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Music News Archives for 2017-04

Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley Witness Smashville History

Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley witnessed a historic night in Smashville on Thursday night (April 20).
They were at the Bridgestone Arena when the Nashville Predators swept their Stanley Cup playoff series, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Never before have the Preds swept a playoff series, and this is the first time an eight seed has ever beaten a one in a best of seven series in NHL history.
Bryan kicked off the night with a surprise performance of the National Anthem, days after Carrie Underwood surprised her husband’s team with her version on Monday (April 17).
Bryan and Bentley were later spotted in a suite cheering on the Preds in matching blue, gold and cowboy hats.
The Preds will face the winner of the St. Louis-Minnesota series in the second round.
see pics at

Shania Twain Finds Artistic Independence on New Album

It looks like the 11th annual Stagecoach music festival will be the place to experience new Shania Twain music live.
According to California’s Orange County Register, her headlining set on April 29 will include a mix of new songs and her greatest hits. She said writing music for the new project was like therapy, since it marks her first time recording without her ex-husband and rock producer Robert “Mutt” Lange. She originally confirmed a new album on the red carpet at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony where she was named an Artist of a Lifetime.
“This was an exercise in independence,” Twain said of her writing process. “I really just wanted to test myself and push my limits and face my fears. I haven’t worked alone in a really, really long time after all of those years of being partnered with Mutt professionally. It was a huge leap of courage for me to do this alone and I knew I was going to be carrying the weight of it alone, too. I just kept challenging myself and telling myself ‘OK, you’re going to write this album and we’ll find out what you’re made of these days.’
“It was tough at times,” she added. “Every single song was a nightmare because I was stressed about sharing it. It was a whole mix of feelings for me all the way around, but I’m so glad to be at the stage now where I’m ready to share it with the world. It’s a relief, actually.”
She did describe two new songs “Life’s About to Get Good” and “I’m Alright,” as “very celebratory and very happy.”
“I love the contrast in those songs and this album overall is honest and touches on a lot of candid phrases and wordings of things, but at the same time it still takes me to a place where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that’s actually where I’m at right now.”
Twain added that “Light of My Life” feels nostalgic and takes her back to being five years old, sitting in her parents’ living room listening to the Mamas & the Papas and the Beach Boys.
“I wanted to make sure I nurtured the authenticity and the acoustic elements in the album and I do basically 99.9 percent of all of the backing vocals and arranged all of them so they’re very organic and almost retro,” she said. “I wanted to be true to my influences and to myself and stylistically it just ended up being very diverse from one song to the next. The theme of this record is really artistic independence.”
Twain’s couch time on Tuesday’s (April 18) Late Late Show with James Corden was less new music and more about battling stage fright.
Seated with actress Whitney Cummings and model-actor Tyrese Bedford, Twain revealed she still gets the jitters every time she hits the stage. But she got her most embarrassing live moment out of the way long before her music dominated the country airwaves.
She recalled a performance in high school when she was so scared, she peed herself. Luckily, there was a glass of water at her feet and she kicked it over to keep the accident a secret.

Cassidy Bentley Wins at Boston Marathon

She didn’t finish in first place, but Dierks Bentley’s wife Cassidy won big at the Boston Marathon on Monday (April 17).
She won for Safe Haven Family Shelter, the Nashville charity she was running for, by turning over the more than $23,000 she raised on their behalf.
She won for her kids, Evie, Jordan and Knox, who got to see their mother as someone who believes in herself.
She won for all of her friends and family who donated to her cause, encouraged her training, and fueled her spirit.
And she won for her husband, who was her head cheerleader both at home and all over social media.
Before the race on Monday, Cassidy posted on Instagram that the morning was more emotional that she was expecting, starting with a hug from Dierks.
“I spent 30 minutes last night trying to write and rewrite a post thanking him for the tshirts, the encouragement…everything. It’s useless. I don’t have the words. I’ll never have them,” Cassidy shared.
And when the race was done — just 3 hours and 26 minutes after she’d started — Dierks posted a photo of all three kids completely encompassing their mom in a group hug.
The $23,190 in donations came from fans and friends all over the country, with plenty of Nashville celeb donors like Nicole Kidman, Sheryl Crow, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kix Brooks and more.

