To properly ring in the holiday season, Clint Black will set out on a 12-city Christmas tour beginning Tuesday, December 1st, in the Villages, Florida. The trek will make stops throughout New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma, before wrapping up on Sunday, December 20th, back in Black’s home state of Texas. Clint Black on Country’s Label-Driven Culture The tour has become something of an annual tradition for the singer-songwriter, and concertgoers can expect material from Black’s Looking for Christmas and Christmas With You albums, which, along with renditions of Christmas standards, feature original tunes like “Milk and Cookies,” “Coolest Pair” and “The Kid.” He’ll also perform songs from On Purpose , his first album of new tunes since Drinkin’ Songs and Other Logic a decade ago. Recorded at his Nashville studio, On Purpose is Black’s 10th studio album since the neo-traditional (and now-classic) Killin’ Time helped change the country landscape in 1989. With myriad changes to the music business since he scored consecutive chart-toppers with his first four singles, Black didn’t worry about pleasing country radio programmers with the material he wrote and recorded for On Purpose .
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Atlanta MC 2 Chainz adheres to the old adage, keep your friends close, your enemies closer and your stacks of cash closest in the extravagant new video for a remix of “BFF,” featuring Jeezy. See 2 Chainz Debate Weed Legalization With Nancy Grace The video, directed by the Stupid Geniuses, revels in its own luxuriousness and takes its cues from 2 Chainz’s latest opulent, indelible hook, “Whole lot of money that my BFF / Keep a Glock. 40 in my Fendi belt / Getting so much cash I don’t need a wallet.” Fittingly, 2 Chainz and Jeezy spend the “BFF” clip sauntering among beautiful women and through a gold laced mansion where cash spills out of the cupboards and rains from the shower, while coins cover the tables and fill up the tub. The Zaytoven produced “BFF” originally appeared on 2 Chainz’s latest mixtape, Trap-A-Velli Tre , which arrived in August (the mixtape version did not feature Jeezy). The collection marked the rapper’s first solo release since 2014’s FreeBase EP, but also followed January’s T.R.U. Jack City , a collaborative mixtape featuring artists from his new label, The Real University. While fans await 2 Chainz’s official follow-up to his 2013 album, B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time , the rapper has continued to diversify his revenue streams in characteristically unique ways, announcing a new line of ugly Christmas sweaters .
Last summer, Shawn Mendes and Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello hit the road together as openers on Austin Mahone’s tour. In that year since, the pair — who are 17 and 18 years old, respectively — have released lauded debut albums and scored chart-topping singles with Mendes’ “Stitches” and Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It.” On the Charts: Shawn Mendes Climbs Vine to Number One “I honestly remember so clearly the first day we met,” Cabello reminisces. “He was just playing with a guitar, and I was like, ‘Hi! Nice to meet you.’ We didn’t really hang around much during Austin’s tour. It was Shawn’s first tour ever, so he was constantly working, and if he wasn’t working, he was in his bus playing guitar and being a loner.” This past summer, Cabello and Mendes reconnected backstage at one of Taylor Swift’s concerts. Mendes has opened for the pop star, and Cabello attended with fellow Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke. “That was the first time we had ever really spent more than a few minutes talking to each other,” she says. “We were just backstage hanging out,” Mendes adds the next day.
