George Strait's album, Love Is Everything, was released to all physical and digital retailers yesterday. The project marks Strait's 40th album release and features his current single "Give It All We Got Tonight," which is poised to be the singer's 60th number one hit. Sometimes putting records together can be a challenge for artists, but George is proud of his new music and he's happy to get it out to his fans. Strait says, "I've been doing this a long time and 40 is a lot of records! It's always fun putting together songs for a new record. It can also be difficult at times. This one was both for sure, but worth every minute. I think it's my best release in a while. I hope people enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it."
LUKE ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM'S RELEASE DATE
Luke Bryan appeared on CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night, where he announced the release of his fourth studio album on August 13. While on the show, Bryan performed the album's lead single, "Crash My Party," which he debuted last month at the ACM Awards. The yet-to-be-titled album is the follow up to Luke's double platinum certified tailgates & tanlines album, which produced three number one singles. Bryan will continue on his "Dirt Road Diaries Tour" this weekend with a show in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Friday.
KENNY'S NEW SPREAD THE LOVE T-SHIRTS
After Kenny Chesney saw the devastation caused by the Boston Marathon bombings, he knew what he had to do to help the victims of the senseless tragedy. Working with the Boston Medical Center, Chesney helped to establish the Spread The Love Fund to help those who needed prosthetic limbs and post-prosthetic care. All of Kenny's proceeds from the download of the song "Spread the Love" benefit the fund and the singer has also provided a way for people to represent their support for the victims. Chesney has created a dark heathered gray tee with his logo in Rastafarian colors on it. The shirt's message reads: "Spread the Love: A Fund for Boston" and is positioned over the heart and across the back. All net proceeds from the shirts go directly to the Spread The Love Fund. Kenny says, "Obviously, there's the ability to make a much larger financial impact from the t-shirts than the song itself, but more importantly, it creates a community of people who are strong for Boston after something unthinkable happened." The tee can be ordered through Chesney's web site at http://kennychesney.ras.bustores.com/.
FGL CONTINUES TO SHINE ON
Florida Georgia Line's single "Get Your Shine On" has held on to the top spot in the US and Canada this week on different four charts. The single continues to reign over the Mediabase Country Chart, Billboard Country Chart, Mediabase Canada Country Airplay Chart and BDS Canada Country Airplay Chart. With the number one success of "Get Your Shine On," FGL also becomes the first duo is 21 years to top the Country airplay charts with their first two singles, according to Billboard. The duo will also be featured on VEVO as part of their emerging artist program called LIFT. FGL's selection for the LIFT program comes following Monday's VEVO premiere of their new music video for the "Cruise" Remix (featuring Nelly). The new video can be viewed at: http://smarturl.it/cruisermxVEVO .
NICHOLS' SINGLE MAKES BIG DEBUT AT RADIO
The release of Joe Nichols' new single, "Sunny and 75," gives him the biggest country radio add week of his career. The single had 52 first week adds and is the second most added song at country radio this week. "Sunny and 75," marks Joe's debut with Red Bow Records and is the lead single from his yet-to-be-titled album, which is set for release this Fall. Nichols was one of the first artists to sign with Red Bow Records when it opened in October of last year. Joe will tour throughout the summer and will give a free performance on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on June 6 during the annual CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
THE HENNINGSENS TO RELEASE EP
The Henningsens have announced the release of a self-titled digital EP on May 28. The four-track EP will feature their Top 20 debut single, "American Beautiful," and it comes as the family trio hits the road with Brad Paisley on his "Beat This Summer Tour." Clara Henningsen says, "With the single doing so well and the Brad tour underway, we really wanted to be able to have something that we could share with fans right now." With the release of this EP, the group's previously announced full-length album release date will be rescheduled from July 2 to a new date that will be announced.
Kenny Chesney appeared as an opening act for George Strait when he was playing stadium shows on the "George Strait Country Music Festival" in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Now, Chesney is selling out stadiums of his own and Strait is retiring from the road next year, leaving us to wonder if the two will ever tour together again. Well, Strait recently hinted that Kenny might appear on the 2014 leg of his "Cowboy Rides Away Tour." George told Dial Global's Country Countdown USA, "Yeah, Kenny and I have been friends for a long time and we worked together back in the stadium days and other times too. Don't be surprised if you see him out next year with us somewhere. We've got some big plans. We've got some surprises up our sleeves, so next year's gonna be a lot of fun."
