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Country Music News
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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Chris Janson and LANCO are set to perform at the Nashville Songwriters Awards on September 19 at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Kris Kristofferson and Bill Anderson will be honored at the annual gathering.

Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley will be a presenter at the June 3 Innovation in Music Awards at the Westin in Nashville. Charlie WorshamLucie Silvas and Striking Matches will perform. 

Ashley McBryde and newcomer Travis Denning will join Rodney Atkins for his annual Music City Gives Back show June 4 at Ascend Park in Music City. Big & Rich are set to headline the benefit for Nashville's W.O. Smith Music School. 

Cassadee Pope is set to play the free Paws & Play Music Festival on June 3 at Cumberland Park in Nashville. The canine-centric event is sponsored by Pedigree and CMT. 

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ABC/Heidi GutmanWhen Sugarland hits the stage tonight in Augusta, Georgia, to launch their Still the Same Tour, they won't just be playing the big songs you've come to expect from the CMA-winning-duo.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush will also be previewing new material from their reunion album, Bigger, which comes out June 8. They both agree that's the best part. 

"It's so much fun," Jennifer says. "Obviously, part of the joy of this is getting to revisit all these songs that we haven't played over the past few years that of course we love, because they're ours."

"But to get to do new stuff is really thrilling," she continues. "And to get to use all these skills. You know, one of the reasons that we did want to take a break is so that we could have something new to say and new skills to offer each other and new experiences and new inspirations and come back with full cups. And I feel like we have done that. "

Kristian happens to be particularly obsessed with one new track. 

"I want to just play 'Lean It on Back' like eight times and get high or something," he admits, as Jennifer laughs. "The songs are coming alive and that's fun when they're not just in the studio, but they're under your hands and [you're playing them with] your band."

Sugarland continues on to Raleigh, North Carolina and Daytona Beach, Florida, this weekend, with Brandy Clark and Nashville's Clare Bowen opening the shows. 

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HGTVFor the seventh year in a row, HGTV will set up its two-story, 3,500-square-foot HGTV Lodge in downtown Nashville during CMT Fest.

Michael Ray will kick things off Thursday, June 6 with a 10 a.m. appearance. In the days that follow, Dustin LynchJon PardiKip MooreLee Ann WomackLee Brice and Luke Combs are scheduled to play as well. 

Look for Ashley McBrydeCamChris LaneEric PaslayJordan DavisLANCOLauren AlainaLindsay EllLOCASHMaddie & TaeMorgan EvansRyan HurdJillian Jacqueline and others to stop by, as well as HGTV stars like the Property BrothersJonathan and Drew Scott.

If you can't make it to Nashville, you can still experience the HGTV Lodge online as Trisha Yearwood hosts a special edition of her Facebook Live seriesT's Coffee Talk, Saturday morning at 10:00 CT.

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ABC/Image Group LA You can tune in for the television debut of Devin Dawson's new single on Monday, June 11, when the California native performs "Asking for a Friend" on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Devin made his first TV appearance on Seth Meyers' show last year, singing his breakthrough hit, "All on Me." You can watch the show at 12:35 a.m. ET on NBC.

The Dark Horse hitmaker is currently overseas, playing shows in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. He'll be back in the U.S. in time for CMA Fest, where he's nominated for Breakthrough Video of the Year for "All on Me" at the CMT Music Awards on June 6.

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Columbia NashvilleMore than two years after Tim McGraw released his inspirational hit, "Humble and Kind," in English, the superstar is putting out a new Spanish version of the song.

Claudia Brant translated Lori McKenna's original composition into "Nunca Te Olvides de Amar," which actually means "Never Forget to Love." 

"Recording this song in Spanish has been my hope of making it truly universal," Tim tweeted. "I know my Spanish may not be perfect, but I hope that you can feel the sentiment and intention behind the song."  

The English version of "Humble and Kind" was a multiple-week number one, and won the CMA Song of the Year trophy, as well as a Grammy. 

