Keith Urban returned to ABC’s American Idol for Sunday night’s (May 21st) season finale. He mentored the Top 3 contestants, and he also performed his hit, “Wild Heart,” for all the dreamers on the show. Iam Tongi was crowned the winner of this season.
Keith Urban will release Volume 2 of a special No. 1’s exclusive vinyl at Walmart on August 11th. It includes 12 No. 1 Hits from his entire catalog of albums. The vinyl will be on exclusive purple/grape vinyl and will include a limited-edition poster inside. The track list includes such chart-toppers as “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Break On Me,” “We Were Us” (with Miranda Lambert), “You Gonna Fly,” “Once in A Lifetime,” “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” and “Making Memories of Us,” as well as many more. Volume 1 is also still available and features “Somebody Like You,” “The Fighter” (with Carrie Underwood), “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” “Days Go By,” “You’ll Think of Me” and “Long Hot Summer,” among others.
Eric Church is set to release the THIRD pressing of his 2015 album, Mr. Misunderstood, on blue vinyl on June 9th. The collection features the title track, “Chattanooga Lucy,” “’Round Here Buzz,” “Holdin’ My Own” and “Record Year,” among others.
Alan Jackson was the subject of a recent episode of the game show Jeopardy with the answer being “What is ‘Chattahoochie?'”
Tyler Hubbard surprised fans with a pop-up show at Nashville’s popular Broadway hotspot, The Stage, on Saturday night (May 20th) to celebrate the one-year release of his No. 1 debut solo single, “5 Foot 9.” He also celebrated his second No. 1 for “Dancin’ In The Country.”
Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special someone. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century.
Over 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion.
We’ve got some thoughts and feelings and more about love, romance and marriage from several of your favorite country artists. A few are new and some have become our favorites over the years. Which country stars are romantic? Which ones have a good reason to celebrate the holiday that’s all about love?
Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his love for wife, Denise, over the years.
“We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hits was a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”
Audio / Billy Currington recalls his first real Valentine’s Day.
Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day memory) OC: …took off running. :21 “Yeah, I remember my first girlfriend. I was in first or second grade, but anyway, I remember it was Valentine’s Day and your mom going, ‘You’ve got to give your girlfriend something, and you’ve got to go give it to her.’ I’ll never forget — we got her a box of chocolates or whatever it was. I remember going down to her classroom and knocking on the door, getting her to come to the door. I remember handing it to her, and then I took off running.”
Audio / Carrie Underwood is all about the chocolate most couples give each other on Valentine’s Day.
Carrie Underwood (Valentine’s Day-chocolate) OC: …white chocolate. :14 “Chocolate’s every woman’s friend – in their time of need or in their time of happiness or in their time of sadness or madness, chocolate is my friend. Anything with caramel in it, ooooooooh. White chocolate’s good too. You can’t beat some good white chocolate.”
Audio / DIERKS BENTLEY SAYS THE MOST INTERESTING GIFT HE AND HIS WIFE CASSIDY HAVE GIVEN EACH OTHER WERE MIXTAPES OF SONGS.
Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day-most interesting gift he’s given his wife) OC: …formulate yourself. 1:19
“When ‘What Was I Thinkin’’ was released in 2003, I didn’t know what my life would look like, and all of a sudden, I found myself out on the road full-time, just gone. So, the place where I was staying, I had some friends pack it up and move it into a storage facility…and in there I found some letters that she and I had written back and forth when we were dating. I was working at The Nashville Network and she was working out in San Francisco and found some letters I had written her and I’d gotten back and some stuff she’d sent me, including a CD of songs she’d been listening to, back when you made CD mixes and there’s like these three hearts on that CD. I just found that it was so meaningful for me those gifts you give each other before any money, before anything else was going on, just music, giving of mixtapes was so cool. She reminded me of a mixtape that I had sent her. I’d sent it to her via FedEx, because it was so important she get this as quickly as possible. This was sadly before, I guess we had internet back then, but you really couldn’t send songs over the internet. I think the most interesting thing I’ve given her and she’s given me was just mixtapes, because there’s nothing like music to put into words and the thoughts you have in your head that you can’t formulate yourself.”
Audio / Jon Pardi says he has learned a lot about love and about Valentine’s Day from his wife, Summer.
Jon Pardi (Valentine’s Day – Summer) OC: …for you. (laughs) :35 “One thing Summer has taught me is that gifts are cool, diamonds, blah, blah, blah, but to take your time and clear your mind and write something about what she means to you on a card is probably the most least expensive and the biggest price you can give her is just to write and tell her how much you love her on a little card. That’s what she taught me for Valentine’s Day, so I just do that. It’s way cheaper. (laughs) And of course, I always say to her, ‘Babe, every day is Valentine’s Day for you.’” (laughs)
Audio / Jordan Davis talks about meeting his wife in New Orleans. They were both there attending separate weddings.
Jordan Davis (meeting wife) OC: …here we are. :47 “My college roommate was getting married in New Orleans. My wife was in New Orleans for a totally separate wedding. Both wedding parties were staying at the same hotel, so we met, the first time, in the lobby of the hotel. I’m actually wearing a necklace that has the coordinates to that hotel. Then the next day, me and my brother walk into a bar in New Orleans, and her and her friends were sitting in the corner, and I was like, ‘Hey-that’s the girl from the lobby.’ She was actually dating somebody at the time. But we kind of exchanged numbers and stayed in contact, and about two months later, a month later, she came into town for CMA Music Fest and told me that she no longer had a boyfriend, and here we are.”
Audio / Jordan Davis talks about the Valentine's Day tradition he and his wife Kristen enjoy to this day.
