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ABC Country Music News

Nashville notes

Eric Church is releasing the video today for his latest single, "Heart on Fire." He's already released a teaser

Charley Pride will be posthumously honored with the RIAA Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville. Garth Brooks will present the award to Charley's son, Dion, at the ceremony on October 25.  

Riley Green's debut #1 single, "There Was This Girl," has been certified Platinum by the RIAA. 

"One Big Country Song" duo LoCash has extended their publishing deal with BMG. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lady A teases collaboration with Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett and Carly Pearce

BMLG Records

Ahead of the release of their album, What a Song Can Do, Lady A has dropped a preview of their all-star collaboration with Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce and Darius Rucker, "Friends Don't Let Friends." 

"You know friends don't let friends drink alone/Gotta have a little help to get that memory gone/If you're gonna make a bad decision/You shouldn't make it on your own/Yeah friends don't let friends drink alone," they sing in unison over a lively, guitar-heavy melody.

The trio offered a teaser of the track in an Instagram clip that shows scrolling photos of the longtime friends through the years, including a photo of Darius inviting Lady A to join the Grand Ole Opry, Thomas and Lady A's Charles Kelley playing a round of golf, and Carly performing on stage with the group as the opening act on their What a Song Can Do Tour. 

"Friends don’t let friends drink alone…it’s true! Loved getting to collaborate with some of our friends on the upcoming record," the trio writes. 

What a Song Can Do drops on Friday. It includes seven new songs, alongside the original seven featured on What a Song Can Do (Chapter 1) that was released in June.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Things are looking UP": Luke Bryan commemorates 'American Idol's upcoming 20th season

ABC/Eric McCandless

Luke Bryan is ready for the new season of American Idol. 

On Tuesday, the country superstar shared a selfie of him and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry and host Ryan Seacrest on the set as they film auditions for the show's upcoming 20th season. 

"Things are looking UP for our 20th year of @americanidol. Who's ready?" Luke writes alongside the photo, which shows the foursome smiling while gathering around a cake celebrating the milestone season with a "20" topper. The caption also references his new single, "Up." 

The official AI Instagram account also shared a snap of the team posing around the cake, which bears the show's famous logo.  

"We're filming on the Sunset Strip this week! Season 20's gonna rock, no matter how you slice it," the picture is captioned. 

This marks Luke's fifth season as a judge on the American Idol reboot. Season 20 will air in 2022 on ABC. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kane Brown shares sweet video of his daughter dancing to his song

ABC

Cuteness overload! Before a recent show, Kane Brown captured a sweet moment of his two-year-old daughter Kingsley dancing around the stage, and by the looks of it, she takes after her dad's love of music.

Donning a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a pink fuzzy bunny-ear headband to match, Kingsley can be seen moving and shaking on stage along to the instrumental beat as the band rehearses one of her dad's songs in the background.  

The superstar himself gets in on the fun, too, swaying and shaking his hips alongside the infant. Kingsley gets particularly excited during the breakdown, running in circles around the stage.

"Adorable Katelyn and Kane love this," a fan comments. "She is absolutely precious!! The love this family shows is beautiful. Thanks for sharing," praises another, while yet another fan predicts, "She is too cute. They are going to come to see her sing soon."

Kane and his wife Katelyn welcomed Kingsley in October 2019. Kane's in the midst of his Blessed & Free Tour, which continues through early next year.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Russell Dickerson teases a tequila-infused new song

Spencer Combs

Russell Dickerson has written a banger, and he couldn't wait to share it with fans. 

Russell turned to TikTok to show off the chorus of an untitled track he's penned, in which tequila and the music of John Denver set the tone for a romantic night at home with his wife. 

"She likes it when I pour tequila/'Cause she knows that we about to/Have ourselves a little night/When I play John Denver/Through that little Bose speaker/And I start dimming those lights/And she knows by the way that I'm kissing on her/That we 'gon take our time," Russell sings in the chorus, poised in front of a microphone at a desk in his studio as he lip-syncs along to the hip-hop infused number. 

"Yoooooooo! Just wrote this one!!! Somebody please put a verse on thissssss," the singer excitedly writes in the caption. 

"That sounds awesome dude!!" one fan cheered in the comments, with another raving, "Give it to us RD!!!!" accompanied by several fire emojis. 

While he's still putting the finishing touches on this new track, Russell is climbing the charts with his single "Home Sweet" that's currently in the top 20 on country radio.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Garth, The Ryman & You: Garth Brooks to play two shows at Ryman Auditorium

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Garth Brooks is heading to the Mother Church of Country Music for a special show next month.  

The icon announced on Inside Studio G on Monday that he's hosting An Intimate Evening with Garth Brooks at The Ryman Auditorium on November 19 and 20. The two-night series at the famed Nashville venue finds Garth performing an up-close and personal set wherein he shares the stories behind the songs. 

