Country News

Shania Twain’s first music video in more than five years is coming on Thursday. On Wednesday, the country/pop superstar shared a short, music-less clip of her walking along the beach in a brightly-colored dress, adding simply “Tomorrow #LifesAboutToGetGood,” along with a camera emoji. Shania’s most recent music video came early in 2012, when she re-recorded “Endless Love” with Lionel Richie for his Tuskegee album. “Life’s About to Get Good” is the lead single from Shania’s NOW album, which comes out September 29.

For the first time in two decades, the legendary Ricky Skaggs is returning onstage to perform a full-blown country music concert featuring the hit songs that made him a household name. On Saturday, September 2, at 7:00 PM, Skaggs will appear live at the Nashville Palace in Nashville, Tennessee where he'll plug-in and perform his tunes from the '80s.   

Ricky Says "After playing bluegrass music for the last 20 years, I'm gonna have blast plugging in my electric guitar and singing my country hits again,". "Can't wait! We did a test run of the show back in June and came away from it feeling great!"

 Skaggs promised the late Bill Monroe that he'd do his part to keep bluegrass alive. Since Monroe's passing in 1996, Skaggs has kept his promise, playing thousands of live bluegrass shows and releasing several albums dedicated to the genre. While he has no plans of ever quitting bluegrass music, he feels it's time to dust off the songs that made him famous.

Lorrie Morgan will play Nashville’s famed Bluebird Café on August 2, along with her brother, songwriter Marty Morgan. Tickets go on sale Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. CT.

Response to the Grand Ole Opry’s special Sunday show to commemorate next month’s total eclipse has been so swift, they’ve added a second performance. A 9:30 p.m. set will follow the earlier, sold-out show on August 20. Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Wynonna and Nashville’s Charles Esten are all on the bill.  Tickets go on sale Thursday at 12 p.m. CT.

Kellie Pickler and Phil Vassar are teaming up for a new Christmas single and a yuletide tour. Their duet is called “The Naughty List.” They’ll launch A Christmas Tour Friday, November 24 in Wheeling, West Virginia.

CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks specializes in creating moments his crowds will never forget, and this weekend in Los Angeles, he delivered another one. The “Ask Me How I Know” hitmaker invited parents-to-be Katie and Wes to the front of the stage at The Forum to reveal the gender of their baby, which they’d planned to name Brooks, whether it’s a boy or a girl. After Garth advised the first-time mom and dad to have as many as they can afford, he opened the envelope that showed they’re having a girl. “I’m extremely happy for you, because I have three of these,” the proud father added, as the audience cheered. But in typical Garth fashion, he took things one step further. “We’ll make a deal,” Garth said. “If I am still alive when Brooks goes to college, we’ll pay for her college.” You can check out the gender reveal for yourself, thanks to a fan video on YouTube. This weekend, Garth and wife Trisha Yearwood return for two more shows in L.A.  

Christmas is still five months away, but Reba McEntire is already busy getting ready. This season, she’ll release a new version of her third yuletide album, My Kind of Christmas. Last year, the piano-based collection was only available at Cracker Barrel stores. The new edition not only boasts a new cover, but also has three unreleased songs that include collaborations with Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Darius Rucker, and Christian artist Lauren Daigle. Earlier this year, Daigle duetted with Reba on her single, “Back to God,” at the ACM Awards. Reba’s new version of My Kind of Christmas comes out October 13.

Sara Evans and her daughter Olivia will be on Live with Kelly and Ryan Tuesday. Olivia sings background vocals on her mom’s latest single, “Marquee Sign.” Live typically follows GMA on most ABC stations.

Reba McEntire made her Grand Ole Opry debut on September 17, 1977. Nearly 40 years later, she’s returning to the world-famous stage to mark that anniversary. In a new video, Reba recalls her first night on the Opry, and how she learned her scheduled two-song set was to be cut in half, thanks to the sudden arrival of Dolly Parton. “I said, ‘OK, she can take both of ‘em,’” she remembers with a smile, “’Can I meet her?’” The Country Music Hall of Famer will do a combination of hits and selections from her latest album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, during the Opry’s two shows on Friday, September 22. Reba became a member of the Opry in 1986.

Its sounds like Shania Twain is getting ready to release new music from her first studio album in 15 years. “Who wants another song from #ShaniaNow?” the country/pop superstar shared on her socials Thursday morning, along with a ten-second video clip that marries an instrumental track with an animation that declares “Poor Me.” The tune is listed as the fourth cut on Shania’s NOW album, which comes out September 29. So far, we’ve only heard the opening track, “Swingin’ with My Eyes Closed,” which she performed on the Today show, and the project’s first single, “Life’s About to Get Good.”  

Chris Stapleton and Lee Ann Womack will honor rock-and-roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis August 24 as they record a new edition of the online series Skyville Live in Nashville. Lewis himself is expected to attend that night. The show will premiere online at a later date.

Radney Foster will release his CD/book collection, For You to See the Stars, on September 15. The collection of short stories is the revered singer/songwriter’s first book, while the album is his eleventh. It’ll feature a new version of the hit he wrote for Keith Urban, “Raining on Sunday.”

Eighties sensation Sylvia returns to the Grand Ole Opry this Saturday, as she celebrates the 35th anniversary of her signature hit from 1982, “Nobody.”

Four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is country music’s top money maker of 2016, according to a new ranking by Billboard. Luke raked in $27.3 million last year to land at #8 on the publication's list of the top 50 money makers. While that’s nothing to sneeze at, it’s roughly half of what the #1 earner made:  Beyonce claims that title with $62.1 mill. Kenny Chesney was the seventh biggest touring act in the U.S. last year, enough to secure the #10 spot with just a bit more than $25 million. Carrie Underwood is the sole country female on the tally, coming in at #14 with close to $20 million in revenue. Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks ranks 18th at $16 million, with $75,000 of those earnings coming solely from his fourth-quarter profits from streaming on Amazon Music. Two-time ACM Entertainer Jason Aldean is farther down the list at #25, with more than $14 million. The Dixie Chicks make a surprise appearance on Billboard’s tally, occupying the #22 spot with close to $15 million, mainly from their DCX MMXVI world tour. Farther down the list, you’ll find Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, and Blake Shelton.   

Irreverent, under-the-influence tunes crafted late at night on Toby Keith’s bus have long been part of his repertoire. Now, for the first time, the Oklahoma native is putting out a full album of them. The Bus Songs will be released September 8, and will include his latest single “Wacky Tobaccy,” as well as a live recording of the favorite “Weed with Willie.”

Believe it or not, this fall will mark twenty years since the release of Shania Twain’s smash crossover album, Come On Over.  The Canadian country/pop superstar will celebrate that momentous occasion with a performance on the opening night of this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament. The kickoff for one of the biggest events in tennis will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. You can tune in for the festivities Monday, August 28 on ESPN2. That’s slightly more than a month before the release of Shania’s first studio album in 15 years. NOW, which features the lead single, “Life’s About to Get Good,” comes out September 29.

Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and Brandy Clark raised more than $50,000 for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America with their Wednesday night benefit at Nashville’s City Winery. Surprise guests Martina McBride, William Michael Morgan and Hunter Hayes also pitched in to help.

Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors:  Circle of Love is nominated for Outstanding Television Movie at the Emmys on September 17.

Duo Thompson Square has parted ways with their label Stoney Creek, an imprint of BBR Music Group.

Loretta Lynn is cancelling the remainder of her 2017 dates and pushing back the release of her new album, as she continues to recover from a stroke she suffered this past May. Wouldn’t It Be Great, which was set to come out next month, will now be held until sometime in 2018, when Loretta is up to promoting the project. “I’m happy to say that I’m at home with my family and getting better by the day!” the Coal Miner’s Daughter said in a statement. “My main focus now is making a full recovery so that I can get back to putting all of me into what I love, sharing my music with all of you.” “I want to thank everyone for hanging in there with me…” she continued. “I’m just letting everybody known that Willie [Nelson] ain’t dead yet and neither am I! And I can’t wait to see all of you on the road!” The country music icon turned 85 in April, and performed two memorable shows at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on her birthday weekend.

Garth Brooks is taking his World Tour with wife Trisha Yearwood to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They’ll play Denny Sanford Premier Center on Saturday, September 16. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 21.

The countdown is on to this year’s CMA Awards. The nomination round of ballots went out to CMA members this Monday. The 2017 show will be held November 8 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

A bill just passed by the House of Representatives would name the post office in Bakersfield, California after Merle Haggard. The matter now goes to the Senate for a vote.

Toby Keith’s daughter Krystal narrowly missed being killed by a drunk driver on Independence Day, the 31-year-old revealed Friday on social media. “Our 4th turned pretty horrific,” Krystal shared. “Hensley, Drew and I were on the way to watch fireworks on the 4th. A drunk driver almost took the lives of my entire family. We all survived the wreck but it’s gonna take some time to heal.” Drew is Krystal’s husband, while Hensley is their daughter, who’ll be two in October. Krystal also included a photo of her white Mercedes SUV, which appears to be totaled. “Keep us in your prayers,” she added. “Hug your babies and spouses tight. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.”

Dolly Parton scored a #1 hit in 1980 with the song, “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” which was co-written by Pebe Sebert. The interesting thing is:  Pebe Sebert happens to be the mother of pop star and Nashville native Kesha. Now, we’ll get to find out what the “TiK ToK” and “Timber” hitmaker will sound like performing the classic with Dolly, since the two have recorded a new version for Kesha’s forthcoming album, Rainbow. Coincidentally, Dolly also made an album in 1987 titled Rainbow. Kesha’s version will be out August 11.

Brad Paisley and the Country Music Association are teaming up with Hostess to give away a trip to the 51st Annual CMA Awards November 8 in Nashville. You can enter at HostessSummerPlaylist.com.

Miranda Lambert opens up to Cosmopolitan about her love life, in the magazine’s first-ever country issue. In the “Cosmo Quiz,” Miranda reveals boyfriend Anderson East is the first person she calls when she’s on the verge of a meltdown. As for the one thing she knows about love, she goes on to say “It’s big and it’s worth it.” On the professional side, The Weight of These Wings singer says her proudest moment came singing for Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson at The Kennedy Center Honors. If she could have dinner with anyone, she’d pick Elvis Presley, and the two would “eat chicken fried steak and drink a lot.” The new issue of Cosmopolitan with Miranda on the cover comes out July 11. This isn’t her first time to be front and center on the magazine either. She previously appeared on the January 2016 cover as well.

Country Music Hall-of-Famer Kenny Rogers guests on Rural America Live on Thursday. You can catch the show at 10 p.m. ET on RFD-TV.

Rodney Atkins and his wife Rose Falcon are expecting their first baby together. Rodney’s older son, Elijah, from his previous marriage, starred in the video for his 2006 hit, “Watching You.”

If you missed the Dixie Chicks on tour, you can check out their concert film Dixie Chicks -- DCX MMXVI -- In Concert at 7 p.m. local time on August 7. Close to 450 theaters across the country will screen the movie.

Chris Stapleton officially has bragging rights for the first gold country album of 2017. From A Room:  Volume 1 accomplished the feat in record time, since it’s only been out since May 5. Look for a second volume of songs recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A later this year. The news comes just as Chris is releasing the second single from the album, “Broken Halos,” which he debuted last year at Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise telethon. His debut album, 2015’s Traveller, has been certified double platinum.  

 “Feels so great to share with you the full track listing for my new album…” Shania Twain tweeted on Wednesday, unveiling the sixteen songs that will make up her fifth release, NOW. The Canadian superstar wrote all of the songs herself, including the project’s lead single, “Life’s About to Get Good.” Shania's most recent record was 2002's Up!.

Chris Stapleton’s new single is “Broken Halos.” He first debuted the song last December on Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise telethon.

Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and Brandy Clark are set to play a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Wednesday, July 12 at Nashville’s City Winery.

Natalie Maines has filed for divorce from her husband, Adrian Pasdar, according to TMZ. The Dixie Chicks’ lead singer and the actor tied the knot in June of 2000. Citing irreconcilable differences, Maine’s divorce petition proposes joint custody of the couple’s two sons, who are 12 and 16. The Dixie Chicks have been largely absent from country music since Maines’ controversial comments about then-President George Bush in 2003. Most recently, the trio reappeared to perform with Beyonce last November at the 50th CMA Awards.

Kellie Pickler has been added to the lineup of this year’s 37th annual A Capitol Fourth on PBS. She’ll sing “This Land Is Your Land” and “Small Town Girl” on the show that starts at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Trace Adkins is set to perform as well.

If you’d like to see George Strait sing all sixty of his number-ones over two nights in Vegas, your window is closing. The Country Music Hall of Famer did it once before in April, and he’ll do “Two Nights of Number Ones” again on July 28 and 29. But after that, he’s putting the concept to bed. “After that, I’m going to change things up for the last four of the year,” George says of his remaining shows. “Not sure what’s in store, but I’m thinking about it,” he teases. After his dates at the end of July, King George returns to T-Mobile Arena in Sin City on September 1-2 and December 8-9. You can find more info at StraitToVegas.com.

Toby Keith is cranking up his highly successful Interstates & Tailgates tour once again and will visit more than 30 cities over the next few months. Following a thirteen-year absence from any major Nashville concert stage, fans will finally get a chance to see Toby on July 20th when he headlines Music City's Ascend Amphitheater. Tickets for the Nashville show go on sale this Wednesday, July 28th at livenation.com Toby's concert set list will include his new single, "Wacky Tobaccy."

