Music News

Reba, Carrie Underwood and Brooks & Dunn Step into the Ring with Muhammad Ali

ABC/Image Group LAReba, Carrie Underwood and Brooks & Dunn are getting ready to step into the ring with Muhammad Ali. For the eleventh year in a row, Reba will host Celebrity Fight night at the Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.Carrie will headline the April 9 black-tie fundraiser and receive an award too, with David Foster serving as the evening’s musical director. Reba and Brooks & Dunn are set to sing as well. The event was created to raise money in the legendary boxer’s fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dan+Shay Say Everyday Should Be Valentine's Day

Warner NashvilleWith their romantic new ballad, "From the Ground Up," written about the lifelong romances of their grandparents, it's not too surprising that Dan+Shay sound like they'd probably make good valentines. Shay in particular isn't shy to show his thoughtful side."For me, and this is the romantic in me. This is what I would say to a girl: 'Baby, everyday is Valentine's Day.''But he admits he's skeptical of the commercialism of the holiday. "I think it's super-hyped. I get it, but I don't know...I'm a let's-hang-out-together, I'm a spend-some-time-with-ya kinda guy. I don't want them to spend any money on me.""Sip a little wine with ya?" Dan adds, interjecting some humor."Yeah! Sip a lil wine wid ya!" Shay laughs. "I think it's more of, you know spending time with them. But I think everyday should be Valentine's Day. It should always be that sweet and awesome.""That's a great stand-alone quote right there," Dan says, mocking his musical partner ever so slightly. "Shay Mooney:  'Everyday should be Valentine's Day!'"Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Proud Papa Charles Kelley Says He'll Be a Hands-On Dad Who'll Change His Share o

Capitol NashvilleOne week after the release of his first solo album, The Driver, Charles Kelley is wrapping up his first 24 hours as a father. Ward Charles Kelley was born Thursday morning in Nashville -- healthy and making lots of sounds, according to his parents.Though he and his band mates in Lady Antebellum are taking a little break right now, Charles says you can expect Ward to be out on the road with his daddy when the trio eventually re-convenes. In the meantime, the proud papa says he won't shy away from changing his share of the diapers, either!"Of course! Yeah, I mean I have so many nieces and nephews, and of course, being around Dave [Haywood] and Hillary [Scott] and their kids, they're amazing, you know. And I've gotten to kind of see it first hand how kids do adjust to your life too. And you know, they're two little road babies and I want mine to be too!"  Ward wasn't actually due until several days after this Monday's Grammys, where his father is nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for his recording of his album's title track with Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay. Though new mom Cassie had originally urged Charles to attend the L.A. ceremonies, the couple have since changed their minds. For the record, Charles says he expects Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" to take home the trophy.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Vince Gill Plans Free Show in Downtown Nashville to Launch New Album

MCA NashvilleVince Gill plays a special show Friday night inside Nashville’s famed Ernest Tubb Record Shop, to celebrate the release of his new album, Down to My Last Bad Habit.Situated among the stretch of honky tonks on Music City’s Lower Broadway, the iconic music store currently features a pop-up shop dedicated to the Country Music Hall of Famer.  The free concert kicks off at 6 p.m. CT Friday, the same day Vince’s new project comes out.In August, Vince will mark a quarter century as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by headlining two shows at the legendary venue.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lauren Alaina Returns to Mentor Two Contestants in "American Idol's" Farewell Se

Mercury Nashville/19/InterscopeSeason 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina returns to American Idol Thursday night, offering some pointers to two of the contenders in the show’s farewell season. She will perform with the pair as well.“I’m so honored American Idol asked me to mentor,” she says. “It’s really special to be able to go back to the show that taught me the ins and outs of the music business and be able to share what I’ve learned with the new contestants. I love that I get to give back to the show that gave me so many opportunities and tools to set up my career,” she reflects.Scotty McCreery, who won Idol the year Lauren was on, will be back on Thursday as well. You can catch the pair’s return to the show that made them famous at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.Lauren co-wrote all five songs on her new self-titled EP, including her current single, “Next Boyfriend.” She heads out on the Keepin’ It Country Tour this spring with Alan Jackson.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

