Country News

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.”

As Alan Jackson and his wife Denise walked the red carpet before Alan’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, they admitted they could hardly believe it was happening. Denise played a crucial role in helping Alan land his first big break, giving a tape to Glen Campbell at the airport, while she was working as a flight attendant. In the end, Alan landed a writing deal with Glen’s publishing company. “I mean, it was the first step that led us here,” she reminisced. “You never know in life where things are gonna lead you...  [We’re] so blessed and honored. I knew in my heart one day this would happen. But it's surreal to be experiencing it. It really is.” Alan was feeling much the same way, as he prepared for the moment when he’d officially become a member of the Hall. “I think I'll be very, just flattered and at the same time, feel like it's like a dream, like I'm not supposed to be here,” he said humbly. Glen Campbell passed away earlier this year after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Sunday night’s Medallion Ceremony in Music City’s CMA Theater opened with Campbell’s recording of “Try a Little Kindness.”

Garth Brooks is about to make his debut as an author: his first written work -- the initial volume of his autobiography, no less -- comes out November 14.  But in typical Garth fashion, it won’t be just an ordinary book:  it’ll come with five CDs featuring audio-visual content that’s never been seen or heard by the public before. “What is The Anthology?” Garth asks in a new video previewing the project. “It's the whole enchilada, man. The First Five Years, probably the craziest five years of my life, told by everybody that was there every day. Stories you have heard, stories you haven't heard, but stories told from different angles.” As for what to call the package, Garth admits he’s at a loss. “You can't call it a book because it's music with packaging,” he says. “Or is it a book with music? Music that built the Garth Brooks sound, but yet has never been released. Pictures that even I have never seen.” The Anthology|Part I:  The First Five Years covers the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year’s first five albums. You can pre-order it now, and get a glimpse at what to expect at Anthology.GarthBrooks.com.

Wednesday night’s 2017 CMT Artists of the Year special ranks as the most-watched in the event’s 8-year history. In addition to honoring Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan, the 2017 gathering paid tribute to America’s resilience after multiple hurricanes and the tragedy in Las Vegas.

Garth Brooks will play three shows December 1-3 at Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center. Tickets still remain for the World Tour stop with wife Trisha Yearwood.

The charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music has donated a quarter-million dollars to help in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Shooting. ACM Lifting Lives gave $200K to MGM’s Victim Relief & First Responders’ Fund, $25K to the National Compassion Fund, and $25K to the Friends of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Foundation. The Academy holds its annual awards show in Vegas each spring.

Garth Brooks takes the stage tonight to play the very first concert at Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. More than 80,000 fans are expected for the biggest event yet at the new Georgia venue. As 2017 comes to a close, Garth’s World Tour is winding down, but you don’t have to worry:  the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year isn’t planning to disappear.  “I can tell you my retiring days are behind me,” he says. “I can tell you you're gonna have to throw me out now. I'm so ready for this. The only thing that's gonna change after December is it's just not gonna be a constant appearance. You're gonna pick 'em, you're gonna choose 'em.”  Garth says he’s looking forward to deciding where he wants to play, as opposed to constantly covering the country with an ongoing series of concerts. The thing he's anticipating the most is actually giving back to the fans.  “The great thing about the next year, 2018 -- I'll get to play some places for free,” he explains. “That's what I like! Just go for the reason of going there and getting to play music. That's cool.”  “Right now, the tour's running, it's on a schedule. It's got assets, and it's got a bank that has to even out. So right now, you're out there grinding it out. But if anybody sits up here and tells you that touring is working for a living, they're lying to you. It's the sweetest, easiest thing I've ever got to do,” he adds. Garth will defend his Entertainer of the Year title at next month’s 51st CMA Awards.

For the first time ever, you’ll soon be able to own the most memorable performances from five decades of the CMA Awards. The Country Music Association is partnering with Time Life to offer a 10-DVD collection that includes 127 history-making appearances from country music’s most prestigious awards show. You should start seeing the infomercial for the set soon, with CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015 arriving at retail early next year. Included in the package are a who’s-who of country royalty, from legends like Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Barbara Mandrell, Buck Owens, and Kenny Rogers to modern-day pioneers like Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Naomi Judd and Charley Pride appear in the project’s bonus features and interviews. Here are some of the memorable moments you’ll find on the set: 

- Merle Haggard sings 1970’s Single of the Year, “Okie from Muskogee,” the same night he won Entertainer
- Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers open the 1983 show with “Islands in the Stream”
- Alan Jackson’s 2001 premiere of the 9/11 anthem “Where Were  You (When the World Stopped Turning)”
- Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette cover “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” in 1993
- Sheryl Crow teams up with Miranda Lambert and Loretta Lynn to do “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 2010

You can check out the trailer for CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015 on YouTube.

Garth Brooks will play Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center for the first time on Saturday, December 2. Tickets for the show with Trisha Yearwood go on sale Thursday, October 19.

Country Music Hall-of-Famer Charley Pride will perform on The View this Thursday. You can catch the show at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.

Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Chris Young, Brothers Osborne and Frankie Ballard will all play in the Cast for a Cure Big Bass Tournament November 4 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The event, which will also include professionals Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, and Roland Martin, raises money for the T.J. Martell Foundation.

If you’ve ever wondered if Tim McGraw and Faith Hill really get along...well, they don’t, in most of the video for their new single, “The Rest of Our Life.” In the new clip, the superstar couple seems to be acknowledging the fact that their 21-year-marriage has often been tabloid fodder.  The two are seen fighting as they’re headed to a glamorous affair in a limo, with Tim sporting a white tux and Faith dressed in a stunning purple gown. “The Rest of Our Life” takes an even more dramatic turn when it starts to rain and Faith strikes out walking on her own, while Tim stays in the limo and leaves her behind. A drenched Faith finally makes it to a country diner, where -- spoiler alert -- Tim walks in and they instantly make up. You can check out the video for “The Rest of Our Life” on YouTube now. Written by pop star Ed Sheeran, the tune is the title track for Tim and Faith’s first-ever album of duets, which comes out November 17.  

Five years after its original release, Blake Shelton’s Cheers, It’s Christmas. is back in a new edition that includes a new album cover and three new songs. In addition to existing collaborations with Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson and Michael Buble, the 2017 version of the record adds “Two Step Round the Christmas Tree” and “Christmas Eve” to the set, as well as “Savior’s Shadow,” which originally appeared on Blake’s If I’m Honest album. Blake also has a new duet with girlfriend Gwen Stefani this year, but you’ll have to pick up her new holiday disc to get “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” It's the album's title track.

