Brad Paisley explains why he named his free grocery nonprofit The Store: “It gives people the dignity of choice”

Jeff LipskyBack in early 2020, Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, co-founded their free grocery store where those in need can shop with dignity.

The nonprofit, called The Store, opened just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and since then, Brad says it’s made him feel less helpless during what quickly became a tumultuous year for many Americans.

Now, about a year after The Store first opened its doors, Brad stopped by ABC’s The View to discuss his free grocery nonprofit’s continuing impact and share how it got its name in the first place.

“It gives people the dignity of choice,” the singer explains. “They get to come in, as opposed to a handout, they have a shopping experience. Their kids feel normal. It’s called The Store so that they can say, very simply, ‘Hey, we’re going to The Store,’ and the kids in the shopping cart feel like everything’s fine. The difference being, when they go through and check out, they don’t pay for anything.”

When The Store opened its doors last year, Brad goes on to say, they couldn’t have predicted the demand caused by the pandemic.

“We expected to do about 300,000 meals last year. And we ended up doing a million in January,” he explains. “I don’t know how we did it. But you rise to it, in a time like this, I think.”

In musical news, Brad recently shared his next single, “Off Road.” He’s also a guest vocalist on Jimmie Allen’s latest submission to country radio, “Freedom Was a Highway.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dolly Parton’s version of “Amazing Grace” might become Tennessee’s official state hymn

ABC/Image Group LAA new bill proposed by Tennessee lawmakers is advocating to make Dolly Parton’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” the state’s official hymn, CMT reports.

The song was written in 1772 by captain of slave ships turned abolitionist John Newton, and the bill argues that it has “since been recorded by various artists with strong connections to Tennessee,” including Dolly as well as Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and many others.

In fact, Garth recently sang “Amazing Grace” on a national scale when he performed the hymn at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in January.

Dolly has performed and recorded “Amazing Grace” throughout her career. She even recast new lyrics onto the classic song’s melody for “Shine On” off her 1998 album Hungry Again, and performed it at Tammy Wynette’s funeral that same year.

It’s not the first bill involving Dolly to cross state legislators’ desks this year: A previous bill proposed erecting a statue of the singer on State Capitol grounds.

But in February, Dolly asked lawmakers to remove the bill from consideration, saying, “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tim McGraw was once a “bridesmaid” alongside Garth Brooks and Tracy Lawrence

Martin Philbey/RedfernsTalk about a star-studded wedding party! Tim McGraw may be used to high-profile country musical collaborations these days, but during his early days in Nashville, he once teamed up with Garth Brooks and Tracy Lawrence for a much more unusual project: They were bridesmaids together.

As Tim remembers during a recent interview on Apple Music Country, it all started when he was an up-and-comer making friends in his new hometown of Nashville.

“There was a girl named Tammy Rose who sort of took new artists under their wing when they first moved to town, and Garth Brooks was a friend of hers. I was a friend of hers. Tracy Lawrence was a friend of hers,” the “I Called Mama” star recounts.

“And so when she got married, she asked Garth, me and Tracy Lawrence to be her bridesmaids,” he adds.

At the time, Tim had a record deal, but hadn’t had a big hit yet. However, his fellow bridesmen were both bona fide country stars. He admits he felt a little starstruck, especially around Garth, who’d broken down so many barriers between country and mainstream rock.

At that wedding, Tim made a point to thank Garth for the barriers he'd broken down in country music, particularly in terms of bringing rock elements and influences to a mainstream country audience.

In the years since, Tim has paid it forward, influencing and getting to know many of the younger stars coming up after he did. Most recently, he collaborated with Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard on a new song, “Undivided.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Darius Rucker, Chris Janson and more on deck for Feeding America TV benefit on the Opry’s Circle Network

ABCDarius Rucker, Chris Janson, Lindsey Ell and Tenille Townes are just a few of the artists who’ve signed on for a 30-minute TV special to benefit Feeding America. The show will air on the Grand Ole Opry’s Circle Network.

Sara Evans and Travis Tritt will lead the event, called “Country Music -- Feeding America,” and John Rich will be on hand to share his experience with food banks as a child. The special will also offer stories from families who’ve lived through hunger and food insecurity.

Other participating country stars include Jeannie Seely, Ricky Skaggs, Jo Smith, Hailey Whitters and Mark Wills. Nan Kelley, who is the host of the Circle Network’s Authentic America, will host the special event.

You can watch the TV special this Saturday, March 6 on the Circle Network at 8:30PM ET. The show will also premiere across linear TV, FAST feed and AVOD streaming platforms next Wednesday, March 10.

For more information on how to watch, visit Circle’s website.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Miranda Lambert is getting her own downtown Nashville bar, Casa Rosa

ABCJason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line: What do all these country stars have in common? They’ve all got their own bars on downtown Nashville’s buzzing Broadway strip.  Now, Miranda Lambert is joining their ranks.

The “Bluebird” star will become the first female country performer to have her own little Nashville hotspot, according to the Nashville Business Journal. Called Casa Rosa -- which means Pink House -- the place will open this year at 308 Broadway, in a 17,400 square foot building that is already outfitted as a bar/restaurant space.

