Music News

Parker McCollum’s got new music on the way — but he’s still workshopping album titles

Parker McCollum’s got new music on the way — but he’s still workshopping album titles

ABC

With the release of his latest song, “Stoned,” Parker McCollum is kicking off a new musical chapter, but he says he’s still figuring out some of the key details.

For example, the title of his next record is a big question mark, he explains in a new interview with Today’s Country Radio With Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country.

“I honestly haven’t even thought of a title for the record,” Parker says, “which is something that’s been bugging me a lot lately. I was wanting to name the whole tour next year after the record and they were announcing the tour.”

But when it came time to make that announcement, Parker’s next album was still nameless. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know, just call it the Spring Tour, the Summer Tour, the Fall Tour,'” he adds.

In fact, Parker’s still in the early stages of putting together a track list.

“I have two sets of track listings right now,” he says. “This order of songs, I’m down to two, and I haven’t even sat down and listened to those two and felt what they feel like top to bottom.”

Tickets for Parker’s headlining tour, set to kick off early in 2023, are on sale now.

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Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown reportedly engaged to model and actor Kelly Yazdi

Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown reportedly engaged to model and actor Kelly Yazdi

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

“Out in the Middle” star Zac Brown has found love. The Zac Brown Band frontman and singer is engaged to Minnesota-born model and actor Kelly Yazdi, according to a report from People.

“He proposed in Hawaii a while ago,” says one source close to the couple. “It was very intimate and the couple has kept it very private.”

Zac hasn’t posted much about his relationship, but Kelly does make an appearance in a few of Zac's social media posts, including a video of a pre-show group huddle from back in July, and it looks as if she might have an engagement band on her finger in that shot.

In 2018, Zac announced that he was getting divorced after 12 years of marriage. The singer and his ex-wife, Shelly, are parents to five children, whose ages range from eight to 14.

In musical news, ZBB has been busy to close out 2022: They served as the backing band for Dolly Parton’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, welcomed Caroline Jones as a new official member of the group, and dropped a deluxe version of their The Comeback album, recasting the project’s songs as duets with everyone from Blake Shelton to Jimmy Buffett.

They’ve also been supporting band mate John Driskell Hopkins as he navigates his Lou Gehrig’s disease diagnosis. In September, the band played a benefit show in Nashville to raise funds for ALS research.

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Jelly Roll reflects on the “Cinderella story” that led him to the top of the country charts

Jelly Roll reflects on the “Cinderella story” that led him to the top of the country charts

ABC

Friday night, superstar-in-the-making Jelly Roll will storm Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, headlining a marquee hometown show and using the proceeds to benefit the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center, where he himself was incarcerated as a teen.

“You couldn’t write a Cinderella story cooler than this,” the singer tells Billboard ahead of the show. “Saying that I have a headlining show at Bridgestone while I have a top-ten at country radio. I look at it like it’s my introduction party to Nashville, even though I was born here.”

Jelly -- who hinted at some special surprises and guests during tonight’s set -- says he hopes his story will inspire others.

“I think what I think I represent is just a beacon of hope,” the singer continues. “...I just feel like I represent the guy who looks at himself in the mirror every day and goes, ‘Yeah, guys like me don’t make it.’”

He goes on to say that the decade between ages 14 and 24 were rocky for him, and that he spent quite a while either incarcerated or dealing drugs. While those were dark times, his stint in the youth detention center also provided him his first real introduction to music.

“A lot of what we heard was just rapping to each other, and that got me involved in the art form,” he says, pointing out that the detention center is where he had his first rap battle. “It was our only source of entertainment. Adult jails at least get headphones.”

Jelly’s breakout country hit, “Son of a Sinner,” is currently inside the top ten at country radio.

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Does Lainey Wilson have the acting bug after her star turn on 'Yellowstone'?

Does Lainey Wilson have the acting bug after her star turn on 'Yellowstone'?

ABC

Now that Lainey Wilson's made her acting debut playing the singer Abby in season 5 of Yellowstone, the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year sounds like she may be ready to step in front of the camera again. 

"I will say it's very similar to what I do on a daily basis anyway," she says of her first dramatic turn. "It's a lot of, like, hurry up and wait. You know, you get ready, you get on set, and then you wait for a while."

"Even when it comes to, like, learning the lines," she continues, "it's kind of like learning a song that I didn't write. It's a little more difficult than, you know, learning the songs that I write myself."

