• THANKSGIVING 2021 (Updated)

    Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 25th, 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, Caylee Hammack, Carrie Underwood, 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 and more. They share their thoughts of thanks this year, their lessons in gratitude, memories and favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

    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.

    Carrie Underwood and Mickey Guyton are among the artists performing during the 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, airing Thursday, November 25th at 9am ET/ 8am CT on NBC.

    To access Thanksgiving liners, click here.

     

     

    Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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    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’s John Osborne says the whole family is going to be together this Thanksgiving.

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    Brothers Osborne (Thanksgiving 2021) OC: …I can’t wait.  :31
    “For this Thanksgiving it’s gonna be such a good time. I mean last year, we had a very scaled-back Thanksgiving. Everyone was worried about the pandemic, and rightfully so, but for this Thanksgiving, we’re coming back. We’re back with family. We’re all vaccinated. We’re gonna be hugging on each other, loving on each other and just celebrating the world coming back to somewhat normal. And our mom and dad, our mom’s been here for a while. Our dad and his girlfriend, Cindy, have officially moved down here, and we’re going to have the whole family together. It’s gonna be beautiful. I can’t wait.”

    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.

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    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.

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    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 / Caylee Hammack says Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday, because she gets to just spend time with her family.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 is his favorite sports day of the year because of all the football games that are taking place.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Jon Pardi (Thanksgiving 2021) 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 gives thanks for this year, but most importantly, for his healthy 3-month-old son, Locklan.

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    Jordan Davis (Thanksgiving 2021) OC: …thankful list. :16
    “This has been a great year both music-wise and personal, but I think the most thing I’m thankful for in 2021 is a healthy son, 3-month-old son Locklan. So, that’s definitely at the top of my thankful list.”

    Audio / Jordan Davis talks about Thanksgiving traditions growing up.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Keith Urban (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.

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    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.

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    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 / Maddie & Tae talk about their Thanksgiving traditions.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Parker McCollum (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …creamed corn. Mmm hmmm. :04
    “My Aunt’s creamed corn is pretty bomb. I love creamed corn. Mmm hmmm.”

    Audio / Priscilla Block explains why she's super thankful this year.

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    Priscilla Block (Thanksgiving 2021) OC: …thankful this year. :18
    “With Thanksgiving coming up, I am so, so thankful for this past year. It has been unbelievable. I just feel like I am living my dream and everything that I have always dreamed of is finally happening, and I’m just super, super, super thankful this year.”

    Audio / Priscilla Block describes a typical Thanksgiving holiday with her family.

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    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 describes what makers her thankful this year at Thanksgiving.

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    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 and Riddler, 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.

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    Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …glass of milk. :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 explains what the perfect menu is for Thanksgiving.

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    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 / Travis Denning talks about a typical Thanksgiving holiday growing up.

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    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.”

  • ALAN JACKSON ACHIEVES OVER FIVE-BILLION PANDORA STREAMS.

    Photo ID (L-R): UMG Nashville VP Marketing Digital Accounts Annie Ortmeier, Pandora Head of Country Programming Jennifer Danielson, Pandora Senior Manager, Artist Marketing & Industry Relations Alina Thompson, Alan Jackson, UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe, UMG Nashville Chairman/CEO Mike Dungan

     

    Alan Jackson has three decades of accolades and career achievements to his credit, but he’s still adding to them and breaking new ground as he does so.

    Friday evening in Nashville – as he wrapped his 2021 tour schedule in front of a sellout crowd of 13,000 at the city’s Bridgestone Arena – Jackson was surprised with a plaque for garnering over 5-billion streams of his music on Pandora. The Pandora Billionaire plaque was presented by UMG Nashville Chairman & CEO Mike Dungan, UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe, UMG Nashville VP Marketing/Digital Accounts Annie Ortmeier, Pandora’s Senior Manager Artist Marketing & Industry Relations Alina Thompson and Pandora’s Head of Country Programming Jen Danielson.

    “Five billion streams? I wish Mama could’ve heard that,” the Country Music Hall of Famer noted from the stage. “She wouldn’t know what a stream is,” the ever-humble Jackson quipped with a smile.

    In presenting the honor, Thompson noted the achievement was not Jackson’s alone. ““This is all thanks to your amazing fans who’ve chosen to stream your songs over 5-billion times.” Jackson will be added to Pandora’s Country Billionaires station as a result of the new achievement.

    Jackson’s Nashville concert – which capped his 2021 touring schedule – was the icon’s first full-scale Music City concert in over four years. “For those who attended, these songs were more than just radio hits – they…mirrored the stories of their lives,” Billboard said of the event. The Tennessean dubbed the concert “a night to remember,” while Music Row noted, “Jackson commanded the Bridgestone stage with charisma and pride.”

    “I just want to say ‘Thank you’ to people like y’all who have supported my music,” the entertainer said. “It’s been a crazy ride.”

    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, 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, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.

    Jackson – one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music – just released his latest album, Where Have You Gone, in May. The 21-track collection, which topped the country album chart, features 15 songs penned solely by the music icon. He’s also the man behind one of Nashville’s most-popular tourist stops, AJ’s Good Time Bar, a four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City.

     

  • HALLOWEEN 2021

    Halloween is Sunday, October 31st, and the holiday has some of your favorite country stars getting into costumes, while others are recalling memories of Halloweens past.

     

    Audio / Alan Jackson used to take his now grown daughters trick-or-treating when they were young children, but he recalls one costume that he hated. It was an infant costume that made one of the girls look like a little peapod.

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    AJ (Halloween) OC: …cute, but…[laughs] :17
    “Aww, I remember some, when they were infants, they had like these little, they looked like a little pea pod, you know, or something. It’s like a little green pea or something. And I thought man, that’s awful. But Denise liked it, and I guess it was cute, but…(laughs).”

    Audio / Billy Currington reminisces about his childhood Halloween memories.

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    Billy Currington (Halloween) OC: …Halloween. :17
    “You know, when I was a kid, I loved the trick and the treat. I loved dressing up. I was always wanting to be Dracula. That was my favorite guy. But, of course, who doesn’t love going door-to-door and getting these buckets of candy? [laughs] So, love, love Halloween.”

    Audio / Brandon Lay says since his father was a preacher, their Halloween activities were church-related.

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    Brandon Lay (Halloween) OC: …let Ryder do. :26
    “You know, my dad was a preacher, so Halloween for me (ha) was a little different than most kids. We always had something going on at church, so I think I was usually a character from the Bible and walk around the gym and just try to get as much candy as I can. It sounds a little weird, but I kinda was robbed of the trick-or-treating experience – thanks a lot Mom and Dad – but I’m not bitter about it or anything. We’ll see what we let Ryder do.”

    Audio / Brothers Osborne’s TJ and John Osborne talk about dressing up like zombies for Halloween.

