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Country News Digest, February 2016


2017 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2016 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2015 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

February 29, 2016 - RaeLynn tied the knot on Saturday, marrying Joshua Davis. "What a day yesterday was. Marrying my best friend. Call my Mrs.Davis," RaeLynn, 21, posted in a Tweet on Sunday. Davis is a financial adviser. The couple got engaged last fall in Nashville. Among the guests at the wedding were Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.... »»»
February 29, 2016 - Zac Brown Band will kick off their sixth headlining U.S. concert tour, the Black Out the Sun Tour, in mid-May in Connecticut in a tour that concludes in early September in New York. Inspired by a lyric from "Tomorrow Never Comes" on their latest album "Jekyll + Hyde," the 29-date tour includes shows... »»»
February 28, 2016 - Chris Stapleton regained the top of the Billboard country charts with "Traveller." The disc sold 52,000 units, down 14 percent, but held steady in fifth on the overall charts. Joey + Rory's "Hymns" slipped from fourth to eighth, selling 37,000 units, down 46 percent. Adele is first on the top 200... »»»
February 26, 2016 - Dierks Bentley released the video for "Somewhere On A Beach" today on Vevo. The song is the lead single from his forthcoming eighth studio album "Black" (Capitol Records Nashville) and the fastest rising of his career. Bentley once again teamed with director Wes Edwards on the streets and... »»»
February 26, 2016 - Release day today is a busy time for older acts ranging from Willie Nelson covering the Gershwins to the Waco Brothers, who put out their first studio disc in 12 years. Nelson is out with "Summertime Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin." He developed the idea for the disc of covering 11 songs from George... »»»
February 25, 2016 - Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Cam and Florida Georgia Line will perform on the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards in April. These were the first set of performers announced by ACM. The ceremony, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, is produced for television by dick clark... »»»
February 24, 2016 - Producer and former record label executive Tony Brown, who produced Reba McEntire and George Strait, was arrested at his home Monday night, charged with domestic abuse, according to TV station WKRN. The station said that Brown's wife called police, claiming he beat her up. The fight involved a photo... »»»
February 24, 2016 - A third country music festival slated for this summer has been cancelled. The Dega Jam fest at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama said on its web site it was not being held. No reason was given. The festival, which was going to make its debut this year, was slated to feature Blake Shelton, Toby... »»»
February 23, 2016 - Chris Young and Cassadee Pope were on a Southwest Airlines jet yesterday - to perform. Instead, the pair entertained passengers with a Live at 35 acoustic gig inflight performance in Nashville. They included their duet, "Think of You," which was released as Young's latest single.... »»»
February 23, 2016 - Chris Stapleton's stranglehold on the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart ended this week with Joey + Rory taking "Hymns That Are Important to Us" to the top. But Thomas Rhett showed no signs of leaving the top of the Hot Country Songs chart as "Die a Happy Man" still was first for the week ending March 5.... »»»
February 22, 2016 - Country Music Hall of Fame member Sonny James, best known for the 1957 hit "Young Love," died today at 86. Known as the Southern Gentleman, James enjoyed 72 country and pop charted releases from 1953-1983. He had a 5-year streak of 16 consecutive number 1 singles on the Billboard charts and a total of... »»»
February 21, 2016 - Joey + Rory scored a career high with the release of their religious-themed disc, "Hymns," which came in fourth on the Billboard charts. The release sold 70,000 units, marking their best sales week ever and their first top 10. "Hymns" came out Feb. 12 through Joey + Rory's Farmhouse label.... »»»
February 19, 2016 - Kip Moore will sing his current single "Running For You" on The Talk this Monday at 2 p.m. eastern on CBS. Moore recently released the video for "Running For You." Moore will follow his national TV performance by heading back out on the West Coast as part of his headlining Wild Ones tour.... »»»
February 18, 2016 - Thomas Rhett continues to be happy - at least when it comes to the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. That's because "Die a Happy Man" remains number one for the week ending Feb. 27. And fellow chart topper Chris Stapleton stays first on the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller.... »»»
