ABC/Image Group LAGarth Brooks debuted a brand new song called "Stronger Than Me" on the CMA Awards Wednesday evening. A song about his wife, Trisha Yearwood, who happened to be sitting in the front row, Garth admits that the decision to debut the track was a bit daunting.
"This song is so ‘me,’ and how I feel toward Miss Yearwood, that it is scary,” he admits.
With lyrics like, "If I had a choice I'd pray to God he takes me first/'Cause you're stronger than me," it's no wonder the song made Trisha start to cry.
Garth explains the idea behind the song.
“There’s a verse that comes out of the bridge that says, ‘You know, I always thought I had to have the answers/Be her strength, and take the lead/But when it comes to anything that really matters/She’s stronger than me,’" he explains. "I can’t tell you how many times in our relationship that verse has been the truth.”
The country couple always praise each other in interviews, but after his performance Wednesday night, Garth just might be crowned Husband of the Year.
NBC UniversalIt's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and several country stars will help celebrate the occasion by taking part in the annual lighting of New York City's famed Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Brett Eldredge, Marina McBride and Kellie Pickler will help kick off the holidays with performances on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center, airing on November 28 at 8 p.m. ET.
Additionally, Motown legend Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, jazz artist Diana Krall, America's Got Talent star Darci Lynn Farmer, a cappella group Pentatonix and John Legend will also lend their talents to the television special.
NBC's Today anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will co-host the holiday special, which will take place at New York City's famed Rockefeller Center. The evening will include the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y.
A holiday tradition for 86 years, the lighting of the tree will feature more than than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs.
Donn Jones/CMAThe country world lost a beloved member of its community today when Roy Clark died of pneumonia, and now many of his fellow country stars have issued statements or taken to their socials to express their sadness at his loss.
A Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and Grand Ole Opry member, Roy was well known for co-hosting the television series Hee Haw for 24 years. He also had crossover success on both the country and pop charts. He was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1973.
Roy influenced many of today's country stars. In fact, if it wasn't for his music, the genre might not have Brad Paisley or Keith Urban. In a series of heartfelt posts on Twitter, Brad shared the impact the late singer had on his life and career.
"Roy Clark shaped my path," Brad wrote. "My Papaw introduced me to his music as a toddler. Every Saturday we’d watch Hee Haw. My first guitar book was a Roy Clark guitar method. I practiced his style, then practiced making his facial expressions. He was a hero. And so many have the same story."
"My first CMA memory is sitting on my living room floor watching Roy Clark tear it up. Sending my love and respect to him and his family for all he did," Keith, the newly crowned CMA Entertainer of the Year, shared on Twitter.
Dolly Parton said in a statement, "Roy Clark was one of the greatest ever. His spirit will never die. I loved him dearly and he will be missed."
Charlie Danielstweeted, "Just got word that Roy Clark has passed. I’ve known him for 60 years and he was a fine musician and entertainer Rest In Peace Buddy, you will be remembered."
Roy died at his home in in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.
ABC/Image Group LAVince Gill was scheduled to perform on Wednesday's CMA Awards with Ricky Skaggs but had to cancel his appearance because he's being treated for kidney stones.
The two singers and longtime friends were planning on performing Ricky's "Highway 40 Blues" together, but after Vince had to bow out, Keith Urban and Brothers Osborne's John Osborne stepped in.
Vince's publicist tells ABC Radio that Vince is currently undergoing treatment, and that he'll be postponing the next four dates of his tour. Vince's shows scheduled for tonight through November 18 will be rescheduled for a later date.
"To have Keith Urban here to sing 'Highway 40' with me -- we've done that at the Opry, but not here," Ricky told reporters backstage following their performance. "He was sitting in for Vince Gill, who couldn't make it because of a little sickness."
Reviver Entertainment GroupKenny Chesney wasn't able to make it to the CMA Awards last night due to a death in his family but that didn't stop the singer from congratulating his friend and duet partner, David Lee Murphy, on their trophy.
Ahead of the broadcast, the longtime collaborators were named CMA Musical Event of the Year for their chart-topping hit "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." Kenny then shared his love for the song on social media.
“Sometimes you hear songs & they just feel good," he wrote on Twitter. "Occasionally one that feels good says something that people need to hear. That’s how I felt about Everything’s Gonna Be Alright when I heard it. Proud to have been part of this with my friend @davidleemurphy. #musicaleventoftheyear."
Kenny was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the CMAs; that trophy went to Keith Urban.
