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Nashville notes: Lindsay Ell’s dual citizenship, Jon Langston’s Christmas music video + more

Canadian-born star Lindsay Ell is officially a dual citizen. She recently passed her U.S. citizenship test, and fellow country act Little Big Town threw a party to celebrate her milestone.

Jon Langston co-stars with "Santa" in the music video for his holiday song, “I Only Want You For Christmas.” The clip, appropriately enough, was filmed at Nashville dive Santa’s Pub.

Billy Ray Cyrus has joined the cast of animated Christmas movie Glisten and the Merry Mission, co-starring Chevy Chase and Freddie Prinze Jr.

Lily Rose has a new song out Friday, called “Truth Is.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Parker McCollum’s got new music on the way — but he’s still workshopping album titles


With the release of his latest song, “Stoned,” Parker McCollum is kicking off a new musical chapter, but he says he’s still figuring out some of the key details.

For example, the title of his next record is a big question mark, he explains in a new interview with Today’s Country Radio With Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country.

“I honestly haven’t even thought of a title for the record,” Parker says, “which is something that’s been bugging me a lot lately. I was wanting to name the whole tour next year after the record and they were announcing the tour.”

But when it came time to make that announcement, Parker’s next album was still nameless. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know, just call it the Spring Tour, the Summer Tour, the Fall Tour,'” he adds.

In fact, Parker’s still in the early stages of putting together a track list.

“I have two sets of track listings right now,” he says. “This order of songs, I’m down to two, and I haven’t even sat down and listened to those two and felt what they feel like top to bottom.”

Tickets for Parker’s headlining tour, set to kick off early in 2023, are on sale now.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown reportedly engaged to model and actor Kelly Yazdi

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

“Out in the Middle” star Zac Brown has found love. The Zac Brown Band frontman and singer is engaged to Minnesota-born model and actor Kelly Yazdi, according to a report from People.

“He proposed in Hawaii a while ago,” says one source close to the couple. “It was very intimate and the couple has kept it very private.”

Zac hasn’t posted much about his relationship, but Kelly does make an appearance in a few of Zac's social media posts, including a video of a pre-show group huddle from back in July, and it looks as if she might have an engagement band on her finger in that shot.

In 2018, Zac announced that he was getting divorced after 12 years of marriage. The singer and his ex-wife, Shelly, are parents to five children, whose ages range from eight to 14.

In musical news, ZBB has been busy to close out 2022: They served as the backing band for Dolly Parton’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, welcomed Caroline Jones as a new official member of the group, and dropped a deluxe version of their The Comeback album, recasting the project’s songs as duets with everyone from Blake Shelton to Jimmy Buffett.

They’ve also been supporting band mate John Driskell Hopkins as he navigates his Lou Gehrig’s disease diagnosis. In September, the band played a benefit show in Nashville to raise funds for ALS research.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jelly Roll reflects on the “Cinderella story” that led him to the top of the country charts


Friday night, superstar-in-the-making Jelly Roll will storm Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, headlining a marquee hometown show and using the proceeds to benefit the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center, where he himself was incarcerated as a teen.

“You couldn’t write a Cinderella story cooler than this,” the singer tells Billboard ahead of the show. “Saying that I have a headlining show at Bridgestone while I have a top-ten at country radio. I look at it like it’s my introduction party to Nashville, even though I was born here.”

Jelly -- who hinted at some special surprises and guests during tonight’s set -- says he hopes his story will inspire others.

“I think what I think I represent is just a beacon of hope,” the singer continues. “...I just feel like I represent the guy who looks at himself in the mirror every day and goes, ‘Yeah, guys like me don’t make it.’”

He goes on to say that the decade between ages 14 and 24 were rocky for him, and that he spent quite a while either incarcerated or dealing drugs. While those were dark times, his stint in the youth detention center also provided him his first real introduction to music.

“A lot of what we heard was just rapping to each other, and that got me involved in the art form,” he says, pointing out that the detention center is where he had his first rap battle. “It was our only source of entertainment. Adult jails at least get headphones.”

Jelly’s breakout country hit, “Son of a Sinner,” is currently inside the top ten at country radio.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Does Lainey Wilson have the acting bug after her star turn on 'Yellowstone'?


