May 28

“You Kissed Me First,” quarantine style: Carly Pearce drops next “Social Distance Sessions” video

ABC Image Group/LAAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent artists from playing shows or seeing their fans in person, Carly Pearce and her band are finding creative ways to stay connected. 

This week, the singer dropped the second installment of her “Social Distance Sessions” music video series, and this time around, she and her band performed “You Kissed Me First,” one of the tracks on her recently released, self-titled sophomore album. The clip shows Carly and her band performing their parts of the song separately at home.

Earlier this month, Carly kicked off her “Social Distance Sessions” with the heartfelt ballad “It Won’t Always Be Like This.” The song’s message highlights the fact that nothing in life is permanent, and urges listeners to weather life’s storms and savor its sweet moments, knowing that things will change at some point.

Since the pandemic began, “It Won’t Always Be Like This” has taken on a whole new meaning for Carly, who included a montage of images of health care workers in her video for the song.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 28

Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean and more sign on for star-studded CMT Celebrates Our Heroes line-up

ABC/Image Group LACMT Celebrates Our HeroesAn Artists of the Year Special is set to air next week, and the show is rounding out its star-studded lineup with a final list of performers. 

Reba McEntireBlake SheltonJason AldeanKeith UrbanJake OwenLee Brice and Zac Brown are the latest artists to be announced for the show. They’ll deliver performances from home to honor essential workers and those on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the country performers scheduled to participate, the event will feature a number of actors, too, including Scarlett JohanssonSean Penn, Gary Sinise and Olivia Munn. 

Previously-announced performers include Sam HuntMiranda LambertFlorida Georgia LineLuke CombsKane BrownTim McGraw and many more. 

CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special is set to air on June 3 at 8 p.m. ET. Additionally, viewers can visit CMTOneCountry.com for information about how to give back to those helping to fight the pandemic.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 28

‘One World: Together at Home’ broadcast, featuring Keith Urban and more, nabs two Guinness World Records

ABC/Image Group LAThis week, Guinness World Records revealed that the One World: Together at Home broadcast, which aired in April and featured a massive roster of performers from all genres, has set not one but two world records.

The international event, co-hosted by the World Health Organization and Global Citizen, has netted two new entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. It now holds the records for the most musical performers ever for a remote music festival, as well as the most money ever raised for charity at a remote music festival. 

Keith UrbanKacey MusgravesLady Antebellum and Maren Morris all offered from-home performances during the eight-hour event, six hours of which streamed online, and two hours of which aired on TV.

A total of 72 musical artists in all participated, including the likes of Stevie WonderPaul McCartneyElton John and Taylor Swift

The One World: Together at Home broadcast, which raised nearly $128 million for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts, was conceived to honor, inspire and support front-line healthcare workers and bring families together.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 28

‘After All These Years’, Barbara Mandrell drops remixed “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed”

UMG Nashville

Barbara Mandrell serves up a fresh take on her 1978 classic, “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” with help from a dance remix of the song by producer Dave Audé.

The danceable, pop-inflected new remix of the song is the first taste of a greatest hits vinyl album called After All These Years: A Collection. Barbara announced this week that she hand-picked 14 of her best-loved tracks for the project, which will be her first release on vinyl in decades.

“When I listen to the songs that were selected from different albums I recorded, I think about those of you that I recorded them for and those of you that are hearing them for the first time,” she reflects. 

Looking back on her lengthy time in country music, Barbara adds, “The greatest desire of my heart was to be an entertainer.  My Heavenly Father — and you — gave me my 38-year career in show business. I’m deeply grateful and I hope that these selections from some of my albums entertain you.”

Originally released as the first single from her Moods album, “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” became the first of Mandrell’s six chart-topping hits. 

After All These Years: A Collection is due for release on July 10 and is available to pre-order now. In addition to the leading track, it features hits such as “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” and “Happy Birthday, Dear Heartache.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 28

“Military crawls, obstacle courses”: Zac Brown went all out for his son’s video game-themed birthday part

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Zac Brown BandAnyone who’s spent a birthday in quarantine this year knows that it’s just not the same without friends, family and a big party.  So Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown went above and beyond to make his son Alexander’s sixth birthday special. 

“We set up our whole property like [the video game] Fortnite and had a party,” Zac explains to People. “Military crawls, obstacle courses…we had an awesome time.”

The Zac Brown Band is among the many country acts whose touring schedules were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year.  In fact, they were among the first bands who made the call to entirely wipe their 2020 tour schedule clean and postpone live shows until next year. 

While Zac has been open about his sadness and frustration at not being able to perform, the unexpected blessing of being able to spend more time with his five kids isn’t lost on the singer. 

“I put my kids first always, and I put them first when I’m making my schedule, but it’s kind of erratic. So to be home and just be really super present and consistent with my kids has been great for them and it’s been great for me,” he points out.

Along with spending time with family, Zac is gearing up to re-release his solo album, The Controversy, which first dropped last year. Earlier this spring, he shared the music video for the pulsing, dance-driven “Dream Selling,” a collaboration with Poo Bear and Sasha Sirota. The album re-releases this Friday.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 28

“If That Ain’t God”: Chris Young shares sneak peek into an unreleased, faith-focused new track

ABC/Randy HolmesFor some time now, Chris Young has been at work on his next album. Over the past year, he’s shared a handful of new tracks, including the lead single, “Raised on Country.” 

