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ABC - Country Music News

Darius Rucker, Ashley McBryde, Cole Swindell + more join lineup for CMA Fest’s Spotify House

ABC

CMA Fest will return to Nashville next month, and along with the four-day music extravaganza comes the return of the Spotify House lineup.

BrelandMickey GuytonCole SwindellAshley McBrydeDarius Rucker and Lainey Wilson are all on the lineup, Billboard reports, as are country trio Midland and newcomer Jelly Roll. The Spotify House stage will host nearly 50 performers in total, with several surprise performances.

For the artists, it’s all part of an exciting return to the beloved annual Music City event, which is returning this year after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus.

“The return of CMA Fest is something I’ve been looking forward to for years now, so it’s incredible to be a part of this lineup and have the opportunity to connect with the fans in person,” Mickey says. “2022 has already been such an exciting year for me, so let’s keep the momentum going!”

Spotify House -- which is sponsored by Blake Shelton’s Ole Red -- runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The 2022 CMA Fest will take place across downtown Nashville from June 9 to June 12.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Miranda Lambert will perform at ABC's Time100 Gala next month

ABC

Miranda Lambert is among Time’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022,” and that’s not all -- she’s also performing for a televised gala celebrating the magazine’s 100 honorees.

Miranda is the only country star to be recognized in this year’s Time 100 class, and she’s performing on a bill at the gala that includes Mary J. Blige. Other influential people will make appearances on the special, including rapper/multi-instrumentalist/producer Questlove and Abbott Elementary TV creator Quinta Brunson.

Actor Simu Liu is hosting the gala, which will air on ABC on Sunday, June 12, at 8 p.m. ET. More stars appearing at the event are expected to be announced in the weeks ahead.

Earlier this week, when Miranda was announced as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022,” she reflected on the distinguished honor.

“I’m so honored to join this year’s class of #TIME100. I only ever wanted to sing and write songs and thanks to y’all I’ve gotten to do that and so much more,” Miranda said. “Thank y’all for being on this journey with me.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Carrie Underwood shares journal entry to mark 17th anniversary of 'American Idol' win

ABC

It’s been 17 years since Carrie Underwood was crowned American Idol champ, kicking off one of the most successful careers in modern country music.

Carrie marked the big moment on social media, sharing a snapshot of the journal entry she wrote right after she won. “Please enjoy a page from the journal of a 22-year-old farm girl who just had the most incredible night!” she wrote in the caption.

The journal describes the few seconds before the winner was named, when Carrie and the other remaining contestant -- runner-up Bo Bice -- stood on stage waiting for show host Ryan Seacrest to announce the winner.

“I took one more look at the amazing crowd and let it sink in for a few seconds,” Carrie wrote. “My heart beat fast and I closed my eyes.”

And the moment Ryan called her name? Carrie says she was overwhelmed with emotion.

“I immediately started crying. It was a beautiful moment,” she recounts. “All the other contestants were sent out to hug me. I was crying the whole time.”

What happened next is American Idol history: As Carrie accepted her victory, she was quickly whisked to the stage to perform “Inside Your Heaven,” her coronation song, which Carrie says she “blubbered through.”

A whole lot has changed in the 17 years since her Idol win, but one thing’s the same: She still puts her powerhouse voice and sharp showmanship skills front and center in each of her performances. Carrie will treat fans to both of those at her upcoming Denim & Rhinestones Tour, which kicks off in the fall and takes its name from her next album.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


For Dierks Bentley and Elle King, it's "Worth a Shot" to host ABC's CMA Fest special

CMA/ABC

Even if you can't make it to Nashville next month for CMA Fest, you can check out the Country Music Association's 19th prime-time special, which airs Wednesday, August 3, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

This year, Dierks Bentley and Elle King team up to host the three-hour extravaganza for the very first time. The pair first teamed up in 2016 to top the chart with "Different for Girls," and they're back together on Elle's new single "Worth a Shot." Of course, Elle recently returned to #1 with Miranda Lambert and "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)."

