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CMAIf you didn’t score tickets to CMA Music Festival’s big nightly concerts at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium this year, the Country Music Association is offering you a free alternative for the first time ever.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of CMA week, the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage will take over Ascend Amphitheater on the Riverfront in Music City.

Big & RichDeana CarterBilly Ray CyrusThe Oak Ridge Boys and others kick off the first night. On Friday, it’s Ladies of Country night with Sara EvansKellie PicklerDanielle BradburyAubrie Sellers and more. Dan ShayHunter HayesHigh Valley, and RaeLynn are just part of the Saturday night party.

CMA Music Festival takes over downtown Nashville June 8-11 this summer. As part of the festivities, Cracker Barrel is also bringing 644 rocking chairs to Music City, one for each of their restaurants in the U.S. If festival-goers rock at least 150,000 times, the comfort-food chain has promised to donate $15,000 to the CMA Foundation.  

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ABC/Image Group LAMemorial Day is less than a week away, and Brad Paisley is hoping you’ll help him say thank you to America’s men and women who serve.

From now through next Monday, for every copy of Brad’s new Love and War album that’s sold on his website, he’ll donate another disc to a current member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a veteran.

This Saturday on tour, Brad marked Armed Services Day by calling local members of the military onstage during his performance of the record’s title track, which addresses how America’s military are treated once they return home from a conflict.

“Thankful for the ones who have served and continue to serve our country,” Brad shared later on his socials.

In all, more than 40,000 fans turned out for the first three dates of the 2017 Weekend Warrior trek. Brad hits the road again on June 16, with tour mates Dustin LynchChase Bryant and Lindsay Ell.

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Thankful for the ones who have served and continue to serve our country. #ArmedForcesDay pic.twitter.com/1i2uwtCW7T

— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) May 21, 2017

 



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ABC RadioFans who turned out to see Little Big Town this weekend at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium got a whole lot more than they bargained for.

In addition to performing their hits and tracks from their new album The Breaker, the reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year surprised their sold-out audiences with a stellar lineup of special guests.

On Friday, bluegrass superstar Alison Krauss and pop sensation Tori Kelly took the stage, while four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan and 2001 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Lee Ann Womack stopped by the next night. Saturday’s crowd also got to see a performance by Little Big Kids, the offspring of Kimberly SchlapmanPhillip Sweet, and Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook.

Your next chance to check out “Little Big Town at the Mother Church” during their residency celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Ryman comes the weekend of July 28.

Meanwhile, you can catch LBT Tuesday night on the season finale of The Voice, starting at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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BMLGRascal Flatts is headed back to Sin City for a limited-run residency this October.

The “Yours If You Want It” hitmakers will play eight shows at the 1,800-seat Venetian Theatre at The Venetian Las Vegas.

“Vegas just keeps pulling us back,” lead singer Gary LeVox says. “Our previous two residencies were such an amazing experience and opportunity to connect with our fans on a more intimate level. I think moving over to The Venetian will provide a totally different setting and fan experience that we’re really excited about!”

For the past two years, the trio has played The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Tickets for Rascal Flatts’ Venetian residency go on sale to the public on Friday, June 2, with fan club pre-sales already underway.

Here are the dates for “Rascal Flatts -- A Night to Shine”: October 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21.

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCBlake Shelton took home the Top Country Artist honor at Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards, and the Oklahoma native knows exactly whom to thank.

“I know this award is based on streaming and record sales and ticket sales and that all happens because of the fans,” he says. “So I consider this a fan-voted award and I couldn’t be more thankful and happy.”

In his acceptance speech,  Blake remarked he already felt like the luckiest guy in the room, since his girlfriend Gwen Stefani was with him.

Blake’s next awards show appearance happens next month at the CMT Music Awards, where he’ll sing his current top-10 hit, “Every Time I Hear That Song.”

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ABC/Rick RowellLee Brice’s self-titled fourth studio album will arrive November 3, and the soon-to-be father of three reveals there are multiple reasons he chose “Boy” as the lead single.

