Florida Georgia Line (Georgia's Tyler Hubbard and Florida's Brian Kelley) broke onto the contemporary country scene in the spring of 2012 with the infectious summer single "Cruise," a song that blended cruising country back roads and farm towns with ragged drums and layers of rock guitar, and sounded a bit like an amped-up, next-generation Brooks & Dunn. The duo seems poised for stardom going into the second decade of the 21st century, a time when country seems to be as much AC/DC as it is George Strait or George Jones (although both Georges get name-checked a lot these days in country songs one can hardly imagine either of them singing).
With the promise of more than a dozen live performances – and more than a few surprises – it sounds like Country Music’s Biggest Night will be living up to its name this year. The 49th Annual CMA Awards will take place Wednesday, November 4, live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. The show will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network. Returning as co-hosts for the eighth year in a row are country superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. (The latter ranked #13 on Forbes’ 2015 Country Cash Kings list; Underwood, who took several months off this year to be with her 8-month-old son, finished just below the list’s cutoff.) The hosts have garnered rave reviews from critics and fans alike in past years with their memorable monologues and original songs. In addition to the banter from Underwood and Paisley, fans can look forward to performances from country’s top stars and rising talents. Scheduled performers include Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Lindsey Stirling, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Kacey Musgraves, Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Blake Shelton, Underwood, and Zac Brown Band.
It’s hard not to feel happy for Pharrell Williams. The eternally boyish producer, 40, is currently enjoying a career renaissance on the level of Mariah Carey in 2005 or Bryan Cranston in 2008, emerging after a presumed definitive career arc to star in a dazzling second act. "I see music," Beyoncé said in a video on her Facebook page, dubbed "Self-Titled, Part 1," just minutes after her surprise announcement of "Beyoncé," her fifth album. “It’s more than just what I hear. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. Find out the top songs, Greatest Gainers and debuts on the surveys listed below.