Jordan Davis (Valentine’s Day tradition) OC: …happy Valentine’s. (laughs) 1:04 “When it comes to Valentines, Kristen is way more romantic than I am. I’m not a very romantic guy. I have worked on it. I’ve tried to get a little bit better over the years. Kristen loves chocolate so she’s good for a big chocolate box, but here’s our thing about Valentine’s Day, and this is the God’s honest truth. We’ve been going to Olive Garden on Valentine’s Day since we met. We’ve continued that tradition. I think it started with her and a friend, they used to always go to Olive Garden on Valentine’s Day before they started dating, or before they got in a relationship. So, we have carried that out, so this year will be our, I believe our eighth Valentines in a row where we go in for endless salad and bread sticks. So, if its Valentine’s Day, and you’re at an Olive Garden, we could be next to each other. So, yeah, hope to see somebody out there at the table next to us just hammering on some breadsticks. So, happy Valentine’s.” (laughs)
Audio / Josh Turner says his wife would call him a romantic, but now that they have four children, it takes a bit of work to make time for each other.
Josh Turner (Romantic) OC: …long time to come. :26 “If you ask my wife Jennifer if I was a romantic, she would definitely say, ‘Yes,’ but she knows that sometimes my hectic schedule and our busy lifestyles can kind of interfere with the romantic side of things. But we do try to make efforts towards being together and having adult conversations and taking time away from the children and doing things that husbands and wives do, so we’ll definitely try to continue that for a long time to come.”
Audio / Keith Urban talks about the support he and his wife, Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, give each other, which is especially important when two creative artists are married to each other.
Keith Urban (Nicole support) OC: …very important. :17 “I feel very blessed that I have the support of my family like I do. It’s a beautiful thing having two artists because we understand the passion and the responsibility of what we get to do. It’s very important.”
Audio / Kylie Morgan says her husband Jay Allen is the most romantic person she's ever met.
Kylie Morgan (Valentine’s Day) OC: …I’ve ever had. :33 “Man, I will say my husband Jay Allen, who is also a country music artist if you guys haven’t heard of him, he is the most romantic person I’ve ever met in my entire life, truly. For Valentine’s Day, gosh, two years ago, I came home to the entire house being lit with tiny candles, a whole dinner made with my favorite bottle of wine, and this was even before he proposed. So, a lot of people thought that he was gonna pop the question that night, but he saved that for a later time. But it was the most magical Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.”
Audio / Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman says falling in love with her husband, Stephen Schlapman, came as a big surprise.
Little Big Town (Kimberly falling in love) OC: …healed me. 1:20 Kimberly: “Well, I wasn’t planning on falling in love, at all. I didn’t want to…I wasn’t sure that I ever would. So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friends. We had known each other for about six years and he started calling me just like everybody else did. But, he started calling me more than everybody else did [laughs]. We had both been through similar losses, he hadn’t lost a mate but he had lost a close friend, so we kind of bonded over that. I grieved, kind of, at him a lot. He took my grief, I had a lot of grief left, and he just took it and listened and accepted it and was so understanding and let me talk about my late husband all the time. We still talk about him a lot, and he’s totally fine with it. He says that, that made me who he fell in love with and he never minds if I bring anything from the past up which is just really sweet. I was shocked, I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings. I just thought, OK, this is so weird. What is this? I haven’t felt this in a long, long, time. This is weird. But, eventually I allowed myself and it’s been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I’ve ever been in and healed me.”
Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook had a chemistry performing together, but it wasn’t until they each found themselves single…at the same time…that sparks flew romantically. The pair, who wed in 2006, have a son, Elijah.
Little Big Town (Jimi & Karen fell in love) OC: (Kimberly) …to be together. :48
JIMI: “We were in the band a long time before there was ever anything which is interesting. I think there was always something underlying there that we were kind of trying to ignore. And then when the opportunity came, when all of us, ended up single kind of at the same time, a very strange turn of events for the band in a lot of different ways. And those feelings, you were able to come out with them finally. It was like, we’re single. Let’s get together. And, you know, she has a beautiful heart and she’s absolutely gorgeous and I just love her dearly.”
PHILLIP: “Get a room!” [laughs]
KIMBERLY: “They’re a perfect match. They really are. They were meant to be together.”
Audio / Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet was ready for love when he met Rebecca, his wife since 2007.
Little Big Town (Phillip – reasons fell in love) OC: …real love. :17 “I think everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca. So, it was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her…Now it’s just been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”
Audio / Luke Bryan talks about marrying Caroline, his college sweetheart.
Luke Bryan (married college sweetheart) OC: …married. :27 ”I married my college sweetheart. We dated back in college and broke up for nearly six years, and while I was off doing my Nashville stuff and touring and writing songs, she was finishing getting her career kind of going. Man, we just kinda bumped into each other one night, and it was like bam, here we are married.”
Audio / Maddie & Tae’s Taylor Kerr talks about her husband, songwriter Josh Kerr. The pair are just about to celebrate their third anniversary as a married couple (they got married February 21st, 2020).
Maddie & Tae (Tae talking about husband Josh) OC: …that way, you know? :45 “From the moment I met Josh, he never shied away from sharing what’s on his heart. For me, sharing what’s on my heart is sometimes hard, but he always created the environment and dynamic of it’s totally normal to open up and let people to see that side of you. And so, the more we spent time together, the more I kind of adopted that mindset of like, ‘Okay, I can be vulnerable. I can take risks. I can put myself out there and maybe get rejected, but maybe it could be awesome.’ Our relationship is that to a T. I was skeptical at first and I was scared, and he was scared. And we both just, we went all in, and I felt so safe to go there with him and he’s always made me feel that way, you know?”
