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Country News Digest, March 2020


2020 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr
2019 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2018 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

March 31, 2020 - Sara Evans will publish her autobiography, "Born to Fly," on Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Evans will write about her life in music, inspirations and how her faith keeps her strong. The book is slated for a Sept. 8. "I am so excited to release my memoir this year," said Evans.... »»»
March 31, 2020 - The CMA Fest, scheduled for June, is being canceled this year due to COVID-19, the Country Music Association announced. The festival, which was slated for June 4-7, is one of country's premiere events every year with thousands of fans fro around the world descending upon Nashville every June for... »»»
March 31, 2020 - Sara Evans and Carly Pearce top the list of livestreams today with many artists conducting them in the wake of COVID-19. Stephanie Quayle performs on KJUG/Visalia, CA's Facebook at noon CT here. Singer/songwriter Sam Riggs continues Romeo Entertainment Group's Couch Concert Series at 3 p.m. CT here.... »»»
March 30, 2020 - Marshall Chapman is looking back. The veteran singer announced she would release "Songs I Can't Live Without," a covers album. This will be her 14th release, her eighth on TallGirl Records. "I went through a lot of trauma five years ago, which had me telling myself and anybody else who'd listen, that... »»»
March 30, 2020 - On his 30th birthday, Thomas Rhett gave a present to his fans with the release of "Be A Light" with help from Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban. Rhett co-wrote the song with Josh Miller, Josh Thompson and Matt Dragstrem. "I wrote 'Be A Light' last year as a way to process... »»»
March 30, 2020 - John Prine is in "stable" condition, according to his wife. Fiona Prine, who herself had COVID-19, tweeted a second time because some had interpreted her initial tweet on Sunday to indicate John Prine was getting better. "I need to clarify what I mean by 'John is stable.' That is not the same as improving.... »»»
March 30, 2020 - Livestream concerts - stage in the wake of COVID-19 - are lighter today. Monday livestreams Romeo Entertainment Group's Couch Concert Series continues with Logan Mize at 3 p.m. CT. Radio Disney Country goes live with Temecula Road at 4:30 p.m. CT. I So Lounging with Amanda Shires continues at 5 p.m.... »»»
March 29, 2020 - John Prine is "critical" in the hospital due to Covid-19, his family reported late Sunday afternoon. Prine was the victim of a "sudden onset of Covid-19 symptoms," He was intubated on Saturday night and "continues to receive care, but his situaiton is critical." ""This is hard news for us to share.... »»»
March 29, 2020 - Country singer Joe Diffie, who had many hits in the 90s, died today at 61 of coronavirus. Diffie disclosed on Friday that he had the virus and was being treated for it. The Tulsa, Okla. native has recorded such hits as : "Home," "If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)," "New Way (To Light Up An Old... »»»
March 29, 2020 - Many country acts are doing livestreams to reach their fans in the wake of the coronavirus. Sunday livestreams Capitol's Adam Hambrick offers a coffee and a hymn at 9 a.m. CT. Forge Entertainment's Lucas Hoge goes live with #SundaySessions at 10 a.m. CT. Artists including Tenille Townes, Aaron... »»»
March 28, 2020 - Jan Howard, a member of the Grand Ole Opry with many hits in the '60s and '70s, died on Saturday at her home in Gallatin, Tenn. from pneumonia. Originally a demo singer for Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline, Howard enjoyed 20 hit singles from 1960-72. Owen Bradley was typically her producer on the songs for Decca Records.... »»»
March 28, 2020 - Tim McGraw will participate in the I Heart Radio Living Room Concert for America on Sunday night. The concert, to be shown at 9 p.m. eastern time on Sunday on Fox TV, is a fundraiser for those suffering from coronavirus. Elton John will host. Other artists playing are Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, the... »»»
March 28, 2020 - Saturday's livestreams: Charlie Worsham goes live at 9 p.m. eastern from Nashville's Station Inn. Adam Doleac and go live on the Off The Road Series at 4:30 p.m. CT Scotty McCreery, Ingrid Andress, Ashley McBryde and Cole Swindell are among the performers for Twitch Stream Aid 2020, streaming from 11 a.m.-11 p.... »»»
March 27, 2020 - After months of hints from both artists, Kane Brown and John Legend today released "Last Time I Say Sorry," their first official music collaboration. "Last Time I Say Sorry" was co-written by Brown, Legend, Matt McGinn and Andrew Goldstein, who produced. Brown and John Legend first connected backstage... »»»
March 27, 2020 - Joe Diffie has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), he said today. "I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this... »»»
