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Brandon Lay Joins Kenny Chesney On 2018 TRIP AROUND THE SUN Stadium Tour

Photo credit: Matt Klingle

EMI Records Nashville’s Brandon Lay joins country superstar Kenny Chesney on his highly anticipated 2018 Trip Around The Sun stadium tour kicking off next April in Tampa, FL. Spanning 18 U.S. cities and taking place in some of the most iconic venues in the United States, including Soldier Field and Gillette Stadium, the Trip Around The Sun Tour is certain to be one of the hottest tours of the Summer. Prior to Chesney’s tour dates, Lay will hit the road with Old Dominion and Michael Ray performing across the U.S. and Canada early next year.


After landing the No. 1 most-added song at country radio and reaching No. 7 on the Spotify U.S. Viral Chart with his “anthemic new single” (Rolling Stone) “Speakers, Bleachers And Preachers,” Lay has released four songs across two two-packs including brand new songs “Wilder Horses” (Ross Copperman, Jon Nite, Brandon Lay) and “Break Down On Me” (Brandon Lay), plus “Speakers, Bleachers And Preachers” (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Brandon Lay) and “Let It” (Paul DiGiovanni, Brad Tursi, Brandon Lay). Written in Lay’s signature storytelling style, the new tracks give fans an even deeper look into Lay’s life and memories which inspires the compelling songs he creates. The result is relatable and genuine music “tinged with twang, summing up small-town existence in songs made for a bonfire party” (Rolling Stone). Additionally, fans can learn more about Brandon Lay in his new EPK, check out the lyric video to his debut single, and find his full tour schedule on his website www.brandonlay.com/


Trip Around The Sun Tour Dates

April 21                       Tampa, FL                               Raymond James Stadium

April 28                       Milwaukee, WI                        Miller Park

May 5                          Minneapolis, MN                     US Bank Stadium

May 19                        Dallas, TX                                AT&T Stadium

May 26                        Atlanta, GA                              Mercedes-Benz Stadium

June 2                          Pittsburgh, PA                          Heinz Field

June 9                          Philadelphia, PA                       Lincoln Financial Field

June 16                        Columbus, OH                         MAPFRE Stadium

June 23                        Phoenix, AZ                             Chase Field

June 30                        Denver, CO                              Sports Authority Field at Mile High Station

July 7                           Seattle, WA                              CenturyLink Field

July 14                         Kansas City, MO                      Arrowhead Stadium

July 21                         St. Louis, MO                           Busch Stadium

July 28                         Chicago, IL                              Soldier Field

August 4                      Detroit, MI                               Ford Field

August 11                    Nashville, TN                           Nissan Stadium

August 18                    East Rutherford, NJ                  MetLife Stadium

August 24                    Foxboro, MA                           Gillette Stadium*

*Lineup: Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Brandon Lay


About Brandon Lay:

EMI Records Nashville’s Brandon Lay grew up in Jackson, Tenn. – in between the blues, soul and rock-and-roll of Memphis and the country music capital of the world in Nashville. Influences from both legendary music cities can be found throughout Brandon’s work including his recently released debut single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers.” Co-written by Brandon with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” is autobiographical and walks listeners through the three biggest influences in his life – music, sports and faith.  The tune sparked an immediate reaction with listeners and quickly impacted the Spotify U.S. Viral chart cresting as high as No. 7.


Brandon, who moved to Nashville in 2010, signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell in 2013 and has been building a devoted following ever since. Brandon co-produced and co-wrote every song on his debut album expected out in 2018.

brandonlay.com | facebook.com/brandonlaymusic

twitter.com/brandonlay | instagram.com/brandonlaymusic/

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Backstreet Boys And Phillip Phillips Join Can’t-Miss Performance Line-up For “2017 CMT Artists Of The Year

Special to Include Appearances by Amy Grant, Blake Shelton, Bobby Bones, Brothers Osborne, Chris Young, Dolly Parton, Kelsea Ballerini, Lionel Richie and Vince Gill
LIVE from Nashville Wednesday, October 18 at 8pm ET/PT

CMT today announced pop icons Backstreet Boys and fan-favorite singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips have been added to the performance roster for this year’s “CMT Artists of the Year” special airing live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday, October 18 at 8 PM ET/PT. The evening will feature performances from the honorees, as well as Andra Day,Common, Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Town,who will set the tone for the evening with an opening performance of the anthemic “Rise Up,” and “Stand Up For Something.”

