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Country News Digest, December 2015

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December 29, 2015 - Country singer Craig Strickland, singer with the band Backroad Anthem, has been missing since going duck hunting in Oklahoma last weekend amidst a storm. Strickland's friend, Chase Morland, was found dead. The two went hunting ducks during a winter storm in Oklahoma. "In case we don't come back,... »»»
December 29, 2015 - Chris Stapleton and Thomas Rhett once again topped the Billboard Country Albums and Hot Country Songs chart with "Traveller" and "Die a Happy Man" respectively for the week ending Jan. 9, 2016. Carrie Underwood was second on the albums chart with "Storyteller," one ahead of Luke Bryan's "Kill the Lights.... »»»
December 29, 2015 - Cassadee Pope will premiere a new performance of her current single "I Am Invincible" via FUSION's Snapchat Discover Channel at midnight Tuesday. The video will appear exclusively on the FUSION Snapchat channel for 24 hours. "I love finding ways for fans from different pockets to interact with me and... »»»
December 27, 2015 - Chris Stapleton will have the only country disc in the overall top 10 when the charts are released on Tuesday with "Traveler." Stapleton's debut was up one to sixth with 87,000 units, up 41 percent. Adele once again leads the chart with "25." The disc sold 1.5 million units, up 46... »»»
December 24, 2015 - Blackberry Smoke announced its winter tour schedule, fresh off a big 2015 for the band, which includes a trip Down Under for the first time. The band released its forth studio album, "Holding All The Roses," and toured heavily throughout the year. Blackberry Smoke has a headliner spot on the maiden... »»»
December 23, 2015 - 'Tis the season for Brenda Lee. While "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" may have first charted 1961, the song is number one on the Billboard Country Streaming Songs chart. The song also hit the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time since 1961. The song reached 18 on Jan.... »»»
December 23, 2015 - Big & Rich are releasing "Lovin' Lately" featuring Tim McGraw as the duo's new single. The song is accompanied by the Trey Fanjoy-directed video starring McGraw, which is part of The Gravity Quadrilogy video series. "Lovin' Lately" is the follow-up to "Look at You" and "Run Away With You," also from "Gravity.... »»»
December 22, 2015 - Kenny Chesney's 2015 Big Revival Tour wasn't only the most attended country music tour this year with more than 1.3 million fans, but the tour also may have saved lives. Participating in the Love Hope Strength Foundation's Get On The List Campaign, concertgoers at Chesney's stadium shows could join a... »»»
December 22, 2015 - Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton once again are leading the Billboard country songs and albums charts. Rhett is first on the Hot Country Songs chart with "Die a Happy Man" and Stapleton number one on the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller" for the week ending Jan. 2, 2016 Cam debuted in second on... »»»
December 21, 2015 - Lorrie Morgan, who had hits with "What Part Of No," "Except For Monday," "Five Minutes," and "Watch Me," will be back next year with her first solo album in five years. Morgan will release "Letting Go... Slow" on Feb. 12, 2016 on Shanachie Entertainment. The album follows her collaboration album, "Dos... »»»
December 20, 2015 - Chris Stapleton will top the country charts again with "Traveller" when the charts are out on Tuesday. But Stapleton will be far behind Adele, whose "25" sold 825,000 units and is first for the fourth straight week. Stapleton went from ninth to sixth on the Billboard Top 200 chart, selling 62,000... »»»
December 18, 2015 - Dave Cobb, the man behind the controls for Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell, is putting together a southern-themed compilation featuring the likes of Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark and Stapleton. "Southern Family" will be out March 18 on Low Country Sound/Elektra Records and is now available for pre-order.... »»»
December 18, 2015 - Brantley Gilbert will reschedule his European Black Out Tour dates for early May. He postponed shows in November following the Paris terrorist attacks. Gilbert kicked off his tour with a sold-out show Nov. 11 at Melkweg in Amsterdam and playing Hamburg, Germany's Fabrik and Munich, Germany's Technikum.... »»»
December 16, 2015 - The Waco Brothers will make a little bit of history of their own when they release their first album in more than a decade next year. The punky country band will release "Going Down in History"on Bloodshot on Feb. 26, 2016. This is the group's 10th album and first of original material since 2005's "Freedom & Weep.... »»»
