The Country Music Association is headed Down Under in 2019 with an international showcase featuring Brandy Clark, Devin Dawson, Lindsay Ell and Tenille Townes.

The six-date tour, dubbed Introducing Nashville, will visit Australia for five dates and New Zealand for one date.

As part of CMA's mission to support the expansion of country music around the globe, Introducing Nashville will provide a platform to introduce exciting current artists to international audiences for the first time. Each tour stop will replicate a Nashville writer's round, with artists appearing onstage together in an acoustic lineup to introduce their songs and talks about their careers and personal stories.

Tickets are on sale now. In addition, Frankie Ballard will headline a soon-to-be-announced date in Japan for the Introducing Nashville series.

Introducing Nashville 2019

March 18 | Lismore, Australia | Lismore City Hall
March 19 | Brisbane, Australia | The Old Museum
March 21 | Sydney, Australia | The Factory Theatre
March 22 | Canberra, Australia | The Abbey
March 23 | Melbourne, Australia | Athenaeum Theatre
March 26 | Auckland, New Zealand | Tuning Fork (Tenille Townes will not perform)

'Tis the season for giving . . . and Blake Shelton is giving back to his home state in a major way by helping establish the Blake Shelton Cancer Research Program at Oklahoma University's Children's Hospital.

Blake created the program in honor of his infant cousin, who underwent cancer treatment at the hospital's Jimmy Everest Center when she was five months old. The center is Oklahoma's only full-service children's cancer program. After two blood transfusions, surgery and three rounds of chemotherapy, Blake's cousin is getting ready to celebrate her third birthday in January.

In 2016, Blake donated $600,000 to the Jimmy Everest Center during a concert stop in Oklahoma City on Sept. 10. Blake brought his young cousin onstage and told the fans in attendance about her battle with cancer.

"This time last year, we had a scare," said Blake. "And, we didn't know what was going going to happen. And, you can see that she's here right now . . . [Jimmy Everest Children's Hospital doesn't] turn any kids away. You come in there, you have a problem, they don't turn anybody away, so I thought 'That?s a place that needs some money. Let's all do the right thing.' This is our money, Oklahoma."

Alabama will celebrate a half-century of making music with their upcoming 50th Anniversary Tour in 2019. The 27-date tour will kick off in Detroit on Jan. 10, making additional stops in New Orleans, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and more. Additional dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Alabama's Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook formed the band in 1969 when the cousins journeyed to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to play at a bar called The Bowery.

"We never thought playing for tips at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, that 50 years later we would still playing arenas, stadiums and festivals," says Randy. "Teddy, Jeff and I are humbled at the amount of fans that are coming out to see us. We are finding out that we are playing to three generations of fans who have followed us and our music from day one. The fans are the ones responsible for our continued success on the road and we love them."

The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, Restless Heart, Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence and Exile will join Alabama on select dates.

Alabama 50th Anniversary Tour

Jan. 10 | Detroit, MI | The Fox Theatre (w/ Chris Janson)
Jan. 11 | Indianapolis, IN | Bankers Life Fieldhouse (w/ Restless Heart)
Jan. 19 | Atlantic City, NJ | Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
Jan. 20 | Albany, NY | Times Union Center (w/ Exile)
Feb 14 | San Antonio, TX | San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Feb 15 | New Orleans, LA | Smoothie King Center (w/ Tracy Lawrence)
Feb 28 | Plant City, FL | Florida Strawberry Festival
March 1 | St. Augustine, FL | The St. Augustine Amphitheatre
March 14 | Salem, VA | Salem Civic Center (w/ The Oak Ridge Boys)
March 15 | Pittsburgh, PA | PPG Paints Arena (w/ Tracy Lawrence)
March 22 | Springfield, MO | JQH Arena (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
March 23 | North Little Rock, AR | Verizon Arena (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
April 5 | Greensboro, NC | Greensboro Coliseum (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
April 6 | Charlottesville, VA | John Paul Jones Arena (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
April 12 | Wilkes-Barre, PA | Mohegan Sun Arena (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
April 13 | Hartford, CT | XL Center (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
April 26 | Providence, RI | Dunkin' Donuts Center (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
April 27 | State College, PA | Bryce Jordan Center (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
May 31 | Cedar Rapids, IA | U.S. Cellular Center
June 1 | La Cygne, KS | Tumbleweed
June 6 | Myrtle Beach, SC | Carolina Country Music Festival
June 7 | Macon, GA | Macon Centreplex Coliseum (w/ The Marshall Tucker Band)
June 13 -16 | Grand Junction, CO | Country Jam (performance date TBA)
June 15 | Salt Lake City, UT | Maverik Center
June 26 | Minneapolis, MN | Target Center (w/ The Charlie Daniels Band)
June 27 | Oshkosh, WI | Country USA
Sept 14 | Peoria, IL | Tailgate N' Tallboys

As 2018 begins to wind down, Billboard has released its top listening trends of the year, including the most-played country artists, singles, albums and more.

Check out a few of Billboard's Top 10 lists below. For more comprehensive lists, visit billboard.com.

