Country Music 411 Archives for 2023-03

Morgan Wallen, Blake Shelton Among CMT Video Of The Year Finalists

The finalists for this year's CMT Music Awards Video of the Year have been whittled down after fan-voting and the category has tightened to just six. The nominees are:

Blake Shelton, "No Body"
Carrie Underwood, "Hate My Heart"
Hardy featuring Lainey Wilson, "Wait in the Truck"
Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown, "Thank God"
Cody Johnson, "Human"
Morgan Wallen, "You Proof"

Fans can cast their votes online for their favorite via

The 2023 CMT Music Awards air on Sunday, April 2nd on CBS and stream on Paramount+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The show, hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, will take place at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas for the first time ever.






A post shared by CMT (@cmt)

Miranda Lambert Cancels Vegas Show

Miranda Lambert is on vocal rest.  The country superstar was forced to cancel her show Thursday (3/30)  evening in Las Vegas.  She released a statement, saying she's been under a doctor's care.  Lambert told her fans she's sorry for the last-minute cancellation and said she'd do everything in her power to get better by the weekend. 



More Performers Announced for Sunday's CMT Music Awards

The CMT Music Awards adds Rock Royalty. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Slash, as well as members of the Allman Brothers and Bad Company, will join LeeAnn Rimes, Wynona Judd, and Cody Johnson to pay tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd and late founding member Gary Rossington during the CMT Music Awards on Sunday. Rossington died on March 5th. His wife and band member, Dale Krantz Rossington will reportedly attend the show as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlock. 



Lauren Alaina Making Wedding Plans

Lauren Alaina has been knee deep in wedding planning.  She got engaged to Cameron Arnold, a partner in a Nashville-based insurance firm late last year. So far, Alaina has managed to find a venue, a dress, and an event date, although the latter of those three are being kept under wraps. Alaina left her record label last year, signing on with Big Loud Records last summer.




Scotty McCreery Writing Baby Songs

Scotty McCreery has always written true to life. "Five More Minutes" was inspired by the death of his grandfather, "This is It" shares his love story with his wife Gabi. It's only fitting that his next musical chapter will document life as a dad.  McCreery is currently writing an album of baby songs.  He's out on the road for the final dates of his Damn Strait Tour, will be out on the road with Brooks & Dunn later this year and at the Jay County Fair with Gabby Barrett in July. 

Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton to Host ACM Awards

The Academy of County Music announced on March 29th that Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton will be the hosts of this year's awards ceremony. Did we mention that our very own Kicks Morning Crew were nominated to potentially recieve the On-Air Personality of the Year Award (Small Market)! WAY TO GO SEAN AND DAVE! 



Check out ACM's announcement on Facebook below. 


Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman Donate for Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are providing a substantial donation towards breast cancer research. They are supporting clinical trials by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center aimed at developing new and better therapies for breast cancer. 

The center features a bevy of internationally recognized breast cancer researchers and clinicians. The couple’s advocacy and philanthropy when it comes to cancer is deeply rooted in Kidman’s experiences as a teenager caring for her mother, a breast cancer survivor.  

Beyond cancer research, Kidman has been committed to supporting women’s health and raising awareness of women’s issues for a long time. In 2006 Kidman was named, and continues to serve as, the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women. That role aims to empower women, promote gender equality and women’s rights all over the world, and put an end to violence against women. 



The Band Perry Breaks Up


The Band Perry is splitting up. The sibling trio broke the news to fans on Monday. The three decided to take a creative break as a group and focus on their individual creative pursuits. The Band Perry made a name for themselves in 2010 with their first number-one hit, "If I Die Young."  They earned a handful of hit songs over the next few years.  

Little Big Town, Brad Paisley To Headline Fundraiser For Parkinson's

Little Big Town and Brad Paisley will headline a fundraising event for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, an organization that raises money for research on a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. The event, called “A Country Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s,” will take place at Nashville’s Fisher Center at Belmont University on April 26th. It includes a dinner and performances by the headliners as well as some special guests.

Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman posted a message on Instagram about the benefit show, but also revealed her own mother has Parkinson’s. She wrote, “As you grow up, there’s a part of life that one doesn’t plan for. I’m there right now. My precious mother has Parkinson’s Disease, and she is fighting it like a warrior. I have learned in recent years that Parkinson’s is incredibly complex and devastatingly debilitating,” she writes. 


