Tara Thompson Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut


Pictured (L-R): Grand Ole Opry’s Pete Fisher, Tara Thompson and manager Spoon James Williams. Photo by Chris Hollo, /Grand Ole Opry

Pictured (L-R): Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry; Tara Thompson; Spoon James Williams, manager. Photo by Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

Tara Thompson performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time on Saturday night (April 30). The Valory Music Co. newcomer was introduced to the stage by Vince Gill.

Thompson, who is a third cousin of classic country stars Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle, traded in her ripped jeans and T-shirt for a black gown and heels for her appearance. She performed her debut single, “Someone to Take Your Place,” as well as a song about her relative, titled “Loretta Lynn.”

Tara Thompson. Photo: Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

Tara Thompson. Photo: Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

“Tonight I got to achieve one of my top goals,” Thompson said from inside the circle. “And Vince Gill just introduced me! This is surreal, thank you to the Opry for making one of my biggest dreams come true.”

Leading up to the performance, the East Tennessee native filmed a behind-the-scenes video at the Opry (to be released at a later date) and took over the Opry’s Twitter account throughout the day.

Thompson wrapped dates on the CMT Next Women of Country Tour in April. She is currently working on her debut album and will perform at the CMA Music Festival on June 11.

Mark Your Calendar – May 2016

Industry Events

GrammyBlockPartyMay 4-8
BMI’s 21st Annual Key West Songwriters Festival

May 10

  • Gospel Music Association Honors
  • Grammy Block Party

May 16-18
Music Biz 2016 convention at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel


Album Releases

Keith Urban RipcordMay 3
Kayla Calabrese/Glass Stiletto [EP]

May 6
Keith Urban/Ripcord/Capitol Records Nashville
Cyndi Lauper/Detour/Sire Records
Cole Swindell/You Should Be Here/Warner Bros.-Warner Music Nashville
Mary Chapin Carpenter/The Things That We Are Made Of/Lambent Light Records-Thirty Tigers
Ryan Beaver/Rx/St. Beaver-Parallel
Alan Jackson/Keepin’ It Country-Live At Red Rocks [DVD and digital video project]
Steve Earle/(Guitar Town, Exit 0, Copperhead Road, The Hard Way) [remastered for vinyl LP]/MCA Records

May 13
Jennifer Nettles/Playing With Fire/Big Machine Records
Rob Baird/Wrong Side of the River/Hard Luck Recording Company
Sammy Kershaw/The Blues Got Me/Big Hit Records-RED
Michaela Anne/Bright Lights and the Fame/Kingswood Records
Hard Working Americans/Rest In Chaos/Melvin Records-Thirty Tigers

May 20
Blake Shelton/If I’m Honest/Warner Bros. Records-Warner Music Nashville
The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson)/The Highwaymen Live—American Outlaws [deluxe CD/DVD/Blu-ray box set]/Columbia-Legacy

May 27
Dierks Bentley/Black/Capitol Records Nashville
Bonnie Bishop/Ain’t Who I Was/Thirty Tigers


Single Add Dates

holdinherMay 2
Parmalee/Roots/Stoney Creek
Chris Janson/Holdin’ Her/Warner Bros.
Chris Stapleton/Parachute/Mercury Nashville
Homegrown Band/Summer Song
Alabama/Come Find Me/BMG

May 9
Alan Jackson/The One You’re Waiting On/EMI Records
Brad Puckett/Start Your Engines/Phoenix Records Nashville
Nathan Stanley/Controversial Man/Stanley Music Group

May 16
Maddie & Tae/Sierra/Dot Records
Craig Morgan/I’ll Be Home Soon/Black River Ent
Cyndi Thomson/Sippin’ Wine On The Water/in2une Nashville
Alan Turner/Windows And Mirrors/SMG
Garry Lee/America/Riverfront-SMG Nashville
Southern Halo/Rewind/Southern Halo Records
Joe Loftus/Those Days We Spent On The Farm/AMG Records
Cherie Brennan/Life Is Fun/SMG

May 30
Steve Dorian/Edge Of 18

Bob Neuwirth Will Be Interviewed And Perform At CMHoF

Bob Neuwirth

Bob Neuwirth

Music industry veteran Bob Neuwirth will participate in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s quarterly program series, Music Masters, on Saturday (May 7) at 1:30 p.m.