First-Time Nominee Cam Set to Present on Monday's Grammys

Arista Nashville/RCA RecordsHot off her appearance at the prestigious New Faces show at Country Radio Seminar this week in Music City, Cam is now gearing up for the Grammys. The Best Country Solo Performance nominee will present on Monday’s show, joining Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, who are set to perform.Cam opened her New Faces performance Wednesday night at the Nashville Omni with the title track from her debut album Untamed, before seguing into the uptempo “Runaway Train.” She delivered her new single “Mayday” next, before inviting the crowd of radio professionals to sing along on her Grammy-nominated number-one, “Burning House.”Current tourmate Brad Paisley made a cameo appearance in the comical intro clip that brought Cam onstage -- a spoof of her “Burning House” video that pitted a sleepy Cam against a flaming toaster. The California native continues touring with Brad through the end of the month before heading out with Dierks Bentley on his Somewhere on a Beach dates in May.You can catch a profile of Cam Friday on CBS This Morning, in advance of the 58thAnnual Grammy Awards Monday night at 8:00 ET on CBS.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ward Charles Kelley Arrives Just Days Ahead of the Grammys

Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley is now officially a daddy. He and his wife Cassie welcomed Ward Charles Kelley at 9:20 Thursday morning in Nashville, according to Cassie’s Womanista blog.“We can’t stop staring at him and he hasn’t stopped chitchatting with us since he arrived,” the couple says. “He’s got momma’s nose and daddy’s eyes and vocal chords and a head full of blond hair. We feel like our life just began today and are so grateful for a healthy baby boy in our arms.”Little Ward weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, measuring 20 inches long. He arrives almost exactly a week after the release of his father’s debut solo project, The Driver.Charles has continued working, though he's been staying close to home. Tuesday night, he joined Sam Hunt onstage at the Ryman Auditorium, though he’d already opted not to attend Monday’s Grammys in L.A., where he’s nominated for the title track of his album.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ward Charley Kelley Arrives Just Days Ahead of the Grammys

Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley is now officially a daddy. He and his wife Cassie welcomed Ward Charles Kelley at 9:20 Thursday morning in Nashville, according to Cassie’s Womanista blog.“We can’t stop staring at him and he hasn’t stopped chitchatting with us since he arrived,” the couple says. “He’s got momma’s nose and daddy’s eyes and vocal chords and a head full of blond hair. We feel like our life just began today and are so grateful for a healthy baby boy in our arms.”Little Ward weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, measuring 20 inches long. He arrives almost exactly a week after the release of his father’s debut solo project, The Driver.Charles has continued working, though he's been staying close to home. Tuesday night, he joined Sam Hunt onstage at the Ryman Auditorium, though he’d already opted not to attend Monday’s Grammys in L.A., where he’s nominated for the title track of his album.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Confesses Her Grammy-Nominated Song Makes Her Cry at Meet-and-G

ABC/Image Group LAMonday night at the Grammys, Carrie Underwood's "Little Toys Guns" competes for the Best Country Solo Performance trophy. She confesses the emotional song about the power of a parent's words is just one of her hits that can bring on the tears when she spends one-on-one time with her fans."I cry a lot in meet-and-greets," she admits, "because somebody inevitably will say something about a song that’s important to them or that has affected them or made them think differently about something or gave them an 'aha' moment. I mean, I have songs about loss and stuff like that too. People are like, ‘This happened to my family, we lost somebody that was really important, and I’m just so glad that you sing this song because it reassures me.'"Carrie believes one of the reasons she's so easily touched by her fan's reactions to her music is because she herself has often had a similar response to another artist's work."It’s a regular occurrence that I’m moved by someone else being moved. That’s something that’s great about country music, is we do go there and sing about things that are real life. But even like Patty Loveless, ‘How Can I Help You Say Goodbye.’ That one was one that was a story song, kind of going through somebody’s life. I mean, that’s like I said, one of the great things about country music, because you can listen to the radio and something just really speaks to you on a personal level. It’s real," she says.We'll find out if Carrie wins Monday at 8 p.m. ET as the 58th Grammys air live from Los Angeles on CBS. She's also set to perform on the show, as part of a special collaboration with fellow nominee Sam Hunt.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why a Part of Rascal Flatts Will Stay in Vegas, Even After Their Upcoming Reside

