Country Music

Dan + Shay have "some stuff in the tank," including an eventual live performance with Justin Bieber

ABC/Mitch HaasethDan Shay get to rule the country chart this week thanks to their hit with Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours," which has risen to number one on the radio airplay ranking.

 While Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have been performing the duet sans Bieber on tour, they're looking forward to their first opportunity to sing it live with Justin.

"We miss him!" Dan says admiringly, as Shay laughs. 

"No, it's so incredible, it's awesome [doing it live]," Dan continues. "When we originally wrote it, Shay was singing the second verse anyway. So we, you know, we've got the groove down."

"But it would be awesome to do that song with Justin Bieber live somewhere," Dan adds. "I'm not sure where or when, but we'll make it happen for sure."

Since "10,000 Hours" is the lead single from Dan Shay's fourth album, fans are anxious to see what's next.

"We're always working on new music and we hope to have some stuff out for our fans on the Arena Tour," Dan tells ABC Audio. "But right now, we're just focusing on '10,000 Hours' with Justin, and it's crazy watching it climb the charts."

"This is our fastest-climbing single. Not that we refresh the charts every five minutes -- ultra competitive!" Dan admits. "We've got some stuff in the tank, though."  

Dan Shay kick off The (Arena) Tour March 6 with two nights at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGene Watson has been invited by Vince Gill to join the Grand Ole Opry, 55 years after he made his Opry debut at the age of 21. 

Lauren Jenkins has released two Bruce Springsteen covers: "Hungry Heart" and "Stolen Car." Both appear on Bruce's legendary 1980 album, The River. 

Country a cappella group Home Free has released the video for their new song, "Why Not." It's featured on their 2019 album, Dive Bar Saints.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

John K and Kelsea Ballerini wonder "If We Never Met" on new collaboration

ABC/Image Group LAKelsea Ballerini has once again ventured into the pop world.

The country superstar has teamed with up-and-coming pop singer John K for a new version of his song, "If We Never Met." The acoustic pop track finds the twosome pondering what their lives would look like if they hadn't crossed paths. 

Kelsea's soft vocals can also be heard on the chorus but in the collaborative version, John K replaces the second verse that references Nashville with a new verse that has Kelsea singing lead.  

"What if I would've left the party/What if you never looked twice when you saw me/In your favorite sweater," Kelsea sings.  "Must have been for a reason/For worse or better/'Cause when I put it all together/It all comes back to you." 

"If We Never Met" is the title track of John K's debut EP, released in April 2019. Kelsea's currently working on her third studio album, expected to be released this year. The lead single, "Homecoming Queen?," is currently in the top 20 on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"The Greatest Gift of All": Dolly Parton announces new greeting card line

ABC/Image Group LADolly Parton has found another way to share her inspiring words. 

The music legend has announced that she's partnered with American Greetings to release her own line of physical and digital greeting cards that will feature her iconic song lyrics, along with her famous Dolly-isms. The first product will be a video e-card based on one of her signature hits, "9 to 5." 

“When presented with this opportunity I knew it was perfect for me. I love connecting with people in unique ways and being able to integrate products that take inspiration from my music and the life lessons I have learned through the years makes this extra special," Dolly says. "I know first-hand how a few words in a card can change someone’s day for the better."

Fans around the world will be able to access the digital products, while the physical cards will at first be available through e-commerce.

This marks the first time the superstar has released a line of greeting cards. The announcement came just before Dolly celebrated her 74th birthday on Sunday. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile performing at the 2020 Grammys

ABC/Image Group LATanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile will perform together at the 2020 Grammy Awards. 

Tanya shared the news with her Instagram followers on Sunday that she'll join forces with Brandi, who co-produced her new album, While I'm Livin,' on the coveted stage. 

"I wanted you to be the first to know! I'll be performing at the #GRAMMYs this year with a whole line up of amazing artists, including one of my favorite people in the whole world, @BrandiCarlile!" Tanya writes.

Brandi echoes the sentiment on her Instagram page, writing, "Let’s. do. this. @tanyatucker."

Tanya is nominated in four categories at the ceremony, marking the first time she's been nominated for a Grammy since 1994.

