Country Music

Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 1969, this country idol received his first gold single for his iconic hit, "Wichita Lineman." Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Glen Campbell.

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Bryan Bedder/Getty ImagesFormer Recording Academy CEO and President Deborah Dugan and her lawyers spent Tuesday trading accusations with the Academy in the wake of Dugan's complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the organization behind the Grammy Awards of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Dugan's complaint alleges, among other things, that the Recording Academy engaged in "egregious conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by Board members, voting irregularities with respect to nominations for Grammy Awards and other misconduct."

The complaint further alleges that the Academy, "unlawfully retaliated against Ms. Dugan by placing her on administrative leave (only after she indicated her intent to commence legal action and refused to settle her claims on terms dictated by the Academy), threatening Ms. Dugan with termination and publishing false and defamatory statements about Ms. Dugan to the media."

Dugan's lawyers, one of whom is Douglas H. Wigdor, who represents 20 women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, compared the Recording Academy's response to the embattled film mogul by attempting to "impugn the character of Deborah Dugan [in] a transparent effort to shift the focus away from its own unlawful activity."

In response the the EEOC complaint, the Recording Academy hit back by claiming Dugan "never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally by a female employee who alleged Ms. Dugan had created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct.’"

Dugan's attorneys responded with a followup statement calling the Academy's claim that she didn't raise concerns prior to the accusations against her "completely false."

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ABC/Image Group LAToday, Luke Bryan's sixth annual Crash My Playa getaway vacation gets underway in Riviera Cancun, Mexico. And that means it's time for Dustin Lynch to assume his official duties.

"In year two, [Luke] made me the official mayor of Crash My Playa," Dustin recalls. "This is our sixth year... and I've been back every year with Luke to do this festival."

"There's pool parties during the day," he continues, "and then actual shows on the beach at night. And it's become quite the circus down there."

Through the years, Mayor Lynch has picked up a couple tricks to help him survive the "circus."

"I've just got to be on top of my game and take a lot of Pedialyte down there with me," he laughs.

Dustin's Crash My Playa reputation has its roots in his ability to bring the fun by the pool.

"Our pool party is what's kind of turned into my own animal over the years," he explains. "And that's what everybody always talks about and looks forward to."

"Gosh, there's 5000 people there," he adds. "So it's literally wall to wall people in the pool. They're all over the place, in the bushes."

"But there's no rules at the pool party. So anything and everything goes," he reveals. "There's no set list. We kind of just start drinking tequila and see what happens."

In 2020, Dustin promises it'll be more unpredictable than ever.

"Each year, the pool party becomes a bigger and bigger circus," he says. "So I'm bringing in some friends to pull off some stunts."

"It's its own thing. I don't give too much away. You've got to be there to see it. And a lot of things are a little illegal," he teases.

Dustin's new album, Tullahoma, came out on Friday.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn case you missed it, Old Dominion performed their current single, "One Man Band," on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night.

Dustin Lynch brought his most recent hit, "Ridin' Roads," to ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday. The song is his seventh #1. 

Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, Drew Baldridge and Abby Anderson are among those performing at the Dustin J. Wells Foundation’s The Gift of Music concert in benefit of the W.O. Smith Music School and the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation. The concert will take place at the Ryman Auditorium on January 30. 

Jordan Rager has released the video for his new song, "The Wrong Ones."

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ABC/Image Group LAGeorge Strait is selling his extravagant San Antonio home. 

According to Realtor.com, the superstar is selling the custom-designed home in San Antonio's exclusive Dominion neighborhood for $8.9 million. The three-bedroom, six-bath mansion was designed by Bill Tull and features 14 hand-carved fireplaces, hand-painted murals and stained glass windows, in addition to an infinity pool and multi-use sports court. 

“He just wanted to move further out of the city. If he could pick that house up and move it, he would. It’s still his dream home," says realtor Tamara Strait of Strait Luxury and Kuper Sotheby's International Realty about why the country icon is selling the property.  

The home was completed in 1995 for George and his wife, Norma

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ABC/Image Group LAHeadwaters Country Jam has announced its 2020 lineup. 

The 13th annual festival, which takes place June 18-20 in Three Forks, Montana, will feature Dustin LynchMidland and Clay Walker as headliners. A mix of veteran and rising stars will also perform throughout the three-day festival, including Tanya TuckerCraig MorganAshley McBryde and Mitchell Tenpenny.

Additionally, The Cadillac Three will appear, along with "The Git Up" star Blanco Brown and Madison Kozak, the flagship artist signed to Nashville's new all-female label Songs & Daughters."

The Headwaters Country Jam will set up shop at a site called The Bridge that houses an arena and 2,000 campsites. Tickets go on sale January 24 at 10 a.m. ET.

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Erika Goldring/WireImageLoretta Lynn is sharing the story of her friendship with Patsy Cline in her own words. 

The "Coal Miner's Daughter" singer has teamed up with her daughter, Patsy Lynn, to pen Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dusta new memoir chronicling her friendship with Patsy Cline before the latter's untimely passing in 1963. 

Set to be published through Grand Central Publishing company, the book will shine a spotlight on what it was like for two women to navigate the music industry in the South during the 1960s and how Nashville has turned into the music Mecca it is today.

"Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who’d be damned if they’d let men or convention tell them how to be," Grand Central Publishing says of the book.   

News of the memoir comes on the heels of the 2019 Lifetime movie, Patsy & Loretta, starring Megan Hilty and Jessica Mueller as Patsy and Loretta, respectively, that also shares the story of their friendship.  

Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust has an anticipated released date of April 7.

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Courtesy CMTCMT has instituted a new initiative to combat the ongoing issue of unequal airplay on country radio.

The country music channel has announced that it will now feature 50/50 video airplay for female artists on both its TV and music channels. CMT features 29 primetime hours of video content, half of which will now be devoted to female artists. Previously, CMT says women were being featured 40 percent of that time while, male acts made up the remaining 60 percent. 

“Time is really up in 2020! All the talk around what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform into action, once and for all,” says CMT Senior Vice President of Music & Talent Leslie Fram. “At CMT, we are stepping up our own commitments, in addition to our work through the CMT Next Women of Country franchise, and will be announcing a new initiative in the coming weeks that will spark this much-needed change in our industry.”

CMT Next Women of Country launched in 2013, giving a platform to up-and-coming female artists in the genre, including the CMT Next Women of Country Tour, which brings a headlining act, along with a series of aspiring female acts, to cities across the U.S.

Tanya Tucker is currently headlining the 2020 trek with Aubrie SellersBrandy Clark and others serving as support now through June.

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ABC/Image Group LAGeorge Strait has announced a series of new live shows for 2020, including a stadium stop. 

The country legend will perform at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 22, with Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town joining him. Additional acts will be announced soon. The country king has also scheduled two dates for his Las Vegas residency, Strait to Vegas, in August, returning to the T-Mobile Arena for back-to-back shows on August 28 and 29. 

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Caitlyn Smith will open for George in Vegas.  She's the writer behind "Tacoma" by Garth BrooksMeghan Trainor and John Legend's duet "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," and Trisha Yearwood's latest single, "Every Girl in This Town." 

Tickets for the show in Minneapolis go on sale January 31 at 11 a.m. ET, while tickets for the new Strait to Vegas sets become available the same day at 1 p.m. ET. 

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ABC/Image Group LACarrie Underwood is celebrating the first birthday of her son, Jacob

The superstar singer penned a thoughtful note to her child on Instagram, calling him "smiley," "crazy" and "smart." She also shared photos of his beautiful cake, adorned with a baby figurine on top wrapped in a green blanket. 

"Happy birthday, Jacob! How are you already 1 year old?" Carrie writes alongside a gallery of photos of the 1-year-old shoveling the cake into his mouth. "I can’t wait to see your personality continue to shine! I have a good feeling you’re going to keep us all on our toes for years to come! I thank God for you each and every day. You are truly our miracle baby!!! Mommy loves you!"  

