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ABCCarly Pearce’s current single, “Next Girl,” is filled with musical nods to ‘90s country and a twangy, upbeat message of empowerment for any woman staring down a relationship full of cheesy pickup lines and broken promises.
But Carly says that the idea for the song actually started from a much sadder place: Her feelings of heartbreak and loss during her own “failed relationships.”
“I had this title, but I, in true Carly Pearce fashion, heard it more as a sad little letter to the next girl,” she recounts in a new installment of CMT’s “Hit Story” series.
But the song started taking on a peppier element after the singer brought it to Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, who co-wrote the song with Carly and are also producing her new batch of music.
“They totally heard it as just, something like an anthem for women,” she continues. “And it almost wrote itself. We were just spewing things out, all together, and it was just a really, really fun song to write.
Since dropping “Next Girl,” Carly’s hinted at a handful of other unreleased new songs that she’s been working on during the pandemic. Many of them stick to the the themes of heartbreak and love gone wrong, and Carly — who divorced her husband, Michael Ray, last summer — says that’s the subject matter that she finds most creatively fruitful right now.
“I feel like I’m onto something with these, writing songs about relationships that don’t work,” she adds.
ABC/Image Group LABlame it all on his roots, he showed up in boots…and apparently needed a little extra help getting camera-ready before his Inauguration Day performance!
Garth Brooks was among the stars who turned out to celebrate President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, and the country superstar opted for an a cappella performance of “Amazing Grace.” Garth wore a dark shirt and jacket along with jeans and cowboy boots for the occasion, donning his signature cowboy hat as he walked up to podium but removing it before he began singing.
Afterwards, however, a tweet from the “Dive Bar” star revealed that he had a little last-minute help from his fellow performer, pop star Lady Gaga.
“You were fabulous today and every day. A national treasure,” Garth told Gaga over social media. “Please tell Frederick and Miss Sarah thank you for me! They saved a cowboy today.”
The people he named in his tweet are Gaga’s longtime makeup artist, Sarah Tanno, and hairstylist Frederic Aspiras. The specifics of how they “saved a cowboy” aren’t clear from Garth’s Tweet, but it seems they must have helped him primp before the big event — and the time they spent together clearly made an impression on the country star.
“Oh, and tell Miss Sarah to hug her momma for me! love, g,” Garth added.
Garth was the only country artist to perform at the inauguration ceremony itself, though Tyler Hubbard and Tim McGraw offered up their new duet, “Undivided,” at that evening’s Celebrating America TV special.
. @ladygaga You were fabulous today and everyday A national treasure Please tell Frederick and Miss Sarah thank you for me! They saved a cowboy today Oh, and tell Miss Sarah to hug her momma for me! love, g
Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesIn the latest episode of her Home Now Radio show on Apple Music, Shania Twain takes a walk down memory lane of her Las Vegas residencies, sharing some of the most memorable highlights and stunning shows she saw by other resident artists.
“During my first Las Vegas residency at Caesers Palace, I saw all of the other artists that were playing in circulation in the same room with me,” Shania recalls, explaining that Elton John and Rod Stewart were two of the other performing acts during that time.
“When I was leaving, I would try to catch whoever was coming in next, before I left town. And when I was arriving for my next leg, I would try to catch the artist that was there before me,” the singer explains of the time she spent in her “second home” of Vegas.
There’s never been any shortage of talent on the Vegas stage. Shania remembers pop superstar Cher as “the real deal,” raves that Justin Timberlake’s residency was “one of the most musically supreme shows that I’ve seen live in Las Vegas,” and describes Ariana Grande as “the voice of today.”
But as for who the ultimate residency legend of Vegas is? Shania says she reserves that distinction for a classic talent.
“I would say that the most iconic resident artist in Las Vegas is Celine Dion, by far,” the singer says. “I’ve seen Celine Dion many, many times in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace and she’s always incredible, funny, fun and sings like the superstar that she is.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shania had planned to spend much of 2020 on stage in Vegas. Her Let’s Go! Las Vegas Residency had to be cancelled during the shutdown.
