Photo: Frederick Breedon IV/WireImage
Dan + Shay, Pistol Annies And More In 2019 CMA Fest Lineup
GRAMMY winners include Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban
61st GRAMMY Awards winners Dan + Shay and Pistol Annies are among the artists heading for Nashville on June 6–9 for 2019 CMA Fest. The array of emerging talent on the Budweiser Forever Country stage and Chevy Riverfront Stage demonstrate country's vitality. Nissan Stadium hosts better-known acts including GRAMMY winners Miranda Lambert (also in Pistol Annies), Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.
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Previously nominated artists coming to Nissan Stadium include Ashley Monroe, who performs in Pistol Annies with Lambert and Angaleena Presley, as well as Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett. Also appearing are Kane Brown, Luke Bryan and Old Dominion.
The Country Music Association's CMA Foundation and its supported music programs benefit from ticket sales, available at the CMA Fest website. Some four-day passes to Nissan Stadium are still available.
Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Remembering Toby Keith: 5 Essential Songs From The Patriotic Cowboy And Country Music Icon
After a two-year battle with stomach cancer, country star Toby Keith passed away on Feb. 5 at the age of 62. Revisit his influence with five of his seminal tracks, including his debut hit "Should've Been a Cowboy."
We may have known about Toby Keith's stomach cancer diagnosis for nearly two years, but that didn't keep the news of his Feb. 5 death from hitting hard. The oftentimes outspoken country music star enjoyed a three-decade career as one of the genre's beloved hitmakers, courtesy of unabashed hits like "Who's Your Daddy?," "Made In America" and "I Wanna Talk About Me."
Occasionally his in-your-face persona clashed with folks, particularly when it came to his political views in recent years. But for the most part, it was Keith's blue-collar upbringing and work ethic that shined through and resonated with his legion of listeners.
It wasn't until his thirties that the future Songwriters Hall of Famer landed his first record deal in 1993, following years grinding away as a rodeo hand, in oil fields and as a semi-professional football player to make ends meet. The Oklahoma-born crooner would go on to record 20 No.1 hits, sell over 40 million records across 26 albums, and gross nearly $400 million touring — cementing himself as one of country music's most successful artists in the process.
As we look back on Keith's life and legacy, here are five essential cuts from the seven-time GRAMMY nominee, whose memory will live on in the hearts of country music artists and fans alike.
"Should've Been A Cowboy" (1993)
Few artists strike gold with their maiden release, but Keith did just that when his song "Should've Been A Cowboy" launched in February 1993. The upbeat track received widespread acclaim, eventually reaching No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart a few months later.
"Should've Been A Cowboy" takes on a distinctly traditional tone as Keith romanticizes cowboy culture by referencing classic westerns like Gunsmoke with nods to Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty in addition to six-shooters, cattle drives and Texas Rangers abound. The tune also reinforces the notion that cowboys just have more fun, whether its "stealin' the young girls' hearts, just like Gene [Autry] and Roy [Rogers]" or "runnin' wild through the hills chasin' Jesse James."
By the looks of Keith's career, he certainly had his fair share of fun, and it may not have come if it weren't for "Should've Been A Cowboy."
"How Do You Like Me Now?!" (1999)
After a successful '90s run (which included two more No. 1s in "Who's That Man" and "Me Too"), Keith kicked off the 2000s with his fourth No. 1 hit, "How Do You Like Me Now?!" In signature Toby Keith fashion, he confronts his haters by asking the titular, rhetorical question, posed to his high school's valedictorian — who was also his crush. "I couldn't make you love me but I always dreamed about livin' in your radio," he sings on the brazen chorus.
The song is a stern reminder to never let anyone keep you from chasing your dreams; it's also a lesson of standing strong on your convictions. Its message also proved fitting for Keith's career: After Mercury Records Nashville rejected the song (and its namesake album) in the late '90s, Keith got out of his deal with them in favor of signing with DreamWorks Records, with whom he released the project a year later. Not only did the single go on to spend five weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, but it became the singer's first major crossover hit.
"Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" (2002)
Keith was never afraid to share his opinion in public or in song, especially when it came to displaying his patriotism and appreciation for those who protect the United States. While the Okie approached this from a softer side on 2003's "American Soldier," his most renowned musings on the subject without a doubt came a year earlier with "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)."
On the angsty ballad — which was written in the wake of his father's March 2001 death and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — Keith channels a universal feeling of American hurt and pride. "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" inspired an equal outpouring of support and outrage that, for better or worse depending on where you stand, helped cement the song into the annals of country music lore.
"I Love This Bar" (2003)
We've all got our favorite watering hole full of its own quirks and characters, from winners to losers, chain-smokers and boozers. Keith taps into that feel-good, hometown hang feeling with "I Love This Bar," a lighthearted tale from 2003's Shock'n Y'all that makes dingy dive bars feel like the prime party destination.
The midtempo track — Keith's 12th No. 1 — further plays into country music drinking tropes as Keith proclaims, "I like my girlfriend, I like to take her out to dinner, I like a movie now and then" before making a hard pivot, adding "but I love this bar."
