In what is easily the biggest country song of 2017, Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” released to country radio Feb. 1 and raced to the top of the charts in only twelve weeks. The three-week No. 1 still remains in the Top 5 titles for country radio airplay and is currently climbing pop radio’s Top 15. “Body Like A Back Road” is also on a 20-week streak at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the longest command for a song by a solo male ever on the nearly 59-year-old chart. Sales and streams of this song juggernaut quickly surpassed the Gold and Platinum sales standards and “Body Like A Back Road” is now RIAA-certified Double Platinum in record time for the Georgia native.
Written by Hunt, Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, “Body Like A Back Road” is the No. 1 most-downloaded country song of 2017 so far and is the No. 3 most-downloaded song across all genres year-to-date. The “playfully flirty love song” (Billboard) is the fastest country song in history to reach 100M total streams (10 weeks) and with over 212M total streams is the Top Streaming Country Song of 2017.
Additionally, Hunt’s monumental 2014 debut album, Montevallo, is now RIAA–certified Triple Platinum. Montevallo topped the Billboard Country Albums Chart in its first week and remains the best-selling debut album for a country artist since 2011. The album landed on multiple “Best of” lists including the Associated Press, Billboard, Country Weekly, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, SPIN Magazine, Village Voice and The Washington Post. It also produced a record-breaking four No. 1 singles and five Platinum and Multi-Platinum-selling hits including “Leave the Night On,” “House Party,” “Take Your Time,” “Break Up In A Small Town” and “Make You Miss Me.”
This summer, fans can find Hunt selling out venues across the country on his 15 In A 30 Tour with special guests Maren Morris, Chris Janson and Ryan Follese. Upcoming dates include St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati.
For information on Sam Hunt, “Body Like A Back Road,” the 15 In A 30 Tour and more, visit www.SamHunt.com.
Sam Hunt (song choices) OC: …in that way. :52
“I had about 14 or 15 songs ready when I went to make the record. I couldn’t decide, after the first 10, I couldn’t decide what to pick. So, at the end of the day, these 10 songs were the songs that I absolutely HAD to put on the record. I didn’t want to overwhelm people with a ton of songs. I wanted them to really digest these songs especially. So, I just stuck with 10. I don’t know what plans will be in the future as far as putting out new music, but hopefully I’ll be able to put out music sooner than later, because I want to continue to write and I do have songs that folks haven’t heard. You only get one first album, and these are the songs I feel like best represented the era of writing my first album. Every song is a little bit different. The other songs that I have would have been a slight version of something that’s already on the record, so I wanted to keep it unique in that way.”
Sam Hunt (Body Like a Back Road success) OC: …eight ball. [laughs] :53
“I can’t say that I expected for it to do as well as it has done. If you listen to the first record, you can see how I fit into that song, but also it’s different. It’s not like anything from the first record, so it was cool to go out on a limb a little bit, but to have the fans of the first record get on board. So, that was cool. But yeah, the success that it’s had has just been awesome. It’s not that polarizing of a song, so fortunately I think it’s palatable to a lot of tastes and people have enjoyed it, hopefully. So, it’s been awesome to have a song after the first record. Your second record is always the thing that everybody’s saying, ‘Well, let’s see if he can do it again’ or whatever. They call it the ‘Sophomore Slump,’ I think. I’m just so glad that [laughs] this song has reacted right off the bat and I don’t feel like I’m behind the eight ball.” [laughs]
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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]
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”)
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.”
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.”
“Hey! This is Alan Jackson, wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July.”
“Hey guys! I’m Billy Currington, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey y’all! I’m John, and I’m TJ, and we are Brothers Osborne, wish you a very Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! What’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July!”
“Hey! This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a very Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey y’all, what’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a very, very happy Fourth of July!”
“Happy Birthday, America!”
Hey everybody! This is Dierks Bentley, wishing you a Happy and safe Fourth of July.
“Hey! This is Easton Corbin. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey this is Eric Church, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Eric Paslay, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Gary Allan. Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hi, it’s Jon Pardi, wishing you a happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey everybody, Keith Urban here, wanting to wish you all a fantastic and safe summer. Enjoy the sunshine. Hopefully, you’ll get to spend some time with the ones you love, and hopefully, we’ll also get to see you out on the road.”
