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Kix Brooks Reveals Which Role on "Nashville" He Had to Turn Down


Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleKix Brooks has appeared in several independent films in the last few years, so it seems a little odd he hasn't made a cameo on ABC's Nashville yet. It turns out, the show's producers approached Kix with a pretty meaty guest role late last year.

He tells ABC News Radio, "They gave me a great opportunity. Made me an offer to play a great part about a homeless person who had been in the music business and was kind of washed up. It was, like, six episodes, and I was just booked."

The Nashville offer came just two weeks before they wanted Kix to start filming his part, but the shooting schedule interfered with concerts he'd had on the books for months.

Kix explains, "I really, really wanted to do it, but it's not like you can go cancel shows because you gotta do another one."

Even though he couldn't take on that role, which went to film actor Mykelti Williamson, Kix's winery, Arrington Vineyards, has benefitted from the tourism boom Nashville has created in Music City since it debuted in 2012.

Says Kix, "A lot of people that come to the winery are visiting here because they've seen the show, and they want to see it. It's been a great thing for us."

Kix is reuniting with his Brooks & Dunn duo partner Ronnie Dunn and their pal Reba for a residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas starting this June.

Of note, Reba is taking part in the taping of ABC's Nashville: On the Record special Saturday night in Music City. Cast members Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson and Chris Carmack are among the other stars slated to perform. The special will air later this spring.

Nashville returns with all-new episodes this Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Billy Currington Plays the Romantic Leading Role in His New Video, "Don't It"


Image Courtesy Mercury Nashville/Jeff JohnsonBilly Currington has released the video for his new single, "Don't It." The clip finds Billy taking on the role of romantic lead with his female co-star. He recently shot the video at Nashville's Roxy Theater with his band backing him up during the performance portions. "Don't It" is the lead single from Billy's upcoming, sixth album, and he'll be singing it on the road this summer opening Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider tour.

Says Billy, "I've spent the last few months creating an album with [producer] Dann Huff that I couldn't be more proud of. I look forward to bringing this new music to life out on tour this summer!"

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Scotty McCreery Entertained the Crowd at the New England Patriots' Pre-Super Bowl Party Thursday


Image Courtesy EB Media PRScotty McCreery entertained the crowd at the New England Patriots' Welcome to Arizona pre-Super Bowl party Thursday night in Phoenix. Scotty wore his "lucky" New England Patriots beanie for the performance, and even had his photograph taken with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Scotty will attend this Sunday's Super Bowl in Phoenix to cheer on the Patriots as they take on the Seattle Seahawks.

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Kip Moore Puts a Live Goat in the Bed of Dierks Bentley's Truck as Payback for Polar Plunge


Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleKip Moore wasn't happy about jumping into a freezing-cold Percy Priest Lake near Nashville earlier this month for his tour boss Dierks Bentley's Polar Plunge. To get back at Dierks, Kip painted Dierks' beloved truck, called Big White, in multiple colors with the name of Kip's new single, "I'm to Blame," written on the side. Kip also loaded a live goat into Dierks' truck bed and filled the cab with foam peanuts. A video of the prank is now posted on YouTube.

Dierks has threatened to vandalize one of Kip's beloved surfboards when they head out on the Sounds of Summer tour together starting June 5 in North Carolina. Newcomers Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith are also on the bill.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockJay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts is married to a correspondent for CMT. What is her name? ANSWER: Allison.

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Country Stars React to Their ACM Awards Nominations


Image Courtesy Academy of Country MusicReaction from this year's ACM Awards nominees began very quickly after the finalists were announced via Instagram Friday morning.  Here's a roundup of some of the stars had to say:

Garth Brooks -- "Thanks @ACMAwards for the Entertainer Of The Year nomination! This tour is the best EVER!! love, g #ACMawards50."

Kenny Chesney -- "With two hooks, three rhythm scans and some of the most ingenious wordplay I’ve ever experienced, ‘American Kids’ is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I knew it celebrates those people who lived life wide-open, colored outside the lines, thought more about life than they get credit for and have fun doing it." 

Miranda Lambert -- "When I looked at the list of ACM nominations this morning the first thing that came to my mind was people. People that believe in dreams and in art. People that play our songs on the radio and that work hard every day to help artists get the music they love to the fans. People who come to the shows and buy the records and sing at the top of their lungs.  People that are willing to leave home for weeks on end so we can get onstage and sing our songs. I'm so thankful to be part of something made up of GOOD people. Thank you all for this amazing life.”

Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus -- "So honored and grateful to be nominated!! Thanks to the Academy, and all our Flattheads everywhere!! #acmawards"

The Band Perry -- "We had just landed back in Tennessee early this morning when we found out about our nomination. The recognition by the Academy of Country Music never fails to surprise us and we are grateful to the ACM, our musical peers and most of all to our fans in country music."

Maddie & Tae's Tae Dye -- "We have watched these shows since we were little, and the idea of being in there with Brooks & Dunn and The Judds, Big & Rich, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland...even before Florida Georgia Line...there are so many great duos, and we’re up there with them. It’s crazy.”

Kacey Musgraves -- "The sun is shinin' & I got some ACM love. Thank you!! So happy for my nominated buddies, too. Congrats, y'all! ..now off to the string sesh for the record.."

Brandy Clark -- "I'm so honored by the ACM nominations this morning! Song of the Year for  [writing] "Follow Your Arrow" and a nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year! How cool! Congrats to all the other nominees!"

Brothers Osborne -- "Just found out we were nominated for a freaking ACM Award today! Kinda freaking out a little. #ACMnominations."

The ACM trophies will be handed out April 19 on CBS, live from AT&T Stadium in North Texas.

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Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley Lead ACM Nominees


Image Courtesy Academy of Country Music

Miranda Lambert is the lead nominee for the 50th Annual ACM Awards, which were revealed Friday morning via Instagram.

Lambert scored eight nominations in all, in all of the major categories, including her fourth Entertainer of the Year nomination and her ninth consecutive nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year.  Dierks Bentley's right on Miranda's heels with seven nods, including Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album of the Year, for Riser.

Also notable: Garth Brooks scored an Entertainer of the Year nomination, formally recognizing his return to recording and performing.  However, his most recent studio album, Man Against Machine, was shut out of all major categories.

The trophies will be handed out Sunday, April 19 on CBS. This year's show takes place at AT&T Stadium in Texas.

Fan voting in the Entertainer of the Year category starts Wednesday, April 8 at 3 p.m. ET at VoteACM.com and will continue until the third hour of the live ACM Awards broadcast. As for the fan-voted New Artist of the Year category, the polls are now open at VoteACM.com through February 10 to determine the final three nominees that category. Another round of New Artist of the Year voting to determine the winner starts on April 8.

Here are the nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Florida Georgia Line

Female Vocalist of the Year
Brandy Clark
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Album of the Year
Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean
Pain Killer, Little Big Town
Platinum, Miranda Lambert
Riser, Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders, Eric Church

Song of the Year (Award to Songwriter)
"American Kids," Kenny Chesney
"Automatic," Miranda Lambert
"Drink a Beer," Luke Bryan
"Follow Your Arrow," Kacey Musgraves
"Give Me Back My Hometown," Eric Church
"I Hold On," Dierks Bentley

Single Record of the Year
"American Kids," Kenny Chesney
"Automatic," Miranda Lambert
"Dirt," Florida Georgia Line
"Drunk on a Plane," Dierks Bentley
"I Don't Dance, "Lee Brice

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brothers Osborne
Dan Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
The Swon Brothers

Vocal Event of the Year

"Lonely Tonight," Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe
"Meanwhile Back at Mama's," Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
"Somethin' Bad," Miranda Lambert Duet with Carrie Underwood
"The South," The Cadillac Three featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli
"This Is How We Roll," Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan

Video of the Year
"American Kids," Kenny Chesney
"Cop Car," Keith Urban
"Drunk on a Plane," Dierks Bentley
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You," Glen Campbell
"Somethin' Bad," Miranda Lambert Duet with Carrie Underwood

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Luke Bryan Makes His Super Bowl Picks, Looks Forward to Today's ACM Nominations


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan has a big weekend planned starting with Friday morning's ACM Awards nominations and ending with a Super Bowl viewing party Sunday night.

Luke hopes to see his name as a finalist in multiple ACM categories, including Entertainer of the Year. He took that top prize in 2013.

Luke says of the big announcement, "I’ll be biting my nails and see what happens, and it’s an amazing night and an amazing day to hear what you’re nominated for, and you never know. You never know what’s gonna get in and what’s not. I’m truly just honored to be in the game."