Sam Hunt Marries Girlfriend Hannah Lee Fowler

Sam Hunt and Hannah Lee Fowler are married.
The happy couple had a Georgia wedding on Saturday (April 15), according to TMZ.
The site posted photos of the bride making her way to the ceremony wearing a white designer gown by Olia Zavozina, her hair in an elegant side fishtail braid and a smile from ear to ear. Members of the bridal party helped her with her train as she entered the wedding venue.
The couple announced their engagement in January. Hunt’s debut album Montevallo was inspired by Fowler and their breakup before they reunited in the spring of 2016.
In a new e-mail interview with Billboard, Hunt said his sophomore album is a long way from being completed. But he intends to continue to release music from the forthcoming collection piecemeal into the marketplace.
“I try to make music that’s relevant to my life and relatable to the culture I live in,” Hunt said. “Putting out music as it’s made, versus holding it until an album’s finished, allows me to be more timely and maintain balance.”
His current single “Body Like a Back Road” continues to climb Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. The song that preceded it was “Drinkin’ Too Much,” which was written as a musical apology to Fowler.
Hunt’s next show is a set at the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on May 9.

Glen Campbell's Final Album Adios Lands June 9

Glen Campbell will release his final album titled Adiós on June 9. According to People, the 12-song collection was recorded in Nashville following the 80-year-old’s 2011 Alzheimer’s diagnosis and his subsequent Goodbye Tour in 2012.
Kim Campbell, his wife of 34 years, says the inspiration to record the album was sparked after an afternoon visit with Carl Jackson, Glen’s longtime banjo player and a mutual friend who set the couple up on their first date more than three decades ago.
Although Kim describes the recording sessions as “heartbreaking at times” because of Glen’s struggles with dementia, the Grammy-winning singer was “clearly ecstatic about being in the studio.”
Willie Nelson appears on “Funny How Time Slips Away,” a Nelson original that has been covered and popularized by Joe Hinton, Al Green and Junior Parker. Vince Gill joins Campbell on “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me).” The couple’s children, Ashley, Shannon and Cal, also appear on the collection.
Pre-orders come with an instant download of the album opener and Harry Nilsson cover “Everybody’s Talkin’.”
Here is the complete track listing for Campbell’s Adiós:
1. “Everybody’s Talkin'”
2. “Just Like Always”
3. “Funny How Time Slips Away” with Willie Nelson
4. “Arkansas Farmboy”
5. “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)” [Intro] Roger Miller
6. “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)” with Vince Gill
7. “It Won’t Bring Her Back”
8. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
9. “She Thinks I Still Care”
10. “Postcard From Paris”
11. “A Thing Called Love”
12. “Adiós”

Loretta Lynn's Wouldn't It Be Great Arrives Aug. 18

Loretta Lynn turned 85 (April 14) and has announced she will release her new album Wouldn’t It Be Great on Aug. 18.
Like her 2016 Grammy-nominated Full Circle album, Lynn mainly recorded the new 13-song collection at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee with producers Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash.
The album includes new versions of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” her first No. 1 “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin'” and “God Makes No Mistakes” from 2004’s Jack White-produced Van Lear Rose album, plus new songs “Ruby’s Stool,” “Ain’t No Time To Go” and “I’m Dying For Someone To Live For.”
Her birthday celebration continues this weekend with two performances on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Both Friday (April 14) and Saturday’s (April 15) shows are sold out.
Her new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opens Aug. 25 and is scheduled to run through June 2018.
Here is a complete track listing for Wouldn’t It Be Great:
1. “Wouldn’t It Be Great” (Lynn)
2. “Ruby’s Stool” (Lynn, Shawn Camp)
3. “I’m Dying for Someone to Live For” (Lynn, Camp)
4. “Another Bridge to Burn” (Lynn, Lola Jean Dillon)
5. “Ain’t No Time to Go” (Lynn, Russell)
6. “God Makes No Mistakes” (Lynn)
7. “These Ole Blues” (Lynn, Russell)
8. “My Angel Mother” (Lynn)
9. “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin'” (Lynn, Peggy Sue Wells)
10. “The Big Man” (Lynn, Camp)
11. “Lulie Vars” (Traditional, arrangement by Lynn)
12. “Darkest Day” (Lynn)
13. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (Lynn)

Shania Twain Joins The Voice

Shania Twain is heading to The Voice to advise season 12’s top 12 contestants starting April 24 on NBC.
Previous key advisors on the show have been Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Nate Ruess and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
The top 20 singers will compete for the final 12 spots starting Monday (April 17) when the season goes live.
Twain received the CMT Artist of a Lifetime honor at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year celebration last October. That night, she confirmed plans for a new album and was honored with a live all-star tribute by Kelsea Ballerini, R&B vocalist Jill Scott and pop star Meghan Trainor.