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    Brothers Osborne (zombie costume) OC: (John) …was so fun! :29
    TJ: “Literally, you can dress up like a zombie and drag your foot behind you all day and make weird noises, and everyone finds that completely acceptable.” [laughs] JOHN: “One year I dressed up as a ‘90s redneck zombie with a mullet wig and an Alan Jackson denim coat. I never once broke character. That’s part of the thing — you can actually not break character and get away with it. And everywhere I went, even when I ordered a drink, I ordered it like a zombie that was falling apart. [laughs] It was so fun!”

    Audio / Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne talks about carving pumpkins with their dad when they were growing up.

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    Brothers Osborne (carving pumpkins) OC: …or something. :25
    “With our dad every year, we would go looking for pumpkins, and we would all get our own pumpkin to carve, and he would buy the biggest pumpkin that they had. It was huge. I mean, it was way too big for any one person, but he would love carving. He’s kind of an artsy guy. He was a great drawer and stuff, and he would carve the most terrifying, vicious looking, scary pumpkin you’d ever seen in your life, and it would be massive. It would be like on a 50-pound pumpkin or something.”

    Audio / Brothers Osborne talk about their favorite Halloween candy.

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    Brothers Osborne (Halloween candy) OC: (John) …go stale. [laughs] :34
    TJ: “I would say, Snickers, Baby Ruth, Kit Kat and Reese’s too.” JOHN: “I always hated those houses that would give you bad candy, though. You’re like, ‘C’mon. Step it up.’ Spend the extra dollar on a bag, you know?” TJ: “A house when we were growing up used to give out whole candy bars. It was the best. You were like, ‘That house – that’s the honey hole of candy.’” JOHN: “I love it, and I love like at the end, like three or four days after Halloween you would see what candy was left, and it was always like those crappy cheap candies, and they would just go stale.” [laughs]

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about the Halloweens of his childhood.

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    Dierks Bentley (Halloween) OC: … …around home. [laughs]  :23
    “Oh, when I was a kid, I was all into fireworks. Growing up in Arizona, we couldn’t get ’em, so we’d have ’em shipped in illegally. I still remember the name of the guy we’d call. His name was Joe, and he’d bring in, ship ’em in a package with no writing on ’em. We were all about M-80s in the mailboxes and bottle rocket wars. To me, as a kid, Halloween was fireworks, was blowing up stuff around home. [laughs]”

    Audio / Eric Church recalls his favorite Halloween costume.

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    Eric Church (Halloween) OC: …Franklin Street. 1:18
    “My favorite Halloween costume really came, I remember when I got a little older my first year of college, there’s this thing they do every year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Halloween on Franklin Street. We drove down from Boone, North Carolina. I had a bunch of friends that went to University of North Carolina, and we didn’t have costumes and didn’t realize until we were on the way that we had to have costumes. So, we stopped at a costume place in Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s Halloween, so there’s a run on everything and couldn’t find anything. And we end up getting sent around, driving  around town. We end up finding this hole in the wall place, but they had the full costume, Sesame Street outfits. The real deal. The real ones [with] feathers and fur. We were Elmo, Cookie Monster and I was Big Bird, and the Big Bird was the actual Big Bird. It’s about 7-foot-4, and yiou looked out of the body and then you had these straps that went on since the head was a lot higher. There’s a lot of beer involved in Franklin Street, so we get down there and as the night went on, my straps broke, so the head would pivot. And so, I would be walking one way and the head would be facing the other, and it just became this funny…I didn’t know the head was on backwards. I had no idea. I see out of the body, so I’m just kinda walking around and people were talking to my ass-end. [laughs] The whole time people’d come up and start talking and go, ‘Hey, turn around.’ And I’d turn around, and they’d go, ‘No turn around.’ It was a mess. That year, there was no other Big Bird on Franklin Street.”

    Audio / Jon Langston talks about his favorite Halloween show a few years ago when his band surprised him on stage.

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    Jon Langston (Halloween show) OC: …memorable Halloween. :59
    “So we played a show a few years ago in Baton Rouge and I go off stage and I come back on stage for the encore. I don’t know this until midway through the song, I’m just into the crowd, like I’m engaged. I’m in the zone, and I just see everyone, like everybody else behind me but me and I’m like what’s going on. I turn around and each of them has a different huge mask on, like one of those stuffed animal masks, like my drummer has a dinosaur head on. My guitar players, one of ‘em has monkey head on, the other has a unicorn head on. And my bass player has like a, I think a dog or cat head or something like that. I couldn’t finish the song I was laughing so hard just seeing them playing with these like oversized huge mask heads on Halloween night. That was funny. It was a good prank, so that was probably the most memorable Halloween.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi talks about his favorite Halloween costumes as a child.

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    Jon Pardi (Halloween) 1 OC: …the Superman. :15
    “Man, I went through phases of costumes – the Superman costume, then it was a ninja, then I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one year. I remember rockin’ the Superman.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi reveals his favorite Halloween candy.

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    Jon Pardi (Halloween candy) OC: …during Halloween. :06
    “Man! The candy corn is pretty good, and that’s seasonal, so it only kinda pops out during Halloween.”

    Audio / JORDAN DAVIS TALKS ABOUT HIS FAVORITE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES OVER THE YEARS.

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    Jordan Davis (Halloween) OC: …jet black. :49
    “I can remember being really big into Power Rangers. I always liked the Red Ranger. I remember being Red Ranger one Halloween. I remember me and my br4other being big into the Ninja Turtles. I was Donatello one year, which I think was the purple turtle. I think, though, my favorite Halloween was I was in college and I went as Luigi from Mario and Luigi, and I actually grew a legit mustache and dyed it jet black and ran into an ex-girlfriend at the costume shop and completely forgot I had the mustache on. So, when Is saw her, she was like, ‘So, you’re going with a mustache nowadays, huh?’ [laughs] I remember being like, ‘I swear this is part of my Halloween costume.’ [laughs] When I dyed my mustache, my top lip was black for a week. Like I really did dye it jet black.”

    Audio / JORDAN DAVIS TALKS ABOUT HIS FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY.

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    Jordan Davis (Halloween candy) OC: …some Starbursts. :21
    “My favorite Halloween candy [is] probably Reese’s or M&M’s, although I love the variety of Starburst. It’s one that I feel like I only eat at Halloween, because I feel like at Halloween one of the popular ones is the two-piece Starburst things. So, probably Reese’s, M&Ms and throw in some Starbursts.”

    Audio / Josh Turner and his family (including wife Jennifer and their four sons) enjoy dressing up as a family for Halloween. The multi-platinum selling star says his favorite family costumes was a few years ago when they dressed up as Star Wars characters.

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    Josh Turner (Halloween costumes) OC: …pretty classic. :27
    “My favorite family costume was from a couple of years ago when I had my six-and-a-half-month-old beard going, and me and the whole family dressed up as Star Wars characters. So, I was a young Obi Wan Kenobi, Jennifer was Princess Leia, Colby and Marion were Storm Troopers, Hampton was Darth Vadar and Hawk was, I guess, pretty much still a baby, and he dressed up as Yoda. It was pretty classic.”