"Bring My Flowers Now," co-written by Tanya, Brandi and Tim and Phil Hanseroth, is up for Best Country Song, Best Country Solo Performance and the all-genre Song of the Year. While I'm Livin' is nominated for Best Country Album. Brandi co-produced the project, Tanya's first in 17 years, alongside Shooter Jennings

The Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26 at 8 p.m.ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Speechless": Dan + Shay to perform at Super Bowl pregame show

ABC/Mitch HaasethFox has unveiled its lineup for the 2020 Super Bowl pregame show, and a breakthrough country act is included.  Dan Shay will participate in the pregame show taking place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, bringing their crossover hit "Tequila" to the masses. 

The duo shared their excitement on social media. "Super bowl weekend is shaping up to be a dream. Excited to announce that we’ll be performing during the official @nfl pregame show. Don't miss it," they write on Twitter alongside a heart-eyed emoji. 

The show will feature additional performances by Demi Lovato, who will sing the national anthem during the Super Bowl, while Yolanda Adams is set to perform "America the Beautiful." Pitbull and DJ Khaled will also perform.  Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will team up for the coveted Super Bowl halftime show.

The pregame show airs at 2 p.m. ET on Fox before the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on February 2.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

super bowl weekend is shaping up to be a dream. excited to announce that we’ll be performing during the official @nfl pregame show. don't miss it. ??

— Dan Shay (@DanAndShay) January 20, 2020

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThe country star behind hits like “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” is celebrating a 35th birthday today. Do you know who it is? ANSWER: Brantley Gilbert.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lady A honored for helping with the "truly life-changing, life-saving work" at St. Jude in Memphis

Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for St. Jude Children's Research HospitalIt was quite a week for Lady Antebellum. On Monday, Hillary ScottCharles Kelley, and Dave Haywood marked their tenth number one, "What If I Never Get over You." By Friday, they were picking up the Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award at the 31st annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids gathering in Memphis.

The Alabama front-man and Country Cares founder presented the trio with the honor for more than a decade of work helping St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

"When we started as a band, it was one of the very first places we visited about 10, 11 years ago," Dave recalls. "And it made an imprint on us that we wanted to make it our top giving. Every year we contribute as much as we can, visiting and financially. And it changed the trajectory of what we were doing as a band, as far as charity work."

"So that visit was a big moment in our career," Dave continues. "Now with kids... I mean... it's heavy but joyful. But this place is doing some phenomenal work, and so it means even more now as parents."

For Hillary, the honor serves as inspiration to continue doing good work.

"This award is just a continued reminder of what a gift the platform that we've been given is," Hillary tells ABC Audio, "to be able to use our voices, not just to sing these songs, but to be able to... raise awareness for organizations like St. Jude and what they're doing -- the life changing, truly life-changing, life-saving work that they're doing."  

As Country Cares for St. Jude Kids enters its fourth decade, it's raised more than $850 million for the hospital that works to end childhood cancer. Find out how you can help at

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn case you missed it, Aaron Watson was officially inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame last week. He’s in good company: George StraitWillie Nelson and Robert Earl Keen are all also Hall of Famers. 

Montana native Stephanie Quayle is teaming up with Wrangler for an upcoming video series, called Wrangler Presents: The Montana Sessions with Stephanie Quayle. The first installment launched on Friday, with a version of her current single, “Whatcha Drinkin’ Bout,” recorded live in the singer’s living room at her Emigrant, Montana ranch. 

Singer-songwriter Phil Vassar is releasing his 10th studio album. Called Stripped Down, the collection includes never-before-recorded songs written over the past two decades. 2020 also marks an important anniversary for Phil: It’s been 20 years since he released his first #1 single, “Just Another Day in Paradise.”

The Gatlin Brothers have launched their 65th Anniversary Tour, celebrating six and a half decades of making music. The tour kicked off on Friday in Green Bay, WI and is scheduled to run throughout the year.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Florida Georgia Line are at work on a new album -- and they’re having a blast

ABC/Image Group LAFlorida Georgia Line is kicking off 2020 in the studio. The superstar duo posted a series of pictures on Instagram Thursday and by the looks of things, the stint in the studio is proving to be just as fun as it is productive. 