Miranda Lambert Scores Top Album and Highest Song Debut

Miranda Lambert‘s sterling showing on the recent ACM Awards show is paying off big time this week. Her The Weight of These Wings returns to No. 1 on Billboard‘s country albums chart, 20 weeks after it first entered.
Concurrently, “Tin Man,” the song Lambert performed so dramatically on the ACM telecast, enjoys the week’s highest airplay debut, coming in at No. 53.
Bells are ringing for Lauren Alaina, as well, as the sixth single of her career — “Road Less Traveled” — bounds all the way to the top of the airplay chart after a 34-week journey.
The week’s other new albums are Trace Adkins‘ Something’s Going On (arriving at No. 5), Rodney Crowell‘s Close Ties (No. 28) and the Mavericks’ Brand New Day (No. 31).
Returning to the chart battle are Little Big Town‘s Pain Killer (No. 46), Rascal Flatts‘ Greatest Hits Volume 1 (No. 48) and Tim McGraw‘s Damn Country Music (No. 50).
Brothers Osborne‘s Pawn Shop vaults from No. 44 to No. 19.
In addition to Lambert’s “Tin Man,” there are two more new songs — Little Big Town’s “Happy People” (in at No. 56 and also an ACM performance highlight) and Bailey Bryan’s “Own It” (No. 60).
The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 albums, in that order, are Keith Urban‘s Ripcord, Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller and Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots.
Last week’s No. 1 album, RaeLynn‘s Wildhorse, has dropped to No. 32.
Rounding out the Top 5 songs array are Jason Aldean‘s “Any Ol’ Barstool,”, Jon Pardi‘s “Dirt on My Boots”, Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road” and Luke Bryan‘s “Fast’(last week’s No. 1).
More challenges in our Title Tales game? Well, OK. You know I can’t refuse you anything. “Happy People”/”Rebound”/”In Case You Didn’t Know” (Little Big Town/Drew Baldridge/Brett Young) and “Body Like a Back Road”/”Yours If You Want It” (Sam Hunt/Rascal Flatts).
Let’s just end it here — OK?

Blake Shelton Crashes Tuesday Night Opry

The Tuesday night (April 11) Grand Ole Opry already had a killer lineup with Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Terri Clark, Montgomery Gentry, the Del McCoury Band and Home Free.
But when emcee Bill Cody introduced the night’s surprise guest, saying, “You knew him from The Voice,” the sold-out crowd erupted in earsplitting applause as Blake Shelton walked onstage.
Sharing the moment on social media, Shelton simply posted, “Surprise bitch!”
Shelton and Ryman Hospitality broke ground this week to start construction of Ole Red Tishomingo, a new entertainment venue opening in fall 2017 in his hometown in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. The venue will include a 4,700-square-foot restaurant and performance space as well as a 1,400-square-foot retail store. A multi-level Nashville location is set to open on Lower Broadway in 2018.
The Voice season 12 goes live with top 20 contestants on Monday (April 17).

Alabama's Jeff Cook Reveals He Has Parkinson's Disease

Jeff Cook, a longtime member of Alabama, has Parkinson’s disease. The fiddle player and vocalist learned of the diagnosis four years ago, but just shared with fans on Tuesday (April 11).
With Alabama’s Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry seated beside him, Cook read a prepared statement with the Tennessean recording. Cook says that he’ll step back from his duties with the band beginning April 29. A combination of loss of coordination and balance, as well as the tremors, have made it too frustrating for him to keep playing.
“I’ve tried not to burden anyone with the details of my condition because I do not want the music to stop or the party to end,” Cook explains. “Let me say, I’m not calling it quits but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it’s time to take a break and heal.”
He will continue to appear at Alabama shows and even perform when he feels up to it, but for the most part his instrumental duties and vocals will be handled by another musician. Gentry and Owen say his microphone will remain on stage whether he’s there or not.
Alabama are Country Music Hall of Famers who redefined the importance of groups in the genre. They first found commercial success in 1980 with “Tennessee River” and would enjoy a decade-long string of No. 1 hits on their way to becoming three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year winners, and five-time ACM winners. Like Owen, 67-year-old Cook is from Fort Payne, Ala.
Both Gentry and Owen learned of the diagnosis immediately, and for several years have kept Cook’s secret. At times this was difficult, with some speculating the star had a substance abuse problem. The first signs of Parkinson’s came when he struggled to cast a fishing lure, the newspaper reports. Then, he missed notes on his guitar. A pinched nerve and stroke were early theories, but a doctor confirmed Parkinson’s about four years ago.
Cook says if he healed, he’d be back with the band full-time tomorrow, and for their part, Owen and Gentry are holding out hope that will happen soon.
“Whenever he can come be there, he will,” Owen says. “And I think he will. I believe he will. I don’t see the future, but I feel the future.”