Check out the moving message below:



Morgan Wallen Kicks Out Beer-Throwing Fan

Best behave yourself at a Morgan Wallen concert. During his performance in Melbourne Australia over the weekend, someone from the pit threw a beer across the stage, onto Wallen. Morgan stopped the music, paced on the stage for a second, then points to the group in the crowd, saying:  “One of y’all own up to this, or I’m going to kick the whole expletive group out. One of y’all go ahead and say, ‘I did it.’  He then instructed security to remove the offending person.  Morgan is notorious for kicking out belligerent fans. 



@montanadadeee Beer thrown at Morgan Wallen last night! #morganwallen #morganwallenmelbourne ? original sound - Montana dade

Blake Shelton Spring Line Is Fashion Ready

Blake Shelton’s spring line with Lands' End includes men's underwear, moccasins, pajamas and bedding. There’s even a few things for women like dresses and jeans. His shirts go for around $60 and the duvet cover retails for $300.  


See more on the music at Blake

Combs Baby Due During World Tour

Nicole Combs said she’s nervous about her husband’s upcoming world tour. Luke Combs just announced his wife’s second pregnancy on social media this week after announcing a huge world tour earlier this year.  Nicole says she’s due between Australia & Europe next Fall…and he’s cutting it kinda close. 





A post shared by NICOLE COMBS (@nicolejcombs)

Garth Brooks Baseball Career That Wasn't

Not quite everything Garth Brooks touches turns to gold. It was twenty-three years ago this week, the singer wrapped up spring training with the New York Mets, without securing a spot on the team.  After growing his country music career to superstar level, Garth first signed with the San Diego Padres for spring training, in both 1998 and 1999. When the Padres didn't offer him a contract, Brooks switched to the New York Mets in 2000.  The Mets dropped him from their roster after his zero-for-17 batting record during Spring Training that year. Never a quitter, Brooks tried one more time in 04, with the Kansas City Royals, without securing a spot on the team. He actually used that time to build and promote his Teamates for Kids Foundation which more than 3000 pro athletes have signed onto, donating millions to children's charities since 1999. 

Twins for John Osborne!

Brothers Osborne's John Osborne is a first-time parent.  John and his wife Lucie welcomed their first children, twins Arthur and Maybelle, yesterday morning.  Arthur weighed in at 3 lb., 13 oz. while Maybelle weighed 5 lbs., 1 oz. and measured 18 in. The babies' early arrival forced Brothers Osborne to cancel out on their scheduled appearance at a charity concert Monday night just hours before.


Check out his instagram post here:  


Sam Hunt Gushes Over Daughters First Words

For Sam Hunt, life’s been better than ever since the arrival of his daughter, Lucy, last May. 

Now that she’s starting to say his name, he can hardly contain his excitement. 

“It melts my heart every time,” he smiles. “She’s started saying [‘Da-Da’]. She loosely associates ‘Da-Da’ with me, but I’ll take it, because it usually is things that she wants. She’ll say ‘Da-Da’ when she wants something.” 

“But she’s starting to really hone in,” he continues, “because I try to encourage, you know, when she says ‘Da-Da’ to light up and give her a reaction so she knows that’s gonna be me.” 

Sam reveals Lucy’s also starting to say “Mama,” adding that he and wife Hannah have “just been in heaven the past few months” since the birth of their daughter.  

Luke Combs to Welcome Baby #2

Luke Combs and his wife, Nicole, are expecting! Luke announced the big news on social media Monday with pictures of himself with his wife and nine-month-old son, Tex, wearing a T-shirt that reads "big brother. Tex turns one in June, baby #2 is due in September.  





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

Miranda Lambert's Cookbook out Next Month

Miranda Lambert will host three book signings in celebration of the April 25th release of her first cookbook, "Y’all Eat Yet? Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen".  She’ll kick it off at the 5th Avenue Barnes & Noble in New York on release day, head to LA three days later and return to her hometown of Lindale, Texas for a signing at her own Pink Pistol store on May 9th.  "Y’all Eat Yet? Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen" includes recipes handed down from her mom and grandma.



Granger Smith to Release Book this Fall

Granger Smith is working on a new project this year, a book titled Like A River. The book chronicles Smith and his wife Amber’s journey following the tragic loss of their son, River. River Smith died in a backyard drowning accident in 2019 when he was just 3 years old.  “Like a River” will be released in the fall.   



