Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Country Bites News snippets May 14, 2018 – May 20, 2018

UK & Irish News, UK Chart News, Album & Single Releases, TV, Country News (Awards, TV),  Music News, Press Releases, Gossip, Birthdays.

For a full listing of 2018 UK Tour dates PLEASE check out our Tour Dates Page

On the BBC Radio 2 Playlist for the week commencing Saturday 19 May 2018
A Playlist:
Cam - Diane
The Shires - Sleepwalk upgraded from the "B" to the "A" Playlist
B Playlist:
Taylor Swift - Delicate
Catherine McGrath – Wild


Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart (Week Ending 24 May 2018)
18 May 2018 - 24 May 2018
Calvin Harris’ One Kiss collaboration with Dua Lipa is not to be moved, spending its fifth straight week at the top of the chart.
Thus surpassing his first No.1 – 2008 Dizzee Rascal & Chrome collaboration Dance Wiv Me – to have the longest uninterrupted run at the summit of all his nine chart-toppers – it again does so with consummate ease, heading up a top five that are all frozen in the same positions as last week, while suffering declining sales. They are: One Kiss (1-1, 62,000 sales, including 43,813 from sales-equivalent streams), Nice For What (2-2, 45,597 sales) by Drake, No Tears Left To Cry (3-3, 43,541 sales) by Ariana Grande, Freaky Friday (4-4, 37,655 sales) by Lil Dicky feat. Chris Brown and 2002 (5-5, 35,572 sales) by Anne-Marie.

Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey with "The Middle" fell 12-17 (19K estimated overall units)
"Meant To Be" By Bebe Rexha ft Florida Georgia 15-36 (11K estimated units)

After finishing 24th out of 26 at The Eurovision Song Contest, where she had to endure a scary stage invasion, UK entry Surie’s Storm at least had the consolation of being the highest charting domestic entry for four years. Opening at No.50 (7,949 sales) it is only the fourth UK entry to bag a Top 50 slot in the past decade following Jade Ewen’s It’s My Time (No.27, 2009), Blue’s I Can (No.16, 2011) and, most recently, Molly’s Children Of The Universe (No.23, 2014). Netta, who provided the fourth win in the competition for Israel, goes one better with her winning song Toy debuting at No.49 (7,973 sales). Greek-born Eleni Foureira’s Fuego – runner-up representing Cyprus – also charts (No.64, 6,376 sales).

Official UK Top 100 Albums Chart (Week Ending 24 May 2018)
18 May 2018 - 24 May 2018
Six albums, six instant number ones – that’s the proud record of Arctic Monkeys, whose first album in nearly five years, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, storms to a No.1 debut, while spinning off three simultaneous Top 40 singles chart entries.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (86,359 overrall units) is the first album ever to sell upwards of 20,000 copies on CD, download and vinyl in the same week. It sold 86,359 copies last week, made up of 27,681 CDs, 15,679 paid-for downloads, 24,478 vinyl albums and 505 cassettes, with the remainder of its consumption (18,016 sales) generated by sales-equivalent streams. Tranquility Base accounted for 31.05% of vinyl album sales and 73.40% of cassette sales in the week.

Kylie Minogue with GOLDEN held at #13 (3.500 esitimated units) in her 6th week.
The Shires with ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE fell 32-41 (2,000 sales; down 26%; 4-week total 24,100; chart run 3-14-32-41). By comparison their last album MY UNIVERSE after 4 frames was at No.27 with a 4-week total of 31,000 Chart Run: 3-7-14-27

Official UK Country Album Top 20 (Week Ending 24 May 2018)
18 May 2018 - 24 May 2018
The Shires with ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE held at #1 (4 weeks; #1 peak)
Kacey Musgraves with GOLDEN HOUR fell rose 3-2 (7 weeks; #1 peak)
Willie Nelson with LAST MAN STANDING fell 2-3 (3 weeks; #2 peak)
Brothers Osborne with PORT SAINT JOE held at #4 (4 weeks; #2 peak)
Neil Young/ Promise Of The Real with PARADOX - OST rose 6-5 (5 weeks; #4 peak)
John Prine with THE TREE OF FORGIVENESS rose 8-6 (5 weeks; #2 peak)
Mary Chapin Carpenter with SOMETIMES JUST THE SKY rose 9-7 (7 weeks; #2 peak)
The Wandering Hearts with WILD SILENCE fell 5-8 (14 weeks; #1 peak)
Brothers Osborne with PAWN SHOP climbed 14-9 (50 weeks; #4 peak)
Jason Aldean with REARVIEW TOWN held at #10 (5 weeks; #4 peak)
Outside the Top 10
Chris Stapleton with FROM A ROOM - VOL 2 rose 12-11 (24 weeks; #1 peak)
Keith Urban with GRAFFITI U fell 7-14 (3 weeks; #7 peak)
Brent Cobb with PROVIDENCE CANYON made a debut at #15
Ashley McBryde with GIRL GOING NOWHERE made a re-entry at #18 (4 weeks; #4 peak)