Last Weekend's Greatest Hits

Were you too busy over the weekend to even think about checking all the socials?
Just in case, here is what was happening with the artists you love. Brett Eldredge was on a beach with his forever plus one, Cole Swindell played 18 in North Carolina, Jake Owen got ready to wakeboard with his little girl Pearl, Maren Morris discovered a new podcast, Tim McGraw showed off Elvis Presley’s tiny house (before tiny houses were cool), Kelsea Ballerini went off the grid, and Faith Hill kicked off some dressing-room yoga moves.
Brett Eldredge: “Backstage hangs with my dude @edgarboogie @tortugamusicfestival”
Cole Swindell: “I had a blast! Eagle Point was tough. #downhomeboys #youshouldbehere”
Jake Owen: “Thanks @ronixwakeboards and @ericscripp for getting Pearl and I all geared up for a Summer on the lake behind our @malibuboats M235. I’ve been waiting for her to get to the point where she said, “Daddy, I really want to wakeboard like you.” Well, she asked me today! See y’all on the lake!! #girlsrule #wakeboardgirls #ronixwakeboards #mrsummertime #puravida #goodcompany”
Kelsea Ballerini: “off the grid making music with these talented humans // @nicatnitemusic @jennifer_denmark @jammyrabbins and unpictured @jnitewriter”
Maren Morris: “On a road trip with @ryanhurd and we are now obsessed with the @stownpodcast . Anyone listened to it? On chapter 3!”
Tim McGraw: “Home of Elvis!! See you tonight Tupelo! #soul2soul. Photo cred. Deano”
Faith Hill: “Kicking it up in Mississippi!! #soul2soul”

Nashville's "Sing Me Back Home" Honors Merle Haggard

“I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d do it all over again.”
That was Merle Haggard‘s answer to a question about his life in an interview that played over the onstage video screens at Thursday’s (April 5) “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” tribute at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The country icon certainly lived a uniquely rich and colorful, and the artists who appeared onstage honored him to the hilt.
Taking place on what would have been his 80th birthday and the first anniversary of his death, the night served as a celebration of the art and life of the working man’s poet.
The sold-out show featured more than 30 performances with his son Ben Haggard and Merle’s longtime band, the Strangers, performing with several celebrity guests.
Before the night was over, those musical tributes were provided by Aaron Lewis, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Bare, Connie Smith, John Anderson, Toby Keith, Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Buddy Miller, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Crowell, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Alabama, Hank Williams, Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Avett Brothers, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Ronnie Dunn, Lucinda Williams, Billy Gibbons, Dierks Bentley, Warren Haynes, Sheryl Crow, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and Willie Nelson. Ben’s mother and Merle’s widow Theresa Haggard sang backing vocals for most of the night.
During an intermission, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and other government officials issued a proclamation naming April 6 Merle Haggard Day in Music City and presented the Haggard family with a medal of honor, recognizing Merle’s dedication to the U.S. military.
And if anyone was curious as to who’s going to fill Haggard’s shoes, several performances showed that country’s future is in good hands. Ben kicked off the night with “No Time to Cry,” an Iris DeMent song Merle recorded for his album 1996. Janson’s harmonica solo and Owen’s rich low-end vocals on “Footlights” received one of the show’s first standing ovations.
Lambert delivered a reverent version of “Misery and Gin,” and Musgraves was relaxed as she lead the band on “Rainbow Stew.” Dierks Bentley appeared onstage to sing Merle’s version of the holiday-inspired “If We Make Through December.”
Other highlights came as Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick and Mac McAnally sang a medley of “Carolyn,” “Daddy Frank” and “Old Man From the Mountain” and Hank Williams Jr. lit up the stage with “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.”
The music marathon wrapped with Richards and collaborations with Nelson. The Rolling Stones guitarist received the honor of singing the night’s title song, “Sing Me Back Home,” and then Nelson joined him onstage for “Reasons to Quit.” Chesney played Lefty to Nelson’s Pancho on the Townes Van Zandt song “Pancho and Lefty.”
Then rest of the cast joined them onstage for the finale “Okie From Muskogee.”
Ben Haggard, Don Was and Buddy Cannon served as musical directors for the concert. Additional musicians who played onstage were the McCrary Sisters, guitarist Audley Freed and multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush.

