Five at Five: Blake Shelton Gets Ugly + Carrie Underwood Is Still a Blockhead

Five Things to Know in Country Music on March 14

Give us a minute, and we’ll give you five things to know in country music. It’s your new favorite fix for all the latest headlines in one place. Here’s what you need to know for Thursday (March 14):

  • Carrie Underwood Throws Back to Her First Love

    Underwood has never been ashamed of her loyal devotion to the New Kids on the Block. And so while much has changed for her since the boy band’s heyday in the late 80s, her commitment hasn’t. She retweeted Donnie Wahlberg’s post about the band’s new video for the song “The Boys in the Band (The Boy Band Anthem),” which is scheduled to be on the NKOTB’s re-issue of their 1988 hit record Hangin’ Tough. The video features the New Kids — Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, and Danny Wood — along with a few appearances from Lance Bass, Naughty By Nature, Debbie Gibson, and Bell Biv Devoe of New Edition.

  • Tim McGraw Ready to Dance Across the Desert

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    If you blinked, you might’ve missed it. That’s just how Instagram stories work. But we managed to grab a few seconds of Tim McGraw’s latest one, with him standing in the chilly outdoors in a down jacket and faded blue jeans, where he’s pining for some dry heat. “Arizona Country Thunder, we can’t wait to see you. We’re looking forward to being out in the desert with you,” he said of the upcoming country music festival in Florence, Arizona. McGraw is the headliner scheduled for April 12. Clay Walker, Craig Campbell and more will be opening his show.

  • Jake Owen Books Wedding Singer Gig

    John Shearer

    At a listening event in Nashville earlier this week, Jake Owen played a new song “Made For You,” written by Joey Hyde, Benjy Davis and Neil Medley. It’s one he calls a powerful song about life and love. And he shared with Billboard that that was going to be Carly Pearce and Michael Ray’s wedding song. And Owen will be the one singing it. “I said, ‘Holy shit. Yeah, I’d love to!’ And then I realized: ’I’m a wedding singer now.’ As funny as that is, it really is a true testament to, I mean, the fact that I’m going to be singing it at two singers’ weddings with a song that honestly means something to them,” Owen said.

  • Blake Shelton Collaborates with Uglyville Mayor

    His name is Ox. File it under Hollywood Hopeful Names You Want to Remember, because pretty soon, the little green guy is going to be a star. Good thing he’s got Blake Shelton on his side. Shelton had Ox, the fuzzy little green Mayor of Uglyville, on his lap while he was backstage at his newest Ole Red location in Gatlinburg, prepping the night’s set list. Their friendship makes a lot of sense when you consider that Shelton is going to be Ox’ voice in the upcoming UGLYDOLLS movie, in theaters May 3.

  • Cody Johnson Teases Show Surprise

    Right after the rodeo dust settles, the Rodeo Houston website promises, a superstar will take the stage. And on Friday (March 15), it will be Cody Johnson. He is the Texas-based country singer-songwriter who hundreds of thousands of fans outside the Lone Star State have recently discovered, thanks to his latest chart-topping Ain’t Nothin’ to It, which is full of the kind of straight-up honky-tonk music we’d all been missing. “Who’s comin out to @RODEOHOUSTON tomorrow,” Johnson asked his Twitter followers. “We have something fun planned for y’all… stay tuned for more info tomorrow at 8am CST!”