ABC/Image Group LAWe already know that Tim McGraw shows up on one track on Florida Georgia Line’s new Dig Your Roots album-- and it looks like another superstar collaboration could be in the works, this time with '90s boy band sensation the Backstreet Boys.
On Monday, Backstreet's Brian Littrellposted a photo of a mixing board and computer audio workstation on Instagram with the caption, "In the Lab......Doing something we've never done before.... BSB feature with FGL..... Great record.... Comes out late August."
Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley’s third album just happens to drop August 26.
Comstock/Thinkstock Even though he's "Humble and Kind," this country-star-turned-actor can boast the most career number ones on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, with 28. Can you name him? ANSWER: Tim McGraw.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Tim McGraw will follow up his number one “Humble and Kind” with the Damn Country Music track “How I’ll Always Be.”
Last week’s concert featuring Cole Swindell, Billy Currington, Michael Ray, Maddie and Tae and more at Orlando’s CFE Arena raised more than $250,000 for the OneOrlando Fund, to help victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
You should soon start hearing Darius Rucker’s new song , “If I Told You,” on the radio. It’s the lead single from his forthcoming new album.
Capitol NashvilleWhen it comes to number ones, Keith Urban officially comes of age this week, as his reminiscence about growing up, “Wasted Time,” becomes the 21st chart-topper of his career.
The Aussie superstar says the song was born out of a conversation with Canadian-born Greg Wells and Atlanta, Georgia native J. Abrahart. Even though the three grew up worlds apart, they discovered their teenage experiences were very similar.
“It was pretty much the same, you know,” Keith recalls. “You've got a buddy who owns a car, so everyone's piling into that thing on a Friday night, and you're singing out the window and you're sneaking out and you're drinking and you're smoking and you're hanging out by the river and there's a rope swing. We had so many things in common that the song really took off.”
If you’ve wondered exactly what the “sippin’ on the Lokos” lyric means, Keith says it was his idea, fleshed out by one of his co-writers.
“I said, 'We've got to reference a drink of some sort.' And I said to J., 'What was like, just a nasty, cheap drink that you drank growing up?' And he rattled off a bunch, and he said, 'There was this one called Four Lokos, but we just used to call 'em Lokos. I said, 'Perfect! We're gonna be sippin' on the Lokos!'”
Capitol NashvilleJon Pardi’s California Sunrise is dawning at number one. The Golden State native’s sophomore album debuts at the top of Billboard’s Country Albums ranking this week, making it not only his first chart- topping album, but his first career number one as well.
Jon’s debut album, Write You a Song, peaked at number 3 in 2014, with its single, “Up All Night,” making it to number 10 that same year. His current hit, “Head Over Boots,” remains firmly planted in the top ten this week as well. He’ll perform it for the first time on national television July 7 on NBC’s Today show.
Eric AdkinsScotty McCreery became a trending topic on Facebook over the weekend when the Grand Ole Opry posted the video for his June 10 performance of new song “Five More Minutes” on YouTube, where it now has more than 176,000 views.
As McCreery emotionally explains in the video, he wrote the poignant story song just a few weeks after losing a grandfather he was very close to. Said McCreery, “He’s never heard this song, but I know he’s watching and very proud of me.”
In the lyrics, McCreery sings, “At 86 my grandpa said there’s angels in the room/With all the family gathered ’round knew the time was coming soon/With so much left to say I prayed, Lord, I ain’t finished/Just give us five more minutes.”
Photo: Largo Police DepartmentA Florida man who impersonated singer Jason Aldean has been accused by police of defrauding an intellectually disabled woman for both money and sex.
Tampa, Fla., TV station WFLA reports that Pinellas County resident Daniel Farris pretended to be the country music star and convinced the victim he was Aldean.
Largo Police say Farris asked the unidentified woman for $2,000, and she gave him a total of $230 over two occasions. Police say he also convinced the woman to have sex with him.
Farris allegedly posed as Aldean on Facebook, and also posed as a friend of Aldean’s in an effort to collect the money. “Allegedly, Farris would collect the funds by telling the victim Jason Aldean loved her, but was on tour and his friend needed the money,” WFLA reports.
According to a police affidavit, Farris admitted to taking the victim’s money and used it to fund his prescription pill addiction.
Photo: Country Music AssociationBrett Eldredge takes full responsibility for unleashing his pal Thomas Rhett on the Snapchat world, and says he loves how the social media app lets him show fans his own “wacky, weird” side too.
Eldredge (pictured on the left) calls Rhett “a funny guy.” But after talking him into downloading the app, Eldredge says the “Happy Man” singer started off a little timid. “At first … he was slowly getting into it and … having other people film for him,” Eldredge says. “I'm like 'Dude, just do your point of view. Show what's going on all around you and just be the fun person that you are.' I think he's got it down pretty good now. He's doing a great job.”
Meanwhile, Eldredge remains the Snapchat master, and says, “I’m so random, and I get tired of just typing stuff. I really want to share the journey and the wacky, weird way I see the world. So I get to do that on Snapchat.”