Fresh off their “CMT Crossroads,” Backstreet Boys will celebrate their good friends and “2017 CMT Artists of the Year” honorees Florida Georgia Line, while American Idol-winner Phillip Phillips will toast inaugural “Song of the Year” Award-winner “Body Like A Back Road” by Sam Hunt.

The special includes messages of hope and support for fans directly from country superstar Blake Shelton, Grand Ole Opry member Chris Young, Grammy-winner and legend Dolly Parton and ACM-winner Kelsea Ballerini.

Presenters will include Grammy-winner Amy Grant, nationally syndicated on-air personality and New York Times best-selling author Bobby Bones, CMA-winners Brothers Osborne, Grammy-winner Lionel Richie, CMT Artist of the Year Luke Bryan and Grammy-winner Vince Gill.

The 2017 “Artists of the Year” honorees includeChris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan as the five artists who collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, and selling out arenas across the country. In addition, Sam Hunt, along with co-writers Zach Crowell, Shane McAnallyand Josh Osborne, will be honored with the first-ever “Song of the Year” Award for mega-hit “Body Like A Back Road.”

This year’s special will forgo the formal presentations of awards and speeches in favor of heartfelt messages from the honorees directly to their fans. The special will unite artists from all genres and feature a mix of never-before-seen collaborations and performances from the honorees.

About CMT
CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT App, CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, CMT on Instagram and CMT on Twitter). CMT is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

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Nashville-Based Southern Rock Band SWEETTALKER Set To Release New Track “BLACK MAGIC” On October 27

SWEETTALKER’s newest single, “Black Magic”, is a driver, to say the least. With moments of reverence to the classics like Aerosmith, AC/DC and even The Beatles, “Black Magic” very much has a no-prisoners agenda of its own and will have your head banging in no time. “Black Magic” is set to release on digital platforms, Friday, October 27th, right in time for Halloween.

“We wanted to put something out that we could let loose on- a real jammer.” says guitarist, Ryan Pattengale, who wrote and produced the song with lead singer and bandmate, David Brown. “It’s about that thing that drives you crazy and keeps you up at night. Good or evil, it’s got you and you know it.”

SWEETTALKER is kicking off a string of tour dates in support of “Black Magic” later this month with stops including St. Louis, MO; Marion, IL as direct support for rising country music singer, Kendell Marvel; and Knoxville, TN where they will share the stage with fellow Nashville rockers, The Weeks.


Nashville based Roots Rock band SWEETTALKER has made quite an impact since landing onto the Music City scene in 2016. Their very melodic, yet almost involuntarily rambunctious tone showcases the band’s young gun persona as it sweetly bleeds through an overall warm, vintage sound.

The band has spent the past two years touring all over the Southeast and Midwest U.S. since debuting their first single and music video for “Jenny,” which garnered attention from industry publications like Highlight Magazine- being cited as highly entertaining, energetic and filled with dirty riffs. The band goes back to the roots of their sound, creating aggressive rock tones mixed with hardheaded and relentless emotion.

SWEETTALKER has been out on the road this past summer promoting their latest release, “’95”– a track described by Nashville music blog, East of 8th, as a “feel-good, late-summer anthem [that] is heartland rock at its finest.”

The group is currently gearing up for their next single, “Black Magic”. SWEETTALKER’s upcoming music video for “Black Magic” is set to release on October 26th while the song will be released digitally on Friday, October 27th.

For more information on SWEETTALKER, please visit: http://www.sweettalker.co

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Old Dominion Announce First Leg Of 2018 ‘HAPPY ENDINGS’ World Tour




Acclaimed country rockers Old Dominion announce their headlining Happy Endings world tour for 2018, with the first leg of dates set to kick off on February 1, 2018 in Canada. Two-time chart-topper Michael Ray and up-and-comer Brandon Lay are set to open on US dates, while new Canadian country groups The Washboard Union and Cold Creek County are set to open in Canada. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 20, 2017 at 10AM local time. Please see routing for announced dates below, with additional tour stops to follow. Click HERE to buy!


