Toby Keith Prepares Tour, Charity Event, New Album

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Toby Keith will launch his Interstates & Tailgates Tour on Tuesday (May 10) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Presented by Ford Trucks, the tour is scheduled through Oct. 16 in Austin, Texas. Eric Paslay has been added to the tour on select dates.

Next month, Keith will host the 13th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic, in Norman, Oklahoma. The event raises money for the Toby Keith Foundation and its work supporting seriously ill children and their families through the OK Kids Korral. A gala dinner, performance and auction will take place June 3, followed the next day by a shotgun golf tournament. Approximately 750 attendees are expected at the event, which has raised millions since its inception.

Keith is currently in the studio working on a new album, following his 2015 project, 35 mph Town.

Cassadee Pope Anticipates “Summer” Single, EP Release

Cassadee Pope. Photo: Lance Goodman

Cassadee Pope. Photo: Lance Goodman

Republic Nashville artist Cassadee Pope will release a new EP, Summer, on June 3.

Pope penned three of the four songs on the EP. The project’s title track will be the lead single, impacting radio on June 6.

Pope’s Summer EP is produced by Corey Crowder, who produced and co-wrote “Think of You,” the recent No. 1 single recorded by Pope and Chris Young. Pope will be on the road as part of Young’s I’m Comin’ Over Tour, which has been extended into the fall.

Pope’s prior project for the label, Frame By Frame, was released in 2013.

Summer EP track listing:
1. “Summer” (written by Cassadee Pope, Kelly Archer, Emily Shackelton)
2. “Piano” (written by Cassadee Pope, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz)
3. “Kisses at Airports” (written by Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Chase McGill)
4. “Alien” (written by Cassadee Pope, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite)

Ringo Starr Adds Ryman Show After North Carolina Cancellation

Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band. Photo: Scott Robert Ritchie

Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band. Photo: Scott Robert Ritchie

Ringo Starr has added a second night at the Ryman Auditorium after dropping his North Carolina show in protest.

Starr was previously scheduled to perform in Cary, North Carolina, on June 18 with his All Starr Band — featuring Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette. However, he cancelled the show last month in opposition to the passing of HB2, the controversial transgender bathroom law. Bruce Springsteen also canceled his North Carolina show in April.

Tickets for the newly-added Ryman show on June 18 show will go on sale Friday (May 13). The group will also perform there on June 19. The tour wraps July 2 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

In Pictures: Carrie Underwood, Cast Of ‘Nashville,’ Olivia Lane

Carrie Underwood Makes Green Bay Stop During Storyteller Tour

At Carrie Underwood‘s tour stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Thursday (May 5), she joined WNCY radio VIPs backstage.
Pictured (L-R): WNCY PD Dan Stone; 19 Recording/Arista Nashville's Carrie Underwood; WNCY MD Charli McKenzie; Arista Nashville Regional Promo Manager Luke Jensen  

Pictured (L-R): WNCY PD Dan Stone; 19 Recording/Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood; WNCY MD Charli McKenzie; Arista Nashville Regional Promo Manager Luke Jensen

Cast of Nashville Visits NASH FM 94.7

The cast of ABC’s Nashville joined Shila in the NASH FM 94.7 studios in NYC before heading down to the Theater at Madison Square Garden to perform their Nashville in Concert show on Thursday.

Charles Esten, Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio spoke to Shila about the success of the show, which is wrapping up its fourth season.

Pictured (L-R): Sam Palladio, Clare Bowen, Nash FM 94.7's Shila, Charles Esten.

Pictured (L-R): Sam Palladio, Clare Bowen, Nash FM 94.7’s Shila, Charles Esten.

Olivia Lane Visits Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family

Big Spark Music Group’s Olivia Lane performed her single, “Make My Own Sunshine,” on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family earlier this month.

Olivia Lane visits Home & Family. Copyright 2016 Crown Media Family Networks/Photographer: Steve Lucero

Pictured (L-R) Co-hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare visit with Olivia Lane on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. Copyright 2016 Crown Media Family Networks/Photographer: Steve Lucero

CMT Music Awards Nominations Revealed

CMT Music Awards

Chris Stapleton, Cam and Carrie Underwood dominate this year’s CMT Music Awards nominations, with three nominations each. The network nominated 12 videos for its Video of the Year category, while other categories include six nominees. The nominations were revealed Monday morning on

Stapleton is nominated for Video of the Year (“Fire Away”), Breakthrough Video of the Year (“Fire Away”), and CMT Performance of the Year (for his rendition of “Nobody To Blame” at the CMT Artists of the Year event).

Cam’s “Burning House” is up for Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Breakthrough Video of the Year.

In the overall Video of the Year category, Cam and Stapleton compete against Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Tim McGraw, and Carrie Underwood.

Underwood won her record-setting sixth Video of the Year honor last year (and fourth consecutive win in the category).

Voting Begins Today at, with a new category to be revealed on June 1.

The 2016 CMT Music Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET.

Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration) and the video director. Final nominees announced during live telecast, with final voting held online at during the show.
· Blake Shelton – “Sangria”
· Cam – “Burning House”
· Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break”
· Chris Stapleton – “Fire Away”
· Florida Georgia Line – “Sippin’ on Fire”
· Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good on You”
· Keith Urban – “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”
· Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”
· Luke Bryan – “Strip It Down”
· Sam Hunt – “Break Up in a Small Town”
· Thomas Rhett – “Die a Happy Man”
· Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”

Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist
· Blake Shelton – “Sangria”
· Eric Church – “Like a Wrecking Ball” (From 2015 CMT Music Awards)
· Keith Urban – “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”
· Luke Bryan – “Kick the Dust Up” (From 2015 CMT Music Awards)
· Sam Hunt – “Break Up in a Small Town”
· Thomas Rhett – “Die a Happy Man”

Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist
· Cam – “Burning House”
· Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break”
· Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy”
· Kacey Musgraves – “Biscuits”
· Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs”
· Maren Morris – “My Church”

Best video by a group or duo; awarded to the artists
· Brothers Osborne – “Stay a Little Longer”
· Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You”
· Florida Georgia Line – “Sippin’ on Fire”
· Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”
· Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him”
· Zac Brown Band – “Loving You Easy”

Best video from an artist’s major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo)
· Brothers Osborne – “Stay a Little Longer”
· Cam – “Burning House”
· Chris Janson – “Buy Me A Boat”
· Chris Stapleton – “Fire Away”
· Maren Morris – “My Church”
· Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him”

Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)
· Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis – “Girl Crush” (From 2015 CMT Artists of The Year)
· Brantley Gilbert and Lynyrd Skynyrd – “What’s Your Name” (From CMT Crossroads)
· Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” (From CMT Instant Jam)
· Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles – “I Want You To Want Me” (From CMT Crossroads)
· Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” (From CMT Artists of the Year)
· Darius Rucker – “Alright”(From CMT Instant Jam)

Capitol CMG Signs The New Respects To Recording And Songwriting Agreements

The New Respects

The New Respects

Capitol CMG Label Group has signed Nashville-based band The New Respects, which includes siblings Zandy Fitzgerald, Lexi Fitzgerald, Darius Fitzgerald and their cousin Jasmine Mullen.

“We never thought we’d be signed to a record label, so when Capitol CMG Label approached us, we were shocked,” the band said. “We were just four kids who liked playing music, and people started to listen. They listen to our ideas, our songs, our dreams and our hearts as we do our best to say something that’s worth listening to. We are extremely thankful for the team that we get to work with and honored that they love us the way they do. It still feels like a dream some days, but we’re happy it’s not.”

Capitol CMG President Peter York said, “Capitol CMG is excited and honored to have signed The New Respects to long term recording and songwriting agreements. They represent a rare and special combination of talents. Their music defies categorization and connects to the listener with raw emotion and authentic grooves that are original, yet familiar. They have a distinct place and voice in the never ending sea of new talent, but most importantly a contagious joy that seems to permeate all of their songs in fresh and compelling ways.”

The New Respects will join Lecrae and Switchfoot on The Heartland Tour, hitting nine cities across the country, launching June 10 in Omaha, Nebraska. On the same day, the band’s first single “Hey!” will be available at all digital and streaming outlets.

Weekly Register: Florida Georgia Line, Martina McBride Make Strong Debuts

Florida Georgia Line and Martina McBride make a splash on the country charts with their new offerings.

Florida Georgia Line 2016

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line‘s latest single “H.O.L.Y.” surged to the top of the country digital tracks chart, selling 125K this week. Tim McGraw‘s “Humble and Kind” drops to No. 2, with 35K sold this week. The track tops 500K in sales this week, with 508K RTD.

Rounding out the top 5 country tracks this week are Dierks Bentley‘s “Somewhere on a Beach” (28K), Luke Bryan‘s “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day” (26K), and Chris Young‘s “Think of You,” featuring Cassadee Pope (24K).

Cole Swindell‘s “Broke Down” enters at No. 11 on the country tracks chart, and  No. 58 overall, with 18.5K sold.

Overall digital track sales have decreased 23.9 percent YTD, while country digital track sales have decreased 20.8 percent.

Martina McBride. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Martina McBride. Photo: Joseph Llanes

McBride’s Nash Icon project Reckless debuts at No. 2 on the country album charts (No. 31 overall) with 15.5K sold. It’s her first release for that imprint of Big Machine Records and her first collection of new music since 2014’s Everlasting.

Chris Stapleton remains at No. 1 on the country album rankings with Traveller moving 25K this week. Joey+Rory‘s Hymns collection sells 14K to land at No. 3 this week, followed by Sturgill Simpson‘s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth at No. 4 (9.4K), and Sam Hunt‘s Montevallo at No. 5 (9.3K).

Merle Haggard‘s albums dominate the country catalog charts, holding down the top three slots.

Drake’s latest album, Views, tops the overall album rankings, surpassing 1 million combined units of sales and streaming, with 851K albums sold. His single, “One Dance” (featuring Wizkid and Kyla), also tops the tracks chart with 160K.

