Alan Jackson‘s mother, known affectionately to her loved ones and to country music fans as ‘Mama Ruth,’ has died. She passed away on Saturday morning at her home in Newnan, Ga., at the age of 86. Born on April 2, 1930, in Lowell, Ga., Ruth Jackson married Alan Jackson’s father, Joseph Eugene “Daddy Gene” Jackson, in 1946. Together, they had five children.


big and rich tour dates 2016
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

When Donald Trump is sworn in as the next president of the United States on Januray 20, two big country acts will be on hand for related celebrations: Country duo Big & Rich will perform at a gala the night before Trump’s inauguration, and Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts will be part of a ball on Inauguration Day itself.


Kelsea Ballerini Aldean Duet
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

Forbes has revealed its annual 30 Under 30 list, and two country acts have made the 2017 iteration: Kelsea Ballerini and are both included in this year’s roster of ‘game changers’ in the music industry. At just 23 years old, Ballerini made history in 2016 when she became the first female artist in country music history to hit Number 1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album. She is nominated for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammys, set to take place on February 12 as well. Maddie & Tae have also made lasting changes to country music in their relatively short time in the industry, pushing back against gender stereotypes since bursting onto the scene in 2014. Their first single, ‘Girl in a Country Song,’ shot to the top of the country charts while directly calling out the double standards in the genre.


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