In fact, the "Things a Man Oughta Know" hitmaker was eager to step outside her comfort zone.

"I feel like I've learned a whole lot," Lainey reflects. "I've learned how to, like, be more in my body, be more grounded."

"I didn't want to learn my lines exactly the way that they were," she explains, "because I wanted to be able to have a conversation with the person I was acting with. I didn't want it to seem that I had it all memorized perfectly, and this is how it goes, you know?"  

You can watch new episodes of Yellowstone Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. Meanwhile, Lainey has not one but two songs climbing the country chart: her own "Heart Like a Truck" and "wait in the truck" with HARDY

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Nashville notes: George Strait’s Vaqueros del Mar returns, Elle King cancels shows + more

Nashville notes: George Strait’s Vaqueros del Mar returns, Elle King cancels shows + more

George Strait’s 12th annual Vaqueros del Mar charity golf event took place once again this year, raising a record-setting $2.4 million for the Feherty’s Troops First Foundation. George performed at a benefit concert during the event, as did Randy Houser, Randy Rogers, Asleep at the Wheel and more artists.

Elle King had to cancel radio shows in Tampa, Detroit and Seattle this week after she slipped and fell down the stairs, sustaining a concussion. You can read her full statement on Twitter.

The War and Treaty, Bailey Zimmerman and Jackson Dean are among the 20 rising stars who have been named to CMT’s CMT Listen Up artists-to-watch list for 2023. Visit CMT to see the full list.

Fox’s country-centric drama series, Monarch, has been canceled after one season, according to Hollywood Reporter. Trace Adkins, Susan Sarandon and more star in the show.

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Luke Bryan celebrates his 16th wedding anniversary with wife Caroline: “Here’s to 100 more”

Luke Bryan celebrates his 16th wedding anniversary with wife Caroline: “Here’s to 100 more”

ABC

Luke Bryan and his wife, Caroline, have a lot to celebrate in the month of December: Not only is it the holiday season, the month also brings their wedding anniversary.

2022 marks 16 years of wedded bliss for the couple, and Luke marked the milestone with an anniversary message that was somewhat uncharacteristically sweet — he and Caroline are typically jokesters who don’t get too sappy.

“It is so amazing sharing this life with you,” the singer wrote. “Thank you for putting up with all my craziness I throw your way. I’ve loved you since the second I saw you. It’s truly remarkable what we’ve done together.”

He added, “I love you to the moon and back and here’s to 100 more.”

For Luke and Caroline, no anniversary tribute is complete without a dose of silliness, and he rounded out the post with a shot of the two of them together in full ‘80s garb — complete with a visor, aviator sunglasses and a mullet wig.

Over on her Instagram, Caroline also celebrated the Big 16, writing, “16 years ago we had zero clue what we were stepping into. The good, the bad, silly moments and stupid arguments. It’s been worth it all and I love you more every year!”

December is usually Pranksmas month in the Bryan household, but they’ve had to keep the festivities relatively tame this year: Caroline is currently recovering from hip surgery.

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“Da Ruba Girl”: Kenny Chesney remembers his late rescue dog Ruby with a song benefiting strays

“Da Ruba Girl”: Kenny Chesney remembers his late rescue dog Ruby with a song benefiting strays

Blue Chair Records/Warner Music Nashville

Kenny Chesney is currently mourning the loss of his rescue pit bull mix, Ruby — aka Da Ruba Girl — but he has found a way to make her memory larger than life.

The singer announced this week that he’s releasing an official version of “Da Ruba Girl,” a song he routinely aired on his SiriusXM channel, No Shoes Radio. Fans have long been asking for Kenny to make the song officially available to download or stream on demand; on Friday, “Da Ruba Girl” will be out on iTunes and all streaming platforms.

“No one had a bigger, bolder heart than Da Ruba Girl, whose name was Ruby,” the singer says. “She was a rescue my friend Mary brought into our lives, and she was the most loving, gentle soul. It’s why she inspired the song, and truly how she showed us better ways to be human.”

But Kenny’s new song will do more than just honor Ruby’s memory — it will also help other dogs find homes.

All proceeds from “Da Ruba Girl” will benefit Stray Rescue of St. Louis, which finds homes for dogs who have a harder time being adopted, such as pit mixes, older dogs and bigger dogs.