Now that Lainey Wilson's made her acting debut playing the singer Abby in season 5 of Yellowstone, the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year sounds like she may be ready to step in front of the camera again. 

"I will say it's very similar to what I do on a daily basis anyway," she says of her first dramatic turn. "It's a lot of, like, hurry up and wait. You know, you get ready, you get on set, and then you wait for a while."

"Even when it comes to, like, learning the lines," she continues, "it's kind of like learning a song that I didn't write. It's a little more difficult than, you know, learning the songs that I write myself."

In fact, the "Things a Man Oughta Know" hitmaker was eager to step outside her comfort zone.

"I feel like I've learned a whole lot," Lainey reflects. "I've learned how to, like, be more in my body, be more grounded."

"I didn't want to learn my lines exactly the way that they were," she explains, "because I wanted to be able to have a conversation with the person I was acting with. I didn't want it to seem that I had it all memorized perfectly, and this is how it goes, you know?"  

You can watch new episodes of Yellowstone Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. Meanwhile, Lainey has not one but two songs climbing the country chart: her own "Heart Like a Truck" and "wait in the truck" with HARDY

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: George Strait’s Vaqueros del Mar returns, Elle King cancels shows + more

George Strait’s 12th annual Vaqueros del Mar charity golf event took place once again this year, raising a record-setting $2.4 million for the Feherty’s Troops First Foundation. George performed at a benefit concert during the event, as did Randy Houser, Randy Rogers, Asleep at the Wheel and more artists.

Elle King had to cancel radio shows in Tampa, Detroit and Seattle this week after she slipped and fell down the stairs, sustaining a concussion. You can read her full statement on Twitter.

The War and Treaty, Bailey Zimmerman and Jackson Dean are among the 20 rising stars who have been named to CMT’s CMT Listen Up artists-to-watch list for 2023. Visit CMT to see the full list.

Fox’s country-centric drama series, Monarch, has been canceled after one season, according to Hollywood Reporter. Trace Adkins, Susan Sarandon and more star in the show.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Luke Bryan celebrates his 16th wedding anniversary with wife Caroline: “Here’s to 100 more”


Luke Bryan and his wife, Caroline, have a lot to celebrate in the month of December: Not only is it the holiday season, the month also brings their wedding anniversary.

2022 marks 16 years of wedded bliss for the couple, and Luke marked the milestone with an anniversary message that was somewhat uncharacteristically sweet — he and Caroline are typically jokesters who don’t get too sappy.

“It is so amazing sharing this life with you,” the singer wrote. “Thank you for putting up with all my craziness I throw your way. I’ve loved you since the second I saw you. It’s truly remarkable what we’ve done together.”

He added, “I love you to the moon and back and here’s to 100 more.”

For Luke and Caroline, no anniversary tribute is complete without a dose of silliness, and he rounded out the post with a shot of the two of them together in full ‘80s garb — complete with a visor, aviator sunglasses and a mullet wig.

Over on her Instagram, Caroline also celebrated the Big 16, writing, “16 years ago we had zero clue what we were stepping into. The good, the bad, silly moments and stupid arguments. It’s been worth it all and I love you more every year!”

December is usually Pranksmas month in the Bryan household, but they’ve had to keep the festivities relatively tame this year: Caroline is currently recovering from hip surgery.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Da Ruba Girl”: Kenny Chesney remembers his late rescue dog Ruby with a song benefiting strays

Blue Chair Records/Warner Music Nashville

Kenny Chesney is currently mourning the loss of his rescue pit bull mix, Ruby — aka Da Ruba Girl — but he has found a way to make her memory larger than life.

The singer announced this week that he’s releasing an official version of “Da Ruba Girl,” a song he routinely aired on his SiriusXM channel, No Shoes Radio. Fans have long been asking for Kenny to make the song officially available to download or stream on demand; on Friday, “Da Ruba Girl” will be out on iTunes and all streaming platforms.

“No one had a bigger, bolder heart than Da Ruba Girl, whose name was Ruby,” the singer says. “She was a rescue my friend Mary brought into our lives, and she was the most loving, gentle soul. It’s why she inspired the song, and truly how she showed us better ways to be human.”

