• THE FIRST ROUND OF CMA PERFORMERS HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED.

    The first round of performers has been announced for this year’s CMA Awards. Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Jon Pardi and new Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson will perform, as well as Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett.

    Luke is a two-time consecutive CMA Entertainer of the Year (2014, 2015), returning to compete for his fifth nomination in the category. He has garnered 15 CMA Awards nominations since 2010.

    Up for three nominations this year, Eric is a three-time CMA Awards winner with 25 total career nods. He returns this year with recognition in the Entertainer of the Year category, in addition to Musical Event and his sixth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist.

    Little Big Town claims four nominations this year including Vocal Group, Album for The Breaker, and Single and Music Video for “Better Man.” They are seven-time CMA Awards winners with a career total of 26 CMA Awards nominations.

    Stapleton is a five-time CMA Awards winner nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, and Album for From A Room: Volume 1. He receives one nomination for Album, but can receive an additional trophy as producer. This is his third consecutive nomination for Male, which he’s won the past two years. He was also nominated for Entertainer last year and won Album for Traveller in 2015. He is an 11-time CMA Awards nominee.

    The reigning CMA Vocal Duo Brothers Osborne received their first Music Video nod for “It Ain’t My Fault” and will once again vie for Vocal Duo, their third nomination in the category.

    First-time nominee, Jon Pardi, vies for two categories with nominations for New Artist of the Year and Single for “Dirt On My Boots,” which he co-produced. He receives one nomination for Single of the Year, but can receive an additional trophy as producer.

    With six CMA Awards to her name, Carrie, who is also co-hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley, returns to vie for Female Vocalist, a category she’s won four times (2006-2008, 2016) and nominated for consecutively since 2006.

    With 81 career nominations, Alan is the second most nominated artist in CMA Awards history. This year marks Jackson’s 24th CMA Awards performance since debuting in 1990 with “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.” He will receive Country Music’s Highest Honor, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, on Sunday, Oct. 22 during the official Medallion Ceremony at the CMA Theater.

    The 51st Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 8th at 8pm ET on ABC.

  • ERIC CHURCH DEBUTS ‘HOLDIN’ MY OWN’ TELEVISION SPECIAL ON THE AUDIENCE NETWORK FRIDAY.

    Eric Church is coming to the small screen on Friday (October 13th) with his hugely successful Holdin’ My Own Tour on the Audience Network. The night starts out with a behind-the-scenes look at the trek beginning at 8pm ET and then rolls into Eric Church: On the Rocks at 9pm ET, in which fans can check out highlights from his two-night stand at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

    You can catch it on Audience Music DIRECTV Channel 239 and U-VERSE Ch 1114 on Friday (October 13th) at 8pm ET/PT.

    Eric is nominated for several CMA Awards, including Entertainer, Male Vocalist and Musical Event of the Year for “Kill a Word” with Rhiannon Giddens. The 51st Annual CMA Awards will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 8th beginning at 8pm ET on ABC.

    Video / Eric Church on Audience

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  • NEWS AND NOTES: Keith, Jon, LBT, Eric, Kacey, Kip

    Keith Urban will be honored with BMI’s (Broadcast Music Incorporated) Champion Award during the 65th Annual BMI Country Awards November 7th in Nashville. Keith is being honored by the performing rights organization for his assistance in helping the next generation of songwriters and musicians, as well as furthering music education.

    Jon Pardi, who’s headlining his own Lucky Tonight Tour, has already planned dates for next year by heading out on Miranda Lambert’s Livin’ Like Hippies Tour beginning January 18th in Greenville, South Carolina.

    Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” has caught the ear and the voice of Harry Styles, who recorded the song for the UK version of Spotify Singles. He later performed the tune during his show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

    Eric Church is set to perform at the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association’s 2018 Hall of Fame induction ceremony February 24th. Maren Morris, Radney Foster, Jack Ingram, Joe Ely, Lori McKenna and Hayes Carll will also perform in honor of this year’s inductees – Buddy Holly, Liz Rose, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Mickey Newberry.

    Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore are among the performers announced for next year’s C2C: Country to Country Festival. Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Luke Combs, Emmylou Harris, Margo Price, Midland, Lukas Nelson, Ashley McBryde, Lindsay Ell and Jillian Jacqueline will also perform during the three-day festival running March 9th – 11th in London.

  • COUNTRY STARS REACT TO THE HORRIFIC TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS.

    Words are still hard to come by, emotions and unfamiliar feelings are flooding our hearts and souls and trying to process the horrific tragedy at the Rt. 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night (October 1st) is still something that we can’t quite do and which will affect us the rest of our lives. The Country Music family, community, fans and friends around the world have been shaken to the core by the devastating carnage from Sunday night.

