BRANTLEY GILBERT, TOBY KEITH AND HARDY READY “THE WORST COUNTRY SONG OF ALL TIME”

Available Everywhere This Friday, June 18, Pre-Save HERE

Celebrated by The Washington Post for his “deafening country rock that has earned him a loyal fanbase,” truth-teller Brantley Gilbert took to social media with his friends turned collaborators Toby Keith and HARDY for the first taste of “The Worst Country Song Of All Time” – the Georgia-native’s highly-anticipated new single, ready for release on Friday, June 18, via The Valory Music Co. Pre-save the song, which will impact Country Radio on Monday, June 21, HERE.

Last month, Brantley Gilbert asked BG Nation a burning question on TikTok: “What is the worst country song of all time?” With nearly 500K views, over 7,500 opinionated fans left their thoughts in the comments, with the debate making its way into a writer’s room containing Gilbert, HARDY, Hunter Phelps and Will Weatherly.

“HARDY threw the idea on the table, and he said, ‘Guys, I know this is crazy, but I had a title I put down in my phone: ‘The Worst Country Song Of All Time,’” Gilbert elaborates. “We all laughed it off because obviously it was a joke. Then we all were throwing out lines we thought were funny. The next thing you know, we’ve got this song written, and the rest is history in the making.”

I hate beer and honky-tonk women
I don’t eat deer and I can’t stand fishing
And I don’t know the words to Family Tradition
Folsom Prison or Walk The Line
And I think sweet tea is overrated
And all dirt roads were made for paving
Yeah this is worst country song of all time

And the chorus goes
I love cities and traffic jams
I don’t want a house on a piece of land
I deserve a bunch of money and a minivan
But I don’t wanna earn a dime
Old Yeller didn’t make me sad
I think we should change the American flag, yeah
This is the worst country song of all time

“We were listening to the demo after we finished it, and I said to HARDY, ‘Man, if we get a wild hair and decide we’re actually going to cut this, would you be cool with cutting it with me?,’” Gilbert shares of his co-writer. “I’ll never forget, he looked at me and he said, ‘Absolutely.’

“As far as Toby goes – it’s freakin’ Toby Keith!” Gilbert praises of the hitmaker. “He’s written some of the best and put out some of my favorite country songs of all time. So having him on it is kind of like that final seal of approval.”

With seven No. 1’s under his belt, Gilbert has been back at it, writing and recording during his time off from the road, readying his fans for more new music later this year.

“We’ve had a lot of great writes over the last few months,” Gilbert says. “We got outside of our box a little bit. As artists and writers, we have a group of people that we’re extremely comfortable writing with, that we know we’re going to be productive with and we know what kind of song we’re going write. But we branched out a little bit and wrote with some folks we haven’t written with before, just to see what would happen and what would come out of it. I have to say, I’m extremely proud of what we got on the way,” he concludes.

“The Worst Country Song Of All Time” follows the release of Fire & Brimstone (Deluxe Edition), an extended version of his fifth studio album which explores love and family, redemption and life in a small town, with all 17 tracks written or co-written by Gilbert. Lead single “What Happens In A Small Town” featuring Lindsay Ell marked his fifth No. 1 as an artist, seventh No. 1 as a songwriter and earned nominations for the 2019 CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year and 2020 ACM Award for Music Event of the Year.

Earlier this year, Gilbert held his inaugural trail ride with partners including Polaris, Gander Outdoors, Camping World, Brimstone® Recreation, Traeger Grills, Whiskey Jam and Appalachia Made Co., raising $75,000 to benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to support those in the entertainment industry who lost work due to the pandemic.

Gilbert continues to raise funds for the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music with the “Garage-full of Awesome Giveaway.” Fans who donate $10 or more will be entered to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to meet Gilbert in person for a trail-riding adventure; a RZR Trail S 1000 Ultimate in Ghost Gray, courtesy of Polaris; 2021 Heartland Fuel 362, courtesy of Camping World; and $5,000 cash. Donate HERE.

CODY JOHNSON ROARS BACK TO STAGE WITH SLATE OF 2021 TOUR DATES, NEW MUSIC

COJO Music/Warner Music Nashville country powerhouse Cody Johnson is roaring into the second half of 2021 with an impressive slate of North American tour dates and new music. The critically acclaimed country singer and songwriter will play more than 40 shows in the United States beginning in June.