December 15, 2015 - Thomas Rhett is staying happy because "Die a Happy Man" again tops the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Chris Stapleton took back the top spot on the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller" for the week ending Dec. 26, switching spots with Carrie Underwood's "Storyteller," which fell to second.... »»»
December 15, 2015 - Billy Currington will hit the road on his headlining Summer Forever tour beginning in February 2016. Currington, who released his sixth studio album, "Summer Forever," on Mercury Nashville in June, starts his tour Feb. 19 in San Antonio and ends April 16 in Tampa. Kelsea Ballerini will open 9 of the 15 shows.... »»»
December 15, 2015 - Dierks Bentley will co-host the Academy of Country Music awards in April 2016 with Luke Bryan, it was announced today. Bentley replaces Blake Shelton, who is bowing out. "Excited to let y'all know that my buddy @DierksBentley will be co-hosting the 51st @ACMawards with me," said Bryan in a Tweet today.... »»»
December 14, 2015 - IRS Nashville, the home of Striking Matches, folded on Friday, according to Country Aircheck. The label was started by former Sony Nashville head John Grady in 2013 along with Caroline, the independent services division of Capitol Music Group. The label was not exclusively country.... »»»
December 14, 2015 - Cole Swindell released a new song this morning. "You Should Be Here" is the first single from the Georgian's sophomore disc, which presumably will be out in 2016. Swindell has enjoyed much success with his debut, having scored three number one singles ("Chillin' It," "You Ain't Worth the Whiskey,"... »»»
December 14, 2015 - Ricky Skaggs will be featured on NBC's The Voice vocal competition, singing with finalist Emily Ann Roberts, on Tuesday at 8 p.m. eastern. Roberts, hailing from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of Blake Shelton's two remaining team members and will be breaking out some country hits. She will be joined by... »»»
December 13, 2015 - David Nail became a father - of twins - on Saturday. Lawson Brent Nail was born at 7:44 a.m., weighing in at 6 lbs., 2 oz., while daughter Lillian Catherine Nail arrived at 7:45 a.m., weighing 5 lbs., 14 oz. "No words can describe the feeling," Nail and his wife, Catherine, said in a statement to E! News.... »»»
December 13, 2015 - Garth Brooks announced last week he would return to Massachusetts, but he is not returning to Boston. Brooks said he would play the DCU Center in Worcester at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27. He played Boston's TD Garden in January. Tickets for the Worcester show go on sale at 10 a.m. eastern on Friday, Dec. 18.... »»»
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December 13, 2015 - Chris Stapleton's run with "Traveller" continues for another week as he has the leading country album in the U.S. for sales. The disc sold 51,000 units; up 31 percent. Stapleton, who has greatly benefitted from three CMA awards last month, goes from 11 to 9 on the overall Billboard Top 200 chart.... »»»
December 11, 2015 - Camaron Ochs, better known as Cam, releases her debut disc hot on the heels of the success of her ballad hit single "Burning House." The California veers towards the pop side with a voice somewhat reminiscent of Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry. Cam, a California native who got into country on her... »»»
December 10, 2015 - Zac Brown Band's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival returns to Charleston, S.C. in April with Tedeschi Trucks Band and Thomas Rhett headlining. Kacey Musgraves, Sam Bush and Hunter Hayes also will play the fest, slated for Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17. This year marks the festivals first... »»»
December 10, 2015 - Old Dominion will make their national morning show television debut on NBC's Today Show with two performances on Monday, Dec. 21. The band will sing their hit single "Break Up With Him" from their new album, "Meat and Candy," as well as their second single, "Snapback" in the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours, respectively.... »»»
December 9, 2015 - Trailblazing rockabilly singer Bonnie Lou, considered one of the first female rock and roll singers, died Dec. 8 at 91 in Cincinnati. Bonnie Lou, both Mary Joan Kath, achieved success in country as well and was a a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Bonnie Lou, born on Oct. 27, 1924 in Towanda, Ill.... »»»