    It has taken days for me to post the following:

     

    Eric Church performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Wednesday night (October 4th) and spoke eloquently and passionately about Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas. He was one of the headliners at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and painted the picture of the fans who attended the festival. He dedicated “Why Not Me,” a song he wrote this week, to Sonny Melton, the Paris, Tennessee man who died protecting his wife from the bullets that were being sprayed into the crowd of festivalgoers. Check out the videos below.

     

    While he performed “Here On Earth” the other morning for a national radio show, he’s also healing folks by talking to them and really listening to them, as well as giving much needed blood to the American Red Cross.

    Heartbroken for all the victims and families involved in #LasVegas. Still in disbelief. I love you all

    A post shared by Eric Paslay (@ericpaslay) on

    #prayforlasvegas

    A post shared by Luke Bryan Official (@lukebryan) on

    There are no words. Praying for all the victims and their families affected by the tragedy in Vegas.

    A post shared by Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) on

    Our hearts are so heavy this morning… sick to our stomachs.

    A post shared by Maddie & Tae (@maddieandtae) on

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BZw4F-PA725/?taken-by=canaansmith

    Psalm 91/Route 91

    A post shared by Sam Hunt (@samhuntmusic) on

    Lord be near (Route 91) Psalm 91

    A post shared by Sam Hunt (@samhuntmusic) on

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BZroEAlFpFr/?taken-by=karenfairchild

    …And the greatest of these is LOVE. ❤️ 1 Corinthians 13 #prayersforvegas

    A post shared by Kimberly Schlapman (@ohgussie) on

    On the worst day ever. It got even worse. #nowords #prayforvegas #musicisawesome #tompettyandtheheartbreakers

    A post shared by jonpardipics (@jonpardipics) on

    At a loss for words over what happened in Vegas last night…My prayers are with everyone involved.

    A post shared by J O R D A N D A V I S (@jordandavisofficial) on

     

    Audio / Before performing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” at Monday night’s Candlelight Vigil at Nashville’s Ascend Theater, Keith Urban offered hope and prayers from his family to everyone who was affected by Sunday night’s horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.

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    Keith Urban (Candlelight Vigil) OC: …in the world. 1:23
    “I I want to firstly offer the prayers and love of my whole family to everybody affected by last night’s horrific tragedy. I started this morning by finding out about it, and being shell-shocked all morning getting my kids ready for school. And our nine-year-old, as I was driving her to school this morning, said to, ‘Dad, you seem quiet.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it was a lot of people killed last night.’ She said, ‘Did you know any of them?’ I said, ‘Not that I know of.’ Then she said, ‘Well, why are you so sad?’ I said, ‘Well, first of all, these were innocent people horrifically taken. Secondly, they’re like family.’ It’s the one thing about country music that’s always been at the center of it. It is community. It’s about community. So, I did know those people in that way, and it just really hit me. I feel very grateful for this moment tonight to be able to put some light in the world.”

     

    Audio / Before performing "Go Rest High On That Mountain" at Monday night's Candlelight Vigil in Nashville, Vince Gill gave his thoughts to the horrific events of Sunday night.

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    Vince Gill (Candlelight Vigil) OC: …innocent people. :17
    Thank you for the opportunity to come and lift up 58 families who lost somebody last night. An honor to be here as a voice for the innocent. May we never lose our voice for innocent people.”

     

    Audio / Vince Gill's wife, Amy Grant, led a prayer at Monday night's Candlelight Vigil in Nashville to honor those who lost and risked their lives Sunday night in Las Vegas.

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    Amy Grant (Candlight Vigil) OC: …each other. Amen. 2:21
    Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of each other. Thank you that none of us is born alone or dies alone. But you go before us and beneath us and beside us and within us. Thank you for loving arms that were there to catch every fallen child, man and woman. Thank you for your presence that never leaves us. Thank you for word said over and over again, ‘Fear not.’ ‘Fear not.’ Father, in silence, we lift up, we just imagine all of the people rebuilding their lives. Broken. Grieving. And as a group, I don’t even know how to imagine lifting them all up, but I’m just picturing us almost like slinging them on our backs, lifting them up in our arms to the light of your love. We lift them up now, God, in silence. We lift up grieving spouses, God. We lift up moms and dads grieving the loss of a child, a son and a daughter. We lift up the doctors and nursing attending to the hundreds of people recovering. Give us the grace, God, every day, to see each other. To see each other. To see our differences. To see our similarities. To observe. To learn rather than judge. Fill our hearts with courage to not be afraid. To love, love, love. Thank you that you began this story that we’re all a part of, and you will finish it. And it began in love, and it will end in love. Thank you for the gift of each other. Amen.”