Tim also shot a new version of the "Humble and Kind" video to match the new Spanish recording. You can check it out on YouTube now. 

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Allister AnnKenny Chesney captures the vibe of the fans he calls No Shoes Nation in his new video for "Get Along."

The clip was shot at the opening concert on his Trip Around the Sun Tour last month at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. 

“It made for a couple long days, doing a video the same time we were starting a tour…" Kenny says. "But I wouldn’t have changed anything for the world!” 

The superstar from East Tennessee believes the attitude of his fans perfectly matches the message in "Get Along."

“The whole point of the song is to look for your common ground instead of worrying about your differences,” Kenny explains. “And when I look out into the crowd, that’s what I see: people who are having a great time, getting along and making the most of every single minute.”

In addition to performance footage from the show, the "Get Along" video also showcases the fun Kenny's fans have before the concert ever starts.

"It takes a lot to try to keep up with the No Shoes Nation, with their rolling Tiki Bars, tons of sand, Blue Chair Bay cocktails and wading pools," Kenny observes. "They have as much fun waiting to get into the show as they do at the concerts, and I love that! I wanted this video to be a mix of how their world works and the way their passion inspires all of us up onstage."

"Get Along" is the lead single from Kenny's Songs for the Saints album, which comes out July 27. You can check out the new video on YouTube.

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CMAWith only two weeks to go before CMA Fest takes over downtown Nashville, the nightly lineup of superstars at Nissan Stadium continues to grow.

"I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" hitmaker Jake Owen joins Friday night's roster, with Cole Swindell returning to play CMA Fest's main stage on Sunday. Cole's new single, "Break Up in the End," is currently making its way up the chart. 

A limited number of four-day passes still remain for the big nightly shows at the home of the Tennessee Titans. Concerts start Thursday, June 7 and wrap up the following Sunday. You can find out more at

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CMTLuke Combs is set to shoot a new episode of CMT Crossroads in the days leading up to this year's CMA Fest. The "Hurricane" hitmaker will team up with R&B sensation Leon Bridges for the genre-bending show. 

If you happen to be in Music City, you can check out Luke and Leon's collaborative concert for free. It'll take place on an outdoor stage at 5th and Broadway on Tuesday, June 5. Doors open at 7 p.m. CT, with the show scheduled to start at 8:30.

Luke and Leon's episode of Crossroads premieres June 28 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT. 

Meanwhile, Luke will sing his #2 hit, "One Number Away," Friday on the Today show. The deluxe re-issue of his debut album, titled This One's for You Too, comes out June 1. 

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Comstock/ThinkstockFifty years ago this week, Glen Campbell recorded this classic at Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood. Can you name this #1 song, which Little Big Town performed in his honor at last year's CMA Awards? ANSWER: "Wichita Lineman." 

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Warner Music NashvilleIf you check out Ashley McBryde's debut album, Girl Going Nowhere, the Arkansas native will take you to "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega," just like her breakthrough hit says.  But she'll also introduce you to her father, through a very personal track called "The Jacket." 

The autobiographical tune tells the story of the denim coat her dad wore, which he eventually passed on to her. Unfortunately, when Ashley was away recently playing a gig, a thief vandalized her truck and stole her prized possession.

"The jacket was in my truck in East Nashville, and we were in Charlotte," she tells ABC Radio. "We were only gone for 24 hours. I parked right in front of a camera, in a secured parking lot. And somebody busted out the window of my truck and took the jacket."

"It is the most disgusting-looking piece of denim ever," she explains. "It's got a buckskin collar, hand-sewn. No one would ever want that piece of clothing. But somebody did, and they took it."

Though Ashley's fans and the tight-knit music community have tried to track down the irreplaceable jean jacket, it still hasn't turned up. 

"All of Nashville's been looking for it," she goes on.

She laughs, "All the vintage shops have pictures of it, up in there. It's unmistakable, this jacket. If you saw it, you'd be like, 'That's gross. And that's Ashley's jacket.'"  

