Jett Holden, a Black, gay country artist, finally finds a home at Black Opry Records

Jul 10, 2024
When Beyoncé conquered Billboard’s top country albums chart with Cowboy Carter, it threw a brighter spotlight on other Black artists who’ve been shut out of country success — including Holden.
Country musician Jett Holden at the CMA Fest 2024 in June in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

New Tennessee law aims to protect musicians from generative AI

Mar 28, 2024
Tennessee, home to the capital of country music, became the first state to target the unauthorized use of AI to replicate musicians’ voices.
Country music artist Luke Bryan speaks during the signing of Tennessee's ELVIS Act in Nashville on March 21.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Human Artistry Campaign

If a worker dies on the job, many states limit surviving spouse workers' compensation

Jul 20, 2023
For example, if a widow or widower chooses to remarry, they may no longer receive compensation.
 In Tennessee, lawmakers recently passed legislation to amend workers' compensation laws, making the state more favorable for surviving spouses.
AndreyPopov/Getty Images

The past, present and future of “Hard Bargain” Tennessee

Jul 4, 2023
A historic home in Franklin, Tennessee, serves as a monument to generational sacrifice.
A plaque outside the McLemore home in Franklin, Tennessee tells the story of “Hard Bargain.
Courtesy of the Hard Bargain Association

The whiskey drinking boom is causing a "whiskey fungus" boom

Jun 19, 2023
The mysterious mold is spreading in a rural Tennessee town near the expanding Jack Daniel’s operation.
Patrick Long examines a bush covered in “whiskey fungus.” He says the growth of the organism is damaging the grounds of his business, a wedding venue in Tennessee.
Caroline Eggers/Nashville Public Radio

The future is uncertain for Tennessee drag artists

In about a week we’ll learn what becomes of Tennessee’s anti-drag legislation. The law, which aims to heavily restrict drag performances in the state, has been stalled in a legal battle over free speech protections. But what has news of the law meant for the business of drag? For Cameron Wade, an HR generalist and […]
Cameron Wade, also known as Justine Van de Blair, shares what life has been like following the news of Tennessee's anti-drag law.
Cody Stallings

Tennessee’s new anti-drag law comes with economic costs

Mar 31, 2023
The bill’s vague language is making drag queens, businesses and festivals apprehensive about future performances.
“Our performers don't perform or do anything that's considered lewd or obscene," said Josh Cloud, owner of the Big Drag Bus. "But the definition of obscene or lewd is up for debate.”
Courtesy Tyler Shields

For public good, not for profit.

Why Tennessee is turning down millions of federal dollars for HIV prevention

Feb 3, 2023
State officials said they will instead use state funds they can control, including cutting out organizations tied to abortion care.
State officials spurned around $8 million in federal funding, saying they will instead use state funds that can be directly controlled — and denied to organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

To make the most of a new Ford electric truck plant, Tennessee neighbors need sewer help

Dec 21, 2022
Ford needed a sewer line to build its $5.6 billion plant in Tennessee. But neighboring communities now have to build their own wastewater system to accommodate new residents who come for the new plant jobs.
The town of Mason has its own utility system including water and sewer. Utilities have been the most difficult hurdle to overcome in developing the West Tennessee megasite.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

They cleaned the U.S.' largest coal ash spill; many have died waiting for compensation

Sep 26, 2022
Coal ash contains a slew of toxic elements. The Tennessee Supreme Court is weighing the latest effort to block the workers’ cases.
In December 2008, more than 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash were released from a holding pond at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman, Tennessee.
Lily Jamali/Marketplace