COUNTRY CHART Weekend of May 20-21:
1 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road
2 LUKE COMBS Hurricane *
3 KELSEA BALLERINI Yeah Boy
4 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know
5 DIERKS BENTLEY Black
6 BRANTLEY GILBERT The Weekend
7 DAN & SHAY How Not To
8 DARIUS RUCKER If I Told You
9 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
10 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE God, Your Mama, & Me
11 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
12 BLAKE SHELTON Every Time I Hear That Song
13 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
14 DYLAN SCOTT My Girl
15 LADY ANTEBELLUM You Look Good
16 COLE SWINDELL Flatliner w/Dierks Bentley
17 MIDLAND Drinkin’ Problem
18 THOMAS RHETT Craving You w/Maren Morris
19 ZAC BROWN BAND My Old Man
20 JUSTIN MOORE Somebody Else Will
COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS!
“Boy” Is Lee Brice’s Tribute to Takoda and Ryker
He Is Proud to Be His Sons' Dad
Lee Brice didn’t write his new song, “Boy.” But with two boys at home, it sounds like he’s made the tune his own.
“We wanted to make ‘Boy’ our first single for a couple of reasons. First, Sara and I have two sons, Takoda (9) and Ryker (3). This song is a tribute to them,” Brice said in a press release about the single. “It’s my way of saying how proud I am to be their dad.”
But the timing of the song is important to Brice, too. Because very soon, it won’t be just him and his boys.
“We have a daughter on the way in a couple of weeks,” he added, “and we wanted to share this song for our boys before she arrived.”
“Boy” was written by Nicolle Galyon and Jon Nite, and will be on Brice’s fourth studio album, due out November 3.
“Writing this record was a personal and vulnerable experience. Every song is a snapshot of who I am right now. I’ve labored over every word and every note,” he said, “and I can’t wait to share it.”
Carrie Underwood Named 2017 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Inductee
Vince Gill and Kristin Chenoweth to Host Nov. 16 Induction
Carrie Underwood will join the Oklahoma Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony hosted by Vince Gill and Kristin Chenoweth on Nov. 16 in Oklahoma City.
Underwood is part of the 90th class of honorees with Justice Tom Colbert, Congressman Tom Cole, Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller, Express Employment Professionals founder Bob Funk, Hal Smith of Hal Smith Restaurants and Phil Parduhn of Pelco Products Inc. Civil rights activist Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, will also be honored posthumously.
Their portraits will be unveiled at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum where visitors will have access to their biographies and photos through interactive exhibits. The 2017 inductees were revealed on Thursday (May 18).
Why Granger Smith Didn’t Share New Song
Holding “Happens Like That” for Official Release Date
You’d think that if you went to a Granger Smith show the night before his new single was released, you’d be one of the first to hear it.
But that’s not at all how it happened on Thursday night (May 18).
Smith played an intimate acoustic show at a Kmart store outside Chicago, and he explained why he wouldn’t be playing his new song “Happens Like That.”
“We have a brand new song coming out tomorrow, but I’m not gonna play it,” Smith told the crowd packed in tight around the stage in the outdoor living area of the store.
“I have very strict rules. Everyone has to experience it at the same time.”
Before the show started, Smith told me the story behind the song, and a little bit more about why he was keeping it to himself until the whole world could hear it on Friday.
“With social media the way that it is, if it gets out there before we can control what people hear, and if an acoustic version of the song goes viral and is the first one everyone sees, that’s not good,” he said.
What Smith did share with me, though, was what it was like at the writing session back in November.
“We were on tour with Florida Georgia Line, and I had some of my favorite writers — Jordan Schmidt, Justin Wilson, and Andy Albert — with me,” he said. “(FGL’s) Tyler Hubbard, I know, was a little bit jealous because he didn’t have any writers with him, and he loves to write.
“So that morning at breakfast, Tyler said, ‘Man, if you guys get on something, will you tell me please?’ So at lunch we started a new song, and I texted him and said, ‘We’re on to something.’ And he opened my bus door 30 seconds later, and we wrote the song right there on the bus,” Smith said.
Smith’s tour continues Friday night in Grandview, Missouri. And now that the song is officially out, he will be officially adding it to his set list.
Nashville Predators Welcome Kelly Clarkson for National Anthem
Anaheim Ducks Beat the Preds 3-2
Nashville Predators fans heading downtown on foot to Game Four of their Stanley Cup playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks were overhead guessing that Kelly Clarkson would be the night’s National Anthem performer.
And they guessed right.
Before the puck dropped, the three-time Grammy winner hit the ice wearing a No. 82 Preds jersey to deliver a soaring version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Kings of Leon were also there waving their rally towels.
During the game, Clarkson tweeted, “Dear @PredsNHL please win, or people will blame me! #ANAvsNSH Go Preds!”
But unfortunately, Clarkson’s plea didn’t work. The Ducks beat the Predators 3-2 in overtime. The Western Conference Final continues Saturday (May 20) in Anaheim.
Toby Keith Books Free Concert in Saudi Arabia
Admission Is Restricted to Only Males
Toby Keith will be in Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh on Saturday (May 20) to co-headline An Arabian Lute & American Guitar concert with popular Saudi singer Rabeh Sager.
