2011 has been one heck of a year for country music. We’ve seen singles from all different sides of the spectrum: from songs that make you want to get up and dance, to songs that make you want to cry. Country has always been very good at dealing with real-life issues. It’s the story songs that make country music the genre it is. It has a way of moving you, either to get up and party, or to remember what’s really going on in the world.
It was hard to narrow down the highlight songs of the year into one package, but Ted Efron and myself sat down to do just that. There might be some surprises on our list, but these are the songs that defined a genre for 2011. Take a look at our list below and let us know if you agree, disagree, or think we forgot someone we shouldn’t have. Not all of these songs are singles, some are just the best album tracks that should have been singles this year.
Ronnie Dunn has brought his emotional single “Cost Of Livin’” to the Dr. Phil show. Ronnie recently taped a special feature with daytime talk show host Dr. Phil and the Doctors themed around his single. The Doctors episode, titled “Cost Of Livin’” after the single, will air on December 5th. His special with Dr. Phil will air December 13th.
“Cost Of Livin’” is a co-write by Ronnie and Philip Coleman about the human side of the economic problems in the world, not just the United States.The second release from Ronnie’s self-titled solo album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, and #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart earlier this year.
“The feedback on the song is overwhelming,” Ronnie remarked. “I’ve never had a song that’s seemingly as relevant to the times and spot on to what’s going on in America and the world right now.”
Congratulations to Ronnie Dunn! His publicist confirmed to Country Weekly that the Singer In A Cowboy Band will become a grandfather next year. His son, Jesse, a teacher in California, is expecting a son in February. With everything Ronnie has accomplished in his career, we’re sure this is one he’ll be most proud of.
Fans can catch Ronnie Dunn as one of the major acts at next year’s Capital Hoedown in Ottawa, Canada. He’ll join Reba McEntire to open the 3-day festival, being billed as Ottawa’s Biggest Summer Party. Tickets go on-sale tomorrow at 10 am EST.
Things are heating up in Ottawa, even with the temperatures dropping. Ottawa’s Biggest Summer Party, the Capital Hoedown, will have public on-sale for its tickets tomorrow on capitalhoedown.net. The 3-day Crazy Horse VIP Corral, 3-day Front-And-Centre, and now single-day tickets will all be available starting at 10 am EST tomorrow.
Next year’s line-up is as follows:
Friday, August 10 – Reba, Ronnie Dunn, Gord Bamford, and Marshall Dane
Saturday, August 11 – Taylor Swift, Dean Brody, Tara Oram, Chad Brownlee, and others TBA
Sunday, August 12 – Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, Terri Clark, High Valley and others TBA
To keep up to date on all artist and line-up updates, stay tuned to Keepin’ it Country and capitalhoedown.net. We will be interviewing Marshall Dane, who is opening the Hoedown, in a few minutes. Watch for that interview tonight!
Ronnie Dunn was the third country artist in a row to sing the national anthem at this year’s World Series last night. The country music veteran definitely sang something to be proud of at the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals game. Watch his performance below:
Latest American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, and Trace Adkins were the first two performers of the series. Who do you think did it best? See Scotty’s version HERE and Trace’s version HERE.
Trace Adkins and Ronnie Dunn have both just been announced as performing the national anthem at the World Series. Fellow country artist Scotty McCreery recently sang the anthem at game one of the baseball series. Trace will perform tonight at the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals game in Texas, and Ronnie Dunn will sing at game three on Sunday night.
I’m pretty sure they won’t pull a Christina Aguilera and forgot the lyrics to the national anthem on live television.
Congratulations to Catherine I., the winner of our autographed Ronnie Dunn album!
Ronnie Dunn is one of the most recognizable names, and voices, in country music. Formerly part of the legendary duo Brooks & Dunn, he released his self-titled solo album this year after over 20 years as a duo. This solo venture gave Ronnie the chance to find songs that he believed in and that represented himself as an artist and a person. His album was a huge success: it debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and number 5 on the Billboard 200; selling 45,000 copies its first week.
The latest single from Ronnie Dunn, released back on June 6th, is one of the most touching this year. “Cost Of Livin’” was originally put on hold by Ronnie in 2008, who hesitated on recording it thinking the economy may have improved since then. He changed the hook and chorus of the song originally written by Philip Coleman. The song is about a military veteran who is trying to find any kind of employment he can after his company went bankrupt, forcing him to lose his job. The song is from the point of view of a job interview for the man.
Do you want to win an autographed copy of Ronnie Dunn’s album, featuring “Bleed Red,” and “Cost Of Livin’?” Starting immediately and running through to Friday, October 14th at 2 pm EST, you can enter our drawing to win the album! The contest is open everywhere except where prohibited. Only one entry per person, please. We will pick a random winner with the correct answer Friday, with the name announced sometime after the drawing closes at 2 pm EST on Friday, October 14th. To enter, fill out the form below with the answer to the following question:
What award show did Brooks & Dunn make their final performance on?
The above video is the live recording taken by me at Ronnie Dunn’s CMT Festival Performance at Oro Station, Ontario in August.
According to CMT, several country music stars will be contributing songs to the new holiday album, A Very Country Christmas. The record will be released Tuesday, October 11 and will be available exclusively at Target. Artists that will appear on the album with new recordings include: Ronnie Dunn (Silent Night), Brad Paisley (What Child Is This), Kellie Pickler (Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree), Jake Owen (Mele Kalikimaka), Chris Young (O Holy Night), and the Lunabelles (The Christmas Song). Previously recorded songs from Sara Evans (O Come All Ye Faithful) and Carrie Underwood (Do You Hear What I Hear) will also be included.
Uh oh. Looks like someone rubbed Ronnie Dunn the wrong way. He’s set to sing at the Grand Ole Opry this weekend, and someone told him what he can and can’t sing. Ronnie took his frustration out on his Facebook page two days ago, and if it’s going to go his way, looks like no one’s going to tell him what to do:
I’m singing on the Opry Saturday Night…..someone called a few days ago and informed me that they prefer past radio “hits”. I’m having a hard time playing by “the rules”, these days. ….I really am ! In fact, I’m over it. Think I’ll sing what I feel like singing…they can spank me and send me home.
I’m on the side with Ronnie. He’ll share the stage with Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan, and Charley Pride this weekend. Tickets are still available so get yours HERE.