Country Music 411 Archives for 2024-02

Luke Combs' first son, Tex, is a proud big brother

Luke Combs' first child, Tex Lawrence, may only be 1, but that's not stopping him from being a big brother to 5-month-old Beau Lee. "[Tex] is awesome. He's taken to it, man. He's like a pig in mud, he loves it," Luke tells ABC. "He's like trying to feed the baby Cheerios, [but Beau] doesn't eat any Cheerios because he can't eat any food. He just wants to help already." Young Tex also isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty.

"If we're sucking boogers out, he wants to go and help suck boogers out. I'm like, 'I appreciate it, but we got it. You know? We got it,'" Luke recounts. 

Luke and his wife, Nicole, welcomed Tex and Beau in June 2022 and August 2023, respectively.

Dierks Bentley Releases 'American Girl' From Tom Petty Tribute Album

The tribute album titled, Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty will include songs like “Southern Accents" recorded by Dolly Parton, you'll hear George Strait’s vocals on “You Wreck Me,” and there's a version of “Refugee” by Wynonna Judd & Lainey Wilson.

One of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ best known and most loved songs, “American Girl” actually flopped on radio both times it was released as a single, but is considered one of his greatest songs. It got a resurgence in 1991 when it was used in the movie Silence of The Lambs and Petty continued to play it live.

Multi-platinum artist, Dierks Bentley covered it for the tribute album, he tells us more:

“’American Girl” is just a classic in every genre of music. I mean, it's obviously the rock world, the country world. You can American Girls are song. You'll hear down a little Broadway. Someone's probably singing it right now down there. It's probably money is being put in a tip jar to request that song. It's one I've sung many times before as well, so it's just a classic song. It's also a big part of the Bluegrass world. Tom Petty is, at least, uh, his music's been covered by some of my favorite people, including Marty Stewart, and The Del McCoury band. So I was so excited to be asked to be part of this project, to honor this great musician, this great band, The Heartbreakers, put my own spin on this track. I feel like we're able to do that. John Randall and I kind of added a little bit of the blue grass element to the uh to The Rock Sound, and it come up with something that feels pretty original. So, Just, Feel lucky. This song was available, I jumped on a project pretty quick and was able to get the song that I wanted and it's an incredible project with so many great artists. Including Dolly, Parton and George Strait. Uh, Chris Stapleton. Hopefully we'll get a chance to, you know, do the whole thing live somewhere for an audience but uh just great track American Girl. I couldn't be more happy about the way it turned out.”  


  • Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty Tribute Album Track List
  • 1. “I Should Have Known It” – Chris Stapleton
  • 2. “Wildflowers” – Thomas Rhett
  • 3. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” – Luke Combs
  • 4. “Southern Accents” – Dolly Parton
  • 5. “Here Comes My Girl” – Justin Moore
  • 6. “American Girl” – Dierks Bentley
  • 7. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – Lady A
  • 8. “I Forgive It All” – Jamey Johnson
  • 9. “I Won’t Back Down” – Brothers Osborne
  • 10. “Refugee” – Wynonna Judd & Lainey Wilson
  • 11. “Angel Dream #2” – Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson
  • 12. “Learning to Fly” – Eli Young Band
  • 13. “Breakdown” – Ryan Hurd featuring Carly Pearce
  • 14. “Yer So Bad” – Steve Earle
  • 15. “Ways to Be Wicked” – Margo Price and Mike Campbell




Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Takes on American Idol

Singer-songwriter Emmy Russell, the 24-year-old granddaughter of Loretta Lynn, made her debut on Sunday's episode of American Idol. When Lionel Richie noted that she seemed a bit timid, Russell explained that she wants to be recognized for her own talent, and not her family legacy. "I think there's a reason why I am a little timid, and I think it's because I wanna own my voice," she reflected. "That's why I wanna challenge myself and come out here."

The judges were moved by the piano ballad she performed, "Skinmy," about her experience with an eating disorder. The judges voted unanimously to send Russell through to the next round in Hollywood.



A 15-Year-Old Country Kid Totally Wows "Idol" Judges

 It's amazing how powerful "American Idol" still can be, even after all this time.  And last week was no different, when they might have found the next big country star in a 15-year-old kid from McIntosh, Alabama.




Why did Waffle House SUE Jelly Roll?

Jelly Roll is loved by nearly everyone, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that he was once sued by Waffle House.  Back in 2013, Jelly was an underground rapper and put out a mixtape called, "Whiskey, Weed, and Waffle House".  So, you can understand how they could get a little upset.