Official Americana Albums Chart Top 40 (Week Ending 24 May 2018)
18 May 2018 - 24 May 2018
1 NEW The Prodical Son Ry Cooder [Tagged Rock]
2 1 Be More Kind Frank Turner [Tagged Alternative]
3 3 Ruins First Aid Kit [Tagged Alternative]
4 2 Last Man Standing Willie Nelson [Tagged Country]
5 6 From The Fires Greta Van Fleet [Tagged Rock]
6 4 Songbook Frank Turner [Tagged Alternative]
7 5 Isaac Gracie Isaac Gracie [Tagged Alternative]
8 7 Nation of Two Vance Joy [Tagged Alternative]
9 8 Find A Light Blackberry Smoke [Tagged Rock Southern Rock]
10 19 The Lookout Laura Veirs [Tagged Alternative]
Outside The Top 10
11 9 A/B Kaleo [Tagged Alternative]
14 NEW Mark Kozelek Mark Kozelek [Tagged Rock]
23 NEW Providence Canyon Brent Cobb [Tagged Country]


(14 May 2018) Scott Southworth - Hey Hillbilly Singer!
11 Tracks/Time: 37:43 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

(May 2018) Joni Harms - LUCKY 13 (2018)
That's right, Joni's has released her newest album! It is called Lucky 13, since her dad was released from the military on November 13, he arrived home at Dock 13; Her daughter was born on June 13, in room 13, at 1313. As Joni says, “That’s my lucky number.”

(16 May 2018) Sam Hunt - Downtown's Dead (Single; MCA Nashville Release)
Time: 3:34 Amazon UK - UK iTunes
Debut: May 18: #2 UK iTunes Country Singles (#221 UK iTunes all-genre),

(15 May 2018) Nat Frederick - Home to Me (EP; 2018 Nat Frederick)
5 Tracks/Time: 18:51 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut: May 18: #15 US Country Albums (#109 US iTunes all-genre)

(16 May 2018) Laura Aston - Bringing It Back (EP; 2018 Legacy Records) UK
5 Tracks/ Time: 16:31 Amazon UK - UK iTunes
Tracks: Who's Bed Have Your Boots Been Under, Tin Man, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Blanket on the Ground, Walking After Midnight

(18 May 2018) Stephanie Owens - Stephanie Owens (EP; 2018 Stephanie Owens)
Singer-songwriter, Actress, Model: Newcomer country artist Stephanie Owens (Stephanie Bettcher Owens) is excited to share her story with the world through her debut EP, a collection of songs that creatively captures both the raw vulnerability and bold intentionality of her personality and music.
Published on April 26, 2018 “Little Girl in the Mirror “(>> Official Music Video)

Each of the five songs on Stephanie’s upcoming EP, all of which she co-wrote, highlight her dynamic voice and eclectic musical tastes. Her debut single, “Heart Taker,” immediately captures listeners with its 1980s-throwback countrified groove. “Little Girl in the Mirror,” her second single off the EP, is a poignant reflection on Stephanie’s teenage struggles with body image and identity. She believes this song will resonate in today’s culture.  “Rest,” is a heartfelt ballad whose storytelling nature reveals Stephanie’s trust in the Lord throughout all circumstances, even when life does not seem to make sense. Stephanie’s spunky nature and sense of humor shine through the swagger of “Behind the Wheel,” a catchy tune with strong country musical roots.

