ABC/Image Group LA Not only did Tyler Hubbard co-write RaeLynn’s new single, “Tailgate,” he recently called her onstage to sing it during Florida Georgia Line’s Sunday night headlining set at the Faster Horses Festival. RaeLynn had previously taken the stage on Friday during the three-night event last month in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Fellow artist Canaan Smith helped write "Tailgate," RaeLynn’s follow-up to “Queens Don’t.” It's her first new music since the release of her #1 album, WildHorse. Both Canaan and RaeLynn write for Tyler and Brian Kelley’s Tree Vibez publishing company.
You can check out the video of RaeLynn both performing “Tailgate” and exploring the festival on YouTube now.
Big Loud RecordsKeith Urban plays guitar and sings on the latest track from newcomer Jillian Jacqueline.
“If I Were You” is the first taste of the singer/songwriter's forthcoming EP, which will be called Side B.
“I couldn’t wait to share this song,” Jillian says. “I wrote it… about meeting and falling for someone new very soon after a heartbreak and feeling unprepared to love again.”
“The song was very real to me when I wrote it,” she explains, “and is now one of the most special songs of my career because Keith is part of it with me. His voice and guitar playing took this song to the next level, and I am so proud of it."
“If I Were You” is available to stream or download now, or you can check out the new vertical video for the song on Spotify.
So far, we don’t know the release date for Side B, which, appropriately, is the follow-up to Jillian’s Side A project from last year.
Next month, Jillian hits the road with Kip Moore on his After the Sunburn Tour.
ABC/Image Group LA Eric Church continues to preview new tunes from his Desperate Man album, but this time, he’s offering something new.
As he’s done with the tracks “Some of It” and “Hangin’ Around,” Eric played “Heart Like a Wheel” for his Church Choir fan club members before sharing it with the rest of the world.
“Heart Like a Wheel,” however, also has its own lyric video, and is the first cut since “Desperate Man” that’s available to stream or download in its entirety. So far, Eric’s only shared clips of “Some of It” and “Hangin’ Around.”
Stay tuned to see what surprises Eric has in store before Desperate Man comes out October 5. The title track continues its meteoric rise on the country chart, approaching the top 15 after only being out a little more than a month.
BBR Music Group Newcomer Lindsay Ell is pouring some “Champagne” as the follow-up to "Criminal," her first top-20 hit in the U.S.
In her native Canada, “Criminal” went all the way to #1, making Lindsay the first female to top the charts in the past decade. She’s up for both Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for The Project at the Canadian Country Music Awards next month.
Meanwhile, Lindsay’s funky new single happens to namecheck the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away on Thursday. In the tune, Lindsay sings about getting the A-list treatment in a relationship: "So naturally diva, just call me Aretha, for real/You make me feel like I’m the champagne."
“Champagne” is available to stream or download now, or you can check out a stripped-down performance by the impressive guitarist on YouTube.
Cole Swindell's third album, All of It, arrives on Friday as its debut single, "Break Up in the End," nears country's top ten.
While the Georgia native put painstaking detail into making his follow-up to You Should Be Here, he reveals the title track almost didn't make the record.
"Cool story about this song," Cole explains. "I was actually done recording my album. This song caught my attention. Somebody played it for me just randomly on my bus and I flipped out. I was like 'This is what the album is missing. I need this song.'"
"So, I had never done that before," he continues. "I went back in the studio, recorded this song and it was just the missing piece."
Cole believes "All of It" is a track both his male and female fans will relate to.
"It's a love song, but it's not just the good, it's the bad, it's everything," he says. "It's a relationship that you want her bad days, you want the good days, you want the happy tears, the sad tears, you want all of it."
"It's a song that I think the girls are gonna dig and the guys too," Cole adds. "I'm excited to have it on the album and I'm excited for it to be the title track..."
Cole plays NBC's Today show Friday morning before performing a sold-out stop on his All of It Tour later tonight in St. Louis, Missouri.
Comstock/Thinkstock Fifteen years ago this month, Capitol Nashville released the self-titled debut album from this Arizona-born hitmaker. Can you name the artist whose debut single was "What Was I Thinkin'?" ANSWER: Dierks Bentley.
Triple Tigers RecordsScotty McCreery will kick off his Seasons Change Tour in late fall, hitting the road the week after Thanksgiving on a trek that will stretch into January of 2019.
Newcomer Jimmie Allen, who has his first top-30 hit right now with “Best Shot,” will open the shows, along with singer/songwriter Heather Morgan. Heather’s already co-written the number ones “Lose My Mind” and “Beat of the Music” for Brett Eldredge.
The tour takes its name from Scotty’s new Seasons Change album, which includes his #1 hit, “Five More Minutes,” as well as the current single, “This Is It.”
Pre-sales start on Monday, with tickets becoming available to the general public on Friday, August 24.
Here’s a look at the complete itinerary for Scotty McCreery’s Season Change Tour:
11/29 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues 11/30 -- San Antonio, TX Aztec Theatre 12/1 -- Houston, TX, House of Blues 12/7 -- St. Paul, MN, Myth Live 12/8 -- Indianapolis, IN, Egyptian Room 12/9 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues 12/13 -- Cincinnati, OH, Bogart’s 12/15 -- Grand Rapids, MI, 20 Monroe Live 1/17 -- Atlanta, GA, Buckhead Theatre 1/18 -- Charlotte, NC, Fillmore 1/19 -- Raleigh, NC, The Ritz 1/25 -- Boston, MA, House of Blues 1/26 -- Westbury, NY, NYCB Theatre at Westbury
ABC/Image Group LA Dierks Bentley performs his latest #1, "Woman, Amen," Friday night on the annual WE Dayspecial on ABC.
The Arizona native admits he didn't have to do much for his song to become the anthem for this year's event that celebrates young people who are making a positive impact on the world.
"It's great to have a song that just opened doors for you. I didn't have to do anything to make that happen," Dierks says candidly. "It's such a great message, great song, great music. It's just out there opening new doors..."
"This is a special where all these young women through community service get a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles," he continues, "to be a part of this festival that really honors community service and involvement in your local community."
In all, sixteen-thousand students and educators gathered at The Forum in L.A. for the April event. Dierks' special guests were Jennifer and Sydnee Floyd, who put together packages of necessities for Nashville's homeless population.
"These two girls, Sydnee and Jennifer, who put together local supplies here for homeless, this song became tied in with their journey and brought us all out there," Dierks explains. "And I got a chance to perform this song on this stage in front of all these great young women."
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Dan Shay's two-week #1, "Tequila," is the most-streamed country song released in 2018 so far.
Country stars Aaron Tippin and John Anderson have teamed up with officers from the Smithville, Tennessee Police department to create a Lip Sync Challenge video that's going viral. You can check out the clip that features the hits "There Ain't Nothin' Wrong with the Radio" and "Swingin'" on YouTube now.
Nineties hitmaker Joe Diffie is set to perform at the 12th Annual ACM Honors August 22 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
If you missed Sugarland performing the title track of their new album Thursday on Live with Kelly and Ryan, you can watch the duo doing "Bigger" online now.
ABC/Lou RoccoChildhood literacy has long been one of the causes closest to Dolly Parton’s heart, and this August, she’s pitching in to help YouTube Kids with its Reading Month.
In addition to recording a new intro video for the video platform, the global superstar has also curated her own #ReadAlong playlist that includes lyric videos from her recent children's album, namely the title track, “I Believe in You,” and the re-recording of her classic, “Coat of Many Colors.”
The playlist features titles like The Little Engine That Could which are part of Dolly’s Imagination Library. The Tennessee native started the literacy program in 1995, and it’s gone on to send millions of free books to kids all over the world, from the time they’re born until they reach age five.
ABC/Image Group LA As Kane Brown continues work on his sophomore album, which comes out November 9, he’s just released a new video for the song “Weekend.”
The clip starts as Kane, his band, crew and friends pick up some party supplies at Walmart, before retiring to a lake house for some boating, barbecuing and trips down a homemade water slide. You’ll also spot Kane’s fiancee, Katelyn Jae, in the video.