Jason Aldean and his wife Brittany were back in Las Vegas on Sunday, a week to the day after the shooting during his performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival that left 58 dead and nearly 500 injured.  The couple apparently were in town to meet with victims. Brittany posted an image to Instagram of herself and Jason on the tarmac of the airport near the festival site.  The Mandalay Bay hotel -- from which the shooter took aim at concertgoers -- is visible over their heads in the distance. "Feels surreal being back in Vegas today. Visiting some of the strongest people we have ever met... fighting the toughest battle of them all... for their lives. You have helped us try to begin the healing process by seeing the strength each one of you have. Thank you for today. We will never forget. #vegasstrong," Brittany wrote. University Medical Center Hospital, Nevada's only Level I Trauma Center, which treated many of the victims, tweeted a picture of Jason outside the hospital. "Thank you to Country Music Star @Jason_Aldean for visiting today. His visit helped cheer those who were wounded in this tragedy," the hospital wrote.

Blake Shelton’s tenth studio album will arrive before the end of the year, but the always-unpredictable star of The Voice reveals his latest recording came as a surprise to most everybody. “I had no plans of putting out an album this year at all,” he tells Entertainment Tonight. “It just happened, you know. I think 'I'll Name the Dogs' is really what set this ball rolling because I'd planned on still being in the middle of releasing music off If I'm Honest. That was the plan. That was the label's plan, the manager's plan, and I called one day and said, 'Hey guys, when this current single runs its course, screw it! Let's come out with a new album.' So I caught everybody off guard, which is another indicator of how excited I am about this one.” If you’re looking for more insights into Blake’s relationship with girlfriend Gwen Stefani or more details about his split from ex-wife Miranda Lambert, the Oklahoma native warns you probably won’t find them on the new record. “I don't think this one is as personal,” he says. “There's a song or two on there that are directly personal. But for the most part, I just made an album that feels like I feel right now, that's just happy and going with the flow. There might be one or two songs on there that kind of feel like, you know, I've lost my dog and my wife,” he jokes, “but it's really just more about the overall feel.” Texoma Shore arrives in stores and online November 3.

Looks like plenty of fans were hungry for new music from Shania TwainNow, Shania's first studio album in nearly 15 years, debuts this week atop the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart. Now did 137,000 in sales and equivalent streams in its first week, 134,000 of which were traditional album sales, the third-largest sales week for a country album in 2017, Billboard reports.  Among country albums, Now's first-week performance was only bested by Chris Stapleton's From A Room: Volume 1 and Zac Brown Band's Welcome Home. Shania also racked up and the largest sales week for a female artist in almost two years, and the biggest sales week for a female country artist since Carrie Underwood's Storyteller debuted in November of 2015 with 164,000 in sales and streams. Now is the second country album to top the all-genre chart so far this year, following Thomas Rhett's Life Changes.

Ray Stevens will host his annual Charity Golf Classic October 12-13 at Temple Hills Country Club in Franklin, Tennessee.

Johnny Cash’s Unearthed recordings with producer Rick Rubin will be re-released November 3 as a nine-LP vinyl boxed set.

After wrapping his What the Hell Tour in early September with Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi, Dierks Bentley has been home in Nashville readying his next album. But when gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 more at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday, Dierks says it stopped him in his tracks. “I’m having a hard time even physically moving right now,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I had to take Twitter off my phone because I’ve just been looking at it for two days straight. It’s just the heaviest, darkest thing I can remember since 9/11.” Dierks echoes what other country artists have been feeling, whether they played the outdoor stage in Vegas this year or not. “Those fans are all family to us,” the Arizona native asserts. “It’s a community like no other, and I’m sure I know some people that were killed or wounded." "We see a lot of the same faces on the road. It’s a really tight group," he adds. "The boundaries between the audience and the stage are thin, metaphorically, in country music.” Though he clearly loves his fans and loves what he does for a living, Dierks admits he’s glad he’s not on tour right now. “Fortunately, I’m off the road for a little while,” he says candidly. “I would have to dig really deep to walk onto a stage right now. I have a lot of respect for artists who are out there helping fans heal and playing shows.” Jason Aldean -- who was onstage when the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history started -- has called off his concerts this weekend, out of respect for the victims of the attack. He’ll next take the stage on Thursday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

If you missed Jimmy Fallon and Miley Cyrus recreating Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s most iconic performance of their country/pop smash “Islands in the Stream,” you can watch it online now.

Kelsea Ballerini and Trisha Yearwood are teaming up to help the Grand Ole Opry fight breast cancer.  On October 24, the Opry Goes Pink for the ninth year in a row. Kelsea will flip the ceremonial switch to turn the Opry’s iconic barn pink for the night, while Trisha will introduce this year’s Women Rock for the Cure honorary survivor. It’s a cause that’s very personal for Trisha, since she lost her own mother, Gwen, to cancer several years ago. LANCO, Easton Corbin, and Runaway June will also take the Opry stage that night, with five dollars from every ticket going to help Women Rock for the Cure in their efforts to fight breast cancer.

Though they didn’t know it at the time, Big & Rich’s room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was very near the one occupied by alleged shooter Stephen Paddock. “Our rooms were right underneath where his room was,” Big Kenny told Entertainment Tonight. “I was looking down at the festival the whole day. I was watching all the fans coming into the festival. It’s as heartbreaking of an event as you can possibly have.” Big Kenny and John Rich had already played their set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night, about 90 minutes before Jason Aldean took the stage and the shooting began.  The two had taken their bus to John’s nearby Redneck Riviera bar for an after-party. Once John heard what was happening, he called his friend Dee Jay Silver, who tours with Jason and had been “thrown into the back of a pickup truck.” It turns out Silver's family was even closer to the spot where the suspect fired on the crowd below, killing at least 59 and injuring more than 500 others. “His 6-month-old son and the nanny were in the room next door to the shooter on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay,” John reveals. “It took him and his wife three or four hours before they could find their baby.”

Jason Aldean is calling off his upcoming concerts in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Anaheim, California this weekend, in light of Sunday night's mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. “As a result of what happened in Las Vegas this week, we have decided to cancel this coming weekend’s shows,” Jason says in a statement. “I feel like out of respect for the victims, their families and our fans, it is the right thing to do.” At least 59 people lost their lives and more than 500 were injured when alleged shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 fans during Aldean’s closing set at the outdoor festival. “It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week,” the two-time Entertainer of the Year adds, “so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost and be close with our family and friends.” The Georgia native’s They Don’t Know Tour will resume October 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

William Michael Morgan’s debut #1 single, “I Met a Girl,” which was written by Sam Hunt, has now been certified gold by the RIAA.