Cody Johnson’s highly anticipated return to the stage includes two sold out shows at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. Fellow neo-traditional country mainstay Easton Corbin and Spotify Hot Country 2021 “Artist To Watch” Ian Munsick join Johnson for many of the dates.

“There are few feelings more amazing than being on stage with my friends in front of all our fans,” Johnson says. “I can’t tell you how excited the whole gang is to finally be back on the road playing country music for you.”

Johnson also recently released the new song “Sad Songs and Waltzes,” a retelling of Willie Nelson’s 1973 classic featuring the global icon himself. Fresh off his 2019 No. 1 album, AIN’T NOTHIN’ TO IT, Johnson released the song with more exciting news — a new, 18-track double album will be coming in the Fall.

Johnson has amassed more than 2.1 billion streams of his music, racking up two New Male Artist of the Year nominations at the Academy of Country Music Awards and a New Artist of the Year nomination at the Country Music Association Awards. In addition to Johnson’s new duet with Willie Nelson, the singer recently collaborated with Reba McEntire on “Dear Rodeo,” a song that inspired the new autobiographical documentary film Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story.

Johnson’s new tour kicks off on June 17 at The Country Fest in Lawrence, OH. For a complete list of tour dates, visit www.codyjohnsonmusic.com.

About Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin’s distinctive baritone has been gracing airwaves for the past decade as his chart topping debut single “A Little More Country Than That” established Corbin as a mainstay on the country charts. Billboard’s 2010 Top New Country Artist would go on to garner another No. 1 hit with the feel-good “Roll With It” as well as seven top 10 singles, further distinguishing himself from other male vocalists as a tried-and-true country traditionalist who weaves timeless story songs together while tipping his hat to the classic country artists who have come before him. Though 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of “A Little More Country Than That” achieving No. 1 status, Corbin showed no signs of slowing down. With the release of his infectious single “Turn Up,” he launched a year of new releases, including tune “Didn’t Miss A Beat,” which he performed on NBC’s TODAY Show. November brought Corbin’s highly anticipated EP of the same title, which included a “wide array” of songs like “Old Lovers Don’t Make Good Friends” and “Back to Me.”

About Ian Munsick
Wyoming-born singer-songwriter Ian Munsick’s upbringing was a mix of working the ranch and working crowds. Incorporating elements across genres, he has now begun to establish himself as a progressive artist with an old soul. In 2017 he released a self-titled EP, winning iHeartRadio’s Rocky Mountain Song of the Year for the rootsy “Horses Are Faster” and becoming the only artist who simultaneously qualified two tracks as finalists in the NSAI/CMT songwriting competition. Munsick has since signing with Warner Music Nashville, earned more than 70 million global streams, and been named one of Spotify’s inaugural Hot Country Artists to Watch. His debut album COYOTE CRY is out now.

ZAC BROWN BAND’S UNIFYING “SAME BOAT” CRUISES TO NO.1 MOST-ADDED AT COUNTRY RADIO

GRAMMY® award-winning Zac Brown Band launched “Same Boat,” their Warner Music Nashville/Home Grown Music debut single, on Friday, garnering overwhelming enthusiasm and praise from radio, press and fans.

The poignant track, written by front man Zac Brown along with Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton, begins the week as the most-added song at country radio and debuts at No. 25 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart as well as No. 34 at Country Aircheck/Mediabase.

Music Choice Manager of Country Programming Jim Murphy raved, “Zac Brown Band knocks it out of the park with ‘Same Boat’. Fun, up-tempo and perfect for our times. I can’t wait to play it on Music Choice!”

Rolling Stone said, “Zac Brown Band makes an upbeat plea for peace and coexistence in the new song ‘Same Boat,’” adding it “welds that message to an uplifting melody and pristine layered harmonies,” while Taste of Country claimed it will “take fans back to the good-time vibes of ‘Chicken Fried,’ and ‘Toes,’” also offering “poignantly timely themes of unity and hope.” American Songwriter also raved about “Same Boat,” adding “The beauty of the single lies in the universal message behind the words, and while it’s an upbeat and catchy tune, it’s also a feel-good song that can serve as a positive mantra.”