Per the Nashville Business Journal, permits show that Casa Rosa is undergoing some renovations, with a mezzanine and two restrooms being added to its second floor.

Located right in the heart of all the Broadway action, the building is across the street from Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar and a block or so from Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.

Miranda partnered with TC Restaurant Group to open her new hot spot. The dining and entertainment company is also responsible for Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge, Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House and more celebrity bars.

The news comes at the end of a busy week for Miranda: She recently shared her collaboration with rocker Elle King, “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Reba McEntire to star in and produce a Lifetime music-themed holiday film

ABC/Image Group LAWhile Christmas 2021 may seem like it's far in the future, Reba McEntire’s already cooking up her holiday plans. This spring, she’ll begin filming a music-themed holiday movie for Lifetime called Christmas in Tune, according to ET Online.

Christmas in Tune will be a part of the channel’s annual “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday lineup. In addition to acting in and producing the movie, Reba will also contribute an original holiday song to the film.

“I am thrilled to partner with Lifetime for a return to television movies!” says Reba, who’s no stranger to TV and has an extensive acting resume under her belt. “My fans and I enjoy their programming and loved watching the Reba show there for so many years.”

The plot of the new movie follows a woman named Belle, a marketing executive concerned about her job’s security.  She tries to get her parents -- who formerly together worked as a singing duo -- to reunite for a charity Christmas concert. The catch? Her parents have been feuding for years, and aren’t planning to start speaking to each other again anytime soon.

But of course, along the way, Belle finds the answers to her own problems, and even starts a new romance with an intriguing leading man.

Prior to the announcement of her new holiday movie, Reba had a small but memorable cameo in Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s new comedy, Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 1980, a film called Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissy Spacek, premiered in Nashville. Can you name the country legend whose life story is the subject of the movie? ANSWER: Loretta Lynn.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Runaway June invites you on a trip back to childhood with “We Were Rich”

BBR Music GroupListening to Runaway June's "We Were Rich" can be a lot like climbing in a time machine and re-living the best parts of childhood. 

It's a phenomenon lead singer Naomi Cooke experienced herself the very first time she heard the trio's latest hit.

"There's a line in the song that says, 'One bathroom sink, we all took turns,'" she recalls. "It was like right at the beginning of the song... I kind of had a flashback of, like, all of us sharing this bathroom, banging on the door."

"You know, 'She's hogging the bathroom, and you're gonna use all the hot water...'" Naomi continues. "And my mom being like, 'Let your sister in!' And it was... so powerful, that memory. I just started crying."

Growing up in Florida, Naomi says she "felt lucky a lot."

"We got to sleep outside any time we wanted to, and I knew other kids weren't allowed to do that..." she tells ABC Audio. "Or my dad would let us vacuum out his work van, and we'd find change."

Naomi says a trip to get ice cream usually followed.

Natalie Stovall's family, however, found their treats in slightly more unusual places.

"We would go eat fried chicken after church," she explains. "But the best fried chicken in town was at the hospital cafeteria. And as a kid, I never thought that was weird. I didn't think it was weird at all."

"I was so excited," Natalie continues, as Naomi and Jennifer Wayne laugh. "'Can we go to the hospital today?' I wanted to go to the cafeteria and eat fried chicken in my Sunday dress!"  

You can get a closer look at Natalie's hometown in the "We Were Rich" music video, which was filmed on the outskirts of Nashville in Columbia, Tennessee. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockShy Carter has an appearance slated on NBC’s TODAY next Friday, March 12. He’ll perform his major-label debut, “Good Love,” which arrived last summer.

McBride & the Ride, the ‘90s trio made up of Terry McBride, Ray Herndon and Billy Thomas have announced they’re reconvening for a Texas run of live shows in 2021, and potentially, new music.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Miranda Lambert reveals she wrote 13 as-yet-unheard songs in Marfa, Texas

ABCMiranda Lambert got fans talking earlier this week when she responded to one follower’s suggestion that it would “save 2021” if she released a Texas red dirt album with a winking smiley face emoji.

In that post the singer also tagged two fellow Texans, Jon Randall and Jack Ingram, who she’s worked with quite a bit in the past: The trio co-wrote Miranda’s 2018 ACM Song of the Year-winning “Tin Man” and, more recently, “Tequila Does.”

After a few more days of dropping hints -- posting another cryptic photo, along with the caption, "We don't know what we're doing, but we know we're supposed to be doing it" -- Miranda is officially ready to share details.

“Every time I need an escape, I go to Marfa, Texas,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “[Jack Ingram] and [Jon Randall] come. We recharge. We get inspired by its beauty. We write songs. ‘Tin Man’ was the first we shared with you. ‘Tequila Does,’ the second.”

But those two tracks weren’t the last songs to emerge from her musical retreats in Marfa, Miranda continued: “In between, we’ve written 13 more. It’s about time to share them w/ y’all.”

So far, there’s no official word on when fans can expect the new music.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Miranda, who also released a new collaboration with rocker Elle King, “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” late last month.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.