ABC/Image Group LACan Luke Bryan or Kenny Chesney take down Justin Bieber? That’s the question at this year’s Billboard Touring Awards, as the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and the “Setting the World on Fire” chart-topper compete for Top Package honors against the Biebs’ Purpose Tour.
Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion joined Kenny for the Spread the Love trek, while Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch rounded out the Kill the Lights run with Luke.
Brad Paisley and Florida Georgia Line are also up for the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award. The 13th annual honors will be passed out November 9 at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles.
ABC/Paula LoboJason Aldean flipped the ceremonial switch at the Opry Tuesday night, turning the iconic barn pink and kicking off a night to bring awareness to breast cancer. The ACM Entertainer of the Year brought his 11th annual Concert for the Cure to the Grand Ole Opry House this year, playing two shows alongside Hillary Scott & the Scott Family, Chris Young with surprise guest Cassadee Pope, Montgomery Gentry and more.
As is his tradition, the “A Little More Summertime” hitmaker delivered a check to the Nashville chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, offering up more than $450,000 worth of ticket sales from his Six String Circus Tour, to help find a cure for the disease that claimed the life of one of his close friends early in his career. To date, Jason’s raised more than $3 million in that effort.
Country Music AssociationRandy Travis continues to make a remarkable comeback after his devastating stroke three years ago. First, he stunned the world by singing “Amazing Grace” at his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum earlier this month, and just this week, he showed up in the audience at Garth Brooks’ Ascend Amphitheater show in Nashville, looking remarkably healthy. Now comes the news he’ll be on next month’s historic CMA Awards.
Promising more performers than any other show in the half-century history of the show, Randy’s fellow 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Daniels will appear, as well as Ricky Skaggs, Roy Clark, Clint Black, Jason Aldean, Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Elle King, a capella sensations Pentatonix and Dwight Yoakum.
Already set to perform are Alabama, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Charley Pride, Reba, George Strait, Keith Urban and hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
You can catch the 50th Annual CMA Awards next Wednesday, airing live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
ABC/Eric McCandlessJust days after wrapping the initial leg of their Dig Your Roots Tour, Florida Georgia Line is already planning part two. They'll kick off their winter trek in January, with Dustin Lynch and Chris Lane set to pump up the crowd before the duo takes the stage.
“They are both electric, young performers and great friends of ours!” Brian Kelley says.
“They fit into our vibe perfectly and we know our fans are going to love this new experience,” Tyler Hubbard agrees.
Here’s the list of cities confirmed so far, with tickets going on sale in November:
Allentown, PA Atlantic City, NJ Biloxi, MS Bossier City, LA Cedar Falls, IA Champaign, IL Charleston, SC Charleston, WV Charlottesville, VA Columbia, MO Durant, OK Greensboro, NC Knoxville, TN Lafayette, LA Moline, IL Newark, NJ Oklahoma City, OK Omaha, NE Orlando, FL Sioux Falls, SD Springfield, MO State College, PA Tallahassee, FL Uncasville, CT Hamilton, ON, Canada Ottawa, ON, Canada Montreal, QC, Canada Quebec City, QC, Canada
EMI Records NashvilleEric Church won’t hit the road again until his Holdin’ My Own Tour kicks off in January, but you won’t have to wait that long to get a preview of the five-time CMA nominee’s new show.
The North Carolina hitmaker will release his second live album November 4 exclusively at Walmart. Mr. Misunderstood On the Rocks Live & (Mostly) Unplugged was recorded back in August during Eric’s two-night stand at Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
The set’s seven tracks include his new single, “Kill a Word,” and his latest number-one, “Record Year.” Six come from his latest studio album, Mr. Misunderstood, which he surprise-released at last year’s CMA Awards. Eric is totally self-contained on the one new track, playing electric guitar and singing on the Leonard Cohen classic, “Hallelujah.”
