NUMBER ONE: Thomas Rhett's new album, Center Point Road, which dropped Friday, May 31, debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, as well as the BillboardTop Country Albums chart. According to Nielsen Music, Center Point Roadmoved 76,000 equivalent units, representing the biggest opening week for any country album in 2019. The 16-song album takes its name from the street in his Tennessee hometown that shaped much of his life experiences. TR co-penned every track on the album, which also features a who's who of top songwriters, including Shane McAnally, Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure, Karen Fairchild and more. In addition, the album features a number of collaborations with other artists, including Kelsea Ballerini ("Center Point Road"), Little Big Town ("Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time") and Jon Pardi ("Beer Can't Fix"). TR is the first country artist to top the Billboard 200 chart since Kane Brown in November 2018. TR's 2017 album, Life Changes, also reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
NEW BUNDLE OF JOY: Randy Houser and wife Tatiana announced via Instagram that they are the proud parents of a newborn son, Huckleberry "Huck" Randolph Houser. Huck was born on June 9, weighing 7 lbs., 6 oz. "He's handsome, healthy, and happy and we couldn't be more excited to get him home and start the next chapter of our lives together with him," said Randy, in part, via Instagram. Randy and Tatiana were married in 2016. Randy has a son, West, 7, from a previous marriage.
STAR RAISES MONEY FOR ST. JUDE: Darius Rucker is a man on a mission. With his 10th annual Darius & Friends Benefit Concert on Monday, June 3, at the Ryman Auditorium and golf tourney on Tuesday, June 4, Darius surpassed $2 million raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year's concert, auction and golf tourney raised more than $425,000 for St. Jude, breaking the record of $404,000 set by last year's shindig. Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Travis Denning, Brett Young and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley performed with Darius for the more than 2,400 fans in attendance at the Ryman.
PULLMAN CONCERT SERIES: The summer-long Kindred Communications Pullman Square Concert series, sponsored by Heiners and Dutch Miller Auto Group continues tonight with a performance by Kala DeHart and Rivertown. The evening kicks off at 7pm. Next week, City Heat will perform. There will be food and drinks available for sale tonight from vendors and from Pullman Square businesses. No coolers are allowed.
Julie Reeves is the midday host on Big Buck Country 101.5. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.