Now, he’s offering fans a glimpse into the upcoming project’s more spiritual side with a clip of an unreleased tune, “If That Ain’t God.” Chris shared the first verse and chorus of his inspirational ballad on social media this week.

“If That Ain’t God” tells the story of a kid from his hometown who beat cancer. In its lyrics, Chris reflects on the importance of not taking life for granted, and recognizes God in the story of the young boy’s recovery. 

“Don’t it make you wanna pray? Don’t it make you wanna live?” he sings in the song’s chorus. “If that ain’t God, if that ain’t God, I don’t know what is.”

It isn’t the first time that Chris has explored heavier subject matter in his music. His current single, “Drowning,” shares the singer’s real-life experience of grappling with grief after a close friend’s untimely death.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“If That Ain’t God” … I don’t know what is pic.twitter.com/tNdPnZI9Fn

— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) May 27, 2020

May 28

‘United We Sing’: Tim McGraw, Little Big Town to salute essential workers in upcoming special

ABC/Image Group LATim McGraw and Little Big Town are just two of the artists slated to join a new TV special called United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes, an all-star event featuring a wide range of A-list actors and musical performers.

Hosted by Grammy and Emmy-winning actor Harry Connick, Jr., the special will take viewers along for the ride on a RV road trip with Harry and his daughter, Georgia, from their home in Connecticut to New Orleans. Along the way, they’ll stop to thank essential workers in health care, food service, law enforcement and more. 

Participating stars include the likes of Sandra BullockBrad PittOprah Winfrey and Renée Zellweger. Along with Tim and Little Big Town, musical artists such as Cyndi LauperDave MatthewsIrma Thomas and more will be on hand to help spotlight these everyday heroes’ contributions. 

As you watch United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes, you’ll be able to donate to a variety of charities supporting underserved children, including No Kid Hungry and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans. The special will also spotlight the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, part of the charitable arm of the Recording Academy. 

United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes will air on CBS on Sunday, June 21 from 8-10 p.m. ET.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 28

Carrie Underwood reveals she was hesitant to have kids, and opens up about a major conflict in her marriage

ABC/Image Group LAMike Fisher wakes up every morning around seven, and Carrie Underwood gets up about the same time, though he alleges it takes about six alarms for her to do so.

He craves sushi, while she craves “not sushi” — namely, more southern fare like biscuits and chocolate gravy like her mother makes.

Those are just two of the revelations from the faith-based mini-documentary Mike and Carrie: God & Country, whose first part premiered Wednesday night at IAmSecond.com

The happy couple immediately addresses one of their biggest conflicts: he’s an avid hunter and she’s a passionate animal lover. 

“He grew up hunting and being outdoors, and it’s a big part of his life…” Carrie explains. “I love animals and I love life so much that I always swore I would never marry a hunter… not in a million years.”

Ultimately, Mike and Carrie say it’s their faith that helps them navigate the disagreement.

“We learn from each other and we have spirited discussions about things that we disagree on…” Carrie reflects.

“That’s where our faith comes in too” Mike points out. “I think it gives us kind of a center ground… I know your heart. You know my heart. There’s always a way. And it’s… always God working in it.” 

In a surprising twist, Carrie confesses she wasn’t all that eager to have children, though that all changed more than five years ago when their son Isaiah arrived. 

“I was never good with other people’s kids,” she reveals. “Why would I be good with one of my own? But… the second Isaiah was born, it was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m in love!”

In next week’s installment, the power couple opens up about the painful miscarriages they suffered before the birth of their son Jacob in January of last year. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 27

In new video, Trace Adkins and band are “Better Off” social distancing

Kristin BarlowTrace Adkins is taking fans inside the recording studio with his latest single, “Better Off.” 

The burly country star released the official music video for the song in March, but now he’s giving it a social- distancing spin that shows each of his band members performing solo in the studio while the singer takes the mic. 

Trace gives some attitude to his delivery as he croons in his signature voice, “But those thoughts in your head /And those pillows on your bed/And that dress, these lights/They’re all better off.” 

“When the band wants to play but we’re all ‘better off stayin’ in!’” Trace said of the video on Instagram

“Better Off” is Trace’s first solo single release since 2017. He joined forces with Blake Shelton last year for the duet “Hell Right,” featured on Blake’s 2019 album, Fully Loaded: God’s Country. 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

May 27

Cam preps “magical” new song, “Redwood Tree”

RCA RecordsCam has a new song she’s sharing with fans this week. 

The California native revealed on social media that she’s releasing a track called “Redwood Tree” on Friday, which will be featured on her upcoming album.

The singer also shared the single’s cover art, which boasts a childhood photo of her in a pink dress sitting cross-legged in the yard, offering a closed-mouth smile to the camera. 

“It’s heavy, magical, raw and heartfelt. One of the most personal songs off my upcoming album,” Cam says of “Redwood Tree” in a statement.  “I’m being reminded just how special music is, and I am even more committed to giving you something meaningful.” 

Cam is working on her sophomore album, which serves as the follow-up to her 2015 Untamed debut that included her breakthrough song, “Burning House.”  She released the album’s lead single, “Till There’s Nothing Left,” in February.

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.