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ABC Country Music News

Keith Urban explains the bizarre opera incident that resulted in Nicole Kidman being “whacked” with a program

ABC/Image Group LABack in January, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman got into a scuffle at the Sydney Opera House, where they went to see a performance of “The Merry Widow.”

At the time, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that police were called to the scene after an argument between two men broke out, one of whom was none other than Keith.

It seemed that Keith and Nicole had given a standing ovation to the performance, unaware that doing so goes against opera tradition. A miffed audience member behind them then reached out and hit Nicole with his program, angering both members of the superstar couple.

Now, during an appearance on “The Kyle and Jackie O Show” for a radio interview in his home country of Australia, Keith addressed the incident.

“We didn’t know you’re not supposed to stand in the opera,” confessed the country star (quote via TODAY,) going on to say the show they were watching moved him, and a few other viewers, to a standing ovation.

“And I stood up, and then this guy behind me just, like, whacked -- not me, Nic. Just, like, really hit her with a program,” Keith recounted.

“Violence at the opera ensued,” the singer joked. “It was a bit of a pickle that I was in, because you know, you’re a husband, you want to defend your wife, but I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ It took a lot of restraint.”

Fortunately, the two men didn’t ultimately come to blows, but Keith and Nicole’s security team swiftly escorted the family out of the audience. Despite the drama, the pair posed for a picture with the show's star, Virgilio Marino, according to a post on Marino's social media.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Willie Nelson pens 'Letters to America' in his new book, written for a complex cultural moment

Pamela SpringsteenWillie Nelson is offering up his thoughts on faith, family, music and the complex current state of affairs in America in a new book.

Called Willie Nelson’s Letters to America, the book comes out in stores nationwide on June 29, 2021. Willie wrote it in collaboration with Turk Pipkin, a contributing editor to Texas Monthly and a longtime friend of the country legend.

“We are witnessing a unique time in American history, between shifting cultural norms, political unrest and the ongoing effects of the coronavirus,” says Andrea Fleck-Nisbet, publisher of Harper Horizon, who will exclusively distribute the book.

“...It seems our nation is collectively reflecting on what it means to be an American,” she continues. “It seems only fitting that Willie Nelson, who has already so accurately defined the American spirit through his words and songs, now offer his thoughts on things we all hold dear: Family, community, country and faith.”

In his book, Willie will also reflect on some of his best-known and best-loved lyrics, as well as delivering thoughts on his personal heroes and closest loved ones. You can preorder Willie Nelson’s Letters to America now.

In musical news, Willie released his second Frank Sinatra tribute album, That’s Life, on Friday. The project features a number of the legendary crooner’s biggest hits, including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin, “Luck Be a Lady” and the reflective title track.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”: Miranda Lambert + Elle King team up for a dizzying new party anthem

Sony Music Nashville/RCA RecordsOne-time tourmates Miranda Lambert and Elle King join forces once again for the genre-bending party banger, “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” a song based on their real-life friendship and big, wild personalities.

“I think this fun song was born of our becoming friends over the last couple of years,” remarks Miranda. “We are new friends but it really feels like we are old friends, and I felt like that immediately when I met her at one of her shows.”

Adds Elle, “The true story of this song sums up our wild friendship. Miranda is someone I have looked up to as a songwriter, musician, performer and human being for a long time. So our tumbleweed snowball story of getting to know each other is the ultimate real deal kinda thing.”

The two stars paired their new duet with a music video, also out today. The clip finds Miranda and Elle as a badly-behaved bridesmaid and bride, respectively, at an over-the-top ‘80s wedding, featuring high hairstyles and even higher shoulder pads.

Miranda previously included Elle on her ACM Award-winning “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” cover, which also includes tour mates Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes and Caylee Hammack.

Speaking of the ACMs, “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” arrived on the same day that the 2021 nominees were announced. Miranda held onto her record as the most-nominated artist in ACM history, picking up five mentions at the upcoming awards show.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“You Got Away With It”: Brett Young previews his next chapter with a bouncy new tune

Big Machine Label GroupBrett Young may be known for heartstring-tugging ballads like “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Lady,” but the singer proves he’s equally adept at writing uptempo earworms with his brand new “You Got Away With It.”

Full of twang and catchy, lovestruck lyrics, “You Got Away With It” is a flirty ode to finding romance in unexpected places. Brett co-wrote the tune, and he says it’s the first taste of a new musical chapter he can’t wait to share.

“We’ve been recording a ton of music over the last year and I couldn’t wait any longer to share some of the material from this new chapter,” the singer says. “This song was a blast to write, and ultimately pushed me into a bit of a new sonic territory in the studio that I’m really proud of.”