    Video / Eric Church performs "Why Not Me" on the Grand Ole Opry.

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    Video / Eric Church honors the victims and heroes and fans at Sunday night's horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.

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  • REMEMBERING 9/11: Alan, Darius, Eric, Lady A

    On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever with the devastating attacks on both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the events that took place 16 years ago.

    There is audio from country superstar Alan Jackson sharing memories and thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001 and discussing his song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” as well as remembrances from Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Eric Church.

    The chorus and melody of “Where Were You…” came to Jackson in the middle of the night several weeks after the 9/11 tragedies. He awoke…sang the words into a recorder and wrote down key elements of the chorus…and completed the lyrics and verses later that same day. Initially reluctant to record the song, he was convinced by family and friends to share it with the world and debuted “Where Were You…” live on national television in early November at the 35th annual CMA Awards.

    Audio / Alan Jackson describes how the events of September 11, 2001 impacted him…and talks about writing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” a few weeks later.

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    AJ (Where Were You) 2 OC: …same feelings. 1:33
    “Well, I don’t know – I think I was probably like most people that were impacted with that day and the months that followed. You know, everybody was glued to the news and television and I think it really affected a lot of people – their perspective on their lives and their jobs and their families and where they were and what they were wanting to do and how they looked at things. And I guess…I mean, that’s what I was thinking, too. And I just pretty much visualized a lot of those scenes and stories I’d heard and seen on television or heard people talk about. The song came out of nowhere in the middle of the night – the chorus did. Just a gift. And I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it, and then the next day I started piecing all those verses together that were the thoughts I’d had or visuals I’d had, and…that was about it. I think it was just really…I had so many people tell me that there’s always a line or something in there that they did, whether it was go to church or pick up their Bible or go see their mother or watch a sunset – I mean, just a lot of things in there people told me that they had actually done those things, so…I guess I was like everybody else, just feeling those same feelings.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson revealed the performance of 'Where Were You [When the World Stopped Turning]' on the CMA Awards was "tough."

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    Alan Jackson (Where Were You) 3 OC: …meant something. :56
    “It was a tough performance for me just the whole idea of releasing that song was a little big tough. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to put that out, but everybody convinced it was a good thing to do. In retrospect, I agree with that. But, I hadn’t sung the song much, first of all. It was just in the studio basically, you know, I wrote it. So, it was hard enough to go out there and sing something new anyway and then just the topic made it nerve-wracking to do. I didn’t think about what was gonna happen or anything. We just sang it, and I just remember other than being relieved that I got through it, I just felt very proud that it seemed to cause a reaction in people. I was proud that we got to do it, and it seemed like it meant something.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley – whose birthday is September 11th – recalls where he was on September 11, 2001.

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    Lady A (9-11 Charles) OC: …everybody. :30
    “It was my birthday believe it or not. Yeah. 9/11. So, I was in college, and yeah, it was wild. I mean, woke up, was getting ready to go to class. And I had a roommate come in and say, ‘Man, turn on the TV. Classes are canceled. You won’t believe…’ He had had an earlier class, and he comes in and says, ‘Turn on the TV.’ And we all got up and watched it. It was just wild. So, it’s hard to put into words. But it is funny, that it’s still and I can remember it and everybody can. It had such a huge Effect on everybody.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott explains she was in high school when she and her fellow classmates heard about the tragic events of 9-11.

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    Lady A (9-11 Hillary) OC: …we’re protected. 1:19

    “I was in 10th grade, which is weird to think that I was in 10th grade and Charles and Dave were in college. But I was actually on my way to history class, interestingly enough, and so we got to that class and turned the TV on, and we’re just watching the footage and then our, we ended up having an assembly that day where the whole school went into the gym and our headmaster got up and explained kind of everything that was going on and what happened. And it is. It’s one of those things that’s forever ingrained in your memory. And I actually had a close friend of mine, it’s actually my God sister’s dad has been in the military and he’s retired now. But he was on his way to the Pentagon and didn’t get there. But so luckily before everything happened but it’s just, I think everyone has that personal connection to it no matter if you knew someone there or not. It’s just … and I think too not only is it a time to reflect on those lost in that tragedy, I think it’s a time to really celebrate our military. And just another way of bringing praise to them and thanking them for what they do, which is protect us and protect our freedom on a daily basis. And thankfully nothing like that has happened since. And I think that that’s a testament to how well we’re protected.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker recalls where he was on September 11th, 2001.

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    Darius Rucker (9-11) OC: …vicious day. :24
    “[On] 9-11, I was playing golf with a friend early in the morning. Had an apartment in New York, and I lived in New York kind of at the time. If you looked out my bedroom window, we saw the World Trade Center. I was on my way back home. I was playing a 7 o’clock round of golf, and then I was catching a noon flight, and when I was finishing up, we stopped in to get a drink and I looked and we saw the second tower come down. It was a vicious day.”

