• ERIC CHURCH, DARIUS RUCKER AND ASHLEY McBRYDE PARTNER WITH ACM LIFTING LIVES, THE AD COUNCIL AND COVID COLLABORATIVE FOR COVID-19 VACCINATION EDUCATION PSA.

    ACM Lifting Lives®, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music®, is set to premiere a public service advertisement (PSA) during the upcoming ACM Awards together with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative in an effort to encourage all Americans to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines at GetVaccineAnswers.org and get a vaccination when it’s available to them.

    Featuring Eric Church, Ashley McBryde and Darius Rucker at Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry House, the new PSAs are part of the national campaign, “It’s Up to You,” and emphasize the important role education about COVID-19 vaccinations plays in a return to live music.

    “We are so grateful to Eric, Ashley, Darius and the team at ACM for lending their talent for this extraordinary partnership. Together, we will help increase awareness about the COVID-19 vaccines and connect audiences to resources where they can get answers to their top questions,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Millions of Americans are looking forward to getting back to seeing live music again, and getting educated on the vaccines is one of the best steps to getting there.”

    “ACM Lifting Lives is proud to partner with the Ad Council in educating the public on the COVID-19 vaccinations and how they can play a role in ending the pandemic,” said Lyndsay Cruz, ACM Lifting Lives Executive Director. “With the support of the Country Music industry and artists, we have worked tirelessly this past year to provide over $3.5 million in financial aid to families in need within the Country Music community. By joining the Ad Council and this campaign, we are continuing our commitment to providing a brighter future for these families and fans. We would like to thank each of the artists for making this message impactful and supporting us in achieving this goal.”

    According to Ad Council research fielded by Ipsos in February, approximately 40% of the American public remain undecided about getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Of that undecided population, only 56% say they feel confident they have enough information to guide their decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccination, compared to 96% of those already committed. A majority (over 80%) are eager to get back to the moments and people they miss.

    First launched in February, the “It’s Up To You” initiative is the largest and most significant communications effort in U.S. history. Developed pro bono by ad agency Pereira O’Dell, the new PSA will direct audiences to GetVaccineAnswers.org for the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccines.

    ACM Lifting Lives continues to support the Country music community during the ongoing pandemic with the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, which has distributed more than $3.5 million to those in the industry suffering a financial crisis during this time, made possible with support from both corporate sponsors and individual donors.

    Broadcasting live from Nashville on the CBS Television Network, the “56th Academy of Country Music Awards” hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton will feature exciting performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more to be announced in the coming weeks.

    The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ global streaming service.

    For more information, visit ACMcountry.com and ACMLiftingLives.org. Fans can also like the Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

  • DARIUS RUCKER RELEASES NEW SINGLE, “MY MASTERPIECE.”

    Fresh off the feel-good chart topper “Beers And Sunshine,” his 10th No. 1 at Country radio, Darius Rucker is back with more new music off a forthcoming album currently in the works. “My Masterpiece,” set to impact Country radio on Monday, March 22nd, is available everywhere now.

    Written by Rucker together with Josh Osborne, J.T. Harding and Ross Copperman, the same foursome behind the recent No. 1 hit, the new song offers a swaying melody and lyrics that prize true love over all else:

             I never had a silver spoon
             I didn’t grow up in a castle
             I never walked on the moon
             I’ll never paint a Sistine Chapel
             I can’t play piano like Ray Charles
             But baby when my life is through
             I hope they say my masterpiece is loving you

    “One of the most common questions I got asked last year was if I had picked up a new hobby during quarantine,” shares the three-time GRAMMY winner. “I always answered that I was trying to learn piano, and someone asked if I was any good yet. J.T. Harding heard my response in that interview – ‘I can’t play piano like Ray Charles’ – and knew we had to write a song around that line.”

    Despite the unusual year which allowed for downtime to acquire new skills, Rucker still prioritized giving back – an effort that was recognized by Southern Living as they named him “Southerner of the Year” in the annual “South’s Best” issue on stands March 19.