Big Machine Label GroupNext week, Rascal Flatts returns to Las Vegas for their second residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. But even after the trio wraps up their nine shows in Sin City, a part of them will remain. On Tuesday, the Hard Rock will dedicate a case of memorabilia to the “I Like the Sound of That” hitmakers.Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney play their first Rhythm & Roots show Wednesday night at the nearly 4,300-seat venue. Barrett Baber, a finalist from Blake Shelton’s team during the most recent season of The Voice, will open the shows, which continue through March 5.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why Dustin Lynch Will Be Taking One of His Band Guys Out for Mexican Food on Val

Justin NolanIf you’re single and Dustin Lynch strikes your fancy, there just may be some hope on the horizon for you, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The singer, whose hit “Mind Reader” just cracked the top 20, confirms he is indeed uncoupled, with the most romantic holiday of the year just around the corner.“It seems like the last four years we've had a show on Valentine's Day. So it'll be doing a show,” he says, looking ahead to his February 14 date at Sayreville, New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom.“Kidding around, one of the band guys is gonna have to be my date, because I don't have a Valentine,” he jokes. “I'm taking somebody to Mexican food. We're gonna do Mexican this year!”Chris Lane, who’s currently enjoying his first top-30 hit with “Fix,” is opening for Dustin on his Hell of a Night headlining tour. Dustin heads out with Luke Bryan and Little Big Town for their Kill the Lights trek next Thursday night.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jason Aldean Proves He's Hot Down Under

ABC/Image Group LAJason Aldean is hot down under. The “Gonna Know We Were Here” singer is the first headliner ever to sell out Australia’s CMC Rocks QLD festival -- an impressive feat since both Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw have played the show in the past.   “I have been looking forward to heading down under to play, but to hear it’s already sold out without ever stepping foot in Australia is pretty cool,” the nominee for ACM Entertainer of the Year says. “The boys and I kicked it off really early this year stateside and I am ready to bring it to the fans who I hear have been waiting.” Prior to his March 12 festival date in Willowbank, Jason plays Melbourne March 8, followed by Syndey on March 9.After a rare weekend off, Jason and tour mates Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses take their We Were Here show to Roanoke and Charlottesville, Virginia next week.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho is the most recent country artist to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl? ANSWER:  Carrie Underwood, who sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl 44 in 2010.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockEaston Corbin, Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence, Nashville's Chris Carmack, David Nail, Trace Adkins and Maddie & Tae played a special edition of the Grand Ole Opry during this week's Country Radio Seminar in downtown Nashville this week.As he prepares for the release of his new album Down to My Last Bad Habit, Vince Gill has opened a pop-up store at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Nashville's Lower Broadway.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wynonna & the Big Noise Booked for "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on Wednesday