Brett has long mined his personal life for musical inspiration, and “You Got Away With It” is no exception: The song speaks to the singer’s relationship with his wife, Taylor. The country star couple recently announced that they’re expecting their second child this summer.

Meanwhile, their first daughter, Presley, celebrated her first birthday last October. Presley and Taylor are the inspiration behind Brett’s latest chart-topper, “Lady,” which recently notched RIAA gold certification in the U.S. and Canada.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Mickey Guyton drops Amazon Original “If I Were a Boy” cover to celebrate Black History Month

ABC/Image Group LAFor her contribution to Amazon Orginal’s slate of Black History Month content, Mickey Guyton opted to record her spin on pop superstar Beyonce’s 2008 hit, “If I Were a Boy.”

Mickey says that the song’s meaning to her is especially personal, and has changed over the course of her fight to be recognized in the country music industry.

“It was important for me to record ‘If I Were a Boy’ because I have been fighting in country music for so long just to be accepted for who I am,” Mickey explains. “This song represents the release and the birth of something new. Really this song means so much more to me, and has a completely different meaning, than when I first heard it.”

To create the single art for her cover performance, Mickey enlisted Jamilla Okubo, who she discovered through Instagram. “When people see the cover art for my version of ‘If I Were a Boy,’ I really hope that people don’t see me, but that they see themselves,” the singer notes.

As she releases her new song, Mickey has more than one reason to celebrate: She’s nominated for New Female Artist of the Year at the upcoming 2021 ACM Awards. During last year’s awards show, Mickey became the first solo Black female artist to perform on the ACMs stage, with her powerful "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?"

This year, Mickey is one of four Black artists to be nominated, a record for the ACMs. Also up for awards at the ceremony are Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen and John Legend. Additionally, director Gabrielle Woodland is nominated for Video of the Year, for her work on Maren Morris’ “Better Than We Found It.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood shut out of ACM Entertainer, Female Artist categories for the first time in 15 years

ABCWhen the nominations were announced for the 2021 ACM Awards on Friday, one name was glaringly absent from the list: Carrie Underwood.

While Carrie did score a mention for Video of the Year for “Hallelujah,” her duet with John Legend, it was a big surprise not to see her name in the big-ticket, end-of-night categories. She’s typically in the running for either Entertainer of the Year or Female Artist of the Year, but for the 2021 ceremony, she's been shut out of both

Carrie has been nominated for either Entertainer of the Year or Female Artist of the Year every single year since 2006. 2021 is the first time in 15 years that Carrie has not scored a mention in either of those categories.

Carrie is the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, having won the award in a tie with Thomas Rhett in 2020. She previously won that award in 2010 and 2009. 2009 was Carrie’s biggest year: She took home the Entertainer of the Year trophy as well as winning Female Vocalist of the Year.

While that was the only year that she won both awards, Carrie enjoyed a winning streak from 2007-2010, taking home at least one of the major trophies each year during that stint.

There are no women in the Entertainer of the Year category for the upcoming awards show: The nominees are Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton.

However, the nominees list does include a milestone for female artists in its Single of the Year category: For the first time in history, every nominee features a female artist.

Carrie's latest country single, "Drinking Alone," peaked just outside the Top 10 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart last May.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton tie for most-nominated at the 2021 ACM Awards

Courtesy of the Academy of Country MusicMaren Morris and Chris Stapleton both cleaned up when the nominees for the 56th annual ACM Awards were announced on Friday morning, racking up six mentions apiece. That ties the two stars for most-nominated at this year’s ceremony.

In addition to being nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time, Maren also scored mentions for her songs “The Bones” and “Better Than We Found It,” the latter song earning her her first-ever Video of the Year nomination. Maren is also up for Group of the Year as a member of her band The Highwomen.

Meanwhile, Chris earned nominations in both the Male Artist of the Year and the Entertainer of the Year categories, as well as an Album of the Year mention for his newest release, Starting Over. The title track of that record also notched Song of the Year nods for Chris as both a performer and a songwriter.

