Josh Turner nabs two 2x platinum RIAA plaques for “Would You Go With Me” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance”

UMG NashvilleJosh Turner has ended this week on a high note, as he heads into the weekend with two brand-new RIAA 2x platinum certifications.

The new plaques are awarded to two of his biggest career hits, 2006’s “Would You Go With Me” and 2010’s “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” Both songs were multi-week chart-topping singles,  and Josh’s wife, Jennifer, surprised him with the certifications at the end of a livestream event celebrating the singer’s newest album, Country State of Mind.

“There we go!” Josh said with a smile, jutting his thumb toward the plaque for “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” “I might not dance, but I can sell records, apparently. Wow.”

Elsewhere in the hour-long livestream, Josh discusses the making of Country State of Mind, a cover project in which the singer pays homage to the legendary likes of Randy Travis, Johnny Cash, John Anderson, Vern Gosdin and Hank Williams.

To help him create the project, he enlisted fellow stars such as Runaway June, Chris Janson and many more duet partners. Country State of Mind came out in August.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ashley McBryde signs on as a CMA Foundation ambassador to advocate for music education

ABC/Image Group LAAshley McBryde is the first-announced artist ambassador for the Country Music Association’s Unified Voices for Music Education initiative.

As part of the brand new program, the “Martha Divine” star will work with music educators throughout the month of November in a variety of ways. She’ll create a band-specific video lesson plan, meet virtually with music teachers and share her own experiences to highlight the importance of music education in schools and beyond.

Ashley recently appeared on an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show to discuss her partnership with host and superstar Kelly Clarkson.

“Being in band was really important to me,” the singer says, explaining how she attended college hoping to become a band director herself. “I played the French horn, I played mellophone, and I’ve tried to remind kids that it’s not a nerdy thing at all to play an instrument.”

There’s nothing nerdy about Ashley’s career these days. This week, she was also announced as a performer at the upcoming 2020 CMA Awards, where she’s also nominated for three trophies, including in the Album of the Year category for her latest album, Never Will.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“This has been quite a journey”: As ‘Buy Me a Boat’ goes gold, Chris Janson looks back at the past five years

Jared C. Tilton/Getty ImagesFive years ago, Chris Janson roared into the country mainstream with the release of his “Buy Me a Boat” and a debut album of the same name.

Since then, the singer has amassed four chart-topping singles, a spot as a Grand Ole Opry Member, one billion global career streams and many more accolades. Recently, “Buy Me a Boat” received 3x platinum certification from the RIAA.

But as Chris points out in a video retrospective looking back at his career to date, his brand-new RIAA gold certification for the Buy Me a Boat album is particularly meaningful.

“This is an album, which is ultra-special to me, because this means that you went out and you purchased a CD,” the singer told his fans in the clip. “Or however you did it -- you bought the full-length album. So thank you very much for this. This means a lot.”

Chris’ single, “Waitin’ on 5,” is currently climbing the charts.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Through My Ray-Bans,” Eric Church sees the power of human connection from the vantage point of the stage

UMG NashvilleEven in the midst of a difficult year, Eric Church is placing his bets on the resilience of the human spirit.

That’s because he’s seen it first-hand, he sings in the lyrics of his just-released song, “Through My Ray-Bans.” The song celebrates the magic and solidarity Eric has seen while performing onstage, looking out at the crowd cheering back at him.

“Everybody’s got their arms around everybody else’s shoulders / Guarding against the world outside like an army of Friday night soldiers,” he sings in the chorus. “The battle wages tomorrow, but tonight you don’t give a damn / Wish you could stay the way I see you through my Ray-Bans...”

The singer first teased his defiant, gut-punching tune this spring, when he used it as the backdrop of a spoken-word video message celebrating the human spirit and promising that ultimately, human connection will triumph over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per Rolling Stone, Eric has also dedicated the song to the survivors of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting, which claimed 61 lives and injured hundreds more concertgoers.

“Through My Ray-Bans” is the latest in a slew of new songs The Chief has released this year. He also dropped “Bad Mother Trucker,” “Crazyland” and, just a few weeks ago, “Hell of a View.” His single, “Stick that In Your Country Song,” was a Top 30 hit this summer.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kane Brown’s wife and daughter co-star in his woodsy “Worship You” music video

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicKane Brown’s latest single, “Worship You,” is a tribute to his family. In its lyrics, he sings about how his wife Katelyn and the couple’s one-year-old daughter, Kingsley, elevate his faith, bringing him closer to God and spirituality.

In the music video for the song, Kane takes that premise to ethereal new heights, bringing his girls to the Jackson Hole, Wyoming set for a dreamy, forested visual treatment.

“Worship You” gets set against breathtaking outdoor shots of Katelyn dressed in a floor-length, gauzy green gown, holding a matching, tulle-clad Kingsley in her arms.

Ahead of the video’s premiere, Kane told People that a trip to Wyoming had long been on his family’s to-do list. After getting a taste of the state’s natural beauty while shooting the “Worship You” video, he and Katelyn are even more eager to return someday soon.

