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Keith Urban, Chris Young, Chris Janson, Midland & more walk the red carpet before the 2019 ACM Honors

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Academy of Country MusicWednesday night in Nashville, the Academy of Country Music took care of some unfinished business, passing out the non-televised honors from April’s ACM Awards.

Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban was excited for the chance to shine the light on musicians, songwriters, venues and promoters.

“I just love the opportunity to celebrate a lot of people behind the scenes,” Keith said on the red carpet. “In anything I do, there’s so many people behind the scenes that make it happen that no one ever knows about.”

“The fact that this awards show highlights them — for them — but also for everybody else to know who these people are,” he added. “And the fact they do it at the Ryman is amazing.”

Chris Young started the show with a song by Poet’s Award recipient Rodney Crowell, made famous by the Oak Ridge Boys. 

“If you’ve never looked at the lyric sheet for ‘Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight,'” Chris explained, “I have no idea how [Rodney]’s remembered all of those words to that. It’s like the wordiest song.”

Chris Janson didn’t have to dig too deep to play the Waylon Jennings classic written by another Poet’s Award honoree, Billy Joe Shaver.

“I’ve been covering ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ when I started in this town, one hundred steps from here at Tootsies,” Chris pointed out, gesturing toward the famed honky tonky near the Mother Church of Country Music.

Meanwhile, Midland was preparing to honor the current ACM Songwriter of the Year, Shane McAnally.

“He was one of the first people that took a chance on us in the beginning of this band,” Cameron Duddypointed out. “And not only that, also we’ve felt an immediate kinship with him.”

Midland’s latest collaboration with McAnally, their sophomore album Let It Roll, comes out Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

This One's for the Girls: A female-centric ACM Honors pays tribute to Martina, Miranda & more

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Academy of Country MusicNext November’s CMA Award will highlight country’s greatest female voices during a show hosted by Carrie UnderwoodDolly Parton and Reba McEntire. But the Academy of Country Music got a jump on the trend Wednesday during its 13th annual ACM Honors at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

“Thank you to all the pioneers that came before me… especially to the women,” Martina McBride said as she accepted the Cliffie Stone Icon Award, the ACM equivalent of membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Dolly, Reba, Barbara [Mandrell], Patsy [Cline], Emmylou [Harris], Linda Ronstadt, the list goes on and on,” Martina continued. “These women paved the way and kicked down the doors and they did it with such integrity and authenticity.”

Earlier, Lauren Alaina and Caylee Hammack performed Martina’s hits, “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing,” respectively.

Though she’s been retired for 22 years, Barbara Mandrell made a rare appearance to honor Poet’s Award winner Kye Fleming, who wrote many of her hits like “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” and “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” Tenille Townes and Maddie & Tae each offered their interpretations of the classics.

The evening’s most tender moment came as Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban teamed up with Gene Weed Milestone Award winner Miranda Lambert to duet on “The House That Built Me.”

“Some days feel like I’ve been doing it for two days, and some days feel like I’ve been doing it two hundred years,” Miranda said in her acceptance remarks. “But today, I feel like I’ve been doing it two days, and I just want to keep going.”

Though they couldn’t be present because they were working, Brooks & Dunn were also honored with the Icon Award, with Ashley McBryde offering her version of their REBOOT collaboration, “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ask your question, but "Make It Sweet": Old Dominion plans Twitter Q & A on Thursday

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RCA NashvilleIf you want to know more about Old Dominion’s forthcoming third album, you’ll have a chance to get the scoop on Thursday.

The CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year will do a question and answer session on Twitter starting at 11:30 a.m. ET on August 22. Just tweet your question and be sure to add the hashtag #AskOldDominion.

Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET, you can see Old Dominion on the latest episode of NBC’s Songland, alongside their co-producer and frequent collaborator Shane McAnally.

The self-titled Old Dominion — which features the band’s current hit, “One Man Band” — comes out October 25.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dan + Shay's Shay Mooney is awaiting baby #2, but he's a little "Speechless" it's not a girl

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ABC/Image Group LA You can add one more name to the ever-growing list of country stars expecting babies these days: Shay Mooney.

Shay and his wife Hannah shared the news on Instagram on Wednesday, along with a picture of their two-year-old son, Asher James. Of course, this week Dan + Shay also happen to have the top song in the country with “All to Myself.”

“Celebrating a number 1 with baby number 2!” Shay commented. “Hannah and I have been dying to share the news.”

“We thought for sure we’d be announcing a baby girl,” he added, “but God has other plans for the Mooney’s. Found out today we’re having a BOY! Bout to be a new duo in town.”

Soon-to-be big brother Asher will turn three on January 24.

If you’re keeping up with who has a baby on the way, here’s the rundown: Thomas RhettBrantley GilbertBrett YoungMidland’s Mark WystrachDylan ScottJordan Davis, and Kane Brown.

FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and his wife Hayley welcomed their second child, a son named Luca Reed, early Monday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Midland "Let[s] It Roll" from the stage of Music Valley's Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville

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Big Machine The vintage pink Cadillac parked outside Nashville’s Texas Troubadour Theater on Tuesday night was a huge hint as to what was happening inside: Midland was previewing their new album for an invitation-only audience inside the Music Valley venue named for Country Music Hall of Famer Ernest Tubb.

Hit songwriters and co-producers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne introduced Mark WystrachCameron Duddy, and Jess Carson, who wasted no time lobbing a few friendly jabs back.

“They’re only the two biggest writers in the last 25 years,” Mark began. “Somehow when we met all together, the first song we wrote was a song called…”

“Well, don’t spoil it for later,” Cam interrupted.

“Well nobody will ever know because it was a total turd,” Mark joked. “It sucked. It was Shane and Josh’s idea… And then we go, hey guys, we got an idea…”

“It’s called ‘Drinkin’ Problem,’” Cam continued, referring to Midland’s debut number one single.

“It goes like this: ‘People say I got a drinkin’ problem. I got no problem drinkin’ at all.’ Finish the rest,” he added, as the crowd laughed.

Midland went on to do new tunes like “Cheatin’ Songs,” “Put the Hurt on Me,” “Playboys,” and their hit, “Mr. Lonely,” from their sophomore album. Let It Roll comes out on Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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