The ACM Awards nominations will be announced Friday morning starting at 8:30 a.m. ET on the ACM's social media accounts. Luke and co-host Blake Shelton will emcee the show live from AT&T Stadium in Texas Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

As for the Super Bowl, Luke is mostly neutral on who he'd like to win the game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. When forced to make a decision, Luke admits he's leaning towards the Patriots just became he hails from the Eastern part of the country.

Says Luke, "Seattle's way out there, but I love you, Seattle, so don't take it personally."

Luke is mainly concerned with the snacks he'll get to eat while watching the game.

"Definitely Super Bowl is like the queso, the Frito-Lay Scoops with the Ro-Tel situation," Luke says of his snack choices. "Just stuff that you can just sit there and have lots of sodium. It’s like Thanksgiving all over again."

Luke will headline a few NFL stadiums this summer on his Kick the Dust Up tour. Go to LukeBryan.com to see where he's playing next.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockZac Brown Band performs on PBS's Live from the Artists Den Friday. Check local listings for air time.

Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts will once again co-host the Waiting for Wishes Celebrity Waiters Dinner at The Palm in Nashville on Tuesday, April 7. Scotty McCreery, Chris Young, Dustin Lynch and Frankie Ballard will join Jay as celebrity waiters for the event. Proceeds go to The Kevin Carter Foundation and the Make-a-Wish Foundation Middle Tennessee.

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ACM Award Nominees for Video of the Year Announced


Academy of Country MusicThe nominees in the Video of the Year category for the 50th Annual ACM Awards were announced Thursday night on Entertainment Tonight.

The nominees are "American Kids," by Kenny Chesney; "Cop Car," by Keith Urban; "Drunk on a Plane," by Dierks Bentley; "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," by Glen Campbell; and "Somethin' Bad," by Miranda Lambert featuring Carrie Underwood.

The nominees in the other categories will be announced Friday morning on the Academy of Country Music's social media accounts, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards will broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Texas on Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

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Brantley Gilbert Releases Solemn New Video for "One Hell of an Amen"


Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert has released the video for his latest single, "One Hell of an Amen." The song is a tribute to two men who passed away in recent years, including Brantley's pal, Kory, who lost his battle with leukemia after a brave fight against the disease. A fallen war hero, named Jon, is the other person whose sacrifice inspired the song and video. Jon was the best friend of Brantley's pal from Georgia, Josh, who served several tours of duty in Iraq.

Brantley says of "One Hell of an Amen," "It’s easy to say the song’s about death, but to me, it’s about the good fight. It’s about the attitude, the strength and the courage those boys had for what they were going through. Kory battling leukemia and Jon fighting in Iraq…it’s about two different wars."

The video for "One Hell of an Amen" incorporates mementos from Kory and Jon's lives. The song is included on Brantley's latest album, Just as I Am.

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Craig Morgan and Trace Adkins Added to Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam


Image Courtesy Monarch PublicityCraig Morgan and Trace Adkins have joined the lineup for Charlie Daniels' 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam, coming up August 12 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The Oak Ridge Boys and Tracy Lawrence also join the performers list, along with previously-announced stars Montgomery Gentry, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Travis Tritt.

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday at Ticketmaster. Proceeds from the Volunteer Jam go to help American veterans in support of The Journey Home Project.

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50th Annual ACM Awards Nominations to Be Announced Friday Morning Via Social Media


Image Courtesy Academy of Country MusicThe nominees for the 50th Annual ACM Awards will be revealed Friday morning on the Academy of Country Music's social media accounts. The announcement starts at 8:30 a.m. ET at Facebook.com/AcademyofCountryMusic, Instagram.com/ACMAwards, and Twitter.com/ACMAwards.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards will broadcast live from the AT&T Stadium in Texas on Sunday, April 19 on CBS.

The ACM nominations were originally scheduled to be announced Tuesday morning, but that announcement was postponed due to the severe snowstorm in the Northeast.

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Country Star Trivia


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Randy Houser's first top five single from 2009? ANSWER: "Boots On."

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Lady Antebellum to Perform at 7th Annual T.J. Martell Honors Gala


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum has signed on to perform at the 7th Annual T.J. Martell Nashville Honors Gala on March 30 at Music City's Omni Hotel. Nashville star Charles Esten will return to host the event, and Emmylou Harris joins Lady A on the performers list.

The Honors Gala recognizes individuals for their work on behalf of the T.J. Martell Foundation in their fight against cancer, leukemia and AIDS. The T.J. Martell Honors Gala has raised more than $2 million for the organization since the event was first held in 2009.