Meanwhile, TIME magazine has named Kane of of its “31 People Who Are Changing the South,” for his “willingness to stretch genre boundaries and highly personal storytelling.”
"Lose It," the lead single from Kane's forthcoming album, is currently climbing the charts.
CurbFor the second summer in a row, Dylan Scott has a top ten hit on the country chart.
“Hooked” checks in at #9 this week, a little more than a year after “My Girl” peaked at #1. The Louisiana native’s breakthrough went on to become the seventh most-played song of 2017.
“It is a real honor to once again break into the Top 10 with my single ‘Hooked,’” Dylan says. “When ‘My Girl’ went #1 last summer, I didn’t think life could get much better. However, the current success of this song has reinforced the fact that I am truly living my dream, and I feel more blessed than ever before.”
“Hooked” happens to have been co-written by Morgan Evans, who also has a top five hit right now with “Kiss Somebody.” The idea for "Hooked" started out as a joke, because Morgan’s wife Kelsea Ballerini’s single at the time was “Peter Pan.”
Taylor Hill/Getty ImagesAretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul, but her appeal and influence was so universal it extended to nearly every other musical genre, including country.
Thursday morning, some of the biggest stars in the country format responded to the loss of the 76-year-old legend, who died from advanced pancreatic cancer at her home in Detroit.
Reba McEntire is the country artist with perhaps the most obvious connection to the Queen of Soul: her cover of Aretha’s signature song, "Respect," became a concert favorite, and in 1988, she recorded the tune on her Reba album.
“I’ve had so many influences in my life,” Reba tweeted on Thursday, “and one of them is the Queen of Soul. Rest In Peace, Aretha.”
“I’ll sing this one for you,” she added, along with a clip of her performing “Respect.”
Tim McGraw included a clip of Aretha singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at President Obama’s first inauguration along with his tribute.
“The queen of soul… There will never be another,” Tim offered. “So much love and respect from the McGraw family. A friend of mine told me once, ‘When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced, live your life so that when you’re gone, the world cries and you rejoice.’”
Tim's wife Faith Hillshared a treasured photo with the legend, showing her smiling as Aretha's outstretched hand reaches toward the camera's lens.
"The choir of angels now have the greatest voice of all time to lead, praise and join in to sing before Jesus," Faith said. "I wanted to share this photo because it shows just how soulful Aretha was without uttering a word. To say I was humbled to be in her presence would be an understatement."
Darius Rucker also envisioned Aretha singing on high: "We lost one of the most important all time greats today. My love goes out to her family. Love you Aretha. That band in Heaven just got a lot better!!"
“Aretha,” Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettlesstarted simply. “The Queen of Soul. As singers, we all aspire to her passion, authenticity, and power. Her talents, gifts and contributions changed hearts and touched lives. She was and remains a national treasure. Rest in Power Queen.”
Rascal Flattsechoed the sentiment: “Rest in Peace, sweet Aretha #QueenOfSoul. We loved you and your music oh so much. An absolute legend that can never be replaced!”
“One of my favorites,” Jon Pardichimed in. “Rest In Peace Queen of soul!” adding the hashtags #respect and #youbetterthink, referencing two of Aretha’s biggest hits.
American Idol winner Scotty McCreerysummed up Aretha's impact on all singers: "Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. A woman with an incredible God-given voice who shared it with the world, and we were lucky to have her while we did. She paved the way for every entertainer who came after her. May she rest in peace."
Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced in the coming days.
With his first #1, "Yours," already under his belt, and the follow-up single, "Blue Tacoma," rapidly approaching the top ten, Russell Dickerson's career is definitely on the rise. Add to that a high-profile opening spot on the Summer Plays On Tour with Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker, and the relative newcomer is dealing with a unique set of challenges.
Luckily, the graduate of Nashville's Belmont University has his pals Thomas Rhett and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line to lean on -- and learn from.
"It's not like, 'Hey, sit down, let me give you some advice'..." Russell explains. "I just kinda watch them, and how they handle hiring people or firing people, or how they have learned to be as efficient as possible on the road."