“While she was a rescue, she truly rescued every single person who came in contact with her,” Kenny continues. “To honor her life, I wanted that love and her ability to rescue people to continue. I wanted to do something that embodied what she was, and that would also help people know these dogs can save you.”

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'Billy the Kid Makes it Big': Dolly Parton announces a new children’s book

'Billy the Kid Makes it Big': Dolly Parton announces a new children’s book

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Dolly Parton’s third children’s book is officially in the works.

The country legend announced the news to People this week, explaining that the book, Billy the Kid Makes it Big, stars her goddog, Billy the Kid. Billy’s got big dreams of country stardom, and when he finds himself the target of bullies at the Battle of the Bow-wows, he must rely on music to restore his self-confidence.

“I am so proud to bring this book and the message it conveys to life,” Dolly tells People. “Years back I wrote a song called ‘Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny' for my children’s album I Believe in You. I wanted kids to understand how harmful bullying can be to someone.”

Dolly has worked with her goddog once before: Billy the Kid is featured in the promotional images for her new line of pet apparel and accessories, Doggy Parton.

“Since he’s a big star now, I knew a story with him at the center of it could help drive home important messages in a unique way,” the singer says. “I hope this is the first of many books with Billy.”

Dolly’s new book will be published by Penguin Workshop and is intended for children ages 4 to 7. Billy the Kid Makes it Big is due out April 25, 2023.

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Blake Shelton says he’s “at a crossroads” with what’s next for his music, but he’ll never retire

Blake Shelton says he’s “at a crossroads” with what’s next for his music, but he’ll never retire

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As he prepares to step down from his longtime coaching gig on NBC’s The Voice, Blake Shelton says he’s looking forward to putting more of his attention into his next musical chapter.

The singer’s not quite sure yet what that looks like, he tells People in a new cover story.

“I’m really at a crossroads right now. The country music lane is changing so rapidly, and there’s some really good stuff out there,” Blake notes. “These young kids coming up, it’s amazing to see the music that they’re making and how creative they are.”

He goes on to say that he’s “excited” to delve back in to the music-making process and figure out what his role is in today’s country music.

“...I’m excited to get some time back away from The Voice and concentrate more on, ‘What kind of record do I want to make? Is it going to fit in? Do I care? Do I not care?’ I got a lot to figure out,” he continues.

But one thing’s for sure: Retirement is not on the table.

“Walking away from music, you might as well just poison me or something,” Blake continues. “That’s not something I can go without. I can’t help it.”

Blake’s most recent single is “No Body,” which has some throwback elements to his early days of cutting his teeth on small Nashville stages in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He even brought back his signature early-career mullet -- albeit in wig form -- for the song’s music video.

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With a holiday record in her sights, Carly Pearce wishes you a merry 'CMA Country Christmas'

With a holiday record in her sights, Carly Pearce wishes you a merry 'CMA Country Christmas'

ABC/Larry McCormack

Thursday night, Carly Pearce returns to host the annual CMA Country Christmas special for the second year in a row. She's flying solo for 2022, since her partner from last year, Gabby Barrett, is home taking care of her second baby. 

"I was so excited to get to host," Carly tells ABC Audio. "I get to host it by myself, which feels really, really awesome, and I feel really lucky to get to do that."

"We had such a good time," she continues. "I feel like country fans are just going to get to learn a little bit more about me and my family and our loves of Christmas."

In addition to welcoming guests like Maren MorrisOld DominionDan + Shay and Scotty McCreery, Carly will step up to the mic. 

"I get to sing a lot of songs," she reveals. "I think the one that I was the most excited about, I do kind of a Lee Ann Womack-esque version — her version — of 'Man with the Bag.'"

The "What He Didn't Do" hitmaker also performs "Here Comes Santa Claus" and helps out bluegrass sensation Molly Tuttle on a medley of five holiday favorites. 

If you're waiting for a full-on yuletide effort from last year's CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, you can rest assured it's coming.

"Eventually I'll do a Christmas record, I promise," Carly vows.  

Tune in Thursday at 9 p.m. ET to watch CMA Country Christmas on ABC. You'll be able to catch it Friday on both Hulu and Disney+.