DIERKS WILL OPEN BAR IN HIS HOMETOWN
Dierks Bentley will open a bar in his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona this summer. The bar will be called Whiskey Row and the grand opening is set for July 4. Bentley has teamed up with owners of Riot Hospitality Group and operators of El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria for the venue that is described as a throwback 1920's style saloon with a modern country vibe. Dierks says, "Opening a bar in my hometown is something I've always wanted to do. These guys have spent a lot of time and put a lot of thought into really cool details that will make it the perfect place to watch a game or listen to music or just get a few drinks with friends. I'm looking forward to helping break it in." The bar's drink menu will offer 40 different types of whiskey and all food items will be made from scratch in house, using only organic meats and locally farmed produce. Whiskey Row will also feature a 360-degree stage and giant 24 foot TV. USB and iPhone charging stations will also be available at the bar. Each booth will feature three different beer taps as well as the first liquor tap of its kind in Arizona. The hi-tech taps will give patrons the ability to pour their own beer and shots right at the table.
TOBY TO BE HONORED WITH THE SONGWRITER ICON AWARD
Toby Keith will receive the National Music Publishers' Association's (NMPA) 2013 Songwriter Icon Award at their annual meeting in New York City on June 12. The Songwriter Icon Award recognizes outstanding songwriters for personal achievement and embodiment of the NMPA's vision. In his career so far, Keith has sold more than 37 million albums, placing him among the top-selling all-genre artists on Billboard's Top 200 Artists of the Decade. Besides his musical achievements, Toby's dedication to fans and his work with the USO has also greatly influenced the industry. U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch will also be honored at the annual meeting, where he will receive the 2013 President's Award for being a leader on issues of importance to music publishers and songwriters.
PISTOL ANNIES TO STREAM LIVE CONCERT
The Pistol Annies are busy promoting their newly released sophomore album Annie Up. Last week, the trio visited The Today Show, Late Show With David Letterman and The View. This week the excitement continues as they will stop by The Tonight Show With Jay Leno today and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson tomorrow. Then on Wednesday, the Pistols will perform a live show for their fans that will stream exclusively on Yahoo! Music. The hour long show will feature the girls playing many of the songs from their new record, as well as songs from their first album, Hell On Heels. Ashley Monroe said, "What could be better than playing much of the new album live for the fans." Miranda Lambert then added, "It's music, and drinking, that brought us together and we're gonna do some of both." The concert will stream live on Wednesday starting at 10 PM ET at ramcountry.music.yahoo.com.
THE HENNINGSENS WANT PAISLEY FOR PRESIDENT
The Henningsens have joined Brad Paisley on the road for his "Beat This Summer Tour." The tour kicked off in St. Louis, Missouri on Thursday and the family trio is thrilled to come along for the ride. Clara Henningsen tells Country Weekly, "Pretty stinkin' cool to be going out on the road with Mr. Paisley this summer." Her brother Aaron chimes in, "He must feel really old because you call him Mr. Paisley all the time." To which Clara responds, "Well, I don't know. It just kind of comes out naturally and sounds good. I mean, Mr. Paisley. It makes him sound like he's the president or something. He is kind of the president of country music in a way." Aaron then says, "If George Strait is the king, then Brad Paisley is the president. We could give him that idea. He should run for president. I'd vote for him."
The nominees for the 2013 CMT Music Awards have been announced and Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert lead the pack with four nods apiece. Artist who picked up three nominations include Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and first-time nominees Florida Georgia Line. Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, Jana Kramer, rock group Journey, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw each picked up two nominations at the 12th anniversary of the award show. Kristen Bell will host the show for the second consecutive year and she will be joined by first-time host, Jason Aldean. The 2013 CMT Music Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 5 at 8:00 PM ET on CMT. Fans can vote online at CMT.com from now through June 2 to determine the winners.