    Audio / Eric Church was on his way to work when he heard the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2011.

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    Eric Church (9-11) OC: …that feeling. :23
    “I was driving into work — the Shop-At-Home Network — I was listening to Gerry House, I remember that, and the news broke. [I] really couldn’t grasp what had happened until I got to work and saw it for myself on television. I remember I watched the second plane hit the tower in real time. I had just moved to Nashville earlier that year, and all I remember is wanting to go home and be with those I loved. I’ll never, I’ll never forget that feeling.”

  • CMA AWARDS NOMINATIONS REVEALED.

    Lauren Alaina, Brothers Osborne and Dustin Lynch announced the final nominees for “The 51st Annual CMA Awards” Monday morning live from ABC’s “Good Morning America” studio in New York’s Times Square.

    Alaina emerged as a first-time nominee, making her debut in the New Artist of the Year category. Brothers Osborne will once again vie for Vocal Duo of the Year and also received a first-time nomination for Music Video with their anthemic “It Ain’t My Fault.”

    The artists revealed six categories live on-air, then announced the remaining six categories, along with finalists for the CMA Broadcast Awards, on GoodMorningAmerica.com as well as via “Good Morning America’s” Facebook page through Facebook Live and simulcast on “Good Morning America’s” YouTube channel.

    Little Big Town and Keith Urban each garner four nominations, tying for the second most nominations this year.

    Little Big Town’s nominations include Single, produced by Jay Joyce and mix engineered by Jason Hall and Joyce; Music Video of the Year directed by Becky Fluke and Reid Long for “Better Man”; Album of the Year for The Breaker, also produced by Joyce; and Vocal Group of the Year. This is Little Big Town’s fourth nomination for Music Video. They have been nominated in past years for “Pontoon” (2012), “Tornado” (2013), and “Girl Crush” (2015). They are seven-time CMA Awards winners and this year’s nods bring their career total to 26 nominations. Taylor Swift received her 23rd nomination for writing “Better Man,” marking her second nomination for Song of the Year and first CMA Awards nod since 2014.

    Urban tallied up nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Single and Music Video of the Year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and Male Vocalist. This is his thirteenth nomination for Male Vocalist and he is a three-time consecutive winner in this category (2004-2006). Urban is a 10-time CMA Awards winner. Songwriters for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, and Steven Lee Olsen earned a nod for Song of the Year. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Music Video Director Carter Smith is a first-time nominee. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” producer Dann Huff and mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge also earned nods. Urban received one nomination for Single of the Year, but can receive an additional trophy as producer.

    Eric Church
    and Chris Stapleton each earned three nominations.

    Church scored recognition in the Entertainer of the Year category, as well as Male Vocalist, his sixth consecutive nomination, and Musical Event of the Year for “Kill A Word” featuring first-time nominee Rhiannon Giddens. He is a three-time CMA Award winner with 25 total career nominations.

    Five-time CMA Awards winner Stapleton is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist and Album for From A Room: Volume 1, which was produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton. He receives one nomination for album, but can receive an additional trophy as producer. This is Stapleton’s third consecutive nomination for Male, which he’s won the past two years. He was also nominated for Entertainer last year and won Album for Traveller in 2015. He is an 11-time CMA Awards nominee.

    Brothers Osborne, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum and Jon Pardi garnered two nominations.

    Reigning CMA Vocal Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne earns their third nomination in this category. They also received their first Music Video nod for “It Ain’t My Fault,” directed by Wes Edwards and Ryan Silver. They’ve earned five career nominations.

    Hunt was recognized in the Single and Song categories for the record-setting “Body Like A Back Road,” produced and mix engineered by Zach Crowell, and written by Crowell, Hunt, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne. In 2015, Hunt received the same nods for “Take Your Time.” He is a five-time CMA Awards nominee.

    Lady Antebellum is nominated for Vocal Group of the Year and Album for their latest effort Heart Break, produced by busbee. Their previous records Need You Now (2010) and Own The Night (2012) both received Album nods. They are a 10-time consecutive (2008-2017) Vocal Group nominee and have won the category three years back to back (2009-2011).

    Newcomer Pardi burst onto the Awards scene with his first two CMA nominations this year. “Dirt On My Boots,” which he co-produced with Bart Butler, earned him a nod in the Single of the Year category. He receives one nomination as the artist, but can receive an additional trophy as producer. The song was mix engineered by Ryan Gore. “Dirt On My Boots” songwriters Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, and Ashley Gorley are also nominees. Additionally, Pardi received a New Artist of the Year nomination.