Toby Keith has rolled out a video for his new single "Wacky Tobaccy" and, as promised, there is a brilliant cameo from one of music's most famous wacky tobaccy aficionados, Willie Nelson. The three-minute video features Toby on the bus with his band jamming to the song, which has plenty of references to its subject.  Those not as familiar with wacky tobaccy might just learn a thing or two.

The Grammy Charity auction happening online now features signed guitars from Kenny Chesney and Kacey Musgraves, a microphone signed by Carrie Underwood and a CD signed by Cam. Bidding happens through July 8 on eBay. Proceeds benefit the Grammy Museum Foundation and MusiCares.

Following a recent performance at the gala opening of “The Nation We Build Together” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, music icon and Country Music Hall of Fame Member Kenny Rogers was presented with an award honoring his “unique contribution to American music.”

October 7, occasional country collaborator and Nashville resident Kid Rock will host his 3rd Annual Fish Fry at Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel. Fontanel Mansion is the former home to Country Music Hall of Fame member Barbara Mandrell that is now a Music City tourist destination. The Fish Fry is open to the public and performances will feature Kid Rock, Gretchen Wilson and others to be announced. For details, visit KidRock.com.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will break in the new home of the Atlanta Falcons when the couple play the first-ever concert at Atlanta's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 12. Garth made the announcement live on Facebook, opening with a video of himself playing guitar inside the catwalks of the new stadium which is scheduled to open in August. "This is gonna be cool," Garth said in the video.  "It's gonna be the inaugural concert in there," he added, gushing about the vista of Atlanta from the stadium's skywalk. In a statement, Garth said, “I’ve visited the stadium twice in the last month and all I can say is – the fans are going to love it; it’s truly one-of-a-kind.  We’re going to create a special experience the fans will never forget and I can’t wait to light that place up this fall!” Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced the Hollywood Walk of Fame class of 2018, and among those being honored with sidewalk star will be Carrie Underwood. Dates have not been set for the star ceremonies, which must be scheduled within two years from the selection date.

Wednesday night the Country Radio Hall of Fame held its annual induction ceremony at the Vanderbilt Marriott in Nashville. In addition to welcoming more than ten country radio personalities and business executives, the organization bestowed their 2017 Artist Career Achievement Award upon Martina McBride.

Known for adding a bit of comedy to his music, superstar and Songwriter Hall of Fame Member Toby Keith is offering up a new single and video June 23rd called "Wacky Tobaccy." And, yes, the song is about the substance you think it is, based on the title. "Wacky tobaccy is a slogan, a saying that's been around forever and no one has ever put it in a song," Toby said. "We recorded it and shot the video in Nashville. We got a cameo from Willie Nelson." The song's chorus: "That old wacky tobaccy, when you feel it creeping up on you/That old wacky tobaccy, kick back and let it do what it do." Toby went on to say in the announcement that that the song "fits in with what we do every night with the party crowd." "Wacky Tobaccy" will be available at all major digital music retailers and services Friday.

Vince Gill performs tonight, June 22nd, as part of the Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman series. The inaugural event took place in 1994 at the then-newly renovated Ryman Auditorium. The first show featured Alison Krauss and the father of bluegrass himself, Bill Monroe. Over the last twenty-plus years, the series has become a Nashville summertime tradition, regularly presenting the biggest names in bluegrass on the very stage where the genre was born back in 1945.

Believe it or not, Josh Turner isn’t the biggest video star in his family. That title would go to his wife Jennifer’s grandmother, Lois Cunningham, who at age 98 completely stole the show simply by tickling the ivories.  Josh and his family treated Ms. Cunningham to a celebration worthy of her century-long tenure. “We went down there and had a big-time shindig for her,” he reveals. “We played a lot of music and ate a lot of food, good clean fun and fellowship and we had good weather for it and everything and she was feeling good, so we had a great time. She was even up there playing several songs on the piano so she’s still doing pretty good for 100.” You can watch the centenarian blow out her candles on Josh’s socials. And if you’d like to see her piano-playing prowess, you can check out her video on YouTube. At last check, it’d been viewed more than ten million times and ranks as the Grand Ole Opry’s fourth most-watched video.

Trisha Yearwood will conduct a keynote Q&A at the Nashville Lifestyles’ 4th Annual Women in Business luncheon on August 10 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville. Trisha was chosen due to her enormous success in business that includes music, cookbooks, line of kitchenware, TV production with her cooking shows, and her two most recent endeavors: a line of food items sold exclusively at Williams-Sonoma, and a signature women’s fragrance.

A record crowd with a peak of nearly 92,000 fans attended the 26th Annual Country Jam -- Colorado’s Biggest Country Music Party. The lineup for the four-day festival which took place June 15-18 included Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Justin Moore, Randy Houser, Chris Young, Old Dominion and more. Florida Georgia Line was announced as next year’s headliner.

Jason Aldean will return to his hometown of Macon, GA for a second Concert for the Kids on Friday, August 11th. After raising more than half a million dollars at last year’s intimate performance, Jason will expand to the 9,000-seat Macon Coliseum this year. “We’re looking forward to getting back to town, kicking things up a couple notches and hopefully raise a huge amount of money for the hospital so that they can continue to grow and serve my hometown community,” said the two-time and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year. All proceeds will once again benefit the Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, which serves as Bibb County’s only dedicated pediatric facility in central Georgia. Tickets go on-sale to the public beginning this Friday, June 23 at 10 AM Eastern on JasonAldean.com or via Ticketmaster.

Jerrod Niemann took to Twitter to announce that he’ll be taking his brand of country music to the Northeast next month. Jerrod noted in a live video that he will be turning the Wilmington, Delaware, Grand Opera House into the “Opry.”

Tonight, Nashvillian and frequent country collaborator Sheryl Crow will headline the annual fundraiser for the Charlottesville, Virginia No Cost Clinic. The concert is the largest fundraiser for the clinic, which serves as the primary treatment provider for more than 3,000 Charlottesville area citizens who do not have access to affordable health care.

Grand Old Opry member, military veteran and avid outdoorsman Craig Morgan will return at the end of this month as host of Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors. This will be the 8th season for Craig as host of the award-winning show which is set to premiere June 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern on the Outdoor Channel.

Country Music Hall-of-Famer Vince Gill says he's absolutely soaring after being chosen by the Eagles to help fill in for the late Glenn Frey at the band's upcoming shows at The Classic West and Classic East festivals next month. Vince tells Rolling Stone that he's "beyond flattered that of all the people who play and sing music," the group's surviving members picked him. Having said that, Vince maintains, "I feel like I'm a great fit. The things I can do and the gifts I've been given really marry well." Vince also points out that having the opportunity to play with the Eagles is bittersweet, because "the only reason I'm getting this chance is because of the sadness that happened to Glenn." In addition to Vince, surviving Eagles Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit will perform with Frey's son Deacon at the two Classic events, taking place July 15 in Los Angeles and July 29 in New York City. "[W]ith Deacon being a part of it, it's the most appropriate thing," Gill notes. "He's blood and he's his son. That's healing in its own." Asked what songs he'll be singing at The Classic events, Vince reveals, "'Lyin' Eyes,' 'New Kid in Town,' 'Take It to the Limit' and 'Heartache Tonight.'"

