Artist Updates: Martina McBride, Canaan Smith, Josh Turner

Martina McBride And Friends Kickoff Fall Tour With Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Pictured (L-R): Dee Anna Smith, CEO Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA; Cassadee Pope; Martina McBride; and Erol R. Akdamar, FACHE, President of the HCA North Texas Division attend Band Against Cancer: The Sarah Cannon Tour. Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images

Pictured (L-R): Dee Anna Smith, CEO Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA; Cassadee Pope; Martina McBride; and Erol R. Akdamar, FACHE, President of the HCA North Texas Division attend Band Against Cancer: The Sarah Cannon Tour. Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images

Martina McBride kicked off the Band Against Cancer: The Sarah Cannon Tour over the weekend in Texas, with stops in Dallas on Sept. 16 and Austin on Sept. 17. The event featured special guests Thompson Square, Cassadee Pope and Hudson Moore.

The string of dates is planned to help connect those facing cancer with community-based resources and support close to home. The tour will head to San Antonio, Texas on Sept. 21 and Denver, Colorado on Oct. 8 before culminating with a special performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Oct. 26. For more information, visit


Canaan Smith Joins UK Tour

Canaan Smith. Photo: Mercury Nashville

Canaan Smith. Photo: Mercury Nashville

Mercury Nashville’s Canaan Smith is set to join UK country duo The Shires on a 19-date run across the pond later this year. Immediately following his fall headlining Sundown Ready Tour, Smith will be featured through Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland (full dates below). Tickets are on sale today.

The Shires UK Tour Dates with Canaan Smith:

Nov. 15: Belfast, Ireland; Limelight
Nov. 16: Dublin, Ireland; The Academy
Nov. 18: Oxford, England; O2 Academy
Nov. 20: Basingstoke, England; The Anvil
Nov. 21: Southampton, England; O2 Guildhall
Nov. 23: Northampton, England; Royal and Derngate
Nov. 24: Cardiff, Wales; St. David’s Hall
Nov. 25: Bedford, England; Corn Exchange
Nov. 27: Cambridge, England; Corn Exchange
Nov. 28: Bristol, England; Colston Hall
Nov. 29: Brighton, England; Brighton Dome
Dec. 2: Llandudno, Wales; Venue Cymru
Dec. 3: Birmingham, England; O2 Institute
Dec. 4: Manchester, England; The Bridgewater Hall
Dec. 5: Gateshead, England; Sage Gateshead
Dec. 7: Glasgow, Scotland; O2 ABC
Dec. 8: York, England; Barbican Centre
Dec. 9: Liverpool, England; O2 Academy
Dec. 11: London, England; O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire


Josh Turner Helps Atlanta Braves Countdown Games At Turner Field

Josh Turner. Photo: Atlanta Braves

Josh Turner. Photo: Atlanta Braves

Longtime Atlanta Braves fan Josh Turner joined the organization Friday night (Sept 16) as Braves Nation continued its ceremonial countdown of the few remaining home games at Turner Field. The Braves’ new SunTrust Park will be christened in 2017.

NSAI Presents Honorary Awards, Salutes Songwriters Of No. 1 Hits

Ralph Murphy (VP of ASCAP Nashville) accepting The Maggie Cavender Award; NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison, NSAI Board Member and songwriter, Byron Hill

Ralph Murphy (VP of ASCAP Nashville) accepting The Maggie Cavender Award; NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison, NSAI Board Member and songwriter, Byron Hill

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) honored more than 20 writers whose songs topped the Billboard Airplay, Digital, Hot or Mediabase charts between April 2016 and July 2016. Songs were recognized in both country and contemporary Christian music. The recognitions took place Monday evening (Sept. 19) during a massive No. 1 party at the Music Mill, NSAI’s Music Row headquarters.

The Maggie Cavender Award (in recognition of extraordinary service to the songwriting community) was presented to Ralph Murphy, VP of ASCAP Nashville. Church Music Publishers Association President Elwyn Raymer was presented the NSAI President’s Choice Award in recognition of significant contributions to the betterment of all songwriters, chosen by NSAI President Lee Thomas Miller.

The NSAI No. 1 Party was sponsored by Klindt, Cole & Associates.

Elwyn Raymer (President of CMPA) accepting the NSAI President's Choice Award; NSAI President Lee Thomas Miller

Elwyn Raymer (President of CMPA) accepting the NSAI President’s Choice Award; NSAI President Lee Thomas Miller

Songwriters with their No. 1 plaques.

