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Country Thunder will make a Triumphant Return in 2021

Country Thunder 2020 has been officially cancelled, but it’ll be worth the wait!  Here’s some info from the folks at Country Thunder:

Due to the continued Covid-19 outbreak, and in consultation with state and local government officials, organizers have made the difficult decision to reschedule Country Thunder Arizona to 2021. With that announcement today,  Country Thunder ensures the biggest party in Arizona will be worth the wait!

As promised, the Country Thunder Arizona 2021 lineup is re-set to include some of the biggest names in country music, including Luke Combs, Eric Church, Moran Wallen, and Dustin Lynch.

Luke Combs continues to rewrite the country music record books at every turn. Last week he became the first artist in the 56-year history of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart whose first two studio albums each logged 25 or more weeks at No. 1.

Combs’ sophomore album What You See Is What You Get logged its 25th week on top. His 2017 debut, This One’s for You, amassed 50 weeks on top. He surpassed Taylor Swift, whose first two studio albums each logged 24 or more weeks at No. 1. UNBELIEVABLE!

Eric Church, as always, will take no prisoners when it comes to his live performance. On a concert stage, he is simply untouchable – fans in Arizona know this all too well!

Since his first release in 2006, “Chief” has amassed seven top-5 albums (three No. 1s), too many top-ten singles to count and every industry award imaginable.

Wallen’s debut album, If I Know Me, yielded three consecutive No. 1 singles— “Up Down,” “Whiskey Glasses,” and “Chasin’ You.” The multi-platinum artist is on fire and will light up the stage with these hits, and many more fan favorites.

Scoring over 2 BILLION total career streams, Dustin Lynch continues to affirm his place as one of Country’s elite stars. With Lynch’s incredible list of hits, he will start off the festival with a bang!!

The always-stellar supporting cast will be announced as further details become available.

All ticketing options will be automatically honored for the rescheduled 2021 dates – fans do not have to do a thing. Ticket holders will receive additional information regarding ticket options via email on Friday July 31, 2020. 

Arizona, we can’t wait to get back and see you all again!

ERIC CHURCH SNARLS IN NEW SINGLE: “STICK THAT IN YOUR COUNTRY SONG”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Praised by the Los Angeles Times as a “forthright truth-teller” in Country music, Eric Church shared earlier this year that new music was coming. Writing and recording in a rural cabin in North Carolina, the current ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee has had his eagerly-anticipated new single hinted and speculated at throughout recent performances on ACM Presents: Our Country (“Never Break Heart”), Stagecouch (“Jenny”) and in a defiant spoken-word recording, “Through My Ray Bans.” Set for a world premiere with iHeart, Cox and Country radio nationwide locked for this Thursday, June 25, at 6 a.m. ET ahead of its Monday, June 29 add date at Country radio, the new single is “Stick That In Your Country Song.”
 
In keeping with his trademark desire to put fans first, Church initially teased the release in a video sent directly to Church Choir members. “I wanted you guys to hear from me first that a new single is about to hit the world,” he shared. “It’s gonna be the tip of the spear for what’s coming after, and it’s a big spear. I believe it’s the best we’ve ever been in our career.”
 
“I try to put myself in the most uncomfortable situations,” Church explained at the CRS “Chasing Creativity” keynote event earlier this year. “Making it hard, and making sure no one is mailing it in. That’s always something we have to push ourselves to chase. For me, it’s very elusive. With creativity, the harder you try and stress, the more it doesn’t happen.”
 
Never afraid to speak his truth, Church is celebrated by Esquire as “one of the most singular working artists in any genre.” With this new single, he offers a social commentary on the state of the world and provides a rallying cry for cities from Detroit to Baltimore and people from young military veterans to school teachers, culminating in an emphatic “Stick That In Your Country Song” as each chorus hits. With a lyric video highlighting this poignant message, Church again puts the focus on fans first by offering his Church Choir an exclusive sneak peek at the video this Thursday, June 25 ahead of its wide release on Friday, June 26.

The new music follows Church’s most recent critically acclaimed project, 2018’s Desperate Man, his sixth studio album which was named one of the year’s best by American Songwriter, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Variety and Vulture, among others, also earning a GRAMMY nod for Best Country Album (his third nomination in the category).
 
For more information, visit www.ericchurch.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @ericchurch and Instagram@ericchurchmusic.

