ABC/Image Group LAMiranda Lambert is now in a relationship with the lead singer of the Turnpike Troubadours, Evan Felker, according to reports in both Us Weekly and In Touch.
The band joined Miranda earlier this year on her Livin’ Like Hippies Tour, and will head out with her again this summer on the Bandwagon trek with Little Big Town.
In Touch reports that it’s been three months since the CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year split with former boyfriend Anderson East. The publication also claims Felker filed for divorce from his wife in February, after the two tied the knot in the fall of 2016.
Miranda and East dated for two years, after her surprise divorce from Blake Shelton in 2015.
Mercury NashvilleCountry/pop superstar Shania Twain will host this fall’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards in her homeland. The September 9 ceremony will take place at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton.
“It’s such a pivotal moment in country music,” Shania says in a statement. “As the industry evolves, we’re seeing a new generation of deeply talented artists emerge and I look forward to being a part of the celebration of them and also celebrating some of the trailblazers before them.”
Shania herself will be given the Generation Award that night, for her contributions to the genre. You can tune in at 8 p.m. ET on CBC or watch online at CBCMusic.ca/CCMAs.
The announcement comes on the heels of a minor controversy this past weekend, as Shania told The Guardian she likely would’ve voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, had she been a US citizen. She later apologized on her socials, saying her comments were not “representative of my values.”
Shania kicks off her Now Tour next Thursday, May 3, in Tacoma, Washington.
ABC/Image Group LAPort Saint Joe, the new album from Brothers Osborne, is getting high praise from everyone from Miranda Lambert to Cheech & Chong...pun intended.
On Monday night, TJ and John Osborne played The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and came face to face with two of pop culture’s most notorious stoners: Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. It was a fortuitous meeting, since Port Saint Joe includes numerous references to TJ and John’s affinity for pot, including a track titled “Weed, Whiskey and Willie.”
“Uh… met Cheech & Chong backstage at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Brothers tweeted, along with a photo of the foursome.
“Great great people and left us with a very kind parting gift,” the siblings added, along with a photo of a jar of Chong’s Choice Cannabis. “Life complete.”
If you missed Brothers’ performance of their latest hit, “Shoot Me Straight,” you can check it out online.
Meanwhile, Miranda tweeted on Tuesday, “I can’t get enough. Thank you Brothers Osborne. I needed this. We all did." We assume she means the music.
ABC/Image Group LAKeith Urban fans who turned out Monday night for a special Spotify preview of his new album got an extra surprise. Keith’s Oscar-winning wife, Nicole Kidman, joined him onstage to sing a few background vocals.
Nicole contributes BGVs to Keith’s most recent hit, “Female,” but this time, she also chimed in on “Parallel Line.” The Graffiti U track was co-written by pop superstar Ed Sheeran, and is Keith’s single in the couple’s native Australia.
Clad in a black-and-white printed dress, Nicole sat on a stool as she leaned into the mic, sang and smiled at her husband. You can check out a short clip on Keith’s socials.
Thursday, Keith stops by the syndicated The Ellen DeGeneres Show, prior to Friday's release of Graffiti U.
ATO RecordsTuesday night in Nashville, Lee Ann Womack headlines a show at Alan Jackson’s honky tonk to help MusiCares. Newcomer Jackie Lee and Texas favorites The Randy Rogers Band will also join the 2001 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year at AJ’s Good Time Bar on lower Broadway.
The event also kicks off an online auction to raise money for MusiCares, which is the charitable arm of the Recording Academy, the folks who award the Grammys. Eric Church, Keith Urban and Alan Jackson contributed signed guitars to the effort. Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Dolly Parton, and others signed unique memorabilia for the fundraiser as well.
You can find out more about the auction, which continues through May 4, at CharityBuzz.com.
ABC/Kelsey McNealFlorida Georgia Line grabs the 14th #1 of their career with “Meant to Be,” this week on the country airplay charts.
At the same time, their collaboration with Bebe Rexha is also top five on the pop charts, while spending a record-setting 21 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs tally.
“From day one, this song was just meant to be,” Tyler Hubbard says of the double-platinum smash he co-wrote. “Bebe jumped in on a canceled writing session last minute and now it’s going down in history.”
“It’s been nothing but good vibes to see it take off and inspire,” Brian Kelley adds. “Its message is a positive one and why I think it’s connecting with those who hear it.”
Thursday night, FGL performs their other top-15 country hit, “Up Down,” with Morgan Wallen on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC. You can tune in to catch their performance starting at 11:35 p.m. ET.
Then on Friday, the duo headlines this year’s Stagecoach festival in Indio, California.
Atlantic Michael Ray's top-20 hit, "Get to You," is the lead single from his forthcoming sophomore album.
On his second record, the Florida native says he's giving his fans a glimpse at some of the things that are closest to his heart.
"Amos is the name of the album, named after my late grandfather," he explains. "You'll get asked a lot, 'What got you into music?' You know, for me, if I think about it, it's my grandfather."
"He got out of the army, passed the passion down and started the family band with my dad and my uncle, my cousins, and passed it down to us grandkids."
Michael didn't hesitate to give the album such a personal title, since he feels like the music also shows a more intimate side of himself.
"We lost him a couple years ago," he says of his grandfather, "and I thought, 'You know what? This record's gonna be a big opening for me. I think fans are gonna know me better from this album, and one of the ways is what got you started. Name the title after it.'"
Capitol NashvilleOne of the standout lyrics in Lady Antebellum's top-25 hit "Heart Break" is, "I'm sleeping like a queen in a California King I made."
Hillary Scott says it's a line that she and co-writer Nicolle Gaylon championed.
"It's such an empowering lyric," Hillary tells ABC Radio, "of like, you know, 'Not until I'm sleeping like a queen in the California King I bought myself, I make myself,' you know."
"We have that on a t-shirt out on the road," Charles Kelley interjects.
"Heart Break" was such a pivotal song in the making of the record, it ended up being the title track.
"Everybody had a big part in putting that song together," Charles explains. "And it just felt like, 'Okay, now we have a song we can base the rest of the record around, the sound of the record.' Because we were struggling."
"Like, 'Do we make a really traditional-sounding record? Do we go more R&B? Do we go more pop? Do we go rock?'" he recalls. "And we were like, 'Let's just let the songs show us where to go.' And so that song, that is definitely one of my top favorites off this record."
Lady A kicks off their Summer Plays On tour July 19 in Toronto with Darius Rucker and "Yours" hitmaker Russell Dickerson.
Shore Fire Media/Jimmy FontaineZac Brown Band’s trip Down the Rabbit Hole will go on just a little bit longer.
ZBB is adding four new September dates to its 2018 run, with stops in Las Vegas, Nevada; Saratoga Springs, New York; Bangor, Maine; and Hartford, Connecticut now on the itinerary. The Down the Rabbit Hole Live trek starts June 8 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Pre-sales for the new concerts start on Tuesday, with seats going on sale to the general public on Friday.
Here are the new additions to Zac Brown’s Down the Rabbit Hole Live tour:
9/21 -- Las Vegas, Nevada, The Pearl Concert Theater 9/28 -- Bangor, Maine, Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion 9/29 -- Saratoga Springs, New York, Saratoga Performing Arts Center 9/30 -- Hartford, Connecticut, Xfinity Center
PRNewsfoto/Live Nation EntertainmentYou can score a $20 ticket to some of the hottest shows of the summer starting next Monday, thanks to Live Nation’s National Concert Week promotion.
Big names like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Zac Brown Band are just some of the country artists you can see as part of the deal.
In all, Live Nation is offering 1.5 million $20 tickets to more than 2000 summer shows. The promotion starts at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 30, and goes through Tuesday, May 8. You can find full details on the Live Nation website.
Columbia NashvilleTyler Farr’s record label calls his new song “2 minutes and 41 seconds of up-tempo, authentically-Tyler, turn-up-the-volume-and-singalong instant-familiarity.” But according to Tyler himself, “Love by the Moon” is about his bride.
“Me and my wife Hannah have been married for a year and a half now,” he says, “and this song is for her. We live in the country and enjoy our lives together on the farm. We laugh, work and play hard. This song is us!”
“Love by the Moon” was produced by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush.
“Being a country music artist, I’m away from home a lot,” Tyler explains. “So, when I do get time at home, I make those days count and don’t take one for granted. We live by the sun and love by the moon. Yeah, that’s right!”
Tyler scored major hits in 2013 and 2014 with “Redneck Crazy,” “Whiskey in My Water,” and “A Guy Walks into a Bar.” “Love by the Moon” is available to stream or download now.
Mercury NashvilleIt’s been nearly two years since Maddie & Tae have put out a new single, but that all changes this Friday, with the new track, “Friends Don’t.”
“It’s been a crazy past couple of years but we are so excited to announce that we have a brand new single coming out…” the duo tweeted. “Thank you for being patient & supportive. You’ll never truly know how much that has meant to us.”
Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye made it to the top of the charts in 2014 with their platinum-selling debut, “Girl in a Country Song,” and the music video for the track went on to win Video of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards. Their second single, “Fly,” made it to #9 and went gold.
You’ll be able to stream or download “Friends Don’t” on Friday. In the meantime, you can check out a clip of the song on Maddie & Tae’s socials.