Songwriters with their No. 1 plaques.

Songs Recognized

“Drunk On Your Love”
Writers: Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman
Recorded by: Brett Eldredge

“You Should Be Here”
Writers: Cole Swindell, Ashley Gorley
Recorded by: Cole Swindell

“Trust In You”
Writers: Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury, Michael Farren
Recorded by: Lauren Daigle

“The River”
Writers: Jordan Feliz, Joshua Silverberg, Colby Wedgeworth
Recorded by: Jordan Feliz

Writers: Rodney Clawson, Ross Copperman, Matt Jenkins
Recorded by: Florida Georgia Line

“Think Of You”
Writers: Chris Young, Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge
Recorded by: Chris Young duet with Cassadee Pope

“Somewhere On A Beach”
Writers: Michael Tyler, Jaron Boyer, Josh Mirenda, Alexander Palmer, Dave Kuncio
Recorded by: Dierks Bentley

“Mind Reader”
Writers: Ben Hayslip, Rhett Akins
Recorded by: Dustin Lynch

“Came Here To Forget”
Writers: Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman
Recorded by: Blake Shelton

Writers: Ashley Gorley, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
Recorded by: Thomas Rhett

“Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day”
Writers: Dallas Davidson, Luke Bryan, Rhett Akins
Recorded by: Luke Bryan

“Lights Come On”
Writers: Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Jimmy Robbins, Jordan Schmidt, Brad Warren, Brett Warren
Recorded by: Jason Aldean

“My Church”
Writers: Maren Morris, Busbee
Recorded by: Maren Morris

“Feel Invincible”
Writers: John Cooper, Seth Mosley
Recorded by: Skillet

“Slow Down”
Writers: Nichole Nordeman, Christopher Stevens
Recorded by: Nichole Nordeman

Songs Recognized from previous quarters:
Writers: Luke Laird & Craig Wiseman
Recorded by: Blake Shelton

“Anything Goes”
Writers: Felix McTiegue, Chris Tompkins, & Craig Wiseman
Recorded by: Florida Georgia Line

Brad Paisley Exhibit Coming To CMHoF In November

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley will be the subject of a career-spanning exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Opening Nov. 18 and running through May 14, 2017, the exhibit will detail Paisley’s rise from a child who first performed at age 13 on the renowned WWVA’s Jamboree USA to country music stardom.

The former CMA Entertainer of the Year is one of the most awarded artists of his generation, with 14 CMA awards and 14 ACM awards. Paisley has hosted the annual CMA Awards ceremony with Carrie Underwood since 2008. He has been a proud Grand Ole Opry member for 15 years and is known for collaborating with veteran country music artists, including Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Buck Owens and Dolly Parton.

“There are many who pick up a guitar at a young age with the hope of turning it into a career someday. There are few who stick with it and even fewer who go on to become an award-winning artist such as Brad Paisley,” said Museum CEO Kyle Young. “We’re thrilled to tell the story of this incredibly talented musician with our latest exhibition.”

The exhibition will include musical instruments, performance clothing, manuscripts, awards, photographs, childhood mementos (including early examples of Paisley’s talent for drawings and illustrations), and other items that shed light on Paisley’s life and career. Artifacts will celebrate Paisley’s reputation as an inspired guitarist, who blends technical mastery with imagination. Artifacts in the exhibit will illustrate his connections to many of his guitar heroes, including Chet Atkins, James Burton, John Jorgenson, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and Don Rich of the Buckaroos.

Lee Brice, Justin Moore Plot Co-Headlining Tour

Lee Brice, Justin Moore.

Lee Brice, Justin Moore.

Lee Brice and Justin Moore will take to the road beginning in January with their co-headlining American Made Tour. The trek will launch Jan. 12 in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. William Michael Morgan and Brett Young round out the tour as direct support.

“It’s very exciting to get back out there as a headliner,” Moore says. “To be able to do it with my buddy Lee is even more exciting. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. It’s gonna definitely be a party every night. I hope the fans are as jacked up about it as we are.”

“When we put this tour together we thought about the fans first,” says Brice, who headlined his own Life Off My Years Tour in 2016, and played all 50 states in 2015. “I love playing live but what’s even more fun is interacting with the amazing people in the audience. That’s what it’s all about. I can’t wait to get out there to play the songs everyone already knows but we’re also planning to give these audiences a sneak peek into a few songs off the new record!”

