COUNTRY CHART Weekend of June 10-11:
2 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know *
3 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
4 DARIUS RUCKER If I Told You
5 DAN & SHAY How Not To
6 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE God, Your Mama, & Me
7 BLAKE SHELTON Every Time I Hear That Song
8 DYLAN SCOTT My Girl
9 THOMAS RHETT Craving You w/Maren Morris
10 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
11 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
12 LADY ANTEBELLUM You Look Good
13 COLE SWINDELL Flatliner w/Dierks Bentley
14 MIDLAND Drinkin’ Problem
15 JUSTIN MOORE Somebody Else Will
16 ZAC BROWN BAND My Old Man
17 OLD DOMINION No Such Thing As a Broken Heart
18 TIM McGraw & FAITH HILL Speak To a Girl
19 BRANTLEY GILBERT The Weekend
20 BILLY CURRINGTON Do I Make You Wanna
COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS!
Luke Combs’ This One’s for You Tops Country Albums Chart
Darius Rucker’s “If I Told You” Is Radio's Most-Played Country Song
Having grown to despise the phrase, “Put your hands together,” please allow me to vary the cliché by suggesting you put your feet together and stomp the planks off the floor for Luke Combs’ This One’s for You, which debuts at No. 1 this week on Billboard‘s country albums chart.
This triumph comes just four weeks after Combs racked up his first No. 1 song — “Hurricane” — on the country airplay charts.
And speaking of top-ranking songs, Darius Rucker now holds that honor with “If I Told You,” which has taken an arduous 47 weeks to climb into rare air. “If I Told You” is Rucker’s first No. 1 song since “Wagon Wheel” in 2013.
So let’s have another victorious stomp for him.
There’s not a lot going on elsewhere — just one other new album and two new songs. Wheeler Walker Jr.’s Ol’ Wheeler bows in at No. 10, while Kelsea Ballerini’s “Legends” and Gary Allan’s “Mess Me Up” leap aboard at No. 50 and No. 54, respectively.
Four albums return to the chart — Elvis Presley’s Elvis: 30 #1 Hits (at No. 34), Toby Keith’s 35 Biggest Hits (No. 43), Kenny Chesney’s Cosmic Hallelujah (No. 47) and the eponymous Dylan Scott (No. 49).
Also back in action at No. 59 on the airplay list is Jacob Davis’ “What I Wanna Be.”
The No. 2 through No. 5 albums, in that order, are Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 1 (last week’s No. 1), the Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home, Stapleton’s Traveller and Keith Urban’s Ripcord.
Completing the Top 5 songs cluster are Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know” (last week’s No. 1), Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road,” Dan + Shay’s “How Not To” and Florida Georgia Line’s “God, Your Mama, and Me,” featuring the Backstreet Boys.
If you’ve just returned home from CMA Fest, let me assure you that the ringing in your ears is only temporary and should go away within a matter of months.
Get to Know All of Lindsay Ell
If She Only Had Three Minutes With You
When a song passes an artist’s three-minute test, that is usually a really good sign.
And Lindsay Ell’s latest song did.
“If I was given three minutes for somebody who’s never heard my name before, who’s never heard any of my music before, I’d want them to hear ‘Waiting on You,’ because it represents so much of who I am,” Ell told Billboard Country Update.
After just three minutes, you will know all about Ell, and the influences she poured into her music.
“It’s a little bit of blues, it’s a little bit of a rock, and it’s a lot a bit of country, and yet it represents so many things that I’ve felt in my life — in my personal life and in my career,” she added.
As a female songwriter, Ell hopes she can make music with some strength in the lyrics, much like the way artists like Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell do.
“They can be vulnerable, just enough where you believe them and you know it’s real, but then they still keep that strength as a woman. I really wanted to be able to keep that stance,” she said.
Ell — one of CMT’s Next Women of Country — admits that when she first came to Nashville, she was a fan of throwing 20 instruments on a song. But as she has found her sound, she’s since come to love simplicity more, saying, “I really learned that I love five instruments.”
The new single, she says, is the most honest one she’s released since moving to Music City nearly a decade ago.
“Now it’s the rest of the world’s job to see what’s going to happen to it,” Ell said.
Ell is currently on tour with Brad Paisley.