Curb RecordsIt’s been seven years since the release of Wynonna’s last album, Sing:  Chapter 1-- but that all changes this Friday, as the country legend unveils music from her new vehicle, Wynonna & the Big Noise.The band, which includes Wy’s husband Cactus Moser, one of the founders of late eighties hitmakers Highway 101, will make its first national TV appearance this Wednesday on Late Night with Seth Myers. They’ll do “Ain’t No Thing” from their debut recording. You can catch their performance at 12:35 p.m. on NBC.Thursday,  they’ll play their new music live at New York City’s City Winery, followed by an album-signing event on release day at Barnes & Noble on NYC’s Fifth Avenue. Wynonna & the Big Noise comes out this Friday on vinyl, as well as the usual digital formats.You’ll also be able to catch the band performing two songs on CBS This Morning on Saturday, February 20.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thomas Rhett Takes "Die a Happy Man" to "Tonight" and "Today"

ABC/Image Group LAWith six weeks at number one on the country chart, a cover by rapper Nelly and some serious crossover potential on pop radio, Thomas Rhett's monster hit, “Die a Happy Man,” is about to get another round of major mainstream exposure.He’ll perform the song, written about his wife Lauren, Tuesday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC, and then he’ll get up early Wednesday morning to do it all over again on the Today show, starting at 7 a.m.The career-defining track continues to sit atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for the 13th week, having already been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Thomas is following up his fifth number one in a row with “T-Shirt,” from his Tangled Up album.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dierks Bentley Teams Up with the Cast of "Nashville" to Raise Money for the Afri

ABCDierks Bentley is teaming up with the cast of ABC’s Nashville to raise money for the African Children’s Choir, with a show at Music City’s historic Ryman Auditorium next Monday. Though the group of youngsters is not terribly well known, they’ve been nominated for a Grammy and their good work is even more impressive. The program has helped put more than 52,000 kids through school in the past three decades and has helped more than 100,000 struggling with poverty in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.The list of performers reads like a cast list from the hit ABC show-- Connie Britton, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio, Chaley Rose, Will Chase, Aubrey Peeples, Chris Carmack and Mark Collie. Perhaps some of their devotion to the cause is derived from the fact that the show’s star, Connie Britton, has an adopted son from Ethiopia. She’ll host the evening.Tickets for the show, which range from about $40 to $120, are available online.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

An Ailing Chase Bryant Agonizes over Missing Dates, Releases New "Little Bit of

Broken Bow RecordsFor the past two weekends, newcomer Chase Bryant has been unable to go on stage, and he’s not happy about it at all.First, he missed his show with Kip Moore in Cincinnati on January 30, ending up in the emergency room just a few days later on Monday. By Thursday, he was ready to give it another shot, but by Friday, he had to admit he wasn’t well enough to continue, writing his fans a long, thoughtful letter of apology on Twitter. Now his doctors have placed him on partial vocal rest for the next week.    While Chase may be sidelined, fans can enjoy the new video for his top-15 hit “Little Bit of You." Shot mainly at his concerts across the U.S., the new clip captures Chase’s eagerness to get back home to his girlfriend as his work takes him away.“When I wrote this song I was dating a girl 3,000 miles away," he recalls. "I always had the feeling that I’d do anything in my power to get there. Making this video I think we establish that story but also captured this life I live in many different venues from the road. This is the real me.”You can check out the new video for “Little Bit of You” on YouTube now.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Luke Bryan to Salute Lionel Richie on Grammy Telecast

Joseph LlanesPop and soul legend Lionel Richie will be honored on this year's Grammy telecast by an all-genre assortment of artists including Luke Bryan, pop stars Meghan Trainor and Demi Lovato, and R&B star John Legend.Lionel is this year's MusiCares Person of the Year; a couple days before the Grammys, he'll be the guest of honor at an all-star tribute.  The segement on Monday night's Grammys will be a smaller version of that.  The songs Luke, Demi, Meghan and John will sing will span Lionel's career, from his time with the Commodores to his huge solo hits.  Lionel himself will also take the stage for a group version of one of his classics.Luke's presence in the tribute isn't unusual, considering that Lionel's best-selling 2012 album Tuskegee featured him teaming with a slew of major country stars, including Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, Blake Shelton, Shania Twain and Jason Aldean.This will mark the first time Luke, Demi and Meghan will perform on the Grammy stage.  John already has nine Grammys under his belt and is up for four additional ones this year.The Grammy Awards, hosted by LL Cool J, air Monday night on CBS starting at 8 p.m. ET.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why "Girl Crush" Could Mean There's More Edgy Material on the Way from Little Bi

