Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Mickey Guyton, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood are among the performers at this year’s ACM Awards. They’re joined by Kelsea Ballerini, Lee Brice, Kane Brown, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Ryan Hurd, Jack Ingram,  Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Jon Randall, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, The War and Treaty, CeCe Winans and Chris Young.

    Over 25 artists will perform more than 30 songs from three iconic Country Music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. Additional details on the exciting performances including unprecedented collaborations and surprising moments will be announced in the coming weeks. First-time ACM Awards performances from many of the legendary artists in the lineup can be found HERE.

    The health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners involved in the ACM Awards is the number one priority. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by dick clark productions and the Academy of Country Music.


    For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like 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.

    The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, will air Sunday, April 18th beginning at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.


    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.


    Dierks Bentley is scaling the country charts with his latest song, “Gone.” The track, written by Nicolle Galyon, Ben Johnson and Niko Moon and produced by David Garcia, Dierks finds himself pushing some new sonic territory. This time blending dobro, piano, drums and guitar sounds with the same fearlessness that has won him both critical acclaim and commercial viability over the last nine albums and 19 No. 1 hits.

    “The production is a little different. I mean, when I’m doing my thing the best, I think it’s when I mix the bluegrass instrumentation with some of the, we used to call it ‘mixing the bluegrass with the kickass,’” says Dierks. “But you know, trying to get those acoustic instruments with the big drums and the big guitars and finding that place where they meet. Even though I’m always trying to do something different musically, I always go back to that, you know? I mean just trying to mix those sounds together, it’s interesting for me.”

    Dierks is nominated for a pair of awards at this year’s ACM Awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year for “Gone.” The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from Nashville April 18th beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT on CBS. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on the new Paramount+ channel.

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about the production on his latest song, “Gone.”


    Dierks Bentley (production on Gone) OC: …for me. :25
    “So, the production is a little different. I mean, when I’m doing my thing the best, I think it’s when I mix the bluegrass instrumentation with some of the, we used to call it ‘mixing the bluegrass with the kickass.’ But you know, trying to get those acoustic instruments with the big drums and the big guitars and finding that place where they meet. Even though I’m always trying to do something different musically, I always go back to that, you know? I mean just trying to mix those sounds together, it’s interesting for me.”


    Video /


    With six each, Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris lead the list of nominations at this year’s ACM Awards.

    Chris earned nods in the categories for Entertainer, Male Artist, Song (for “Starting Over”) and Album of the Year (Starting Over) as artist, songwriter and producer.


    Brothers Osborne
    and Kelsea Ballerini, along with ET‘s Rachel Smith revealed the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards nominees today (February 26th) on CBS This Morning.

    The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church earned three category nominations for Entertainer, Male Artist and Music Event of the Year for Luke Combs’ “Do to Me.”



    Luke Bryan picks up a pair of nominations for Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year for Born Here Live Here Die Here, while Dierks Bentley also is nominated for two including Male Artist of the Year and Music Video of the Year for “Gone.”





    Brothers Osborne are nominated for both Duo of the Year (an award they’ve won twice before) and Album of the Year for Skeletons. Keith Urban also picks up two nods…in the same category – Music Event of the Year for both “Be a Light” with Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin, as well as his latest single, “One Too Many” with P!nk.



    Carrie Underwood earned a nod in Music Event of the Year with John Legend for “Hallelujah,” while Lauren Alaina is also nominated in Music Event of the Year for Hardy’s “One Beer,” along with Devin Dawson.



    Little Big Town picks up a nomination for Group of the Year, while Maddie & Tae scored a nomination for Duo of the Year.




    Mickey Guyton and Caylee Hammack are both nominated for New Female Artist of the Year, while Travis Denning and Parker McCollum are up for New Male Artist of the Year.





    The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from Nashville April 18th beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT on CBS. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on the Paramount+.

