• FOURTH OF JULY 2017: AJ, BILLY, CANAAN, DARIUS, DIERKS, EASTON, ERIC, JORDAN, JOSH, KEITH, KIP, LADY A, LBT, LUKE, SAM

    Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.

    Audio / Alan Jackson recalls one of the coolest Fourth of July memories he’s ever enjoyed.

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    AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
    Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”

    Audio / Billy Currington talks about his favorite Fourth of July memories.

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    Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
    “My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith talks about his Fourth of July memories growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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    Canaan Smith (Fireworks July Fourth) OC: …kinds of stuff. :39
    “Williamsburg, Virginia has a great fireworks display. It’s one of the best in the nation, they say or something like that. We’d go to the Governor’s Palace. They have a big lawn, and we’d sit out there and lay a blanket down. This was before I was old enough to drink, but we probably tried to sneak some in anyhow. And we’d just watch the [show], you know they’d have the grand finale, which always blew my mind ‘cause just when you thought it was over, they’d start bringing out all of the tricks and it just gets crazy. We did that on a regular basis. Other times, we’d do stuff in our own yard. We had a big yard when we were growing up with a dirt track in the back, and our neighbor’s yard was equally as big, so when you put ‘em together, we had a massive area to be destructive and do whatever we wanted. So, we blew up all kinds of stuff.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker talks about what the Fourth of July means to him.

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    Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24
    “The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know?  [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker enjoys setting off fireworks.

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    Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
    “Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains why he is so patriotic.

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    Dierks Bentley (4th of July-patriotic) OC: …all the time. :17
    “I’m extremely patriotic. I love this country, and I love the history of this country. I read books on this country. I spend my time on the road traveling physically throughout the country. The soldiers and their families are constantly on my mind. We work closely with the Wounded Warriors Project. We think about this stuff all the time.”

    Audio / Easton Corbin recalls his family’s tradition on the Fourth of July.

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    Easton Corbin (Fourth of July) OC: …clown around. :28
    “Fourth of July, I remember growing up and having cookouts, and course we did the whole fireworks thing. I remember my uncle, he’d always get fireworks and bring down like from Alabama, because in Florida, you couldn’t get the bottle rockets and stuff, so he’d always go up to Alabama, ‘cause they live in Tallahassee, which was close to the [state] line. So, he would go over the line and get the good fireworks and bring ‘em down to my Grandma’s for me and my cousin, and we’d just hang out all day and shoot off fireworks and clown around.”

    Audio / Eric Church recalls his family activities on the Fourth of July holiday.

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    Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
    “The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”

    Audio / Jordan Davis says the Fourth of July is a great time to appreciate the rights and freedoms we have as a nation.

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    Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 1 OC: …an American. :18
    “I think Fourth of July weekend is a special time to really sit back and be thankful for what we have – thankful to our military, thankful for family and for friends, just a time to really sit back and appreciate how great it is to be an American.”

     

    Audio / Jordan Davis talks about some of his favorite childhood Fourth of July memories.

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    Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
    “Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”

    Audio / Josh Turner, who will perform in Baytown, Texas on Independence Day, talks about the fireworks “wars” his family would have when he was growing up.

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    Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
    “Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]

    Audio / Keith Urban recalls coming over to America for the first time.

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    Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
    “1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I was shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”

    Audio / Kip Moore says he’s very proud of the U.S. military and can’t imagine having to do what they do to protect the United States.

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    Kip Moore (Fourth of July-soldiers) OC: …every day. :32
    “I’m a very, very patriotic person, proud of the country that I live in, and I’m very proud of what those guys do for us each and every day, and I don’t take it for granted one bit. My grandparents were in the military, fought wars, and I’ve seen the battle that they go through, just the horror of remember things. When I start to think that I’m half-way tough, I realize how I’m not one bit when I talk to soldiers when I’m out and realize the things that they go through. I can’t imagine facing what those guys face every day.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott talks about her favorite Fourth of July memories.

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    Lady A (4th of July-Hillary) OC: …on my hand. :29
    “For many, many years in a row, we would be up at the lake for Fourth of July, and having those memories of being on the boat and going tubing and skiing and enjoying being out in the summertime, great weather on the water. But, then for me, Fourth of July was when [husband] Chris [Tyrell] proposed. So, I got proposed to on July 2nd up at the lake, the same lake I grew up going to, and so that’s probably the biggest highlight of Fourth of July to me – getting a rock on my hand.”

    Audio / Every year, Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood celebrates his birthday along with America’s big day.

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    Lady A (Fourth of July-Dave) OC: …and America. :45
    “July fourth is always, for me, my birthday week. My birthday is July 5th so we grew up going on family trips to the beach. We would d always go to Hilton Head, South Carolina and always take trips for my birthday, so that’s always a fun time of the year…watch fireworks. I think my best memory would be my birthday party when I was 9 or 10 years old. We went to the batting cages and I remember I was swinging so hard, it was 100 degrees outside, I was swinging in the batting cage and ended up passing out right there in the batting cage. You’re trying so hard to hit the ball, you’re a kid and you really don’t realize how much water you should be drinking and [CHARLES: “Dave was that kid.”] I was that kid who was on the ground in the batting cage, people fanning and pouring water all over my face. Happy Birthday to me and America.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild talks about the big sacrifices the military AND their families make to keep this country free.