Maddie & Tae will perform a pair of songs — “Bathroom Floor” and “Every Night Every Morning” on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, hosted by Ryan Seacrest. Coming at you from multiple locations — New York, Disneyland, Los Angeles and New Orleans — the special, which kicks off at 8pm ET/7pm CT, will also feature performances by Ciara, Aly & AJ, Bailey Zimmerman, Ben Platt, Fitz and the Tantrums, Halle Bailey, Lauren Spencer Smith, Shaggy, TXT, Armani White, Betty Who, Dove Cameron, Finneas, Nicky Youre and Wiz Khalifa.
Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley and The War & Treaty are among the performers recently announced for CBS’ New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash. The special, which kicks off at 8pm ET/7pm CT, will also feature performances by Little Big Town, Sheryl Crow, Flo-Rida, Riley Green, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Steve Miller, Thomas Rhett, Lainey Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Kelsea Ballerini and Zac Brown Band.
Eric Church and Little Big Town are among the country stars performing in a new tribute show to Paul Simon. The two hour special, Homeward Bound: A GRAMMY Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon, will pay tribute to the iconic singer-songwriter. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Brad Paisley, Rhiannon Giddens, Stevie Wonder, the Jonas Brothers, Dave Matthews and Sting will also perform during the special, which is set to air Wednesday (December 21st) at 9pm ET/8pm CT on CBS (and available to stream on demand on Paramount+).
While celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary with his wife, Denise, Alan Jackson also announced he became a grandfather to grandson Jack.
Denise and I are celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary with our new grandson Jackson Alvie Bradshaw.
Ali and Sam welcomed Jack into the world on Dec 13, 2022.
The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in the state that’s now known as Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. People now celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for their blessings over the past year, as well as feasting on turkey and other festive goodies.
Some festive fun facts about Thanksgiving:
President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3rd, 1863.
Harry Truman is often credited with being the first president to pardon a turkey, but that’s not quite true. He was the first to receive a ceremonial turkey from the National Turkey Federation – and he had it for dinner. John F. Kennedy was the first to let a Thanksgiving turkey go, followed by Richard Nixon who sent his turkey to a petting zoo. George H.W. Bush is the president who formalized the turkey pardoning tradition in 1989.
The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4,500.
Butterball answers more than 100,000 turkey-cooking questions via their Butterball Turkey Hotline each November and December.
The tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in 1920.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become known as “Drinksgiving.” Bars experience a huge boom the night before the holiday.
Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 24th, and most people might be enjoying time with a group of their friends and families, including some of your favorite country stars, such as Alan Jackson, Brothers Osborne, Carrie Underwood, Catie Offerman, Caylee Hammack, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Jon Langston, Jon Pardi, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Reba McEntire, Sam Hunt, Travis Denning, Tyler Hubbard and more. They share their thoughts of thanks this year, their lessons in gratitude, memories and favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his favorite Thanksgiving dish.
AJ (Thanksgiving) OC: …enjoy it. :19 “My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade dressin’ that we, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a kind of a combination of my mama, and Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.”
Audio / Brothers Osborne talk about their favorite Thanksgiving tradition – a Misfits Thanksgiving -- that they started when they moved to Nashville because they couldn’t afford to go home for the holiday.
Brothers Osborne (Misfits Thanksgiving) OC: (TJ) …Happy holidays, y’all. 1:02 “What’s up, y’all? It’s Brothers Osborne here. And a Thanksgiving tradition that we did for so many years. John and I would host what we would call a Misfits Thanksgiving, and we would have everyone, I mean we must’ve done this for 15 years or so and it really started because we didn’t have enough money to go back home to see our family, so we would hang out in Nashville. And so everyone that was kind of in our same shoes, we’d all end up at our house, and it really turned into really blossoming some of our most cherished relationships. We would be there with Kacey Musgraves. It was the first time I really got to hang out with Mickey Guyton (JOHN: “Maren Morris.”) Maren Morris. They would come over and we just became like family to each other because we couldn’t get home to see our own families. And that’s a Thanksgiving tradition that we still to this day try to keep, and it’s a revolving door of who’s there or who’s not there, but yeah, it’s a wonderful tradition. And let me tell you, spending it with our friends in Nashville, there’s a little less arguing than back home. (laughs)” JOHN: “We’re still arguing, but we get over it faster.” (laughs) TJ: “Anyways, Happy Holidays, y’all.”
Audio / Carrie Underwood says she and her family don’t have too many Thanksgiving traditions.
Carrie Underwood (Thanksgiving) OC: …the other one. :34 “We don’t have too many set-in-stone Thanksgiving traditions. I find myself a lot of times working on or around Thanksgiving or unable to get home or whatever. We try to be together, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s just about we eat. I eat a lot every year on Thanksgiving. [laughs] I never skip THAT tradition. But yeah, that’s the gist of it, and I’m kind of lucky. I get two Thanksgivings, because I also get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, so if I don’t hit one, I’ll definitely be able to get the other one.”
Audio / Catie Offerman explains what she's most thankful for this holiday.
Catie Offerman (Thanksgiving) OC: …what I do. :17 “I am so thankful for a lot of things. I think my family, the gift of being able to put music out this year has been huge for me. I think that’s something I’ve waited on for a really long time, and I’m so thankful for that. I’m thankful for my health and just being able to keep playing music and doing what I do.”
Audio / Caylee Hammack says Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday, because she gets to just spend time with her family.