The band recently received an American Music Awards nomination for “Favorite Duo or Group—Country” and two nominations for the Country Music Association Awards for “New Artist of the Year” and “Vocal Group of the Year.” Front-man Matthew Ramsey says of the exciting year, “We are taking OD WORLDWIDE! We can’t wait to get out there and see what kind of Old Dominion fans we have around the world. It’s amazing when we hear from our fans out there – so we couldn’t be more excited to bring our music to them face to face.”


“Get To You” singer Michael Ray, who has recorded music written by the members of Old Dominion for his own upcoming 2018 sophomore album, says of the tour, “I am such a fan of the music these guys are writing and creating, and any time the band and I can play music with friends we’re also a fan of, it’s a good day.”


The announcement of their world tour follows the release of their acclaimed sophomore album Happy Endings, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chartand at #7 on the Top 200 following its release. A follow up to their RIAA GOLD-certified debut, Meat and Candy, and produced again by GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter and producer Shane McAnallyHappy Endings includes their current single “Written in The Sand” and “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart“, which hit #1 on Billboard Country Airplay. Old Dominion recently appeared on Good Morning AmericaHERE, Jimmy Kimmel Live, HERE. 


Old Dominion is currently touring select headlining fall dates across North America and is a special guest on select dates with Thomas Rhett’s Home Team Tour across the US and UK. While overseas, the band will also perform several concerts for the US Military in Italy and Spain. This past summer, the band performed in front of two sold out crowds at Gillette Stadium opening for Kenny Chesney, and concluded their National Bud Light Dive Bar concert series that hit select cities across the US. Most recently, Old Dominion completed their summer tour where capacity audiences were a common theme. By the time the band’s tour dates conclude at the end of 2017, they will have played in excess of 145 shows in front of 1.3+ million fans.



Feb 1                     Regina, SK                                           Conexus Arts Centre*

Feb 2                     Winnipeg, MB                                   Club Regent*

Feb 3                     Saskatoon, SK                                   TCU Place*

Feb 5                     Calgary, AB                                        Grey Eagle Events Centre*

Feb 6                     Edmonton, AB                                  Rogers Place*

Feb 7                     Lethbridge, AB                                 Enmax Centre*

Feb 9                     Kamloops, CB                                   Sandman Centre*

Feb 10                  Abbotsford, BC                                 Abbotsford, Centre*

Feb 11                  Penticton, BC                                    South Okanagan Events Centre*

TBA                       Redding, CA                                       Redding Civic Center^

Feb 16                  Central Point, OR                            Seven Feathers Event Center^

Feb 17                  Kennewick, WA                               Toyota Center^

Feb 22                  Missoula, MT                                     Adams Center^

Feb 23                  Billings, MT                                        Shrine Auditorium^

Feb 24                  Rapid City, SD                                   Don Barnett Arena^

March 9               London, UK                                        The O2 Arena-C2C

March 10            Glasgow, UK                                      3Arena -C2C

March 11            Dublin, IE                                           The SSE Hydro-C2C

March 16            Ipswich, Queensland, AUS          CMC Rocks

March 17            Ipswich, Queensland, AUS          CMC Rocks


* with The Washboard Union & Cold Creek County

^ with Michael Ray & Brandon Lay



About Old Dominion:

Proving that they are not your average country band, Old Dominion blends old-fashioned country charm, lyrical wit and rock n’ roll grit into radio-friendly, hook-heavy pop nuggets. The band has emerged as one of the hottest breaking bands in country music, fusing clever lyrics and an infectious sound. Old Dominion released their first full length album Meat and Candy, which was certified GOLD by the RIAA and hailed a “stellar debut “by Entertainment Weekly and declared “one of the hottest breaking bands in county music” by Vice. The group already has several top selling singles under their belts, including the two-week No.1 “Break Up With Him” (PLATINUM), “Snapback” (GOLD) and “Song For Another Time,” which hit No. 1 the on Billboard Country Airplay and MediaBase charts. In 2016, the band was notably named ACM New Group of the YearACCA Breakthrough Group of the Year, AIMP Songwriter Artist of the Year and Music Row Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Old Dominion consists of lead singer Matthew Ramsey, lead guitarist Brad Tursi, multi-instrumentalist Trevor Rosen, bassist Geoff Sprung and drummer Whit Sellers.