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    LBT (military) OC: (Karen) …whenever we can. (Kimberly: “Yeah.”) :22
    “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, and not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.” (Kimberly: “Yeah.”)

    Audio / Luke Bryan recalls one of his favorite Fourth of July memories.

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    Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
    “Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about what he and his family did over the Fourth of July holiday when he was growing up in Georgia.

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    Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
    “My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a  big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”

     

     

  • KIP MOORE REVEALS HIS NEW ALBUM, ‘SLOWHEART,’ WILL BE RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER.

    Kip Moore shared more details about his most personal body of work to date today, revealing to Rolling Stone that his upcoming third studio album on MCA Nashville SLOWHEART will be released on September 8th.  Having navigated the path from the staggering success of the release of his smash-hit debut album UP ALL NIGHT, to the resounding critical acclaim that followed with his sophomore offering, WILD ONES, has hit his stride with the upcoming release of SLOWHEART.  Moore co-wrote 11 out of 13 tracks, and was the sole producer on seven of the tracks, as well as co-producing five more on the collection that is “between the rough edges of Americana, rock and the evocative storytelling of country, produced to let every guitar lick ring true and every edge and wail of Moore’s voice reverberate raw but strong” (Rolling Stone).  He also played guitar throughout the recording, while singing the majority of the harmonies, giving him a new found respect for the talented background vocalists within the Nashville community and resulting in the impactful authenticity of this record.

    As Rolling Stone aptly describes, “The Georgia native is nothing if not steadfast: he does what he wants, how he wants it, and doesn’t try to shuffle his emotions under the table. He talks openly about depression and self-doubt, and, on Slowheart, about the life of a grown, modern man, one who wants a family sometimes but seeks a few no-strings thrills at others. He sings about fighting for a relationship at all costs, but also knowing when to pour the last round; and about how music is his real lover, while everything else is just an affair.”

    With a wayfarer impulse, Moore followed years on the road touring building one of the genre’s most fervent followings with an extended break exploring the rest of the world, including stops in Iceland, Hawaii, Australia, Costa Rica, Park City and more. This time of reflection culminated in a striking sense of clarity, showcased in Moore’s upcoming collection. With a tip of the hat to 90’s rock and roll, the anthemic “Bittersweet Company” is destined for a spot on the setlist of Moore’s revered live show, as well as “Last Shot” with it’s encore-ready, emphatic chorus. Moore also serves an unflinching wake-up call in the form of the groove-driven track “Blonde,” while he lays bare a more vulnerable layer in the committed ballad, “Try Again.”

    “This is the record I’ve been waiting to make,” said Moore. “The one that leaves you with a peace in your heart, knowing you did it exactly the way you wanted to. The one that makes it okay if you fail, because it truly came from your soul and no other place. You can’t go wrong if you can lay your head on your pillow with no regrets.”

    SLOWHEART Official Track List:

    1.Plead The Fifth

    Luke Dick, Josh Kear

    2. Just Another Girl
    Kip Moore, Westin Davis, Ben Helson

    3. I’ve Been Around
    Kip Moore, Dan Couch

    4. Fast Women

    Kip Moore, Blair Daly, Westin Davis and Troy Verges

    5. Bittersweet Company
    Kip Moore, Josh Miller, Troy Verges

    6. Sunburn
    Kip Moore, David Garcia, Josh Miller, Steven Olsen

    7. More Girls Like You
    Kip Moore, Steven Olsen, Josh Miller, David Garcia

    8. The Bull
    Jon Randall, Luke Dick

    9. Blonde
    Kip Moore, Steven Olsen, Josh Miller, David Garcia

    10. Good Thing
    Kip Moore, Josh Miller, Troy Verges

    11. Last Shot
    Kip Moore, Dan Couch, David Lee Murphy

    12. Try Again
    Kip Moore, David Garcia, Josh Miller

    13. Guitar Man
    Kip Moore, Dan Couch, Westin Davis

    Co-written by Moore, his current Top 20 single and the lead track from his upcoming release “More Girls Like You,” is the fastest rising single of his career so far and is receiving praise from critics such as Entertainment Weekly declaring he “has made a name for himself weaving vignettes of Southern, blue-collar life and love into rollicking country anthems.” As he “consistently serves up clever roots-rock riffs and rhythms that separate Moore from the rock-meets-rap focus of his Nashville peers” (Associated Press), the release of “More Girls Like You” follows the acclaim that surrounded his sophomore album WILD ONES heralded as “an impressively singular release from Music Row” by The Guardian. Moore first turned heads with his debut album UP ALL NIGHT which was certified GOLD by the RIAA and spawned three No. One hit singles including GOLD certified “Beer Money,” PLATINUM certified “Hey Pretty Girl,” and the DOUBLE PLATINUM breakout hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck. Following an extended break, Moore is back out on the road playing some of country music’s biggest festivals this year, as well as headlining dates in U.K this fall stopping in Birmingham, UK (10/2), Manchester, UK (10/3), Glasgow, UK (10/4) and culminating in a special show as part of Country Music Week in London, UK at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 10/6. Moore will also return to Ireland later this summer for Harvest 2017, stopping in Westport, IE (8/26) and Enniskillen, IE (8/27.) For more information and a fill list of tour dates, visit kipmoore.net.

