Special appearances round out this week in country

May 3, 2019 GMT

BIRTH: Jake Owen and girlfriend Erica Hartlein welcomed daughter Paris Hartley Owen into the world on Monday, April 29. Jake shared the news via Twitter, noting that his daughter shares a birthday with Willie Nelson: “It’s a Willie great day!! Well Happy Birthday to @WillieNelson born on this day April 29th, 1933. Also, happy birthday to my little beautiful daughter, Paris Hartley Owen born today April 29. Jake and Erica have been dating since 2017. Jake also has a 6-year-old daughter, Pearl, with ex-wife Lacey Buchanan.

NUMBER ONE: The guys from Old Dominion — Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung, Brad Tursi and Whit Sellers — scored their sixth No. 1 hit on the Billboard Country Airplay with “Make It Sweet.” The new track, which was co-penned by the band with Shane McAnally, is also No. 1 on the Mediabase chart this week. “Make It Sweet” is the lead single from Old Dominion’s upcoming third studio album. The band is currently on the road for its 50-plus-date Make It Sweet Tour.

UPCOMING TOUR: Kiefer Sutherland has announced a new tour in support of his sophomore album, Reckless & Me, which dropped last Friday. The tour kicks off on May 29 in Austin, Texas, with additional stops in Nashville, St. Louis, Boston, New York and more. Additional dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

DERBY ANTHEM: Jennifer Nettles will have the honor of singing the national anthem before the start of the 145th Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Jennifer follows previous country stars who have performed the anthem at the Derby, including Lady Antebellum (2016), Jo Dee Messina (2014), Martina McBride (2013), Rascal Flatts (2010) and more. Jennifer’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be broadcast live on NBC and take place in front of approximately 160,000 fans attending the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Jennifer will perform the anthem in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle just after 5 p.m. immediately prior to the race.

SPECIAL APPEARANCE: Randy Travis will make a special appearance on the Grand Ole Opry stage on Saturday, May 4, to celebrate his 60th birthday. Charles Esten, Josh Turner and Charlie Worsham are all scheduled to appear on the Opry on Randy’s birthday, as is fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz, who penned a number of Randy’s biggest hits, including “Deeper Than The Holler,” “Forever And Ever, Amen,” “Heroes And Friends,” “On the Other Hand” and “Point Of Light.” Randy will release his new book, “Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life”, on May 14. Randy, with the help of author Ken Abraham, shares stories of his working-class childhood, country music career, medical problems, broken marriage and more.

Julie Reeves is the midday host on Big Buck Country 101.5. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.