Here is the full list of nominees for the 2013 CMT Music Awards:
Video of the Year
Brad Paisley – "Southern Comfort Zone"
Carrie Underwood – "Blown Away"
Eric Church – "Springsteen"
Florida Georgia Line – "Cruise"
Hunter Hayes – "Wanted"
Jason Aldean – "1994"
Kenny Chesney – "Come Over"
Little Big Town – "Tornado"
Luke Bryan – "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"
Miranda Lambert – "Mama's Broken Heart"
Taylor Swift – "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Tim McGraw – "One of Those Nights"
Male Video of the Year
Blake Shelton – "Sure Be Cool If You Did"
Eric Church – "Creepin'"
Hunter Hayes – "Wanted"
Jason Aldean – "Take a Little Ride"
Kenny Chesney – "Come Over"
Luke Bryan – "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"
Female Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood – "Two Black Cadillacs"
Faith Hill – "American Heart"
Jana Kramer – "Why Ya Wanna"
Kacey Musgraves – "Merry Go 'Round"
Miranda Lambert – "Mama's Broken Heart"
Taylor Swift – "Begin Again"
Group Video of the Year
Lady Antebellum – "Downtown"
Little Big Town – "Pontoon"
Pistol Annies – "Takin' Pills"
Rascal Flatts – "Come Wake Me Up"
The Band Perry – "Better Dig Two"
Zac Brown Band – "Goodbye in Her Eyes"
Duo Video of the Year
Big & Rich – "That's Why I Pray"
Florida Georgia Line – "Cruise"
Love and Theft – "Runnin' Out Of Air"
Thompson Square – "If I Didn't Have You"
Breakthrough Video of the Year
Dustin Lynch – "Cowboys and Angels"
Florida Georgia Line – "Cruise"
Jana Kramer – "Why Ya Wanna"
Kacey Musgraves – "Merry Go 'Round"
Kip Moore – "Beer Money"
Randy Houser – "How Country Feels”
Collaborative Video of the Year
Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh – "Rocky Mountain Way," from CMT CROSSROADS: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS
Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church – "The Only Way I Know," from 2012 CMA Awards
Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill –"Don't Rush," from 2012 CMA Awards
Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw – "Feel Like A Rockstar"
Rascal Flatts and Journey – "Changed," from CMT CROSSROADS: JOURNEY AND RASCAL FLATTS
The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis – "Three Wooden Crosses" from CMT CROSSROADS: THE AVETT BROTHERS AND RANDY TRAVIS
CMT Performance of the Year
Dierks Bentley – "5-1-5-0" from CMT UNPLUGGED
Eric Church – "Homeboy" from 2012 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
Luke Bryan and Ryan Tedder – "Drunk On You/Feel Again" from 2012 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
Miranda Lambert – "Over You" from 2012 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
Rascal Flatts and Journey – "Don't Stop Believin'" from CMT CROSSROADS: JOURNEY AND RASCAL FLATTS
Toby Keith – "Beers Ago" from 2012 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
MIRANDA NOTCHES ANOTHER CHART TOPPER
Miranda Lambert's song, "Mama's Broken Heart" has taken the top spot on the chart this week, giving the singer her fifth number one single. After Lambert heard that the song had gone number one, she raced to Twitter and said, "It never gets old knowing that people enjoy my music. Thanks for playing it, buying it and coming to see it live." "Mama's Broken Heart" is the fourth single from Lambert's Four The Record album, which has already produced the number one song "Over You," as well as the hits "Fastest Girl In Town" and "Baggage Claim."
LADY A RELEASES NEW SINGLE
After taking their last single "Downtown" to the Top of the country charts, Lady Antebellum is releasing a new single from their Golden album which hits stores today. The new song is called "Goodbye Town" and is the result of a songwriting session between Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Josh Kear. The song was written backstage during the trio's "Own The Night 2012 World Tour." Charles says of the song, "Josh came out to see us on the road because that's where we did so much of the writing for this album. There's just something about this song that I think people can relate to. It's that time after a breakup when everything about a place reminds you of that person, so all you want to do is just get the hell out of there. We really wanted the production to reflect that almost haunting feeling."
CLARA TIES THE KNOT
Wedding bells rang on Saturday for Clara Henningsen, lead singer of trio The Henningsens. She and Jacob Calaway tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony amid light rain on the Henningsen family farm in Illinois. Clara said of her big day, "It was really cool because I got married on our family farm, in Illinois, and it’s such a special thing because, like the Miranda Lambert song says, that’s pretty much the house that built me and where I was raised and where I grew up. It's really where I wanted to get married. Our wedding party was a total of 14 people – not including the bride and the groom and the little ring-bearers and the flower girls. All my sisters were in the wedding and Jacob's brother and all my cousins and best friends I grew up with were also in the wedding. It was very special."