Tickets cost $250 and are available in limited quantity; the venue will not be sold to capacity. 

“Always team your name with something much bigger than your name," Garth expressed upon announcing the show on Inside Studio G. “Tickets are going to be extremely limited. We didn’t want to put a seat in the house that didn’t feel like you were sitting right there onstage with us.”

Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Darius Rucker can inspire a "Masterpiece," but he "can't play piano like Ray Charles"

David McClister

When Darius Rucker sings "I can't play piano like Ray Charles" in his latest hit, "My Masterpiece," he's telling the absolute truth.

But it's not for lack of trying.

"The one thing that I'm starting to do... is I'm learning to play piano," he told reporters in August of 2020. "I got this big keyboard in my house...And so finally, I'm going online and taking probably, you know, an hour a day, four or five days a week, and trying to learn how to play that thing."

By February of this year, however, Darius confessed he hadn't exactly been keeping up with his piano lessons.

"Oh, of course, I didn't stick with it, come on!" he laughs. "This is me. Come on! Of course, I didn't. I took two lessons and haven't been back on the piano since."

The experience did inspire a line in his latest single, however.

"The funny thing is, one of the guys I write with saw an interview with me and he was talking about me playing the piano," Darius explains, "And... one of the lines I used was, 'I can't play piano like Ray Charles.' And now that's like the big payoff in the song... because it was just so funny."

Darius adds, joking, "I can't play piano like, you know, David Charles right now. I'm awful! I didn't even stick with it. I should have."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nashville notes

Zac Brown Band will perform on Good Morning America on Thursday on ABC.  

Mickey Guyton will perform at the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in honor of new inductee, Tina Turner. The show will air on HBO and HBO Max on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET.   

Lee Brice, Dustin Lynch and Michael Ray are among the artists who performed for Lee Greenwood at his recent tribute concert at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It was the third-highest-grossing event in the venue's history.  

Carly Pearce will perform a free concert October 23 at The Royal Beach at Atlantis Paradise Island, a resort in the Bahamas. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"We have done it": Elvie Shane hits #1 with "My Boy"

BBR Music Group

Elvie Shane has a lot to celebrate these days, but at the top of the list is "My Boy" reaching #1 on country radio.

The Kentucky-born singer has achieved his first #1 hit with his debut single, a song that conveys the love between a stepfather and his son. As a stepfather to his wife Mandi's 14-year-old son, the song is deeply personal for the singer. 

"We have done it. Number-one song in country music baby is 'My Boy,'" Elvie shares in an Instagram video celebrating his debut hit. "People told me for years that this song would be a #1 song, and about two-and-a-half weeks ago, I found myself doubting that for just a moment."

The new chart-topper jokes that he celebrated the monumental occasion by changing a dirty diaper of his and Mandi's three-month-old daughter, Zaelyn.   

"I appreciate you guys so much for the love and support over the last year that this song has been on the radio. I am beside myself," he continues in the video to his fans. "I am beyond blessed. Thank you, guys. I love you so much." 

"My Boy" is the lead single off Elvie's debut album, Backslider, set for release on October 29.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Why Carrie Underwood calls her duet with Jason Aldean "the perfect fit"

Connie Chronuk/ABC

Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood's duet, "If I Didn't Love You," was years in the making. 

While the duet may have come as a surprise to some, Carrie reveals that she and Jason have been plotting for years to set up a collaboration. While the pair have teamed up for live performances over the years, including a cover of Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City" at the 2010 CMA Fest, this marks their first official studio duet. 

“Jason asked if I would sing ‘If I Didn’t Love You’ with him. I knew I liked the song, and Jason and I have actually been trying to do things together over the years," Carrie says. "We’ve sang together before, but we’ve never officially recorded anything together. It just kind of felt like this could be our moment."

Carrie continues: "I felt like it was a little bit of an unexpected duet to other people, but I feel like I always knew at some point I’d probably sing with him officially, and this just seemed like the stars were aligning and it just seemed like it was going to be the perfect fit."

"If I Didn't Love You" is nearing the top spot at country radio. The hit duet is featured on Jason's upcoming album, Macon, set for release on November 12. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Watch never-before-seen footage of Gwen & Blake's engagement

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton celebrated the one-year anniversary of their engagement on Sunday, and now, Gwen has shared some never-before seen video and pictures from the day that Blake popped the question.

"one year ago today?!" she captioned her Instagram post. "October 17th 2020 we got engaged! @blakeshelton I love you!"  The first video shows Gwen showing off her ring as Blake dances up behind her and kisses her cheek. "Look! We just got engaged!" she yells, as the song "Celebration" plays in the background.

Another image shows Gwen on her knees covering her face as Blake kneels in front of her, holding her waist. Next, there's video of Gwen's massive diamond engagement ring.

