Sep 21

Willa Gray can spot Thomas Rhett on the radio, but Bruno Mars is her favorite

The Valory Music Co.Sure, Thomas Rhett has a #1 album on both the all-genre chart and the country ranking, as well as a top-ten song with “Unforgettable.”

But it’s likely the recognition of one single fan that means the most to him: that would be his adopted daughter from Uganda, Willa Gray.

“You can tell she loves music,” TR says, “because anytime there’s a drum beat, she’s dancing, she’s spinning around in circles. But lately, I’ve been pretty impressed, like when we’ll be riding in the car and ‘Unforgettable’ will come on the radio and she’ll go ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.’ And so I think she knows the sound of my voice enough, even when she hears it in a song, she can pick out that that’s a song that I sing.”

The father of two — Willa also has a newborn sister named Ada — says his oldest definitely gravitates toward one track on his chart-topping Life Changes album.

“She loves this song ‘Leave Right Now’ and it’s probably because it has such an intense beat. Bruno Mars is her favorite,” TR reveals. “She loves dance music in general, so I think that’s her favorite on the record.”

Thomas got to meet Bruno this week, sharing a photo of the two together on his socials. Midland’s Cameron Duddy, a longtime friend of the “Uptown Funk” hitmaker who’s also directed his videos, put the two together.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Finally got to meet @BrunoMars

— Thomas Rhett (@ThomasRhett) September 20, 2017

Sep 20

Dolly Parton takes a trip to “Rainbowland” with Miley Cyrus

Tyler Golden/NBCIf there are two things Dolly Parton loves as much as butterflies and blonde wigs, they’re likely rainbows and Miley Cyrus. The superstar gets the chance to combine the two in a new duet on the pop star’s upcoming album.

Dolly recorded “Rainbowland” for Miley’s sixth studio project, Younger Now, which comes out September 29.  Dolly’s first children’s record, I Believe in You, follows digitally a week later, with physical copies coming October 13.

The Country Music Hall-of-Famer adopted Miley as her goddaughter soon after recruiting her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to duet with her and star in the “Romeo” video back in 1993. Since then, Dolly’s supported Miley in a variety of ways, including guest-starring on Hannah Montana and even going so far as to sing the show’s theme song on tour.

Dolly’s dabbling in the pop world quite a bit these days: she recently recorded a duet version of her 1980 classic, “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” with Kesha, a song that was written by the “Tik Tok” hitmaker’s mother, Pebe Sebert.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 20

Nashville memorial for Country Music Hall-of-Famer Don Williams to take place next Wednesday

Webster Public RelationsCountry Music Hall-of-Famer Don Williams will be remembered in a memorial service next Wednesday in the Hall’s CMA Theater.

The man known as “the Gentle Giant” passed away earlier this month at the age of 78 after a short illness.

The Nashville service will start at 4:30 p.m. CT and be open to Williams’ family, friends, and members of the music industry.

During his career, the Texas native scored 45 top ten singles on the Billboard chart, including 17 number ones, including “I Believe in You,” “Lord I Hope This Day Is Good,” and “You’re My Best Friend.” He also appeared as himself in the movie Smokey and the Bandit II.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 20

“Just Gettin’ Started”: Jason Aldean refuses to give up in the fight against breast cancer

ABC/Image Group LA Jason Aldean’s annual Concert for the Cure will take place this year during his They Don’t Know tour stop in Louisville, Kentucky.

October 20, the two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year will give a part of the proceeds from every ticket he’s sold all year to the breast cancer organization Komen Kentucky. It’s a tradition he started back in 2004, after he lost a close friend to breast cancer.

“As long as I have the chance, I will do my part and raise awareness for this cause,” Jason says. “My fans keep fighting the battle with this terrible disease along with us, and our dream is that nobody has to fight the disease anymore.”

In all, the Georgia native has raised more than $3 million for the Susan G. Komen organization in the fight to end breast cancer.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 20

From Comedy Central to a new singing show, Shania Twain is “NOW” ready to take over your TV

Mercury NashvilleGet ready to see a whole lot more of Shania Twain, as she amps up her TV appearances to promote her new album, NOW, which comes out next week. 

First, Shania guest stars as a fictionalized version of herself on the Comedy Central series, Broad City. The show centers around two twenty-something Jewish women trying to make it in the Big Apple.

In Shania’s episode, she’s tempted to give up on her workout, just so she can go home and watch Friends. You can catch her guest stint starting at 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday on Comedy Central.

The Canadian country/pop superstar is also joining The Launch as a mentor, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The singing competition was founded by Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta, and also stars Fergie from the Black-Eyed Peas and OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder.

The six-part talent search shoots in Toronto, and will premiere on Canada’s CTV in 2018.

Shania’s first studio album in 15 years, NOW, comes out September 29.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 20

A divorce, a boyfriend and “The Weight of These Wings”: Miranda Lambert lets fans inside her life during PBS concert

ABC RadioMiranda Lambert came to Nashville’s Marathon Music Works to record a new episode of the PBS show Front and Center, but she ended up delivering some of the most personal insights yet into both her split from Blake Shelton and her subsequent relationship with Anderson East.

The Tuesday night CMA Songwriters Series concert paired the Texas native with the tunesmiths who helped her craft her CMA-nominated double album, The Weight of These Wings.

Shane McAnally recalled how devastated Miranda was when they wrote the set’s first single, “Vice.”

“I felt like you just took your heart out…” he remembered.

“I also brought a roller cooler,” Miranda quipped.

From there, things only got more confessional.

“I did get divorced in 2015,” the six-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year said candidly. “I did start drinking a lot, and I did go to [Midtown Nashville bars] Losers and Winners a lot.”