Jelly Roll's Plan to Focus on His Health to Prepare for Tour

Jelly Roll says he’s focusing on his physical and mental health to prepare for his upcoming Backroad Baptism Tour. Jelly Roll, a.k.a. Jason DeFord, says he’s working out daily, praying and meditating, eating better and losing weight. DeFord spent time in prison for various offenses, including aggravated robbery and drug possession. He says his criminal past all stemmed from untreated anxiety and depression.  DeFord recently donated the proceeds from a sold-out Bridgestone Arena concert to build a recording studio at Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center in Nashville where he was once incarcerated. 

Luke Bryan Says American Idol Helped him Appreciate his Career

As a judge on American Idol, it’s Luke Bryan‘s job to help mentor the contestants. 

But he admits he’s learned just a much as anyone else during his time on the show. 

“I think being in front of a TV camera so much makes you a little — I mean, it makes you more aware of a lot more things,” he explains. “It’s like a resumé builder, you know? It’s like college.” 

“You know, I’ve got five years of sitting in front of a television camera, to where you learn what works, what doesn’t,” he continues. “You learn how to engage with people. You learn how to not get yourself in too big of trouble. You know, there’s a fine line of doing it right, doing it wrong.” 

The five-time Entertainer of the Year says it’s also made him appreciate his own career even more than he did before. “I learned that you’ve still got to go and work hard because there’s a lot of talent out there in the world. And you don’t ever need to take your talent for granted because so many people dream of this life,” Luke reflects. “And to be able to watch these kids come in from these various backgrounds, and to watch their process, it’s very informative. It’s very emotional,” he adds.  


American Idol continues Sunday night at 8 p. ABC

Morgan Wallen's 2-Year-Old Son Helped Him Make His New Album

Morgan Wallen's son Indie might have a future as a producer. The 2-year-old got some experience in the studio while Wallen was recording his 36-track album, One Thing at a Time.  

Wallen says Indie began joining him and producer Joey Moi in the studio while he was recording, and that his toddler "brought a new energy" to the recording process. 

"He started coming in there and banging on guitar strings and, you know, delete songs for Joey and stuff like that," Wallen jokes with Billboard. "But honestly, he brought a lot of joy into the room. He brought a new energy that we hadn’t had in there before.” 

Wallen adds that by the end of the recording process, Indie was a true professional, often sitting on Moi's lap and helping him at the production console. 

Wallen also brought his sister Ashlyne into the album-making process — the siblings duet on a faith-based track called "Outlook." He and his sister have been singing together since they were young. 

"We’ve always been super, super tight,” Wallen says. “We grew up in church singing hymns and stuff and learning how to harmonize with each other and sing three-part harmony." 

Tim McGraw Grants Terminally Ill Father's Wish For His Young Daughters

Tim McGraw is granting a dying father's wish to duet with him on his hit "My Little Girl" for the sake of his young daughters so they can have it to play on their respective wedding days. Thirty-seven-year-old Michael Hugo is suffering from stage 4 glioblastoma and is unsure of how much time he has left so he is planning ahead for his six and seven-year-old daughters' futures.

Hugo posted a video to social media explaining his story and asking that Tim help him in hopes that it would somehow get to the superstar. And it did. Tim invited Hugo and his family to Nashville. 

Earlier this week, Tim shared a video of himself with the Hugo family standing in front of a piano saying in part, "We're gonna make this happen." He captioned the clip, "Thanx to everyone who shared Mike Hugo's video on social media and tagged me in the comments. So glad we were able to actually get together in person, meet this amazing family, and make it happen! Mike is saving the videos for his daughters' future weddings... what a special thing to be a part of."


Check it out below:



A post shared by Tim McGraw (@thetimmcgraw)

Lainey Wilson Leads CMT Music Award Nominations

Lainey Wilson is a fan favorite at April 2nd's CMT Music Awards, where she is the leading nominee including for “Video of the Year.” Lainey is up for four awards.   Cody Johnson, CMT co-host Kane Brown and first-time nominee Jelly Roll,  all have three nominations each.  There are 16 nominees for the show's top prize, video of the year, a category that Carrie Underwood holds the record in with 25 awards. She's nominated again for her video “Hate My Heart” . Fan voting is open now at 



Profanity-laced Clay Walker Audio Surfaces

A video going viral on TikTok features leaked audio of ’90s country star Clay Walker going on a profanity-laced tirade against his tour bus driver.  The expletive-filled and threatening rant seems to stem from the driver being late and not tidying up the bus. Clay said the incident happened over a year ago and it came at the end of a long, tough weekend, claiming he and the bus driver reconciled immediately.  The audio was leaked online earlier this week. 


Leaked audio: viewer discretion advised.



