AJ’s “Where Are They Now?” Wednesdays

PRESENTED BY:
Located on Jordan Lane, Memorial Parkway, University Drive, Winchester Road and Madison Blvd.


“Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute to Charlie Daniels” will air on AXS TV on August 19 at 9p.m.

Since its inception in 1974, Charlie’s Volunteer Jam has brought together some of music’s biggest stars. 
This year’s Jam, which was recorded on March 7 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, featured performances by Charlie Daniels, Chris Young, Lee Brice, Alabama, Sara Evans, Travis Tritt, Alison Krauss, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Eddie Montgomery, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs and more.

AXS TV’s 2-hour broadcast includes performances, in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from Charlie’s 20th Volunteer Jam.

In addition, a 2-CD set of select songs from the Jam will be released on October 12. A portion of the night’s proceeds benefited The Journey Home Project, an organization that supports U.S. military veterans.

CLICK HERE for more info!

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At a media event on August 3, Dolly Parton revealed plans for a $37-million expansion dubbed “Wildwood Grove” at her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Wildwood Grove, which is slated to open in 2019, represents the largest capital investment in Dollywood’s 32-year history. Wildwood Grove will feature 11 new experiences for guests, including a new restaurant, climbing structure and roller coaster called the Dragonflier.

Get more details and check out featured attractions HERE!

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame announced its class of 2018 on August 7 and the inductees include Ronnie Dunn, K.T. Oslin, Byron Hill, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Joe Melson. They will be inducted on October 28 at the Music City Center, joining more than 200 existing members of the organization.

Ronnie Dunn and K.T Oslin were elected in the Songwriter/Artist category.

CLICK HERE for more!


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The Judds will be the subject of an 11-month exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

Opening on August 10 and running through July 14, 2019, The Judds: Dream Chasers will explore the lives and careers of the Grammy-winning mother-daughter duo. Wynonna and Naomi Judd dominated the country charts during the 1980s and 90s, and have sold more than 20 million albums and registered 20 Top 10 hits.

The exhibit features rare artifacts, original manuscripts, unpublished photos and keepsake costumes.
For more info,
CLICK HERE!
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The Recording Academy hosted its third “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” TV special on July 14 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to honor its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

This year’s honorees included Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, Queen, the Meters, John Williams, Louis Jordan, Hal Blaine and Emmylou Harris. Trisha Yearwood hosted the segment paying homage to Emmylou, a Country Music Hall of Fame member who has won 13 Grammy Awards.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” said Trisha. “She is one of our true treasures. I’m proud to call her ‘friend.’ I am proud to be in an industry with her. And I’m very happy for the Grammys to welcome her into this fold with this legendary Lifetime Achievement Award. I’m just so happy for her.”

The “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” TV special will air on PBS this fall.

 

The Music City Walk of Fame announced its 2018 inductees: Ben Folds, Brenda Lee, Jeannie Seely and Ray Stevens. They will inducted on August 21 at 11:30am at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park.

The event is free and open to the public – CLICK HERE for more info!

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Congrats to Deana Carter who married Jim McPhail on July 6 at a private ceremony in Rosemary Beach, FL.  The couple exchanged vows at The Pearl Hotel among family and friends. Carter’s brother, Jeff Carter, gave away the bride and her sister-in-law Jessica Carter officiated the ceremony.

Carter and McPhail met through mutual friends. “This is a special time for both of us,” the couple said.  “We are extremely blessed to have met during this season of our lives and (be) blending our families into one happy one.”

Get more details HERE!

Charlie Daniels and his non-profit veterans organization, The Journey Home Project, were featured on the hood of NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Mike Harmon at the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6. 
“All of us at The Journey Home Project was honored to be a part of Mike Harmon’s race team, paying tribute to the heroes who keep us free,” says Charlie.

Get more details and see the car HERE!

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Alabama native and Country Hall of Famer Emmylou Harris will join Queen, Neil Diamond and others for the taping of the PBS Grammy Salute to Music Legends in Los Angeles.The airdate has not been announced.

 

 The Desert Rose Band formed in 1985 and charted country hits from 1987-1993. The band included Chris Hillman, formerly of The Byrds, and former members of The Flying Burrito Brothers, John Jorgenson and Herb Pedersen.

Now 61, The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, which includes Pedersen, age 74, performed at the Grand Ole Opry on June 30 and their album From The Crow’s Nest will be released on Friday (July 13).

