keith Urban's The Speed of Now World Tour as an opening act in the fall before releasing his debut album in January. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: Garth Brooks sets another record, Kenny Rogers auction & more

Presale tickets for Ernest's Sucker For Small Towns Tour are available Tuesday. Tickets for the general public go on sale Friday.  

Garth Brooks' record-breaking Talkshoplive episode Sunday night drew more than 1 million viewers who tuned in to watch him screen the 25th anniversary of Garth: Live From Central Park.  

Memorabilia from the late Kenny Rogers' estate will be available for sale through the three-day online auction "Property From the Estate of Kenny Rogers," taking place October 21-23. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Music Health Alliance. 

Jackson Dean and bluegrass band Mountain Heart will open for Carly Pearce at the Ryman Auditorium on October 26 and 27, respectively. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Despite reports, Luke Bryan asserts that his finger is not broken

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Luke Bryan is setting the record straight on his alleged broken finger. 

The country superstar turned to Instagram on Sunday to dispel rumors that he broke his finger while at an amusement park. The rumor started when his wife, Caroline, posted a photo of the family posing in front of the Steel Vengeance roller coaster at Cedar Point in Ohio, claiming in the caption that Luke broke his finger and she twisted her ankle. 

But Luke has since posted a video stating that the reports circulating about his supposed injury are not true.

"I did not break my finger, and I did not break my finger at a roller coaster park," he says. "My finger's not broken. Please stop reporting that it's broken."

"… you got in Bo’s way. Admit it," Caroline responds in the comments, referencing their 14-year-old son. "Dude I hope your finger is okay after breaking it," Jake Owen jokes, while Luke's fellow American Idol judge Katy Perry quips, "show us or we don’t believe you." 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Singer, activist and 'Grease' star Olivia Newton-John dies at 73

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Chart-topping singer, actress and activist Olivia Newton-John has died, according to a post on her Instagram page from her husband, John Easterling. She was 73.

"Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends," the note reads. "We ask that everyone please respect the family's privacy during this very difficult time."

Originally diagnosed with breast cancer in the '90s, Newton-John was in remission for more than 20 years before her cancer returned in 2017. "Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," continues the post.

"Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer," it concludes. "In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation."

Newton-John is survived by her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi; Easterling, whom she married in 2008; as well as a sister, a brother, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Born in 1948 in Cambridge, England, Olivia was the granddaughter of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Born. When she was five, her family relocated to Melbourne, Australia. By her teen years, she'd landed her big break, winning a talent contest on the TV show Sing, Sing, Sing.

By 1966, Olivia had a deal with Decca Records, but her major breakthrough wouldn't come until 1973, with the country-flavored hit "Let Me Be There." That same year, the Academy of Country Music named her its Most Promising Female Vocalist. In 1974 the Country Music Association agreed, crowning her its Female Vocalist of the Year in a move that sparked controversy among the genre's traditionalists.

The next year, Olivia's career would gravitate more toward the pop side, as she released one of her signature songs: "I Honestly Love You." It won both Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1974 Grammys.

Generations of fans -- particularly young girls -- would come to identify with Newton-John as she took on her most iconic film role in 1978, playing Sandy alongside John Travolta's Danny Zuko in the big-screen adaptation of the musical Grease. The two would become one of cinema's most beloved couples, performing the duets "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" together. Olivia also scored a Grease solo hit with "Hopelessly Devoted to You."

In 1980, Newton-John teamed up with the legendary Gene Kelly for the roller skating fantasy Xanadu. Though it failed to be "Magic" at the box office, it was destined to become a cult classic and also gave Olivia another chart-topping hit from its double-Platinum soundtrack.

Newton-John and Travolta rekindled their onscreen romance for Two of a Kind in 1983. While the film wasn't successful, once again Olivia's music was. The soundtrack went Platinum and "Twist of Fate" was a top-five hit.

On the small screen, Olivia would become a music video pioneer, turning her super-sexy single "Physical" into a campy romp through saunas, aerobics and workout rooms. The clip propelled the song to 10 weeks at the top of the chart, and "Physical" won the 1982 Grammy for Video of the Year.  

All told, Newton-John charted 10 #1s and sold more than 100 million albums, continuing to work right up until the recurrence of her cancer forced her postpone her 2017 tour. Earlier, she'd staged a well-received Las Vegas residency at the Flamingo for two years, starting in the spring of 2014.

In her eyes, Olivia was certain to see both her family and her humanitarian work as her greatest accomplishments. She gave birth to her daughter, Chloe, in 1986, and later helped establish the Healthy Child, Healthy World organization after Chloe's childhood friend died of a rare form of cancer.

After going into remission in 1992, Newton-John worked to raise awareness for breast cancer, recording multiple albums that addressed the issue and eventually establishing the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center. It opened in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, in June 2012.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dylan Scott rides to #1 with "New Truck"

Courtesy of Curb Records

Dylan Scott has the #1 song in country music this week. 

The Louisiana native is sitting at the top of the charts with "New Truck," the lead single off his newly released sophomore album, Livin' My Best Life, which came out Friday. 

This marks his third chart-topping hit following "My Girl" in 2017 and "Nobody" in 2021.  

To celebrate his new hit and corresponding album, Dylan is performing a free album release show Monday at Luke Bryan's bar and restaurant, Luke's 32 Bridge, in downtown Nashville at 5 p.m. ET.

"We may have the #1 song in the country right now too. What? Crazy!" Dylan says in a video teasing the show, zooming in on the surprised expression on his face. 

The showcase will also be available to livestream via Facebook and YouTube. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Carly Pearce is blown away by crowd singing "What He Didn't Do"

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Carly Pearce is reveling in the joy of music. 

Over the weekend, Carly performed at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport, Iowa, where she got a measure of the impact of her new radio single, "What He Didn't Do." The singer took to Instagram to share a video of the packed crowd singing the lyrics so loudly that the singer can't get a word in. 

Standing on the stage, Carly attempts to sing into the microphone, but is drowned out by the sound of the massive crowd as they sing at the top of their lungs, "The devil's in the details, I won't tell the hell that he put me through/All I know is in the end, it wasn't what he did, no/It was what he didn't do."

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This song just went to radio & y’all sing it like this?! I couldn’t even sing through all the tears!" Carly writes in the caption with a crying face and heart emojis. "I LOVE YOU, IOWA!" 

"What He Didn't Do" is the third single off the Kentucky native's latest album, 29: Written in Stone. She recently made a donation to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts after a devastating flood ravaged her home state last month. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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