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Warner NashvilleFrankie Ballard will hand out the very first, personally autographed copies of El Rio Thursday, June 9 at his official album release party. The CMA Music Festival-week event will kick off at 11 p.m. that night at Nashville event space aVenue, on the eve of the project’s release in stores and online.

As a hardcore audiophile himself, the “It All Started with a Beer” hitmaker admits he took it especially seriously when he traveled to the Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, to create his latest offering.

“I’ve always been a guy who counts on music. I rely on it. And I’ve noticed there are a lot of other people that are like that,” he says. “Now that I have the opportunity to make this album and say something, I know I have a responsibility to those people who are counting on a good album to listen and to live their lives by. And I wanted to dig in as hard as I could and take every bit of knowledge and influence and everything else I’ve put into my music and try to put it all into this album.”

The Michigander stops by the Today show Tuesday, June 14 to promote El Rio. You can catch his performance sometime after 7 a.m. that day on NBC.

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Capitol NashvilleEven though Dierks Bentley’s new album takes its title, Black, from his wife Cassidy’s maiden name, the “Somewhere on a Beach” singer ended up with no less than five other women on the record. He recalls it all started quite accidentally with a mysterious voice on a demo.

“You know, it wasn't a conscious decision to have that many women on the record. If I'd have been smart enough, I would've thought about that to begin with,” he jokes. “It happened really organically with a song called 'I'll Be the Moon.' I loved that song and I loved the female voice on that song, and I wanted to get her on the record -- whoever she was. And it turns out it was Maren Morris.”

Dierks eventually changed the song slightly so he could duet with the “My Church” newcomer.

“I should've asked permission, but I just tweaked the second verse, so she could actually be more than just background vocals, so she could actually come in and take a verse and be more of the conversation and really make the song a dialogue. She was awesome. She did it, in my mind just elevated the song and made it so much more interesting, and it was already one of my favorite songs.”

From there, the Arizona native asked songwriters Natalie Hemby, Jessi Alexander and Hillary Lindsey to contribute background vocals to the tracks they’d written -- but that wound up not being enough.

“You know [with] the record really taking [on] this whole relationship kinda theme, it really just ended up kinda organically working itself out. But then once I realized I had this thing going on, I kinda cranked Jessi's and Hillary's and Natalie's voice up in the mix and made it more of a featured part of the track.”

The album’s remaining prominent female voice is mainstream hitmaker Elle King, who’s featured on Dierks’ new single, “Different for Girls.” Black is new in stores and online today.

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Comstock/Thinkstock This weekend, Dolly Parton celebrates the 50th anniversary of her wedding to Carl Dean in 1966. The following year, she scored her first top-25 hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart, with a song that referenced both her hair color and her intelligence. Can you name it? ANSWER:  "Dumb Blonde."

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Blake Shelton performed "Savior's Shadow" from his new album If I'm Honest Thursday night on NBC's Red Nose Day Special.

Dustin Lynch, who's enjoying his current #1 "Mind Reader," kicks off Fox & Friends' Summer Concert Series Friday morning, starting at 7 a.m. ET.

Dan Shay's single "19 You Me" was recently certified platinum by the RIAA, while their #1 "Nothin' Like You" has gone gold.

Martina McBride performs a song from her new album Reckless Friday on The View. You can check it out at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.

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Arista NashvilleIf you’d like to look like Carrie Underwood -- well, get ready to do some work! The “Church Bells” singer admits she works out for 90 minutes a day as many as six times a week in her gym she takes on the road, while maintaining her strict vegan diet. And even when she’s out for a run, she’s likely to up the ante.

“I like squats, lunges,” she tells Us Weekly. “If I go for a jog and I meet up with a good hill, I will lunge up the hill and that will burn them out,” she says, referring to her admirable gams.

You can check out the results of Carrie’s hard work and dedication on the cover of the magazine’s new Best Bodies issue, which is on newsstands now. “I feel much better now at 33 than I did when I was 20,” she adds, “because I take better care of myself.”

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Trae Patton/NBC"Red Nose Day," a two-hour live event designed to raise money for charity organizations that focus on helping children and young people in the U.S. and around the world lift themselves out of poverty, aired Thursday night on NBC.

The star-studded event included a performance from Blake Shelton, who performed "Savior's Shadow."

The telecast also featured celebrities from film and TV, including Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Jack Black, Julianne Moore, and Emma Thompson. It was hosted by Craig Ferguson.