ABOUT ZAC BROWN BAND:
Zac Brown Band is a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning, Southern rock group led by front man, Zac Brown. Throughout their career spanning more than a decade, Zac Brown Band has had six consecutive albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and five consecutive albums debut at #1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. To date, the group has won three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist in 2010, sold more than 30 million singles, 9 million albums, amassed over 9.3 billion catalog streams to date, achieved 15 #1 radio singles and are the second act to top both the Country and Active Rock formats.
Zac Brown Band has headlined 7 North American Tours and currently holds the record for most consecutive sold-out shows at the iconic Fenway Park. Since their debut, Zac Brown Band has developed a reputation with critics and fans alike as one of the most dynamic live performers, marked by strong musicianship that defies genre boundaries.

DREW BALDRIDGE HONORS DADS EVERYWHERE WITH NEW MUSIC FOR FATHER’S DAY

“Stay at Home Dad” Available June 18

 In advance of Father’s Day, Drew Baldridge releases “Stay at Home Dad,” this Friday, June 18. Pre-order/pre-save here – https://linktr.ee/drewbaldridge.

Written alongside Tyler Chambers, Dylan Marlowe and Nick Schwarz, Baldridge penned the song as a tribute to his own hardworking father who worked multiple jobs to support his family growing up. Kids don’t often realize or appreciate the sacrifices their parents make for them until they are adults and have families of their own. The lyrics pay homage to the dads who must forgo quality time with family in order to provide the best life for them.

“Stay at home dad

Don’t you wanna go fishin’

Throw the ball out in the back

If you do, I’ll do the dishes

Me and mama miss you bad

I’ll be the man ‘til you get back

If it ain’t too much to ask

Stay at home dad”

He even previewed the song for his dad for the first time this weekend on his birthday. Watch here – https://tinyurl.com/5d3ac7n2.

“When I was a kid, my dad worked so hard to make sure that my family had everything we ever wanted,” said Baldridge. “I loved when he was around to play with us but he was gone a lot. It took me a long time to understand why he couldn’t always be there for all of my sports games, but as I think about having my own family soon it makes me appreciate him so much more.”

“Stay at Home Dad” follows recent releases including “She’s Somebody’s Daughter (Wedding Version),” “Beach Ain’t One” and “That’s You” – all released in 2021. Baldridge continues to roll out new music as his streams have amassed over 10 million in the past 12 months alone.

He is performing these songs and more on his Baldridge and Bonfires Tour across the US this summer. Performing over 100 dates in the past calendar year, the singer/songwriter is bringing live music to fans backyards and he’s even surprised a recent wedding party – https://tinyurl.com/zbe9wtrv.

In between his dates for the Baldridge and Bonfires Tour, he is also still hosting his popular weekend show on LA’s Go Country 105. Hear him each Saturday and Sunday from 9:00A – 2:00P PST and fans who are not in LA can catch-up via the show’s weekly podcast, “Behind the Song.” Recent guests include Lainey Wilson, Brantley Gilbert, Riley Green, Tenille Arts, Scott McCreery and more.

June is African American Music Appreciation Month!

Created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this month celebrates the African American musical influences
that comprise an essential part of our nation’s treasured cultural heritage.

“Since the National Museum of African American Music opened its doors to the public in January 2021, perhaps the most common question on social media–amidst the enthusiastic posts from people sharing their excitement about visiting–is, “Why Nashville?” Comments range from “this museum should really be in [Memphis], [Detroit], [Chicago]” to “no one important to Black music really came through Nashville.”

It’s an understandable debate; Nashville is known all over the world as the home of country music. In a recent conversation, NMAAM’s curatorial director, Dr. Dina Bennett, pointed out that James Brown, Linda Martell, and the Pointer Sisters are just a few of the African American artists to perform at the Grand Ole Opry (Brown notably at the invitation of country music star Porter Wagoner). As early as the 1920s, blues greats such as Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters were performing at Nashville venues such as the historic Bijou Theater, which, at the time, drew frequent comparisons to Harlem’s Apollo Theater. At the end of WWII, Nashville’s R&B music scene gained tremendous momentum thanks to local record labels like Bullet Records (B.B. King, Rufus Thomas) and WLAC, the city’s R&B radio station, and live music clubs attracted acts like Ray Charles.

And yet, Music City is virtually synonymous with artists like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Charley Pride. Still, country music–which shares its roots with African American musical traditions, is just one aspect of Nashville’s music scene, and unearthing the forgotten and unknown history of African American artists and the music they created in the city is an important part of reclaiming the narrative and resisting erasure.

