Country Music 411 Archives for 2020-02

The ACM Nominees Are Led by Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, and Old Dominion

The ACM nominations were announced yesterday . . . and leading the pack are Maren MorrisThomas Rhett, and Old Dominion with five each.  Dan + ShayJustin Bieber, and Blake Shelton each picked up four.



Justin Bieber showed up because of his collaboration with Dan + Shay on "10,000 Hours".  That song also got Dan Smyers two additional nominations, as a songwriter and producer . . . and Shay Mooney an extra nod as songwriter.



Carrie Underwood has returned to the Entertainer of the Year category.  She's joined by Luke BryanEric ChurchLuke Combs, and Thomas Rhett.  Carrie won that award in 2008 and 2009.



Ashley McBryde has three nominations.  She's up for artist and songwriter for "Girl Goin' Nowhere" . . . and she's one of six singers sharing the Music Event of the Year nomination for "Fooled Around and Fell in Love"



Keith Urban is hosting the show for the first time.  He's taking over for Reba McEntire who did it 16 times.  (Here's Keith killing two birds with one stone by announcing his new song "God Whispered Your Name", and that he's hosting the ACMs.)



The "55th Academy of Country Music Awards" will air April 5th on CBS. 



(You can check out all the nominees, here.)

Luke Combs Is a Vegan for Three Months, Because He Lost a Bet

LUKE COMBS is a man of his word.  And when I tell you why, you'll agree.  You'll also feel SO very sorry for him.  Last fall he bet his keyboard player that the Carolina Panthers would beat the Atlanta Falcons.  But they lost.



The wager?  Luke had to be VEGAN for three months.  He talked about it in a recent interview.  Quote, "I am 11 days into my vegan adventure.  I mean I'm still alive I'll put it that way.  I eat a lot of protein bars, lot of veggies. 



"And, if you're not familiar with vegan, it's no animal products whatsoever.  No meat, no cheese, no milk, no butter, no anything good, [which] is pretty depressing to think about.  But, I will prevail through the end of this. 



"I'm looking forward to a good deer steak after this is all said and done."



In much happier Luke Combs news:  He posted a demo of an unreleased new song called "Love You Anyway".  It's a love song, and since he's marrying Nicole Hocking sometime this year, let's imagine it's dedicated to her.


Workin on some songs with @thebrothershunt and @rayfulchermusic

A post shared by Luke Combs ???? (@lukecombs) on

Shania Twain Grew Up So Poor and Dirty That Other Kids Didn't Want to Sit Near Her

SARA HAINES interviewed SHANIA TWAIN for an episode of "Strahan, Sara and Keke" . . . and she shared a few things that may surprise you.  When asked if she ever dreamed of having this huge career, she said no way. 



Quote, "I couldn't have ever imagined where I am today . . . from where I came from.  I grew up underprivileged.  I was always the dirty little kid at school or maybe somebody didn't want to sit behind me because I had greasy hair."



They talked about the iconic VH-1 "Divas Live" special in 1998.  That's when Shania shared the stage with Celine DionMariah CareyAretha Franklin, and Gloria Estefan



They imagined what a reboot with a new set of performers would look like.  Shania chose Jennifer LopezStevie NicksAriana Grande, and Lizzo.



There was a fan question segment, and someone asked her to name her "favorite glamorous outfit" that she's ever worn.  I was thinking the "leopard print head-to-toe with the hood" getup from her "That Don't Impress Me Much" video.  Nope.



She said, quote, "I think the favorite is my 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman' outfit.  I didn't realize that the world was going to get to this wonderful place where we're less concerned about whether we're a guy or a girl or whatever. 



"We're just so hung up sometimes on gender.  And I want to wear a tie and I want to wear a shirt, but I don't want to compromise and hide my femininity either.  It was a hybrid gender look almost."



Another fan asked what song was the "most therapeutic and healing" to write.  She went with "You're Still the One" because it's taken on different meanings to her throughout years . . . and it keeps evolving with her.



(You can check out the interview, here.  The growing up poor starts at 1:54 . . . the "Divas" reboot at 2:54 . . . "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" comes at 6:42 . . . and the most therapeutic song at 7:22.)

The Best Mainstream Country Albums of the Decade has a list of the 20 best "mainstream country albums" of the decade, from 2010 to 2019.  Here are the ones they picked for the Top 10.



1.  "100 Proof"Kellie Pickler, 2012


2.  "The Guitar Song"Jamey Johnson, 2010


3.  "Traveller"Chris Stapleton, 2015


4.  "Heartache Medication"Jon Pardi, 2019


5.  "Starfire"Caitlyn Smith, 2018


6.  "Interstate Gospel"The Pistol Annies, 2018


7.  "Stronger Than the Truth"Reba McEntire, 2019


8.  "The Weight of These Wings"Miranda Lambert, 2016


9.  "Vinyl"William Michael Morgan, 2016


10.  "Mr. Misunderstood"Eric Church, 2015



(You can find the whole list, here.)

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Was Advised Not to Listen to Country . . . Because It's Too Negative?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback RUSSELL WILSON has a "mental conditioning coach," and he's told Russell NOT to listen to country music, because it's too negative.



His name is Trevor Moawad, and in an interview on Seattle radio, he said that anybody who wants to improve their mindset should avoid country.



He explained it like this:  Quote, "I was raised [with] my Dad [saying that] country music is great, but it's so negative that . . . we don't want to have that really dictating our 'internal ad campaign.'



