For Dakota Danielle, music found her. Originally enrolled in piano lessons at the age of seven, Dakota lost interest in high school switching her focus to tennis. However, in her senior year of high school Dakota found her mom’s old guitar and was instantly drawn to it. Asking her mom for guitar lessons, she was initially turned down her mom saying, “We're not going to buy you a guitar because we think you're gonna quit it just like piano.” But that just made Dakota even more determined to pick up music again.
Inspired by 90s country artists Martina McBride and Reba McEntire, her sound combines classic rock and country. Dakota’s songwriting process begins with a chord progression and the words just fall out. Her latest singe “Backroads” was released on January 29th.
Now the Illinois native is taking Nashville by storm after completing a degree in Commercial Songwriting at Middle Tennessee State University. Grinding to make a name for herself, Dakota’s unparalleled work ethic is evident with her regular appearances at Music City’s hottest venues. Excited to see concerts picking up again, Dakota commented “I'm excited that I'm starting to be able to play out more like performing performance wise and I just love interacting with the crowd. There's just something about the energy and atmosphere of a live audience.”
With a guitar in one hand and a pen in the other, her goal is to inspire and heal fans through her deeply personal, yet charismatic music. Stay up to date by following Dakota on her website here.
Today's the day to watch the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards! Watch on CBS or stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8/7c. Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban will be co-hosting the show broadcasted from the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Mickey Guyton is the first African-American woman and the second African-American artist to host the show since Charley Pride co-hosted the show in 1984. Similar to the previous year ceremony, the show will consist of a combination of live and pre-recorded performances.
This year’s performers include a record number of four black artists. The full list of artists performing include: Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Ryan Hurd, Jack Ingram, Alan Jackson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Lady A, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Jon Randall, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, The War and Treaty, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, CeCe Winans, and Chris Young.
1. Mickey Guyton was the first solo female Black artist to perform at the ACM Awards in 2020
2. At the age of 21, Taylor Swift became the youngest Entertainer of the Year winner
3. Miranda Lambert holds the record for most ACM wins
4. Carrie Underwood is the only female artist to win three Entertainer of the Year awards
5. Only eight women have won the Entertainer of The Year trophy: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, The Chicks, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift
6. Bonnie Owens was the first female in 1966 to win Female Vocalist of the Year
7. Loretta Lynn was the first female in 1976 to win Entertainer of the Year
8. Donna Fargo was the first female in 1973 to win Song of the Year with her hit, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA”
9. Loretta Lynn was the first female to co-host the ceremony in 1975 alongside Roger Miller
10. Dolly Parton was the first female to be a solo host in 2000 at the 35th ACM’s
Country duo, Honey County, is honoring mothers and all that they give with their anthem “Got It From My Mama.” Hazel eyes, Levi’s jeans and why they dream big with their hearts on their sleeves are just a few of the highlights in this lyrical bouquet Dani Rose and Sofie Lynn are gifting just in time for Mother’s Day. All while staying true to Honey County’s signature Southern Cali-country harmonies, this song gives generations of women the chance to reminisce and honor all of the mothers in their lives who give so much. This song, written by the duo and co-writers Kalie Shorr, Hillary Reynolds and producer Maks Gabriel, gives homage to all of the qualities about mothers that can’t be bought, replaced and, if we are lucky, that we might just recognize in ourselves. Listening to “Got It From My Mama” might prompt you to call up the mother figure in your life and tell her how much you love and appreciate all that she does.
Friday morning, they will premiere “Got It From My Mama” on Instagram Live with Los Angeles' KKGO Go Country 105 and are hitting the road for live shows very soon. They will finally be back on stage at Whiskey Jam in Nashville on April 29, Keno’s in Anaheim, Calif. on May 1 and Stoney’s Rockin' Country in Las Vegas, Nev. on May 7 and 8 with Kalie Shorr for a special Mother's Day weekend performance. They can’t wait to get back to their fans and watch them give these new songs even more life.
“In the unknown COVID world, I had no idea when I was going to be able to see my mom at home in Virginia and I missed her so much. Writing this song was a way that I could connect with her from 2500 miles away. We brought the idea to our favorite collaborators Kalie Shorr, Hillary Reynolds and Maks Gabriel and when we were finished, we knew we had something really special,” said Dani Rose.
“The day I played 'Got It From My Mama' for my mom, I remember her tearing up from reminiscing on times with my grandma. What I believe is so special about this song, is how even though many of the lyrics are personal to me, hazel eyes and our matching tattoos, people seem to find their own memories and experiences in it with their moms. When we play it live, there is an overwhelming sense of joyous nostalgia mixed with immense gratitude for the superheroes on earth that we call mom,” said Sofie Lynn.
With this release, following their last single “Love Hangover,” Dani and Sofie add another anthem with their signature blend of contemporary country and timeless pop influences to their set list. With a tease of the single garnishing over 100,000 views on TikTok in its first weekend, fans have already been using it in video tributes for their own mothers.
Emma Jo sings her truth. The Kansas City, Missouri artist has released her latest song titled “Queen of the Silver Lining”, you can find that here. Jo wrote “Queen of the Silver Lining” several months ago, as she knew she “was about to go through a season of change in my life – the kind of change that can be scary, overwhelming, and even devastating.” but she persevered and kept telling herself “that even after all I’ve been through in the past several years, I’m still standing and, really, I’m thriving. I thought it would be fun to write a song about a person who never has any good luck but is always positive that something good is just around the corner.” Jo also reflects on her inspiration which includes rock legend Bruce Springsteen, country music royalty Dolly Parton, along with the iconic Emmylou Harris.
When growing up, Emma Jo was surrounded by music from her parents, who listened to a lot of country music and my dad favored classic rock—and I loved it all!” The Queen of the Silver Lining always “loved singing and dancing for people and hit a real stage for the first time when I was 4. I also loved writing, so it didn’t take me long to get the idea that I should write songs.” Jo gives credit to her career to her dad when he bought her a guitar and “took me to a Bruce Springsteen concert when I was 11. Everything changed after that as I realized artists can create things that bring meaning to people’s lives. I’ve been writing and recording music ever since”.
For Emma Jo, “when it’s done right, country music is truth and real life itself.” Jo has been working with Matt Richards from the Avenue Record Company. “He’s contributed so much to my sound and I am supremely grateful for his guidance and his talent as a producer and engineer.'' After the incredibly hard year that everyone has gone through, Emma Jo describes the past year as “Resilience. That’s what “Queen of the Silver Lining” is about, and it’s been the guiding aspiration of my life for the past few years”. Her favorite part about being a country artist? “there’s no limit to how many rhinestones you can wear”.
You can find Emma Jo and her music on all digital platforms and across social media @voxprincess on Instagram and Twitter.
Author: Charles Hacker
Mickey Guyton and Dierks Bentley preview the 56th annual ACM Awards on The Nashville Countdown via Apple Music Country. The two discuss the importance of seeing women in influential roles in music and reconnect over their first time meeting at the White House performing for former president Barack Obama. They also discuss their love for Breland, LeAnn Rimes, and Dolly Parton. Mickey talks about her experience on the ACM diversity task force, and that “things are changing” for women and BIPOC in country music.