2019 “CMT Artists of The Year” Lineup Revealed!

From our friends at CMT

STAR-STUDDED LIST OF PERFORMERS & PRESENTERS REVEALED FOR “2019 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR” Bobby Bones, Chrissy Metz, Johnny Galacki, Lady Antebellum, Lauren Akins, Lonnie Chavis, Maddie & Tae, Sam Hunt, Vince Gill & More Added to Lineup for 10th Annual Special Premiering LIVE from Nashville on Wednesday, October 16 at 8pm ET/PT on CMT

Ray Stevens to Receive Star on Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame

Ray Stevens News

Country and Comedy Music Legend to be Inducted at August 21st Ceremony Held at Music City Walk of Fame Park  Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2018) — Today, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced that GRAMMY® Award-winning country and comedy music legend Ray Stevens will receive his very own star on the Music City Walk of Fame. The official induction ceremony will take place on August 21, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at the Music City Walk of Fame Park located in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The event is free and open to the public. Stevens, one of the original pioneers of Music Row, arrived in Nashville in the early 1960s. Shortly after, he would meet and form a lifelong friendship withChet Atkins, produce the legendary Dolly Parton, and record with Waylon Jennings. His “dream-come-true” moment happened when he was recruited to play on sessions with “The King” himself, Elvis Presley. Stevens would go on to sign major record deals with several Nashville-based labels where he recorded some of his biggest career songs including, “Mr. Businessman,” “Everything Is Beautiful,” “Misty,” “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” and “The Streak.” With the recent grand opening of his West Nashville showroom, CabaRay, Stevens continues to make his mark on Music City. “It is truly an honor to be recognized in Nashville where there are so many talented people,” says Stevens. “This really is Music City and I’m so happy to have been a small part of adding to that ‘Music’ since the time I moved here in 1962.” Stevens will be inducted alongside Nashville-based pop artist Ben Folds, Country Music Hall of Famer Brenda Lee, and Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely. The inductees will receive the 81st, 82nd, 83rd and 84th stars on the Walk of Fame. Inductees are recognized for their significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and for contributing to the world through song or other industry collaboration. “This summer’s Music City Walk of Fame inductees reflect the incredible breadth of the many musical gifts Nashville has sent out into the world,” notes Nashville Mayor David Briley. “Ben Folds’ sharp songwriting and piano playing, the vibrant voice Brenda Lee started sharing with country music fans as a teenager, the great vocals and stage presence that Jeannie Seely has brought to the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years, and Ray Stevens’ witty lyrics and memorable songs are all testimonials to the magic that happens every day in Music City.” About Ray Stevens Twelve-time nominated and two-time GRAMMY® Award winner Ray Stevens has spanned the generations with 60 years of comedic musical talent, including songs such as his multi-million selling hit “The Streak” and his classic pop standard “Everything Is Beautiful.” Throughout his career, Stevens has sold more than 40 million albums and continues daily office operations at his home base, Ray Stevens Music, located on Nashville’s historic Music Row. Stevens hosts Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville, a 30-minute weekly music/talk show airing on Public Television. The music legend recently opened his very own Nashville entertainment venue, the CabaRay Showroom, a 35,000 square foot music venue where Stevens performs weekly live concerts. For more information on Ray Stevens, Continue reading