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Tim McGraw to Perform Glen Campbell's "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" on the Oscars


Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw will perform Glen Campbell's "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" at the 87th Annual Academy Awards Sunday, February 22 on ABC. The song is nominated in the Best Original Song category and is featured in the documentary about Glen's battle with Alzheimer's disease, Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me.  Glen's disease makes it impossible for him to perform the song.

Glen's family personally asked Tim to perform the song on the Oscars."I’m honored to be asked to sing this powerful song from one of the true legends of the music industry," says Tim.

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Sam Hunt Paying Tribute to the Ladies of '90s Country on Lipstick Graffiti Tour, Launching Tonight


Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleMost male country acts only cover songs made popular by other male artists. There's no doubt you've heard a guy in a cowboy hat take on Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" or a random Tom Petty hit at a country show in recent years, but Sam Hunt is always looking to break away from the pack. That's why he's covering songs from '90s female country stars like Reba, Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna on his new Lipstick Graffiti tour.

Sam tells ABC News Radio, "Covers are tricky, but we've been sort of working up a little thing where we're gonna do some cool songs that I grew up listening to. Maybe it's sort of a nod to a lot of the female country singers of the era."

While some songs Sam is covering, like Wynonna's "No One Else on Earth," could be sung by a guy or a girl, a few other selections are definitely written from a woman's point of view. Sam isn't overly concerned about getting the pronouns all worked out, though.

"At times, I think, as we cover those songs, I'll change a few lyrics," Sam explains, "but sometimes, like the song that we're gonna do, 'Fancy' by Reba McEntire, there's no real way to get around that, so I'm just gonna sing that one. It's such a great song that hopefully it won't matter."

As for the title of his tour, Lipstick Graffiti, Sam lifted that phrase from the lyrics of one of his unreleased songs, "Vandalizer."

He says, "The very first line of the song is 'Lipstick graffiti on the bathroom mirror/What happened to me ain't real clear.'"

Sam found those old song lyrics while searching for an intriguing name for his club tour. Something about the combination of those two words captured the vibe Sam hopes to create at his shows.

"When you look at a word or read a word off a piece of paper, they have emotions attached to them," Sam adds. "The words 'lipstick' and the word 'graffiti' have these two different emotions that somehow blended in a cool way."

Sam's Lipstick Graffiti tour launches Thursday night with a sold-out show at The Troubador in Hollywood, CA.

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Little Big Town's Jimi Westbrook Discusses Band's Involvement in Super Bowl Fundraiser


Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town will be part of the Super Bowl festivities this weekend. They're set to perform Saturday at the 24th Annual Taste of the NFL Party with a Purpose in Scottsdale, Arizona, an event involving top chefs and NFL players to raise money in support of food banks.

Little Big Town's Jimi Westbrook explains in a new interview with ESPN.com how his band got involved: "We had gotten a call from our manager telling us about this amazing function where all of these chefs were coming in to do a tasting, and they invited us to come play while this is happening....To be able to be there with these amazing chefs is an exciting opportunity."

He adds, "You always think of hunger issues being in other places and other smaller countries, but to know there is so much hunger still going on within our own country, and to know that even with child hunger that one in five children in America are suffering from hunger -- that's an astounding thing to know. Anything we can do to help with that, we try to lend our talents."

The day after the event, the Seattle Seahawks will play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Westbrook analyzes both teams for ESPN.com, concluding that Seattle will win. He says of the defending champs, "That defense is super-intense....I think it's gonna be close but I think the Seahawks are going to edge 'em out at the end."

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Cadillac Three will launch their Aviators and Radiators tour Friday in Tampa, FL.

The Band Perry has been added to the performers lineup for the upcoming CBS special, Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute, airing February 16. The show tapes February 10 in Los Angeles.

Randy Houser's #1 hit, "How Country Feels," has sold three million copies.

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Carrie Underwood Releasing "Little Toy Guns" Single and Video Friday


Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleCarrie Underwood is releasing "Little Toy Guns" as her new single, and the emotional video for the song will premiere Friday on Carrie's Facebook page. A 30-second sneak preview of the video is now posted on Facebook. Look for E! News to air a first-look feature on the video Thursday.

"Little Toy Guns" is the follow-up release to Carrie's latest hit, "Something in the Water." The new single addresses the hurt a child goes through listening to her parents fight, and the video will play out that heartbreaking scenario.

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