    Entertainer of the Year

    Luke Bryan
    Eric Church

    Luke Combs
    Thomas Rhett
    Chris Stapleton

    Female Artist of the Year

    Kelsea Ballerini
    Miranda Lambert
    Ashley McBryde
    Maren Morris
    Carly Pearce

    Male Artist of the Year

    Dierks Bentley
    Luke Combs
    Eric Church
    Thomas Rhett
    Chris Stapleton

    Duo of the Year

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

    Group of the Year

    Lady A
    Little Big Town
    Old Dominion
    The Cadillac Three
    The Highwomen

    New Female Artist of the Year

    Ingrid Andress
    Tenille Arts
    Gabby Barrett
    Mickey Guyton
    Caylee Hammack

    New Male Artist of the Year

    Jimmie Allen
    Travis Denning
    Cody Johnson
    Parker McCollum

    Album of the Year

    Born Here Live Here Die Here, Luke Bryan
    Mixtape Vol. 1, Kane Brown
    Never Will, Ashley McBryde
    Skeletons, Brothers Osborne
    Starting Over, Chris Stapleton

    Single of the Year

    “Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert
    “I Hope,” Gabby Barrett
    “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice
    “More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress
    “The Bones,” Maren Morris

    Song of the Year

    “Bluebird,” Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby
    “One Night Standards,” Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally
    “Some People Do,” Jesse Frasure, Matt Ramsey, Thomas Rhett, Shane McAnally
    “Starting Over,” Chris Stapleton, Mike Henderson
    “The Bones,” Jimmy Robbins, Maren Morris, Laura Veltz

    Video of the Year

    “Better Than We Found It,” Maren Morris
    “Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert
    “Gone,” Dierks Bentley
    “Hallelujah,” Carrie Underwood and John Legend

    “Worldwide Beautiful,” Kane Brown

    Songwriter of the Year

    Ashley Gorley
    Michael Hardy
    Hillary Lindsey
    Shane McAnally
    Josh Osborne

    Music Event of the Year

    “Be A Light,” Thomas Rhett f/Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban
    “Does To Me,” Luke Combs f/Eric Church
    “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice
    “Nobody But You,” Blake Shelton f/Gwen Stefani
    “One Beer,” Hardy f/Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson
    “One Too Many,” Keith Urban f/P!nk


    Audio / Chris Stapleton, who is nominated for 6 ACM Awards including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year (among others), talks about the theme of his latest album, Starting Over.


    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 / Eric Church, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, is nominated for Entertainer (among others) at this year’s ACM Awards. Backstage at last year’s CMA Awards, he talked about his first Entertainer of the Year win.


    Eric Church (CMA 2020) 1 OC: …next year or two. :31
    “There’s not really been winners this year. I mean, nobody’s played. Nobody’s done the things we normally do. It’s been a year, to me, about losses. It’s about loss of life. It’s about loss of education for your kids. It’s about loss of time playing. It’s been a year of managing those losses. But I really meant what I said (during my acceptance speech) that we were in a room together as country music, and that’s not happened this year. So, I think that that was a win for country music, and I think it was a win for where we’re gonna go in the next year or two.”

    Audio / Before releasing his latest album in August of last year, Luke Bryan talked about what fans can expect on BORN HERE LIVE HERE DIE HERE.


    Luke Bryan (fan expectations for BHLHDH) OC: …something for everybody. :37
    “I think fans can expect a little something of everything. They can expect a love song, a dancing song; obviously, ‘One Margarita’ being a big ole fun summer drinking song. And I think we have songs that will make you cry, touch your emotions, and I think, like I said there are songs that you can fall in love to out there. And there are songs that talk about the true meaning of life when you think about a song like ‘For a Boat,’ and you got a father teaching his son about the important things in life. So, I’m just proud of the way the album come together, and I feel like there’s something for everybody.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley talks about his latest single, "Gone," for which the music video is nominated for an ACM Award.