    Audio / JOSH TURNER REVEALS HIS FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY.

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    Josh Turner (Halloween candy) OC: …can’t beat ‘em. :09
    “My favorite Halloween candy…hmmmm…that’s a tricky one. I’m going to have to go with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Can’t beat ‘em.”

    Audio / We all know Lauren Alaina loves to dress up, but she also loved to come up with costumes for her brother. She says one of her favorite costumes was when she dressed up her brother…as her.

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    Lauren Alaina (Halloween-brother) OC: …mad about that! :19
    “I always would dress my brother up too, and I’d say not my best costume, but his best costume when I put makeup all over him and made him, he looked JUST LIKE ME, but I put extensions in his hair and a little hat on his head and I put makeup on him and my cheerleading outfit. It fit him. I was so mad about that!”

    Audio / Luke Bryan says you can tell a lot about your neighbors from what kind of Halloween candy they hand out.

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    Luke Bryan (Halloween) OC: …your teeth. :21
    “You can find out a lot about your neighbors by what kind of candy they put out. So, well, like full bars of Snickers bars, that’s what, and Reese’s cups, [but] the old chocolate popcorn ball of stuff, that’s no good either, like Dots – you get Dots one time of year and they pull your teeth.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan says his wife Caroline usually pick out his Halloween costumes.

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    Luke Bryan (Halloween costumes) OC: …always has. :20
    “Me and Caroline did one year where I dressed up as the old lady, and she dressed up as, she called herself a dirty old man. So, she went around acting like an old man saying snide comments to everybody. That was a fun one. The main thing is Caroline is a  big, she loves Halloween and always has.”

    Audio / Maddie & Tae sit on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to scary movies.

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    Maddie & Tae (Halloween) OC: …princesses. :24
    TAE: “Oooooh, Halloween [is] my favorite holiday. Anyone who knows me knows I love all things scary and gory, so especially on Halloween all the scary movies that come out in theaters, I am there every single time.” MADDIE: “And I never go with her because I hate scary things.” TAE: “You know what’s funny? As little girls, everyone wants to dress up as princesses, and I think I was a witch like six years in a row. I just wanted to be scary.” MADDIE: “Girl, I was like Jasmine and you know [other] princesses.”

    Audio / Mickey Guyton was raised in a very religious household, so she didn’t really celebrate Halloween and only went trick-or-treating one time.

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    Mickey Guyton (Halloween) OC: …the costumes. :50
    “Growing up, my parents were very, very conservative Christian, and so they viewed Halloween as a pagan holiday. BUT, I got to go trick-or-treating once in my life, and I dressed as a clown because my mom made me this clown suit and that was the best. We were in Moody, Texas. It was all three of my siblings and myself and we had so much candy that it lasted for months and months. My parents eventually had to throw it away because we had so much candy. And it was one of the most amazing, magical experiences I’ve ever had, because I never got to celebrate freaking Halloween. I tell you what, this son of mine is gonna definitely going to be celebrating trick-or-treating. Like I can’t wait to dress him up in all of the costumes.”

    Audio / Parker McCollum says his favorite Halloween candy is…Tootsie Rolls.

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    Parker McCollum (favorite Halloween candy) OC: …
    “What I can eat like 6,000 of are Tootsie Rolls. If I eat one Tootsie Roll, I’m gonna eat 30. Man, they’re so good.”

    Audio / Priscilla Block says she’s not a huge candy/sweet person, but instead, give her all the carbs.

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    Priscilla Block (Halloween) OC: …you’re cooking. :52
    “You know what’s so funny about me? I’m not a huge candy girl. Is that shocking? Hit me with all the carbs! Hit me with all the pasta! Don’t love treats. It’s really crazy. I’m not a huge chocolate girl. I would say my favorite candy is a Cow Tail. I love to get them from the gas station. Yeah, it’s usually in a little long package and there’s like cream on the inside. Love it! That’s my favorite candy. Give me that and a piece of pizza. Trick or Treat do you have any pizza ‘cause it smells like pizza in this house. 9laughs) That’s me going to the door. It smells like steak. Don’t want the Twizzler. Want the steak that you’re cooking!”

    Audio / Reba McEntire recalls what her boyfriend, actor Rex Linn, did to scare her last year.

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    Reba McEntire (Halloween-Rex) OC: …lot of fun. :43
    “Rex, Rex Linn my boyfriend, his favorite holiday is Halloween. Last year he ordered from Costco a 7-foot werewolf with a motion sensor in it and he put it in my bathroom. And then when I walked in there, it moved and growled at me. I was very upset. I said, ‘Everybody who had anything to do with it, you’re all fired!’ Then I started giggling. Then I was pretty flattered that he went to all that trouble to scare me, and then we took it to every place we could to scare everybody else. We had a blast with it. We love Halloween. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have a Halloween party last year because of COVID, but I have no idea what he’s got planned this year, but I’m sure it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

    Audio / Travis Denning talks about his favorite – and probably most embarrassing – Halloween costume.

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    Travis Denning (Halloween costume) OC: …Busch Light. :21
    “Honestly, I think one of my most proud and embarrassed Halloween costumes is I went as Terry from Reno 9-1-1. I had the roller skates, the short-shorts, the tied-up shirt. Looking back, it wasn’t the manliest thing I ever did, but it got a lot of laughs. And I think that year my favorite candy I ever had was Busch Light.”

     

     

     

  • CMA AWARDS SET THE STAGE FOR THE 55TH ANNUAL CMA AWARDS TOMORROW NIGHT!

    The 55th Annual CMA Awards take place on Wednesday (November 10th), and UMG Nashville will be represented in many of the night’s categories, including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, Album, Group, Duo, Single, Song, Musical Event and New Artist.

    With 30 CMA Awards nominations already under his belt, reigning Entertainer of the Year Eric Church scores five additional nominations this year, bringing his total to 35 nominations and four previous wins. In addition to a nod in the Entertainer of the Year category again this year, he claims his eighth nomination in the Male Vocalist of the Year category and fifth nomination in the Album (Heart), Single (“Hell Of A View”) and Song of the Year (“Hell Of A View”) categories. Heart was produced by Joyce and mixed by Hall and Joyce. “Hell Of A View” was written by Casey Beathard, Church and Monty Criswell, and was also produced by Joyce and mixed by Hall and Joyce.

    Bringing his total nominations to 26, Chris Stapleton adds five CMA Awards nominations to his previous 21 in five categories – Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year(Starting Over), Single of the Year (“Starting Over”) and Song of the Year (“Starting Over”), including producer credits in both the Album and Single categories. This brings his total nominations in the Entertainer category to five and tallies his seventh nomination in the Male Vocalist category, which he’s won four times. Starting Over was produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton and mixed by Vance Powell. “Starting Over” was written by Mike Henderson and Stapleton, produced by Cobb and Stapleton and mixed by Powell. Stapleton is a 10-time CMA Awards winner.