ABC/Image Group LAThough Little Big Town’s hit “Girl Crush” initially generated some controversy, lately all it’s been doing is bringing home awards. Last year, the song some mistakenly thought centered around a same-sex relationship took home CMA trophies for both Single and Song of the Year, and no doubt helped the band bring home another Vocal Group honor. Next week, it’s up for all-genre Song of the Year at the Grammys, in addition to vying for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.LBT is also a contender for Best Country Album for Pain Killer, and they’re beginning to turn their attention to its follow-up.“We’re still kinda new into that part of the process, but we’re getting some amazing songs already,” Phillip Sweet says. “I think it’s just an incredible pool of amazing writers out there…I think the songs are gonna get better and more focused maybe -- more focused for Little Big Town.”Karen Fairchild believes “Girl Crush” has also had another unintended consequence for the band -- one that just may show up on the next album. She says the groundbreaking track has made songwriters realize Little Big Town won’t shy away from cutting edgy material.“They know now that we are not afraid to do things. We were writing this past weekend, and the guys we were writing with were just really inspired by the fact that there weren’t any boundaries really in the room. And that’s the way we’ve been trying to work for the last few years. It’s more satisfying for everyone.”As Little Big Town works on their next record, they might want to go ahead and clear some shelf space for a few more trophies. “Girl Crush” is also nominated for Single Record and Video of the Year at April’s Academy of Country Music Awards.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kristian Bush Feels Like a "Rocket Sitting on a Launchpad" as He Works on Second

Streamsound RecordsKristian Bush is currently in the studio working on his debut album for Wheelhouse Records, having recently signed with BBR Music Group -- the home of Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Randy Houser and more. From the sound of things, the male half of Sugarland couldn’t be more excited.“As both a recording artist and a songwriter, I am honored to be a part of the… family,” he says. “I’m in love with making music, and I’m humbled every day that I get to do this job. My train runs on believers… There’s no telling what can happen when like-minded people get together, so to be surrounded by this team and given this opportunity makes me feel like a rocket sitting on a launchpad. I can’t wait to take off.”In addition to recording, the “Trailer Hitch” hitmaker’s deal also includes publishing and an agreement to produce other artists. So far, we don’t know the timeline for the release of Kristian’s follow-up to his 2015 solo debut Southern Gravity.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

From "Tuckerville" to "Today": LOCASH Sees Hard Work Pay Off

Webster PRBack in 2005, the guys in LOCASH got their first national TV exposure on Tanya Tucker’s TLC reality show Tuckerville. Now, thanks to their #2 hit “I Love This Life,” Chris Lucas and Preston Brust are booking even higher-profile TV gigs.“Hard work is really starting to pay off for us,” Chris observes. “We have been seeing the response live. People are singing it back to us. It’s an amazing feeling, for sure.”“Every day is so exciting,” Preston chimes in. “I know this sounds like a cliché, but dreams do come true. We have worked so hard to get to this point. It’s so surreal.”In a couple weeks, the duo will make their network morning show debut on NBC’s Today show February 24, with a late-night appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live to follow on March 16. They’ve also just released the follow-up to their breakthrough single. It’s called “I Know Somebody,” from their I Love This Life EP.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rapper Nelly Releases Cover of Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man"