If Shania Twain’s new single “Life’s About to Get Good” has you wanting more, you’re not the only one. Even the Canadian superstar admits September 29 seems like a long time to wait for her first new album in 15 years. “It’s too far away! I’m so impatient!” she said Friday morning on NBC’s Today show. In addition to the lead single from NOW, Shania also debuted another new song from her fifth studio album -- titled “Swingin’” -- on the show’s Rockefeller Plaza stage. She also treated the crowd to classic hits like “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man, I Feel Like a Woman.” If you missed Shania’s performance, you can check it out online.

If you’re a Shania Twain fan, this is the week you’ve been waiting for! The Canadian superstar’s first new music since 2011’s experimental single, “Today Is Your Day,” debuts on Thursday. You’ll be able to stream or download “Life’s About to Get Good” on Friday. The new track boasts a chorus that’s classic Shania, while the verses candidly address her feelings about her split from longtime producer and husband Mutt Lange. On Wednesday, Shania unveiled the cover art and the release date for her fifth studio album on social media. Titled NOW, the record features a glamorous black-and-white photo of the singer, clad in a black bra and leopard-print gloves that bring to mind her wardrobe from her 1998 “That Don’t Impress Me Much” video. NOW is Shania's first studio album since 2002's Up!.

The stars of CMT’s Nashville sold out the first four shows on their European tour this past weekend in the United Kingdom. Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson and Sam Palladio continue on to Scotland and Ireland before returning to the States. They kick off the U.S. leg of the tour July 23 in Orlando, Florida.

Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels plans to digitally release a new version of Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag” on July 4. He performs this Friday as part of Fox & Friends’ All-American Summer Concert Series.

Charley Pride plays the 2017 Summer NAMM Show Saturday, July 15 at Nashville’s Music City Center. The Country Music Hall of Famer’s new record, Music in My Heart, comes out July 7.

The Judds -- All-Time Greatest Hits will be released June 30. The collection includes twenty of Wynonna and Naomi Judd’s top-ten singles recorded between 1984 and 1990. It also adds their 2011 reunion tune, “You Can’t Go Home Again (Flies on the Butter).”

CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Lee Ann Womack and Americana icon Patty Griffin will set out on a co-headlining tour this summer. The dates start July 22 in Birmingham, Alabama, with tickets going on sale this Friday.

If you’re coming to CMA Music Festival in hopes of seeing Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks, you’ll get your chance Thursday. Garth will do a question-and-answer session starting at 3:30 p.m. CT with his wife and tour mate, Trisha Yearwood. It’ll take place in the 3,500-square-foot HGTV Lodge, located just off 4th Avenue South, near Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The two will also present a check from HGTV to the CMA Foundation, which will go to fund music education. Artists donate their time during CMA Music Festival, with all the proceeds going to help arts programs in public schools.

Soon-to-be Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Alan Jackson will play a free show Saturday in downtown Music City, just before the Nashville Predators’ first home-game of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. The event, called “Broadway Smash: Preds Party with a Purpose,” starts at 3:30 p.m. CT, with Alan set to take the stage at 5th & Broadway at 4:45. While a capacity crowd watches the 7 p.m. game inside Bridgestone Arena, fans outside will also be able to watch it on the big screen. “This is an exciting time for the Predators and the city of Nashville,” Alan says. “As a fan, I’m proud to be included in their road to the Stanley Cup.” Nashville’s hockey team is currently down two games in the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. “Gone Country” hitmaker Jackson will officially join the Hall of Fame’s legendary ranks during a Medallion Ceremony in October.

It's been rumored for a while but now it's official: Vince Gill will perform with The Eagles at this summer's Classic East and Classic West festivals. The news was announced by The Doobie Brothers' Patrick Simmons on ABC's Good Morning America Thursday morning. In addition to Vince, 24-year-old Deacon Frey, son of the late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, will perform with the band. Vince is a friend of the band, having presented them with their Kennedy Center Honor last year.  He and Deacon will share duties on the songs on which Frey sang lead, which include "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "New Kid in Town," "Lyin' Eyes" and many more. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Vince says, "In my mind, I always thought I’d have made a good Eagle, but in a million years, I never would have seen this coming. It’s pretty surreal." He added, "I turned 60 recently, and to get to be a part of this amazing legacy of songs, that’s the greatest part of all this for me." As for 24-year-old Deacon Frey, The Eagles' Don Henley decided to tap him after seeing him perform at his father's memorial service last year. Henley tells the Los Angeles Times, "The primary thing is I think Glenn would be good with it -- with both of these guys. I think he’d go, ‘That’s the perfect way to do this.’” Classic East and Classic West are set to take place July 15 and 16 at Dodger Stadium and July 29 and 30 at Citi Field in New York.  Other bands on the bill include Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Journey, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Sara Evans’ new single is “Marquee Sign,” which features background vocals from her 14-year-old daughter Olivia.

Billy Ray Cyrus has joined the lineup for the 27th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game Saturday, June 10 at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

Chris Stapleton is postponing the next three weeks of concerts on his All-American Road Show tour, and cancelling his June 11 appearance at CMA Music Festival, according to a statement on his website. While the announcement doesn’t explain the reason for the decision, it goes on to advise fans to “hold on to your tickets for now,” as Chris’s team is “working to reschedule” the dates.

The 7th Annual Music City Gives Back benefit for Nashville’s W.O. Smith Music School will now be held Monday, June 5. The show featuring Brett Young, Granger Smith, Kip Moore and Rodney Adkins is part of the shakeup downtown to accommodate the Nashville Predators advancing to hockey’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The concert now serves as the official tailgate party for that night’s game, which will be shown on the stage after the music wraps.

Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley will mark the passing of Gregg Allman with a special performance at next week’s CMT Music Awards. The Southern rock pioneer died last Saturday of complications from liver cancer. Kelsea Ballerini, who's tied for the most nominations with Thomas Rhett and Keith Urban, will take the stage too, as will Little Big Town. They join previously-announced performers TR, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert. Florida Georgia Line will team up with pop duo The Chainsmokers, while Lady A will sing with R&B legends Earth, Wind & Fire, and Keith will duet with Carrie Underwood. You can catch the show, hosted by Nashville’s Charles Esten, at 8 p.m. ET next Wednesday.

Brad Paisley will screen his visual album for Love and War at the Country Music Hall of Fame during this year's CMA Music Festival. The screening for the 62-minute, 16-song movie will take place on Saturday, June 10 at 2 p.m. CT. Seats at the CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you can’t make it to Nashville for the special CMA Music Fest showing, you can check out Brad’s visual masterpiece for a limited time exclusively on Apple Music.  

