Jennifer Nettles Parts Ways with Universal Music Group

CMAJennifer Nettles has parted ways with her record label, Universal Music Group, just days after releasing “Sugar,” which was to have been the lead single from her upcoming sophomore solo album.

The Sugarland singer tells Billboard, “I want to thank Universal Nashville for 11 wonderful years. This change is the first step on a path I’ve been wanting to take. I am so excited about the next part of my journey and I invite my fans to stay tuned.”

Jennifer released her solo debut album, That Girl, in January 2014. Universal Music Group still holds the rights to any future Sugarland projects.

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Jason Aldean Is Living It Up on His New Single, “Gonna Know We Were Here”

CMAJason Aldean is going for a fourth #1 hit from his latest album, Old Boots, New Dirt, with his brand-new single, “Gonna Know We Were Here.” That title seems appropriate as Jason continues to break attendance records at his stadium shows this summer with pal Kenny Chesney.

Jason says of the new track, “In the grand scheme of things, we’re here for a short period of time. By the time I leave, I’m gonna make some noise and I know my fans can relate. I see them out there every night living it up right there with me!”

Jason and Kenny head to Denver this Saturday for a show at Sports Authority Field.

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Reba & Husband Announce Separation After 26 Years of Marriage

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for dcpIt’s the second major split for a country star in a month.  Reba McEntire is ending her marriage to Narvel Blackstock, her manager and husband of 26 years.

In a joint statement, the couple announce that they have been separated for the past few months, after 26 years of marriage, adding, “Despite this being the end of their marriage, they continue to support each other. They have worked together for 35 years and will continue to do so. They have asked that you respect their privacy during this time.”

Blackstock, Reba’s former steel guitar player, is the star’s second husband; her first marriage, to Charlie Battles, ended in divorce in 1987.  Battles passed away in 2013. 

Blackstock and Reba had one child together, son Shelby, who was born in 1990.  She also has three stepchildren from Blackstock’s previous marriage, including Brandon Blackstock, who is married to Kelly Clarkson.

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Luke Bryan to Debut New Single, “Strip It Down,” on “Good Morning America” This Friday

CMALuke Bryan has scored another #1 hit with his latest single, “Kick the Dust Up.” It’s the lead single from his new album, Kill the Lights, due out this Friday. Look for Luke to debut his brand-new single, “Strip It Down,” this Friday on ABC’s Good Morning America. He’ll perform the song again Monday, August 10 on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Luke co-wrote six of the 13 tracks on Kill the Lights, including the title cut.

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Dustin Lynch Launching First Headlining Tour This November

Broken Bow RecordsDustin Lynch will kick off his first-ever headlining trek starting November 14 in Richmond, Virginia. The Hell of a Night tour will hit more than 35 cities, including New York City, Boston, Houston and New Orleans.

Dustin says, “Touring with Luke Bryan and Keith Urban, I’ve learned from the best and now to headline my first tour is a dream come true. The first night can’t get here fast enough and I’m excited for fans to see what we have in store!”

Newcomer Chris Lane is the special guest on Dustin’s Hell of a Night tour. Look for more dates to be added soon.

Here are Dustin’s announced headlining tour dates for 2015 and 2016:

11/14 — Richmond, VA, The National Theater
11/15 — Norfolk, VA, The NorVA Theatre
11/19 — Kansas City, MO, Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
11/20 — Denver, CO, Fillmore Auditorium
11/22 — Boise, ID, Knitting Factory
11/27 — Indianapolis, IN, Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
11/28 — Memphis, TN, New Daisy Theatre
12/3 — Lake Buena Vista, FL, House of Blues
12/6 — Greensboro, NC, Cone Denim Entertainment Center
12/10 — Wallingford, CT, The Dome at Oakdale Theatre
12/11 — Huntington, NY, The Paramount
12/12 — New York, NY, Irving Plaza
12/13 — Clifton Park, NY, Upstate Concert Hall
12/18 — Grand Rapids, MI, The Intersection
2/4 — New Orleans, LA, House of Blues
2/5 — Houston, TX, House of Blues
2/11 — Boston, MA, House of Blues
2/13 — Silver Spring, MD, The Fillmore
2/20 — Cincinnati, OH, Bogart’s

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Hunter Hayes Performs “Invisible” for 22-Year-Old Fan Facing Terminal Cancer

Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes has recorded a special performance of his song “Invisible” for a fan from Maryland he calls “a rock star” and one of the most inspiring human beings he has ever come across.