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Nashville notes: Reba McEntire’s Superstar episode, Ashley McBryde’s late-night stop + more

Nashville notes: Reba McEntire’s Superstar episode, Ashley McBryde’s late-night stop + more

Tune into ABC on Thursday to watch the latest installment of ABC News’ Superstar series, spotlighting Reba McEntire. The show will trace Reba’s career from her childhood in Oklahoma to her status as one of the biggest country stars today. Superstar airs at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

In case you missed it, Ashley McBryde brought Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night for a performance of “Gospel Night at the Strip Club.” The song comes off her new album, Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville.

Another TV highlight Tuesday was Carly Pearce’s appearance on The Voice. She sang her current single, “What He Didn’t Do.” If you didn’t catch her live performance, you can watch it now.

Jimmie Allen and his wife, Alexis, posted a video message this week in hopes of raising awareness of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, sharing the story of their daughter Zara being diagnosed with RSV at six weeks old. The virus, which is more common in the winter months, can lead to serious lung ailments in babies; visit KnowingRSV.com to learn more.

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Kane Brown, Breland join the lineup of 'The Voice' season 22 finale

Kane Brown, Breland join the lineup of 'The Voice' season 22 finale

ABC/Randy Holmes

Country music will be well represented on the stage of The Voice during the show’s season 22 finale. Kane Brown, Blake Shelton and Breland are among the stars performing during the two-hour event.

Kane will join Blake, who is also a coach on the show, for a rendition of “Different Man,” their latest duet. It’s the title track on Kane’s most recent album.

Meanwhile, Breland will make his debut on the Voice stage with a performance of “For What it’s Worth,” which is his current single at country radio and comes off the track list of his full-length studio debut, Cross Country.

It’ll be a multigeneral musical spread on the finale of The Voice, with performances from stars like Maluma, OneRepublic, Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Girl Named Tom. All four coaches — Blake, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Camila Cabello — will perform with the contestants on their respective teams.

Five finalists remain going into next week’s live finale. Bryce Leatherwood, Bodie, Omar Jose Cardona, Brayden Lape and Morgan Myles are all in the running to win The Voice this season.

The event will air on NBC next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

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Carrie Underwood thanks “the most incredible fans” as she claims her PCA Country Artist of 2022 trophy

Carrie Underwood thanks “the most incredible fans” as she claims her PCA Country Artist of 2022 trophy

ABC

Carrie Underwood got the party started at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday night, bringing home an early win for Country Artist of the Year.

Holding her shiny new trophy onstage, Carrie joked that she “will not be giving a three-hour-long speech” and added, “No pressure on setting the tone for the rest of the night!”

On a more serious note, Carrie told the crowd that she owed her award to her fans. “This whole night is all about the fans, and I certainly have just the most incredible fans. You guys have supported me for many years, especially out on the road this year,” she said.

Carrie’s had the chance to spend quite a bit of quality time with her fans in late 2022 after launching her Denim & Rhinestones Tour — a trek that continues well into 2023 — in October.

“Thank you guys so much for all the love. Thank you for this. What a wonderful early Christmas present,” Carrie said as she wrapped up her speech.

Carrie was one of a number of country superstars nominated for the trophy at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards. Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert, Morgan Wallen, Thomas Rhett, Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris were also nominated in the category.

Additionally, Shania Twain was there repping country music: She received the Music Icon Award this year and gave a medley performance of some of her biggest hits.

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Shania Twain wishes her mom could have seen her accept PCA's Music Icon Award

Shania Twain wishes her mom could have seen her accept PCA's Music Icon Award

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Shania Twain received the Music Icon Award onstage at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday night, a recognition of her historic, four-decade-long career as the best-selling female country-pop artist of all time.

As she accepted her trophy, Shania reflected on her gratitude, her family and her fans.

“I always miss my mother at these moments [in] my life,” the singer said, according to People. “She would have loved watching her little girl living this moment right now.”

Shania’s mother, Sharon Morrison, died in a car accident along with the singer’s stepfather, Jerry Twain, in 1987. In the decades since, Shania’s career has risen to astronomic, genre-crossing heights. The singer also acknowledged those who have been with her throughout those big years in her career.

“But my fans, my friends, my team — you are the ones who really fill that space ... not my mother’s space. But you’re here with me, you’re celebrating, we’re celebrating together,” she continued. “And you’ve made me feel loved and special my whole working life. I’ll always be grateful for that.”