Farm Aid Reveals 2017 Lineup
Annual Benefit Supporting Family Farmers Moves to Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
Farm Aid 2017 will mix country, rock and Americana when the benefit concert moves to Burgettstown, Pennsylvania’s Keybank Pavilion on Sept. 16.
The event will feature performances by board members Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, as well as the Avett Brothers, Blackberry Smoke and Jamey Johnson.
Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Insects Vs. Robots will also perform. As in years past, Matthews will be performing an acoustic set with multi-instrumentalist Tim Reynolds.
Since its 1985 inception, Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to support family farmers.
Tickets go on sale June 23 at 10 a.m. ET through Live Nation.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Create L’île d’Anges
A Guide on How to Buy an Island
Imagine being so taken with a beach vacation that you just buy the beach. And the island that comes with it.
That’s what happened to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill when they happened upon 20 acres they discovered in the Bahamas and bought it back in 2003, according to a new story in Architectural Digest.
Hill admits that they were a little naive about what it meant to kind of start an island from scratch.
“We set out to build a house. We had no idea we had to build everything else. We basically had to build a little town,” Hill said, and McGraw explained that they needed to build their own home, but also somewhere for the builders and caretakers to live. Oh, and they needed infrastructure. And water. And electricity.
They named the island “L’île d’Anges,” and their home on the island was ready a few years ago. It’s a home that, Hill said, makes them feel connected to the outside.
“When the breeze comes through the room, it’s just life-changing. It really is! It’s something for the soul,” she said.
McGraw wanted that, too, and he wanted all their guests to feel the same way.
“We wanted it set up so that when we brought people down, they’d get the same feeling that we got when we first came. The same reaction to the pristineness of it, to how relaxed it feels. The house is functional, but it really blends into the environment,” McGraw said, adding that the place takes their breath away every time they arrive.
“Every time we land the plane and walk onto the beach and head up to the house, we turn to each other and say, ‘This is the best place in the world,'” he said.
L’île d’Anges is not available to rent out on AirBNB — trust me, I searched for over an hour — but if you just want to get the same kind of feeling and you have $5,000 to spend a night, you could stay on a nearby island at Solomon’s Lighthouse in Nassau.
Sara Evans on Singing With Her Daughter
New Single Is “Such a Special Moment”
I remember right when Sara Evans’ daughter Olivia was born. I was just getting started in the country music news business, so I made it my job to know everything going on in the stars’ lives.
(Her birthday also stood out to me because it fell between two of my favorite Evans’ songs: “I Keep Looking” and “Backseat of a Greyhound Bus.”)
In some ways, it seems like yesterday when the world was welcoming Baby Olivia. But it was actually more than 14 years ago, so now, Evans’ fans will be welcoming Teenage Olivia.
You can hear grown-up Olivia singing background vocals on her mother’s brand new single, “Marquee Sign.”
“Having Olivia sing on ‘Marquee Sign’ is such a special moment for me, not only as a mom but also as a fan. I was so impressed when she went in the vocal booth and started singing these really cool parts and ad-libs at the end of the song,” Evans said in announcing the single.
“My fans have watched her grow up on the road with me,” she said, “and I can’t wait for them to hear her on this song.”
“Marquee Sign,” written by Evans, Jimmy Robbins and Heather Morgan, will be on her next album Words, which will be released July 21.
Will Keith Urban Return to American Idol?
“There's a Lot of Moving Parts,” He Tells CMT’s Cody Alan
Will Keith Urban be an American Idol judge when the show returns next year? The answer is “possibly,” Urban said in an interview with CMT’s Cody Alan.
Noting that he keeps an open mind about projects he might become involved in, Urban stressed that whatever he does needs to have a strong music connection.
ABC recently announced that American Idol will move to the network next spring following a 15-year run on Fox. Katy Perry has been confirmed to join the series, but she’s the only judge officially announced to participate in the revival of the series.
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” Urban said about his potential involvement with Idol. “That’s a good political answer, isn’t it? But it’s also quite true of the state of it right now. There’s a lot of moving parts in everybody’s camps. We’ll see what happens.”
Urban first served as a judge in 2012 alongside Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. He then remained a judge from 2013 to 2016 with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.