In September, Ashley launches her first series of shows as a headliner. Tickets for the Girl Going Nowhere Tour go on sale Friday. 

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Scotty McCreery learned "Five More Minutes" has been certified platinum at the song's #1 party Wednesday at CMA headquarters in Nashville.

"Burning House" hitmaker Cam is featured on the new single from pop/rock band Train, titled "Call Me Sir."

Toby KeithJoe NicholsDavid NailJana KramerParmalee and rapper Nelly are set to play Tailgate Fest September 1 on the grounds of the Forum in Los Angeles. 

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ABC/Image Group LA During last year's CMA Fest, Darius Rucker was sitting at the top of the charts with "If I Told You." By the time this year's fan gathering takes over Nashville June 7-10, the South Carolina native could very well repeat that feat, since "For the First Time" is currently sitting at #3 on the country ranking.

Darius's latest single inspired the title of his most recent project, When Was the Last Time, an album that turned out to be even more autobiographical than he intended.

"I didn't mean for it to be, but in a huge way it is. Totally," Darius tells ABC Radio. "I mean, I listen to it now and I go, 'Wow, a lot of this is exactly where I am in life or where I was just right before this time.'"

"And...some of the songs that are autobiographical, I didn't even write," he continues. "But they're still so me, and that's why I cut 'em."

The Hootie and the Blowfish frontman may be plenty comfortable being transparent in his music, but that doesn't mean he's itching to write his life's story.

"No," he says in response to the question. "Because if I did it, it'd have to be-- It's like the reason I won't write a book is because I'm gonna be honest and real if I do it, and sometimes honest and real is not the way you wanna be."  

Darius heads out on the co-headlining Summer Plays On tour with Lady Antebellum July 19, before reuniting with his Hootie bandmates to play Atlanta's Suntrust Park with Jason Aldean July 21.

Thursday night, watch for Darius on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon before he gets up early to play the Today show's concert series Friday.

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The Valory Music Co.The remix of Thomas Rhett's "Leave Right Now" is getting such good response in Europe, he's shot a music video for the song. 

In the clip, TR pursues a mysterious blonde woman through a crowded party at Nashville's Frist Art Museum. Though you never see her face, it's worth noting that the mystery female looks a lot like Thomas's wife Lauren, who's starred in several of his previous projects. 

The new video is an extension of the Leave Right Now -- The Remixes set that came out in March. The original track appears on TR's current Life Changes album.

“It’s unbelievable to be able to continue to release music that inspires me and be embraced by fans not only at home but overseas too," Thomas says of his success in Europe. He'll take his tour back to London in November.

You can check out the new "Leave Right Now" video on YouTube

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ABC/Image Group LA "The 2019 NFL Draft is coming to Nashville," Tim McGraw announces in a new clip posted on his socials on Wednesday.

The "Humble and Kind" hitmaker unveiled the news in a short video with Heisman Trophy winner and former Tennessee Titan Eddie George.

"My house is now your house," Eddie says, before Tim finishes the thought: "And my town is now your town, to make your pick in Music City." The two also do a little good-natured horsing around with a football.

The 2019 draft is set for April 25-27 of next year, and is expected to draw more than 20,000 visitors to the home of country music.

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Sacks & Co.Chris Stapleton will open his own pop-up shop during this year's CMA Fest. 

The Stapleton store will be located in the venue known as "The George Jones" on 2nd Avenue North in downtown Nashville. It'll be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. CT June 7-10, and feature exclusive merchandise, including custom Louisville Slugger bats. 

The "Broken Halos" hitmaker kicks off a busy CMA Fest with an appearance on the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, June 6, followed by a set at Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam at the historic Ryman Auditorium. 

Stapleton plays the main stage at Music City's Nissan Stadium on Saturday night.

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CMTYour first chance to see Sam Hunt perform his new single, "Downtown's Dead," on TV may very well be on next month's CMT Music Awards.