In addition to be feted with the Music Icon Award, Shania performed a medley of hits at the People’s Choice Awards, including classics like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” as well as her current single, “Waking Up Dreaming.”

Shania has a new album due out next year, called Queen of Me. She will tour extensively throughout 2023 to support the release.

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Blake Shelton takes his role as a stepdad to Gwen Stefani’s kids “very seriously”

Blake Shelton takes his role as a stepdad to Gwen Stefani’s kids “very seriously”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Blake Shelton married Gwen Stefani in the summer of 2021, he married into a whole family: Gwen has three sons whom she shares with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale.

And although the kids -- 16-year-old Kingston, 14-year-old Zuma and eight-year-old Apollo -- already have a dad, Blake is a big figure in their lives, and the country star knows just how important it is to foster those relationships.

“If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I’m missing out on some more important things in life. For now, that’s our kids,” he tells People in a new cover story. “This isn’t about me anymore and never will be again.”

During this stage of his life, Blake continues, family time comes before anything else.

“Even though I’m a stepparent, I take that job very seriously,” the singer emphasizes. “...[When they ask], ‘Why isn’t Blake here?’ I take that stuff to heart. I’ve made plenty of money, but you can’t buy time back. I don’t want any regrets.”

To that end, he says, it’s time to trade in some of his work commitments “and let more family and personal life in.”

Blake announced this fall that he’s leaving The Voice, a show where he’s been a coach since the very first season. The show is currently in his 22nd season, and the next season -- season 23, airing in the spring of 2023 -- will be his last.

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Newcomer Bailey Zimmerman takes two songs and turns them into his first #1

Newcomer Bailey Zimmerman takes two songs and turns them into his first #1

ABC/Connie Chornuk

This week, newcomer Bailey Zimmerman made it all the way to the top of the country chart with his debut single, "Fall in Love." 

In the beginning, Bailey's breakthrough was actually two different tunes written by one of his co-writers.

"That was last year, 2021," Bailey tells ABC Audio. "And I don't even really know when. It was before winter of 2021. So it was kind of just like one day we just mashed two songs that Gavin [Lucas] had wrote together and made 'em one song."

Incredibly, "Fall in Love" marks what Bailey considers the real beginning of his career as a songwriter.

"That's honestly when I kind of started, like, really trying to figure out songwriting," he reflects, "because beforehand I was just writing songs for no reason."

"I was just writing them," he continues, "and, like, they had feelings towards them, you know? But after writing 'Fall in Love,' it was like, 'OK, I've got a meaning towards this. I think I understand how I think I want to write my songs.'" 

Bailey's follow-up to his first number one is "Rock and a Hard Place," which has already been certified Platinum. He's set to make his TV debut December 27 on ABC's Good Morning America. He heads out on tour with Morgan Wallen in 2023.

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Nashville notes: Kelsea Ballerini takes Heartfirst abroad, Scotty McCreery drops a music video + more

Nashville notes: Kelsea Ballerini takes Heartfirst abroad, Scotty McCreery drops a music video + more

Kelsea Ballerini will resume her Heartfirst Tour in 2023, this time with a United Kingdom leg. She’s got four overseas shows on the books for February.

Scotty McCreery just shared a music video for his song “On It.” The track comes off the deluxe version of his Same Truck album.

Speaking of Scotty, the singer’s wife, Gabi, shared a sweet carousel of photos on social media this week celebrating the couple’s first month and a half with their newborn son, Avery.

The late Loretta Lynn’s family shared a heartfelt video message with fans following her memorial service. You can see it now on her social accounts.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Zach Bryan and roots mainstay Tyler Childers are headlining Railbird Music Festival 2023. The event is set for June 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Shania Twain extends her 2023 Queen of Me Tour through mid-November

Shania Twain extends her 2023 Queen of Me Tour through mid-November

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Shania Twain has added another string of shows to her tour calendar for next year.

Due to fan demand, the superstar put another month of shows on the books, launching in mid-October 2023 in San Antonio, Texas, and wrapping on November 14 in Vancouver. In between those dates, she’ll hit cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Named for her upcoming Queen of Me album — her first since 2017 — Shania’s 2023 tour will begin in late April in Spokane, Washington. After tickets for the first leg of shows went on sale, they quickly began selling out, prompting her to add more dates.