    Brothers Osborne scores three CMA nominations. The pair return to this year’s ballot in the Vocal Duo of the Year category for the seventh consecutive year – a trophy they’ve claimed three times. This marks the brothers’ first nomination in the Album of the Year category, a nod they receive for Skeletons, while they collect their third nomination in the Music Video of the Year category for “Younger Me.” The “Younger Me” video was directed by Reid LongSkeletons was produced by Joyce and mixed by Hall and Joyce.

    Dierks Bentley has a pair of nods as Male Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year for “Gone.”

    Carrie Underwood returns to the Entertainer of the Year category, while Little Big Town is nominated for Group of the Year. Maddie and Tae are nominated in the Duo of the Year category.

    Jordan Davis scores his very first CMA nomination in the Musical Event category for “Buy Dirt” featuring Luke Bryan.

    Mickey Guyton also scores her first CMA nod in the New Artist of the Year category.

    CMA PERFORMERS INCLUDE: The night will see show host Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley feat. BRELAND and HARDY, as well as Keith Urban, Gabby Barrett, Thomas Rhett, Zac Brown Band and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson perform on the CMA stage as well as Jason Aldean and Carrie UnderwoodJimmie AllenBrothers OsborneEric ChurchLuke CombsDan + ShayMickey Guyton feat. Brittney Spencer and Madeline EdwardsMiranda LambertOld DominionCarly Pearce and Ashley McBrydeBlake SheltonChris Stapleton, and Chris Young and Kane Brown for this year’s show.

    Luke Bryan – “Up”
    Dierks Bentley – “Beers On Me”
    Keith Urban – “Wild Hearts”
    Carrie Underwood with Jason Aldean – “If I Didn’t Love You”
    Mickey Guyton, feat. Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards – “Love My Hair”
    Eric Church – “Heart On Fire”
    Brothers Osborne – “Younger Me”
    Chris Stapleton — “Cold”

    CMA PRESENTERS INCLUDE Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Deana Carter, Trace AdkinsIngrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Lauren Daigle, Russell Dickerson, Faith Fennidy, Florida Georgia LineFreddie Freeman, Amy GrantDulé Hill,  Elle King, Lady A, Zachary Levi, Scotty McCreery, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie,  Susan SarandonSaycon Sengbloh, Kurt WarnerLainey Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood.

    The 55th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan, will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Wednesday, November 10th at 8pm ET/7pm CT on ABC.

    CMA AWARDS NOMINATIONS:

    ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

    • Eric Church  
    • Luke Combs
    • Miranda Lambert
    • Chris Stapleton  
    • Carrie Underwood

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR
    Award goes to Artist and Producer(s) 

    • 29 – Carly Pearce
      Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy Robbins
      Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore
    • Dangerous: The Double Album – Morgan Wallen
      Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi
      Mix Engineer: Joey Moi
    • Heart – Eric Church
      Producer: Jay Joyce
      Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce 
    • Skeletons – Brothers Osborne
      Producer: Jay Joyce
      Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce 
    • Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
      Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
      Mix Engineer: Vance Powell 

     

    FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

    • Gabby Barrett
    • Miranda Lambert
    • Ashley McBryde
    • Maren Morris
    • Carly Pearce

     

    MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR  

    • Dierks Bentley 
    • Eric Church    
    • Luke Combs
    • Thomas Rhett
    • Chris Stapleton

    VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

    • Lady A
    • Little Big Town
    • Midland
    • Old Dominion
    • Zac Brown Band

    VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

    • Brooks & Dunn
    • Brothers Osborne  
    • Dan + Shay
    • Florida Georgia Line
    • Maddie & Tae

    SINGLE OF THE YEAR
    Award goes to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer

    • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
      Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
      Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt
    • “The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett
      Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale
      Mix Engineers: Chris Galland, Manny Marroquin
    • “Hell Of A View” – Eric Church
      Producer: Jay Joyce 

      Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
    • “One Night Standards” – Ashley McBryde
      Producer: Jay Joyce
      Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
    • “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton
      Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
      Mix Engineer: Vance Powell 

     

    SONG OF THE YEAR
    Award goes to Songwriters 

    • “Forever After All”
      Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford
    • “The Good Ones”
      Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick
    • “Hell Of A View”
      Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell  
    • “One Night Standards”
      Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
    • “Starting Over”
      Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton  

     

    MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
    Award goes to Artists and Producer(s) 

    • “Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan
      Producer: Paul DiGiovanni  
    • “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
      Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer
    • “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King & Miranda Lambert
      Producer: Martin Johnson
    • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
      Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
    • “half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
      Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins

    MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
    Award goes to Artist(s) and Director 

    • “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
      Director: TK McKamy
    • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
      Director: Peter Zavadil
    • “Gone” – Dierks Bentley
      Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske
    • “half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
      Director: Patrick Tracy
    • “Younger Me” – Brothers Osborne
      Director: Reid Long  


    NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR 

    • Jimmie Allen
    • Ingrid Andress
    • Gabby Barrett
    • Mickey Guyton 
    • HARDY

    MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR

    • Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle
    • Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
    • Aaron Sterling, Drums
    • Ilya Toshinskiy, Banjo
    • Derek Wells, Guitar

     

     

    Audio / Luke Bryan, who is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for “Buy Dirt” with Jordan Davis, talks about hosting this year’s CMA Awards.

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    Luke Bryan (hosting the CMA Awards) OC: …chance to do. :31
    “To be a representative of the music that I love, to be someone to carry on a tradition and to be the host and conduct this show with elegance, class, humor, reverence, to really make the show an example of country music and to represent the show to the best of my ability to the people watching at home is a big task and it’s something I’m so honored to have the chance to do.”

    Audio / Host Luke Bryan talks about what to expect from this year’s CMA Awards.

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    Luke Bryan (what to expect at CMA Awards) OC: …through their music. :26
    “If you’ve never seen the CMA Awards, first of all, pray for the guy hosting and sit back and enjoy an example and microcosm of many, many flavors of music, the realness and relatability and the stories of the songs that you’re hearing and the uniqueness of the artists and how the artists gives you where they’re from, who they are through their music.”

    Audio / Chris Stapleton, who is up for five at Wednesday night’s CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, Album, Single and Song of the Year, says he’s always grateful for the moment of recognition.

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    Chris Stapleton (grateful for awards) OC: …grateful for the moment. :30
    “Well I’ll take ’em home with me I guess once they send ’em Yeah I guess you have to at some point, but it still is a very… I’m thankful for it and it’s very nice and there’s a lot of great people doing a lot of great things making a lot of great music and working really hard and so when you get this kind of a thing going, I don’t think anybody deserves it. It’s a lot of luck and a lot of stars lining up so, I’m grateful for the moment.”

