Nov 20

Chris Janson can “Fix a Drink” to celebrate his latest #1

Warner Music NashvilleFor Chris Janson, it’s time to “Fix a Drink” and celebrate:  this week, the lead single from his Everybody album, “Fix a Drink,” becomes his second career #1.

“Having a hit on country radio is a huge blessing,” the Missouri native says. “It’s Thanksgiving week, and I’m extremely thankful. Reaching my country fans through radio has always been a dream of mine. Thanks for allowing me to make my dreams come true.”

Chris scored his very first #1 back in September of 2015, when “Buy Me a Boat” hit the top of the chart.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 20

Listen closely, and you’ll hear Nicole Kidman singing on Keith Urban’s “Female”

ABC/Image Group LAIf you’ve seen Nicole Kidman’s 2001 movie musical, Moulin Rouge!, you’ve heard the vocal talents of Keith Urban’s Academy Award-winning better half. Now, thanks to a little convincing from her superstar husband, you can hear the Australian actress singing on Keith’s new single, “Female,” as well.

“I have a studio at the house, and that’s where we recorded this song,” Keith explained to Entertainment Tonight. “And Nic was home, so I just went upstairs and said, ‘Can you come sing on it as well?'”

“Nicolle Galyon, who’s one of the writers was singing already,” he adds. “And I said, ‘It’d be great if Nic joined her.’ So Nic and Nic.”

But judging from Nicole’s hesitancy, it sounds like we won’t be getting a full-blown duet from the couple anytime soon.

“I went down and I did it because he asked me to,” Nicole confessed to ET.  “And he knows I have no confidence when it comes to singing. So I’ll sing for him, and that’s it.”

Keith picked up three American Music Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles, winning Favorite Country Male Artist, Favorite Country Album for Ripcord, and Favorite Country Song for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”

“Female” is the lead single from Keith’s new album, which is due early next year.

Nov 20

There’s “Something More” on the way from Sugarland, and they’re #StillTheSame

ABC/Image Group LAGet ready for the first new music from Sugarland since 2010’s The Incredible Machine album.

Speculation about the reunion of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush started when the two took the stage together to present the Vocal Duo trophy earlier this month at the CMA Awards, and then showed up to perform together at the Big Machine Records afterparty.  

Jennifer and Kristian have finally confirmed fans that will soon be able to hear “Something More” from the pair, as they shared a video on social media during a recent photo session in New York City.

“Things you need to know, things you need to know,” Kristian teased. “We’re still the same. We’re a little taller. We are still the same, except we might be making new music…”

“Yes, we’ve been writing and in the studio together and we have some new music coming your way,” Jennifer confirmed.

So far, there are no more details about Sugarland’s new music — except perhaps that most of their social media posts have included the hashtag #StillTheSame.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 20

Kesha climbs on board the “Wagon Wheel” for “CMT Crossroads” with Old Crow Medicine Show

CMTEver wonder what Kesha would sound like singing “Wagon Wheel?” Chances are, we’re about to find out, as the pop star teams up with Old Crow Medicine Show for a new episode of CMT Crossroads.  

Old Crow released the song in 2004, after lead singer Ketch Secor added verses to a chorus written by Bob DylanDarius Rucker famously took “Wagon Wheel” to #1 on the country chart in 2013, with a little help from Lady Antebellum.

Old Crow’s latest album and DVD, 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde, pays tribute to Dylan’s iconic album from 1966.

Though Kesha’s a huge star in the pop world, she’s certainly no stranger to country music. Her latest album, Rainbow, includes a duet with Dolly Parton on the icon’s hit, “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You),” which was co-written by Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert.

Kesha and Old Crow Medicine Show stage their episode of CMT Crossroads Tuesday in Music City. You can catch the show’s premiere Wednesday, December 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 20

Keith Urban wins three trophies simultaneously, FGL performs on the American Music Awards

ABC/Image Group LAKeith Urban got a triple thrill at Sunday night’s American Music Awards.

He was announced as the winner in the category of Favorite Country Male Artist, but while he was on stage accepting the trophy, presenter Kathryn Hahn announced that he’d also won two additional awards: Favorite Country Album for Ripcord, and Favorite Country Song for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”

Instead of juggling his three trophies, Keith handed two of them to his wife Nicole Kidman, who was sitting in the front row, noting that it was only right that she share in the wins with him.  He thanked everyone, including his “baby girl” Nicole and their daughters, who he called “Munchkin” and “Fifi” — their actual names are Sunday and Faith, of course.