"Red Nose Day," which began in the U.K. 30 years ago, benefits 12 charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the National Urban League, Save the Children, and United Way.

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CTK Mgmt/Dolly Records/Webster PROn May 30, Dolly Parton will celebrate fifty years of marriage to one of the most elusive husbands in all of show business. The entertainment icon has often told the story of how Carl Dean vowed to stay out of the spotlight after attending one music business event with his world-famous wife early in her career. In the coming days, he’ll make an exception though -- as Dolly and Carl renew their vows on their golden anniversary.

“My husband is the worst!” Dolly jokes. “It's hard for me to make him do anything. I have to make him go to the dentist, I have to make him go to the doctor. I have to make him get new clothes. I go get 'em and [he says] 'I don't like that... my feet are too long... I don't like those socks.' I said, 'Well, we're going shopping for a wedding suit and I don't want to hear nothin' about it!' So anyway, we've got him all suited up, so he liked the suit.”

The “I Will Always Love You” composer says she’s excited about the ceremony, since she never really got to have a wedding. When Dolly and Carl tied the knot back in 1966, she’d just signed her first recording contract and promised her label she’d wait to marry. So the young couple fled to a church in Ringgold, Georgia, where they tied the knot in secret, with Dolly’s mother as a witness.

“He don't like to do this kind of thing as a rule,” she says of Carl, “but he's like me, he's proud we've made it 50 years. We've been together 52 years. We dated two years and then we got married, so anyway, we're gonna do it. He said he would, so he better -- or it won't last another year!” she jokes.  

There’s a possibility the world may get its best look ever at the mysterious Carl Dean after the anniversary, as Dolly’s planning to sell the photos to raise money for her nonprofit that sends books to children all over the world, the Imagination Library.  

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Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley is teaming up with Elle King for the second single from his new album, Black.

Though you may not be familiar with the hot new singer’s name, chances are you’ve heard her recent smash, “Ex’s & Oh’s.” She also happens to be the daughter of comic Rob Schneider from Saturday Night Live and Deuce Bigalow:  Male Gigolo. Dierks says being a father himself is part of what drew him to “Different for Girls.”

“The differences in how guys and girls deal with a broken heart is really interesting material to me. Having two daughters certainly has changed the way I see the world and what they have ahead. What I love about Elle being on this record, beside her uniquely powerful but vulnerable voice, is that she’s a total bada**. Having her perspective really helps tell the complete story.”

Even though the song is the pair’s first collaboration, it’s clear the two have a bit of a mutual admiration society going.

“I get a little shy when I’m asked to sing other people’s songs,” Elle confesses, “let alone a duet with one of the biggest country stars in the world. Our voices blended really well together. Since I often write from the male perspective, I was really excited to be a part of someone else’s story that is jumping outside of the norm for a relationship song. The lyrics are really smart and I love that he is bringing a lot of attitude to modern country music.”

You’ll be able to download “Different for Girls” on Friday, the same day Dierks’ new album comes out.

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CMTIt’ll be a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, as Cam teams up with vocal group Fifth Harmony for a performance at the 2016 CMT Music Awards. They’ll do an all-girl mashup of “Mayday,” along with the number one pop smash, “Work from Home.”

Dancing with the Stars’ Erin Andrews returns for the second year as the show’s host, along with the Houston Texans’ J. J. Watt, who’s being promoted from his presenter gig last year. Newly booked to pass out trophies in 2016 are Charles KelleyCole SwindellDan ShayKellie Pickler, actor Vince Vaughn, and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.

Blake SheltonChris Stapleton, Florida Georgia LineKeith UrbanBrett EldredgeMaren MorrisLuke BryanJason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett are all set to sing, with more performers to be announced soon.

The 2016 CMT Music Awards air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Wednesday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET.

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ABC RadioA week before he kicks off his Ripcord World Tour next Thursday in Kansas City, Keith Urban gave a select audience a preview of his two-hour-plus-show Wednesday afternoon at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Clad all in grey, from jean jacket to T-shirt to torn jeans, the Aussie superstar blazed through a mini-version of his set, starting just as his album Ripcord does, playing ganjo on “Gone Tomorrow (Here Today).” He plans to do nine songs from the chart-topping record, including his duet with Carrie Underwood, “Fighter,” and his collaboration with Pitbull on “Sun Don’t Let Me Down.” The American Idol winner will join him via videotape, except during his December trek “Down Under,” where she’ll be with him in person. Keith wasn’t quite ready to reveal how the Miami rapper will materialize.