"You know, like sleep schedules," he continues. "Do you get up at 11 a.m. or do you get up at 6 a.m.? When do you work out? When do you write songs? How do you do this? Because I'm having to figure a lot of that out."
A big task on Russell's plate right now is crafting his sophomore album.
"Writing album two -- like, how? I don't know," he admits. "And so, it's really cool to watch Tyler and them. They bring a whole bus out with writers, or TR will bring out writers just on his bus."
"Just kinda learning from that, and trying to figure out how to do this," Russell adds. "So yes, lots of valuable advice."
This week, Russell, Darius and Lady A take their Summer Plays On trek to Mountain View and Sacramento, California; Brownsville, Oregon; and Auburn, Washington.
Comstock/Thinkstock Eight years ago this week, Jerrod Niemann scored his only #1 so far on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with this song. Can you name the tune that was a remake of a 1992 hit by the band Sonia Dada? ANSWER: "You Don't Treat Me No Good," which was renamed "Lover, Lover" for its country release.
Aretha Franklin, the pastor's daughter who became the undisputed Queen of Soul over a career that spanned more than five decades, has died of advanced pancreatic cancer, ABC News has confirmed.
"It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul," read a statement from her rep.
"Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s Oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI."
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds," the statement continued.
“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
Franklin's health had been a concern for the past few years, causing a spate of concert cancellations. In 2017, she appeared alarmingly thin but claimed it was a side effect of an unspecified medication. After announcing she was retiring from the road in 2017, Franklin still scheduled shows for 2018 but in March, she was ordered by her doctors to cancel all shows and rest for two months. Despite rumors of serious health problems, she's never publicly spoken about her ailments.
Merely saying that Franklin was one of the greatest vocalists of all time hardly seems adequate to describe her influence and impact -- her voice was officially declared a natural resource by her home state of Michigan. In 2015, President Barack Obama said of Franklin: "Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll -- the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope."
Franklin started her music career early, singing gospel music as a child at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where her father, C.L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she signed to Columbia Records and experienced some success, especially on the R&B charts. But it wasn't until 1967, when she signed to Atlantic Records, that her career really took off.
For Atlantic, Franklin recorded-now classics "Respect," "Chain of Fools," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," and "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," which helped her cross over to the pop charts. She won her first Grammy in 1968, the same year she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. She'd eventually go on to win a total of 20 Grammys, including special Grammys awarded outside of competition, and chart more than 73 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.
Franklin was also part of the civil rights movement of the sixties and has been called "the voice of Black America." Having met Martin Luther King Jr. through her father, himself a noted civil rights leader, she sang at events with Dr. King and her signature hit, "Respect," became a civil rights anthem. When King was assassinated in 1968, Franklin performed "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" at his funeral.
Aretha's hits continued through the '70s but she left Atlantic records in 1979, signing to Clive Davis' label, Arista, in 1980. That same year, she made her unforgettable appearance as a waitress in The Blues Brothers. Her 1982 album, Jump to It, returned her to the pop charts for the first time in six years. She remained with Arista for more than 20 years, racking up hits like "Who's Zoomin' Who," "Freeway of Love" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." In 1987, she was the first female performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
During this time, Aretha also started recording duets with younger artists, including Eurythmics, Whitney Houston, Michael McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Elton John and George Michael, the latter with whom she scored the 1987 #1 smash duet "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me."
In 1994, Franklin received the Kennedy Center Honors, at the time the youngest person to be so honored. That same year, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among countless other awards.
While Franklin's musical output covered rock, soul, pop, R&B and gospel, in 1998 she proved she really could sing anything by belting out the operatic aria "Nessun Dorma" at the Grammy Awards, filling in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti.
Over the past 15 years, Franklin performed at a number of high-profile events. In 2006, she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XL in Detroit with Aaron Neville and Dr. John. She performed "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's inauguration, where her fanciful hat received nearly as much attention as her vocal performance.