Kelsea Ballerini on the Love Story She Is “So In”
Lyrics in "Legends" Bounce Off the Page
Before heading to the CMT Music Awards last week, Kelsea Ballerini posted the artwork for her new song, “Legends.”
A reference to some of the lyrics — “full of blood, sweat and heartbeats” — is about all she said before performing the new tune on the awards on Wednesday night (June 8). But she’d also posted earlier that the song was the beginning of the next chapter.
She wants to hear her fans’ stories of love and loss, because she has fought for them and they have fought for her.
“Over the last 3 years, you and I have fought for each other. We’ve shown up for each other. We’ve been neon in grey crowds. We’ve written our own story. We were legends. And that is why it only makes sense that we start chapter two together, you and me. Thank you for everything.”
And on a special video for country radio, Ballerini explains that the song is all about nostalgia.
“Whether that is looking back at a relationship that’s ended, or a loss in your life in any form, or even a relationship that you’re in that you’re reflecting on,” Ballerini says. “I wrote it from the perspective of a heartbreak, of a break up. But now I sing it and it’s about my love story right now, that I can look back on, but I’m also still presently so in.”
(The love story she is “so in” is with her fiance, country singer Morgan Evans.)
Ballerini says this song is one of the first she wrote for her next album, and the sound will be the cornerstone for the new batch of music. And she seems like she is especially fond of the lyrics.
“There are so many lyrics in this song that I’m really proud of,” she said, “that bounce off the page.”
Justin Moore’s First Son Arrives
After bringing three daughters into the world — Ella, Kennedy and Rebecca — Justin Moore and his wife Kate welcomed their first son to their family.
Thomas South Moore was born on Sunday afternoon (June 11) and weighed in at almost 8 pounds, People reports.
“Kate and I already felt like the most blessed people in the world with our three beautiful daughters, but we feel even more blessed to have a healthy baby boy now to add to our family,” Moore said of South, choosing to call him by his middle name.
Country Guitar Heroes and Powerhouse Vocalists Take Center Stage in Nashville
Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Brothers Osborne and More Draw Thousands to Nissan Stadium
Performances by some of the top country guitar heroes and powerhouse vocalists closed the 2017 CMA Music Festival with a Sunday night (June 11) concert featuring were Tracy Lawrence, Brothers Osborne, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.
As the sunset glowed pink against the Nashville skyline, Lawrence kicked off the show at Nissan Stadium with a set of his biggest hits, including “Paint Me a Birmingham.”
Next, the Brothers Osborne made their debut performance at the stadium. And out of all the guitarists that performed at the stadium throughout the four-day event, John Osborne had some of the most melodic guitar work.
Their performance included “Greener Pastures,” “Rum,” “Stay a Little Longer” and an extended version “It Ain’t My Fault.” They were filling in for Chris Stapleton, who canceled his performance to recover from a hand injury.
Then Rucker entertained with “Alright,” “Homegrown Honey,” “Wagon Wheel” and “If I Told You” with surprise guest Karen Fairchild.
Little Big Town then took the stage to perform “Day Drinking,” “Pontoon,” “Boondocks,” “Better Man” and “Girl Crush.”
Urban made the boldest move of the night during “Wasted Time” when he snaked his way through the audience on the field to a satellite stage that was at least 20 yards away from the main stage. A crew of bodyguards guided the way while Urban sang and played his way to the other mic. Once they figured out what was happening, fans on the field instantly orbited around Urban to capture the spontaneous concert moment with their camera phones.
Before he closed his set, he mixed a little of John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” and Bob Marley’s”No Woman No Cry” into “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and performed “The Fighter” with a digital appearance from Carrie Underwood. She was a little preoccupied cheering on her husband Mike Fisher and the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final.
All around the stadium were fans rocking Preds gear to support the home team against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Earlier that evening across the Cumberland River, Luke Bryan showed his support for the Preds by staging a pop-up rooftop concert at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway. Faith Hill sang the National Anthem before the puck drop.
Even the security guards who helped Urban to the satellite stage were dressed in Preds blue and gold. But the hometown pride wasn’t enough to see a victory in Smashville. Pittsburgh won the championship 2-0.
Sunday’s concert closed with a performance by Brad Paisley, who delivered hits including “Water,” “Riverbank,” “Last Time for Everything,” “Mud on the Tires” and “Today.”