Miranda Lambert followed close on both acts’ heels with five nominations this year. She remains the most-nominated artist in ACM history, extending her streak with 68 career nominations.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockIf the Man in Black were still alive today, he’d be celebrating his 89th birthday. Can you name this legendary Arkansas native? ANSWER: Johnny Cash.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne reveal noms for 56th ACM Awards

Academy of Country MusicKelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne revealed the first nominees for the 56th ACM Awards Friday on CBS This Morning. Here are the contenders for the annual show, with airs Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET, live from Nashville on CBS: 

New Female Artist of the Year
Ingrid Andress
Tenille Arts
Gabby Barrett
Mickey Guyton
Caylee Hammack

New Male Artist of the Year
Jimmie Allen
Travis Denning
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

Songwriter of the Year
Ashley Gorley
Michael Hardy
Hillary Lindsey
Shane McAnally
Josh Osborne

Video of the Year
"Better Than We Found It" -- Maren Morris
"Bluebird" -- Miranda Lambert
"Gone" -- Dierks Bentley
"Hallelujah" -- Carrie Underwood and John Legend
"Worldwide Beautiful" -- Kane Brown 

Music Event of the Year
"Be a Light" -- Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, and Keith Urban
"Does to Me" -- Luke Combs featuring Eric Church
"I Hope You're Happy Now" -- Carly Pearce and Lee Brice
"Nobody But You" -- Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani
"One Beer" -- HARDY featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson
"One Too Many" -- Keith Urban and P!nk

Group of the Year
Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
The Cadillac Three
The Highwomen

Duo of the Year
Brooks and Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie and Tae

Female Artist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris
Carly Pearce

Male Artist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton

Single of the Year
"Bluebird" -- Miranda Lambert
"I Hope" -- Gabby Barrett
"I Hope You're Happy Now" -- Carly Pearce and Lee Brice
"More Hearts Than Mine" -- Ingrid Andress
"The Bones" -- Maren Morris

Song of the Year
"Bluebird" -- Miranda Lambert
"One Night Standards" -- Ashley McBryde
"Some People Do" -- Old Dominion
"Starting Over" -- Chris Stapleton
"The Bones" -- Maren Morris

Album of the Year
Born Here Live Here Die Here -- Luke Bryan
Mixtape Vol. 1 -- Kane Brown
Never Will -- Ashley McBryde
Skeletons -- Brothers Osborne
Starting Over -- Chris Stapleton

Entertainer of the Year
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chase Bryant unveils a new musical chapter -- and a new lease on life -- with "Upbringing"

Jeff RayChase Bryant's upbeat, autobiographical new single, "Upbringing," arrives today, at the end of a week where he shocked the country music world by revealing he'd attempted suicide in 2018. 

Fortunately, though he believed he'd fully loaded his gun, the chamber that was supposed to contain the bullet that would end his life turned out to somehow be empty. 

Now, the 28-year-old who scored top ten hits with "Little Bit of You" and "Take It On Back" lives to open a new musical chapter.

"I feel good," he tells ABC Audio. "I'm here in Texas now, I have kind of my little routine of things that I like to do."

"And all I want to do is be happy, love hard, love strong, and live a great life, and keep doing what I love," he declares. "And that's make music and make great records."

Appropriately, Chase is back in his home state, as he peels back the curtain on his most honest personal expression yet.

"This sums up these last few years, and this sums up my entire life..." he explains. "It's like my autobiography in three minutes."

"Now, the process on the recording side of things was different for me," he continues. "We were in Austin. There's no time frames. It's not cut six or eight songs in a session. You're in there cutting for two weeks. It's very old school, and that's what I loved about it."

Ultimately, in surviving his suicide attempt, Chase says he's found his purpose again. 

"Moving forward, I just hope I can be a light for somebody..." he says both earnestly and excitedly. "I want to use my story, and I want to use my music, and I want to use myself to be somebody [who's here] for somebody else."  

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockRonnie Milsap has announced plans for a new album, titled a Better Word for Love, due out on April 30. The first track on the project is a Vince Gill duet, “Big Bertha.”

The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, a non-profit organization that supports veterans, is continuing its mission following the death of co-founder Charlie Daniels in 2020. Since then, the organization has donated $25,000 to help aid veterans and their families, including $10,000 to A Soldier’s Child and $5,000 to God’s Word for Warriors.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Blake Shelton’s first impression of Gwen Stefani? She was the rock star who drove a “black minivan”

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesBlake Shelton and Gwen Stefani’s love story dates back to their time together as coaches on NBC’s The Voice. The happy couple were in a relationship for five years before Blake finally popped the question in 2020, and they officially became engaged.

But long before they fell in love, Blake remembers that Gwen was simply the new coach on the set of The Voice in 2014.

“She surprised everybody with a performance of ‘Hollaback Girl,’ and then they announced that she was going to be a coach,” the country star recalls to People. “...After the show, we all took a group picture. It was very much an industry-type meeting, and I told people, ‘I met Gwen Stefani. That’s crazy.’”

