ABC - Country Music News
Edgar Evan Moore

Brett Eldredge is opening up about a recent bout of anxiety he's been struggling with.

The country star took to Instagram to share a photo of himself working out, alongside a lengthy caption detailing how he's been battling anxiety as of late.

Brett, who has been open about living with anxiety in the past, reveals that it recently reemerged for several days, "out of nowhere," with symptoms that included shortness of breath and feeling overwhelmed.

"Instead of hiding (like I once did), I stuck to the process, knowing I survived all the other times, and setbacks are common," he explains. "I kept showing up to life and leaning into the things that give me strength and stability." In the photo, he's shown lifting weights.

"It passed and I feel even stronger than before. I took this photo in the middle of the setback to remind myself that even in the tough times, we can be strong as hell, and the storm will always pass if we face it," he declares. He added the phrase "STAY IN THE FIGHT," and concluded, "If you’re goin' through it, hang in there, you will be surprised what you’re capable of." 

Brett recently announced that he's releasing a new holiday album, Mr. Christmas, on October 22. 

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Capitol Records Nashville

Mickey Guyton says creating her upcoming debut album, Remember Her Name, was therapeutic.

The project features songs like the affirming "Love My Hair" and empowering "Black Like Me" and "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?" that detail the racism and misogyny she's experienced. 

“A lot of these songs were just kind of therapy for me. I never wrote these thinking that they were ever going to be heard," she explains to The New York Times

Mickey balances the heavy subject matters with an ode to "Rosé" and a new rendition of her 2015 debut single, "Better Than You Left Me," continuing her mission of creating inclusive music.     

“There’s so much on this record that is so positive, that is so inclusive. It took them hearing ‘Black Like Me’ and ‘What Are You Gonna Tell Her?’ to be like, ‘Oh.’ I’ve been here all along.' I’m still writing positive, inclusive songs. You guys just never heard them," she continues. “There is only one me. I’ve never happened before.”

Remember Her Name will be released on Friday. Mickey will make the TV rounds with performances on the TODAY show's Summer Concert Series on Friday, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday, and ABC’s The View on Tuesday.

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Trae Patton/NBC

The Voice season 21 premiere got off to a star-studded start Monday night as Blake Shelton and his fellow judges Ariana Grande, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson came in with a bang with a soul-filled medley. 

The four stars took the stage together to open the show with a mashup of classics by Aretha Franklin and Sam & Dave

Blake and John kicked it off, dueting on "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam & Dave. Then, Kelly and Ariana strutted onto the stage and blended their powerhouse voices on Aretha's legendary "Respect." Soon after, they were joined by the guys for a four-way finish. 

Blake walked away from the Blind Auditions with two contestants: Peedy Chavis, who performed an Elvis Presley song, and Wendy Moten, who's sung backup for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Martina McBride and more. 

The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC at 8 p.m. ET. 

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Robby Klein

Tim McGraw is celebrating wife Faith Hill's birthday with a throwback clip of one of her famous music videos. 

In honor of his wife's 54th birthday, the singer shared a compilation video on Instagram of Faith's sultry "Breathe" video, followed by a clip from an interview of Tim with Diane Sawyer, who asked him, "when you see that video every time it goes by, what do you think?" 

"It's my wife," Tim laughs in reply. "It's like, I want to call my college buddies and say 'hey, I'm married to her.'" 

"Hey baby, I still feel the exact same way even more so. Happy birthday," Tim says in a present-day video, adding that she "finally" caught up with him in terms of age: the couple are both 54. "I wouldn't change anything for the world and I love you."   

Tim and Faith are set to star in 1883, a prequel to the Paramount+ hit series Yellowstone, alongside Academy Award nominated actor Sam Elliott. It premieres on Paramount+ on December 19. 

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ABC/Eric McCandless

Jimmie Allen made his debut on Dancing with the Stars Monday night with an elegant tango. 

