The country music world is mourning the loss of another icon.  The legendary Merle Haggard passed away earlier today on what is his 79th birthday.  Merle has been in declining health over the last several months cancelling tour dates while battling pneumonia, the eventual cause of his death.  Merle’s career spanned some six decades with his biggest success coming in the late 1960’s through the mid 1970’s!  Over the course of his career, Merle became known as “the poet of the common man” and compiled a storehouse of 90 chart hits, 70 of which were Top 10 and 37 of those reached #1.

The Country Music Association is putting a classic twist on this year’s CMA Music Festival, with the latest round of additions to the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium.  Country Music Hall of Famers the Oak Ridge Boys join this year’s inductee Charlie Daniels on the Thursday-night lineup, with Clint Black joining the list of Friday performers. Saturday, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Marshall Tucker Band take the stage, with funnyman Ray Stevens and Exile set to play Sunday.  This year’s edition of the festival formerly known as Fan Fair is June 9-12 in Nashville. While the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium have been sold out for some time, the shows on the Riverfront are free.

Lee Brice recently turned his hit song “I Drive Your Truck” into more than just a song this weekend in Las Vegas. A woman named Ginger Ravella wanted to reunite her sons with her late husband Troy’s long-lost truck that he traded in for a new one about a month before he found out he was deploying. Lee managed to find the 1992 Chevy Silverado pickup, buy it, and have it shipped to Las Vegas and Saturday night at the ACM Festival for a cause, he invited Ginger and her sons onstage and gave them the keys. He also donated $40,000 to Folds of Honor, a non-profit that gives educational support to the families of the fallen and the wounded.

You can relive the emotional moment here!: