Country News

Award-winning country artist Moe Bandy will be a guest on Hallmark's, nationally televised morning show, "Home & Family" tomorrow morning, February 22, at 9 AM CT

Bandy will speak on his recently released autobiography that's appropriately titled in favor of his hit track and album of the same name, Lucky Me. Detailing his famous friendships with other country stars as well as with President George W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush who wrote the book's foreword, everyone's favorite rodeo clown will open up about his 40+ years in the limelight. The episode will re-air this Friday, February 23 at 11 AM CT.

Toby Keith is celebrating the silver anniversary of his very first hit with a 2018 tour. The Should’ve Been a Cowboy Tour XXV marks a quarter-century since the Oklahoma native’s debut single -- and first #1  -- was released. The trek kicks off April 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

With a collection of critically acclaimed gold and platinum albums to his credit, as well as CMA Awards and Grammys, Chris Stapleton says his philosophy of making records is actually pretty simple. “I heard Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, I read an interview with him one time,” Chris explains, “where he said he always just tried to make music that he would want to listen to. And I think that is the best litmus test for what you want to record or make. And I'm a fan of albums too, so I always like things that kind of work together in a pot.” This week, the Kentucky native is also enjoying his biggest radio hit so far, as “Broken Halos” ascends into the top five. While Chris welcomes the success, he admits he’s not terribly competitive when it comes to airplay. “Am I necessarily chasing somebody else?” he asks. “No, because I'm not somebody else and any attempt on my part to be somebody else would be not only not genuine, but it just wouldn't work, because it's not me.” “So I hope that I can have some radio success,” he continues. “I hope that radio stations decide to play some things off this record. But I don't make records thinking about how it will play out that way, just like I don't make records thinking about awards or anything like that. I just don't think that's a healthy thing to do.” “Broken Halos” is the latest single from the gold-certified From A Room: Volume 1, which won the CMA award for Album of the Year in November.

The Nashville Ballet has joined forces with John Carter Cash and several local musicians to honor the late Johnny Cash during the 2018 Ballet Ball. Musicians set to take part in the production include Sheryl Crow, Ronnie DunnJamey JohnsonBill Miller, and Devin Dawson. Dancers will perform portions of Under the Lights, a production that debuted in 2014 and features the country legend's songs, as each musician puts his or her unique rendition on Cash's material. The ball will be held at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center on March 3. While the ball is invitation only, fans can purchase a ticket to the Ballet Ball Late Party for $175 for a seat to the show. For more information, visit nashvilleballet.com.

Brothers Osborne are the faces of Frye's new Hometown Pride campaign. The American footwear company celebrates its 155th anniversary this year and aims to highlight local talent through the new campaign, which will include candid images of the country duo. “Frye is a company deeply rooted in our country's history. Not to mention the undeniable style and quality,” Brothers Osborne say in a statement. The new partnership will include special sweepstakes where fans can win a trip to New York City to meet the band and attend their Mountain High tour with Dierks Bentley.  There will also be in-store events, including a first listen of the band's forthcoming new album, Port Saint Joe. Vinyl copies of the album will be sold at a selection of Frye stores beginning on April 20, the day the project arrives.

Willie Nelson may have been forced to take January and February off to recover from the flu, but that’s not affecting his studio output. His new album, Last Man Standing, is set to be released April 27, just two days before his 85th birthday. The all-new collection is made up of eleven tracks Willie co-wrote with his longtime collaborator and producer, Buddy Cannon, who’s also well-known for his work with Kenny Chesney. The first single is the record’s title track, “Last Man Standing.” Much as he did on his 2017 album, Willie continues to deal with his own mortality, singing “I don’t want to be the last man standing -- but wait a minute, maybe I do.” The tune also references the passing of his friends Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Merle Haggard and writer/producer Norro Wilson. You can check out “Last Man Standing” via a new music video shot in the recording studio.

Cole Swindell launches his Reason To Drink Tour tonight in Pennsylvania. In addition to the tour, which runs through April, the country singer says new music is on the way. “I have spent four years touring with and having a front row seat learning from the very best entertainers in country music, including three multi-year Entertainers of the Year!” Cole says in a statement. “I am so excited to have new music coming VERY soon and launching my first headlining tour tonight." Cole has amassed seven number-one singles throughout his career as an artist and 10 chart toppers as a songwriter. His latest #1 hit, "Flatliner," features Dierks Bentley.

Shania Twain is the subject of a new docudrama set to air on the REELZ Channel this Sunday, February 18. Part of The Price of Fame series, the hour-long show will give viewers an intimate perspective on the country singer's rags-to-riches story. Ashla Taylor portrays Shania in the show, and tells Billboard that the singer has been a constant inspiration throughout her life.  The Price of Fame: Shania Twain, focuses on the singer's journey, including her highs and lows. Ashla adds that it was natural for her to fall into Shania's character. "It started as a musical thing, and when I got to really know her story, it became personal," she adds. "I kept telling myself over the years that if Shania can overcome, then I can too. I really hope to meet her one of these days, and tell her that it was because of her that I could do this.”

The Price of Fame: Shania Twain, airs Sunday, February 18 at 8PM Central on REELZ.

Trace Adkins is the new voice of Farmer Boys. The country singer will lend his distinct baritone to the restaurant chain's latest TV commercials under the slogan, Farm Food Ain't Fast Food.

Beloved Grand Ole Opry staples and Grammy-winning band Riders in the Sky will celebrate 40 years together this year with the release of their 41st album. The country outfit will unveil 40 Years the Cowboy Way on April 13.

Blake Shelton is giving back to his hometown, to the tune of $50,000. People’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive raised the money this past weekend, playing shows at Ole Red Tishomingo. Blake runs the restaurant and bar in Oklahoma with Ryman Hospitality Properties, who are also helping out with the donation. The money will go to add new water features and improve the splash pad at a local park.  “It’s always fun to play your hometown,” Blake says, “and now that we have Ole Red in Tishomingo, we can pop up and play anytime. We played a lot of music, had fun and raised money for Pennington Park! Now that’s a good time!” The city of Tishomingo hopes the improvements will be finished by the time the park opens for the season in May. Meanwhile, Blake kicks off his Country Music Freaks Tour Thursday night in Tulsa, with Brett Eldredge, Trace Adkins and Carly Pearce.

Cole Swindell will be hangin’ with his NASCAR buddies this spring in North Carolina. The “Stay Downtown” singer will headline a 70-minute show May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He’ll also co-host the driver introductions before the NASCAR All-Star Race. “I’m pumped…” the Georgia native says. “I’ve been a fan of NASCAR for so long, I can’t believe I’ll actually be part of the day’s activities. It will be great to see all my driver friends and cheer them on in person.” Cole is a particular favorite of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who asked him to play his retirement party in December. Admission to Cole’s May 19 show is included with a ticket to the race.  For $20 more, you can upgrade to stage-front access.

Sara Evans, RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr kicked off the 4th annual CMT Next Women of Country tour with a sold-out show Monday night in New York City. Look for Sara to guest on the syndicated Pickler & Ben on Thursday.

Millie Mercy Bowles joined the extended Zac Brown Band family on Monday. She’s the second daughter of ZBB’s Coy Bowles and his wife Kylie.

The new Glen Campbell collection Amazing Grace: 14 Hymns and Gospel Favorites will be released February 23 as part of the Gaither Gospel Series.

Brett Eldredge's "I Wanna Be That Song," Midland's "Drinkin' Problem” have recently been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Lee Ann Womack, Randy Rogers Band and Jackie Lee will play "An Evening of Acoustic Country Music Benefiting Music People in Need" April 24 at AJ's Good Time Bar in Nashville. Proceeds will go to MusiCares, the charitable arm of The Recording Academy, which hands out the Grammys.

Singer-songwriter Daryle Singletary, whose stone-country vocals paired with unapologetically traditional tunes earned him a string of hits in the mid-Nineties, including "I Let Her Lie" and "Too Much Fun," died Monday morning at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee, east of Nashville. An official cause of death has yet to be determined. Singletary was 46.

Born in Cairo, Georgia, Singletary, whose father was a postmaster and mother a hairdresser, performed gospel music in his youth alongside his brother and cousins. Relocating to Nashville in 1990, Singletary played local clubs and signed a deal with independent Evergreen Records in 1992, issuing a pair of singles. Members of Randy Travis' band heard the singer and, at their urging, Travis would soon align himself with Singletary, co-producing his debut LP for Giant Records in 1995. The album generated his first hits, "I'm Living Up to Her Low Expectations," followed by the Number Two single "I Let Her Lie," and a second Top Five tune, "Too Much Fun." A year later, he released his best-charting hit, "Amen Kind of Love." In 2002, he recorded what would be his last Top 30 hit, "The Note," delivering a chilling cover of a song previously cut by Conway Twitty, as well as Tammy Wynette.

Singletary's devotion of the traditional sound endeared him not only to the general public but to fellow artists with whom he would collaborate, releasing various projects that teamed him with George Jones and Johnny Paycheck, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs, John Anderson and Vince Gill. His most recent LP was 2017's American Grandstand, a duets collection with bluegrass legend Rhonda Vincent.

"There are still people out there who want to hear traditional country music," Singletary is quoted as saying on his official website. "I've been fortunate to be able to always keep it real and not have to compromise."

Singletary, who was also an avid hunter, is survived by his wife, Holly; two sons, Jonah and Mercer; two daughters, Nora and Charlotte; his parents, Roger and Anita Singletary; and brother Kevin Singletary.

You should soon start seeing Jon Pardi’s picture on more than three million cans of Dr. Pepper. It’s all part of a promotion to send two fans on a VIP trip to the ACM Awards in Las Vegas. You can enter online or by text, with all the details at PepsiMidAmerica.com/JonPardi. The lucky winner will get two tickets to the 53rd Annual ACM Awards, as well as airfare, two nights at a hotel, and a private meet-and-greet with Jon. The 2018 ACMs will be handed out Sunday, April 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Jon is the reigning ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year, as well as the CMA New Artist of the Year.

Trace Adkins heads out on the Country Music Freaks Tour with Blake Shelton on February 15, and next month, you’ll also be able to catch Trace on the big screen. The “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” hitmaker co-stars in the new movie, I Can Only Imagine, alongside Dennis Quaid and Cloris Leachman. The film reveals the backstory of MercyMe’s Bart Millard, and how he came to write the double-platinum Christian single which gives the movie its title. I Can Only Imagine opens March 16. You can check out the trailer now on YouTube.

Luke Bryan, Toby Keith and Zac Brown Band are set to headline the Carolina Country Music Fest taking place June 7-10 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with more acts still to be announced.

The Mountain may be the name for Dierks Bentley’s forthcoming ninth album, but he’s turning to the desert as inspiration for his new fashion line. The Arizona native is launching his new clothing collection, Desert Son, both in stores and online this month. Dierks created the clothes along with his longtime stylist, Annie Psaltiras, in partnership with the Flag & Anthem brand. The spring collection is mostly men’s items: vintage-washed tees, raglans, hoodies and hats, but there are a handful of women’s tees as well. By summer and fall, Desert Son will expand to include button-downs, knit tops, denim and jackets.
You can check out Dierks’ new designs at Dillard’s, Buckle and Von Maur stores, or online at FlagAndAnthem.com.

The new Johnny Cash project, Forever Words, won’t be out until April 6, but you can sample the innovative album now, thanks to the track “Gold All over the Ground,” which is also on Brad Paisley’s Love and War record. Forever Words was produced by John Carter Cash, the only son of the Man in Black and June Carter Cash. To create the project, John Carter and a diverse group of artists took his father’s lyrics, poetry and letters and turned them into songs. "I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with Dad,” John Carter says. “It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that Dad would have wanted." The album begins with Kris Kristofferson reciting the last poem Johnny ever wrote, as Willie Nelson plays the classic “I Still Miss Someone” on guitar. Both were close friends of Cash. Husband-and-wife Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly perform “To June This Morning,” which grew out of a letter Johnny wrote to his wife. John Carter’s stepsisters Rosanne Cash and Carlene Carter contribute “The Walking Wounded” and “June’s Sundown,” respectively. The record also included the first studio recording in six years from Alison Krauss and Union Station, the track, “The Captain’s Daughter.” You can check out a trailer about the making of Forever Words now on YouTube.

Garth Brooks was named the first-ever inductee to the Live Music Hall of Fame, a new initiative of Pollstar -- the trade publication for the concert industry.  The announcement was made at the Pollstar Live! conference in Los Angeles on Thursday.  “It’s a total shock and quite an honor,” Garth said in his acceptance

Vince Gill revealed his own story of sexual abuse as a child before he performed at the Ryman Auditorium as part of Universal Music Group Nashville's CRS showcase in Nashville Tuesday afternoon. Prefacing "Forever Changed," a song about a woman dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse, he told the audience that the track was inspired by a similar situation he faced in middle school. “Maybe this song came from a personal experience for me. I was in seventh grade and a young, dumb kid,” he said. “I had a gym teacher that acted inappropriately towards me and was trying to do things that I didn’t know what the hell was going on.” He continued, “I was just fortunate that I got up and I ran. I just jumped up and I ran. I don’t know why. I don’t think I ever told anybody my whole life. Even what’s been going on has been giving me a little bit of courage to speak up too.” While Vince wrote "Forever Changed" several years ago, he decided to debut it at the famed venue in light of the #MeToo movement, and dedicated "Forever Changed" to those suffering in pain following sexual assault.

Jamey Johnson has announced his 2018 North American tour. The country singer hits the road beginning February 11 in Florida and will travel throughout the country, wrapping the tour on July 29.

Steve Earle has booked a 2018 tour in support of his classic album Copperhead Road's 30th anniversary. The singer will kick off his tour on March 16 in Arkansas; the stint runs through April 15. For tickets, visit his official website.

Chris Young recently notched his tenth career number-one hit with "Losing Sleep," which is why he wanted to do something special to celebrate. Tuesday night, during Sony Music Nashville's CRS showcase at the CMA Hall of Fame Theater in Nashville, he revealed some major charitable plans. "One of the things that I did when I first got started was I looked for a charity that I loved," he told the audience. "Once I got signed, I realized that a big part of country music and country radio, one of the charities that you lift up, was the same one: St. Jude." He added, "The fact that this is my tenth #1, on behalf of country radio I'm going to donate $10,000 to St. Jude." "Losing Sleep" is Chris' fourth consecutive #1 single and the title track of his latest album.

Vince Gill and Amy Grant are set to return to Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium in 2018 for their annual Christmas shows. This year, the couple will be breaking their previous record of playing 10 nights and extending their holiday residency to 12 concert dates. The duo's 12 Nights of Christmas at the Ryman residency begins on Nov. 28. They're set to perform on Nov 29, Dec. 5-6,  Dec. 12-13, Dec. 16-20 and Dec. 23. Tickets for the concerts cost between $35-$135 and go on sale Friday, February 9, at 10 a.m. via ryman.com.

Garth Brooks has played his fair share of concert venues over the years but the country legend had never performed on Nashville's famed Lower Broadway -- that is until last night. On Monday evening (Feb. 5), Garth was in Nashville as part of the annual Country Radio Seminar and after surprising an audience at the Omni Hotel when he popped on stage to join Jason Aldean for two songs, he decided to bring the party to Broadway. Garth and his band took the stage at Layla's where he performed a slew of his hits including "Ain't Going Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)" and "Two of a Kind Working on a Full House." Even the country superstar found it hard to believe that it was his first time playing the honky tonk: "First time on Broadway and it was AWESOME!!! I LOVE this town #Nashville!!!!" he shared alongside two photos on Twitter.

Chris Stapleton continues to break records and this time he ties one held by none other than Garth Brooks. Following his sweep at the 2018 Grammy Awards, where he took home three trophies and performed with Emmylou Harris, the singer recently returned to the top of the country charts. According to Billboard, Chris is the first artist to hold the top three spots on the Top Country Albums chart since Garth did so in 1992. The singer's latest album, From a Room: Volume 2, currently sits in the top position while previous releases Traveller and From a Room: Volume 1 hold the second and third position, respectively, on the chart. An impressive feat that hasn't been accomplished in 25 years, Chris finds each solo album he has ever released dominating Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated Feb. 10). Garth originally accomplished this major milestone on April 11, 1992, when Ropin' the WindNo Fences and his self-titled debut album occupied the top three slots.

The third-annual Tumbleweed Country Music & Camping Festival returns to Kansas City this year. The festival, which takes place June 14-16, includes headliners Cody Johnson, Marty Stuart and Robert Earl Keen. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the festival's website.

Willie Nelson fans hoping for a chance to catch the country legend live this month will have to wait a little longer. A month after cancelling his January tour dates, Willie has also cleared his calendar for February.  A statement from his longtime publicist reveals that Willie requires "a few extra weeks to recover completely from the flu." While Willie is reportedly "up and about and looks healthy as ever," doctors have advised that his voice needs more time to recover. He is set to resume the tour in March. "I will see you all down the road," Willie says in a statement.  The news comes nearly a month after Willie walked off the stage during a concert in California unable to perform due to coughing and wheezing. The 84-year-old returned to his ranch in Texas to recover. His tour was set to resume on February 7 at the Macon City Auditorium in Georgia, according to his website.

Shenandoah will release Reloaded, their first album in 20 years, on March 16. The album includes nine of the band's previous hits performed live as well as three new tracks, produced by Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus. This marks the first new recordings with Marty Raybon singing lead since he left the band in 1997.

Country music duo Halfway to Hazard will join Montgomery Gentry for nine dates during the band's 2018 Here's To You Tour beginning this Friday, February 9.

Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam come to the Five Flags Center in Dubuque on Friday April 13th for a 6:30 show.  Brandy Clark will open the show, followed by Robert Earl Keen, then Dwight Yoakam plays a full set, followed by Willie Nelson and Family. KDST listeners have a chance to buy pre-sale tickets early after 10AM Wednesday, February 7th. Got to ticketmaster.com or the Five Flags Center box office and use the code FFC413.

One day after pop superstar Adele posted a photo of herself in an impressive Dolly-Parton getup, proclaiming her admiration for the icon, the Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer is continuing the love fest. “Hey! Adele likes me?” Dolly responded in a video on her socials. “I was knocked out, I was so honored. I was so flattered. I loved your outfit. I thought that was great. I think I had an outfit just like that back in the day. In fact, I thought that was a picture of me back in the day!” As if her amazing facsimile of Dolly’s signature look from the seventies wasn’t enough, Adele went on to call Dolly “the effortless queen of song,” adding she wishes she “could possess an ounce of your ability.” “I was really touched with what you said,” Dolly countered. “I was really honored that you would even know me that well or like my music. So I just wanted to thank you and say you’re makin’ me look good!” Of course, the icon from East Tennessee couldn’t resist ending with her trademark humor: “So if I can have just a fraction of your fans, that’ll help me -- help me buy some cheaper wigs and some more clothes, some more things. I’m gonna dress like you next time. I love you!” While the two have yet to meet face-to-face, both Dolly and Adele have proclaimed their love for each other in the media, with Dolly even confirming they tried to set up a writing appointment when Adele was in Nashville, though it didn’t ultimately work out.

Actor John Schneider has released a new country single, titled “Fish.” The former Dukes of Hazzard star took four songs to the top of the country chart in the mid-eighties.

Dancehall Dreamin’: A Tribute to Pat Green is set to be released on April 5, the Texas singer’s birthday. Jack Ingram covers his biggest hit, “Wave on Wave,” while Aaron Watson does “Crazy.”

Reba McEntire picked up her first non-country Grammy Sunday night, winning Best Roots Gospel Album for Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. Even though the double record is a far cry from Reba’s classics like “Fancy” or “Does He Love You,” it’s not exactly a left turn. “I've been singing gospel music all my life, going to a little one-room country church-house in Chokie, Oklahoma,” the country icon told reporters backstage after winning the award. “When it was full, it was probably 20 people. So it was something that we looked forward to going and doing and seeing our neighbors. There was only 18 people in the town.” Reba also pointed out there’s traditionally been a strong connection between the worlds of country and gospel. With Sing it Now about to celebrate its first birthday February 3, Reba’s already looking ahead to her next recording, though she’s not sure exactly what it will be. She's looking for songs, and predicts they’ll dictate what the feel of the album will be.

You can pretty much fill in your own “Jesus, Take the Wheel” joke at this point: Carrie Underwood took to her socials on Monday to confess she’d just gotten stopped for driving too fast. “Well, it happened today,” the American Idol winner tweeted. “After 18 years, I can no longer say I’ve never been pulled over for speeding.” “I feel so ashamed! I may or may not have cried in my car after the cop let me go,” she closed, adding the hashtags #RuleFollower, #GrannyDriver, and #ImSorry. It’s a big week ahead for Carrie: She’ll open the Super Bowl on Sunday with a new, previously-recorded version of her latest song, “The Champion.” 

Lauren Alaina, Jeff Foxworthy and Nashville’s Charles Esten are set to play the 10th Annual Nashville Honors Gala for the T.J. Martell Foundation March 26 at the Nashville Omni.

Trace Adkins hits the road on his How Did We Get Here Tour April 6 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Kip Moore and Luke Combs are among the singer/songwriters set to play the CMA Songwriters Series Thursday, March 8 during the Country 2 Country festival in the U.K. The show at London’s indigo at the 02 is already sold out.

The City of Hope 28th Annual Celebrity Softball Game will be Saturday, June 9 at Nashville’s First Tennessee Park, with this year’s talent yet to be announced.  

Reba McEntire is winning in more ways than one. Not only did she pick up the Best Roots Gospel Album trophy for Sing It Now at Sunday night’s Grammys, she also took advantage of the opportunity to introduce the world to her new man. “My date is Skeeter,” Reba revealed to Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet. “Come here Skeeter! Skeeter Lasuzzo. He’s my boyfriend!” “We’ve been having fun…” she added. “We’ve been to three plays here in New York, just enjoying it tremendously.” If you’ve been keeping an eye on Reba’s socials, you may’ve noticed that Skeeter started appearing in the Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer’s photos toward the end of last year, though this seems to be the first time Reba’s publicly confirmed the relationship.

On Sunday night’s 60th Annual Grammys, country will lead the way, as the music community remembers the fans we lost in the past year, as a result of violence at concerts both in Las Vegas, Nevada and Manchester, England. Grammy Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich tells ABC Radio the idea for the emotional moment in the show came from the performers themselves. Though we don’t know for certain what they’ll sing, both Eric and Maren responded to the Las Vegas tragedy with music. Maren released the track “Dear Hate,” which she originally wrote after the Charleston church shooting, while Eric penned the new song “Why Not Me” and performed it just days later on the Grand Ole Opry. The Grammys air live from New York City’s Madison Square Garden Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

As if Reba McEntire didn't have enough on her...um, plate. It turns out she has a new gig -- Reba is the first woman to play KFC's iconic spokes-character Col. Sanders. KFC made the announcement on social media Thursday night. "Nothing to see here, folks. Nope, nothin’ at all. Just the same old Colonel with a new flavor of fried chicken," read a tweet accompanying a minute-long video in which Reba, on stage at a honky tonk, plays a singing Colonel.  "I'm Col. Sanders, well, same as always. Absolutely nothing's changed," she sings. "Oh please ignore a likeness to famous country singers.  I'm definitely not a woman."  The "Colonel" tosses her hat into the crowd where it land on the head of Reba, in regular Reba attire, sitting at a table. The spot is part of KFC's campaign for a new chicken flavor -- Smokey Mountain BBQ.

2018 is shaping up to be the year of Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins. Not only will Trace join Blake on tour this winter, he’ll also be the advisor for Team Blake on The Voice. Trace himself is no stranger to reality TV on NBC, of course, having appeared on two seasons of Celebrity Apprentice with now-President Donald Trump. Trace appeared on the first round of the show in 2008, and returned to win the all-star season in 2013. Blake and Trace will already have several concerts under their belt by the time this year's battle rounds begin. The Country Music Freaks Tour with Brett Eldredge and Carly Pearce kicks off February 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; The Voice starts February 28 on NBC.  

Caroline Watkins is the second recipient of Miranda Lambert’s Women Creators scholarship at Nashville’s Belmont University. The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year established the fund in 2015, which will provide the sophomore with more than $40,000 during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Lynyrd Skynyrd launches their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour May 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels and others will join the legendary band on various dates, with tickets going on sale Friday, February 2.

Two-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Mary Chapin Carpenter will release her new album, Sometimes Just the Sky, on March 30. You can listen to the opening track, “Heroes and Heroines,” via SoundCloud.

Country Faith: Love Songs, the sixth collection of the popular series, comes out on Friday. It includes tunes by Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and The Judds, as well as a track titled “He Saw Jesus” by Kathie Lee Gifford.

The new single from Sara Evan’s Words album is “All the Love You Left Me.” Sara kicks off her All the Love Tour February 12 in New York City.

2001 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Lee Ann Womack shared a snippet of her new music video on Instagram. The full clip for “All the Trouble” will be available exclusively on Apple Music for the next two weeks.

Old Crow Medicine Show will celebrate their 20th anniversary by releasing their new album, Volunteer, on April 20. The lead single, “Flicker & Shine,” comes out on Friday.

Blake Shelton’s second single from his Texoma Shore album will be the track, “I Lived It.”

Ricky Skaggs discusses the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, in a chat with the website Reverb. You can watch the conversation on YouTube.

We’re barely two weeks into 2018, and the awards are already piling up for Dolly Parton, as the Emmys, Guinness World Records, and the RIAA are all coming calling. The Sevierville, Tennessee native will receive The Governors’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Service January 20 at the 32nd MidSouth Regional Emmys. Her Smoky Mountains Rise telethon, which raised money to help her hometown after 2016’s devastating wildfires, is also nominated at this year’s ceremony. If you flip through the pages of Guinness World Records 2018, you’ll find Dolly now holds the titles for both “Most Decades with a Top 20 Hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart” and “Most Hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart by a Female Artist.” It was Dolly’s 2016 re-recording of “Jolene” with Pentatonix that put her over the top. “Jolene” has also passed half-a-million in sales, picking up gold certification from the RIAA, as did Dolly’s original recording of “I Will Always Love You.” Whitney Houston’s version has sold more than three million copies, earning Dolly a triple-platinum plaque. Dolly’s own 1980 hit “9 to 5” is also officially platinum now, having passed the one-million mark in sales.

If you were lucky enough to be at the closing banquet for this year’s Country Cares for St. Jude Seminar Saturday night in Memphis, you got to experience an intimate, once-in-a-lifetime show, as Brad Paisley traded songs and stories with his hero and friend, Alabama’s Randy Owen. Paisley was honored with the 2018 “Angels Among Us” Award for his work to raise money for the hospital that aims to end childhood cancer. “This is the kind of place that changes you,” Brad said as he accepted the honor. “It re-focuses what’s important in life immediately, the moment you walk through these doors.” “And it’s all because of him,” he added, pointing to the Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer, “that all of us, in this line of work, have anything to do with this place.” The crowd erupted in applause, as the Alabama front-man kicked into the intro to “Tennessee River.” “I wasn’t done!” Brad grinned, as the audience laughed, and he started playing along. The West Virginia native later confessed “Mud on the Tires” was just one of his attempts to replicate Alabama’s sound, going so far as to have Randy sing the hook in the final chorus, just to see what it would sound like. Brad did “He Didn’t Have to Be” at the icon’s request, before recounting his thrill at recording “Old Alabama” with the band. The 68-year-old Owen was in fine voice as he delivered “Feels So Right,” “Dancin’ on the Boulevard,” “Lady Down on Love,” “Mountain Music” and, of course, the night’s theme, “Angels Among Us.” Since Randy Owen helped launched Country Cares for St. Jude in 1989, the campaign has raised more than $750 million. To find out how you can help, just go to StJude.org.

Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Vince Gill is a grandfather once again. His daughter Jenny Gill Van Valkenburg gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Everly June, on Friday.

Johnny Cash’s family is lending their support to a new documentary that will look at the icon’s story through the lens of his historic concert at Folsom Prison, which just marked its 50th anniversary, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Outlaws are taking over, as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum takes visitors back in time to the seventies for its new major exhibit. Outlaws & Armadillos:  Country’s Roaring ‘70s will focus on the Outlaw movement in country music, as well as the relationship between Music City and Austin, Texas. Look for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Jessi Colter, Bobby Bare, David Allan Coe, Tom T. Hall and more to be spotlighted in what promises to be a massive display. The exhibit, opening May 25, will run for nearly three years.

Garth Brooks will play Thursday, February 1, during the 25th Annual Alive at the Bluebird series of shows at Music City’s iconic singer/songwriter venue. Kent Blazy, Pat Alger, Victoria Shaw and Tony Arata will join him for the 9 p.m. CT set. Tickets go on sale this Thursday at BluebirdCafe.com. Proceeds go to Nashville’s Alive Hospice.

Nearly three decades ago, Alabama’s Randy Owen took up the cause of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, leading the charge for country music to raise money to help end childhood cancer. As of this weekend’s 29th annual Country Cares for St. Jude Seminar in Memphis, country’s efforts have brought in more than three-quarters of a billion dollars. Jerrod Niemann is another artist who’s proud to continue the work that Randy started. Last month, the hottest stars in country music helped launch the new “This Shirt Saves Lives” campaign. You can find out more at StJude.org.

Easton Corbin takes a break from putting the finishing touches on his new album this weekend, as he hits the road for his first dates of 2018. He’ll play Carmel, Indiana on Friday, before taking the stage in Mount Clemens, Michigan on Saturday. The Florida native’s current hit, “A Girl Like You,” is his sixth top ten and the lead single from his upcoming fourth studio album. After this weekend, Easton’s tour rolls on, stopping by Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry on February 20 and 27.

The 11th season of Trisha’s Yearwood’s Emmy-winning Trisha’s Southern Kitchen premieres Saturday morning on Food Network. Her guest is fellow Food Network star Jeff Mauro. Jeff shows off his guitar chops as he and Trisha duet on the Elvis Presley classic, “That’s All Right,” and they also do a little clowning around while tasting some white wine. You can preview their antics thanks to some clips Trisha recently shared on her socials. If you’re hungry, they’ll be making eggplant parmesan towers, stove top stuffed artichokes, lemon ricotta cookies and classic Chicago chicken vesuvio. Tune in Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET on Food Network for all the food and fun.

Randy Houser, Lee Ann Womack, Lauren Alaina and Runaway June will all take turns opening the next leg of Alan Jackson’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour. Lauren is up first, as the trek kicks off January 19 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Chris Stapleton will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on January 27. SNL alum Will Ferrell will host.

Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Emmylou Harris will receive The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. She’ll be honored alongside this year’s other recipients -- which include Tina Turner, Neil Diamond and Queen -- at a special awards presentation and concert this summer.

Naomi Judd will guest on HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade on Thursday. The country icon is promoting her book, River of Time:  My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.

The Oak Ridge Boys and the Gatlin Brothers are teaming up with gospel icons the Gaither Vocal Band for two projects. Country Roots and Gospel Favorites and A Few Good Men will both be released on CD and DVD on January 26. You can watch a preview on YouTube now.  

Willie Nelson has been forced to cancel his shows for the rest of this week, as he recuperates from "a bad cold or the flu," his longtime publicist tells The San Diego Union-Tribune. The 84-year-old left the stage halfway through the opening song "Whiskey River" at Harrah's Resort Southern California on Saturday, according to fans at the concert. Willie’s coughing and wheezing was so severe, he wasn't able to complete his set. The 84-year-old returned to his ranch in Texas to recover, calling off two dates at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, as well as a concert in Laughlin, Nevada. Willie’s next show is set for February 7, at the Macon, Georgia City Auditorium, according to his website.

Country Music Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn has suffered another setback, as the 85-year-old singer broke her hip during the first week of the New Year. Loretta's sister, Crystal Gayle -- who'll turn 66 on Tuesday -- confirmed the injury via social media. "My birthday wish is for everyone to send love and prayers to my sister," Crystal tweeted. "I was with Loretta yesterday. She is in good spirits and is doing as well as can be expected with this type of injury. Thank you for your love, prayers and continued support!” Last year, the country music legend known as the "Coal Miner's Daughter" was forced to take the last half of 2017 off, after having a stroke in May. Loretta's new album, Wouldn’t It Be Great, was pushed back until she is up to promoting it. As has been typical through her career, the 2003 Kennedy Center honoree surprised everyone by surpassing expectations, and appearing unexpectedly in October to induct Alan Jackson into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Though she appeared frail, her trademark wit remained intact during her brief remarks. Loretta will turn 86 on April 14.

There's new music from Carrie Underwood -- sort of. Part of a new track from the American Idol winner debuted Sunday during the NFL playoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams. Carrie shared a clip of the song on her socials, though it's often hard to hear clearly since it was mixed with play-by-play announcing. "I am invincible, unbreakable, unstoppable, unshakable," she sings in the tune, which is likely titled "The Champion," based on her hashtag. It's been quite a while since we've had new music from the 10-time CMA Awards host. The Oklahoma native released her final single from her 2015 album, Storyteller, in September 2016. "Dirty Laundry" made it to #1 a year ago in January. Carrie’s next disc will be the first as part of her new deal with Universal and Capitol Nashville. So far, there's no word on whether the new track will be a single or is part of a forthcoming album.

