Vince Gill has spoken in defense of The Recording Academy, which has recently come under critical fire for under-representing female artists. The country star spoke before a benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame, sharing the stage with Emmylou Harris, Maren Morris, and Kesha. He claimed it is “impossible” to not leave some artists off the list in a given year. Gill concluded that all that matters is that musical people are “conscious of what’s great at the end of the day,” adding, “We don’t care about genres, of color of skin, or gender, or anything. We just love playing music with great people and that’s all.” The Recording Academy was pointed out in this arena last month for several Grammy Awards-related incidents, most notably a lack of female winners. Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow responded by saying women need to “step up”; a comment he later said was taken out of context and regrettable.
The widow of Montgomery Gentry musician Troy Gentry has filed suit against the company behind the helicopter he was riding in during the September crash that took his life. In the suit, filed against Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Keystone Helicopter Corporation, Angela K. Gentry alleges that there were multiple defects in the craft, which the defendants “made it a point to hide and deny.” According to the suit, the helicopter pilot offered Gentry a sightseeing ride, but the throttle cable jammed as soon as the craft became airborne, and the helicopter’s engine went into high speed. Gentry died at age 50 on Sept. 8, 2017, in a fatal helicopter crash near a small New Jersey airport. His band had been scheduled to perform at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford that night.
On Thursday, the US Senate voted down President Donald Trump’s immigration proposal, leaving Congress with no viable plan for shielding “Dreamer” immigrants from deportation once their protections expire beginning March 5. At least 14 Republicans joined most Democrats in opposing the measure, which was defeated 39 to 60 despite the president warning he would veto any plan that did not meet his criteria. The Senate had earlier rejected a bipartisan proposal that would have put 18 million immigrants brought to the country illegally as children on a path to citizenship and funded border security upgrades, but which made only slight changes to legal immigration policy.
Country artist Justin Moore will play his first headlining date at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, May 2. The Arkansas native first took the stage at the Mother Church of Country Music nearly nine years ago, as part of the Opry Country Classics show. Justin said “for me, playing the Ryman is more about that and all the people who have played there and what it’s meant to country music as a whole from generation to generation.” Newcomers Travis Denning and Tyler Rich will open for Moore. Pre-sales are on sale now, and will open to the general public on Friday. Justin’s latest single, “Kinda Don’t Care” is out now.
Country music star Kip Moore will headline the opening night of the Common Ground Music Festival on Thursday, July 5. Hunter Hayes will also take the stage that night, according to a press release. Moore is known for his string of hits, including “Hey Pretty Girl” and “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck,” which reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Hayes released his eponymous debut album in 2011. At 20 years old, he became the youngest male act ever to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. This year’s Common Ground Music Festival will run from Thursday, July 5, through Sunday, July 8, at Adado Riverfront Park, maintaining the four-day format started last year. Single day tickets for Thursday, July 5 are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.commongroundfest.com.