Jamey Johnson raised more than $200,000 to help in the fight against pancreatic cancer at his recent Sixth Annual Homecoming Golf Tournament and Concert at Cottonwood Golf Club in Montgomery, Alabama.

Shania Twain’s new album, NOW, already has been certified platinum in her native Canada. You can see her performing the record’s latest single, “Swingin’ with My Eyes Closed,” on The Late Late Show with James Corden on YouTube.

Next week in downtown Nashville, Cole Swindell will help Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge mark its 57th year in business. In fact, the world-famous honky tonk is even renaming its annual celebration concert after the Georgia native’s new single, “Stay Downtown.” Cole will headline the Stay Downtown at Tootsie’s 57th Birthday Bash the evening of Tuesday, October 10, outside Tootsie's, on the stretch of Music City known as Lower Broadway. The show is free and open to public. Prior to the big concert, Cole will celebrate his seventh straight #1, “Flatliner,” with a private party at Tootsie’s.

The country community is coming together in a big way to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Practically every big-name country star you can think of will take part in Country Rising:  Nashville Gives for Hurricane Relief November 12 at Music City's Bridgestone Arena. Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood make up the initial lineup, with more names to be added in the coming days. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 6 at 10 a.m. CT. Money raised will go to help those affected in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands through the The Country Rising Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. You can find out more at CountryRising.org.

Dolly Parton recently claimed the top two spots on the iTunes Children’s Songs chart with the title track of her new kids album, I Believe in You, and a re-recording of her classic “Coat of Many Colors.” The superstar’s first children’s album is available digitally now, with physical copies coming October 13.  

Garth Brooks has sold more than 86,000 tickets for his upcoming run at Washington’s Tacoma Dome. He and Trisha Yearwood will play five shows the weekend of November 3-5.

Five-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks has written his autobiography, and you’ll be able to experience it November 14, when The Anthology|Part 1: The First Five Years is released. Not only is the 240-page hardcover the first in a five-part series, it also has an audio-visual component. In addition to more than 150 never-before-seen photos, the package comes with 52 songs, spread across five CDs. Nineteen of the tracks are new, unreleased or demo versions of Garth recordings. You’ll not only be able to read the story of why “That Summer” was re-written and re-recorded, you’ll also be able to listen to the two different versions. Garth also tells the story of the first time he ever sang with wife-to-be Trisha Yearwood -- you’ll be able to hear that track, too. The superstar also recalls some near-misses: how “The Thunder Rolls” was ready to be released by another artist, and why he came close to not even recording his enduring hits “Friends in Low Places” or “The Dance.” Garth will reveal more about The Anthology|Part 1: The First Five Years on Monday in a special edition of Inside Studio G. You can watch that at 7 p.m. ET on his Facebook page.

Garth will play Spokane, Washington on Saturday, November 11. Tickets for the show with Trisha Yearwood will go on sale Friday, October 6.

Get ready for more reality TV… CMT is adding a new dose of reality to its lineup, as it preps the docu-series Music City to premiere early next year. The eight-part reality show will follow a group of aspiring singer/songwriters and musicians as they try to make it in Nashville.  Adam DiVello, who created both The Hills and Laguna Beach for MTV, is the project’s executive producer. Music City is set to premiere in January of 2018, alongside the new season of Nashville. You can watch a 20-second sneak peek on YouTube now.

Close to a dozen of Lynn Anderson’s friends and family members wore items from the late singer’s extensive collection of fashions by Manuel at the party celebrating the “Rose Garden” hitmaker’s new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Keep Me in Mind” is open now and runs through June 24 of next year.

Sara Evans, Eric Paslay, Lindsay Ell and LeAnn Rimes are just some of the stars set to play the Live in the Vineyard music, food and wine festival November 3-5 in Napa Valley, California.

Eric Church had such a great time at the 2016 BMI Maui Songwriters Festival, he’s headed back again. “Last year’s event was one of the most unique performances I’ve ever had in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been,” he says. “I can’t wait to go back!” This year, Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, Randy Houser and newcomer Ashley McBryde are just some of the Nashville songwriters who’ll head to Hawaii to join the Chief. The third annual festival takes place November 29-December 2, with tickets going on sale October 6 at MauiSongwritersFestival.com.

We’re hearing from Eddie Montgomery for the first time since his musical partner, Troy Gentry, was killed in a helicopter crash in New Jersey earlier this month. “Our world was turned upside down in an instant and nothing could have prepared us for this,” Eddie writes in a letter accompanying Montgomery Gentry’s new single, “Better Me.” “Over the past few months, me and T-Roy have been working on what I think is the best record of our career,” he continues. “In the last few weeks we had been talking about what our first single would be. Then on September 8th, none of that mattered.” “Better Me” emerged as the obvious choice for Montgomery Gentry’s next single after it made its debut at the close of Troy’s funeral September 14 at the Grand Ole Opry House. “‘Better Me’ is a song we all loved and Troy sings his a** off on it,” Eddie goes on. “It speaks volumes about his life and who he had become and everyone he touched and how much he loved his family. I am so proud of this song and also to call him my friend, my family, my brother for 30 years." “Better Me” is available to stream or download now.

Reba McEntire is getting into the boot business. The Country Music Hall-of-Famer -- and former cowgirl -- is partnering with Justin Boot Company to create her own line of footwear. “Justin Boots have been a staple in my closet since my barrel racing years in Oklahoma," Reba says. “This collection is for all those strong, spirited women and cowgirls at heart who have followed my journey throughout the years. This opportunity couldn’t have been a more natural fit and creating the line has been too much fun!” REBA by Justin will feature classic western boots, booties, and casual shoes, and will be available at retailers nationwide in time for the holidays this year.