About Eric Church
The three-time Country Music Association and six-time Academy of Country Music Award winner released his most recent critically acclaimed album, Desperate Man, atop the Billboard Country Albums chart in October 2018. The album also debuted at No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200. Church returned to the road for his 2019 Double Down Tour, visiting nearly 30 markets for back-to-back nights of two unique shows sans-opening act to give fans 6+ hours of his iconic music in each city. The tour also included a massive stop at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where Church broke the venue’s concert attendance record with 56,521 fans and nearly tripled the attendance record he set at Bridgestone Arena in 2017. “Your Country Song” is the lead single off a forthcoming project, born from a sequestered session in rural North Carolina where he wrote and recorded 28 songs in 28 days.

 

Photo Credit: EricChurch.com, ManchesterInkLink.com

Stagecoach Officially Canceled

JUNE 10, 2020
Under the continuing health guidance of the County of Riverside, Coachella and Stagecoach 2020 will not take place this October as previously rescheduled. This is not the future that any of us hoped to confront, but our main focus remains the well-being of our fans, staff, artists, desert partners and everyone involved in the festival.
A year without Coachella and Stagecoach is hard for us to comprehend, but we have every intention of returning in 2021. As of now, Coachella weekend one will take place April 9 – 11, 2021 and weekend two will be April 16 – 18, 2021. Stagecoach is set for April 23 – 25, 2021. We look forward to sharing our new lineups and more information. We can’t wait to be together in the desert again when it is safe.
All 2020 passes will be honored in 2021. Current pass holders will be sent an email by the end of the day on Monday, June 15 with further instructions to request a refund or to roll over to next year.

KENNY CHESNEY POSTPONES 2020 CHILLAXIFICATION TOUR

2021 Itinerary To Be Announced As Soon As Possible
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kenny Chesney has made the incredibly difficult decision to do the one thing he hoped he would not need to do: postpone the 2020 Chillaxification Tour. After exhaustive conversations with everyone involved, getting the best possible input available on how and when, the humble man from East Tennessee is moving his tour into 2021.

“With so many tours needing to move and wanting to make sure we are in the best possible circumstances for No Shoes Nation, I think – and I hate saying this – it’s best to move everything into 2021,” Chesney says. “In the best interest of everyone – No Shoes Nation, my road family, the staff at the venues – we have decided to quit moving the dates around on the calendar, trying to make a chunk of this year work and go to where we believe we can roll out the entire Chillaxification Tour.”

For Chesney, the only country artist on Billboard’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Past 25 Years, hitting pause was not his expected outcome when the first leg of his Blue Chair Bay Rum Presents Kenny Chesney’s 2020 Chillaxification Tour Fueled by Marathon was postponed. But with new information arriving daily, the man who was already well into rehearsals for this year’s tour remained hopeful he and his band would get to play for No Shoes Nation in 2020.

Instead, there are still too many unknowns. He and his team made the decision and are locking down the schedule for when it’s believed issues surrounding COVID-19 will be more resolved. Committed to No Shoes Nation, arriving at this decision allows his team to concretize the best possible line-up of venues and dates when the tour finally kicks off.

Original tickets are automatically valid for a rescheduled show date. If you have tickets to a postponed show, refund options will be available at the time a rescheduled show date is announced.

 