“Jackson Hole has been a place that we wanted to go for some time,” he says. “It was so beautiful and remote and we plan to go back again for a family vacation after this experience.”

Kane and Katelyn had their two-year wedding anniversary on October 12, and just earlier this week, they also celebrated their daughter’s first birthday. Though she may be only one year old, Kingsley has already made appearances in not one but two of her country star dad’s music videos. In addition to starring in “Worship You,” she also appears in the video for Kane’s “Worldwide Beautiful.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The second half of Granger Smith’s ‘Country Things’ album is on its way

Jeremy Cowart/BBR Music GroupLast month, Granger Smith unleashed his Country Things Vol. 1, the first half of his tenth studio album. But the singer’s not done: He announced plans on Friday to drop the second leg of the double album on November 27.

Like the first half of the project, Country Things Vol. 2 will consist of eight tracks, rounding out a body of work that Granger says scales the highs and lows of a life spent doing -- well, country things.

As for what those “country things” are? A handful of lucky fans will get the chance to find out up-close and in-person, as Granger launched a contest this week offering five listeners a chance to visit his Yee Yee Farm in Texas. Of those five, one big winner will walk away with the prize of Granger’s own personal truck. 

The contest runs through December 4 at 11:59 PM CT, and every $1 spent at the singer’s lifestyle brand, Yee Yee Apparel, will count as an entry. For more information, and to learn what the phrase “Yee Yee” really means, visit Granger’s website.

Here’s the full track list of Country Things Vol. 2, including two cameos from Granger’s alter-ego, Earl Dibbles Jr.:

“Man Made”
“Buy a Boy a Baseball”
“Anything Like Me”
“That’s What Love Looks Like”
“Where I Get it From”
“6 String Stories”
“Workaholic” (feat. Earl Dibbles Jr.)
“Diesel” (feat. Earl Dibbles Jr.)

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Luke Combs gears up for Amazon livestream performance and fan Q&A

ABC/Image Group LALuke Combs will be taking the virtual stage next week for a conversation with his fans and a livestream performance of some of the songs off his new deluxe album, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get.

The stripped-down show comes courtesy of Amazon Music, and will kick off Friday, November 6 at 1PM ET. You can tune in via Amazon Live.

“This album means a lot to me and I’m excited to be teaming up with Amazon Music to sing some of the new songs and hang out with my fans,” says Luke. “Should be a really fun time!”

Luke’s livestream performance comes at the end of yet another banner year for the rising superstar. This month, the deluxe edition of his 2019 album took the singer to the number-one spot on Apple Music’s U.S. Top Albums chart. That’s a feat he achieved last November, too, when the album’s first iteration dropped.

What You See Ain’t Always What You Get had a big opening day at Spotify, too, racing up the streaming charts and pulling in the highest number of first-day streams for a country track by a solo artist for the project’s “Forever After All.”

The project is up for Album of the Year at next month’s CMA Awards show, where it’s responsible for one of Luke’s six nominations. One of those is his first-ever mention in the coveted Entertainer of the Year category.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockToday, this "Tennessee Whiskey" singer and his wife are celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary. The multiple Grammy and CMA Award-winner is often accompanied by his wife -- who is also a songwriter with cuts by Carrie UnderwoodAlan JacksonTrisha Yearwood and more -- on stage as a supporting vocalist. Can you name the couple? ANSWER: Chris and Morgane Stapleton.

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

Christmas will be “Lit This Year,” thanks to Florida Georgia Line’s first-ever holiday release

Courtesy of BMLG RecordsFlorida Georgia Line are adding a splash to their trademark down-home swagger for your holiday season with the release of “Lit This Year,” a two-stepping, good-time Christmas song.

It’s the first time the country duo have ever released music for the holidays, and the song is one that the bandmates co-wrote, together with in-demand Nashville songwriter Corey Crowder.

“We felt like we were writing the modern-day version ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ meets Christmas Vacation,” notes FGL bandmate Tyler Hubbard. “The only thing that would make this country Christmas song any better is if we could shoot a video and feature Cousin Eddie.”

“Get your holidaze on, y’all. This is a new one for us,” chimes in duo member Brian Kelley. “T and I always felt our first holiday song would come at just the right time -- we’re excited for fans to have something FGL to cheers to the season with.”

FGL haven’t forgotten about the listeners whose holiday will be just as boozy as the one described in the song’s lyrics, either. “Lit This Year” namechecks the band’s own brand of Old Camp Whiskey.

When they’re not taking in the magic of the Christmas season, FGL are lighting up the country charts with their new single, “Long Live.” You can also catch them performing at the 2020 CMA Awards, which airs November 11 on ABC.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMiranda Lambert and Vince Gill are among the featured acts on Collin Raye's upcoming album SCARS, his first album in over a decade. Miranda appears on the title track, while Vince performs on "Rodeo Girl." The album will be released on November 20. 

Payton Smith has released a stripped down, live acoustic version of his debut single "Like I Knew You Would."  

Up-and-coming country star Alex Stern steps back in time for the Western-themed video for her current single "John Wayne." 

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.