“Workin’ hard or hardly workin’?” FGLwrote in their post, along with an image of the duo’s Brian Kelley goofing off with a drink in his hand. The next in the series of two pictures is a little more serious: It shows Brian and his bandmate Tyler Hubbard seated in the studio, working on new music. 

The band also posted an array of shots of the studio on their Instagram stories. While they didn’t offer too many details about the new songs they’ve got up their sleeves, they did tag producer and songwriter Corey Crowder, a frequent band collaborator. They also included a number of intriguing hashtags in their post, including “#record5” and “#lesssgo.” 

FGL’s last album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, came out in early 2019. That record includes the hit singles “Simple,” “Talk You Out of It” and “Blessings.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country fans get early access to 2020 Country Megaticket through T-Mobile Tuesdays

ABC/Image Group LAIt may only be January, but summer 2020 is already heating up for T-Mobile customers looking for tickets to country concerts this year. The mobile brand announced a three-day pre-sale for the 2020 Country Megaticket, offering its customers a first chance to buy the pass between Tuesday, Jan. 21 and Thursday, Jan. 23.

The Country Megaticket is a single pass that will allow fans to access a wide variety of the genre’s hottest shows. With it, they’ll gain access to see artists including Kenny ChesneyJason AldeanLuke BryanBrooks & DunnTim McGrawRascal Flatts and many more. 

T-Mobile customers will have the chance to access the Country Megaticket before the general public via their T-Mobile Tuesdays app. Fans can click “Redeem” in the app before heading over to the Megaticket’s website and grabbing tickets to the shows they want to see.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ashley McBryde details plans for her 2020 sophomore album, 'Never Will'

Warner Music NashvilleHot on the heels of a massive breakout year, Ashley McBryde has shared plans to release her sophomore album, Never WillThe new record is due out on April 3, and will feature the same fiery attitude Ashley brought to her critically acclaimed debut, Girl Going Nowhere

In fact, the singer says the new album’s name comes from a pact and promise she, her producer Jay Joyce, and her band made in the studio. 

“The significance behind the album title comes from the lyrics in the title track: ‘I didn’t, I don’t and I never will,’” Ashley explains. “Before we recorded it with Jay [Joyce] in the studio, I said to my band mates, ‘If we’re going to cut this and put it on the record, you’re promising everyone who ever listens to our music, we don’t listen to the noise in the background. We didn’t, we don’t and we never will. Don’t cut it unless you’re willing to promise it.’ And we cut it right then.”

Ashley has already shared a couple of tunes off Never Will, including the lead single “One Night Standards” and its fiery follow-up, “Martha Divine.” The music videos for the two songs are parts one and two of the same three-part storyline.

Never Will is available for pre-order now. Here’s the track list for the project, including songwriter information: 

“Hang in There Girl” (Ashley McBryde, Jeremy Bussey)
“One Night Standards” (Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally)
“Shut Up Sheila” (Nicolette Hayford, Charles Chisholm)
“First Thing I Reach For” (Ashley McBryde, Randall Clay, Mick Holland)
“Voodoo Doll” (Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Brandy Clark, Connie Harrington, Jake Mitchell, Aaron Raitiere)
“Sparrow” (Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Brandy Clark, Connie Harrington, Jake Mitchell, Aaron Raitiere)
“Martha Divine” (Ashley McBryde, Jeremy Spillman)
“Velvet Red” (Ashley McBryde, Patrick Savage, Daniel Smalley)
“Stone” (Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford)
“Never Will” (Ashley McBryde, Chris Harris, Blue Foley, Matt Helmkamp, Christian Sancho, Victor Quinn Hill)
“Styrofoam” (Randall Clay)

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Heart’s Going Out of its Mind': Carly Pearce shares her real-life love story in flirtatious new song

Big Machine Label GroupAhead of the release of her forthcoming self-titled sophomore album, Carly Pearce is revealing another piece of the big picture. She shared “Heart’s Going Out of its Mind,” the album’s sixth track, on Friday. 

The song, which she co-wrote with Joe Ginsburg and Laura Veltz, lets fans in to the early days of her relationship with her now-husband, fellow artist Michael Ray.

