Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDierks Bentley is performing his new single, "Gone," on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today.

Home Free has released the video for "Cold Hard Cash" featured on their Christmas album, Warmest Winter. 

Shy Carter has released his version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You." The songwriter-turned-artist has penned hits including Kane Brown's "Heaven" and "Good As You" and Keith Urban's "Never Comin' Down." 

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

Chris Young will honor his tradition of preparing the Thanksgiving turkey: “That’s like my thing”

Jeff JohnsonThough Thanksgiving will look different around Chris Young's table this year, he will continue his tradition of helming the most important part of the meal: the turkey.  

"I actually do the turkey every year, so that's like my thing. This sounds like I'm cussing at you, but I spatchcock it," he shares.  That's a method of preparing the turkey that involves butterflying the bird, making it easier to season.

"Basically what you do is you remove the spine and then you basically flatten the turkey out so it cooks faster and it doesn't dry out. I do like a custom brine anywhere from 24 to 48 hours beforehand and then do all that," the singer explains.

"It's just kind of not being afraid to do it and having done it before, it's just repetition. It's all it is." 

Like many people across the country, Chris and his family are adapting their Thanksgiving plans this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country star planning to gather with only a couple immediate family members. 

"[We] won't be doing like extended family, not getting like the whole aunts and uncles and cousins and stuff together this year, but I'll probably get together with my parents," he reports. 

Chris' fans have new music to be thankful for this season: He just released a new song featuring Kane Brown, "Famous Friends," that's featured on his upcoming Raised on Country album

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

Tyler Hubbard says quarantine experience was “bittersweet”: “I made the most of the time”

John ShearerWhen Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line contracted COVID-19 earlier this month, he spent nearly two weeks quarantining on his tour bus parked in his driveway.

It was difficult being so close, yet so far from his wife Hayley and their two-month-old son, Atlas, one-year-old son Lucca and daughter Olivia, who turns three next month.  But the singer found the silver lining by using his time in isolation to write several new songs, including the Olivia-inspired "Thank God for Girls." 

“I’m good. Honestly, I feel really fortunate. I was able to have 13 days of alone time on the bus, which was bittersweet. I missed my family like crazy but I didn’t feel terrible so I got to make the most of it," Tyler explains of the experience. "I wrote a bunch of songs and made the most of the time, and it kind of flew by, but I feel great." 

In addition to overcoming COVID-19, Tyler is also nursing his foot back to health after tearing his Achilles tendon in a dirt bike accident this summer. But in spite of the challenges, the singer is looking ahead to a brighter 2021, which includes the release of FGL's new album, with current single "Long Live" climbing up the charts.

"I’m feeling really grateful and really blessed and excited and I feel like we’re at the end of a crazy season and the beginning of an awesome one, for sure," he states. "It may be another crazy one but I believe it’s gonna be awesome.”   

Tyler reunited with his family early last week after testing negative for the virus.

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

Chris Stapleton is ‘Starting Over’ with #1 debut

ABCChris Stapleton is back on top. 

The country superstar has debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with his latest project, Starting Over, and reached #3 on the all-genre Billboard 200, with sales of more than 102,733 units since its November 13 release.  

The album also bows at the top of the Billboard Americana/Folk Albums and Digital Albums charts. Starting Over's title track is currently in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. 

This marks Chris' fourth consecutive album to claim the number one spot on the Top Country Albums chart following Traveller, From A Room: Volume 1 and From A Room: Volume 2. 

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

Dan + Shay on a potential Christmas album: “Hopefully there will be one at some point”

Emma McIntyre/AMA2020/Getty Images for dcpDan + Shay made their holiday music debut earlier this month with "Take Me Home for Christmas," closely followed by "Christmas Isn't Christmas." The tracks fulfilled fans' longtime requests for holiday tunes, but also beg the question: Do Dan + Shay have a Christmas album in the works?   

"I don't know, maybe," Dan Smyers said with a smile backstage at the 2020 American Music Awards. "We've always wanted to do a Christmas album. Our fans ask for it every year and we continually let them down," he added, jokingly.  

Dan notes that the twosome is typically busy with touring this time of year, which has stood in the way of making a Christmas record in the past. But with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping them mostly off the road this year, the duo were ready to get into the holiday spirit early with the original songs. 

"We've been home and we've had nothing but time on our hands and we got in the spirit a little bit early," Dan said. "I think we all needed to get in that spirit, have a little bit of joy and positivity in our lives. They kind of fell out of the sky and we're very grateful for it, but the response on it's been amazing so far." 

Though fans shouldn't expect a Dan + Shay Christmas album album this holiday season, don't give up hope.  "No Christmas album recorded yet, but hopefully there will be one at some point," Dan declared.  

The duo cleaned up nicely at the AMAs, taking home every award they were nominated for, including Collaboration of the Year and Favorite Song -- Country for their hit with Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours," in addition to Favorite Duo -- Country.