    Dierks Bentley (Gone) 2 OC: …would enjoy it too. :18
    “You know, the song, ‘cause I didn’t write it I can only brag on it, is just really well-written. It’s catchy, it’s fun. It’s metaphorical about what’s happening right now. It reminds me a little bit of some stuff we’ve had out in the past, but it feels like new territory in other ways and I don’t know, I just enjoyed it. I enjoyed singing it and I enjoyed playing it, and I wanted to put it out there and I thought our fans would enjoy it too.”



    Keith Urban (P!NK duet) OC: …it together. :29
    “This song was written as a duet, and I sent the song to her and luckily she loved it. I loved the song and I was really hoping she would love it, because she’s truly one of the great singers of our generation. So, to hear her voice on this song was phenomenal. We had such a great time getting to do that. I wish we could’ve done it in the same space, but you know with the situation we’re in, of course, we couldn’t do that. So, she recorded her vocal at her house and I did mine at my house, and we put it together.”



    Carrie Underwood (Hallelujah) OC: …cool collaboration. :37
    “’Hallelujah’ is a song that touches on many different topics and feelings. It’s a love song, it’s a Christmas song, it’s a celebrating the time of year song. It’s you know, still wanting that joyfulness – it was written by John Legend and Toby Gad. When I listened to it, it had John’s voice on it, and it’s just beautiful. I knew I wanted to sing it – we asked if John, you might want to sing it with me. The perfect song, the perfect person, John Legend sounds amazing on it and I was like wow, I can’t believe that this just all came together like this, and just kind of a really cool collaboration.”

    Audio / Parker McCollum talks about being nominated for his first ACM Award…for New Male Artist of the Year.


    Parker McCollum (1st ACM Nomination) OC: …So grateful. :36
    “What does it mean to be nominated for an ACM Award? I can’t even explain it. I’ve watched these awards shows from the time I can remember listening to country music or watching television. It’s been my whole life. And so to be nominated for an ACM, something like New Male Artist of the Year – an absolute honor and a dream come true and so cool to see how proud my family is of me getting nominated for something like this. It’s just, there are no words, man. So grateful.”


    Video /


    Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special someone. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century.

    Over 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion.

    Sunday is Valentine’s Day (February 14th), and we’ve got some thoughts and feelings and more about love, romance and marriage from several of your favorite country artists. A few are new and some have become our favorites over the years. Which country stars are romantic? Which ones aren’t? Which ones have a good reason to celebrate the holiday that’s all about love?

    Click here for Valentine’s Day Liners.


    Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his love for wife, Denise, over the years.


    AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24
    “We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hits was a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”

    Audio / Billy Currington recalls his first real Valentine’s Day.


    Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day memory) OC: …took off running. :21
    “Yeah, I remember my first girlfriend. I was in first or second grade, but anyway, I remember it was Valentine’s Day and your mom going, ‘You’ve got to give your girlfriend something, and you’ve got to go give it to her.’ I’ll never forget — we got her a box of chocolates or whatever it was. I remember going down to her classroom and knocking on the door, getting her to come to the door. I remember handing it to her, and then I took off running.”

    Audio / Carrie Underwood is all about the chocolate most couples give each other on Valentine’s Day.


    Carrie Underwood (Valentine’s Day-chocolate) OC: …white chocolate. :14
    “Chocolate’s every woman’s friend – in their time of need or in their time of happiness or in their time of sadness or madness, chocolate is my friend. Anything with caramel in it, ooooooooh. White chocolate’s good too. You can’t beat some good white chocolate.”



    Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day-most interesting gift he’s given his wife) OC: …formulate yourself. 1:19
    “When ‘What Was I Thinkin’’ was released in 2003, I didn’t know what my life would look like, and all of a sudden, I found myself out on the road full-time, just gone. So, the place where I was staying, I had some friends pack it up and move it into a storage facility…and in there I found some letters that she and I had written back and forth when we were dating. I was working at The Nashville Network and she was working out in San Francisco and found some letters I had written her and I’d gotten back and some stuff she’d sent me, including a CD of songs she’d been listening to, back when you made CD mixes and there’s like these three hearts on that CD. I just found that it was so meaningful for me those gifts you give each other before any money, before anything else was going on, just music, giving of mixtapes was so cool. She reminded me of a mixtape that I had sent her. I’d sent it to her via FedEx, because it was so important she get this as quickly as possible. This was sadly before, I guess we had internet back then, but you really couldn’t send songs over the internet. I think the most interesting thing I’ve given her and she’s given me was just mixtapes, because there’s nothing like music to put into words and the thoughts you have in your head that you can’t formulate yourself.”