“I wrote ‘Heart’s Going Out of its Mind’ after my second date with Michael,” Carly says in a behind-the-scenes video about the song, adding that even back then, she knew the relationship was something special.

“[I told my co-writers], ‘I have no idea how I’m saying this to you, but I’m gonna marry this person,’” she remembers about the session. “I just wanted to write that fun, anthemic feeling of, ‘I feel crazy, but in a great way.’"

“Heart’s Going Out of its Mind” is far from the only time Carly’s husband appears on the album: In fact, the couple have a duet on the project, called “Finish Your Sentences.”

“Heart’s Going Out of its Mind” follows a handful of previously shared album tracks, including meditative ballad “It Won’t Always Be Like This” and the record’s first single, a duet with Lee Brice called “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

Carly Pearce will drop in full on Valentine’s Day.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockToday, one of country’s pioneering female artists is celebrating her 34th anniversary of becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Reba McEntire.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dan + Shay notch CMA International Awards nomination following global hit '10,000 Hours'

Catherine Powell, Warner Music NashvilleIn their seven years as a duo, Dan Shay have achieved worldwide success, and now they’ve got the accolades to prove it. The pair have been nominated for International Artist Achievement Award at the 2020 CMA International Awards. 

The recognition comes as their new duet with pop superstar Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours,” tops 600 million global streams. In China alone, the song hit 100 million streams at a lightning-fast pace. 

“There are people in nearly every corner of the Earth who are craving what we have to share, and Dan Shay are doing everything they can, from touring to content creation to music rollout, at the highest level to make sure they’re serving their fans,” Warner Music CEO John Esposito says in a statement. “Their impact is evidenced by the fact that ‘10,000 Hours’ just reached 100 million streams in China -- in half the time it usually takes a massive hit to get there.”

The International Artist Achievement Award celebrates U.S.-based artists who develop their fan base and expand the country genre internationally. Awards are voted on by CMA members across the world, and ceremony proceedings will take place in several events in several international locations, beginning in March 2020.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Small Town Boy" from 'Tullahoma': Dustin Lynch's new album is amped-up autobiography

ABC/Image Group LADustin Lynch invites you to experience Tullahoma this weekend. This time, the Tennessee-born hitmaker's not talking about his hometown, but his fourth album, which is out today.

For Tullahoma, the "Small Town Boy" took many of his cues from his multi-week chart-topper that was one of the most popular songs of 2017.

"There's a common thread," Dustin tells ABC Audio. "We... attempt[ed] from day one with this album... [to make it about] the 'Small Town Boy' -- that character I've got a mental image of who that guy is, what truck he drives, who he dates."

"I wanted to make sure every song was that guy," he continues, "and guys that dig that guy, that want to be that guy, and the girls that like that guy, to all enjoy."

And if you're wondering if Dustin is "that guy," he admits Tullahoma is fairly autobiographical.

"I step back and I go, 'Wait, all this is pretty much about my hometown and why I'm who I am now as a person,'" he says. "[It] is because of where I grew up, you know, the people that raised me, the friends I did life with, and discovered new things with for the first time."

"Selfishly, I get to name it Tullahoma and maybe make my town a little more famous than it already is," he smiles.

The 34-year-old goes on to reveal the "Small Town Boy" on Tullahoma may actually be an amped-up version of himself.

"I wish I had lived as -- well, maybe not as much drama as [is] on this record. But I wish life was as exciting as some of these songs are," Dustin reflects.

"But that's why we make music, right?" he asks. "It doesn't have to be totally real." 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMargo Price dropped “Stone Me,” her first new song in over two years, on Thursday. The singer debuted the song, which she co-wrote with her husband and fellow artist Jeremy Ivey, on an episode of TBS' Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.

Country songwriter Lance Carpenter, who co-wrote Kelsea Ballerini’s debut hit single “Love Me Like You Mean It,” has teamed up with Lonestar’s Richie McDonald for a good cause. The pair are debuting a new song, “Last Night in Memphis,” to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Kalie Shorr is kicking off her 2020 Too Much to Say Tour with a headlining performance at Nashville’s Exit/In on Jan. 31. The run is in support of her debut album, Open Book. For tickets, visit Kalie's website

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film Urban Cowboy, country performers Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee, who had radio hits from the 1980 movie's soundtrack, are joining forces for a year-long tour. The run kicks off this month and runs through November.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Cody Johnson saddles up for RodeoHouston 2020 appearance

Jay Trevino, Warner Music NashvilleFormer rodeo bull rider and country artist Cody Johnson will return to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo in 2020, following his sold-out appearance at last year’s show. Cody became the first independent artist to ever sell out the rodeo’s venue, the NRG Stadium, which seats over 74,000 concert-goers.