Jacob is the younger sibling to Carrie and husband Mike Fisher's eldest son, 4-year-old Isaiah.

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Comstock/ThinkstockThree years ago on this date, this "Drunk on a Plane" hitmaker headlined Bridgestone Arena for the first time, bringing out special guests Elle KingKelsea BalleriniJon Pardi and others. Can you guess who it is? ANSWER: Dierks Bentley

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Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton and Gwen Stefani have released the dramatic, romantic video for their latest duet, "Nobody but You." 

In the new video, the couple can be seen singing the lyrics of the song directly to the camera while shots of Gwen wearing a ball gown caught in the midst of a storm in a dark forest also appear. Clips of the couple holding one another in front of a beach setting, cuddling on the couch with their dog and singing in the car round out the cinematic video.

"Nobody but You" is featured on Blake's new album, God's Country: Fully Loaded. 

The superstar couple will perform together at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, where Blake is also nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for "God's Country." 

The 2020 Grammy Awards take place at the Staples Center in LA and will air live at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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ABC/Mitch HaasethDan Shay get to rule the country chart this week thanks to their hit with Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours," which has risen to number one on the radio airplay ranking.

 While Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have been performing the duet sans Bieber on tour, they're looking forward to their first opportunity to sing it live with Justin.

"We miss him!" Dan says admiringly, as Shay laughs. 

"No, it's so incredible, it's awesome [doing it live]," Dan continues. "When we originally wrote it, Shay was singing the second verse anyway. So we, you know, we've got the groove down."

"But it would be awesome to do that song with Justin Bieber live somewhere," Dan adds. "I'm not sure where or when, but we'll make it happen for sure."

Since "10,000 Hours" is the lead single from Dan Shay's fourth album, fans are anxious to see what's next.

"We're always working on new music and we hope to have some stuff out for our fans on the Arena Tour," Dan tells ABC Audio. "But right now, we're just focusing on '10,000 Hours' with Justin, and it's crazy watching it climb the charts."

"This is our fastest-climbing single. Not that we refresh the charts every five minutes -- ultra competitive!" Dan admits. "We've got some stuff in the tank, though."  

Dan Shay kick off The (Arena) Tour March 6 with two nights at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGene Watson has been invited by Vince Gill to join the Grand Ole Opry, 55 years after he made his Opry debut at the age of 21. 

Lauren Jenkins has released two Bruce Springsteen covers: "Hungry Heart" and "Stolen Car." Both appear on Bruce's legendary 1980 album, The River. 

Country a cappella group Home Free has released the video for their new song, "Why Not." It's featured on their 2019 album, Dive Bar Saints.

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ABC/Image Group LAKelsea Ballerini has once again ventured into the pop world.

The country superstar has teamed with up-and-coming pop singer John K for a new version of his song, "If We Never Met." The acoustic pop track finds the twosome pondering what their lives would look like if they hadn't crossed paths. 

Kelsea's soft vocals can also be heard on the chorus but in the collaborative version, John K replaces the second verse that references Nashville with a new verse that has Kelsea singing lead.  

"What if I would've left the party/What if you never looked twice when you saw me/In your favorite sweater," Kelsea sings.  "Must have been for a reason/For worse or better/'Cause when I put it all together/It all comes back to you." 

"If We Never Met" is the title track of John K's debut EP, released in April 2019. Kelsea's currently working on her third studio album, expected to be released this year. The lead single, "Homecoming Queen?," is currently in the top 20 on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts.

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ABC/Image Group LADolly Parton has found another way to share her inspiring words. 

The music legend has announced that she's partnered with American Greetings to release her own line of physical and digital greeting cards that will feature her iconic song lyrics, along with her famous Dolly-isms. The first product will be a video e-card based on one of her signature hits, "9 to 5." 