(18 May 2018) Gretchen Peters - Dancing with the Beast (2018 Proper Records)
11 Tracks / Time: 50:00 Country/ Singer-Songwriters Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com 
Debut May 18: #2 UK iTunes Country Albums, then #1 (#43, #42 UK iTunes all-genre) | Debut May 18: #3 US Singer/Songwriters (#179 US iTunes all-genre)
Dancing with the Beast, the new album from Gretchen Peters, puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women. And intentionally so. With the 2017 Women's March and the #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing time, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record. She admits, "You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to 'Independence Day' and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center." Though Peters doesn't consider herself a political writer, she is politically minded and, therefore, knew she had to address the 2016 election and all that has happened since... but in her own way.

(18 May 2018) Kelly Willis - Back Being Blue (2018 Premium Records)
10 Tracks/Time: 31:28 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut May 18: #7 UK iTunes Country Albums, then #6 (#289, #300 UK iTunes all-genre) | Debut May 18: #9 US Country Albums (#74 US iTunes all-genre)
 “Willis steps into the solo spotlight with her seventh full-length project, an enchanting collection of self-penned tunes and impeccably chosen covers. Showcasing the jagged, vulnerable vocals of a honky-tonk angel who's also freely dabbled in rockabilly, power pop, new wave and R&B, it's that last genre that informs the dazzling title tune” lauds Rolling Stone Country. Read HERE.

(18 May 2018) Trent Harmon - You Got 'Em All (2018 Big Machine Label)
11 Tracks/Time: 36:56 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut May 18: #20 UK iTunes Country Albums (#1032 UK iTunes all-genre) | Debut May 18: #2 US Country Albums (#15 US iTunes all-genre)
Recorded in Nashville with producers Jimmy Robbins and Scott Borchetta, Harmon cowrote eight of the 11 songs on his full-length album debut, including the title track/first single, which was co-written with Justin Ebach and Jordan Minton. Contributing songwriters include Jim Beavers and Chris Stapleton (“Hold On”) and Dallas Davidson, Brett James and Keith Urban (“Falling (Remix)”).

(18 May 2018) Jason Boland & The Stragglers - Hard Times Are Relative (2018 Proud Souls Entertainment) 11 Tracks/Time: 44:31 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut: May 18: #67 UK Country Albums | Debut May 18: #1 US Country Albums (#13 US iTunes all-genre)

(18 May 2018) Jill Jackson - Are We There Yet? (2018 Jill Jackson) SCOT 
10 Tracks/Time: 36:21 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut May 18: #9 UK iTunes Country Albums (#548 UK iTunes all-genre), then #4 (#135 all-genre) , then #3 (#135)

Scottish Country/Americana singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Glasgow.
Scottish singer-songwriter, formerly of the band Speedway and most recently The Chaplins. Her material covers rock, folk americana, pop and alternative country music.
Are We There Yet? is the long awaited 5th solo album by Paisley born singer songwriter Jill Jackson, a record that bears the hallmarks of a 25-year musical journey that has taken her from Paisley to Top of The Pops to playing in every State of America (50 States in 50 Days.....yes really!)
Personal struggles and a bucket list hike of the Grand Canyon saw the Celtic Connections award winning artist return over flowing with lyrical and musical inspiration.
Produced by Boo Hewerdine (Eddi Reader, Emily Barker), Are We There Yet? combines innovative, playful arrangements that would not sound out of place in Lindy Hop, Harlem or the heart of the deep South. With an unabashed embrace of gleeful, melodic choruses delivered in Jill’s unmistakeable warm and heart-wrenching voice.

(18 May 2018) Bri Murphy - Things We'd Rather Not Say
10 Tracks/Time: 43:27 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
About: Americana/folk artist. "Flawless, soulful voice" (PennLive)... "Folksy, Americana sound...raw voice...mindful of every note and riff" (The Spectator). "A promising young songstress" (PledgeMusic). Bri moved to Nashville in 2011 and has since shared the stage with artists from Chris Stapleton to Tanya Tucker, and has toured all over the U.S., Canada, and Japan as a fiddle player and background vocalist for other artists. She took a break from the road in late 2015 to pursue her solo career and released her debut record, "Throw Down My Heart," produced by Eli Beaird, in October 2016.

