When they’re not on tour, Dan + Shay are “floating around the pool with an acoustic guitar” this summer

ABC

After a couple of relatively quiet months, Dan + Shay are once again hitting the stage: They performed at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, where they also won Top Country Duo/Group, and now they’re on tour with Kenny Chesney for the summer.

And while both members of the duo are longtime Kenny fans who’ve been to plenty of his shows as fans, they say that getting on stage is giving them a chance to get to know his fanbase in a new way.

“It’s a great group of people. It’s very eclectic,” says Shay Mooney. “You’ve got anyone from, you know, [age] 10 to 80. It’s just people that love music and that love people. It’s a nice vibe.”

And when they’re not on tour? Bandmate Dan Smyers says they’ve been taking advantage of the downtime to get to work on some new music.

“Writing songs — I mean, we can’t stop. That’s all we do,” he explains, adding that they’re trading in a traditional writer’s room for a sunnier locale this summer. “We’ve been writing songs by the pool, a little bit, trying to enjoy being outside.”

The duo are operating at a slower pace than they were this time last year, since the summer of 2021 was a jam-packed few months filled with touring and makeup shows from last year’s pandemic cancellations.

“It was a grind. It was awesome. Very, very busy,” Dan continues. “This summer is just weekends. So we’re taking advantage of the weekdays at home, floating around the pool with an acoustic guitar and trying to write our best music.”

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Nashville notes: Dolly Parton + more

Dolly Parton presented broadcasting legend Dan Rather with the Peabody Career Achievement Award this week. He’s one of several honorees at the upcoming 82nd Peabody Awards, which will be held during a multiday virtual celebration next month.

Rising country star Ernest teased a new track called “Songs We Used to Sing” on social media this week. His duet with Morgan Wallen, “Flower Shops,” is currently climbing the country charts.

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Morgan Wallen says family, friends, fatherhood helped him grow in the wake of his racist slur scandal

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Morgan Wallen made his return to the awards show spotlight at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards over the weekend, performing two songs — “Don’t Think Jesus” and “Wasted on You” — and bringing home the award for Top Country Male Artist.

It was his first performance since a video of him yelling a racist slur emerged in early 2021. Since then, he’s been barred from many mainstream awards shows and other music industry platforms.

But at the BBMAs, Morgan walked the red carpet with his mom, Lesli, and credited the people closest to him for helping change his perspective amid the scandal.

“My family, my friends and just a really good team,” the singer replied to ET Online when asked who most helped him get through the past couple of years. “My kid. I’ve had a lot of really positive things going on behind the scenes, that maybe weren’t necessarily brought to light.”

He continued, “I’ve been able to get to a good place because of all that.”

Morgan also expressed his gratitude for the support he’s received from his fellow country artists, such as Jason Aldean and Hardy.

“Everybody tells you they’re your friends when everything’s good, so it’s really nice to have people who really mean that,” he said.

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“My world”: Kane Brown shares a sweet outdoor snapshot of his two daughters

ABC

Kane Brown may be busy readying a new album, but he’s never too busy to spend time with family.

The superstar hopped on social media this week to share a snap of his daughters, 2-year-old Kingsley and 4-month-old Kodi. Kane and his wife, Katelyn, have previously told fans that Kingsley loves being a big sister, and this photo is proof: the toddler’s got her arm around her baby sibling as the pair sit outside in a chair.

Kane and Katelyn welcomed baby Kodi in late December. They never announced the pregnancy publicly, making for quite the surprise when fans learned that they’d added a new bundle of joy to their household.

In musical news, Kane’s keeping busy: He put out his new song, “Like I Love Country Music,” earlier this month.

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Cody Johnson sends “Human” to country radio, puts more tour dates on the books

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After the success of his two-week number-one hit, “Til You Can’t,” Cody Johnson is following up that single with the title track off his Human The Double Album.

Part of the appeal of “Til You Can’t” was its powerful message, and with his new single “Human,” Cody once again relies on strong truth-telling and epic, anthemic relatability. The song is an anthem for today’s often divisive cultural climate, reminding listeners that ultimately, they’ve got more similarities than differences with their fellow humans.

“We’ve gone through a lot in this country the last two years. We are all doing this together. We all have struggles even though they are different,” Cody reflected during a recent live performance of the song, explaining why he chose “Human” to be his next single.

As he rides the momentum of some major career success over the past year, Cody is also extending his 2022 headlining tour with new shows. For a complete list of tour dates, visit the singer’s website.

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Could an album about “dadding” be in Thomas Rhett’s future? It “sounds really fun,” he says

ABC

Sure, Thomas Rhett’s written plenty of songs about family life and parenting — “Life Changes” and “To the Guys That Date My Girls,” for two — but he’s never written a whole project specifically devoted to the ups and downs of raising young kids.

That might change in the future, according to a new interview the dad of four gave to his record label recently. He says he’s tossed around the idea of a project called Dadding, with titles like “Eat Your Breakfast,” “Where’d You Learn That Word,” “Please Don’t Draw on the Walls” and more.