All joking aside, the song, and all of the unique individuals described within it, have a harmony to them inside those hallowed walls. It's a kinship that seems more and more difficult to find in today's world, and a sentiment best captured at the song's conclusion: "come as you are."
"As Good As I Once Was" (2005)
Your best days may be behind you, but that doesn't mean you can't still live your best life and thrive in the present — even if you don't get over hangovers as quickly as you used to.
That youthful wisdom is distilled into every lyric of "As Good As I Once Was," a reminiscent story in which a then-44-year-old Keith recounts his prime as a lover, drinker and fighter humbly. That being said, his pride is still quick to take charge with convictions like "I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bullet proof."
Lasting six weeks at No. 1, "As Good As I Once Was" was the biggest of the 15 chart-toppers Keith tallied in the 2000s. And though he scored one more in the following decade (along with several other hits, including the playful drinking song "Red Solo Cup"), "As Good As I Once Was" will live on as one of Keith's quintessential messages of fun-loving confidence: "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once, as I ever was."
Photos: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Watch All The Performances From The 2024 GRAMMYs: Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo & More
The 66th GRAMMY Awards were full of memorable moments and incredible performances. Relive Music's Biggest Night with performance videos from Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Gaby Moreno & David Aguilar, and more.
The 2024 GRAMMYs were marked by record-breaking wins, moving speeches and viral moments both on- and offstage. But what truly tied together Music's Biggest Night — beyond artistic excellence — was its slate of stunning and emotional performances.
From Dua Lipa's opening act and new song, to Joni Mitchell's first-ever performance on the GRAMMY stage and the tearjerking-yet-thrilling tribute to lost icons, the 66th GRAMMY Awards were a showcase of the best of the business.
Press play on the videos below and relive the most exciting performances from the 66th GRAMMY Awards
Dua Lipa opened the 66th GRAMMY Awards with a medley of the first two singles from her upcoming album. Tracks "Houdini" and "Training Season" are the first two singles off Dua Lipa’s forthcoming third studio record, which follows her GRAMMY-winning 2020 LP Future Nostalgia. The 2024 GRAMMYs were a sneak peek of "Training Season," as the track officially arrives Feb. 15.
In a full-circle moment, Luke Combs perform his GRAMMY-nominated cover of "Fast Car" — with a suprise appearance from Tracy Chapman. "Fast Car" earned Chapman a GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1989, when she took home the trophy. On the GRAMMY stage, the otherwise reclusive Chapman beamed as she strummed an acoustic guitar and duetted with Combs.
"Tracy is such an icon and, I mean, one of the best songwriters that I think any of us will ever be around to see," Combs said in the video introducing his performance.
Miley Cyrus had only performed "Flowers" twice before taking the GRAMMY-winning song to stage on Music’s Biggest Night. And while the hit track off Endless Summer Vacation was sure to be a showstopper, Cyrus’ performance was made even more special by winning her first GRAMMY moments before. After eight nominations and many years in the industry, the singer’s exclamations of excitment were felt by everyone watching.
After winning the GRAMMY Award for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the Premiere Ceremony, Billie Eilish and brother FINNEAS performed the existential pop ballad from Barbie on the GRAMMY stage. "What Was I Made For?" would go on to win Song Of The Year, showing the world that Eilish certainly knows what she was made for.
Eighty-year-old icon ad 2022 MusiCares Person Of The Year Joni Mitchell performed for the first time at the GRAMMY Awrds — and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Seated in an elegant chair and surrounded by chandeliers, Mitchell offered an emotional performance of her 1969 hit "Both Sides Now." The legened was backed by Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell, Sistastrings, Lucius, Jacob Collier, and Blake Mills; earlier in the day, "Both Sides" took home the golden gramophone for Best Folk Album.
SZA went into the 2024 GRAMMYs as the most-nominated artist and took home awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best R&B Song. She then gave back to the audience, performing the GRAMMY-winning "Snooze," clad in a leather duster and wide-brimmed hat.
Olivia Rodrigo may not have taken home a golden gramophone, but she still left her all on the GRAMMYs stage. Donning an appropriately hued dress and just a dash of "blood" on her face, Rodrigo performed "vampire" as red liquid seeped from the walls behind her.
Billy Joel performed twice at the 66th GRAMMY Awards, treating audiences to one familiar tune and one brand-new track. Joel shared his newest offering, "Turn the Lights Back On," just before Album Of The Year was announced. His first release since 2007, "Turn the Lights Back On" marked his first time playing on the GRAMMYs stage in more than 20 years.
Burna Boy brought a piece of his homeland to the GRAMMYs, dancing among throngs of colorfully-dressed performers and equally colorful buildings. The Nigerian Afrobeats star performed "On Form," "City Boys" and "Sitting On Top Of The World," iwth special appearances by Brandy and 21 Savage.
U2 took the GRAMMY audience on a quick trip to Las Vegas, performing "Atomic City" live from the Sphere. The swirling, psychedelic and high-tech performance was the first live broadcast from Sin City venue, which the 22-time GRAMMY winners are currently doing a residency.
