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Dustin Lynch, Eric Paslay and More Added to Luke Bryan's Crash My Playa Concert Event in Mexico


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleThe lineup for Luke Bryan's Crash My Playa country concert event in Riviera Maya, Mexico just got a boostm with the addition of Dustin Lynch, Kelleigh Bannen, Eric Paslay, and Chris Stapleton. They join Luke and previously announced performers Cole Swindell and Florida Georgia Line on the bill.

The intimate concerts take place January 23 through 27, 2015. For information on booking the trip, go to CrashMyPlaya.com.

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Surprise! Dierks Bentley Is This Summer's Hottest New Country Headliner


ABC News RadioDierks Bentley has been a staple at country radio for more than a decade now, so it may shock you to learn he's just now stepped into the role of headlining his own major tour this year. While he's co-headlined a trek with Miranda Lambert, Dierks is now playing to the biggest audiences of his career on the Riser Tour. This career development is something of a mystery for Dierks.

"I don’t know how the hell I’m here, really, but something’s happening," Dierks tells Billboard. "Ten years into my career, I’m headlining these places, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, man. It’s been a great climb. A slow climb.”

That climb got a big boost from Dierks' runaway summer hit, "Drunk on a Plane." It's such a highlight of his set, Dierks keeps pushing it back to later in the show.  He says, “It started off like fourth in the set list, then we moved it down to about sixth, then eighth, and now it’s down pretty far towards the bottom. It could be the bottom if I wanted it to be, it’s that big of a song."

Dierks on the road with the Riser tour into the fall.

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Kacey Musgraves Celebrates Her 26th Birthday at a Skating Rink with Pal Katy Perry


Image Courtesy Rick Diamond/Wire Image/CMTKacey Musgraves and her pal, Katy Perry, took over the Skateville skating rink in Burnsville, MN Thursday night to celebrate Kacey's 26th birthday. Katy posted several photos with Katy and the rest of the Prismatic tour crew on the rink.

Before they went skating, Kacey posted her birthday shopping list, which included knee pads, champagne, fake lashes, tube socks, and glow sticks.

Kacey later thanked the skating rink for hosting the party and added, "I didn't even fall once."

Look for Kacey to continue her opening stint on Katy's tour for the next few weeks.

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Cole Swindell 's Overnight Success Was Seven Years In the Making


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell may seem like an overnight success, scoring a #1 hit with his debut single, "Chillin' It," but he spent seven years in Nashville before his music was ever played on country radio. During that time, Cole was busy writing songs and trying to get his music heard. In hindsight, he's thankful for that time to grow as a writer and learn how the country industry really works.

Cole tells the Cincinnati Enquirer, "If this would have happened when I moved to Nashville there's no way I would have been ready, but giving it a couple of years with me being around the business, growing up a little bit, that helped me get ready for everything that's happened."

It's not that Cole doesn't feel the pressure to continue cranking out hit songs and improving his live show.  He adds, "There's a lot of people expecting things out of me. I want to do good. It's a good kind of pressure."

Cole's latest single, "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight," is now racing up the country chart. His self-titled debut album is available now.

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Hunter Hayes Launching Tattoo (Your Name) Tour October 30 in Pennsylvania


Image Courtesy Kristin Barlowe/Warner MusicHunter Hayes heads out on his Tattoo (Your Name) Tour Thursday, October 30 in University Park, PA. As always, Hunter has spent a lot of time planning this tour, and he promises it will be different than anyone has ever seen before.

Hunter says, "Every tour is all about the fans, but this one proves it. Not only are they going to be part of the show, they are the show…you’ll see what I mean!"

Dan Shay and The Railers will support Hunter on his new tour. Hunter sported a henna tattoo sleeve with emblems from each tour city to announce the new outing during appearance on NBC's Today Friday morning.  He's also created a video to announce the tour, that shows him and the band in a tattoo parlor.

Here are Hunter's new tour dates.  Find out more at HunterHayes.com:

10/30 -- University Park, PA, Bryce Jordan Center
10/31 -- Albany, NY, Times Union Center
11/1 -- Providence, RI, Thomas M. Ryan Center
11/13 -- Milwaukee, WI, BMO Harris Bradley Center
11/14 -- Moline, IL, iWireless Center
11/15 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
11/20 -- St. Louis, MO, Chaifetz Arena
11/21 -- Chicago, IL, Sears Centre Arena
11/22 -- Detroit, MI, The Palace of Auburn Hills
12/4 -- New Orleans, LA, Lakefront Arena
12/5 -- Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
12/6 -- Atlanta, GA, Arena at Gwinnett Center
12/11 -- Cleveland, OH, Wolstein Center
12/12 -- Kingston, ON (CAN), Rogers K-Rock Centre
12/13 -- London, ON (CAN), Budweiser Gardens

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Brad Paisley Reveals His Picks for Sunday Night's "Rising Star" Season Finale


Image Courtesy ABC/Bob D'AmicoBrad Paisley says goodbye to his first season as a celebrity expert on ABC's Rising Star Sunday night on the show's season finale. As he looks back over the experience, Brad says he's loved every minute of this first season.

