Jess Wright

jess

Jess Wright won the ACM Award for Personality of the Year while working at a radio station in the Washington, D.C. area, where she was also nominated for the CMA Award and named Best Radio Personality in a local magazine's reader poll. She grew up in Ithaca, NY and worked at radio stations in Wichita, Wilkes-Barre, PA and Tyler, TX, among others. She lives in Nashville now, and joined Slacker in 2013 as your expert on everything country music. She hosts New Country First, '90s Country and the Slacker Country Countdown. When she's not working (and sometimes when she is) she's probably drinking wine.

Nashville Says Goodbye To Troy Gentry

Last Friday was a tough day for the country music community. Not only did we get the sad news of the passing of Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams, but then we found out Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash. This week, Nashville said goodbye to Troy in a celebration of his life at the Grand Ole Opry. You can watch the service here. I’ve started the video where the service begins, but if you want to see some cool personal videos of Troy, go back to the beginning.

I didn’t know Troy well, but I did get the opportunity to meet him several times over the years. He was just a genuine and nice person, and obviously talented as well. He will be missed by us all, and we continue to send love to his family, to Eddie Montgomery, and to all who knew and loved him.

We did a thing… a Nashville thing.

We made a little change on the Slacker country side. Nothing huge, nothing that will really affect you at all, but just a little tidying up.

We changed the name of our New Country Now station to Nashville Now. And here’s why:

Until today, we had one station called New Country, and one station called New Country Now. They’re very different stations, but how could you know that? It’s so confusing.

New Country plays the latest songs from your favorite Country artists like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, etc. That’s not going to change, and the name of that station makes perfect sense as it is.

Nashville Now plays the brand new releases from your favorite Country stars, but also new artists you’re maybe not so familiar with. Maybe they just got their first record deal. Maybe they don’t have a record deal at all yet, but an alert Slacker fan pointed us in their direction, and they’re awesome enough we think you should hear them, too. Maybe I wandered into a bar in Nashville and heard them playing and thought, “Man, Slacker listeners would dig this!” Chances are, it’s stuff you won’t hear anywhere else. This is what this station has always been, and now it has a new name to differentiate it from our New Country station. Get it?

So. Take your pick — listen to New Country here or Nashville Now here, or check out your My Favorites Mashup station for songs you’ve hit that heart button on and other stuff like it. It’s your radio world. We just live in it. 🙂

Just in case you thought drugs only went with rock ‘n’ roll..

Addiction.com did this study of drug references in music, and guess which genre had the most? Whatever you were thinking, no. It was COUNTRY. What? True story, bro. Read all about it: https://www.addictions.com/explore/drugs-in-music-analyzing-drug-references-in-musical-genres/

Billboard Music Awards Nominees

Here are the nominees for the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. Winners will be revealed May 21 on ABC.

Top Artist:
Adele
Beyonce
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top New Artist:
Alessia Cara
Desiigner
Lil Uzi Vert
Lukas Graham
Zayn

Billboard Chart Achievement Award Presented by Xfinity:
Luke Bryan
Nicki Minaj
The Chainsmokers
The Weeknd
Twenty One Pilots

Top Male Artist:
Justin Bieber
Drake
Future
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Top Female Artist:
Adele
Beyonce
Ariana Grande
Rihanna
Sia

Top Duo/Group:
The Chainsmokers
Coldplay
Florida Georgia Line
Guns N’ Roses
Twenty One Pilots

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Beyonce
Drake
Prince
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd
Top Hot 100 Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Prince
Justin Timberlake
Twenty One Pilots

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
Top Streaming Songs Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Desiigner
Drake
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots

Top Social Artist:
Justin Bieber
BTS
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes

Top Touring Artist:
Justin Bieber
Beyonce
Coldplay
Guns N’ Roses
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top R&B Artist:
Beyonce
Bruno Mars
Frank Ocean
Rihanna
The Weeknd

Top R&B Tour:
Beyonce
Lionel Richie
Rihanna

Top Rap Artist:
J. Cole
Desiigner
Drake
Future
Rae Sremmurd

Top Rap Tour
Drake
Future
Kanye West

Top Country Artist:
Florida Georgia Line
Blake Shelton
Keith Urban
Chris Stapleton
Jason Aldean

Top Country Tour:
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Dixie Chicks

Top Rock Artist:
Coldplay
The Lumineers
Metallica
Twenty One Pilots
X Ambassadors

Top Rock Tour:
Coldplay
Guns N’ Roses
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top Latin Artist:
J Balvin
Juan Gabriel
Los Plebes Del Rancho De Ariel Camacho
Maluma
Nicky Jam