In a little more than a week, we’ll get to hear Shania Twain’s first studio album in 15 years, in its entirety. NOW is the Canadian superstar’s first new project since 2002’s diamond-certified Up!. “A lot has changed since then,” Shania writes in a new essay in the current issue of InStyle. “I’m divorced and remarried, been diagnosed with Lyme disease, lost my singing voice, and had to rebuild my vocal chords.” Shania says the only place things haven’t changed for her is onstage. “Even now, when I’m all dolled up, I feel as though I’m the same person onstage,” she continues. “It’s a mood change more than anything. The minute I walk out there, I’m with everyone, and we’re at this party all together.” The country/pop icon promises she even has some new catsuits to slip into when she hits the road on her world tour next year. Shania continues to roll out clips of new songs like “Roll Me on the River” on social media, in advance of NOW’s September 29 release. The tracks “We Got Something They Don’t,” “Swingin’ with My Eyes Closed,” “Poor Me,” and “Life’s About to Get Good” are all available to stream or download now.

Native Texans Clint Black, the EaglesDon Henley, and Lyle Lovett are coming together to stage their own fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Helping Texans:  A Hurricane Harvey Benefit Concert will take place Tuesday, November 28 at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. “We all watched on the news as Harvey destroyed much of Southeast Texas and Houston, my hometown,” Black says. “We braced ourselves through the night as the flood waters grew closer to our family’s doorsteps in Houston and Katy. My mom, brothers, niece and nephews were all very fortunate and I knew I had to find a way to help those who weren’t so lucky..." Tickets go on sale this Friday at BassHall.com. All proceeds will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation, with the three stars helping decide how the money is spent.

Willie Nelson and the Boys: Willie’s Stash Vol. 2 will be released October 20. It’s the second in a series of recordings by the Red-Headed Stranger and his sons Lukas and Micah, as they perform a selection of country classics, including seven tunes written by Hank Williams Sr.

The mother of the Gatlin Brothers -- Larry, Steve and Rudy -- passed away on Friday night. Billie Doan Gatlin was 88.

Nineties hitmaker John Berry has written and recorded the new song, “All Come Together,” to raise money for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Collin Raye, Bryan White, Trick Pony’s Heidi Newfield, members of Restless Heart, John Oates of Hall & Oates and more join him on the track, which will be available for download in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, you can watch the “All Come Together” music video on YouTube.

Chris Young is inviting you on a little “Holiday” as he gets ready to release his new record. If you pre-order Losing Sleep, you'll instantly get the track titled “Holiday,” as well as the lead single and title song -- and there’s more on the way. You’ll get an instant download of “Hangin’ On” on September 29, with “Where I Go When I Drink” on the way October 13. Chris’s seventh album will be his very first to be released on vinyl when it comes out October 20. It’ll also be available with an exclusive bonus track at Cracker Barrel, one appropriately named “Encore.” Cracker Barrel will start rolling out a five-part Chris Young docu-series on September 28. You’ll be able to watch it on the restaurant’s YouTube channel.

The Country Music Hall of Fame has announced the unveiling of two new exhibits. The Ray Stevens: Everything Is Beautiful display will be available for patrons to view beginning September 20 and will celebrate Ray Stevens' 60 years in country music. Meanwhile, Lynn Anderson's upcoming exhibit Lynn Anderson: Keep Me in Mind opens on September 15 and runs through June 24, 2018.

Luke Bryan is working hard to give back to the Texas community following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in August. The singer has coordinated with Houston area authorities to make tickets to his upcoming Texas concert available to members of the hurricane's first responder teams. Luke will be playing Cynthia Woods Pavilion in Houston on September 22, and plans to thank those teams during his visit. Additionally, Luke will donate his concert proceeds to benefit the Houston Community Fund. Last night, the "Light It Up" singer also participated in the Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon special live from Nashville, taking part in the celebrity phone bank answering donor calls.

They're not from the Lone Star State, but Paul Simon, James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt are joining with some Texas artists -- including Willie Nelson -- to stage a benefit concert for Hurricane Harvey Relief next week. Called Harvey Can't Mess with Texas, the concert will air as a TV special on 11 local stations in the state of Texas, as well as on YouTube.com/TexasStrong, from 9-10 p.m. CT on Friday, September 22.  In addition to Nelson, Simon, Taylor and Raitt, the concert will also feature Lyle Lovett, soul singer Leon Bridges, Simon's wife Edie Brickell and her band New Bohemians, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.  Legendary Western swing act Asleep at the Wheel will serve as house band. In addition, Texans Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, Luke Wilson and Dan Rather will make special appearances. Tickets for the four-hour event, which will take place at Austin's Frank Erwin Center, go on sale Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT at RebuildTX.org.  Google will match the first $500,000 of donations; all proceeds will go to the Rebuild Texas Fund.

Lee Ann Womack has never been happier. The singer has announced her new record, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, will be available on October 27 and she says it's a hopeful project. Lee Ann tells Noisey that the soulfulness present in East Texas -- the album was recorded at SugarHill Studios -- makes its way onto her album. She adds that the project is not a return to her roots or a switch in her sound, it's simply "what I've always done." The singer wrote most of the album while on the road and it will be her first release via ATO Records. She says things are very different for her now that she's on an independent label. "I've never been happier," she tells Noisey. "I was a traditional country singer from East Texas who wanted to do that music, and was on a major label where they needed it to be a certain thing to fit on radio, 'cause that's the only way they have of selling records. And I get that, and I wanted to honor that, but I was just never that happy . . . it was exhausting. [Now] it's just really fun. I get to be around artists that I really admire -- I just did a tour with Patty Griffin! I really feel a lot better than I used to."

Thomas Rhett spent September 11 in New York City with his family. The singer, along with wife Lauren, newborn Ada James and 22-month-old Willa Gray, took a moment to pay their respects to firefighters at Ladder Co. 25. Lauren shared the visit on Instagram -- including a picture of Willa donning a plastic firefighter hat and posing inside a fire truck. Willa Gray, meanwhile, lightened the mood as additional video clips showed the couple's adorable daughter watching a fireman slide down a pole and staring at the firetruck lights, all while her little sister slept soundly in her stroller.  

The Recording Industry Association of America handed out it's Gold and Platinum certifications for August 2017, and Sam Hunt, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Brett Young, Kelsea Ballerini, Shania Twain, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Young, William Michael Morgan, Lee Brice, Little Big Town, Jon Pardi, Justin Moore, Midland and Russell Dickerson all earned certifications. For the complete list, visit RIAA.com.

Hank Williams Jr. has returned to Monday Night Football in a revamped version of his 1984 hit, “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight.” The theme song, fittingly titled “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night,” debuted on Sepember 11 on ESPN during the season opener between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. The new version enlists the help of Florida Georgia Line and pop star Jason Derulo and marks Hank Jr.'s return to ESPN after a six-year hiatus. Hank Jr.'s "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" served as MNF's intro song for more than 20 years before the singer parted ways with the channel after comparing Barack Obama to Hitler. “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” has now hit YouTube and the video shows FGL rocking out with Jason and Hank Jr. at a football party with plenty of swagger.