Caylee Hammack (Thanksgiving) OC: …favorite holiday. :27 “Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we stay at home. We stay at my family’s house, and it’s just me, my mom and dad, my brother and sister and their families. We all sit around and just eat all day. And I love Thanksgiving because you don’t have to worry about getting gifts for people; you don’t have to worry about wrapping them. You just show up and you eat all day with the people you love. So, I absolutely love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday.”
Audio / Caylee Hammack talks about her favorite Thanksgiving dish.
Caylee Hammack (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …cranberry jelly. :15 “My favorite Thanksgiving meal (dish) is definitely cornbread dressing. My mom makes the best, er, some people call it stuffing, but I’ve always called it dressing for some reason. But I love that with canned cranberry jelly.”
Audio / Darius Rucker talks about his favorite part of Thanksgiving.
Darius Rucker (favorite part of Thanksgiving) OC: …my family. :17 “My favorite part of Thanksgiving is easy – it’s food. It’s eating. It’s hanging out with family and getting some great food, ‘cause that’s really what Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all of the great things you’ve got, and I always give thanks for the greatest thing I’ve got and that’s my family.”
Audio / Darius Rucker says Thanksgiving Day is his favorite sporting day.
Darius Rucker (Thanksgiving Day favorite sporting day) OC: …big for me. :10 “Thanksgiving Day is my favorite sports day of the year. It’s crazy how much football you get to watch (laughs) on Thanksgiving Day, so I really like that a lot. Thanksgiving is big for me.”
Audio / Dierks Bentley, who is thankful for his wife, two daughters and son, talks about his Thanksgiving must-have! It’s an oldie, but a goodie!
Dierks Bentley (Thanksgiving must-have) OC: …for Thanksgiving. :34 “You gotta have a big turkey. Thanksgiving is not possible without a turkey. We cook it traditionally, but when we’re in, a couple of Thanksgivings ago, we were here in Nashville, we did the whole fry the turkey up, and it was great. It just tasted so good; all those juices get locked in there, and I love that too. You really can’t, to me, cook a turkey wrong. I’m gonna eat it any way, and I have over the years. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of county and state fairs, where I’ve seen gigantic turkey legs, you know, I’ve had the flat meat. I’ve done turkey every way you could do it. I’m pretty good any way you want to cook it up, but you’ve got to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.”
Audio / Eric Church says he’s thankful for his family as well as for his fans.
Eric Church (Thanksgiving) OC: …want to do it. :23 “A couple of things. I’m thankful for my family and great health. And I’m thankful for from a career standpoint, I’m very thankful for the success we’ve had lately. I’m thankful for what the fans have done. I mean there’s a lot of stuff to be thankful for in that regard. And I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to do it my own way. I’m thankful that I’m going to get to keep doing this and do it the way that I want to do it.”
Audio / Jon Langston talks about his Thanksgiving tradition.
Jon Langston (Thanksgiving) OC: …pretty cool. :21 “We always watch football on Thanksgiving. It was pretty cool in high school. It was a big deal in high school if you had practice on Thanksgiving Day because you made third round of the playoffs. So, in high school we always had practice on Thanksgiving, so I guess that was pretty cool. Everybody’s waking up on a cold Thanksgiving morning going to football practice, but yeah, pretty cool.”
Audio / Jon Pardi lists all of the things he’s thankful for, including the fans, his wife and country radio.
Jon Pardi (Thanksgiving) OC: …miss them. :31 “I’m so thankful for all the fans that showed up at my concerts this year. There was a lot of concerts. There was a lot of fans. We always had a good time. I know the crowd did. It was a tough year, but we made it through it and that’s something to celebrate. And also my amazing wife Summer – thankful for her. And just being a part of country music. I’m thankful for that too, and country radio…and all the people at UMG that I don’t get to see a lot, but I still miss them.”
Audio / Jordan Davis talks about his childhood Thanksgiving traditions.
Jordan Davis (Thanksgiving) OC: …lot of football. :12 “When I was growing up at Thanksgiving, we just got all the family together. You know, did the traditional turkey, ham, all the sides, but it was always at either one of my grandparents’ house. Just a lot of family, a lot of food and a lot of football.”
Audio / Jordan Davis says his favorite Thanksgiving side dish is green bean casserole.
Jordan Davis (Thanksgiving side dish) OC: …look forward to. :12 “favorite side dish for Thanksgiving is green bean casserole, just the regular green beans from a can, nothing fancy, just do it the old-fashioned way. But that’s the thing I most look forward to.”
Audio / Josh Turner shares his favorite Thanksgiving side dish.
Josh Turner (fave side dish) OC: …’em myself. [laughs] :24 “Uh, deviled eggs! [laughs] Where I’m from in South Carolina, I don’t think I’ve tasted a bad deviled egg. It’s like everybody has their own twist on it, but they’re all good, but I always loved it when my mama made ‘em. I’m learning as I get older, making deviled eggs is no easy task. It’s more complicated than it looks, and so that’s probably why I never made ‘em myself.” [laughs]
Audio / Josh Turner explains what he enjoys about the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Josh Turner (holidays) OC: …the peace and quiet. :38 “I love being outside in nature and the outdoors, and the holidays is a great time for me to go and partake in that part of my life. A lot of times, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a little cold to go fishing, but when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a great time to go hunting, especially in South Carolina, that’s when the temperatures are starting to drop and the conditions are getting right, and especially in November, kind of the tail end of the rut, as far as deer season. So, it’s a good time to get in the deer stand whether you kill anything or not, it’s just a great time to just get away from everything and get away from the noise and the lights and the diesel fumes [laughs] and just relax and just enjoy the peace and quiet.”