He tells ABC News Radio, "What really surprised me is my favorite part of it is the mentoring  -- is getting to know these kids and trying to give them the right song."

Leading up to the finale, Brad is mentoring the young rocker Jesse Kinch, who he says is "so gonna have a career when this is done."

Brad's fellow celebrity expert panelist, rapper Ludacris, is mentoring Brad's absolute favorite Rising Star contestant, Audrey Geiger.

Brad tells us, "She is one of the most unique voices I've ever heard, but she's not the kind of voice that normally wins one of these shows."

When Ludacris asked Brad via text for advice on mentoring Audrey the other day, Brad replied, "Tell her she's already won. She's in the final four. That was our goal all along. I wanted to see her get there."

Brad did get in a song suggestion for Audrey -- "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. See if she sings it on the season finale of ABC's Rising Star Sunday night at 9 ET. During the show, Brad will also perform a song from his new album, Moonshine in the Trunk, due out Monday.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockScotty McCreery made a big impression on American Idol singing which Josh Turner hit? ANSWER: "Your Man."

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockHunter Hayes performs on NBC's Today Friday.

Josh Turner will release a brand-new single, titled "Lay Low," next month. According to Billboard, the song takes an "escapist tack without a single mention of alcohol."

Congratulations to Dustin Lynch on the gold certification of his latest hit, "Where It's At." It's the lead single and title cut from his sophomore album, due out September 9.

The Band Perry is featured in the latest installment of the Opry Hitmakers series now live at Opry.com.

Big & Rich will celebrate the release of their new album, Gravity, with a performance on NBC's Today on Thursday, September 25. The project comes out September 23 featuring their latest single, "Look at You."

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Miranda Lambert Gave Herself a Good Talking-To Before Recording with Carrie Underwood


Image Courtesy BBMA/Dick Clark/ABCMiranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are both multi-platinum country superstars, but Miranda admits she was a nervous wreck when it came time to record their duet, "Somethin' Bad."

"She came in the studio and we were all so nervous," Miranda says. "I mean, everybody -- the producers, musicians, everybody was kinda like, jittery and nervous, 'cause she's Carrie."

Miranda gave herself a big pep talk before the recording session, too.

She says, "In the mirror that morning, I was like, 'All right now, you better sing your butt off,' to myself."

Once they started working on the song, Miranda and Carrie ended up having a great time singing together as peers. They even started scheming about the girls-on-the-run video they eventually made for the song.

Says Miranda, "It was just cool to have a girl in there, dreaming with her, because we're at the same kind of level in our careers where we can have fun, and we can do it together."

"Somethin' Bad" is the latest single from Miranda's album, Platinum, in stores now.

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Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley & More Appearing on MDA Show of Strength Telethon on August 31


Image Courtesy Big Machine Label GroupRascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes and Nashville's Charles Esten are among the stars appearing on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon on Sunday, August 31. The two-hour broadcast starts at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.  Proceeds benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Look for Alyssa Milano, Josh Groban and Susan Lucci on the Show of Strength Telethon, too.

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Star-Studded Lineup Announced for 8th Annual ACM Honors September 9 in Nashville


Image Courtesy ACMThe 8th Annual ACM Honors are shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets in Nashville next month. Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, Kenny Chesney, Justin Moore, Thomas Rhett, Hunter Hayes, Kelly Clarkson, and Kacey Musgraves are just a few of the artists participating in this year's show, hosted by Jake Owen.

Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Kris Kristofferson, and Ronnie Milsap are among the stars receiving Special Awards at the event. Tickets for the September 9 show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium are still available at Ticketmaster.com and the Ryman box office.

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Garth Brooks Getting Once-in-Century Honor This November in New York City


Image Courtesy CMAGarth Brooks has already received what seems like enough trophies to fill a warehouse during his career, but he's adding a pretty impressive honor to the collection this fall. ASCAP has announced Garth is one of the five artists receiving their once-in-a-century Centennial Awards November 17 at a gala at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

The other honorees are folk star Joan Baez, rock legend Billy Joel, musical theater icon Stephen Sondheim and the great Stevie Wonder. The recipients are described as "a select group of American music icons in recognition of their incomparable accomplishments in their respective music genres and beyond."

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Brad Paisley Salutes Ellen DeGeneres and Women Everywhere with New Song, "Shattered Glass"


Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres Wednesday to premiere the lyric video for his new song, "Shattered Glass," on Ellen's YouTube channel. Brad was inspired to write the song thinking about women,  like his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ellen, continuing to break through barriers and overcome challenges they face in male-dominated businesses. That sentiment is heard clearly in the song's hook: "All you've been through ain't in vain/Come on baby, make it rain down shattered glass."