“Hi! This is Charles, Hillary and Dave of Lady Antebellum, wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.”
“Hey! It’s Lauren Alaina. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Fourth of July!”
“Hey! This is Luke Bryan, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey everybody! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July.”
“Hi! It’s Toby Keith, wishing you a safe Fourth of July.”
Kacey Musgraves appears on Hollywood Medium tonight to talk about the death of her grandmother with Tyler Henry. Check out all the goosebump moments at 8pm ET on E!.
— Hollywood Medium: TH (@hollywoodmedium) June 21, 2017
Little Big Town will take over Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series on Friday (June 23rd). Catch all the action beginning at 7am on ABC.
The epic all-star CMT Crossroads: Earth, Wind & Fire and Friends will air Friday (June 23rd) on CMT at 10pm ET. The new installment, which was taped on an outdoor stage the day before this year’s CMT Music Awards, will feature collaborations with Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and more.
Brothers Osborne have been tapped to open for The Cadillac Three on the UK leg of their Long Hair Don’t Care Tour this fall. The trek kicks off November 1st in Berlin, Germany.
Sam Hunt is set to return to the University of Alabama Birmingham for a free show September 1st, to help celebrate the return of the school’s football program. Tickets for the show, which will also feature his 15 in a 30 tourmates Maren Morris and Ryan Follese, will go on sale August 4th at 10am CT. For more information, click here.
Father’s Day is on Sunday (June 18th), and many of your favorite country artists will be celebrating.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Father’s Day is Sunday (June 18th), and we have liners with many of your favorite country stars! Check them out and download below.
“Hey everybody! I’m Billy Currington, wishing you a very Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! This is TJ, and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing all you fathers out there a very Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! What’s up, guys? I’m Canaan Smith. Happy Father’s Day, Pops!”
“Hey! What’s up? This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker wishing you a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Easton Corbin. Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! This is Eric Church, wishing you a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Eric Paslay. To all you father’s out there, Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! This is Gary Allan, and I want to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Jon Pardi here. Happy Father’s Day to all you father’s out there.”
“Hey y’all! This is Josh Turner, and I just want to wish all you father’s out there a Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves. Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey everyone! It’s Keith Urban, wishing all you Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.”
“What’s up all you Dads out there? It’s Lady Antebellum, and we just wanted to wish you all a good, Happy Father’s Day. Thanks for being great dads. Hope you get pampered and you don’t have to barbecue. And we hope you get some good ties this year.” [Hillary laughs]
“Hey! It’s Lauren Alaina. Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hi! This is Little Big Town, wishing all you father’s a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Sam Hunt. To all you fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hi! This is Shania Twain. Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey everybody! It’s Vince, and I just wanted to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. Wish mine was still around.”
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.
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.”
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]”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Sam Hunt launches his 15 in a 30 Tour at the Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday (June 1st), and he’s taking Maren Morris, Chris Janson and Ryan Follese along for the ride.
The Georgia native said he really connected with his tour openers after meeting them. “These are people who I just was drawn to, when I met ‘em. They seemed like they loved what they do, they care about what they do, they’re passionate and talented, and there’s an integrity to them as people and their music,” says Sam. “I don’t know them all really well yet, but I was able to recognize those things pretty quickly with the short time I spent around them. And so that to me, is what sold those guys and Maren on me.”
Sam, who has been in the studio working on his next album, just spent several weeks at the top of the country charts with smash hit, “Body Like a Back Road.”
Sam Hunt (15 in a 30 Tour) OC: …cool things. :47
“These are people who I just was drawn to, when I met ‘em. They seemed like they loved what they do, they care about what they do, they’re passionate and talented, and there’s an integrity to them as people and their music. I don’t know them all really well yet, but I was able to recognize those things pretty quickly with the short time I spent around them. And so that to me, is what sold those guys and Maren on me. And so, I think that will be the same way that I picked up on it. I think folks that come out to the shows are gonna pick up on it and I think that they’re gonna realize that none of us are the type of people who are just doing this for the wrong reasons, and hopefully people can appreciate that. And aside from that, their music’s great. You know, they’re really doing cool things.”