Audio / Keith Urban gives thanks for many things, including his wife and two daughters.
Keith (Thanksgiving) OC: …for me. :21 “Thankful that, well, my marriage is just, it’s life-giving, not just life-changing, it’s been life-giving for me. And from there, we created life, and that’s just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And the effect that all of that has had in my work, has given life to it too, given it a sense of purpose and really deepened the experience for me.”
Audio / Kip Moore says he usually goes home to Georgia for Thanksgiving.
Kip Moore (Thanksgiving) OC: …with them. :11 “I [usually] go home for Thanksgiving. I love going home to see all them. I have five brothers and sisters and it’s a blast to go home and just catch up on their lives. I get so wrapped up in all this that I lose touch sometimes, and it’s cool to hear everything going on with them.”
Audio / The members of Little Big Town love Thanksgiving since they get time off to be with their families.
LBT (Thanksgiving) 2 OC: (Kimberly) …and eat. :31
KIMBERLY: “Thanksgiving—we love Thanksgiving, ‘cause we get to be with our families and we don’t often get to spend time with our families, our extended families, until the holidays. I love being around the table with my family and talking and laughing and cooking and eating…” JIMI: “And eating and eating and eating and eating…” PHILLIP: “The laughter around the eating, the good cheer, the celebration, the music…” JIMI: “The eating, going taking a nap, then coming back and eating.” KIMBERLY: “Go to bed with a full belly, take a nap, and then get up and eat.”
Audio / Luke Bryan talks about how thankful he is and his plans for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Luke Bryan (Thanksgiving) OC: …and family. :30 “Thanksgiving every year I go to my farm in Georgia, and we float on the Flint River and bass fish, and we do some quail hunting, but most importantly, we’re together as a family. I’m thankful every year to have the ability to go be with my family and reflect on another great year in the business, and I’m so thankful for health and I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to enjoy this career for so many years with so many friends and family.”
Audio / Maddie & Tae talk about their Thanksgiving traditions.
Maddie & Tae (Thanksgiving) OC: (TAE) …I do. :41
MADDIE: “I love Thanksgiving because I get to see my family, and it’s not as much pressure as Christmas I feel like because there are no gifts exchanged. It’s just all about quality time and I love quality time. My favorite dish is some broccoli-cheese casserole and Tae’s favorite dish, I know, is cranberry sauce, just plain. Just plain ole cranberry sauce, no turkey, just cranberry sauce.” TAE: “She knows.” MADDIE: “That’s it.” TAE: “I genuinely feel there’s something wrong with me. (MADDIE: “Out of the can.”) out of the can. My parents know just to have cranberry sauce for me, like no one else can touch it. There’s a home video where my brother Mason tries to eat it, and I’m like, ‘What are you doing? This is mine.’” MADDIE: “She eats it out of the can.” TAE: “I do.”
Audio / Mickey Guyton talks about one of her favorite Thanksgiving traditions.
Mickey Guyton (Thanksgiving traditions) OC: …Thanksgiving traditions. :17 “One of my Thanksgiving traditions is playing charades after Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not the most competitive person in the world, but as soon as you put some Charades in the picture, I am crazy, and you will definitely want to be on my team if we’re playing Charades. I’m just saying. So, that’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions.”
Audio / Mickey Guyton reveals her favorite Thanksgiving dish.
Mickey Guyton (favorite Thanksgiving dish) OC: …both so much! :39
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish that has to, has to, has to be at Thanksgiving dinner is dessert. Dessert is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. I mean, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s sweet. My mom actually makes an Italian cream cake that’s absolutely awesome. It’s homemade, and the entire family, that’s the first thing to go at Thanksgiving dinner. And my Grandma D, she makes a pecan pie that is awesome. She taught me how to make them when I was little, and I just love them, and that’s the other thing that I look forward to at Thanksgiving dinner, and I love them both so much!”
Audio / Parker McCollum talks about his family’s Thanksgiving tradition.
Parker McCollum (Thanksgiving tradition) OC: …go there. :27 “I mean, my parents have been split up for a long time, but they’re all from the same town. My mom and dad went to high school together and all that stuff and all the family still lives back there on both sides. So, we kind of do a Thanksgiving with my dad’s side of the family, but all my life, we’ve always gone to my mom’s parents’ house on Thanksgiving, and they got a big ole house and a bunch of property and it’s really where I grew up is right there. That’s kind of home for me, so that’s kind of our thing. We always go there.”
Audio / One of Parker McCollum’s favorite dishes at Thanksgiving is his Aunt’s creamed corn.
Priscilla Block (Thanksgiving) OC: …so much. :34 “Thanksgiving has always been chaos, actually any holiday that my entire family is there is straight chaos. But for Thanksgiving, we all try so hard to be together and it’s such a fun holiday to, my family’s a little cheesy. Like, we actually still go around the table and being like, ‘What are you thankful for?’ ‘What are you thankful for?’ So, that means a lot where it’s not about presents, it’s not about anything else. It’s just about truly being thankful, and that’s why I love Thanksgiving so much.”
Audio / Reba McEntire shows gratitude for her life every day.
Reba McEntire (Thankful) OC: …happy camper. :39 “Omigosh I wake up in the morning grateful that I can, that I’m alive, I can breathe, I can move, I can get out of bed on my own. (I’m) very grateful for the lifestyle that I have and if anybody needs help, please Lord please, direct me in what you want me to do. Just grateful for getting Rex in my life, my family being healthy and happy, my friends being healthy and happy. I’ve got a great job and people I love and get to work with, and I’ve got a huge faith. So, no matter what happens to me, I know where I’m going, so I’m a happy camper.”
