Hunter Hayes Introduces Fans to His New Greyhound Pup, Cole

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes has adopted a new dog named Cole. The retired racing Greyhound is Hunter’s new “bus dog,” but his band didn’t know about the new addition to their tour crew until Hunter posted a YouTube video about it earlier this week.

In the clip, Hunter says Cole can run really fast, has incredible sight and is very mellow and patient. He got the pup from Greyhound Pets of America in Nashville.

Hunter will most likely leave Cole at home as he attends this Sunday’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. He’s up for Best Country Solo Performance for “Invisible” this year.


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Luke Bryan Takes In His 13-Year-Old Nephew, Til, Following Brother-in-Law’s Untimely Death

Image Courtesy CMALuke Bryan is opening up about the aftermath of his brother-in-law Ben Lee Cheshire‘s unexpected death last November.  Ben was married to Luke’s late sister Kelly, who died in 2007. Now, Luke and his family are helping Kelly and Ben’s three children deal with the devastating loss. Their youngest son, 13-year-old Til, has come to live with Luke and his wife, Caroline, in Nashville. It’s been quite an adjustment for the entire family as Til joins Luke and Caroline’s young boys, Bo and Tate, in the household.

Luke says, “I went from having two boys in the house to having a 13-year-old boy in the house, which is a whole ‘nother set of learning that you have to do.”

Til has two older sisters, and Luke is thankful he has the means to fly them up to see their brother on a regular basis.

Says Luke, “It’s every day on the phone all day trying to talk with the family and figure out what to do, but it’s what you gotta do.”

Luke admits he and Caroline are exhausted at the end of every day figuring it all out, but Luke tries to stay positive and remember this is all part of God’s plan.

He admits, “It’s not what I want at all. I think we just rally around as a family.”

Luke has drawn support from the country music family, too. His friends in Lady Antebellum teamed up with songwriter Chris Stapleton to perform “Drink a Beer” on the CMT Artists of the Year special in early December. Luke recorded that song in memory of his sister Kelly and his brother, Chris, who was killed in a car accident in the mid-’90s. That performance aired live the same day as Ben’s funeral.

Luke says, “That night we were, as a family, watching all of that on TV and watching Lady A and Stapleton sing that. It was a big-time healing moment.”

As he continues to cope with the loss of his brother-in-law, Luke hopes his story will help people going through similar situations.

“We feel like if we just stay positive through this, maybe we’ll be a positive inspiration for people that had these things happen to ’em,” Luke says. “You just have to plow on and play the hand that’s dealt.”

Luke’s music career continues in high gear with the 2015 leg of his That’s My Kind of Night tour launching next week. He’ll release the new album Spring Break…Checkin’ Out on March 10. The release features five new songs as well as all six tracks from last year’s Spring Break EP.

Here is the track listing:
“My Ol’ Bronco” — new song
“Games” — new song
“She Get Me High”
“Spring Breakdown” — new song
“Good Lookin’ Girl”
“Checkin’ Out” — new song
“You and the Beach” — new song
“Night One”
“Like We Ain’t Ever”
“The Sand I Brought to the Beach”
“Are You Leaving with Him”


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Martina McBride Adds More Dates to Everlasting Tour

Image Courtesy BMLGFresh off her ACM Awards nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year, Martina McBride has announced a new round of dates for her Everlasting Tour. The trek features a full band, complete with a horn section and three backup singers, performing on selections from her covers album, Everlasting. She’s also put a new spin on her biggest hits, including “A Broken Wing” and “Anyway.”

Martina says, “We are enjoying the fresh take on our hits of the last 20 plus years as well as being able to play so much of the new album because it’s familiar music to my fans. I think we are all wishing this tour really would last forever!”

Martina’s tour continues Tuesday, February 10 with a show in Oklahoma.  Here are the new Everlasting Tour dates:

2/10 — Midwest City, OK, Hudiburg Chevrolet Center
2/12 — Davenport, IA, Adler Theater
2/13 — Brookings, SD, Swiftel Center
2/26 — Coachella, CA, Spotlight 29 Casino
3/26 — Austin, TX, Rodeo Austin
3/27 — Biloxi, MS, Beau Rivage Theatre
3/28 — Ft. Worth, TX, Billy Bob’s Texas
5/15 — Merrillville, IN, Star Plaza Theater
5/16 — Wisconsin Dells, WI, Crystal Grand Music Theater
6/6 — Chattanooga, TN, Riverbend Festival
6/18 — Burlington, IA, Burlington Steamboat Days
7/3 — Myrtle Beach, SC, Alabama Theater
7/22 — Helena, MT, Last Change Stampede & Fair
7/25 — Medicine Hat, AB (CAN), Medicine Hat Stampede
7/28 — Rock Springs, WY, Sweetwater County Fair
8/13 — Aberdeen, SD, Born County Fairgrounds
10/2 — Minot, ND, Norsk Hostfest