Jimmie and his dance partner, Emma Slater, blended two worlds, tangoing to Timbaland and Keri Hilson's chart-toping 2007 hit, "The Way I Are." The country star was decked out in a black leather outfit, spinning Emma around the ballroom with a disco ball hanging overhead and a swanky red convertible in the background. 

“Wow, Jimmie, let me say this dance does not suit your personality. You’re a cool sort of guy, relaxed. I’m sure that there’s a lot more talent in there than we saw on that dance floor," remarked judge Len Goodman. "You’re going to be loose, you’re going to go a long way. You’ve got great potential.”

"It’s JEMMA YALL!!!! My partner @theemmaslater is amazing. That was super fun!! Let’s do this!! Let’s vote," Jimmie wrote on Instagram after the show.  

The pair received a score of 22 out of 40. Dancing with the Stars returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Interscope Records/UMG Nashville

Kacey Musgraves' new album star-crossed has debuted inside the top 10 on the Billboard 200

With 77,000 equivalent album units earned since its September 10 release, Kacey's latest effort bows at #3 on the all-genre chart, coming in behind Drake and Kanye West.

star-crossed's sales make up 47,000 of those units, marking it the best-selling album of the week and Kacey's second-largest sales week ever, behind 2015's Pageant Material. 

On the streaming front, the Texas native had the second-largest debut streaming week for a country album by a woman this year, with more than 38 million streams. It trails Taylor Swift's Fearless (Taylor’s Version), released in April. 

star-crossed is Kacey's fourth album to appear inside the Billboard 200 top five, following her 2013 debut, Same Trailer Different Park, her sophomore album Pageant Material, and the Grammy-winning Golden Hour. 

star-crossed's current single, "justified," is inside the top 30 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

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Art Streiber/NBC

As Blake Shelton kicks off the latest season of The Voice, the veteran judge is happy to have some new blood joining the panel, as pop superstar Ariana Grande takes over one of the big red chairs, alongside Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

"To be honest, I was really excited when I heard that Ariana was coming to join the coaching group here on The Voice for season 21," Blake says. "I'm always excited to work with somebody new, and she's incredibly talented and obviously a huge star."

Of course, that's about where Blake's compliments end, since he can't resist a little good-natured trash talk about his competitors.

"It's always more exciting for me -- the bigger the star, the harder they fall," he jests. "And it's always way more exciting to me to beat somebody of her level of popularity than it is just to beat, you know, some loser like Kelly or John, you know."

You can check out the second night of the new season of The Voice tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. 

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Keith Urban will be honored with the CRB Artist Career Achievement Award at the Country Radio Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Nashville on October 13. 

Tenille Townes' debut single, "Somebody's Daughter," has been certified gold by the RIAA, signifying sales of more than 500,000 copies in the U.S. 

Ray Stevens is releasing a new album, Ain't Nothin' Funny Anymore, on October 8.

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Triple Tigers

Scotty McCreery had most of his new album, Same Truck, completed before the COVID-19 pandemic altered life in 2020. But the forced downtime allowed him to see the project from a new vantage point. 

In an interview with Peoplethe American Idol winner shares that the album previously consisted of songs penned by other songwriters. But being at home allowed him to tap into his own well of songwriting, with 10 of the 12 songs co-written by him, including current single, "You Time." 

"I had a lot of outside cuts actually the first time around. But then the world shut down and I had nothing but time to sit there and pick up a guitar and strum ideas and write songs," he explains. "Faith is something I lean on daily. I've definitely had to lean on it a lot in the last year and a half, with the craziness of the world."

"You Time," inspired by Scotty's wife, Gabi," is inching its way toward the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

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Connie Chronuk/ABC

Cole Swindell brought the crowd to a standstill over the weekend with a tribute performance of to his late mother. 

Days before the Saturday show at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, Cole's mother, Carol Rainey, passed away. Cole dedicated his performance of "You Should Be Here" in her honor, telling the crowd that he made the effort to be at the show, rather than take the weekend off like headliner Thomas Rhett suggested. 

"I can promise you my momma wouldn't want me sitting at home. She would want me on stage in front of a crowd like this, people who care, people who matter," Cole professed, eliciting cheers from the audience. 