The Judds To Be Honored With Exhibit at the Country Music Hall Of Fame

The Judds Country Music Hall Of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will take a fresh look at the story of The Judds—mother Naomi and daughter Wynonna—using rare artifacts, original manuscripts, unpublished photos and keepsake costumes in an exhibit titled The Judds: Dream Chasers. The exhibit opens Aug. 10, 2018 and continues through July 14, 2019. The exhibit will follow the popular duo from their mother-and-child beginnings as Diana Judd and daughter Christina Ciminella to their chart-topping career peak as one of the most successful duos in country music history. In the Eighties and early Nineties, The Judds scored twenty Top Ten hits, including fourteen No. 1s. They were popular with their industry peers, too, winning five GRAMMY®, nine CMA and seven ACM awards. According to museum CEO Kyle Young, “Country music hall of fame member Tom T. Hall, who hailed from The Judds’ home territory of eastern Kentucky, sang, ‘It’s a million miles to the city, from the hills and the valleys we know/ It’s a million miles to the city, and someday we all want to go.’ This is a million-mile story, told with heart and soul, about a miraculous, fortunate, and harmonious journey.” The Judds’ music is characterized by distinctive harmonies and Wynonna’s powerful lead voice, offered in a spare, acoustic accompaniment that incorporates elements of traditional folk, blues and family harmony. Their songs feature themes of family, love, longing, independence, and spirituality. In collaboration with producer Brent Maher and guitarist Don Potter, The Judds created a sound that was simultaneously traditional and groundbreaking. “The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is sacred ground, regarded with reverence and respect,” said Naomi Judd. “I am so overjoyed to have The Judds’ career encapsulated in this new exhibit. I’m so proud of all the success Wynonna has accomplished and we owe everything to the fans who welcomed The Judds music into their homes.” “I am truly humbled and grateful to partner with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to honor The Judds’ legacy and relive some of the special moments we shared with our fans,” added Wynonna Judd.  “What an honor.” Among the artifacts featured in The Judds: Dream Chasers are: -Velvet jacket embellished with bugle beading and sequins, worn by Wynonna Judd on The Judds’ farewell concert in December 1991. The concert was taped for a television special broadcast a week later -Lyrics to the song released by The Judds as “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain,” handwritten by Don Schlitz, who co-wrote the song with Brent Maher. The song went to #1 and appeared on The Judds’ second album, Rockin’ with the Rhythm (1985). -1996 Gibson Custom Shop ES-336 electric guitar used by Wynonna Judd in her solo concerts -Nurse’s uniform worn by Naomi Judd when she worked as a registered nurse -Certificate presented to seventeen-year-old Naomi Judd for her volunteer work as a Candy Striper at King’s Daughters Hospital in Ashland, Kentucky -Hohner harmonicas and cigar box owned by Naomi Judd, who began playing harmonica in the 1970s -Note Continue reading

Eric Church Suffers Loss of Co-Writer and Brother Brandon Church

Brandon Church - Eric Church

Our deepest condolences go out after learning that Brandon Church, the brother of country star Eric Church, has passed away after suffering multiple seizures that may have led to a cardiac arrest. Brandon was in transport with emergency services when he passed. According to TMZ, Brandon, who had written a handful of songs over the years with his brother, had been having seizures in recent years, as reported by his father Ken. A Scholarship Memorial Fund has been created in honor of Brandon and the family asks that donations to the fund be sent in lieu of flowers. A law enforcement source tells us they believe the cause of death was natural, and no foul play is suspected. Brandon was 36, and leaves behind a daughter, Mackenzie, and a sister, Kendra, as well as his brother Eric. He grew up in Granite Falls before going to college at Appalachian State University. There he and his brother played music together, maintaining a partnership well into the start of the “Springsteen” singer’s professional career. Brandon Church is credited with several songwriting and production credits on early Eric Church albums. His songwriting credits include “How Bout You”, “Without You Here”, and several other early Eric Church hits.  

Kenny Chesney To Donate Proceeds From ‘Songs For The Saints’ To Love For Love City Fund

Kenny Chesney Tour News | Photo Credit: Allister Ann

BLUE CHAIR/WARNER BROS./WEA’s KENNY CHESNEY will donate proceeds from his forthcoming album, “Songs For The Saints,” to his LOVE FOR LOVE CITY FUND benefiting the VIRGIN ISLANDS. CHESNEY launched the foundation in SEPTEMBER to help areas being affected by HURRICANE IRMA (NET NEWS 9/11/17). CHESNEY penned “Songs For The Saints” and “Love For Love City” in the days following HURRICANE IRMA and will use proceeds from the album to continue to support the island’s recovery efforts. “I didn’t necessarily have ‘a plan,’ but these songs needed to be written,” said CHESNEY. “And, a friend said, ‘You should call the album “Songs For The Saints,” make it something that honors the people and the life on those islands, but also provides for them long after what happened has fallen off the news cycle.’ It hit me, that was what I was already doing and hadn’t realized it. I never in the world thought I’d talk to FEMA people, but every day, there was a new problem to solve. I’ve never made a record in the middle of such chaos and anxiety, but I took every bit of that into the studio – and you can hear it in the vocals. Looking back, what a beautiful way to make a record for people I love so much. And, now, I can give that music back to them in a way that makes a difference.” CHESNEY’s “Songs For The Saints” album is scheduled to street FRIDAY, JULY 27th.