About Michael Ray:

March 2017 brought Michael Ray his second No.1 single with “Think A Little Less” off his debut self-titled album. This followed his first No. 1 single, “Kiss You In The Morning” which went to the top spot in just 24 weeks. Ray continues to grow his following, having toured with Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Darius Rucker and wrapped up his own first 40-city headlining tour last year before launching into his 2017 “Get to You Tour” earlier this fall.


Michael Ray was raised in Eustis, Florida an hour from Orlando. The child of a family full of musicians, he began his professional career before he was a teenager, graduated to the bar scene as soon as he could drive and hasn’t let up on the pedal since. When he decided it was time to move to Nashville, the work Ray had put in began to pay off quickly as he landed a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell Music and a record deal with Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville.


In between touring, Michael Ray has been recording his new album this year, with the first single, “Get To You,” at country radio now.


About Brandon Lay:

EMI Records Nashville’s Brandon Lay grew up in Jackson, Tenn. – in between the blues, soul and rock-and-roll of Memphis and the country music capital of the world in Nashville. Influences from both legendary music cities can be found throughout Brandon’s work including his recently released debut single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers.” Co-written by Brandon with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” is autobiographical and walks listeners through the three biggest influences in his life – music, sports and faith. The tune sparked an immediate reaction with listeners and quickly impacted the Spotify U.S. Viral chart cresting as high as No. 7.


Brandon, who moved to Nashville in 2010, signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell in 2013 and has been building a devoted following ever since. Brandon co-produced and co-wrote every song on his debut album expected out in 2018.




Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


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Brantley Gilbert Announces The ONES THAT LIKE ME 2018 Tour

Winter Tour Kicks Off February 1 in Worcester, MA, More Dates to Come

With Rolling Stone Citing THE DEVIL DON’T SLEEP Best of 2017, It’s Gonna Rock

Photo courtesy of Valory Music Co.

Brantley Gilbert spent all of 2017 taking his music to the people. Working the Rust Belt, the Heartland, the mid-South, the deep South and the Northeast, Gilbert knows it’s the people who make – and keep – the music strong. As Billboard said of the Georgia born’n’raised songwriter, “Brantley Gilbert knows his audience. With a pair of platinum albums and nine of his singles being certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum, Gilbert’s music strikes a chord with people.”

And that’s exactly why he’s calling this year’s tour The Ones That Like Me 2018.

“People tell you all kinds of things about marketing,” Gilbert says of his tour’s name. “But I want to call it something that speaks to what this tour is: a chance for me to get together with all the people out there who get this music, who believe in these songs and live their lives just like the people back home do. We are all proud Americans, who try to stand up and do the right thing. That isn’t marketing, that’s life – and that’s what my music is made of.”

Having spent the summer playing – and selling out — hard ticket dates in amphitheaters, as well as handful of festivals as headliner, Gilbert got to look the BG Nation in the eye. As he’s home waiting for the birth of his first child, he’s reflected on the power and the heart of those people, and he’s even more determined to give them a show that gives back everything they are!

“I say every album is a chapter of my life,” Gilbert explains, as the first 19 dates of his tour go on-sale. “It’s real, even when it’s simple – because life is pretty simple, even when it’s rough. ‘One Hell of an Amen’ looks some tough stuff in the eye, and stands tall. It’s how I was raised, and I think everyone in the BG Nation feels it the same way. So these aren’t just my songs, they’re the songs of all of our lives. When I get back out there, man, we’re gonna have even more life to lift up and celebrate.”

The Ones That Like Me 2018 Tour kicks off February 1 at DCU Center in Worcester, MA. The initial leg of what promises to be Gilbert’s most gauntlet-throwing live experience yet – one that dials back the pyro and turns up the musical intensity – is slated for 36 concerts. Joining the hard-hitting songwriter is outspoken singer/songwriter Aaron Lewis and newcomer Josh Phillips.