Now 73, Hillman will join Byrds co-founder Roger McGuinn for a 50th anniversary tour of the 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, beginning July 24 in Los Angeles.

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Lee Greenwood will celebrate the 4th of July in his native Southern California, with a concert performance at 7:30 pm on the Paddock Stage at the San Diego Fair.

Greenwood, who is also set to Grand Marshall the fair’s parade, called for unity among all Americas in a recent statement:
“We are experiencing an extremely divided time right now, here in America. Regardless of politics, my hope is that the music I am sharing on this tour will help unite everyone – together – around this country we all love so much,” said Greenwood.

Get more details on Lee Greenwood HERE!     

Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic will take place in Austin, Texas. Willie’s Independence Day Picnic began in 1973 and has been held at various places around rthe country each year – for details on this year’s picnic, CLICK HERE!

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The 
15th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic raised more than $1 million at Belmar Golf Club and Riverwind Casino in Norman, OK. All in, Toby Keith & Friends events have raised $12.4 million to build and operate OK Kids Korral
.
CLICK HERE for more info!


Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill are among the more than 30 members of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Class of 2019. 
Get more details HERE!   

MORE DOLLY NEWS:

A couple is suing Dolly Parton’s East Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, claiming the wife suffered a compression fracture and other spinal injuries while riding the RiverRush Water Coaster last summer.

The husband and wife are suing for more than $2 million, citing negligence and failure on the part of park’s staff to properly warn of the ride’s dangers.
In the suit, the couple say they followed all of the instructions given by the park’s staff while getting on the ride, but as their raft reached the top of its incline, the woman was “propelled off the seat and she then fell down into the raft striking her spine on the hard surface.” The woman then claims she “heard a pop, felt a burning sensation, and could not feel or move her legs at the end of the ride.”

Get more details HERE!

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Steve Wariner 
will be honored with the CRB’s 2018 President’s Award and Artist Career Achievement Award, respectively, at the Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards ceremony June 20 in Nashville. 
Wariner is recognized for his significant career accomplishments and impact on country music and Country radio.
“Steve Wariner is still enjoying one of the most amazing careers in country music history; singer, songwriter, Grand Ole Opry member, contributor to his fellow artists, and a member of the most prestigious clubs for extraordinary guitarists,” says CRB Executive Director Bill Mayne. “All of this in addition to being the best friend anyone on earth could be blessed to have!”
CLICK HERE for more info.

 

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Randy Travis “Storms of Life” album turns 32 this month. This past weekend, Travis was presented with the inaugural Cracker Barrel Country Legend Award during CMA Fest in Nashville. Luke Bryan paid tribute to Travis by performing his song “On The Other hand” during his stadium show.

Check out Luke Bryan’s tribute HERE:

 

Charlie Daniels’ fan club party outside of Nashville had to be put on lockdown last week due to a shooting nearby. The fan get together was being held Wednesday afternoon (6/6) in the city of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where authorities say a local woman was shot and killed by her husband over a dispute. As a safety precaution, authorities locked down Daniels’ fan club party as the police searched the area for the suspect.

According to Nashville’s WKRN-TV, police say the suspect committed suicide. CLICK HERE for more info.

 

Alan Jackson will be inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in New York City on June 14.  Other inductees this year include Bill Anderson, John Mellencamp and Steve Dorff, who wrote hits for George Strait and Kenny Rogers.

Alan recently looked back on his career and storytelling in his songwriting – CLICK HERE for more! 

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Sara Evans will receive the 2018 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF). The award recognizes individuals and organizations who improve the lives of others through public service, and is the organizations highest individual honor.  Sara will receive the honor on June 12 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

Sara has done work for the American Red Cross, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network and others.

 

It’s official, Dolly Parton has signed a production deal with Netflix. Lily Tomlin let the cat out of the bag when asked if Dolly would guest star on an episode of Grace and Frankie. 

Dolly will produce a series of TV movies, each based on one of her songs like her 2016 NBC special Coat of Many Colors. She’ll also appear in some of the films, which will start streaming in 2019.

Dolly says, “As a songwriter, I have always enjoyed telling stories through my music. I am thrilled to be bringing some of my favorite songs to life with Netflix.”

 

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Willie Nelson walked off the stage at the Outlaw Music Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday night (May 26) without playing a note.