Songwriter, producer, performer, painter, improviser, collaborator and instigator, Neuwirth has been associated with many seminal artists, including Joan Baez, T Bone Burnett, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson and Patti Smith. His seven albums include 1994’s Last Day on Earth, with John Cale.

His songs include “Mercedes Benz,” written with Joplin and poet Michael McClure. Neuwirth appeared in documentaries Don’t Look Back and Eat the Document, as well as the film Renaldo & Clara. He was bandleader for Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, music director for the Down from the Mountain tour, and producer of the documentary of the same name.

Presented in support of the exhibition Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City, presented by Citi, the Los Angeles resident will discuss his career and briefly perform. During the performance, Neuwirth will be joined by multi-instrumentalist David Mansfield, who has worked with T Bone Burnett, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Loudon Wainwright III and others.

The interview, hosted by museum editor Michael McCall, will be held in the museum’s Ford Theater and is included with museum admission and free to museum members. The program will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming.

In Pictures: ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo 2016

ASCAP Creative Director Beth Brinker (L) and songwriter Ashley Gorley attend the 2016 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for ASCAP

ASCAP Creative Director Beth Brinker (L) and songwriter Ashley Gorley attend the 2016 ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO. Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured (L-R): Singer-songwriter Rob Thomas, musician Desmond Child, singer Suzanne Vega, singer-songwriter Brian McKnight, songwriters Brett James and Kevin Kadish attend the 2016 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured (L-R): Songwriters Rob Thomas, Desmond Child, Suzanne Vega, Brian McKnight, Brett James and Kevin Kadish. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Songwriters with Nashville ties were among those showcasing their talents during ASCAP’s three-day “I Create Music” Expo, held April 28-30 in Los Angeles.

Desmond Child, Brett JamesKevin Kadish, Chris DeStefano, Audra Mae, and more were on hand for the event.

Pictured (L-R): ASCAP Pop/Rock VP Marc Emert-Hunter, singer Pat Benatar, musician Neil Giraldo and ASCAP Membership EVP John Titta attend the 2016 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured (L-R): Marc Emert-Hunter, VP, ASCAP Pop/Rock; musicians Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo; John Titta, Exec. VP, ASCAP Membership. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured (L-R): Songwriter Bonnie Baker; Cornman Music GM & VP, Creative, Nate Lowery; Black River Entertainment Creative Director Dave Pacula; Songwriter Forest Glen Whitehead speak during the 'This Is Country Music' panel, part of the 2016 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured (L-R): Songwriter Bonnie Baker; Cornman Music GM & VP, Creative, Nate Lowery; Black River Entertainment Creative Director Dave Pacula; Songwriter Forest Glen Whitehead speak during the ‘This Is Country Music’ panel, part of the 2016 ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO. Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for ASCAP

The expo closed out Saturday afternoon with The Writers Jam, featuring LaShawn Daniels (Lady Gaga’s “Telephone;” Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”), Chris DeStefano (Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night”), Audra Mae (Kelly Clarkson’s “Heartbeat Song,” Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon”) and Priscilla Renea (Pitbull & Kesha’s “Timber”) telling stories and performing some of their own songs.

Renea also delivered a master session designed to motivate aspiring songwriters, urging them to remember they are the CEO of their own business. Later, multi-platinum recording artists and songwriters Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo shared advice from their lives in music and gave the EXPO audience an impromptu performance of a few verses of “We Belong,” with Giraldo on piano.

Pictured (L-R): Songwriters Brett James, Priscilla Renea and Chris DeStefano speak onstage during the ASCAP Annual Membership Meeting and ASCAP EXPO on April 28. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured (L-R): Songwriters Brett James, Priscilla Renea and Chris DeStefano sing at the ASCAP Annual Membership Meeting and ASCAP EXPO. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured: Singer-songwriters Charles Kelley (L) and Rob Thomas attend the 2016 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Pictured: Singer-songwriters Charles Kelley (L) and Rob Thomas attend the 2016 ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO. Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Chris Young Tour Adds Dates, Openers, Official Sponsor

chris-young-album-cover Featured

Chris Young will come over to quite a few more cities this year, as he announces the fall run of his 2016 I’m Comin’ Over Tour. The trek adds 25 shows, running from September through the end of the year. CASE Construction Equipment joins the tour as an official sponsor.