    “This is the toughest time we may have seen in the history of our country,” Rucker shared with the magazine. “Even when things are good, it’s amazing how many people could use help. Whether you’re supporting a charity or an orphanage or a hospital, it seems to brighten days and make people feel better—and isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

    For more information, visit www.DariusRucker.com and follow on social media @DariusRucker.

    Audio / Darius Rucker talks about co-writing his new single, "My Masterpiece."

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    Darius Rucker (My Masterpiece) 1 OC: …I love. :36
    “I was having a writing session with the same guys I wrote “Beers and Sunshine” with, and they were talking about just, well, I think it was John that said he heard me on a radio station talking about what I was doing during COVID. I said I was trying to learn to play piano and they asked if I could play, and I said, ‘I can’t play like Ray Charles.’ And that just stuck in his head and that was the idea that he had. And we went in, and it was another one of those songs that really, with when you think about all of the great masterpieces in the world, it was great to write that song and come up with another song that I love.”

    Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (My Masterpiece) 1

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  • NEWS AND NOTES: Taylor, Keith, Vince, Carrie, Darius, Reba, Chris

    Taylor Swift‘s “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s version)” is featured in the trailer for the new animated film, Spirited Untamed, from Dreamworks.  The song originally appeared on her 1989 album, and this is the first and only place to hear her re-recorded version of the song.

    The film, which features the voices of Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, Walton Goggins, Andre Braugher, and Isabela Merced, will hit theaters nationwide on June 4th.

     

    Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are among the artists featured on a limited-edition LP for the Grand Ole Opry’s Unbroken: Empty Room, Full Circle album. The announcement came on the anniversary of the Opry’s decision to pause in-house audiences in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Available June 4th, 2021, exclusively on Opry.com and at the Opry’s Nashville-based retail outlets,  the LP includes memorable performances recorded live from the Opry stage in front of an empty house. For 29 weeks, Saturday night Opry shows continued uninterrupted despite public health orders that temporarily shuttered many other live productions. These performances were made possible because of the devotion of Grand Ole Opry members, featured performers, Opry staff and local health officials who safely worked together to bring comfort to millions around the world. Brad Paisley, Marty Stuart, Luke Combs and many more.

    Chris Stapleton and his wife, Morgane, join actor-singer Leslie Jordan on his song “Farther Along,” which will be featured on his forthcoming debut album of Southern gospel hymns, Company’s Comin’.  Brothers Osborne’s TJ Osborne, Dolly Parton, Ashley McBryde, Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile and more are featured on the album. The Tennessee native, best known for his roles in TV shows such as “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Public,” “Reba,” “Boston Legal,” and “American Horror Story,” has become a social media favorite while in quarantine for his endearing videos, including a regular “Sunday Mornin’ Hymn Singin'” series.

     

  • COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM TAKES FANS INSIDE AMERICAN CURRENTS: STATE OF THE MUSIC EXHIBITION WITH VIDEO SPECIAL PREMIERING MARCH 19TH.

    The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum announced the premiere of the video special “American Currents: Celebrating the State of the Music” at 7pm CT, Friday, March 19th, 2021, on the museum’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. “American Currents: Celebrating the State of the Music” takes music fans inside the museum’s upcoming exhibition “American Currents: State of the Music,” which not only recognizes artists’ industry accomplishments, but also delves into the extraordinary events that shaped country music amid a global health crisis and a renewed push for social justice.

    Country Music Hall of Fame Member and Museum Board President Vince Gill will introduce the exhibition and the program. Additionally, CEO Kyle Young will share remarks highlighting the artists, musicians, songwriters and stories featured in the most recent installment of the American Currents: State of the Music exhibition, which is located in the museum’s ACM Gallery.
    The video special “American Currents: Celebrating the State of the Music,” underwritten in part by City National Bank, kicks off a year-long series of programming and online content in support of “American Currents: State of the Music.” The video will remain available to view on the museum’s YouTube channel after the premiere.