Darius Rucker Raises More Than $400,000 For St. Jude

Darius Rucker on Country Music News Blog

Kudos to CAPITOL NASHVILLE’s DARIUS RUCKER, who raised $404,000 for ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL during his ninth annual “DARIUS & FRIENDS” benefit concert and golf tournament that took place on MONDAY night (6/4) and TUESDAY morning (6/5). The event featured several guests, including BRAD PAISLEY, TRACE ADKINS, LAUREN ALAINA, ASHLEY MCBRYDE, RACHEL WAMMACK, BOBBY BONES, PATRICK DAVIS, EDWIN MCCAIN, and A.J. MCLEAN. “As a parent, I can’t imagine the emotional toll hearing your child has cancer takes, not to mention the financial stress,” said RUCKER. “The support families with a child facing life-threatening illness receive from ST. JUDE is just incredible. I’m proud to support ST. JUDE, and I’m so grateful to all our friends who came out and donated their time to be on the show.”

William Shatner and Neal McCoy Team Up For Charity

Neal McCoy News

William Shatner’s Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show Sponsored by Wells Fargo Returns June 2 to Los Angeles Equestrian Center with Neal McCoy On Saturday, June 2nd, William Shatner’s Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Sponsored by Wells Fargo, which has become one of Los Angeles’ most highly anticipated celebrity-driven charity events, will return for another year, helping raise critical funding for Los Angeles-area organizations.   Each year for nearly three decades, the celebrated actor and cultural icon’s philanthropic horse show and dinner, supports some of the city’s most crucial charitable organizations, primarily those focusing on benefiting children with special needs and U.S. military veterans through a variety of outreach and therapeutic programming.   Says Shatner, “For years I have witnessed the indelible mark that horses can leave on people. I have seen children who are unable to walk ride atop horses, and completely break out of their shells, and I have seen the lasting connection humans can have with this incredible animal.”   He continues, “It’s a beautiful thing, and that is why I am bringing back the Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Sponsored by Wells Fargo, for yet another year, because it is just that important and the services these organizations provide to the community are nothing short of remarkable and essential.”    This year, one of the country music world’s most beloved acts, Neal McCoy, will return for his second year. He previously performed at the 26th Annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show dinner in 2016, and was so profoundly moved by the experience that he decided to return, this time with his full band. Says McCoy, “To be involved with William Shatner and his team in any way is exciting. After being part of his Hollywood Charity Horse Show a couple years ago, we were excited about being part of it again this year. Not only is it a wonderful time for families, but to be able to contribute to some wonderful causes the Shatner team supports. We are really happy to be coming back!”    In past years, other musical acts have included Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Roadcase Royale, Joe Walsh, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Brad Paisley, Ben Folds, Willie Nelson and Wynonna Judd.    The Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Sponsored by Wells Fargo, will return once more to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center (480 Riverside Drive, Burbank), Southern California’s premier equestrian facility, with a free hour-long Arena Show, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. The show will bring together a collection of world-class reining horses and their riders competing for top honors in the 3,000-plus-seat Equidome.     The must-see Arena Show will treat spectators to impressive performances. There will be a freestyle reining competition, a riding demonstration by AHEAD with Horses, and a not-to-be-missed  performance of the National Anthem and ‘God Bless America’ by retired Naval petty officer Generald Wilson, who most recently blew away American television audiences when he performed at the NFC Championship game in Philadelphia earlier this year.    There will also be a featured performance by DIAVOLO, Continue reading

Blake Shelton Reveals Ole Red Grand Opening

Ole Red Gatlinburg

WARNER BROS./WMN’s BLAKE SHELTON and RYMAN HOSPITALITY PROPERTIES will celebrate the grand opening of their multi-level entertainment venue, OLE RED, on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6th through SUNDAY, JUNE 10th during CMA FEST in NASHVILLE. Several events will take place during the week, including a “BLAKE SHELTON AND FRIENDS” concert; fans can enter to win tickets to the event here. The venue was revealed last year and will be located on Lower Broadway. “Lower Broadway is the centerpiece of NASHVILLE,” noted SHELTON. “There’s so much great music and fun going on down there all the time, and it’s exciting to now be a part of it – it’s a dream come true.” Added RYMAN HOSPITALITY PROPERTIES Chairman/CEO COLIN REED, “OLE RED is an experience unlike anywhere else on Broadway – from the live entertainment quality to the food, drinks, décor, and retail. We are excited to celebrate its grand opening with the thousands of fans and visitors that join us in NASHVILLE for one of the most exciting weeks of the year, CMA FEST.”