“When presented with this opportunity I knew it was perfect for me. I love connecting with people in unique ways and being able to integrate products that take inspiration from my music and the life lessons I have learned through the years makes this extra special," Dolly says. "I know first-hand how a few words in a card can change someone’s day for the better."

Fans around the world will be able to access the digital products, while the physical cards will at first be available through e-commerce.

This marks the first time the superstar has released a line of greeting cards. The announcement came just before Dolly celebrated her 74th birthday on Sunday. 

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ABC/Image Group LATanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile will perform together at the 2020 Grammy Awards. 

Tanya shared the news with her Instagram followers on Sunday that she'll join forces with Brandi, who co-produced her new album, While I'm Livin,' on the coveted stage. 

"I wanted you to be the first to know! I'll be performing at the #GRAMMYs this year with a whole line up of amazing artists, including one of my favorite people in the whole world, @BrandiCarlile!" Tanya writes.

Brandi echoes the sentiment on her Instagram page, writing, "Let’s. do. this. @tanyatucker."

Tanya is nominated in four categories at the ceremony, marking the first time she's been nominated for a Grammy since 1994.

"Bring My Flowers Now," co-written by Tanya, Brandi and Tim and Phil Hanseroth, is up for Best Country Song, Best Country Solo Performance and the all-genre Song of the Year. While I'm Livin' is nominated for Best Country Album. Brandi co-produced the project, Tanya's first in 17 years, alongside Shooter Jennings

The Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26 at 8 p.m.ET on CBS.

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ABC/Mitch HaasethFox has unveiled its lineup for the 2020 Super Bowl pregame show, and a breakthrough country act is included.  Dan Shay will participate in the pregame show taking place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, bringing their crossover hit "Tequila" to the masses. 

The duo shared their excitement on social media. "Super bowl weekend is shaping up to be a dream. Excited to announce that we’ll be performing during the official @nfl pregame show. Don't miss it," they write on Twitter alongside a heart-eyed emoji. 

The show will feature additional performances by Demi Lovato, who will sing the national anthem during the Super Bowl, while Yolanda Adams is set to perform "America the Beautiful." Pitbull and DJ Khaled will also perform.  Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will team up for the coveted Super Bowl halftime show.

The pregame show airs at 2 p.m. ET on Fox before the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on February 2.

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super bowl weekend is shaping up to be a dream. excited to announce that we’ll be performing during the official @nfl pregame show. don't miss it. ?? pic.twitter.com/U1WWd0aR3t

— Dan Shay (@DanAndShay) January 20, 2020

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Comstock/ThinkstockThe country star behind hits like “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” is celebrating a 35th birthday today. Do you know who it is? ANSWER: Brantley Gilbert.

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Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for St. Jude Children's Research HospitalIt was quite a week for Lady Antebellum. On Monday, Hillary ScottCharles Kelley, and Dave Haywood marked their tenth number one, "What If I Never Get over You." By Friday, they were picking up the Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award at the 31st annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids gathering in Memphis.

The Alabama front-man and Country Cares founder presented the trio with the honor for more than a decade of work helping St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

"When we started as a band, it was one of the very first places we visited about 10, 11 years ago," Dave recalls. "And it made an imprint on us that we wanted to make it our top giving. Every year we contribute as much as we can, visiting and financially. And it changed the trajectory of what we were doing as a band, as far as charity work."

"So that visit was a big moment in our career," Dave continues. "Now with kids... I mean... it's heavy but joyful. But this place is doing some phenomenal work, and so it means even more now as parents."

For Hillary, the honor serves as inspiration to continue doing good work.

"This award is just a continued reminder of what a gift the platform that we've been given is," Hillary tells ABC Audio, "to be able to use our voices, not just to sing these songs, but to be able to... raise awareness for organizations like St. Jude and what they're doing -- the life changing, truly life-changing, life-saving work that they're doing."  

As Country Cares for St. Jude Kids enters its fourth decade, it's raised more than $850 million for the hospital that works to end childhood cancer. Find out how you can help at St.Jude.org.

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