With THE DEVIL DON’T SLEEP (The Valory Music Co.) debuting at No. 1 for physical sales and JUST AS I AM winning the 2014 American Music Awards Favorite Country Album, Gilbert connects with the flyover. When Rolling Stone assessed the Best of Country and Americana so far this year, Gilbert’s soul-scraping album – written completely by the Georgia native – made on the list alongside progressive truth tellers Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Allison Krauss and Nikki Lane.

Deeming it “the soundtrack to Friday night in small towns everywhere,” critic Jon Freeman wrote, “Where the majority of bro-country’s standard bearers switched up their approaches upon Chris Stapleton’s coronation as country’s new king – softening their sound with boy band-flavored pop or moving away from the party vibe to more adult songwriting – Gilbert stuck to his guns and released his best album yet with The Devil Don’t Sleep.”

Entertainment Weekly concurred declaring, “With swaggering guitars, catchy hooks, and a DGAF attitude, Devil promises to keep the ‘One Hell Of An Amen’ singer at the top of the country charts.” NPR offered, “the tough guy tentatively wading into introspective territory…Gilbert is acutely aware of what keeps his audience feeling connected to him — that his fans, branded the BG Nation, identify with his bellicose tone, his defiant posture, the contempt he aims at any hint of condescension, the slight suggestion of softness behind the sneer.”

WITH Aaron Lewis & Josh Phillips2/1 | DCU Center – Worcester, MA
2/2 | GIANT Center – Hershey, PA
2/3 | Times Union Center – Albany, NY
2/8 | Bon Secours Wellness Arena – Greenville, SC
2/9 | Thompson Boling Arena – Knoxville, TN
2/10 | BancorpSouth Arena – Tupelo, MS
2/15 | EagleBank Arena – Fairfax, VA
2/16 | The James Brown Arena – Augusta, GA
2/17 | North Charleston Coliseum – Charleston, SC
3/24 | Tuscaloosa Amphitheater – Tuscaloosa, AL
4/19 | Lexington Center-Rupp Arena – Lexington, KY
4/20 | Salem Civic Center – Salem, VA
4/21 | Eastern Kentucky Expo Center – Pikeville, KY
4/26 | Wright State University Nutter Center – Daytone, OH
4/27 | ISU Hulman Center – Terre Haute, IN
4/28 | Walmart Amp-Arkansas Music Pavillion – Rogers, AR
5/10 | US Cellular Center – Cedar Rapids, IA
5/11 | Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, MI
5/12 | Erie Insurance Arena – Erie, PA

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Musical Trio With Down Syndrome Makes History On YouTube – “How Far I’ll Go”

A YouTube piano trio consisting entirely of teen girls with Down Syndrome has taken the internet by storm this week, with a beautiful rendition of Disney’s “How Far I’ll Go.”  You can watch the video, which the Huffington Post calls “one of the most heartwarming videos you will ever see,” HERE!

Pianists Cambria (16), Joby (16), and Kiley (17), all born with Down syndrome, perform a beautiful rendition of the hit from the recent Disney film Moana.  The video was released by YouTuber Jason Lyle Black, a nationally acclaimed concert pianist who made headlines previously with his takes on Disney’s “Frozen” and “UP.”

“I really wanted to tell a story of individuals with special needs at the piano,” Black relates.  “It’s what I call the “Susan Boyle” effect—demonstrating to others just how incredible these girls are.  My goal is for us all to realize the innate potential within ourselves.”

Black arranged the music for the girls, making the video a first in YouTube history, as the first YouTube piano trio consisting entirely of members with Down Syndrome.  He notes that this video is not a fundraising video, rather one dedicated to the special needs community to show just how amazing they are.

“How Far I’ll Go—A Special Piano Trio for Down Syndrome Awareness” was released to coincide with Down Syndrome Awareness month. The video already has over 250,000 views on Facebook, with a separate YouTube version having just been released.

For more about Jason Lyle Black, including music videos, tour dates, or booking information for performances or speaking engagements, visit www.jasonlyleblack.com.

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Tracy Lawrence To Headline Keith Edmonds Foundation Benefit

Southern Stars and Mason Jars is coming to Wilson County!  Headlining the show is award-winning country music superstar Tracy Lawrence.  Lawrence, along with three of Nashville’s top songwriters, Casey Beathard, Rick Huckaby and Mark Nessler, will take the stage at Sammy B’s 705 Cadet Ct, Lebanon, TN 37087 on Thursday, November 2, for a lively evening of musical entertainment.  It all benefits the Keith Edmonds Foundation, a local non-profit that works to assist and empower victims of child abuse.

