Entertainment News


Merle Haggard has died after a series of recent health struggles. His manager has confirmed the singer passed away on this morning at 9:20 AM in California.  It is also Merle’s 79th birthday.

Haggard canceled tour dates in December of 2015 after he checked into a hospital and learned he had double pneumonia. In an interview later with Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius XM, he said he was “nearly dead” when he was hospitalized for two weeks. He canceled shows scheduled for Jan. 30 and 31 after his double pneumonia returned.

The country icon was born Merle Ronald Haggard in 1937 just outside of Bakersfield, Calif., a town that he would help make famous with his revolutionary sound. His family struggled financially throughout his childhood, living in an old converted boxcar after their home burned down. After Haggard’s father died when he was 9, he turned rebellious, hopping a freight train to Fresno and getting picked up by the authorities when he was just 10, according to his official biography. He was in and out of reform schools and deemed “incorrigible,” and ended up in and out of jail as a young adult, culminating in a stretch in prison when he was 20 years old.

Haggard began to take music seriously while in prison at San Quentin, where he was on hand for the Johnny Cash performance that was captured for the iconic live album At San Quentin.

He began to make a name for himself in the club scene around Bakersfield after his release, developing a hard-charging approach to country music that prominently featured twangy electric guitars. He released his first single, a cover of Wynn Stewart’s “Sing a Sad Song,” in 1964, but it was Haggard’s own compositions that launched him as one of the most important and influential country hitmakers of his generation. He released a long string of deeply personal songs including “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Branded Man,” “Sing Me Back Home,” “Mama Tried” and many more, developing a reputation as one of the most serious, hard-hitting artists in the genre.

Haggard maintained that successful streak through the 1970s and into the 1980s, scoring more hits including “If We Make It Through December,” “Ramblin’ Fever,” “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” and “That’s the Way Love Goes.” He stayed active in his later years, touring regularly and releasing a new album, Django & Jimmie, with Willie Nelson in 2015, debuting at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart.

The legend’s personal life and health were frequently less stable than his career. He was married and divorced four times before marrying his fifth wife, Theresa Ann Lane, in 1993. He underwent angioplasty in 1995 to unblock clogged arteries, and in 2008 Haggard had part of his lung removed after he was diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer. He returned to the stage just months after that surgery, and remained active in performing until right before the end of his life.

Haggard was honored as BMI Icon in 1996, and recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. He won a slew of ACM, CMA and Grammy awards, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977. Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

I never met Merle but I did work with his son Marty Haggard many times. Arrangements are pending. Our prayers are with Merle’s family and friends. 

Celebrating the best in Canadian music, the 2016 JUNO Awards were an incredible night for now 2-time JUNO and 9-time CCMA Award winner Dean Brody. Taking home the win for Country Album of the Year (Gypsy Road) and delivering one of the evening’s most memorable performances, Brody’s presence at the JUNO Awards was proof that country music has undoubtedly earned its place on the main stage.
This win kicks off an incredible summer schedule for Brody, with appearances already announced at Dauphin Countryfest (July 1), Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 10), Rocking River Music Fest (July 31), Boots & Hearts (August 6), Eastbound Hoedown Music Festival (August 20), the Canadian National Exhibition (August 27) and Music in the Fields (August 29). In addition, the award-winning country star will make his Quebec debut performing alongside platinum-selling artist YOAN this Friday (April 8) at Centre Videotron, returning to Quebec for his just announced solo performance at Montreal’s Théâtre Corona on May 4th.
As further tour dates for the summer are confirmed, Brody will continue to support The Dean Brody Foundation, visiting Brazil this spring. Following his return, Brody will travel to Nashville where he will work alongside long-time producer and friend Matt Rovey to deliver his 6th studio album later this year.








It’s been a whirlwind navigating the early stages of his country music career and after two diligent years of touring and recording for the Carleton Place, ON native, Jordan McIntosh is excited to announce the release of his highly anticipated debut album Steal Your Heart on April 15. With the title track hitting Canadian country radio on April 12, McIntosh will be celebrating the release with a Country 94 launch party in Ottawa on April 15.
From his earliest releases that put him on the map such as ‘Grew Up In A Country Song’ and ‘That Girl’ to his most recent single ‘All About The Girl,’ McIntosh has garnered a loyal following and solid foundation heading into his debut release. Earning himself a 2015 CCMA Award nomination and having performed multiple cross-Canada tours with heavy hitters such as George Canyon and Brett Kissel, this young artist is no stranger to the Canadian country music scene.
Steal Your Heart gives listeners an intimate account of McIntosh’s journey through love, through life, and through the fine balance of his growing success while maintaining a normal adolescence. Whether is it a soft, delicate track such as ‘Turbulence’ or the upbeat build in ‘Dare You To Try,’ McIntosh shares his fighting heart with listeners in each song. With its intricate storytelling and powerful choruses, this record has proven to be a collection of empowering anthems that will steal hearts across the country all summer long.
The new album is just the beginning for McIntosh in 2016. Already confirmed to return to the Boots and Hearts Music Festival stage this year, fans are encouraged to follow McIntosh’s digital platforms for future tour announcements and updates.