Dec 03

“Whiskey Me Away”: Jason Aldean previews part two of his double album with a Morgan Wallen co-write

ABC

It’s been less than a month since Jason Aldean dropped Macon, the first half of the massive double project he’s putting out as his 10th studio album. Now, he’s already looking ahead to part two.

This week, the singer shared “Whiskey Me Away,” which is the first taste of Georgia, the second half of his project. Brooding and booze-soaked, the lyrics follow a pair of new lovers who meet at a bar and distract each other from their loneliness — if only for one night.

Jason co-wrote the song with Morgan Wallen, a top-selling artist who found himself persona non grata in the industry in early 2021 after TMZ published footage of him yelling a racist slur during a night out. Since then, Morgan’s been removed from radio station airplay, awards show contention and more. The singer initially retreated from the spotlight but has been making hints at his intentions to return lately; last month, he announced a tour for 2022.

Jason’s spoken up in the past about his hopes that Morgan will return to country mainstream sooner rather than later. They’re longtime friends, and Morgan co-wrote Jason’s 2018 hit, “You Make It Easy.”

Georgia is due out in full next April. Together, the two discs pay homage to Jason’s hometown of Macon, Georgia.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 03

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”: Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde come together for a new kind of cheating song

ABC

The premise of two women singing together about being caught loving the same man isn’t a new one for country music: Reba McEntire and Linda Davis explored the idea in 1993 with their duet, “Does He Love You.”

But when Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde teamed up to write their song, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” they immediately knew they wanted to approach the topic in a different way.

“We didn’t want to just try to reboot ‘Does He Love You.’ We didn’t want to try to do anything that had already been done so well,” Ashley explains. “So in this one, these women don’t confront each other…nobody wants to be the other woman, and they’re both finding out at the same time that they are. And they’re just saying, ‘I just never wanted to be this girl.’”

For Carly, the song was an exciting chance to work with a singer with whom she’s long felt a kinship. “I feel like when I’ve performed next to Ashley in writers’ rounds, we sing the same,” she points out.

“She’s a little edgier than me, as far as, she’s got a slight bit of southern rock to her,” Carly goes on to say, “but on the country side, we anticipate each other’s voices in the same way. And I wanted to sing with that.”

Those similar vocal skills translated to the studio: “We’re swapping lines and then swapping who’s singing harmony,” agrees Ashley. “It happened organically in the writing room, so we wanted to make sure it got recorded that way.”

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” comes off of Carly’s latest album, 29: Written in Stone.

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Dec 02

Nashville notes

Mitchell Tenpenny just shared a festive new music video for his Christmas song “I Hope It Snows,” featuring his fiancée and fellow artist Meghan Patrick. Mitchell and Meghan got engaged in Nashville just before Thanksgiving.

Kacey Musgraves joined the fun-loving Sesame Street gang for a song recently, called “All the Colors of the World.” The full episode featuring Kacey’s appearance is available to watch now on HBO Max.

Catch Lauren Alaina on CBS’ The Talk on Friday morning, where she’ll perform “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and help the show celebrate its special in-studio audience full of teachers from around the country.

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Dec 02

After 15 years of marriage, Nicole Kidman says Keith Urban’s still her “favorite person”

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Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman celebrated 15 years of marriage earlier this year, and even after so much time together, Nicole says that her country superstar husband is still her best friend.

“I mean, he’s my favorite person,” the actor says during a recent appearance on ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan. “And [we] just love hanging out.”

For the cross-continental couple, “hanging out” often entails lengthy international flights. But that’s okay by Keith and Nicole: On multiple occasions, he’s taken a break from work in LA or Nashville to hop on a flight to Australia, just to have dinner or spend a few hours with his wife.

Nicole goes on to recount a time during her pregnancy with their oldest daughter, the now-13-year-old Sunday Rose.

“When I was pregnant with Sunday, he got on a plane to fly to Australia to see the first ultrasound, and was there for six hours. Saw the heartbeat, and then had to fly back to do a show,” she remembers.

Next year, Keith and Nicole will put their expert-level skills at making time for each other to good use. The country superstar’s booked for a lengthy world tour in support of his latest album, The Speed of Now Part 1.

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Dec 02

Old Dominion hit a rough patch during 2020: ‘It was all the work of being in a band without any of the joy’

Mickey Bernal/Getty Images for ABC

Old Dominion hit a high note as a group with the release of their 2021 album, Time, Tequila & Therapy. But before they made that project, they went through a difficult period, the band mates admit in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

Part of their challenges came from the COVID-19 pandemic: They weren’t together as much, and it became more difficult to have conversations face to face. “It took away the communication style that we’re used to. You can’t sit and have coffee and say, ‘What do you think?’” explains the band’s Geoff Sprung.

“There were two-day-long text threads. It was like, ‘Is this fun anymore?’ And it wasn’t,” Matthew Ramsey admits.

Adds Trevor Rosen, “It was all the work of being in a band without any of the joy of being in a band.”

Fortunately, with the help of a little Time, Tequila & Therapy — literally — they started to get their groove back. Things improved when the band mates convened in Asheville, North Carolina last September to write and record their new album.

The “Therapy” part of that title is especially important, as several of the band mates are in regular therapy. For Matthew, the experience has helped him communicate effectively with the other guys of Old Dominion.

“This is not a normal life, and the things that come with it are sometimes difficult to wrap your head around,” reflects Geoff. “A lot of it is, ‘How do I adjust? How do you make the transition from being out here where it’s kind of one life and then you go home to another life?’”

Today, the band mates say they’re closer than ever. The lead single of Time, Tequila & Therapy — “I Was on a Boat That Day” — represents the band’s more carefree side.

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Dec 02

Dolly Parton’s glad she’s known for good deeds and generosity, “but I don’t want to be worshipped”

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

In recent years, Dolly Parton has made nearly as many headlines for her philanthropy as for her music.