     

     

  • FATHER’S DAY 2017: AJ, CANAAN, DARIUS, DIERKS, CHURCH, PASLAY, KEITH, LADY A, LBT, LUKE BRYAN, SAM

    Father’s Day is on Sunday (June 18th), and many of your favorite country artists will be celebrating.

    Audio / Alan Jackson allows his three daughters to live and learn.

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    AJ (parenting style) OC: …what they did.  :19
    “We try to be just not pushy hands-on parents. We let them live and be their own way. I’m not stern with them. You know, I’m funny and light, and try to give them guidance and let them live and learn their own ways. And that’s something, I think, my parents did. It was accidental, but that’s what they did.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith says his father is a big inspiration.

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    Canaan Smith (Father’s Day) OC: …I love him. :35
    “My dad, I think is just the greatest man. He’s always provided for us. He was always there. He was always a great dad. He worked his butt off, you know, and showed me what it was like to work hard and provide for a family, and I just hope I can do that one day too. We’ve always had a special bond. He’s been a songwriter and a singer too for a long, long time, and so I got to grow up listening to him do his thing, sitting in the other room while they do band rehearsal. I’d be sitting on the couch in the other room just taking it all in, dreaming one day to be behind that microphone, so he’s definitely been an inspiration. I love him.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley says his dad is a great role model for him as he enjoys being a father to son Ward.

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    Charles Kelley (qualities as a father) OC: …tolerance. :24
    “I hope I’m a great father. My dad, I’ve always looked up to. He’s such a hard worker and an amazing man. He’s always showed me and the rest of my siblings a lot of love, and so yeah, I hope to instill a strong work ethic into Ward, but also a lot of love and a lot of tolerance.”

     

    Audio / Darius Rucker says his kids would say he was a fun dad, unless they did something wrong.

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    Darius Rucker (Father’s Day) OC: …loving dad. :41
    “I think if you asked my kids what kind of Dad I was they would probably say…Dani would say that I was a fun Dad. My little daughter would say that I was a fun dad; she thinks I’m a lot of fun. I think if you caught them at the right moment they would say I was mean [laughs] because when I’m home I’m not afraid to discipline them. I’m all fun until it’s not fun anymore and then daddy’s not the fun guy. I think that they’d say that I was a fun Dad, I’m a loving Dad and I think they would say that. I’m gone so much that when I’m home, I just shower love upon my kids. I say ‘I love you’ probably fifty times a day. We hug, we kiss all the time. I’m always wanting them to know how much I love them. So I’d hope they’d say that I was a loving dad.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley enjoys being both dad – to daughters Evie and Jordan and son Knox – and country music performer.

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    Dierks Bentley (dad & performer) OC: …to do both. :28
    “When I get home, it’s a totally different reality that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Just hanging with my girls and doing the things we do and seeing life through their eyes, it’s incredible. It takes a man to do it. It’s not a boys’ game. It takes a man to do it. I love the juxtaposition to be able to be that man and to also go on the road and act like I’m 13 years old and play video games all afternoon waiting for the fans to show up. So, it’s really a blessing to be able to do both.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains how being a father (to three children) has changed him.

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    Dierks Bentley (how fatherhood has changed him) OC: …different. :07
    “There’s a whole kind of different universe that has opened up that I never knew existed, and I’m not the center of it, which is really cool. It just makes you look at things totally different.”

    Audio / Eric Church admires his father, and will pass along some of those qualities he’s learned to his own children, sons Boone and Hawk.

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    Eric Church (his father’s influence) OC: …same thing. :32
    “My daddy’s always preached, and it’s something that rung true, he’s always preached authenticity. He’s always preached being honest and being true. My daddy’s from a small town, you know it’s a blue collar town, and he’s just always been pretty even-keeled; never too high and never too low. He’s always been honest and authentic. I think it’s a good template. It has been for me thus far, especially with this industry, ‘cause it’s really easy to get high and low. So, I think just keeping everything in perspective and trying to be real, and I think people can sense that, and I certainly will tell my kids the same thing.”

     

    Audio / Eric Paslay says his father taught him how to work hard and to do a lot of things himself, such as electrical work and other handyman tasks.

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    Eric Paslay (Father’s Day) OC: …ceiling fan. :23
    “He just taught me that working hard and sticking it out, even when you know things aren’t right, that if you stick it out, it’s worth it in the end. And he just taught me to work hard, and there’s a lot of things that you don’t have to pay someone else to do, and it feels more rewarding when you’re able to put in new light fixtures or paint your own walls or put in a new ceiling fan.”

     

    Audio / Keith Urban – father to daughters Sunday and Faith -- says there are a number of things that are at the top of the list of being a dad.

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    Keith Urban (Father’s Day) OC: …experience that. :36
    “The first thing is probably just having someone call you dad. I’m like, ‘Omigosh! I’m her dad! That’s amazing.’ That’s probably the first thing to me. I don’t know, I mean, the different personalities that our two daughters have, that’s amazing. It’s such a long list I think. I always say…I think for the people that haven’t had kids – which I hadn’t for a long, long time. I didn’t have kids ‘til later on, and being around it is not the same as having them, you know? I realize that it’s not something that can be explained until you actually sort of have it, so I’m glad I got to experience that.”