Lee Brice & Justin Moore’s American Made Tour dates:

Jan. 12: Indianapolis, Ind.; Bankers Life Fieldhouse (w/ William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 13: La Crosse, Wisc.; La Crosse Center (w/William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 14: Rosemont, Ill.; Rosemont Theatre (w/William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 19: Corbin, Ky.; The Arena (w/William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 20: Columbia, S.C.; Colonial Life Arena
Jan. 21: Atlanta; Fox Theatre (w/William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 26: Jacksonville, Fla.; Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (w/William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 27: Fayetteville, N.C.; Crown Coliseum (w/William Michael Morgan)
Jan. 28: Macon, Ga.; Macon Centreplex Coliseum (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 2: Pittsburgh, Pa.; Peterson Events Center- U. of Pittsburgh (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 3: Fairfax, Va.; EagleBank Arena (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 4: Greensboro, N.C.; Greensboro Coliseum Complex (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 9: Canton, Ohio; Canton Memorial Civic Center (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 10: Highland Heights, Ky.; BB&T Arena N. Kentucky +University (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 11: Bloomington, Ill.; US Cellular Coliseum (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 23: Murray, Ky.; CFSB Center (w/William Michael Morgan)
Feb. 24: Kalamazoo, Mich.; Wings Event Center
Feb. 25: Milwaukee, Wisc.; The Milwaukee Theater (w/William Michael Morgan)
March 2: Independence, Mo; Silverstein Eye Centers Arena (w/William Michael Morgan)
March 3: Saint Louis, Mo; Chaifetz Arena (w/William Michael Morgan)
March 16: Des Moines, Iowa; Iowa Events Center (w/William Michael Morgan)
March 17: Salina, Kan.; Bicentennial Center (w/William Michael Morgan)
March 18: Loveland, Colo; Budweiser Events Center (w/William Michael Morgan)
March 23: Huntsville, Ala.; Von Braun Center (w/Brett Young)
March 24: Jackson, Miss.; Mississippi Coliseum (w/Brett Young)

Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton, More Receive RIAA Certifications

riaagoldplatinumaugust2016Many Nashville artists made the RIAA’s August 2016 list of gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards.

Multi-Platinum and Platinum Albums
Eric Church‘s 2011 effort, Chief, has been certified 3x platinum while his 2009 project, Carolina, is now platinum. Zac Brown Band‘s 2015 Jekyll + Hyde is now platinum while the group’s 2008 record, The Foundation, has become 5x platinum. Nashville-based Cage The Elephant‘s 2009 self-titled album is now platinum.

Gold Albums
Albums achieving gold status include Church’s 2015 surprise album, Mr. Misunderstood, in addition to Blake Shelton‘s 2016 project, If I’m Honest.

Multi-Platinum Singles
Little Big Town‘s “Girl Crush” has been certified 3x platinum. The quartet’s labelmate Sam Hunt also received a slew of certifications for titles including 3x platinum for “Take Your Time” and double platinum for “House Party,” “Leave The Night On” and “Breakup In A Small Town.”

Platinum Singles
Those breaking the platinum barrier include Cole Swindell for “You Should Be Here,” Dierks Bentley with “Somewhere on a Beach,” Kelsea Ballerini for “Love Me Like You Mean It,” and Hunt’s “Miss Me.”

Gold Singles
Gold single status has been awarded to Chris Lane for “Fix,” Dan + Shay‘s “From the Ground Up,” Church’s “Record Year,” Jake Owen‘s “American Country Love Song,” Ballerini’s “Peter Pan,” and Hunt’s “Ex To See” and “Make You Miss Me.”

Gold Videos
Videos achieving gold status include Joey + Rory‘s Hymns (That Are Important To Us) and the Statler BrothersFarewell Concert.

Jack Ingram Signs With APA Nashville

Pictured (L-R): APA’s Jeff Hill, Vector’s Ross Schilling, APA’s Frank Wing, Jack Ingram, APA’s Luke Cahill, Heath Baumhor, Steve Lassiter and Bonnie Sugarman and Vector’s John Ingrassia.

Pictured (L-R): APA’s Jeff Hill, Vector’s Ross Schilling, APA’s Frank Wing, Jack Ingram, APA’s Luke Cahill, Heath Baumhor, Steve Lassiter and Bonnie Sugarman and Vector’s John Ingrassia.