“First, Sara and I have two sons, Takoda and Ryker,” Lee says. “This song is a tribute to them. It’s my way of saying how proud I am to be their dad.”

Takoda is nine and Ryker is three, and both are about to become big brothers.

“The second reason,” Lee goes on, “is because, coincidentally, we have a daughter on the way in a couple of weeks and we wanted to share this song for our boys before she arrived.”

You can check out Lee’s moving music video for “Boy” on YouTube.

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Comstock/Thinkstock Lee Brice co-wrote this #1 from 2011 for the Eli Young Band. Can you name it? ANSWER:  "Crazy Girl."

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Courtesy Dick Clark ProductionsAt the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night in Las Vegas, Florida Georgia Line won the award for Top Country Song for "H.O.L.Y." and also performed with John Legend.  Performing with artists outside their genre is nothing new for FGL -- they've collaborated with Nelly, The Chainsmokers and The Backstreet Boys too. And, it seems, more collabos are coming.

Backstage,  FGL's Brian Kelley told ABC Radio why their music seems to work with many different genres. 

"Our influences are kinda all over, they always have been," he explained. "We try to keep an open mind and work hard and always expand our knowledge of music, and what's current, and what feels good and what sounds right.  We got a couple more collaborations coming, can't really talk about 'em, but we're gonna keep droppin' 'em on the world!"

His partner Tyler Hubbard, meanwhile, talked about how meaningful it is that they won an award for "H.O.L.Y."

"It's really special.  That's been a special song ever since the first time we heard it," he told ABC Radio. "So to be able to celebrate that tonight at the Billboards and to be able to perform it with John was a really special night for B.K. and I both, and something we're gonna take home and never forget."

Florida Georgia Line will perform on ABC this Friday as part of Good Morning America's summer concert series, and they're bringing their pal and tourmate Nelly along for the fun.

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ABC/Image Group LA Chris Janson is hoping his new single, “Fix a Drink,” is one you’ll have on repeat this summer.

Ironically, the infectious tune came to life during a session where the “Buy Me a Boat” hitmaker and songwriter Chris DuBois just weren’t getting anywhere.

“[We] were sitting on the back porch… smoking cigars, drinking Mt. Dews and we were working on a song and trying to woodshed one out…” Janson recalls. “And he goes, 'Hey man, screw this. I got something!'”

“And he… played me a little snippet of what they had. All they had literally was 'I can fix a drink,’” Chris says, singing the song’s hook. “Half of it was mumbling, and I went 'Oh my God, that's smash! I just love it!'"

One of the reasons Chris loves “Fix a Drink” so much is that it bears a certain similarity to the song that put him on the map.

“With 'Buy Me a Boat'… when every country audience that you play for, they're like, 'Oh, I know that song.' And even people who don't know my face know the song. It's crazy,” he says of the reaction to his chart-topper from 2015.

“And I remember how cool that felt having a song like that, and a song that organically grew like 'Buy Me a Boat.' And I kinda just had the notion that 'Fix a Drink' may be that sort of song.”

The five-song Fix a Drink EP comes out June 9, with Chris’s sophomore album to follow later this year.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Garth Brooks will play four shows at the Forum in Los Angeles starting July 21. He and wife Trisha Yearwood will do Friday and Saturday concerts during the last two weekends of July.  

Gary Allan’s new single, “Mess Me Up,” is available to stream or download now.

Billy Ray Cyrus continues to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Achy Breaky Heart” with an appearance on NBC’s Today show next Thursday. You can also download a new reggae take on the song that features Latin star Jencarlos Canela.

Martina McBride will be honored with the 2017 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award Wednesday, June 21 at the Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards in Nashville.

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Courtesy Dick Clark ProductionsIf you're a Florida Georgia Line fan, you won't want to miss Sunday's Billboard Music Awards.

In addition to being the most-nominated country act with six nods, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are set to perform with John Legend. They'll do a mash-up of their nominated song “H.O.L.Y.,” along with the Oscar-winning R&B singer/songwriter's current single "Surefire." 

Even though he's not among this year's nominees, Sam Hunt will take the stage to sing his chart-topping hit, "Body Like a Back Road." It's his first major TV appearance since getting married last month. Ironically, he performed the same song at the same venue in early April at the ACM Awards, while serenading his now-wife Hannah Lee Fowler.

You can catch The 2017 Billboard Music Awards Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, as the show airs live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Here are the nominees in the country categories:

Top Country Artist
Florida Georgia Line
Blake Shelton
Keith Urban
Chris Stapleton
Jason Aldean

Top Country Tour
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Dixie Chicks

Top Country Album
Jason Aldean -- They Don’t Know
Florida Georgia Line -- Dig Your Roots
Blake Shelton --  If I’m Honest
Chris Stapleton -- Traveller
Keith Urban -- Ripcord

Top Country Song
Kenny Chesney featuring P!NK -- “Setting the World on Fire”
Florida Georgia Line  -- “H.O.L.Y.”
Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw -- “May We All”
Little Big Town -- “Better Man”
Keith Urban -- “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

Top Country Collaboration
Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King -- “Different for Girls”
Kenny Chesney featuring P!NK -- “Setting the World on Fire”
Eric Church featuring Rhiannon Giddens -- “Kill a Word”
Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw -- “May We All”
Chris Young featuring Vince Gill -- “Sober Saturday Night"

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BBR Music GroupGranger Smith’s just-released single, “Happens Like That,” was written while he was on the road with Florida Georgia Line, and FGL’s Tyler Hubbard even has a co-writing credit on the song.

When Granger felt sure he’d hit on a good idea, the “Backroad Song” hitmaker reached out to Tyler to collaborate.

“I texted him, ‘We’re onto something,’ and about 20 seconds later he was coming in the bus door,” Granger tells People. “He puts his reading glasses on, studies what we’re saying, and immediately reverses a couple of words here and there, phrases something different and then we’re off to the races.”

You can check out the results of Granger and Tyler’s efforts in an audio-only YouTube clip. “Happens Like That” is available to stream or download now, and is the lead single from Granger’s new album, which is due in the fall.

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Brian Bowen Smith/NBCIf you can’t wait until next month to hear Shania Twain’s new single, well, it turns out you don’t have to.

“It’s been a longggg 15 years but the day has finally arrived!!” the Canadian superstar posted on her socials. “Incredibly excited to share a preview of my new single, ‘Life’s About to Get Good…’”

Shania included a one-minute clip of the lead single from her new album, which is due in September. The snippet of “Life’s About to Get Good” is part of a promo for the 2018 Winter Olympics on NBC.  

As she mentioned, the fall release will be Shania’s first since Up! came out in November of 2002. It’ll also be her first without her longtime producer and ex-husband Mutt Lange.

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Incredibly excited to share a preview of my new single 'Life's About To Get Good' - released next month! 😁💜 Thanks @nbcolympics pic.twitter.com/8r1J0lta17

— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) May 19, 2017

 

 



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ABC/Image Group LA Old Dominion’s music video for “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” just may be the coolest one ever, especially if you’re a child of the eighties or nineties. In the new clip, the five-man band transforms their music video into a video game.  

What begins as an ode to 1980s Atari morphs through several different levels as the guys literally navigate their way through the song. In the process, there’s an ode to a-ha’s 1985 “Take on Me” video, stand-up comedy, a presidential debate, a Michael Jackson glove and a whole lot more.

The elaborate production even finishes with post-song credits over a blooper reel, which concludes with a real-life proposal. You can check out OD’s mini-masterpiece on YouTube.

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ABC/Image Group LA If you’ve always wanted to be a “Playa Crasher,” you’ll get another chance to meet your goal in 2018.

That’s the nickname for fans who take part in Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa getaway in January, and next year, the party will take over Riviera Maya, Mexico for the fourth time.

The all-inclusive Caribbean vacation takes place January 17-20, and includes a star-studded concert every night. Two will be headlined by Luke, with more artists to be revealed soon.