    During the video program, Luke Combs and Rissi Palmer will discuss the past year – how it changed their perspectives and how they managed to stay creative and positive during troubling times. Combs, Palmer and Billy Strings, who are each featured in this year’s exhibition, will also perform.

    Presented annually, “American Currents: State of the Music” is based upon the ongoing research and analysis of curators and museum staff to document and interpret significant developments in country music over the previous year. Those recognized in this year’s exhibition, in addition to Combs, Palmer and Strings, are: Gabby Barrett, Casey Beathard, The Chicks, Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton, John Prine, Sister Sadie and Eddie Stubbs.

    The exhibition’s Unbroken Circle section illustrates the connection between country music’s past and present by pairing artists with those who have influenced them or share musical perspectives. Those included are Jimmie Allen and Darius Rucker; Ingrid Andress and Faith Hill; Charley Crockett and Freddy Fender; and Dierks Bentley’s Hot Country Knights and the Statler Brothers’ Lester “Roadhog” Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys.

    For more information about American Currents: State of the Music, visit www.CountryMusicHallofFame.org.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Reba, Darius, Kimberly, Vince, Luke and more

    Reba McEntire returns to reprise her role as “June” on the television show, Young Sheldon on Thursday (February 25th). Catch her in action beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT on CBS.

     

     

    Darius Rucker will perform his No. 1 hit, “Beers and Sunshine” on NBC’s “TODAY” Show on Friday (February 26th).

    Speaking of Darius Rucker and his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates, Post Malone has released a cover of their 1995 hit song “Only Wanna Be With You” ahead of his performance at the Pokémon Day 25th-anniversary virtual concert on Saturday (February 27th).

     

    Little Big Town‘s Kimberly Schlapman appears on The Doctors on Thursday (February 25th). She will talk about the ACM Awards and their initiative ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund and the support it offers for those in the Country Music community financially impacted by the pandemic.  

     

    Vince Gill reunites with his longtime friend Lyle Lovett on Friday (February 26th) to share music, memories and more beginning at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Get your tickets here.

     

     

     

    Luke Bryan takes fans behind-the-scenes of the making of his video for “Down to One.” Check it out below.

     

     

     

     

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  • DARIUS RUCKER HITS THE TOP OF THE COUNTRY CHARTS WITH HIS 10TH NO. 1 HIT, “BEERS AND SUNSHINE.”

    Darius Rucker hit No. 1 country single this week with “Beers and Sunshine.” The tune, which he co-wrote with producer Ross Copperman, J.T. Harding and Josh Osborne, tops both the Country Aircheck/Mediabase and Billboard country charts.

    With his first solo single at Country radio since packing arenas during 2019’s Hootie & the Blowfish blockbuster world tour, the South Carolina nativehas earned his 10th career No. 1 with “Beers And Sunshine.”

    Written via a Zoom session with producer Ross Copperman and fellow songwriters Josh Osborne and TJ Harding at the onset of the global pandemic that changed the way music is made, the anthem celebrated by ABC News Radio as “a ray of sunshine for fans during what’s been a tumultuous year” calls for slowing down to recognize the important things in life when the world feels out of control.

    With the lighthearted melody recorded virtually from his home, Rucker sings not of divisive headlines or topics meant to pull us apart, instead offering a reprieve for 2:58 via his preferred forms of “B.S.” – “beers and sunshine / bonfires and summertime / back porch nights in South Carolina.” 

    “It’s certainly been a challenging year. Like a lot of people, when I got home from being on the road last March and we parked the tour bus for the foreseeable future, we had no idea what our future would actually look like,” Rucker reflects. “I don’t have the answers for how we fix the complex issues that we’re facing in our country or in Country music, however while we work through this time I think it’s important that we balance the heaviness by finding the silver lining, where we can really enjoy the simple joys this song talks about like time spent together with friends and family.”