It’s only been a couple of months since the 52nd ACM Awards, but the Academy of Country Music already has more trophies to hand out.  Eric Church, Kelsea Ballerini and George Strait are just some of the big names who’ll be celebrated at the 11th Annual ACM Honors on Wednesday, August 23 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Eric will get the Merle Haggard Spirit Award, while Kelsea will receive the Gene Weed Milestone honor. King George will be given the Cliffie Stone Icon Award. Dolly Parton will be celebrated for her humanitarian efforts, while former ACM host Reba McEntire will be honored for her service to the Academy. Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and songwriter/author Shel Silverstein will all receive the Poet’s Award, while the TV show Nashville will get the Tex Ritter Film Award. The 11th Annual ACM Honors will air at a later date as a special on CBS, with the night’s performers to be revealed as the evening approaches.

Wade Hayes will release his new album, Old Country Song, on June 9. The 11-track collection includes both covers of classic hits like Merle Haggard’s “Going Where the Lonely Go” and Conway Twitty’s “Julia,” as well as new songs.

Wynonna Judd & the Big Noise have joined the lineup for Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam June 7 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Country Music Hall of Famer Connie Smith and Rhiannon Giddens are just two of the other artists who’ll also take the stage.

The Grand Ole Opry kicks off a busy CMA Music Festival week with two shows on Tuesday, June 6 starring Carrie Underwood, Dustin Lynch and more. Parmalee will crank up the festivities that afternoon with an Opry Plaza Party.

William Michael Morgan will perform and sign autographs starting at 11:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, June 8 in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford Theatre.  This is just one of the Hall’s full slate of events during CMA Music Festival 2017.

As Eric Church rolls into Music City to wrap up his Holdin’ My Own Tour this weekend with two sold-out shows at Bridgestone Arena, he’ll also re-open his popular storefront in East Nashville. No matter where you live, you can preview the pop-up shop Thursday on Facebook Live starting at 11 a.m. CT. The store at 218 South 11th Street will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Customers will be able to check out Eric’s signature Gibson Hummingbird Dark guitar and custom Jack Daniels barrels, as well as exclusive merch not available anywhere else. At this weekend’s shows, Eric will also unveil the new Chattanooga Lucy design in his These Boots by Lucchese line. You’ll be able to take home a pair when the pop-up shop reopens from Thursday, June 8 through Sunday, June 11 during CMA Music Festival. This is the third year in a row for the “Round Here Buzz” singer’s temporary store. Part of the proceeds go to his Chief Cares charity.

Garth Brooks will play Oklahoma City for the first time in 20 years, doing a concert with wife Trisha Yearwood on Saturday, July 15. Tickets for the show at Chesapeake Energy Arena go on sale Friday, June 2.

Jason Aldean already has two girls, and soon he’ll have a baby boy. On Monday, the ACM Entertainer of the Year and his wife Brittany Kerr shared their gender reveal on Instagram. “Today is the day….. what’s it gonna be? Boy or girl!” Jason posted, along with a photo of the couple holding “It’s a girl!” and “It’s a boy!” balloons. He followed up with a video of his whole family popping balloons filled with blue confetti, unveiling the answer. His daughters, 14-year-old Keely and 9-year-old Kendyl, both jumped up and down and squealed with delight, hugging their stepmom and dad. Jason and Brittany announced their pregnancy earlier this month. So far, we don’t know exactly when the baby boy is due.

If things go as planned, Martina McBride fans will be listening to a new holiday album from the four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year this Christmas. Martina heads to Los Angeles to work on the project this Thursday and Friday. “I’m making kind of a big band, swing kind of Christmas album, kind of classic-sounding [with] legendary arranger Patrick Williams,” she tells Billboard. Martina’s 1998 holiday record, White Christmas, has been certified Platinum.

If you can’t wait until next month to hear Shania Twain’s new single, well, it turns out you don’t have to. “It’s been a longggg 15 years but the day has finally arrived!!” the Canadian superstar posted on her socials. “Incredibly excited to share a preview of my new single, ‘Life’s About to Get Good…’” Shania included a one-minute clip of the lead single from her new album, which is due in September. The snippet of “Life’s About to Get Good” is part of a promo for the 2018 Winter Olympics on NBC.  As she mentioned, the fall release will be Shania’s first since Up! came out in November of 2002. It’ll also be her first without her longtime producer and ex-husband Mutt Lange.

Garth Brooks will play four shows at the Forum in Los Angeles starting July 21. He and wife Trisha Yearwood will do Friday and Saturday concerts during the last two weekends of July.  

Billy Ray Cyrus continues to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Achy Breaky Heart” with an appearance on NBC’s Today show next Thursday. You can also download a new reggae take on the song that features Latin star Jencarlos Canela.

Martina McBride will be honored with the 2017 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award Wednesday, June 21 at the Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards in Nashville.
Miranda Lambert
is so passionate about her pups, she’s organizing a march -- and she’s hoping you’ll join her. On Thursday, June 8, the “Tin Man” singer and her beloved rescue dogs will march from Music City’s Nissan Stadium across the Cumberland River to downtown via the Nashville Pedestrian Bridge. Both fans and four-legged friends are invited. All you need to do is register at MuttNationFoundation.com. The MuttNation March will kick off Miranda’s pet adoption drive at CMA’s Fan Fair X inside Music City Center.  If you can’t make it to Nashville, the Texas native is still offering a shot at some one-on-one time while working for her favorite cause. Grand prize in the MuttNation Shelter Day Sweepstakes is a day with Miranda, to be spent making over an animal shelter. You can enter the contest on the foundation's website as well.

George Strait will be honored by the Texas State Legislature as 2017’s State Musician Thursday in Austin.

Craig Morgan, The Swon Brothers, Jessie James and Eric Decker, Jackie Lee, Property BrothersDrew Scott and Todd, Savannah and Chase Chrisley from Chrisley Knows Best are the latest additions to this year’s City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game. It takes place Saturday, June 10 at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. Brenda Lee, Lee Greenwood and Jeannie Seely are set to do play-by-play.

Craig Campbell and Parmalee star in the new Outside Tracks special, which premieres next Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Outdoor Channel.

After a huge response to its six-city run this summer, the Outlaw Music Festival Tour will be hitting the road again in the fall. The touring version of the festival that started last year in Scranton, Pennsylvania includes superstars like Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Eric Church, as well as Americana favorites like The Avett Brothers, Margo Price and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, plus many more. “We had such a blast launching and playing last year’s Outlaw Music Festival… we had to take it out on the road,” Willie says. The fall leg kicks off September 8 in Holmdel, New Jersey, and wraps up September 17 in Camden, New Jersey, with additional cities and dates to be added. You can find the full details at OutlawMusicFest.com.
Garth Brooks
is on track to quadruple his sales record for Lafayette, Louisiana, which he set in 1992 at the Cajundome. He’ll return for five shows there with Trisha Yearwood starting June 23.

Billy Currington has joined the lineup for next Tuesday’s “Georgia on My Mind” benefit at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Lauren Alaina, Chris Janson, Kip Moore, Michael Ray and more are also on the bill for the show, which will help raise money for the Georgia Music Foundation.