(18 May 2018) Various Artists - Outlaws & Armadillos: Country's Roaring '70s (2018 Sony Music Entertainment/ Legacy Recordings) | Debut May 18: #66 UK Country Albums (# UK iTunes all-genre)
36 Tracks/Time:  2:09:26 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

(18 May 2018) Parker Redmond - Parker Redmond (EP; 2018 YN Records)
5 Tracks/Time: 16:37 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut May 18: #10 US iTunes Country Albums (#75 US iTunes all-genre)
Home Town: Bartlett, TN
Parker Redmond is a country singer/songwriter, born and raised just outside of Memphis, TN. Music has always been an influence in his life, so it just makes sense that this is the path he has chosen to follow. Give God the glory, and keep on playin'.

(18 May 2018) Chance McKinney -  I (EP; 2018 Chance McKinney)
4 Tracks UK iTunes
Debut May 18: #29 US iTunes Country Albums (#224 US iTunes all-genre)

(18 May 2018) Patrick Murphy - 19:03 P.M. Where I'm From (2018 Patrick Murphy)
10 Tracks/Time: 37:56 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
Debut May 18: #44 US iTunes Country Albums (#384 US iTunes all-genre)
Patrick has played piano since age three. He performed his first live solo concert and won the 2010 Minnesota State Fair County Fair Talent Contest at age 12 giving him the opportunity to perform Billy Joel's "Piano Man" in front of 18,000 people. Patrick has recorded two albums, a cover album and a Christmas album. He currently attends Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. - WEBSITE

(18 May 2018) Skylar McKenzie - Soar (EP; 2018 Skylar McKenzie)
4 Tracks/Time: 13:12 Amazon UK - UK iTunes | https://www.facebook.com/Schylershadoanmusic/ (1,320 Likes)
May 18: #193 US iTunes Country Albums

(18 May 2018) Chantelle Padden - Let's Begin (EP) IRE
6 Tracks UK iTunes
"9 To 5", "Jealous of the Angels", "Diane", "You Were Mine", "My Church" & "Girl Crush".
About: Glór Tíre Contestant 2018
"21-year old Country Music artist is set to take the world by storm"
Singer/Musician Based in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Signed a management contract with Legacy Records in May 2018
Reached No1 on Irish iTunes Country Album chart on May 21st. www.facebook.com/ChantellePadden

(18 May 2018) Suzy Bogguss - Aces: The Definitive Capitol Collection (Humphead Records) 50 Tracks/Time: 2:53:22 Amazon UK - UK iTunes

(19 May 2018) Karen Nash - Love & Justice (2018 Karen Nash)
11 tracks/ Time: 44:12 Amazon UK - UK iTunes

(15 May 2018) Alison Abbey Joins Sounds Like Nashville As Editor-In-Chief
NASHVILLE-based lifestyle and Country music destination Sounds Like Nashville has added ALISON ABBEY as Editor-In-Chief, effective WEDNESDAY, MAY 30th. ABBEY joins from PARADE MAGAZINE, where she served as Associate Editor, writing cover story interviews with Shania Twain, Tim Mcgraw, Bruno Mars, and others. 
"This is a thrilling time to join SOUNDS LIKE NASHVILLE as its Editor-in-Chief," noted ABBEY. "NASHVILLE has become a global destination, not just for Country music and its stars, but for the community and culture that have grown out of the genre. The city is dictating trends in music, food, fashion, and decor. I look forward to shining a light on the artists, events, and brands that have made Country music, and NASHVILLE itself, such a part of the pop-culture consciousness.

Billy Dean turned to social media on Thursday (May 17) to share a song that he has written that was inspired by First Lady Melania Trump. Dean revealed "Be Best" and shared the lyrics on Facebook after performing the song at a very special luncheon.
According to a press release, Dean wrote the song in a hotel room on Monday night (May 14), the day before he was slated to attend the Congressional Club’s First Lady's Luncheon in Washington, D.C. "Be Best" takes its title from Mrs. Trump's child welness initiative. He performed the song at the luncheon the following day at the Washington Hilton Hotel, though not for Mrs. Trump herself. The First Lady ended up being hospitalized for emergency kidney surgery and had to miss the event.

(18 May 2018) Sony Music Nashville Signs Carlton Anderson To Arista Imprint
SONY MUSIC NASHVILLE has signed Country singer/songwriter Carlton Anderson to its ARISTA NASHVILLE imprint. Anderson is expected to release his debut album soon. 