Audio / Sam Hunt talks about his favorite Thanksgiving eats.
Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …disappears. :12 “When I pile my plate up, it’s mostly turkey and then I’ll put a little dressing on the side, and I’ll usually go ahead and grab my dessert on the first run [laughs] and have it ready before it all disappears.”
Audio / Travis Denning talks about a typical Thanksgiving holiday growing up.
Travis Denning (typical Thanksgiving holiday) OC: …a lot of people. :22 “A typical Thanksgiving growing up was essentially and the men of the family – Dad and Uncle Mike and my granddaddy — watching football, while grandmama and my mom pretty much yelled at each other in the kitchen the whole day. But they threw down and made the best food you could ever imagine, which you know is kind of how it is for a lot of people.”
Audio / Travis Denning lists his Thanksgiving must-haves.
Travis Denning (Thanksgiving menu) OC: …then beer. :17 “The ideal Thanksgiving menu to me is a little bit of turkey, but definitely prioritizing ham. I’m a firm believer in ham at Thanksgiving. Squash casserole, broccoli casserole, stuffing and then beer.”
Audio / Tyler Hubbard explains why he’s so grateful this Thanksgiving.
Tyler Hubbard (Thanksgiving 2022) OC: …blessing for sure. 1:13 “I’m just super thankful to kind of be in a place of, I guess I feel like we’ve made it through the thick—we kept calling it, ‘Man, we’re in the thick of it.’ We had a rough last couple of years, you know, my wife and I and family, getting through the pandemic, injuries, we had our third baby, the big transition career-wise – so everything at once, it felt like our world was somewhat collapsing. So now we’re in this stage of the rebuild, and not only can we see the light at the end of the tunnel, it almost feels like we’re there. So, I just look around every day lately and I’m just so grateful to be able to be back on tour, able to play shows, my kids are healthy, we’re all happy and in a good place and getting into a rhythm and having a good balance in our life between work and family and just feeling really good. So, as I’m approaching Thanksgiving here, I’m just really kind of looking back and reflecting on this last year and how different it was last year and even the year before that, and just how grateful I am to be able to be making music and doing what I love and also being really present as a dad and getting to watch these kids grow up. It’s really a cool blessing for sure.”
Audio / Tyler Hubbard talks about his favorite Thanksgiving traditions.
Tyler Hubbard (Thanksgiving) OC: …I love it. :22 “Favorite Thanksgiving tradition for me is probably just getting together with family, having a big meal and watching a little football and taking a nice long nap. I mean, we didn’t reinvent the wheel with Thanksgiving by any means. But my Nanny (grandmother) does make a pretty mean sweet potato casserole, so that’s one of my favorites that I look forward to and I don’t know if that’s a tradition or not, but in my head it is. I love it.”
“Happy Thanksgiving everybody. It’s Keith Urban here. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all of you listening for your incredible love and support that I’ve received over the last year, and to wish you and all of your family all the very best for this holiday.”
As part of Gaylord Opryland Resort’s 39th annual A Country Christmas event, Universal Music Group Nashville is hosting Parade of Trees, a display where their world-renowned artists have come together to showcase Christmas trees decorated by Grand Ole Opry members Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, Little Big Town and Reba McEntire, along with George Strait, Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Sam Hunt and Tyler Hubbard.
Along with their trees, country music’s biggest stars have each donated “Once in a Lifetime” VIP experiences (fly-aways, VIP concert experiences, exclusive merchandise and more) all to benefit First Responders Children’s Foundation. Proceeds raised will provide scholarships and mental health services to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty including a new collaboration with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® for the local Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“The holidays are a special time when people come together to celebrate and be thankful for their blessings,” said Reba McEntire. “This holiday season, I’m thankful I can help raise awareness for the First Responders Children’s Foundation, which supports the children and families of first responders who risk their lives every day to serve our communities. I hope everyone will go to charitystars.com/paradeoftrees to enter to win and support the families of this wonderful organization.”
The Parade of Trees is on display in the resort’s Garden Conservatory and Cascades Atrium now until January 10, 2023, as a self-guided tour of the Christmas trees decorated specifically to the artist’s style or album theme. Each VIP experience will be available for bid online at www.CharityStars.com/ParadeOfTrees until January 10, 2023. Some of the themes and experiences this year include Reba McEntire’s red, green, and gold tree celebrating her Christmas album, The Ultimate Christmas Collection, paired with a VIP trip to New York City to see her live at Madison Square Garden; Keith Urban’s tree representing his song “Wild Hearts” (and Live In Las Vegas flyaway, including travel and accommodations, a meet and greet, and hand-signed personalized guitar); Maddie & Tae’s “Every Night Every Morning” themed tree (and Disney World Weekend Getaway including flights, hotel, passes, and signed merch), and Luke Bryan’s “Country On” themed tree (and Las Vegas VIP Experience including flights, hotel, VIP entrance, preshow toast with Luke, and signed memorabilia). Other artist packages include VIP festival experiences, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade getaways, stadium flyaways, exclusive numbered prints, signed guitars, custom toy packages from Mattel, and more. The complete listings can be viewed at www.charitystars.com/paradeoftrees. Guests visiting Gaylord Opryland Resort can scan QR codes at each tree location to donate and gain access to win the designated artist’s VIP prize package, and fans can also bid on the sweepstakes online.