An eye-catching motion lights package makes way for a super-widescreen display at the back of the stage, where images like the ones from the “Wasted Time” video can fill the space. Keith’s set also features a second smaller stage, where he revealed tourmate Brett Eldredge will join him for a song. Newcomer Maren Morris will sing the Miranda Lambert part on “We Were Us” each night.  

“I can remember lyrics from songs I haven’t sung in a decade, but I lose my car keys like that!” he joked after delivering an impromptu request for the song “Homespun Love,” recorded by his band The Ranch back in 1997.

While that tune may not often make the list, Keith offered up a blistering version of “Where the Blacktop Ends” as an example of how he’s tweaked the sound of some of his biggest hits to match the energy of the new material.  Given the fact that he has 36 top tens to choose from and many of his fans attend more than one show, he plans to swap out his hits from night to night.

Keith officially pulls the Ripcord June 2 in Kansas City, Missouri, before continuing on to St. Louis and Indianapolis on his opening weekend.

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Comstock/Thinkstock Not only has Brad Paisley hosted the CMA Awards eight times, he’s also number three on the list of folks who’ve taken home the most trophies. Can you guess how many he’s won? ANSWER:  14.

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ABC Wednesday night on the series finale of NashvilleLayla Grant finally pushed it too far. Avery Barkley realized his new girlfriend had lied to him, all the while manipulating circumstances to torture his ex-wife Juliette Barnes over the death of her manager Jeff Fordham.

Avery broke it off with Layla. Juliette came clean to the world about Jeff’s demise -- he’d fallen to his death while keeping her from committing suicide. Avery immediately reached out to comfort Juliette, making a reconciliation between the two seem imminent.

Determined to finally speak out against the conservative pundit who’d been bad-mouthing him, Will Lexington joined forces with his ex-boyfriend Kevin Bicks to stage a rally outside the studio where she taped her show. When a hate group seemed to be drowning them out, Luke Wheeler delivered a pop-up stage complete with a sound system and Will and the gang started to play. After the TV commentator finally invited him on her show, Will stated his position eloquently, standing up for the gay community as a whole. Having triumphed over his fear, Will learned that Kevin was single again.

Scarlett O’Connor found the courage to once again tell Gunnar Scott she loved him, but it seemed to come too late, as Autumn Chase flaunted their newfound romance. But this time Scarlett wouldn’t be deterred, restating her point with Gunnar, who eventually kissed her onstage. The Exes were instantly fired from the Autumn Chase tour.

While in New York City for a benefit, Rayna Jaymes was horrified to learn her daughter Maddie was working with the same producer who’d tried to take advantage of her years earlier. With no other way to get in touch with her estranged daughter even though they were in the same city, Rayna wrote an open letter to the teen about the dangerous situation she was in, which The Huffington Post agreed to publish. Maddie read it just as the creep was advancing toward her. Her father Deacon Claybourne rushed in to whisk her away just in time.

In the end, all was restored for Rayna, Deacon, Maddie and Daphne. The family marched arm-in-arm, headed for the plane to fly home to Nashville.

But the same couldn’t be said for Juliette Barnes. In the final scene of ABC’s Nashville, Avery and Cadence are left waiting at the airport. Juliette’s plane has disappeared from the radar and can’t be found.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Lee Greenwood's patriotic anthem "God Bless the U.S.A." is one of the songs immortalized as part of Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke and a Song" campaign. You'll be able to spot the lyric "I'm proud to be an American" on special new red, white and blue cans of Coke.

The favorite sons of Ft. Payne, Alabama, will be honored with the new exhibit "Alabama:  Born Country" at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It opens August 25 and runs through June of next year.

Dierks Bentley guests on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, starting at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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ABC/Image Group LAIn what could be one of the final pieces of fall-out from Miranda Lambert’s divorce from Blake Shelton last July, her boutique The Pink Pistol is closing its doors in the town where the two lived together -- Tishomingo, Oklahoma. At the same time, the sister store in the “Automatic” hitmaker’s hometown is expanding and moving to a larger location.

Miranda says it’s been a longtime goal to have all her non-musical endeavors headquartered in the Texas town where she grew up and her parents still live. Her MuttNation Foundation, which she founded with her mom, is also based there.

