Country music icon Mel Tillis passed away early yesterday morning (11/19) at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. Tillis battled intestinal issues since early 2016 and never fully recovered. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure. He was 85. The Country Music Hall of Famer leaves behind six children including country singer Pam Tillis. He is best known for his hits song in the 1970 and 1980's including "Coca Cola Cowboy," which topped the country charts in 1979. He also did many movies in the 70's with Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reed and the like.

One country star that took the loss pretty hard was Blake Shelton, he tweeted several times Sunday morning (11/19) after hearing the news. Shelton said of Tillis, "Some of my most cherished memories are the times I spent with Mel Tillis. Many many great memories. From fishing, to just having a beer, to him crashing my concert! He once spent an entire day at his place in Tennessee showing me all the memorabilia he'd gathered over the years where he gave me a pair of his stage boots. He even took time to talk me through some hard times in my life on a couple phone calls. He did his best to try and keep my head on straight. I looked up to Mel more than he could've possibly known. A talented songwriter. An incredible entertainer. And a funny funny guy. It has been a couple years since I saw him last. I deeply regret that now. What a truly devastating loss. I loved Mel. I will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers to all his family."

The Tillis family asks for your prayers and will soon release more information regarding funeral services in Florida and Nashville.

Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton are the two country CDs on the Billboard top 10 for the chart coming out this week.

Chesney's "Live in No Shoes Nation" dropped from sixth to ninth with 33,000 units; down 37 percent. Shelton's "Texoma Shore" fell from 4th to 10th with 32,000 units; down 49 percent.

Taylor Swift's "Reputation" had a huge sales week with the year's biggest week for an album, at 1.238 million equivalent album units for the week ending November 16th.

Neal McCoy debuted his new single, “Take a Knee, My Ass (I Won’t Take a Knee)” on Facebook Live.  It’s a new song taking aim at those who take a knee during the National Anthem.

McCoy says, “I’ve been on 15 USO tours. I’ve entertained our troops in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and all over the world. So, no, this is not a money grab. This is a guy that believes in our country, that does not like people kneeling, not standing with their hands over their hearts, for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. That’s what I’m about.”

McCoy has said the Pledge of Allegiance on social media for 683 consecutive days.

McCoy also recently took aim at the GQ cover naming former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick “Citizen of the Year”, saying: “Now, I didn’t read the article, I saw it when I was driving, I understand they’re probably going to say he’s done a lot for Civil Rights and everything, and maybe he has. Maybe whatever he was trying to do, with civil unrest, maybe African Americans being treated wrong, or not equally, and some of that’s right. Maybe that’s what he was trying to do. But, taking a knee during the National Anthem at a professional NFL game is not the way to do it.”

Keith Urban was the big winner at the American Music Awards on Sunday, taking three awards.



Favorite Country Male Artist
Keith Urban

Favorite Country Female Artist
Carrie Underwood

Favorite Country Duo or Group
Little Big Town

Favorite Country Album
Keith Urban “Ripcord”

Favorite Country Song
Keith Urban "Blue Ain't Your Color"

This Friday, November 24th, AT&T Audience Network will broadcast a special concert and documentary event with Lady Antebellum via DirectTV Ch 239, AT&T U-verse Ch 1114 and streaming on-demand through DIRECTV NOW.

The special two-house show is entitled “Lady Antebellum: YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR” starts at 7:00 p.m. CT and will include personal interviews and a never-before-seen concert with their hits and new tunes. The show was taped live at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, for their last North American stop on the tour in promotion of their latest album Heart Break.

 

Keith Urban is Waffle King!

His ballad "Blue Ain't Your Color" tops the annual list of the top 10 songs played across 1,850 Waffle House restaurants across 25 states.

More than 30 million songs have been played in those jukeboxes.

Maren Morris got engaged to fellow country singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd in July and now the couple has finally set a wedding date. In an interview with E! News, the country star announced that they’re tying the knot on March 24th.

How about the band? "Niall's performing!" Morris teased, meaning Niall Horan, with whom she collaborated on the song “Seeing Blind” off his new album, “Flicker”. 

Whether Horan will actually make the joke a reality remains to be seen.

The 2017 American Music Awards are stacked with A-list performers, including Kelly Clarkson and Florida Georgia Line. Both artists will appear as part of collaborations. Clarkson is opening the show with Pink, marking the first time the two will perform together. FGL will join forces for a duet with Bebe Rexha on her new hit "Meant to Be," which appears on her 2017 EP, “All Your Fault: Part 2”.   

 

Brett Eldredge is going to be touring with People's Sexiest Man Alive next year, and he understands whyBlake Shelton was chosen.
Brett says Blake is “a sexy man,” adding, "But he's a big goofball too, which is the new sexy." "Goofy is the new sexy.”

Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Zac Brown Band, the late Donna Summer and Eagles are among the artists contributing to "A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg", available tomorrow (Friday).

Fogelberg’s widow, Jean, produced the album, along with producer Norbert Putnam, Irving Azoff and Chuck Morris, all of whom played seminal roles in Fogelberg’s career. Fogelberg died 10 years ago from prostate cancer. 

Among the highlights are Brooks’ cover of “Phoenix” and Zac Brown Band's emotionally charged live take on “Leader of the Band”.   and Gill and Grant reimagine “Longer” as a sweet duet. 

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were this year's recipients of the Legends of Live award during the Billboard's annual Touring Awards and conference in Los Angeles Tuesday night 
The ceremony honored superstar venues, festivals, promoters and others in the touring industry.

 

Darius Rucker will headline the College Football Playoff National Championship's pregame free concert January 8th, as part of the AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! concert series.  Brett Young will open for Rucker.

 

Carrie Underwood and John Legend will co-host "Grammy's Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special" November 24th on CBS-TV. The show will feature rare archival footage, exclusive interviews and appearances by Grammy winners and nominees, including Blake Shelton and Keith Urban.