Jan Howard, country singer and songwriter and longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, died on Saturday in Gallatin, Tenn., at the age of 91.

Howard, born Lula Grace Johnson, began her career in music by singing on demos written by then-husband Harlan Howard that were recorded by Nashville acts like Kitty Wells and Charlie Walker, and had her first own country hit with "The One You Slip Around With" in 1960.

Other notable singles she released as a solo artist -- which made Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart -- included "Evil on Your Mind" (1966), "Bad Seed" (1966) and "My Son" (1968), an emotional track written for one of her sons, Jimmy, who was soon after killed in action in Vietnam. She received Grammy nominations for both "Evil on Your Mind" and"My Son."

Howard also recorded several songs as Bill Anderson's duet partner, such as their 1967 hit "For Loving You," and joined him on tour and on his syndicated television show.

As a songwriter, she penned songs for her own albums and worked on tracks for other artists, including Kitty Wells (1966's "It's All Over But the Crying"), Bill Anderson (1970's "Love Is a Sometimes Thing") and Connie Smith (1970's "I Never Once Stopped Loving You," which she co-wrote with Anderson).

Howard was inducted into the Opry in March of 1971, making her a member for 49 years before her death.

Americana legend John Prine has been hospitalized since Thursday (March 26) after experiencing a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

A cancer survivor himself, the singer’s family revealed the news Sunday afternoon (March 29) with a post on social media, explaining that his “situation is critical.”

The post says, “After a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptons, John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26). He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical.

“This is hard news for us to share,” the message continues. “But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”
 
The news comes hours after country star Joe Diffie died from coronavirus-related complications and a week after Prine’s wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, was diagnosed with the coronavirus.  The couple had been self-quarantined and isolated from each other.

Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like "Home" and "Pickup Man," has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61.

Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis.  Two days later, Diffie's publicist said the singer died due to complications from the virus.
 
Diffie, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 25 years. His hits included "Honky Tonk Attitude," "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)," "Bigger Than the Beatles" and "If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)."

His mid-90s albums "Honkey Tonk Attitude" and "Third Rock From the Sun" went platinum. Eighteen of Diffie's singles landed in the top 10, with five going No. 1. In his 2013 single "1994," Jason Aldean name-checked the '90s country mainstay.

Diffie is survived by his wife, Theresa Crump, and five children from his four marriages.

Zac Brown Band musician Coy Bowles has decided to release his first children’s album, "Music for Tiny Humans", more than a month early “to get the music out to the people when they need it most."

The project, which includes uplifting tracks like “All in This Together,” “The Sun Shines Everyday” and “Brand New Day,” plus imagination-stoking anthems like “The Dinosaur Dance.”

Aside from the early release of his album (for which part of the proceeds “will go to @savethechildren and @musicares to help out kids and musicians in need"), the guitarist has been performing in live shows on Facebook and Instagram at 4 p.m. daily.

The musical, educational episodes are inspired by Bowles’ desire to “immediately jump in and help” parents who are now in an unplanned situation of having to homeschool their children amid shutdowns of educational centers due to the spread of COVID-19.

"Music for Tiny Humans" is available to stream today.

Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood are among the artists confirmed for "ACM Presents: Our Country", a two-hour special will be broadcast Sunday, April 5th (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT and 7:00 PM CT) on the CBS Television Network and on CBS All Access.

Confirmed performers include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown & John Legend, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley & Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.

"ACM Presents: Our Country" will also honor 10-time ACM Award winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker.

Artists will appear from their homes to share heartfelt thoughts and perform acoustic versions of country hits. Additionally, video clips from previous ACM Award broadcasts will highlight favorite ACM moments from the past.

The special will broadcast during the time slot previously scheduled for the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, which will now be broadcast Wednesday, September 16th.

A group of Nashville studio singers on coronavirus lockdown performed as an epic cell phone choir, singing “it is well with my soul”....while on their phones.

They emailed it to a producer and "he put it all together to come up with this absolutely AMAZING video/recording.”

 

https://youtu.be/GHU-fFrxIQg

Lee Brice is forming a record label, Pump House Records with longtime co-writer Rob Hatch, producer/engineer/songwriter Elisha Hoffman and industry executives Derek and Kristi Hutchins. Their first signed artist is singer-songwriter Nick Norman. His debut album is expected later this year.

The original version of "Wichita Lineman," written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by Glen Campbell in 1968, the Eddy Arnold 1965 cover of the Hank Cochran-composed "Make the World Go Away" and the 1992 Whitney Houston rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" are among the Library of Congress’ 2020 inductees into the National Recording Registry. The recordings were deemed worthy of preservation because of their "cultural, historical and aesthetic importance to the nation’s recorded sound heritage."

Little Big Town member Kimberly Schlapman says her own issues with infertility and experiences with adoption are part of the inspiration behind an upcoming children's book. The country star will release the new book, "A Dolly for Christmas", this fall.

Schlapman was unable to become pregnant during her marriage to Steven Roads, who died of a heart attack in 2005. She married her current husband, Stephen Schlapman, in 2006, and was shocked when she became pregnant soon after with their first daughter, Daisy Pearl.
 
Schlapman says she hopes A Dolly for Christmas will bring comfort to other families who find themselves navigating difficulties while trying to conceive.  

"A Dolly for Christmas" is due out on October 6th.

Dolly Parton's Dollywood announced it's delaying the Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based theme park's seasonal opening and suspending all operations at the DreamMore Resort and Spa indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis. Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Cabins remain open at this time.

Dollywood President Craig Ross said, "The coronavirus crisis is unprecedented, and based on the ever-changing developments, we are constantly re-evaluating our options and hoping to open in May."

Dollywood vows to continue consulting their medical experts and abiding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines until. Guests with resort reservations and tickets while Dollywood remains temporarily closed can contact 1-800-DOLLYWOOD to reschedule their visits.