Here’s the complete rundown for Mr. Misunderstood On the Rocks Live & (Mostly) Unplugged:
“Mistress Named Music -- Red Rocks Medley” “Chattanooga Lucy” “Mixed Drinks About Feelings” “Knives of New Orleans” “Kill a Word” “Record Year” “Hallelujah”
Blue Chair Bay/Columbia NashvilleKenny Chesney is following in the footsteps of Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift, as the Country Music Association prepares to give him its Pinnacle Award, a trophy only presented twice before -- to Garth in 2005 and Taylor in 2013.
“When you do what you do, you never think it’s a big deal. But when an organization like CMA recognizes you in this fashion, it makes you step back,” the four-time Entertainer of the Year says. “To receive this award, especially during their 50th anniversary, is such an honor, because they’re recognizing half a century of country music.”
You can see Kenny pick up his Pinnacle on November 2, when the 50th Annual CMA Awards air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. His new album, Cosmic Hallelujah, which features his number-one duet with Pink, “Setting the World on Fire,” comes out this Friday.
Capitol NashvilleWith only one more date remaining on the Kill the Lights trek, tourmates Luke Bryan and Little Big Town have clearly become family after spending most of the year on the road together. Still, Luke maintains he’s barely survived, trying to keep up with the hard-partying quartet.
Last week at CMT’s Artists of the Year gala, the CMA Entertainer of the Year maintained LBT has actually taught him a thing or two about the morning after. Earlier this week at a party celebrating his latest seven number-ones, he clarified exactly what he meant.
“As far as hangover cures, they just start right back drinking,” he laughed. “The hair of the dog, via Little Big Town! And yes, they do party more than me, I'm puttin' it out there!”
Just as if they knew the accusation was coming, Little Big Town fired a pre-emptive strike during CMA Music Festival back in June.
Heidi Gutman/ABCFor the seventh year in a row, Jennifer Nettles will be back to host the annual CMA Country Christmas special on ABC, and there’s never been a more appropriate time for her to do it. This Friday, the female half of Sugarland is releasing her first solo holiday collection, titled To Celebrate Christmas.
The show itself will be taped Tuesday, November 8, making its home at the Grand Ole Opry House for the second time. As usual, the CMA is encouraging audience members to bring a new, unwrapped toy to help the U.S. Marine Corps with their Toys for Tots drive in Middle Tennessee.
The 2016 edition of CMA Country Christmas will premiere Monday, November 28 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, with this year’s special guests to be announced in the coming weeks.
Reviver RecordsJust a week after they celebrated the very first number-one of their career with “I Know Somebody,” LOCASH is set to sing the national anthem before Game Two of the World Series. You can catch Preston Brust and Chris Lucas performing “The Star Spangled Banner” Wednesday on FOX, before the Cleveland Indians take on the Chicago Cubs at Ohio’s Progressive Field at 8 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, the duo is following up their recent chart-topper with their new single “Ring on Every Finger,” their third release from their album The Fighters.
ABC/Image Group LATonight in Nashville, Jason Aldean flips the symbolic light switch to turn the Opry’s iconic barn pink for breast cancer awareness. For the ACM Entertainer of the Year, it’s a cause that’s been close to his heart for a long time.
“I lost a really good friend of mine to breast cancer when she was about 29 years old, and [she] left behind two really young daughters,” Jason recalls. “And that happened right about the time my career was taking off and right after I got my record deal and was getting my first songs out. You know… you start looking and wanting to sort of use your celebrity status for something good. And for me, it was… a no-brainer.”
The Georgia native’s commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer actually goes even deeper than playing tonight’s annual Opry Goes Pink fundraiser.
“We actually take proceeds from every ticket sold throughout the course of the whole year… proceeds from every ticket go into a pot, and at the end of the year, we pick a city, we play a show there and we give all that money to that particular city, that chapter of Susan G. Komen… So this year happens to be Nashville,” Jason says.
In addition to Jason’s donation tonight, the Opry will also give five dollars from every ticket sold to its chosen cause, Women Rock for the Cure.
Mark TuckerA little more than a week ago, Garth Brooks inducted Randy Travis into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Monday night at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater, the new Hall of Famer watched as the state of Tennessee celebrated Garth’s seventh album that’s sold ten million copies.
The crowd of contest-winners may have turned out to see Garth play his hits, but they certainly got more than they expected. The pink-shirted honoree had no sooner taken the stage than the parade of superstar guests started.
Reba recalled the promise she saw in a young opener before doing “Not Counting You.” Chris Young traded vocals on “The River.” ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean admitted growing up with a Garth poster on his wall before delivering “Much Too Young.”
By the time Trisha Yearwood finished both the duet “In Another’s Eyes” and her own “Walkaway Joe,” you’d lost count of how many times the couple had kissed. Garth launched into “Longneck Bottle” with Steve Wariner, before surprising the crowd with Kelly Clarkson, who lamented that Steve hadn’t done his own hit from 1987, “The Weekend.”
The American Idol winner shoveled on the soul for her take on “We Shall Be Free,” before Garth insisted Wariner come back and do Kelly’s request. He complied, with Kelly alternately adding harmonies and fan-girling him.
With his arsenal of guests depleted, Garth gave his devotees what they’d come for, as acoustic versions of his musical milestones came in rapid succession, starting with “The Thunder Rolls,” “Two Pina Coladas,” “Unanswered Prayers,” “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “Papa Loved Mama,” and “Calling Baton Rouge.” He fought back tears to make it through “The Dance.”
Garth’s guests re-joined him as he encored with “Friends in Low Places,” shortly before a massive fireworks display erupted over the Cumberland River.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Dustin Lynch, Jerrod Neimann, Steven Tyler and Colt Ford are all set to perform October 29 through November 6, during PBR Finals Week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Carrie Underwood recently donated $100,000 to Houston’s Aldine Independent School District to help girls’ athletics, through her partnership with Dicks Sporting Goods to distribute her Calia line of workout clothes.
Travis Tritt will release A Man and His Guitar -- Live from the Franklin Theatre as both a double album and a DVD November 18.
Blue Chair Bay/Columbia Nashville“Setting the World on Fire” settles into the top spots this week on both Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and the Mediabase ranking. Kenny Chesney says he couldn’t be happier about helping pop superstar Pink grab her very first country number-one.
“To have country radio respond to Pink the way they have, to be so welcoming, that makes me proud,” he says. “I think when you bring an artist into country, you need to play to their strengths, but you also want them to feel caught up in what we do," he reflects.
Kenny’s duet with Pink is the second single from his Cosmic Hallelujah album, which comes out this Friday.
Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town’s Karen Fairchild is now officially a major fashion maven. This month, she rolled out her new line of clothing, Fair Child, at select Macy’s stores around the country and online.
“The real reason I’m making clothes is because I like clothes… I love clothes,” she confesses. “Outside of writing songs and performing, it’s definitely my passion. I view it a lot like telling a story in a song. I think an outfit tells a story, and I think when there’s something interesting or surprising or a little twist, that’s what makes a great song and it’s the same thing that makes a great outfit.”
The items in Karen’s collection range in price from $39 to $149. You can check out the Fair Child fall line both in a new YouTube video and at Macys.com. Last year, the CMA Musical Event of the Year nominee rolled out her first collection via Evine.
Country Music AssociationThe Country Music Association is adding seven Entertainers of the Year to the list of legendary performers who’ll take the stage as part of the historic golden anniversary of the CMA Awards next week.
George Strait, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Alabama and Charley Pride are all set to sing on the show that promises to be unlike any other in its 50-year history. In addition to racking up a total of 375 nominations and 94 wins, this latest round of performers also happen to have hosted the awards at some point during the last half-century.
The new additions to the lineup join Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and Keith Urban who are already set to play.
Hosts BradPaisley and Carrie Underwood, who’ll perform as well, will lead the 50th Annual CMA Awards, which kick off at 8 p.m. ET on November 2, live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC.
Pearl Records, Inc.Garth Brooks fans will finally be able to hear the 25th anniversary edition of “Friends in Low Places,” when the CMA Entertainer of the Year nominee’s new 10-disc set comes out November 11 at Target. Recorded last year, the update features George Strait, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban, but was delayed because of clearance problems.