Lawrence, a Wilson County resident, is well known for such hits as “Time Marches On”, “Sticks and Stones”, “Paint Me a Birmingham,” and “If the World Had a Front Porch”. His studio albums have accounted for more than 40 singles on the Billboard country music charts, with eight reaching number one.

Beathard has penned hits for many of Nashville’s best, including Trace Atkins, Gary Allan, Tracy Byrd, and Billy Currington. He was named BMI Country Songwriter of the Year in 2004 and 2008. He was honored by BMI as co-writer of Lawrence’s number one single “Find Out Who Your Friends Are”. Other hits to his credit include Eric Church’s “Like a Wrecking Ball”, “The Outsiders” and “Like Jesus Does”.

Nesler’s first number one hit “Just to See You Smile” recorded by Tim McGraw, spent six weeks in the number one spot on Billboard’s country music charts. Other favorites include “Living and Living Well” (George Strait), and” You Look Good in My Shirt” (Keith Urban).

Nashville singer, songwriter and guitar player Rick “Huck” Huckabee is credited with a sound like no other in country music today. The accomplished acoustic guitarist has traveled with Tracy Lawrence, as well as Tanya Tucker, Joe Diffie and Mark Chestnut performing and playing guitar.   He co-wrote Thomas Rhett’s first hit single “Beer with Jesus”.

“This is a rare opportunity to bring the type of event to Wilson County that you would typically have to go to Nashville to experience”, said Keith Edmonds, founder of The Keith Edmonds Foundation, “We appreciate Tracy and his talented friends’ willingness to donate their time and talent to help us in our work with victims of child abuse.”

Tickets for Southern Stars and Mason Jars are $125 and include admission to the show, dinner catered by Sammy B’s Restaurant and valet parking.  A cash bar will be available. Doors open at 6:00 pm, dinner at 6:30 pm and show begins at 7:00 pm.

Tickets for the Country Stars and Mason Jars show are now available at keithedmondsfoundation.org

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COUNTRY RISING Expands To Support Las Vegas Victims And Sets New On Sale Date For Oct. 20

Keith Urban Added to Superstar Lineup on Nov. 12 at Bridgestone Arena Alongside Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum,
Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton,
George Strait and Carrie Underwood

Country Music’s star-studded benefit concert COUNTRY RISING announced today that in light of last week’s tragedy, it will now support victims of the Las Vegas shooting in addition to those in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and additional Caribbean islands who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes. Tickets and VIP packages for the event will now go on sale next Friday, Oct. 20 at 10:00A CT on www.Ticketmaster.com. Citi® is the official presale credit card of Country Rising. Citi® cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 10:00A CT through Citi’s Private Pass® program. For complete presale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.

Keith Urban is the latest mega-star to add his name to the bill, which also includes Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood. Due to a scheduling conflict with additional tour dates being added in Spokane, WA, Garth Brooks will no longer be part of the event in Nashville and will instead donate all proceeds from his two added concerts on Nov. 12 to The Country Rising Fund.

COUNTRY RISING will benefit The Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Additionally, the fund will now also envelop victims of the shooting in Las Vegas last week. In the course of rebuilding lives disrupted by these devastating events, there are immediate needs and there also will be long-term needs. This fund will strategically support both as they emerge.

For more information, visit: www.CountryRising.org.

About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit www.cfmt.org.

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Dolly Parton Visits Monroe Carell Jr. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Today, Parton Teams With Pandora To Present Special Facebook LIVE At 3 PM CT

Global superstar Dolly Parton, whose first children’s album I Believe In You releases today on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville, could have been anywhere on the day her album releases, but she wanted to be in Nashville with kids and their families at Monroe Carell Jr. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
Parton’s niece Hannah Dennison, daughter of her sister Rachel and longtime band member Richard Dennison, spent years battling leukemia at Vanderbilt. Today she is a healthy young woman, and Dolly and family are bringing that story of hope to those children currently in the hospital.
Two of the songs on I Believe In You, “Chemo Hero” and “Brave Little Soldier,” were specifically written for Hannah to help her through her health struggles.

