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ABC Country Music News

Jordan Davis taps Danielle Bradbery for a sultry new heartache tune, “Midnight Crisis”

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To ease the sting of a midlife crisis, a guy might dye his hair, buy a convertible or blow too much money on a pair of flashy shoes -- but a “Midnight Crisis” isn’t quite as easy to remedy.

That’s the premise of Jordan Davis’ new release, “Midnight Crisis,” a play on words that dials into the loneliness of being all by yourself in the middle of the night and starting to miss your ex. “I’m wide awake, I’m playing back our history / All that I’m wantin’ is you right now / It hit me right out of the blue,” the singer croons in the chorus.

Jordan’s had good luck with duet partners lately -- his smash No. 1 hit “Buy Dirt” was a collaboration with Luke Bryan -- and this time around, he taps singer-songwriter and former The Voice champ Danielle Bradbery to join him.

Not only does Danielle lend her vocals to the song, but the two artists appear together in the music video, playing the roles of two heartbroken, lonely people drinking their sorrows away at a bar.

“Midnight Crisis” came out on Friday. You can listen to the song, and watch the music video, now.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lainey Wilson shouts out “the things that make my world go ‘round” in her new song, “Live Off”

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for for Americana Music

Lainey Wilson is previewing her upcoming album, Bell Bottom Country, with another new song called “Live Off.”

It’s a tune that’s particularly special to her, the singer shared on Twitter. “[‘Live Off’] is all about the things that make my world go ‘round,” Lainey explains. “My hometown, my dog, my family, my friends.”

A twangy, midtempo anthem, the song’s story is structured around all the things Lainey “lives off.” Even more important than food or money, she sings, is the place where she comes from and the people (and pets) she shares her life with.

Bell Bottom Country is due out on October 28 and features other previously released songs like “Heart Like a Truck” and “Watermelon Moonshine.”

It's also got a song called "Those Boots (Deddy's Song,)" a track that's extra meaningful in light of the health problems that Lainey's father has faced. When her dad was hospitalized recently, the singer canceled a couple of shows and opened up with fans about her close relationship with him as she requested their prayers.

Lainey is also a featured vocalist on the newest single from Hardy, a grisly story song called “Wait in the Truck.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kelsea Ballerini says it’s her “responsibility” to be vulnerable with fans, especially young girls

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Kelsea Ballerini has always tried to share all sides of her life with her fans, and there’s an important reason for that.

“I just feel like it’s my responsibility as someone that people look up to and little girls look up to to show all sides of the human condition and all the sides of being a grownup, that experiences life as it happens,”  the singer tells People.

That’s why she’s been so open about her recent divorce from fellow singer Morgan Evans. In the wake of her divorce announcement, she shared an emotional TikTok post of herself, teary-eyed, in a bathtub, lip-syncing along to Katie Gregson Macleod’s viral heartbreak ballad, “Complex.”

“And I’m happy on days that I’m happy and I’m sad on days that I’m sad,” Kelsea concludes.

Friday is likely a happy day for Kelsea: She’s releasing her new album, Subject to Change. The country star also performed the album’s first single, “Heartfirst," on ABC’s Good Morning America.


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“Waking Up Dreaming”: Shania Twain shares her first new single in five years

Louie Banks/Republic Nashville

Fresh off the finale of her Las Vegas residency, Shania Twain returns this week with “Waking Up Dreaming,” her first new single since 2017's Now.

The new song delivers Shania’s patented blend of uptempo country and feel-good, irrepressible pop. “So let’s start waking up dreaming / And dress up crazy like superstars / There ain’t no shaking this feeling / Tonight we’re making our way to Mars,” she sings in the chorus.

Speaking of “dressing up crazy like superstars,” Shania also dropped a music video to go along with her new song, and it features her playing the role of a retro glam rocker as she parties in a green room with a handful of her equally glamorous pals.

The singer dons a variety of glittery outfits and colorful wigs in the various scenes of the clip, which takes her onstage for an epic performance then out of the venue to greet her fans and hop in a car at the end of the night.

The song is a fresh start for Shania, as it's her first release on her new label home, the recently-formed Republic Nashville.

“I couldn’t think of a better partner than Republic Nashville. I’m honored and excited to be the label’s first artist and lead the charge of this new and exciting chapter,” the singer says in a statement. “In this respect, it feels like a new beginning all around, and I’m embracing it wholeheartedly.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

What’s a "Velvet Rodeo"? Miranda Lambert says her Las Vegas residency braids femininity with “the circus”


This weekend, fans will finally enter the colorful, larger-than-life world of Miranda Lambert’s Velvet Rodeo residency when she opens the show in Las Vegas.

But what’s a “Velvet Rodeo,” anyway? For one thing, it’s a tip of the hat to Miranda’s latest album, Palomino: Opening track “Acting Up” features the line “I want a sunset ride / A velvet rodeo.”

Miranda says that as she was dreaming up her Vegas show, she latched on to that phrase because of how perfectly it expressed the signature blend of personalities she infuses into her music.

