Underwood heads back to roots as ‘Idol’ mentor

May 10, 2018 GMT

Carrie Underwood will return to “American Idol” as a guest mentor Sunday, May 13. The top five remaining contestants - Gabby Barrett, Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Maddie Poppe and Michael J. Woodard - will perform songs from the Carrie Underwood songbook on next week’s live show, following a special mentoring session with her during a surprise trip to Nashville. Underwood also will perform her new hit single “Cry Pretty,” which she co-wrote and co-produced. It debuted in its first week sales at No. 1 in the U.S. all-genres, topping the iTunes Top Songs charts in 12 countries. The new album will be released Sept. 14, marking the first time she has co-produced her own album. “American Idol” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

TAGGED AT THE TOP: Keith Urban’s new album, “Graffiti U,” debuted this past week to new personal sales and chart milestones in the United States, Canada and Australia. The project debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Album Chart debut (and No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 behind Post Malone), marking his fifth No. 1 album and his highest first-week sales figure in nearly eight years (since 2010′s “Get Closer”). In Canada, “Graffiti U” took the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s All-Genre Album Chart, and in his native Australia, the project takes the top spot on the ARIA Country Album Chart, marking his third consecutive No. 1.


DAZZLING DUET: The follow-up to Jason Aldean’s latest chart-topping hit, “You Make It Easy,” is a duet with Miranda Lambert called “Drowns The Whiskey.” It’s the second single from his new “Rearview Town” album, which was released last month. “The way fans and radio have responded to this record has been really cool for me,” Aldean said. ”‘Whiskey’ has always been a favorite of mine, but when Miranda came in and knocked out her parts in only a couple takes, I knew it was special.” Jason launches his High Noon Neon tour with special guests Lauren Alaina and Luke Combs in Kansas City, Missouri, Thursday, May 10.

NEW SONG: Granger Smith, last year’s headline act at “Dawg Dazzle”, has released the second single from his “When The Good Guys Win” album called “You’re In It.” It follows up his Top 13 hit “Happens Like That.” Smith is currently headlining his nationwide Don’t Tread On Me Tour, along with scheduled appearances at major fairs and festivals coast-to-coast through Summer 2018 and a return to Australia.

SUMMER SERIES: NBC’s “Today” show has revealed the lineup for its 2018 Citi Summer Concert Series, and it includes Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Dan + Shay, Lady Antebellum, Cole Swindell and Keith Urban. The series kicks off May 15 with Meghan Trainor.

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