During her visit today, Dolly surprised the doctors and children by announcing she will make a $1 million donation to Monroe Carell Jr. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
To shine a light on the great work the Hospital does and to give the children a chance to ask questions, Parton is teaming with Pandora—the world’s most powerful music discovery platform—for a very special Facebook LIVE event, broadcasting from Seacrest Studios at Vanderbilt. Pandora’s Beville Dunkerley will co-host the Facebook LIVE broadcast with Seacrest Studios’ Mamie Shepherd at 3 PM CT today. 
Pandora is supporting the release of I Believe In You and the Facebook LIVE event with special tune-in liners airing across all Country and Children’s channels on the platform.

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Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records – which includes sales of her 2016 chart-topping disc Pure & Simple, her first number one album on the Billboard Country Album charts in twenty-five years. She has garnered eight Grammy Awards – including a 2017 win with Pentatonix in the Country Duo/Group Performance category for their collaboration on her iconic 1973 hit “Jolene” – 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. In 1999 Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music Inc. honored Parton with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004 the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts. The honors keep coming. The 2016 made for television movie, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is nominated in the “Television Movie” category for the 69th Annual Emmy Awards. The film also won in the TV and Cable category at the 68th Annual Christopher Awards, which also includes the Movieguide Epiphany Prize for Television. The film served as the follow-up to her highly rated 2015 film Coat Of Many Colors, also broadcast on NBC, which won the Academy of Country Music’s Tex Ritter Award. In 2017, Dolly will release “I Believe In You,” a collection of children’s songs on Dolly Records through her partnership with Sony Music Nashville.



Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed more than 100 million books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Each month, the program currently mails more than one million specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate books to registered children from birth until they start Kindergarten in participating communities. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading in children, preparing them for school and inspiring them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.



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Sam Hunt Plays 2 Back To Back Shows In Nashville For First Headlining Tour

Ever since Sam Hunt released his first studio album, ‘Montevallo’, in 2014, he has been on a seemingly non-stop trajectory towards the top; winning plenty of female fans along the way and crossing over to the pop genre, as well.

Embarking upon his first headlining tour, ’15 In A 30′, Hunt performed extensively across this country all summer long with tour mates, Maren Morris and Chris Janson.  No doubt this tour is comprised of some of the hottest artists currently on country radio today.

Joining him for the Nashville shows was Ryan Follese, formerly of Hot Chelle Rae, who has crossed over from the pop genre to launch a solo career in country.  Originally from Nashville with father, Keith Follese, a hit country songwriter, it is no surprise he has taken this direction.

Each of the opening artists brought something special to the Ascend Amphitheatre stage.

Both shows were almost completely sold out and each artist played to an enthusiastic crowd that only grew in its energy and excitement as headliner Sam Hunt took the stage to close out the night.  The energy felt within the audience awaiting Hunt to perform was palpable, to say the least.

Sam Hunt began his segment of the show with his first hit, “Leave The Night On”, as the eager crowd rose to their feet singing along.  Hunt was confident and comfortable as he effortlessly played to the audience.

He had the audience in the palm of his hand all night, especially the younger females sitting all around, who excitedly swooned all through the handsome singer’s long set on this balmy Nashville night.

I especially enjoyed it when he gave the band a break for a few minutes as he sat down on stage with just his acoustic guitar slowing it down a bit and singing a few of his favorite country classics by some of his influences as he shared his story of growing up in Georgia.  His showed that his country roots run deep and a pure love for the genre of music he grew up listening to.  While some traditional country fans might question how country he is with his more pop-infused brand of country music, there is no doubt he can sing a classic country song with the best of them and loves the genre.

Perhaps the biggest moment of the night came when he sang his current single and biggest hit of his career to date, “Body Like A Backroad”.  I witnessed some fans running from the bathroom back to their seats excitedly as the song started with the audience back on their feet quickly following the slower acoustic section.  Make note, the audience only sat down during that slower section because Hunt encouraged all to take a rest off their feet for a few minutes.

Be sure to catch all of these great artists performing in a city near you.  They will not disappoint!

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