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

‘The Library That Dolly Built’ documentary to premiere via free livestream

Valerie Macon/Getty ImagesA documentary about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is premiering next month. 

The Library That Dolly Built dives deep into how the global icon created the beloved nonprofit that delivers free books to children across the country each month. The film follows her journey from launching the program in her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee to gifting books to 1.7 million children in all 50 states.  

Directed by Nick Geidner and narrated by actress and mathematics educator Danica McKellar, the doc features interviews with Dolly, along with book recipients, authors and others impacted by the library.

The Dollywood Foundation and Abramorama have partnered to present the film with a one-night-only livestream premiere on Facebook, followed by a discussion and live acoustic performance by the legendary singer-songwriter. 

"I am so excited that we can finally tell the whole story of the Imagination Library. It is certainly not just about me. Our story is the story of children, of families and communities who all share the dream to inspire kids to love to read and to love to learn," Dolly explains.

"My hope is this documentary will encourage more towns, more states and even more countries to jump onboard. One thing is for sure, I think this is the best investment I have ever made!" she adds.  

The Library That Dolly Built streams on the Imagination Library Facebook page on December 9 at 7 p.m. ET. It will be widely available on digital platforms in early 2021.

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

Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation to help senior dogs, animals affected by natural disasters

ABCMiranda Lambert is expanding the impact of MuttNation. 

The country superstar's newly launched MuttNation branch under Waggle will now provide aid to animals injured in natural disasters, in addition to providing senior dog owners with financial aid to pay for their pet's medical bills. 

Miranda started the Waggle fund in September to help people in the music industry who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic to pay for their pet's medical expenses. 

Miranda has been on the scene of natural disasters in the past to help displaced pets, including after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. She was also inspired to provide aid to senior dogs following the passing of her senior golden retriever rescue, Waylon

"After losing Waylon earlier this month -- he was just shy of 13 -- I know how important and how costly it can be to keep our older pets healthy," the singer says. "Especially this year, and at this time of year, we’re so thankful to be able to do something to help people save their pets through our MuttNation Fund at Waggle.” 

The first beneficiary of the fund's new initiative is Lilly, a 13-year-old Whippet mix in New Jersey. MuttNation is collecting donations for Lilly to receive life-saving liver cancer treatment and will make a matching grant donation. 

Miranda co-founded MuttNation with her mother Bev Lambert in 2009.

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

‘CMA Country Christmas’ includes debut holiday songs by Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett & more

Katie Kauss/CMA The 2020 CMA Country Christmas set list is a mix of holiday classics and original songs from a range of country artists. 

The special, hosted by Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, will feature the debut performances of Dan + Shay's "Christmas Isn't Christmas" and "Lit This Year," from Florida Georgia Line, along with Thomas' "Christmas in the Country," released last year.

You can also look forward to an array of holiday classics from Lady A, who will deliver a package from the 60s and 70s with covers of the Beach Boys' “Little Saint Nick" and Paul McCartney's “Wonderful Christmastime,” while Gabby Barrett offers "The First Noel."

Kelsea Ballerini will bring the spice with "Santa Baby," and Little Big Town sing the A Charlie Brown Christmas classic, "Christmas Time Is Here."

Meanwhile, Tim McGraw and Darius Rucker will serenade fans with faith-based tunes, Tim sharing his rendition of "It Wasn’t His Child" as Darius joins forces with renowned violinist Lindsey Stirling on "What Child Is This?" 

CMA Country Christmas airs on November 30 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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

Jon Pardi marries Summer Duncan in Tennessee ceremony

ABCJon Pardi and Summer Duncan are married. 

The couple tied the knot during an intimate ceremony at Saddle Wood Farms in Murfreesboro, Tennessee just outside of Nashville on Saturday night, People reports. 

With a guest list of only immediate family and friends in Nashville, each person was tested for COVID-19 prior to the ceremony, and coronavirus prevention measures were observed throughout. Instead of a buffet, the couple opted for a sit-down meal at tables that were spaced throughout the room. The event was held indoors and outdoors with sanitation stations installed, along with custom "Parditime" masks.

Jon and Summer were married by the country star's stylist, John Murphy, and each had two friends stand beside them at the alter as bridesmaids and groomsmen.

The couple's first dance was to original song "Look at You," which Jon wrote for his bride over the summer and recently recorded in studio.   

"There's never a right time in 2020 to get married, so after all the planning and replanning we were just happy we got to do it," Summer says. 

Jon and Summer got engaged in 2019 and originally planned to wed in Montana over Memorial Day weekend, but plans were canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They plan to throw a bigger celebration when it's safe to do so.

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

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 1968, one of country music’s female legends was at the top of the charts with her enduring hit, “Stand by Your Man.” The song is also the title track of her fourth studio album, which came out the following year. Do you know who she was? ANSWER: Tammy Wynette.

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