“I’ve built my career on being feminine but also trying to have a bad-a** vibe at the same time,” the superstar tells ABC Audio. “It’s sometimes a hard line to walk, and I feel like that’s kind of what my music has done, as well.”

Now, she’ll bring those two contrasting personality traits to the Vegas stage. “I wanted something a little soft and feminine for Vegas, which is velvet. And then, obviously, a rodeo -- I mean, I joined the circus for a living. That’s what I do,” she adds with a laugh.

Even though her residency is in Vegas, Miranda says the show -- and her newest batch of songs on Palomino -- takes her back to her Texas roots.

“I’ve really been enjoying my hats and my boots,” she details. “I started when I was 17, wearing a cowboy hat painted with the Texas flag. So I feel like I’m just back, full circle, back to my Texas roots a little bit, with the energy and sound of this record.” 

Miranda kicks her residency off on Friday. She’s got plans to be in Vegas for more shows through the rest of the year.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: Go behind the scenes with Hardy and Lainey Wilson + more

Hardy recently shared a behind-the-scenes look into the making of his “Wait in the Truck” music video with duet partner Lainey Wilson. You can watch it now.

An enormous log mansion once owned by Barbara Mandrell is going up for auction next month. Called “The Fontanel,” the residence spans a sprawling 30,000 square feet and was once the largest log home in the United States. Since being owned by the country star, the space has also served as an event venue.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kelsea Ballerini says promoting an album during tough personal time makes her feel like a “sociopath”

ABC/Eric McCandless

Kelsea Ballerini’s Subject to Change album is all about growth and the contrasting, complicated emotions it brings -- so it makes sense that she’s feeling some complex feelings about her own life as she readies the project.

Of course, a big change going on in the singer’s life right now is her divorce: Kelsea recently announced that she is splitting from husband Morgan Evans after nearly five years of marriage.

“Sometimes while promoting this album I feel like a sociopath, because I’m presenting this thing I’m really proud of, and I’m really happy to be in this chapter and putting this record out,” she explains in conversation with Today's Country Radio With Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country. “But at the same time, there’s a lot going on in my life.”

Kelsea stresses the fact that, objectively, life is pretty great -- she’s got her dream job as a successful singer-songwriter, after all. But life is always a mix of triumphs and challenges, and she hopes her music will reflect that, she continues.

“I talk about this album, about it being a juxtaposition. And I’m in such a juxtaposition while putting it out,” she continues. “So of course it’s like this.”

Subject to Change arrives on Friday.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maddie & Tae’s Maddie Font once held Taylor Dye’s baby for a whopping eight hours: “I’m a baby hog"

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Maddie & Tae are more than just bandmates -- they’re also best friends. So when Maddie Font first met Taylor Dye’s baby girl Leighton, she immediately slipped into aunt mode.

“I’m such a baby hog,” Maddie admits in an interview the duo recently gave to ET Online.

“The first time she met Leighton ... [she] held her for eight hours straight,” Taylor adds. “Eight hours!” Maddie agrees.

Eventually, the bandmates hope they’ll be raising families side by side. “When my husband and I have kids, our kids are gonna grow up like siblings almost,” Maddie continues. “Because we’re almost like siblings. And they’re always gonna have another family. Such a gift.”

As a confirmed “baby hog,” Maddie says she would love to have “a hundred babies, like, yesterday,” but the logistics are tough -- especially as they are busily expanding their musical careers.

“You gotta plan it, you know, a little more, because you’re having babies on a tour bus,” Maddie says.

Right now, the tour bus in question is for Maddie & Tae’s CMT Next Women of Country Presents: All Song No Static Tour, a trek that will continue throughout this month. It’s also a busy time for the pair in terms of new music releases, as their Through the Madness: Vol. 2 project drops Friday.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Wynonna Judd says she didn’t see mother Naomi Judd’s death coming

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

Wynonna Judd reflects on the death of her mother and The Judds partner, Naomi Judd, in a new conversation with CBS Sunday Morning, the first television interview she's given since Naomi died in late April.

“I did not know that she was at the place she was at when she ended it,” Wynonna shares in a preview clip aired ahead of the full segment.

Naomi died by suicide after a lifelong battle with mental illness. But, as Wynonna points out, Naomi had frequently gone through difficult periods in the past, so her death came as a shock, even to those closest to her.

“That’s the challenge with mental illness. It’s really, really mysterious,” Wynonna continues, adding that in the wake of her mother’s suicide, she struggles with wondering if there was a way she could have predicted or changed the course of those tragic events.

“Was there anything I should have looked for, or should have known? I didn’t,” she says. “That’s why it’s such a shock.”

The singer says that Naomi’s mental health battles created intense highs and lows. “...It’s this incredibly dark and light experience. She had incredibly great days in the middle of the dark days. That’s why it’s so confusing,” Wynonna explains.

Naomi died just one day before The Judds were scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. This fall, Wynonna will embark on the tour she and Naomi planned as their final tour.