Even celebrities can be nervous when coming face to face with a music legend. This is exactly what happened to Thomas Rhett while at an ACM Honors photo shoot for People magazine. People was on hand in Nashville during the filming of the 2017 ACM Honors broadcast and put together a yearbook-worthy photo op that included 21 of country music's biggest stars. Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson and Dolly Parton were just a few of the honorees in the building. People reveals that, similar to any class photo, many of the artists were chatting with each other during the shoot. TR received many congratulations on the birth of his daughter, Ada James, while Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott shared some helpful advice as did Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet. However, there was one person in attendance that Thomas himself had never met: George Strait. While many of the artists filtered out of the shoot, TR and King George were two of the few who remained. Mustering all the courage he could, Thomas walked up to George to introduce himself. “Thomas Rhett,” he said as he stuck his hand out to George. “Good to meet you. I don’t think we’ve ever met.”  “I don’t think so,” Strait replied with a smile and a handshake. “It’s a pleasure,” Thomas Rhett added. “I just wanted to say hello.” The 2017 ACM Honors air on CBS on Friday at 9 p.m. ET. For more behind-the-scenes stories and photos, visit the magazine's website.

The country world lost a beloved member last Friday when Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry was killed at age 50 in a helicopter crash in New Jersey. As the country community continues to mourn his death, his family has revealed details for a public celebration of the late singer's life. Troy will be remembered on September 14 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry at 11 a.m. CT, with a private, family internment to follow. The singer's family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to T.J. Martell Foundation or the American Red Cross for hurricane relief. You can watch a live stream of the service via the Opry's official website. A fitting location for remembrance, Montgomery Gentry became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 2009. It was an accomplishment that Troy has said was his proudest professional achievement. An obituary released today cites Troy as "a loving father and devoted husband." He's survived by his wife, Angie Gentry, and his daughters, Taylor and Kaylee.  "Known for his wide smile, Gentry was personally driven by faith, family and living life to the fullest. He was happiest on the water with his family," the obituary states.

Maren Morris will return to The Tonight Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday evening. This marks her second appearance on the show, which airs on NBC at 11:35/10:35 CT.

Dustin Lynch is celebrating his fifth consecutive number-one single with "Small Town Boy." Written by Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, and Kyle Fishman, the track follows his previous chart topper “Seein’ Red.” Both songs are featured on his new album Current Mood.

Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams has passed away at the age of 78, after a short illness. Nicknamed “The Gentle Giant,” the Texas native was known for his laid-back vocals and classic country stylings on huge hits like “Tulsa Time,” “You’re My Best Friend,” “I Believe in You,” and many more.  Williams first found musical success at the age of three, winning a talent contest in his hometown of Portland, Texas.  He took up the guitar as a teen, and played in local bands before forming The Pozo Seco Singers in the sixties. Along the way, he made ends meets as both an oil field worker and a bill collector. By the early seventies, he made it to Nashville and landed a songwriting deal with fellow Country Music Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Jack Clement. His first single, “Shelter of Your Eyes,” made it to #14 in 1973, with his first #1, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me,” coming the following year. More hits followed, like “Till the Rivers All Run Dry,” “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend,” and “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good.” The Country Music Association named him Male Vocalist of the Year in 1978. He went on to score his biggest hit in 1981 with “I Believe in You,” which made it all the way to #24 on the pop chart. Williams would even appear in two movies:  1974’s W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and 1980’s Smokey and the Bandit II. Williams’ final #1 came in 1986, with “Heartbeat in the Darkness.” In 2010, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and continued to tour until his retirement last year. Though he was far from flashy, his understated appeal was widespread. Eric Clapton took his version of “Tulsa Time” to rock audiences, while halfway across the world, Australian youngster Keith Urban was inspired to pursue his dreams in Nashville after reading about Music City on the back of Don Williams records. Earlier this year, current hitmakers like Chris Stapleton, Garth Brooks, and Lady Antebellum covered his classics on Gentle Giants:  The Songs of Don Williams. He’s survived by his wife Joy, whom he married in 1960, and their two sons Gary and Timmy.

Troy Gentry, one-half of the award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry, has died in a helicopter crash.  He was 50 years old. The duo's Twitter account posted the news Friday afternoon:"It is with great sadness that we confirm that Troy Gentry, half of the popular country duo, Montgomery Gentry, was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1:00 p.m. today in Medford, New Jersey." The message continued, "The duo was scheduled to perform tonight at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford....details of the crash are unknown.  Troy Gentry's family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time." Both natives of Kentucky, the paths of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry first crossed when they were in bands with Eddie’s brother, John Michael Montgomery, though at different times. In 1999, Eddie and Troy came together to form Montgomery Gentry, releasing their debut album, Tattoos & Scars, and making it to #13 with their first single, “Hillbilly Shoes.” The following year, the two took home both Top New Vocal Duo honors from the Academy of Country Music and the Duo of the Year trophy at the CMA Awards. Though they had a string of hits, they wouldn’t hit #1 until 2004 with “If You Ever Stop Loving Me.” Four more would follow:  “Something to Be Proud Of,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All,” and “Roll with Me.” In 2009, Eddie and Troy were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Their most recent top-10 was 2011’s “Where I Come From.” 2015’s Folks Like Us is their most recent recording. Troy Gentry is survived by his wife Angie, their 14-year-old daughter Kaylee, and his older daughter Taylor, from a previous marriage.

ASCAP will honor Rodney Crowell with its Founders Award on Monday, November 6 at the 55th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Garth Brooks will play Lincoln, Nebraska for the first time in more than two decades on Saturday, October 21. Tickets for his World Tour stop at Pinnacle Bank Arena go on sale on Friday, September 15.

Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris will introduce Hunter Hayes Friday night as he performs on the education-themed special EIF Presents:  XQ Super School Live. The hour-long program stars at 8 p.m. ET and will be simulcast on the four major networks. Kelly Clarkson will sing on the show as well.

A new song from Jennifer Nettles is headed your way on Friday. The female half of Sugarland shared a short clip of “King of the City” on social media Thursday.