ABC/Image Group LAJason Aldean and his wife, Brittany were tired but still cracking jokes late Thursday night, after a five-hour emergency room trip turned out to have a happy ending.
The couple went into the ER after Brittany began experiencing chest pains earlier that day. She updated fans via Instagram stories, having canceled her plans for the day to rest in bed.
“Aaaaaaaand… still having bed and still having chest pains. I had SO much to do today of course,” she said. While she tried to push through the pain, Brittany was also “scared to kick the bucket while out in public. So…in bed I stay.”
Finally, the singer’s wife made the decision to head to the ER. After her hours-long visit, she shared a video update from the car outside the hospital.
“So after five years — yep, five hours — of being at the ER, I have pleurisy,” she reported, explaining that pleurisy is a type of chest pain that affects the lining around the lungs.
“To help this, I take ibuprofen,” she deadpanned, joking that after putting her husband through a five-hour hospital visit, she might have bigger problems on her hands.
“I think I’m gonna get divorced now, because I just put this man through five hours at the ER,” Brittany said, panning the camera towards an unamused Jason.
“Five hours? That’s being generous. I mean, for something that two Advil would have knocked out in like, 30 minutes…” the singer said. Brittany protested that she thought she was having a heart attack.
“No, you weren’t. That’s like having indigestion,” was Jason’s retort.
In musical news, the “Got What I Got” star is looking toward a busy year ahead. Back in October, he shared that he was already at work on his tenth studio album.
ABC/Image Group LALike lots of country fans, the bandmates of Dan + Shay can’t stop spinning Morgan Wallen’s newly-released Dangerous: The Double Album. So much so, in fact, that the pair decided to lend their trademark vocal harmonies to an a cappella rendition of their favorite track, “Sand in My Boots.”
Duo members Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney uploaded the results to social media as a fan tribute this week, with a black and white split image of the two of them singing the song’s chorus.
“Can’t stop listening to to ‘Sand in My Boots’ by Morgan Wallen so figured we’d sing it for y’all,” Dan + Shay wrote alongside their post. “Songs like this are why we fell in love with country music.”
The song is one of a whopping 30 tracks included on Morgan’s sophomore effort, which arrived in early January and also includes his chart-topping single “More Than My Hometown.” Elsewhere, the project features a handful of songs co-written by fellow artist Thomas Rhett, plus one track co-written by Eric Church and a duet with Chris Stapleton.
For their part, Dan + Shay also know a little something about the top spot on country radio. Earlier this week, their current single “I Should Probably Go to Bed” hit number-one.
Courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry/Schmidt RelationsLady A just joined the Grand Ole Opry! The surprise announcement was made Thursday, January 21.
The “Need You Now” singers — comprised of members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood — learned of their nomination while taping their performance for the Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music celebration, which airs February 14 on NBC.
The Grand Ole Opry announced the good news via Twitter, saying current Opry member Darius Rucker was the one to extend the exclusive invitation.
In a teaser clip of the group’s induction, Rucker introduces Lady A by praising their extensive accomplishments that decorate their nearly 15-year history.
“This trio are multi-platinum superstars. Seven time Grammy Award-winners… seven time CMA winners, too! And I feel so, so honored right now to stand here in the Opry house and hope they accept the invitation I’m thrilled to be offering them right now,” Rucker smiles. “So, Lady A, would you like to be the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry?”
The trio initially react in disbelief before becoming overwhelmed by excitement. Scott then bursts out in tears, eliciting jokes that the announcement should have been saved for after their performance.
The Grand Ole Opry announced in a followup tweet that Lady A’s membership is “effective immediately.”
Becoming an Opry member is considered one of country music’s highest honors.
“There’s no magic formula and no secret code that grants access to one of the most coveted invitations in all of music. The path to an Opry membership may be in the hands of management, but its members guarantee the Grand Ole Opry’s future,” the nearly 100-year-old institution says on its about page.
Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music airs Sunday, February 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
John Shearer/Getty Images for Academy of Country MusicWith his next musical chapter on the horizon, Chris Young is busy perfecting his new batch of songs: And he offered fans a sneak peek into that process on social media on Thursday.