March 27, 2020 - Ingrid Andress is out with her debut, an eight-song EP, "Lady Like." The singer/songwriter has gained traction with the single "More Hearts Than Mine." "The Stranger" is the second single from the project. She has written songs for pop artists Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX. Jim Lauderdale's new bluegrass... »»»
March 27, 2020 - Livestreams continue today with artists including Kane Brown and John Legend together, Ingrid Andress, who releases her debut, and Brantley Gilbert. The schedule is: Warner/WEA's Ingrid Andress celebrates the release of her album, Lady Like, at 2 p.m. CT via Instagram Live. Live stream from Craig... »»»
March 26, 2020 - Brandy Clark has rescheduled many of her tour dates, which had to be delayed or canceled due to coronavirus. The singer, who just released " ," said on Facebook on Wednesday, "Hey everybody, I just wanted to update you on what's going on with the tour right now. Many of the shows on my upcoming 'Who... »»»
March 26, 2020 - Thomas Rhett announced today that his The Center Point Rod Tour is rescheduled to now kick off this summer on July 9 in Charlotte, N.C. The tour was slated to start, May 29 in Gilford, N.H., but was postponed due to the coronavirus. Tickets previously purchased will be honored for the rescheduled date listed below.... »»»
March 26, 2020 - "Wichita Lineman" and "Make the World Go Away" were named to the National Recoding Registry of the Library of Congress this week. They were among 25 recordings that are now part of the Registry with other choices being Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" to New York Giants' broadcaster Russ Hodges call of Bobby... »»»
March 26, 2020 - Kenny Chesney released the 11-song track list for his upcoming disc, "Here and Now," dropping May 1 on his new label, Warmer Music Nashville. The release is said to be a mix of country rock, class country and sea shanties. "I'd say it's weird, the way people hear songs, and say, 'That's me'," Chesney... »»»
March 26, 2020 - "Chicken And Biscuits (Second Helping)," an expanded version of Colt Ford's critically acclaimed 2010 sophomore release, "Chicken And Biscuits," will be reissued by Average Joes Entertainment April 17. The 20-song collection boasts six new tracks and remixes and live versions of hits.... »»»
March 26, 2020 - A number of country shows are being held tonight in the wake of the coronavirus. Temecula Road and Capitol's Adam Hambrick perform live on Instagram at 4:30 p.m. CT. Charlie Worsham is teaching a virtual guitar lesson at 6 p.m. on Instagram. Riser House's Dillon Carmichael is performing acoustic... »»»
March 25, 2020 - Lee Brice is forming a record label, Pump House Records with longtime co-writer Rob Hatch, producer/engineer/songwriter Elisha Hoffman and industry executives Derek and Kristi Hutchins, according to Billboard. Pump House will offer A&R, promotion and other label services. The first singing is... »»»
March 25, 2020 - Three-time GRAMMY winner Sarah Jarosz announced the June 5 release of "World On The Ground" (Rounder Records), her first new album in four years. The soulful collection - produced by John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello) and recorded in his Manhattan home studio - follows Jarosz's... »»»
March 24, 2020 - Livestream concerts today in the wake of coronavirus are: Livestreaming today: Mitchell Tenpenny - 1 p.m. eastern Instagram Sea Gayle's CJ Solar will join WGGC/Bowling Green, KY tonight (3/24) at 7 p.m. CT via Facebook Live and will host his own Way Back Wednesday tomorrow (3/25) at 7 p.m. CT.... »»»
March 23, 2020 - Hayes Andrew Hurd entered the world this afternoon, making first time parents of Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd. The singers shared several photos of themselves and their new son. This is the first child for the couple. He was born one day short of the second anniversary of Morris and Hurd.... »»»
March 23, 2020 - Brooks & Dunn rescheduled their Reboot Tour to start in September. The duo's first tour in 10 years was pushed back due to the coronavirus. The tour now will start Aug. 28 in Cincinnati. Tour dates are: Aug. 28 | Cincinnati, OH | Riverbend Music Center Aug. 29 | Burgettstown, PA | S & T Bank Music Park Sept.... »»»
March 23, 2020 - Garth Brooks and Keith Urban are among the artists livestreaming today in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. Performers include: Niko Moon: 4 p.m. CT - Facebook Keith Urban: 4 p.m. CT - Instagram Brandon Lay: 5 p.m. CT - Instagram Reviver's Tenille Arts will take over Forever WXCY/Wilmington,... »»»
March 23, 2020 - Tanya Tucker said today she was rescheduling the spring leg of the 2020 "CMT Next Women of Country: Bring My Flowers Now Tour" to August through October. A bit of good news and something to look forward to amongst this craziness! We were able to reschedule the majority of the shows we recently canceled... »»»
March 23, 2020 - Willie Nelson's 70th studio album, "First Rose of Spring," is being postponed until July due to the coronavirus, he announced today. The disc, produced by Buddy Cannon, was first slated to drop on April 24, but now will be out on Friday, July 3. "Most people will buy physical copies of Willie's... »»»