The CMA Awards aired Wednesday night on ABC live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
ABC/Image Group LAMidland performed a spirited cover of "East Bound and Down" last night during the CMA Awards. Following their appearance, the band has made the song available for purchase.
"'East Bound and Down' is a balls to the wall, honky tonk, fast tempo tornado of a song that was a great challenge to master and to make some tweaks to make it our own," the band shares in a statement. "It’s now one of our favorite songs to perform live and we can only hope that The Guitar Man is smiling somewhere up above with approval."
The Guitar Man reference is, of course, a nod to the late Jerry Reed, who scored a top-five hit with the original "East Bound and Down" in 1977 from the classic film Smokey and the Bandit, which starred both Jerry and Burt Reynolds.
Midland's rollicking interpretation of "East Bound and Down" is out now.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesRoy Clark, the Grammy, ACM and CMA-winning Country Music Hall of Fame member and celebrated picker who's best-known by most as co-host of TV's Hee Haw, has died at age 85.
Clark's publicist confirmed he died Thursday morning at his Tulsa, Oklahoma home of complications from pneumonia.
Just two years ago, Clark revived his classic “I’m a pickin’ and I’m a grinnin’” bit for the landmark 50th Annual CMA Awards, with Brad Paisley stepping in for his late Hee Haw co-host, Buck Owens.
Hee Haw -- a rural variety show that mixed homespun comedy with current country stars -- premiered on CBS in 1969. When it was cancelled by the network, it moved to syndication, where it ran until 1992.
Though his musical prowess was somewhat overshadowed by his comedy success on Hee Haw, Clark was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, admired for his abilities on both guitar and banjo. At the peak of his career, he was well-known enough to guest-host The Tonight Show for Johnny Carson.
Clark was also largely responsible for the country music boom that took over Branson, Missouri for a time. Standards like “The Tips of My Fingers,” “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” “Thank God and Greyhound You’re Gone,” and “Come Live with Me” are just a few of the hits he placed on the country chart.
Roy Clark was a Grand Ole Opry member who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. He’s survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara. A memorial will be held in Tulsa in the coming days.
ABC/CMAIt was a Universal night backstage at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards. Universal Music Group artists swept every major category during Country Music’s Biggest Night, except for New Artist, Vocal Group, Video, and Musical Event.
Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and Brothers Osborne were all emotional -- and somewhat stunned -- at the new trophies they claimed. Male Vocalist, Song, and Single winner Chris Stapleton expressed his gratitude after winning awards for “Broken Halos,” a song he wrote with his mentor, Mike Henderson.
Kacey Musgraves appeared backstage dressed head to toe in orange, after winning Album of the Year for Golden Hour, a nontraditional album without a country radio single.
“Dust on the Bottle” hitmaker David Lee Murphy explained Kenny Chesney’s absence, even though they won the Musical Event honor: Kenny is back home in East Tennessee with his family, after the passing of someone close to him.
Thomas Rhett revealed that his wife Lauren had warned him about involving her in his performance of “Life Changes,” predicting she wouldn’t be able to keep it together in the moment.
Old Dominion and Luke Combs claimed triumphs for Sony Nashville: OD grabbed the CMA Vocal Group trophy to match the equivalent Academy of Country Music Honor they won earlier this year. Luke pointed out that his New Artist acceptance speech was off-the-cuff, since it was important to him to speak from the heart.
ABC/Randy HolmesThe 52nd Annual CMA Awards aired Wednesday night on ABC, and later on, so did a fourth installment of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s Mean Tweets: Country Music Edition.
As always, celebs took some time out to see what nasty things people say about them: This time around, Dan Shay, Lauren Alaina, Cole Swindell, Midland and a host of others took their licks.
As for the latter, one Twitter user accused "the guys in Midland" of, "looking like Sacha Baron Cohen in various disguises," while another noted, "Luke Combs looks like the human manifestation of cornbread" -- a dig the laughing musician dug.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Young was named 2018 ASCAP Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year on Monday evening at a celebration in Nashville. The following evening, his song "In Case You Didn't Know" -- penned by Brett, Trent Tomlinson, Tyler Reeve and Kyle Schlienger -- was recognized with the Song of the Year Award at the BMI Country Awards.
Home Free have extended their Timeless World Tour into 2019. By the time it wraps next year, they will have played over 140 dates in more than 14 countries. Tickets to the 2019 trek go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. local time.
