ABC's broadcast of the CMA Fest special scored big ratings on Wednesday night (8/16), drawing in 5.7 million viewers for its biggest overall audience in three years. The three-hour broadcast generated ABC’s biggest summertime non-sports oriented audience on the night in nearly seven years and also delivered high online fan engagement. During the airing, hashtag #CMAfest trended #1 on Twitter nationally, with CMA's combined social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) generating nearly 10 million organic impressions.

Lee Ann Womack has signed a record deal with ATO Records and will release her label debut in late October.

"The Lonely, The Lonesome and the Gone," an album of country, soul, gospel and blues, drops October 27th.

Womack spent most of her career on MCA, and was most recently on Sugar Hill where she released the well-received and Grammy nominated "The Way I'm Livin'" in 2014.

 

Alan Jackson and Chris Stapleton have been added to the lineup at the 11th Annual ACM Honors ceremony, joining previously announced performers George Strait, Kelsea Ballerini, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett and Hillary Scott. Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum are also set to join performers Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley and Hillary Scott as the night's pres

The ceremony, dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, will take place at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium on August 23rd, and will be broadcast on September 15th at 8 PM CT on CBS.

Clare Bowen, Charles Esten, Cassadee Popeand Brett Young are also set to participate in special off-camera moments during the ceremony.

    

Dolly Parton will release her first children's album, "I Believe In You," in September.

A digital release of the new album on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville will be available Sept. 29 with a physical dropping October 13th. Parton wrote all 14 songs on the release.  

Since its beginning in 1996 in Parton's hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., Dolly's Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than 1 million children by providing a brand new, age-

appropriate book each month. In North America, every child's first book is the classic "Little Engine that Could."

Country Music Hall of Fame member Jo Walker-Meador has passed away at the age of 93. According to the Tennessean, Walker-Meador died in Nashville early on Wednesday morning (8/16) following a stroke. Walker-Meador was an influential figure in the growth of country music, serving as the executive director of the Country Music Association (CMA) from 1962 to 1991.

Walker-Meador worked with the CMA since its creation in 1958 and helped to organize an annual banquet that would later become the CMA Awards.

During her time leading the CMA, Walker-Meador also oversaw the creation of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Fan Fair, which would later become CMA Fest.

 

Kip Moore and Tony Hawk have partnered to host the Music City Skate Jam Presented by Harley-Davidson on September 10th at Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame Park.

The family-friendly, day-long event will feature a skate demo by Hawk, as well as live music by Moore, rising artist Jordan Davis and DJ sets by Dee Jay Silver.

Proceeds will support Moore and Hawk’s respective non-profit initiatives, Kip’s Kids Fund and the Tony Hawk Foundation. Both organizations work to build skate parks in low-income communities.

Thomas Rhett will serve as one of the celebrity judges at the upcoming Miss America 2018 Competition. Joining Rhett on the this year's judging panel will be his "Playing With Fire" duet partner, Jordin Sparks, as well as model Molly Sims and People magazine editor Jess Cagle. This year's pageant will take place on September 10 and will air live on ABC at 9 PM ET. Thomas is the latest country star to judge the beauty pageant, following Brett Eldredge, who took part in 2015, and Cole Swindell, who sat on the panel last year.

Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s The Bachelor, and ESPN commentator Sage Steel will return as co-hosts at this year's pageant.

The Miss America 2018 Competition will air just days after Thomas releases his third album, Life Changes, on September 8. 

Kenny Chesney’s upcoming concert album will feature guest performances by Dave Matthews, Eric Church, Mac McAnally, David Lee Murphy, Old Dominion, Grace Potter, Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band.

Chesney announced the 30 tracks for Live in No Shoes Nation on Tuesday. The album will be released on October 27th.

In addition to many of his biggest hits, several of Chesney’s more obscure songs are featured, including “I’m Alive,” “Coastal” and “Happy on the Hey Now.”

The 30 songs were recorded over a 10-year period beginning in 2007 at stadium shows, pop-up bar gigs, amphitheaters and beach concerts.

Shania Twain announced on her social media that she will be touring in support of her album "NOW".  

With the release of her new single “Life’s About To Get Good,” Shania is set to also debut the new album on September 29th, the first new project since 2002.

You can order the Shania NOW tour bundle for pre-sale access.  

No other information was available about tour dates.

Jason Aldean returned to his hometown of Macon, GA to a sold out crowd for his second Concert For The Kids on Friday with special guest Luke Combs,  raising $702,209.43 for Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health. Aldean has now raised over $1.2 million to benefit the development of Macon’s new Children’s Hospital, the region’s only dedicated pediatric facility serving central and south Georgia, that enhances the lives of children through patient care, research and education. 

 

Faith Hill has teamed with Williams Sonoma and No Kid Hungry—a nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America to design a limited-edition spatula, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.Faith’s spatula, which features garden vegetables, retails for $12.95. Williams Sonoma will donate 30 percent of the retail price from each spatula purchased to No Kid Hungry.