    Other first time CMA Awards nominees include Alaina, Combs, and Young in the New Artist of the Year category, and LOCASH in Duo. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit debuted in Album of the Year with The Nashville Sound, produced by Cobb.

    The 51st Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will be broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, November 8th at 8pm ET on ABC.

    For more information and a full list of nominees, visit CMAawards.com.

     

     
    The Final Nominees for “The 51st Annual CMA Awards” (by ballot category order):

     

    ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

    Garth Brooks

    Luke Bryan

    Eric Church

    Chris Stapleton

    Keith Urban

     

    SINGLE OF THE YEAR

    (Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s))

    “Better Man” – Little Big Town

    Producer: Jay Joyce

    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce

                                                                     

    “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban

    Producers: Dann Huff, Keith Urban

    Mix Engineer: Chris Lord-Alge

     

    “Body Like A Back Road” – Sam Hunt

    Producer: Zach Crowell

    Mix Engineer: Zach Crowell

     

    “Dirt On My Boots” – Jon Pardi

    Producers: Bart Butler, Jon Pardi

    Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore

     

    “Tin Man” – Miranda Lambert

    Producers: Frank Liddell, Eric Masse, Glenn Worf

    Mix Engineer: Eric Masse

     

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR

    (Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

    The Breaker – Little Big Town

    Producer: Jay Joyce

     

    From A Room: Volume 1 – Chris Stapleton

    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton

     

    Heart Break – Lady Antebellum

    Producer: busbee

     

    The Nashville Sound – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

    Producer: Dave Cobb

     

    The Weight of These Wings – Miranda Lambert

    Producers: Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf, Eric Masse

    SONG OF THE YEAR

    (Award goes to Songwriter(s))

    “Better Man”

    Songwriter: Taylor Swift

     

    “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

    Songwriters: Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen

     

    “Body Like A Back Road”

    Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

     

    “Dirt On My Boots”

    Songwriters: Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley

     

    “Tin Man”

    Songwriters: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall

     

    FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

    Kelsea Ballerini

    Miranda Lambert

    Reba McEntire

    Maren Morris

    Carrie Underwood

     

    MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

    Dierks Bentley

    Eric Church

    Thomas Rhett

    Chris Stapleton

    Keith Urban

     

    VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

    Lady Antebellum

    Little Big Town

    Old Dominion

    Rascal Flatts

    Zac Brown Band

     

    VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

    Brothers Osborne

    Dan + Shay

    Florida Georgia Line

    LOCASH

    Maddie & Tae

     

    MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR

    (Award goes to each Artist)

    “Craving You” – Thomas Rhett featuring Maren Morris

    “Funny How Time Slips Away” – Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson

    “Kill A Word” – Eric Church featuring Rhiannon Giddens

    “Setting the World on Fire” – Kenny Chesney with P!nk

    “Speak to a Girl” – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

     

    MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

    (Award goes to Artist and Director(s))

    “Better Man” – Little Big Town

    Directors: Becky Fluke and Reid Long

     

    “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban

    Director: Carter Smith

     

    “Craving You” – Thomas Rhett featuring Maren Morris

    Director: TK McKamy

     

    “It Ain’t My Fault” – Brothers Osborne

    Directors: Wes Edwards and Ryan Silver

     

    “Vice” – Miranda Lambert

    Director: Trey Fanjoy

     

    NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

    Lauren Alaina

    Luke Combs

    Old Dominion

    Jon Pardi

    Brett Young

     

     

  • RELIVE ERIC CHURCH’S HOLDIN’ MY OWN TOUR: OVER 100 LIVE RECORDINGS RELEASED IN “61 DAYS IN CHURCH.”

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    Sixty-one tour dates, an average of 37 songs per night, totaling over 200 hours of live music. That’s what Eric Church ultimately played in a five-month period spanning January 13 through May 27, 2017. In an issue takeover, Church hinted something big was to come post-tour telling Billboard, “We recorded all of it. We had some [songs] that I was adamant that I wouldn’t rehearse with the band. I would tell the band a couple hours before the show, ‘This is the song we’re going to do,’ and then I wouldn’t see them until we did it, when we played live…’” says the man Stereogum calls “our greatest working rock star.” Now, those recordings are being released across 61 Days in Church. Beginning today fans will have access to 30 initial live recordings from various stops across North America. Then, subsequent releases through the end of the year – including some catalogue and cover songs as well as songs inspired by events that happened while he was on the road – released chronologically to complete the list. The tracks will initially be released only on the Apple Music platform for a two-week period before being made available on all streaming services. 

