R&B/Pop legend Lionel Richie says he’s returning to country music... almost seven years since Richie dove into the country music world with "Tuskeegee."

The 2012 album featured the R&B giant teaming up with country's biggest stars to reinterpret his hits. 

Richie was back on the red carpet of the CMA Awards on Wednesday night and revealed, "I'm about to make that move right now. Because what's happening is, they keep asking me over and over again ... A lot of times, people try to make up something to make it happen. But I'm getting it from country radio: 'When are you gonna do it?' So let's (not) play around. Keep your ears open. It's gonna be something surprising."

Richie says he's gravitating to the stars who are also great songwriters: his "top three" are Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton.

Vince Gill has postponed several shows due to being hospitalized with a kidney stone that made him miss the CMA Awards.

The 61-year old singer-songwriter and guitarist was slated to perform alongside longtime friend and former bandmate Ricky Skaggs at the 2018 CMA Awards on Wednesday night but was forced to cancel that appearance at the last minute after being hospitalized. Brothers Osborne guitarist John Osborne revealed on the red carpet that Gill had a kidney stone, and Brothers Osborne ended up filling in for Gill, along with Keith Urban, in an all-star country and bluegrass jam led by Skaggs that was a show highlight.

Gill's scheduled show for Thursday (Nov. 15) at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham was postponed, as has his gig set for tonight at the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis. Both venues announced the postponements via social media. The dates are expected to be rescheduled within the next several months.
https://vincegill.com/

Wednesday night's 52nd Annual CMA Awards on ABC-TV hit an all-time ratings low, attracting 10.1 million viewers and a 2.1 rating/9 share among Adults 18-49. That's a ratings and viewer drop of 29% and 34%, respectively, compared to last year's 14.29 million. The network still won the night by a wide margin in viewers and adults 18-49.

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A Media Research Center-sponsored poll by McLaughlin & Associates released last month found that 43% of respondents nationwide say they’re “less likely to watch” live entertainment shows “because they’ve gotten to political.”

What’s more, three-quarters (74%) say they actually watch live sports and entertainment shows (like the CMAs) “to get away from politics and do not want to be bombarded with partisan political messages.”

Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last year when a gunman opened fire, killing 58.

Now, Aldean opened up about his feelings following last week's deadly mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

He said, 'It's just such a punch in the gut,' to learn that some of the victims had also been present at the Las Vegas massacre.

Aldean added, 'I hate to say this, but it's almost not even surprising, anymore.'

'You know it happens so often now. 

'I'm not even shocked anymore when I wake up and hear something like that. Because it just it seems like it's happening all the time.'

A dozen people were killed in Thousand Oaks after a Marine veteran opened fire with a handgun.

Several of the people who were at the Borderline during the shooting, including one man who was killed, had been present at last year's massacre, the deadliest in U.S. history. 

Aldean said, 'People go places like that to unwind and have a good time after a long week at work or school,' it's 'the saddest thing'.

The 2018 Country Music Association Awards started with Garth Brooks leading a solemn tribute to the 12 people killed during a shooting at a Southern California country music bar last week.

Garth said, "On behalf of our country music community, I want to say that tonight's show is lovingly dedicated to the 12 individuals whom we lost too soon just a week ago tonight."

He urged viewers and the audience to "celebrate their lives." Brooks then took off his hat and asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence. The names of those killed were shown on a black screen for television audiences.

After the moment of silence, the show began with a rousing performance of Luke Bryan's song "What Makes You Country."   Bryan swapped lyrics with three-time nominee Chris Janson, twice-nominated Luke Combs, Cole Swindell, Lindsay Ell, Ashley McBryde and Jon Pardi.

Keith Urban won his second Entertainer of the Year Award on Wednesday night at the 52nd CMA Awards, 13 years after he picked up his first trophy in the show's most prestigious category. 

During his emotional acceptance speech Urban said to his wife, Nicole Kidman: "Baby girl, I Iove you so much.  I'm shocked beyond shocked. God, I thank you so much for the blessings of this. I wish my dad was alive to see this, but I think he's watching over me tonight."

The night’s other top winners include Chris Stapleton, who — surprising even himself — won Single and Song of the Year for his “Broken Halos” and Male Vocalist of the Year. He used his Single of the Year acceptance speech to direct attention to the wildfire victims in California, dedicating the win to them.

Stapleton said,  “First, I’m going to say there’s so many great songs in this category, and they all should have won.  I wrote this song with my good friend Mike Henderson and wrote it about people who have gone on before their time.”

Country music’s biggest night had a few more of country music’s biggest upsets. Brothers Osborne took Vocal Duo of the Year for the third time and said they thought Dan + Shay was going to win.