    Audio / Eric Church says his wife, Katherine, loves him in spite of everything.


    Eric Church (Valentine’s) OC: …love song is. :48
    “True love to me is when you love a person in spite of all their fallibilities, and for me, I have a lot of ‘em. I’m definitely at times hard to love, and that’s what’s great about Katherine and the way she loves me. She loves me in spite of those things and really for those things.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi says he has learned a lot about love and about Valentine’s Day from his wife, Summer.


    Jon Pardi (Valentine’s Day – Summer) OC: …for you. (laughs) :35
    “One thing Summer has taught me is that gifts are cool, diamonds, blah, blah, blah, but to take your time and clear your mind and write something about what she means to you on a card is probably the most least expensive and the biggest price you can give her is just to write and tell her how much you love her on a little card. That’s what she taught me for Valentine’s Day, so I just do that. It’s way cheaper. (laughs) And of course, I always say to her, ‘Babe, every day is Valentine’s Day for you.’ (laughs)


    Audio / Jordan Davis talks about meeting his wife in New Orleans. They were both there attending separate weddings.


    Jordan Davis (meeting wife) OC: …here we are. :47
    “My college roommate was getting married in New Orleans. My wife was in New Orleans for a totally separate wedding. Both wedding parties were staying at the same hotel, so we met, the first time, in the lobby of the hotel. I’m actually wearing a necklace that has the coordinates to that hotel. Then the next day, me and my brother walk into a bar in New Orleans, and her and her friends were sitting in the corner, and I was like, ‘Hey-that’s the girl from the lobby.’ She was actually dating somebody at the time. But we kind of exchanged numbers and stayed in contact, and about two months later, a month later, she came into town for CMA Music Fest and told me that she no longer had a boyfriend, and here we are.”

    Audio / Jordan Davis talks about a couple of his favorite love songs.


    Jordan Davis (love song) OC: …well done! :25
    “I guess Valentine’s Day gets you to thinking about love songs. You know, me and my wife’s first dance was ‘I’m Gonna Lose You’ [by] John Legend and Meghan Trainor. I think that’s just an amazing love song. I think also a love song that I heard the other day? ‘Strawberry Wine’ from Deana Carter? Great love song. I listened to that a lot. Ooooh Deana Carter. Well done.”


    Audio / Josh Turner says his wife would call him a romantic, but now that they have four children, it takes a bit of work to make time for each other.


    Josh Turner (Romantic) OC: …long time to come. :26
    “If you ask my wife Jennifer if I was a romantic, she would definitely say, ‘Yes,’ but she knows that sometimes my hectic schedule and our busy lifestyles can kind of interfere with the romantic side of things. But we do try to make efforts towards being together and having adult conversations and taking time away from the children and doing things that husbands and wives do, so we’ll definitely try to continue that for a long time to come.”

    Audio / Keith Urban talks about the support he and his wife, Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, give each other, which is especially important when two creative artists are married to each other.


    Keith Urban (Nicole support) OC: …very important. :17
    “I feel very blessed that I have the support of my family like I do. It’s a beautiful thing having two artists because we understand the passion and the responsibility of what we get to do. It’s very important.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman says falling in love with her husband, Stephen Schlapman, came as a big surprise.