Chris Stapleton will represent country music at the all-star A Concert for Charlottesville later this month, as the Virginia community continues to come together after violent white nationalist rallies on August 11 and 12. Charlottesville act Dave Matthews Band will headline the September 24 show at UVA Scott Stadium. Pop stars Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams will also take the stage, along with rockers Cage the Elephant, the Tonight Show’s The Roots and Brittany Howard from the Alabama Shakes. Justin Timberlake is also on the bill, giving the Traveller hitmaker the chance to recreate the moment from the 2015 CMA Awards that put him on the map, as the two sang a medley of “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away.” Free tickets will initially go to residents of the Charlottesville area at ConcertForCharlottesville.com, with a limited number being made available for pickup at the box office at John Paul Jones Arena on Friday, September 15 at 10 a.m. ET. Concert-goers are being encouraged to make a donation to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation online.

'90s hitmaker Jo Dee Messina has been diagnosed with cancer. The announcement was made in a message Wednesday from Messina's team on the "I'm Alright" singer's website. The message gave no specifics about the nature of Messina's illness, just saying "she was recently diagnosed with cancer. It has been a trying summer, but her heart has been filled with gratitude for the many opportunities she has had to see God’s hand at work." "We don’t know anything specific regarding the treatment plan at this point, but Jo Dee is working closely with a team to explore all options," the message continued. "She has taken the semester off from classes at The King’s University, and her last tour date for the year will be October 7 (all other 2017 dates are being postponed), as she will begin cancer treatment this fall."  Also posted to Messina's website was a new song, "Here," written with Seth Mosley and Mia Fieldes after Jo Dee had learned of her cancer diagnosis.  Jo Dee charted 12 top-10 singles from 1996 to 2005, including six number-ones.  Her breakthrough album, 1998's I'm Alright, has been certified double-platinum. Her last album was the self-released Me in 2014.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band marks 50 years together with the 39-track retrospective Anthology, which comes out September 29.

Marty Stuart, Pistol AnniesAngaleena Presley and newcomer Jillian Jacqueline join the likes of Justin Timberlake, Eddie Vedder and Mavis Staples to play the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival September 23 and 24 in Franklin, Tennessee.

Brad Paisley will headline a special Sunday-night edition of the Grand Ole Opry next month to help the fight against cancer. Brad is this year’s spokesperson for Band Against Cancer, a campaign to raise awareness about available treatments by Sarah Cannon, which is the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Sarah Cannon, of course, was the real name of the Grand Ole Opry legend better known as Minnie Pearl. Brad’s tour mate, Chase Bryant, and Tyler Farr will join him for the October 1 show, with tickets going on sale Thursday. This is the second year for the event at the Opry. Martina McBride played the 2016 edition.

King George is stepping up to help his home state in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. George Strait and his Ace in the Hole Band will headline a Hurricane Harvey Relief Concert on September 12 at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, and Texans Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen will also perform. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, with proceeds going to the Rebuild Texas Fund. As previously reported, special performances from the show will also air live during Hand in Hand:  A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief. You can watch the one-hour telethon next Tuesday starting at 7p.m. on all the major networks.

Jason Aldean is tipping his hat to Tennessee, with the name of his first son.  The two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year says he and wife Brittany will name their little boy Memphis, revealing the news in a social media post that includes a picture of the nursery. It’s decorated with the baby’s name spelled out in huge lights over the crib. “We finally got our lil man’s room ready for him,” Jason added. “Can’t wait to meet you and bring you home to ur room, Memphis.” Memphis is due this winter, around holiday time. He’ll join his big sisters, 14-year-old Keeley and 10-year-old Kendyl, Jason’s daughters from his previous marriage.

The grand opening of the first location of Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant and music venue will be Saturday, September 30 in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.    

Miranda Lambert will play the CMA Songwriters Series Tuesday, September 19 at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. The concert will air later as an episode of Front & Center on PBS.

Even without a major radio hit, Miranda Lambert managed to score the most nominations for the 51st CMA Awards, with five. Little Big Town and Keith Urban are just behind her, with four apiece. Eric Church, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton could all take home three trophies each. Reba McEntire reappears this year in the Female Vocalist category, setting up an interesting possibility. If Reba wins, she could tie Miranda’s record for the most Female Vocalist trophies, with five apiece.

While Taylor Swift has been largely absent from the country format for several years, she’s once again in the running for a CMA this year, for writing Little Big Town’s chart-topping “Better Man.” The critically-acclaimed Jason Isbell emerges as a dark-horse contender for Album, grabbing a nod for The Nashville Sound with the 400 Unit. The late Glen Campbell also garnered a surprise nomination, competing for Musical Event for his recording of “Funny How Time Slips Away” with Willie Nelson. Brothers Osborne, Dustin Lynch and Lauren Alaina revealed the nominees Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America. You can find out who wins, as Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood host the show for the tenth time on Wednesday, November 8, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Little Big Town will be inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame during a special ceremony September 14 in Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park.

Zac Brown narrates On a Mission: Atlanta Rising, a profile of Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank, this weekend. You can watch it at 2 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC.

John Anderson returns to the road this Sunday after being forced to take some time off in August due to medical issues. He’ll play the Hollywood Casino & Resort Gulf Coast in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.

The Kentucky Country Music Association recently honored native son John Conlee with its first-ever Legends Award during a performance at the Kentucky Opry.

Congratulations poured in for Chris Young on social media, after Country Music Hall-of-Famer Vince Gill surprised him Tuesday night with an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry. “Pumped to have you in the Opry family, Chris Young! Well deserved, man!” Darius Rucker tweeted. The “For the First Time” singer will celebrate his fifth anniversary as a member with an appearance on the Opry September 20. In addition to well wishes from Steve Wariner. Chris summed it all up Tuesday by saying, “Tonight was so unreal! Growing up listening to the Opry, I never imagined that I would be invited to be a member!” Head to YouTube to watch the career-making moment when Vince gave Chris the news. He’ll be officially inducted into the cast of the world’s longest-running radio show in a special ceremony Tuesday, October 17, before the release of his new album, Losing Sleep, that Friday.

Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation is pitching in to help the animals in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Monday, the MuttNation team headed to Houston to lend support to shelters in the municipal area, and by Tuesday night, Miranda herself was doing her part. “My roommates tonight!” the Texas native tweeted along with a picture of a black dog and at least five puppies. “Mama & newborns born this morning,” she added. “MuttNation rescued 72 dogs today who are being transported to dry safe shelters.” Wednesday, Miranda shared an update, along with a collage of photos. The pups were relocated to a shelter in Oklahoma, with plans to return to Houston for more. If you’d like to help Miranda and her nonprofit with their Hurricane Harvey relief effort, you can make a donation at MuttNation.com.