March 23, 2020 - The Academy of Country Music Awards announced today that the event will be now be held on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The ACMS were slated for April 5, but were postponed because of the coronavirus. The show will start at 8 p.m. eastern and broadcast on CBS. Keith Urban will host the awards for the first time.... »»»
March 21, 2020 - Country music Hall of Fame member Kenny Rogers, who had 21 number 1 country hits, died on Friday at his home in Sandy Springs, Ga. at 81. No cause of death was specified, but Rogers had been in hospice care. He retired from performing for health reasons in 2018. Rogers, who sold more than 100... »»»
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March 20, 2020 - Kelsea Ballerini drops her third album today, "kelsea." The first single is "homecoming queen" (all songs are lower case as is the title of the CD). She had a hand in writing all 13 songs on the Black River Records release. Jimmy Robbins produced Ballerini. He produced some of her previous disc, "Unapologetically.... »»»
March 20, 2020 - In the coronavirus world, musicians are reaching their audiences through livestreaming. On tap for today are: Reviver's Tenille Arts will take over WMIL/Milwaukee's Facebook and Instagram feeds today at 5:30 p.m. Central for the station's ongoing Quarantine Sessions. Arts will then migrate to her... »»»
March 19, 2020 - Brad Paisley and are among the artists going livestream in the next few days. They are playing shows in the wake of coronavirus. The shows are: Arista's Brad Paisley will play from home via Facebook Live tonight (March 19) at 5 p.m. Central. He is also taking requests via text at 615-235-5921.... »»»
March 19, 2020 - Sara Evans will release "Cover That" on May 13 on her Born to Fly Records. The 13-song release is a covers album spanning six decades with Evans putting her stamp on country and pop music, songs that have inspired her life and career. "Copy That" is Evans' first solo studio album since 2017's "Words.... »»»
March 18, 2020 - The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in country shows being canceled, but artists are taking to the internet to play, including Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks. Last night, Jake Owen went live from his garage for about 40 minutes, while Keith Urban also did his own gig with his wife, Nicole Kidman,... »»»
March 17, 2020 - Add Hot Country Knights to the list of artists will not tour due to coronavirus. "Tour's postponed. Thanks a lot Doug," the group posted on Facebook. The group was slated to hit the road starting April 7 in San Diego, with stops at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Boston's... »»»
March 17, 2020 - Following the release of her sophomore album, "Supernova," on Friday, Caitlyn Smith released the official video for her single "Long Time Coming." Directed by Jonatan Lopez (A$AP Ferg, DaBaby, Polo G), the video captures Smith going through the motions on the set of a retro photo shoot, knowing that... »»»
March 16, 2020 - The Country Music Association (CMA) is giving $100,000 for tornado relief through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's Emergency Response Fund, which supports affected communities and nonprofits helping victims address ongoing needs. "All of us at CMA hurt for our friends and neighbors and... »»»
March 15, 2020 - The Academy of Country Music Awards announced today that it was postponing its awards from April until September due to the coronavirus. "The ACM Awards is a tentpole event for our country music industry, and the Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions went to great lengths to find a safe... »»»
March 14, 2020 - MerleFest 2020 is being canceled, a victim of coronavirus. The festival was cancelled because "in response to directives from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and growing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Wilkes County officials have cancelled all mass gatherings of more... »»»
March 12, 2020 - The list of country artists postponing upcoming tour dates due to coronavirus grew as the day wore on. Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire and Jason Aldean joined Kenny Chesney and Dan + Shay, who also delayed their tours. Shelton will postpone the final two weekends of his Friends and Heroes 2020 Tour,... »»»
March 12, 2020 - Kenny Chesney is postponing the April and May Chillaxifcation tour dates, due to coronavirus, he said today. "You can't take risks without really understanding the consequences," Chesney said. "In times of uncertainty, I won't take chances with those I love. I can't imagine, as much as we love being... »»»
March 12, 2020 - Dan + Shay are postponing their spring tour due to coronavirus, they announced today. Dan + Shay The (Arena) Tour starts July 30 in Oklahoma. Previously purchased tickets will be honored. The duo had 15 more dates in March and April. A tour date tomorrow night in Philadelphia was ordered to be canceled.... »»»