A statement from promoter Live Nation said that his departure from the stage was due to illness. Fans were told the show would be rescheduled.

While some fans were angry, many were supportive. One fan wrote, “None of us is immortal and if we live to be 85 there’s a good chance we will have similar problems. I say cut him some slack.”

Willie canceled several dates earlier in the year because of illness. The good news is that Willie was back on stage Sunday night in Washington, D.C., where he played a full 24-song set according to setlist.fm.

Check out a fan video from the Charlotte show:

 

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Lee Greenwood is always busy on patriotic holidays, like Memorial Day. He delivered a distinguished performance of ‘God Bless The U.S.A.’ to over 2,000 esteemed guests at the Washington Hilton’s International Ballroom in Washington, D.C. at the 106th First Lady’s Luncheon, ‘Limitless Horizons’, honoring the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump.

During the Navy’s annual #fleetweek celebrations in New York City, Greenwood will perform for the The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s annual Salute to Freedom gala Thursday, May 24. He kicks off the Fox & Friends Summer Concert Series from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Intrepid on Friday, May 25, and will perform at the Great American Beach Party in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, May 26. For more information, visit fortlauderdale.gov.

Wrapping up the Memorial Holiday weekend on May 27, Greenwood will perform “God Bless the U.S.A” at Charlotte Motor Speedway during NASCAR’S Coca-Cola 600. This year’s awe-inspiring pre-race salute to the troops also includes ground exhibitions and a 20-minute performance by the 82nd Airborne division that is sure to get fans on their feet prior to the race.

 

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The 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has a pretty big headliner booked. George Strait will perform on the final night of the rodeo, giving a full-length evening concert at NRG Stadium. This will mark Strait’s 30th Rodeo Houston performance and will come more than 35 years after he made his debut there as a country newcomer.

The 2019 Rodeo will run for 21 days on February 25 through March 17. The remaining 2019 Rodeo Houston entertainment schedule will be announced in early January, with individual tickets going on sale around that same time.

 

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Dolly Parton was in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., on May 7 to take part in the dedication ceremony for the My People Senior Activity Center, which features activities for seniors that include exercise classes, quilting, wood-carving and more. Dolly surprised guests at the center by touring the facility and performing a song. The center was dedicated in honor of Dolly’s parents, Robert and Avie Lee Parton.

“Now of course, when I started Dollywood and the employees there, I thought of them as my family, and they became my people,” said Dolly to the ceremony attendees, according to the Sentinel. “[When we] got involved in the fires up here in the heart of the Smokies, we call that My People, so I was just thinking, you know, I’m looking out at you, and I think you are, all of you, you’re my people, and this is great, and I’m so proud and so honored that I’m a Smoky Mountain girl, and I’m so proud of my home, and I’m so proud of my family.”

Check out the full story HERE!

 

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Country music legends Alabama is bringing a disaster relief benefit concert #JSUStrong to Burgess-Snow Field at Jacksonville State University, AL on September 26 joined by an all-star lineup of very specials guests including The Charlie Daniels Band, Shenandoah and many more artists to be announced. 

All net concert proceeds will be donated to Jacksonville State University for tornado relief after an EF-3 level storm tore through Jacksonville and JSU campus this past March.

CLICK HERE for more info!

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Kenny Rogers’ signature song “The Gambler” has received a huge honor, a place in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

Kenny’s 1978 hit, written by Don Schlitz, was one of the 25 recordings named to the National Recording Registry as part of its class of 2017, with some of the other titles including Kenny Loggins’ mega-hit “Footloose,” a song which Blake Shelton covered in 2011.  These recordings, which were selected for their “cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the American soundscape,” bring the total number of titles on the registry to 500.

Get more details and check out the list of songs HERE!

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The Bellamy Brothers launched their own reality show, Honky Tonk Ranch, on the Cowboy Channel on April 8. The show follows David and Howard on the road and while at home at the family ranch in south Florida. Get more details on the show HERE!

The Bellamy Brothers’ autobiography “Let Your Love Flow: Life and Times of the Bellamy Brothers” was released on April 17. Get more details on the book HERE!

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Kenny Rogers has canceled all of his tour dates through the end of the year due to undisclosed health issues. 