Cody found success at country radio with songs like “On My Way to You” and his current single, “Nothin’ on You,” winning fans with his staunch traditional style. His spot in the limelight was hard-won, though: The singer dropped five albums before seeing any kind of mainstream success. He also appeared at RodeoHouston in 2017.

Cody's country roots will serve him well on tour with fellow Texan Miranda Lambert: He’s opening for her 2020 Wildcard Tour, which kicks off today.

Tickets for Cody’s performance at Rodeo Houston are on sale now.  For more information, visit the event’s website.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Luke Bryan announces Born Here, Live Here, Die Here album, tour plans for 2020

UMG NashvilleLuke Bryan has just shared a huge announcement with his fans: He’s got plans to release his seventh studio album, Born Here, Live Here, Die Here on April 24, 2020.

The country superstar didn’t give away too many details during his announcement, which he made Thursday via Facebook Live, but he did offer a few tidbits about the new record.  He picked up an acoustic guitar and played a couple songs live, including a brand-new one off his new album. Called “Born Here, Live Here, Die Here,” the track is a sentimental, mid-tempo anthem about small-town life. 

In the same announcement, Luke also shared some exciting tour plans. He'll hit the road for the 2020 Proud to Be Right Here Tour this summer, along with openers Morgan WallenCaylee Hammack and Runaway June

The Proud to Be Right Here Tour kicks off on May 28 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The run will continue into the fall, wrapping on the West Coast in October. For details and venues, visit Luke's website.

Here’s the full itinerary dates and cities:

5/28 -- Cincinnati, OH
5/29 -- St. Louis, MO
5/30 -- Brandon, MS
6/5 -- Orange Beach, AL
6/18 -- Darien Center, NY
6/19 -- Hartford, CT
6/20 -- Columbia, MD
6/25 -- Milwaukee, WI
7/16 -- San Diego, CA
7/17 -- Mountain View, CA
7/18 -- Sacramento, CA
7/23 -- Bend, OR
7/24 -- Bend, OR
7/25 -- Portland, OR
7/30 -- Nashville, TN
7/31 -- Little Rock, AR
8/4 -- New York, NY
8/5 -- Gilford, NH
8/6 -- Gilford, NH
8/14 -- Bangor, ME
8/21 -- Virginia Beach, VA
8/23 -- Bristow, VA
8/28 -- Charlotte, N.C.
8/29 -- Raleigh, N.C.
8/30 -- Charleston, S.C.
9/24 -- Des Moines, IA
9/25 -- St. Paul, MN
9/26 -- Green Bay, WI
10/1 -- Bossier City, LA
10/2 -- Lafayette, LA
10-8 -- Fresno, CA
10/9 -- Los Angeles, CA
10/10 -- San Bernardino, CA

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maren Morris will bring the country to NYC for 2020 Governors Ball Music Festival

ABC/Image Group LAMaren Morris will represent the country genre at the 2020 Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City, which features a lineup of over 65 artists. Now in its 10th year, the festival will return to Randall’s Island Park from June 5-7. 

One of country’s fastest-rising young artists, Maren has also proven her talents for genre blending and reaching a wide array of audiences. She scored a massive crossover hit in 2018 with “The Middle,” a collaboration with producer Zedd and electronic duo Grey that marked Maren’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.

The 2020 Governors Ball will offer Maren a chance to further stretch her legs outside of country music.  She’ll perform alongside a number of megastars from all genres. Miley Cyrus, neo-psychedelic group Tame Impala and hip-hop legend Missy Elliot are just a few of the performers set to take the stage. 

By this summer, Maren’s tour family will have gotten a little bigger: She and her husband, Ryan Hurd, are expecting their first child in late March. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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