Martina McBride is heading back into the studio to work on new music, but today, she's also celebrating the 25th anniversary of her country music career. The Time Has Come, the debut album by the four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, was released a quarter-century ago today, on May 12, 1992. “Most artists hope for a good solid ten years in this business,” Martina reflects. “To think I have been doing what I love for 25 years and still get to do it is more than I dreamed and a great testament to my fans. They are what has enabled me to be around this long and I’m very grateful." The Kansas native’s most recent album, Reckless, came out in April of last year.  There's no timetable for her next project.

While it’s easy to see that Chris Stapleton’s wife, Morgane, is an integral part of his sound, what many may not realize is that in the middle of touring together, the two are also raising two little ones, a son and a daughter. When it comes to motherhood, Chris gives Morgane high marks, although he points out she’s no pushover. “She's a great mother. Just like she is with all people, she's kind and generous with her time…” he says. “She'll make you toe the line, too,” he adds. “But all great moms are that way.” As for the part Morgane plays in his success, Chris says he’s not kidding himself. “I'm thoroughly convinced that sixty to seventy-five percent of the people would not come to the show if they didn't think that she was gonna be up there with me,” he laughs. Chris’s sophomore album, From A Room:  Volume 1, which prominently features Morgane, was just released last Friday.

Sara Evans will host an album preview party for fans, in advance of the release of Words on July 21. Tickets for the June 7 event at Nashville’s City Winery are on sale now.

Jennifer Nettles joins with Band Against Cancer later this month to raise awareness for the cause through a new concert special on AXS TV. Taped at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater, the performance finds Jennifer delivering her Sugarland mainstays “Baby Girl” and “Want To,” as well as her hit with Bon Jovi, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” The Georgia native also offers “Hey Heartbreak” and “Salvation Works” from her latest solo album, Playing with Fire.   Sarah Cannon, the cancer treatment arm of HCA named for the comedian who brought Minnie Pearl to life, started the Band Against Cancer movement to help educate the public about resources and treatment. It’s also currently sponsoring Brad Paisley’s Weekend Warrior Tour. Jennifer Nettles Live -- Band Against Cancer premieres Sunday, May 28 at 8 p.m. ET on AXS TV.

“Asphalt Cowboy” is now more than just a song on Jason Aldean’s self-titled debut album from 2005: It’s the title of his upcoming exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Jason Aldean:  Asphalt Cowboy” will open May 26 and run through November 5, and it promises plenty of rare memorabilia from the two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year. Items in the exhibit trace Jason’s life from his childhood rocking horse to his first guitar, given to him by his father. Continuing on, it offers a glimpse of his high school band, the Young Guns, and features a poster commemorating one of his first big milestones: opening for fellow Georgia native Trisha Yearwood in the late nineties. “To look around the space and see my personal heroes and artists who helped shape country music is a surreal feeling,” Jason says of the Hall of Fame. “To be a part of a legacy like this really is a dream come true.” Jason is also continuing his legacy in other ways. Just this week, he announced he and his wife Brittany Kerr are expecting their first baby together.

For the first time in 21 years, Garth Brooks will play the Forum in Los Angeles. Tickets for the Saturday, July 29 concert with Trisha Yearwood go on sale Friday, May 19.  

Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill helped Metro Nashville Mayor Megan Barry proclaim May 10 as Ryman Auditorium Day Wednesday morning at the historic venue. This year, the former church celebrates its 125th anniversary.

Miranda Lambert is dipping her toe into the movie business. She’s set to write an original song and be the executive music producer for the new comedy Something in the Water, which is expected to shoot in Nashville later this year. The movie centers around a group of women who challenge the men in their lives to a bass fishing competition. Miranda’s longtime music video collaborator, Trey Fanjoy, co-wrote the script and will direct as well.  The film's being described as Bridesmaids meets Steel Magnolias. Fanjoy directed Miranda’s very first music video and many others, including the CMA-winning “The House that Built Me.” “Strong, amazing women are at the heart of this story and they’re also at the center of this film creatively…” Fanjoy tells Deadline.com. So far there’s no word on when Something in the Water will make it to the big screen.

The Grand Ole Opry will honor the veterans of Desert Storm on Tuesday, May 23. Chris Young, Trace Adkins, Terri Clark, the Charlie Daniels Band and more will participate in the annual Salute the Troops Opry performance.

Don Williams in Ireland: The Gentle Giant in Concert will be released as a limited edition CD and DVD package this Friday.

In 2018, the Grammy Awards will be held in New York City for the first time in 15 years. Normally, the awards show is held in L.A., but since this is the Grammys' 60th Anniversary, something special was called for.  The show will be broadcast live on both coasts from New York's Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28 at 7:30 pm. ET/4:30 p.m. PT  on CBS.

Keep a good thought for Loretta Lynn.  The 85-year-old country music legend is recovering from a stroke she suffered Thursday. A statement on Lynn's official website declares, "American country music legend Loretta Lynn was admitted into a hospital in Nashville last night after she suffered a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She is currently under medical care and is responsive and expected to make a full recovery." The statement goes on to say Lynn "has been advised by her doctors to stay off the road while she is recuperating. Regrettably, upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed." Lynn was the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award, in 1972, and remains the most awarded female artist in country music history.  She's a member of the Country Music, Gospel Music and Songwriters Halls of Fame, and President Barack Obama awarded Lynn the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. 

This week, close to 900 victims of last November’s East Tennessee wildfires were set to receive their final check from Dolly Parton’s My People Fund. But instead of delivering the $1000 they were expecting, Dolly surprised each of the Sevier County families with a check for $5000. The entertainment icon acknowledges she was only able to be so generous thanks to the overwhelming support of her Smoky Mountains Rise telethon in December. “I want to thank… the thousands of people from all over the country who opened both their pocketbooks and their hearts to help us,” Dolly says. Starting last December, the Dollywood Foundation issued checks for $1000 a month to victims whose primary residences were destroyed by the wildfires. “I know $10,000 can’t solve everything,” Dolly adds, “but I do hope the money will help them to dream again.” Now, the remaining money from the My People Fund will transition to the new Mountain Tough Recovery Team, which will continue to help Sevier County wildfire victims. The Dollywood Foundation plans to give at least $3 million to the effort, which starts June 1 and will be in place for three years. You can find out more or make a donation at MountainTough.org.

After selling out four June concerts at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetroPark in Billings, Montana, Garth Brooks plans to add one more show. Look for the details to be released on Monday. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will spotlight Ricky Skaggs’ more-than-half-century career Saturday, May 13 with a special interview and performance in the Ford Theater. You’ll be able to stream the 3 p.m. ET event on the Hall’s website.