February 18, 2016 - The Academy of Country Music announced today announced nominees for the Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year for the 51st Academy of Country Music awards. Song of the Year Nominees are: Burning House - Cam Songwriters: Jeffrey Bhasker, Tyler Johnson, Cam Publishers: Marvelous Oaks... »»»
February 17, 2016 - The Academy of Country Music announced today radio award winners for the 51st Academy of Country Music awards. The Bobby Bones Show won the National award for On-Air Personality of the Year for the second time. The show first won the honor in 2013. Radio award winners will not be televised due to... »»»
February 17, 2016 - Showcase submissions to perform at the 2016 Americana Music Festival & Conference in September are now open through March 24. Musicians can submit digitally for $25. AMA artist/band members can submit for free by printing the submission application and mailing it to the Americana office at PO Box 628,... »»»
February 17, 2016 - Kellie Pickler returned to where it all started last week when she taped an episode of the final season of "American Idol." For several days, Pickler, who was on the show's fifth season, mentored and performed with 2 of the Top 24 contestants. Their names were not revealed. During the tapings, she... »»»
February 17, 2016 - Singer/songwriter Darrell Scott releases "Couchville Sessions" via Full Light Records/Thirty Tigers on May 13. This is Scott's first album since "Long Ride Home" in 2012. Scott has had songs covered by more than 70 other artists, ranging from from Garth Brooks to Keb Mo' to Mary Gauthier.... »»»
February 17, 2016 - Cyndi Lauper just wants to have some fun in country. Lauper's next CD, "Detour," will offer her take on country classics from the '40s, '50s and '60s with help from Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Jewel, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson when it is released May 6. Lauper's 11th studio album marks her Sire... »»»
February 16, 2016 - Ricky Skaggs, Ry Cooder and Sharon White will tour again this spring on the "Songs for the Good People" tour. The shows, which start March 30 in Savannah, Ga. and end April 17 in Tarrytown, N.Y., reprise a 2015 spring tour of the three. The three will be joined by Joachim Cooder on drums and Mark... »»»
February 16, 2016 - Eric Church drops his second single, "Record Year," from "Mr. Misunderstood " to country radio today. The new single name checks Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key of Life," Willie Nelson's "Red Headed Stranger" and John Lee Hooker's "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" from Church's stack of vinyl.... »»»
February 16, 2016 - Valentine's Day proved to be a special day for two couples attending a Lee Brice show in Brookings, S.D. That's because they got engaged. Brice pulled one couple on stage during his hit "I Don't Dance," while the other couple was popped the question at Brice's pre-show meet and greet.... »»»
February 16, 2016 - Berklee College of Music will present American Master Awards to T Bone Burnett and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on March 15. The presentation will be made on the Music City Roots weekly music broadcast from the Factory in Franklin, Tenn. The show will feature performances by Berklee alumni Sierra... »»»
February 16, 2016 - Kane Brown's debut single "Used To Love You Sober" hit country radio today. Brown, 22, of Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., initially built an online fan base posting his own performance videos of cover songs, including his 2014 independent single, "Don't Go City on Me." In late 2015, Brown self-released "Used... »»»
February 15, 2016 - Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell both chalked up two Grammys on Monday. Isbell took a Grammy for Best American Roots Song for "Frames" and Best Americana Album for "Something More Than Free." Stapleton continued his winning ways at award shows by taking Best Country Album for "Traveller" and Best... »»»
February 13, 2016 - Kim Williams, 68, who penned hits for Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Joe Diffie and Randy Travis, died on Thursday. Among the songs he wrote were "Ain't Goin' Down Till the Sun Comes Up," "Papa Loved Mama," "It's Midnight Cinderella" and "She's Gonna Make It" for Brooks and "If the Devil Dance (In... »»»
February 12, 2016 - Justin Moore debuts the video for "You Look Like I Need a Drink" online Saturday. The video will be available at 12:01am eastern with the on-air debut on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown at 9 a.m. eastern. Directed by Shane Drake and shot in Los Angeles, Moore lives out his Western fantasies in the video.... »»»
February 12, 2016 - A quartet of veteran acts are out with new CDs today. Vince Gill released "Down To My Last Habit," which combines hard country, soulful sounds, blues and romantic country ballads. Gill co-produced the set with Justin Niebank. Little Big Town and Cam help Gill out on the disc as did trumpet player Chris Botti.... »»»