Franklin continued to release albums throughout the 2000s, including a 2014 album that featured her singing songs by other female artists including Adele, Barbra Streisand and Alicia Keys. Her version of "Rolling in the Deep" gave her her 100th charted song on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Recently, Franklin had spoken of an album she'd been working on with Stevie Wonder, and early in 2018, it was announced that Jennifer Hudson would portray her in a biopic.
After two weeks at the top of the country chart with "Tequila," Dan Shay are poised to follow Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris with a hit on the pop chart.
But Dan Smyers is quick to point out the crossover success of "Tequila" won't signal any change of direction for the pair. In fact, he and Shay Mooney hope it will bring new fans over to the country side.
"First and foremost, we're country artists..." Dan points out. "We're making country music, that's what we grew up listening to. That's what we want to continue to do. But with a crossover hit, I feel like it's a really cool opportunity for us to spread country music to people who may not have listened to it before."
He continues: "There's gonna be somebody out there listening to a mainstream pop station [and think] 'I really like that song.' And they're gonna dig in on a country playlist...or tune in to their local country station and maybe fall in love with some older country music or some other stuff that's similar to us."
Dan Shay are particularly happy the pop success of "Tequila" just happened, without any changes or forethought from them.
"It's not like we alienated our sound to get that crossover..." Dan explains. "We just...made a Dan Shay record and we're so thankful that people outside of the format are taking it in..."
Even though the song's only been on the pop chart a few weeks, Dan Shay are already seeing new fans at their concerts.
"We've had people come out to shows already...and say, 'Man, I've never been to a country show, but everybody here is so happy...' So hopefully we can grow the format a little bit."
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Sugarland is set to stop by Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday. You can watch for the duo following Good Morning America on most ABC stations.
Kenny Chesney surprised industry veteran Connie Bradley by presenting her with the CMA's Irving Waugh Award of Excellence earlier this week in Nashville.
Arista newcomer Carlton Anderson has signed with Morris Higham Management, the same firm that represents Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion and Michael Ray, among others. Carlton's debut single is called "Drop Everything."
If you missed Florida Georgia Line doing their hit, "Simple," on The Late Late Show with James Corden, you can watch their performance on YouTube.
Photo credit: Jeremy HarrisTen thousand fans crowded the street next to Warner Music on Nashville’s Music Row yesterday, as Dan Shay delivered a high-energy “Tequila Tuesday” concert celebrating their recent multi-week #1.
“This is one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen,” Shay Mooney said shortly after kicking off the free event. “This is my favorite show we’ve played in my career.”
Shay and Dan Smyers offered a 17-song set packed with hits and fan favorites like “19 You Me,” “Nothin’ Like You,” “From the Ground Up,” and “How Not To.” The pair returned for an encore that included their new single, “Speechless,” as well as “Tequila,” of course.
The evening benefited Musicians on Call, with Dan Shay and Warner donating $5000 to help the nonprofit with their mission of bringing music to the bedsides of patients all across the country.
This weekend, Dan Shay travel to Canada, Ohio and Michigan as they begin to wind down their stint on Rascal Flatts’ Back to Us Tour.
ABC/Randy HolmesEven though Charles Kelley’s son Ward isn’t even three yet, he’s already become quite the world traveler.
Charles estimates the boy's already been on more than one hundred flights and traveled to multiple continents, including Europe. The Lady Antebellum hitmaker brings Ward and his wife Cassie on tour as much as he can, because he doesn’t want to miss any of the big moments in his little boy’s life.
“My wife and I have such a strong relationship that it’s just so much better when they’re out with me,” Charles tells People. “Having them with me is so cozy. I also don’t want Ward to grow up [and] be like, ‘I never got to see my dad -- he was always traveling.'”
The Augusta, Georgia native says Ward was recently “enamored” by all the bikes he saw whizzing by in Amsterdam.
“I thought, ‘Buddy, you’ve seen more in 2½ years than I ever saw in my 24 years of existence until this band,” Charles recalls. “I still love the South, I love Georgia, but there’s just so much beauty in the world.”
You can read more about the travels of Charles, Cassie and Ward in the new issue of People, which comes out on Friday.