"I'll be kissing my horses goodbye in April because mamma's going on the road for the entirety of 2023!" the singer said on social media. "And I'm playing even more shows that we've just announced!"

Tickets for the next round of shows go on sale December 16. For details about grabbing your seats — and a number of specialized presales -- visit LiveNation.com.

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Carly Pearce explains why she “might throw up” from nerves when she performs on 'The Voice' this week

Carly Pearce explains why she “might throw up” from nerves when she performs on 'The Voice' this week

ABC

Carly Pearce will return to the stage of The Voice this week, performing her current single, “What He Didn’t Do,” during the semifinal results episode of the show.

Carly has performed on The Voice before -- she hit the stage in late 2021 to perform the title track of her 29 album -- but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have jitters this time around.

“This show makes me very nervous because I have to sing in front of people like Camila Cabello and John Legend and Gwen Stefani and my tourmate, Blake Shelton. So, I might throw up,” the singer tells her record label ahead of her performance.

The singer is joining Blake on his Back to the Honky Tonk arena tour in 2023, along with newcomer Jackson Dean. He’s a big hero of hers, both musically and in terms of his work on the show, Carly says.

“I think about what he has done for country music by being on that show, his humor, his talent, his awareness of what artists need to go from that show to becoming superstars,” she explains. “I just think he’s everybody’s best friend, and I think he was always that, but The Voice made everybody in America and beyond aware of that.”

The episode featuring Carly will air live tonight on NBC. Blake will also take the stage to perform his single “No Body,” and John will sing “Nervous,” off his new album, Legend.

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Morgan Wallen beefs up his already lengthy 2023 tour with 14 brand-new shows

Morgan Wallen beefs up his already lengthy 2023 tour with 14 brand-new shows

ABC

Just days after announcing his One Night at a Time Tour for 2023, Morgan Wallen is already adding shows to the trek.

He announced 14 new stops this week, 10 of which are at U.S. stadiums. That brings Morgan’s stadium tally to a total of 26 for 2023, after he performed his very first headlining stadium gig this October.

The star also extended his stay in Canada, adding two new dates in Toronto and one in Vancouver. The One Night at a Time Tour was already an international venture: He’s kicking it off next spring with stops in New Zealand and Australia.

Bailey Zimmerman and Ernest are direct support on all dates on Morgan’s upcoming tour, with special appearances from HARDY and Parker McCollum on select dates.

When he announced the One Night at a Time Tour last week, Morgan dropped a three-song sampler pack to give fans a taste of what’s to come from him musically in 2023. Those songs are “Tennessee Fan,” “Days That End in Why” and “One Thing at a Time,” the latter of which inspired the name of his tour.

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Mickey Guyton named TIME’s 2022 Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Mickey Guyton named TIME’s 2022 Breakthrough Artist of the Year

ABC

Mickey Guyton is TIME’s inaugural Breakthrough Artist of the Year, representing a category that is brand-new for 2022.

Her new accolade comes in recognition of her status as one of country music’s change-makers, and an artist who represented the genre on some of the most visible stages of the year. In 2022, Mickey sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl, hosted PBS’ A Capitol Fourth Independence Day special and became the first Black nominee for Best Country Album at the Grammy Awards.

Mickey tells TIME that after she started to become more vocal about racial inequality in country music, artists began to reach out to her behind the scenes, asking how they could help enact change.

“A lot of them did start finding musicians of color for their bands,” she says, adding that she is seeing change happen within the genre, though there’s still significant room for improvement. “If you study the country music charts, they’re against women and people of color.”

Case in point: White men performed all the No. 1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart this year -- and only a few women and non-white artists made it to the top of the Country Airplay chart -- and Mickey says that’s “frustrating.”

“There are so many incredible singers out there and we’re just accepting the crumbs,” she continues. “...But these are peoples’ lives and careers that you’re deciding.”

TIME also named its 2022 Entertainer of the Year: All-female K-pop band BLACKPINK. The publication will reveal its 2022 Person of the Year on Wednesday morning.

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Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay + more stars line up to lend their support to St. Jude

Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay + more stars line up to lend their support to St. Jude

Courtesy of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/Country Cares

The stars turned out to lend their support to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this week — and they modeled some fashionable new shirts in the process.

Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay and Scotty McCreery were among the acts showing off St. Jude’s new “This Shirt Saves Lives” navy T-shirt design. The shirt shares the singers’ support for St. Jude’s lifesaving mission; starting this week, anyone who makes monthly donations to St. Jude can receive the same shirt.