From its earliest inception, NMAAM’s mission has been to “educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack.” And while cities such as Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans boast well-documented and widely recognized connections to Black music, Nashville has its own unique position in the complete history of genres and styles that grew directly from the African American experience. Throughout NMAAM’s six galleries, we connect Music City’s role in the evolution of Black music with all of the other cities– from Wade in the Water, which traces the earliest roots of African American musical expression back to the 1600s, through The Message, which brings us into the present day via the global phenomenon known as hip hop.”

from National Museum of African American Music website

Visit the National Museum of African American Music in downtown Nashville at Broadway and 5th. For more information go to: https://nmaam.org/

Rhonda Vincent’s New Album ‘Music Is What I See’ Available Now

Multi-award-winning bluegrass artist and Grand Ole Opry member Rhonda Vincent’s new album ‘Music Is What I See,’ is available now! Although this record was slated for an earlier release, due to the events of 2020, Vincent used this time off to focus on every detail, creating the perfect mixture of bluegrass and country. Vincent’s high-spirited energy is clearly present through her soaring vocals, blend of new tunes, and fresh arrangements of classics such as the first-ever recorded bluegrass version of the classic, “Unchained Melody,” which she recently debuted live at the Grand Ole Opry. With her brand new album and a growing tour schedule, “The Queen of Bluegrass” is back in full swing!

“It is so exciting to finally have ‘Music Is What I See’ available,” shares Vincent.“ This project features my world-class band, The Rage on straight ahead, hard drivin’ bluegrass, country classics, to a special arrangement, and perhaps the first-ever bluegrass version (complete with banjo) of “Unchained Melody”. “Unchained Melody” was truly the most challenging song I’ve ever sung. I purposely created a balance of new songs with timeless classics. It’s my first record release since officially being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Life is truly grand!

While celebrating the release of ‘Music Is What I See’ this past weekend, Vincent performed during two segments at The Grand Ole Opry and made history as the last artist to host The Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee, before going back to its original home on lower Broadway. Throughout the show, Vincent surprised the audience with special appearances by Grand Ole Opry Member Jeannie Seely and songwriter Erin Enderlin. Fans were also delighted as Hee Haw’s Lulu Roman and Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis joined them in the audience to commemorate the occasion.

Leading up to the album release, Vincent has been featured in People.comTaste of Country, and Wide Open Country, where each outlet premiered a new single. Growing up performing in her family’s band, The Sally Mountain Show, music was not just something she loved, it was a way of life. This shows in every track, whether referring to “What Ain’t To Be Just Might Happen” written by Porter Wagoner or “Like I Could,” which was written by Jeannie Seely, Erin Enderlin, and Bobby Tomberlin, the Grand Ole Opry weaves throughout this entire project.

 

LISTEN: ingroov.es/music-is-what-i-see

Singer/Songwriter Adam Sanders Releases Debut Album What If I’m Right To Critical Praise

Album Earns More Than 6 Million Streams on Its Debut

Title Track, “What If I’m Right’ Earns 1 Million Streams And Counting

Country music artist and highly-sought after songwriter Adam Sanders released his debut full-length album What If I’m Right, on May 21st amassing more than 6 million album streams to date. The independent artist who has written hits for Country artists such as Dustin Lynch, Luke Bryan, and Cole Swindell is “stepping into the spotlight” (Billboard) and staking his claim with his debut album. What If I’m Right was featured by Billboard’s First CountryRolling Stone Country’s Music PicksThe BootTaste Of Country and American Songwriter. What If I’m Right is currently available at digital retailers everywhere, listen here: https://smarturl.it/WhatIfImRight