He said, "I used the Waffle House logo on the CD cover for the mixtape, and that's a big no-no . . . I didn't know this at the time.  And they sent me a cease-and-desist letter and they froze my YouTube channel up.  It was a big debacle."


You'd think this might bother most people, but instead Jelly said, "I was calling everybody, like, we're popular!  Waffle House is trying to sue us!"


He also said, "I [was] 450 pounds . . . I should have sued Waffle House 10 years ago.  Do you know how many All-Star Breakfasts I have bought in my life?  I might've stopped at 330!"


Taylor Swift Donates $100K For Lisa Lopez-Galvan Fundraiser

Taylor Swift is one of MANY who selflessly donated to a GoFundMe for the family of Lisa Lopez-Galvan, the woman who was killed in the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs victory celebration last week.


“Sending my deepest sympathies and condolences in the wake of your devastating loss,” the singer wrote. “With love, Taylor Swift.”


The fundraiser was originally only seeking $75,000 -- but has now surpassed $350,000 thanks to the publicity surrounding Swift's donation. Her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, also donated $100,000 of his own to the Reyes family, whose two daughters were shot in the incident.

Gabby Barett Welcomes Third Child

Gabby Barrett welcomed her third child with Cade Foehner Saturday (February 17th).

She made the announcement on Instagram next to a photo newborn Ivy Josephine Foehner’s foot.

The American Idol alum wrote, “Our third baby arrived earth side early this morning, at home. Another life to love and cherish. Praising God for His kindness!”



Dolly Finally Commented on Elle King's Drunk Performance

Dolly Parton has come to Elle King’s defense following her drunken Grand Ole Opry performance last month.

Parton told Extra in her first interview about the incident, “Elle is a really great artist, she’s a great girl. She’s been going through a lot of hard things lately, and she just had a little too much to drink. So let’s forgive that and forget it and move on, cause she felt worse than anybody ever could.” 

Last month, while honoring the country legend's birthday, King cursed onstage after she appeared to forget the lyrics while performing Parton’s song “Marry Me.”

Luke Bryan Shows Off His Hometown In American Idol Premiere

Luke Bryan’s hometown will be on display when the upcoming 22nd season of American Idol premieres on February 18th.

The Leesburg, Georgia native told Billboard, “To be able to bring Lionel and Katy to my hometown was a real big deal. Growing up I I was a Lionel fan and he has been such a huge inspiration to my music. So now having Lionel [Richie] and Katy [Perry] as a friends, it was so special to show them how I grew up and what made me who I am. I was on 10 the whole day!”

The tour includes Leesburg High School, his favorite fishing spot along the Flint River, and his family’s peanut mill.

Check It Out

Toby Keith Surpasses Taylor Swift To Make 'Billboard' Chart History

Toby Keith has made Billboard chart history as the first artist to claim nine spots in the top 10 of the Country Digital Song Sales survey (dated February 17th).

The country icon, who died February 5th, at age 62, after a battle with stomach cancer, surpassed the former record – seven top 10s – held by Kenny Rogers (April 4th, 2020, following his death) and Taylor Swift (November 13th, 2010, Speak Now).

“Don’t Let the Old Man In” currently tops the chart with 27,000 sold.

Toby Keith's Entries On The Country Digital Sales Chart:

  • No. 1, “Don’t Let the Old Man In” (27,000 sold, up 3,744%)
  • No. 2, "Fast Car" - Luke Combs
  • No. 3, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” (11,000, up 6,298%)
  • No. 4, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” (11,000, up 8,240%)
  • No. 5, “How Do You Like Me Now?!” (7,000, up 6,791%)
  • No. 6, “As Good as I Once Was” (7,000, up 6,241%)
  • No. 7, “Beer for My Horses,” with Willie Nelson (6,000, up 6,080%)
  • No. 8, “I Love This Bar” (6,000, up 5,176%)
  • No. 9, “American Soldier” (5,000, up 8,208%)
  • No. 10, “Red Solo Cup” (5,000, up 9,917%)

Beyoncé Goes Country

Beyoncé is officially going COUNTRY. After her Super Bowl ad for Verizon aired, she announced a country album is coming March 29th and released the first two songs:  One called "Texas Hold 'Em" and the other called "16 Carriages" 



Dierks Bentley Can Watch Football At Home, Thanks To T-Swift

Dierks Bentley loves football and watches as many NFL games as he can and says Taylor Swift is making it easier to do that. That’s because, since she's dating Kansas City Chiefs player, Travis Kelce… and spotlighted during the game, his 2 daughters are more interested in watching.