Luke Combs' Wife Nicole Is His Key to Staying Humble, Despite Growing Fame

Despite all of his success —Luke Combs has built his brand on being an "everyman" who, at the end of the day, is just a regular guy. 

That's more than just an image. 

Combs keeps connected to his salt-of-the-earth roots by always putting his fans first, whether that means refunding an entire crowd on a night when his voice wasn't top notch or being open and honest about his mental health struggles. 

But just because he's an Average Joe doesn't mean Combs isn't susceptible to the pitfalls of success. Keeping his ego from getting inflated is something he constantly works at, he tells ABC. 

"That was definitely, like, a concerted effort on my part, you know, between me and the people that I've chosen to surround myself with," he acknowledges. 

When it comes to staying humble, Combs gives all the credit to the company he keeps: Especially his wife Nicole, whom he married in 2020. Though their wedding took place after Combs became a bona fide superstar, their love story dates back years earlier. 

"I met my wife before I had anything going on,"he points out. "I was driving the same car I drove in high school and [had] no shows." 

To this day, Nicole keeps Combs honest and humble.  

"She's great. She just takes everything with a grain of salt," he says. "She keeps me humble, let's put it that way." 

And Combs wouldn't have it any other way, because Nicole's call-it-like-she-sees-it attitude helps him keep life's truly important things in focus.  

"I think just keeping those people close and surrounding yourself with people that don't let you buy into your ego or yourself as an artist," he continues, reflecting on how straight-shooting friends, family and team members help him stay the course. 

"Like, I don't put a lot of stock in my self-worth being in the position that I'm in, as far as being a human being goes," he adds. "And I think that's where it starts at." 

Beyond that, Combs just keeps his head down and works hard.  

See more on him at Luke 

Jennifer Nettles Hosts 'Farmer Wants a Wife'

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles is the host of a new dating show that premiers this week. "Farmer Wants a Wife" pairs 4 hard working farmers with women from the city in search of lasting love.  This series is produced by American Idol and America's Got Talent's Fremantle Media.  The show premieres tomorrow night (Wednesday) on FOX. 

Miranda Lambert's new Relief for Rescues Fund

Miranda Lambert and her MuttNation Foundation have teamed with Tractor Supply Company to create “Relief For Rescues Fund,” a new animal emergency response program.  The Fund will enable more efficient response times to support animals in immediate need. The campaign launched yesterday (March 6) and will continue through Sunday, March 12.  Make a donation at checkout at any Tractor Supply, at and on the company's mobile app.

Carrie Underwood Says Her Reasons for Working Out Have Changed

She may have the most admired, toned legs in the country music genre, but for Carrie Underwood, working out and staying fit is about more than just looks. 

She says her exercise regimen is part of an ongoing, fitness-focused mindset: But that perspective is one she picked up more recently in her health and wellness journey. 

"I feel like earlier in my career I was working out more to be a certain size or fit into a certain aesthetic that I thought I wanted to be," She tells People. "And now I feel like I work out more to be strong and have energy and longevity." 

Not only is it important to her to be able to keep up with her children but she also wants to be able to put on the most epic and dazzling live show for her fans that she possibly can. 

"It's surprisingly physical being onstage -- there's a lot of cardio," Underwood notes. "I'm running around in high heels and I honestly write songs that I don't give myself time to breathe." 

She adds that she's "playing the long game," and that working out to achieve a certain look wasn't necessarily a sustainable practice.  

"I've worked out a whole lot and been frustrated because it wasn't the results that I wanted," she points out. "I feel like now at this point in my life, you really do learn that it is a lifestyle, it's balance. It is overall taking care of yourself." 

Underwood has also learned to listen to her body, and adjust her diet or exercise levels based on what it needs — even on her busiest days. 

"If I start feeling weird or tired it's like, 'What boxes am I not checking? Am I eating fried food? Am I not drinking enough water?'" she explains. "Whatever it is, I can usually pinpoint what I've been lacking and try to correct that and get myself back up to speed and be able to be my best." 

See more on the music at Carrie Underwood 

Eric Church Guests on ESPN

Eric Church will be a special guest on ESPN’s College Game Day this weekend  

He’ll join the set live to discuss the rivalry game between Duke and North Carolina. 

Last year during the March Madness tournament, Eric canceled a concert in San Antonio last minute to attend the game with his family after he realized the two longtime arch-rivals would be facing off in the semi-final round for the first time ever. 

The game will be broadcast at 6:30 on ESPN Saturday evening. 