Backstage, Keith told ABC Radio that his wins felt “extraordinary,” adding, “I have so much gratitude for what I get to do, makin’ music and when you make a record like Ripcord and it connects the way it has with everybody, it’s the best feeling. It really is.”

He added, “And this time of year, too, with what so many people have gone through and are still going through, it’s an extremely important time to take stock of everything good in your life: family, loved ones, your health, everything.”

The only country performance during the show came from Florida Georgia Line, who teamed up with actress and pop star Hailee Steinfeld, deejay/producer Alesso and guitarist Watt for their pop hit “Let Me Go.”  All the artists performed on a flashy set made of interlocking metal boxes stacked on top of one another.

The other country winners included Carrie Underwood for Favorite Female Country Star and Little Big Town for Favorite Country Duo or Group.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 20

“Every Little Thing” leads to a gold record and a #1: How Carly Pearce is re-decorating her living room

ABC/Image Group LAFor Carly Pearce, the last couple weeks have simply been the stuff that dreams are made of:  She scored her first #1 with her debut single, “Every Little Thing,” which has also been certified gold in both the U.S. and Canada.

This weekend at the Nashville stop on Brett Young’s Caliville Tour, the president of her record company, Scott Borchetta, presented her with the plaque commemorating her accomplishments — and she’s already decided where she’ll put it.

“I live alone, so wherever you enter my house, you’re gonna see it,” she tells ABC Radio. “So maybe like my living room, just so I can stare at it. Because I’ve always dreamt of what that would be like. It’s not gonna match anything in my house, and I don’t even care.”

Carly confesses it’s an emotional time for her family, after all her mom and dad sacrificed to help make her success a reality.

“My parents let me quit high school at 16 and start home-schooling, because I saw an audition to sing in the country show at Dollywood,” she explains. “And they’ve always supported my music career, and to be honest, these days we’re on a group chat together, and we kind of, when we get together, we cry, just because it’s so full circle. They’ll send me little emoticons of them crying or pictures. It’s a really special time for my family.” 

You should soon start hearing the Kentucky native’s second single, “Hide the Wine,” from her Every Little Thing album.  

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 19

Mel Tillis, remembered: Country stars react to the Hall-of-Famer’s death

David Redfern/RedfernsThe biggest stars in country music are remembering Mel Tillis this weekend, after the Country Music Hall-of-Famer passed away early Sunday at the age of 85.

For Blake Shelton, it took a series of four tweets to begin to describe his affection for the singer, songwriter, comedian and actor. The star of The Voice recalled how Mel had advised him during difficult times, and even gifted him with a pair of his boots after a day spent together.

Tim McGraw shared a similar tale of spending time with him early in his career. Fellow Floridian Michael Ray marked Mel’s passing as well, while Tanya Tucker recalled starring in an episode of The Love Boat with the legend.

Here’s how members of the country music family reacted to the death of Mel Tillis, both on social media and through their publicists:

Blake Shelton: “Some of my most cherished memories are the times I spent with Mel Tillis. Many many great memories. From fishing, to just having a beer, to him crashing my concert! He once spent an entire day at his place in Tennessee showing me all the memorabilia he’d gathered over the years where he gave me a pair of his stage boots. He even took time to talk me through some hard times in my life on a couple phone calls. He did his best to try and keep my head on straight. I looked up to Mel more than he could’ve possibly known. A talented songwriter. An incredible entertainer. And a funny funny guy. It has been a couple years since I saw him last. I deeply regret that now. What a truly devastating loss. I loved Mel. I will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers to all his family.”

Tim McGraw: “Man, one of the coolest guys in country music ever and an extraordinary songwriter! So glad I got a chance to hang out with him a bit early in my career. Thinking about his family…”

Rascal Flatts: “What an incredible loss for the country music world. Mel Tillis will be greatly missed.”

Michael Ray: “Sad day in country music. You will be missed Mel Tillis thank you for your time and your music.”

Chris Janson: “Heartbreaking news. RIP. prayers to your family”

Crystal Gayle: “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Mel Tillis. Sending my love and prayers to his family and friends. There will never be another Mel Tillis!”

Charlie Daniels: “Mel Tillis, you will be missed by so many of us you touched over the years. Rest in peace my friend.”

CMA: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mel Tillis. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”

Grand Ole Opry: “Thank you, Mel Tillis, for the songs, stories, and years of incredible entertainment. Our thoughts are with all of your loved ones.”