RodeoHouston takes place February 27-March 18 at NRG Stadium, with tickets for most dates going on sale Thursday. Among the artists set to take the new, star-shaped stage this year: Garth Brooks, Little Big Town, Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, and Brad Paisley. Garth will both open and close this year's rodeo, though both of his shows sold out earlier. You can find out more at RodeoHouston.com.

Maren Morris’s journey from the Lone Star State to the top of the country chart likely took less time than you’d imagine. “Just realized today is my 5 year anniversary of living in Nashville,” she tweeted late Thursday. “It was just as cold as today was, and I had as much hope in my heart in 2013 as I do today. Bless this beautiful place & the dreams it made come true.” The Grammy winner also shared a photo of her arrival back then, hugging her mom in front of a rental trailer parked in the background. “The day my mom and I packed a U-Haul and drove the 10 hours from Dallas to Nashville,” Maren added. “Found roommates on Craigslist and haven’t left east Nashville since.” So how did Maren do it? She shared some advice, in response to a follower’s request. “Be patient, lose your ego, be friendly but not aggressive, find your tribe, LISTEN, and learn from the best,” the Texas native said. “Go to [songwriters'] rounds, go to meetings, hole up and figure out why your favorite songs are your favorite. And wait.”

2018 is set to be the busiest year of Luke Bryan's career to date. In addition to a new album and an upcoming tour -- both titled What Makes You Country -- he’ll take a seat at the judges’ table alongside Lionel Richie and Katy Perry for ABC’s re-launch of American Idol.  Ultimately, Luke says it’ll be up to his fans to decide just how successful he is in 2018. “I think the fans and what people see out of me will determine whether this is my biggest year ever or not,” Luke says matter-of-factly. “I mean, I know I'm certainly gonna be out there a lot working with Idol and my tour and the stuff that we've got planned and the venues that I know we're gonna put on the tour.” In the next few months, Luke will also be taking his music places it’s never been before. First up, Luke hosts his annual Crash My Playa getaway vacation January 17-20 in the Caribbean, before heading out on the What Makes You Country Tour in February. Luke’s season of American Idol premieres March 11 on ABC.  

In 2017, Reba McEntire put out two new records:  her Grammy-nominated, Dove-Award-winning gospel album, Sing It Now, and the expanded re-release of her My Kind of Christmas project. Never one to slow down, the Country Music Hall-of-Famer is already working on the follow-up, though she’s not quite sure what direction it will take. “I don't know,” Reba explains. “We're thinking, we're looking for songs already. You know, I think the songs will dictate a lot of that. Because when I let everybody know we are looking for songs, when they start coming in, it kinda makes the direction more obvious.” “But I'm looking forward to it. I love to get in the studio,” she adds. Sing It Now:  Songs of Faith and Hope is up for Best Roots Gospel Album at the 60th Grammys Sunday, January 28 in New York City.  It’s Reba's first Grammy nod since 2007.

By now, Garth Brooks should be more than a week into his long winter’s nap. The six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year wrapped the North American leg of his World Tour Saturday, December 23 in Nashville. After that, he joked that he and wife Trisha Yearwood were headed home to sleep. While Garth may be getting some much-needed rest these days, he’s also turning his attention to the “world” part of the trek -- and that includes trying to bring the World Tour to the Emerald Isle, something he tried to do as far back as 2014. “I'm a little antsy to see what happens,” he tells ABC Radio. “I'd love to complete what we started in Ireland. Whether that happens or not is gonna be up to Ireland. But I'd love to take a look at that and I gotta tell you:  Australia, I miss them to death,” he adds. Garth continues outlining his dream itinerary from here:  “Places like Germany, places like Sheffield and Birmingham, [England,] those two cities -- just wonderful.” The global superstar even mentions some North American cities he’d still like to visit:  “There's places outside here that you miss. We did not hit Toronto on this tour. That's another fabulous market for us. Montreal. Thank God, we have some options. And if they don't mind us coming to their city, I'd love to visit them.” Garth does have several dates already on the books for 2018:  In February, he’ll both open and close RodeoHouston, before headlining California’s Stagecoach Festival in April.

In November, Carrie Underwood broke her wrist in a fall outside her home in Nashville, but on Sunday the singer revealed to fan club members that her injures were more extensive. "There is also another part of the story that I haven’t been ready to talk about since I have still been living it and there has been much uncertainty as to how things will end up," she wrote to fan on the club's membership-only website on Sunday, reports Entertainment Tonight. Carrie didn't detail the nature of the injuries to her face, but recounted that a doctor told husband Mike Fisher that he put "between 40 and 50 stitches in" to close a wound to her face. The singer says she's "not quite looking the same," although she is recovering from the injury.

2018 may very well turn out to be the year of Sugarland. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush have already visited the top of the iTunes country songs chart with their reunion single, “Still the Same,” and their first major public appearance together is just days away. “The title of the song is so meaningful to us,” the two said in a newsletter to their fans. “We always knew we were going to make music again, so this has been the best of both worlds. We were able to take time to feed our personal passions, and we’re excited to come back together and create music as a band again.” On Sunday, Sugarland plays Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest from New York City’s Times Square. You can watch for the five-time CMA Vocal Duo of the Year starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. In the meantime, you can check out a new video for “Still the Same” on YouTube. It mixes archival concert footage with new video of Jennifer and Kristian together in the studio and posing for photos to support their upcoming new album. In March, Sugarland is set to play the Country to Country festival in the U.K. and Ireland, with a U.S. tour expected to follow.

Keith Urban’s better half, Nicole Kidman, is one of the 10 Best Actors of the Year, according to the New York Times’ magazine’s Great Performers issue.

The Nashville Scene’s most popular cover story of 2017 was the May article featuring Eric Church.

Dierks Bentley unveiled the new tune “Burning Man” during his recent performance at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. You can check it out thanks to fan video on YouTube.

“Welcome to the very last show of the World Tour,” Garth Brooks told the crowd Saturday night at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, before teasing he was free to play all night, since he doesn’t have another gig for a while. In the end, the six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year sang for close to two-and-a-half hours, in a set that started with its only newer song, “Baby Let’s Lay Down and Dance,” before Garth blazed through scorching renditions of his biggest hits and classics. Wearing a Jack Daniels t-shirt and brown plaid, he often literally ran laps around his circular stage to have a moment with different sections of the audience. “Thank you guys for helping us finish this 3-year, 4-month, 12-day, 8-hour -- I don’t know -- tour in Nashville, at home,” Trisha Yearwood said during her set. “Thank you for joining us for this very special night.” From there, it was more big songs and at least one big secret from Garth. Before going into the popular, "secret" third verse of “Friends in Low Places,” the Oklahoma native revealed he’d been recording the final night of the tour for an upcoming live album. In lieu of a traditional encore, Garth closed with what’s become known as “housekeeping” on this tour:  fans hold up signs requesting their favorite songs, and he does as many of them as he can.

Big & Rich have launched their own game. The country duo's "GIT Big $ Rich Casino" game offers fans loyalty points to earn gear from the band, as well as a chance for a VIP experience to one of their concerts. “We are excited about the debut of our casino game and want everyone to 'GIT Big $ Rich' coins, which will have you playing our game for hours and hours," Big Kenny says in a statement. "We look forward to meeting the player that wins the ‘Meet Big & Rich’ contest, too. Now, go get this sucker and let’s rock that spin button.”  The game is now available on all digital app stores. “This is all about giving fans a chance to have fun with Big & Rich,” an exec for the company that developed the app said in a statement. “Their personalities shine through in the game. We look forward to getting Big $ Rich merchandise out to loyal players, and look forward to announcing our first backstage meet & greet winner.” The company, Proxima Brands, has launched several other social media gaming apps, hoping to bring fans closer to their favorite artists. Additional games feature George Strait, Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Friday night, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood kick off the second of three weekends at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, as they move closer to bringing the North American leg of their World Tour to a close. “It’s been pretty non-stop, but it’s been great,” Trisha says, looking back on the couple's more than three-year run. “I think we are tired. Garth says we’re tired and wired, because I think we really are tired, but we are really having a great time.” When she’s not supporting her husband on tour, Trisha also has another full-time gig, running a culinary empire that features her Saturday-morning show on Food Network.  So what does the host of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen take to a holiday party? “A lot of people bring sweets to Christmas parties, because everybody’s got a dessert,” Trisha says. “But you know, you’ve got to have something salty. So I’m usually the girl that will bring, like Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese. It might not scream Christmas to you, but… that’ll be the thing that will be gone -- devoured!” You can tune in for Trisha’s Southern Kitchen Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. ET on Food Network. After three shows this weekend, two more Nashville dates still remain for Garth and Trisha, on December 22 and 23.

This year, Reba McEntire re-issued her latest yuletide offering, 2016’s My Kind of Christmas, in a new deluxe edition. But that’s not the only Reba holiday album that’s getting a special treatment in 2017. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Oklahoma native’s first seasonal set, 1987’s Merry Christmas to You, is being re-released on vinyl. The double-platinum album was initially available as a 33 1/3 record with its original cover, featuring a short-haired Reba. The new version opts for the second cover that came out in the nineties, featuring a more glammed-up photo of the country icon, showing off her considerable mane. Reba hosts this year’s CMA Country Christmas special on ABC, and one of her guests is getting a holiday re-issue as well. Lady Antebellum’s gold 2012 album, On This Winter’s Night, gets its first vinyl incarnation this year. You can see Lady A perform the tracks “This Christmas” and “Silver Bells” when the CMA Christmas special re-airs Thursday, December 21 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Darius Rucker’s 2014 offering, Home for the Holidays, is also available for the first time on vinyl this season. Watch for Darius’s version of “Winter Wonderland” on Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration Christmas morning on ABC.

If you missed Vince Gill and Amy Grant’s Christmas segment from their Nashville home on the Today show Thursday, you can watch it online.

Reba McEntire will go back to her beginnings on Thursday, as she sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The Oklahoma native grew up on a ranch led by her father, who was a champion steer roper.  Reba even competed as a barrel racer, though she’s often joked she wasn’t a very good one. It was Reba’s rendition of the national anthem at the 1974 National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City that set the wheels in motion for the Country Music Hall-of-Famer to land her first recording contract. You can watch for Reba’s performance starting at 10 p.m. ET Thursday on CBS Sports Network, with a rebroadcast set for 1 a.m. ET.

You can catch Vince Gill and Amy Grant in a holiday segment recorded at their Nashville home Thursday morning during the 8 a.m. hour of NBC’s Today show.

Kenny Chesney will stop by Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday.  You can catch his appearance starting at 12:35 a.m. ET on NBC.

Taylor Swift’s 2008 album Fearless has received diamond certification from the RIAA, after selling more than ten million copies.