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Miranda Lambert’s Mutt Nation Foundation Donates More than $200,000 to Animal Shelters Nationwide

Image Courtesy Becky FlukeMiranda Lambert continues her work on behalf of the shelter pets across the country through her Mutt Nation Foundation organization. The charity donated more than $206,000 to shelters in all 50 states last month as part of their 50 States/50 Shelters initiative. The Mutt Nation board researched and rewarded the shelters based on their adoption rates, fiscal responsibility, and a few other factors. Each shelter received at least $3,000.

Miranda says, “I feel so passionately about helping all animals and I’m thrilled that we have once again been able to give to phenomenal shelters all across the country.  The people at these shelters do such amazing work day-in and day-out and are truly heroes for the animals.”

See a complete list of shelters receiving grants from Miranda’s organization at Facebook.com/MuttNation.



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Brandy Clark to Perform with Dwight Yoakam on This Sunday’s Grammy Awards

Image Courtesy EB Media PRBrandy Clark has joined the performers lineup for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards this weekend. The Best New Artist nominee will sing a duet with two-time Grammy winner Dwight Yoakam. The two artists recently shared a bill as special guests on Eric Church‘s The Outsiders World Tour.

Nominees Miranda Lambert and Eric Church are also scheduled to perform on the Grammy Awards, airing live at 8 p.m. ET Sunday night on CBS.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Kenny Chesney‘s middle name? ANSWER: Arnold.


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Kenny Chesney Reunites with Grace Potter for New Single, “Wild Child”

Image Courtesy Allister Ann/SonyKenny Chesney is re-teaming with his “You and Tequila” collaborator Grace Potter for his new single, “Wild Child.” Kenny had a hand in writing the song, which tells the story of a woman hungry to experience all life has to offer.

Kenny says, “To me a girl who is so alive, so in the moment, so curious and hungry for life… there’s nothing like her.  You can’t tie ’em down. So free… and so intense because of it. Nothing is more attractive. To me, that makes women really stand out.”

“Wild Child” follows “American Kids” and “Til It’s Gone” as the third single from Kenny’s latest album, The Big Revival.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Eli Young Band, Chase Bryant, RaeLynn and newcomer Mickey Guyton are all set to perform at the Grand Ole Opry show at the annual Country Radio Seminar February 25 in Nashville. The performance is open to CRS registrants only.

Rodney AtkinsGreatest Hits is out this week featuring his latest single, “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat.” He was spotted shooting a video for the single earlier this week in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.


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Luke Bryan Is Ready to Hear His Fans Sing Along with “I See You”

Image Courtesy ABC/Dick Clark ProductionsLuke Bryan launches the 2015 leg of his That’s My Kind of Night tour next week, and his latest #1 hit, “I See You,” will be featured in the set list. In fact, Luke recorded the song with his concert crowds in mind.

He says, “I just loved the intensity of how edgy the song is. I had never went that far with almost kind of a rock feel, and I just felt like it was a hit.”

Fan reaction to the song has been huge, which is what Luke was hoping for when he released “I See You” as the sixth and final single from his album, Crash My Party.

“I just really wanted to get it in the hands of my fans,” Luke says. “And now I’m excited to see how it does on the road.”

Luke has more new music coming out soon. He’ll release his final Spring Break album, titled Checkin’ Out on March 10.


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Cole Swindell Honored at CMA Triple Play Awards for Songwriting Success

Image Courtesy CMACole Swindell was the only performing artist among the 14 songwriters honored at the CMA Triple Play Awards Tuesday in Nashville. The annual luncheon recognizes writers who have penned three or more #1 country hits in a 12-month period. Cole hit that milestone with his own recordings, “Chillin’ It” and “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” as well as the Thomas Rhett hit he co-wrote, “Get Me Some of That.”

While accepting his trophy, Cole said singing his own compositions on stage is something he’s dreamed of doing for a long time.

“This is where I love to be,” he continued, “and whether you’ve influenced me to move to this town or kept ’em from kicking me out, thank you so much! I hope I get to do this forever.”

Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott, Hunter Hayes and Chris Young are among the previous recipients of the CMA Triple Play Award.


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