October 28, 2016

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Cam Kicks Off Headlining Tour in Chicago

If Cam learned anything from touring with Dierks Bentley this year, it was that you shouldn’t ever put yourself in an us/them situation. “Dierks does such a great job of making sure there is no barrier between him and the audience,” Cam told me before she kicked off her own headlining tour in Chicago on... Read more »

Eight Looks from Jason Aldean’s Halloween HQ

There is one place at Jason Aldean’s that he rarely visits — not that it’s haunted or anything like that. It’s his wife’s pro makeup studio, and it’s housed in an in-law suite on his property just south of Nashville. Listening to Aldean talk about it during his last visit to CMT, it sounds like... Read more »

Carrie Underwood: From Madison Square Garden to the CMAs

To follow Carrie Underwood is to love her. Because she is so good about sharing all the moments of her life, on and off the stage. On Thursday (Oct. 27), Underwood posted a few Instagram pictures that said it all: two from her show at Madison Square Garden, and one of her nearly two-year-old son... Read more »

CMT’s Next Women of Country Grows With 10 New Additions

CMT has added 10 up-and-coming superstar acts to the Next Women of Country campaign. The initiative started in 2013 to empower and bring awareness to country music’s rising female performers both independent and signed. They are Logan Brill, Jillian Jacqueline, Kree Harrison, Margo Price, Maggie Rose, Lucie Silvas, Caitlyn Smith and Jamie Lynn Spears. For... Read more »

Jason Aldean on the Decade Between

It took Jason Aldean about 10 years to go from newcomer to big shot. With several wins in between, there was a decade between two of his big victories at the Academy of Country Music Awards — new male vocalist for 2005 and entertainer of the year for 2015. I had a chance to ask... Read more »

Blackberry Smoke’s Like an Arrow Shoots to Top of Country Chart

Billowing up in the cool fall air, Blackberry Smoke rises to the top of Billboard’s country albums chart with Like an Arrow. This is the second time this Georgia-based band has attained that eminence, first having done so last year with Holding All the Roses. By Nielsen SoundScan’s count, Like an Arrow sold 18,225 units... Read more »

Cole Swindell Launches CMT on Tour in Tulsa

The annual CMT on Tour kicked off with a bang on Wednesday (Oct. 26) as thousands of music fans packed a sold-out Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to see Cole Swindell launch the 2016 run. It’s not lost on him that previous CMT on Tour headliners have become today’s stadium headliners, he remarked during his... Read more »

Sam Hunt: Music Will Be Ready When It’s Ready

Newcomer Sam Hunt‘s Montevallo debut album was released on Oct. 27, 2014. So it’s been exactly two years since his nearly overnight success. By Nashville standards, that should be enough time to have recorded another album. But in a new Billboard interview, Hunt sounds like those standards are not necessarily going to be the ones... Read more »

Jon Pardi Honored for No. 1 Success of “Head Over Boots”

It was a long time coming, but on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 25), Jon Pardi finally stood on the stage of the BMI building in Nashville and savored the joy of having his first No. 1 party. The celebration was for “Head Over Boots,” Pardi’s fifth single, which he co-wrote with Luke Laird. The tall, boots... Read more »

CMA Awards Performance Lineup Adds 13 Acts

The 50th annual CMA Awards performance lineup has added new Country Music Hall of Famers, former entertainers of the year, previous winners, 2016 nominees plus artists from other genres. Appearing onstage will be Jason Aldean, Clint Black, Roy Clark, Charlie Daniels, Elle King, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Pentatonix, Thomas Rhett, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton, Randy... Read more »

Jason Aldean’s Concert for the Cure Returns to Nashville

Jason Aldean brought his 11th annual Concert for the Cure home to Nashville on Tuesday (Oct. 25) for the eighth annual Opry Goes Pink show in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Aldean kicked off the show by flipping the switch to turn the Opry’s iconic barn backdrop pink. During his five-song set, he presented... Read more »

Luke Bryan Still Checks on the Crops

You can blame it on Luke Bryan‘s Southern boy ways. But this is how you know he is genuine about his farming roots: When Fox News asked Bryan about his recent Farm Tour, he said that that is just who he is. “I just try to stay true to who I am, write what I... Read more »