Eric Church has been announced as one of the headliners for next year’s Tortuga Music Festival. Kenny Chesney and Shania Twain will also headline during the three-day seaside event, taking place April 14th – 16th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Kylie Morgan, Catie Offerman, Deana Carter, Cole Swindell, Jake Owen, Carly Pearce and many others will perform during the festival.
Alan Jackson has teamed up with AARP for a virtual show on Veterans Day (November 11th). The show is available at aarpconcerts.org/alan-jackson/ and you must register early. Actor Gary Sinise, who is the AARP Ambassador for Veterans and Military Families, will make a special appearance. The concert will begin at 8pm ET.
Jordan Davis and Tyler Hubbard, along with Canadian artist Josh Ross, will perform during the he Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show at the 109th Grey Cup from Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask. The game will be played at Mosaic Stadium on November 20th beginning at 6pm ET/3pm PT on TSN. It’s the third most watched sporting event in North America in Canada next to the Superbowl and Stanley Cup finals.
Priscilla Block will be going on the road with Justin Moore early next year. The You, Me, and Whiskey Tour is set to kick off February 2nd in Rapid City, South Dakota. Tickets go on sale for the duet partners on November 18th at 10am.
Superstar Alan Jackson’s music and career were celebrated at Wednesday’s 56th Annual CMA Awards when the iconic entertainer was given an all-star tribute – and a standing ovation – as he was honored with the Country Music Association’s highest honor, the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Country music’s been real good to me. I fell in love with it when I was a young man,” Jackson said in accepting the award. “I wanted to come to Nashville and try to carry it on.”
Jackson received an immediate ovation when he surprised the Bridgestone Arena – and a national TV audience – with a performance of his platinum-selling hit, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.” His appearance capped an all-star tribute that began moments earlier as Carrie Underwood took the stage to sing Jackson’s “Remember When,” followed by Dierks Bentley’s take on “Chattahoochee.” Jon Pardi served up “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” while Lainey Wilson turned to the early days of his career with “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow”… before Jackson emerged to a roar of applause with his band The Strayhorns (watch HERE).
“I came to Nashville with nothing,” Jackson noted, joking he arrived in Music City with “three chords and a prayer.” “As my mama would say, ‘I’m so blessed.’” He went on to thank “all the parts of country music that have been so good to me”… giving special recognition to “the wonderful fans I’ve had all over the world” and his wife, Denise. “She’s hung in there and rode this roller coaster ride with me,” he said. “We’ve survived a lot…and she’s my best friend.”
“I’ve definitely lived the American Dream,” Jackson concluded, raising his award aloft as he proclaimed, “And I’m still livin’ that honky tonk dream, y’all!”
Jackson’s receipt of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award places him among the genre’s true greats. Given to an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music, the award was established to recognize artists who have positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre and proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on fans and industry alike…which is evident in the list of previous recipients – Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn.
Once-in-a-lifetime moments at the CMA Awards are nothing new for Jackson. Five years ago, he closed the show with a rousing “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” in celebration of his induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame weeks earlier. In 1999, he turned his own performance of “Pop a Top” into a tribute to his friend and mentor George Jones, segueing into the legend’s nominated “Choices,” which wasn’t being performed during the event. And, of course, one of his career-defining moments occurred at the 2001 ceremony when the entire world heard “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” for the first time ever. He’s also one of the CMA’s most-honored artists, having previously won 16 awards…he’s one of only five artists to have been named CMA Entertainer of the Year three or more times…and he remains the second most-nominated artist in the 56-year history of the ceremony.
Jackson has still more reason to celebrate a day after being honored at the CMA Awards, as 20 of his hit singles and albums receive new gold, platinum and multi-platinum certification from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Leading the way, is his multi-platinum Greatest Hits, Volume II album, now certified 7-times platinum. His holiday favorites Honky Tonk Christmas (2x platinum) and Let It Be Christmas (platinum) have also reached new certification heights.
Jackson’s singles continue to be enjoyed by listeners in the digital age, as evidenced by the 17 titles earning new certification status. Six songs (“Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Midnight in Montgomery,” “Sissy’s Song,” “Summertime Blues,” “Where I Come From” and “Where Were You [When the World Stopped Turning]”) have been newly certified gold…while another seven (“Country Boy,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Drive [For Daddy Gene],” “Gone Country,” “Little Bitty,” “Livin’ on Love” and “Small Town Southern Man”) have earned simultaneous gold and platinum digital single status. Additionally, “Good Time” has become a platinum digital single…“Chattahoochee” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” have been simultaneously certified platinum and multi-platinum (3x each)…and “Remember When” has achieved incredible 4x-platinum stature.
All this caps another unprecedented year in the icon’s life and career. Jackson’s Last Call: One More for the Road Tour was one of his fastest-selling ever, and found the superstar playing to capacity and sellout crowds from coast-to-coast. He celebrated the launch of Silverbelly, a new premium bourbon whiskey distilled exclusively for – and hand-selected by – the country superstar, which is available in several states and continues its nationwide rollout this fall…while AJ’s Good Time Bar, his four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown Nashville featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City remains a top draw for tourists and locals alike. And – in a career first – he shared a spot on the initial Grammy ballot with his daughter, Mattie Jackson Selecman, as a song they co-wrote (“Racing the Dark,” recorded by Jackson and released alongside Selecman’s book Lemons on Friday) made the first-round cut in the Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance categories.
About Alan Jackson: A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson’s membership among music’s all-time greats is part of a long line of career-defining accolades that include three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, over 30 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, a Billboard ranking as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time, induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.