Morgan Wallen's Free Show Highjacked by Scalpers

 Early yesterday (Thursday) morning Morgan Wallen announced that he would be performing a free album release show today at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Before the box office could open, traffic was backed up for blocks and fans were lined up around the arena hoping to score tickets. In 3 hours all of the tickets for the 20,000-seat arena were gone, but many went into the hands of scalpers.  Tickets were listed on resale sites online, some for over a thousand dollars, despite originally being free – and despite the claim that they were “non-transferable.” 

Megan Moroney To Release Debut Album 'Lucky' In May

Megan Moroney will release her debut album, Lucky, on May 5th. The album's title track will be released on March 10th. 

Megan said, “After we wrote the title track ‘Lucky,’ I knew I wanted it to be the name of my debut album. If you know anything about me and my story, a lot of things (both good and bad) happened to get me to where I am today, and I just feel very lucky. I couldn’t live out this dream without the support of my fans, family, and team. I can’t wait to bring these songs on the road with me this year and I hope everyone loves them as much as I do!”

Megan sits inside the Top 25 with her debut single, "Tennessee Orange.” 

She will head out on her Pistol Made of Roses Tour next month. This summer, Megan will hit the road with Brooks & Dunn.





A post shared by Megan Moroney (@megmoroney)

Carrie Underwood Surprises Nashville Crowd With Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley

Carrie Underwood took her headlining Denim & Rhinestones Tour to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (March 1st) for a sold-out show that included a few surprise guests. Carrie was joined onstage by Jason Aldean and Brad Paisley, in addition to special guest support Jimmie Allen, who joins Carrie on all dates of the tour. 

Jason and Carrie performed their multi-week Number One hit single, “If I Didn’t Love You,” while Carrie and Brad reunited to sort of reprise their roles as co-hosts of the CMA Awards. They performed an original parody number celebrating the unexpected reunion of “Paisleywood,” poking fun at recent hosts Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning. Brad and Carrie also performed their hit duet, “Remind Me."

Yesterday (Thursday, March 2nd), Carrie posted a series of photos from the show writing, "Still processing last night in Nashville at the @bridgestonearenaofficial ! The hometown crowd was INSANE!!! And I am so grateful that @bradpaisley and @jasonaldean came out to make it extra special! It was truly a night I will never forget! THANK YOU MUSIC CITY!!!"


Check it out here:


Morgan Wallen Heads to Grandma's House for New Album

The cover of Morgan Wallen‘s new album shows him standing outside his late grandmother’s house in his hometown of Sneedville, Tennessee. 

“My Mamaw Boots helped raise me,” he explains. “I had such a special bond with her, so I wanted to honor her with this new record.” 

Morgan also showcases some of his other influences on One Thing at a Time, which arrives this Friday, March 3: he works The Allman Brothers‘ “Midnight Rider” into the track “Everything I Love” and samples Young Thug‘s “Lifestyle” on “180 (Lifestyle).” 


Tune in TODAY on the Country Cafe with Annette to catch his new album! 



Glen Campbell in TikTok's Top 10

Glen Campbell is trending on Tik Tok. Videos with the Southern Nights hashtag have been viewed more than 12 million times. TikTok users discovered the 1977 song, embedding it with video clips celebrating being born "in the right generation". According to TikTok, the trend has been popular in the United States for the last 13 days and is currently at 91 percent of peak viewership.



Jennifer Nettles to Star in The Exorcist

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles is coming to the big screen.  The singer has landed a role in the upcoming horror trilogy - The Exorcist. According to Variety, Jennifer's part will be a  “primary role.” 

The Exorcist will also star Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, and Ellen Burstyn, who will be reprising her role as Chris MacNeil from the original 1973 film.  

This first film in the trilogy will be released in theaters October 13th. 



Taylor Swift Makes Billboard History


Reaching another historic feat on the charts, Taylor Swift has joined the ranks of The Beatles, Prince, Whitney Houston, and David Bowie as the fifth artist to ever have 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart at one time. Swift is only the fifth artist to hit this mark since the Billboard 200 combined into one chart in August of 1963 from its separate mono and stereo LP charts. 



Land's End Debuts New Blake Shelton Clothing Line

Blake Shelton may be finishing up his last season of The Voice, but he is already taking on new business ventures. And one of them is his newly launched collection of spring clothing, created in partnership with Land's End.  The line, which debuted on Monday features everything from buttoned-down plaid shirts to dark and light wash denim, henleys, cargo shorts, swimwear, and more.