    Audio / CHRIS STAPLETON RESPONDS TO A QUESTION ABOUT A THEME IN HIS NEW ALBUM, STARTING OVER."

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    Chris Stapleton (theme of Starting Over album) OC: …as humans. :54
    “I’ve never really looked at records necessarily as having a theme.  I’ve never made a record in that kind of a constraint necessarily. And there are a lot of great records that have this theme and this overlying thread that kind of runs through them.  Maybe the thread for me is just I’m singing. I wrote a bulk of the songs. It’s the same guys playing all the songs. If there’s a theme – if there’s a theme it’s hopefully there’s a theme of truth somewhere in it. And what I mean by that is hopefully we’re conveying in the songs some experiences that feel real and hopefully people can find themselves in those songs and in the album. And for me if I’m looking for a theme it’s that kind of, I don’t know, that thing that binds us all together as humans.”

    Audio / Following his CMA win for Entertainer of the Year last year, Eric Church says he didn’t know just how much that award would mean to him and how subsequent Entertainer nods would mean more now.

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    Eric Church (Entertainer of the Year) OC: …live up to. :51
    “Coming off the CMA Entertainer of the Year – I’ve said this in interviews and I really believe this – I did not know what that award would mean to me because we’d never won that award (laughs) and never thought we would, and I felt a responsibility. I know what that award means to the format; I know what that means historically, and I tried to live up to that. I think with the vaccinations, I think with the touring, I think with the things we’ve tried to do during this, I’ve done more in that regard than I ever would’ve, because I understand the people that came before me, and I understand the people that will come after me. So, that nomination means more to me now than it probably ever has, because we’ve won. I think representing the format that I adore is something that I’m trying to live up to.”

    Audio / ERIC CHURCH TALKS ABOUT WRITING HIS CMA-NOMINATED HELL OF A VIEW.

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    Eric Church (writing HOAV) OC: …biggest ones. 1:11
    “Writing ‘Hell of a View,’ we were in North Carolina. We were in the mountains, and actually that song, I’d went out for a jog one day. We had a pretty good weather day and Casey Beatherd, one of the writers on the song, had been with Monty Criswell earlier. They had kind of worked on some of the song and hadn’t played it for me yet. I went out to jog and I came back in, and Casey was kind of standing up looking out the window and I can tell he’s playing. And when I opened the door, he looked up at me and he said, ‘Don’t say anything. You’ve got to hear this. This is really good.’ He immediately started playing the first part of the song. [One] verse or so, I was hooked. I was in. I loved the way he had the line, ‘caught your wings on fire/when I smoked my Bronco tires out of town,’ and I just thought that was such a great line, and I was smitten with it at that point of time. So, we finished it that night, later that day/night and then recorded it, and it came out great. I knew it was pretty special when it went down. It was always a song that I knew was a big hit, but at the same time it has that timeless quality to it and it’s gonna be one of our biggest ones.”

    Audio / Carrie Underwood talks about Entertainer of the Year nomination.

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    Carrie Underwood (Entertainer) OC: …fantastic company. :18
    “I personally feel like entertainer. It’s everything, right? So, I feel like people kind of narrow it down to tours, but I feel like there’s so many more components to it. And, you know, I’m blessed and lucky to be nominated, obviously, and fantastic company.”

    Audio / BROTHERS OSBORNE’S JOHN OSBORNE EXPLAINS WHY THE DUO MADE THE ALBUM, SKELETONS.

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    Brothers Osborne (how Skeletons was made) OC: …came about. 1:02
    “Skeletons is a record that was essentially brought on because we wanted to play more new songs live. So going into this record T.J. and I decided let’s make a record that no matter what song we just cherry pick out of the record we can do it during our show. And that is how we decided the songs that we ended up on the record. And we started with just like every other artist, 30, 40 plus songs. We started whittling them down, ‘well we might be able to play that. I don’t know if we would be able to play that.’ And that’s how we ended up with Skeletons. And it was really birthed from just playing live shows. One of the cool things about this record is that this is the first record where our entire band is playing on it. Previous records our drummer Adam and our bass player Pete they were playing, but this one has our other guitar player Jason and our keys player Billy Justin now. And it made a huge difference because for the first time we all got in the studio after playing hundreds of shows together, we put the headphones on and started playing and it was like oh it’s just the guys. We’re jamming with the dudes. And that’s how the record came about.”

    Audio / JORDAN DAVIS EXPLAINS HOW LUKE BRYAN ENDED UP ON HIS SONG, “BUY DIRT.”

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    Jordan Davis (Luke Bryan on Buy Dirt) OC: …my songs now. 1:13
    “I met Luke three or four years ago at an awards show after party, and got to hang with him, but I really kind of got to sit and talk with him after a round of golf one day, and we just really talked about everything under the sun aside from music. Luke kind of embodies what that song is. You know a lot of people get to see Luke on American Idol or on stage, but Luke Bryan really is a great guy. I sent him a message one day, a text message actually attached with the song, and I was like, ‘Hey Luke, I wrote this. It means a lot to me. You came to mind whenever I was thinking about it, through the writing process, and this song just kind of says what you’re about, and if you want to sing on it, great, no pressure. Don’t even feel the need to text me back or whatever. Just listen to it and let me know.’ And he got right back with me. He’s like, ‘Man I love the song. Let me live with it for a couple of days.’ And he called me back four or five days later and was like, ‘When do you want me singing on this thing?’ That was a pretty cool moment. I’m such a big fan of Luke, and he’s been a huge influence on me since I moved to Nashville, and pretty cool to have him on one of my songs now.”

    Audio / Mickey Guyton is still in shock over her CMA nomination for New Artist of the Year.

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    Mickey Guyton (CMA nomination) OC: …appreciate it. :33
    “I didn’t even really pay attention to the CMA nominations, ‘cause I was like there’s no way that they would ever nominate me for anything, and I’m getting all these phone calls like, ‘Congratulations on your CMA nomination.’ I think my manager sent me an email or sent me text, and I’m just like, ‘WHAT?!’ Like this is crazy ‘cause I’m not new at all. I’m actually quite ancient in this industry. It’s still quite shocking, but I am very grateful and I’m grateful that they gave me this opportunity and wanted to give me flowers. I take that, and I appreciate it.” Mickey Guyton (CMA nomination) OC: …appreciate it. :33
    “I didn’t even really pay attention to the CMA nominations, ‘cause I was like there’s no way that they would ever nominate me for anything, and I’m getting all these phone calls like, ‘Congratulations on your CMA nomination.’ I think my manager sent me an email or sent me text, and I’m just like, ‘WHAT?!’ Like this is crazy ‘cause I’m not new at all. I’m actually quite ancient in this industry. It’s still quite shocking, but I am very grateful and I’m grateful that they gave me this opportunity and wanted to give me flowers. I take that, and I appreciate it.”