CMA Fest returns to Music City's Nissan Stadium for the first time since 2019 on Thursday, June 9, with Dierks set to play the final night on Sunday. Expect plenty of surprises and superstar collaborations during the star-studded event. 

Tickets still remain via CMAfest.com, with artists donating their time so the CMA Foundation can use the proceeds to fund music education programs across the country. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hits, fan favorites and ... “Freebird”? Old Dominion explains what fans can expect from tour

ABC

Old Dominion is currently on an all-star bill for Kenny Chesney’s 2022 Here and Now Tour, along with Carly Pearce and Dan + Shay. With some of country music’s biggest names sharing the stage with them, Old Dominion knows that the bar’s high -- but they’ve got a winning strategy for entertaining fans this summer.

“Start with the hits,” says band member Trevor Rosen. “And that pretty much fills out our time slot,” interjects Matthew Ramsey.

All jokes aside, Old Dominion's now at a place in their career when they can pretty much fill out a full set with hit songs. “That’s an amazing thing for a band or an artist to be able to say, that they can play a set full of hit songs,” Matthew says.

But it’s not just radio success that determines a hit: Old Dominion has learned that some songs are live smashes, even if they didn’t necessarily go #1 at country radio.

“We have been fortunate enough to have some songs that have streamed well, outside of radio success,” Matthew says. “So we just try to plug those in and eventually we’ll get bored and we’ll start taking requests.”

That’s one way to keep things interesting, even if it takes the group to some musical territory that’s pretty far-flung from their own discography or even genre.

“We end with ‘Freebird’ every time,” Brad Tursi jokes.

Next up, the Here and Now Tour will take Old Dominion and the gang to Nashville for an epic hometown show on Saturday night at the city’s Bridgestone Arena.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nashville notes: Lainey Wilson, Brett Young + more

In case you missed it, Lainey Wilson made an appearance on TODAY Tuesday, May 24, to perform her new single “Heart Like a Truck.”

Brett Young is headlining the 2022 Wisconsin State Fair on August 13. Tickets go on sale on June 2.

Before his new album arrives on June 17, Brett Eldredge is hosting a special free album premiere event in Nashville on June 10. For details on how to attend, and how to score VIP access by joining his fan club, visit his website.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kane Brown says he’s excited for upcoming international shows, including first trip to Australia

ABC

Kane Brown will take his 2022 Blessed & Free Tour international this fall, with dates lined up for Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and even someplace he’s never been before: Australia.

“I’m excited,” the singer tells ET Online. “... I heard it was beautiful. It’s one of my biggest markets outside the United States, so I’m really excited to go out there. At first we thought it was gonna be for a festival, but I think we’re over there for two weeks.”

It’s also his first time performing abroad since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and while he’s been away, he’s made a number of new career moves. Now, “[t]hat’s cool, ‘cause we’re going to bigger venues,” Kane says.

What’s on his wish list of places to visit while he’s on the international leg of us tour? “I hope I get to [go] back to Ireland,” he says. “That was one of my favorite places.”

By the time Kane jets out for his international dates, he just might have a new album to share. The singer’s been releasing new music and hinting at his next full album, which he hopes will be out in 2022 or early 2023.

Most recently, he dropped his new single “Like I Love Country Music,” along with a fun music video that embraces his traditional country side.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Cole Swindell casts Travis Denning, Ashley Cooke in “Down to the Bar” video

Mickey Bernal/Getty Images

Cole Swindell put a fun twist on heartache in the music video for his new song “Down to the Bar.” He enlisted his recent tour openers, Travis Denning and Ashley Cooke, to play its lead characters.

In the clip, Travis and Ashley are recent exes, and Ashley drops Travis off on Nashville’s honky tonk-filled Lower Broadway strip as she’s leaving him. There, Travis wanders into a bar -- Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge -- and finds Cole Swindell, who plays a bartender serving up shots.