With the Big Game coming up this Sunday, we asked Dierks if he’ll be watching with the kids. And… who he picks to win:


“I have been watching every single playoff game. It’s the great thing. In my house is the Kansas City Chiefs because my daughters love Taylor (Swift). Any dad out there that has daughters knows what I’m talking about. She has made football much easier to watch at my house. Everybody’s down with it now, so I’ve been able to watch a lot of playoff games with my family, which is amazing. I’m not out there in the garage. I’m allowed to be in the main part of the house watching football, and it’s so fun. As far as the Super Bowl goes, I have no idea who’s going to win, but I’m there for the whole thing. I’m there for the pre-show concerts, the introductions, our National Anthem, the half-time show and of course, the game. It’s going to be awesome. I have no idea who’s going to win, but I just hope Taylor Swift makes her flight from Japan back to the game, because that’s what we all want to see. That’s going to be the most followed flight. It’ll be followed more than the Santa Tracker.” 



  • The Big Game at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday in Las Vegas on CBS is scheduled for 6:30pm ET/5:30pm CT.
  • His two teenage daughters are Evie (rhymes with Chevy) and Jordan. He has a younger son named Knox.
  • Ticketmaster, ticket prices currently range between $5,600 and $48,000.
  • This is the second time the Chiefs and 49ers have matched up in a Super Bowl, previously meeting in Super Bowl LIV at the end of the 2019 season. Kansas City won that game, 31-20.

Toby Keith's Son Pays Tribute To His Late Father

Keith Covel wrote a touching tribute to his father, Toby Keith, on Instagram Thursday (February 8th).  A photo of the country star spending time in the pool with his son was accompanied by the message: 


You are the strongest man I have ever known. A fighter. A true titan of your industry. My guiding star. My coach. My hero.

An embodiment of the American Spirit.

You are a man whose strength, prowess, and talent could only be trumped by his ability to be a father and husband.

Your impact is forever stamped on the world and on millions of people, yet not one person knew you the way I did. You were my biggest champion and the guiding light in my darkest times.

The best mentor a man could ask for.

You held a passion that was greater than mountains and it radiates through every lyric and chord. In the everlasting echo from the legacy of your music, you leave me strength and faith to lean on in the silence that follows.

You truly did it your way, from the starting gates to the finish line, and never apologized for it.

The only thing I truly ever wanted in life was to make you proud. I promise I will continue to make you proud.

It’s not goodbye forever; it’s just goodbye for now.

I love you cowboy.



Toby Keith passed away on February 5th at the age of 62. 

Friends Remember the Late Toby Keith

Friends and fans are remembering the life and career of one of country music’s most impactful artists, Toby Keith. He died on February 5, following a lengthy battle with stomach cancer at age 62. Many of his famous friends posted pictures of him on social media… 


Carrie Underwood wrote, “My heart has no doubt that you are standing in the presence of our King right now!!! See you again someday, friend." 


John Anderson called him: “A good man with a huge legacy that stands as tall as him."

Alan Jackson said, "Denise and I are saddened to hear about our friend Toby. Our prayers are with Tricia and the entire Keith family. 


And his longtime colleague and friend, Reba shared this with us: “Toby and I are both from Oklahoma and very proud of our Oklahoma heritage. Toby worked very hard to make a mark in the country music business and did a great job doing that. Very proud of him, and I hope he rests in peace. I was very honored to get to work with Toby and be a part of the era of country music he was in. We’ll sure miss him.” 