"I'm really mindful of the music I'm listening to, because it has a powerful impact, and Russell is the same way . . .



"That doesn't mean you can't listen to it, but if you're going through a divorce or a tough challenge and you're listening to sad music, you're going to be influenced negatively.  It's going to be harder to move forward."  


So for example, if it's 2015, and you're sad because you lost a Super Bowl because you didn't give it to Beast Mode on the 1-yard-line, you should listen to "Uptown Funk" on the way home . . . and not "I See You"???

Kenny Chesney Named Humanitarian Of The Year

Kenny Chesney was honored with the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Humanitarian of the Year Award yesterday (Wednesday, Feb. 19th) during this year's annual Country Radio Seminar underway in Nashville.



He said, “I have to tell you, I have a lot of emotions standing up here. I am embarrassed and uncomfortable, but God has given me the gift of communicating with people through music and that’s given me a unique platform to help . . . "



Kenny has helped those in need through his own Spread the Love Foundation, which benefitted amputee survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as his Songs for the Saints album and the Love For Love City Fund which provided disaster relief to the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, in addition to aiding many other charities.


Amazon's New Kane Brown Documentary and EP Are Out Tomorrow

Amazon is releasing the new KANE BROWN mini-documentary tomorrow.  It's called "Velocity", and it's filled with behind-the-scenes stuff plus interviews, and concert footage. 



The trailer is out now and it focuses on how he exploded out of nowhere. 



It wasn't long ago that he was singing covers and putting them on Facebook hoping to get a few followers.  He got more than a few.  At one point he was pulling in 20,000 new social media followers a day.



That led to him packing clubs, amphitheaters . . . and then to his massive sold-out concert last month at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  He's only the 11th country artist to do that.



There's also an accompanying EP featuring live songs from the Staples Center concert. 


Fire Destroyed Neal McCoy's Tour Bus on Saturday, but He Performed That Night

A fire broke out on NEAL MCCOY's tour bus Saturday morning on a highway near Mansfield, Louisiana.  He was able to get OFF the bus in time, and no one was hurt.  Unfortunately, the bus was totaled. 



He went live on Facebook around 6:30 A.M. while it was STILL up in flames.  You can tell he's shaken up, who wouldn't be.  He was mostly getting the word out that everyone was okay.  He also grieved a little for the bus, which he called "Old Glory."


Here's the live video ** Warning - there are profanities in the background chatter.


He posted a second video a little later and this time he did his famous daily Pledge of Allegiance.  He was joined by first responders and others.  It was his 1,493rd consecutive day of doing it.  That's four years and about a month.



Despite the chaos he still did his show on Saturday in Alexandria, Louisiana. 



Taste of Country put together a list of other country artists who've had tour bus fires or accidents.  It includes Trace AdkinsRandy HouserLee BriceJerrod NiemannJoe DiffieWillie Nelson, and Canaan Smith.

Justin Moore on Fans Thanking Him for "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home"

Some songs catch-on right out the box and become huge hits.  That didn't happen to JUSTIN MOORE's "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home".  It came out in the fall of 2018, and just recently topped the Country Airplay chart.



He talked about it at a "song celebration" this week in Nashville.  Quote, "At this point, I don't give a damn how long it takes.  [It's] great from an artist perspective to enjoy the success.  Your pay goes up a little bit.  And you get a little press."



There's another reason the song is so special to him.  It's always resonated with people who've lost love ones that were first responders or in the military.



Quote, "It's more than just a hit song when you hear from a police chief in a meet and greet, and he tells you about one of his guys he lost in an incident.  



"Or when men and women come up to me in the supermarket and share their stories and thank me for writing or recording this song.  It never gets old to hear those stories.  I feel proud to be a small part of this record."


Sam Hunt Announces a New Tour And, Finally, His Second Album

SAM HUNT has finally announced the release date of his second album.  It's called "Southside" and it'll be out April 3rd.  It's been almost six years since "Montevallo" debuted.  That was way back in October of 2014.



In his defense, "Montevallo" kept churning out Number One singles so why stop the momentum by rushing into the studio.  Plus, he's released non-album songs in the meantime . . . like "Downtown's Dead", and "Body Like a Back Road".



We don't know yet if those two will be on "Southside", but it will feature "Kinfolks" and "Sinning With You".



He'll be hitting the road to promote it.  The "Southside Summer Tour 2020" will kick-off May 28th in Charlotte, North Carolina, and run into late September. He makes his stop in Cincinnati to perform at Riverbend Music Center August 16th. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 14th.



The openers are Kip MooreTravis DenningErnest . . . and there will be a DJ set by Brandi Cyrus.  You'll find all the dates on his tour page at


Riley Green Didn't Mean to Be "Negative" in His Tweet about J-Lo and Shakira

It took less than a day for RILEY GREEN to come up with a response to those who were up-in-arms by his Tweet about Shakira and J-Lo's performance on Sunday.



In case you're not familiar, this is what he wrote:  "Great game, but can I get somebody to translate this Super Bowl halftime show so I know what they are singing about?"



He went back to Twitter yesterday to clarify what he meant. 



He said, "To my fans and those who know me THANK YOU for the support.


"To anyone offended by my Tweet saying I wanted to know what Shakira was singing about.  I'm a country songwriter and I listen for the story.  I said and meant nothing negative about anyone.  Both are very talented women."



And in less contentious Riley Green news: "Live at the Opry" has posted video of him performing "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" at a recent performance there.