Keith Urban was the big winner at the 52nd annual CMA Awards, airing live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena Wednesday night on ABC. Keith walked off with Entertainer of the Year honors, but Chris Stapleton also had a big night, grabbing Single and Song of the Year, along with his fourth Male Vocalist award. Carrie Underwood won for Female Vocalist of the Year -- her fifth win in that category.
Urban beat out fellow artists Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Kenny Chesney for the honor, and in an emotional speech, thanked his wife Nicole Kidman and their daughters Faith, seven, and Sunday, 10, as well as his late father, who died in 2015. “I wish my dad was alive to see this because I think he’s watching over me tonight.”
While accepting his Single of the Year award for "Broken Halo," Stapleton explained that the song was about people who died before their time, and dedicated the song to the victims of the deadly wildfires raging out of control in California.
Underwood was overcome with emotion as she picked up her Female Vocalist trophy, telling the audience, "I have been blessed with so many things in my life, and...still haven't done anything to deserve it."
Other winners included Kacey Musgraves, who took home her first Album of the Year Award for Golden Hour. She noted the "crazy timing" of the win. "I just realized this morning...10 years ago today, I moved to Nashville."
Brothers Osborne were also winners, grabbing their third Vocal Duo of the Year award. T.J. and John, visibly shocked by the win, joked, "If this was in Florida, there would definitely be a recount."
Other winners included Luke Combs for Best New Artist and Old Dominion for Vocal Group of the Year.
The show opened with Garth Brooks dedicating the show to the 12 victims of the shootings in Thousand Oaks, California. Before asking for a moment of silence, during which the names of the victims were shown on screen, Brooks said, "Let's celebrate their lives. Let the music unite us with love and their enduring memory."
Luke Bryan followed by declaring, "Let's do what we do and and let's be proud of what makes us country tonight." Luke Combs, Jon Pardi, Cole Swindell, Chris Janson, Lindsay Ell and Ashley McBryde then joined him onstage for a version of "What Makes You Country."
Underwood and Paisley, in their 11th CMA co-hosting gig, steered clear of politics, focusing instead on the proliferation of restaurants opened by country artists and Carrie's accident following last year's awards telecast.
Brad, who revealed the gender of Carrie's first child Isaiah a few years ago at the ceremony, didn't make the same mistake this year, but did manage to coax the pregnant "Cry Pretty" singer into seemingly revealing it herself. After throwing out a list of male and female country duos, she finally snapped and yelled, "Oh my God! Willie! It's a Willie!"
The two got serious later in the show, sending wishes to the victims and first responders in the California wildfires. Said Carrie, "We send our love to all of you and the brave firefighters who are out there putting themselves on the line trying to save homes and lives."
Wednesday's musical performances included Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett, as well as all-star tributes to Ricky Skaggs and Dottie West, who were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and a collaboration between Stapleton, Maren Morris and R&B and gospel legend Mavis Staples.
Midland also paid tribute to Burt Reynolds, who died in September, with a cover of Jerry Reed's song from Smokey and the Bandit, "East Bound and Down."
ABC/Image Group LAChris Lane is officially off the market: The country singer is now dating The Bachelor alum Lauren Bushnell. The couple made their red carpet debut Tuesday night, walking the red carpet together at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville.
“It’s brand-new and they are enjoying spending time together,” a representative of Chris' told People.
Chris also documented their date night with a photo posing with his new girl on Instagram. "Good time last night @bmi."
Lauren is featured in the music video for Chris' latest single, “I Don’t Know About You.” Chris is an unabashed fan of The Bachelor, having previously performed on the show.
In addition to managing his budding relationship, the singer is keeping busy on the road: He's currently headlining his Laps Around the Sun Tour. In 2019, he'll join Dan Shay as part of their Dan Shay the Tour, which kicks off in March.
ABC/Image Group LAChris Young is hard at work in the studio and he's giving fans an early listen to the fruits of his labors.
While he's usually not one to share music before it's ready, Chris decided to switch things up this time, posting a snippet of a new song called "Raised On Country."
"I'm just hanging out in the studio," Chris shares in a short clip on Instagram. "I've been talking a lot about new music. I never, ever play anything early at all but I'm gonna break tradition a little bit because I'm so pumped about this one."
The clip shows Chris in the studio with frequent collaborator and producer Corey Crowder. He then plays a new tune that name drops Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Joe Diffie and George Strait.