The new version is just one of 18 never-before-released tracks in the collection, which includes Garth’s new album Gunslinger, a full two weeks before it’s available elsewhere. Also notable are the Country Music Hall of Famer’s cover of the Randy Travis classic “1982,” as well as live performances of “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel, “American Pie” with Don McLean, and “In Another’s Eyes” with wife Trisha Yearwood.
Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection will only cost you $29.99, and if you pre-order it from Target, you’ll get Garth and Trisha’s very first duet album, Christmas Together, for free.
Here’s the complete track listing for the 10-disc boxed set:
Old School "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" "If Tomorrow Never Comes" "1982" "Unwound" "Longneck Bottle" "Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House" "Good Ol’ Boys Like Me" "Amos Moses" "That Ol’ Wind" "Alabama Clay" "White Lightning" "Don’t Close Your Eyes"
Midnight Fire "Shameless" "The Red Strokes" "She’s Every Woman" "What She’s Doing Now" "In Another’s Eyes" (The Duet with Trisha Yearwood) "One Night a Day" "A Friend to Me" "Anonymous" "Victim of the Game" "Which One of Them" "More Than a Memory" "To Make You Feel My Love"
Cowboys "Good Ride Cowboy" "Rodeo" "That Girl Is a Cowboy" "Rodeo or Mexico" "Night Rider’s Lament" "My Baby No Esta Aqui" "Cowgirl’s Saddle" "Cowboy Bill" "Midnight Sun" "Rodeo and Juliet" "In Lonesome Dove" "The Cowboy Song"
The Road (Disc One) "Standing Outside the Fire" "Rodeo" "Shameless" "If Tomorrow Never Comes" "That Summer" "In Another’s Eyes" (Duet with Trisha Yearwood) "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" "Unanswered Prayers" "Longneck Bottle" "One Night a Day" "To Make You Feel My Love" "Wrapped Up in You" (Featuring Keb Mo) "The River" "American Pie" (Featuring Don McLean)
The Road (Disc Two) "The Thunder Rolls" (The Long Version) "Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House" "Two Piña Coladas" "More Than a Memory" "Good Ride Cowboy" "Wild as the Wind" (Duet With Trisha Yearwood) "Working for a Living" (The Duet With Huey Lewis In LA) "It’s Your Song" "New York State of Mind" (The Duet With Billy Joel) "Midnight Sun" "The Dance"
Anthems "The Dance" "Standing Outside the Fire" "Unanswered Prayers" "Thicker Than Blood" "How You Ever Gonna Know" "The Change" "Belleau Wood" "People Loving People" "The River" "Mom" "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" "When You Come Back to Me Again"
The Covers "Against the Wind" "Sweet Home Alabama" "Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me" "Mrs. Robinson" "Midnight Train to Georgia" "(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay" "Hard Luck Woman" (With Kiss) "Who’ll Stop the Rain" "Wild World" "All Right Now" "Drift Away" "Goodnight Saigon"
RPMs "Against the Grain" "She’s Tired of Boys" "Rollin’" "Addicted to Love" "Cold Like That" "You Move Me" "Ireland" "Don’t Cross the River" "I’ll Be the Wind" "Doctor My Eyes" "Working for a Living" (The Duet With Huey Lewis) "Do What You Gotta Do"
Turn It Up "The Thunder Rolls" "That Summer" "You Wreck Me" "Why Ain’t I Running" "Wrapped Up in You" "I’d Rather Have Nothing" "Allison Miranda" "Black Water" "Midnight Train" "Dixie Chicken" "Man Against Machine" "Two Piña Coladas"
Gunslinger "Honky-Tonk Somewhere" "Weekend" "Ask Me How I Know" "Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance" "He Really Loves You" "Whiskey to Wine" "BANG! BANG!" "Pure Adrenaline" "8teen" "SugarCane" "Cowboys and Friends" "Friends in Low Places" (25th Anniversary Edition)
Comstock/Thinkstock During the half-century history of the CMA Awards, how many different Entertainers of the Year have there been? ANSWER: Thirty-two, ranging from Eddy Arnold in 1967 to Luke Bryan last year.