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.

Garth Brooks has rescheduled two upcoming The Stadium Tour dates, moving his Charlotte, NC stop from May 2nd to June 13th and his Cincinnati show from May 16th to June 27th. All previously purchased tickets will be honored.  
https://www.garthbrooks.com/

 

Milwaukee's Summerfest 2020, originally set for June 24th-July 5th, has been rescheduled for September 3rd-5th, 10th-12th and 17th-19th. Country acts previously slated to perform include Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Chris Stapleton and Marty Stuart. Previously purchased festival tickets will be honored for the new dates. 
https://www.summerfest.com/

Tim McGraw created his own viral challenge called the #DeepCutsChallenge. 

McGraw sang his favorite song "Take the Long Way Home" by John Schneider and then nominated Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, and Kenny Chesney to sing one of their favorite "deep cuts" and post it to Instagram while tagging other artists to also participate.

Brad Paisley accepted the challenge and then nominated Darius Rucker, but made a strict rule that he couldn't do any Hootie and the Blowfish covers.

Rucker not only did the #DeepCutsChallenge, but then tagged Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum to do the same.

Kelley came back with "Call Me a Dog" by Chris Cornell, and then challenged Russell Dickerson.

Russell actually sang a deep cut by Tim McGraw, paying homage to the man that started this madness, and tagged Thomas Rhett in to join the fun.

Rhett completed the challenge and then nominated Morgan Wallen.

Wallen fired back with a Jason Aldean deep cut before nominating Luke Combs.

Combs sang a Chris Stapleton track then tagged Vince Gill in.

The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will be held Wednesday, September 16th, airing live on CBS and CBS All Access, where it will also be available on demand. Venue and performers will be announced soon. As previously announced, Keith Urban will host. The show was originally scheduled for April 5th but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans were so eager to see Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood together in a Facebook Live concert Monday night that the overloaded site crashed again and again. And again.

3.4 million viewers tuned in to see the husband-and-wife team give an emotional, soulful "Inside Studio G" concert.

"We're all in this together," Brooks said, after tearfully watching Yearwood sing "Amazing Grace."


Some high points of the hour-long home concert:


This was down-home casual. Brooks sported scruffy facial hair, a cap and a Detroit Mercy Lacrosse hoodie sweatshirt while Yearwood wore a Nashville Predators hockey shirt and occasionally threw on her reading glasses. At one point between songs, Yearwood reached over and removed some "fuzz" from her husband's beard.

Brooks made it clear he's been suffering from cabin fever as the national call to stay at home continues. After one guitar riff, a smiling Brooks declared, "I need this worse than anybody."

There's a silver lining to being at home.

Garth said, "You get to play your guitar walking around your home because – got nothing to do."



Brooks called out for requests and his legion of fans obliged, some 50,000 requests, most far out of the usual songbook. "Whiskey To Wine" and "Thicker Than Blood" ruled, but the duo took on George Jones and Tammy Wynette's "Golden Rings" and the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga song "Shallow." They cracked up at parts, but nailed the "Shallow" harmony.

They followed that up with a perfectly suited version of Ed Sheeran's "Perfect." Songs like "Hallelujah" and Yearwood's vocals "Amazing Grace" took on deeper meaning.


Even Garth was visibly surprised when Trisha Yearwood asked to take his guitar out for a spin.

"I wanna play. Do not panic," she said, helping the instrument from her husband's neck.

Garth replied, "I've never seen you play."

"You'll see why I quit playing," she said. "Just love me. This is all about community, it's not about being perfect."

Yearwood then performed Linda Rondstadt's "Long, Long Time" that had Brooks (again) getting tearful.



-- Garth started the concert not quite sure if his guitar-playing fingers could take a half-hour concert. At the end of an hour, he had to be told by his off-camera handlers that the two were close to going on beyond the booked time.

The two said goodnight with Brooks' parting words. "Everyone love one another."

Maren Morris and husband Ryan Hurd welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named "Hayes Andrew Hurd".

Maren and Ryan tied the knot back in 2018 after several years of dating. 
 
In just a few short months, Maren will head back out on the road for her RSVP: The Tour, which begins in June and continues through October.  

Sara Evans will release "Cover That" on May 13th on her Born to Fly Records.

The 13-song release is a covers album spanning six decades with Evans putting her stamp on country and pop music, songs that have inspired her life and career.

"Copy That" is Evans' first solo studio album since 2017's "Words."

The project, featuring collaborations with Old Crow Medicine Show and Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet, is co-produced by Sara and Jarrad K (Ruston Kelly, Weezer, Goo Goo Dolls).

A number of country stars will fill the time slot vacated by the postponed ACM Awards with a two-hour special on CBS.

"ACM Presents: Our Country" will feature intimate conversations and at-home acoustic performances with top country artists along with clips of their favorite moments from the Academy of Country Music Awards’ 55-year history. The new special will be broadcast Sunday, April 5th (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Participating artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards were postponed until September.

Zac Brown is pleading for people to take the coronavirus outbreak much more seriously.

The country singer begged his followers in an Instagram video to stay indoors to avoid spreading the coronavirus, which has caused him to postpone his band’s tour and let go nearly his entire road crew.

Brown said “It was a hard day today. For the last 15 years, my crew and who I carry with me out on the road to play my shows and do what we do, I’ve had to let go about 90% of my family. The people that I’ve traveled with and grew my business with.”

He added “The longer that America doesn’t take this seriously and doesn’t stay in and try to contain this, the longer everyone is gonna be out of jobs, the longer we’re gonna be pushed into this recession that we are all about to enter into.”