    “I had so much fun learning songs that were unique to whatever city we found ourselves in,” Church reflects. “I learned a lot about each place, and it was special to see the crowd react to the songs that were only for them.  I’m glad we recorded it and can relive it forever.”

    With the unique, individual tour posters from each tour stop serving as the artwork for each week’s release, 61 Days in Church drops just as fans can see a different show from Church as he takes the stage in Tahoe this Labor Day weekend for two sold-out nights at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena.

    Church’s Holdin’ My Own Tour sold 930,000 tickets at the end of its run notching his as the top music tour in the first quarter of 2017 (Pollstar), but as Dave Brooks (Billboard Magazine) noted, “Fans will remember that tour by another metric: the marathon three-and- a-half hours Church played nightly as he crisscrossed the United States and Canada.”

    Information on 61 Days in Church can be found here: ericchurch.com/sixtyonedaysinchurch and see remaining 2017 shows at ericchurch.com/events.

    Audio / Eric Church said the shows on his Holdin' My Own Tour were more than he could've dreamed.

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    Eric Church (playing 3 and a half hours) OC: …that kind of show. 1:12
    “People say, ‘Why…why are you playing three and a half hours?’ And I say, ‘Because we shouldn’t be able to, if you look at our career, if you look at our success.’ There was some article, and currently right now Paul McCartney is playing about 37 songs, we’re playing 37, 39, I think [Bruce] Springsteen’s playing 32 and Garth’s playing around 30. Okay, so let’s take those people – Sp0ringsteen, McCartney and Garth, [laughs] and then we’re in that. We’re way, way the outlier there, if you look at the success and you look at who they are and the records and one’s a Beatle, for chrissakes and you take all those together. But the fact that people have bought so much into the albums and I can play ‘Carolina’ and it’s as big as another song, or I can play ‘These Boots’ or I can play ‘Pledge Allegiance to the Hag’ or I can play ‘A Lot of Boot Left to Fill’ and I can play these songs, and they’re just as big – or ‘Sinners Like Me’ – as the stuff that was on the radio…or bigger in some cases, right? So, that’s what shouldn’t happen, and the fact that it is, I think I owe it to the records and I owe it to the fans that have made it a part of their life to play that long and to play those songs, because again, we shouldn’t be able to [even] play 90 minutes, but the fact that we can go do that and have the kind of show is the reason, that inspires me and makes me want to play that long and play that kind of show.”


     

  • LABOR DAY 2017: AJ, Billy, Canaan, Darius, Dierks, Keith, Kip, Lady A, Luke and many more

    For many decades, Labor Day was seen as a day for workers to voice their complaints and discuss better working conditions and pay.

    U.S. Congress declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, and on Monday, September 4th, we will once again celebrate the people in every occupation whose work and dedication make this nation great. Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

    Labor Day weekend also signals the unofficial end to summer, and many of the hottest country stars are taking a look back at some of the toughest jobs they had prior to making their mark in music or talking about their dream job now.

    Audio / Alan Jackson says that working man values have always been a part of his music.

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    AJ (working people songs) OC: … appreciate that. :28
    “I’ve always written songs and recorded songs, other people’s songs, about workin’ people, and workin’, the workin’ life ’cause I mean, that’s where I’m from. I mean, I worked…I’d already had jobs and worked as a grown person before I ever even thought about bein’ in the music business, so I come from that background, and…although I hadn’t had a job in a long time (laughs), I still remember a lot about it, you know, and I remember what the lifestyle is, and I still appreciate that.”

    Audio / Billy Currington recalls some of the jobs he had before landing his record deal in 2003.

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    Billy Currington (Labor Day) OC: …record deal. :40
    “I started working like at [age] 12, landscaping. This was summer, every summers, and roofing. I started when I was about 16 roofing houses, and that was probably one of my toughest jobs because down there in South Georgia, it gets hot, so doing that every day all summer long. The pawn shop when I moved to Nashville was one of my favorites, even though it was one of my least favorites. The concrete job was my least favorite of all – six years of that, and I couldn’t take it no more. After that job, that was my turning point. Either I’m going to do something else for a living [laughs] or quit and try to really focus on music and get this record deal.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith talks about the bad jobs he had before signing a publishing deal and later a record deal.

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    Canaan Smith (worst jobs) OC: …of that. [laughs] :54
    “I’ve had some terrible jobs. I was a janitor for a while, and I mopped floors, vacuums all kinds of, picking up dog poop, taking out trash, just basically somebody’s beyatch [laughs], that was my job. I did that for two-and-a-half years before I signed a publishing deal. Before that, actually my very first job, I got fired from. It was some sort of candy/chocolate store. My mom dropped me off one time, and I went to work and I was like I think I can do this, and then two shifts later I just didn’t show up because I didn’t understand the concept of having to look at a schedule to see when you come in. I just didn’t show. I just thought they’d call me, ‘Hey, we need you to come in.’ I didn’t know. I was 15 years old, and never worked and that kind of stuff. I always cut grass when I was a kid and cleaned golf clubs – whatever I could do to make some money. But, yeah, I got fired from my first job. I’m pretty proud of that.” [laughs]

    Audio / Darius Rucker recalls one of his worst jobs before turning to music.