Dan + Shay will join the tour for 12 dates in September and October, while Dustin Lynch will perform on five of the dates in November and December. Young’s “Think Of You” duet partner Cassadee Pope, who provided support for the first leg of the tour, returns for all fall dates.

“I’ve been friends with Dan + Shay and Dustin Lynch for a while now, so to have them join me on tour and to have Cassadee back out with us again, it’s going to be a blast,” says Young.

Tickets for most dates on the I’m Comin’ Over Tour, presented by AEG Live, go on sale Friday (May 6) and can be purchased at aeglive.com and ChrisYoungCountry.com. A limited number of exclusive VIP packages will be available. These packages can include premium tickets, access to a Chris Young pre-show acoustic event, limited-edition merchandise and more.

Chris Young’s I’m Comin’ Over Tour Dates
Sept. 29: Bakersfield, California, Rabobank Arena
Sept. 30: Phoenix; Grand Canyon University Arena
Oct. 6: Lubbock, Texas; United Supermarkets Arena
Oct. 7: Las Cruces, New Mexico; Pan American Center
Oct. 13: Spokane, Washington; Spokane Arena
Oct. 14: Portland, Oregon; Theater of the Clouds at Moda Center
Oct. 15: Nampa, Idaho; Ford Idaho Center
Oct. 20: Park City, Kansas; Hartman Arena
Oct. 21: Kearney, Nebraska; Viaero Event Center
Oct. 22: Brookings, South Dakota; Swiftel Center
Oct. 27: Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Cambria County War Memorial
Oct. 28: Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Memorial Coliseum Expo Center
Oct. 29: Saginaw, Michigan; Dow Event Center
Nov. 10: Orlando, Florida; CFE Arena
Nov. 11: Hollywood, Florida; Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Nov. 12: St. Augustine, Florida; St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Nov. 17: Newark, Delaware; Bob Carpenter Center
Nov. 18: Salisbury, Maryland; Wicomico Youth & Civic Center
Nov. 19: Fayetteville, North Carolina; Crown Coliseum
Dec. 1: Kingston, Rhode Island; Ryan Center
Dec. 2: Portland, Maine; Cross Insurance Arena
Dec. 3: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Dec. 8: Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Show Me Center
Dec. 9: Moline, Illinois; iWireless Center
Dec. 10: Lexington, Kentucky; Rupp Arena

Weekly Register: Chris Stapleton, Tim McGraw, Beyoncé Top Charts

Chris Stapleton Traveller

Roots-flavored music rules this week’s country album rankings. Chris Stapleton continues his tight rein on the country album rankings, with Traveller selling 25K this week (1.25 million to date). Sturgill Simpson‘s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth follows at No. 2, selling just over 13K. 

Joey+Rory‘s Hymns collection lands at No. 3 with just over 11K sold (and 340K to date). Sam Hunt‘s Montevallo is at No. 4, with nearly 8K moved this week. Luke Bryan‘s Kill The Lights wraps the Top 5 country albums, with 7.4K sold.

Beyonce Lemonade

On the overall albums rankings, Beyoncé rules with her project Lemonade debuting at No. 1 and selling more than 652K (485k album only), making the sixth Beyoncé project to debut atop the all-genre album rankings. Additionally, 10 Beyoncé tracks debuted in the Top 20, totaling 825K tracks sold.

The new project is not without some Nashville connections. Music City residents Jack White and vocalist Ruby Amanfu are credited on the Lemonade track “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” while Beyoncé adds some country flavor on the track “Daddy Lessons.”

Tim McGraw Humble and Kind

On the digital country tracks listings, Tim McGraw stays at No. 1 this week with “Humble and Kind,” selling 35K and closing in on 500K RTD. Rounding out the Top 5 this week are Dierks Bentley‘s “Somewhere on a Beach” (28K), Maren Morris‘ “My Church” (27K), Thomas Rhett‘s “T-Shirt” (25K), and the Chris Young/Cassadee Pope duet “Think of You” (22K).

Cole Swindell‘s “Remember Boys” makes a solid debut, landing at No. 10 and selling 18K. Other notable debuts include The Voice contestant Adam Wakefield‘s “Lights” (No. 18, 12K) and Hillary Scott & The Scott Family‘s “Thy Will” (No. 22, 11K).

Hillary Scott Thy Will

Overall, digital tracks are down 24.2 percent from this time last year, while country digital tracks sales are down 20.9 percent.