Kenny Chesney Image from KennyChesney.com

LUKE COMBS AND MILLER LITE COME TOGETHER TO SUPPORT BARTENDERS NATIONWIDE 

LUKE COMBS AND MILLER LITE
COME TOGETHER TO SUPPORT BARTENDERS NATIONWIDE 
LIVESTREAM CONCERT TO BE HELD THIS FRIDAY, MAY 1
Luke Combs and Miller Lite are joining forces this Friday, May 1 for a special livestream concert to support out-of-work bartenders nationwide. Having previously planned on collaborating together during Luke’s “What You See Is What You Get” tour, the pair are instead coming together virtually for a good cause. Fans can tune in to Luke’s social channels at 7:00pm CT on Friday (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) to watch the live show and enjoy a Miller Lite along with him (if you are 21+, of course). As part of the Miller Lite #VirtualTipJar campaign, fans are encouraged to show support by visiting virtual-tips.org.
“The bars and small clubs are where I got my start, so it hurts to see them and everyone else having to struggle the way they are,” said Luke Combs. “I’m excited to partner with Miller Lite to raise some money for them, sing a few songs, and spread the love for my favorite beer with my fans!”
To support the bartenders and waitstaff nationwide that are affected by the pandemic, Miller Lite recently launched the #VirtualTipJar campaign to support the United States Bartender’s Guild National Charity Foundation and its Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. Last month, the brand made the first “tip” for $1 million dollars.
“Luke is a longtime Miller Lite fan and we’re so lucky to be able to partner with him,” said Justine Stauffer, Senior Marketing Manager for Miller Lite. “When the tour got postponed, it was an easy to decision to come together to give back to our fans and raise awareness for bartenders and waitstaff in need during this time.”
Luke Combs is a multi-platinum, award-winning musician from Asheville, NC, who stormed onto the music landscape as one Country’s brightest stars. His acclaimed new album, What You See Is What You Get, was released last fall via River House Artists/Columbia Nashville and debuted at #1 on both the all-genre Billboard 200 chart as well as Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The record enjoyed the largest streaming week ever for a country album with 74 million on-demand streams and features 17 new songs including his current single, “Does To Me” featuring Eric Church, which is currently top 10 at country radio. Combs’ previous single, “Even Though I’m Leaving,” spent three weeks at #1 at country radio, making it his seventh consecutive #1—a first on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. Adding to his groundbreaking year, Combs is nominated in three categories at the 2020 ACM Awards: Entertainer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Album of the year. Moreover, Combs’ triple Platinum debut album, This One’s For You, has now spent 50 non-consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart—tying the record for longest reign atop the chart—and was the most-streamed country album of 2019.
Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick J. Miller when he purchased the Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee, a city he chose as the best place for a brewery given its access to great water. Miller Lite, the original great-tasting light pilsner beer, (MillerLite.com, Facebook.com/MillerLite, @MillerLite on Twitter, YouTube.com/MillerLite) was introduced nationally in 1975 and is among the top-five selling beers in the United States. The brewery’s oldest enduring beer is Miller High Life (MillerHighLife.com, Facebook.com/MillerHighLife, @MillerHighLife on Twitter). Known as the Champagne of Beers, it was introduced in 1903 and still is brewed with the same yeast strain that Miller carried in his pocket from Germany. Miller Genuine Draft (MGD.com, Facebook.com/MillerGenuineDraft, @Miller_Global on Twitter), introduced in
1986, is the original cold-filtered, packaged draft beer.

Fellow Singer/Songwriters and Friends Remember and Mourn The Loss of Lyrical Legend John Prine

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Grammy Award winning, Songwriters Hall of Fame Member John Prine passed away at age 73 due to Covid-19. Some of his most legendary hits include, “Hello in There,” “Sam Stone,” “Angel From Montgomery” and “Paradise.” Prine used these masterpieces to highlight moments that the average mind grazed over with empathetic words and light-hearted lines. Writing for big industry names such as Johnny Cash, George Strait, Don Williams, the Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins and Bette Midler, all while being a singer, author, actor and record label owner, leaves Prine with one of the most renowned legacies in music history. Prine was not only a poetic prodigy, but a friend to many in the music and entertainment industry.

Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by the timeless, John Prine.

“I have enjoyed John’s music for many years. He was a truly gifted man and he will be missed. My prayers go out to his family.” – Charley Pride

“All of The Oak Ridge Boys are saddened by the loss of John Prine. The man was a genius songwriter! I have been listening to his music and praying for him since he got sick and to be honest I didn’t really know John personally but my heart is heavy nonetheless.” – Joe Bonsall / Oak Ridge Boys

“Nashville has lost another legendary artist. John Prine will always be remembered for his great music. I will always remember John’s wonderful smile and how nice and caring he was. Sending lots of love to his family.” – Crystal Gayle

“So sad to see another great music legend leave us. My family sends prayers to John Prine’s family.” – Lee Greenwood

“John was a sweet genius who always had time for conversation with me and as a songwriter, he was untouchable.” – T. Graham Brown

“After having the honor of seeing John Prine on a few occasions, it was no secret how much he is loved and admired. I last saw him at the Marty Stuart Late Night Jam, and was fortunate to have a front row seat. I captured many great photos, and will cherish the photos as a wonderful memory of witnessing one of the greatest songwriters to walk God’s Earth.” – Rhonda Vincent