Billy Ray Cyrus: “Kindest man I’ve ever known. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Gonna be some great country music in Heaven this Sunday.”

Tanya Tucker: “My heart is just broken over the passing of the great Mel Tillis. I have so many wonderful memories with him. I’ll never forget working with him on Love Boat with Dottie West. We just go way back – from the time I was 8 years old when he brought me on stage with him. When I got older, sometimes I had to use other bands because I didn’t have a band. Mel always let me use his band and I’ll never forget that. We remained friends right up until the end. Love you, Mel.”

Naomi Judd: “There are stand-up comedians and then there’s Mel Tillis. His hilarious misadventures out on the road are legendary. Just ask Mac Davis or Ray Stevens. I also know Mel as my friend. Upbeat guy who admirably turned his stuttering into an asset and educated everyone on how to overcome stereotypes. There will never be anyone else like Mel Tillis.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 19

Country Music Hall-of-Famer Mel Tillis passes away at age 85

Jason Davis/Getty Images

Country Music Hall-of-Famer Mel Tillis passed away early Sunday morning at the age of 85. The legendary singer, songwriter and comedian — who turned his famous stutter into a comedy trademark — had battled intestinal issues since early last year.  A statement on behalf of the family says Tillis died of suspected respiratory failure.

After serving in the Air Force, the Florida native born Lonnie Melvin Tillis found work on the railroad, using his railway pass to take the train to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriter. Though he’d eventually amass 35 top-ten hits and six number-ones on his own, some of his greatest successes came crafting song for others, including Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Waylon Jenning’s “Mental Revenge,” and classics like “So Wrong” and “Strange” for Patsy Cline.

His own chart-toppers like “Coca-Cola Cowboy” and “Good Woman Blues” were part of a sixty-year career that saw Tillis take home one of country music’s highest honors in 1976, the CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy. Along the way, he even recorded an album of duets with Nancy Sinatra, and appeared in movies like Smokey and the Bandit II and The Cannonball Run.  His final #1 on the country chart came with “Southern Rains” in 1981.

In the nineties, Mel was one of a handful of artists who helped country music establish a stronghold in Branson, Missouri, as he opened a theater and performed there regularly. In 2007, Tillis received two of country music’s highest honors when he was officially inducted into both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Mel Tillis survived by six children, including 1994 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Pam Tillis, who was scheduled to be on the road Saturday night performing with Terri Clark and Suzy Boggus.  A statement on Pam’s Facebook page calls her father’s passing “sudden and unexpected,” adding that he was dearly loved and one of a kind,” and “a master songwriter, brilliant comedian and beloved father.

Funeral services are planned in both Florida and Nashville, though details are still pending.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 17

Watch now: Dolly Parton debuts as a cartoon

Dolly Records/RCA NashvilleThrough the years, Dolly Parton has often joked that her exaggerated looks and big hair make her seem like a cartoon — and now that’s become a reality: Dolly’s animated alter-ego, Little Dolly, makes her debut in a new series of lyric videos on YouTube.

The thirteen clips go along with the tracks on Dolly’s first children’s album, I Believe in You. The new musical cartoons find Little Dolly exploring well-known places in the Volunteer State, as the on-screen lyrics aim to help kids learn to read.

All the proceeds from I Believe in You go to help Dolly’s literacy non-profit, The Imagination Library. The Tennessee Department of Tourism helped produce the new videos.

You can check out the new treatments for everything from the title track to Dolly’s classic, “Coat of Many Colors,” on YouTube now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nov 17

A “jelly” Luke Bryan thinks everyone should ease up on Sexiest Man Alive Blake Shelton

ABC/Image Group LAWhen Luke Bryan first learned that People had chosen Blake Shelton as its Sexiest Man Alive for 2017, he reacted much like Blake might’ve done if the situation had been reversed: by giving him grief.

But now that so many people have piled on to criticize the magazine’s choice, Luke is changing his tune.

“I originally roasted him about it,” Luke told Entertainment Tonight. “But then now the whole world is roasting him and now I feel bad for roasting him.”

“It’s very flattering and I’m happy for him,” the “Light It Up” hitmaker goes on. “I want to go on the record and say that I’m proud of my guy. And for all of the people out there that are giving him grief, I mean, Blake is a good-looking guy and he deserves it.”

The two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year even admits he wouldn’t mind seeing his own face on the cover of People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue one day.

“I’m a little jelly,” Luke confessed,”[But] I think he ought to enjoy [it].”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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