    Little Big Town (Kimberly falling in love) OC: …healed me. 1:20

    Kimberly: “Well, I wasn’t planning on falling in love, at all. I didn’t want to…I wasn’t sure that I ever would.  So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friends. We had known each other for about six years and he started calling me just like everybody else did.  But, he started calling me more than everybody else did [laughs]. We had both been through similar losses, he hadn’t lost a mate but he had lost a close friend, so we kind of bonded over that. I grieved, kind of, at him a lot. He took my grief, I had a lot of grief left, and he just took it and listened and accepted it and was so understanding and let me talk about my late husband all the time. We still talk about him a lot, and he’s totally fine with it. He says that, that made me who he fell in love with and he never minds if I bring anything from the past up which is just really sweet. I was shocked, I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings. I just thought, OK, this is so weird.  What is this?  I haven’t felt this in a long, long, time. This is weird. But, eventually I allowed myself and it’s been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I’ve ever been in and healed me.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook had a chemistry performing together, but it wasn’t until they each found themselves single…at the same time…that sparks flew romantically. The pair, who wed in 2006, have a son, Elijah.


    Little Big Town (Jimi & Karen fell in love) OC: (Kimberly) …to be together. :48

    JIMI: “We were in the band a long time before there was ever anything which is interesting. I think there was always something underlying there that we were kind of trying to ignore. And then when the opportunity came, when all of us, ended up single kind of at the same time, a very strange turn of events for the band in a lot of different ways. And those feelings, you were able to come out with them finally. It was like, we’re single. Let’s get together. And, you know, she has a beautiful heart and she’s absolutely gorgeous and I just love her dearly.”

    PHILLIP: “Get a room!” [laughs]

    KIMBERLY: “They’re a perfect match. They really are. They were meant to be together.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet was ready for love when he met Rebecca, his wife since 2007.


    Little Big Town (Phillip – reasons fell in love) OC: …real love. :17
    “I think everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca.  So, it was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her…Now it’s just been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about marrying Caroline, his college sweetheart.


    Luke Bryan (married college sweetheart) OC: …married. :27
    ”I married my college sweetheart. We dated back in college and broke up for nearly six years, and while I was off doing my Nashville stuff and touring and writing songs, she was finishing getting her career kind of going. Man, we just kinda bumped into each other one night, and it was like bam, here we are married.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about the relationship between he and his wife, Caroline.


    Luke Bryan (relationship with wife) OC: …enjoy your family. 1:02
    “I would say to being a 14 year marriage and relationship and for she and I to have known each other even in college and then we kind of separated a little bit for five, five-and-a-half years, she went and lived her life and I went and kind of did the same, got my career going up here (in Nashville). And you know, the relationship goals are just to try to communicate and talk stuff out and enjoy each other and not let fights or arguments or disagreements linger on more than a day or two. I’m one of those people if we’re not seeing eye-to-eye, I have to let it out maybe a little too soon, sometimes she likes to process it. But the main thing with any marriage is just trying to laugh with one another, have fun with one another, not take each other too serious and like I said, communicate and have good days and have a lot of fun and enjoy your family.”

    Audio / Maddie & Tae’s Taylor Kerr talks about her husband, songwriter Josh Kerr. The pair are just about to celebrate their first anniversary as a married couple (they got married February 21st, 2020).


    Maddie & Tae (Tae talking about husband Josh) OC: …that way, you know? :45
    “From the moment I met Josh, he never shied away from sharing what’s on his heart. For me, sharing what’s on my heart is sometimes hard, but he always created the environment and dynamic of it’s totally normal to open up and let people to see that side of you. And so, the more we spent time together, the more I kind of adopted that mindset of like, ‘Okay, I can be vulnerable. I can take risks. I can put myself out there and maybe get rejected, but maybe it could be awesome.’ Our relationship is that to a T. I was skeptical at first and I was scared, and he was scared. And we both just, we went all in, and I felt so safe to go there with him and he’s always made me feel that way, you know?”



    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.

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Lauren Alaina, Priscilla Block, Dierks Bentley, Mickey Guyton, Chris Stapleton

    Lauren Alaina is featured on The Shires‘ new music video for “Lightning Strikes (feat. Lauren Alaina).” The video premiered on CMT on Monday (January 25th).


