Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockBlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert won CMA and ACM Song of the Year for co-writing which song? ANSWER: “Over You.”

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Thomas Rhett Earns Gold Certification for “Crash and Burn”

Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett‘s latest single, “Crash and Burn,” has been certified gold for selling 500,000 copies by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Thomas says, “It seriously blows my mind to think half a million people have already bought ‘Crash.’ Being out on the road with our fans all summer and getting to see them react to this song live has been incredible, and it’s making me even more excited to get new music in their hands.”

The good news comes as Thomas gears up to release his sophomore album, Tangled Up, on September 25.

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Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman Reflects on the Unique Journey of Their Latest Hit, “Girl Crush”

CMALittle Big Town‘s Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild put their latest hit, “Girl Crush,” on lockdown as soon as they heard it. The ladies were in a writing session with the song’s writers, Liz Rose and Lori McKenna, also known as The Love Junkies, when Karen asked them what they had written lately.

“They said, ‘We’ll play this for you, but you’ll never cut it,'” Kimberly recalls. “So, we started listening to ‘Girl Crush,’ and we had no idea, of course, where it was going to go. Then literally, when it kind of gave it away what it was about, it took my breath. I gasped when I realized what it was about.”

At that point, Karen and Kimberly begged Liz and Lori not to play “Girl Crush” for anyone else. Once LBT’s band mates Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook heard “Girl Crush,” Kimberly says, “They loved it as much as we did, and then we cut it.”

At first, “Girl Crush” ran into some resistance at radio on the way to becoming the big hit it is today. Instead of understanding the lyrics as depicting a jealous woman singing about the man she loves being in love with another woman, a few mistaken listeners complained about the song’s perceived lesbian subject matter. Those calls led a few stations to stop playing the song as much, just as it was starting to climb the country chart.

Fellow artists such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Reba took to social media wearing “Girl Crush” hats in support of the song. All the attention led to “Girl Crush” becoming a one of the biggest-selling country singles in recent memory. It ended up being a huge hit at country radio, too.

“I don’t think we could have written a better story for this song,” Kimberly says. “We were so disheartened by how it started out, but then people rallied around it at radio and our fans and our other friends in the business really made it their own. This little song has had a great life, and we are so excited about it.”

“Girl Crush” is expected to be a serious contender for Single and Song of the Year at this November’s CMA Awards. The track is included on Little Big Town’s latest album, Pain Killer, available now.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChase Rice is headed out on the JD and Jesus Tour 2015 this October once he wraps up his opening spot on Kenny Chesney‘s The Big Revival Tour. Dates will be announced later this week, and The Cadillac Three will join Chase as a special guest.

Cassadee Pope will perform her new single, “I Am Invincible,” at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games on Saturday, July 25 in Los Angeles.

Look for Florida Georgia Line to team up with Kellie Pickler on Fox’s Knock Knock: Live Tuesday night at 9 ET. The duo will be in Nashville to “surprise unsuspecting fans in person with an exciting prize.”

Loretta Lynn is performing at Nashville’s new Ascend Amphitheater on Saturday, September 19 on a multi-artist show in connection with the American Music Association’s annual festival and conference in Music City.

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Tim McGraw Looking Forward to Playing a Bad Guy on Upcoming Drama Series, “Robbers”

Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw‘s other career, as an actor, is booming with his new TNT drama series, Robbers, now in development. Tim will star in the show as a really bad guy, but it may be a while before the series makes it to the small screen.

Tim says, “It’s still in the workin’ stages right now. We’re still writing and stuff, but if it all comes together it’s gonna be a lot a fun.”

Robbers is based on the 2000 book of the same name by Christopher Cook. Tim will play a drifter named Ray Bob on a crime spree across Texas, and that’s an exciting prospect for the singer/actor.

He adds, “It’s fun to play a bad guy. You get to sort of step outside yourself a little bit.”

Tim is in his element on the Shotgun Rider tour all this summer with shows coming up in Kansas, Iowa and Michigan this weekend.