Scotty McCreery has recorded a version of the yuletide classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas as a gift to his fans. You can check out Scotty’s version of the story by Clement Clarke Moore on SoundCloud.

Luke Bryan brings home the 19th #1 of his career this week, as “Light It Up” ascends to the top of the country chart. “Light It Up” is the lead single from the Georgia native’s new What Makes You Country album. He’ll perform the track “Most People Are Good” Tuesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Check your local listings to see when the syndicated show airs in your area. Last week, Luke also recorded another high-profile TV appearance, this time in Washington, D.C. He’ll pay tribute to his fellow American Idol judge Lionel Richie during this year’s 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. You can catch his performance Tuesday, December 26, when the show airs at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Chris Stapleton captures the top spot on Billboard’s country albums chart this week, with the second volume of his recordings From A Room. The CMA Male Vocalist of the Year sold 116,000 copies of From A Room:  Volume 2, with a total that increases to 125,000 units when you account for album-equivalent units. By comparison, May’s first set moved 219,000 in its initial week. On the all-genre Billboard 200, Chris couldn’t quite make it to #1, thanks to a little rock band named U2 and their latest effort, Songs of Experience.  From A Room:  Volume 2 comes in at #2, just ahead of Taylor Swift, who drops to #3 with Reputation after three weeks at the top.

You can spend A Day with Dolly starting on Tuesday, as the entertainment icon stars in a new Sprout House special that premieres at 11:05 a.m. ET on Universal Kids. Dolly will perform songs like “A Friend Like You,” “You Can Do It” and “Together Forever,” all from her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You. She’ll also be joined by the show’s host, Carly, as well as the loveable puppy puppet, Snug. A Day with Dolly will re-air both Wednesday and Thursday at 9:55 a.m. ET, before also premiering on the Sprout YouTube channel on Thursday.

The wait is over. Sugarland are set to release new music and reunite for a very special performance on New Year's Eve. The country duo, who took a five-year break to pursue other passions, will release "Still the Same" on Dec. 21. This marks their first single in five years. “We are thrilled for fans to hear our new music, especially this new single,” Jennifer Nettles said in a statement. “The title of the song is so meaningful to us as we want fans to know, we are still the same, we are still the same Sugarland they’ve known and loved”. Nettles and bandmate Kristian Bush will also team up as part of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2018 live from New York City's Times Square on Dec. 31. Sugarland will join Camila Cabello and Nick Jonas on stage to perform from the center of Times Square, with additional acts to be announced soon. The five-and-a-half-hour show will air live starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Sugarland is currently back in the studio working on their new album. The duo's also expected to announce tour plans for 2018 in the coming months.

Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world's largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration, has announced its 2018 lineup. In addition to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo and the Championship Bull Riding World Finals, several country acts have been added to the bill. Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Charlie Daniels Band, Tracy Lawrence, Eric Church and Dierks Bentley are set to play the event, with more acts to be announced. “We are excited about the lineup for 2018,” Contract Acts chairman Scott Fleming said in a statement. “We are working on securing the remaining performances and will have a follow-up announcement at that time.” The celebration will take place from June 20 - 29, 2018 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Tickets go on sale Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. MTS at CFDRodeo.com, through the Cheyenne Frontier Days Ticket Office, and by calling (307) 778-7222.

Kip Moore and Chris Stapleton are two of three country artists to land on Entertainment Weekly's 25 Best Albums of 2017 list. An impressive feat for the country singers, EW raves about both Kip's third studio album, Slowheart, and Chris' joint effort of From A Room: Volume 1 and From A Room: Volume 2. Kip lands at #24 on the list, with EW noting that his album includes "thirteen heartland-rock tracks that make up the most thrilling set of his career." Meanwhile, Chris is ranked at #9 for his two album releases this year.

Luke Bryan teamed up with Bayer earlier this year with the goal of donating one million meals to hungry families across America with the help of the hashtag #HeresToTheFarmer -- and the program has been a rousing success. Bayer sponsored Luke's Farm Tour, and donated one meal to Feeding America when someone shared the #HeresToTheFarmer hashtag. In less than four months, the Here's To The Farmer campaign surpassed its goal of one million meals. “I come from a farming background so I understand the hard work and passion it takes for farmers to feed America and feed the world,” Bryan said in a statement. In addition to the Here's To The Farmer campaign, Bayer donated over $10,000 to local food banks throughout Luke's Farm Tour and honored a local farmer on stage at each tour stop. For more on Bayer’s Here’s To The Farmer campaign visit, herestothefarmer.com.

Trace Adkins has released a powerful video that pays homage to those who fight tirelessly for our freedom. The four-minute video for "Still a Soldier," which premiered on CMT, follows a typical day in the life of Army Specialist Bryan Gerwitz.   "We recorded this song well over a year ago, and my intent was always to release it as a tip of my hat to those who have served," Trace says in a statement. Trace has long been an advocate for our troops. He's currently a spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project, has done 12 overseas USO trips and is a regular participant in fundraising events for active and inactive members of the military. He ends his video with a message to those who serve our country.

Charlie Daniels has been hosting his Volunteer Jam for years, but in 2018, the event will honor the man who created the star-studded charity concert event. The 2018 Volunteer Jam will be held on March 7 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The evening will feature performances by The Charlie Daniels Band, Alison Krauss, Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top,  Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Ricky Skaggs. Additional acts will be announced in the coming weeks. "It’s hard to believe that it’s been 43 years since the CDB and some of our friends got together at War Memorial Auditorium for what was supposed to be a live recording session, a one-time happening that took on a life of its own and was to become known worldwide as The Volunteer Jam," Daniels says in a statement.  Tickets go on sale Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. CT via Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster locations, and the Bridgestone Arena box office. A portion of the proceeds from 2018’s Volunteer Jam will be donated to The Journey Home Project, a non-profit aimed to help veterans.

Reba McEntire is the newest recipient of the 2018 Horatio Alger Award. She, along with 11 other individuals, will be recognized for overcoming challenges to achieve professional and personal success, and will be added to the Member Class of 2018. "The Horatio Alger Association stands for integrity, honesty and resilience – qualities that Reba certainly exemplifies," said Matthew Rose, president of Horatio Alger Association in a statement. He adds: "She has faced numerous challenges in both her early career and personal tragedies, with admirable strength and grace. Reba inspires us all with her tenacity and always upbeat attitude. Her positive outlook is contagious and she will serve as an excellent role model for our Scholars." Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is a nonprofit organization honoring the achievements of individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education. In a statement, Reba offers her own advice on how to succeed in life.

Reba McEntire will serve as guest co-host on The Talk on CBS today at 2 p.m. ET.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has revealed its 2018 exhibits, and they include Little Big Town, the Judds, Ralph Stanley and Emmylou Harris. “Having an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is something we wouldn’t have ever known to dream of for ourselves, it is beyond a dream come true,” said Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild of their exhibit, which opens June 29. “We are honored to be a part of Country music, and are so thankful to all our fans, the music community here in Nashville and the museum for this opportunity.” Additionally, the museum will unveil an updated installment of American Currents: The Music of 2017 on March 9. It will highlight the achievements of Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Randy Travis, and Chris Young, among others. “Being able to have a little piece of me and what we have accomplished in the last two years showcased in the American Currents exhibit is a dream come true,” Luke Combs says in a statement. “I have often day dreamed about having my stuff here, and now with such a great program, that dream is now a reality.” Stanley's exhibit is set to open on July 13, while the Judds' begins Aug. 3. Harris will follow with her display, launching Oct. 5.

Garth Brooks is set to kick off the final dates of the North American leg of his World Tour in Nashville this week. If you're hoping to get tickets to the sold-out performances, you're in luck: tickets have been made available for the first five shows in Music City. Beginning at noon CST today (Dec. 6), tickets will be released for Garth's shows at Bridgestone Arena on Dec. 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17. You can purchase yours via Ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks or by calling 866-448-7849. The six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year's tour stop at Bridgestone Arena marks the first time Garth has played the venue in seven years. In 2010, he performed at the Bridgestone as part of several benefit shows to aid in recovery efforts after the devastating flood in Nashville earlier that year.

Zac Brown Band's Camp Southern Ground, which aims to challenge, educate and inspire children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning and attention issues, raised more than $1.7 million during its annual An Evening to Remember event.

John Prine has announced a series of tour dates for 2018. The tour kicks off at New York's Radio City Music Hall on April 13, and tickets go on sale December 8.

Brett Eldredge will be up bright and early Tuesday, December 12, to perform his latest singly, "The Long Way," and "Glow," the title track of his Christmas album, on Good Morning America. The show starts at 7 a.m. ET.

A who’s-who of the most legendary female vocalists in Music City come together for this week’s premiere of getTV’s very first original special.  Wynonna, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan all star in Thursday night’s A Nashville Christmas. With Music City on the rise, Emmylou says it’s no wonder the network traveled to Nashville for some of its first original programming. “We're the 'it' city, don't you know?” she laughs. “I don't know when that happened, but all of the sudden, we are the 'it ' city. But we are Music City USA, before we were the 'it' city.” In addition to covering Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” on the show, Emmylou also duets with Wynonna on “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” a song she first discovered when she was making her classic 1979 Christmas album, Light of the Stable, with Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. “Because we were doing it with kind of a bluegrass-y band, that instrumentation,” Emmy explains, “'Beautiful Star,' I believe it was Ricky and the Whites who brought that song to me, because I really wasn't familiar with it.” The Judds also recorded an equally famous version on their 1987 holiday album. In addition to her duet with Emmylou, Wynonna also performs a stirring rendition of another Christmas classic. “Love hanging out with Wynonna, she is something else, and what a voice!” Emmylou tells ABC Radio. “I mean, really. It was stunning to be able to be there and hear her do her live version of 'O Holy Night.' Just magnificent.”  A Nashville Christmas premieres Thursday, December 7 at 8 p.m. ET on getTV with re-broadcasts throughout the holiday season.

Darius Rucker will be the subject of a one-hour concert special on December 8. The show was filmed live at the Apollo Theater in New York City and is available on AT&T Audience Network via DIRECTV at 9 p.m. ET.

The stars of CMT's Nashville will launch their Farewell UK Tour in April. The tour kicks off on April 14 and cast members Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson and Sam Palladio will perform throughout England and Scotland. The show's final season will premiere on January 4.

The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville is getting a new exhibit in time for what would have been the late singer's 86th birthday. The Man in Black: The Style of Johnny Cash, Curated by Manuel will open on Feb. 26, 2018 and showcase some of Johnny Cash's famous stage wear. Manuel Cuevas, who helped Johnny hone his signature all-black look, opened his own shop in 1975 after years of working for Los Angeles designer Nudie Cohn, known for his famously embellished "Nudie Suits." In the exhibit, country fans can see Manuel's original measurements, supplies and paperwork relating to Cash. Manuel went on to dress numerous other country artists, including George Jones, Dwight Yoakam, and Marty Stuart, among others. The Man in Black: The Style of Johnny Cash, Curated by Manuel will remain open for 18 months.