Chris Young is giving $100,000 to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Though Chris grew up on the outskirts of Nashville, he lived in Arlington, Texas before signing his record deal with RCA. He also owns a home, and has family and close friends, in the storm’s path. “Port Aransas, Rockport, Corpus Christi, Houston and so many other places are going to be dealing with so much damage and loss of life for a long time to come,” Chris says. “I’m worried about the people there -- my friends, family and neighbors -- and I want to help. Chris’s sizeable donation kicks off a GoFundMe campaign to raise even more money to help in the storm’s aftermath. You can make a donation at GoFundMe.com/HarveyRelief. Money raised will go to the Red Cross and other local disaster relief efforts. So far, Chris has raised more than $50,000 in addition to his own contribution.

Luke Bryan will do his new single “Light It Up” on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on Wednesday, September 13, during a show dedicated to Country Cares for St. Jude Kids. Longtime St. Jude supporter Randy Owen also is on the bill, along with childhood cancer survivor Clare Bowen from CMT’s Nashville. A St. Jude patient will serve as the Opry’s guest announcer that night, with five dollars from every ticket sold going to help the Memphis hospital that works to end childhood cancer. The show also kicks off the Opry’s first-ever series of Wednesday performances in the fall. Darius Rucker, Vince Gill and Brothers Osborne stop by on the 20th, while Chris Janson plays on September 27.

Chris Young and Vince Gill will celebrate their #1, "Sober Saturday Night," on Tuesday, with a party backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, prior to their performance at the legendary venue.

"Burning House" hitmaker Cam will help launch a new look and feel for Tully's Coffee with a concert Monday, September 11 at Westlake Square in Seattle, Washington at 12 p.m. PT.

Anne Murray will release a new 41-track compilation of her hits, titled The Ultimate Collection, on September 29. The Canadian legend selected the songs on the career retrospective as well, which will be available digitally, and in both a single and double-disc version. A double-vinyl edition will follow on November 17.

Tennis, anyone? Self-proclaimed court tennis enthusiast Shania Twain will combine two of her passions tonight, as she sings at the kickoff for the U.S. Open in Queens, New York. You can watch for Shania’s performance at Arthur Ashe Stadium, when ESPN2’s coverage of 2017 U.S. Open Tennis starts at 6 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale now for Shania’s 2018 NOW Tour, which kicks off May 3 in Tacoma, Washington. Meanwhile, the country/pop superstar is preparing for the September 29 release of the NOW album, her first in fifteen years. She’s just released “Swingin’ with My Eyes Closed” as the set’s second single.

So far, Garth Brooks has sold more than 70,000 tickets to his upcoming run at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. He and Trisha Yearwood will do five shows starting October 5.

Tickets are now on sale for Zac Brown Band’s Sixth Annual Night of Candles, which takes place October 14 in Fayetteville, Georgia. The benefit for Zac’s Camp Southern Ground for kids is limited to the first 1500 fans.

During her more than forty-year career, Reba McEntire has sung on practically every awards show there is. But this fall, the Country Music Hall-of-Famer will add a new one to the list: she’s set to take the stage at this year’s GMA Dove Awards. Reba is also up for two awards at Christian music’s answer to the Grammys. She’s nominated for both Album and Recorded Song of the Year in the Bluegrass/Country/Roots categories, for her Sing It Now double-gospel record and its single, “Back to God.”  “I am excited and honored to perform at this year’s show,” the entertainment icon says. “Recording a faith-filled album has been on my heart for many years, and to see how Sing It Now has been embraced is really special. I’m thrilled this collection of my favorite hymns and some new songs of hope continues to touch people.” The 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards will take place Tuesday, October 17 at Allen Arena on the campus of Nashville’s Lipscomb University. You’ll be able to watch Reba’s performance when the show airs Sunday, October 22 at 9 p.m. ET on TBN.

So what’s Shania Twain’s beef with Brad Pitt? That’s been the question for two decades, since the Canadian country/pop superstar famously name-checked the actor in her 1997 smash, “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Shania’s never opened up about the inspiration for dropping the heartthrob’s name, until now. “OK, so you’re Brad Pitt?” she says on her Come on Over record. “That don’t impress me much.” It turns out Shania and a girlfriend happened to be baking some Christmas cookies back in the day, when they caught a glimpse of the notorious paparazzi pictures of Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow in the nude. The song simply came out of her reaction. “I’m like, well that don’t impress me much, I mean what is all the fuss,” she told Billboard during a recent Q&A event in New York City. “We see people naked every day. That’s what I really thought.” “I wasn’t picking on Brad Pitt,” Shania clarifies.  She is, however, picking on her ex-husband and former musical collaborator, Mutt Lange, in “Life’s About to Get Good,” the lead single from her forthcoming album, NOW.  We can expect to hear more when Shania’s confessional comes out September 29. You can watch Shania’s full explanation about Brad Pitt at Billboard.com.

In 2013, multi-platinum selling country artist Collin Raye honored one of his heroes, Glen Campbell, with a tribute album of the Rhinestone Cowboy’s iconic songs. The 12-track album titled, Still On The Line: The Songs of Glen Campbell, was an opportunity for Raye to show his respect and admiration for Campbell.

Raye released the following statement on Campbell’s passing: “My hero... My Friend... Glen Campbell, is gone. My heart is heavy. A lot of memories… the end to a beautiful era in music. His incredible legacy is what we have now. Thank you, my friend, for always treating me as an equal, though clearly I am not. May God comfort your sweet family, and welcome you into His presence. The Heavenly Band, just got way better. I love you, Glen. Happy Trails."

The spouses of the stars are stepping into the spotlight thanks to the Opry’s new web series, Better Half. You can check out the first two episodes on YouTube now: they feature Shelly Brown, who’s married to Zac Brown. The new installments profile both Shelly’s line of jewelry, and the camp for kids she and Zac founded together, Camp Southern Ground. Look for Jason Aldean’s wife Brittany in an upcoming episode, as well as a profile of Caroline Hobby, the significant other of A Thousand HorsesMichael Hobby.

On Friday, two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean plays NBC's Today show's summer concert series. You can watch for the “They Don’t Know” hitmaker starting at 7 a.m. on NBC.  

Joe Nichols will do songs from his new Never Gets Old album when he plays Fox & Friends’ All-American Summer Concert Series this Friday starting at 6 a.m. ET on Fox News.