(20 May 2018) 2018 Billboard Music Awards
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards, with Kelly Clarkson hosting, took place at the MGM Grand Las Vegas on Sunday (May 20) and saw everyone from Taylor Swift to Shawn Mendes to BTS to BBMA Icon Award winner Janet Jackson in attendance.
Maren Morris stepped on the stage at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (May 20) to specifically show off her pop chops. Her national television debut of "The Middle" with Grey and Zedd was a BBMAs highlight. Morris delighted the crowd with the song that has gone and become one of 2018's biggest hits.
Country Winners
Top Country Artist: Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton -- WINNER
Top Country Male Artist: Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton -- WINNER
Top Country Female Artist: Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris -- WINNER
Top Country Duo/Group Artist: Florida Georgia Line – WINNER, Old Dominion, Zac Brown Band
Top Country Tour: Luke Bryan – WINNER, Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

(12 May 2018) Kacey Musgraves Performs On 'Saturday Night Live'
MCA NASHVILLE's Kacey Musgraves appeared on NBC-TV's "SATURDAY Night Live" over the weekend to perform "Golden Hour" album cuts, "High Horse" and "Slow Burn." Watch at www.nbc.com

(15 May 2018) Ashley Monroe made her television debut of "Hands on You" on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday (May 14) >> YouTube

(15 May 2018) CMA Presents 'The Country Consumer: The Next Phase Of Streaming Growth' At Music Biz 2018
During the afternoon sessions at MUSIC BIZ 2018, the Country Music Association (CMA) presented "The Country Consumer: The Next Phase Of Streaming Growth." Introduced by CMA Sr. Dir./Research KAREN STUMP, the panel was moderated by UMG NASHVILLE's Annie Ortmeier and featured AMAZON MUSIC's Emily Cohen, PANDORA's BEVILLE DUNKERLEY, YOUTUBE/GOOGLE's Margaret Hart, and SPOTIFY's Brittany Schaeffer.
During an overview of the panel, Stump presented research slides from the CMA detailing five key insights about Country and streaming. They were as follows: Country lags, however, there are positive signs for successful opportunities today and going forward; Country trending shows streaming consumption is making up a greater share of overall Country consumption globally; current Country audience streamers recognize the value proposition streaming offers; the Country audience is a core, monetizable audience active on streaming today; and the Country audience presents a key segment for targeting new subscribers, which can have a significant pay-off. Additionally, data shows that Country is still among the most loyal audiences to physical consumption, with 30% still purchasing physical albums via CD.
The audience continues to be slow to change, as they also show in their streaming habits; only 28% of the Country music streamed is current, while 72% is from artist catalogs. For radio, this equates to the statement of nearly three-fourths of the audience preferring recurrent and gold titles in rotation, though the streaming numbers are reflective of on-demand listening.
Additionally, streaming companies are pouring marketing dollars in to the Country marketplace currently to continue converting new users. Schaeffer summed up the efforts at SPOTIFY by saying, "How do we tell a consistent story on and off platform, utilizing all the tools we have?" The same could be said of radio, as terrestrial continues to work to earn and maintain loyal listeners in a crowded audio landscape.

(17 May 2018) A New Music Streaming Service, YouTube Music, Is Coming Soon
Another Streamer: YOUTUBE is joining the music streaming landscape with the launch of YOUTUBE MUSIC. The free offering will get underway alongside Youtube Music Premium, a paid membership that "gives you background listening, downloads, and an ad-free experience for $9.99 a month." The company announced, "If you are a subscriber to GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC, good news, you get a YOUTUBE MUSIC PREMIUM membership as part of your subscription each month. And, if you use GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads, and playlists in Google Play Music, just like always."
The company is rolling out the new YOUTUBE MUSIC experience in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. It will expand more broadly in the coming weeks, adding Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

(14 May 2018) Dierks Bentley Will Perform His Ninth Album The Mountain In Its Entirety: On the eve of the release of his ninth studio album, award-winning entertainer Dierks Bentley will perform a late night album release show on Thursday, June 7th at Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium with all money raised from ticket sales benefitting the Opry Trust Fund. In a rare one-night-only event, Bentley will perform all thirteen tracks from THE MOUNTAIN which Entertainment Weekly called “both earthen and majestic.” Bentley’s 2018 tour opener LANCO will also join the lineup.