     

    Audio / Kip Moore talks about his LATE father’s influence on his music career, and how he’d play classics on their fishing trips.

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    Kip Moore (Father’s Day-dad’s influence) OC: …of us singin’ ‘em. :29
    “He would just play all those classic records – Little River Band, Jackson Brown, Springsteen, Seeger, Willie Nelson, the Red-Headed Stranger, Kristofferson, Sam Cook – like classic music. He’d be singing the songs and telling us why it was such good music. And I looked up to him so much, that’s the music I gravitated towards and that’s what I continue to listen to. Whenever I think about those old fishing trips, that’s what I think about is on the way down there, him singing those songs and all of us singin’ ‘em.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott says her father is a great communicator.

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    Lady A (Father’s Day-Hillary) OC: …my children. :33
    “I definitely got my Type-A personality from my dad. He’s the same way, but one thing I’m so appreciative of – especially from a father-daughter relationship – my dad always, always talked to me, even when I didn’t want to talk to him. He would force me to communicate and talk through things, and not always the easy stuff, which is such a rare quality in a man, truthfully. And so, I am very, very thankful for that. I think it helped me find the right husband for me, and I also know that it will help me be that much of a better communicator to my children.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood says his father was a big influence both personally and musically, and he wants to pass along those qualities to his own children.

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    Lady A (Father’s Day-Dave) OC: …like that. :39
    “My dad was a really hard worker growing up and was always great, however hard he worked, he’d always make important time for family, important time to be home for dinner and be there for a lot of special moments for us growing up. For all the money he would make, he would always give a portion of it back to charity or to the church, and so that was always important for me to watch. We had a great relationship growing up. My dad plays guitar; he’s very musical. I learned how to play acoustic guitar with him playing ‘Day Tripper’ by the Beatles and all these old songs we’d play together when he’d show me how to play these James Taylor songs and things like that. So, definitely want to pass along music, of course, to my children, as well, like that.”

     

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook says fatherhood is absolutely beautiful. He and wife Karen Fairchild became parents to Elijah Dylan on March 5, 2010.

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    Little Big Town (Jimi-Father’s Day) OC: …beautiful. :32
    “It’s still such a new experience for us, and man, I’m telling you, people can tell you all day long how great it’s going to be, but it still never touches it. That little man looking back at me, it’s the most unbelievable feeling. And every day, for me who hates mornings [laughs], waking up to a slap in the face; he’s like pounding on me, then he’s like kissing on me and stuff. It’s unbelievable. It’s absolutely beautiful.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan says he likes to spend Father’s Day fishing with his boys.

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    Luke Bryan (Father’s Day) OC: …for me. :34
    “Father’s Day is certainly always really, really special. With the boys, just the simple things with boys. Caroline’s like, ‘Hey! Pick who you want to go fishing with and y’all just go fishing and have a little morning.’ It’s stuff like that and half the time I load the boat up with all the boys and it’s Father’s Day and I’m untangling fishing line all day. So, Father’s Day is really, really special, and Caroline’s always great about creating some fun stuff…she’s always really proactive in making days like that really special for me.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt says his father taught him a lot about being a man and knowing how to do the right thing.

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    Sam Hunt (Father’s Day) OC: …he’s great. :27
    “I’m obviously biased about my parents, but I’ve been around a lot of great men of integrity, but he is by far the best man that I know. He’s just taught me so much about being a man, doing the right thing, knowing the difference between right and wrong. And even though I don’t always follow his lead, I definitely know better because of him, and that means a whole lot to me. I was just really fortunate to have him as a dad, and he’s great.”

     

     

  • DIERKS BENTLEY PERFORMS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM DURING THE STANLEY CUP FINALS GAME 4.

    Wearing a Kevin Fiala jersey, Dierks Bentley performed the National Anthem before the Nashville Predators took on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final on Monday night (June 5th).

    Dierks, longtime Predators season ticket holder and all-around hockey fan, follows Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Vince Gill along with daughters Jenny and Corrina, Lady Antebellum, Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride in singing the Anthem during the Preds Stanley Cup playoff run.

    Carrie chatted with the NBC NHL analysts during the first intermission, while basketball legend Charles Barkley talked about the excitement of the Preds fans at Bridgestone Arena during the second. Kip Moore performed during Music City Gives Back, the pre-game concert, located on Broad and Fifth Avenue.

    Video / Dierks Bentley performing National Anthem during the Stanley Cup

  • CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2017

    It’s that time of the year again! The 2017 CMA Music Festival begins this week in Nashville, and the stars are coming out to perform and hangout with their fans. You can find out where your favorite artists are playing, if go to cmaworld.com here.

    Audio / Darius Rucker will host his 7th annual Darius and Friends concert at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon Monday (June 5th) during this year’s CMA Music Festival. Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Darius is nominated for a CMT Music Award – CMT Performance of the Year – for “Pink Houses” with John Mellencamp during a CMT Crossroads. The category consists of musical performances on a television show, series or variety special on CMT. Darius will appear and perform during CMA Music Fest. He’ll be at the HGTV Lodge on Sunday (June 11th), at 11am, followed by a performance at Nissan Stadium later in the evening.