  • ALAN JACKSON, DARIUS RUCKER AND MANY MORE ADDED AS PRESENTERS FOR THIS YEAR’S CMA AWARDS.

    Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker and Deana Carter are among the famous faces who have been announced as presenters for this year’s CMA Awards. They’re joined by Trace AdkinsIngrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Lauren Daigle, Russell Dickerson, Faith Fennidy, Florida Georgia LineFreddie Freeman, Amy GrantDulé Hill,  Elle King, Lady A, Zachary Levi, Scotty McCreery, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie,  Susan SarandonSaycon Sengbloh, Kurt WarnerLainey Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood.

    With 20 unforgettable performances from some of the biggest names in music, “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” is not to be missed. Artists taking the CMA Awards stage include Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley feat. BRELAND and HARDYBrothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton feat. Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Chris Young and Kane Brown, and Zac Brown Band.

    The 55th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan, will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 10th at 8pm ET/7pm CT on ABC.

  • ALAN JACKSON REVEALS DEGENERATIVE NERVE DISORDER ON NBC’S TODAY SHOW.

    Country music superstar Alan Jackson has revealed he is living with a degenerative nerve condition that is impacting his ability to tour and perform.

    In an exclusive interview with Jenna Bush Hager on NBC’s Today, Jackson went public with the news that he has inherited a rare condition known as “CMT” (Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder).

    “I’ve been reluctant to talk about this publicly and to my fans, but I have this neuropathy – a neurological disease that’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy,” Jackson shares. “There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious.”

    Jackson has been living with CMT since first being diagnosed a decade ago. It causes abnormalities in the nerves that supply the feet, legs, hands, and arms…affecting motor and sensory nerves. Though relatively rare, the disorder is inherited – Jackson recalls his father and grandmother having it; his oldest sister has it, too. CMT is progressive; there is no known cure.

    “It’s not going to kill me – it’s not deadly,” Jackson assures fans, explaining CMT is related to such things as muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease. “I know I’m stumbling around onstage, and now I’m having a little trouble balancing even in front of a microphone. I’m just very uncomfortable,” he explains. “I was starting to get so self-conscious up there…so if anybody’s curious why I don’t walk right, that’s why,” he adds. “I just wanted the fans and the public to know. I don’t want ’em to think I’m drunk onstage because I’m having problems with mobility and balance.”

    For Jackson, CMT often manifests in muscle weakness, discomfort and pain…especially when standing for lengthy periods to entertain crowds from a concert stage. Though he’s been living with his diagnosis for ten years, the Country Music Hall of Famer has continued to entertain, touring annually from coast-to-coast. In fact – in that period – he has played full-length concerts on such famous stages as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium…participated in awards shows and all-star music festivals…and even toured overseas. In 2021 alone, he has played a slate of concerts and staged a massive event in his small Georgia hometown that drew over 20,000 and raised more than $2,000,000 to help victims of a March tornado that ripped through the town. And he hopes to continue performing.

    “I never wanted to do the retirement tour like people do and then take a year off and then come back,” he says, expressing admiration for his personal heroes Merle Haggard, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Charley Pride. “They never retired; just played as much as they could or want to. I always thought I’d like to do that, and I would like to do that if my health will let me,” he shares, though he admits, “I don’t know how much I’ll continue to tour.”

    “I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour. I’ll try to do as much as I can,” Jackson notes. “But if I’m comin’ to your town….” “We’ll come!!!” Bush Hager quickly interjected.

    Jackson – who released yet another chart-topping album (Where Have You Gone) earlier this year – will in fact be onstage for a full-length concert next week, as he plays a “hometown show” at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (postponed from 2020 due to the past year’s pandemic).

    “I don’t want people to be sad for me; it’s just part of life,” Jackson says. “I’ve had a wonderful, beautiful life. I’ve been so blessed. It’s just good to put it out there in the open. In some ways, it’s a relief.”

    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, 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, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.

    Jackson – one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music – just released his latest album, Where Have You Gone, in May. The 21-track collection, which topped the country album chart, features 15 songs penned solely by the music icon. He’s also the man behind one of Nashville’s most-popular tourist stops, AJ’s Good Time Bar, a four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City.

     

    WATCH ALAN JACKSON ON NBC’S TODAY HERE AND
    SEE HIS COMPLETE INTERVIEW WITH JENNA BUSH HAGER
    HERE.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, Jordan Davis, Josh Turner

    Alan Jackson will be interviewed by NBC’s TODAY show on Tuesday (September 28th). Portions of the interview will air on both TODAY (8am hour) and TODAY With Hoda & Jenna (10am hour). Check your local listings for airtime.

    Darius Rucker will join the star-studded lineup for the Grand Ole Opry’s historic 5000th Saturday night broadcast on October 30th. He’ll be joined by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Dustin Lynch. Previously announced performers include Vince Gill, Terri Clark, Bill Anderson, Chris Janson, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith, The Gatlin Brothers and Chris Young. The first of the night’s two ticketed shows will be available to stream live on Circle Network, including its Circle All Access Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel.

    Jordan Davis released the behind-the-scenes look at the making of his “Buy Dirt” music video featuring Luke Bryan. Check it out below.

     

    Josh Turner is an ambassador for Children’s Cancer Research Fund this month, and he’s set to perform a Facebook Live show on Wednesday (September 29th) to benefit the fund. For more information or to donate, go to https://ccrf.org/udL1W.

     

     

  • ALAN JACKSON RELEASES POWERFUL MUSIC VIDEO FOR “WHERE HAVE YOU GONE.”

    Country music superstar Alan Jackson releases a new music video later today – the very special piece created for “Where Have You Gone,” the title track from his acclaimed new album, premiering Thursday evening (September 23rd) at 6:00pm CT – watch HERE.

     

    Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium provides the setting for the Peter Zavadil directed video. Filmed in black-and-white, creating an instantly dramatic and cinematic feel, Jackson can be seen alone on the stage of the Mother Church of Country Music. The Country Music Hall of Famer is surrounded by instruments – a fiddle, steel guitar, banjo, upright bass, acoustic guitar, simple drums – all just waiting to be played.

    The lone figure strums his favorite guitar as he sings the mournful lament on the famous stage, his eyes drawn to the light from windows high above the building’s pews. As the song unfolds, Jackson is joined behind the Ryman’s footlights by the ethereal-but-very-real images of bonafide legends who made history on that very same stage: Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Hank Williams and Tammy Wynette.

    “This is Alan’s idea…capturing all of this incredible history that’s happened here,” Zavadil shares. “The goal was to make the Ryman as much of a character in this as Alan is the artist onstage,” he adds. “This is a magical place.”

    “The song kind of starts out like it’s a lost love,” Jackson says. “I love what I call ‘real country music,’ and I just see it fading away more than I ever have,” he explains. “I just wanted to say that.”