T.J. Osborne joked, "If this was in Florida, there would definitely be a recount.  

Kacey Musgraves won Album of the Year for “Golden Hour.” 

Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy took the trophy for “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which was announced Wednesday morning before the awards show on "Good Morning America."

Chesney wasn’t at the show due to a death in his family.


Old Dominion took Vocal Group of the Year, and Luke Combs won New Artist of the Year.  With his voice breaking with emotion, Combs thanked everyone who ever believed in him or inspired him.

Luke Combs is kicking an old habit thanks to his girlfriend.  He says he finally ditched chewing tobacco with a little loving coercion.

Combs says, "I'm trying to quit dipping — well actually, I have quit. It was 'cause of my girlfriend. She hated that I dipped and you know it was just time. Time to just kick it."

Combs instead turned to lozenges to help wean him off the old go-to. 

Combs says the decision to quit dipping was also a career one, noting the habit can negatively affect his singing voice. He says... "the worst thing in the world for your voice is any sort of acid reflux, heartburn type thing. Obviously, I eat a lot greasy stuff anyways, and then I dipped, so that's really what kills your voice more than anything."

Given the choice between quitting certain food and quitting dip, he says the "choice was obvious." But not necessarily easy. "I do miss it every day, but I'm getting better."

Miranda Lambert recently scored her latest #1 hit, but she had to team up with a male artist to do it.

Lambert joined Jason Aldean for "Drowns the Whiskey," which he released as the second single from his current album, "Rearview Town". The song reached #1 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, marking Lambert's first #1 single since she teamed with Carrie Underwood on "Somethin' Bad" in 2014. Even then, that song reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, peaking at #7 in terms of radio airplay. Lambert's four singles from 2016's acclaimed "The Weight of These Wings" album all peaked outside of the Top 10 in terms of airplay.
 
Lambert tells the Washington Post,  "Yes, I had to sing with someone with a penis to get a #1.  I do like this person, Jason Aldean, a lot ... so it was a great song with an old friend."

She sees it as part of a trend in recent years that has seen female artists struggle at country radio, which has become more and more obviously slanted toward male artists.

Miranda explains, "It is interesting that I haven't had even a Top 20 in a long, long time. And then it goes No. 1 because it's a dude. But you know — if we went and looked at how many singles or records were sold for the Top 10 songs right now, I'd probably triple it on record sales. So it doesn't matter."

Florida Georgia Line have premiered the video for "Talk You Out of It" at Apple Music.

FGL's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard invited their wives, Brittney Kelley and Hayley Hubbard, to costar in the video.  

FGL is preparing to release its fourth album, although no release has been set. They also are doing a five-night Vegas residency starting December 1st.

Country Radio Seminar has come under fire over female representation, as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary February 13th-15th. 

The controversy surrounds the New Faces of Country Music showcase, one of the most attended events during the annual three-day event. Each year, the radio community votes to determine which five developing acts will perform in front of a room of radio professionals. Among next year's 13 nominees on the ballot, only one is a woman.

Lindsay Ell stands out in an otherwise boys club for the CRS New Faces Class of 2019. She has been nominated alongside Jimmie Allen, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Morgan Evans, Riley Green, Walker Hayes, LANCO, Chris Lane, Dylan Scott, Mitchell Tenpenny, Morgan Wallen and Aaron Watson. 

Since the announcement was made on November 8th,  social media boards have been lighting up about the lack of female representation for New Faces, but the bigger criticism continues to be over how country radio’s lack of support led to the paltry showing. 

While CRS executive director Bill Mayne says he'd love more diversity on next year's New Faces lineup, he stands by the criteria he put in place a decade ago that lays out specific requirements on who qualifies for a CRS New Faces nomination. He says the rules to qualify aren't made to discriminate, adding the lack of females being played on country radio makes it increasingly hard for them to meet the criteria. 

The New Faces of Country Music qualification criteria states that "acts must have had at least one but no more than five top 25 singles on the Mediabase Country Chart as published in Country Aircheck or at least one but no more than five top 25 singles on the BDS-based Country Chart during the qualification period." Additionally, the artists selected must have not appeared on the New Faces show before. As a result, this leaves out acts like Maren Morris, Lauren Alaina, Carly Pearce and Kelsea Ballerini, all of whom have experienced radio airplay and chart success within the past year and have taken part in recent New Faces showcases. 

Throughout the qualification period of November 1, 2017 - October 31, 2018, Ell is the only female who hasn't been nominated in previous years that had a top 25 hit on the Billboard Country Airplay chart with "Criminal."