The Boot News Roundup: New Stages, Special Performances Added to CMA Fest 2018 + More
Welcome to The Boot's News Roundup, a morning rundown of the news country music fans need to know. Read on to learn more about the latest goings-on in the country, Americana, bluegrass and folk genres.
The lineup for the 2018 CMA Music Festival just keeps getting bigger! The Country Music Association has announced the addition of three new stages: The Radio Disney Country Stage will feature performances from Maddie & Tae, RaeLynn, Jordan Davis and more, while the CMA Spotlight Stage will highlight up-and-coming artists including Dustin Collins, Lee Gantt and Glen Templeton. Major stars -- including Ashley McBryde, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs and Trisha Yearwood, among others -- will grace the HGTV Lodge Stage, too. CMA Fest 2018 is set to begin on June 7 and will run through June 10 in Nashville.
Also during CMA Fest, Spotify will be on hand to promote its recently revamped Hot Country playlist with performances at Blake Shelton's soon-to-be-opened restaurant and venue, Ole Red; Michael Ray, Midland, Hunter Hayes, Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae and more will play there throughout the festival. The daily lineup for Spotify's Ole Red takeover will be available on OleRed.com.
Luke Combs will be joined by much-acclaimed R&B singer-songwriter Leon Bridges for performances of each of their hit songs, including Combs' "Hurricane," during a soon-to-tape episode of CMT's Crossroads. The show will be filmed in downtown Nashville on June 5 — and admission is free for fans. The episode will premiere on CMT on June 28 at 10PM ET.
East Nashville will be in the spotlight in June when the Americana Music Association hosts Comrades in Song: A Tribute to the East Nashville Community Spirit in honor of the artistic enclave. The event will feature performances from artists including Caroline Spence, Nikki Lane, Kirby Brown, and Carl Anderson and Whiskey Wolves of the West will be on hand to host the event. The event, set for June 21, will be held at Nashville venue the Basement East.
In equally exciting Americana news, the iconic Ryman Auditorium will host a six-week series focused on the genre this summer. According to a press release, Lee Ann Womack, the McCrary Sisters, Brandy Clark, Amanda Shires and Caitlin Rose, among other artists, will perform during the series, presented by Route 650. The series begins on July 15 with performances from Womack, Tony Joe White, the McCrary Sisters, Elizabeth Cook and Parker Millsap, and will close on Aug. 19 with Justin Townes Earle and the Band of Heathens.
Country artist Steve Wariner will be honored at this year's Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards Ceremony by the Country Radio Broadcasters Association. According to AllAccess, Wariner will be presented with the 2018 Artist Career Achievement Award in recognition of his dozens of hits across a 50-plus year career. Wariner will receive the award on June 20.
Later this year, Vevo will shutter its website and mobile app in order to focus on global digital video domination with YouTube. According to Rolling Stone, the music delivery platform recently announced its demise in a blog post, noting that it will focus all of its efforts on presenting content uploaded to YouTube -- which means that the Vevo logo that pops up while you're watching music videos on YouTube will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.
After announcing that it would "mute" artists who have been accused of violence and music that promotes hate speech, Spotify has (partly) changed its mind. According to Rolling Stone, the service has re-added music from rapper XXXTentacion, who was recently charged with assaulting a pregnant woman, back to its playlists. Music from R. Kelly, who has been accused for years of a variety of crimes against women, will remain gone from those playlists.