"I was raised on Merle, raised on Willie/Got my honky tonk attitude from Joe Diffie/Daddy did too, it's family tradition...My upbringing sounds like George Strait singing /And I gotta give props to the radio/Because if you know me, I was raised on country," he sings in the clip.
Chris also hinted that more new music's coming soon. The singer recently scored his 11th number one single with "Hangin' On."
ABC/Image Group LACassadee Pope is set to embark on her first-ever headlining tour next year. The "One More Red Light" singer will serve as headliner for the upcoming 2019 CMT Next Women of Country Tour.
The news was announced Tuesday in Nashville while Cassadee was co-hosting the induction of the 2019 Class of CMT's Next Women of Country with Leslie Fram, CMT senior president of music strategy. Joining Cassadee on the road are Clare Dunn and Hannah Ellis. Tour dates will be announced soon.
Cassadee is hard at work on her second studio album. The follow-up to 2013's Frame by Frame, the recordis due for release in early 2019. Previously released tracks "Take You Home" and "One More Red Light" are out now.
Bob Mahoney/NetflixJennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald star in the upcoming Netflix film, Dumplin', and both actresses are featured in the new movie trailer. The film tells the story of a plus-size teenager, played by Danielle, and her former beauty queen mother, played by Aniston.
In a nearly three-minute clip, Danielle -- whom her mother lovingly refers to as Dumplin' -- is seen venting to her friend about the upcoming pageant season. As the storyline develops, she decides to sign up for her mom's pageant as a protest. Soon, other contestants follow suit in a movement that eventually revolutionizes their Texas town.
Dolly Parton penned Dumplin's soundtrack, which is available November 30. In addition to Dolly singing on many of the songs, she enlisted the help of Sia, Elle King, Mavis Staples, Miranda Lambert, Willa Amai, Rhonda Vincent, Alison Krauss, Macy Gray, and rock band DOROTHY.The project was produced by Linda Perry.
Dumplin' will be available on Netflix and in select theaters December 7.
Sony Music NashvilleKane Brown could have his first number one on the Billboard 200 chart with his sophomore album, Experiment. Billboard reports that industry forecasters are predicting the project will amass over 130,000 equivalent album units by November 15.
If Kane does reach the top of the album heap, it would mark the third time this year that a country artist has gone number one on the all-genre chart. Previously, Carrie Underwood's Cry Pretty and Jason Aldean's Rearview Town have reached number one on the Billboard 200.
Kane is no newcomer to breaking chart records. Recently, he became the first-ever artist to top all five Billboard Country Charts. He secured the #1 slot on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with his self-titled debut, while "What Ifs," featuring Lauren Alaina, topped the publication's Country Airplay, Hot Country Songs and Country Streaming Songs charts. His previous single, "Heaven," also debuted at No. 1 on the publication's Country Digital Songs chart.
Kane is eyeing yet another #1 as his current single, "Lose It," sits in the top five on the country charts.
ABC/Image Group LABrad Paisley has released his new single, "Bucked Off," to country radio. The light-hearted breakup song has him realizing his relationship is on the rocks.
"This ain't my first rodeo/Someone's gonna get hurt/Whenever someone says we need to talk/It feels like there's a number pinned onto the back of my shirt/'Cause this is where the cowboy gets bucked off," Brad sings on the chorus.
Brad describes the throwback track as a "turbo honky-tonk, reminiscent of '80s and '90s country, but futuristic." The singer co-wrote the track with Chris DuBois and Kelley Lovelace.
Brad will perform "Bucked Off" for the first time tonight during the CMA Awards, which airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.
Courtesy Country Music AssociationThe 52nd Annual CMA Awards air tonight on ABC, but Kenny Chesney, David Lee Murphy and Thomas Rhett are already winners.
This morning on ABC's Good Morning America, it was revealed that Kenny and David Lee have won the Musical Event of the Year category for their #1 duet "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." In addition, TR has won Video of the Year for his clip for "Marry Me," directed by TK McKamy.
Kenny has previously won the Musical Event of the Year twice: once in 2007 for "Find Out Who Your Friends Are," with Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw, and again in 2012 for "Feel Like a Rockstar," with Tim. This is David Lee's first-ever CMA nomination and win.
Thomas Rhett has been nominated in the past for Music Video of the Year, but this is his first win. TK McKamy previously won the award for Maddie & Tae's "Girl in a Country Song" in 2015.
Kenny is also competing for the Entertainer of the Year trophy, while TR could still win Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for Life Changes.
Tune in to see who takes home the rest of the CMA Awards tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.