Sam is among the first performers confirmed to sing on this year's show, along with Blake SheltonChris StapletonKelsea Ballerini and Luke Bryan.

Kelly Clarkson will also do her remake of the rock classic "American Woman," which is the theme of the new Paramount Network series of the same name, developed by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards.

Little Big Town will host the fan-voted show as it airs live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET. Voting is underway now at

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Comstock/Thinkstock Country Music Hall-of-Famer Randy Travis enjoyed his most recent #1 fifteen years ago this week, with this religious-themed tale about a farmer, a teacher, a preacher and a prostitute. Can you name it? ANSWER: "Three Wooden Crosses." 

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ABC/Kelsey McNeal"Meant to Be," Bebe Rexha's collaboration with Florida Georgia Line, isn't just a catchy pop hit: It's also the second-longest-running #1 hit in the history of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.  Bebe thinks the unexpected duet has become so popular because it's "honest."

"I think Florida Georgia Line was honest with their sound and I was just honest with who I was," Bebe tells ABC Radio. "I wasn't trying to sing in a country accent...we're just, like, doing what we do, and we were real, and I think it just happened so naturally.  And I think people can really sense that."

As for the song's success on the country chart, Bebe says, "It's just unexpected and incredible...that's just life. [I'm] just learning that life is just full of surprises and you just never know what's gonna happen!"

While Bebe had never actually heard of Florida Georgia Line before they wrote "Meant to Be," she's now become very familiar with the rest of the biggest names in country music.

"I went to the [Academy of Country Music Awards], and it was so incredible, the love, and they accepted me," she gushes. "I thought it was so awesome, and met so many cool artists."

So does that mean she plans to continue working in the country field?

"Definitely, for sure," for sure. "Not country music as my genre, but [I] will for sure collaborate with some more country artists."  

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ABC/Eric McCandlessCaleb Lee Hutchinson might have missed out on winning American Idol -- his girlfriend Maddie Poppe ended up winning the crown --  but the Georgia native doesn't seem to mind, especially since he got to perform on the finale with one of his heroes.  

Monday night, Caleb sang "Wagon Wheel" with Darius Rucker, who he tells ABC Radio is "a huge idol to me."  He adds, "I grew up listening to Hootie and the Blowfish...all his country albums and all his work is just incredible."

"Meeting him was one of the best experiences I've ever had with anyone that's famous like that," he continues, "'cause he's just the coolest guy ever." 

Caleb worked to keep his cool during his time with Darius, but admits he might have lost it just a little bit.

"I tried my best to contain myself when I was talking to him," he explains. "But then I was like, 'Okay, I have some questions.' You know, I was trying to get my way into a concert or two."

"I asked him all about Hootie... I asked him if he could sing 'Let Her Cry' for me, 'cause that's...a good tearjerker that I hold very close to my heart."  Caleb also got some advice from Darius.

"He told me I had an old country voice," he reveals, "and just to keep going."

But did Darius sing "Let Her Cry" for him?

"Not yet! But I have faith. I think we're fast friends!" Caleb says. "Maybe he'll call me... and let me come to the reunion concert."  

Darius and Hootie will reunite this summer to play Braves' Stadium in Atlanta with Jason Aldean.   We don't think Caleb, whose new single "Johnny Cash Heart" was written by Rascal FlattsJay DeMarcus, should have any trouble scoring a ticket. 

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Keith Urban is set to sponsor the 32nd Annual Music Row Ladies Golf Tournament for the third year in a row in 2018. The fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee takes place August 20 at Nashville's Old Natchez Country Club. 

David Lee Murphy's mother, Jessie L. Murphy Kibler, passed away on Friday. In lieu of flowers, her family is directing donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. 

If you missed Brothers Osborne delivering "Weed, Whiskey and Willie" on Late Night with Seth Meyers, you can check out John and TJ's performance on YouTube

Maren Morris and Zedd met in "The Middle" to perform their smash pop hit on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday. You can watch their collaboration online now. 

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