“Kicking the year off on the beach with an amazing backdrop, good ol’ country music and watching the fans have the time of their life… yes I’m in!” the four-time Entertainer of the Year says.

Pre-sales start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, before opening up to the general public on Wednesday. You can find all the details at CrashMyPlaya.com, but you’d better hurry -- all three previous years have sold out.

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ABC/Image Group LA Next week will be a busy one for Lady Antebellum, but they’ve found time to squeeze in a little dancing -- Dancing with the Stars, that is.

The trio will perform their top-15 hit, “You Look Good,” Tuesday night as DWTS stars pros Witney CarsonHayley ErbertArtem Chigvintsev and Gleb Savchenko strut their stuff. You can catch the season finale Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Wednesday, Lady A will also lend their talents to ABC. You can hear them singing the classic “Hey Baby” on the soundtrack for the Dirty Dancing remake, which starts at 8 p.m. ET.

Then the real work begins. On Friday, Hillary ScottCharles Kelley and Dave Haywood set the You Look Good World Tour in motion in Bakersfield, California. Brett Young and Kelsea Ballerini will open.

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Comstock/Thinkstock What is Carrie Underwood's middle name? ANSWER:  Marie.

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John Russell/NHLI via Getty ImagesThese days, Nashville is more than a little obsessed with its hockey team’s most successful run ever toward the Stanley Cup. But if you’ve been keeping up with the Nashville Predators at all, you know the action on the ice is not the only reason to watch the games.

During the playoffs, the Preds have offered up an array of superstars to sing the national anthem, and Thursday night brought the biggest one yet. Nashville resident Kelly Clarkson showed off her impressive pipes with her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” making her the first non-country anthem singer, and the second American Idol winner to take on the task.

Appropriately, Carrie Underwood -- whose husband Mike Fisher plays for the Preds -- was the first.  Keith UrbanLittle Big TownLady Antebellum and Vince Gill have all taken their turn as well.

It’s worth mentioning that Kelly is not without some country cred. She scored a #1 hit in 2010 with “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean. You can check out her version of the national anthem at NHL.com.

She may not, however, be a lucky charm for the Preds, who lost to the Anaheim Ducks in overtime. Their fight for the Stanley Cup continues Saturday in Anaheim, California.  

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ABC/Image Group LAAdd another notch on Carrie Underwood's belt.

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that the singer will be inducted into the institution at a ceremony in Oklahoma City on November 16.

The event will be hosted by past inductees Vince Gill and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth.

“I’ve always been proud to say I’m from Oklahoma,” said Carrie in a statement. “The people, culture, and environment molded me into the person I am today. It’s such an honor to be recognized among such great company by the Oklahoma Hall of Fame!”

In addition to the induction ceremony, Carrie will have her portrait added to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, which houses the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

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BMLGFor Jay DeMarcusGary LeVox, and Joe Don Rooney, “Back to Us” is more than a song on Rascal Flatts’ tenth studio album. It became the obvious title for the project, after the trio did some serious soul-searching looking for a direction.

“We talked about everybody in the world coming in to do our record, and it really pissed me off,” Jay jokes, “because I really wanted to do it badly.”

“True story, actually!” Joe Don interjects.

“At the end of the day, I just felt like nobody knew our music better than we did,” Jay continues. “That was kind of my basis for my lobbying to get to do it. And [Big Machine CEO] Scott Borchetta finally came in… And he said, 'The magic pill is not another guy. The magic pill is the three of you when you're in a room together.'”

Building on that philosophy, the three hit on a strategy to follow-up their latest #1, “I Like the Sound of That.”

“We went in, we cut some things, and I think we all surprised each other at how great it was creating that way,” Jay recalls.

“And I think it just had a natural evolution to it…” he explains. “It just was so much fun, we did another track. And then we had fun doing that and we did another couple tracks. And then, all the sudden we looked around and we go, 'Shoot! We got a whole record here,’” he laughs.  

 The lead single from Back to Us, “Yours If You Want It,” is nearing country’s top 10. Back to Us is available both in stores and online today.

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