ABC/Image Group LA More than 55,000 fans turned out this past weekend to see Kenny Chesney kick off his Trip Around the Sun tour at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The eight-time Entertainer of the Year played 25 songs over the course of 127 minutes, including his two current hits, “Get Along,” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” During the latter, images from Kenny’s Love for Love City effort were projected onscreen, as a reminder the Virgin Islands are still recovering from Hurricane Irma.
“All I want any time I get on a stage is to turn people’s bad days into something great, and take their great days and make them everything you could ever want,” Kenny says. “That’s what music does: change the moment, and that’s a big part of why I do what I do.”
Kenny’s Trip Around the Sun continues this weekend, with a Saturday night stop at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
ABC RadioJake Owen has his fastest-rising single so far with "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," his reinterpretation of John Mellencamp's classic hit from 1982.
Though Jake was less than a year old when the original was released, he says "Jack & Diane" has long been a touchstone for him.
"When they said 'What kind of songs do you feel like you want to do on this new record?'," he explains, "I said, 'Jack & Diane. I need a bunch of 'Jack and Dianes.' And they were like, 'What do you mean?'"
"And I said, 'Well...think about the songs in my career that have been hits, [like] "The One That Got Away," which I wrote about growing up, the girl that came to town that summer and left and never came back again.'"
"It's that nostalgic feeling of where did that go?" Jake continues. "And 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night.' Lines in that song: We're never gonna grow up. We're never gonna slow down.'"
Jake drives that message home, in a cinematic new ten-minute mini-movie set to "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)."
"It's the songs that allow you, for three minutes, to relive a part of your life, and go 'Man, I wish I could go back,'" he goes on. "The fact is, you can't go back. But with music and songs like 'Jack & Diane,' with a melody and lyrics, they can take you back to that moment instantly."
At 36, even Jake admits to waxing sentimental sometimes.
"That's what I do these days in my own life," he confesses. "I'll sometimes sit there and close my eyes and start laughing about something that happened way back in the day. And I've not found a song up unto this point... that exemplified those kind of feelings."
Comstock/Thinkstock The Academy of Country Music proclaimed this artist the Most Promising Male Vocalist of 1975, based on his monster hits "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." Can you name him? ANSWER: Freddy Fender.
ABC/Fred LeeCountry music superstar Shania Twain rankled part of her fan base by saying she would have voted for Donald Trump if she were American.
Twain, who's Canadian, was asked by the UK newspaper The Guardian if she would've voted for Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. She responded, "I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest. Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both."
She added, "If I were voting, I just don’t want bull****. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”
Following online backlash from a portion of her fans, Twain explained her comments and apologized.
"I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with the Guardian relating to the American President,” she tweeted. “The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context.”
She went on, “I am passionately against discrimination of any kind and hope it’s clear from the choices I have made, and the people I stand with, that I do not hold any common moral beliefs with the current President.”
Shania continued, “I was trying to explain, in response to a question about the election, that my limited understanding was that the President talked to a portion of America like an accessible person they could relate to, as he was NOT a politician.”
In closing, she wrote, "My answer was awkward, but certainly should not be taken as representative of my values nor does it mean I endorse him. I make music to bring people together. My path will always be one of inclusivity, as my history shows."
ABC/Paula LoboOn Monday, Luke Bryan enters a new realm in his American Idol career, as the first live show of the season premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The top 14 will perform, and eventually be narrowed down to ten finalists.
Luke is painfully aware of how brutal the competition can be. Take, for example Bebe Rexha, who has a #1 country hit with Florida Georgia Line right now, "Meant to Be," but didn't make it very far on the show.
"We had [pop stars] Colbie Caillat and Bebe Rexha on the [show] other day..." Luke tells ABC Radio. "They went through the Idol process and got sent home in the early rounds. And look at them."
"So, I think the Idol situation is a great platform to push kids out of their comfort zone and get them going in the entertainment business. Now, how much it pans out for 'em still has a lot to do with their work effort, and what they do with this exposure."
The "Most People Are Good" singer points to fellow country hitmakers Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, as artists who've taken their Idol experiences and turned them into careers...even though it didn't happen instantly.
"I think they were first and second, right?" Luke asks. "And now they're making their names be known. So once you get the exposure from Idol, you still have to get out there and work it. And Scotty and Lauren have been workin' it ever since, and finally, it's starting to pay off."
Scotty won season 10 of American Idol in 2011, and Lauren was the runner-up. Scotty recently scored his first #1 with "Five More Minutes," while Lauren had two numbers ones in the past year, with "Road Less Traveled" and "What Ifs" with Kane Brown.