Her name is Erin Catterton, and she’s facing terminal cancer at 22-years-old. Since Erin is a huge Hunter Hayes fan, her brother, Robert, reached out to Hunter’s camp to try to fulfill her wish to meet her favorite singer. Hunter responded by sending Erin a heartfelt video performance of “Invisible” filmed in his hotel room in Los Angeles. He hopes to meet Erin in person very soon.

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Erin has battled cancer for much of her life. According to Robert, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just four-years-old. Just a few weeks ago, doctors found a tumor in Erin’s uterus. After performing surgery to remove the tumor, doctors have now told Erin and her family there is nothing more that can be done. She is now in hospice care.

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Thomas Rhett Reveals More Details of Genre-Bending New Album, “Tangled Up”

Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett has revealed more details of his genre-bending new album, Tangled Up, due out September 25. The project features his R&B-inspired hit, “Crash and Burn,” as well as collaborations with pop/R&B stars Jordin Sparks and Lunch Money Lewis.

“I didn’t grow up listening to just one style of music,” Thomas says of his varied musical influences. “So, I don’t know how to write just one style of music. Whether these songs have more of a pop influence or more of a hip-hop influence or a completely country influence, they all — in some crazy way — cohesively sound like a me song.”

Thomas is a co-writer on seven of the 13 tracks on Tangled Up.

Here is the Tangled Up track listing:

“Crash and Burn”
“South Side”
“Die a Happy Man”
“Like It’s the Last Time”
“Single Girl”
“The Day You Stop Looking Back”
“Tangled Up”
“Playing with Fire” (featuring Jordin Sparks)
“I Feel Good” (featuring Lunch Money Lewis)
“Learned It from the Radio”

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Kip Moore Launching Wild Ones Tour October 8 in Pennsylvania

Joseph Llanes/UMGKip Moore will launch his 2015 Wild Ones Tour October 8 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in support of his new album, Wild Ones, due out August 21. If you’ve caught Kip’s show in the last few months, then you’ve probably already heard a good chunk of his new project.

Kip says, “We’ve been playing so many of these new songs in the live show because we road-tested them night after night before recording what became the final album.   They were a huge part in helping me formulate what Wild Ones became.”

Kip’s new tour will play New York City’s Terminal Five and Boston’s House of Blues. Newcomer Michael Ray is the special guest on all dates with Chris Cavanaugh, Joey Hyde and DeeJay Silver joining the tour for select shows.

Look for Kip to perform his latest single, “I’m to Blame,” on ABC’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock special Tuesday night at 8 ET.

Here are Kip’s 2015 Wild Ones tour dates:

10/8 — Bethlehem, PA
10/9 — Pittsburgh, PA
10/16 — London, ON (CAN)
10/17 — Toronto, ON (CAN)
10/22 – 10/23 — Chicago, IL
10/30 — Boston, MA
10/31 — Baltimore ,MD
11/5 — Knoxville, TN
11/7 — Cleveland, OH
11/13 — Orlando, FL
11/14 — Ft. Myers, FL
11/19 — Nacogdoches, TX
11/27 — N. Myrtle Beach, SC
11/28 — Charlotte, NC
12/3 — New York, NY
12/4 — Sayreville, NJ
12/5 — Richmond, VA

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Florida Georgia Line Connects with Their Fans on “CMA Music Festival” Special Tuesday Night on ABC

ABC RadioFlorida Georgia Line is just one of the superstar acts you’ll see performing on ABC’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock Tuesday night at 8 ET. The three-hour special was shot last month on location in Nashville during the four-day CMA Music Festival. The event attracts fans from around the world because it offers the public a chance to interact with their favorite country stars on top of seeing them perform live.

While taping a segment for the ABC special during CMA Music Festival, FGL’s Tyler Hubbard said, “CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee is where all the most passionate and most loyal fans join forces for a whole week, from all over the world. Europe, Canada. We’ve met people from everywhere. The energy here is insane.”

Meeting their fans during CMA Music Festival week gives Florida Georgia Line a chance to really spend time with the people who buy their music and concert tickets.

“It’s cool to hear their stories, how they’ve connected with our music,” says FGl’s Brian Kelley. “How it’s touching them and their friends and how they like Cole Swindell now because of us, or they like so and so. It’s really cool.”

He adds, “Our fans are very loyal. The connection is what country music is all about.”

A lot of those behind-the-scenes moments will be featured on ABC’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock special Tuesday night. The show will feature performances and interviews with Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Thomas Rhett, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and many more country stars. Little Big Town hosts the special for the third year in a row.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of the clothing and lifestyle brand Florida Georgia Line‘s Brian Kelley runs with his wife, Brittney? ANSWER: Tribe Kelley.

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