Jon Currier Photography/Oregon Jamboree

Michael Ray, Kelsea Ballerini Visit CMT Hot 20 Countdown

Plenty to Talk About at Oregon Jamboree

The 2015 Oregon Jamboree lured thousands of fans and some of the biggest names in country music to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains last weekend for its annual three-day festival.

Michael Ray took some time from his summer tour to join the star-studded lineup, as well. The newcomer’s debut single, “Kiss You in the Morning,” is edging closer to the top slot on Billboard’s country airplay chart.

“It’s hard to wrap my head around it right now, so I’m just happy to be part of it,” he told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. “I’m stoked.”


Fellow newcomer, Kelsea Ballerini has already experienced the taste of a No.1 single with her debut, “Love Me Like You Mean it.” Backstage at the Oregon Jamboree, she talked to CMT’s Cody Alan about a new addition to her family and how the timing has worked perfectly with her follow up single.

The new addition is a dog named Dibs.

“He’s 8 weeks old,” she said. “He’s a Labradoodle. I’m like totally a mom now, and he’s here with me. … But he’s so cute. He’s just fluffy and adorable.

As it turns out, Ballerini’s new single is also titled “Dibs.”

“I was going to name him Knox because I’m from Knoxville, but the owner that I got him from was like, ‘You should call him Dibs,’” she said. “I got him the week that ‘Dibs’ went to radio, too.

At the festival, Sam Hunt brought the house party along with some tips for fans on how to throw a great bash.

“Definitely have to have some good music going,” he said. “”Usually, my buddy Ty, our other roommate, he keeps the music going. We like good weather so we can keep the doors open.”

Meanwhile, fellow Jamboree performer Lee Brice is also in the process of releasing new music to fans in the form of an old-school mixtape. The project is a combination of tracks Brice admits he’s always loved but never seemed to fit on his previous albums.

“As an artist, we get maybe two songs on the radio a year and maybe a record every two years,” Brice explained. “To me, I think fans just want more music.”

For more coverage from the 2015 Oregon Jamboree, tune in to an all-new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 8-9) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.