It’s only fitting that Cole enlisted these two opening acts, as they joined him on a tour that took its name from the song. “We just carried that good time over to this video and I hope fans can see how much fun that tour was for all of us,” Cole said in a statement.

Also making an appearance in the video is Hardy, who is Cole’s duet partner for “Down to the Bar.”

Hardy co-wrote “Down to the Bar,” too. In fact, Hardy lent his pen to several tracks on Stereotype, Cole’s latest album. He’s also a writer on the project’s chart-topping lead single, “Single Saturday Night,” and its title track.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Old Dominion keeps the pop-up shows rolling with Nashville stop this weekend

ABC

Old Dominion is headed home to Nashville this weekend, where they’ll play the city’s Bridgestone Arena as part of Kenny Chesney’s 2022 Here and Now Tour.

But while they’re in town, the band is planning something special: a free pop-up show.

It’s not the first time in recent weeks the group has planned a small, free show for fans at the cities they visit on tour. Old Dominion threw a pop-up show in Atlanta last weekend; they’ve also hit small stages in St. Louis, Charlotte and Tampa.

“One night in our hometown just isn’t enough, so you know what we’ve gotta do ...” the band wrote on social media, along with a video of frontman Matthew Ramsey dropping some details about what they’ve got planned.

Old Dominion’s Nashville pop-up show is set for Friday, and you can find the location details by heading to ODPopUp.com.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Maren Morris, Tim McGraw, Mickey Guyton react to Texas school shooting: “There are no words

ABC

Maren Morris, Tim McGraw and Mickey Guyton are among the celebrities who turned to social media to share their shock and horror following a mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school Tuesday. The shooting claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults.

“Imagine you walk down a hall & an entire class...GONE,” wrote Maren, adding that the number of child fatalities amounted to the size of a small school class. “I’ve already lost track of which shooting happened even a year ago. The victim’s families haven’t and never will.”

“There are no words. I’m broken and terrified,” Mickey wrote. “As a mother, when is enough enough.” Mickey and Maren hail from the state where the shooting took place.

Tim posted a lengthy message to his social media, expressing his sorrow for the families who lost children and sharing some of his thoughts on the prevalence of mass shootings in America.

“Divisive rhetoric has done zero to help this problem -- it’s only made it worse,” he wrote. “For one minute, let’s set aside our idealistic views and concentrate on the kind of world we want our children to grow up in.”

He added, “This shouldn’t have been acceptable 20 years ago, 4 years ago or one week ago. This SHOULD NOT be acceptable. This is not normal.”

The shooting took place at Robb Elementary School. The 18-year-old suspect, identified by law enforcement sources and Gov. Greg Abbott as Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School, is also dead.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jason Aldean "blown away" by "Trouble With a Heartbreak" co-writer John Morgan

ABC

Jason Aldean knows talent when he sees it, as proven by John Morgan, the co-writer behind his current hit "Trouble With a Heartbreak." 

Jason discovered the North Carolina native nearly two years ago, and it wasn't long before he signed him to his record label imprint, Night Train Records. John is also representing his home state as a contestant on the NBC show American Song Contest, co-hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, where he's competing for the coveted title of Best Original Song.

"[I] knew he was a great writer, but I heard him sing and I was just blown away, so we started working with him. I signed him to Night Train Records, which is my record company, and started producing his record. He's off to a great start, I'm excited about him," Jason says. "He's very unique. I think he's going to be one of those guys that's going to be around for a long time. Great singer, great writer, great guitar player." 

Though he's still early on in his career, John has proven to be a rising force, co-writing Jason's back-to-back hits "If I Didn't Love You" featuring Carrie Underwood and the #1 song on country radio this week, "Trouble With a Heartbreak." The hitmaker has so much faith in the newcomer that he's bringing him along as an opening act on his Rock N' Roll Cowboy Tour this year. 

"I'm in the producer seat for the first time and being a head of a record company, which is new to me a little bit. But if there was ever anybody that I wanted to throw all that behind, it would be him," Jason says of John. "So I'm excited to have him out."  