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    Darius Rucker (Labor Day) OC: …pizza. :15
    “I was fifteen, and I worked at a pizza place, and the guy decided that at fifteen, that I could not only clean the floors and wash the dishes, but I also had to make pizza. So, for two months, he taught me how to make pizza.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley makes a living performing for his fans, and he can’t say enough about them.

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    Dierks Bentley (Labor Day) OC: …generosity. :26
    “Personally, the fans give me amazement. That’s the only word to really sum it up. I look out in the crowd, you know, usually see a lot of faces and fans are cheering. I know each one of these like from the road-the signs are from California…Michelle and Kayla live up in the Ohio area. They’re all, I just see them, and I’m like, ‘Wow!,’ they’re all from different regions. You know when you’re in a different region of the country and you just see certain fans. These people are way more hard core than I am, and I’m just amazed by their generosity.”

    Audio / Eric Church talks about one of his worst job.

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    Eric Church (Labor Day-odd jobs) OC: …bought at 2am. 1:27
    “I had an awful job. I’ve had a lot of awful jobs…my worst one was when I first came to Nashville. I got a job at the Shop at Home Network. I worked midnight, graveyard, midnight to eight. That was bad enough but then I would work all night, go home, shower and then I had writing appointments all day because I was trying to get a career started. I’d go write songs and get meetings just trying to get signed. And end up getting done at 3 of 4 with all of that, I’d go home, take a shower or sleep for a little bit and then I had to be at work again at midnight. So the schedule was bad enough, however, what I had to do at the job…I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8am. And, anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4am and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. And I just, I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this…I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ So the reason the job didn’t last long for me is that I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it, I’d say, ‘I’ll tell you what man, go to bed, call me, I’ll be here in the morning. If you get up in the morning and want these knives you call me back.’ Because I knew what was going to happen, you know. They bought 200 knives for $19.95…first of all some of these people you didn’t know whether you should call the cops. What do you need 200 knives for? Even though I’m selling them…what do you need them for? So, it was awful doing that job. And then they got rid of me because, they were like, ‘You’re the worst. I can’t believe you’re talking people out of it.’ I was like, ‘Man I know…I’ve been there.’ [laughs] I’d want some to talk me out of buying some of the stuff I’ve bought at 2am.”

    Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his first job…printing logos on fanny packs.

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    Eric Paslay (Labor Day) OC: …could print. :34
    “My first official job was working at a screen printing place in Texas during the summer in a metal building that had no AC. We printed on fanny packs – really cool — and these other little bags. And it was eye doctors that, some company if you bought supplies through them, they’d put your logo on fanny packs for your customers to put in a drawer somewhere. Fanny packs are cool, if you like ‘em. You know, we’d like time ourselves to see how many fanny packs you could print.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi talks about his worst job, which was at a grocery store.

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    Jon Pardi (Labor Day) OC: …so bored! :17
    “The worst job I ever had was at Hometown Grocery Store. I didn’t want to work. I was 15, and I did not want to work at the grocery store. Bagging was fun, but they sent me down the aisles to pull up cans and turn ‘em around and face ‘em, and I would just get so bored!”

    Audio / Jordan Davis, whose debut single is making its way up the country charts, talks about his worst job.

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    Jordan Davis (Labor Day) OC: …worst job. :41
    “[My] worst job was probably whenever I got out of school I started working for an environmental group in Baton Rouge, and I was doing actual environmental work at first. I went to my boss probably about four months in and told him that I was going to move to Nashville and write songs. Luckily enough, he let me stay on, but I became the weedeater guy for the landscaping side of the business. I seriously weedeated eight hours a day. The only break I would get would be in-between yard to yard. So, like we would be in the car and I would try to doze off for like 10 minutes. I was covered in grass in the middle of the summer in Baton Rouge. It was awful. That was definitely the worst job.”

    Audio / Kip Moore recalls his worst job...ever.

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    Kip Moore (Labor Day-worst job) OC: …than that. :21
    “I’d have to say my worst job ever was laying sod in the south Georgia heat. There’s nothing than that, especially when somebody would think that you’re waiting for the next sod patch to be thrown to you and you got your back turned, and all of a sudden, that big ole piece of sod hits you right on the back. You got nowhere to clean up, and you’re just stuck with dirt on your back for the rest of the day. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”

    Audio / Keith Urban talks about performing for fans.

