In a business that propels itself on hit records and self-conferred awards, it was only natural that those subjects commanded the lion’s share of this year’s headlines. But the most compelling ones came in October and told of 58 people being massacred by a lone gunman at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas.
Billboard changes the way it ranks albums on the country charts, moving from basing the process on CD sales only and expanding it to include track equivalent and streaming equivalent albums. . . .Nielsen’s year-end music survey finds that country accounted for 10 percent of the total sales of albums in the U. S in 2016. . . . Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood and Big & Rich perform at the inaugural for President Donald Trump. . . . Grand Ole Opry manager Pete Fisher moves from that post to become CEO of the Academy of Country Music.
Using an in-house system designed to thwart ticket scalpers, Eric Church cancels 25,000 tickets for his Holdin’ My Own Tour. . . . Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth wins best country album Grammy. . . . The Farm Hands win entertainer of the year trophy at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America Awards.
Dailey & Vincent is inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
Billy Ray Cyrus announces that he will henceforth be known professionally only as “Cyrus.” . . . CMT.com celebrates its 20th anniversary. . . . Alabama’s Jeff Cook reveals he has Parkinson’s disease and will no longer tour with the group. . . . More than 30 artists — including Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Keith Richards — perform at the “Sing Me Back Home” concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena honoring Merle Haggard. . . . Jason Aldean wins the Academy of Country Music’s entertainer of the year award.
Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton and Chris Stapleton are the country music winners at the Billboard Music Awards. . . . Toby Keith performs to an all-male audience in Saudi Arabia. . . . Loretta Lynn suffers a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, TN. . . . The Last Songwriter, a documentary on the economic perils faced by composers in the digital age, premieres at the Nashville Film Festival.
Tracy Lawrence, Brothers Osborne, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley headline the closing concerts at the CMA Music Festival. . . .Ty Herndon’s Concert for Love and Acceptance draws big crowd at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon. . . . CMT Music Awards serves as the glamorous opening event for the CMA Music Festival with Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” copping the CMT video of the year prize. . . . Vince Gill tapped to tour with the Eagles.
Scotty McCreery earns misdemeanor citation for having a loaded gun in his luggage at a North Carolina airport. . . . Billboard lists Luke Bryan (No. 8, $27.3 million) and Kenny Chesney (No. 10, $25.4 million) among its Top 10 list of moneymakers in 2016.
Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Toby Keith, late songwriter Shel Silverstein, Kelsea Ballerini, the TV series Nashville, disc jockey Bob Kingsley and songwriter Lori McKenna win special Academy of Country Music industry citations. . . . Sam Hunt makes history when his “Body like a Back Road” tops Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart for 25 consecutive weeks.