  • “I was saddened to hear of Toby Keith’s passing. He really was one of the good guys. He helped a lot of people get started in the business. He loved God, he loved his family, and he was a true Patriot. He loved America. A friend to so many, including myself! Rest dear brother, you’re home at last!” -Ricky Skaggs
  • “I never got the chance to know Toby as well as I would have liked to, but I always enjoyed his company and certainly admired his talent. I wish I could have written a song or two with him...he was a great writer as well as performer. This picture was taken in the hallway backstage at the Grand Ole Opry when he made one of his rare appearances there. He gave us a lot of good music and left us with a lot of good memories. May he rest in peace.” - Bill Anderson 
  • "Toby did as much good off-stage as he did on it. I got to be a part of his OK Kids Korral a few years back, and we sang a few together to benefit those kids. A good man with a huge legacy that stands as tall as him." -John Anderson
  • “Toby Keith was a complete original and, like everyone, we’ll miss him and his music. God Bless his family and may he rest in peace.”- The Bellamy Brothers
  • "I admired his independence as a singer, songwriter and businessman. Toby Keith did it his way.  My sincere condolences to his family and to his many fans around the world."- Gene Watson 
  • "You would have rather heard how Toby Keith beat cancer this morning as the broadcasts carry the news of his passing. What I knew was that he was a patriot and expressed it in his music and conversation. His love for our country. The realization of his mortality. His decision to trust and follow Christ made him more than a cowboy last night. Condolences to Tricia and his family. RIP, TK." -Marty Raybon / Shenandoah 
  • "Toby has been an amazing friend with sound advice in some key moments in my life. This loss cuts deep but I’m so encouraged at the true faith that Toby has displayed and carries with him. I will continue to pray for his family, and there is no doubt that he is now in the peace that passes all understanding. You left this world a great gift in your songs! Rest high my brother and thank you!" -Tim Rushlow / The Frontmen / Former lead singer of Little Texas 
  • “Sometimes we use the word 'friend' when we really mean acquaintance. Toby Keith was my friend, and all I know is this. My friend Toby does not have cancer in Heaven this morning. As we’d say in OKLAHOMA and TEXAS, he was a good sumbich. That’s about the highest praise a TEXAN can give to someone. REST IN PEACE, COWBOY.” -Larry Gatlin 
  • "Toby Keith was his own man. He set a great example for all of us in life and in death. He had one shot at this, just like we all do, and he did it his way. I paid attention to his life and his career. He had a swagger that was a little different than most because he knew who he was. In life we have a chance to leave a mark that will not fade and he knocked it out of the park. In death we have a chance to exit this awful, beautiful life with grace and dignity. Toby just hit another grand slam and we could learn from this example. Sometimes it’s not about the elaborate production because sometimes the production is simply the actions of the man. God Bless you and your family and thank you for showing us all how it’s done." -Darryl Worley 
  • "Toby did it 'The Cowboy Way' with courage and dignity and his work will live on. Old Cowboys Never Die, they just ride away." -Billy Dean 
  • “We are saddened to hear of the passing of the great Toby Keith. What an amazing talent. We lost another Real Cowboy! Gone too soon but we know where he is. Ride in Peace, TK.” -Doug Gray / The Marshall Tucker Band 
  • "I’m so sorry to hear of Toby’s passing. He was a great singer, and his songwriting talent was enormous. My condolences to his family." -Henry Paul / BlackHawk & The Outlaws
  • “Toby and I were label mates when I was with Hot Apple Pie. We all looked up to him for his support of our troops. He was always a straight-shooter and very encouraging. Rest in peace, my brother.” - Brady Seals of Little Texas
  • “We’ve lost a great one. Toby was an amazing talent and man. Sending prayers to his family and friends.” -Aaron Tippin 
  • "What a huge loss for the family of country music. I, like so many, loved Toby and his great songs! I was honored and proud to call him my friend. He was so much fun, always a gentleman and such a beautiful soul. Til we see you again, Rest in Heavenly Peace, Toby." -Deborah Allen


Toby Keith passes at age 62 on February 5th

Toby Keith, a country singer known for hit songs including "Beer for My Horses" and "Should've Been a Cowboy," died on Monday. He was 62.


He "passed peacefully" on Monday night, his official Instagram account said in a statement on Tuesday. Toby said in June 2022 that he'd been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was "receiving chemo, radiation and surgery."


"He fought his fight with grace and courage," Tuesday's statement said. "Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."


The Oklahoma native sold some 40 million albums in his award-winning career, with 20 singles topping the charts, including "I Wanna Talk About Me" and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," written in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Keith's final studio album is 2021's Peso in My Pocket, which spawned the singles "Old School" and "Oklahoma Breakdown." In 2023, Mercury Nashville/UMe released 100% Songwriter, a 13-track compilation album of Keith's biggest hits. 


Matthew McConaughey Stars in Zach Bryan's New Music Video

Zach Bryan is having a pretty big week.  First a Grammy win, and now his new music video's got an OSCAR-WINNER in it? It's for his song "Nine Ball" from last year's "Boys of Faith" E.P. . . . and Matthew McConaughey stars in it. 



Lainey Wilson Testifies Before Congress About The Dangers Of Artificial Intelligence

Lainey Wilson testified before Congress during a House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on Friday (Feb. 2).

The singer, who has previously been the target of an Artificial Intelligence based scam that appeared to feature her likeness in ads for weight loss gummies, was there to speak about the dangers of AI.

In a clip broadcast by ABC7, she testified, “I do not have to tell you how much of a gut punch it is to have your name, your likeness or your voice ripped from you and used in ways that you could never imagine or allow. It is wrong, plain and simple.”