Overall album sales have decreased 13.8 percent year to date, while country digital album sales have decreased 18.2 percent. Country album sales are down 8.2 percent, while country digital album sales have declined 17.4 percent.

Information courtesy of Nielsen Soundscan.

Jason Aldean, Kid Rock Add Second Fenway Park Show

Jason Aldean Kid Rock show

Jason Aldean and Kid Rock have announced a second stop at Boston’s Fenway Park, scheduled for Sept 10. The lineup also includes Thomas Rhett, A Thousand Horses and Dee Jay Silver.

The original show, scheduled for Sept. 9, sold out in 90 minutes. Tickets for the new date go on sale Friday (May 13).

Aldean launches his Six String Circus Tour on May 19 in Rogers, Arkansas. His current single, “Lights Come On,” is the lead track from his upcoming seventh album. Kid Rock is currently working on new material and playing only select dates this summer.

Thompson Square Announces New Single Impacting May 20

Thompson Square

Thompson Square

Thompson Square is returning to country radio with a new single, “You Make It Look So Good.” The song will impact radio on May 20.

The duo offered an acoustic preview of the song during an announcement made Friday afternoon (May 6) via Facebook Live. The song also marks the duo’s first time working with producer Nathan Chapman. Thompson Square is signed to Stoney Creek Records, an imprint of Broken Bow Records Music Group.

The duo’s previous album, Just Feels Good, was released in 2013. Their hits include “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” “I Got You,” “If I Didn’t Have You” and “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About.”

Keifer and Shawna Thompson welcomed their first child, a son named Rigney Cooper, in January.

The duo is managed by Pennington Entertainment, led by Shawn Pennington. That company also announced three new hires on Friday: Carly Brandt, digital & tour marketing manager; Nick Estrem, digital marketing coordinator; and Kim Kaminske, associate publicist.

Cole Swindell Celebrates New Album With Acoustic Preview

Pictured (L-R): Justin Luffman, VP Brand Management, WMN; Peter Strickland, EVP & GM, WMN; Kerri Edwards, Manager, KP Entertainment; Cole Swindell; John Esposito, President & CEO, WMN; Cris Lacy, VP A&R, WMN; Michael Carter, Producer

Pictured (L-R): Justin Luffman, VP Brand Management, WMN; Peter Strickland, EVP & GM, WMN; Kerri Edwards, Manager, KP Entertainment; Cole Swindell; John Esposito, President & CEO, WMN; Cris Lacy, VP A&R, WMN; Michael Carter, Producer

Cole Swindell celebrated the launch of a new album on Thursday night (May 5) at the Nashville venue Ruby, surrounded by members of his label, publishing company, management team and songwriters who contributed to the project. The event could be heard on SiriusXM/The Highway.

The singer-songwriter’s sophomore project, You Should Be Here, was released by Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville on Friday.

Swindell got a few extra reasons to celebrate during the evening, courtesy of Warner Music Nashville President/CEO John Esposito, who presented Swindell with plaques commemorating the platinum status of his self-titled debut album, as well as gold certification for his fifth consecutive No. 1 hit, “You Should Be Here.”

“We knew we had a depth of songwriting that was profound,” Esposito said of Swindell’s debut project. “This takes it to a whole new level.”

Several writers who contributed to the album were on hand to assist Swindell in performing six songs from the project. Swindell co-wrote seven of the 12 tracks on the album, and thanked the writers who contributed, especially on the songs he didn’t have a hand in. “I don’t ever want to be stupid enough to miss a great song because I didn’t write it,” he said.

Swindell did have a hand in writing the album’s first single and hit, “You Should Be Here,” the intensely personal ballad and tribute to Swindell’s father, who died in 2013. The preview included Swindell’s acoustic version of “You Should Be Here,” backed by songwriter Ashley Gorley on keys.

He brought up his producer and fellow songwriter Michael Carter, as well as Gorley, for a rendition of “Broke Down.”

“Making My Way To You” featured assists from Carter, Matt Dragstrem and Cole Taylor, while “No Can Left Behind” included Brandon Kinney and Carter.

Swindell called “Stay Downtown” a follow-up of sort to his single “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” as the new song touches on the struggle to finally let go of a failing relationship. According to Cole Taylor, Swindell was the very first to hear “Stay Downtown,” which he penned with Dragstrem. “I didn’t turn it into my publisher or anything,” Taylor said with a sheepish grin. “I sent it straight to Cole.”

His latest single, “Middle of A Memory,” is one of the older songs on the project. It was inspired during the writing session for “Kiss,” a song that appeared on Swindell’s 2014 project Down Home Sessions. Swindell says co-writer Gorley encouraged him to make the lyric into a song of its own.

Swindell is keeping the celebration going with a special pop-up performance on Friday night (May 6) at The Stage on Lower Broadway in Nashville.

For more Swindell’s upcoming album and the success of “You Should Be Here,” read MusicRow’s interview with Swindell.