At the time, Blake was still married to Miranda Lambert. Gwen was also still married to Gavin Rossdale, and she’d recently given birth to their son, Apollo.

“So there wasn’t even that much of a friendship that first season,” Blake goes on to say, pointing out that Gwen was extra busy with life as a mom to a young baby.

“The thing I remember saying about her when people would ask was, ‘Oh my God, that girl is unbelievable. She drives a minivan to work!’ I thought rock stars drove Rolls-Royces, and Gwen was driving a black minivan.”

These days, the couple are happily planning their wedding, and pop star Miley Cyrus has even volunteered her services as a wedding singer. Blake appreciates that gesture, although he jokingly adds that he might already have another act lined up.

“I still say Adam [Levine] owes me a full-band performance with Maroon 5, mostly because I want it to cost him,” the singer jokes.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Never Break Heart”: Ahead of his album’s April release, Eric Church shares another 'Heart & Soul' track

ABCEric Church is sharing another glimpse into Heart & Soul’s track list, and as usual, his Church Choir fans are getting first dibs on the new music.

Newly out this Thursday is “Never Break Heart,” the sixth track on Heart, which is the first of a three-volume album. Eric’s forthcoming project is a triple album broken up into three separate collections, Heart, & and Soul, which he’s rolling out over a three-week period in April.

Members of the Church Choir fan club can listen to the new song right now, and they’ve also got access to the song’s lyric video. “Never Break Heart” will be available exclusively to fan club members for the next 24 hours, at which point it will become available to the general public.

Eric has already shared several tracks off his next collection, and most of them have been made available to the Church Choir first. Off the Heart album alone, fans have already heard the collection-opening “Heart on Fire,” as well as “Crazyland” and the album’s lead single, “Stick That in Your Country Song.”

Heart is set for release on April 16, and Soul will come out the next week, on April 23. Meanwhile, & will arrive on April 20 as a vinyl record available exclusively to Church Choir members.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lanco’s “Near Mrs.” video celebrates their personal stories with real-life family video footage

Courtesy of The GreenRoom PRIn their new song, “Near Mrs.,” the members of Lanco reflect on the relationships that were almost the right fit, but didn’t quite stand the test of time.

That winding road of trial, error and heartbreak is what eventually led all five bandmates to their current partners. That lasting love at the end of the “Near Mrs.” will be the spotlight of the song’s music video, which arrives this afternoon.

“We wanted to heighten the last line of the chorus, ‘I would have missed out on you,’ and show off exactly who that person is to us,” explains lead vocalist Brandon Lancaster. “Looking back on everything from late-night hangs, weddings and babies...we have so much to be grateful for and this video represents that. This is something really special for our close-knit family to have in years to come.”

It’s an especially appropriate time to highlight family milestones, as two members of the band -- bassist Chandler Baldwin and drummer Tripp Howell -- are both expecting their first children in May. 

Brandon and his wife, Tiffany, also became first-time parents to daughter Elora Ivelle in September. 

The "Near Mrs." music video will premiere on YouTube directly following a YouTube Live Q&A with the band today at 5:30PM CT.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chris Young notches four billion career streams as “Famous Friends” continues to climb

Jeff JohnsonChris Young hit a major milestone this week, as he officially achieved four billion career streams. That feat encompasses his entire career to date, since releasing his 2006 debut studio album.

Since then, the singer has racked up 11 chart-topping country radio hits, and he’s now setting his sights on a potential 12th. His current single and duet with Kane Brown, “Famous Friends,” is currently inside the Billboard Country Airplay’s Top 30 and rising.

In fact, as his streaming number passed the four billion mark, Chris and Kane were at work on a music video for their new song. Chris teased a picture and a video snippet from their time on set together, both of which showed the two country stars sitting together in a car.

“Famous Friends” is the third single to come off of Chris’ next studio album, following “Raised on Country” and “Drowning.” The singer officially put out the song in late 2020, after he and Kane had both been teasing it for over a year.

Speaking of “Famous Friends,” Chris and Kane are longtime buddies in real life, not just in song. They toured together in 2018, and Chris also appears on “Setting the Night on Fire,” a track on the deluxe version of Kane’s self-titled debut album.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dierks Bentley shares why he opted for Denver as Whiskey Row’s next destination

Monfort CompaniesDierks Bentley officially broke ground on the fourth location of his Whiskey Row gastropub this week, and for the first time, the venue is headed for a place other than Dierks' home state of Arizona or his adopted hometown of Nashville.

