Five at Five: Kane Brown Makes Houston Rodeo History + World’s Largest Bourbon Fest

Five Things to Know in Country Music for March 12

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 news headlines in one place. Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday (March 12):

Kane Brown Sets Houston Rodeo Record

Brown performed for one of the biggest crowds of his life so far when he wrapped his sold-out, headlining arena tour with a record-setting performance at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Brown’s concert on Saturday (March 9) drew 75,126 fans, marking the biggest country artist debut in Houston Rodeo history. That night, Brown was also surprised with a plaque commemorating “Heaven” going quadruple-platinum. The milestone holds a meaningful significance to Brown, who is a lifelong fan of the Rodeo and often cites his memories of playing rodeo with his grandfather and great grandfather in his songs “Coldspot” and “Granddaddy’s Chair.”

Tailgate Fest 2019 Expands

Mat Hayward/Getty Images

GEORGE, WA - AUGUST 04: Brantley Gilbert performs on stage during day two of the Watershed Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre on August 4, 2018 in George, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

Now in its second year, Tailgate Fest 2019 has more than doubled in size by moving from a simple parking lot to the more than 200 acres of verdant greens at Norco, Calif.’s Silverlakes Festival Grounds. Featuring headliners Brantley Gilbert and Brett Eldredge, the two-day event running Aug. 17-18 will provide overnight camping and bonfire singalongs adding to the immersive, make-your-own party vibe. Tickets are on sale through the festival’s website.

Zac Brown Band, Alison Krauss and More to Perform World’s Largest Bourbon Festival

Billed as the world’s largest bourbon festival, Bourbon & Beyond, has expanded to three days starting Sept. 20 at the new Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center. Zac Brown Band and Alison Krauss are among country acts booked to perform the all-genre event. Additional performers include Foo Fighters, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, John Fogerty, Daryl Hall & John Oates, ZZ Top, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Trey Anastasio Band, Leon Bridges and the Flaming Lips. The Bluegrass Situation will curate all the live music at the bluegrass stage. Bourbon & Beyond falls on the weekend after the inaugural Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival (Sept. 14-15) featuring Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Little Big Town with additional appearances from Dwight Yoakam, Brett Young, Jake Owen, Bret Michaels and Frankie Ballard.

Maren Morris, Bebe Rexha and Steven Tyler Join iHeartRadio Music Awards Presenters

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SANTA ROSA, CA - JUNE 16: Maren Morris performs during the 2018 Country Summer Music Festival at Sonoma County Fairgrounds on June 16, 2018 in Santa Rosa, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Morris, Rexha and Tyler will be among the presenters seen onstage at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards airing Thursday (March 14) at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. iHeartMedia announced Tuesday (March 12) that the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will also perform during the ceremony. Additional presenters include Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger, Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Shay Mitchell and Zedd.

ACM’s New Diversity Task Force

Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic for ACM

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 15: Kelly Clarkson (L) and Reba McEntire perform onstage during the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic for ACM)

In a new interview with Billboard, ACM CEO Pete Fisher announced the organization’s development of a task force that will examine the barriers and biases affecting women and underrepresented groups in country music. The move comes after Reba McEntire’s public comments highlighting the lack of women in the ACM’s entertainer of the year category and the Recording Academy’s 2018 launch of a similar initiative to examine issues of inclusion and diversity within its organization and the broader music community. More details on the ACM’s task force is expected later this month.

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