On Instagram, Chris posted a video snippet of himself in the studio, masked up and listening to his band hard at work. “Just vibing,” he captioned the clip, which shows him nodding along to the music.
He shared a similar post on Twitter, uploading a snapshot of himself in the studio with songwriter and producer Josh Gleave.
“Getting some studio work done today,” Chris said. “Love seeing your growth and your desire to continually top yourself day after day! Cheers bro!”
Chris has already shared three singles off of his upcoming project, “Raised on Country,” “Drowning” and “Famous Friends.” The latter song, a duet with Kane Brown, is currently a Top 40 hit at country radio.
Reid LongOver the past several months, Eric Church has been slowly releasing music and teasing that his next album was on the horizon. In a video message to his Church Choir fan club on Thursday, the singer finally revealed the full picture: A three-part album project called Heart & Soul.
The 24-song collection is broken up into three discs, with nine on the first (Heart) and the last (Soul). The middle record, &, consists of six songs and will be available exclusively for Eric’s Church Choir fans as a vinyl record.
The project was born during Eric’s writing retreat in the North Carolina mountains, he explains, and towards the end of his stay, the singer and his producer Jay Joyce began to try to figure out exactly what the shape of the music would be.
“I kept saying, ‘God, this is going to be really hard. There’s a lot here. Is this a double album? And if it’s a double album, how do we leave out these five or six songs?’” the singer recounts. “I am the hardest critic in making sure every song deserves to be on the record, and I beat this thing to death going, ‘This can’t be that good.’ But it was just a special, special time and a special, special project that I think will be among our best.”
The three albums will arrive on April 16, April 20 and April 23, with the middle album, &, available only to Church Choir members. Preorder is available for all three albums beginning January 29.
Courtesy of Absolute PublicityAmid the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person country concerts are few and far between. However, Darryl Worley is heading back out on the road, beginning Friday, for his Country Rewind Tour.
Darryl is best known for his chart-topping early 2000s hits “I Miss My Friend,” “Have You Forgotten?” and “Awful, Beautiful Life.” Over the course of that decade, he charted 18 singles in total.
Launching this weekend in Fernandina Beach, Florida, the Country Rewind Tour also features appearances from supporting acts Bryan White and Wade Hayes.
“Everyone needs to work and pay the bills, so for me, this is another prayer answered,” says Darryl of his return to the road after nearly a year being benched by the pandemic.
“I’m so thankful to be going out and making some music with my friends and for my friends. I hope we can make everybody forget about all the difficult times we are experiencing, relax for a while and enjoy an evening together,” he adds.
The Country Rewind Tour is set to run through April. Tickets are available now; it is not immediately clear what social distance and safety protocols will be in place at the indoor shows.
Courtesy of Big Machine Label GroupTimMcGraw and Tyler Hubbard made a stop on NBC’s Today Thursday to share the story behind “Undivided,” the duet they performed last night during the Celebrating America TV special to cap off Inauguration Day.
“It’s just been one miracle after the next,” recounts Tyler, who wrote the song while quarantined on his tour bus as he recovered from COVID-19 last fall. “It’s so surreal, the opportunity we had last night — even the opportunity to get to sing with Tim, for me, was a huge honor.”
Tim adds that he first heard the song while on a cross-country road trip with his wife, fellow superstar Faith Hill.
“I had to stop at a gas station because I’m so technically challenged, and download the song, and then listen to it,” the singer jokes, adding that the song’s message immediately moved him.
“This song really made me check myself,” he explains. “Am I living up to what I sang five years ago on ‘Humble and Kind’? This song was just an add-on to that, to me.”
The pair gave their performance against the backdrop of downtown Nashville, with a bridge in the background — imagery that they hope lends itself to “Undivided”’s message of solidarity.
“This song’s bigger than us,” says Tyler. “We’re just honored to be able to share such a positive to the world on such a large platform.”
The Celebrating America performance marked the live debut of “Undivided,” which came out just days ago.