Big MachineBrett Young is giving his fans what they want, with the fourth -- and likely final -- release from his self-titled debut album.
“‘Mercy’ is the new single because of the amazing fan response,” the California native says. “It’s the feeling you get when someone breaks your heart but won’t let you move on. ‘Mercy’ is a plea to rip the Band Aid off, and many people can relate to that.”
For Brett, the bar is set high, since all three of his previous singles have gone to #1.
Last week, the former pitcher returned to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, to throw out the first pitch for the Rebels’ opening weekend of baseball. Along the way, he set an attendance record at the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, and played multiple sold-out shows in Oxford.
Warner Bros.We’ll get our first listen to music from Cole Swindell’s third album on Friday, as the Georgia native releases his new song, “Break Up in the End.”
“This is one of those songs from the first time I heard it I knew it was special,” Cole said on social media, as he revealed the single’s cover. “So many people can relate to the lyrics. Even though I didn’t write it, I’m amazed the best writers in town are bringing me songs like this. Excited it’s the first single from my new album.”
Considering he’s penned ten #1 songs overall -- seven of which he took to the top of the charts himself -- it's quite a departure for Cole to release a single he didn't have a hand in writing.
Last weekend, he kicked off his headlining Reason to Drink Tour with Chris Janson and Lauren Alaina.
ABC/Image Group LA If you follow Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans on social media, you’ve had a front-row seat for the newlyweds’ romance.
The Australian singer admits he wasn’t always so comfortable opening up about his personal life -- but once he met Kelsea, she left him little choice.
“I used to be so private and closed off,” Morgan tells ABC Radio. “I'd just talk about music. But then when we got together, she just started posting things, and she just started talking about it. So I had no choice but to be honest. And since I've started just talking honestly and openly, it's just easy.”
While the couple took most of December off for their wedding and honeymoon, Twitter and Instagram let them keep in touch with their fans, even as they enjoyed a well-deserved vacation.
“It was a lot of time off for us,” Morgan explains. “I mean, we were doing certain things here and there, but in terms of being on the road and stuff like that. I had to take her home and introduce her to my family that couldn't make it to the wedding and stuff like that, so we had to go and do those things.”
Morgan says social media also comes in handy since most of his family lives Down Under.
“It's good to share your story too, over there, you know. 'Hey, we're at the Super Bowl!'” Morgan says, referring to his post from the big game earlier this month. “And my brother called me. He was like 'Are you at the actual Super Bowl right now?' I was like, 'Yeah dude!'”
This week, Morgan’s debut American single, “Kiss Somebody,” has entered country’s top forty, as his bride enjoys her fourth #1 with “Legends.”
ABC/Image Group LA With a collection of critically acclaimed gold and platinum albums to his credit, as well as CMA Awards and Grammys, Chris Stapleton says his philosophy of making records is actually pretty simple.
“I heard Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, I read an interview with him one time,” Chris explains, “where he said he always just tried to make music that he would want to listen to. And I think that is the best litmus test for what you want to record or make. And I'm a fan of albums too, so I always like things that kind of work together in a pot.”
This week, the Kentucky native is also enjoying his biggest radio hit so far, as “Broken Halos” ascends into the top five. While Chris welcomes the success, he admits he’s not terribly competitive when it comes to airplay.
“Am I necessarily chasing somebody else?” he asks. “No, because I'm not somebody else and any attempt on my part to be somebody else would be not only not genuine, but it just wouldn't work, because it's not me.”
“So I hope that I can have some radio success,” he continues. “I hope that radio stations decide to play some things off this record. But I don't make records thinking about how it will play out that way, just like I don't make records thinking about awards or anything like that. I just don't think that's a healthy thing to do.”
“Broken Halos” is the latest single from the gold-certified From A Room: Volume 1, which won the CMA award for Album of the Year in November.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Devin Dawson will do his breakthrough hit, “All on Me,” Wednesday, February 28 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. You can watch for his performance starting at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.
There’s new music from Ashley Monroe on the way Friday. “Hands on You” is the first taste of her forthcoming album for Warner Nashville, set to be released later this year.
Michael Ray, Devin Dawson, Morgan Wallen and Russell Dickerson all join the lineup for the Carolina Country Music Fest June 7-10 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
ABC/Image Group LA Kelsea Ballerini claims the fourth #1 song of her career this week, as “Legends” tops the country chart.