George Strait will be recognized as the 2018 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference. The country legend will be celebrated on March 22 at the New Braunfels, TX Civic/Convention Center. The prestigious honor has been given annually since 1974, and it's previously been presented to former presidents, U.S. senators, congressmen and governors, among others. "No one has done more than George Strait to raise awareness and funds for the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts," Conference Chair Doug Miller, former Texas State Representative, says in a statement. "He put his well-earned reputation on the line and asked not only his fellow Texans to step up, but all Americans," Miller added. "And they have." In 2017, George helped raise over $50 million for Hurricane Harvey victims following the devastating storm that hit Texas in August. For more information on the ceremony and to reserve tickets to the ceremony, call (830)608-2816.

Garth Brooks celebrates his first number-one song in over a decade with the success of "Ask Me How I Know," which lands atop both Billboard's Country Airplay and Mediabase charts this week. "The first time I heard it, it was a great demo from a kid named Mitch Rossell," Garth says in a statement. "And all you wanted to do when you recorded it was represent the song half as good as he did. Really happy this kid and this song is holding their own." Garth further explains that Mitch moved to town with "nothing but a dream." “This is the only song he’s ever got recorded. He’s on Cloud 9 and should be,” Garth adds. “Could not happen to a better guy.” "Ask Me How I know” was recorded for Garth’s Gunslinger album, released in 2016. This marks the country singer's 19th chart-topper and his first number-one since "More Than a Memory" in 2007.

Montgomery Gentry will return to the road in 2018 in celebration of the band's 20-year anniversary and forthcoming album, Here's To You. Aptly titled the Here's to You Tour, the trek will be the first without Troy Gentry, who died in a helicopter accident earlier this year. “I’m anxious to get back out on the road and play some new music for our friends and fans,” Eddie Montgomery says in a statement. “Next year marks the 20th anniversary of our band -- we’ve got lots to celebrate and look forward to in 2018.” So far, there's no official word on how Gentry's absence will be addressed, or who if anyone may join the band for the tour to help fill in. The Here's To You Tour will kick off on Feb. 9, following Montgomery Gentry's two January dates supporting Alabama, and run through September.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s first album together, The Rest of Our Life, debuts at #1 this week on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. That makes the joint project Tim’s sixteenth to emerge at #1 on the tally, and Faith’s fourth. In all, the record moved 104,000 copies in its first week, making it the #2 album on the all-genre Billboard 200 as well.  Taylor Swift’s Reputation -- which is already 2017’s best-selling album -- remains at #1. This week, the title track from Tim & Faith's album, “The Rest of Our Life,” climbs to #2 on Billboard’s Country Digital Songs tally.

Blake Shelton will sing his latest hit, "I'll Name the Dogs," next Monday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Nashville location of Madame Tussauds will unveil its new likeness of Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Randy Travis on Friday.

Tickets are on sale now for next year’s CMA Music Festival, which will be June 7-10 in downtown Nashville. You can buy your passes at CMAFest.com.

Chris Stapleton is the sole mainstream country artist to make Rolling Stone’s ranking of the “50 Best Albums of 2017.” His CMA Album of the Year winner, From A Room:  Volume 1, comes in at number 30 on the list. The second volume of the set is due on Friday. Stapleton’s CMA competitor, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, comes in at #21 on the tally, with The Nashville Sound, though the critical favorite has yet to see any success at country radio. The same is true of Margo Price, who lands at #16 with All American Made. Taylor Swift’s Reputation -- which does contain the country single “New Year’s Day” -- secures the #7 spot. Dolly Parton duets with pop star Kesha on her #4 album, Rainbow, on a new version of the legend’s hit, “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You).”

David Lee Murphy is officially back on country radio...with a little help from his pal Kenny Chesney. The two duet on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which just debuted in the top 40. “I knew when I heard it, it was a big ole hit,” Kenny says. “And as much as I would’ve loved to have had it for one of my records, I was happy when David Lee said he wanted to cut it.” “He deserves to have a song as good as this," Kenny adds, “and I was -- as I know I’ve said -- really happy that he asked me to sing on it with him, because some songs just feel good going down.” David Lee wrote “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which is the lead single from his forthcoming No Zip Code album. Kenny co-produced the record as well.

Blake Shelton will sing his top ten hit “I’ll Name the Dogs” Tuesday during a special live edition of The Voice. The five-time winning coach will also find out which of his contestants are safe, before the bottom two contenders compete for an Instant Save. You can catch People’s Sexiest Man Alive performing the lead single from his Texoma Shore album Tuesday on NBC, starting at 7 p.m.  

You can get a sneak peek at this year’s CMA Country Christmas special this morning as Reba McEntire stops by LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. The Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer will preview her first time hosting the annual special, and do a holiday medley as well. LIVE airs immediately following Good Morning America on most ABC stations. Reba performs “Mary, Did You Know” with Little Big Town on the special, and reunites with her CMA Awards duet partner Kelsea Ballerini on “Jingle Bells.” She also does a medley of “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” You’ll find all those songs on the new version of Reba’s My Kind of Christmas album.  The two-hour CMA Country Christmas special premieres Monday at 7 PM on ABC.

Funeral arrangements have been announced for the late Mel Tillis who passed away early Sunday morning. Visitation for Tillis will be held on Monday, November 27 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Sykes Funeral Home in Clarksville, Tennessee. A public funeral service will begin promptly at 3 PM at Mount Hermon Baptist Church with a private burial will follow.  

A preceding service will take place at the Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church in Silver Springs, Florida this Saturday, November 25 at 3:00 PM. Additionally, the Tillis family is planning a January public memorial service open to fans and the music industry. The event will be held in Nashville with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Most people recognize the day after Thanksgiving as the shopping bonanza known as Black Friday, but did you know the Wednesday before Turkey Day is National Jukebox Day? For the first time, the maker of the modern-day jukebox, TouchTunes, made the new holiday a reality in 2016. To celebrate this year, they’ve tallied the top-10 jukebox songs of 2017 so far. It turns out country is king when America pays money to play a tune. Country titles make up more than half of the list, with both Garth Brooks’ classic “Friends in Low Places” making the ranking, as well as lesser-known favorites like Steve Earl’s “Copperhead Road.” Jon Pardi, Sam Hunt and Keith Urban are also in the top-ten, with Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” coming out on top. This year, TouchTunes has partnered with Waffle House to give away prizes for National Jukebox Day, with the big one being a sweepstakes to win a $2,500 shopping spree. You can find out more at JukeboxDay.com.

Here’s the complete list of the most-played jukebox songs of 2017 so far:

  1. “Tennessee Whiskey” -- Chris Stapleton
    2. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -- Keith Urban
    3. “Body Like a Back Road” -- Sam Hunt
    4. “Dirt on My Boots” -- Jon Pardi
    5. “Copperhead Road” -- Steve Earle
    6. “Friends in Low Places” -- Garth Brooks
    7. “Shape of You” -- Ed Sheeran
    8. “That’s What I Like” -- Bruno Mars
    9. “Fat Bottomed Girls” -- Queen
    10. “24K Magic” -- Bruno Mars

John Rich is going into business with Eastside Distilling, Inc. The two are partnering to create varieties of whiskey, vodka and rum under the brand name Redneck Riviera.

Be sure to tune in to The View on Wednesday, as Garth Brooks guests on the weekday ABC talk show that starts at 11 a.m. ET.

Marty Stuart will celebrate his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry during two shows on Friday, December 1 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville.

The new Conway Twitty collection Timeless: Never Before Released Recordings is available now. It’s the first music by the “Hello Darlin’” singer to be available on vinyl in 26 years.

Six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today. You can catch it on Channel 9. Garth appeared Good Morning America earlier this morning.

The biggest stars in country music are remembering Mel Tillis this weekend, after the Country Music Hall-of-Famer passed away early Sunday at the age of 85. For Blake Shelton, it took a series of four tweets to begin to describe his affection for the singer, songwriter, comedian and actor. The star of The Voice recalled how Mel had advised him during difficult times, and even gifted him with a pair of his boots after a day spent together. Tim McGraw shared a similar tale of spending time with him early in his career. Fellow Floridian Michael Ray marked Mel’s passing as well, while Tanya Tucker recalled starring in an episode of The Love Boat with the legend. Here’s how members of the country music family reacted to the death of Mel Tillis, both on social media and through their publicists:

Blake Shelton: "Some of my most cherished memories are the times I spent with Mel Tillis. Many many great memories. From fishing, to just having a beer, to him crashing my concert! He once spent an entire day at his place in Tennessee showing me all the memorabilia he'd gathered over the years where he gave me a pair of his stage boots. He even took time to talk me through some hard times in my life on a couple phone calls. He did his best to try and keep my head on straight. I looked up to Mel more than he could've possibly known. A talented songwriter. An incredible entertainer. And a funny funny guy. It has been a couple years since I saw him last. I deeply regret that now. What a truly devastating loss. I loved Mel. I will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers to all his family."

Tim McGraw: "Man, one of the coolest guys in country music ever and an extraordinary songwriter! So glad I got a chance to hang out with him a bit early in my career. Thinking about his family..."

Crystal Gayle: "I’m saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Mel Tillis. Sending my love and prayers to his family and friends. There will never be another Mel Tillis!"

Charlie Daniels: "Mel Tillis, you will be missed by so many of us you touched over the years. Rest in peace my friend."

Billy Ray Cyrus: "Kindest man I've ever known. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Gonna be some great country music in Heaven this Sunday."

Tanya Tucker: "My heart is just broken over the passing of the great Mel Tillis. I have so many wonderful memories with him. I'll never forget working with him on Love Boat with Dottie West. We just go way back - from the time I was 8 years old when he brought me on stage with him. When I got older, sometimes I had to use other bands because I didn't have a band. Mel always let me use his band and I'll never forget that. We remained friends right up until the end. Love you, Mel."

It’s the end of the road for Deacon Claybourne, Juliette Barnes and the Nashville gang: the upcoming sixth season of the CMT drama will be its last. Executive producer Marshall Herskovitz issued a statement about the show's cancellation: “All of us on Nashville are so incredibly grateful to the show’s fans, who convinced CMT to give us a chance to keep telling the story of these remarkable characters. And we want to return the favor with a final season that celebrates all the joys and passions, twists and turns -- and amazing music! -- that made Nashville such an exciting journey for the last six years.” Nashville premiered on ABC in the fall of 2012 and ran for four seasons before being cancelled in May of 2016. Shortly after, CMT picked up the show that follows the up-and-downs of both major stars and up-and-comers in Tennessee’s “it” city.

Garth Brooks picked up his sixth Entertainer of the Year trophy at last week’s CMA Awards, and he’s wasting no time living up to the title. So far, he’s sold more than 100,000 tickets at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, which will be the final North American stop on his World Tour. All told, that makes Music City the 17th stop on the trek where Garth has sold more than 100,000 seats. So far, more than 6.3 million fans have turned out to see his first post-retirement outing. Garth’s seven shows in Music City start Saturday, December 9, and continue through the next two weekends, wrapping up on Saturday, December 23, with some tickets still remaining.

Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee will release his new album, Classics 3, on January 26. In addition to hits like "Got My Heart Set on You," the record also includes several new songs.

Both Wynonna and Craig Campbell will perform at the 2017 National Christmas Tree Lighting. You can watch the ceremony December 4 on Hallmark Channel.