Lauren Alaina, Bobby Bones, Jay Cutler, Brandi Cyrus, Trent Harmon, Tegan Marie, Lucas Hoge and Marc Mariani Join City of Hope Softball Game

City of Hope News on Country Music News Blog

City of Hope’s 28th annual Celebrity Softball Game continues to announce talent for the Saturday, June 9, event at First Tennessee Park. Bobby Bones, Brandi Cyrus, Lauren Alaina, Tegan Marie, Trent Harmon, Lucas Hoge, Jay Cutler and Marc Mariani have been added to the list of talent participating in the event. Teams iHeart Radio andGrand Ole Opry will meet at the field for a friendly competition for a great cause. CLICK HERE for tickets ranging $15 – $35. For media and photo passes, CLICK HERE. Office Depot will join the game for the first time as a supporting sponsor. Other notable partners include CMA Fest, U.S. Army, Grand Ole Opry and iHeart Radio. Big Machine artist and Season 15 winner of ABC’s “American Idol” Trent Harmon will also perform the national anthem. City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game veteran and national radio personality Bobby Bones will continue as iHeart’s team captain. Reigning ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year Lauren Alaina will return to the game after several years of support. DJ, fashion blogger and member of the Cyrus dynasty Brandi Cyrus will play in the game for the first time. Warner Music Nashville artist Tegan Marie, 14, one of the youngest female country singers to sign a record deal in decades, will participate in the game along with Billboard No. 1 artist Lucas Hogeand NFL players Jay Cutler and Marc Mariani. [bctt tweet=”.@cityofhope announces @mrBobbyBones @laurenalaina @brandicyrus @trentharmon @teganmariemusic @lucashoge and more for #strikeoutcancer18″ username=”My_CountryMusic”] As previously announced, The Scott Brothers are warming up for some sibling rivalry this year and Naomi Judd, who participated in the game in the early ’90s, is dusting off her glove and returning as a play-by-play guest announcer. More talent will be announced soon. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com. As always, 100 percent of event net profits benefit City of Hope. For more information,visitcityofhope.org/softball or follow City of Hope onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. ABOUT CITY OF HOPE: City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes andnumerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution.

The Power of Music Festival Unites Songwriting with Education

Power of Music Festival 2018

World-class songwriters traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas, during the Power of Music Festival on April 26-29, giving listeners a rare chance to hear the stories behind the songs. The proceeds benefit the I’ll Fly Away Foundation’s music education program, which brings songwriting into area schools in order to elevate test scores and classroom engagement. With dozens of shows and artists, the event drew top talent like 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Steve Dorff (“Through the Years,” “Every Which Way But Loose”). His solo performance at the elegant Haxton Road Studios in Bentonville attracted cast members of HBO’s True Detective, including his son Stephen Dorff and Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali. Steve Dorff also participated in multiple book signings for his new memoir, I Wrote That One, Too…: A Life in Songwriting From Willie to Whitney. Three members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame united for a well-attended round at Meteor Guitar Gallery. The lineup featured Roger Cook (“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”), Richard Leigh(“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”) and Dennis Morgan (“I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”). Other highlights included original music from Steve Poltz (Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me”),Jerry Salley (Chris Stapleton’s “Outlaw State of Mind), and Keith Sykes (Jimmy Buffett’s “Volcano”). Additional talent included indie-Americana band The Accidentals, female vocal group Farewell Angelina, Latin rock ‘n’ roll band Making Movies, inspiring rapper Saul Paul, guitarist-songwriter David Starr, and Emmy-winning composer Jonathan Wolff (Seinfeld, Will & Grace). A number of aspiring songwriters from the region also performed at venues like Two-25 Events and Bike Rack Brewery. The festival featured 42 shows and 51 artists over four days and included an education series for aspiring performers with guest speakers like soul music icon Al Bell (Stax Records). The festival is organized by the I’ll Fly Away Foundation, named for the iconic song “I’ll Fly Away,” written by  Albert E. Brumley. His granddaughter, Betsy Brumley-Bernier, founded the I’ll Fly Away Foundation with her husband, Kevin Bernier.