    “Where Have You Gone” is just the latest music video by Jackson, who embraced the medium with his debut single and has gone on to create and star in nearly 60 music videos (including such career-defining clips as “Chattahoochee” and “Midnight in Montgomery,” both CMA Video of the Year winners and “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” an ACM Video of the Year). In 2014, the CMT Music Awards recognized Jackson’s unparalleled music video history by presenting him with the inaugural Impact Award.

    “Where Have You Gone” – written by Jackson – is the title track from the 2021 album that HITS calls “the quiet superstar’s rebuke to those who would forget the roots of where this music comes from.” American Songwriter notes the project “finds him wielding his poet’s perspective to weave together a masterful love letter to country music,” while Billboard cites Jackson’s “penchant for writing honestly,” adding, “the new album continues that tradition.” Where Have You Gone topped the country album chart upon its debut and became Jackson’s 15th Top 10 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200. It also topped the country charts in the UK, Canada and Australia.

    Jackson is set to wrap his 2021 tour schedule with a “hometown concert” Friday, October 8 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

    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, 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, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.

    Jackson – one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music – just released his latest album, Where Have You Gone, in May. The 21-track collection, which topped the country album chart, features 15 songs penned solely by the music icon. He’s also the man behind one of Nashville’s most-popular tourist stops, AJ’s Good Time Bar, a four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City.

  • THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11TH: Alan Jackson, Brandon Lay, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Jordan Davis, Keith Urban, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Travis Denning

    On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever with the devastating attacks on both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the events that took place 20 years ago. (This Saturday is the 20th Anniversary of 9-11.)

    There is audio from country superstar Alan Jackson sharing memories and thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001 and discussing his song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” as well as remembrances from Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Gary Allan, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Jordan Davis, Lauren Alaina and Travis Denning.

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

    “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the 2001 events. Written by Jackson, the song was called “…one of the most touching, powerful songs to come after the tragedies” by USA Today and dubbed “a reflective hymn that Americans will be listening to well into the second half of this century” by Salon.comThe New York Times singled out “Where Were You…” as “one of his finest songs,” and Billboard noted “a multitude of songs have been written and recorded in the wake of September 11th, but none captures the myriad emotions unleashed by the terrorist attacks on an unsuspecting nation more perfectly than Jackson’s eloquent ballad.” The song went on to be honored with a Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards.

     

    Audio / Alan Jackson explains why he feels “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” still resonates with music fans in concert 20 years after the events of September 11, 2001.

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    Alan Jackson (20th Anniversary of Sept 11) OC: …it all started. 1:24
    “Yeah, I mean it makes me feel really warm inside to know that that song and at the same time I feel a little bit surprised that it has lasted all this – these years. When I first wrote it, I didn’t think I would record it. And then we didn’t think it would ever – we would want to release it. At first I didn’t think I would ever write a song about the event because I just didn’t feel right about it and then this came out of nowhere and then it went on to be such an anthem for it for years. And now it’s kind of grown into just its own song outside of 9/11 where it’s just a song about faith and hope and love. And I see that in the crowds now. And a lot of my fans, younger fans weren’t hardly even around when 9/11 happened but they have connected with that song. And it’s one of the highlights of the show now and it’s just amazing that it has outlived where it really began. So, it can’t help but make me feel very proud that something like that has helped people through that hard time in the beginning and it still has a lasting affect outside of where it all started.”

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

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

    Audio / Alan Jackson recalls sharing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” with all of us for the first time live on national television during the 35th Annual CMA Awards.

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

    Audio / Brandon Lay remembers being in class in high school when he found out about the tragic events of 9-11.

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    Brandon Lay (9-11) OC: …changed forever. :52
    “I remember 9-11 very vividly. I was in Ms. Munn’s College Algebra class. It was a Tuesday. We happened to be able to bring breakfast, it was our day to bring breakfast to school that day, and Megan Smith was in my class and she came in and said something’s hit one of the towers in New York. There was a bomb or something. And the principal came and pulled Ms. Munn out in the hall and told her. From then on, we listened to some of the radio that day. Obviously, when we got home, we saw the replay of all that, and it was just unbelievable. I was in my sister’s Honda Accord – I had just got my driver’s license – and I went to go fill it up with gas and there was none, and I just remember thinking this country we live in now has just changed forever.”

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

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

    Audio / Eric Church was on his way to work when he heard the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

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

    Audio / Gary Allan was across the pond on September 11th, 2001, and was stuck in London for almost three weeks until his flight attendant wife was able to get him on a plane to come home.

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    Gary Allan (September 11th) OC: …me outta there. 1:31
    “I can remember exactly where I was on 9-11. I had played in Switzerland the 10th at Gstaad and the band flew home and me and Jake Kelly flew to London to do a show on September 11th in a bar. I was in the BBC doing media, I was sitting there doing interviews, and they had glass walls and there were cubicles, so I could see through into other offices.  I remember looking over, they were showing the first plane fly into the building, and I said, ‘Are they editing movies over there?’ And they all kind of looked at me pretty serious and said, ‘No, that’s live.’  And that was right when the second plane flew in, and I said, ‘That’s live?! That’s the twin towers?” And they said, ‘Yes.’ And I remember looking at John, my manager, and said, ‘Man, let’s get out of here!’ And that’s when the U.S. put out a statement saying that nobody’s flying into the U.S. If it flies, it dies, don’t approach us right now was the whole message. And I got stuck there for three weeks watching the media. It was really crazy times, just nobody really knowing, ‘cause it took us a while to get our heads around what had actually happened, but it was scary. I got trapped there for a couple of weeks. I remember my wife Angela got me out before the record label did. I remember going to the airport and John, my manager, saying you’re wasting your time, you’re not going to get out of here, and my wife at the time was a flight attendant, and she said, ‘Go sit at this terminal.’ That’s when you could just walk in and sit by a terminal. And I went in and sat there and eventually this flight attendant came out and said, ‘Are you Gary?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ She said, ‘Come on,’ and snuck me onto a plane and got me outta there.”

    Audio / Jordan Davis recalls what he was wearing and where he was on September 11th, 2001.

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    Jordan Davis (September 11th) OC: …happen again. :51
    “Yeah, I think I was in second period, Louisiana studies, Miss Porter was the teacher. I was wearing my football jersey ‘cause we had a football game that night. And I think back on that as like how many times in your life can you explain in that much detail what you were wearing? The number – I was number 11, it was a blue jersey, white lettering with yellow numbers. I’d never had anything just hit me that (hard) and just be that scary. But I remember just for the rest of the day, there was no school. I mean, we obviously stayed there, but nobody was teaching. Every TV was on and everybody was glued to it. I don’t know, it was just something that I still kinda get chillbumps about now thinking back on it. It’s one of those things that you pray never to happen again.”

    Audio / Keith Urban recalls being on the beach in Florida on September 11, 2001 and felt there was a really eerie feeling in the air, before heading back to his rental house and finding out what happened that would change the world forever.