The wedding comes during a whirlwind time for the family band – which consists of Clara, her brother Aaron, and father Brian – who are currently inside the country airplay Top 20 with their debut single, "American Beautiful," and preparing to spend the summer on the road with Brad Paisley on his "Beat This Summer Tour."
TBP REVEAL THEIR ORIGINS
On Saturday, Origins: The Band Perry premieres at 10:00 PM ET on Great American Country. Neil Perry says in the special, "For us it’s always been about family and hometown." That hometown is Greenville, Tennessee - a farming and manufacturing community in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Kimberly Perry says of her father – who is a pediatrician – and his love of music, "His knowledge about the (music) business is amazing. I have no idea where he got it other than it’s been a huge passion of his heart for 14 years." Viewers will also be treated to the stories behind some of the trio's biggest hits as well as performances of "Done" and "Mother Like Mine" from their recently-released Pioneer album.
Lady Antebellum's Need You Now album found great success on pop radio and that left the group with a chance to perhaps cross into pop genre. Charles Kelley tells USA Today, "We had a door open that we weren't really planning on opening with pop radio (on Need You Now). So, let's be honest. We wanted to see if there was a chance we could get back on it. We went into the third record thinking that could be a possibility." But chasing that crossover success left the band feeling stressed out because they thought it didn't accurately represent who they are as artists. They eventually decided to embrace their roots and remain faithful to country music. Charles says, "We feel loyal to the country market. I don't know how well we would fit in between Bruno Mars and Phoenix. It's so funny. We think maybe we're not the country-est thing in the world until we've played some shows with pop artists. Then it's like, 'Yep. We are definitely really country.' So we feel comfortable in this genre and we want to be loyal to the genre."
JASON JOINS BOSTON STRONG
Jason Aldean has joined an all-star lineup of performers for the Boston Strong concert event that will take place in Boston's TD Garden arena on May 30. The proceeds from the concert's ticket sales will go to The One Fund Boston, which was set up to help people affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15. The event will also feature performances by Aerosmith, Boston, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, Carole King, New Kids on the Block, Extreme, Godsmack, J. Geils Band, Dane Cook and Steven Wright. Tickets for the event go on sale today at 10AM ET.
CARRIE TO CELEBRATE FIVE YEARS AS OPRY MEMBER
Carrie Underwood has sold more than 15 million albums and had 17 number one singles on the charts. But perhaps one of the biggest achievements of Underwood's career so far was when she became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Now, that hollowed institution is paying homage to the singer for her 5th anniversary as an Opry member during the show on June 7. Carrie will celebrate five years as a member with a special segment closing the evening's Opry performance. Underwood was formally inducted as an Opry member by fellow member Garth Brooks before a sold-out audience in May of 2008.
ERIC GETS LOST IN THE MOMENT
Eric Church is currently playing for sold-out stadiums on Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes Nation Tour" and Church doesn't mind if the crowd gets a little rough and rowdy during his set; just as long as everyone is having fun. Eric tells Spin magazine, "I want to walk out on stage and not know what's going to happen on a given night. People might fight, throw things, crowd surf, and it might not be safe but I love that energy. That's why I'm doing this, to get lost in the moment. I want the crowd to do the same." Church will even participate in that party when he can. Eric shares, "We'll have some drinks before the show and drinks always make their way up on stage. Somehow in arenas those little airplane bottles always start floating around." When Church is on stage, he forgets about everything else and just enjoys that moment. He says, "I want my crowd to leave their lives outside and I'm going to do that too. When I'm on the stage it's a release moment; I'm going to have a good time. If I go out and sing, 'Jack Daniels,' I'm going to be drinking it. A glass of milk's not gonna cut it."
PARMALEE'S PERFORMANCE AT 35,000 FEET
Parmalee will kick off the "Southwest Airlines Travelin' Taylor Tour" on May 13 when they perform on their Taylor Guitars at 35,000 feet in the air. The group will perform the midair concert for passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville to Houston. Fans who aren't onboard for the inflight entertainment can watch the group's performance on Southwest's blog "Nuts About Southwest" at http://blogsouthwest.com. Parmalee was chosen by Southwest Airlines as the very first act to perform during its 2013 season.