She admitted she started writing the track “Ugly Lights” on the way home from a trip to retrieve her car from the Music City hot spots.

The night’s theme seemed to be how Miranda’s nearest and dearest helped her both craft the album and work through her emotions at the same time, often drinking on what became known as her “magic porch.”  

“We’re all friends,” she explained. “I’m more than friends with one of ‘em. Welcome my boyfriend please, Anderson East!”

From there, the couple performed “Getaway Driver,” the first song they ever wrote together, and Miranda’s revelations continued.

“After we wrote that song we got in a big fight, because that’s how it goes,” she laughed. “I said, ‘Are you gonna break up with me? He said, ‘I think I’ll wait 60 years.”

That experience inspired the tune “Pushin’ Time.”

Near the end of the night, Miranda revealed she’d made the last-minute decision to fly her mom and dad in from the Lone Star State on Monday night. She recalled how a song she wrote with her father was the first one that helped her grab national attention on the singing competition Nashville Star, before bringing Rick Lambert out to duet on “Greyhound Bound for Nowhere.”

You can experience the evening for yourself in early 2018, when the show airs as part of Front and Center’s 8th season on PBS. The episode will likely air in February, after the new season starts after the first of the year.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 20

Little Big Town taking Midland and Kacey Musgraves on the road for The Breakers Tour

ABC/Image Group LALittle Big Town is hitting the road, and taking Midland and Kacey Musgraves along for the ride.

The group has announced The Breakers Tour, which will kick off February 8 in Oklahoma City and stop in 26 cities, including a show at New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall.  All three acts will appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this evening to give you a preview of the tour.

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. local time. Two special experiences will be offered: “Happy People” and “The Breaker,” featuring meet-and-greets, a Q&A session, exclusive merchandise and more.  Visit for full details on that.

The tour comes in support of LBT’s latest album, The Breaker, and follows on the heels of their four CMA nominations.  The group initially supported the album with a year-long residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Here are the tour dates:
2/8 — Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena
2/9 —  Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
2/10 — Grand Prairie, TX, Verizon Theatre – Grand Prairie
2/15 — Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center
2/16 — Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
2/17 — Toledo,    OH, Huntington Center
2/22 — Wilkes-Barre, PA, Mohegan Sun Arena
2/23 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun
2/24 — New York, NY, Radio City Music Hall
3/2 —  Reading*, PA, Santander Arena
3/3 —  Washington, D.C.,  Anthem
3/15 — Green Bay**, WI, Resch Center
3/16 — Duluth*,  MN, Amsoil Arena
3/17 — Grand Forks, ND, Ralph Engelstad
3/22 — Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
3/23 — Cedar Rapids, IA, U.S. Cellular Center
3/24 — Sioux City, IA, Tyson Events Center
4/5 — Minneapolis, MN,  Target Center
4/6 — Milwaukee, WI, BMO Harris Bradley Ctr
4/7 — St. Louis, MO, Chaifetz Arena
4/19 — Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum
4/20 — Greenville, SC, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
4/21 — Atlanta, GA, Infinite Energy Arena

*Local on-sale 12pm local time.
**Local on-sale 11am local time.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Sep 19

Another reason to “Die a Happy Man”: Thomas Rhett reflects on an “Unforgettable” week

ABC/Mark LevineThomas Rhett is feeling the love this week: his new album, Life Changes, tops both the all-genre Billboard 200 and the country albums chart.

“It blows my mind to have a #1 album,” he tells Billboard. “I feel like we started working on this project the moment we put out Tangled Up in 2015, so it’s the end of a couple of years of hard work and growth.”

“It’s an autobiographical album in a lot of ways,” TR continues, “which makes it really personal. So for it to be received the way that it has is extra gratifying. And to be the first country artist this year to have a #1 on the all-genre chart is really humbling.”

This week, the record’s second release, “Unforgettable,” also breaks into the top 10 on the singles chart. That makes it the tenth top 10 hit of Thomas’s career.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 19

Texans Clint Black, Don Henley and Lyle Lovett come together to help after Hurricane Harvey

ABC/Image Group LA Native Texans Clint Black, the Eagles’ Don Henley, and Lyle Lovett are coming together to stage their own fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Helping Texans:  A Hurricane Harvey Benefit Concert will take place Tuesday, November 28 at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We all watched on the news as Harvey destroyed much of Southeast Texas and Houston, my hometown,” Black says. “We braced ourselves through the night as the flood waters grew closer to our family’s doorsteps in Houston and Katy. My mom, brothers, niece and nephews were all very fortunate and I knew I had to find a way to help those who weren’t so lucky…”

Tickets go on sale this Friday at All proceeds will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation, with the three stars helping decide how the money is spent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sep 19

Shania “NOW:” A lot has changed, except when she hits the stage

Mercury NashvilleIn a little more than a week, we’ll get to hear Shania Twain’s first studio album in 15 years, in its entirety.

NOW is the Canadian superstar’s first new project since 2002’s diamond-certified Up!.

“A lot has changed since then,” Shania writes in a new essay in the current issue of InStyle. “I’m divorced and remarried, been diagnosed with Lyme disease, lost my singing voice, and had to rebuild my vocal chords.”

Shania says the only place things haven’t changed for her is onstage.

“Even now, when I’m all dolled up, I feel as though I’m the same person onstage,” she continues. “It’s a mood change more than anything. The minute I walk out there, I’m with everyone, and we’re at this party all together.”

The country/pop icon promises she even has some new catsuits to slip into when she hits the road on her world tour next year.

Shania continues to roll out clips of new songs like “Roll Me on the River” on social media, in advance of NOW’s September 29 release. The tracks “We Got Something They Don’t,” “Swingin’ with My Eyes Closed,” “Poor Me,” and “Life’s About to Get Good” are all available to stream or download now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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