Music News

Florida Georgia Line Looks Forward to Rare Weekend Off


Jeremy Cowart/Republic NashvilleWhile most Americans will be celebrating Independence Day, this weekend will be special for the guys in Florida Georgia Line for a completely different reason:  they’ll be enjoying some rare time off.  “We don’t really get many Friday nights when we’re not playin’,” Brian Kelley points out. But his leisure-time activities may not be as exciting as you’d expect.“We did get one recently. I think my wife and I, we had a Friday night off in town like a week or two ago and I think we just got pizza and hung with the dogs and watched a movie, and I hadn’t done that in years, and it was awesome,” he recalls. “Didn’t feel like going out at all. It was nice to kick back and know you’re gonna feel really, really good in the mornin’.”The next work day for Brian and musical partner Tyler Hubbard is July 9 in Fort Loramie, Ohio.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tim McGraw Honors Veterans with Mortgage-Free Homes


Nino Munoz/Big Machine RecordsAs America prepares to celebrate its independence on July 4, Tim McGraw continues to celebrate the veterans who've helped fight for the country. So far, on the Shotgun Rider 2015 Tour he’s given away six mortgage-free homes to deserving soldiers, with 30 more members of the armed forces set to get new houses by the tour’s end through his partnership with Chase and Operation Homefront.“[These are] people who have given us security for a lot of years,” Tim reflects, “and we’re able to do that back for them in a small way.” In the three years he's worked with Chase and Operation Homefront, they’ve partnered to give away 114 homes in 30 states.Tim’s next tour stop with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant is July 10 in Raleigh, North Carolina.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Brantley Gilbert Ties the Knot with Amber Cochran at Home in Georgia


Valory Music Co.Congratulations to Brantley Gilbert, who tied the knot with his fiancée, Amber Cochran, over the weekend at his home in Georgia. The couple dated several years ago, and their relationship inspired some of Brantley's biggest hits, like "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" and "More than Miles." They reconnected after Brantley got sober in recent years and the couple got engaged last fall.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Luke Bryan Brings 2015 Farm Tour to 4 New Cities


Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan kicks off his seventh annual Farm Tour September 30 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This year, the eight-concert run adds four new cities including Ft. Wayne; Lexington, Kentucky; Starkville, Mississippi; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.Last year, the CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year played for 110,000 fans on the rural tour, with some proceeds helping fund college scholarships for students from local farming families. Ticket presales start July 7, with seats for the general public going on sale July 10.Here are the dates for Luke Bryan’s 2015 Farm Tour:9/30 -- Ft. Wayne, IN, M&J Farms      10/1 --  Lexington, KY, Talon Farm & Winery 10/2 -- Knoxville, TN, Maple Lane Farms 10/3 -- Columbia, SC, Culler Farms 10/7 -- Starkville, MS, Holtzcamp Farms 10/8 -- Tuscaloosa, AL, Twin Creeks Farm 10/9 -- Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park                10/10 -- Valdosta, GA, MJ Taylor FarmsCopyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Zac Brown and Hunter Hayes Share Their Playlists on Shazam


Warner Music NashvilleIf you’ve ever wondered what music your favorite performers listen to, Shazam is now making it easier to find out. Starting today, the popular music-recognition app will now let you follow artists like Zac Brown Band and Hunter Hayes to see what songs they’ve recently checked out.Hunter and Zac join mainstream bands like Maroon 5, Coldplay and One Direction, who are also sharing their playlists.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Raps "See You Again" Mashup


John Russell/CMACarrie Underwood can now officially add “rapper” to her list of skills. Sunday at the Big Barrel Country Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, she delivered both Wiz Khalifa’s rap from the hit “See You Again,” and also covered the vocals contributed by Charlie Puth.The tune was part of a mashup that included Carrie’s own hit by the same name from 2013. The Wiz Khalifa track is a tribute to the late actor Paul Walker from the Furious 7 movie soundtrack.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge wrote a song called "Adios Old Friend" that was featured on which network TV series? ANSWER: Nashville.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kenny Chesney Visits the Man-Made Reefs He Helped Fund in Florida