Sam Hunt performed his multi-week No. 1 “Body Like a Back Road,” during Sunday night’s (May 21st) Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. He started off the performance sitting on a stool and strumming an acoustic guitar with “Nashville” written on it.
Check out the performance here.
He and his wife Hannah Lee made their red carpet debut as husband and wife prior to the show.
— SoundsLikeNashville (@SoundsLikeNash) May 22, 2017
Sam will launch his 15 in a 30 Tour on June 1st in Cleveland, and he’s taking along Maren Morris, Chris Janson and Ryan Follese.
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. However, by the turn of the 20th century, Memorial Day celebrated Americans who have sacrificed their lives in all wars. The holiday also typically marks the start of the summer vacation season.
Some of your favorite country artists talk about what it means to be free because of the brave men and women willing to fight and sacrifice for our freedom.
Dierks (Memorial Day) OC: …upon them. :37
“On the most basic level, I think, for me on the road, I just think about being gone two, three days at a time, maybe a couple of weeks at a time, you know. That seems like a long time when you have kids and family, but these soldiers, they’re gone for months and years at a time – they’re doing 12 to 15 to 18 months — and they have family back home. That, in itself, is such a huge sacrifice, and that’s just the beginning of it. That’s just scratching the surface of what these guys [and gals] are doing every day – preparing for battle, actually being in battle, being wounded in battle, sometimes dying in battle. So, this country obviously, we would not exist without those courageous men and women, and our future depends upon them.”
Eric Church (Memorial Day) OC: …those freedoms.
It’s about, especially the soldiers I come in contact with on the road. And not only that, to be able to make the music that I’m able to make, to say what I want to say, and that freedom to be able to do those things and to be in a country where we’re able to do that and to be in a country where we’re able to play that stuff on the radio. I don’t think you’re going to have any America argue that America isn’t the best place to live, and I’m certainly one of them. I’m very proud to be from here and very proud that we have the soldiers. I know there are a lot of other countries out there in the world that don’t want to live the way we do, and that’s fine, they can keep living the way they are, but I’m very proud of it. I think that’s a time to celebrate being proud to be an American and celebrate those freedoms…and celebrate the people that are over fighting for those freedoms.”
Eric Church (grandfathers in WW2) OC: …touching to me. :21
“Both of my grandfathers were World War II veterans. I mean, that’s something that’s very rare. I’m not unique, you know. There’s a lot of people out there like that that their grandfathers served. The way that I was raised was very much red, white and blue and very patriotic, and I think that it’s the fact that what they give up is the real thing that’s very touching to me.”
Keith Urban (SEALS mantra) OC: …conviction. :30
“They have a mantra, and they say ‘the only easy day was yesterday’ and they had this spirit of brotherhood and that’s a particular thing that’s the way in which, I think, it exists is very specific to the Seals. I mean, military in general have this very strong brotherhood code; it’s a particular kind of thing in the Seals. As was the testament, to Lt. Roark who is the lead guy in the film; when he was interviewed talked about funerals he had been to, and he says ‘there isn’t really any one of us who isn’t just a little bit jealous of the guy who’s died,’ and ok, I heard that, that’s a particular way of being that I cannot relate to. That is an unbelievable depth of commitment and conviction.”
LBT (Memorial Day) OC: …whenever we can. :44
KAREN: “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. Kimberly and I met a young girl…she’s 21 years old, and she has a third baby, and her husband has served multiple times overseas. She’s raising these children at home and doing a great job and the best that she can, and he’s serving our country. He’s making a monstrous sacrifice, but so is she, and so are those children. And we just can’t take it for granted. 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.”
Sam Hunt (Memorial Day) OC: …those freedoms. :40
“My granddad was in World World II. He was on the USS Texas battleship, and he was over at Normandy and over near Japan and he spent a lot of time right in the thick of World War II. He really took pride in what that meant, and it was something I got to see it first hand, as somebody who got to experience that; somebody who had that galvanized American trait. It’s hard to describe it. It was just somebody who’s been through that, seen that and really appreciates what that means. I try to channel that into my life, because I haven’t fought in any war, but I have a ton of respect for folks who have, folks who’ve sacrificed, families who’ve lost lives and just sacrificed years of their own lives and time and effort to maintain those freedoms.”