Whiskey Row’s newest iteration will instead be located in downtown Denver, Colorado, in the middle of the bustling Ballpark neighborhood.

As his team was officially breaking ground on the new site, Dierks explained that there’s quite a bit of significance behind the new location for his franchise.

“It’s really meaningful to me to open up a Whiskey Row in Denver, a city I’ve come to love from the many concerts and visits to the Rocky Mountains over the years,” he said. “We’re very selective in the places we choose, and I’m honored to build something that will contribute to what’s happening down here in the Ballpark neighborhood for years to come.”

Dierks has found a lot of reasons to spend time in Colorado over the past few years. His 2018 studio album, The Mountain, was largely written and recorded in Telluride, and his annual Seven Peaks Music Festival takes place in Buena Vista.

Plus, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Dierks and his family took an extended vacation away from Nashville, spending the bulk of the year in Colorado instead.

Dierks adds that his new Whiskey Row location is just another reason to spend time in the state.

“Selfishly, this gives me a great excuse to come back to Colorado to visit, and of course, play some live music here when it’s safe,” he adds.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kane Brown launches Verse 2 Music, a co-venture with Sony Music Publishing

ABC/Image Group LALess than a month after launching his own label, 1021 Entertainment, Kane Brown is adding another new endeavor to his resume.

The country superstar has announced the launch of Verse 2 Music, his own publishing company, which is a joint venture with Sony Music Publishing Nashville. According to Billboard, who broke the news, Kane also signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony this week.

It’s Kane’s latest step as an entrepreneur: Verse 2 Music will focus on developing a diverse roster of new artists and songwriters across all genres.

Kane’s focus on diversity is at the forefront of 1021 Entertainment, too: His flagship act is Restless Road, a pop-inspired country trio that was also Kane’s opening act on tour prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I want to provide opportunities,” the singer explains of the motivation behind launching his new venture. “As an entertainer, I love being able to take people I believe in out on the road with me, or be able to help them find a moment that makes a difference in their career. I also want to work with great people. We are a family.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Zac Brown Band’s “The Man Who Loves You the Most” video is a timely tribute to family bonds

Home Grown RecordsZac Brown Band’s “The Man Who Loves You the Most” was inspired by frontman Zac Brown’s love for his four daughters, but anyone missing family during the COVID-19 pandemic can relate to the song’s new music video.

The clip begins with a young woman sitting at home, reading headlines about increasing COVID-19 shutdowns on her phone. She turns away from the news, opting instead to watch a series of family home movies that focus on her and her dad.

We see her grow up from a little girl to a young woman, ultimately packing for college, moving away from home, graduating and getting married. All the while, her dad is by her side, supporting her and cheering her on.

Between the woman’s smiles and tears -- and a heartbreaking twist at the end of the clip -- the video adds an emotional visual element to an already powerful song. Zac says that he hopes the video serves as a reminder to all fans to cherish their loved ones, even from far away.

“As a father to four girls myself, I know firsthand how special the father-daughter bond is,” he reflects. “When creating this video, it was important to make something that serves as a reminder of the importance of our loved ones and that, through the good times and bad, a father’s love will always endure.”

ZBB first shared the song in June of 2020, just before Father’s Day.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock On this day in 2005, this "Live Like You Were Dying" hitmaker became the first country artist to have a single be certified platinum by the RIAA for digital downloads for his crossover collaboration with Nelly on "Over and Over." Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Tim McGraw. 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kenny Chesney waltzes with a beloved memory on "Knowing You"

Allister AnnKenny Chesney's leaning into the traditional side of country music for the new single from his Here and Now album. 

"Well, it's one of the reasons I wanted to record 'Knowing You,'" the superstar from East Tennessee explains.

"It was just the melody," he says of its appeal. "Look, you don't hear a waltz every day on the radio now, but this one was written with this beautiful melody twisted within that waltz."

"Knowing You" pays homage to a relationship you treasured that's past, be it romantic, familial, or friendly. It's a sentiment Kenny was eager to express.

"What it says was so important to me, you know," he tells ABC Audio, "because it just talks about having someone in your life that was very important, that's not there anymore, but it's still not a negative thing."

"Who knows why they're not there?" he continues. "They could have just moved on, you guys moved on, or they could have passed or whatever."

"The song is just simply a reflection of how blessed you are to have known that person at all," he adds. "And hopefully they're somewhere out there in the universe thinking the same thing."  

We'll find out more about Kenny's interpretation of "Knowing You" in the days to come, as he releases a music video he took a week to shoot last fall. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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