1. Willie Nelson Bassist Dan 'Bee' Spears Dies at 62

    December 12, 2011 10:20 AM EST Country Legend Says Longtime Band Member Died of Exposure Dan "Bee" Spears, the longtime bassist in Willie Nelson 's family band, died Thursday (Dec. 8) after falling outside his Nashville home, the legendary country singer announced on Friday. According to Nelson, Spears, who…

  2. Joey + Rory Blaze Their Own Trail for Christmas Album

    November 30, 2011 6:00 PM EST Putting a new wrinkle on the Christmas Music album is kind of a tough thing. But, some of Country Music's most memorable Yuletide offerings -- Kenny & Dolly's "Once Upon A Christmas" and Emmylou's "Light Of The Stable" among them -- have been able to…

  3. Lefty Frizzell's Brother Looks to Change Singer's Wild Reputation

    November 21, 2011 2:20 PM EST There's no doubting that William Orville Frizzell was a hero. Better known as "Lefty," the singer - whose string of classic hits included "If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time" and "Saginaw, Michigan," has influenced many artists of his time…

  4. Alan Jackson & Kix Brooks Enter Music City Walk of Fame

    November 07, 2011 3:30 PM EST As Nashville got ready to watch their Tennessee Titans take to the field against the Bengals on Sunday, many in downtown gathered for the 2011 unveiling festivities of the Music City Walk of Fame. Seven Nashville-related personalities were chosen for the honor -- including two with deep ties…

  5. Liz Anderson, Trailblazing Country Songwriter, Dies at 81

    November 02, 2011 10:50 AM EDT Famed songwriter and singer Liz Anderson died Monday evening of complications from heart and lung disease after a brief hospitalization, her family announced. The singer, who is the mother of Lynn Anderson and a key player in the success of Merle Haggard and others, was admitted to St. Thomas…

  6. Ask Billboard: Christmas in October? Never Say Never

    October 29, 2011 11:05 AM EDT Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. CHRISTMAS IN…

  7. Montgomery Gentry Proud to Be Indie 'Rebels'

    October 10, 2011 1:45 PM EDT Montgomery Genty might very well be feeling a sense of déjà vu these days, as they gear up for the release of their new disc "Rebels On The Run." Troy Gentry says the music pretty much sounds like the "old" Montgomery Gentry, and part of their "new" team at…

  8. LeAnn Rimes on Her 'Ballsy' Concept Album

    September 26, 2011 1:45 PM EDT Without fail, when a magazine will come up with a list of "Greatest Country Songs of All Time," two of the slots on the list will be filled with "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "When I Call Your Name." It's rare that one artist will cover either of those…

  9. Decemberists, Thievery Corporation Top 'Last Call's' Greek (Theatre) Week

    September 15, 2011 2:55 PM EDT NBC's music-oriented talk show "Last Call with Carson Daly" will kick off its 11th season Sept. 20 with performances filmed this summer at the Greek Theatre. Performances from last week's concert headlined by Thievery Corporation and shows from earlier in the summer by the…

  10. Miranda Lambert: How Her Chart-Topping Side Project Defies Decades of Nashville Convention

    September 06, 2011 1:05 PM EDT With the coronation of her side project, Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels," Miranda Lambert is the first artist in the 47-year history of Billboard's Country Albums chart to have notched No. 1s solo (her first three, 2005-09) and as part of a separately-named, non-all-star…

  11. George Strait Scores 84th Country Songs Top 10

    September 05, 2011 12:45 PM EDT G eorge Strait climbs closer to Eddy Arnold 's record for most top 10s in the 67-year history of Billboard's Country Songs chart, as "Here for a Good Time" rises 11-9. The song is Strait's 84th top 10 on the tally, a sum second only to Arnold's 92, which the late…

  12. Weekly Chart Notes: Jeff Bridges, Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan

    August 25, 2011 4:30 PM EDT BRIDGES' SPAN: Although Jeff Bridges makes his first visit to an array of Billboard album charts at age 61, he's hardly a newcomer to making music. The actor/singer starts at No. 2 on Folk Albums , No. 5 on Rock Albums, No. 10 on Country Albums and No. 25 on the Billboard 200 with…

  13. Kenny Chesney Makes History With Record Country Crowd in NY Area

    August 15, 2011 11:40 AM EDT The New York metro area, much maligned for its lack or affinity for country music, hosted what amounted to the market's first country festival in decades with the arrival of Kenny Chesney 's Goin' Coastal tour at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Saturday …

  14. Alabama Returns To Country Songs Summit

    May 23, 2011 11:05 AM EDT A labama returns to the top spot on Billboard's Nielsen BDS-based Country Songs chart, as Brad Paisley 's "Old Alabama," on which the group is featured, ascends 2-1. Alabama had last ruled Country Songs with "Reckless" the week of Nov. 27, 1993. The group's…

  15. Ask Billboard: Readers' Favorite Charted Odd Couples

    May 20, 2011 3:05 PM EDT Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. READERS'…

  16. Miranda Lambert Calls ACM Entertainer of the Year Nom 'Surreal'

    April 01, 2011 8:44 AM EDT Country singer Miranda Lambert has had a great year. Between nabbing Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2010 Country Music Assocation Awards and winning her first Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "The House That Built Me," the former Nashville Star finalist has…

  17. Aaron Lewis Talks Country Crossover, Preps 'Heavier' Staind LP

    March 04, 2011 10:40 AM EST S taind 's Aaron Lewis may have gone country on his first solo release, but don't expect to see him sporting a Stetson and fancy boots any time in the near future. "Hell no," Lewis tells Billboard.com. "I've never felt the need to try to put on airs or try to be…

  18. Wilco Leaves Nonesuch Records, Starts Own Label

    January 27, 2011 8:52 AM EST W ilco , the Chicago-based experimental rock band led by Jeff Tweedy, has announced they are leaving their long-time label Nonesuch Records to start their own record company, dBpm Records. The band's longtime manager, Tony Margherita, will run the enterprise from his offices in…

  19. Joanna Smith: Artists To Watch 2011

    January 24, 2011 10:37 AM EST Joanna Smith Genre: Country With its playful spirit and thoughtful observations on rural life, Georgia-born singer/songwriter Joanna Smith's music evokes both Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard. Produced by Jimmy Ritchey (Vince Gill, Randy Owen) and Phillip White (Rascal Flatts, Reba…

  20. Steel Magnolia Spins Reality TV Fame Into Chart Success with Debut Album

    January 21, 2011 3:48 PM EST Reality TV exposure can be either a blessing or a curse for a new act. For Steel Magnolia , season-two winner of CMT's "Can You Duet?," that exposure has definitely been a blessing by way of a top five single ("Keep On Lovin' You") and an opening slot on Brad…

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