The man from rural Newnan, GA has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide, ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time (rock, pop and country). He has released more than 60 singles – registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard chart-toppers). He has earned more than 150 major music industry awards – including 19 Academy of Country Music Awards, 17 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.
The 56th CMA Awards are now in the history books, and there were lots of great memories made, awards won and inspiring performances.
Chris Stapleton picked up his sixth trophy for Male Vocalist of the Year at this year’s CMA Awards. During his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to his 12-year-old daughter Ada, who was celebrating her birthday on Wednesday (November 9th). “ Man, thank you so much for this — thank you. It means so much I got an award from my friends back here. I was sitting over there and all the guys in the category all deserve this award, everybody’s killing it and I’m so honored to be in the country music community. I promised my daughter if I got up here — it’s her birthday tonight — so, Ada, happy birthday. She’s twelve tonight. I love ya, baby. This one’s for you!”
Brothers Osborne picked up their fifth CMA Duo of the Year trophy, and during their acceptance speech, John Osborne dropped some exciting news after telling presenter Wynonna Judd that it was an honor to receive the award from her and that they learned so much from her and her family. “I just want to say real quick, I’ve told a bunch of people, but letting the world know my wife Lucie is pregnant, we’ve got twins on the way! I love you, babe, you’ll be an amazing mom. Huge thanks to the CMAs, thanks to everyone who has a low part or huge part in our lives, it’s just an incredible ride. Thank you for letting us be on it. Thank you.”
Jordan Davis, along with his brother Jacob Davis and friends/co-writers/brothers Matt and Josh Jenkins, won Song of the Year for the multi-platinum, two-week No. 1 song “Buy Dirt.”
“Oh man, I did not expect that! Oh my God, Zach Sutton, Callie Bartz, Universal Music Group, Brian and Stephanie Wright, these guys behind me – Oh my God, I want them to say something, too! God, country radio, everyone who’s played this song – the fans – we wrote a song about faith and family and if that’s not country music, I don’t know what is.” Jordan called his “Buy Dirt” duet partner, Luke Bryan, up on stage to share the win. “I do remember us finishing this one and Josh saying, ‘You know what? I don’t know where this song goes, if you cut it, if somebody else cuts it, but we should be really, really proud of this.’ We were at a writing retreat when we did that and that night when I started to come back to Nashville, I just couldn’t stop listening to it. I was like, ‘Man, he was right. This is a special song.’
With a touching tribute to the iconic Loretta Lynn, Country Music superstars Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood opened “The 56th Annual CMA Awards,” performing a medley of Lynn’s classics that included “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” and “You’re Looking At Country,” before concluding with all three artists coming together to perform “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Carly Pearce later took the stage, first speaking to how Lynn inspired and mirrored her own musical journey before being joined by Musician of the Year winner Jenee Fleenor, Sonya Isaacs, and Ricky Skaggs to perform Pearce’s original song, “Dear Miss Loretta.”
The audience jumped to their feet when Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson surprised the crowd by performing his hit “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.” Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Lainey Wilson and Carrie Underwood honored the 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient with exceptional performances of Jackson’s greatest hits including “Remember When,” “Chattahoochee,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.”
CMA host Luke Bryan performed his latest smash hit, “Country On,” while Carrie Underwood turned in a performance of her new single, “Hate My Heart,” which is from her Denim & Rhinestones album.
Chris Stapleton paired with his wife Morgane Stapleton and the iconic female vocalist Patty Loveless on “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.”
Brothers Osborne teamed up with The War and Treaty on the Rolling Stones’ hit “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)” from the new tribute album, Stoned Cold Country.
Caylee Hammack and John Osborne joined Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark and Pillbox Patti to turn in a performance of Linda Ronstadt’s “When Will I Be Loved.”
Audio / Backstage at Wednesday night's CMA Awards, Brothers Osborne's John Osborne talks about raising his own duo after his surprise announcement he and wife Lucie Silvas are expecting twins.
Brothers Osborne (raising duo) OC: …keep ’em out. :13
“My intention was to have twins to raise our successors. So, we’ll raise them up (TJ: “Is that your retirement plan?”), and we’ll try to use as much nepotism as possible to get them in the industry. But as long as we’re in the game, I’m gonna keep ’em out.”
Audio / Backstage at last night's CMA Awards, Brothers Osborne's TJ Osborne says the country format is about authenticity.
Brothers Osborne (CMAs authenticity) OC: …this genre’s about. :32 “I think that is one of the things that I really do love about country music and the community is John and I — no news to people — we have a lot of different opinions than a lot of people in our format, but we’ve seen fans show up and I think that people just appreciate that we are who we are and particularly after me being able to come out and then see people, even people that maybe they don’t agree with it, but they love to see me being happy. I think when you get to experience those things in life you realize just really how simple our lives are and to be celebrated tonight for being who we are is just all the more proof that that’s what this genre’s about.”
Audio / Backstage at Wednesday night's CMA Awards, Jordan Davis talks about sharing the Song of the Year Award with his brother, Jacob Davis.
Jordan Davis (winning CMA Award with brother) OC: …away from us. :37 “Well, I can tell you this — whenever we got called and I went over and gave him a hug first and I just kept telling him, ‘Dude-we won Song of the Year,’ and he finally said, ‘Hey dude — we gotta go. We gotta go. We gotta get on stage.’ But we’ve had some moments backstage to kind of just drink this in. We both moved to town to write songs and just try to make a living doing that. So, we’d have been crazy to think that this was even obtainable, but now that we have it and I have it with my brother — I mean I shared a room with the guy until I was 16 years old, so we’re pretty close — this is something that nobody’s ever gonna be able to take away from us.”