Lee Ann Womack and Willie Nelson have recorded a new version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for the holiday season. You can preview the track on Soundcloud now.

Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell and many more are featured on the new album by guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel. Accomplice One comes out January 19.

Wynonna, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan star in the new A Nashville Christmas special, which premieres December 7 on getTV.

Blake Shelton’s never been shy about voicing his opinions on social media, and now that People has proclaimed him its Sexiest Man Alive, the Twitter-verse seems to be matching wits with him. “Blake Shelton isn’t even the sexiest man at this Waffle House,” @kittykaresless quipped. “Blake Shelton is sexy if you like a guy who’s always about to lean in and tell you about hearty, healthy, American dog food,” Louis Virtel tweeted. Ira Madison III even brought the Oklahoma native’s significant other into it:  Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are like a long-running CBS show that I have no idea who’s watching but here’s season 24 and wasn’t he David Caruso at one point.” The “I’ll Name the Dogs” hitmaker isn’t lacking for supporters, though -- and some of them are pretty high-profile. “Hey @BlakeShelton …” former Sexiest Man Alive Hugh Jackman advised, “take it from me … humble only gets you so far. Milk the sexy status for ALL it’s worth. The reign goes all too quickly…" Blake Shelton's fans know that's advice he no doubt will heed.

Carrie Underwood continues to be on the mend, after a hard fall Friday night outside her Nashville home that left her with a broken wrist, and several cuts and abrasions. “I just wanted [to] let everyone know that I’m doing great,” she tweeted Wednesday morning. “Had surgery on my wrist [Tuesday] & all went well…even though I’ll be setting off airport metal detectors from now on…I’m so thankful for the doctors, nurses, family & friends who’ve been taking such great care of me.” The ten-time CMA Awards host was forced to miss her scheduled appearance Sunday night at Nashville’s Country Rising benefit due to her injuries.

Blake's response when he was told of the news was: "y’all must be running out of people,” he told the magazine.  But he says his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, convinced him to embrace the title. “She goes, ‘Listen to me, you’re going to regret this for the rest of your life if you don’t take this gift and just live in the moment,” Shelton tells People. Most of all, however, the newly minted Sexiest Man Alive is gleeful at the prospect of waving his title in the face of his fellow Voice coach -- and 2013 Sexiest Man Alive -- Adam Levine. “I can’t wait to shove this up Adam’s a**,” Shelton adds. “As proud as I am and honored that you guys asked me, that’s really the only thing I care about.” If in fact Shelton was ever reluctant about the title, he doesn't seem so now. “It’s going to be used in every conversation, whether it’s at The Voice, or at the feed in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, or in a conversation with a doctor,” he tells People. “When [people] would say to Adam, ‘Mr. Sexy,’ you’d always see him go, ‘Well, awwww…’ If you say that to me, it’s going to be, ‘You’re damn right, I’m Mr. Sexy! I’ve been ugly my whole life, if I can be sexy for a year, I’m taking it. I’m taking it.'”

If you’ve ever wanted to emulate Miranda Lambert’s style, Boot Barn is ready to help you out this holiday season. The new Idyllwind Fueled by Miranda Lambert line will debut in select Boot Barn stores this year, ahead of its full launch next fall. The lifestyle brand features clothes, accessories and cowboy boots created by the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, and “inspired by vintage and retro looks with a modern fashion edge and a focus on comfort, fit and quality,” according to a press release. The fashions are described as being “true to Miranda’s spirit, reflecting her roots, personality, and style -- original, authentic, sexy and fearless.” Initially, Miranda’s brand will be available in Boot Barn stores in California, Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Arizona, before its full launch in 2018.  

 Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson are both set to play MerleFest 2018 April 26-29 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Craig Morgan is partnering with Lot18.com to launch his own wine. You can pick up a bottle of Craig’s Old Tattoo Cabernet Sauvignon online.

Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn will keep their Together in Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace going into 2018. The country superstars are adding a dozen new dates in March and August to their itinerary, with tickets going on sale to the public Friday, November 17 at noon PT. In honor of Veterans Day, military personnel will be able to buy half-price tickets through the month of November by showing their ID at The Colosseum box office. Here are the new 2018 dates for Reba and Brooks & Dunn:  Together in Vegas:

March 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24
August 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25

Some tickets still remain for the remaining 2017 dates: November 29
December 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10

Carrie Underwood is recovering after taking a nasty fall outside her Nashville home on Friday night. The ten-time CMA host was treated for multiple injuries, including a broken wrist and several cuts and abrasions after falling on some steps outside her house, according to her publicist. Her husband Mike Fisher was able to make it back to town that night to take her home from the hospital. Carrie’s “recovery will take some time and she appreciates all prayers and well wishes,” the statement from her publicist continues. Carrie herself tweeted an update late Sunday morning.  "Thanks so much for all the well wishes everybody...I’ll be alright," she wrote, adding, "might just take some time...glad I’ve got the best hubby in the world to take care of me."

Garth Brooks, Little Big Town and Chris Stapleton were the big winners at the 51st Annual CMA Awards, broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, a show chock full of touching moments, moving tributes and musical performances. Brooks took home the big award -- Entertainer of the Year -- thanking, among others his fans, "The most   important thing, other than God himself,” and “the people that allow us to get to be in the greatest music ever, country music." Stapleton walked off with Male Vocalist and top album honors for From A Room: Volume 1. Before announcing Stapleton as the winner, actor/writer/director Tyler Perry -- who presented the award -- drew a standing ovation when he said, "I believe it has never been more important than it is right now that we all come together, find some common ground...spend some time listening to each other and realize that we are more alike than not alike."

Little Big Town copped trophies for vocal group and Song of the Year for “Better Man,” written by Taylor Swift.

Swift couldn’t make to the show, but LBT’s Karen Fairchild thanked her for “this beautiful song and for loving songs and loving Nashville." Later, while picking up the group's award for Vocal Group of the Year, Fairchild noted, “Tonight should be about harmony. It should be about what we can do together to change things. "

Other winners included Miranda Lambert, who noted while accepting her Female Vocalist award, "I feel like there's a family in this room...we're bonded together and banded together more than we ever have been and I feel like country music is winning right now."

Keith Urban grabbed the Single of the Year nod for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Brothers Osborne won for Vocal Duo; and Jon Pardi took home the New Artist of the Year honor.

The show began on a serious note, with Eric Church delivering an a capella version of “Amazing Grace,” followed by Urban, Lady Antebellum and an all-star chorus joining Darius Rucker for his 1994 hit with Hootie & the Blowfish, "Hold My Hand.”

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley -- hosting the broadcast for the 10th straight year -- reflected on the storms and violent tragedies that have impacted so many across the United States this past year. Paisley dedicated the show to "all those we've lost and to all those who are still healing."

Country stars also made sure to pay homage to their late friends and colleagues. Glen Campbell -- who died this past August -- was honored by Little Big Town and songwriter Jimmy Webb with a performance of his song "Wichita Lineman." Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley paid tribute to Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry -- who was killed in a helicopter crash in September -- by singing "My Town." In a moment that brought tears to some in the crowd, Gentry's partner Eddie Montgomery came on stage to sing along. Brothers Osborne closed their performance with “Tulsa Time,” by Don Williams, who passed in September.

It's hard to imagine Garth Brooks being nervous about the CMA Awards. After all, the country icon is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year. "Last year, we didn't think we were going to win it and they call your name," Garth tells ABC Radio. "Now this year I'm nervous. Last year, you just knew you weren't going to win. This year, since they called your name last year, now you're nervous." While Garth may have award-show jitters, he knows Wednesday night will be a fun one. He's up against Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan and Eric Church for Entertainer of the Year, and says he's enjoyed watching each artist arrive on the country scene. "As one of the older guys, you get to see these guys. I got to watch Stapleton grow up in front of our eyes," he recalls. "It's fun. I love Keith Urban. I voted for him last year. I told him I didn't vote for him this year," Garth jokes. Garth is currently climbing the charts with his latest single, "Ask Me How I Know." Written by Mitch Rossell, it's the songwriter's first cut. As Garth explains, he and his band got together and decided to invite Mitch to share the stage with them as they perform the song. While Garth admits he's nervous about this year's awards, he's certain Mitch may be getting some pre-show jitters as well.   Will Garth take home the coveted Entertainer of the Year Award for the second year in a row? Watch the CMA Awards tonight on ABC to find out.

Tonight in Nashville, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood host the CMA Awards for the tenth time. And after a decade, the two say they know what the audience wants. “We do have other writers on the show,” Brad tells ABC Radio, “but you'd be really surprised at the amount of… material… that Carrie and I come up with.” Brad even believes Carrie has a better sense than he does of what’s funny. “It's really painfully obvious to me that you know me better than I do,” he tells her, “as far as what I should be doing. And we lean on Carrie a lot. Like, she had a great idea yesterday -- I'm not gonna say what it is yet-- where she's like, 'You know what I like? I like when you do this.'”  The pair admit social media has made hosting harder, particularly when it comes to the popular parody they do every year. “We're working on it,” Brad says. “The issue this year is, the news changes every 15 seconds…”

Luke Bryan is a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and he's nominated for the award once again on Wednesday night.  Luke says one reason he'd like to win it again is so that he can personally show his gratitude to his fans. "When you win an Entertainer of the Year award, then you get to thank your fans on tour the following year and every night when you acknowledge, 'Thanks for coming out. Because of you guys, I'm your Entertainer of the Year,'" he says. The country singer won the coveted award in 2014 and 2015, but finds himself among some tough competition this year: he's up against Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. But whether he wins or loses the award, Luke says the actual "entertaining" part of his job is the most important thing. "The main thing for me is entertain, put music out and do this job to the best of your availability," he explains. "Hopefully I'll have a few more years at getting to be a part of this night. I cherish all of my memories of being at the CMA Awards, and certainly cherish my two Entertainer of the Year awards that I've been blessed to win -- which is still amazing to me." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1) Tune into the CMA Awards on ABC Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET to see if Luke is crowned Entertainer of the Year for the third time.

A Thousand Horses will join Kid Rock's Greatest Show on Earth Tour in 2018. The tour kicks off in Nashville on January 19.

Blake Shelton is in a league of his own. Ahead of the release of his new album, Texoma Shore, the singer gave fans a preview of several songs off the project. As a result, six of the 11 songs on the album made their way to the Mediabase chart -- something no other country artist has ever done. In addition to his latest top 10 single "I'll Name the Dogs," Shelton has charted with tracks "At The House,” “I Lived It,” “Turnin’ Me On,” “Money” and “Why Me.” “At the end of the day, I make music so that it can be heard,” Shelton said in a statement. “It’s amazing that so many songs from a brand new album have been embraced so early. I’m proud of this record and the work that went into making it, and I’m proud that already it means something to my fans. Thanks to country radio for the support.” Shelton released Texoma Shore on November 3. He will launch his Country Music Freaks Tour in 2018.