(14 May 2018) Exclusive: Collin Raye Opens Up About 'Masterpiece' New Album, '25 Years, 25 Hits'
Collin Raye is back with new music. The country music icon releases 25 Years, 25 Hits on Tuesday, May 15, celebrating Raye's more than a quarter-century in music.
"It seems like it was really just yesterday," Raye told PopCulture.com of the release of his debut album, All I Can Be, in 1991. "But then when you really start counting the years back, and realize all that has transpired between then and now, it does seem like an eternity ago." For more on Raye's new album, check out Pop Culture's exclusive interview here:
To celebrate, Raye performed on the Grand Ole Opry (May 15) and signed albums in-store at 9:15 p.m./CT, following his appearances on 650AM WSM Nashville Today from 4:00-6:00 p.m./CT,

(19 May 2018) EXCLUSIVE: Interview With UK Country Singer Lisa Wright - Celebmix.com

(18 May 2018) Danielle Bradbery Is Praise-Worthy In New Video For "Worth It" >> YouTube
The compelling video directed by Shaun Silva, and filmed at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, opens with Bradbery navigating an empty theater, speaking to the journey of the song and the impact of its powerful lyrics, "'Cause I'm worth it / You're crazy, baby, if you think that I don't know it / I ain't afraid to walk away / If you can't see it, believe it / And give me the love I'm deserving / 'Cause I know I'm worth it." It culminates as she envisions herself performing on the empty stage in a moment inspired by a similarly iconic scene in the popular film The Greatest Showman.

(15 May 2018) Under The Influence Of Style Western fashion's auteur tastemakers are changing the way we shop. Cowgirl Magazine

(18 May 2018) Bebe Rexha felt "disrespected" by the backlash surrounding her, Rita Ora, Cardi B and Charli XCX's new song Girls.
The quartet have come under fire for the tune, the lyrics of which many sex rights activists have blasted as "dangerous" and "belittling". Rita has apologized for the track, revealing she counts herself as bisexual and had no idea the words, such as "Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls girls", would upset others.
However, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine, Bebe insisted she doesn't feel as though she should apologize for the song because it reflects who she is.
"My sexual life is nobody’s business," she said. "But we’re singing a song about kissing girls and that remains true to who I am. It’s the life that I live and it’s honest to me.
"The question of whether (the song) was true to us was completely dismissed. People automatically went for the negative instead of saying: ‘Well maybe these girls do kiss girls, maybe Bebe is bi.’ You don’t know about my sexual orientation, so I felt disrespected."
Opening up further about her sexuality, Bebe continued: "I’ve kissed girls, you know what I mean? And I don’t do it because it’s fun or whatever. Do you have to be fully lesbian to put out a song about kissing girls? What if you’re bi? Isn’t the point of being supportive of the LGBTQ community that you can love whoever you want and everything is fluid and non-judgmental?"
The girls had also been accused of penning the song and using controversial lyrics in a bid to chase a hit. However, Bebe hit back at those claims, insisting: "That would be pretty f**ked up. And I’d agree with where the critics are coming from (in that case). Everybody can have their own opinion."

(24 May 2018) Say Goodnight, Gracie: Black River's Kelsea Ballerini performed at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards Tuesday (May 22). 

Pictured (l-r) are Cumulus’ Mike McVay, Warner Bros./WEA's Morgan Evans, Ballerini and the label's Bill Macky and Mike Wilson.

Birthdays in the week ahead
May 21: Victoria Boland
May 22: Doug Gray (Marshall Tucker Band) (1948)
May 23: Shelly West (1958), Mac Wiseman (1925), Jewel (1974) 
May 24: Rosanne Cash (1955) Billy Gilman (1988), Lisa Redford 
May 25: Tom T Hall (1936), Carrie Newcomer (1958), Jessi Colter (1943)  
May 26: Richard Leigh (1951), Hank Williams Jnr (1949), Keith Gattis (1971), Brenn Hill (Ogden, Utah May 26, 1976) 
May 27: the late Don Williams (May 27, 1939; died Sept 8, 2017 (aged 78))

(15 May 2018) Family and friends of longtime CMA executive Helen Farmer are mourning her passing. She was 92. Farmer served as CMA Dir./Special Projects for three decades, overseeing the CMA Awards and Fan Fair (now CMA Fest), among other responsibilities. Services May 16, 2018 at Congregation Micah in Brentwood, TN.

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