2018 Top Country Airplay Songs


"Heaven" | Kane Brown
"Get Along" | Kenny Chesney
"One Number Away" | Luke Combs
"Hotel Key" | Old Dominion
"Tequila" | Dan + Shay
"Everything's Gonna Be Alright" | David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney
"Hooked" | Dylan Scott
"For the First Time" | Darius Rucker
"Blue Tacoma" | Russell Dickerson
"Most People Are Good" | Luke Bryan

2018 Top Country Albums


This One's for You Too | Luke Combs
Kane Brown | Kane Brown
Rearview Town | Jason Aldean
Traveller | Chris Stapleton
Life Changes | Thomas Rhett
What Makes You Country | Luke Bryan
From A Room: Vol. 2 | Chris Stapleton
Brett Young | Brett Young
From A Room: Vol. 1 | Chris Stapleton
Cry Pretty | Carrie Underwood

2018 Top Country Artists


Chris Stapleton
Kane Brown
Florida Georgia Line
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Luke Bryan
Jason Aldean
Dan + Shay
Kenny Chesney
Blake Shelton

Singer/songwriter Eric Paslay and wife Natalie welcomed their first child, daughter Piper Lily Paslay, into the world on December 8th in Nashville.

Eric has co-penned hits for Jake Owen ("Barefoot Blue Jean Night"), Eli Young Band ("Even If It Breaks Your Heart"), Rascal Flatts ("Rewind") and more, as well as had his own success on the charts with "Friday Night," "Song About a Girl" and "She Don't Love You."

Eric and Natalie were married in 2015.

Alan Jackson will hit the road for a number of weekend shows in 2019 . . . and he's bringing Randy Houser and William Michael Morgan along for the ride.

Alan will visit more than 15 cities, including stops in Louisville, Omaha, Wichita, Orlando and more. In addition to Randy and William Michael, many of Alan's shows will include a brief performance by aspiring singer/songwriters who've played AJ?s Good Time Bar, Alan's honky-tonk on downtown Nashville's famed Lower Broadway.

Tickets for most dates are on sale now.

Alan Jackson Tour

Jan. 25 | Louisville, KY | KFC Yum! Center*
Jan. 26 | Greenville, SC | Bon Secours Wellness Arena*
Feb. 22 | Madison, WI | Alliant Energy Center*
Feb. 23 | Grand Rapids, MI | Van Andel Arena*
March 10 | Bossier City, LA | CenturyLink Center*
April 12 | Oklahoma City, OK | Chesapeake Energy Arena*
April 13 | Omaha, NE | CHI Health Center**
April 26 | Fort Wayne, IN | War Memorial Coliseum*
May 10 | Columbus, OH | Schottenstein Center*
May 17 | Winston-Salem, NC | Veterans Mem. Coliseum*
May 18 | Hershey, PA | Giant Center*
Aug. 9 | Rogers, AR | Walmart AMP*
Aug. 10 | Wichita, KS | Intrust Bank Arena*
Aug. 23 | N. Charleston, SC | N. Charleston Coliseum**
Aug. 24 | Charlotte, NC | Spectrum Center**
Sept. 20 | Orlando, FL | Amway Arena*
Sept. 21 | Jacksonville, FL | Veterans Memorial Coliseum*

*William Michael Morgan
**Randy Houser

Eric Paslay and wife Natalie welcomed their first child, daughter Piper Lily, Saturday. The couple married in 2015.

 

Elvis Presley Enterprises and Live Nation have announced a partnership to bring concerts to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. The 2,000-capacity Graceland Soundstage, which is located at the Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex, and the 464-capacity theater inside the Guest House at Graceland Hotel will be ramping up bookings with the assistance of Live Nation.
 
Per the partnership, the two entities plan to host 50-75 shows in 2019 with more in 2020. The first slate of performers, who are expected to range from legacy acts to up and comers, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Alan Jackson will kick off his 2019 tour January 25th in Louisville, KY. Joining him are William Michael Morgan and Randy Houser.  
https://www.alanjackson.com/news.html 

Country artists will come together for C’Ya On the Flipside, a benefit concert on January 9th at the Grand Ole Opry House that will support the Troy Gentry Foundation.

After Troy Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash on Sept. 8, 2017, his wife, Angie, helped launch the non-profit foundation that aims to provide financial support to cancer research organizations, military families and music education.

C’Ya On the Flipside will feature performances by Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Tracey Lawerence, Colt Ford, Ray Scott, Jimmie Allen, Halfway to Hazard, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, Eddie Montgomery, Justin Moore, Craig Morgan, Jon Pardi, Rascal Flatts, Jeffrey Steele and Neil Thrasher. Blake Shelton and Storme Warren will co-host the event. Tickets are on sale now.

The concert will also support the Opry Trust Fund, T. J. Martell Foundation, Make-A-Wish, The Journey Home project and scholarships and instruments for music education in Kentucky schools. Troy, a Kentucky native who was 50 at the time of his death, was one half of the country duo Montgomery Gentry.  

The Route 91 Harvest Festival may return to Las Vegas, Nev., in 2019. 

During a music industry conference in Las Vegas, representatives from the festival's parent company, Live Nation, shared that they are making plans to bring the event back. The event did not occur in 2018, after it was the site of a mass shooting in which 58 people were killed and more than 800 people were injured in 2017.

Julie Matway, who is the chief operating officer of Country Nation, Live Nation's festival division, shared that organizers are working on a way to honor those who died and were injured.

Rather than returning to the Las Vegas Village, the original festival site, the Route 91 Harvest Festival would move to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, a site located further north on the Las Vegas Strip.

Reba McEntire says talking politics is “not my job.”

The country music legend said: “You can vote in and you can say what you want to, and you can choose not to say what you want to."

Last year, McEntire told "The View" that when she performs at concerts, she is “there to entertain them, to take their worries away from them, so when they walk out, they can kind of have a little lift in their step and go, ‘Aw, that was such a great break from all the problems I have to deal with during daily life.’ So I’m not going to give them my political views.”