Garth Brooks already is the winningest Entertainer of the Year in CMA history, having taken home the honor five times, most recently in 2016. Wednesday night, the G-man has the chance to claim his sixth Entertainer trophy. All his thoughts about winning, however, go straight to his band and crew.   “I don't know,” he tells ABC Radio. “As far as Entertainer of the Year, if you want to talk about the band and crew, we can talk about them all day long, man. I think they deserve it. C'mon, 400 shows in 3 years? That's a focus like no other and then that's only, that's less than 80 cities, so these guys are seeing a ton of shows in each city.” Garth makes a great point, especially when you consider that he often does multiple shows in one day -- requiring a reset that’s not exactly the industry norm. Even though he has a reputation as one of the hardest-working guys in show business, Garth is quick to point out he has it the easiest of anyone on his team. “Try to remember,” he explains, “I'm the last guy onstage and the first guy off. So I'm the one working the least. This band and crew, I'll put 'em up against anybody. Their focus has been unbelievable, and it's the same band and crew that we started with. So these guys have not dropped out or had replacements, they've forged the whole way.” In addition to defending his Entertainer of the Year title, Garth will perform his top-ten single, “Ask Me How I Know” on the 51st Annual CMA Awards. You can catch the show live from Nashville, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.  

The Bellamy Brothers, Howard and David, plan to release their autobiography next year, titled Let Your Love Flow -- The Life and Times of the Bellamy Brothers.

You can check out Chris Stapleton’s “Scarecrow in the Garden” via an audio-only video on YouTube now. The track is the second one released so far from Chris’s new album, From A Room: Volume 2, which comes out December 1.

We don't know whether it was entirely his doing, but Brad Paisley no doubt was a big factor in the Country Music Association rescinding its policy banning the media from asking questions about the mass shooting in Las Vegas at next Wednesday’s CMA Awards. “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines,” the CMA host tweeted Friday morning, adding “In 3… 2…. 1 …..” What he was referring to was the guidelines for the 51st Annual CMA Awards, emailed to reporters Thursday.  They read, in part: “In light of recent events, and out of respect for the artists directly or indirectly involved, please refrain from focusing your coverage of the CMA Awards Red Carpet and Backstage Media Center on the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like. It’s vital, more so this year than in years past due to the sensitivities at hand, that the CMA Awards be a celebration of Country Music and the artist that make this genre so great… If you are reported as straying from these guidelines, your credential will be reviewed and potentially revoked via security escort.” Two hours after Brad’s tweet, the Country Music Association released a statement that declared: "CMA apologizes for the recently distributed restrictions in the CMA Awards media guidelines, which have since been lifted. The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best of intentions to honor and celebrate Country Music.” Brad Paisley will host the CMA Awards for the tenth time this year with co-host Carrie Underwood. You can watch the show live from Nashville starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are gearing up for the 51st Annual CMA Awards in a big way on Thursday. They’ll begin the day with an appearance on Good Morning America, which starts at 7 a.m. on ABC. Then, the soon-to-be 10-year CMA hosts dip their toes into the culinary world, as they stick around to guest on The Chew, starting at 1 p.m. ET on ABC. The countdown is on to the 2017 edition of country music’s most prestigious awards show. Brad and Carrie’s antics begin next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, as the CMA Awards air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC.

Zac Brown Band will kick off the New Year's Eve celebration as part of an impressive lineup of talent in Las Vegas. ZBB will play The Cosmopolitan New Year's Eve weekend, along with rock gods Foo Fighters and Duran Duran, as well as hip-hop’s French Montana and DJ Mustard, and electronic dance artist Galantis. Concerts will take place at various venues throughout the hotel, with Zac and company taking the stage Friday night at the 3,200-seat The Chelsea at 9 p.m. Then at 11 p.m., Zac’s side band, Sir Rosevelt, will play the Rose.Rabbit.Lie. supper club. Duran Duran follows on Saturday, with Foo Fighters on Sunday. The Cosmopolitan will officially welcome 2018 with its annual fireworks celebration at The Ice Rink at Boulevard Pool. Tickets go on sale November 3 at 10 a.m. PT at CosmopolitanLasVegas.com.

Garth Brooks is coming home to Nashville for the final North American stop on his World Tour. The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year will play Music City’s Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, December 16. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 10 at 10 a.m. CT. This is the first time Garth has played the venue in seven years. In 2010, he staged a series of benefit shows at the Bridgestone to aid in recovery efforts after the devastating flood in Nashville earlier that year.

Looks like congratulations are in order for Chris Stapleton and his wife of 10 years.  The pair are expecting twins. Morgane Stapleton made the announcement on Instagram Monday posting an image of herself and Chris and writing, "14 years, 2 babies, & 2 more on the way. Happy 10 year anniversary babe! You make my whole world go round." The Dallas Observer notes that Chris actually spilled the beans over the weekend during a concert Saturday night at Dallas' Starplex Pavilion. "She's the mother of my two kids, and she's about to be the mother of two more," he said before closing the show performing "Tennessee Whiskey" singing mostly directly to her, the paper reports.

It wasn't long ago that Thomas Rhett was telling reporters in Nashville how good his dad, singer/songwriter Rhett Akins, is with his young daughters Willa and Ada.  But now it sounds as though TR may need to keep an eye on grandpa when he's babysitting. “The most redneck thing I’ve done lately,” Rhett Akins tells Country Aircheck, “Is [taking] my two-year-old granddaughter Willa riding on my camouflaged four-wheeler to fill the fish and deer feeders on my farm. I kind of turned my head while she ate raw corn out of the deer feeder.” “I thought it was funny,” he admits. “I only let her do it for a second!” Rhett is featured on the track “Drink a Little Beer” on Thomas Rhett’s current Life Changes album.  

Darius Rucker stops by Harry Connick Jr.’s talk show on Wednesday. Check your local listing to see when the syndicated Harry airs in your area.

Brett Young, Hunter Hayes, John Berry, Lindsay Ell and Halfway to Hazard will play the November 20 Christmas 4 Kids benefit at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.  All proceeds go to pay for holiday shopping sprees for children in Middle Tennessee.

Lady Antebellum, Nashville's Charles Esten, newcomer Brandon Ray and guitar legend Peter Frampton all helped Musicians on Call raise $260,000 during its 10th anniversary celebration last week at Nashville's City Winery.

The performing rights organization SESAC [SEE-sack] will honor Kenny Rogers with its Legacy Award November 5 at the Nashville Music Awards at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Dierks Bentley headlines the Thursday, November 2 Nashville House Concert at Music City's War Memorial Auditorium.

Merle's Meat + 3 Saloon and the Merle Haggard Museum are both set to open in Nashville in the summer of 2018. The projects are a partnership between Haggard's widow Theresa and the owners of the Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline Museums.

What will Dolly Parton be going as this Halloween?  You’ll have to watch Harry on Tuesday to find out. The entertainment icon is set to make an in-costume appearance on the October 31 episode of Harry Connick Jr.’s talk show. Check your local listings to see when it airs in your area. We do know Dolly will be stopping by the show to promote her new children’s album, I Believe in You. The cover features a photo of the Country Music Hall-of-Famer dressed in a Tinkerbell-esque outfit, complete with butterfly wings.

The business of Blake Shelton is booming, and now the star of The Voice is expanding into fashion. The “I’ll Name the Dogs” hitmaker will launch his new clothing line at Macy’s with an appearance at New York City’s Herald Square location on November 2. The Oklahoma native shared the news on Instagram, along with a photo of him wearing a plaid shirt and jeans that are presumably a part of the BS by Blake Shelton collection. Blake’s new album, Texoma Shore, follows on November 3. If you’re keeping up, already this fall, Blake has re-released his holiday album, Cheers! It’s Christmas; opened the first of his Ole Red bars and restaurants in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma; and kicked off his 13th season of The Voice, NBC’s hit singing competition.

Trisha Yearwood has a new product in her signature line at Williams Sonoma.  It’s a drink mixer called Christmas in a Cup that combines the flavors of pomegranate, cranberry, tangerine and lime. The name plays off her previous endeavor with the culinary giant, Summer in a Cup.

Anderson East, Brent Cobb and Dave Cobb pay tribute to the late Don Williams by covering “Come Early Morning” in the Long Live the Storytellers series. You can watch the latest installment on YouTube.

Ever since he lost a close friend to breast cancer early in his career, Jason Aldean has vowed to do all he can to fight the disease...and he's stayed true to his word. Friday night, he brought his annual Concert for the Cure to Louisville, Kentucky, donating more than $330,000 to the local chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition to giving a portion of every ticket he sells to the cause, the two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year has also been meeting breast cancer survivors every night on the They Don’t Know Tour. “These women and their families are fighters,” Jason says. “We’ve been having them backstage every night for the last couple years now and I’ve heard their stories first hand. We’re going to keep fighting with them until there’s no more breast cancer.” Since Jason kicked off his commitment to fight breast cancer in 2004, he’s raised more than $3.6 million for the cause.

The star-studded Country Rising benefit at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena is sold out, so organizers have added a second, simultaneous event at Music City’s Ascend Amphitheater. Chris Janson, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Eric Paslay and others will take the stage November 12 to raise money for victims of both the Las Vegas tragedy and the recent hurricanes.

Brett Young guested on Garth Brooks’ weekly Inside Studio G series Monday night, with Lee Brice and Old Dominion set to join him on Facebook in the weeks to come.

It’s a custom that the Country Music Hall of Fame's new inductees pick who they’d like to officially welcome them into the genre’s most hallowed ranks. When Alan Jackson made his choice, he knew it was a long shot, since the legend he chose had been forced to take the rest of the year off to recover from a stroke she suffered in May. But as Loretta Lynn surprised the crowd Sunday night at the CMA Theater in Nashville -- aided by George Strait -- the icon proved her powers of charm and wit are still intact. “Now this is the first time I've been out of the house, Alan. You're the only thing that would've brought me here,” Loretta explained as the audience laughed and applauded. “I love you, honey and I want to say congratulations, and I am so proud of you. I'm glad that you're being... Hey, you should be here!” she added, interrupting herself. “Loretta Lynn said I should be in here. That's all I needed to hear, so now it's official,” Alan quipped, after the Coal Miner’s Daughter placed the medallion around his neck to officially make him a member of the Hall. Earlier, Alan’s tour mate Lee Ann Womack paid tribute to him by singing the title track from his first record, “Here in the Real World.” His one-time record producer, Alison Krauss, did “Someday.” George Strait made the trip from Texas to do the romantic “Remember When.” Alan’s off-the-cuff acceptance was both heartfelt and funny.    “I wrote what I knew about, and that was cars,” the Georgia native said, looking back on his career. “My daddy was a mechanic. I grew up in a garage. That's all I cared about. That's the reason I came to Nashville to be a singer because I loved cars, and I couldn't really buy any,” he deadpanned, as the crowd roared. Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz were inducted into the Hall during the annual ceremony as well. Jamey Johnson revived Reed’s 1977 Smokey and the Bandit hit, “East Bound and Down,” before Bobby Bare presented the late singer’s daughters with his medallion.  Mary Chapin Carpenter offered an emotional take on Schlitz’ “When You Say Nothing at All,” before Aloe Blacc teamed up with Vince Gill for a surprise duet on “The Gambler.”