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    Darius Rucker talks about the amazing things about CMA Music Festival.

    Darius Rucker (CMA Music Fest) OC: …awesome. :48
    “Music Fest is like nothing else. I say all the time that country music is the only genre that could have something like that. It’s truly amazing, when I come that weekend, people are everywhere and they want to be your best friend. It’s always cool and I love coming here. The thing that always gets me is the show. The fact that you can get that many superstars at one show all playing for free, for the same goal, to entertain those people that are in that stadium that come here for the whole week from all over the world. They come here for one week to see country music, and it’s amazing that those artists say on Friday and Saturday night, this is country music come on out. That’s awesome.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley is set to perform during the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Thursday (June 8th). Dierks Bentley talks about the lengths that fans will go to show their appreciation.

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    Dierks (fans) OC: …commitment. [laughs] :22
    “I know a lot of the early fans by name, because we played a lot of shows at a lot of small venues where we’d be around a lot after the shows. I’m not gonna say her name ‘cause I don’t know if she’d want me to or not, but she has like a dog print of Jake, my dog’s Jake, but she has this dog print on her shoulder with my name in the middle of the tattoo. So, tattoos are always, that’s a big deal when somebody gets your name tattooed on part of their body or something. It’s kind of a scary thing, because it’s kind of a lifelong commitment. [laughs]”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley recalls the weirdest thing he has signed.

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    Dierks Bentley (signing a baby’s head) OC: …child’s brain. :13
    “A baby’s head with a sharpie. Yeah, like a two-week old baby. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to do it. The woman was like, ‘Please.’ I was like, ‘Alright.’ The head at that point is so vulnerable, transparent, so I’m just hoping they didn’t get any ink in the child’s brain.”

    Audio / Easton Corbin, who is making his way up the country charts with “A Girl Like You,” talks about CMA Music Festival. He’s set to perform at Chevrolet Park on Sunday.

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    Easton Corbin (CMA Music Fest) OC: …wouldn’t work. :25
    “CMA Music Fest, it’s a great opportunity to hang out with your fans and stuff. The great thing about the country genre is it’s one of the only genres that really has a festival dedicated to their fans, and I think that’s great because without the fans we wouldn’t be here. They’re the ones that make it work. Without the fans to buy records and listen to the radio and come to the shows, it just wouldn’t work.”

    Audio / Eric Church, who’s performing during the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium (home to the Tennessee Titans) on Friday (June 9th), says CMA Music Festival is special and unique to country music.

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    Eric Church (CMA Music Fest) OC: …barrage of  music.
    “Well, I think it’s what makes country music unique. Find me another format that happens in, it’s just not something that happens. Country music is the one for mat where the fans…the music is really about them. And we’re them; we’re not different than them. We’re not a lot of the rock stars and a lot of the other guys where they’re their own person, they’re their own agenda…they’re not like the people that are listening to them. It’s different in country, we are. We come from there, we are that. I think it’s just a great thing for them to be able to come to our town and to get just this barrage of music.”

    Audio / Eric Paslay will perform at HGTV Lodge on Saturday (June 10th) and at Riverfront Stage on Sunday (June 11th). He talks about getting his first autograph.

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    Eric Paslay (1st autograph) OC: …first autograph. :42
    “The first autograph that I ever got was in Branson, Missouri, and it was Shoji Tabuchi, and he’s a great fiddle player, and I always remember that, you know if you go to Branson, you know who he is. But I was a 9, 10 year old kid, and I always remember that. Every time I meet a kid, I don’t know if it’s their first concert. It could be their 100-thousandth, but whenever I sign an autograph for a kid, I really make sure it’s special and memorable, and with anybody, but especially with kids. I still have that Shoji Tabuchi autograph, you know? Because it meant that much. I didn’t know he was until we saw him, but he tore the place down playing the “Orange Blossom Special.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi, who is making his way up the country charts with “Heartache on the Dance Floor,” is set to perform during this year’s CMA Music Festival at the Riverfront Stage on Thursday (June 8th). Jon is also up for 2 CMT Awards, including Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Dirt on My Boots.”

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    Jon Pardi (performing live) OC: …really loud. :19
    “To get up on stage, it feels like home. It’s like, ‘Yeah, this is where I want to be.’ I’d rather be there than a lot of places. I love just getting up on stage not matter where it is. It’s fun to get up and entertain people and have a good time, make everybody feel a part of the show and get up there and play my guitar really loud.”

    Audio / Josh Turner, who just released his new single “Hometown Girl,” recalls the weirdest item he’s ever been asked to sign.

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    Josh Turner (weirdest things he’s signed) OC: …Sharpie, though. :10
    “A toothpick; an unused toothpick, let me throw that out there, an unused toothpick. It was quite challenging, actually, and it didn’t look anything like my autograph. It took a really small Sharpie, though.”

    Audio / Keith Urban, who’s sitting inside the Top 10 with his current single “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood, will be making a couple of appearances at this year’s CMA Music Fest. First, he’ll play the HGTV Lodge Thursday (June 8th) and at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Sunday (June 11th). Keith has a handful of nominations going into this year’s CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 7th), where he’s up for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” as well as Collaborative Video of the Year for “The Fighter” with Carrie Underwood and CMT Social Superstar.