In other news, Parmalee earned its second consecutive Top 40 hit last week when their latest single, "Carolina" took the number 40 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. The band's Matt Thomas says, "'Carolina' going Top 40 is really special for us since I think the song really defines our sound as a band. 'Carolina' is about how your loved ones make you feel at home no matter where you are – which is something we feel all the time being on tour. It's really exciting to see fans connecting with the song."
Here is a list of some of country musician's reactions to Jones passing away at the age of 81:
Keith Urban tweeted, "If I'm blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!!"
Urban also posted a video online after hearing the news. In the video, Keith is seated at a piano and starts playing part of Jones' hit song, "He Stopped Loving Her Today." After he played a short piece of the song, Keith looked at the camera and said, “Rest in peace, George. We love you." Urban then touched his hand to his heart and gave George a farewell salute. The video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKiDcRq4YN4.
Alan Jackson said about George: "Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music. While George was known for his wild and crazy days, I've known him for 25 years as a friend. He had grown into a real good man. Of course, he'll always be the greatest singer and interpreter of real country music – there’ll never be another. Like the song says, 'You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing. Imagine life without them…Who's gonna fill their shoes.'"
Brad Paisley tweeted, "My friend,the greatest singer of all time,has passed.To those who knew him,our lives were full. To those of you who don't: discover him now."
Paisley then returned to Twitter later to post this heartfelt message: "George Jones' life is an example of so many wonderful things; How someone's God-given gifts can make this a richer, better place. How one human being can overcome adversity, addiction, and life threatening obstacles time and time again. That it is not the stumble or fall that counts, but the willingness to stand again. How a keen sense of humor and a twinkle in a person's eye can still prevail even after all of life's hard knocks. How mistakes, missteps, and bad choices are not the end of the world if a person chooses to turn them into something good. And George's life is above all the strongest example of how the love of a great woman can get a man through anything. All of this made its way beautifully into every note of the greatest voice country music will ever know and one of the greatest friends you could ever have. We miss you already, George."
George Strait told Dial Global's Country Countdown USA, "It's a sad day for us in Country music and the music business in general. We lost one of the greatest singers to ever live and we're gonna miss him," said George Strait. "He was a huge influence on me and my career."
Dolly Parton said, "My heart is absolutely broken. George Jones was my all-time favorite singer and one of my favorite people in the world. My heart goes out to Nancy and the rest of his family."
Loretta Lynn posted this message on her Facebook account: "It's a sad day for country music and a great loss for those of us who knew him. I was blessed to call George my friend. He was one of the best country singers there ever was. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Nancy, and all of his family. It’s a sad, sad day."
Carrie Underwood took to Twitter to say, "@wildaboutmusic: #RIPGeorgeJones. The greatest country singer of all-time. Period.” Couldn't have said it better..."
Underwood then returned to the social media site to share a picture of her and Jones sitting on a motorcycle together. In the caption next to the photo she said, "Happy memory of me and George. You may have left us, but your music and your legacy never will. #Legend."
Dierks Bentley tweeted, "nancy and @gjpossum had a beautiful marriage and special relationship. love you nancy. long live the possum. gonna miss my buddy. real sad."
Josh Turner said, "I am shocked and saddened by George Jones' passing. He was a top-notch country vocalist and taught me so much about what the voice can really do if you let it. He was a good man, he was passionate about country music, and made me want to be a better artist every time I listened to one of his records. Heaven got a little countrier today. We'll miss you George!"
Vince Gill tweeted, "There aren't words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness. I'll miss my kind and generous friend."
Little Big Town said, "There will never be another George Jones. You are and always will be country music. Rest in peace. #GeorgeJones"
Blake Shelton tweeted, "Really REALLY bad news. We've lost a country music legend. And I've lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones..."
Jason Aldean said, "So sad to hear about the passing of George Jones today. Country music has lost one of our pioneers and legendary icons. You will never be forgotten."
LeAnn Rimes tweeted, "So sad we lost "the possum" today. R.I.P George Jones and know we didn't stop loving you today. You will live on forever in our hearts."
Scotty McCreery said, "RIP George Jones. A country music legend who will be truly missed."