“I really feel like we’ve lost one of our generation’s great champions for living outside the senses.” – Lacy J. Dalton

John Prine was a treasure! He inspired every singer/songwriter who has ever lived. He has survived several health challenges and I was praying that he would survive this. There was only one John Prine. Everyone looked up to him and he will be missed by not only Nashville, but around the world. We love you, John.” – Deborah Allen

“I used to sing his song “Paradise” about Muhlenburg county during my shows in clubs. It was written about how the coal mines stripped away the vegetation and trees. He also wrote “Angel From Montgomery,” which was a hit by Bonnie Raitt. This is the kind of music that I have always loved. It was a touch of blues and a touch of pop. I have always loved his music and style. He was a leader in the “awareness” songs and was a huge influence in my life and my approach to music. You will be missed, John.” – Janie Fricke

“I first met John Prine in the 70’s backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.  He was perhaps one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the honor to meet.  No star attitude whatsoever. He was just an average guy who loved words.  And he became one of the greatest wordsmiths of our time. His lyrics are pure poetry.  He never worried about making his songs commercial. He wrote from the heart and the gut.  Ironically I was in the studio last month and recorded one of his songs that I’ve loved for years called  “Blue Umbrella.” John would say in three minutes what an author would say in 256 pages. What a talent!” – Tim Atwood

“So sad to hear the passing of the legendary John Prine. One of the most influential songwriters of our time gone way too soon! His music will live on forever.” – J.D. Shelburne

John Prine was one of the most beloved and well-versed songwriters in the business, and his passing is a huge loss to songwriters and fans alike. The mark he made on the americana/folk/country music industry was remarkable – one that no one else could ever dream of accomplishing. His songwriting will be deeply missed, but even more than that is his infectious smile and sweet spirit. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of John’s family and friends, as well as all the fans he has made over the years. There will truly never be another John Prine.” – Paige King Johnson

 

Photo Credit: Variety 4/2020, Danny Clinch

Tailgate Fest Is Bigger & Better in Year 3!

In barely its third year, TailgateFest has already established itself as a premier festival for country music fans, throughout Southern California.  The festival which has, rightfully, been dubbed the #BestWeekendEver has successfully combined; great music lineups, mouth watering food, and the best part of a country festival… Tailgating.

During TailgateFest, attendees have options while watching the concert.  They can stand near the stage, just like any other festival, or they can keep partying from the bed of their trucks and enjoy the concert without ever having to leave the comfort of their vehicle.

Most of the TailgateFest attendees, that we have spoken with, mentioned that they enjoy being able to watch the concert from their vehicles, but almost to a person, each one has said that the best part of tailgating at TailgateFest, is the new friends they’ve made.  “This festival has a different feel to it” said Michelle, from Corona. “I became friends with the people we were parked next to during the first TailgateFest.  Now, we go out line dancing, to birthday parties and are really good friends.”

Since its inception in 2018, Alyson Richards and Melissa Carbone, the owners of TailgateFest, have had a vision of combining all of the great things that fans enjoy from music festivals.  These phenomenal women are recreating what music fans have come to expect from a festival.   The friends came up with the concept for TailgateFest, when they attended a music festival and had to stop enjoying themselves in the tailgating area, to go watch the concert.    “This is the Burning Man for the other 98%” said Alyson Richards. “Aside from a great lineup and amazing food.  We want country fans to enjoy interacting with each other and continue having a good time from their tailgating spot, when the artists take the stage.”

Alyson and Melissa’s approach has made TailgateFest, one the most fan-friendly festivals we’ve ever attended.  Last year, country artists were seen walking around the tailgating campgrounds interacting with fans and giving away Wyld Gear coolers.  Fans can also enjoy TailgateFest poolside with the Boots & Bikinis option.  This option allows fans to watch the concert from a pool, located steps away from the stage.  There are also RV Campsite options where up to 10 people can enjoy the comforts of an RV in between sets.

But wait there’s more…

This year TailgateFest will have another star studded lineup, which will include Dierks Bentley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Justin Moore and TLC.  The festival will also have a new home, at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana.  The new location will allow TailgateFest to offer a few more ticket options, which will give fans plenty of opotrunities to enjoy themselves, without breaking the bank.  Our personal favorite addition to TailgateFest tickets, is the pre-packed tailgating option.  This add-on allows you to select food, drinks, equipment and almost anything you’ll need for the weekend, without having to pack it into your vehicle.  You just show up to TailgateFest, pick up your order and set up your camping spot.  This is especially a great option for anyone with a smaller vehicle or a larger group.  It also takes the worry out of packing for the festival, because everything has already been done for you.