February 11, 2016 - Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley is a dad. Wife Cassie Kelley gave birth this morning to a baby boy, Ward Charles. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. and is 20 inches long. "Baby Kelley has arrived, y'all!" the couple posted on Cassie Kelley's web site. "We can't stop staring at him and he hasn't stopped... »»»
February 11, 2016 - Dan + Shay released the first single from their upcoming sophomore disc. "From The Ground Up" was written by Dan Smyers, Shay Mooney and Chris DeStefano and was co-produced by Smyers and Scott Hendricks. The duo had success with their 2014 debut, "Where It All Began," scoring hits with "Nothin' Like... »»»
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February 11, 2016 - New band LANco released their major label debut single, "Long Live Tonight." The song from the Arista Nashville quintet goes for adds at radio on March 21. The band consists of singer-lyricist Brandon Lancaster, bassist Chandler Baldwin, multi-instrumentalist Jared Hampton, drummer Tripp Howell and... »»»
February 10, 2016 - Toby Keith, Hank Williams Jr., Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Lee Ann Womack and Jack Ingram were added to The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson tribute on, March 16, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, it was announced today. The new additions to the lineup join previously announced performing... »»»
February 9, 2016 - The domination of Chris Stapleton and Thomas Rhett on the Billboard country charts continued for another week. Rhett's "Die a Happy Man' led the Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending Feb. 20, while Stapleton's "Traveller" was first on the Top Country Albums chart. Sam Hunt was second on the songs... »»»
February 9, 2016 - Luke Bryan captured four iHeartRadio Music Awards nominations on Tuesday. Bryan was nominated for Male Artist of the Year and Best Tour with both being new categories. Others receiving multiple nominations included Sam Hunt, who had three, and Thomas Rhett and the Zac Brown Band with two apiece..... »»»
February 9, 2016 - The second annual FarmBorough country music festival, slated to be held in New York City in June, was canceled yesterday. A statement on the festival's web site said, "FarmBorough Festival will not return to Randall's Island in June of 2016." "All of us at FarmBorough Festival appreciate the support... »»»
February 9, 2016 - Chase Rice, nominated last week for Academy of Country Music New Male Vocalist of the Year, released a new single, "Whisper." The song goes for adds at country radio on Feb. 29. The dubstep-infused tune is the first sampling from Rice's new album, an as-yet-untitled follow-up to his chart-topping debut... »»»
February 8, 2016 - Thomas Rhett will perform his six-week number one single "Die A Happy Man" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tomorrow on NBC. Rhett then will head over to TODAY Wednesday morning for an additional performance. "T-shirt" is Rhett's new single, gaining more than 70 adds in its first week at country radio.... »»»
February 8, 2016 - The Cadillac Three wrapped their headline Night Life Religion UK Tour on Saturday, selling out six of the nine shows. The trio played Leeds on Jan. 28, Newcastle on Jan. 29, Glasgow, Scotland on Jan. 30, Manchester on Jan. 1, Norwich on Feb. 2, Brighton on Feb. 3, Birmingham on Feb. 4, London on Feb.... »»»
February 8, 2016 - High Valley, a Canadian country music duo, released its label debut single "Make You Mine." The song goes for adds at radio on Feb. 29. The band is comprised of brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel. The group, which used to include a third Rempel brother, has released four discs in Canada since 2007 with... »»»
February 8, 2016 - After Merle Haggard reportedly canceled all February tour dates due to a lingering battle with pneumonia, he was back on the road this weekend. Haggard played in Las Vegas on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Ballroom. During the show, Toby Keith came out for about 30 minutes singing "Sing Me Back... »»»
February 6, 2016 - Chris Stapleton will have the only country CD in the Billboard top 10 when the charts are out on Tuesday. "Traveller" will be in the eighth spot, having sold 33,000 units; down 3 percent. Rihanna's "Anti" tops the Billboard chart, selling 166,000... »»»
February 6, 2016 - Dan Hicks, who gained fame as head of the Hot Licks, died today at 74 at his home in Mill Valley, Cal. after a two-year battle with liver cancer. Hicks began his musical journey as a drummer in the ' 60s San Francisco rock band The Charlatans before forming Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks in 1967 with... »»»
February 5, 2016 - Mary Chapin Carpenter announced she would release a new album, "The Things That We Are Made Of," on May 6. Carpenter will put out the disc on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers. She had been most recently on Rounder. Produced by 2016 Producer of the Year Grammy-nominee Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell,... »»»
