About Us

Who We Are

Country Now (CountryNow.com) is a trusted source for country music news. Established in June of 2019, Country Now has become a go-to online destination for country music enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.

We offer comprehensive coverage of the country music genre with breaking news, exclusive artist interviews, lifestyle content, and much more. We share news about new music, tours, industry events, and the culture surrounding country music.

Country Now has been referenced by various publications, including People, Fox News, NBC, US Weekly, NPR, and many others.

Our Mission

Our dedication lies in featuring both established stars in the genre and emerging artists on the rise. We keep fans up to date on country music’s biggest events, including the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards, as well as festivals such as CMA Fest. We also report on what’s happening in Nashville, Tennessee – the home of country music. 

Our Editorial Policy

Country Now is dedicated to reporting factual information. While we strive to report the news quickly, our number one priority is to share accurate information. If corrections are ever needed, they will be made promptly and time stamps will be provided.

Our content is crafted by authors who have vast knowledge of country music and its artists. We are here to inform and we will always report the truth.    

We will always fact-check the information we report and cite sources when necessary.

Meet Our Team

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black


Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint.   

Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida.

Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi.

Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others.

Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

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Madeleine O'Connell

Madeleine O’Connell

Staff Writer

Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast.

In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country.

Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

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Melanie Rooten

Melanie Rooten


Melanie Rooten has been writing for Country Now and Music Mayhem since August of 2023. Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, she graduated from Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma in 2023 with a BA in Journalism.

During her free time, she loves going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite TV shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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Nicole Palsa

Nicole Palsa


Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale.

Palsa has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French.

In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.

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Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge


Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music.

Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Music Mayhem, Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including The Voice and American Idol, which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more.

Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Contact Us

If you’d like to contact Country Now with a question or comment, please reach out via email at contactus@countrynow.com.

By Mail:

Country Now LLC
PO BOX 280273
Nashville, TN 37228-9998