But Kenny’s new song will do more than just honor Ruby’s memory — it will also help other dogs find homes.

All proceeds from “Da Ruba Girl” will benefit Stray Rescue of St. Louis, which finds homes for dogs who have a harder time being adopted, such as pit mixes, older dogs and bigger dogs.

“While she was a rescue, she truly rescued every single person who came in contact with her,” Kenny continues. “To honor her life, I wanted that love and her ability to rescue people to continue. I wanted to do something that embodied what she was, and that would also help people know these dogs can save you.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Billy the Kid Makes it Big': Dolly Parton announces a new children’s book

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Dolly Parton’s third children’s book is officially in the works.

The country legend announced the news to People this week, explaining that the book, Billy the Kid Makes it Big, stars her goddog, Billy the Kid. Billy’s got big dreams of country stardom, and when he finds himself the target of bullies at the Battle of the Bow-wows, he must rely on music to restore his self-confidence.

“I am so proud to bring this book and the message it conveys to life,” Dolly tells People. “Years back I wrote a song called ‘Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny' for my children’s album I Believe in You. I wanted kids to understand how harmful bullying can be to someone.”

Dolly has worked with her goddog once before: Billy the Kid is featured in the promotional images for her new line of pet apparel and accessories, Doggy Parton.

“Since he’s a big star now, I knew a story with him at the center of it could help drive home important messages in a unique way,” the singer says. “I hope this is the first of many books with Billy.”

Dolly’s new book will be published by Penguin Workshop and is intended for children ages 4 to 7. Billy the Kid Makes it Big is due out April 25, 2023.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Blake Shelton says he’s “at a crossroads” with what’s next for his music, but he’ll never retire

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As he prepares to step down from his longtime coaching gig on NBC’s The Voice, Blake Shelton says he’s looking forward to putting more of his attention into his next musical chapter.

The singer’s not quite sure yet what that looks like, he tells People in a new cover story.

“I’m really at a crossroads right now. The country music lane is changing so rapidly, and there’s some really good stuff out there,” Blake notes. “These young kids coming up, it’s amazing to see the music that they’re making and how creative they are.”

He goes on to say that he’s “excited” to delve back in to the music-making process and figure out what his role is in today’s country music.

“...I’m excited to get some time back away from The Voice and concentrate more on, ‘What kind of record do I want to make? Is it going to fit in? Do I care? Do I not care?’ I got a lot to figure out,” he continues.

But one thing’s for sure: Retirement is not on the table.

“Walking away from music, you might as well just poison me or something,” Blake continues. “That’s not something I can go without. I can’t help it.”

Blake’s most recent single is “No Body,” which has some throwback elements to his early days of cutting his teeth on small Nashville stages in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He even brought back his signature early-career mullet -- albeit in wig form -- for the song’s music video.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

With a holiday record in her sights, Carly Pearce wishes you a merry 'CMA Country Christmas'

ABC/Larry McCormack

Thursday night, Carly Pearce returns to host the annual CMA Country Christmas special for the second year in a row. She's flying solo for 2022, since her partner from last year, Gabby Barrett, is home taking care of her second baby. 

"I was so excited to get to host," Carly tells ABC Audio. "I get to host it by myself, which feels really, really awesome, and I feel really lucky to get to do that."

"We had such a good time," she continues. "I feel like country fans are just going to get to learn a little bit more about me and my family and our loves of Christmas."

In addition to welcoming guests like Maren MorrisOld DominionDan + Shay and Scotty McCreery, Carly will step up to the mic. 

"I get to sing a lot of songs," she reveals. "I think the one that I was the most excited about, I do kind of a Lee Ann Womack-esque version — her version — of 'Man with the Bag.'"

The "What He Didn't Do" hitmaker also performs "Here Comes Santa Claus" and helps out bluegrass sensation Molly Tuttle on a medley of five holiday favorites. 

If you're waiting for a full-on yuletide effort from last year's CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, you can rest assured it's coming.

"Eventually I'll do a Christmas record, I promise," Carly vows.  

