1. Cledus T. Judd on His Decision to Bow Out of the Music Business for a 'Higher Purpose'

    January 15, 2015 2:39 PM EST "I just lost the desire to go stand on the back of a hay truck and sing 'If Shania Was Mine' at 50," says the country music funnyman. Last month in Nashville, a beaming Cledus T. Judd walked the red carpet at the American Country Countdown Awards with his 10-year-old…

  2. Delaware Country Fests To Go Head-To-Head Next Summer

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST Country music promoters will have a better read on just how strong the country music market is in mid-Atlantic region by Monday, as two major country music festivals go on sale today and tomorrow. Big Barrel and Delaware Junction, both new festivals for 2015, will be competing for Delaware&…

  3. Colt Ford Ready to 'Crank It Up!' With First Live DVD

    December 16, 2014 12:00 PM EST Colt Ford has enjoyed a very successful run in the industry since bursting on the scene in the late 2000s. He co-wrote the Jason Aldean blockbuster "Dirt Road Anthem" with Brantley Gilbert , and has shared the stage with many of the biggest stars in the format. His last four discs…

  4. Album Review: Florida Georgia Line Stay a Step Ahead of the Bros on ‘Anything Goes'

    October 14, 2014 6:17 PM EDT It's appropriate that Florida Georgia Line took its name from both sides of a boundary, because the duo (Georgia-born Tyler Hubbard, 27, and Florida native Brian Kelley, 29) used its multiformat smash "Cruise," and the party-themed album Here's to the Good Times , to…

  5. Jason Aldean & Sam Hunt Chart New Path With R&B-Influenced Country

    October 07, 2014 3:00 PM EDT Billboard speaks with the genre-smashing songwriters behind bold new country hits. Mainstream country music is not always known for being sonically daring, but Jason Aldean' s "Burnin' It Down" and Sam Hunt' s “Break Up In A Small Town” represent something genuinely…

  6. Behind Radio's Country/Pop Convergence in Charleston, West Virginia

    September 04, 2014 1:24 PM EDT “No. They didn’t legalize marijuana in West Virginia. We’re doing this on purpose.” That's a WKAZ (Tailgate 107.3) Charleston, W. Va., liner anticipating some of the likely responses of any radio people who might be listening to this new country/pop hybrid. If you were familiar with …

  7. Lenny Cooper Explains How His Father & Brother Turned Him Into a Country Rapper

    August 25, 2014 5:45 PM EDT With his third album 'The Grind' out this week, Cooper reminisces about his start in the business to Billboard. Country rapper Lenny Cooper 's last album, 2013's Mud Dynasty , cemented his reputation in the business, sending his social media numbers soaring by 750 percent…

  8. Jake Owen's 'Beachin' ' Shores Up No. 1 Spot On Hot Country Songs

    July 10, 2014 1:49 PM EDT The singer scores his third leader. Plus, Colt Ford raps his way onto Top Country Albums and all  the 'Dirt' on Florida Georgia Line's new single. Jake Owen scores his third No. 1, and first in more than two years, on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, as "Beachin&…

  9. Trey Songz Scores Second No. 1 Album With 'Trigga'

    July 09, 2014 11:00 AM EDT R&B singer Trey Songz secures his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 , as "Trigga" debuts atop the list. The set, which was released on July 1, sold 105,000 copies in the week ending July 6, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Songz also saw his last album, 2012's "…

  10. Despite Hits, No Radio Love Yet For Country Rap

    July 05, 2014 2:17 PM EDT "I think rap gets treated like a dirty word," Clear Channel's Clay Hunnicutt says. When Jason Brown came to Nashville to start his career as the country artist Colt Ford, he couldn't find songwriters who would write for his singing style. No surprise. Ford was bringing an…

  11. Robin Thicke's 'Paula' May Sell 20,000 Copies In Its First Week

    July 03, 2014 5:05 PM EDT Robin Thicke's new album, "Paula," is off to a tepid sales start. Industry forecasters say the R&B singer, who hit a career high a year ago with his No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Blurred Lines," might sell around 20,000 to 25,000 copies of "Paula" by…

  12. Colt Ford on His New Album: 'I Think It's The Best One I've Made'

    June 27, 2014 4:58 PM EDT Colt F ord is diversifying a little bit these days. Next Tuesday (July 1), the popular entertainer will be releasing two projects – a new album entitled "Thanks For Listening," as well as a 64-page full-color comic book called "The Average Joes" – a take off on the name of…

  13. Is Big Smo For Real? A Q&A With the Self-Proclaimed 'Hick Ross'

    June 27, 2014 3:46 PM EDT Meet the country-rap "hick-hopper" with an A&E show and a record deal. A&E’s latest reality star? A country rapper named Big Smo. Real name John Smith, the 39-year-old Unionville, Tenn., native falls somewhere between Colt Ford and Bubba Sparxxx. Smo’s self-titled series,…

  14. CMA Music Festival Covers the Gamut of Country Artists

    June 10, 2014 3:33 PM EDT It’s two events in one. The Country Music Association’s annual CMA Music Festival brought an estimated 80,000 people to downtown Nashville for four consecutive days, June 5-8, as fans from around the nation and more than 20 foreign countries chose from hundreds of opportunities to soak up…

  15. On the Road With Brantley Gilbert: The 'Just As I Am' Star Hits His Hometown

    May 23, 2014 2:00 PM EDT This week has been a time of looking forward for Brantley Gilbert, but also one for a little bit of nostalgia. Gilbert began a week-long promotional trek on Monday in his home near Athens, GA. The singer, promoting his just-released album "Just As I Am," hosted members of the media…

  16. NASCAR Driver Danica Patrick Stars in Colt Ford's ‘Drivin' Around Song’: Watch

    October 07, 2013 4:07 AM EDT Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. decided to test out their acting chops, and do a little flirting in public, for a new country music video that was released this week. NASCAR's power couple has starring roles for Colt Ford's new single, "Drivin' Around Song."…

  17. Luke Bryan, Justin Moore, Jason Aldean Lead Country Charts

    September 26, 2013 12:50 PM EDT At six weeks, Bryan's 'That's My Kind of Night' is the longest-leading No. 1 on Hot Country Songs since 2005. Plus, Moore bows atop Top Country Albums and Aldean rules Country Airplay With a sixth week atop Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, Luke Bryan's …

  18. Chart Highlights: Britney Spears Bows, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga Leap To No. 1

    September 23, 2013 5:15 PM EDT Britney Spears' 'Work B**ch!' blasts onto Pop Songs, while Katy Perry scores a record-tying No. 1 on Adult Pop Songs and Lady Gaga lands her lucky 13th No. 1 on Dance/Mix/Show Airplay Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday.…

  19. NASCAR Driver Danica Patrick To Co-Host American Country Awards

    September 18, 2013 12:05 AM EDT Danica Patrick is crossing back over into entertainment. The NASCAR star is joining country singer Trace Adkins as co-host of the American Country Awards on Dec. 10. Patrick will have an experienced hand to guide her. Adkins has overseen the show since it began four years ago. Last year,…

  20. Laura Bell Bundy Puts Hip-Hop Spin on 'Two Step'

    September 17, 2013 2:00 PM EDT The "Anger Mangagement" actress melds country and dance music with her new single. "I think what's happening is that dance music is coming back in popular culture, and it's bleeding into country music" Laura Bell Bundy is quite the multi-media personality these…

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