As country music’s heir apparent to Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini seems to be filling that role’s perk of celebrating other female performers. During her show yesterday at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Kelsea surprised the crowd by bringing out pop singer-songwriter Tori Kelly to share the stage. Kelsea Ballerini on Swift Comparisons, Beyoncé Ambitions “I decided I wanted to be about lifting girls up,” announces Ballerini between songs. “I’m about to bring one out in a second that is one of my favorite artists ever.” The crowd erupts into hysterics at the mention of Kelly’s name. Before they begin singing, Ballerini and Kelly lavish one another with compliments — at least until Kelly starts to feel self-conscious. “We’re being gross now,” jokes Kelly. “So annoying!” agrees Ballerini. The pair handles “Should’ve Been Us” — from Kelly’s 2015 album Unbreakable Smile — with only their acoustic guitars, swapping lines and harmonizing on the hooky-but-heartbroken chorus. Ballerini defers to Kelly for the bridge section, momentarily pausing to admire her singing partner’s soulful belting and looking pleased to see her shine. This isn’t Kelly’s first time to sing the song with a country artist — back in September, Little Big Town brought her out to perform “Should’ve Been Us” at one of their tour stops. It’s been a breakout year for Ballerini, whose hit “Love Me Like You Mean It” made her the first female country artist since Carrie Underwood to have her debut single reach Number One
Nick Jonas performed a medley of his recent solo hits at the 2015 American Music Awards. Jonas’ older brother Joe introduced him with the help of his new funk-pop band DNCE. The younger Jonas Brother took over from there, launching his three-song set with a slowed-down take on “Chains,” with just the singer playing a piano to accompany his vocal performance. After that, he smoothly segued toward a full band rendition of his latest single “Levels,” which ended with a drum solo delivered by Jonas himself. He wrapped up the exciting medley with his biggest solo hit “Jealous,” which included some assistance from a gospel choir. Hear Nick Jonas’ High-Energy ‘Chains’ Audien Remix Following the Jonas Brothers’ split in 2013, the youngest of the trio released his first post-boy band solo album in 2014 . It was his first solo album since his pre-Jonas Brothers Christian pop debut, Nicholas Jonas . The 2014 album saw Jonas shifting more towards R&B and trap-pop, and he’s continued the shift with his latest singles “Levels” and “Area Code.” In October, Jonas and fellow ex-Disney star Demi Lovato announced a joint headlining tour . Future Now will be the sixth tour the pair have embarked on together over the course of their careers. Their first was in 2008 when Lovato opened for the Jonas Brothers on their 2008 Burnin’ Up tour. In May, the pair launched a new record label together called Safehouse.
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On his Facebook Page yesterday, TobyMac voiced support for the newly formed Grit & Grace Project , launched by author and entrepreneur Darlene Brock . The project is described as, “an online movement devoted to ‘building a community of women who believe that life’s challenges neither defeat nor define them.’” TobyMac is currently on his ***THIS IS NOT A TEST TOUR*** featuring Britt Nicole , Colton Dixon , and Hollyn . This weekend, the tour will head south to the state of Florida—Tampa (Nov. 20), Coral Gables (Nov. 21), Jacksonville (Nov. 22), for a complete tour listing, please CLICK HERE . You can see his Facebook post to the right, please click the image to go to TobyMac’s Facebook Page . Created for women of all ages and walks of life, The Grit & Grace Project will feature regularly updated content as contributors share tips, stories, how-to’s, encouragement and much more. “I have come to realize life is a long-term project, and what it requires is our gender’s most valuable traits – grit and grace,” explains Brock. “I am on a mission to change the way ladies think about themselves
Emmylou Harris has been a grievous angel with Gram Parsons and part of an Angel Band with Vince Gill — and though one of those two projects might favor cosmic country over classic hymnals, she’s always had a way of connecting spiritually with or without the gospel. Which is why Harris was a natural fit (heavenly voice aside) to contribute to Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us, Vol. II, a collection of songs curated and organized by Phil Madeira that celebrates the sort of secular faith that can only be born through music. See Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell Harmonize in Our Studio For her new original track, “Kyrie,” premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country , Harris took to the writing room with producer/musician/artist Madeira (whom she recruited for her 25th studio record, All I Intended to Be, in 2008 , among other collaborations ) and enlisted the vocal help of John Paul White, formerly of the Civil Wars. Both Harris and White (who “jumped at the chance to sing with Emmylou,” according to Madeira) lent songs to the original Mercyland , along with Matt Kearney, Shawn Mullins and Carolina Chocolate Drops. This year’s collection includes the Lone Bellow, the Wood Brothers and Angel Snow, among others. “I’m happy that ‘Kyrie’ is part of the Mercyland compilation,” Harris tells Rolling Stone Country . “Songwriting is and always has been a mystery to me, but it helps to be in the room with a friend like Phil [Madeira], who birthed this one with me.” The call of “Kyrie,” or “Kyrie Eleison,” is an ancient Christian prayer, referenced by everyone from Beethoven to Mr.
Paul Elliott of Classic Rock spoke with W.A.S.P frontman Blackie Lawless. Excerpts from the interview appear below. CR: You’re the guy in W.A.S.P. You’re also a born again Christian. Is there an inherent conflict in this? Blackie Lawless: That’s true, but if people really listen to the new album, they might walk away with a different perspective on that