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    Keith Urban (CMA Music Fest) OC: …love it. :25
    “I love it! It’s like summer camp. I mean, it is! It’s a chance to obviously see a lot of people I don’t normally see. I don’t know. It’s just palpable. Since Fan Fair, it’s just been that sort of week-plus of energy; the town just explodes, and what it is we love about this genre and the community aspect of it. I always love it.”

    Audio / Kip Moore is helping the Nashville Predators and W.O. Smith Music School celebrate on Monday, with the Broadway Smash concert, “Music City GivesBack,” ahead of the Stanley Cup Final Game 4. The concert/tailgate party will take place at Broadway and 5th Avenue from 1 – 6pm. The free and open-to-the-public show will also feature Rodney Atkins, Brett Young and Granger Smith, among others.

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    Kip Moore (favorite thing about performing live) OC: …it gets. :17
    “I’d say that my favorite thing about being on the road is the fact that I get to play music each and every night with my best friends. There’s nothing better than that than playing with your best buddies and seeing the joy that you bring to other people’s faces playing the music that you love to play. I mean that’s the best it gets.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum will be quite busy during this year’s CMA Music Festival. The trio will perform with Earth, Wind & Fire and others, including Darius Rucker, for a special CMT Crossroads special to air June 23rd, as well as perform during the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 7th). They’re nominated for CMT Group Video of the Year for “You Look Good.” The band is also set to perform at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Saturday (June 10th). Lady A’s Charles Kelley explains why he enjoys the annual CMA Music Festival.

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    Lady Antebellum (Music Fest) 3 OC: …really cool. :25

    “When you see the same fans, these die-hard fans that camp out outside the radio remotes and the hotels, and all of these places, and you start recognizing them, I think that’s when you start going ‘Wow, this is a special and unique industry.’ You talk to them by name and give them a hug. I can’t think of any other genre that has that kind of connection. The people that come back the same time every year, you know where they are going to be. It’s really kind of a fun thing. It’s really cool.”

    Audio / Lauren Alaina says she owes it all to her fans, and she will be EVERYWHERE for this year’s CMA Music Festival. She’s nominated for three CMT Music Awards, including Female and Breakthrough Video of the Year, as well as Social Superstar. On Friday afternoon, she’ll perform at the Riverfront Stage and sign at the UMG booth, and then she’ll hit the bases at the City of Hope Softball Game on Saturday (June 10th). On Sunday, she’s set to perform at the HGTV Lodge.

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    Lauren Alaina (fans) OC: …me wrong. :30
    “My fans helped me grow as a person in lots of different ways. I grew up in front of them. I was 15 on American Idol, so they watched me grow up and kind of helped me mold into who I am, because I worked at CiCi’s Pizza, and now I’m traveling all over the place. It’s like I learned responsibility through all of it. I learned who I am as a person, ‘cause my fans have made me stronger, they’ve made me more responsible, they made me believe in myself 10 times more, because I thought I was going home every week on American Idol, and they proved me wrong.”

    Audio / The members of Little Big Town are up for a pair of CMT Music Awards – Video of the Year and Group Video of the Year for “Better Man.” The group will perform on the big stage at Nissan Stadium on Sunday (June 11th).

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    Little Big Town (CMA Music Fest) OC: (Phillip) …the best, man. 1:43

    Kimberly – We played at the fairgrounds.  I guess it was the last year at the fairgrounds.  We had just gotten our record deal.

    Phillip – I remember we were just about to walk out on stage, and we had to play acoustic. I mean there was no backing band,

    Kimberly – we were at Mercury.  They wanted us to play before Wynonna sang.

    Phillip – I remember, my hair was short and Wynonna walked by and tuffed my hair and was like, “Oh that’s cute…cute red hair boy.” [laugh]  I was like, “Oh great.” Like little puppy dog, you’re gonna be ok kid.

    Kimberly – We were nervous.

    Karen – Oh my gosh, were so nervous. We were so green.

    Kimberly – We didn’t have many songs at that point.  Maybe three songs, which is what we sang. It was all we knew at the time which is what we had worked up.  Because literally we got our record deal in May and that was June.

    Karen – And they were like, “Why don’t you guys sing a couple songs?” And, we’re like, “Good because a couple is what we know.” That was fun.  And then moving form that to the stadium shows, to me that the most fun you can ever have…CMA Fest, Stadium shows.  It is an energy unlike anything else. Like last year Kimberly and I sang with Keith on “I get by with a Little Help from my Friends,” and Tony Brown was on piano…

    Phillip – All star band.

    Kimberly – It was incredible.

    Karen – It was over the top and I could just come out of my skin at those moments.

    Kimberly – Me too.

    Karen  – It’s like you just want to float.

    Phillip – And it’s like the best country crowd you could ever compile. Every country fan from all over the world wants to be there.  That’s like the crux of country music awesomeness. I’m telling you it is the best fun.

    Karen – It’s the best feeling out there.

    Kimberly – They let them line up and all come across the stage so you have all these people that are so giddy, crazy giddy, because they get to walk up close to the stage.