Ahead of the official album release, People.com shared his NASCAR-inspired song “Daddy Jesus And Earnhardt,” noting “it is a song that could go and make Sanders a country music superstar.” Sanders co-wrote all thirteen tracks across the album, including his title track “What If I’m Right” his driving, blue-collar anthem “Do What We Do” and contemplative ballad “Bible Verses.”
Marking milestones along the way, Sanders has earned his reputation as an artist to watch, amassing over 100 million streams, over 70,000 singles sold, and landing in the Top 40 of the Current Country Albums Chart. Out of the gate, the title track “What If I’m Right” was quickly added to Hot Country ATV Playlist, Next From Nashville, Breakout Country and Fresh Finds Playlist, Pandora’s New Country Now and Apple Music’s Country Music Risers, and has tallied well over a whopping 1,000,000+ streams to date. Billboard called it another “surefire winner” and Rolling Stone noted, “a meaty production of big drums and bigger guitars, with an emphasis on how it’ll play on radio and for the seats at the back of the arena.”
As “one of Music Row’s hottest young songwriters” (American Songwriter), the Lake City, FL native is currently signed to a co-publishing deal with Round Hill Music Nashville. What If I’m Right follows his previously released Adam Sanders (Live), his “infectious tune (Billboard),” “Ruled The World,” “the mid-tempo, retro-cool song (Taste of Country),” “Make Em Wanna Change,” and the “catchiest of them all (Pop Culture),” “Drink Drank Drunk.” With overwhelming support from the artist and songwriter community, Sanders’ music video for “Ruled The World” featured seven singer-songwriters and a music video starring Tracy Lawrence, Aaron Tippin, Marty Raybon, and Mike McGuire. Sanders can be seen next on select headlining dates in Branford, FL (7/3) Quincy, IL (8/4) Springfield, IL (8/19) and Turlock, CA (9/25). For tickets and more information, visit http://www.adamsandersmusic.com/.

LUKE COMBS ACHIEVES ELEVENTH-CONSECUTIVE #1 SINGLE WITH “FOREVER AFTER ALL”

TIES RECORD FOR MOST #1’S FROM THE SAME ALBUM

ACM, CMA and CMT Award-winning artist Luke Combs’ Platinum-certified single, “Forever After All,” is #1 this week on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This is Combs’ eleventh-consecutive #1 single, a first on the chart, as well as his sixth-consecutive #1 from his new deluxe album, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get—tying the record for most #1 singles to come from the same album. The song, which also tops Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Country Streaming Songs charts this week, debuted at #2 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart this past November—the highest entrance ever for a male country solo artist.
Out now on River House Artists/Columbia Nashville, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get debuted at #1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart as well as Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart last fall. The special deluxe edition features all 18 tracks from Combs’ double Platinum-certified, global #1 album, What You See Is What You Get, as well as five new songs. With the release, Combs reached #1 on Rolling Stone’s Top 200 Albums chart, Top 100 Songs chart and Artists 500 chart—the first country artist ever to lead all three charts in the same week and first to top the Artists 500.
Combs also recently made history as the first artist ever to have their first two studio albums spend 25 weeks or more at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart—breaking Taylor Swift’s previously held record at 24 weeks. The achievement comes as What You See Is What You Get topped the chart for the 25th time last summer, while his 2017 debut, This One’s For You, has spent 50 non-consecutive weeks at #1—tying the record for the longest reign atop the chart with Shania Twain’s Come On Over in 1997.
Adding to an already groundbreaking and historic career, Combs will return to the stage this fall with his massive headline arena tour, featuring a special new in-the-round stage design. Kicking off in September at Raleigh’s PNC Arena (two nights), the tour includes stops at New York’s Madison Square Garden (two nights), San Francisco’s Chase Center, Houston’s Toyota Center, Chicago’s United Center (two nights), Dallas’ American Airlines Center (two nights) and Boston’s TD Garden (two nights) among several others. Combs will also perform his first ever headline stadium show at Boone, NC’s Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 4. See below for complete itinerary.
WHAT YOU SEE AIN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU GET TRACK LIST 
1. Beer Never Broke My Heart
2. Refrigerator Door
3. Even Though I’m Leaving
4. Lovin’ On You
5. Moon Over Mexico
6. 1, 2 Many (feat. Brooks & Dunn)
7. Blue Collar Boys
8. New Everyday
9. Reasons
10. Every Little Bit Helps
11. Dear Today
12. What You See Is What You Get
13. Does To Me (feat. Eric Church)
14. Angels Workin’ Overtime
15. All Over Again
16. Nothing Like You
17. Better Together
18. Six Feet Apart
19. Cold As You
20. The Other Guy
21. My Kinda Folk
22. Without You (feat. Amanda Shires)
23. Forever After All