The shows have been recast as an all-star, all-female lineup featuring appearances from acts like Ashley McBryde, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Faith Hill. Original opener Martina McBride will remain on the bill for all shows.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jon Pardi and wife Summer are expecting their first baby in early 2023

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT/Viacom

It’s going to be a “Pardi of three” for country star Jon Pardi and his wife, Summer: The couple is expecting their first child early next year.

“I’m ready to start a new adventure with my wonderful wife Summer and our new little one -- Pardi of three!” the singer tells People, which shared the news this week. “I’m really excited to meet our baby and to have someone to ride around the ranch with.”

Summer also explains that getting pregnant wasn’t the easiest journey for her and Jon, who got married in late 2020 and have been trying to have a baby ever since.

“It was definitely an interesting two years of ups and downs -- the constant letdown month after month can be really hard on a couple,” she says. “After years of no luck and meeting with doctors who just didn’t feel like the right fit, we decided to take a break, leave it in God’s hands and just enjoy each other and this crazy, fun life we live together...and then surprise, we’re pregnant!”

Now, she adds, she can’t wait to see Jon become a dad. “He’s such a big kid at heart, always the life of the party and has such positive energy so I can only imagine how much fun this little Pardi addition will be for him and our family,” she adds.

In music news, Jon's Mr. Saturday Night album came out earlier this month.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Unflinching honesty, ‘90s bops + a “roller coaster” of emotion? That’s 'Subject to Change,' says Kelsea Ballerini

ABC/Connie Chornuk

When fans finally get their ears on Subject to Change, Kelsea Ballerini hopes it’ll take them on a whirlwind of emotions.

“I loved the idea of having a record that takes you through a roller coaster -- of growing up, and love, and a lot of inward conversation and maturity,” the singer tells ABC Audio. “Just airing all that out there in a way that feels witty and poetic and honest.”

As the title suggests there’s a major theme of change on the record -- good change, bad change and all the growing pains that make us who we are.

“I never really have a start and stop date for writing [for my albums],” Kelsea explains. “When it’s time to make an album, I listen through to the demos that I’ve written over the last year and a half, and I see what they say.”

In the case of the “80 songs” that Kelsea wrote during the Subject to Change era, the songs were talking about different kinds of change. “I was noticing a lot of contrast and a lot of juxtaposition and a lot of change,” she notes.

Any artist would hope that each record sharpens and matures their sound, and Kelsea says that’s the case for Subject to Change, too.

“I’m really proud of what this record says about me in the last couple of years,” she notes. “Because I feel like it’s really honest. And also I feel like, sonically, it is so heavily ‘90s-influenced, and I hope it brings people nostalgia, too.”

Subject to Change arrives on Friday. Kelsea previewed the new album, which features lead single "Heartfirst," before releasing it in full.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: Maddie & Tae’s stop on 'TODAY' and more

n case you missed it, Maddie & Tae made a stop on NBC’s TODAY on Wednesday to perform “Every Night Every Morning.” Their new project, Through the Madness Vol. 2, comes out on Friday.

Country singer Luke Bell died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, according to an autopsy report from the Pima County medical examiner’s office. Bell, 32, was found dead in Tucson, Arizona, on August 26. During his career, he held support slots for Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam and more.

Nashville-based guitar company Gibson has committed to donating $1 million to combat drug overdoses in the music industry, according to the Tennessean. The effort is a partnership with international pharmaceutical company Hikma.

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Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton + more sign on for 2022 Heal the Music Day

Keith Urban, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Vince Gill and more are all on deck for this year’s Heal the Music Day, the fifth annual fundraising initiative for the Music Health Alliance.

The event, spearheaded by country star Rodney Crowell, is a push to raise awareness and support for the medical needs of those in the music industry -- 76 percent of whom are self-employed or employed by a small business.

The Music Health Alliance provides resources for working professionals in music, including life-saving health and financial support.

Heal the Music Day is set for October 21. Other participating artists include Ronnie Dunn, Lauren Daigle and more. From the start of October leading up to October 21, donations to the Music Health Alliance will be matched up to $25,000 by an anonymous donor.

To become a Music Health Alliance partner, make a pledge at the initiative’s website.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Luke Combs leads a list of special guests on the new season of Clint Black’s 'Talking in Circles'

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Luke Combs is helping to kick off a new season of the Circle Network’s Talking in Circles With Clint Black, a show in which ‘90s superstar Clint Black chats with his fellow country artists about their careers.

Luke will be the show’s guest for the first episode of Season 3. During the conversation, he’ll discuss his humble beginnings as a guitarist, his songwriting process and much more.

The rest of Talking in Circles’ new season will feature guest artists such as Chris Janson, Deana Carter, Bill Anderson, Peter Frampton and more. The roster of star appearances isn’t entirely limited to musicians: Olympic legend Scott Hamilton will also make a stop on the show on October 22.

“I’m truly humbled by my friends, old and new, who sit and talk shop with me,” Clint says of his show’s next season. “I give much credit to the network -- Circle -- where I’m encouraged to depart from the regular interview format and have the kinds of conversations I would have backstage with a fellow artist or musician.”

Tune in to the Circle Network to watch Talking in Circles With Clint Black beginning October 1.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Will the St. Louis Cardinals make the playoffs this year?