“I can’t believe ‘Legends’ is my fourth #1!”... All I can say is THANK YOU,” she says. “As one of the first songs I wrote for Unapologetically, the song really captures my journey of loss, life, love, and truly is the heartbeat of this record. Seeing radio embrace this story has meant the world to me.”
The last time a female artist scored number ones with the lead singles from both her debut and sophomore albums was in 2007, when Carrie Underwood accomplished the same feat.
Kelsea’s currently headlining her Unapologetically Tour through the end of April. This summer, she heads out on the Graffiti U World Tour with Keith Urban.
Triple TigersScotty McCreery is teaming up with Cracker Barrel to create a new video for his top three hit “Five More Minutes” -- and he needs your help.
The American Idol winner is asking fans to submit videos with loved ones they’d like to spend “Five More Minutes” with, for a chance to be included in the clip. It’ll premiere on Cracker Barrel’s YouTube channel on March 15, one day before Scotty’s new album, Seasons Change, is released.
For every album sold, Cracker Barrel will also give one dollar to Operation Homefront, a non-profit that supports military families.
"Both of my grandfathers served in the armed forces,” Scotty says, “which instilled in me a huge respect for our military, their families, and the sacrifices they all make on our behalf.”
Scotty’s grandfathers helped inspire “Five More Minutes,” which could be the North Carolina native’s first #1. You can find out more about the contest at CrackerBarrel.com/FiveMoreMinutes.
Shock Ink Toby Keith is celebrating the silver anniversary of his very first hit with a 2018 tour. The Should’ve Been a Cowboy Tour XXV marks a quarter-century since the Oklahoma native’s debut single -- and first #1 -- was released.
The trek kicks off April 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here’s a look at the itinerary so far, with more dates to be added soon:
4/6 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Vivnt Smart Home Arena 4/7 -- Florence, AZ, Country Thunder 4/8 -- Huntington Beach, CA, Coastal Country Jam 5/27 -- Daytona Beach, FL, Country 500 Fest 6/8 -- Myrtle Beach, SC, Carolina Country Music Festival 6/17 -- Santa Rosa, CA, Country Summer 7/5 -- Ft. Loramie, OH, Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes 7/6 -- Battle Creek, MI, Firekeepers Casino 7/13 -- Hinckley, MN, Grand Casino Amp 7/14 -- Rhinelander, WI, Hodag 7/19 -- Harrington, DE, Delaware State Fair 7/20 -- St. Clairsville, OH, Jamboree in the Hills 7/21 -- Twin Lakes, WI, Country Thunder 7/27 -- Cheyenne, WY, Cheyenne Frontier Days 7/28 -- El Dorado, KS, Dam Music Festival 8/2 -- Davenport, IA, Mississippi Valley Fair 8/18 -- Calgary, AB, Country Thunder 8/25 -- Glenmoore, PA, Citadel Country Spirit USA 8/31 -- Huron, SD, South Dakota State Fair 9/15 -- Puyallup, WA, Washington State Fair
Comstock/Thinkstock This 1971 crossover hit by Jerry Reed was the Country Music Hall-of-Famer’s most successful country release, spending five weeks at #1. Can you name the song that also made it to #9 on the pop chart? ANSWER: “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot.”
ABC/Image Group LA While it was Luke Combs who had a #1 with “When It Rains It Pours,” it turns out the same sentiment holds true for Thomas Rhett. TR managed to write two hits for his Life Changes album in the span of several hours.
“We actually wrote 'Unforgettable' and 'Marry Me' in the same day, which is nuts,” Thomas reveals. “And I think at that time, you don't know what you're gonna record. You're just kinda writing to write and that was a pretty successful day.”
“Marry Me” is currently in the top five, while “Unforgettable” is Thomas Rhett’s most recent #1.
“That was a song that started at like two o'clock in the morning after a show,” TR recalls of "Unforgettable." “Just hanging out on the bus, riding down the road and Ashley [Gorley] sitting there playing that chord progression and I just started singing this melody over it. And somehow, we got to the hook of 'That night was just like you, unforgettable.'”
“And from that point, we just decided to tell a very colorful, unique story that a lot of people think is mine," he adds. "But actually it's not. It's actually made up."
Less than six months after it was released, Life Changes has already been certified gold.
“It was amazing over the writing process how certain days of writing really stood out,” TR reflects. “It's cool looking back to see how those trips and those days morphed into a fourteen-song album.”