During the moving In Memoriam segment of the 2024 GRAMMYs, Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox was joined by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman to pay tribute to Sinead O'Connor. Together, they offered an emotional cover of the late Irish pioneer's "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Further honoring the lives of incredible individuals that the music world lost in 2023, Fantasia Barrino made Tina Turner proud with a high-energy performance of "Proud Mary." The performance and tribute were introduced by Oprah Winfrey, who called Turner "a towering figure. She is our forever goddess of rock and roll who inspired millions, a moving symbol of grace and grit, soul and power…And as those big wheels of time keep on turnin’, Tina’s voice continues to speak to all of us."
Continuing the In Memoriam tribute, Global Impact Award honoree Lenny Kravitz paid respect to Clarence Avant as the "Godfather of Black Music" with a tribute that included a performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean on Me" by Album Of The Year nominee Jon Batiste.
During the Premiere Ceremony, Gaby Moreno & El David Aguilar performed a harmonious and haunting “Luna de Xelaju.” Their take on the popular Guatemalan waltz composed by Paco Pérez was set against a video of falling rose petals, highlighting the romanticism of the duo’s voices.
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
2024 GRAMMYs: Luke Combs & Tracy Chapman Team Up For A Surprise Duet Version Of "Fast Car"
The country singer had a self-proclaimed "cool full-circle moment" with the original "Fast Car" star at the 66th GRAMMY Awards.
As the song's indelible melody kicked in, the camera panned out to reveal Chapman elegantly strumming her guitar as she traded stanzas with the country singer. "You got a fast car/ Is it fast enough so we can fly away?/ We gotta make a decision/ Leave tonight or live and die this way," Combs crooned before launching into the chorus, which Taylor Swift sang adoringly along to in the audience.
Combs' cover of Chapman's single from her 1988 debut became a surprise hit after he released it as the second single off his 2023 studio album, Gettin' Old. While the original version became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Chapman at the start of her career, Combs' countrified take peaked even higher at No. 2 and also reached the top of the Country Airplay chart.
"Fast Car" earned Chapman her own GRAMMY in 1989, when she took home the trophy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song was also nominated for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year at the ceremony.
Nearly 35 years later, Combs' cover was also nominated — this time for Best Country Solo Performance. (At the Premiere Ceremony, Chris Stapleton's "White Horse" won the golden gramophone in the Category.)
"It was my favorite song before I even knew what a 'favorite song' was," Combs said of "Fast Car" in the video introducing his performance, later adding, " It can be felt and related to by all kinds of people around the world. Tracy is such an icon and, I mean, one of the best songwriters that I think any of us will ever be around to see. It's just such a cool full-circle moment for me, just to be associated with her, in any way, is super humbling for me."
Source Photos (L-R): APMWORLD; Jeremy Cowart; ©Massimiliano Lorenzin, courtesy of Billboard Italy
2024 GRAMMYs Performers: Burna Boy, Luke Combs And Travis Scott Announced
Burna Boy, Luke Combs and Travis Scott have been added to the performer lineup for the 2024 GRAMMYs. They join previously announced performers Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo. The 2024 GRAMMYs air live Sunday, Feb. 4, on CBS and Paramount+.
Burna Boy, Luke Combs and Travis Scott have been added to the performer lineup for the 2024 GRAMMYs. Unveiled earlier today on CBS, these newly announced performing artists join previously announced 2024 GRAMMYs performers Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo. Additional performers will be announced in the coming days and weeks. See the full list of performers and host at the 2024 GRAMMYs to date.
The 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, will broadcast live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.^ Prior to the Telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will broadcast live from the Peacock Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on live.GRAMMY.com. On GRAMMY Sunday, fans can access exclusive behind-the-scenes GRAMMY Awards content, including performances, acceptance speeches, interviews from the GRAMMY Live red-carpet special, and more via the Recording Academy's digital experience on live.GRAMMY.com.
Two-time GRAMMY-nominated comedian, actor, author, podcast host, and former "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah returns to host the 2024 GRAMMYs, marking his fourth consecutive year as host of Music's Biggest Night; Noah is currently nominated at the 2024 GRAMMYs in the Best Comedy Album Category for this 2022 Netflix comedy special, I Wish You Would.
Learn more about Burna Boy, Luke Combs and Travis Scott and their current GRAMMY nominations below.
2024 GRAMMYs: Explore More & Meet The Nominees
GRAMMY Award winner Burna Boy is nominated for four GRAMMY Awards this year including Best Global Music Album (I Told Them...), the inaugural Best African Music Performance ("City Boys"), Best Global Music Performance ("Alone"), and Best Melodic Rap Performance ("Sittin' On Top Of The World").
Past and current GRAMMY Award nominee Luke Combs is up for one this year for Best Country Solo Performance for his cover of Tracy Chapman's iconic, GRAMMY-winning song "Fast Car."
Past and current GRAMMY Award nominee Travis Scott is nominated this year for Best Rap Album (Utopia).
The 66th GRAMMY Awards are produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for the Recording Academy for the fourth consecutive year. Ben Winston, Raj Kapoor and Jesse Collins are executive producers.
^Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service, as well as on demand in the United States. Paramount+ Essential subscribers will not have the option to stream live but will have access to on-demand the day after the special airs in the U.S. only.