This Thursday will officially be Jerry Lee Lewis Day in Nashville. Music City will pay tribute to the piano-playing, rock-and-roll icon on the same day he’s honored by ongoing web series Skyville Live. George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Lee Ann Womack, Toby Keith, Kris Kristofferson and more will be on hand that night to sing the songs of The Killer. You can watch online starting at 9 p.m. ET, with complete streaming details at SkyvilleLive.com.

Dolly Parton will release her first album of original children’s music this fall, with all the proceeds going to her Imagination Library, that sends free books to kids all over the world. The entertainment legend wrote all 14 of the tracks on I Believe in You, drawing inspiration from her large family both in East Tennessee and in Nashville. “I have all my little nieces and nephews… and I always try to keep playhouses and treehouses and things where I play with them when they come to visit me,” she explains. “And usually when I write these children's songs, I go up to the treehouse or sit there and kinda put myself back in their place, and I try to become a kid again.” The Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer reveals many of the songs on the album, like “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny” and “Chemo Hero,” were written with the next generation of Partons in mind.  I Believe in You features a new recording of Dolly’s classic “Coat of Many Colors,” as well as a bonus track with her reading the children’s book based on the song. You’ll be able to pick up a digital copy on September 29, with physical copies coming on October 13.

Today, August 16, marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, known the world over as the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Presley was just 42 years old when he passed away at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, from a heart attack. It's widely believed that prescription drug abuse was a factor in the singer's death. Presley, of course, was the first rock 'n' roll superstar, whose charisma, energetic music and good looks helped make him one of the most influential and recognizable cultural icons of the 20th century. His passion for and promotion of artists like Little Richard and Fats Domino helped open the door to the commercial acceptance of black rock 'n' roll artists by white audiences. Elvis' musical talents extended beyond rock to pop balladry, gospel and country. Elvis remains the most successful individual music artist ever, with more than 211 million certified units sold worldwide. He's scored 10 chart-topping albums on the Billboard 200 and 18 #1 singles on the Hot 100. Various successful posthumous Presley albums, including compilations, rarities collections and more, continue to be released. After Presley's death, Graceland became a huge tourist attraction. The property recently was expanded to include a huge entertainment complex with museums, eateries and a hotel. In observance of the anniversary of Presley's passing, Graceland is hosting an expanded, nine-day edition of its Elvis Week celebration that kicked off Friday, August 11, and runs through Saturday, August 19. Today's scheduled events include the "ELVIS: Live in Concert 40th Anniversary Celebration," taking place at the FedExForum in downtown Memphis. The show will feature film footage of Elvis performing his classic songs with live accompaniment from a full symphony orchestra, plus a guest appearance by Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla.

There’s a new album on the way from Blake Shelton -- and it’ll be out in less than two weeks. Blake Shelton (Live) was recorded earlier this summer at his pop-up show during CMA Music Festival. The six-track EP includes five #1 hits, as well as perennial favorite “Ol’ Red.”

Jason Aldean raised more than $700,000 for the children’s hospital in his hometown this weekend, thanks to his sold-out Concert for the Kids in Macon, Georgia. Before the show, the two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year visited with patients and their families, and the hospital officially renamed one of its streets Jason Aldean Way. “Macon will always be my roots,” Jason reflected. “When I moved away to chase music, all I wanted to do was make my family and hometown proud. But, I’m just a singer. I’m honored to be able to do what I do to help raise money, but the doctors and staff are the heroes and are changing these kids' lives.” This was the second year in a row that Jason’s held the fundraising concert. In all, he’s brought in more than $1.2 million for the facility.

Big & Rich’s John Rich currently is hiring staff at his Redneck Riviera honky tonk in Nashville, which is set to open in October.

The lead single from Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings album, “Vice,” has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

George Strait will take part in the August 24 Skyville Live tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis in Nashville, which will be available to stream at an as-yet-unannounced time.

Kip Moore’s debut album, Up All Night, has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Billy Ray Cyrus will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame next year, in a ceremony set to take place on May 11, 2018.

You’ll be able to see Brad Paisley flexing his funny bone this week: his new Netflix comedy special premieres on Tuesday. Reba McEntire and Baywatch’s David Hasselhoff will be on hand for Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo, as well as comedians Nate Bargatze, John Heffron, Jon Reep, Sarah Tiana, and Mike E. Winfield. “I’ve been hosting a stand-up comedy night at the Nashville Comedy Festival for the last few years and Netflix approached us to film it,” Brad says. “It’s been fun to come up with bits and incorporate some stand-up comedians that really fit my audience. It’s going to be fun to see it come together in the one-hour special.” The show was taped earlier this year at Zanies Comedy Club in Nashville. You can check out the trailer for Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo on YouTube.

CMT will pay tribute to the legendary Glen Campbell with a new, half-hour special set to premiere Thursday morning. The 81-year-old veteran of music, film, and TV passed away Tuesday in Nashville after many years of suffering from Alzheimer’s. Reba, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban are just some of the stars who’ll pay tribute to their hero and friend on CMT Remembers Glen Campbell. The show's also your chance to relive many of the highlights from Glen’s network TV variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. You’ll see appearances by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, comedy legend Carol Burnett, and movie icon John Wayne, with whom Glen co-starred in the 1969 Western film classic True Grit, in CMT’s new show. CMT Remembers Glen Campbell premieres Thursday, August 10 at 8:30 a.m. ET and repeats Friday night in prime time at 7 p.m. ET. You’ll have one more chance to catch it Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Maren Morris, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Vince Gill and Toby Keith are all set to sing at the 11th Annual ACM Honors later this month at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Three of the performers themselves are honorees: Kelsea will get the Milestone Award, while Toby will accept the Poet’s Award. The Academy will officially bestow Icon status on King George. Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Willie Nelson, the TV show Nashville, and writers Shel Silverstein and Lori McKenna will also be celebrated for their contributions to country music. Tickets for the August 23 event are on sale now. You’ll be able to watch the show Friday, September 15, when it airs as a two-hour special at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Wynonna and Naomi Judd will reunite to perform together at “All in for the Gambler:  Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration.” Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton and Lady Antebellum are also joining the star-studded lineup for the October 25 show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Vern Gosdin, Jim McBride, Walt Aldridge and Tim Nichols are this year’s inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. They’ll join the Hall’s existing 203 members in a ceremony October 23 at Nashville’s Music City Center.