Eric Church Reveals Mr. Misunderstood On the Rocks Live & (Mostly) Unplugged

Eric Church’s new live album Mr. Misunderstood On the Rocks Live & (Mostly) Unplugged will be available exclusively at Walmart on Nov. 4. The release coincides with the one-year anniversary of the surprise release of his latest album Mr. Misunderstood, which landed right before the 49th annual CMA Awards last year. Closing with a version... Read more »

Kenny Chesney Will Receive CMA Pinnacle Award

Kenny Chesney has been named the third recipient of the CMA’s Pinnacle Award. The East Tennessee native will accept the honor live at the 50th annual CMA Awards. According to the organization, the honor “recognizes an artist who has achieved global prominence through concert performances and record sales at levels unique in country music. The... Read more »

World Premiere: Lit’s “Fast”

Yep, I’m talking about Lit. The rockers known for hits like “Zip-Lock” and the classic “My Own Worst Enemy” are taking a detour, and the road less traveled definitely suits them. “Fast” is a nostalgic, deeply meaningful four minutes of Americana — a reminder of the important things in life and essence of time. The... Read more »

Hillary Lindsey Calls Lady Gaga a “Superstar in Every Way”

How do you go from “Church Bells” to “Million Reasons”? How do you go from Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Little Big Town to Lady Gaga? How do you go from country to pop? If you’re Hillary Lindsey, you do it seamlessly. The country songwriter behind so many of country’s biggest hits has been collaborating... Read more »

Brandy Clark Mines Her Own Country Dream

Morton, Washington, is home to gorgeous mountains, the annual Loggers Jubilee and the one and only Brandy Clark. The quaint little town set the foundation for the person and artist Clark would become and also sets the backdrop for her latest album Big Day in a Small Town. One could argue that Morton is one... Read more »

Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Urge Swampy, Smoky, Sensual

Imagine getting career advice from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and they tell you to make things swampy, give them some smoke and keep the sensuality. That’s how it turned out for the contestants on The Voice that McGraw and Hill were coaching on Monday night (Oct. 24). People were chosen, people were knocked out,... Read more »

Garth Brooks Hand Picks All-Star Guests for Nashville Celebration

On Monday night (Oct. 24), Garth Brooks took the stage at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater for his much-anticipated free show. But he didn’t do it alone. Brooks was joined onstage throughout the night by his wife Trisha Yearwood, plus Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Chris Young and Steve Wariner. Each guest singer was hand-picked by... Read more »

Luke Bryan Celebrates Seven No. 1 Singles and a Platinum Album

Luke Bryan gathered with a bevy of happy songwriters Monday (Oct. 24) to celebrate seven consecutive No. 1 singles. The event took place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. Bryan himself was a co-writer of three of the hits — “I See You” (with Ashley Gorley and Luke Laird),... Read more »

Jason Aldean on the Hunting/Music Connection

When Jason Aldean was 11, his dad and his grandfather took him deer hunting in Monticello, Georgia. They gave him a double-barrel shotgun, took him to the base of a tree in the woods and said, “Just sit here. Maybe something will come by.” Aldean told me what he was thinking that day: “Yeah, right.”... Read more »

Phil Vassar Packs in Fans and Hits

One of the first stories Phil Vassar told Sunday (Oct. 23) during his City Winery show in Chicago was about how his daughter Haley’s curiosity had inspired his hit song “American Child.” She was even in the video, Vassar said, which brought back all the memories of that sweet little blonde 3-year-old in the video.... Read more »

CMA Awards Will Feature Seven Former Entertainer of the Year Winners

Seven former CMA entertainer of the year winners will perform during the 50th annual CMA Awards on Nov. 2 in Nashville. Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Charley Pride, Reba McEntire and George Strait are set to appear on the show at Bridgestone Arena. All seven acts also participated in “Forever Country,” a... Read more »

Dierks Bentley: “I Was Just Very Into Country”

Sure, Dierks Bentley spent a little time at the University of Vermont. But that doesn’t make him an automatic fan of the jam band Phish, who got their start on the UVM campus in Burlington. “They were big, man. And don’t get me wrong, it’s great music. It’s awesome. I was just so militant about... Read more »

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