    Phillip – And they’re waving and their arms are about to fall off.  They’re just so excited. It’s the best.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan, who is set to perform at Nissan Stadium on Thursday (June 9th), enjoys CMA Music Fest Week. Luke is nominated for a pair of CMT Music Awards, including Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year for “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day.”

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    Luke Bryan (CMA Music Fest) OC: …for this week. :33
    “It’s a great week. I truly love this week for hundreds of reasons. I always remember my first ones and starting out and doing River Stages and always dreaming of coming over here and performing at LP Field (now Nissan Stadium) and all of the stuff building the fan base early in the week. It’s an amazing week for Nashville, and it’s a great week for me. And then I get to be home and do all this stuff. It’s always been a fun week for me. A lot of my family always comes in for this week.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt says his first trip to Nashville during CMA Music Fest inspired him to move to Music City.

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    Sam Hunt (CMA Music Fest-move to Nashville) OC: …good week for Nashville. :38
    “You know, I was here several years ago for the first time for CMA Fest as a fan. I came out to the show, did the full experience, and it really was one of the big reasons I decided to move to Nashville. It kind of made the idea of being a songwriter more tangible and realistic, and also I fell in love with the city, Nashville, so I knew it’d be a place I’d be happy living, and also because of the music. So, yeah, that week here really inspired my move here, and it was a significant part of my life. But since then, I’ve been to every CMA Fest since, I think, and it’s a good week for Nashville.”

  • KIP MOORE HAS FOUND A SIMILAR SPIRIT IN BILLY CURRINGTON.

    Kip Moore took some time off at the end of last year through the beginning of 2017, and he traveled to several places including Iceland and Hawaii. It was in the South Pacific where Kip ran into pal Billy Currington to ride the waves for a day. Kip hopes the two will do more surfing together.

    “I’ve been around Billy many a’times and he was one of my first major tours that I did about five or six years ago,” says Kip. “It’s like you can come across somebody and you can always have that small talk and whatever, but I freaking love the dude now, man. We’ve talked about taking some surfing trips together from here on out. He’s a solid, solid dude, and he’s got a lot to say actually when you get in that environment where, where you’re both comfortable to really be yourself, and we had a blast. We got into things. We had a good time.”

    Kip is making his way up the country charts with his latest single, “More Girls Like You.”

    Audio / Kip Moore talks about his friendship with fellow surfer Billy Currington.

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    Kip Moore (Billy Currington) OC: …that’s for sure. :55
    “I’ve been around Billy many a’times and he was one of my first major toursthat I did about five or six years ago. It’s like you can come across somebody and you can always have that small talk and whatever, but I freaking love the dude now, man. We’ve talked about taking some surfing trips together from here on out. He’s a solid, solid dude, and he’s got a lot to say actually when you get in that environment where, where you’re both comfortable to really be yourself, and we had a blast. We got into things. We had a good time. He’s a similar spirit that I feel like I am, and what’s cool is he’s found a girl that can go with the flow too. She’s kind of the same kind of person he is. Somebody was asking me what kind of woman is it gonna take for me to settle down with, and it’s definitely gonna take somebody that can go with the flow, that’s for sure.”

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Darius, Lady A, Kip, Kacey, Shania

    Darius Rucker headlined the 19th annual Tiger Jam private concert on Saturday (May 20th). The two-day, star-studded charity event was held at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and included world-class golf, high-stakes poker, gourmet cuisine and exclusive VIP experiences benefitting the Tiger Woods Foundation’s college-access programs.

    Darius Rucker will unofficially kick-off this year’s CMA Music Festival with his eighth annual Darius & Friends benefit concert, being held at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium June 5th. Joining him will be Ronnie Milsap, Dan + Shay, Michael Ray and Hall and Oates’ John Oates. Proceeds from the event will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
    Lady Antebellum will perform during a special outdoor CMT Crossroads featuring Earth, Wind & Fire. More artists will be announced for the show in the coming days, and the new installment will be filmed in downtown Nashville at a soon-to-be announced date. CMT Crossroads With Earth, Wind & Fire and Friends will air June 23rd at 10pm ET on CMT.

    Kip Moore, Brett Young, Granger Smith and more will play Rodney Atkins’ seventh annual Music City Gives Back show June 6th in downtown Nashville. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the W.O. Smith Music School.

    Kacey Musgraves will appear during the new season of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry. The singer says, “It got pretty real. And more on this later, but about a week after Tyler visited my house and did the reading some strange (but not negative) things started happening with electronics…things moving…etc. I’ve wondered if the reading somehow invited energy (maybe my grandma?) in that felt welcome enough to stick around? Either way, my mom and I had a blast sitting down with Tyler. More details on when you can catch the episode soon!”

     

    Shania Twain’s new single, “Life’s About to Get Good,” is featured in a new NBC television ad promoting the Winter Olympics. The clip includes some of the outstanding U.S. Olympic athletes, including Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn, Nathan Chen, Ashley Kim and many more. “Life’s About To Get Good” is the first single from Shania’s upcoming album, which is schedule for release this fall. The single will hit the airwaves beginning in June. The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place February 8th-25th, 2018 in South Korea.

