Feb 14

Don’t “Hide the Wine”: Carly Pearce may need it to keep up with her crazy schedule

Big Machine Records Carly Pearce’s new single may be titled “Hide the Wine,” but the Kentucky native might need to get that bottle back out after the day she has planned on Thursday.

She’ll start by performing the latest release from her Every Little Thing album on Live with Kelly and Ryan, before flying to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a concert the same night. You can catch the syndicated talk show following Good Morning America on most ABC stations.

Carly’s already spent several days in the Big Apple this week, hanging out with students at PS 169 in the Bronx on Monday. She helped the school’s fifth graders with their original tune, “We Are the Song,” as part of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Words & Music program. Then on Tuesday, the kids got to perform it with Carly at the All for the Hall NYC concert.

Provided the skies are friendly, the “Every Little Thing” hitmaker should make it to the BOK Center in plenty of time to kick off Blake Shelton’s Country Music Freaks Tour Thursday night.

Carly’s schedule doesn’t show any sign of letting up for the rest of the year, either. After her run with Blake, she’ll head out with Thomas Rhett on the Life Changes trek, join Rascal Flatts for the Back to Us Tour, and play stadiums with Luke Bryan on the What Makes You Country dates.

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Feb 14

“It Goes Like This”: Thomas Rhett readies songwriter night in Vegas

ABC/Image Group LA Thomas Rhett and Lee Brice lead the lineup for ACM Stories, Songs & Stars:  A Songwriter’s Evening Benefitting ACM Lifting Lives.

The Friday, April 13 show at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will showcase the still-to-be-announced ACM Songwriter of the Year nominees, ahead of the 53rd ACM Awards that Sunday.

In addition to TR and Lee, hit songwriters Shane McAnallyLori McKenna and Ashley Gorley will take the stage, with more talent still to be revealed.

Tickets are on sale now, with proceeds going to ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music.

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Feb 14

Maren Morris bonds with Kesha at “All for the Hall” NYC

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame“I’m really nervous. This is I think the craziest guitar pull I’ve ever done,” Maren Morris said, as she prepared to play the All for the Hall show Tuesday night at New York City’s PlayStation Theater.

Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Vince Gill led the otherwise all-female line-up, featuring fellow Hall-of-Famer Emmylou Harris, Maren, and pop star and former Nashville resident, Kesha. The show featured the classic Music City guitar pull format, with all the artists onstage at once, taking turns and contributing to each other’s songs at will.

The evening began with an example of what the Country Music Hall of Fame does with the money raised at events like this. “Every Little Thing” hitmaker Carly Pearce joined fifth-graders from PS 169 in the Bronx, as they performed “We are the Song,” a tune they wrote through the Hall’s Words & Music program.

“We’ll start with one of Rodney [Crowell]’s songs tonight,” Vince said, as he launched into “’Til I Can Gain Control Again,” a song Emmylou introduced in 1975. He also did his 1994 hit “Whenever You Come Around,” while Emmylou offered “Love and Happiness,” a track originally recorded with Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler.  

In addition to her 2010 smash, “Your Love Is My Drug,” Kesha also contributed “Godzilla,” from her latest album, Rainbow.

Maren spanned her career, from her breakthrough hit, “My Church,” to her first solo #1, “I Could Use a Love Song.” She and Vince also had the rare opportunity to do “Dear Hate,” their duet Maren released shortly after the Las Vegas shooting last year.

“Was having a little bit of an off day,” Maren later shared on her socials, along with a photo of Kesha. “And then I played a round with Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and this woman who has inspired me a whole lot this year. Kesha, thank you for being so kind.”

All for the Hall New York was the tenth show of its kind, rotating between Nashville, Los Angeles, and the Big Apple. In all, it’s a tradition that’s raised more than $4 million for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

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Feb 14

Florida Georgia Line “Cruise(s)” to their second top-ten pop hit with “Meant to Be”

ABC/Kelsey McNealFlorida Georgia Line lands the second top-ten pop hit of their career this week with “Meant to Be,” their collaboration with Bebe Rexha. FGL’s first, of course, was their smash debut single, “Cruise.”

Even though Bebe comes from the world of pop and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley hail from the country music capitol of the world, Rexha says they were on the same page, musically.

“When we wrote this song, Tyler was just doing what he does best with his country roots and I was doing what I knew best with my roots,” she tells Billboard. “We were just being true to ourselves. The meaning is simple and honest, and that’s why I think it’s resonating with the world. The beautiful thing about music is that it allows you to break boundaries, and that’s what I want to be remembered for.”

Growing up in the Big Apple, Bebe says her education in country music came mainly from crossover acts like Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks and Taylor Swift.

“I never thought a New York girl like me would have a country hit, but I guess it goes to show you that some things are just… meant to be.”