APA has signed Texas country singer-songwriter Jack Ingram, it was announced by APA Nashville VP Frank Wing. The agency will handle Ingram’s domestic and international bookings.

“APA is excited to welcome the incomparable Jack Ingram. Jack embodies all the requisite talents of an amazing classic Americana singer and songwriter. Paired with his rootsy, country, rock tinged background, it’ll be fun working with an artist of his caliber,” said Wing.

Ingram has just released his first album in seven years, the Rounder Records release Midnight Motel, featuring his new single “I’m Drinking Through It.”

Ingram will appear in Nashville this week as a presenter at the 15th annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Show on Sept. 21 and to perform at the Mercy Lounge as part of the AmericanaFest on Sept. 23.

Rascal Flatts Brings 16 Years Of Hits To Indianapolis Tour Stop

Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts

At Klipsch Music Center in Indianapolis, Rascal Flatts reminded fans of their chart-topping track record on Saturday night (Sept. 16) with hit after hit, beginning with the appropriate “Summer Nights,” “I Like The Sound Of That,” and “Banjo.”

The trio has notched 16 No. 1 singles in 16 years, since they released their self-titled debut album in 2000. With their tight-knit harmonies, Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus have become synonymous with heart-tugging ballads and they quickly gave fans what they wanted, via a medley of “Come Wake Me Up,” “Melt,” and “I Won’t Let Go.”

The party-ready hits continued with “Life Is A Highway,” which prove the perfect musical conduit for prank conducted at the hands of their opening acts Chris Lane and Kelsea Ballerini. Band members took the stage dressed in construction crew outfits, with racing flags. Ballerini, rode a red tour car around the stage, before offering a few lines of “Life Is a Highway.”

“For the next 90 minutes we are going to take a break from all the bullshit happening in the world and party our asses off!,” said Jay Demarcus.

The hit parade continued with “Stand,” and Why Wait,” before diving into covers of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” before swerving into their own signature hit “Bless the Broken Road” and a flawless transition to Journey’s “Open Arms.”

During “Rewind,” the trio took fans back in time a collage of photos from the trio’s childhoods and teenage years (“Don’t laugh,” LeVox quipped), through highlights of the band’s career, including platinum albums, award wins, and celebrity pics.

The pranks continued steadily throughout the show, as crew members began playing cornhole during the Flatts’ “Fast Cars and Freedom.” During a tribute performance of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” three large screens featured pictures of comedian Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince.

Rascal Flatts sailed through “Love You Out Loud” and “My Wish,” before once again tugging at the heartstrings with “What Hurts The Most.”

The evening ended with “Me and My Gang,” as Chris Lane and Kelsea Ballerini returned to the stage and threw beach balls into the crowd.

“Indiana is like a second home,” LeVox told the crowd.

Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini

Opening act Kelsea Ballerini worked the stage with the charisma of a headliner, holding the crowd’s attention with a mix of hits, album cuts, and covers.

“I want to sing loud enough that Rascal Flatts hears backstage and gets excited,” she said before launching into her second No. 1 hit, “Dibs.”

She included album cuts “Looking at Stars,” “Sirens,” “XO,” and her current single “Yeah, Boy.”

She pulled a headliner move midway through the set, venturing into the crowd to shake hands and thank fans. The gutsy move easily held the crowd’s attention, before she returned to the stage to introduce a new song, “Moonlight,” presumably to be included on her forthcoming second album for Black River Entertainment.

Some super fans even held a sign celebrating Ballerini’s birthday last week.

In a deft mix of onstage banter and cover songs, Ballerini attempted to endear herself with everyone in the audience who ever suffered through a bad breakup. She began with James Bay’s “Let It Go.”

“One day they wake up and realize you are the best thing that ever happened to them. Then, as you know you have a choice go back to someone who broke your heart or stand up for yourself,” she said. “So if you pick up the phone it’s like…” before transitioning to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.”

“Then they will probably ask you why it’s too late,” she concluded, launching into “Peter Pan.” “This just became my third No. 1 song and I’m freaking out about it,” she confessed.

Chris Lane

Chris Lane. Photo: Lora Olive

The Indiana show was the last night of the tour for opening acts Ballerini and Lane, a night that practically requires pranks, and Ballerini’s show was no exception. During the heartfelt “Peter Pan,” opening act Chris Lane and his crew came onstage dressed in Peter Pan outfits, including one crew member who descended from the ceiling, wearing a fairy costume.