"Wow, it looks like heaven," he marveled as the crowd lit up their cell phones and held them in the air for anyone they've lost, as fans sang along to the song.

Cole wrote "You Should Be Here," which became a #1 country hit, as a tribute to his late father. He continues on the road as part of Thomas' Center Point Road Tour through October.

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Sean Hagwell

Dustin Lynch, Lainey Wilson and Michael Ray are all giving back to a Nashville homeless shelter. 

The three stars are set to perform 16th Annual Mission: Possible Turkey Fry and Benefit Concert, hosted yearly by Tracy Lawrence in support of Nashville Rescue Mission, which provides programs and services to people experiencing homelessness. 

The event will take place November 23 in the parking lot of Nashville Rescue Mission, beginning with the signature turkey fry, followed by the benefit concert at SkyDeck at Assembly Hall in downtown Nashville. Additional artists will be announced. 

Tickets go on sale September 24, with all of the proceeds benefiting Nashville Rescue Mission.

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ABC/Image Group LA

Keith Urban is contributing to wife Nicole Kidman's show, Nine Perfect Strangers, in the form of a song. 

In the finale episode of the hit Hulu series, fans can hear Keith's new song, "Crimson Blue." A departure from his country sound, the serene track features a mellow acoustic guitar and choral voices as Keith sings, "We're returning to the stars that we're made of/We all find our own way/In the end we'll see we never were alone." 

To celebrate the song's release, the superstar singer has created his own "Crimson Blue" concoction, a spoof on the drug-filled smoothies made at Tranquillum, the health and wellness center run by Kidman's character, Masha.

In a video, Keith shows us how to make the recipe, which includes blue milk "from a very sad cow," he quips, along with blueberries, a "micro amount" of blue cheese, and bananas. "These are special bananas from Tranquillum. It's a wonderful resort we heard about," he jokes.       

Nicole makes a subtle appearance, lurking behind her husband in a white dress, adding in a few drops of a red liquid to the mix for a crimson touch. "Relax," she tells him.   

The final episode of Nine Perfect Strangers streams on Hulu on Wednesday.

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Connor Dwyer

Sam Hunt leaned into nostalgia when writing his new single, "23." 

The song finds Sam reflecting on a past love, wondering where she is now and remembering her as a "Memphis queen" with "long blonde hair." "No matter where I go/No matter what I do/I'll never be 23 with anyone but you," he sings. 

"I'm always nostalgic. I'm always thinking about the past," Sam shares with People"I love that happy, sad feeling in music. I'm really attracted to. It comes out when I'm writing quite a bit."

The singer-songwriter adds that he rarely writes about people directly in his life, rather pulling inspiration from movies, culture and the world around him. 

"When I write songs, I'm really intimidated to write songs about people I'm really directly involved with. My songs tend to be an amalgamation of a lot of different experiences," he describes. "My songs come through sort of this osmosis that comes from being around people who are going through things." 

"23" is currently in the top 30 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

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On this day in 1964, one of country music's biggest stars got married. A member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, it was his first, and only, marriage, with his wife remaining his biggest champion until he passed away in 2020. Today would have been their 57th wedding anniversary. Who was he? ANSWER: Charlie Daniels

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Alex Berger

Lainey Wilson has officially made it to the top of the country charts. 

This week, Lainey's "Things a Man Oughta Know" reaches #1 on country radio, marking her first chart-topping hit. The track is the lead single off her sophomore album, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin. 

"'Things A Man Oughta Know' is number one, y’all. The love I feel from radio, Nashville, my family, and country music listeners is unreal," she wrote on Twitter. "Can’t thank y’all enough. Now let’s go get another one." 

Among Lainey's country music friends to congratulate her on the achievement was Carly Pearce, who shared, "Congrats @laineywilson on your first #1!!!! You know how much I’ve loved this song since day 1. The first of many!!!" 

The song also reached the top five on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. 

Lainey is currently opening for Jason Aldean on his Back in the Saddle Tour through December.

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