As of this article, TailgateFest will take place as scheduled, with health and security precautions, in place, to ensure the safety of all attendees.  But with all of the uncertainty that 2020 has brought us, so far, one thing we’re certain of, is that TailgateFest 2020 will DEFINITLY be an amazing experience.  Alyson, Melissa and all of the women & men at TailgateFest, are working hard to ensure the best experience is had by everyone in attendance and they hope you’ll join them to experience the #BestWeekendEver, for yourself. 

 

To get your TailgateFest tickets or for more info, visit www.LATailgateFest.com

 

   

 

 

 

 

Stagecoach Rescheduled to October 23-25

MARCH 10, 2020
At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns. While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.
Coachella will now take place on October 9, 10 and 11 and October 16, 17 and 18, 2020. Stagecoach will take place on October 23, 24 and 25, 2020. All purchases for the April dates will be honored for the rescheduled October dates. Purchasers will be notified by Friday, March 13 on how to obtain a refund if they are unable to attend.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in the desert this fall.

Tailgate Fest Lineup Announced: California’s Biggest Tailgate Party Gets Even Better in Year 3!

Tailgate Fest has already made its national footprint as the host location of CMT’s ‘Hot 20 Countdown’. This will be their third year broadcasting live from the festival.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA) – Southern California’s most epic party returns for its third year, and now at the most on-brand venue yet: the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.  Tailgate Fest has gained cult status and been dubbed “SoCal’s Newest FOMO Festival” from being the only fest in the world where the tailgating doesn’t stop when the show starts.  And now neither does the pool party.  For an extra special and unique experience, check out the ‘Boots and Bikinis’ mega pool party that puts you close enough to the stage that you could splash the artists.

Moving to Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway (45 minutes outside Los Angeles), is a move that responds to the explosive growth and space needed for this first of its kind type of festival experience.  Festival goers will have even more land to set up that perfect base camp than last year. Tailgate Fest is pleased to reveal their third year line up, which include certified platinum artist Dierks Bentley and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lynyrd Skynyrd who are headlining, with Billy Currington, Justin Moore, Carly Pearce, A Thousand Horses, Logan Mize, Ross Ellis, and R&B icons, TLC, making up the list. Attendees will enjoy two days of nonstop entertainment between August 15-16.  They may enjoy from the comfort of their own truck-side havens, side-stage at the ‘Boots and Bikinis’ mega pool party, which is back and taking on a life of it’s own as the fan favorite of the 2019 festival, or even stage front like typical concert experiences. This is the festival made by the fans for the fans and caters to the experience the fan wants to curate.  Tailgate Fest has even added “Pre-Packed Tailgate Packages” for this years event to answer the call for those who want to tailgate, but don’t want to shop and prep.  Centered around the unanimous sentiment that tailgaters don’t want to pack up the party, Tailgate Fest brings the stages truck-side and aims to bridge the gap between celebration and comfort. But Tailgate Fest doesn’t want you to stress if you don’t have a tailgating setup!  There are also traditional concert tickets for sale as well.

 

“One of the best parts of Tailgate, and also most unique, is that it compels people to engage in a visceral social interaction which has become harder and harder to find.  Even our artists walk around and grab beers and pop in to see the action, which is pretty unheard of at most festivals.  It’s becoming such a community of camaraderie based around the love of music, tailgating and camping culture, summer, love and fun,” said Tailgate Fest creator Melissa Carbone.

 

Passes are available now on the Tailgate Fest website (latailgatefest.com). General admission two-day passes are currently $99 while VIP passes for the weekend are $329 and include amenities like viewing decks, premium bathrooms, private lounges, early entry, and entry to ‘Boots and Bikinis’. The Super VIP Pass is also available for $599 and includes all VIP amenities in addition to elevated access to the stage-side swimming pool and special platform, exclusive private performances and parties, bottle service, and more. RV camping upgrades are available for purchase as well.  For the ultimate tailgating experience, you can reserve your very own fully-stocked, private Airstream!  The ‘Hicksville USA Trailer Park’ package also includes Ten Ultimate VIP passes, catered BBQ lunches, snacks and beer, the ‘Boots & Bikinis’ mega pool party VIP treatment, meet & greet with the artists of your choice, backstage and on-stage viewing, and much more for only $9,999. There are a limited number available of this once in a concert lifetime package, so act now!

Yeah, this summer is going to rock.

Join the conversation! See why #TailgateNation has made #BestWeekendOfMyLife the trending hashtag of the festival

(Facebook: TailgateFest |Insta: @Tailgatefest |Twitter: Tailgate_fest)

For more information on Tailgate Fest, or to purchase tickets, visit: https://latailgatefest.com

DARIUS RUCKER’S “WAGON WHEEL” CERTIFIED 8X PLATINUM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Capitol Records Nashville’s Darius Rucker was surprised with a plaque celebrating the RIAA’s recent 8x-Platinum certification of his hit song “Wagon Wheel” during a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum yesterday, February 12. Since topping the charts for back-to-back weeks in 2013, “Wagon Wheel” has now become one of the top five best-selling Country songs of all time and Rucker is now the only solo male country act to achieve the honor of an 8x-plus multi-Platinum song in RIAA’s history.

Lured under the pretense of seeing his exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Rucker was surprised when he rounded the corner to see his record label of 14+ years, UMG Nashville, holding a plaque. “What are y’all doing here?!” Rucker remarked, taking in the presence of label heads and esteemed industry guests from the RIAA gathered around his exhibit, which features the suit he wore in the “Wagon Wheel” music video alongside other memorabilia from his remarkable career. After hearing the news – and pausing to really read the plaque’s inscription – an in-awe Rucker added, “I don’t believe you. I don’t believe this! Wow, what a testament to the fans and their love of Country music.”

“Wagon Wheel,” originally released by Old Crow Medicine Show in 2004, was written by the band’s lead singer, Ketch Secor, and was based on a sketch by Bob Dylan, who is credited as a co-writer. The single was featured on Rucker’s Gold-certified, No.1 album True Believers and has since accumulated over 960 million global streams. “Wagon Wheel” also won a GRAMMY for Best Country Solo Performance at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, the third of Rucker’s career.

“Even in my wildest dreams for ‘Wagon Wheel,’ the singer was never me or Bob,” remarked Secor upon learning of the song’s new accolade. “It could have been a lot of different people who had the big hit with it. It could have been one of those perfect-smile guys with the made-for-TV personalities. That it was instead a salt of the earth singer like Darius is something divine I’ll leave to the theologians to figure out.”

Mike Dungan, UMGN Chairman & CEO, recalls the conversation he had with Rucker when he first decided to record the song: “Darius called my cell phone one night and told me that he was in the audience for the talent show at his daughter’s high school. He said, ‘Hey man, do you know that song ‘Wagon Wheel?’ I just watched a band full of kids perform it, and it reminded me of how great that song is, and I want to cut it.’ I said, ‘you’re crazy,’ to which he said, ‘well I’m cuttin’ it! I’ll talk to you later!’ We (the label) thought that this was going to either be huge… or a disaster. He was right, everybody’s happy, life is good!”

“On behalf of RIAA, we’re so pleased to mark such an amazing accomplishment,” said Jackie Jones, Vice President of Industry Relations at the Recording Industry Association of America. “A certification of this magnitude is incredibly rare—occurring only a few times in our organization’s history. Darius, his team and the entire UMG Nashville family should be very proud of this historic moment in music.”

The Associated Press broke the news, capturing the plaque presentation surprise which can be viewed HERE.

About Darius Rucker
Rucker first achieved multi-Platinum status in the record industry as lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish. Since releasing his first Country album in 2008, he’s enjoyed four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Country chart and nine No. 1 singles at Country radio, earning a whole new legion of fans. As a lifelong philanthropist, Rucker is a constant supporter of the MUSC Children’s Hospital in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. He has also raised millions of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through his annual Darius & Friends benefit concert and golf tournament, as well as for more than 200 charitable causes supporting public education and junior golf programs in South Carolina through the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation. Rucker recently wrapped the Group Therapy Tour with his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of generation-defining smash Cracked Rear View in addition to the November 1 release of Imperfect Circle, their first album in nearly 15 years. For more information, visit www.dariusrucker.com and follow on social media @DariusRucker.