    Priscilla Block just signed a global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Nashville. The Mercury Nashville recording artist is currently climbing the country charts with her single, “Just About Over You.”

    Dierks Bentley has been announced as one of three headliners for this year’s WE Fest. The three-day event, which also features headliners Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line, will take place August 5th – 7th at Detroit Lakes’ Soo Pass Ranch. Dierks is making his way up the country charts with his latest, “Gone.”

    Mickey Guyton picked up three honors from the Nashville Scene’s 21st Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll. She was named the No. 1 Female Artist and also had the No. 1 single with “Black Like Me.” She was also named the No. 1 Artist of the Year. Chris Stapleton was named Male Artist of the Year and also showed up near the top of the Singles list (No. 2 with “Starting Over), Artists of the Year and Songwriters of the Year.


    Dierks Bentley has developed a real love for Telluride, Colorado. He first went out to the majestic location for a Bluegrass Music Festival several years ago. Then, he vacationed out there, and subsequently brought out several songwriter friends for a writers retreat. Inspired by the location, the mountains and the serenity, they wrote songs that would make up his 2018 album, The Mountain. He also recorded the album in Telluride, which is also the place he has held his own music festival a couple of times.

    So, when the pandemic hit the U.S. and he and his family had to quarantine, they were already hanging out in Telluride, and so he and his wife made the decision to stay right there, especially since his three children were already remote learning.

    “I’ve been out there in Colorado, we went out there in March, I guess it was, for a family trip and then COVID hit and we never left. I kind of used it as an opportunity to sneak out there and then we just stayed,” says Dierks. “I was worried about the fall and schools and being in person and being in big cities, and there’s a little school out there they can go to, so they’re doing that. So, it’s allowed me – if I’m gonna be unemployed and if I’m gonna have this time,  I just wanna be somewhere where I can make up for lost time on the road as far as like mountains and rivers and hiking and biking and family time and riding bikes with my kids to school and so much to do with them and outdoors all the time, which I kind of needed after this many years on the bus and on the road. So, I’m trying to stay inspired and knowing when it does go green again, I’ll probably be gone a lot, trying to make up for the deficit of these last few years…of this last year.”

    Dierks is making his way up the country charts with his latest single, “Gone.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley says he and his family are enjoying living out in Telluride, while riding out the pandemic.


    Dierks Bentley (enjoying Telluride) OC: …song says – a lot. 1:04
    “I’ve been out there in Colorado, we went out there in March, I guess it was, for a family trip and then COVID hit and we never left. I kind of used it as an opportunity to sneak out there and then we just stayed. I was worried about the fall and schools and being in person and being in big cities, and there’s a little school out there they can go to, so they’re doing that. So, it’s allowed me – if I’m gonna be unemployed and if I’m gonna have this time,  I just wanna be somewhere where I can make up for lost time on the road as far as like mountains and rivers and hiking and biking and family time and riding bikes with my kids to school and so much to do with them and outdoors all the time, which I kind of needed after this many years on the bus and on the road. So I’m trying to stay inspired and knowing when it does go green again, I’ll probably be gone a lot, trying to make up for the deficit of these last few years…of this last year. Hopefully, it’s just the one year, right? I’m already thinking ahead to 2022. Yikes! Hopefully, we’re out there in 2021.  So, yeah, I’m trying to make the most of the time and it’s definitely been good in that regard, because I’ve been gone – like the song says – a lot.”

    Video /


    While living out in Telluride, Dierks Bentley and his son Knox are taking part in one of the father-son duo’s favorite sport, hockey. In a video Dierks recently posted to his socials, he and Knox “re-create” a scene from the 2004 film, “Miracle,” which was based on the United States men’s ice hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks (played by Kurt Russell), that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The U.S. victory over the favored Soviets was dubbed “Miracle on Ice.”



    Check out the scene from the movie below.

    Dierks is currently climbing the country charts with his latest single, “Gone.”