Both Trace Adkins and Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Kris Kristofferson star in this summer’s new feature film Hickok, based on the life of “Wild BillHickok. In the western, Kristofferson plays the mayor of Abilene, Kansas, who makes the notorious outlaw the town marshal in an effort to restore order. Trace is a saloon owner who leads a band of renegades and also puts a bounty on Hickok’s head. Westworld’s Luke Hemsworth stars as Hickok. The movie will be released simultaneously July 7 in theaters and on-demand. You can check out the trailer for Hickok on YouTube.

Country Music Hall-of-Famer Vince Gill is featured on a new version of Bette Midler’s hit “The Rose,” with its composer, singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom.

Garth Brooks will play Lafayette, Louisiana for the first time in a quarter-century on Saturday, June 24. Tickets for the show at the Cajundome with Trisha Yearwood go on sale Friday, May 12.

Friday may be Cinco de Mayo, but for Dolly Parton, the focus will be on mountains instead of margaritas. The entertainment icon from East Tennessee returns to her beloved hometown this weekend to help kick off the first tourist season since the area was devastated by wildfires last winter. Starting at 11 a.m., Dolly will greet guests at the grand opening of her new Smoky Mountain Adventures dinner attraction and show. You can tune in to watch the festivities on Facebook. Then, on Friday night at 6 p.m., Dolly will once again be Grand Marshall for the 32nd Annual Homecoming Parade given in her honor. Fifty thousand people typically line the parade route each year to catch a glimpse of the music legend.

You can experience the moment when Dierks Bentley reunites two sons with their dad, thanks to a new video just posted to YouTube. The emotional reunion took place Saturday backstage during Dierks’ meet-and-greet before his show in Fresno, California. The “Black” hitmaker was visiting with the boys, when their dad, Sgt. Steven Mendez, appeared from around the corner. Mendez had been stationed overseas for nearly a year. “I can’t begin to imagine the sacrifice of being away from your family for sometimes years,” Dierks admits. Later during the concert, Dierks invited the Mendez family onstage as he sang his hit “Home.” The crowd’s chants of “U-S-A” echoed throughout the arena. “I love the fact that country music fans hold our military and their families in such high regard and always jump at the chance to say thank you,” Dierks says. “It was a really cool moment in the show, and a really special thing for me to be part of.”

Next Monday night, Blake Shelton will remind both his competitors and his allies why he’s the winningest coach in the history of NBC’s The Voice. Blake will perform the fourth single from If I’m Honest, his current top-20 hit, “Every Time I Hear That Song.” You can catch Monday’s two-hour edition of the show starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The following night, hot country phenom Maren Morris will stop by to sing her latest release, “I Could Use a Love Song.” Tuesday’s one-hour installment of The Voice starts at 8 p.m. ET as well.

Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins, Tracy Lawrence and the Oak Ridge Boys are set to play a special Thursday night edition of the Grand Ole Opry during CMA Music Festival. Tickets for the June 8 performance go on sale this Friday.  

If you’ve ever wanted to hear “Achy Breaky Heart” in Spanish, now is your chance. To commemorate both the song’s 25th anniversary and Cinco de Mayo, Billy Ray Cyrus has re-recorded the tune with Mexican band Caballo Dorado. The new version is available digitally now.

Now that Justin Moore and Lee Brice have completed 31 shows on their American Made tour, played for more than 120,000 fans, and helped introduce thousands to hot newcomers Brett Young and William Michael Morgan, they can turn their attention to more pressing concerns: the babies both singers' wives are expecting. Lee, his wife Sara and his sons Takoda and Ryker will welcome a little girl sometime this summer.  Justin and his wife Kate have three daughters --  Ella, Kennedy and Rebecca -- and they’re opting to let the sex of their new arrival be a surprise, with baby #4 due sometime in June.

Chris Young will debut his new single, “Losing Sleep,” on May 12. It’s the lead release from his follow-up to 2015’s I’m Comin’ Over.

Billy Ray Cyrus is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Achy Breaky Heart” by releasing a new version of his signature song that features Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap on piano.

It was Martina McBride who had a huge hit with “This One’s for the Girls,” but that’s also very much the theme of the new album from Sara Evans. Sara’s debut project on her own Born to Fly Records will be called Words, and will feature cuts from 14 different female songwriters, including Ashley Monroe, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Sara herself, and many more. It’s worth noting that Hillary had a hand in writing Sara’s most recent #1, 2010’s “A Little Bit Stronger.” “Not only is ‘Words’ the title to one of the songs…” Sara says, “but… I was always looking for lyrics that moved me and expressed a powerful range of emotions. Women are natural storytellers and I’m proud to have so many amazing female songwriters represented on this record.” The Missouri native’s 14-year-old daughter, Olivia, also contributes background vocals on the album. Words is set to be released July 21.

Brad Paisley and Rock-and-Roll Hall-of-Famer John Fogerty recently shot the music video for their new song “Love and War” aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier in San Diego, California. The West Virginia native teamed up with the former Creedence Clearwater Revival lead singer to make a statement about how the U.S. treats its servicemen and women. "I think the message is, really, 'We can do better,'” Brad tells Entertainment Tonight. “We can do a lot better when it comes to taking care of veterans. I don't think there's anyone who would disagree with that…It feels like we should be giving these people the moon! They should be getting anything they need from us." Brad felt like Fogerty was the perfect collaborator for the song, since he served in the Army Reserve in the '60s. "I wasn't shipped to Vietnam, but… I had my eye on that all the way through," the rock legend says. "We send people off do this great service for us and possibly die, but when they come home, we don't treat them very well,” he adds. “That's what we wanted to express in the song -- we need to do something about that." The duet is the title track on Brad’s new album, Love and War, which was just released on Friday.

Charlie Worsham’s sophomore recording, Beginning of Things, is available now. The video for the album’s first single, “Cut Your Groove,” premiered on CMT this weekend.

The new album from Statler Brothers’ tenor Jimmy Fortune is now available nationally at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. Jimmy Fortune: Sings the Classics features a guest appearance by Ricky Skaggs.

Chris Stapleton paid tribute to George Jones on his multi-platinum Traveller album by covering his classic “Tennessee Whiskey,” and now on his sophomore effort, he’s tipping his hat to Willie Nelson. Willie went to #2 in 1982 with “Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning,” and Stapleton offers his take on the tune on his new album, From A Room:  Volume 1, which comes out May 5. You can listen to Chris’s version in an audio-only clip on YouTube, or you can instantly download the track if you pre-order the album.

Both Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs will be on hand next Tuesday for the grand opening of the Gallery of Iconic Guitars on the campus of Nashville’s Belmont University. The museum is made up of mainly 20th century American-made guitars and mandolins, and will be open to the public inside the Lila D. Bunch Library.

Johnny Lee, who scored a #1 hit in 1980 with the Urban Cowboy tune, “Lookin’ for Love,” has just published his autobiography, appropriately titled Still Lookin’ for Love.

Chris Stapleton first premiered his new song, “Broken Halos,” last December on Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise telethon to help victims of the East Tennessee wildfires. Now, it’s also the first studio track you can hear from the Kentucky native’s forthcoming sophomore album. You can check out an audio-only version of the opening song on From A Room: Volume 1 on YouTube, or you can instantly download the track by pre-ordering the follow-up to Traveller. The new album is due May 5, with a second set also recorded at historic RCA Studio A following later in 2017. Look for the project’s lead single, “Either Way,” in the coming weeks.

Brad Paisley shot the video for the new song, “Heaven South,” Saturday in Franklin. It’s one of the tunes on his Love and War album, which comes out on Friday.

Both Martina McBride and Crystal Gayle joined Loretta Lynn on stage Friday night, as the Country Music Hall of Famer celebrated her 85th birthday with a concert at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

Thursday evening in Music City, Trisha Yearwood became the final celebrity to come face-to-face with her double, before the opening of Madame Tussauds Nashville. Dressed almost identically to her wax likeness, the two-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year inspected her carefully crafted facsimile before wielding a pair of giant scissors to open Nashville’s newest tourist attraction. “This is my first ribbon-cutting ever!” Trisha exclaimed after performing her duties. The first Madame Tussauds to ever focus solely on music, the Nashville location includes legends you might expect like Hank Williams Sr., Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, as well as non-country celebs like Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce. Modern-day hitmakers like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood also are represented. Notably absent from the figures are entertainment icon Dolly Parton, as well as Trisha’s Entertainer-of-the-Year husband, Garth Brooks. Madame Tussauds Nashville will officially welcome its first paying customers on Friday.

Now that the battle rounds of The Voice -- which feature each coach receiving help from a mentor -- are over, get ready for the "super mentor."  For the last few seasons, The Voice has brought in a superstar to work with the Top 12 as a "key adviser," and this year, it's Shania Twain. Shania will appear on the April 24th episode of The Voice to work with the Top 12 during the final live-show phase of the competition.  Next week's show will feature the remaining contestants competing to actually make it into the Top 12. Past "key advisers" have included Taylor Swift, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Miley Cyrus, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Pink, Rihanna, and Dolly Parton.

Loretta Lynn celebrates her 85th birthday this weekend with two sold-out shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.  And as further proof she has no plans to slow down, the Country Music Hall of Famer is also readying a brand new album for release this summer. Wouldn’t It Be Great will be the third in a series of recordings Loretta's made at Cash Cabin and it's produced by the Man in Black’s son John Carter Cash, as well as Loretta’s daughter Patsy Lynn Russell. The living legend wrote or co-wrote 12 of the project’s songs, and arranged the remaining track: the traditional “Lulie Vars.” The set includes new compositions like “Ruby’s Stool,” “Ain’t No Time to Go,” and “I’m Dying for Someone to Live For,” as well as new recordings of trademark hits like “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’.” Loretta previously recorded the title track on her 1993 Honky Tonk Angels album with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette.

Zac Brown Band’s Jimmy De Martini and his wife Stacey welcomed their fourth child on Tuesday, their first daughter, named Jonelle. She joins big brothers James, Joseph and Jackson.

Ty Herndon will put on his second Concert for Love & Acceptance Thursday, June 8 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. CMT’s Cody Alan will emcee the benefit for at-risk youth.

Toby Keith will host his 14th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic June 2-3 at Belmar Golf Club and Riverwood Casino in Norman, Oklahoma. Last year, the event raised more than a million dollars for Toby’s foundation, which helps fund Oklahoma City's OK Kids Korral, a free home-away-from-home for kids who are undergoing treatment, as well as their families.

Charlie Worsham will celebrate the release of his new album beginning of things Monday, April 24, with an invitation-only party at Nashville’s Station Inn. Worsham’s sophomore effort is due April 21.

For CMA Music Festival 2017, the Country Music Association is adding a new, free daytime stage to the schedule of events that'll take over downtown Nashville from June 8-11. The new venue will be located in the greenspace on the Riverfront near Ascend Amphitheater. It will be called the “Forever Country” Park Stage, in a nod to the CMA’s history-making video that recently won an ACM award. The “Forever Country” stage will focus on country hitmakers from the past few decades like The Bellamy Brothers, Mark Chesnutt, Exile, Ty Herndon, Tracy Lawrence, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Lonestar, Restless Heart, Shenandoah, Mark Wills, and Darryl Worley, among others. Performances will kick off at 11 a.m. daily, wrapping up with the final one at 4:45, to give fans time to make it across the Cumberland for the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium.

Reba McEntire is set to headline the 20th anniversary fundraiser for Nashville’s Thistle Farms. Titled “Love Letters,” the May 3 event at Music City’s Ryman Auditorium will support the two-decade-old organization that works to heal, empower and employ women who are survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction. Jason Isbell and Nashville legend John Prine are on the bill as well.  Tickets are on sale now at ThistleFarms.org.

Chris Lane, Frankie Ballard, RaeLynn and William Michael Morgan all will be featured in upcoming concert specials on AT&T’s AUDIENCE Network. While the exact airdates have yet to be announced, the shows will air Fridays at 9 p.m. ET.

Willie Nelson will headline this summer’s Outlaw Music Festival, with Bob Dylan, The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, and many others joining him for the first leg of shows, which kick off July 1 in New Orleans.

Country Music Hall of Famer Jeff Cook will come off the road with Alabama at the end of the month, after revealing that he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past four years. “This disease robs you of your coordination, your balance, and causes tremors,” the original member of the legendary band told USA Today. “For me, it has made it extremely frustrating to try and play guitar, fiddle or sing… I’m not calling it quits but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it’s time to take a break and heal.” Cook first noticed a problem when he had trouble accurately casting his fishing line, and then his struggle progressed to playing the guitar. Even though Jeff will be coming off the road, he’s insisted that his cousins continue. “He wants us to go on,” lead singer Randy Owen says. “We want the music to go on. I’m going to be very honest. I don’t know if I have the fire. The only way I do, is knowing that Jeff is totally, ‘Go get it.’” Cook will play a fan event, as well as a May 27 show in Orange Beach, Alabama. Beyond that, he plans to drop in on the band’s shows as he’s able. Both Owen and Teddy Gentry hold out hope he’ll someday be able to return to regular performances with Alabama.

Eric Church is the latest in a long line of country stars to come face-to-face with their doubles, thanks to the opening of the new Madame Tussauds in Nashville. Eric met his lookalike wax figure backstage at his recent sold-out show at L.A.’s Staples Center. “I’ve seen figures before so I knew it would be realistic but the details are unbelievable, even the veins match,” Eric observed. “To see yourself like that is crazy -- I’m speechless.” Eric’s wax figure will take its place alongside remarkable likenesses of Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and more, when Madam Tussauds Nashville opens at Opry Mills on April 14.

The Music Business Association will give Reba McEntire its Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement May 18 at its luncheon in Nashville. Maren Morris will be honored as its Breakthrough Artist.