Catherine Powell If you want to see Dan + Shay on The (Arena) Tour, you’d better get your tickets now.
Even though the trek was only announced last week and tickets went on sale over the weekend, the ACM Vocal Duo of the Year has already sold more than 200,000 seats. They’ve also sold out New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The trek kicks off March 6 with multiple nights at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Meanwhile, Dan + Shay have the biggest hit of their career so far with “10,000 Hours,” with Justin Bieber. It’s already a top-five hit on Billboard’s Hot 100, making Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney the only country duo or group in history to debut in the top five of the all-genre ranking.
Getty Images for CMT/ViacomCMT designed its Artists of the Year special to celebrate the biggest stars of the past twelve months. But for its tenth anniversary, it far exceeded anyone’s expectations. It reminded everyone — whether you were in the ballroom at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville or watching at home — what country music does best: come together as a family and help each other in desperate times.
Even though he was a 2019 honoree, Kane Brown was expected to be absent in the wake of the unexpected death of his longtime drummer Kenny Dixon in a car accident last weekend. Instead, he felt it important to show up and show his love for his longtime friend, supporter, and band mate.
“I want to dedicate this to my drummer Kenny,” Kane told the crowd, choking back tears. “He started with me coming out of Chattanooga off Facebook. People didn’t think we would make it. He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me. And I love you man, I miss you. The band misses you.”
Chris Young, Kane’s label mate and longtime friend, gave him the award and sang in his stead. Young’s current single, “Drowning” — about dealing with the loss of a close friend — couldn’t have been more appropriate.
Fellow Artist of the Year Thomas Rhett was featured in his own emotional segment: pregnant wife Lauren introduced him, and he sang “Dream You Never Had” in her honor.
TR said his polite thanks, but didn’t dwell on himself. Instead, he led a prayer of support in honor of his hurting friend.
“I just want to lift up Kane and his family, and I want to lift up his drummer and their family. I don’t know if this is very conventional, but can I just pray really fast? Is that okay with everybody?,” he asked.
“Father, God, we love you so much,” Thomas Rhett continued. “Loss is something that we can’t comprehend. And so right now, I pray that you would be with Kane and his family, and his drummer Kenny and his family.”
“And bring them peace that only you know how to bring somebody,” he added. “And thank you for this night.”
“God bless country music. And in your name we pray. Amen,” he closed.
Sitting in the audience, Artist of a Lifetime recipient Reba McEntire was moved to tears. During the commercial break, she stopped TR as he walked past her, voicing her respect for what he did.
When longtime friend Vince Gill presented her award, she took the chance to thank TR publicly.
“Thomas Rhett — God bless you for praying in front…” Reba trailed off, interrupted by the cheers of the audience. “You’re special! You’re special. That took guts!”
Dan + Shay, Luke Combs, and Carrie Underwood were honored as CMT’s 2019 Artists of the Year as well. Ashley McBryde is this year’s Breakout Artist of the Year.
ABC/Mark LevineMike Fisher has nothing but admiration for wife Carrie Underwood.
The former NHL player shared a thoughtful Instagram post with his half a million followers, offering them insight into how hard she works every day.
“If I had a dollar every time someone on tour said ‘I don’t know how she does it’ I’d be rich :)” Mike begins, alongside a video of the superstar singer on stage, belting out the final notes of “Cry Pretty.”
He reveals that in the midst of traveling the country on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, Carrie wakes up multiple times a night to feed their 10-month old son, Jacob, and is still up early in the morning to make sure her husband and two sons have breakfast. Her morning routine continues with a 90-minute workout and soundcheck in preparation for the two-hour show, meeting with fans and press all the while — a routine she repeats each day she’s on the road.
“It really is amazing how she does it all. Hard work is more important then talent in everything and she has loads of both but the short answer of how she does it is that God’s given her a crazy voice and determination (and energy) to be able to do what He’s called her to do!” Mike raves. “I love watching her do her thing and showing people the gift that God’s given her.”
Carrie continues on the Cry Pretty 360 Tour with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June through October 31, when it wraps in Detroit.
Andrew EcclesBlake Shelton is once again bringing his friends and heroes together for a special tour launching in early 2020.
Blake is reinstating his Friends and Heroes Tour that has Lauren Alaina, Trace Adkins, The Bellamy Brothers and John Anderson serving as opening acts. The superstar embarked on the tour of the same name and lineup in early 2019.
The new trek takes the troupe to 16 cities across the U.S. with stops in Denver, Chicago, Salt Lake City and more throughout February and March. Shelton and crew also have a scheduled date at iconic venue The Forum in Los Angeles on March 7.
“The Friends and Heroes Tour was so exciting and successful last year that I couldn’t imagine not trying something like that again,” Blake says. “Even though every night when the show wrapped, I would tell the audience that they might never see something like this again, with these legends, my plan all along was to at least try to make that happen. I feel like it was the best concert experience that I’ve ever been involved in, and I’m ready to get fired up again.”
The tour begins on February 13 in Portland, Oregon and concludes on March 21 in Detroit, Michigan. Tickets go on sale on October 25 at 10 a.m., excluding LA, Wichita and Detroit, which become available on November 1.
Here are Blake’s 2020 Friends and Heroes Tour dates:
2/13 — Portland, OR, Moda Center 2/14 — Tacoma, WA, Tacoma Dome 2/15 — Spokane, WA, Spokane Arena 2/20 — Bakersfield, CA, Mechanics Bank Arena 2/21 — Fresno, CA, Save Mart Center 2/22 — Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center 2/27 — Salt Lake City, UT, Vivint Smart Home Arena 3/5 — Glendale, CA, Gila River Arena 3/6 — San Diego, CA, Pechanga Arena 3/7 — Los Angeles, CA, The Forum 3/11 — Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena 3/12 — Omaha, NE, CHI Health Center 3/14 — Denver, CO, Pepsi Center 3/19 — Chicago, IL, Allstate Arena 3/20 — Milwaukee, WI, Fiserv Forum 3/21 — Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
Columbia NashvilleA country superstar will be making her way down one of American’s most revered streets.