    Rucker, who is currently at work on a forthcoming studio album, performed the song live on the CMA Awards which he co-hosted with Reba McEntire in November. Fans can once again catch a glimpse of what Billboard praises as a “smile-inducing performance” when Rucker appears live on NBC News’ “TODAY” this Friday, February 26th.

    For more information, visit www.DariusRucker.com and follow on social media @DariusRucker.

    Audio / Darius Rucker talks about his new No. 1 song, "Beers and Sunshine."

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    Darius Rucker (Beers and Sunshine No. 1) OC: …love that song. :33
    “You know, I really thought the song, especially right now in the winter and with everything that’s going on, it was just such an upbeat song, a happy song, and I thought people would resonate with it and eventually they did. And that was really cool. That one was also the first song that I had ever done that was all recorded over the internet too, so that was pretty cool. It was just one of those things, it was early in the pandemic and we were already like, ‘Is it really going to be like this? Is this what it’s gonna be like?’ (laughs) And that’s what it was like though, but I love that song.”

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  • DARIUS RUCKER PERFORMS HIS NO. 1 HIT, “BEERS AND SUNSHINE,” ON THE TODAY SHOW.

    Darius Rucker appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show for the Citi Music series this morning (February 26th) and performed his new No. 1 single, “Beers and Sunshine.” He also chatted with the hosts about the single, his friend PGA Champion Tiger Woods and said, “I say if Tiger wants to play again, he’ll play again.” In addition, he talked about Post Malone’s cover of the Hootie & the Blowfish hit, “Only Wanna Be With You.”

    Check out the interview and performance below.

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  • DARIUS RUCKER ENJOYS SOME “BEERS AND SUNSHINE.”

    Darius Rucker is poised to hit the top of the country charts with his latest single, “Beers and Sunshine,” and he seems to be a connoisseur of both — beers AND sunshine.  The South Carolina native makes a list of some beer brands he enjoys.

    “I like any kind of beer. I like a good lager, you know, a good Heinekin or a Stella or a Peroni or something like that,” says Darius, adding he’s ready for the sun to come out of hibernation. “I haven’t had a lot of sunshine. I’ve been down to Charleston a little bit, but 61 is not really sunshine. (laughs)  I want it to be 80. I hope (Punxsutawney) Phil’s wrong, ‘cause I’m ready for the winter to go away.”

    Darius co-wrote the song with producer Ross Copperman, J.T. Harding and Josh Osborne.

    Audio / Darius Rucker lists some of his favorite beers, and he hopes the sunshine comes back pretty soon.

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    Darius Rucker (Beers AND Sunshine) OC: …go away. :22
    “I like any kind of beer. I like a good lager, you know, a good Heinekin or a Stella or a Peroni or something like that, but I haven’t had a lot of sunshine. I’ve been down to Charleston a little bit, but 61 is not really sunshine. (laughs)  I want it to be 80. I hope (Punxsutawney) Phil’s wrong, ‘cause I’m ready for the winter to go away.”

     

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  • DARIUS RUCKER IS LOOKING FORWARD TO SUNDAY’S SUPER BOWL MATCH-UP BETWEEN THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AND THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS.

    As everyone knows, Darius Rucker is a huge football fan. He has said in the past, “For me, there’s two times a year, man — football season and waiting for football season.” While his beloved Miami Dolphins with a 10-6 record didn’t make it to this year’s Super Bowl, he will be watching Sunday’s (February 7th) game, which he says is going to be really interesting.

