Brandy Clark Touring with Alan Jackson, Performing on “Good Morning America” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers”

Image Courtesy Becky Fluke/EB MediaBrandy Clark is kicking off 2015 with a spot on a major tour and two big TV performances. She’s headed out with Alan Jackson on his 25th Anniversary tour starting this Thursday in Florida and running through mid-May.  On Monday, January 12, Brandy will perform on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Brandy is up for Best New Artist and Best Country Album for 12 Stories at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, airing February 8 on CBS. She won Song of the Year at the CMA Awards last November for co-writing the Kacey Musgraves single “Follow Your Arrow.”

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Lady Antebellum Taking Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt on Wheels Up 2015 Tour

Image Courtesy Greenroom PRLady Antebellum will launch their Wheels Up 2015 tour with a run through Europe and Australia starting February 28. The North American leg of the trek will launch May 1 in Lubbock, Texas. Sam Hunt and Hunter Hayes are the opening acts on most of Lady A’s dates through the fall.

The group’s Charles Kelley says, “Being able to play off each other on that stage is honestly where we have the most fun, and I have a feeling the crowd will already be on their feet when we get out there after starting the night with Hunter and Sam!”

As part of the tour, Lady Antebellum is extending their 7FOR7 initiative, in conjunction with Quickens Loans, to pay the mortgages of seven families across the country for one year. Lady A started the 7FOR7 initiative by granting seven wishes for seven fans the week their latest album, 747, was released last year.

Here are the Wheels Up 2015 Tour cities:

Oslo, Norway
Stockholm, Sweden
Glasgow, Scotland
Dublin, Ireland
London, England
Ipswhich, Queensland
Sydney, Australia
Melbourne, Australia
Lubbock, TX
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
St. Louis, MO
Indianapolis, IN
Cincinnati, OH
Holmdel, NJ
Mansfield, MA
Saratoga Springs, NY
New York, NY
Bristow, VA
Toronto, ON (CAN)
Detroit, MI
Cleveland, OH
Sacramento, CA
Mountain View, CA
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Albuquerque, NM
Bentonville, AR
Southaven, MS
Atlanta, GA
Eau Claire, WI
Omaha, NE
Camrose, AB (CAN)
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh, NC
Virginia Beach, VA
Hershey, PA
Hartford, CT
Tulsa, OK
Kansas City, KS
Chicago, IL
Birmingham, AL
Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
Pittsburgh, PA
Philadelphia, PA

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Reba Is Back with Fiery New Single, “Going Out Like That”

Image Courtesy BMLG/StarstruckReba is back with a brand-new single, “Going Out Like That,” available now at iTunes. It’s the lead single from her upcoming studio album. As soon as she heard the song, Reba knew she wanted to have “Going Out Like That” on her new project.

“When you listen to thousands of songs trying to find just the right one to record, a really great song jumps out at you,” Reba says. “That’s exactly what ‘Going Out Like That’ did to me!”

“Going Out Like That” was originally written from a male perspective, but Reba had the writers tweak the lyrics a bit so she could sing it.

Reba’s next album will be out in April.

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Blake Shelton Will Be Host and Musical Guest on “Saturday Night Live” January 24

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton will be the host and musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live January 24. He joins the ranks of Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Taylor Swift as country artists who have performed double-duty on the show. Of course, Blake is one of NBC’s biggest stars these days, thanks to his role as a coach on The Voice.

It doesn’t look like Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert, will be making a cameo on SNL, though. She’s got a show in West Virginia that night.

Blake was also rumored to be performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl coming up February 1, but his rep tells ABC News Radio those reports are false.

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Garth Brooks Taking World Tour to Denver March 20 and 21

Image Courtesy Pearl/RCAGarth Brooks is taking his World Tour to Denver for the first time in more than 18 years. As always, Trisha Yearwood is on the bill with Garth for the two shows, set for March 20 and 21 at the Pepsi Center. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 16 at or 1-844-63GARTH.

Garth may add more shows once ticket demand is determined on the on-sale date.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockMiranda Lambert and Chris Young both got their first national TV exposure competing on which singing competition? ANSWER: Nashville Star.

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Scotty McCreery Digging Deeper into His Country Roots on Next Studio Album

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleScotty McCreery first got the nation’s attention trying out for American Idol with Josh Turner‘s decidedly country hit, “Your Man.” Since winning Idol in 2011, Scotty has blended his love of classic country with the current pop-influenced sounds of today to produce hits like “See You Tonight.” That’s all changing with his next album, though.

Scotty tells Rolling Stone, “I’m going to make a country music record. That’s what I had to try to convey to the label, and they were all for it. The stuff I grew up with was that kind of music — I want to have some depth and portray a different side.”

Scotty will be writing a lot more on his new album, which he expects to release later this year.

“I love songwriting,” he says. “It’s a way to explore what’s going on upstairs.”

Look for Scotty’s next single to be the lead release from the new album.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKenny Rogers will reunite with the original members of The First Edition for a panel discussion at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville Saturday, January 17. The program is being presented in conjunction with Kenny’s current Hall of Fame exhibit, Kenny Rogers: Though the Years.

Zac Brown Band will debut their new single, “Homegrown,” on ESPN’s College Football Playoff Championship Tailgate on Monday, January 12.

According to Billboard, Luke Bryan‘s name was the most-searched subject of 2014 on Ticketmaster’s website.

Singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc will join Lady Antebellum for a special performance on the CMT Ultimate Kickoff Party Live from the College Football Playoff National Championship special. The show premieres Friday night at 9 ET on CMT.

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Tim McGraw Loves Seeing Keith Urban Represent Country Music on “American Idol”

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw has served as country music’s ambassador to the mainstream many times through his work in movies or performances on multi-genre TV shows. So, Tim’s endorsement of his “Highway Don’t Care” collaborator Keith Urban as a judge on American Idol carries some real weight.

“He’s one of my favorite people,” Tim says of his pal Keith. “He’s a really good guy, and as far as somebody who represents country music and the face of somebody, and the music of somebody that you would want out there representin’ what you do, he’s certainly somebody that I would want to hold up and put a light on, for us.”

Look for Keith to return to American Idol Wednesday night at 8 ET on Fox.

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Maddie & Tae Look to Marilyn Monroe and Dolly Parton for Career Inspiration

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsIt looks like country duo Maddie & Tae are laying the groundwork for a long-lasting career, based on the women they look up to for career guidance. Tae Dye points to the late screen legend Marilyn Monroe as the person she’d most like to chat with, because of her her intelligence and beauty. Tae feels Marilyn’s status as a timeless, yet curvy beauty ties in nicely with their debut anthem, “Girl in a Country Song.”

Tae says of the Marilyn, “Back then, she was beautiful and perfect and now days she’d be considered a plus-size model, which is ridiculous.”

Tae’s duo partner, Maddie Marlow, wants to meet up with another larger-then-life blonde for advice.

“I really wanna sit down with Dolly Parton,” Maddie says, “and just see how she has been so poised throughout her whole entire career, but still like a strong, take-no-prisoners, very strong, independent woman. I would love to get some advice from her.”

Maddie & Tae have just released their brand-new single, “Fly,” to country radio. It’s the second release from their self-titled EP, available now.

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