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    Keith Urban (September 11th) OC: …lot of people. 1:14
    “Yeah, I was in Florida. We had just played a show on the night, either the 9th, I think it might have been the 9th or the 10th, somewhere around there. It was right before it. And then we decided to stay down and have a few days vacation on the beach down there and I remember that morning. I didn’t turn the news on and I was really grateful that I didn’t because I had a few extra hours before I was aware of this reality that was going on that would change everything. But the beach was deserted, and it was an eerie, ominous feeling in the air and I couldn’t put my finger on it. when we ended up going back to the house that we were renting we put the news on and that was the first time I saw what was happening and I couldn’t take it in. It was too surreal. Couldn’t fly anywhere. I had to send my tour bus to come down and get me and then bus all the way back to Nashville. My mom was staying with me at the time, and she was panicked and worried about me being away and was anxious for me to get home. It was a very, it was a really, really surreal traumatic time for a lot of people.”

    Audio / Lauren Alaina was just a little girl when the tragic events took place on September 11th, 2001, but she remembers feeling very scared when her father picked her up at school and explained what happened.

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    Lauren Alaina (September 11th) OC: …very scared. 1:11
    “I was in first grade when 9-11 happened. I don’t have a ton of memories from that time period, but I do specifically remember 9-11, because my father came and picked me up at school which never, ever happened. Like I didn’t miss school, but I didn’t totally understand what was going on. My father explained it to us, and we went to the house. I think he just wanted our family to be together ‘cause it was so devastating and so scary, and nobody knew what was actually happening. And I just remember as a little girl knowing how serious it was. I didn’t know what was going on, but I remember my dad cried and it really affected my dad and little girls don’t see their dads cry very often, and I remember thinking this is not good. This is not good. For both of my parents to come home from work and for us to all be at home in the middle of the day, I just remember being seven years old being very confused and very scared.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan just moved to Nashville about 10 days before the devastating terror attacks on the twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

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    Luke Bryan (9-11 20th) OC: …when that happened. 1:01
    “So, as we come up on the 20th Anniversary of 9-11, certainly a life-changing event for me and it was really, really challenging for me because I had just moved to Nashville. I moved to Nashville September 1st, 2001 and I’m in an apartment by myself down in Franklin. I never will forget. I was in bed and my sister called and said, ‘Turn on the TV. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center.’ I remember kinda getting my wits about me, and I turned it on and like so many other people, I saw the second plane hit. And at that moment a lot of innocence is forever lost and that’s certainly when the world changed. And I remember almost getting in the car and going home and spending some time with my family, but I wound up kinda toughing it out in Nashville. But it was a challenging moment being away from your family when that happened.”

    Audio / Travis Denning recalls where he was, what he was doing and how worried he and his family were about his mother, who was in D.C. working out of the Pentagon on a worktrip on September 11th, 2001. Near the end of the soundbite, Travis gets a little emotional and the soundbite trails off.

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    Travis Denning (Sept. 11th) OC: …makes me…(emotional trailoff). 2:18
    “I was in Atlanta on a field trip and we were going to a shadow puppet play and we were actually currently making our own shadow puppets. I’m telling you, I can remember everything about this, and my teacher came in, Mr. Andy Payne who I went to church with and amazing guy, great guy, and he came into the room, the little workshop we were in and had to be 12:30p, one o’clock, and he just announced in the room, ‘Hey everybody. There’s been a change of plans. We’re not gonna go to the play, and we actually have to, we’re going to go back home.’ And we’re in Atlanta, so we’re an hour and a half from Warner Robbins. I walked past him, and I said, ‘Well, what’s going on?’ He didn’t even look at me. He just said, ‘Everybody, get your stuff and we’ll get back in the bus and we’ll get rolling.’ I thought that was pretty weird. We did not go back to the school. We got dropped off at a Chik-fil-a parking lot down the road from the school and all our parents were picking us up and cops were there, and then I remember just at that point something was very wrong. I remember my grandmother picked me up and took me to his house. My dad eventually got to the house. We did not turn on the TV until he got there, but as soon as he turned on the TV every channel had it on. And then it hit you like a freight train, and you just think we’re at war. And then it hits you why we left Atlanta is because nobody knew what was going on, and they thought Atlanta might be attacked. Just the overwhelming like uncertainty hit, and then just the worst part is it hits you that my mom is in D.C. She’s at the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was attacked and we couldn’t get ahold of my mom, but it worked out. It was all good  She was at the hotel. The impact blew out the windows at the hotel, but (pause) we couldn’t get ahold of her for a while, so…it’s weird. It’s still kinda like, makes me…(gets emotional)”

    Audio / Travis Denning continues talking about the events of 9-11 and eventually getting ahold of his mother.

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    Travis Denning (Sept. 11th) 2 OC: …that is nuts. :49
    “So, eventually my dad got ahold of my mom and she was like, ‘Oh yeah. It has hit the fan here. It is so bad.’ They actually walked down to a separate hotel and got onto the roof and they were able to see directly into the Pentagon and see the crash. Ultimately too, she was like, ‘Well, I’m not getting home any time soon.’ And she ended up renting a car and about two days later pulled up in a rental vehicle. I remember everything about it. It was just so nuts. Then going back to school and just everybody talking about it. And on top of that it felt like the kids and the teachers were equally so astonished. It is wild. It’s just crazy that 20 years is coming up. That is nuts.”

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Reba McEntire, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Mickey Guyton

    Tune in tonight (August 23rd) at 7pm ET/6pm CT for an exclusive look at Reba McEntire‘s new box set REVIVED REMIXED REVISTED in a special TalkShopLive conversation with TV host Nancy O’Dell. You’ll be able to pre-order the collection on vinyl with an autographed poster or on CD with an autographed booklet, as well.

    Brothers Osborne appeared on CBS This Morning to talk music and how life has changed for them.

     

    Chris Stapleton is scheduled to perform on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers on Wednesday (August 23rd).

    Tune in Wednesday (August 25th) for CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride at 9pm ET/8pm CT on CMT. The 90-minute special will feature performances by Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Mickey Guyton, Reba McEntire, son Dion Pride, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs featuring Robert Randolph + Reyna Roberts, Garth Brooks and Wynonna celebrating the extraordinary life and legacy of the iconic Charley Pride.

    Alan Jackson has been added the lineup of performers for the 14th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors taking place on Wednesday (August 25th) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.  The event, which will also feature performances and appearances by Trace Adkins, Lauren AlainaDevin DawsonJessie Jo Dillon, Ronnie Dunn, Sara EvansNicolle Galyon, HARDY,  Chris Janson, Lady AAshley McBrydeCarly Pearce, RaeLynnJordan Reynolds, Brittney Spencer, Keith Urban, Laura Veltz, Sam Williams and Lee Ann Womack, will be livestreamed on Circle Network’s social channels – Circle All Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Circle Network will also air a television special around the 14th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors on Tuesday, November 23rd.