AP NEWS

Country stars have big announcements; musical and otherwise

November 9, 2018

EXPECTING: Chris Stapleton announced that he and wife Morgane are expecting their fifth child.

Chris broke the news onstage during his concert at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Nov. 2, with his wife by his side. “I’ve got an announcement to make,” said Chris during his extended rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey.”

“Some of you may know that we have four children, and we just had twins about seven months ago. Now there’s four for us, but we’re gonna make it five!” Chris and Morgane welcomed twin boys in April 2018. The couple also has two additional children, a boy and a girl around ages 6 and 8.

COVERS: After announcing his 2019 Friends & Heroes Tour with the Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, Trace Adkins and Lauren Alaina, Blake Shelton has decided to cover a handful of classic country songs leading up to the tour in his Friends & Heroes Session.

First up? Bobby Bare’s “Tequila Sheila,” which was featured on Bare’s 1980 album “Down and Dirty.” The throwback tune features an introductory vocal by Bobby himself. “One of the coolest things I’ve been able to do in my career, because I’ve been fortunate, is be a little selfish along the way and be able to record some songs that I grew up loving,” Blake said.

“I feel like they have helped shape who I am as an artist and were what inspired me to want to be a country singer. I recorded this song and didn’t really have a plan for it—I just wanted to have my own version! I’m a huge fan, and I always felt like Bobby Bare’s personality was the kind I wanted to have as an artist too.”

TIED THE KNOT: Brett Young married longtime girlfriend Taylor Mills in Palm Springs, California, on Saturday, Nov. 3. Brett and Taylor, who got engaged in February 2018, have known each other for more than 10 years.

Love has been a constant theme for Brett since releasing his self-titled debut album in February 2017. The 12-track offering—of which Brett co-wrote 11 songs—is a give-and-take mix of love songs and heartbreak ballads, sans any obligatory “party” anthems that usually pepper a first project in today’s country-radio-friendly-first atmosphere.

Brett will be recognized as the 2018 ASCAP Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year at the 56th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on Nov. 12 in Nashville.

Brett will released his sophomore album, Ticket to L.A., on Dec. 7.

Julie Reeves is the midday host on Big Buck Country 101.5. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.

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