    “Not only do we have Mahomes is the best new quarterback and Tom Brady who I have to finally admit is the goat, even though Dan Marino is 1A, but I’m not going to go into that (laughs). But with those two teams going at each other, and not just them, but to have two of the greatest offensive minds ever with Andy Reid and Bruce Arians on the sidelines and then you’ve got (Eric) Bieniemy on the sidelines, another great offensive mind, it’s going to be hard for these defensives to slow these teams down, because you’ve got two weeks to prepare, and everything that the defensives are looking at on film right now, everything they see they’re not going to see on Sunday,” says Darius. “It’s going to be all new, and it’s going to be all different formations and different formations and different that and different routes out of different formations that they’ve never done before and it’s gonna be tough. I’m looking for a great game. You know, there’s that’s part of me that wants to go Kansas City is going to win, ‘cause when you look at it that’s how the football mind, how I see it, but I made a vow after the last two weekends of the playoffs that I’m never gonna bet against Tom Brady again. (laughs) So, I don’t know who’s going to win, (laughs) but I think it’s gonna be a great game.”

    Darius is also commissioner in six different fantasy football leagues. This year he didn’t fare as well as he has in years past. “Yes, I did my fantasy football leagues this year, and I made the playoffs in one (laughs) and lost in the first round.” (laughs)

    The South Carolina native is poised to top the country charts very soon with his latest single, “Beers and Sunshine.”

     

    Audio / Darius Rucker is looking forward to watching the match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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    Darius Rucker (Super Bowl 2021) OC: …great game. 1:06
    “Not only do we have Mahomes is the best new quarterback and Tom Brady who I have to finally admit is the goat, even though Dan Marino is 1A, but I’m not going to go into that (laughs). But with those two teams going at each other, and not just them, but to have two of the greatest offensive minds ever with Andy Reid and Bruce Arians on the sidelines and then you’ve got (Eric) Bieniemy on the sidelines, another great offensive mind, it’s going to be hard for these defensives to slow these teams down, because you’ve got two weeks to prepare, and everything that the defensives are looking at on film right now, everything they see they’re not going to see on Sunday. It’s going to be all new, and it’s going to be all different formations and different formations and different that and different routes out of different formations that they’ve never done before and it’s gonna be tough. I’m looking for a great game. You know, there’s that’s part of me that wants to go Kansas City is going to win, ‘cause when you look at it that’s how the football mind, how I see it, but I made a vow after the last two weekends of the playoffs that I’m never gonna bet against Tom Brady again. (laughs) So, I don’t know who’s going to win, (laughs) but I think it’s gonna be a great game.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker talks about his Fantasy Football Leagues he’s in or commissioner of this year.

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    Darius Rucker (fantasy football leagues 2021) OC: …first round. (laughs) :08
    “Yes, I did my fantasy football leagues this year and I made the playoffs in one (laugs) and lost in the first round.” (laughs)

  • AN INCREDIBLE LINEUP OF COUNTRY MUSIC STARS, INCLUDING CARRIE UNDERWOOD, DIERKS BENTLEY, DARIUS RUCKER AND LITTLE BIG TOWN, TO JOIN THE ‘GRAND OLE OPRY: 95 YEARS OF COUNTRY MUSIC’ SPECIAL.

    Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town will appear during the NBC TV special, Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music. The two-hour anniversary special, which also features special performances by Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood, Marty Stuart, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady A, Old Crow Medicine Show and hosts Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley.

    In addition to original songs, the special features one-of-a-kind Opry member collaborations and incredible covers including Kelsea Ballerini singing “When You Say Nothing At All” and  Dierks Bentley and Marty Stuart’s duet of “Pancho & Lefty,” as well as special moments such as when Darius Rucker recently invited Lady A to become Opry members. All performances were recorded at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

    “Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music” will also feature archival footage including interviews, performances, and appearances by many more of today’s Opry members and legendary artists.

    “This special is going to capture so much of what makes the Opry a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience,” said Dan Rogers, Opry Vice President and Executive Producer. “10-year Opry member Blake and 20-year member Brad guide us through a powerful Opry debut, an Opry membership invitation given to one of country’s most awarded vocal groups, performances of some of today’s chart-topping hits and timeless songs that have rung out from the Opry stage for decades, and a look back at cherished members of the Opry family and musical moments that have come to define the Opry we know today.”

    Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music will air Sunday, February 14th at 9pm ET/PT on NBC.