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Jason Aldean Played for More than 110,000 Fans over the Weekend

Greenroom PRJason Aldean played for more than 110,000 fans over the weekend between his headlining show in Chicago and his two co-headlining shows with Kenny Chesney at Target Field in Minneapolis. He’s also got the #1 song at country radio this week with “Tonight Looks Good on You,” which has turned into a real highlight of Jason’s live shows.

He says, “Being able to look out into a stadium full of people and have them singing and swaying to this song has been a pretty cool thing the last two months.”

Now, Jason is gearing up to rejoin Kenny for the first-ever headlining country show at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Going into that show with a #1 hit is reason enough for Jason to throw a big celebration after the concert.

“We’ve never really needed much of an excuse to throw down backstage or get a little bit rowdy,” Jason says, “but I have a feeling the party might be bigger than usual this weekend in Pasadena.”

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George Strait’s Star-Studded The Cowboy Rides Away Tour Concert Coming to DVD, Digital Outlets

Eagle Rock EntertainmentIf you couldn’t score a ticket to one of the shows on  George Strait‘s The Cowboy Rides Again farewell tour, no worries — you’ll get to see it after all.  

The country legend is releasing his 2014 concert film, George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away: Live from AT&T Stadium, on DVD and digital formats August 28. The concert marked the end of Strait’s touring career and featured guest performers Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and many others.

The concert release also has bonus features including commentary from George on the show and interviews with his special guests.  Look for it at all the usual retail outlets.

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Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Announce Divorce

CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert‘s marriage is over.

In a joint statement confirmed to ABC Radio by Blake Shelton’s rep, the couple says, “This is not the future we envisioned. And it is with heavy hearts that we move forward separately. We are real people, with real lives, with real families, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter.”

The couple was married May 14, 2011 in Texas. They have no children.

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Maddie & Tae Launching Start Here Tour October 10 in New York City

John Russell/CMAMaddie & Tae will head out on the Start Here tour October 10 at New York City’s Highline Ballroom. The trek comes on the heels of their gig on Dierks Bentley‘s Sounds of Summer tour. The duo’s headlining tour will serve as a showcase for their debut album, Start Here, due out August 28.

The duo’s Tae Dye says, “We’ve spent a few years writing these songs, figuring out how to say what we thought was important about being our age, and figuring out how to create our kind of music, so before we get back onto someone else’s tour, we wanted to take some time and show people all of who we are!”

Start Here features Maddie & Tae’s #1 debut hit, “Girl in a Country Song,” as well as their latest single, “Fly.”

Here are Maddie & Tae’s Start Here tour dates:

10/7 — New York, NY, Highline Ballroom
10/8 — Boston, MA, Paradise Rock Club
10/10 — Portland, ME, The Asylum
10/15 — Knoxville, TN, Cotton Eyed Joe
10/16 — Charlotte, NC, Amos’ Southend
10/17 — Chattanooga, TN, Track 29
10/22 — Tulsa, OK, Cain’s Ballroom
10/23 — Nacogdoches, TX, Banita Creek Hall
10/24 — Houston, TX, House of Blues
11/5 — Springfield, IL, Boondocks
11/6 — Detroit, MI, St. Andrew’s Hall
11/7 — Chicago, IL, Joe’s on Weed Street

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Kenny Chesney Breaks (Again) His Own Attendance Record at Minneapolis’s Target Field

Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairKenny Chesney broke his own attendance record with his show at Target Field in Minneapolis Saturday night. He first set the venue record in 2012 with 42,542 fans, then broke it in 2013 with 43,940 fans at his show. Saturday night, Kenny broke it yet again, playing to 44,152 fans. He played a second show there with Jason Aldean on Sunday night, too.

Kenny says of The Big Revival Tour, “Every week, it seems like the fans are louder, more alive, more inside the songs — and as someone who wants to connect with every last fan, right up to the top back of the stadium, that’s the best feeling in the world!”

Go to to see where he’s taking his show next.

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