February 5, 2016 - Scotty McCreery returned to his roots earlier this week when he taped an episode of the Farewell Season of "American Idol." For three days, the Season Ten champion mentored two of the Top 24 contestants and shared lessons learned from both his experience on the television show and his career.... »»»
February 5, 2016 - The first solo CD from a Lady Antebellum member, Lucinda Williams and an old Johnny Cash concert are among the CDs out today. Charles Kelley of Lady A drops "The Driver," which veers in a slightly different direction than his regular gig. He worked on the disc with Blake Chancey.... »»»
February 5, 2016 - Sam Outlaw and Whitney Rose are launching a joint tour starting in February Outlaw, who is based in the LA area and released "Angeleno" last year, will hit the road on the Country & Western Nights tour with his label mate. Outlaw's country is classic and smooth, whil; Rose has a countrypolitan... »»»
February 4, 2016 - Sara Evans, Jerrod Niemann and The Swon Brothers are among the acts no longer on the Sony Nashville roster, according to published reports. Evans spent her entire career on RCA Nashville, part of the Sony umbrella, since her traditional country debut, "Three Chords and the Truth" in 1997.... »»»
February 4, 2016 - Keith Urban announced three new shows today on his ripcord tour with all being in the west. Two of the tour stops, all of which feature Brett Eldredge and special guest Maren Morris, will be in Bozeman, Mont. and Sioux City, Ia., where Urban hasn't appeared since 2005 and 2004 respectively.... »»»
February 4, 2016 - Veteran band The Kentucky Headhunters are heading to Europe for the first time. The band will play the Sweden Rock Festival June 9 in Solvesborg, Sweden, and the Ramblin' Man Fair July 24 in Maidstone, England. Headlining the Sweden Rock Festival are Queen + Adam Lambert, Twisted Sister, Foreigner.... »»»
February 3, 2016 - With a winter tour barely underway, Brantley Gilbert announced today he would Take It Outside this summer on a 22-date tour starting in June. The tour kicks off June 2 at Mansfield, Mass' XFinity Center and ends in October. "We're just getting started bringing the music to the people," Gilbert said.... »»»
February 3, 2016 - Alt.-country pioneers The Jayhawks will be back with a new album in late April. "Paging Mr. Proust" drops on Thirty Tigers on April 29. The band's ninth studio disc is the first since 2011's "Mockingbird Time" on Rounder. The upcoming 11-song disc features the long-time core of the Jayhawks: Gary... »»»
February 2, 2016 - Don Williams had to undergo hip replacement surgery, forcing cancellation of his tour, his publicist said this morning. "Don Williams has regrettably been forced to postpone his 2016 tour after unexpected hip replacement surgery," the press release said. There was no word on when or where the... »»»
February 2, 2016 - Thomas Rhett's "T-Shirt" is the third single from his ACM nominated album "Tangled Up" (The Valory Music Co.). With five consecutive chart-toppers, including a huge hit with "Die a Happy Man," Rhett said, "I couldn't be more pumped that country radio jumped all over 'T-Shirt' because I have wanted... »»»
February 2, 2016 - The Billboard domination by Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton continues at least through the Feb. 13 chart out today. Rhett again tops the Hot Country Songs chart with "Die a Happy Man," while Stapleton leads the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller." On the albums chart, Hank Williams Jr.... »»»
February 1, 2016 - The ACM nominations are in, and the nominees are...happy. Cam scored three nominations - Single Record of the Year and Video of the Year, both for "Burning House," and New Female Vocalist. "I'm ugly crying right now," Cam said. "Just so honored and grateful to be a part of this country music family.... »»»
February 1, 2016 - Jana Kramer became a mother on Sunday and an Academy of Country Music awards nominee on Monday, she announced today. Baby girl Jolie Rae Caussin was born Sunday afternoon in Nashville to Kramer and her husband Michael Caussin. Kramer was nominated for Female Vocalist. "What a whirlwind of great... »»»
February 1, 2016 - John Moreland makes his network television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight. The show airs at 11:35 p.m. eastern on CBS. Moreland's current album, "High On Tulsa Heat," was released last April to much praise. Upcoming Moreland tour dates are: Feb. 18 The Kessler @ Dallas, TX Feb.... »»»
February 1, 2016 - Eric Church led the pack with five Academy of Country Much awards nominations on Monday, including Entertainer of the Year. Church also is up for Album of the Year for the surprise disc "Mr. Misunderstood," Male Vocalist of the Year, Video of the Year "Mr. Misunderstood" and Musical Event of the Year... »»»