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkStockAmerican Idolwinner Trent Harmon has released “There’s a Girl” as the first single from his forthcoming debut album. Harmon is one of the writers on the track. Listen on Billboard.com. Meanwhile, Harmon’s cover of Gary Wright’s 1976 hit “Dream Weaver” will be included in the upcoming film Ice Age: Collision Course.
Kellie Pickler got a little star struck and completely missed the buzzer when she competed against former ‘N Sync member Lance Bass on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud June 26. Watch the funny moment on People.com.
A cappella group Home Free has released a music video for their cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The band’s version will be included on the soundtrack for the film Trolls, due out in November. The group rose to fame when it won NBC’s The Sing-Off in 2013. Watch the new video on YouTube.
Kenny Chesney owed a suburban Philadelphia police officer a huge apology after mistakenly announcing at his concert Saturday night that he had died.
The singer told thousands of fans at Lincoln Financial Field, where he was performing, that Folcroft Borough Police Officer Christopher Dorman, who was shot seven times in the line of duty, had died.
Dorman, a huge fan of Chesney, had planned to attend the concert, but instead found himself in a local hospital recovering. In a recorded video message he told Chesney ahead of the concert "don't forget me."
Chesney, who heard about the video before the show, dedicated the song “Anything but Mine” to Dorman.
The Folcroft police department immediately took to Facebook to correct the singer.
"OFFICER DORMAN IS ALIVE AND WELL," a Facebook post read. "IDK WHAT KENNY CHESNEY WAS THINKING WHEN HE SAID THAT AT HIS CONCERT TONIGHT!! I HOPE HE MAKES ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE THIS RIGHT!!!"
By Sunday, it seemed Chesney had received the message, because the singer called Dorman to apologize while the officer recovered at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Dorman's police department shared a photo of Dorman chatting with Chesney.
"He apologized for last night and wants to take Chris out to a football game and grab some beers!! Thank you Kenny!!" the caption read.
Chesney also recalled the conversation on Twitter.
"He's doing great," the singer wrote. "Told him we'd watch an Eagles game & have beers one day. Here's to a speedy recovery! #dormanthedelcolegend"
Jeff Vespa/WireImageGenre-bending band The Mavericks has amicably parted ways with Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group, ABC News has confirmed.
The group recorded two critically-acclaimed albums for the label group, 2013’s In Time and 2015’s Mono, and reportedly had just a two-album deal there.
The band has now partnered with Nashville-based marketing and distribution company Thirty Tigers, according to MusicRow.com, and its four members are in the process of creating their own label, Mono Mundo Recordings. They have three albums planned through the end of 2017 including a concert album due this fall, and new studio and Christmas albums coming next year. Mono Mundo is also the name of their current tour.
The Mavericks enjoyed the top 20 hits “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” “O What A Thrill” and “There Goes My Heart” while signed to MCA Nashville in the 1990s, and won the CMA Vocal Group of the Year Award in both 1995 and 1996.
Big Machine Label GroupFlorida Georgia Line just shared the cover artwork for their new albumDig Your Roots, and it’s adorable. In keeping with the title, the cover depicts the duo’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley as children, Kelley clad in a cowboy hat, boots and diaper, and Hubbard smiling astride a toy scooter.
They also announced that the new set, their third studio album, will be available Aug. 26, which also happens to be Kelley’s 31st birthday. The duo wrote more than half the songs on the project, though not the lead single “H.O.L.Y.,” which has already topped the charts.
“Our album cover says it all,” says Kelley. “We really wanted this album to reflect who we are and our lives in this moment, but also where we came from.”
Their headlining Dig Your Roots Tour continues through the end of the year.
Credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images for StagecoachStars from the worlds of country and bluegrass music — and even Hollywood — are reacting to the sad news that music legend Ralph Stanley died June 23 following a battle with skin cancer.
Country star Dierks Bentley tweeted that the news was “like a punch to the heart. Thank you God for Ralph Stanley.”
Steve Wariner tweeted, “A true legend is gone … RIP.” Singer Mindy Smith wrote simply, “God bless your precious soul #RalphStanley.”
Actor-comedian Steve Martin, who is also an accomplished bluegrass musician, posted a series of tweets, the first reading, “Ralph Stanley, one of the last remaining original bluegrass artistes, has died. Listen to him sing Oh Death.” He later directed his fans to check out Stanley’s performance of “Pretty Polly,” and wrote, “bluegrass can be an acquired taste, but honesty is universal.” He also called Stanley’s autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times, “soulful and an insight to the thrill of singing.” Like Stanley, Martin plays the banjo.
Ricky Skaggs released a poignant statement saying, “The end of an era, the passing of a king, a kind and humble king from the mountains. He carried the ancient sounds from God knows where. Ralph found it in the music of the mountains, in the hollows, in the people and in the churches. He was my hero and I was blessed to know him, love him and make music with him as a young teenager. The Scriptures tell us ‘God uses the simple things to confound the wise.’ He certainly used Ralph Stanley to bring the music of the mountains to the masses.”
Bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent tweeted a photo of herself sharing a microphone with Stanley and wrote, “Rest in peace my friend.” And the duo Daily & Vincent posted, “Our most heartfelt condolences are with the Stanley family this morning. The great Ralph Stanley passed away.”
Garth Brooks (John Russell/CMA)Like so many others, Garth Brooks was devastated by the recent mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 people dead and dozens more injured. And while he calls the comparison “stupid,” the incident actually made the country superstar think about a scene in Star Wars where the Obi-Wan Kenobi character says, “I feel a great loss in the force right now” as the balance between good and evil shifted.
Reflecting on the tragedy, Brooks says, “I don’t know how you can not be touched by that,” in much the same way the world was touched by the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. “As mankind, you just felt the air go out [of the room], and you think, ‘Don’t let it win. Keep open. Let that heartbeat start to beat again.’”
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkStockDustin Lynch will debut his new single, “Seein’ Red,” on TBS’ Conan July 6. It is the first single from his upcoming third album. Lynch says of the song, “It’s fun, sexy, energetic, and makes me want to dance all over somebody.”
Darius Rucker has changed managers. In joining the roster of Maverick Management’s Nashville office, he now shares representation with fellow country stars Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunnand Terri Clark. Rucker is currently headlining an amphitheater tour with openers Dan Shay and Michael Ray.
Stars of the hit television series Nashville wrapped their first international tour June 20 in Dublin, Ireland, after playing to sold-out U.K. crowds in five other cities, including three shows in London. The tour featured cast members Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, and Sam Palladio performing both original music and songs from the series. Jonathan Jackson joined the tour in Dublin.
Sony Music NashvilleFollowing her divorce from Blake Shelton last year, Miranda Lambert has closed the Pink Pistol boutique she had opened in the small town where they shared a home, Tishomingo, Oklahoma. But now she’s expanding the site of a second Pink Pistol that her mother currently operates in her hometown of Lindale, Texas, moving it to a much larger facility nearby.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Lambert says of the new site, which is expected to open at the end of August."There's a lot of pink randomness. I mean there's like a four foot baby pink elephant. I don't know when I got that, but I was like, 'OK, this is going to be some eclectic stuff.'"
Miranda said she decided to combine the two stores into a single one in Lindale, because the Texas space is so much bigger than the Oklahoma one. And she has big plans for the expansion.
“There's this amazing complex going in in Lindale with all these businesses and a stage," she says. "It's really really cool and progressive, especially for a small, East Texas town.”
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesBluegrass music legend and three-time Grammy Award winner Ralph Stanley died Thursday at the age of 89, his rep confirmed to ABC News. Grandson Nathan Stanley broke the news on his Facebook page Thursday evening, noting that his grandfather “went peacefully in his sleep [after] a long, horrible battle with skin cancer.”
A Virginia native, the banjo virtuoso first rose to fame in the mid 1940s with his band the Clinch Mountain Boys. He later formed the duo The Stanley Brothers with sibling Carter Stanley. They charted the top-20 single “How Far to Little Rock” in 1960.
After Carter’s death in 1966, Ralph embarked on a successful solo career, later finding a legion of new fans through his work on the 2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, and earning a Grammy for best male country vocal performance for the song “O Death.” His contributions to the soundtrack also made him part of its Album of the Year Grammy win. A year later he won a third Grammy, this one in the Best Bluegrass Album category for Lost in the Lonesome Pines with the Clinch Mountain Boys.
Stanley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000 and was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1992.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jimmie; children Lisa Stanley Marshall, Tonya Armes Stanley and Ralph Stanley II; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Photo: Hunter BerryThirty years ago this month Randy Travis released his groundbreaking debut album, Storms of Life, and he went on to have a major impact on country music as a leader of the new traditionalist movement. On June 22 in Nashville, Travis was honored for those accomplishments with the Career Achievement Award, given annually by the industry organization Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc., during its annual Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner.
Fellow country star Josh Turner (pictured on the right) was on hand to pay tribute with a medley of Travis’ songs, including “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart,” “Three Wooden Crosses,” “Digging Up Bones,” “A Man Ain’t Made of Stone” and “Forever and Ever, Amen.”
Before his performance, Turner said, “I’m just honored and flattered to have been asked to … honor my hero. … One of the best things I feel like anybody can have in life is a hero, because a hero makes you want to be a better version of yourself, and they inspire you to do great things. That’s exactly what Randy Travis has done for me throughout the years.”
Travis is still recovering from a 2013 stroke that took his voice so his wife, Mary, spoke on his behalf calling her husband a “fighter” and a “warrior.”
“Randy’s story is one of redemption, and his songs were always delivered with such patience and experience,” she said. “He lived the songs that he sang. … He left us a beautiful body of work that will live on forever and ever. His songs were rehearsed in the Saturday morning honky-tonks and replayed in the Sunday morning services.”