Kenny ChesneyKenny Chesney is donating proceeds from his line of Costa Del Mar sunglasses to the Coastal Conservation Association, and he recently got to visit the two man-made reefs built with those funds in Jacksonville, Florida. The two structures were built in just two weeks in the city's St. John River using 1,300 tons of concrete. In the 18 months since they were built, Kenny says the reefs are "thriving with life."“What they were able to create here says a lot about the ways man can live not just in harmony, but supporting our natural aquatic resources," Kenny says. "Beyond clean water, it is about supporting healthy marine life... and that includes being aware of the impact of erosion under the water.”Kenny goes on to thank the University of Jacksonville for its help in making the man-made reefs a reality.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLee Brice's video for "That Don't Sound Like You" premieres Tuesday on CMT.Congratulations to Dustin Lynch, whose single, "Where It's At," has been certified platinum for racking up one million streams and downloads.Scotty McCreery has released the new single, "Southern Belle," as the lead release from his upcoming, third studio album.Blake Shelton performs his song "Bringing Back the Sunshine" in the new NASCAR on NBC opening, premiering this Sunday.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Easton Corbin Balances Traditional Country Influence with Modern Sounds on "Abou


Mercury NashvilleEaston Corbin's third album, About to Get Real, is out this week featuring the lead single, "Baby Be My Love Song." That track does a good job of updating Easton's sound while staying true to his traditional country roots, and Easton keeps up that balancing act throughout the new album. That nod to tradition is a key ingredient in Easton's ongoing success."I have a lot of fans out there that tell me they appreciate me being true to who I am and keeping that traditional country flavor in there," Easton tells ABC Radio, "and I think that's very important, 'cause that's who I am. It really is."While staying true to himself, Easton also worked to push himself on About to Get Real by experimenting with new sounds he'd never explored before.He adds, "I think that you have to be fresh, and you've got to keep your sound fresh, and you've got to push the envelope. I think that's healthy, but you've got to keep that element of who you are in your music."As for the album title, Easton chose to name it for a song on the project because, he says, "It just sounds good as an album title." He describes the title cut by saying, "The song really reminds me of a modern-day Conway Twitty song."Look for Easton to perform "Baby Be My Love Song" on NBC's Today on Tuesday followed by another performance on Fox News's Fox & Friends on Wednesday. Getting up early two days in a row is rare for Easton, who is used to going on stage at night. So, how does he deal with those early morning call times?"Well, usually you just don't go to bed. You know, if you're a country music singer you just stay up. You're still drunk," Easton says with a smile. "No, I'm joking. I'm totally joking. No, you better go to bed early."Easton is also performing a pregame concert at Citi Field Tuesday night before the New York Mets take on the Chicago Cubs.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Easton Corbin Balances Traditional Country Influence with Modern Sounds on About


Mercury NashvilleEaston Corbin's third album, About to Get Real, is out this week featuring the lead single, "Baby Be My Love Song." That track does a good job of updating Easton's sound while staying true to his traditional country roots, and Easton keeps up that balancing act throughout the new album. That nod to tradition is a key ingredient in Easton's ongoing success."I have a lot of fans out there that tell me they appreciate me being true to who I am and keeping that traditional country flavor in there," Easton tells ABC Radio, "and I think that's very important, 'cause that's who I am. It really is."While staying true to himself, Easton also worked to push himself on About to Get Real by experimenting with new sounds he'd never explored before.He adds, "I think that you have to be fresh, and you've got to keep your sound fresh, and you've got to push the envelope. I think that's healthy, but you've got to keep that element of who you are in your music."As for the album title, Easton chose to name it for a song on the project because, he says, "It just sounds good as an album title." He describes the title cut by saying, "The song really reminds me of a modern-day Conway Twitty song."Look for Easton to perform "Baby Be My Love Song" on NBC's Today on Tuesday followed by another performance on Fox News's Fox & Friends on Wednesday. Getting up early two days in a row is rare for Easton, who is used to going on stage at night. So, how does he deal with those early morning call times?"Well, usually you just don't go to bed. You know, if you're a country music singer you just stay up. You're still drunk," Easton says with a smile. "No, I'm joking. I'm totally joking. No, you better go to bed early."Easton is also performing a pregame concert at Citi Field Tuesday night before the New York Mets take on the Chicago Cubs.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Football Star Helps Zac Brown Band Dispose of Onstage Intruder


Danny Clinch/Southern Ground/Varvatos/BMLGZac Brown Band received an assist from football star J.J. Watt when a fan popped up on stage during a performance over the weekend.ESPN.com reports a fan jumped on stage and danced during the band's appearance at Summerfest in Milwaukee Sunday night. That's when Watt, a star defensive end with the Houston Texans who's a native of Wisconsin, swooped in and tackled the fan. He tweeted a video of the moment.ESPN.com notes that the whole thing was likely staged.  Zac Brown Band continues their tour Friday in Denver.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Steven Tyler Releasing "Love Is Your Name" Video on Friday