Brad tells ABC News Radio, "I sat down to write this as the ultimate pat on the back and sky's the limit-type song."

Brad sees Ellen DeGeneres as a great example of a woman who has broken down big barriers in Hollywood and the country at large. After publicly coming out as a lesbian on her '90s sitcom Ellen, DeGeneres has gone on to host her own highly-influential talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, host the Oscars and win 13 Emmy Awards.

Brad tells us, "I admire the fact that she has used her career to entertain people and to do a lot of good things, and yet, the odds were totally against her becoming the most powerful person in Hollywood, and that's what I think she is now. She's such a good case for anybody has a shot at really making a difference, you know."

"Shattered Glass" is included on Brad's new album, Moonshine in the Trunk, coming out Monday. The project also includes his latest hit, "River Bank."

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of the #1 hit that launched Zac Brown Band's country career? ANSWER: "Chicken Fried."

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Lady Antebellum Serving Up a Big Hit with Latest Single, "Bartender"


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum is very happy with the success of their latest hit, "Bartender," but they were a little uneasy about putting it out as the first single from their upcoming album, 747. While they had a few other songs that might have led off the album, everyone they played their new music for started raving about "Bartender."

Lady A's Dave Haywood tells ABC News Radio, "You start to show the record to people. These early stages of finishing songs and sharing them with your team and label and friends and family and you start to kinda hear people talk about it. The label was like, 'I'm telling you, this "Bartender" song.'"

Now that "Bartender" is closing in on the #1 spot at country radio, Lady A has seen their concert crowds really latch on to the up-tempo song.

"We had a feeling fans that were gonna dig it, but we didn't know they were gonna dig it this much," says group member Charles Kelley. "This has probably been the fastest-rising single we've had in a long time -- probably since "Need You Now."

The lady in Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott, sings lead on "Bartender," which tells the story of a woman going out on the town with her girlfriends to get over an ex. That storyline makes it interesting for Charles and Dave singing backup on the song every night.

Charles says with a laugh, "That's always my most, like, awkward line to have to sing harmony to -- 'Dancin' with my girls to the D.J.' It's like, 'Yeah, I'm dancing with my girls!'"

Look for Lady Antebellum's new album, 747, to land in stores and online September 30.

In other Lady A news, Hillary and her husband, Chris, celebrated a big milestone with their baby, Eisele, on Wednesday. Hillary posted the news on Instagram, "Our 13-month-old daughter started walking on what we thought was gonna be just another Wednesday...we are 50% happy and proud, and 50% sad it's going so fast."

Hillary admits she cried a lot watching Eisele walk, and she calls the event "bittersweet."

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockZac Brown Band has added classic rock act Cheap Trick as the opening act on their upcoming show at Chicago's Wrigley Field on September 13.

Lee Brice has released "Drinking Class" as the follow-up to his latest #1 hit, "I Don't Dance." Both tracks will be included on his new album, also titled I Don't Dance, due out September 9.

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The Band Perry Talks New Album Progress on "Larry King Now" Thursday


Image Courtesy Ora TV/Larry King NowThe Band Perry sits down with Larry King on his new show, Larry King Now, Thursday. The Perry siblings reveal they've recorded seven new songs for their upcoming studio album, and they say they're having a lot of fun making new music. Lead singer Kimberly Perry also reveals she doesn't like to sing the words "hurricane," "butterfly" or "rainbows" in a song.

Catch The Band Perry on Larry King Now Thursday at 5 p.m. ET on Hulu.

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Blake Shelton Fans Could Paint Themselves into a Meeting with the Star


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleIf you have a knack for painting and drawing, you could be on your way to meet Blake Shelton soon. CMT is asking fans to post their Blake fan art to social media with the hashtag #BlakeNow. One talented winner will get to meet Blake and see him perform at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Sunday, August 31 in Panama City Beach, Florida.

For a complete list of Blake's tour dates, go to BlakeShelton.com.

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Carrie Underwood Performing "Sunday Night Football" Theme Again This Season


Image Courtesy NBCCarrie Underwood returns for a second season performing the theme song for NBC's Sunday Night Football starting September 7 as the Denver Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts.

Carrie says, "I grew up watching football. I have a passion for it. I have a passion for music. It's kinda like all of these things get to mesh together for this one event."

Carrie filmed the "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night" video earlier this year, and 11 pro football players will join Carrie throughout the season. Those players include New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.

Carrie will also sing a special opening for NBC's Super Bowl telecast on February 1, 2015.

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Blake Shelton Offers "Neon Light" Download for Fans Who Pre-Order "BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE"


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleFans who pre-order Blake Shelton's new album, BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE, at iTunes or Walmart.com will get an instant download of the project's first single, "Neon Light."

Blake says of the song, "'Neon Light’ is a song that I fell in love with more each time I heard it. It finds a way to blend this new sound with a very traditional chorus, making it unique."

Blake's new album comes out September 30. He returns for another season of NBC's The Voice on September 22.

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