Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockAlan Jackson will re-release his holiday album, Let It Be Christmas, on October 27 to all digital retailers.

Lady Antebellum‘s new song, “Freestyle,” is now available for download at iTunes. It’s included on their new album, 747, coming out September 30.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lee Brice Gives the Inside Story of Performing the National Anthem with Luke Bryan in New York City

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice still gets emotional talking about his performance of the national anthem with Luke Bryan during their September 12 concert at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Since it was the day after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Luke gave a shout-out to those who lost their lives on that day in the attack on the World Trade Center. As the crowd chanted, “USA! USA!” Luke brought Lee onstage and whispered in his ear, “I just feel like we should do the national anthem.”

After they decided Luke would start it off, Lee then jumped in on harmony. Says Lee, “It was something really special. I’ve never heard a crowd sing the national anthem that loud. It was a moment I will never forget, and I think Luke’s the same way.”

Lee especially loves that the big display of patriotism was all off-the-cuff, too.

“I don’t think he even knew he was going to ask me to do that,” Lee says of Luke’s decision to sing the anthem, “but he definitely just threw it at us as we’re walking out onto the stage in front of people, he’s whispering in my ear. So, that was the coolest part.”

Lee is very thankful to Luke for letting him warm up the crowd every night on the That’s My Kind of Night tour. They’ve played two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden this year before moving on to become the first country concert ever held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last week.

Lee says of the opportunity to tour with Luke, “There has been a lot of experiences that I, you know, who knows if I would have ever gotten to do?”

The good times keep rolling for Lee. He had a party in Nashville Wednesday to toast his latest #1 hit, “I Don’t Dance.” It’s the title track from his latest album, which just debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Grand Ole Opry Star George Hamilton IV Dead at 77

Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloGrand Ole Opry legend George Hamilton IV died Wednesday at a Nashville hospital at the age of 77, ABC News has confirmed. He’d suffered a heart attack last weekend.

Hamilton IV released his signature hit, “Abilene,” in 1963. However, he’d scored a number of hits before then, including “A Rose and a Baby Ruth,” “Before This Day Ends,” “Three Steps to the Phone (Millions of Miles)” and “If You Don’t Know I Ain’t Gonna Tell You.”

Hamilton was known as “The International Ambassador of Country Music,” a title he earned after becoming the first American country singer to perform in the then-Soviet Union and in Prague.

Hamilton had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1960.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott Headed to the Beach for Some Downtime with Loved Ones

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott is taking some downtime at the beach with her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Eisele, this week.  She’ll also meet up with a close friend who is raising her children while her military husband is deployed overseas.

Hillary posted a photograph of New York City on Instagram as she took off Wednesday morning with the message, “Off to meet Chris and Eisele in VA Beach to get some quality time with my best friend and her boys!!! #bff #militarymom #myhero.”

In other Lady A news, fans can get their new song, “Long Stretch of Love,” by signing up for their Passport Challenge at  That song and their latest hit, “Bartender,” are both included on Lady A’s new album, 747, due out September 30.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Joe Nichols Having a Blast Navigating Life with His Three Daughters

Image Courtesy Red Bow RecordsJust like any 16-year-old girl, Joe Nichols‘ oldest daughter, Ashelyn, is totally embarrassed when her dad shows up at her high school.  What makes it even worse is that Joe often performs at acoustic charity events to help out around the school.  Some of Ashelyn’s teenage girlfriends get a little star-struck when Joe shows up to sing, too.

Joe says with a laugh, “Her friends start giggling and they huddle up, and she’s like, ‘Oh my God! It’s my dad, y’all!  Stop talking like this!’  That’s kind of fun.  I love that — embarrassing her in all kinds of ways.”

Ashelyn has gotten star struck herself when she attended awards shows with her famous dad.

Says Joe, “My 16-year-old has definitely experienced some of this stuff with me and been around at some high-profile things and seen some really cool stuff and met Hunter Hayes, which is all she wanted to do.”

Introducing Ashelyn to Hunter didn’t up Joe’s hip factor at all, though.

He says, “[Ashelyn] still thinks I’m completely the most uncool person in the world.”

As for his two younger daughters, Joe says his baby girl, Georgia, is always “super-chill” and “smiling.”  The two-year-old, Dylan, is a little more high-strung.

Joe explains, “She’s a good kid, but I think she has a strong chance of either being class president and running for office or a serial killer.  I’m not sure which one she’s gonna be yet.  I’m not sure yet.  She’s capable of either one.”

Joe is scheduling time with his three girls in between his busy tour schedule.  See where he’s playing next at

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Make “People” Magazine’s Style Hall of Fame

CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are always dressed to the nines when they hit the red carpet together.  Now People magazine has inducted the Sheltons into their Style Hall of Fame.

Blake and Miranda are listed among the “Best Dressed Couples” in People‘s Best-Dressed issue. They join celebrity couples John Legend and Chrissy Teigan, Seth Meyers and Alexi Ashe, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita on the list.

Taylor Swift is crowned as People‘s Best Dressed of the Year for 2014. About her style, Taylor tells People, “I’m more willing to take a risk this year than ever before.”

People‘s Style Special issue is out Friday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockCole Swindell is a co-writer on which one of Luke Bryan‘s hits from his latest album, Crash My Party? ANSWER: “Roller Coaster.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thomas Rhett Has 32 Songs Under Consideration for Upcoming Sophomore Album

Image Courtesy Big Machine Label GroupThomas Rhett is climbing the country chart with “Make Me Wanna,” which is the last single from his debut album, It Goes Like This. That project earned Thomas two #1’s with the title track and “Get Me Some of That,” and he’s got plenty more material ready to go for his upcoming sophomore album. In fact, Thomas has too many potential hit singles he could record for that project.

He says, “I think I have, like, 32 songs that I want to put on the record, which is physically impossible unless I go ahead and do a greatest hits now, which is not gonna happen.”

Since Thomas is a songwriter himself, he’s pulling from his own batch of songs on top of the ones he gets from his other songwriter friends in Nashville. As for which songs make the final cut, Thomas has some thinking to do about where he wants his music to go on album number two.

He explains, “Now it’s to the point of just like, ‘What do I want the second record to sound like? Who do I want to be on this record? How much of the same do I want to stick with that was successful on the first, and how much of a departure do I want to make?'”

Thomas has already started working on his new album. He adds, “I’m jumping out of my seat to let people hear new music.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks Announces Lexington, Kentucky Shows

John Russell/CMAGarth Brooks fans in Kentucky got some sweet news this morning as the country superstar continues to announce dates on his current world tour.  Garth and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, will be returning to the Bluegrass State for two shows, October 31 and November 1, at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.  It’s Garth’s first Kentucky concert appearance in 16 years.

Tickets for the shows go on sale September 26 at 10:00 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster only.

Garth kicked off his world tour with a series of shows in Chicago earlier this month.  He plays five dates in Atlanta this Friday through September 27 before heading to Jacksonville, FL for another five dates, October 10 through 18.  Head to for more info.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

The Swon Brothers, Dustin Lynch and Kristian Bush Taking Country Music to New York City

Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers, Dustin Lynch and Kristian Bush are teaming up with the Grand Ole Opry and Southwest Airlines to take country music to New York City in the coming weeks. The Nashville’s New Music in New York City series kicks off September 29 at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park in celebration of the Grand Ole Opry’s 89th birthday.

Go to for more details and show dates and times.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio