Thomas Rhett rings in 30th birthday with champagne antics

ABC/Image Group LAThomas Rhett is celebrating his birthday with some quarantine antics. 

The country superstar shared a video of his wife, Lauren Akins, making her best attempt to open a champagne bottle to commemorate the special occasion, documenting her struggle as she attempts to get the top off. 

"Lauren, just try one more time," he beckons as his wife uses all of her strength to try opening the bottle. "Mommy's struggling," he admits, turning the camera to daughters Ada and Willa who are sitting at the counter eating cereal.

"Happy birthday, daddy," Lauren says, finally snapping the top off as champagne goes flying everywhere, Thomas laughing in the background as she runs over to the sink.

The "Remember You Young" hit maker rang in his 30th birthday on Monday. The couple recently shared another video two days before he hit the major milestone, showing Thomas trying to use a tree branch like a rope swing and falling immediately on his back.

"Welcome to 30, daddy," Thomas' wife jokes.

Thomas will also celebrate his special day by hosting a livestream on Instagram at 5:30 p.m. ET, hinting that he has something new to share with fans.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Thomas Rhett rings in 30th birthday with champagne antics

ABC/Image Group LAThomas Rhett is celebrating his birthday with some quarantine antics. 

The country superstar shared a video of his wife, Lauren Akins, making her best attempt to open a champagne bottle to commemorate the special occasion, documenting her struggle as she attempts to get the top off. 

"Lauren, just try one more time," he beckons as his wife uses all of her strength to try opening the bottle. "Mommy's struggling," he admits, turning the camera to daughters Ada and Willa who are sitting at the counter eating cereal.

"Happy birthday, daddy," Lauren says, finally snapping the top off as champagne goes flying everywhere, Thomas laughing in the background as she runs over to the sink.

The "Remember You Young" hit maker rang in his 30th birthday on Monday. The couple recently shared another video two days before he hit the major milestone, showing Thomas trying to use a tree branch like a rope swing and falling immediately on his back.

"Welcome to 30, daddy," Thomas' wife jokes.

Thomas will also celebrate his special day by hosting a livestream on Instagram at 5:30 p.m. ET, hinting that he has something new to share with fans.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Brad Paisley, Dustin Lynch + more send “Gratitunes” to medical staff fighting COVID-19

ABC/Mark LevineSeveral Nashville stars are coming together to pay tribute to the doctors, nurses and medical staff on the front lines of COVID-19. 

Brad Paisley and Dustin Lynch are two of the artists participating in a new initiative called Gratitunes, where artists and fans alike can donate a song to a medical professional working to fight COVID-19. Each donated song is added to a playlist that will be streamed to the doctors, nurses and medical staff as a way to bring joy and relief during these trying times. 

Coinciding with National Doctors Day, Brad kicked off the program on Monday with a performance of his hit, "Southern Comfort Zone," sharing a stripped-down, acoustic version of the song on Instagram.

Brad dedicates the song to the staff of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville "to show my gratitude and support for the hard work they are doing to keep our community safe," he writes. "Let’s use the power of music to spread joy and send thanks to these incredible men and women."

JewelSara EvansLauren AlainaLindsay Ell and Walker Hayes are among the many other artists slated to share a Gratitune on their social media pages over the next 30 days.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“The Gambler” reigns again: Kenny Rogers at number one on country albums chart

Doug McKenzie/Getty ImagesKenny Rogers may be gone, but his spirit lives on in his music: the country legend has landed at the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. 

The late country icon has solidified the number one slot with The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years, a 2018 compilation album of several of his greatest hits including "The Gambler," "Lady," "Lucille," "Love or Something Like It" and many more.

The installment has re-entered the chart at number one for the week ending March 26, with 32,000 equivalent album units. This marks Kenny's first time at number one on the Top Country Albums chart in more than 30 years since The Heart of the Matter claimed the position for six weeks in 1985 and 1986. 

The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years also cracked the top 10 on the all-genre Billboard 200, his first appearance on that chart since 1983.  

Kenny passed away on March 20 at the age of 81. His family shared on social media that he passed away "peacefully" from natural causes and was surrounded by loved ones. They've also encouraged fans to donate to MusiCares' COVID-19 Relief Fund in his honor to help music professionals who are out of work due to the pandemic.

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Country stars mourn Joe Diffie’s passing

Crystal K. MartelThe news of Joe Diffie's passing Sunday at age 61 due to complications from COVID-19 has shocked the country music community. 

Carrie UnderwoodDierks BentleyOld Dominion and Trisha Yearwood are among many of Joe's famous friends who turned to social media to share their remorse.

Trisha shared a lengthy Facebook post, recalling her early days in Nashville coming up through the ranks with Joe, while others remarked on his kindness and support toward them over the years.  "My heart is broken today for Joe’s family and friends, and for all the fans who love his music," Yearwood declared.  "I will miss my friend. Godspeed." 

Some other reactions:

Carrie Underwood: "Absolutely no words for the loss of Joe Diffie. The music and legacy he leaves behind are legendary. Prayers for his family and friends." 

Luke Bryan: "Country music lost a legend today. Joe Diffie was one of the greats." 

Luke Combs: "Rest In Peace @officialjoediffie you were a legend." 

Dierks Bentley: "One of the greatest country singers ever."  

Old Dominion: "He was sweet. He was supportive. He was humble. His passing is just that: humbling." 