“Meant to Be” is now spending its eleventh week atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs ranking, making Rexha a country record-holder. She bumps Taylor as the female with the most weeks at #1 on the chart, besting her 10-week run with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in 2012-2013.

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Feb 13

Cole Swindell will be running with the NASCAR All-Stars

ABC/Randy HolmesCole Swindell will be hangin’ with his NASCAR buddies this spring in North Carolina. The “Stay Downtown” singer will headline a 70-minute show May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He’ll also co-host the driver introductions before the NASCAR All-Star Race.

“I’m pumped…” the Georgia native says. “I’ve been a fan of NASCAR for so long, I can’t believe I’ll actually be part of the day’s activities. It will be great to see all my driver friends and cheer them on in person.”

Cole is a particular favorite of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who asked him to play his retirement party in December.

Admission to Cole’s May 19 show is included with a ticket to the race.  For $20 more, you can upgrade to stage-front access.

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Feb 13

Maren Morris lets the fans pick, and the result is “Rich”

ABC/Image Group LA For her final release from her first album, Maren Morris let fans make the call.

“‘Rich’ feels like the perfect, confidant, laugh-the-BS-off-with-your-friends kind of song to go into spring with,” she says. “More importantly, ‘Rich’ is the first time we’ve really let fans pick the single, so it was a no-brainer to make it my final single from Hero.”

The Texas native points out that “Rich” has also been road-tested.

“From the Bowery in New York City to Shepherds Bush Empire in London,” she adds, “my fans grabbed a hold of ‘Rich’ and never let go, so I wanted my debut album to go out with a bang! This is for them.”

“Rich” is the follow-up to Maren’s gold-certified, first solo number-one, “I Could Use a Love Song.” It’ll be her country single as her collaboration with Zedd, “The Middle,” climbs the pop chart.

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Feb 13

“Kinda Don’t Care” is not the case: Justin Moore makes plans to headline the Ryman

ABC/Image Group LA Justin Moore will play his first headlining date at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, May 2. The Arkansas native first took the stage at the Mother Church of Country Music nearly nine years ago, as part of the Opry Country Classics show.

“It’s sentimental because I’m a huge fan of the tradition of country music,” Justin says. “For me, playing the Ryman is more about that and all the people who have played there and what it’s meant to country music as a whole from generation to generation.”

Newcomers Travis Denning and Tyler Rich will open, with pre-sales starting on Wednesday, before tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday. 

Justin’s latest single, “Kinda Don’t Care,” just entered country’s top 40.

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Feb 13

Devin Dawson’s “Dark Horse” leads him to new dates as a headliner

ABC/Image Group LA Devin Dawson is expanding his headlining dates, as his debut single, “All on Me,” becomes his first top-ten hit. The California native is adding concerts in San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and New York City.

The Dark Horse hitmaker’s Big Apple stop will be a half-hour discussion, followed by a stripped-down performance. The evening, titled “Doers Defying Barriers,” takes place February 22, as part of the NYC Plugged series.  

You can find the latest info about Devin’s schedule at DevinDawsonMusic.com. In April, he heads out with label mate Brett Eldredge on The Long Way Tour.

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Feb 12

Kelsea Ballerini “Unapologetically” sells out and sets records on first weekend of headlining tour

ABC/Paula LoboKelsea Ballerini set her Unapologetically tour in motion this weekend with sold-out shows in Birmingham, Alabama; Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Augusta, Georgia.

In fact, the “Legends” hitmaker set a record in the Peach State: Her show ranked as one of the ten most-attended concerts in the history of Augusta’s Bell Auditorium..

“The energy this weekend was unbelievable and I’m so amazed that my fans knew every word of the album cuts,” Kelsea observed. “Playing the Bell Auditorium in Augusta was my biggest headlining show so far in my career, and I can already tell this tour is going to be so special.”

Kelsea closed the show by inviting the audience to sing along on her breakthrough hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” You can experience the moment for yourself via Kelsea’s Instagram.

Wednesday night, the Knoxville, Tennessee native brings her tour to Music City, for a sold-out Valentine’s Day show at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

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Feb 12

“Written in the Sand” is now “Written in…” gold: Old Dominion grabs fourth #1

ABC/Image Group LA When Old Dominion kicks off the U.S. leg of their world tour on Valentine’s Day, they’ll take the stage with some extra bragging rights: this week, the five-man-band has the #1 country song in America.

“Written in the Sand is OD’s third chart-topper in a row, and the band’s fourth #1 overall. It’s also recently been certified gold, along with “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” and “Song for Another Time.”

Old Dominion launched the Happy Ending World Tour earlier this month with sold-out shows in Canada. On Wednesday, they’ll greet their U.S. fans in Sacramento, California.

If you can’t make it out to one of their shows, it won’t be long before you can catch OD on TV. The band plays the Today show on March 6, followed by Late Night with Seth Meyers on March 7.

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