    Video /

  • NEW YEAR’S 2020

    2020 will go down in history as one of the worst and most difficult years in our history. Every single person has dealt with loss, fear, uncertainty, working from home (or losing a job), rebuilding from tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, recovering from COVID-19 and much more.

    For the music industry, live entertainment came to a screeching halt with production folks, crew and musicians losing their respective gigs since artists weren’t able to tour. The industry rallied and many artists pivoted and really helped us navigate through a bad year by releasing a ton of new music and performing virtual shows.

    For this post, we’re revisiting some of your favorite artists’ hangover cures, which a few of us could’ve used nearly every day this year while dealing with a global pandemic. We’ve also been able to check in with a few artists about what they hope 2021 brings. One thing is for certain–we are all looking forward to shedding the horribleness of 2020, hopefully getting a fresh start in the new year AND getting through this together.

    Audio / Brandon Lay says he hopes to be able to hit the road in 2021.


    Brandon Lay (2021) OC: …I can’t wait. :18
    “The one thing that I’m looking forward to most for 2021 is definitely the road. It has been too long, and I am so ready to get with the band. I’m ready for loud music, and I’m ready for fans and seeing familiar faces out there in the crowd. And I just, I can’t wait.”

    Audio / Brothers Osborne talk about how people spend the last moments of the year, and the first moments of the new year.


    Brothers Osborne (New Year) OC: (TJ) …next month. :44
    JOHN: “I think it’s kind of funny how we spend literally the last moment and the very first moment of every year being extremely intoxicated, extremely, because you don’t want to wait until like 12:30 to get your buzz on. You’ve got to do it before midnight, and then once midnight happens, you’re like, ‘Omigod! Now it’s time to celebrate even more.’ Debauchery is the literally bookending your entire year.” TJ: “I love how everyone starts the year off with diets and then we end the year with like excessive amounts of food. And then you get to the end of the year, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to start a diet on the 1st, so I’m going to eat everything that’s in front of me.’ I love it.” JOHN: “And come February 1st, ‘what diet?’” [laughs] TJ: “What diet? I’ll start it next month.” [laughs]

    Audio / Dierks Bentley says he usually looks forward to a "mellow hang" on New Year's Eve.


    Dierks Bentley (New Year’s) OC: …in stride. 1:11
    “New Year’s is rough. New Year’s hurts no matter what’s going o n. I’ve played a lot of New Year’s shows, you know, but I’ve honestly found that it’s not my favorite night to throw down. Look, for a living, that’s what I do. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, I host a big party; not only on stage, but I’ve got friends backstage. It starts before the concert sometimes, [and] it goes long after the concert, so a lot of times on New Year’s, I’m looking for a really mellow hang – a good party, good friends, pretty chill. Some of my best New Year’s – it doesn’t make for great radio – but some of my best New Year’s have been just like actually hearing fireworks go off while I’m in bed, [laughs] and know I’m gonna wake up the next morning for the first day of the New Year feeling great, feeling recharged and I’m ready to go ad go into the New Year feeling good as opposed to going into it with a giant Jagerbomb hangover, which I’ve done many, many times. So, the goal this year is to go into it feeling pretty good and the kids help with that, because you really just don’t want to be hungover with children. It’s not a good feeling. You would probably admit to any crime to get them, just feel better, and get them leave you alone. So, [I’m] gonna try to hit New Year’s this year in stride.”

    Audio / Eric Church talks about what he’s looking forward to most in 2021.


    Eric Church (looking ahead to 2021) OC: …looking forward to. 1:11
    “I think, for me, the thing I’m looking forward to most next year is getting around the corner from this virus and getting some kind of normalcy. I’m confident that next year is when we’ll finally put this in the rearview at some point in time. We’re all looking for a vaccine early in the year and the more we can take the cases down between January and May, I think the higher likelihood that we’ll be on a stage somewhere in the fall, late summer/fall, and then certainly into the fourth quarter. So, I’m looking forward to that. I know there may be some early stuff where we can’t be at capacity. I get that, but I’m looking forward to being back at capacity and being, seeing people grouped up and arms around each other’s shoulders and just, I miss that. I miss playing. I miss the camaraderie. I miss going town-to-town and doing that. It’s just what I was born to do, and I miss seeing the fans. Next year, we’re all hopeful, I’m hopeful and quite confident, actually, that next year will be the year that we get to start doing that and then hopefully more and more as we go. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi talks about what he's looking forward to in 2021.