“I feel like that’d be super fun, you know, just to write from a super self-deprecating point of view of how challenging it is to just parent,” Thomas says. “That’s something that would be intriguing to me, and it also sounds really fun, ‘cause I feel like there’s a lot of people out there that would really enjoy listening to a piece of music like that.”

That hunch got confirmed last year, when the singer shared his album idea on social media and asked for fans to send him title suggestions. In response, he got “five or 6000” comments with hilarious suggestions.

Self-deprecating humor has been something TR’s been enjoying quite a lot in recent months. He used it to promote his latest album, Where We Started, posting a clip of himself and a friend spoofing The Office with dry humor and unorthodox promotion tactics.

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Keith Whitley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Joe Galante are the 2022 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees

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Keith Whitley, Jerry Lee Lewis and music industry executive Joe Galante are the next three inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Brooks & Dunn announced the news during an event at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday morning, offering some words about each of the soon-to-be Hall of Famers.

Each year, the Hall inducts members in three categories; this year, Galante is being inducted under the Non-Performer rotating category. Whitley is the Hall’s Modern Era artist for 2022, and Lewis is the Veteran Era inductee.

Both Lewis and Galante were on hand to speak at the ceremony, with the 86-year-old Lewis delivering his remarks from a chair, wearing a glittering red sequined blazer. “I’m just overwhelmed that they asked me here today,” he told the room, adding that it was “always great to be recognized” and that his lengthy career has taught him to “be a good person, and treat your people right, treat your fans right.”

Lewis added that it was difficult for him to find the words to describe the honor he felt, and Galante echoed that sentiment in his own speech. “I’m humbled, beyond honored, and honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this,” Galante said.

Meanwhile, the late Whitley’s wife, Lorrie Morgan — who is also a country star — spoke on his behalf, saying, “He would be absolutely blown away if he were here today. That’s how humble he was.”

The three inductees will be officially welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a Medallion Ceremony this fall.

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Jon Pardi makes an impression with “clever” single “Last Night Lonely”

Capitol Records Nashville

Jon Pardi was an instant fan of his current single, “Last Night Lonely.” Even though the hit singer tries to write most of his own songs, he was so taken with the story that songwriters Dylan MarloweJoe Fox and Jimi Bell created that he knew it had to be his. 

“I thought it was really well-written song. Usually when I try to write songs, I want them to be really good, and this one was really good,” Jon expresses, citing his affinity for the lyrics and dance-friendly melody. “I think there’s a lot of great images, the lyrics that paint how this is a clever way of trying to meet somebody at a bar and hoping [it’s] your last night lonely.”

Also making an impression is his new song with Midland, “Longneck Way to Go.” The trio’s Mark Wystrach and Cameron Duddy say working with the hitmaker is a full circle moment, seeing as he gave the band a platform early in their career by taking them out on tour — making him an unofficial fourth member.

“Jon is somebody who’s championed us since the beginning. He took us out on our first real tour and we’ve remained friends with him to this day and he’s like the fourth member of Midland,” Cam says, jokingly referring to Jon as “our crazy cousin.” “Putting him on it really was like a cherry on top.” “Are we going to have to start splitting stuff four ways now?” quips Mark. “We’re going to have to pay him some sort of penalty for the setback in his career,” replies Cam. 

“Last Night Lonely” is currently in the top 20 on country radio. 

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Nashville notes: Garth Brooks, George Strait & more

In light of the tragic shooting that took place at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., this weekend, Garth Brooks has delayed the on-sale date for his July 23 show at Highmark Stadium. A new date for when tickets will go on sale will be announced in the coming weeks. 

George Strait has announced two new dates for his Las Vegas residency, Strait to Vegas. He’ll perform at T-Mobile Arena on December 2 and 3 with Caitlyn Smith. Tickets go on sale to the public on May 27 at 1 p.m. ET. 

Morgan Wade and Brittney Spencer are nominated for Emerging Act of the Year at the Americana Awards. The ceremony will take place during AmericanaFest in Nashville September 13-17. 

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Lainey Wilson shares how she has a “Heart Like a Truck” in new single

ABC

Lainey Wilson is giving fans a taste of her new single, “Heart Like a Truck.” 

The hit singer has announced that “Heart Like a Truck” will be dropping on Friday. She’s starting off the week by treating fans with a listen into the chorus. The lyrics find her comparing her heart to a worn down truck that’s been dragged through the mud, “runs on dreams and gasoline,” and is just looking for love to heal it.

“It’s as good as it is tough/I got a heart like a truck,” she proclaims in the hook. 

“I love seeing how excited y’all are for this song! Let’s gooo!” Lainey champions in the caption alongside the video. 

The Louisiana native has been performing the song live during recent shows. “Heart” follows her two back-to-back hits, “Things a Man Oughta Know” and her duet with Cole Swindell, “Never Say Never.” 

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