In celebration of the Grand Ole Opry’s 90th Anniversary, the Opry and Southwest Airlines are returning to the heart of New York City for the third annual series of free acoustic performances at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park. Kelsea Ballerini will hit the stage on September 9th followed by Chase Bryant on September 28th. Kelsea and Chase will each travel to Manhattan with the Opry’s signature microphone stand and will continue the 90th anniversary year tradition of throwing down a replica of the famed circle of wood from center stage at the Opry House, a la an “Opry Circle Throwdown.”
The performances are open to the public, and seating will be based on a first-come first-served basis. Other guests will be invited to be a part of each performance in the park outside the perimeter of the Southwest Porch.
The Opry will officially celebrate with its 90th Birthday Bash in Nashville on October 2nd and 3rd.
It’s not uncommon for Toby Keith to pay homage to past and present military during his shows, but one special guest made the singer break down and cry during his tour stop in Charlotte, NC on Friday. Keith brought 93-year-old Lt. Col. Harry Frizzell, a 35-year Veteran, on stage during his performance of “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).” After singing, Keith handed the microphone to Frizzell who told the enthusiastic crowd about the four wars he fought in and ended by saying “God bless America.” Keith began wiping his eyes and covering his face with his hands as he visibly shook from crying. The singer eventually walked off stage with Frizzell and his family, returning a few minutes later to finish the show.
In other Keith news, he will be among Stephen Colbert‘s first guests as he takes over for David Letterman on CBS. Keith will appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on September 10th.
Little Big Town premiered the video for their new single, “Pain Killer,” over the weekend. The group filmed the clip in the Virgin Islands where they did some underwater singing for the very first time.
“Pain Killer” is the third single and title track from Little Big Town’s latest album.
Sam Hunt is this week’s Billboard cover artist for Music’s Men of Style issue, which is already on newsstands. He’s also celebrating the double platinum certification of his Number One hit, “Take Your Time.” Earlier this week, Sam performed his latest hit, “House Party,” on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, with an exclusive online performance of “Break Up In A Small Town.”
Maddie & Tae treated guests to a preview of the new music on their upcoming album during a special party in Nashville on Tuesday. The duo gave an acoustic performance of some of the songs from their debut project, Start Here, including their Number One hit, “Girl In A Country Song,” and their latest hit, “Fly.”
They also surprised attendees with an appearance by Lee Ann Womack, who joined them to sing her hit “”A Little Past Little Rock,” a song Maddie & Tae revealed they often played for tips when they were just starting out.
The duo were surprised themselves when the label presented them with platinum plaques for “Girl In A Country Song.”
Tim McGraw was full of surprises during his sold-out show in Nashville on Saturday and it wasn’t just the celebs like Faith Hill, Chris Janson and Tim’s daughter, Gracie McGraw, who popped in to sing. The superstar partnered with Ram Truck and Alumacraft Boats, Yamaha Motors and Anderson Marine to give away a 2015 Ram 1500 and a Prowler 175 Alumacraft Boat with a Yamaha 50HP Motor to a lucky fan. The giveaway benefited Operation Homefront – a military family support nonprofit – through a matching gift from Tim and some of the sponsors. It was only appropriate that Tim invited Chris Janson on stage to sing his hit “Buy Me A Boat” for the giveaway moment. The night’s lucky fan was Kenny Jordan of Nashville who was in attendance with his wife and two of his daughters.
Also attending the concert was Navy veteran Tracy Baggett, who received a mortgage-free home at the concert from Operation Homefront through its continuing partnership with Tim and Chase. Over the past three years, Tim, Chase, and Operation Homefront have partnered to award 108 homes to veterans at his concerts.
Tim said, “This is such a great program and I wanted to do something extra in Nashville to help Operation Homefront and Tracy. I want to give a special thanks to Ram Trucks, Alumacraft Boats, Yamaha and Anderson Marine for stepping up in a big way to support our veterans by making these amazing contributions.”
Luke Bryan and Reba were both in the Big Apple on Wednesday to promote their respective projects — his, the new album, Kill The Lights, and hers, a new single called “Until They Don’t Love You” — when they decided to meet up for lunch. People.com reports Luke and Reba were spotted dining at Del Frisco’s Grille in New York City hours before Reba’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon appearance. Luke performed on the show earlier this week.
Luke and Reba were joined by Reba’s husband and manager Narvel Blackstock. The two are still working together professionally, despite their recent announcement that they are ending their two-plus decade marriage. A source said their two-hour meal consisted of cheesesteak eggrolls, ahi tuna tacos, oven-baked flatbreads and Veuve champagne.