    Jon Pardi (looking forward to 2021) OC: …that was awesome. :28 “For next year – 2021 – I’m looking forward to some kind of medication/vaccine to help people, to make people immune to this virus that is ruining EVERYTHING! So, I look forward to that and hopefully we’ll get that going and then we’ll be back to concerts and full capacity sports games and bars and honky tonks and…it looks like 2019. Remember 2019? That was awesome.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi talks about his go-to hangover cure.


    Jon Pardi (hangover cure) OC: …deal with it. :20
    “My hangover cure is Bloody Marys, but be careful – because once you have a couple, don’t go to beer, because if you go to beer, you’re gonna start drinking again and you’ll end up a morning drunk. OR if you want to go the non-alcoholic route, there’s nothing you can do for hangovers. [laughs] You just go deal with it.”

    Audio / Kacey Musgraves has her own hangover cure.


    Kacey Musgraves (hangover cure) OC: …water. Yup! :32

    “Coconut water is a major help with hangovers and also, a lot of times we go and eat Vietnamese pho. It’s a soup, and it’s got this awesome broth. You can get different things in it or whatever, but for some reason, it’s just like…it’s almost like a chicken noodle soup kind of an idea, you know, but it’s good. That’s good for hangovers too. That, sleep, Tylenol, coconut water and just water, in general. And when you’re drinking, have your alcohol, drink a little bit of water, drink some more alcohol, drink some water. Yup!”



    Kassi Ashton (looking to 2021) OC: …this year. :25
    “Next year, I’m looking forward to — all fingers and toes and hair crossed — I’m looking forward  to, hopefully, touring. That’s what we all want. That’s why we signed up for this gig in the first place is I just want to be on stage with my friends making music, making art and taking people away from the troubles of this year.”

    Audio / Kip Moore gives advice on how to avoid a hangover on New Year’s Eve.


    Kip Moore (avoiding hangovers on NYE) OC: …yourself. :03
    “Pace yourself on New Year’s – that’s the remedy. Pace yourself.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan’s favorite New Year’s Eve has to be when he and his now wife Caroline reunited.


    Luke Bryan (New Years-best) OC: …great night. :17
    “My best New Year’s Eve is definitely when my wife and I started back dating. We started back dating right before Christmas, and we went on a trip down to Florida and met some friends. And her birthday is New Year’s Eve. We celebrated it that night. It was just a great night.”

    Audio / Parker McCollum says he's most looking forward to in 2021 -- hopefully -- is to get back on the road playing shows.


    Parker McCollum (looking forward to in 2021) OC: …to each other. :08
    “What I’m most looking forward to in 2021? Hopefully,  getting back on stage and people being allowed to stand next to each other.”

    Audio / Travis Denning talks about what he's looking forward to in 2021.


    Travis Denning (looking forward to 2021) OC: …to normal. :10
    “The one thing I’m looking forward to in 2021 is getting back on the road; playing concerts, getting back in the swing of things and just getting back to normal.”

    Audio / Travis Denning recalls his favorite New Year’s Eve party.


    Travis Denning (favorite New Year’s Eve party) OC: …it was good. :41
    “I think my favorite New Year’s Eve party ever was when my sister got married, and my sister’s party got done at 10:30, 10:45 and she got married right behind a little club that I played a lot in Macon, Georgia called the Crazy Bull and love the owner. We’re boys, you know? So, we just literally walked right over and burned the house down. That was one of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories, ‘cause I got to see my sister and brother-in-law get married and that was such a great, great time, and then me and my older cousin and best friend, we ended up at Waffle House that night, so it was good.”