March 11, 2020 - Travis Tritt, has signed a record deal with LA-based label, Big Noise Music Group, ahead of the release of his new original full-length album due out later this year. Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, The Highwomen, Sturgill Simpson), the album marks Tritt's first original album release in more than 12 years.... »»»
March 11, 2020 - While many musical events are being felled by coronavirus, the Academy of Country Music Awards is forging ahead. The ACMS added Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert as performers for the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards in April. Lambert will also perform with ACM Award nominated artists Lindsay Ell,... »»»
March 10, 2020 - The Zac Brown Band announced today it was postponing its spring tour due to the coronavirus outbreak. The band said on Instagram, "Out of caution and due to increasing public health concerns, Zac Brown Band is postponing the spring 2020 leg of 'The Owl Tour.' This was an extremely difficult decision,... »»»
March 10, 2020 - The Stagecoach country music festival was postponed today by authorities in California. The Coachella fest, which features a variety of musical styles, also was postponed. At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, "we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and... »»»
March 9, 2020 - Trace Adkins has a new home Verge Records, with a single coming out on March 20. Adkins' first release on his new label home, "Better Off," written by Hillary Lindsey, Corey Crowder and Liz Rose, will be available on all platforms March 20. Adkins most recently was on Wheelhouse, part of the Broken... »»»
March 9, 2020 - The CMA Foundation, a national music education nonprofit and the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, is honoring 30 music teachers from across the country as Music Teachers of Excellence. Now in its fifth year, the annual program was created in an effort to recognize those educators... »»»
March 9, 2020 - Mitchell Tenpenny will headline his first concert at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 10 with proceeds going to the 10Penny Fund in partnership with Sarah Cannon. Tenpenny's Night Owl fan club members will have access to pre-sale tickets beginning at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday with the public sale set... »»»
March 6, 2020 - Brandy Clark and Lauren Alaina are out with new music today. Clark is releasing "Your Life is a Record ," her third full length and first since "Big Day in a Small Town" in 2016. Clark did the album with Eric Church producer Jay Joyce. The Memphis Strings & Horns helped out to create a soulful sound.... »»»
March 6, 2020 - Old Dominion canceled performances today in Europe due to coronavirus. The band was slated to play upcoming 2020 C2C Music Festival dates. "After much consideration, we have decided to withdraw from our upcoming performances as part of the (festival) in Berlin, Amsterdam, Dublin, London and Glasgow," they said.... »»»
March 4, 2020 - The Dixie Chicks released a new song today, "Gaslighter," their first in 13 years. This is the prelude to an album that could be coming on May 1 from Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire. The song was produced by Jack Antonoff, who also wrote it with the group. The Chicks, who were... »»»
March 4, 2020 - Ingrid Andress revealed the track list today of the songs on her upcoming debut, "Lady Like." Andress, 28, was a co-writer and co-producer on all eight songs, including her current single "More Hearts Than Mine" that made history as the only solo-female-debut to crack Top 20 on the Country Airplay chart in 2019.... »»»
March 4, 2020 - Hot Country Knights, the light-hearted band featuring Dierks Bentley and his band, will release its debut,, "The K is Silent" on May 1 on Capitol Records Nashville. Produced by Bentley, the disc contains 10 tracks. The group started as a cover band, but this contains all original material.... »»»
March 3, 2020 - Kenny Chesney will release his next album, "Here and Now," on May 1, he announced today. Chesney has indicated new music was coming, sharing studio videos and recording updates. This is his first project for Warner Music Nashville. He wrote and recorded over the last 18 months, "When you're this far... »»»
March 2, 2020 - Jimmie Allen had a double reason to celebrate on Sunday. He became a father and scored a number one song. On Sunday, Allen learned his single was going to claim the top spot on the chart, he and his fiancé welcomed their daughter Naomi to the world. Allen enjoyed his second career number one... »»»
March 2, 2020 - Garth Brooks became the first artist to achieve top five singles at country radio (across Billboard and Mediabase charts) over five consecutive decades with his current single "Dive Bar" with Blake Shelton reaching Number Five on Mediabase today. Brooks first topped the charts with "If Tomorrow Never... »»»
March 1, 2020 - Performing at the Grand Ole Opry is nothing new for Rhonda Vincent, but Saturday night's show most definitely was because the bluegrasser was surprised with an invitation to join the Opry. Vincent was asked by Opry member Jeannie Seely. Vincent had just performed her 2019 bluegrass chart-topper "Like I... »»»