December 9, 2015 - Maddie & Tae, fresh off the success of winning a CMA Award for Best Video, released a playful video this week for their new single Shut Up & Fish. The duo goes on a fishing trip with a city slicker, played by Mason Dye, Tae's brother, who doesn't know his rod from his reel. The song concludes with Tae... »»»
December 9, 2015 - Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley, who just launched a tour in support of his solo career, abruptly postponed most of the tour without explanation. On his web site, Kelley wrote, "A portion of upcoming tour dates is moving to early 2016. For more information on rescheduled dates, check back here.... »»»
December 8, 2015 - Don Pfrimmer, who wrote such hits as "Meet in the Middle" and "Mr. Mom," died Dec. 7 at 78 of leukemia. The Montana native moved to Nashville in 1973. His first top 10 hit was Mickey Gilley's "The Power of Positive Drinking." Diamond Rio scored a hit with "Meet in the Middle" in 1991 as did Lonestar with "Mr.... »»»
December 8, 2015 - Yonder Mountain String Band announced Tuesday it would launch a spring tour. With dates slated into February, the spring tour will be in March and April. Yonder Mountain String Band - Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals),Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals), Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals), Allie Kral (violin,... »»»
December 8, 2015 - Thomas Rhett is atop the Hot Country Songs chart with "Die a Happy Man" for the week ending Dec. 19, while Carrie Underwood is first on the albums chart with "Storyteller." On the albums chart, Chris Stapleton is second, switching places with Underwood, with "Traveller." Blake Shelton is third with... »»»
December 7, 2015 - Grammy nominees were predictably quite happy to receive the news on Monday. Brandy Clark's "Hold My Hand," from her "12 Stories" disc, was nominated for Country Song of the Year. "Wow," Clark said. "I was not expecting this news today. What a surprise and a fantastic way to start my week.... »»»
December 7, 2015 - The surprise run of Chris Stapleton continues as his debut, "Traveller," was nominated for the Grammy for Album of the Year, one of four nominations for Stapleton. Little Big Town also received four nominations, including for Song of the Year for "Girl Crush." Stapleton will face off against Alabama... »»»
December 6, 2015 - Carrie Underwood will have the top selling country disc in the U.S. when the Billboard charts are released on Tuesday. "Storyteller" sold 48,000 units, up 51 percent. The disc is the only country release in the top 10 in overall sales, at number 7, up 7. Underwood had been first on the country chart... »»»
December 4, 2015 - Tara Thompson releases her her debut single "Someone to Take Your Place" (The Valory Music Co.), today. Penning the track with her producer Alex Kline and hit songwriter Leslie Satcher, the song goes for adds in early 2016. A video with lyrics also is online. Thompson sings, "My sister did this... »»»
December 3, 2015 - Jennifer Nettles released the first single, "Unlove You," from her upcoming Big Machine Records debut. Nettles wrote the song with Brandy Clark. Lyrics include: I can't unlove you / and a heart can't unbreak / I can't unfeel how it felt / To feel so much myself / My whole body ached / I can't unknow... »»»
December 2, 2015 - Dylan Scott will open shows for label mate Lee Brice on his upcoming 2016 tour. Scott, who has yet to release an album for Curb Records, also will be on the Life off My Years tour with Tyler Farr. "Dylan is an incredible performer, and both Tyler and I felt he'd be a great fit for this tour," said Brice.... »»»
December 1, 2015 - Thomas Rhett tops the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with "Die a Happy Man," while Chris Stapleton regains the number one spot on the albums chart with "Traveller." Sam Hunt was second on the Hot Country Songs chart with "Break Up in a Small Town," one ahead of Chris Young's "I'm Comin' Over.... »»»
December 1, 2015 - Dierks Bentley is heading back to Europe. Bentley announced today that he would play Europe for the third time with four shows in April in Dublin, London, Manchester and Glasgow next April. Tickets for the international shows with rising singer/songwriter Tucker Beathard will be available this Friday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m.... »»»
December 1, 2015 - Kip Moore will extend his Wild Ones Tour into 2016 adding stops across the U.S. and Canada. The second leg of the tour will kick off in Milwaukee on Jan. 28 with special guests The Cadillac Three and Chase Bryant joining on select dates. "The feedback from the fans this fall has been so insane... »»»