Tim McGraw said, "Gone ...... George Jones .....man he was country music."
Faith Hill tweeted, "We lost one of the best voices God created this morning. Our hearts are saddened to hear that George Jones has passed away..."
Easton Corbin said, "I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of my all-time heroes, George Jones. Georges’ music was real and he was able to touch thousands through his songs. Not only was he a great singer, but he also had the ability to make you relate to every one of his songs, no matter who you are. He and his music will remain timeless in the world of country music. My thoughts and prayers are with his family through this difficult time."
Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts said, "He was the greatest country vocalist that ever lived! Through the years we have all tried to emulate the passion in his voice, but no one can fill his shoes."
Martina McBride said, "So sad to hear about George Jones . His voice and music will be with us forever. Thoughts go out to all his family, friends and fans."
The Band Perry tweeted, "Country music and the world lost a true legend today… Mr. Jones, you will be greatly missed."
Josh Thompson said, "It's sad to think most of what's considered the "country music world" today has no idea of the real talent we just lost. RIP George Jones."
Trace Adkins said, "George Jones was my friend, and I loved him."
Luke Bryan tweeted, "George. You will be deeply missed. Thanks for the beautiful memories."
Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott said, "Saddened by the passing of George Jones Sending prayers up for his wife and family Country Music will never be the same."
Merle Haggard said, "The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen."
Hank Williams Jr. said, "Today is a sad day in Country music. We have lost another piece of history. George Jones was not only a good singer, but was a good friend. He will be missed by many."
Randy Travis said, "I am very thankful I got to know George, he’s one of the greatest singers that ever lived. I actually loved the man and really enjoyed the time I got to spend with he and Nancy."
Kenny Rogers said, "George Jones will always be one of the most amazing singers who ever lived. He was a true Country Music legend who made music very personal to the listener – I think more than anyone else. He will be dearly missed, but always remembered."
Collin Raye said, "Country music and the world will miss George Jones. He was someone who set a high standard in our industry for great music and lyrics that tapped into the emotions of the human heart at a very deep level. His music has touched the lives of country music lovers for over five decades. My prayers are with his family and I pray for the repose of his soul. May you rest in peace, brother.”
The Oak Ridge Boys' Duane Allen said, "There's a huge emptiness in the music world today from the passing of our good friend George Jones. But, the void is filled with the many memories that will be with us forever. We love you, George."
Barbara Mandrell said, "I believe if you ask any singer who was the greatest country music singer of all time, they would say 'George Jones'. He was without question and by far the BEST! I first met and worked with him when I was 13 years old; I am so very grateful that he was my friend."
Ray Price said, "Sad day folks. Today, with the passing of my good friend, George Jones, the door to an era in time is slowly closing. With only a handful of us left standing, the country music I knew and loved has also passed away. It is my great hope that the younger generation of singers will remember all of us from that time and carry on. Thanks all."
Travis Tritt said, "I am just devastated by the news that George Jones has passed away! The music world has lost one of the most original and innovative talents that the world has ever known. I feel such a personal loss of not only one of the greatest vocal influences of my life, but also I've lost a dear friend. Visits with George have always been full of joy and laughter. Every time I would see him, George would always greet me with a funny story or a joke! His legacy will put his name at the top of the most influential artists in history, right along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. His voice will be influencing singers 100 years from now and beyond! I'm reminded of the lyrics that Waylon wrote in the tune 'It's Alright.' 'If we all sang like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones!'"
Mark Chesnutt said, "I have no words to express my admiration and love for George Jones. To say he was my 'hero' does not do justice to the lifetime impression he made on me, both personally and professionally. George Jones is the foundation of country music and he's the reason I wanted to perform. He's the reason I'm still here in this business... out there on the road. He was my mentor and my teacher; George was my friend. He paved the way for so many and I was one of the lucky ones to have enjoyed the opportunity to not only sing beside him, but just 'sit and visit' with him. When I was just starting out, we toured together; he was the headliner. After a few shows, he told me that I was going to close the shows (because he wanted to watch Andy Griffith). For a newcomer, it was intimidating to open for him; there was even more pressure to close for him. George gave me strength and encouragement; he kept telling me 'you can do it, son.' George Jones is the Father of Country. We will all miss his voice, and I will miss his voice to call me 'son.'"