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Calvin Harris
Major Lazer
DJ Snake
Lindsey Stirling

Top Christian Artist:
Lauren Daigle
Hillsong Worship
Hillary Scott & the Family
Skillet
Chris Tomlin

Top Gospel Artist:
Jekalyn Carr
Kirk Franklin
Travis Greene
Tamela Mann
Hezekiah Walker

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Beyonce, Lemonade
Drake, Views
Rihanna, Anti
Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface
The Weeknd, Starboy

Top Soundtrack/Cast Album:
Hamilton: An American Musical
Moana
Purple Rain
Suicide Squad: The Album
Trolls

Top R&B Album:
Beyonce, Lemonade
Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Frank Ocean, Blonde
Rihanna, Anti
The Weeknd, Starboy

Top Rap Album:
J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only
Drake, Views
Kevin Gates, Isla
DJ Khaled, Major Key
A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service

Top Country Album:
Jason Aldean, They Don’t Know
Florida Georgia Line, Dig Your Roots
Blake Shelton, If I’m Honest
Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Keith Urban, Ripcord

Top Rock Album:
The Lumineers, Cleopatra
Metallica, Hardwired…To Self Destruct
Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway
Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface

Top Latin Album:
J Balvin, Energia
CNCO, Primera Cita
Juan Gabriel, Los Duo 2
Juan Gabriel, Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes
Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho, Recuerden Mi Estilo

Top Dance/Electronic Album:
The Chainsmokers, Bouquet
The Chainsmokers, Collage 
Flume, Skin
Kygo, Cloud Nine
Lindsey Stirling, Brave Enough

Top Christian Album:
Casting Crowns, The Very Next Thing
Lauren Daigle, How Can It Be
Joey + Rory, Hymns
Hillary Scott & The Family, Love Remains
Skillet, Unleashed

Top Gospel Album:
Tamela Mann, One Way
Kirk Franklin, Losing My Religion
Travis Greene, The Hill
Tasha Cobbs, One Place: Live
Hezekiah Walker, Better: Azusa – The Next Generation 2

Top Hot 100 Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Selling Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring, WizKid & Kyla “One Dance”
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Radio Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Sia Featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Top Streaming Song (Audio):
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
Rihanna, “Needed Me”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top Streaming Song (Video):
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
Desiigner, “Panda”
Zay Hilfigerr & Zayion McCall, “JuJu On That Beat (TZ Anthem)
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Collaboration:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Sia Featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top R&B Song:
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”
Rihanna, “Needed Me”
Rihanna Featuring Drake, “Work”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top R&B Collaboration:
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
PARTYNEXTDOOR Featuring Drake, “Come And See Me”
Rihanna Featuring Drake, “Work”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk “I Feel It Coming”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top Rap Song:
Desiigner, “Panda”
Drake, “Fake Love”
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad And Boujee”
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”

Top Rap Collaboration:
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
Zay Hilfigerr & Zayion McCall, “JuJu On That Beat (TZ Anthem)
Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello, “Bad Things”
Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee”
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”

Top Country Song:
Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.”
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
Little Big Town, “Better Man”
Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

Top Country Collaboration:
Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King, “Different For Girls”
Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens, “Kill A Word”
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
Chris Young Featuring Vince Gill, “Sober Saturday Night”

Top Rock Song:
Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla $ign Featuring X Ambassadors, “Sucker For Pain”
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”
Twenty One Pilots, “Ride”
Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”
X Ambassadors, “Unsteady”

Top Latin Song:
Daddy Yankee, “Shaky Shaky”
Enrique Iglesias Featuring Wisin, “Duele El Corazon”
Nicky Jam, “Hasta El Amanecer”
Shakira Featuring Maluma, “Chantaje”
Carlos Vives & Shakira, “La Bicicleta”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Calvin Harris Featuring Rihanna, “This Is What You Came For”
Major Lazer Featuring Justin Bieber & MO, “Cold Water”
DJ Snake Featuring Justin Bieber, “Let Me Love You”

Top Christian Song:
Lauren Daigle, “Trust In You”
Hillary Scott & The Family, “Thy Will”
Skillet, “Feel Invincible”
Ryan Stevenson Featuring GabeReal, “Eye Of The Storm”
Zach Williams, “Chain Breaker”

Top Gospel Song:
Jekalyn Carr, “You’re Bigger”
Tasha Cobbs, Featuring Kierra Sheard “Put A Praise On It”
Kirk Franklin, “Wanna Be Happy??”
Travis Greene, “Made A Way”
Hezekiah Walker, “Better”

When you’re a new artist with style, you get a magazine spread. It’s what you do.