“That was the best thing I’ve ever seen,” exclaimed Ballerini. “That was the tour prank to top all tour pranks,” as she composed herself to finish the song.

“This song completely changed my life and made my dreams come true,” she said before introducing her debut No. 1 single, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” “Thank you for letting me do what I love every day.”

Big Loud Records artist Chris Lane celebrated a gold single during the show, as his No. 1 single “Fix” sold more than 500,000 units.

Lane was presented with a plaque onstage during the show.

“I’m excited to reach this milestone,” shared Lane. “I love seeing people show up and sing along to ‘Fix.’ This means that people are listening and believing in me, I don’t take that for granted.”

Pearl Records Hires Lesly Simon As General Manager

Lesly Simon

Lesly Simon

Lesly Simon has joined Garth Brooks’ label Pearl Records as General Manager, working alongside Mandy McCormack.

Brooks’ next solo album will be released on Pearl Records this fall, as well as a Christmas duets album with Trisha Yearwood.

“What an honor to be a part of this exciting new chapter for Garth and Pearl Records,” said Simon. “The passion Garth has for Country music, the music he is making and the partnerships he is forging is truly amazing. When I sat down with he and Mandy, heard this incredible music and saw their vision, I knew I had to be a part of this. It’s a dream come true to work side by side with Garth, Trisha, Mandy and the entire team, and I can’t wait for the world to see and hear what’s to come!”

“I’ve known Lesly for years and have seen the leadership, passion and excitement she brings to a project,” said McCormack. “She is one of the best and we are so honored to have her join the team. I’m looking forward to working with her on what I know will be incredibly exciting projects.”

With 20 years of experience in the music industry, Simon has an undeniable track record of success and leadership. For the last 6 years, she served as the Vice President of Promotion for Arista Nashville overseeing radio promotion and marketing for the roster including artists Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Cam and LANco.

She can be reached at [email protected].

Hayley Orrantia Teams With Bright, Kadish On “Strong, Sweet & Southern”

hayley-orrantiaHayley Orrantia, the singer and actress who will return to the show The Goldbergs on Sept. 21, has also released the new single, “Strong, Sweet & Southern.”

The track was co-produced by Mark Bright and Kevin Kadish, and penned by Orrantia, Bright and Kadish. “Strong, Sweet and Southern” was released Friday (Sept. 16).

Orrantia was recently a special correspondent for CMT and hosted the Riverfront Stage at CMA Fest in Nashville, where she also performed. In addition, Hayley opened for country star Brad Paisley at his tour stop in Laughlin, Nevada.

Orrantia spoke to MusicRow last year, to discuss her music career and role on The Goldbergs.

LOCASH Begin Live Nation’s “Ones To Watch” Tour This Fall


Reviver Records duo LOCASH will headline 17 dates this fall and early 2017 as part of Live Nation’s ‘Ones To Watch’ nationwide tour (dates below). Reviver Records recording artist Michael Tyler and BMLG Records newcomer Ryan Follese will also join for select shows.

LOCASH is currently on the road promoting The Fighters, their first full-length album with Reviver Records. Following their RIAA Gold-Certified “I Love This Life,” their current single “I Know Somebody” has already notched 6.6 million streams and sold more than 100,000 units.

LOCASH Ones to Watch Tour Dates
Nov. 17: Mercury Ballroom; Louisville, Ky.*
Nov. 18:Deluxe at Old National; Indianapolis
Jan. 05: Terminal West; Atlanta
Jan. 06: House of Blues; Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Jan. 07: House of Blues; North, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Jan. 11: House of Blues; Houston
Jan. 12: House of Blues; Dallas
Jan. 13: House of Blues; New Orleans
Jan. 28: The Belasco Theater; Los Angeles
Feb. 09: Irving Place; New York
Feb. 10: The Fillmore Charlotte; Charlotte, N.C.
Feb. 11: The Ritz; Raleigh, N.C.
Feb. 15: House of Blues; Cleveland, Ohio**
Feb. 17: Theatre of Living Arts; Philadelphia
March 23: The Cabooze; Minneapolis
March 25: Summit Music Hall; Denver
April 22: Delmar Hall; St. Louis**
*Michael Tyler will not appear on this date
**Ryan Follese will not appear on this date