Tune in Thursday at 9 p.m. ET to watch CMA Country Christmas on ABC. You'll be able to catch it Friday on both Hulu and Disney+.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: Reba McEntire’s Superstar episode, Ashley McBryde’s late-night stop + more

Tune into ABC on Thursday to watch the latest installment of ABC News’ Superstar series, spotlighting Reba McEntire. The show will trace Reba’s career from her childhood in Oklahoma to her status as one of the biggest country stars today. Superstar airs at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

In case you missed it, Ashley McBryde brought Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night for a performance of “Gospel Night at the Strip Club.” The song comes off her new album, Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville.

Another TV highlight Tuesday was Carly Pearce’s appearance on The Voice. She sang her current single, “What He Didn’t Do.” If you didn’t catch her live performance, you can watch it now.

Jimmie Allen and his wife, Alexis, posted a video message this week in hopes of raising awareness of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, sharing the story of their daughter Zara being diagnosed with RSV at six weeks old. The virus, which is more common in the winter months, can lead to serious lung ailments in babies; visit to learn more.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kane Brown, Breland join the lineup of 'The Voice' season 22 finale

ABC/Randy Holmes

Country music will be well represented on the stage of The Voice during the show’s season 22 finale. Kane Brown, Blake Shelton and Breland are among the stars performing during the two-hour event.

Kane will join Blake, who is also a coach on the show, for a rendition of “Different Man,” their latest duet. It’s the title track on Kane’s most recent album.

Meanwhile, Breland will make his debut on the Voice stage with a performance of “For What it’s Worth,” which is his current single at country radio and comes off the track list of his full-length studio debut, Cross Country.

It’ll be a multigeneral musical spread on the finale of The Voice, with performances from stars like Maluma, OneRepublic, Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Girl Named Tom. All four coaches — Blake, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Camila Cabello — will perform with the contestants on their respective teams.

Five finalists remain going into next week’s live finale. Bryce Leatherwood, Bodie, Omar Jose Cardona, Brayden Lape and Morgan Myles are all in the running to win The Voice this season.

The event will air on NBC next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood thanks “the most incredible fans” as she claims her PCA Country Artist of 2022 trophy


Carrie Underwood got the party started at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday night, bringing home an early win for Country Artist of the Year.

Holding her shiny new trophy onstage, Carrie joked that she “will not be giving a three-hour-long speech” and added, “No pressure on setting the tone for the rest of the night!”

On a more serious note, Carrie told the crowd that she owed her award to her fans. “This whole night is all about the fans, and I certainly have just the most incredible fans. You guys have supported me for many years, especially out on the road this year,” she said.

Carrie’s had the chance to spend quite a bit of quality time with her fans in late 2022 after launching her Denim & Rhinestones Tour — a trek that continues well into 2023 — in October.

“Thank you guys so much for all the love. Thank you for this. What a wonderful early Christmas present,” Carrie said as she wrapped up her speech.

Carrie was one of a number of country superstars nominated for the trophy at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards. Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert, Morgan Wallen, Thomas Rhett, Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris were also nominated in the category.

Additionally, Shania Twain was there repping country music: She received the Music Icon Award this year and gave a medley performance of some of her biggest hits.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Shania Twain wishes her mom could have seen her accept PCA's Music Icon Award

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Shania Twain received the Music Icon Award onstage at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday night, a recognition of her historic, four-decade-long career as the best-selling female country-pop artist of all time.

As she accepted her trophy, Shania reflected on her gratitude, her family and her fans.

“I always miss my mother at these moments [in] my life,” the singer said, according to People. “She would have loved watching her little girl living this moment right now.”

Shania’s mother, Sharon Morrison, died in a car accident along with the singer’s stepfather, Jerry Twain, in 1987. In the decades since, Shania’s career has risen to astronomic, genre-crossing heights. The singer also acknowledged those who have been with her throughout those big years in her career.

“But my fans, my friends, my team — you are the ones who really fill that space ... not my mother’s space. But you’re here with me, you’re celebrating, we’re celebrating together,” she continued. “And you’ve made me feel loved and special my whole working life. I’ll always be grateful for that.”

In addition to be feted with the Music Icon Award, Shania performed a medley of hits at the People’s Choice Awards, including classics like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” as well as her current single, “Waking Up Dreaming.”

Shania has a new album due out next year, called Queen of Me. She will tour extensively throughout 2023 to support the release.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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