Midland is brand new. Like, their new song “Drinkin’ Problem” has only been out for a few months (listen to it on New Country Now here). So, it’s kind of surprising to find them in their own spread in Man of Metropolis magazine, right? And yet, there they are in the spring issue. In fact, they’re being called the “fashion centerpiece” of the issue. Of course, the pictures show their style, but the interviewer doesn’t ask them about it… but whatevs. Check it out here: manofmetropolis.com/austin-style-featuring-midland/

Midland

Keith Urban joined by two amazing guitar players for an EPIC jam!

A few weeks ago at an event for people in the country radio and records industry, Keith Urban was playing “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” which was amazing. And then he was joined by Chris Stapleton… and a few minutes later Vince Gill. EPIC. Watch.

GRAMMY Noms Are Out!

15338487_337801916603958_4263201876792573952_nMaren Morris rocked the Grammy nominations, which were released this morning. She and Kelsea Ballerini are the only ones to represent Country in the all-genre categories — they’re both up for Best New Artist. Maren also grabbed nods for Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song for “My Church” and Best Country Album for Hero. Interestingly, Willie Nelson got a nomination for Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Summer Time: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin. The GRAMMY Awards air live Feb. 12.

Below are the Country-specific nominations, and the full list of all categories is here.

Best Country Solo Performance

Love Can Go To Hell
Brandy Clark
Track from: Big Day In A Small Town
Label: Warner Bros. Records

Vice
Miranda Lambert
Label: Vanner Records/RCA Nashville

My Church
Maren Morris
Track from: Hero
Label: Columbia Nashville

Church Bells
Carrie Underwood
Track from: Storyteller
Label: 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville

Blue Ain’t Your Color
Keith Urban
Track from: Ripcord
Label: Capitol Records Nashville

 

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Different For Girls
Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
Track from: Black
Label: Capitol Records Nashville

21 Summer
Brothers Osborne
Track from: Pawn Shop
Label: EMI Records Nashville

Setting The World On Fire
Kenny Chesney & P!nk
Label: Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville

Jolene
Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton
Label: Dolly Records, LLC/RCA Nashville

Think Of You
Chris Young With Cassadee Pope
Track from: I’m Comin’ Over Label: RCA Nashville
Best Country Song

Blue Ain’t Your Color
Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)

Die A Happy Man
Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)

Humble And Kind
Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)

My Church
busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)

Vice
Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

 

Best Country Album

Big Day In A Small Town
Brandy Clark
Label: Warner Bros. Records

Full Circle
Loretta Lynn
Label: Legacy Recordings

Hero
Maren Morris
Label: Columbia Nashville

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
Sturgill Simpson
Label: Atlantic

Ripcord
Keith Urban
Label: Capitol Records Nashville

Strait Up Awesome

George Strait singing right to me

George Strait singing right to me

VIP Swag and Strait Out Of The Box 2

VIP Swag and Strait Out Of The Box 2

Last night I had the honor of being at an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime show, and it’s one I will never forget.

George Strait is releasing Strait Out Of The Box: Part 2 tomorrow (11/18). It’s three discs with 56 tracks — most of which you know and will sing along with, but there are also two new songs he co-wrote, “Kicked Outta Country” and “You Gotta Go Through Hell.”

Last night, to celebrate this monumental new release, George took it back to where it all began. Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in the state of Texas, and the place where George Strait and the Ace In The Hole Band got their start a few decades ago. In front of the 200 or so invited guests, he told the story of how the owner said, “We’ll let you play a Sunday night, we’ll charge $0.25 at the door and we’ll see how you do.” George said, “we made $7 that night.” But they kept coming back and became regulars at the dance hall. The last time they played there was in 1982.

So if you were watching the live stream last night when he sang, “The Fireman,” “I Can Still Make Cheyenne,” “The Chair” and “Check Yes Or No,” you know he’s still got it, and every single person in that room was singing along at the top of their lungs. He sang for two hours and we all sang along to the songs we knew, and listened intently to the new ones. I can’t WAIT for you to hear “Kicked Outta Country,” which he wrote with Jamey Johnson.

By the way, right before he took the stage, it was announced that George has added eight dates to his Strait To Vegas residency, including something that’s never been done: over two nights he will sing ALL 60 of his number one songs. Details here.

I hope you were watching the live stream last night, but if you missed it, you can see part of it here.

–Jess

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