A statement from Rogers said he’s been “working through a series of health challenges,” although it didn’t specify what those challenges are. The statement went on to say that Kenny’s doctors fully expect the outcome to be great, but they’ve advised him to cancel all performances through the end of the year to focus on recuperation.
There was also a message from Kenny saying, “I didn’t want to take forever to retire. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course of the past two years on ‘The Gambler’s Last Deal’ tour. I could never properly thank them for the encouragement and support they’ve given me throughout my career and the happiness I’ve experienced as a result of that.”

Doctors expect him to recover fully, but advised him not perform so that he can focus on getting well.  He had only a handful of dates on the books, including two shows at New York’s Beacon Theater in June.

Kenny, who’ll turn 80 this year, was on his The Gambler’s Last Deal tour and planning to retire from the road after the tour.

 

Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare was surprised this on APRIL 7, with a very special 83rd birthday gift from the Grand Ole Opry. During Bare’s Opry performance, Garth Brooks took the stage to welcome Bare back to the fold as an official Opry member.

Bare was originally granted membership to the Opry in the 1960s, but after a decade, his official membership lapsed. Bare has since been a regular visitor to the Opry. 

“The Grand Ole Opry is family; family is forever,” said Garth during the presentation. “So, Mr. Bare…it is my honor, it is the Opry’s honor, to officially welcome you back, the great Bobby Bare, to the Grand Ole Opry.”

See a video of the special moment HERE!

 

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Dolly Parton gave Cam a big surprise on Tuesday morning (4/3), giving a special message as she was about to perform her song “Diane” on Good Morning America.

In a video message appearing on a nearby TV screen, Dolly told Cam how much she loved “Diane,” which was written as a response to Parton’s “Jolene.” 
Dolly then said, “I wish I could be there to hear it in person, but I’ll be watching you on TV.”

Check out Dolly’s message and Cam’s performance below!

 

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During Tuesday’s (3/27) press conference in Nashville, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood announced incoming members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Inductee Ricky Skaggs talked about his new spot in the hallowed hall: 
“It’s an absolute honor to be inducted, to be mentioned. And to all my fans out there that thought that I was already a member of the Hall of Fame, today makes it official. So, thank you so much.”

Get more details on the new inductees HERE!

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George Strait is scheduled to be in New Braunfels, TX on Thursday, March 22, where he’ll be recognized by the Texas Legislative Conference as Texan of the Year.

Strait has set Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for his final two shows of 2018. Joining “The King Of Country” both nights will be Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. Strait began his “Strait To Vegas” series in 2016 with six shows, but after a high demand for tickets, the run was extended by 10 concerts in 2017. There are still scattered opportunities to see Strait in 2018.

He’ll play New Orleans, Tulsa, and Austin during late May and early June.

Get more details on his Texan of the Year honor HERE!

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A woman claims to she hurt herself on a ride at Dolly Parton‘s amusement park and is suing them for negligence. 

Judy Eatherton, visited Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in March of 2017, but says her fun was cut short.  While exiting the attraction, Rockin’ Roadway Car Ride, she said her “foot caught on the side of the ride, causing her to be thrown to the ground.”

Judy reports that her right wrist was fractured during the fall, and she has since “suffered loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairments and disabilities” and is seeking $400,000!

No word from Parton or Dollywood at this time.

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The Charlie Daniels Band “Volunteer Jam 20: A Tribute to Charlie” is tonight at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The list of special guest includes Alabama, Chris Young, Lee Brice, Sara Evans and Travis Tritt, Alison Krauss, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Eddie Montgomery, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys and Ricky Skaggs will perform.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the Journey Home Project — an organization founded by Charlie and his manager to help veterans. 

 The first Jam took place on October 4, 1974.

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A.J. Mccloud’s “WHERE ARE THEY NOW WEDNESDAY” is a follow up to last week:

 Dolly Parton was in Washington D.C. yesterday (2/27) to share the Dollywood Imagination Library with the Library of Congress.

Dolly shared how she started the book giving program for her father who never learned read: 
“I got daddy involved with this little program. I wanted him to feel like he was part of something special. And my dad got to live long enough to see it coming to be and he took such pride in the fact that the little kids called me ‘The Book Lady.’ He was prouder of that than anything.”

See the official ceremony in the video below:

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library started donating books to children nearly a quarter century ago. Next week in Washington, DC, the country music star’s charity will donate its 100 millionth book to the Library of Congress.

