Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee Tuesday morning, including a direct hit in downtown Nashville around 12:40 a.m. At least 25 people have died and 160 were injured and there was significant damage to hundreds of homes and buildings, including the popular concert venue Basement East. 

Co-owner Mike Grimes explained five Basement East employees found shelter “with seconds to spare before the roof blew off. The building is a “total loss,” he added. 

“Building is destroyed, but we will be back."

Organizers plan to relocate or cancel upcoming concerts booked at Basement East.

One of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Nashville was the historic Germantown area, which has a population of more than 2,700 people, including numerous industry execs, media members and country stars.

A number of country stars checked in via social media and other press outlets—including Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, Kelsea Ballerini, Reba McEntire, Jake Owen, Maren Morris and more—to share updates and prayers.

Blake Shelton: "Thinking about you #Nashville. Stay strong!!!"

Reba: "My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the Nashville area affected by the tornado last night. Even if the tornado didn’t hit our personal space, we are all affected because we are Nashvillians."

The Oak Ridge Boys: "Our hometown of Hendersonville was spared by the awful band of storms last night but East Nashville Mt Juliet and much of Lebanon were hit hard by tornados ... 9 dead thus far ... huge damage ..."

Jake Owen: "I’m thankful for the well wishes here in Nashville from everyone. There are people that have lost loved ones and their homes. We as NASHVILLE will stand together and help anyone and everyone in need. That’s why I’m proud to live here and call it home."

Kelsea Ballerini: "Oh nashville. very sad morning. how do we start to help? point me in the right direction and let’s start helping and healing."

Carrie Underwood via Today show: “[Mike] said he had to go upstairs at, like, 2 a.m. and grab the boys and take them down…we have like a little safe room in our house. I bet everybody was crying.”
Carrie Underwood told the 'Today Show' about trying to contact her family in Nashville during the recent tornado while she was on a book tour.

Maren Morris via Twitter: “The tornado must have missed our block by an inch because we are alright but I am so depleted looking at the damage that has happened to our beautiful city. There are so many people in the streets helping already, though. Thinking of those who lost their loved ones + homes.”

Dierks Bentley via Twitter: “We ducked around this cell and landed at john tune airport around 11:30 last night. Glad we landed when we did. Wouldn’t have been good an hour later. It was the cell that turned into the tornado. Lot of people lost their homes. No one comes together as a city like Nashville does”.

Jon Pardi will try to scored his fifth #1 single with the release of "Ain't Always the Cowboy," which will impact country radio on March 16th. Penned by Brandon Kinney and Josh Thompson, "Ain't Always the Cowboy" is featured on Jon's 2019 album, Heartache Medication.

After scoring four Top 5 singles--including three #1 hits--with his 2016 #1 album, California Sunrise, Jon topped the charts with Heartache Medication's title track in February. Jon is also currently featured on Thomas Rhett's new single, "Beer Can't Fix."

Singer Jimmie Allen and Alexis Gale welcomed their first child together, daughter Naomi Betty Allen, Sunday. She joins 5-year-old brother Aadyn.  

Carrie Underwood celebrated the release of her fitness and lifestyle book "Find Your Path" by launching the fit52 fitness app.  The country superstar unveiled her new wellness platform on Monday, one day ahead of her book’s release.

Underwood explained, “Fitness is a true passion for me. The fit52 app incorporates what I’ve been doing myself for years, and we’ve made it easy and totally accessible for anyone that wants help in working out. We worked really hard to create a high-quality, user-friendly app that is designed for busy people and their busy lives. fit52 meets you wherever you are on your health journey, and I’m so proud of it.”

The fit52 app is part of a holistic wellness platform designed to encourage and support people on their respective personal wellness journeys with the goal to make it easier “to find your path to a stronger, healthier you.” The app was created in partnership with Creative Labs and Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and is now available for download on iOS.

Rhonda Vincent was surprised on stage at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night by Opry member Jeannie Seely with an invitation to become an official Opry member. Vincent had just performed her 2019 bluegrass chart-topper “Like I Could,” a tune co-written by Seely. Vincent will be officially inducted into the Opry family March 24th.

Pam Tillis will release a new album, "Looking for a Feeling," on April 24th.

One of the songs is "Dolly -169."  

Tillis says, "I met Dolly as a little girl, and you could see that drive; the legends I grew up around taught me that it takes nothing less than a fire to make it in this business. Even if that fire causes a little collateral damage long the way, you know nothing's going to stop that burning to create music."

Miranda Lambert's husband has officially retired from the New York Police Department.

A media spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed Brendan McLoughlin's "current duty status is retired."
McLoughlin retired from the police force this month, after taking a months-long leave of absence from the department beginning last summer.

The former cop is now working as a member of Lambert's security team.

Reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban will host the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, airing April 5th from Las Vegas on CBS.  

Nominees were announced Thursday morning.  Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and producer Dann Huff led with five apiece.

Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood and Rhett were nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year on Thursday.

Kelsea Ballerini's new album "Kelsea" features duets with Kenny Chesney and pop star Halsey.

Chesney and Ballerini will sing "Half of My Hometown" together, while Halsey is joining Ballerini on a song called "The Other Girl".  

"Kelsea" is available on March 20th and features her current single "Homecoming Queen?" as well as "Hole In the Bottle," the song she's releasing today.