CHRIS JANSON TO PERFORM PRE-RACE CONCERT AT NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY JUNE 20TH

Warner Music Nashville’s Chris Janson, a Grand Ole Opry member and platinum-selling recording artist, will perform a pre-race concert on track at Nashville Superspeedway prior to the “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 20, track officials announced today.
Janson will display his high-octane, multi-instrumental talents while performing his No. 1 hits on a stage near the start-finish line between the morning Cup Series qualifying session (10:05 a.m.) and the afternoon “Ally 400” (2:30 p.m., NBCSN), the first Cup Series race in Middle Tennessee in 37 years. Grandstand gates open at 9 a.m. on Father’s Day.
“I’m super thrilled to be performing at the NASCAR Cup Series pre-race concert at Nashville Superspeedway on June 20th,” says Janson. “I’m pumped to have NASCAR back in Nashville for the first time in 10 years with a SOLD-OUT crowd. I can’t think of a better combination than racing fans & country music fans. It will be a glorious day!”
“As Middle Tennessee’s home track for NASCAR Cup Series racing, we understand the importance of infusing the heart of Music City into our events,” said Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway’s president. “We’re thrilled that Chris Janson will bring his special brand of entertainment to our Father’s Day race weekend and are certain our fans from across the state and around the country will enjoy his show before America’s best drivers take the green flag for the Ally 400.”
Tickets are available for Nashville Superspeedway’s first two races on its Father’s Day weekend slate, including the “Tennessee Lottery 250” NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, June 19 (2:30 p.m. CT, NBCSN) and the “Rackley Roofing 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race under the lights on Friday, June 18 (7 p.m. CT, FS1).
Fans can order tickets for the June 18-19 events by visiting NashvilleSuperSpeedway.com or calling 866-RACE-TIX.
About Chris Janson:
Chris Janson is an ACM award-winner, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and is a “live legacy in the making” (Rolling Stone). The breakout country star is a high-octane entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, and award-winning singer/songwriter who has had 4 No. 1 hit singles. In the five years since the release of his debut album, the three-time CMA nominee has collected prestigious accolades that place him among country music greats. He took home the trophy for ACM Video of the Year for his Gold-certified, inspiring hit song “Drunk Girl,” which also earned the Song of the Year title at the 2018 Music Row Awards and was named one of the “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written” by NSAI. His chart-topping, triple-Platinum smash “Buy Me A Boat” earned the same NSAI honor, making him one in a handful of the industry’s most elite artists to earn the title multiple times, as well as the iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year. Janson’s No. 1 hits including multi-week chart topper “Done,” “Good Vibes,” “Fix a Drink,” “Buy Me A Boat,” and the award-winning “Drunk Girl.” His current single, “Waitin’ On 5,” can be heard now on the airwaves. In addition to his own successes, the talented songwriter has lent his pen to industry peers including Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah,” “How I’ll Always Be”), LOCASH (“I Love This Life”) and the legendary Hank Williams Jr. (“God Fearin’ Man,” “Those Days Are Gone”) & many more. For more information, visit www.chrisjanson.com
About Dover Motorsports, Inc.
Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) is a promoter of NASCAR sanctioned motorsports events whose subsidiaries own and operate Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., and Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn. The company also plays host to the Firefly Music Festival, produced by AEG Presents. For more information, visit www.DoverMotorsports.com.

B.J. THOMAS DEAD AT 78

ARLINGTON, Texas – Five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, B.J. Thomas, died today at home in Arlington, Texas at the age of 78 from complications due to stage four lung cancer.

Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than B.J. Thomas. With his smooth, rich voice and unerring song sense, Thomas’s expansive career crossed multiple genres, including country, pop, and gospel, earning him CMA, Dove, and Grammy awards and nominations since his emergence in the 1960s.

Thomas’ career was anchored by numerous enduring hits, among them his million-selling cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” the Grammy-winning “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and the iconic “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which won the Academy Award for best original song. A five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, Thomas has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, scoring eight No. 1 hits and 26 Top 10 singles over his 50+ years in the music industry. His lengthy chart history led to him being named one of Billboard’s Top 50 Most Played Artists Over The Past 50 Years. Such memorable hits as “I Just Can’t Help Believing, “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love,” “New Looks From An Old Lover” and “Hooked on a Feeling” have made him a staple on multiple radio formats over the years.

Born in rural Hugo, OK, Billy Joe Thomas moved to Houston, Texas with his family and where he grew up absorbing a variety of musical influences from the traditional country of Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams Dr. to the soulful sounds of Jackie Wilson and Little Richard, whose “Miss Ann” was the first single B.J. ever bought. He began singing in church as a child and in his teens joined the Houston-based band the Triumphs.