ABC/Image Group LAIf imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Nelly is giving Thomas Rhett a giant pat on the back. The new single from the St. Louis rapper is a cover of Thomas’s six-week number one, “Die a Happy Man.”Nelly is certainly no stranger to country music, having first collaborated with Tim McGraw on his hit “Over and Over,” which made it to number 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2004. More recently, he was featured on the remix of Florida Georgia Line’s 2013 smash, “Cruise.” Last October, he told Entertainment Weekly even more country collaborations could be in his future, stopping short of committing to a full project.“I love country music. I respect it to the utmost,” he said. “But there’s nothing in the world that makes me think I can do a country album… I may do an EP that features more than one country artist, so it may have a different vibe, but not a country album.”You check out Nelly's version of Thomas Rhett's hit on YouTube now. It's also available to download via the usual sources. Thomas Rhett's version competes for Single Record of the Year at the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scotty McCreery and Five Other "American Idol" Winners Return to Mentor the Top

Eric AdkinsScotty McCreery and five other American Idol winners return to the show that made them famous this Thursday, to mentor contestants during the farewell season. Though the identity of the two singers he worked with is top secret, the season-10 winner says he knows how valuable the three days he spent with them is.“I remember how important it was to me during my time on Idol to meet and learn from all the great artists who visited the set and offered their advice. I was proud to be able to come back and offer whatever guidance I could to my two talented contestants. This is their season and their show. I was there to help them shine… and I believe they both did!” he brags.While most people may not realize exactly how hard the Idol contenders work, the 22-year-old certainly does.“That was honestly probably one of the most stressful times of my life,” he recalls. “I was just 17, so that's a time when you should be having fun -- and I was. I was having a blast! When you're looking from the outside in, you see the singing day and you see the elimination day, and it was seven days a week.”On May 3, the 2011 champion will reveal even more when his memoir, Go Big or Go Home:  The Journey Toward the Dream comes out -- including more details about the kind of pressure the Idol contestants face.“Stress and hard work and decisions -- having to stand up to the head of the biggest label in the country and just make decisions -- that's what I'm saying. In the book, you're going to really hear about a kid at 16, 17 that had to grow up in an adult world and make decisions.”Just days ago, Scotty faced another very adult decision, as he and his record label parted ways. Though he’s been working on finishing the album to follow his single “Southern Belle,” so far there are no details about when it’s coming out or who will release it.Tune in to see Scotty Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, when he’ll also perform duets with two of the contestants in the top 24.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dan+Shay Follow Their First Number One with a Romantic Tribute to Their Grandpar

Warner NashvilleDan + Shay are back with their follow-up to their first number one. Just two months after “Nothin’ Like You” topped the charts, they’re releasing  the lead single from their sophomore album, as well as its accompanying video.“‘From the Ground Up’ is a song that started with a conversation about our grandparents and the love that they shared for the 65-plus years that they were married,” Dan Smyers shares. “It tells the story of the life that they built through their power and dedication to each other, and the perseverance to endure whatever would come their way.” “We put our hearts and souls into every word and every note of this song,” Shay Mooney says of the composition the two wrote together. “We just hope that it’s as special to our fans as it is to us.”You can check out the romantic video for “From the Ground Up,” shot just outside Nashville, on YouTube now.Currently up for the Academy of Country Music’s Vocal Duo of the Year award for the third year in a row, Dan +Shay head back out on tour next month, before joining Darius Rucker on his Good for a Good Time trek this summer.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Stapleton to Team Up with Bonnie Raitt at the Grammys

ABC/Image Group LAFour-time nominee Chris Stapleton is the latest country artist now set to perform on the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. He’ll team up with Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr. to pay tribute to blues legend B.B. King, who passed away last May.Chris’s debut solo effort Traveller is up for both the all-genre Album of the Year as well as Country Album, while its title track competes for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song.He joins fellow nominees Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, who are already set to represent the country genre at the prestigious show. You can watch it live from Los Angeles Monday, February 15 on CBS.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Carolina Native Chase Rice Admits He's Conflicted About Super Bowl 50, Wis