Keith Urban Confirms Free Nashville Show On May 9

Keith Urban Ripcord

Keith Urban will give a free outdoor show at the Bridgestone Arena plaza on Monday, May 9, at noon.

It’s one of three fan events he’s scheduled to promote his new album, Ripcord, to be released Friday (May 6), on Capitol Records Nashville.

The performance will be held in partnership with the City of Nashville and offer numerous local food trucks.

“Keith is an asset to this city on every level,” said Butch Spyridon of The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “His talent as a singer, songwriter and musician is unquestionable and as a citizen he is a model for others to follow. He has given back time and time again and it is truly appreciated. While he is celebrating the release of his next great record, which is already a hit in our book, he is still giving back! We can’t say enough and it is an honor to help celebrate the album release by partnering with him for this event.

Other promotional appearances surrounding the album include a release party in New York City venue Stage 48 on Wednesday night. It will be streamed live on Tidal X.

Urban will also participate in an interview and performance at the 200-seat Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday. Billed as “Keith Urban: Inside the Songs of Ripcord,” the appearance will include intimate performances and stories behind the writing, producing and recording of the new album. Scott Goldman, Vice President of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares, will serve as moderator.

“The Grammy Museum is thrilled to host Keith in our Clive Davis Theater,” said Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE. “He’s one of our industry’s most prolific songwriters, insightful producers and most electrifying performers. He’s continued to break new ground through his music and that’s never been more apparent than on his new album Ripcord. It’s our honor to be hosting this one-time only event.”

Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt Win Multiple American Country Countdown Awards

Luke Bryan claimed awards for Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the American Country Countdown Awards on Sunday night (May 1) at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The ceremony was broadcast on FOX.

And Artist of the Year goes to… @lukebryan! What a night. Congratulations!!! ?

A photo posted by American Country Countdown (@accas) on

In addition, Sam Hunt picked up awards for Breakthrough Album of the Year and Digital Album of the Year, for his project Montevallo.

Congrats @samhuntmusic for winning Breakthrough Male of the Year AND Digital Album of the Year! ? #ACCAs

A photo posted by American Country Countdown (@accas) on

Other winners included: Kelsea Ballerini, Breakthrough Female of the Year; Garth Brooks, Touring Artist of the Year; Florida Georgia Line, Group/Duo of the Year; Little Big Town, Digital Song of the Year (“Girl Crush”), and Old Dominion, Breakthough Group/Duo of the Year.

Group/Duo of the Year goes to ➡️➡️➡️ @flagaline Congratulations, @thubbmusic and @playbkplay ?? #ACCAs

A photo posted by American Country Countdown (@accas) on

Additional awards included: Thomas Rhett, Song of the Year (“Die a Happy Man”), Chris Stapleton, Album of the Year (for Traveller), and Carrie Underwood, Female Artist of the Year.

Dying happy after that @thomasrhettakins performance of “Die A Happy Man!” #ACCAs

A photo posted by American Country Countdown (@accas) on

Performers included Ballerini, Brooks & Dunn, Cam, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Hunt, Chris Janson, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Rhett, Cole Swindell and Underwood.

SHE’S HERE! @carrieunderwood is here to present Male Vocalist of the Year at the #ACCAs!

A photo posted by American Country Countdown (@accas) on

Presenters included Paula Abdul, Chase Bryant, Terry Crews, Cat Deeley, Sara Evans, Trent Harmon, Jana Kramer, Chris Lane, Maddie & Tae, Matthew McConaughey, Scotty McCreery, Reba McEntire, Nettles, Michael Ray, Canaan Smith, Luke Wilson and Dwight Yoakam.

A @reba + @KelseaBallerini spotting in the #ACCAs audience! ?

A photo posted by American Country Countdown (@accas) on

The 2016 American Country Countdown Awards winners list:

Artist of the Year: Luke Bryan
Male Vocalist of the Year: Luke Bryan
Female Vocalist of the Year: Carrie Underwood
Group/Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Breakthrough Male of the Year: Sam Hunt
Breakthrough Female of the Year: Kelsea Ballerini
Breakthrough Group/Duo of the Year: Old Dominion
Song of the Year: Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man”
Album of the Year: Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Digital Song of the Year: Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”
Digital Album of the Year: Sam Hunt, Montevallo
Touring Artist of the Year: Garth Brooks