Brett Eldredge and Co-Writers Celebrate a No. 1 Single

Clearly inspired by some of the more harrowing episodes of Survivor, ASCAP and BMI staged a celebration for the writers of Brett Eldredge’s “Wanna Be That Song” Wednesday afternoon (April 5) at a hard-to-find bar in an out-of-the-way section of Nashville during the height of rush-hour traffic while the city was under a tornado watch.
The tornado never materialized, deterred, no doubt, by the lack of valet parking.
Even so, a sizable crowd ultimately trooped in under overcast skies to the aptly named Back Corner saloon in the now-ritzy Germantown to salute Eldredge and his co-writers, Scooter Carusoe and Ross Copperman.
Beth Brinker spoke for ASCAP, the performance rights society with which Carusoe is affiliated. Josh Tomlinson represented BMI, the home zone for Eldredge and Copperman.
Brinker noted that Carusoe was celebrating his fourth No. 1 with “Wanna Be That Song.” He also wrote or co-wrote the Kenny Chesney hits “Anything but Mine” and “Better as a Memory,” as well as Eldredge’s “Mean to Me.”
Tomlinson praised Copperman for having racked up his sixth No. 1 single and for having co-written nine of the songs on Eldredge’s current album, Illinois.
Josh Van Valkenburg, from Sony/ATV music publishing, came forward to acknowledge producer Frank Liddell, who stood watching in the crowd.
He quoted the advice Liddell had given young songwriters during the recent Academy of Country Music Awards show when he stood with Miranda Lambert to accept her album of the year trophy for The Weight of These Wings.
“Tell the truth,” Liddell had advised fledgling composers. “It makes you more interesting.”
Liddell came to the stage to speak on behalf of Carusoe, who writes for his publishing company. After tracing their history together and praising Carusoe’s versatility as a writer, Liddell concluded by saying, “He can do anything.”
Of Copperman, Van Valkenburg said that every time he turns in a demo, “You’re going to get a great song that sounds like a finished record.” Eldredge, he added, is “somebody who writes [songs] because he has to.”
John Esposito, head of Eldredge’s record label, rhapsodized about the singer’s vocal abilities and proclaimed that his recent Christmas project, Glow, was one of the best holiday albums ever recorded.
Eldredge informed the celebrants that the song being honored was the second he’d co-written with Carusoe and the fourth with Copperman.
He mused that “years down the road” when the plaques are put away and the parties are over, “all that matters are the people you’ve celebrated with. … It’s all about the journey to get here.”
He concluded his remarks by spontaneously breaking into the chorus of “Wanna Be That Song.”
The crowd cheered, cameras clicked and by the time the room emptied many minutes later, the sky was sunny again.

Keith Urban: No "Fighter" Without Carrie Underwood

When People magazine caught up with Keith Urban at the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this week, the conversation was all about his new single “The Fighter.”
The song features Carrie Underwood, and he brought her out to join him on the tune during his ACM Awards performance.
And if it wasn’t for her, well, he can’t even think about that.
“I would have had to have thought of somebody quick,” Urban said. “I think if Carrie said no, we were set with the schedule and everything, we would have just had to leave that song off the record.
“That would have given me time to find the right person. I wouldn’t rush the wrong person in there just to make a record. Thank goodness she said yes,” he said.
His wife Nicole Kidman — reportedly the inspiration for the song — is in awe of her husband’s songwriting chops.
“I remember when he first played it for me, and I started to cry because … he writes these things — they come out of I don’t know — and they’re like beautiful gifts,” she said.

Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed, Don Schlitz Elected to Country Music Hall of Fame

Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz are this year’s inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame member Vince Gill hosted the announcement ceremony Wednesday morning (April 5) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. Jackson, Reed and Schlitz will be formally inducted during the Hall of Fame’s annual Medallion Ceremony later this year.
At age 58, Jackson was elected in the modern era artist category. Still a successful recording artist and a major concert headliner, the Georgia native’s lengthy list of hits include “Here in the Real World,” “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Midnight in Montgomery,” “She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues),” “Chattahoochee” “Livin’ on Love,” “Gone Country and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” his reflection on the 9/11 attacks, resulted in a Grammy for best country song and also single and song of the year honors at the CMA Awards.
Elected in the veterans era artist category, the late Jerry Reed had a wide-ranging career that took the Georgia native from the recording studios of Atlanta and Nashville to a side career in movies and television. Regarded as one of the most original guitar stylists in the history of country music, he was working as a studio musician in Nashville while attempting to launch his own recording career when Elvis Presley recorded Reed’s “Guitar Man.” Unable to capture the sound of Reed’s original recording, he was called in to play on Presley’s recordings of “Guitar Man” and another Reed composition, “U.S. Male.” Reed was a two-time winner of the CMA’s instrumentalist of the year award.
Reed later became a regular on The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour TV series and scored major hits, including “Amos Moses,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, “East Bound and Down,” “Lord, Mr. Ford” and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft).” He also co-starred with Burt Reynolds in the film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and three separate Smokey and the Bandit features. His last major film role was in Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy in 1998.
Reed died in 2008 at age 71 after being diagnosed with emphysema in 2008.
Schlitz, 62, who will be inducted in the songwriter category, remains one of Nashville’s most prolific and respected composers. His credits include Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” Randy Travis’ “On the Other Hand” and “Forever and Ever, Amen,” Alison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing at All” and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her.”
Born in North Carolina, Schlitz has won two Grammys and is a three-time recipient of the CMA song of the year award. His membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame follows his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and the national Songwriters Hall of Fame.

RaeLynn's Wildhorse Gallops Into First Place on Country Albums Chart

RaeLynn debuts at No. 1 this week on Billboard‘s top country albums chart with Wildhorse.
A former contestant on The Voice, it’s the her first visit to such rarefied air, although she has lodged three singles on the country airplay chart, the highest-ranking one of which, “God Made Girls,” made it all the way to No. 16 in 2014.
RaeLynn also sang backup on Blake Shelton‘s 2013 single, “Boys ‘Round Here.”
Luke Bryan has cause to whistle a merry tune, as well, with “Fast’ arriving this week as his 16th song to peak the airplay rankings.
There’s not much going on elsewhere — just one other new album (Lindsay Ell‘s EP, Worth the Wait, which debuts at No. 28) and one new song (Thomas Rhett‘s “Craving You,” featuring Maren Morris, which also bows at No. 28).
Returning to action on their respective charts are Aaron Watson‘s Vaquero album (at No. 48) and Michael Tyler‘s song “They Can’t See” (at No. 60).
The remaining Top 5 albums, in descending order, are Keith Urban‘s Ripcord (last week’s No. 1), Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller, Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots and the eponymous Brett Young.
The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Jon Pardi‘s “Dirt on My Boots” (last week’s No. 1), Lauren Alaina‘s “Road Less Traveled,” Jason Aldean‘s “Any Ol’ Barstool” and Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road.”
So how about a couple more examples of the Title Tales game, just to expand the narrative possibilities? Something like “It Ain’t My Fault/The Way I Talk” (Brothers Osborne/Morgan Wallen) or “With You I Am/Outta Style” (Cody Johnson/Aaron Watson).
Your turn.