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    Keith Urban (Labor Day) OC: …amazing. :22
    “Seeing people connect to the music is absolutely, hands-down the biggest reward for me, especially when you go to a place you’ve never been to before and it’s all these people, I mean lots of people out there. You’ve never met a single one of ‘em and they’re singing every word, and you realize that it’s not just a pretty melody and everything, but they get the songs. It’s amazing.”

    Audio / Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum tells us what he used to do to make a buck before finding success as a musician.

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    Lady A (Labor Day) OC: …I had a lot of crummy jobs. :31
    CK “I used to…” HS: “… knock out asbestos walls.” CK: “I did that for a long time. But even before that, I used to do lawn care every summer. Oh, man, I do not miss that. Just glad those days are over. I get out here and play music for a living. It’s a lot more fun. But yeah, I used to do that, and I used to work as a bag boy at a golf course once. I did that for a couple of summers. I had a lot of crummy jobs.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about the different jobs he worked in and around Leesburg, Georgia, before heading to Nashville to pursue a career in music.

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    Luke Bryan (Labor Day-jobs) OC: …Nashville… 1:07
    “At age 12 thru 13, I worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, GA. I worked during the summers on Monday and Tuesday. I stocked and cleaned up the produce.  They paid me under the table…I peeled off all of the brown lettuce. Let’s see, when I was 15, I was a cashier at K-Mart for two months. I worked at K-Mart for two months, and then I reverted back to Rubos because it didn’t really make sense for me to drive all the way into Albany and work for K-Mart. The benefits were great though-you’d get an hour-long on the blue light special. So I started back at Rubos, and then I quit Rubos and worked for my Dad-just awful just driving tractors through cotton all day, and spraying pesticides that eventually would turn your hair green. And then at some point, I started playing guitar. And well, after college I went back and worked for my dad and continued to spray and haul fertilizer around. And then I moved to Nashville…”

     

     

     

  • LABOR DAY LINERS 2017

    Audio / LINER Billy Currington (Labor Day)

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    Hey y’all! It’s Billy Currington, wishing you a very happy Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Brandon Lay (Labor Day)

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    “Hey y’all, this is Brandon Lay, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day Weekend.”

    Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (Labor Day)

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    This is TJ, and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Labor Day)

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    Hey! What’s up, guys? I’m Canaan Smith. Have a great and work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Labor Day)

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    Hey! What’s up, guys? I’m Canaan Smith. Have a great and work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Clare Dunn (Labor Day)

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    Hey! What’s up? This is Clare Dunn, and I hope you have a Happy Labor Day weekend.

     

    Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Labor Day)

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    Hey! It’s Darius Rucker, and I hope you have a have a happy work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Eric Church (Labor Day)

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    Hey! It’s Eric Church, and I hope you have a have a happy Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (Labor Day)

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    Hey! It’s Eric Paslay, and I hope you have a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Labor Day weekend)

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    Hey! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Labor Day weekend)

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    Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves, hoping you have a happy Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Labor Day weekend)

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    Hi everybody! This is Keith Urban, wishing you a very happy Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Labor Day)

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    Hey—what’s happening guys? This is Kip Moore, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day Weekend.

    Audio / LINER LBT (Labor Day)

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    Hi! We’re Little Big Town, hoping you have a work-free Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Labor Day)

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    Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, and I hope you have a have a happy Labor Day weekend.

    Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Labor Day)

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    Hey everybody! I’m Sam Hunt. Have a great and work-free Labor Day weekend.

     

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  • NEWS AND NOTES: Chris, AJ, LBT, Strait, Lady A, Vince, Eric, Darius, Clare

    Chris Stapleton and Alan Jackson have been added to the list of performers at this year’s ACM Honors. They join previously announced performers Little Big Town, George Strait, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris and others. Eric Church, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson are among the honorees, in addition to Strait and Kelsea Ballerini. The show, which tapes next week at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, will air September 15th on CBS.

    Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet took time out to catch the Tennessee Titans practice on Thursday (August 17th).

     

    Darius Rucker is set to perform in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina for the first time in four years October 22nd. He will take the stage at Volvo Car Stadium on Daniel Island just two days after the release of his fifth studio album, When Was the Last Time. Tickets go on sale Friday (August 18th) at 10am at Ticketmaster.

    Clare Dunn returned home to Colorado last week to headline the Sand and Sage Round-Up Kick-Off concert, drawing one of the largest crowds in event history. Prior to her performance, Clare hosted a VIP charity party including a silent auction, autographed memorabilia, an acoustic performance and more, which raised over $25,000 for the Colorado FFA Foundation and Children’s Hospital Colorado.