“It feels full circle to have everything under one ‘roof’ basically where it all began in my hometown of Lindale. I want to send a heartfelt thank you to all the employees who worked hard to help me bring the store in Tishomingo to life… Sometimes you need to close a chapter to build on a new beginning or go back home,” she adds.

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CMTCharles Kelley and Rob Thomas sing both their solo tunes as well as their group hits, as the two front men team up for a new episode of CMT Crossroads.

The two pair up and trade vocals on everything from Lady Antebellum’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “We Owned the Night” to Matchbox 20’s “3 AM,”  from Charles’ latest single “Lonely Girl” to Rob’s “Lonely No More” and “This Is How a Heart Breaks.”

CMT Crossroads:  Rob Thomas and Charles Kelley premieres Friday, July 1 at 10 p.m. ET. You can preview the pair’s collaboration on “Lonely No More” online now.

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ABC/Mark LevineNashville’s Charles Esten is definitely team Opry. The actor-turned-fictional country singer was presented with his official jersey for this year’s City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game last weekend during his performance on the Grand Ole Opry.

His co-star Jonathan JacksonVince GillLauren AlainaChris LaneLOCASHScotty McCreeryDavid NailJake Owen, and Bret Michaels are just some of the folks who’ll be his teammates and adversaries during the June 7 game. The matchup at Nashville’s First Tennessee Park raises money to fight cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Nashville wraps up its run on ABC Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET, with the episode titled “Maybe You’ll Appreciate Me Someday.”

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Bob D'Amico/ABCIt’s a celebration half a century in the making. This fall, the Country Music Association marks a milestone as it passes out its yearly trophies November 2 in Nashville. The 50th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Bridgestone Arena the first Wednesday in November starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Tuesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Brad Paisley announced he and Carrie Underwood will return as the hosts for Country Music’s Biggest Night for the ninth year in a row.

“Carrie and I have certainly hit our stride in terms of balancing humor and a genuine respect for the nominees and winners,” he reflects. “This year the stakes are higher than ever as we honor the legacy and traditions of the past 50 years. We will give it everything we've got.”

“Of course we have fun up there,” Carrie adds, “but we take the responsibility of honoring the best artists in the format and shining a positive light on country music very seriously. And this year, the bar will be even higher as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary… I can’t wait.”

Vince Gill still holds the record for the longest streak as CMA host, helming the show for a dozen years from 1992 to 2003. You can check out a highlight reel from half a century of CMA Awards on YouTube now.

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CMTThe electric energy that kept fans on their feet during a recent Friday evening taping in Nashville will make its way to the small screen next month, as the episode of Crossroads that pairs Thomas Rhett with Nick Jonas airs on CMT.

The dynamic duo powers through TR’s hits “T-Shirt,” “Die a Happy Man,” “Crash and Burn” and “Make Me Wanna,” while also taking on “Chains,” “Jealous,” “Close” and “Chainsaw” from Nick’s catalog. John Oates makes it a trio, joining the pair for a new version of the Hall & Oates classic “Rich Girl.”

CMT Crossroads:  Nick Jonas and Thomas Rhett premieres Friday, June 24 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT. You can check out a clip of the two performing “Jealous” online now.

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Comstock/Thinkstock This American Horror Story legend was nominated for the 1985 Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams. Can you name her? ANSWER:  Jessica Lange.

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Mark Horton/WireImageBrad Paisley made some news on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night.

First, he give Kimmel a full-throated endorsement of the chat show host's run for Vice President of the United States -- even wearing a campaign t-shirt to prove his loyalty. 

Paisley also sang a song poking fun of the North Carolina bathroom controversy set to Tammy Wynette's classic "Stand By Your Man." Sample: "Sit by your man/Why is this such a big deal/Just hike up your dress and take a stand!"

Paisley confirmed that he and Carrie Underwood will host November's Country Music Awards, which would bring their total number of team-ups to 11 -- two shy of Vince Gill's hosting record of 13. "Vince Gill is going to be furious at this news," Kimmel quipped. 

Finally, Brad closed out the show by performing "Without a Fight," his new duet with Demi Lovato. The country star said Demi cut her teeth "singing Billy Gilman at a rodeo in Texas," and it took just "four days" from the time they spoke about collaborating, to the song being cut.

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