“When I was growing up in the hills of east Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true,” Parton said. “The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”

The Imagination Library started in 1995 in Parton’s home county of Sevier, TN. It was inspired by her father’s inability to read and write.

“Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month,” the program’s website says.

Today, it spans four countries and mails over a million free books each month to children around the world.

The ceremony will take place February 27. Get more details HERE – CONGRATS DOLLY!

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VINCE GILL

A.J. McCloud’s Where Are They Now Wednesday features Hall of Famer Vince Gill. Gill hosted and performed for the Country Music Hall of Fame 10th annual benefit in New York City. Get more HERE!

Here’s a follow up to last week’s Where Are The Now Wednesday. The Red-Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson, is feeling better after a  bout with the flu. Get details here ans see the 84-year-old kick his heels above his head HERE!

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WILLIE NELSON

Illness will sideline Willie Nelson for the entire month of February. A month after experiencing respiratory problems on stage in San Diego and canceling all of his January shows, the 84-year-old says he will remain off the road in February because he is suffering from the flu and needs “a few extra weeks to recover completely.” His next scheduled show is March 5th in Greenville, South Carolina. Get well soon, Willie.

  • He’s been dealing with a lot of health problems over the past couple of years, but his publicist insists he’s “healthy as ever.”
  • It’s not unusual for an 84-year-old to need some time to rest. He’ll be OK.

CLICK HERE for more info

Keep with Willie online HERE

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THE FRONTMEN

Three singers who were the voices of 3 of the top Country bands in the 1990’s have come together to form a country trio The Frontmen. Restless Heart’s Larry Stewart; Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas; and Lonestar’s Richie McDonald will head out on their “If It Wasn’t For The Radio Tour,” which will launch Saturday, February 3rd in Gulfport, MS.

Together they sold over 30 million records and had over 30 hits.

CLICK HERE and HERE for more info on The Frontmen!

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TRAVIS TRITT

Travis Tritt appears in the feature film Forever My Girl, which hit theaters on January 19. Tritt plays the role of a bartender and performs “Slowing Down,” an original song written by Paul Overstreet.

 

Well-wishes to John Michael Montgomery, who is recovering after undergoing surgery. He shared on his Facebook page, “Hi all, as you may [have] heard, I went into the hospital for some surgery that is going to require me to stay home for the weekend [of January 12 and January 13]. I’m recovering well and ready to be back on the road [January 19 and January 20].

 

 Restless Heart will kick off their 35th Anniversary Tour January 27 at the Grand Ole Opry.

 

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DOLLY PARTON

Dolly Parton can add 2 Guinness World Records to her trophy case that already includes 8 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards and 3 American Music Awards. The Country Music Hall of Famer was recently certified in the 2018 edition of the Guinness World Records for:

  • Most Decades with a Top 20 Hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart
  • Most Hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart by a Female Artist

“To receive these two Guinness World Records is so great!” said Dolly. “Joining so many wonderful singers and songwriters who have been honored this way feels so special to me. You never know when you start out with your work how it’s going to turn out, but to have these two world records makes me feel very humbled and blessed!”

Dolly is the only artist with Top 20 hits across 6 consecutive decades (1960s–2010s), earning her the title of Most Decades with a Top 20 Hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Beginning with her first Top 20 hit, “Something Fishy,” in 1967, Dolly is credited with 74 Top 20 hits, including her most recent, a new version of 1974’s “Jolene,” featuring Pentatonix, which debuted at No. 18 on the chart in 2016.

The 2016 remastered version of “Jolene” was also Dolly’s 107th chart entry, solidifying her second record title for the Most Hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by a Female Artist.

Congrats, Dolly!

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RANDY TRAVIS

Randy Travis’ team has released a statement regarding the footage from his 2012 DWI arrest going public, saying his behavior the night of the arrest was “extremely altered due to the state of his mental health and substances in his body.” The statement says that Randy’s condition that night caused him to do and say things that were entirely out of character, stating that he suffered a severe concussion and sustained numerous of other injuries from the crash. The statement then promised that Travis and his team would have their day in court regarding the ongoing lawsuit against the State of Texas for violating his civil rights.

The statement says Randy is deeply apologetic for his behavior that evening, and would never condone these types of actions that distort the true beliefs of him and his entire family. The statement read, “Randy Travis is well-known to be a loving, caring person who is respectful of everyone, a video that shows anything otherwise only underscores that he was absolutely not himself.”

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