“I love that families never receive a bill from St. Jude,” says Maren Morris in the promotional materials for the new social media campaign.

“Because of that, they can focus on helping their child live,” adds Scotty, who is a new dad himself.

St. Jude’s lifesaving mission works to advance cures and offer means of treatment and prevention for pediatric cancer and other pediatric diseases. According to a release, no child is denied treatment based on race, ethnicity or ability to pay, and the hospital freely shares its medical findings with medical centers around the world so that more children can receive treatment.

To become a partner in hope with St. Jude — and to receive a “This Shirt Saves Lives” tee of your own — visit St. Jude’s website.

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Nashville notes: Parker McCollum sells out Red Rocks, Tanya Tucker heads to MerleFest + more

Nashville notes: Parker McCollum sells out Red Rocks, Tanya Tucker heads to MerleFest + more

As Parker McCollum gears up for his headlining tour in 2023, he’s notched a big milestone: His show at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado sold out the day that tickets went on sale.

Tanya Tucker, Marcus King and more have joined the lineup of MerleFest in 2023. Visit the event’s website for all the details.

After canceling his 2022 tour dates due to a knee injury, Travis Tritt is ready to return to the road. He just put a string of tour dates on the books for 2023, starting in late March.

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Shania Twain opens up about abuse she suffered from her stepfather: “You didn’t want to be a girl in my house”

Shania Twain opens up about abuse she suffered from her stepfather: “You didn’t want to be a girl in my house”

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With hits like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” Shania Twain has created some of country music’s biggest empowerment anthems for women.

She’s doubling down on those themes of self-love and self-acceptance with her upcoming Queen of Me album, a project she says is a statement of self-confidence. “I want to carry a clear message, particularly as a woman, to always remember my power and I hope the songs are a reminder to you, of that same power inside you!” she said when she announced the album.

But the singer didn’t always feel comfortable in her own skin. As a kid, she suffered physical and sexual abuse from her since-deceased stepfather, Jerry Twain.

“I hid myself and I would flatten my boobs,” Shania tells The Sunday Times, speaking about how she tried to defend herself from the abuse. “I would wear bras that were too small for me, play it down until there was nothing girl about me. Make it easier to go unnoticed.”

Twain adopted Shania and her four siblings when she was just 4 years old. The family dealt with financial insecurity while she was growing up, and Shania experienced unwanted sexual attention both at home and outside of it. “I was ashamed to be a girl,” she says.

“It was terrible,” she adds in the interview. “You didn’t want to be a girl in my house.”

Shania’s mother and stepfather died in a car accident in 1987; as a young artist, she performed at a resort hotel to support her family. Confidence didn’t come naturally to her after her early trauma, but she slowly found ways to “appreciate” her body, she recounts.

Shania is now the founder of the Shania Kids Can Foundation, which supports children affected by poverty.

If you are affected by abuse and needing support, or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).You can also chat online at thehotline.org or online.rainn.org, respectively.

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Eric Church “can’t wait to play” his own downtown Nashville bar, Chief’s

Eric Church “can’t wait to play” his own downtown Nashville bar, Chief’s

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Eric Church is offering more details on the upcoming opening of his Nashville bar and venue, Chief’s.

The barbecue and music venture -- which is named for the singer’s 2011 Chief album -- was first announced last January. Now, with the opening date growing near, Eric is ready to share a first peek into the new hot spot.

Eric is currently hard at work on bringing his vision to life, taking influence from his musical journey and the personal narrative that helped make him the star he is today. Posters from Eric Church concerts will decorate the walls, and the singer’s love for music will be at the center of the venture, which includes a ticketed music venue.

He’s partnering with James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott for a rooftop iteration of Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ. Furthermore, Eric says that real estate and hospitality entrepreneur Ben Weprin has been a big help in bringing the finished look of Chief’s together.

“Like everything we do with our music, the same care and consideration has gone into every detail of this place,” the singer notes. “It will be unrivaled downtown. I can’t wait to play here.”

The venue will also be home in an in-house studio for the singer’s SiriusXM Outsiders Radio channel and will feature an additional wide array of personal touches designed with fans in mind.

Eric is eyeing a 2023 opening date for Chief’s.

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