Deborah Allen said, "I'll never forget the incredible experience of singing with George and I will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and down to earth soul. Before I wrote the liner note for his Ladies Choice album, I said a prayer for the right words to a worthy quote that would come close to reflecting the way I feel about George. Here is that quote and it will always be true. We are all God's own individual works of art. In country music, George Jones is his masterpiece..."
Lorrie Morgan said, "Country music lost an icon today and I have lost a dear and beloved friend. With tear-filled eyes, I'm reminiscing this morning about all that I learned from and loved about George Jones. He was part of my 'country music education;' he made country music history and, in my opinion, George Jones is a song's best friend. No one will leave an imprint on my life like George did."
Mark Wills said, "The first 8-tracks that I owned were recordings by Conway Twitty and George Jones. Long before my career got started, I was at a concert (Travis Tritt's homecoming show) and George Jones performed. I sat there and sang along to every word that George sang. A lady, who sat in front of me, turned around and said, 'do you know George Jones' music?' When my reply was, 'heck yeah,' she introduced herself; it was his wife, Nancy. Nancy brought me backstage that night to introduce me to George. That was three years before I signed my record deal and we've remained friends and stayed in touch since then. Right or wrong, in good times and in bad, people loved George Jones--he made an impression. His music is his legacy and he will not only be remembered as the best country singer this world will ever know, but a great man that we all will truly miss."
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles said, "I'll never forget the first time I heard the story in 'He Stopped Loving Her Today. RIP George Jones. Country Legend. U will be missed."
Kacey Musgraves tweeted, "That angel choir just got a whole lot better this morning. #RIP #GeorgeJones"
The Henningsens said in a statement: "We are saddened by the news of George Jones passing today. Like many artists, he was one of our all-time heroes. This is truly a loss for country music."
Eric Paslay said, "Thoughts and prayers to George Jones' family. A true country legend. We'll never stop loving you George!"
Ashley Monroe said, "Wow.. Sweet George SURE will be missed down here.. But I can only imagine the celebration Heaven is having today.."
Clay Walker tweeted, "George Jones was an ICON to a lot of singers...especially to me, growing up in his home town...we will miss him:)"
CHESNEY REACTS TO JONES' DEATH
The country music community is grieving the loss of one its greatest voices, George Jones. Jones died in Nashville on Friday and after the news broke, several fans and musicians shared messages about the life and legacy of the country legend. When Kenny Chesney found out that Jones had died, he sent out a message to pay his respects to "The Possum." Chesney said of George, "He had a voice that was the truth, raw and unfiltered. You can't get any realer, any more tortured or any more alive. No one can do what George Jones does, and that's why 50 years later, he still stands out as one of the greatest singers in any genre of all time."
The two singers had met some time ago and had formed a bond with each other over the years. Kenny recalls a memory from when they first toured together. Chesney shares, "When I was just staring out, and I was picked to open the "George Jones/Tammy Wynette Reunion Tour," I thought I'd made it... Then one night, George asked me if I was heading home because he and Nancy had a plane, and they'd take me. I remember sitting there on that jet, thinking, 'This can't be happening...' because he was George Jones, and I was some kid from nowhere...' I'm sure he knew, but he was generous to kids chasing the dream, and I never forgot it."
George was a true friend and mentor to Kenny and he went out of way to show his love. Chesney says, "We were great friends, but it was really more like a father/son relationship. He even showed up in Lexington, Kentucky two years ago to surprise me onstage for my birthday... all the way from Nashville, to surprise me and sing 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' with me, which will be one of the greatest memories of my life."
ALDEAN SPLITS WITH HIS WIFE
Seven months after the photographs surfaced of Jason Aldean kissing former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr, the singer and his wife Jessica Ussery have separated, according to Us Weekly. An insider told the magazine that the breakup actually happened back in January. The source said, "There were obvious problems before the bar kiss, but he finally left earlier this year," noting that Jessica was not with Aldean at the ACM Awards earlier this month. A rep for Jason told the publication, "I can confirm that Jason and his wife are having problems, but there is nothing more to share at this time. It's a private family matter, and we hope everyone will respect that he would like to keep it that way." Aldean and his wife have been married for 11 years and they have two daughters together, Keeley and Kendyl.