Miranda Lambert: Backstage at ACM Awards

LAS VEGAS — There’s a line in Miranda Lambert’s “Vice” that had her on the verge of tears when she talked about it backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night (April 2):
I wear a town like a leather jacket/When the new wears off, I don’t even pack it.
“That’s my favorite line on that song,” Lambert said. “Maybe one of my favorite lines on the whole record.”
The day she wrote that song had been a particularly hard one, she recalled backstage after she’d won both female vocalist of the year and album of the year.
“It was right in the middle of a lot going on in my life. To me, country music is about truth and about what’s really going on,” she said. “Whether it’s happy or sad or somewhere in the middle.
“And so for me, in the past couple of years, it’s happened to be a little more sad than happy. But now it’s moving in another direction. I’m really glad that people can relate to an emotion like that.”
Two of her producers joined her onstage to accept the album of the year award for The Weight of These Wings, and she was singing their praises backstage.
“Glenn Worf’s played on every one of my records and been a co-producer, and Frank Liddell has been producing me for every album that I’ve ever made,” she said.
“And we’ve grown up together and gone through stuff together, and it’s sharing those moments with real people who have real emotions. We can all sort of grab on to each other’s and use it for our art. And that’s such a blessing.”
Even though Lambert keeps on winning at a time when she feels ready to pass the ACM torch, she talked about how honored she is to be the one leading the way for whoever comes next.
“I’m really so thrilled that I can still help lead the charge for women in this business at any level — that I can keep pushing forward, and make way for other women to do the same thing,” she said.
“But I’ll be happy as a clam when it’s somebody else’s turn. I really will.”

Brett Young Explains Why He Still Sleeps With a Blankie

Brett Young's blankie has a name and a reason for still hanging around in his bed at night, some 30 years after most men give it up. The Taste of Country RISERS singer recently talked about why he still cuddles with his childhood blanket.
“Mr. Blankie” stayed with him long after his older half-sister moved out. “I don’t know why that made me really weird at bedtime … I don’t know if I was afraid of someone breaking in or if it was just really dark,” Young says. “When you’re that young you don’t know what you’re afraid of, you just know that you’re afraid. It went from this thing that was in my crib when I was a baby to this comfort blanket.”
Young was recently chosen as one of seven Taste of Country RISERS, artists the industry agrees are poised to break in 2017. The singer told his story during his RISERS interview, talking a bit about how influential his parents were in his life and music. Their love story inspires him, he says.
The California native is not married, but whomever he finds will need to make room for Mr. Blankie. Fortunately, he’s found a way to clean it without destroying it — the method involves a pillow case and gentle detergent (he’s a sensitive man!). Watch Young’s performance of his current single “In Case You Didn’t Know” below. His self-titled debut album is available now.

ACM Awards 2017 Winners: Complete List

The big winners have been crowned at Sunday night's (April 2) Academy of Country Music Awards, including Jason Aldean as the entertainer of the year. See everyone who took home hardware in Las Vegas below:
Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean - WINNER
Luke Bryan
Florida Georgia Line
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert - WINNER
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood
Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Dierks Bentley
Thomas Rhett - WINNER
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brothers Osborne - WINNER
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town - WINNER
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Lady Antebellum
New Male Vocalist of the Year
Kane Brown
Chris Janson
Chris Lane
Jon Pardi - WINNER
Brett Young
New Female Vocalist of the Year
Lauren Alaina
Brandy Clark
Maren Morris - WINNER
New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year
A Thousand Horses
Brothers Osborne - WINNER
Dan + Shay
Maddie & Tae
Songwriter of the Year
Ashley Gorley
Luke Laird
Hillary Lindsey
Shane McAnally
Lori McKenna - WINNER
Album of the Year
Black – Dierks Bentley
Dig Your Roots – Florida Georgia Line
Hero – Maren Morris
Ripcord – Keith Urban
The Weight of These Wings – Miranda Lambert - WINNER
Single Record of the Year
"Blue Ain’t Your Color" – Keith Urban
"H.O.L.Y." – Florida Georgia Line - WINNER
"Humble and Kind" – Tim McGraw
"My Church" – Maren Morris
"Vice" – Miranda Lambert
Song of the Year
"Blue Ain’t Your Color" – Keith Urban (Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen)
"Die a Happy Man" – Thomas Rhett (Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur) - WINNER
"Humble and Kind" – Tim McGraw (Lori McKenna)
"Kill a Word" – Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens (Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde)
"Tennessee Whiskey" – Chris Stapleton (Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove)
"Vice" – Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
Video of the Year
"Fire Away" – Chris Stapleton
"Forever Country" – Artists of Then, Now & Forever - WINNER
"Humble and Kind" – Tim McGraw
"Peter Pan" – Kelsea Ballerini
"Vice" – Miranda Lambert
Vocal Event of the Year
"Different for Girls" – Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
"Forever Country" – Artists of Then, Now & Forever
"May We All" – Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw - WINNER
"Setting the World on Fire" – Kenny Chesney Featuring P!nk
"Think of You" – Chris Young Featuring Cassadee Pope



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