Inside Track on Music Row: Summer Edition

June/July 2021


After 20 years as front man to one of the most influential groups in Country history, Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox is embarking on a solo chapter that combines two of his biggest passions – music and faith. With his debut Christian single “The Distance” (Big Machine Records/Capitol Christian Music Group), the Ohio native unveils the empowering first taste of that mission, delivering an epic expression of the power of belief that’s tailor made for the COVID-19 era. Grounded in the Flatts legacy, but clearly existing on a different sonic plane, the track features an exhilarating mix of LeVox’s stratospheric vocals and high-energy instrumentation, encouraging fans to never give up – and it’s a message he knows by heart. “The Distance” is one of five songs on LeVox’s debut solo collection One On One (Big Machine Records), which includes multiple compelling collaborations as LeVox leans on his “congregation” to explore his new purpose.  Rascal Flatts celebrated its farewell with Twenty Years of Rascal Flatts: The Greatest Hits. Stream “The Distance” at More about Gary at


Throughout Omnivore Recordings’ 12-year relationship with the Buck Owens Private Foundation, one request from the fans was clear and consistent — to make Buck Owens’ late-’60s/early-’70s releases available again as stand-alone reissues.  Omnivore Recordings answered the call and has announced nine titles to be released throughout the summer and fall of 2021. The albums will be released as they were originally issued and for the first time, appear in their original configuration on CD and Digital (in both standard and high resolution), mastered from the original analog tapes, and with expanded artwork and new liner notes. Street dates are August 8, August 27 and October 1, 2021. Buck Owens and the Buckaroos had 21 #1 hits on Billboard while pioneering the world-famous Bakersfield country sound — although he preferred to call it simply “American music.” The sound was distinguished in part by the twangy guitar work of Don Rich and drum tracks placed forward in the mix. Pre-order the albums at


The CMT Awards returned this past June on CMT and was co-hosted by Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini.

Both hosts walked away winners. Kane Brown reclaimed the winner’s podium for “Male Video of the Year,” two years after he last won the category (2019), and also won “Collaborative Video of the Year” with Chris Young, making these his third and fourth career CMT Music Award wins.  Meanwhile, Kelsea Balleriniwon her very first CMT Music Award for “CMT Performance of the Year” for her performance from last year’s awards show with Halsey for “The Other Girl.” 

Little Big Town also increased their career total wins to four, with a win this year for “Duo/Group Video of the Year.” Meanwhile, Gabby Barrett followed up her “Breakthrough Video of the Year” award last year with a win for “Female Video of the Year” this year. Longtime fan favorite Taylor Swift returned to the CMT winner’s circle with her ninth award, this time for the Social Category: “Best Family Feature.”

The jaw-dropping night culminated with Anthony Mackie making his “CMT Music Awards” debut to present the night’s most coveted award, “Video of the Year,” to Carrie Underwood and John Legend, with Underwood surprising her fans as she walked onto stage and to accept her award. Carrie remains the most awarded artist in CMT history with 23 career wins. 

The night marked first-time wins for Kelsea Ballerini, as well as Halsey, John Legend and Dylan Scott

The 2021 “CMT Music Awards” winners include:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR – Carrie Underwood & John Legend – “Hallelujah”

FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR – Gabby Barrett – “The Good Ones”

MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR – Kane Brown – “Worship You”

DUO/GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR – Little Big Town – “Wine, Beer, Whiskey”


COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR – Chris Young and Kane Brown – “Famous Friends”

CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR  – From the 2020 CMT Music Awards – Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey – “The Other Girl”

CMT SOCIAL VIDEO OF THE YEAR – “BEST FAMILY FEATURE” – Taylor Swift – “The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)”


The 2021 “CMT Music Awards” featured performances by today’s most popular music artists, including BRELAND Mickey Guyton, Brothers Osborne + Dierks BentleyChris Young + Kane BrownH.E.R. + Chris StapletonIngrid Andress + JP Saxe, Kelsea Ballerini + Paul Klein from LANY, Lady A + Carly Pearce + Lindsay EllLauren Alaina + Jon PardiLuke Bryan, Luke CombsMickey Guyton Gladys Knight, Miranda Lambert + Jack Ingram + Jon Randall, NEEDTOBREATHE + Carrie Underwood, and Thomas Rhett. Additionally, Blanco Brown, Dylan Scott, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson, Niko Moonand Tenille Arts performed as part of the Ram Trucks Side Stage

Presenters included Anthony Mackie, Brett Young, Busy Philipps, Carly Pearce, Dylan Scott, Gladys Knight, Iliza Shlesinger, Little Big Town, Michael Strahan, Mickey Guyton, Restless Road, Tennessee Titans’ Taylor Lewan and Trace Adkins, as well as CMT Hot 20 Countdown hosts Cody Alan, Katie Cook and Ashley ShahAhmadi.

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