On Tuesday, TR will receive the CMA Triple Play Award for writing three number-ones within a twelve-month period: “Die a Happy Man,” “Star of the Show,” and Michael Ray’s “Think a Little Less.”
ABC/Image Group LA If you listen closely to Keith Urban’s top-15 hit, “Female,” you’ll find it’s actually his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, who’s contributing some of the background vocals. The Aussie superstar may have started a trend, because now Nicole isn't the only spouse who’s adding BGVs to a current tune.
Dan Shay’s Dan Smyers revealed to Billboard that it’s not his musical partner Shay Mooney who’s harmonizing with him on the background parts on “Tequila” -- it’s actually his wife, Abby Law. Even more incredible, Dan says the recording is his bride’s first time in front of a microphone.
In addition to writing and singing on the song, Dan also co-produced “Tequila,” mixing in some other nearly-hidden sounds for effect -- namely the sound of a drop of water to represent tequila, and a scratched vinyl sound for nostalgia.
“Tequila” is the lead single from Dan Shay’s forthcoming third album. Warner Nashville believed in it so much they scrapped plans to release another uptempo track first, opting instead for the ballad.
ABC/Image Group LA Maren Morris starred in fiancé Ryan Hurd’s music video for his debut single, “Love in a Bar,” and it looks like he may now be returning the favor.
“‘Rich’ video is coming along nicely,” Maren shared on social media on Friday, along with a photo of her significant other dressed in costume, in what appears to be a western town. Maren titled the picture Westworld, an apparent reference to the popular HBO show that centers around a Wild West-themed amusement park. She also Instagramed a short video of herself dressed in similar attire.
Both are in keeping with the details Maren already revealed to ABC Radio: “We're shooting it in New Mexico, so yeah, it's happening,” she said.
“And I was like, 'If we're doing a video for 'Rich,' we need to go all out.' Because it's a pretty bombastic, sassy song. It needs a video that compliments that perfectly.”
With lyrics like “Vegas at the Mandarin/high-roller gamblin’,” it would’ve been easy to imagine a scenario set in Sin City. But Maren said that’s not the case.
“I will say about the video treatment,” she explained, “there's nothing Vegas-y about it. I was like, 'Everyone's gonna think we're gonna do a Vegas video.’ But it's actually, like, quite opposite. So I'm excited for us to shoot it and for people to see it.”
“Rich” is the fourth and final single from Maren’s debut album, Hero.
ABC/Image Group LA As of Friday, Walker Hayes’ debut album has been streamed more than 100 million times since its release December 8. It’s a number the “You Broke Up with Me” hitmaker can’t quite comprehend.
“Wow! I cannot believe we have already reached 100 million streams on boom.,” he says. “The album is so personal to me, I still can’t really wrap my head around the fact that fans from all over are connecting with my songs and my story. I’m so pumped to look into the crowd each night and know that everyone has been listening and enjoying.”
Walker’s already sold-out five shows on his Good as Gold Tour, and when he’s not headlining his own concerts, he’s opening for Kelsea Ballerini on her Unapologetically trek.
Meanwhile, Walker’s first top-ten hit, “You Broke Up with Me,” has also been certified gold.
Sony LegacyWillie Nelson may have been forced to take January and February off to recover from the flu, but that’s not affecting his studio output. His new album, Last Man Standing, is set to be released April 27, just two days before his 85th birthday.
The all-new collection is made up of eleven tracks Willie co-wrote with his longtime collaborator and producer, Buddy Cannon, who’s also well-known for his work with Kenny Chesney.
The first single is the record’s title track, “Last Man Standing.” Much as he did on his 2017 album, Willie continues to deal with his own mortality, singing “I don’t want to be the last man standing -- but wait a minute, maybe I do.”
The tune also references the passing of his friends Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Merle Haggard and writer/producer Norro Wilson. You can check out “Last Man Standing” via a new music video shot in the recording studio.
Last Man Standing is the follow-up to last year’s God’s Problem Child, which debuted at #1 on the country albums chart. Here’s the complete track listing for the new project:
“Last Man Standing” “Don’t Tell Noah” “Bad Breath” “Me and You” “Something You Get Through” “Ready to Roar” “Heaven Is Closed” “I Ain’t Got Nothin’” “She Made My Day” “I’ll Try to Do Better Next Time” “Very Far to Crawl”