Maren Morris is one of many special celebrity guests set to participate in Sesame Street‘s upcoming 50th anniversary season. Foo Fighters rocker Dave Grohl, pop singer-songwriter Charlie Puth, and Chrissy Teigen will also appear on the show.
The theme for the milestone year is “Oops and Aha!: Embracing the Power of Possibilities,” centered around positive thinking, embracing mistakes and perseverance.
“The Middle” hit maker and several others will also partake in a social media campaign titled #ThisIsMyStreet, sharing favorite memories of growing up with the beloved series. Artists participating include actresses Blake Lively and Mindy Kaling, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda,Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame, Chance the Rapper, John Legendand many more.
The new season of Sesame Street premieres on November 16, preceded by a special event, Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, airing on November 9 on HBO. PBS will re-air the broadcast on November 17.
ABC/Image Group LAFlorida Georgia Line‘s Brian Kelley is stepping into the world of theatre.
Varietyreports that Kelley will serve as co-producer of a new musical, titled May We All, that tells the story of an aspiring country singer who returns home after trying to make it in Nashville, “ultimately to discover that her roots may take her a lot further than her dreams,” as described in a statement.
The musical will feature several hit songs by a range of country acts spanning generations, from Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, to Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton. Duos and groups such as FGL, Brooks & Dunn, Little Big Town and Alison Krauss & Union Station will also have songs included in the production.
“I love building, love creating, love being surrounded by an amazing team, and have found endless inspiration in the fact that I can use my voice in any interest that I have,” Brian says. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have this musical feature the songs of so many of my buddies and artists who’ve inspired me. Can’t wait to bring this project to the stage and beyond.”
May We All is written by Troy Britton Johnson and Todd Johnson. Troy is a former Broadway star who appeared in The Drowsy Chaperone, which won multiple Tony Awards in 2006, while Todd was one of the producers of the original production of The Color Purple on Broadway.
May We All is set to go into production at Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square in fall 2020, with an anticipated premiere in Nashville in 2021.
Big MachineRiley Green never intended for “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” to be on his debut album, Different Round Here. And were it not for his fans, it certainly wouldn’t be his new single.
“The last song I wrote for this album was ‘I Wish Grandpas Never Died,'” he explains. “And we actually had the album done. I had no plans of putting it on this record.”
“I wrote the song and I played it at a show,” Riley recalls. “Somebody videoed it with their iPhone and put it on YouTube, and it got a million-something views.”
“And I started playing it at shows,” he continues, “and people were singing it, and people were requesting it. Every picture I posted on Instagram, there [were] ten people going, ‘When are you gonna release “Grandpas Never Died?”‘”
Even though Riley’s record label had already released the song and video “In Love By Now” as the follow-up to Riley’s number one, “There Was This Girl,” his team decided to change course and go with “Grandpas.”
“I went to the label and said, ‘Look at this,'” Riley remembers. “And to their credit, they jumped on board with it. We went in and cut the song, added it to the record, and it very possibly could be one of the biggest tracks on the record.”
“So it was really great timing,” he reflects. “And also, it’s hats off to the fans for running to this song and showing that they were passionate about it.”
Riley’s currently headlining his own Get That Man a Beer Tour while also opening for Jon Pardi. Next year, he’ll head out on the road with Entertainer of the Decade Jason Aldean.
ABC/Image Group LAGarth Brooks has found the next stop on his Dive Bar Tour.
The superstar will perform at The Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown, Ohio on Monday, October 28. Garth unveiled the location during an episode of his Facebook live show, Inside Studio G, on Tuesday. Fans are only able to obtain tickets by listening to their local country radio stations, which have been giving away tickets throughout the tour.
The Ohio stop marks the fifth on Brooks’ trek in partnership with Seagram’s 7 that takes him to dive bars across the U.S. He launched the tour in July at the famous Joe’s on Weed Street in Chicago, followed by shows at the iconic Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California and Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas.
Garth will appear at The Barn in Sanford, Florida tonight. He’s concurrently on his massive stadium tour that ends its 2019 run on November 16 at Neylands Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Catherine PowellDan + Shay teamed up with Justin Bieber for the collaboration “10,000 Hours,” which has just topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100. And according to Shay Mooney, the three men have three special women to thank for the song.
“‘10,000 Hours’ is about spending a lifetime learning and loving your significant other,” says Shay. “This song means a lot to us because we are married to two wonderful ladies, Hannah and Abby. And it was cool to be able to collaborate with our friend Justin Bieber, because he is in that same boat.”
Shay’s referring to the fact that Justin is also very much in love with his wife, Hailey Baldwin. In fact, Dan + Shay sang the song at Justin and Hailey’s recent wedding celebration, and all three wives co-star in the clip with Dan, Shay and Justin.
“This is one of our favorite songs we’ve ever written and hopefully it resonates with our fans as much as it does with us,” notes Dan Smyers.
At this point, Hannah and Abby should be getting royalties: This is the second huge Dan + Shay hit that they’ve inspired, the first being “Speechless.”
In addition to its high chart position, “10,000 Hours” also set a new record for the biggest first-week streaming total in country music history.
Dan + Shay kick off a headlining arena tour in March. Meanwhile, fans are still waiting for Justin to make good on his promise to release a new album this year.