The tour launches on July 15 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nashville notes: Maren Morris, Dierks Bentley & more

Maren Morris' hit collaboration with Zedd, "The Middle," is now certified six-times Platinum by the RIAA.  

Dierks Bentley will perform at the first BeachLife Ranch Country & Americana festival, taking place September 16-18 in Redondo Beach, California. Dierks will headline the Saturday night show on September 17. Tickets are on sale now. 

Parmalee has unveiled the music video for their top five radio hit "Take My Name." 

Carrie Underwood has shared a behind-the-scenes video from the final show of her Las Vegas residency, Reflection.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kane Brown two-steps his way through the "Like I Love Country Music" video

Sony Music Nashville

Kane Brown is keeping it country in the video for his latest single, "Like I Love Country Music." 

Dressed in a black leather outfit, complete with chaps, a sparkling jacket and cowboy hat, Kane pulls up to a neon-clad honky tonk in his pick up truck. Once inside, he grabs a drink at the bar and hops onstage to serenade the lively crowd of two-stepping patrons. Kane joins them as he busts out his best moves on the dance floor in between shots of him singing in front of a Western-themed backdrop.  

"Like I Love Country Music" is currently climbing through the top 20 on country radio. It follows Kane's chart-topping hit "One Mississippi." The hitmaker is currently putting the finishing touches on his new album and will embark on the international Drunk or Dreaming Tour later this year. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Y'all know exactly where I'm going with this": Jordan Davis teases release of "What My World Spins Around"

ABC

Jordan Davis may be getting ready to drop a summer anthem. 

On Monday, the singer posted a video to Instagram responding to a fan's comment that the unreleased "What My World Spins Around" is "my summer song, calling it right now." 

"I agree with this comment. I think it would be a great summer song. So, in order for it to be a summer song, I should probably release it. And y'all know exactly where I'm going with this," he teases, alongside several eye emojis as the chorus of the song is heard playing in the background.  

This sent off a fury of excitement in the comment section, with many fans demanding to know when the song will be released. One fan called it a "banger" and another referred to it as a prime "summer boat song."

Jordan previously shared a sample of "What My World Spins Around" on socials back in March and has performed it live during recent concerts. Though he hasn't shared an official release date for the song, it is currently available for presave.   

The Louisiana native recently saw massive success with his multiweek #1 hit with Luke Bryan, "Buy Dirt."  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gabby Barrett to leave Jason Aldean's tour to welcome baby in August

ABC

Jason Aldean's upcoming arena tour will see a change in lineup. 

Gabby Barrett, who is one of the opening acts on Jason's Rock N' Roll Cowboy Tour this summer, will be departing the tour halfway through to welcome her new baby. She is currently pregnant with her and husband Cade Foehner's second child. The couple announced the news on Mother's Day, revealing that they're expecting a baby boy. He'll join his 1-year-old sister, Baylah

Taking over Gabby's spot will be a rotating cast of Chase Rice, Travis Tritt and Tracy Lawrence. The tour launches on July 15 and concludes on October 29. Gabby's last day will be August 27, when they perform at the Darien Lake Amphitheater in New York.

"Congratulations to Gabby, and a big thank you to Travis, Tracy, and Chase for jumping in," Jason shares. "Let's go!" 

Additionally, Jason is currently celebrating his 27th #1 hit, "Trouble With a Heartbreak," the second single off his latest album, Macon, Georgia. 

"Thanks you Country Radio for all the support on 'Trouble with a heartbreak'! We are officially #1 and there is nothing sweeter than celebrating with some of your best friends who wrote it," he says on Instagram, toasting co-writers Tully Kennedy, Kurt Allison and John Morgan. "Ready to get back on tour here in a few weeks and play it LIVE for u guys." 

"Trouble" was preceded by the album's other chart-topping single, "If I Didn't Love You," featuring Carrie Underwood

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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