  • KIP MOORE RAMPS BACK UP, ANNOUNCING A HEADLINING U.K. TOUR.

    Kip Moore is getting back into the touring groove following trips to Costa Rica, Iceland, Australia and more, announcing today that he will return to the U.K this fall for a stint of headlining shows. The announcement is sure to be welcomed by Moore’s fervent international fanbase, with his previous headlining shows last spring selling out months in advance, prompting the move to bigger venues and inspiring unforgettable, impromptu post-show jams in the streets.

    Moore has also invited Drake White and The Big Fire out on the highly-anticipated run, that will stop in Birmingham, UK (10/2), Manchester, UK (10/3), Glasgow, UK (10/4) and culminate in a special show as part of Country Music Week in London, UK at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 10/6. Country Music Week is a brand new week-long series of shows, created by the organizers of the hugely successful Country To Country music festival.  Moore first connected with fans during his debut performance as part of the festival two years ago, when he turned heads as he “led the 20,000-capacity through a singalong” (Rolling Stone Country.) Tickets to the shows will go on sale on Friday 19th May at 9am GMT here.

    2017 is picking up momentum fast for Moore, as he will also return to Ireland later this summer for Harvest 2017, stopping in Westport, IE (8/26) and Enniskillen, IE (8/27.) Co-written by Moore, his new single “More Girls Like You,” and the lead single from his upcoming third album, is the fastest rising single of his career so far. The track is receiving praise from critics such as Taste Of Country, who notes the track “doubles down on a heavy, thumping formula he relied on to create one of the best country albums of 2015” and Entertainment Weekly declaring he “has made a name for himself weaving vignettes of Southern, blue-collar life and love into rollicking country anthems.” As he “consistently serves up clever roots-rock riffs and rhythms that separate Moore from the rock-meets-rap focus of his Nashville peers” (Associated Press), the release of “More Girls Like You” follows the acclaim that surrounded his sophomore album WILD ONES heralded as “an impressively singular release from Music Row” by The Guardian. Moore first turned heads with his debut album UP ALL NIGHT which was certified GOLD by the RIAA and spawned three No. One hit singles including GOLD certified “Beer Money,” PLATINUM certified “Hey Pretty Girl,” and the DOUBLE PLATINUM breakout hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck. Following an extended break, Moore is back out on the road playing some of country music’s biggest festivals this year, most recently at Stagecoach in California.  This follows a recent trip to Australia where he was met by a staggering fan base, as well as a characteristically stacked touring schedule last year as he completed his fiercely successful WILD ONES TOUR, that he also unleashed across the pond for headlining sold-out dates in the UK and Ireland. For more information, visit kipmoore.net.

    Kip took an extended break earlier this year, which is spotlighted in an exclusive feature by Conde Nast Traveler.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Chris, Shania, Dierks, Keith, Kip, Lauren, Lady A

    Chris Stapleton will appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (May 8th) and Howard Stern on Tuesday (May 9th).

    Chris Stapleton and Shania Twain will perform during NBC’s Today Show summer concert series. Shania will take the stage in Rockefeller Plaza June 16th, while Chris, who just released his album From A Room, Volume 1, is scheduled to perform July 18th. Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are also scheduled to perform throughout the summer.

    Dierks Bentley appears on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday (May 9th) to announce the lineup for this year’s GMA Summer Concert Series.

    Keith Urban earned platinum certification for several of his albums, including Ripcord, Fuse, Get Closer and Greatest Hits-18 Kids.

    Kip Moore and Lauren Alaina will take part in the fourth annual Georgia on My Mind concert, hosted by the Peach Pickers (songwriters Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip), on May 16th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The event is a fundraiser for the Georgia Music Foundation and will also feature performances by Michael Ray and Chris Janson.

    Lady Antebellum will take part in a multi-artist episode of CMT Crossroads featuring Earth, Wind & Fire. The latest installment will film in downtown Nashville during this year’s CMA Music Festival.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Luke, Dierks, LBT, Kip

    Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will appear on CBS This Morning, and they’ll perform on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Wednesday (March 29th). The pair will talk about hosting this year’s ACM Awards. The 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas April 2nd at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.

    Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild is featured on Racked.com, talking about her clothing line, her love of fringe and her favorite flea market finds. “I like to call myself a “professional shopper” — it’s kind of my vice. Because the band travels so much, I get to visit all these cool boutiques and check out the local shopping scenes in different cities,” says Karen. “Really, my favorite thing to do on the road is go to flea markets and antique stores; my bandmate Kimberly [Schlapman] and I always go antiquing together. I’ll wind up finding these amazing pieces that have real stories behind them.”

    Darius Rucker is the latest country star to get immortalized in wax for the new Madame Tussaud’s Nashville, which is set to open April 14th. “Having my own figure and going through the whole process on this Madame Tussauds journey makes me feel as if I’ve truly made it to the next level as an artist,” said Darius. “I’m super excited for the fans to come and check this out.”

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    Luke Bryan and Little Big Town, as well as Jason Aldean, will headline the 2017 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. The three-day concert event will take place September 1st through September 3rd in Panama City Beach, Florida.

    Kip Moore has been announced as one of the performers on the main stage at this year’s iHeart Country Festival in Austin, Texas on May 6th.