Dot RecordsSteven Tyler will release his first country video this Friday. The clip for "Love Is Your Name" will be previewed on ABC's Good Morning America that day before it goes live online.Steven shot the video just outside Nashville. We hear he's still got those microphone stand scarves on full display as he makes the move into the country format.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Garth Brooks Makes the Top 10 on "Forbes" List of World's 100 Top-Earning Celebr


Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks' return to the concert trail has been very good for his bank account. Garth pulled in an estimated $90 million between June 2014 and June 2015 to take the #6 slot on Forbes' list of the World's 100 Top-Earning Celebrities. Taylor Swift is #8 earning $80 million.Toby Keith is the next country act on the list at #32 with an estimated $53 million coming in. Jason Aldean ranks at #47 with an estimated $43.5 million, and Luke Bryan sits at #48 with $42.5 million earned.  Kenny Chesney ranks at #49 with a $42 million payday. Tim McGraw is 58th on the list with $38 million, and Florida Georgia Line ranks at #61 with $36.5 million. At #73, it's the Zac Brown Band with $32 million coming in. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton each earned $28.5 million to tie at #95 on the list.  Boxer Floyd Mayweather tops the list with $300 million earned in the last year.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thomas Rhett Incorporating All of His Influences on New Album, "Tangled Up," Due


Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett will release his sophomore album, Tangled Up, on September 25 featuring the lead single, "Crash and Burn." As you can hear in that R&B-influenced song, Thomas has expanded his range of musical influences in the past two years while working on Tangled Up.He says, "The title, Tangled Up, comes from a lyric in one of the new songs, and I think it's a cool way to point to all the different influences that I have as an artist and a songwriter -- from soul and R&B to old school country to rock and everything in between. They are all in this record!""Crash and Burn" is on its way to the top 10 at country radio, but Thomas admits he was terrified about putting out such a different-sounding song. His dad, songwriter Rhett Akins, had some good advice for him as got ready to release it to radio.Thomas tells ABC Radio, "My dad told me that, when I put it out, he goes, 'I think the song's a hit. Just prepare to be hated for about two weeks.' And he was totally right. When you do something different, people hate it until they don't."So far, "Crash and Burn" has been selling better than any of Thomas's previous singles.He adds, "Somebody likes it, and I love it, and that's really all that matters."You can get involved in Thomas's creative process for Tangled Up by helping him choose the album cover. Four possible designs are now live at ThomasRhett.com, and it's up to you to vote for your favorite. The winning cover will be revealed in the coming weeks.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dolly Parton Adds Second Nashville Concert Date Due to Popular Demand


Webster PRDue to popular demand, Dolly Parton has added a second show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium coming up August 1. The first concert on July 31 sold out very quickly after tickets went on sale earlier this month.While proceeds from the original show are going to Nashville's W.O. Smith School of Music, Dolly is donating funds from the August 1 to the Opry Trust Fund. Dolly has been a Grand Ole Opry member since 1969, and she wanted to give back to the institution that has means so much to her.Dolly says, "It's important to me to be able to do a concert for the Opry Trust Fund as so many of my old Opry friends have benefited from it through the years. The money raised will go to help fund the medical needs and hospitalization for those who are not able to afford it and need the help. I am proud to be of help in any way."Tickets for Dolly's August 31 concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium go on sale Thursday, July 2 at Ticketmaster.com and Ryman.com.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kelsea Ballerini Reveals the Moment She Knew Her Music Belonged in the Country F


Black RiverKelsea Ballerini started writing songs as a pre-teen living on a farm in East Tennessee, but she had no idea where those songs might fit. The lyrics and melody didn't sound like the pop music she listened to with her friends.Kelsea tells ABC Radio, "What I was writing came out country just 'cause that's who I am, but I did not listen to country music."That all changed when Kelsea heard Keith Urban's hit single "Stupid Boy.""I was like, 'What is this?'" Kelsea says. "So, I went and got his record, Dixie Chicks and Sugarland and Taylor Swift. Those four records were my introduction to country music."Those four acts made Kelsea realize her musical home was just a few hours away in Nashville.She says, "I remember listening to those [albums] and thinking, like, 'I think it is kind of what I'm writing.' Like, 'I think this might be where it fits.' And that was it. Then I was, like, all about country."Kelsea was so sure country would serve as her musical home, she convinced her family to move a few hours west to Nashville a few years ago.Kelsea is a co-writer on her debut single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," which went to #1 at country radio just last week. It's included on her debut album, The First Time, on sale now.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Thanks the "Beautiful People" and Country Radio for Latest #1 H