Thomas’s first taste of success came in 1966 when he recorded “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” with producer Huey P. Meaux. Released by Scepter Records, it peaked at No. 8 on the pop charts and became his first million-selling single. He released the follow-up single, “Mama,” and delivered his first solo album that same year.

Thomas’ second million-selling hit came in 1968 with the release of “Hooked on a Feeling,” from On My Way, his sophomore album for Scepter. During his days with the New York label, he became friendly with Ronnie Milsap and Dionne Warwick, who were also on the roster at the time. It was Warwick who introduced him to songwriter-producer Burt Bacharach. In January 1970, Thomas topped the charts with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” Penned by Bacharach and Hal David, the song was featured in the classic Paul Newman/Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, earning the Oscar for best original song. Sales quickly exceeded two million copies and it has remained one of the most enduring pop hits of all time, reoccurring in such films as Forrest GumpCharlie’s Angels: Full ThrottleClerks II, and Spider-Man 2 as well as multiple TV shows over the years. He followed that career-defining single with a string of pop/rock hits, including “Everybody’s Out of Town,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “No Love at All” and “Rock and Roll Lullaby.”

After six years with Scepter Records, Thomas signed with Paramount Records where he released two albums—1973’s Songs and 1974’s Longhorns & Londonbridges. In 1975, Thomas released the album Reunion on ABC Records, featuring “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” which holds the distinction of being the longest titled No. 1 hit ever on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Like many successful pop/rock artists, Thomas fell into drugs and battled substance abuse. His wife Gloria became a born-again Christian and the turning point in Thomas’ life came when he became a believer in 1976. He immediately quit drugs and found an avenue for expressing his faith in gospel music. Thomas signed with Myrrh Records and released the album Home Where I Belong in 1976. Produced by Chris Christian, the project won Thomas a Grammy and became the first of two Dove Award wins. The album became the first gospel record to sell a million copies. The warmth and emotional timbre of Thomas’s voice was well suited to the genre and he became one of gospel music’s most successful artists. His rendition of “Amazing Grace” is considered one of the most poignant of the classic hymn’s many covers.

In addition to his country and gospel success, Thomas also enjoyed a healthy run on the country charts in the 1980s with such hits as “Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love,” “New Looks from an Old Lover Again,” “The Whole World’s in Love When You’re Lonely” and “Two Car Garage.” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” was No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Country Songs charts. It won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1976 and was nominated for CMA Single of the Year. On his 39th birthday in 1981, Thomas became the 60th member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Beyond populating multiple radio formats with so many beloved hits, Thomas also voiced the theme song, “As Long As We’ve Got Each Other,” for the popular TV series Growing Pains, and has lent his voice to numerous commercials, including campaigns for Coca-Cola and Pepsi. He can also be seen on television hosting Time Life Music’s Forever 70s infomercial. As an actor, he also appeared in the films Jory and Jake’s Corner. Thomas authored two books, including his autobiography Home Where I Belong.

In 2013, he released The Living Room Sessions, an acoustic album, which celebrated Thomas’s nearly six decades in the music industry. The project featured Thomas dueting with other high profile artists on his most beloved hits, which included teaming with Richard Marx for “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” Vince Gill on “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” Sara Niemietz on “Hooked on a Feeling,” Keb’ Mo’ on “Most of All,” Lyle Lovett on “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and The Fray’s Isaac Slade on “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” The album was well-received with critics praising it as a reminder of just how engaging his voice remained after decades of recording and touring.

Though Thomas will be remembered as one of this generation’s premiere vocalists and a consummate entertainer, the humble artist was most proud of his family. He’s survived by his wife of 53 years Gloria, their three daughters Paige Thomas, Nora Cloud, and Erin Moore, and four grandchildren, Nadia Cloud, Keira Cloud, Ruby Moore, and Billy Joe Moore.

A quote from his website exemplifies Thomas’ humble attitude and appreciation for life. “All I am is just another guy. I’ve been very lucky,” he shared. “I’ve had a wonderful life, I’ve been a husband and a father who cherishes his children and now I’m a grandfather, and I’m motivated like all these teachers and preachers and mothers and fathers to help my kids grow up with character and self-respect. I hope that doesn’t sound too grandiose, but that’s what it comes down to. It’s what I’ve tried to do with my music and with the majority of my life.”

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming and will remain private. In lieu of flowers, in-memoriam donations will be accepted by Mission ArlingtonTarrant Area Food Bank, and the SPCA of Texas.