She expanded her Imagination Library program, raised money for middle Tennessee flood victims, and of course, she donated $1 million in 2020 to help fund the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Now, she’s been named one of the 2021 People of the Year by People Magazine. But in an interview with the publication, Dolly says she’s hesitant to accept too much recognition for her good deeds.

“…I don’t want to be worshipped, because there’s a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship,” the singer reflects. “And I see that happening all the time with movie stars and these celebrities. People literally worship them more than they worship God. And I just — I cringe at it sometimes.”

Then there’s the “pressure” that comes along with all that good press, the singer goes on to say. Still, Dolly’s happy to be able to set a “good example.”

“But yeah, it’s like, I am not all that,” she adds. “I’m glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I’m not the worst person in the world.”

Other 2021 People of the Year include gymnast Simone Biles, actor Sandra Oh and National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey.

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Dec 02

Jason Aldean + his wife share sweet throwback photo montages on their son Memphis’ fourth birthday

ABC

Jason Aldean’s baby boy, Memphis, is growing up: He turned four years old on Wednesday. To celebrate the occasion, both Jason and his wife Brittany turned to social media to share some throwback photos.

“Happy bday to my little man today. Hard to believe he is already 4 years old,” Jason wrote, along with a series of snaps of Memphis and his family through the years. “This lil guy has been such a blessing to their family and we couldn’t love him more. Happy birthday Mems.”

For her part, Brittany put together a full-on photo and video montage of some of the highlights of Memphis’ life so far. Set to Lee Brice’s parent-and-child anthem, “Boy,” the montage includes of her pregnancy, Memphis’ birth and his journey from infant to toddler. Included in the family montage is the arrival of Memphis’ sister, the couple’s youngest child, Navy.

Jason recently reflected on life as a dad to young kids, and how different it is now that he’s in his 40s, as opposed to his experience of having two young daughters in his 20s during his first marriage.

“At this point in my career, I’ve been able to be home a lot more for the little ones and experience a lot more of those things,” he reflects, explaining that the balance between touring and staying home with family has changed quite a bit. “I’m not out there going after the unknown.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean)

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Dec 02

Keith Urban makes a surprise stop at a Nashville high school for a Q&A with music students

ABC

Keith Urban treated local Nashville music students to an unforgettable experience earlier this week, when he made a surprise visit to the city’s Hillwood High School.

During his time there, Keith hosted a Q&A session with the school’s rock band, orchestra, choir and band program, sharing tips on songwriting, navigating the music industry and more. The visit was a partnership with the CMA Foundation, which works to improve and sustain music education programs around the country.

After his Q&A session, Keith traded places with the students, sitting in the audience while they hit the stage to perform two selections from their upcoming winter concert.One performance came from the rock band, while the other came from the string orchestra, which performed Keith’s 2016 hit, “Wasted Time.”

Keith’s visit comes on the heels of a big tour announcement: Yesterday, he announced his 2022 The Speed of Now World Tour, plus three new dates of his Keith Urban Live – Las Vegas residency.

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Dec 02

Carrie Underwood adds six new dates to her Vegas residency as she kicks things off with a sold-out show

ABC

Carrie Underwood launched her Reflection: The Las Vegas Residency earlier this week with a sold-out show at the newly-opened Resorts World Theatre.

She’s the first artist to play the brand-new stage, and her show featured an array of dazzling stage decors and aesthetics, including aerialists, a virtual orchestra and an elaborate, show-closing wall feature. The set list spanned Carrie’s career to date, offering selections of some of the greatest hits from each era of her time as a performer.

Carrie also announced that she’s expanding her residency once again, adding six new dates in May 2022. The new show dates are May 11, 13, 14, 18, 20 and 21, and tickets for those shows go on sale Monday, December 6 at 10 a.m. PST.

“It’s such a special honor to be the first artist to perform on this incredible stage in a brand-new, beautiful, state-of-the-art theatre at such an exciting new destination as Resorts World Las Vegas,” the singer says. “I’m so proud of this show and so happy to finally get to share it with the amazing audiences here in Las Vegas.”

You can purchase tickets to Carrie’s residency now, including special VIP packages.

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Dec 02

Russell Dickerson and his wife, Kailey, put up their Christmas tree extra early — but they’ve got a good reason

ABC

When it comes to the best time of year to put up the Christmas tree, different people have lots of different opinions: Some people wait until after Thanksgiving, while others are ready to get into the holiday spirit right after Halloween.

Russell Dickerson and his wife, Kailey, are definitely in the latter camp. By the time Christmas Eve rolls out, they’ve often been enjoying their tree for nearly two months already.

“One of her traditions is putting the Christmas tree up November 1,” Russell reveals. “‘Cause, [Kailey] justifies it by, usually we’re on the road, and so the amount of days we’re home to see the Christmas tree adds up to as if we put it up December 1. You know what I mean?”

As for holiday traditions the couple have established together, Russell says that it’s all about spending fun, festive quality time with family and friends.

“We just love to host,” he goes on to say. “We do a huge thing with our friends, like, all our college friends, and all the kids, everything.”

They take their holiday hangs seriously: “Like, [from] 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.,” the singer says.

“We eat, we’re merry, we hang out, and we just, you know, we do the dang thing,” Russell continues with a laugh, while his 1-year-old son Remington bounces and coos on his lap. “That’s definitely one of our biggest must-haves in our Christmas tradition.”

Earlier this holiday season, Russell shared a picture of another new tradition: He and Kailey took baby Remington to see Santa Claus, where the family posed for an adorable, Christmas card-worthy snap.

After the holidays this year, Russell is headed out on the road again: His “All Yours, All Night” headlining tour kicks off in January.

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