Jimmie Allen: "The day I met you, you told me keep being myself because there are people that need to hear what I have to say. Thank you for inspiring so many artists." 

Brad Paisley: "...the records he made, that voice, the twinkle in his eye, and our memories cannot be taken away by this disease." 

Travis Tritt: "Joe was a good friend and touring partner with me in the 90’s. We had a lot of great times together, both onstage and offstage." 

Diffie scored five number-one hits in the 90s.  The country star and his team revealed on March 27 that he'd tested positive for COVID-19 and was undergoing treatment.  His passing was announced in a statement released by his publicist on Sunday, with his family asking for privacy during this time.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThe country superstar behind hits like “Life Changes” is celebrating his 30th birthday today. Can you name him? ANSWER: Thomas Rhett.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

John Prine in critical condition due to COVID-19

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for StagecoachBeloved singer and songwriter John Prine has been hospitalized and listed in critical condition due to COVID-19, his family announced in a statement on Sunday.

The statement, posted on Prine’s official Twitter page, reveals he was “hospitalized on Thursday and intubated Saturday evening.”

Prine, 73, “continues to receive care,” the statement continues, “but his situation is critical.”

“This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now,” the family adds. “Know that we love you, and John loves you.”

Prine has had prior health issues over the past few decades. In the late 1990s, he announced that doctors detected squamous cell cancer in his neck. 

He was able resume his career, albeit with a deepend voice following radiation and surgery.

In 2013, Prine announced he had an operable “non-small cell carcinoma,” in his left lung and took time off to heal. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood team for CBS special Garth & Trisha Live!

ABC/Randy HolmesAmid the endless headlines about the COVID-19 pandemic, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will offer up a temporary diversion on Wednesday with their CBS concert special, Garth & Trisha Live!

The concert, performed totally live from Brooks and Yearwood’s home recording studio, will feature the husband and wife duo bringing the "comfort and shared joy of music during this difficult time," as they drive home the message, the message that "we’re all in this together."

Additionally, Brooks will share details about how viewers can request songs for the special on his weekly Facebook Live show, "Inside Studio G."

Last Monday, the superstar couple treated fans to a 60-minute acoustic show Monday night on Facebook Live, that included covers of songs by their musical heroes, along with a series of duets, including the Oscar-nominated song "Shallow," sung by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star is Born.

"We’re seeing how big things can be when we all do them as one.  In addition to the special, we and CBS will donate $1 million to charities to be determined, combating the COVID-19 virus," said Garth and Trisha.

Garth & Trisha Live! airing from 8-9 p.m. ET, will be filmed without a live studio audience, according to CBS, and "involve a minimal crew practicing social distancing and will be filmed with extensive safety precautions in place."

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Miranda Lambert opens up about her “through the roof” anxiety and how she is coping

ABC/Image Group LAMiranda Lambert opened up in a relatable post about COVID-19. 

The country singer took to Instagram to give an update on her life, including her struggles with anxiety and how she doing her part to practice social distancing. 

"I haven’t really known what to say on social media during all this," she admitted. "Tuesday of this week is when I finally realized I could unpack. For the next few months for me there are no shows, no sound checks, no bus calls, no flights. Just home. Once I processed it, I actually got a feeling of peace even though, like all of us, my anxiety about the sate of the world right now is still through the roof."

Lambert shared the different projects she plans to tackle around the house during this downtime as well as how she'll keep up with her fitness. It's not all chores and tasks though. She also revealed that fans will likely have some new music to look forward to once things get back to business as usual. 

"I have written a few songs for the first time in a year," the 36-year-old divulged adding that she's been working with Ronnie Dunn of the dissolved duo Brooks & Dunn.

While Lambert's plans seem like she's going to remain productive, it doesn't take the place of being close to the people she cares about. 

"We miss our road family, New York family and I dang sure miss my Texas fam," she wrote. 

Despite the distance between Lambert and her loved ones, she's thankful that she's still connected to all of them and ended the note with a shout out to all of the hard-working medical teams.

"Sending light to all the first responders and health care workers. Stay home. Call home," she urged. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Even if it takes selling his farm, Chase Rice is ready to see his band and crew through the COVID-19 crisis

ABC/Image Group LAChase Rice is just one of many artists who's working to keep his musical empire afloat right now -- without his crucial touring income -- thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

The man who co-wrote Florida Georgia Line's smash "Cruise" admits it isn't easy. 

"A few months goes by of this, and I have to either sell my farm or pay my employees," Chase tells ABC Audio. "It's one or the other... Man, you don't realize till something like this happens how fortunate you are to have this money coming in from touring so you can pay your employees."

Chase intends to return to the road as soon as he can, but he's determined to take care of his band in the meantime. 

"We have a hell of a crew," he brags. "I don't want one of them to skip a beat. So my biggest thing is, as the boss, as the CEO, you can't sit there and get rich... you've got to take the hits as well..."

"And if that means me losing everything," Chase adds, "me losing all my own money to make sure that my guys and my employees who've been there for me during tough times... I want to be there for them just like they'd been there for me."

The "Eyes on You" hitmaker says it's a lesson in loyalty he learned from his dad, who built houses and was "hammered" by the 2008 recession. 

"This is my opportunity to be good to my guys..." Chase resolves. "And if that means me having to sell my farm or get rid of a bunch of stuff to be able to keep paying for them, I'll take that hit."  

Chase's latest single, "Lonely If You Are," is currently a top twenty-five hit.

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