Gwen and Blake didn't make their engagement public until October 27, 2020.  They tied the knot July 3, 2021 at Blake's Oklahoma ranch.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Luke Bryan to host the 2021 CMA Awards

CMA/ABC/Robby Klein

Luke Bryan has been tapped to host the 2021 CMA Awards

This marks the "What Makes You Country" singer's debut as CMA Awards host. He was awarded the show's top prize, Entertainer of the Year, back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.

“The CMA Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for Country Music. Being asked to host the CMA Awards was definitely something I put a lot of thought into before answering" Luke says in a statement. "The pressure that comes along with that can be overwhelming, but knowing I get to help honor and celebrate so many of my friends, I knew it was something I couldn’t turn down."

Luke also said he's "honored" to join the list of former CMA hosts, which include Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker. "I’m looking forward to making it fun and memorable and using this platform to continue to make Country Music shine,” he declared.

Reba McEntire and Darius co-hosted the show in 2020. It was revealed earlier this month that Reba was not returning as host for 2021.

Eric Church and Chris Stapleton are the most nominated acts at the 55th annual ceremony. Performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks. 

The CMA Awards air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on November 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ryan Hurd calls wife Maren Morris a "really great mom"

Nicki Fletcher

Ryan Hurd has nothing but praise for wife Maren Morris in her role as mother to their son Hayes

The husband and wife pair welcomed Hayes in March 2020, and Ryan says it's been a joy to watch his wife blossom into motherhood. He jokingly admits that he knew she was excelling as a parent when he got home one day to find that Maren had taught their infant son an advanced skill in his absence. 

"Maren's a really great mom and it's cool to watch her learn how to do that," Ryan tells Entertainment Tonight. "I didn't realize how good of a mom she was until I got back and he had learned flash cards. I was like 'I don't do that, should I be doing flashcards? I didn't know we had flash cards.'"

The couple met as songwriters in 2013 during a writing session that resulted in Tim McGraw's "Last Turn Home," marking Maren's first cut as a songwriter. It is one of many major successes the couple has experienced together, including their duet, "Chasing After You," that's racing up the charts, currently inside the top 10 on country radio.

"It was cool to have that moment with her. You see the rocket ship take off and you're like 'but I was there at the start,' and that's cool," Ryan reflects, adding that he and Maren's dream was to move to Nashville and be songwriters. "We both get to do it and we both to get to be passionate about our side of it and also passionate about the other person at the same time. It's really cool to be in a relationship with somebody who feels the same thing."

Ryan's debut album, Pelago, is out now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Watch never-before-seen footage of Gwen & Blake's engagement

Connie Chronuk/ABC

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton celebrated the one-year anniversary of their engagement on Sunday, and now, Gwen has shared some never-before seen video and pictures from the day that Blake popped the question.

"one year ago today?!" she captioned her Instagram post. "October 17th 2020 we got engaged! @blakeshelton I love you!"  The first video shows Gwen showing off her ring as Blake dances up behind her and kisses her cheek. "Look! We just got engaged!" she yells, as the song "Celebration" plays in the background.

Another image shows Gwen on her knees covering her face as Blake kneels in front of her, holding her waist. Next, there's video of Gwen's massive diamond engagement ring.

Gwen and Blake didn't make their engagement public until October 27, 2020.  They tied the knot July 3, 2021 at Blake's Oklahoma ranch.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Dancing' daddy Jimmie Allen reveals the strategy that's pushing him closer to the mirrorball

ABC/Eric McCandless

Jimmie Allen's coming off a big week, as he heads into "Grease Night" this evening on Dancing with the Stars

Not only did he and his wife Alexis Gale welcome their second daughter, Zara James, over the weekend, he also just turned in his best performance of the season last Tuesday on Disney Villains Night. 

Part of Jimmie's strategy has been to learn everything he can from folks who've done well on the show before.

"I was actually FaceTiming Lauren [Alaina] today, talking about the Rumba," he told ABC Audio earlier in the season. "Talked to NellyAJ McLean and I talked to Chuck [Wicks]. I talked to Nick Carter, talked to Donald DriverDeMarcus Ware, talked to BabyFace -- a bunch of people that did it."

"You know, it's been super cool," Jimmie continues. "Rashad Jennings, he actually won it with my partner Emma [Slater]. Kaitlyn Bristowe, that won it last year, I talked to her yesterday. It was super cool."

Jimmie's also relying on country fans to come through for him.

"Oh, yeah! Listen, them country music fans show up!" he says excitedly. "Okay, they show up! And I'm hoping they graded me low, so they can see the growth, and then I can come back next and try to get better."

"Because I don't wanna jump from sixes and fives to nines and tens..." he explains. "I kinda wanna work my way up. I don't wanna go too high too fast."  

So far, it's a plan that seems to be working.

Tonight, tune in to see Jimmie dance the Foxtrot to "Sandy," starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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