Old Dominion, Lee Brice to Join 2ndAveStrong Relief Benefit for Restoration After Christmas Day Bombing

On Friday, March 26, an all-star roster of local politicians and country music favorites will partner for a two-hour musical event. The 2ndAveStrong benefit will be live-streamed from 7-9pm CT via NewsChannel 5, the Wildhorse Saloon, Grand Ole Opry, and Metro Historical Commission Foundation’s websites and social media channels. It will help support immediate and long-term efforts to restore the Second Avenue neighborhood impacted by 2020’s Christmas Day bombing, plus support preserving many of Music City’s most treasured landmarks.

Lee Brice, Old Dominion, Ashley McBryde, and Scotty McCreery will join Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to tribute first responder law enforcement officers, as well raise a milestone $2 million towards the $10 million overall goal in supporting the 2nd Avenue community impacted by this tragedy.

“We are honored to have support from an institution that has called Second Avenue home for nearly 30 years,” said Tim Walker, executive director of Metro Historical Commission. “Giving back to the community speaks to the very heart of what we do every day through hospitality to our guests. The fact that we can join with the music industry to help rebuild this incredible neighborhood of an eclectic blend of artists, business owners, and community leaders is humbling,” added show producer Brian Schafer, who is also the general manager of the Wildhorse Saloon.

Funds raised will be distributed to support the restoration and preservation of impacted buildings, streetscapes, and associations working collaboratively to restore and revitalize 2nd Avenue.

For more information, or to directly support #2NDAVESTRONG and learn more about the mission, click here.

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Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw And Tracy Lawrence Were Once Bridesmen in the Same Wedding

Yep, you read that right. Nineties country superstars Garth Brooks, Tracy Lawrence, and Tim McGraw have six dozen number-one singles. Any time that type of star power joins forces, one can expect “sticks and stones” to not stop someone from “[showing] up in boots to ruin your black-tie affair, just to see you smile.”

Puns aside, on a recent episode of Apple Music’s Beyond the Influence Radio With Tim McGraw, the host recalled how the trio served as bridesmen for a mutual friend — Tammy Rose, who was described as someone “who sort of took new artists under their wing when they first moved to town” — early in their respective careers.

“So we’re all bridesmaids at this wedding for Tammy, and I’m standing there. I’m sort of in awe … You know, Tracy and I had been friends for a while, and he had his success, but Garth was there, and I’m sort of in awe of Garth being there,” McGraw added.

“I went up to Garth, and I said, ’You know, I just want to thank you, Garth, because you knocked the door down for all the things that I wanted to do as a country singer,” McGraw continued. “I wanted to come to town and record songs that had a broader melody or broader appeal, and I wanted to do shows that were like the rock shows that I saw growing up. That’s the kind of thing that I wanted to do.’”

Brooks’ reply? “Look, we all moved to town for that reason. I just got here first.”

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Brett Eldredge and Shay Mooney Have Been Gaming Together During Quarantine

Like a lot of us who have been spending evenings over the past year staring longingly out of our windows, Dan & Shay’s Shay Mooney and solo country star Brett Eldredge have been firing up their favorite gaming consoles for online, person-to-person play.

In the first COVID quarter of 2020, online gaming play increased 46% nationwide. “[Shay and I have] been buddies for a long time…but [during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic], we started playing video games,” Eldredge said during a press roundtable promoting his new single “Good Day.”

He continues, “Getting together virtually, via a gaming system, offered a social outlet that was definitely safe during a time when little was known about the virus. Next thing you know, we’re playing every day, all the time, and then start talking away from it more than we used to. I just realized how great of a person he is and how funny he is and how many things we share in common … He’s just a real open and kind-hearted guy.”

Of the many country singles that have been released to help fans cope with quarantine’s mental strain, Eldredge’s maybe the most introspective. In regards to this, he noted, “The decision to wake up and not focus on the negative things … was a big message for myself to learn, ’cause I can find a lot of things to be negative about.”

The midwest-born singer-songwriter continues, “[I needed to teach myself to be] able to try to find some optimism and say, ’You know what…I’m gonna have a good day even if there’s a lot of negative things; I’m gonna put my best self forward, I’m gonna be there for other people, I’m gonna be there for myself, and I’m gonna have a good day and make that decision when I wake up.’”

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Country Star Parents Maren Morris And Ryan Hurd Gush Over Their Son’s First Words

When not enjoying the out-of-the-gate success of their first collaboration, “Chasing After You,” country star artist couple Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd are — as new parents often do — eagerly anticipating the moment that their child takes their first step and forms their first sentence.

While guests on Radio.com’s The Ride with Kimo and Heather Hurd noted that their nearly year-old son Hayes “isn’t walking just yet, but he’s close.” Morris added, “He’s fast. We can’t look away because he is just across the room in a second now.”

As far as that all-important first sentence, Hurd notes that Hayes “[is] a babbler. He’s saying ’mama’ and ’dada’” but has yet to connect the words to his mother and father. “I think he’s figuring out who is who,” Morris adds.

As their latest single, Morris relates that “Chasing After You” “had been around for a while,” was “a beautiful song,” and that its “longing vibe” attracted both of them to the song. Hurd adds, “Originally Maren said she wanted to be a part of it when we were in the Caymans, our first trip we ever took together, so… it’s a long time coming, but it feels really cool that people can finally hear it.”

However, like most artists of late, Maren Morris — as much as she’s putting out new music and enjoying raising her son — wants to get back to performing live.

“It just seems so far away, and I know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now and like people are starting to book shows again, little by little,” she says. Regarding how she’ll mark her return performance, CMA and ACM’s 2020 Female Artist of the Year offers an emotional response. “The first thing I’m gonna do is probably just cry through the entire set.”

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Since Coming Out As Gay, TJ Osborne Reveals Response Has Been a “Tsunami of Love”

A month has passed since Brothers Osborne’s TJ Osborne announced to the world, via Time Magazine, that he was gay. “Had I known that the whole time, I would have done it probably a long time ago and saved myself a lot of strife,” the musician noted while appearing during the ACM Award nominee announcements made during the February 28 edition of CBS This Morning.

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TJ’s brother — and fellow Brothers Osborne member — John was initially very supportive. In the article, TJ noted that he and his close family and friends were previously aware. Regarding others, he’s been overwhelmed by positive feedback.

“It has been a tsunami of love, almost to the point that it was hard for me to comprehend it for several days,” he says.

Delving deeper into the issue, he continues, “Honestly, for straight people out there, coming out is really awkward. That type of attention is just uncomfortable. To be able to do that in that moment, to do it in one full swoop, it was nice … For me, it was that moment of just taking a leap of faith.”

Moreover, Osborne offers an intriguing perspective on how his songwriting was impacted by his decision to delay coming out. “It is a big part of who I am: The way I think, the way I act, the way I perform. God, think of all the times that we talk about love and write about love. It’s the biggest thing we ever get to feel. And I’ve kept the veil on [it].”

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