Columbia Nashville/Dack JanielsThese days, there's more than one current country singer who once had a promising career in college football. Sam Hunt was the quarterback for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, while Chase Rice was a linebacker at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Even though he's a native Tar Heel, Chase says it's still not easy picking a side when it comes to Super Bowl 50."Yeah, the Super Bowl’s tough for me this year," he admits. "I’m a huge Peyton Manning fan. Love who he is as a person, love his character, and love his passion for the game of football, ’cause I’m a huge football guy. Grew up playin’ football, played in college, almost played in the NFL. And seein’ Peyton Manning’s love for the game is awesome. But, it’s hard to pull against the Carolina Panthers."Chase says a friendship he made after college makes it even harder."I’m from Asheville -- Fairview, North Carolina -- right outside of Asheville, I lived in Charlotte for about a year and a half, two years when I worked in NASCAR. Actually, one of my roommates when I was workin’ in NASCAR was Hilee Taylor, who played for the Panthers for a couple years. So, it’s really hard for me to pull against the Panthers, but lucky for me, I get a win-win situation Super Bowl Sunday, ’cause if the Broncos win, I’m very, very happy for Peyton, and if the Panthers win, then we finally brought a Super Bowl home to Carolina."While Chase may have a hard time deciding whether he wants the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos to win Sunday's game, there's one thing he does know for sure- - he doesn't want to host the party!"The first Super Bowl party I’ve ever thrown was last year, and I actually hated it...I’m a huge football guy. I love watchin’, breakin’ down the game. So havin’ all those people around, everybody cheerin’, everybody screamin’, everybody talkin’ ’bout maybe even things other than the Super Bowl, I wanted to tell ’em, ‘Get outta here! I’m watchin’ the game!’ So it was tough for me to throw a party. I’d rather go to someone else’s party and not have all the stress of havin’ people over and all that and havin’ food made and all that. I’d rather just kinda sit there and watch the game."While the lead single from Chase's sophomore album was likely not inspired by the advice he'd like to give at Super Bowl parties, it is appropriately titled -- "Whisper" is due out Friday. Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sam Hunt Set to Take the Field with His Hero Peyton Manning Sunday

ABC/Image Group LASam Hunt and Peyton Manning are both set to take the field this Sunday for Super Bowl 50. Sam will be performing as part of the pregame festivities, while Peyton, of course, will be playing quarterback as the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. Since Sam himself is a longtime 'baller, having played QB for the University of Alabama at Birmingham in his college days, it turns out he has a little bit of history with the five-time MVP."When I was in high school, I went to a camp called the Manning Academy," he recalls. "It’s a quarterback camp down in Louisiana. And I got to spend some time with Peyton and Eli, and they have another brother. I’ve followed his career for a long time."Several years later, Sam the country singer came face to face with his football hero."Actually, a couple of years ago, I was at a concert of Kenny Chesney’s in Denver, and I was standing there side stage and Jake Owen was there. He had opened up for him, and I’ve been a friend of his for a little while, and he turned and introduced me to the guy behind us, who I wasn’t aware of at the time, but it turned out to be Peyton Manning. He was just a really nice guy, and it was just pretty cool to be on the stage with two people who inspired me in two different arenas, with Peyton with football and Kenny with music," Sam remembers.So when it comes to this Sunday's matchup, it's no surprise who he'll be rooting for- - even though he does have a bit of a conflict."First off, I’d like to see a really good game. I’m a big Peyton Manning fan, and I always have been. But I have a good friend that I played ball with in college; he’s playing with the Panthers, and their season’s been unbelievable. Just to watch the energy of that team grow throughout the year made it hard not to pull for ‘em, but I guess when it comes down to it, I’m gonna have to go with Peyton, because it could be his last go at it. He deserves it more than anybody. He’s one of the best that’s ever played."The "Break Up in a Small Town" hitmaker plays the Super Bowl 50 Tailgate Party Sunday at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco. You can catch his performance on The Super Bowl Today, starting at 2 p.m. ET on CBS.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.