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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: FEBRUARY 18, 2021

• 1992: RANDY TRAVIS’  album Storms Of Life was certified triple platinum.

• 1997: DEANA CARTER’s album Did I Shave My Legs For This? was certified triple platinum. Hits included Strawberry Wine, We Danced Anyway and Count Me In.

• 1998: ALAN JACKSON and wife Denise announced they were separating after 18 years of marriage. They would later reconcile.

• 2003: JOHNNY PAYCHECK died at a Nashville area nursing home after a long battle with emphysema.

• 2013: Kelly Clarkson was featured on the cover of People magazine, where she said manager and fiance Brandon Blackstock helped her turn the corner in her love life: “I was dating skinny jeans and I needed Wranglers”

• 2016: CHRIS STAPLETON headlined for the first time at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, launching a three-night stand at the venue.

• 2019: BRETT YOUNG performed Here Tonight on ABC’s The Bachelor.

JUICE NEWTON is 69.

Guitarist-keyboardist Trevor Rosen of OLD DOMINION is 46.


COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

LUKE COMBS is representing country music on the 2021 TIME100 Next list, a roundup of 100 stars who are poised to become the next group of most influential people in the world. In a short essay paying tribute to Luke, GARTH BROOKS praised Luke’s work ethic and humble, grassroots approach to his success: “In this age of self-promotion, Luke Combs is letting everybody else do the talking for him. If I could pull him over and tell him one thing, it would be to just keep doing what he’s doing. Just follow that music. What resonates with him will resonate with the audience, with me, with everybody who’s listening.”

LUKE COMBS was part of a discussion Wednesday at the annual Country Radio Seminar — a discussion on “accountability and the future of country music.” In the conversation, Luke addressed his prior Confederate Flag use, stemming from his appearance in a Ryan Upchurch music video back in 2015. Luke said, “There is no excuse for those images. I’m not trying to say, ‘This is why they were there and it’s OK that they were there.’ It’s not OK. As a younger man, that was an image I associated to mean something else. As I’ve grown in my time as an artist, and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware how painful that image can be…I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”

… MARGO PRICE, who recently brought Luke’s past flag use to light in a series of tweets after the release of his song, The Great Divide, responded to the article on Twitter as well, saying she was glad that Luke “cleared that up.”

LUKE COMBS found himself with some extra downtime after his recent performance in Daytona Beach, Florida. Though Luke was unable to travel back home due to weather, in true singer-songwriter fashion, he used the time to share a new song with fans. This week Luke posted a video of himself playing an acoustic version of Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old. In the new song, Luke affirms he “can still raise hell all night with the boys when I want to,” but these days, “I spend most my happy hours here at home… I’m in the middle of growin’ up and gettin’ old.” • VIDEO

LUKE BRYAN and his wife, Caroline, are one of country music’s happiest and most admired couples, and Luke says it’s “all about communication and giving each other time to go do the things that we’re passionate about. … the communication is so critical. When you get your wires crossed … I know it sounds cliche, but never go to bed mad. You really have to abide by that stuff.”

DAN & SHAY are quarantining and dealing with a winter storm in Tennessee. Attempting to find a way to pass the time, the duo has been posting short acoustic versions of their hits to social media. On Instagram, they recently fulfilled a popular request for a version of their 2018 hit My Side of the Fence. The fan requested the tune for her wedding, so the guys filmed it on their phone. • VIDEO

RUSSELL DICKERSON’s chart-topper Love You Like I Used To has achieved a new milestone: It’s now spent 21 weeks inside the top 10 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. That puts the song in a tie for longest-running top ten single with LONESTAR’s Amazed, which achieved the same feat back in 1999.


COUNTRY DATEBOOK: FEBRUARY 19, 2021

• 1974: PORTER WAGONER and DOLLY PARTON announced the breakup of their act.

• 1987: WILLIE NELSON’s movie Red Headed Stranger premiered in Austin, Texas.

• 1996: GEORGE STRAIT played to more than 125,000 fans at the Houston Astrodome for two shows, breaking his own attendance records for the venue.

• 2014: TIM MCGRAW became the first country artist to appear on NBC’s The Tonight Show after Jimmy Fallon took over as host. Tim premiered his song Shotgun Rider.

• 2016: THOMAS RHETT fell off the stage but kept singing from the floor at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.

• 2020: BLAKE SHELTON made a surprise appearance during Gwen Shelton’s concert at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

TV personality LORIANNE CROOK is 64.