Admission to the free event is restricted to only males, and there is a formal dress code. Osama Nugali, a spokesman for the Saudi Foreign Ministry, said in the Washington Post that the event was organized by the country’s General Authority for Entertainment to mark the end of exams for students.
The concert also coincides with President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip to the nation as the leader of the United States. But it is unclear whether Keith’s performance was booked specifically to coincide with Trump’s trip, during which the president is expected to speak in support of moderate Islam.
It’s also unclear how Keith’s songs about drinking will be received in Saudi Arabia, a nation where alcohol is banned.
Blake Shelton’s Unexplainable Bond
How Adam Levine Drives Him Crazy
Typical Blake Shelton.
You can never really tell how serious he is. So in this new interview with The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, I have to assume he’s being mostly honest … but with a little bit of sarcasm.
When it comes to Adam Levine, his fellow coach on The Voice, Shelton described their combative relationship like this: “We’re those two guys you knew in high school where we have this bond that is unexplainable. It brings out the best and worst in both of us. It truly is an explosive relationship.”
He added that they are constantly at each other’s throats, and sometimes they really do get mad at each other.
“I know every trick to get under his skin,” Shelton said of Levine, noting that the Maroon 5 member knows how to reciprocate by driving him crazy, too. “Until someone is crying, it doesn’t stop.”
But — and this is what makes me think their bro-mance is real — it seems like their friendship is one of those love/hate kind of things.
“He’s one of the best friends that I have, but I still want to kill him sometimes,” Shelton said.
Shelton will play Daytona’s Country 500 on Memorial Day weekend before heading out on the road for fair and festival season.
Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band Eulogize Chris Cornell
Influential Soundgarden and Audioslave Rocker Dies at 52
Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band join Chris Cornell fans in mourning the death of the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman.
Considered one of grunge music’s greatest voices, Cornell died Wednesday night (May 17) in his Detroit hotel room of an apparent suicide following a Soundgarden show at the Fox Theatre. He was 52.
Cornell’s work in country music includes an appearance on “Heavy Is the Head” from Zac Brown Band’s 2015 album Jekyll + Hyde. The song went No. 1 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart in March that year.
Cornell and Aldean performed “Just Gettin’ Started” together from Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt at the 2014 CMT Artists of the Year concert special.
Johnny Cash also recorded the Soundgarden song “Rusty Cage” for his 1996 album Unchained. The song originally appeared on Soundgarden’s 1991 album Badmotorfinger.
George Strait and Marcia Ball Named Texas State Musicians
2017 and 2018 Recipients Honored By State Legislature
The Texas Commission on the Arts has named George Strait and Austin-based pianist Marcia Ball the Texas State Musicians for 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The two, along with the state poet laureates and visual artists, will be honored by the state legislature on Thursday (May 18) at the Capitol in Austin. According to the TCA, the Texas State Artists are selected every two years for their contributions to the state and the advancement of their respective art forms.
Previous Texas State Musicians include Ray Benson, Billy Joe Shaver, Willie Nelson, Dale Watson, Lyle Lovett and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.
The nominations for the Texas State Artists are made by citizens of the Lone Star state and overseen by the TCA. A committee appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House of Representatives then selects the honorees from 10 finalists.
Strait will return to Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena for his 2 Nights of Number 1’s production starting July 28 and 29. Two-night engagements are also booked for September and December.
Karen Fairchild on the Woman’s Intuition
"Being a Woman is a Very Powerful Thing"
In a new Q&A on TheNewPotato.com — an online food and fashion magazine — Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild reveals some of her favorite foods, cities, and styles.
It’s a very breezy and casual conversation. But when the talk turns to music, Fairchild gets down to business with some very solid advice for any girls trying to get into the industry.
“As women, we have to always remember to listen to our instincts and go with our guts,” Fairchild said.
“I think too often girls feel like they have to make concessions or change who they are, or what their music says, to make it in this industry,” she said. “We need to nurture these women to write honest songs, to write from their hearts, and not to pander. Let’s give them some room to do what they do.”
Being a woman is a very powerful thing, Fairchild added, and she recommends that women embrace that and not shy away from it or make excuses for it.
And she had some other advice — for both men and women — about how best to enjoy music.
“Vinyl records. There’s nothing like the experience of a whole record top to bottom. Back to the way music was intended,” she said, “it’s an experience.”
Little Big Town will be playing two shows in Nashville this weekend, May 19 and May 20, at the Ryman Auditorium.
Carrie Underwood and Big & Rich Crash The Total Package Tour in Nashville
Sing Live Onstage During New Kids on the Block Set
Carrie Underwood and Big & Rich were New Kids on the Block’s surprise guests on Wednesday (May 17) when the Total Package Tour hit Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with co-headliners Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men.
During their set, the band welcomed Underwood onstage to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jordan Knight and Donny Wood, and Big & Rich to perform “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).”
Underwood also had an American Idol reunion with Paula Abdul backstage. The two first met in 2005 when Underwood auditioned for the show in St. Louis with Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”