Jeremy Cowart/SonyCarrie Underwood is back at #1 on the country airplay chart this week with "Little Toy Guns." When she found out about the good news on Sunday morning, Carrie tweeted, "I want to give a HUGE thank you to Country Radio this morning for making 'Little Toy Guns' #1! You've always supported me & I'm so grateful!"Carrie went on to thank all the "beautiful people" who called and requested the song at their local radio stations. She added, "[You] continue to show us love time and time again! You guys are amazing!""Little Toy Guns" is the second consecutive #1 single from Carrie's Greatest Hits: Decade #1 compilation following the first release from that project, "Something in the Water."Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Shania Twain Never Sees the Woman Who Broke Up Her Marriage to Ex-Husband Mutt L


Sandbox EntertainmentShania Twain maintains a civil line of communication with her ex-husband, Mutt Lange, as they continue to co-parent their 13-year-old son, Eja. That communication doesn't include Shania's former best friend, Marie Anne, who had an affair with Mutt and went on to marry him after he and Shania divorced.Shania tells the New York Post, "I don’t see her, ever.  I don’t invite that trigger into my life…She’s not my future — she’s my past.”Shania actually tied the knot with Marie-Anne's ex-husband, Frederic, in 2011. She takes her Rock This Country tour to New York City's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Keith Urban Says John Mellencamp Shaped His Childhood Ideas of America


CMAKeith Urban references one of his favorite singers in his latest hit, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16." Growing up in Australia, John Cougar, who now performs under his given name, John Mellencamp, had a big role in shaping Keith's early ideas of America.Keith tells Billboard, "His songwriting was such a huge part of my life. I almost feel like between all the TV I grew up with in Australia and John Mellencamp's music -- among many others -- I knew what it meant to live there and grow up there.""John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" is the lead single from Keith's upcoming studio album, due out later this year.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scotty McCreery Is Saying Goodbye to His "Dumpy College House" Next Month


Mercury NashvilleScotty McCreery is making good money on the road with Rascal Flatts this summer, so you may be surprised to learn he still lives in a house with roommates on campus at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the front porch of the house is falling in and a traffic cone adorns the roof.Scotty says of his abode, "I've lived there the past three years on campus and our lease is up for that dumpy college house and this July we're gonna move out of there."Scotty should be getting a new place right around the time his new single comes out. It's the lead release from his as-yet-untitled third album, due out sometime this winter.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jennifer Nettles Debuting New Jewelry Line July 5 on QVC


Jamie Schramm / CMA Jennifer Nettles is expanding her creative empire with a new jewelry line coming to QVC. Jennifer will debut the collection on the network Sunday, July 5 at 6 p.m. ET. Jennifer collaborated on the line with American West Jewelry, and the pieces capture her eclectic and bohemian style combining sterling silver, brass, leather and suede with "vibrant gemstones."Jenifer says, "I enjoy accessorizing my own wardrobe on a daily basis and I cannot wait for people to experience all of the fun this line has to offer."A few pieces are available for purchase now at QVC.com. The full line will be available July 5 while supplies last.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jana Kramer Performing "I Got the Boy" on TV Friday Morning


Warner Music NashvilleJana Kramer is getting up early Friday to perform her latest single, "I Got the Boy," on Fox News' Fox & Friends as part of their Summer Concert Series. If you're in New York City that morning, you can catch Jana's performance in person in the plaza of the Fox building.Jana says, "It's always a blast, so make sure you tune in or if you're in Manhattan come out and party Friday morning!”"I Got the Boy" was co-written by Britney Spears' sister, aspiring country artist Jamie Lynn Spears, along with two of Nashville's top songwriters.Jana says, "It’s amazing how songwriters can write your life. ‘I got the boy, she got the man’ perfectly summarizes the relationship of my high school boyfriend."Jana recently wrapped up her co-headlining trek with Kelsea Ballerini on the CMT Next Women of Country Tour.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dierks Bentley Takes Over New York City with Major TV and Festival Appearances


CMADierks Bentley is gearing up for a big weekend of country music in New York City. First up, he's performing a four-song set in Central Park Friday morning for Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series on ABC. Dierks is also headlining the first-ever FarmBorough Festival in the Big Apple that night.Dierks says, "It's a big weekend for country fans in NYC…they got their own festival! And it's just as big of a deal for me to get to kick the whole thing off."Also, look for Dierks to perform on NBC's Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular Saturday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Is Back for the 2015 Sunday Night Football Opening


CMACarrie Underwood will return to NBC's Sunday Night Football this fall to to sing the opening theme song, "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." Carrie and Sunday Night Football revealed the news in a series of tweets from the set, with the country superstar rocking a short silver minidress.Several of the NFL's top players join Carrie for the new opening sequence, which will debut before reigning Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots play the Pittsburgh Steelers September 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.