Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton Building a New House with Plenty of Room for the Pets

Image Courtesy Country LivingMiranda Lambert serves as the first-ever guest editor of Country Living magazine for the June issue, out May 19. In the cover story, Miranda also reveals she and hubby Blake Shelton are currently building a new house with their 15 rescued animals in mind.

Miranda says with a laugh, “I’ve been saving inspiration [for the house] on Pinterest. A friend of mine recently said, ‘I can see your Pinterest boards, and all you have on there are dog rooms.’”

Blake and Miranda also plan to spend a lot time in their garden this summer.  “This year, we’re planting tomatoes and strawberries to make jam, “Miranda says. “I have a little downtime this summer, so I’m looking forward to this task.”



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Zac Brown Band Scores Third Consecutive #1 on “Billboard” 200 with “Jekyll + Hyde”

Image Courtesy Danny Clinch/Varvatos/Southern Ground/BMLGZac Brown Band‘s new album, Jekyll + Hyde, is the group’s third consecutive studio project to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. According to Billboard and Nielsen Music, Jekyll + Hyde moved 228,000 equivalent albums in its first week. That tally takes into account actual album sales along with statistics from streaming services.

Jekyll + Hyde also tops Billboard‘s Country Albums chart, with Tyler Farr‘s new release, Suffer in Peace, following at #2 with 42,000 units sold and streamed. Suffer in Peace also comes in at #4 on the overall Billboard 200, which is Tyler’s highest position on that chart to date.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockTim McGraw and Kenny Chesney toured stadiums together in 2012. What was the name of that trek? ANSWER: Brothers of the Sun Tour.


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Keith Urban Hosting “American Idol” Chat Wednesday on Facebook

Image Courtesy CMAThe 14th season of American Idol is coming to a close soon, so it’s a great time to ask judge Keith Urban some questions about this year’s finalists. Keith is hosting a Facebook chat about Idol on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. ET just hours before the show airs at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

American Idol‘s 14th season wraps up with a two-part finale airing Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWillie Nelson appears on ABC’s The View and NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers Wednesday promoting his just-released memoir, It’s a Long Story.

Lady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley shared a photo on Twitter Tuesday from the beach in Florida showing off his reading material — a special issue of Life magazine profiling his “favorite band of all time,” Fleetwood Mac.


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Zac Brown Band Spent Months Creating and Recording Top-Selling New Album, “Jekyll + Hyde”

Image Courtesy Varvatos/Southern Ground/BMLGZac Brown Band‘s new album, Jekyll + Hyde, is shaping up to be one of the biggest country albums of 2015, so the group members can rest assured they didn’t waste any time writing and recording the eclectic project. Most of the project was written on the road late at night following the band’s 2014 concert dates. They narrowed the batch of tunes down to the 16 songs that made the final cut, but the guys didn’t head straight to the recording studio at that point.

Lead singer Zac Brown says, “We spent a full week down at the beach arranging the record with all the guys getting all the harmony right, getting everything ready.”

After all that work, Zac Brown Band still took four months in the recording studio creating Jekyll + Hyde.

“We’ve never spent that much time working on the album, and I think that you can tell on this one,” Zac says. “There’s that much detail in every single one of these songs, so you really have to listen to it a bunch of times to really kind of catch all the different nuances of what’s happening.”

He goes on to describe Jekyll + Hyde as the “most extravagant painting that we’ve ever done as a band.”

Zac Brown Band is on the road touring in support of Jekyll + Hyde all summer long. Go to ZacBrownBand.com for dates.


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Tim McGraw Leaves Mother’s Day Planning to His Three Teenage Daughters

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw‘s three daughters with Faith Hill are all teenagers now, so he doesn’t have to help them get their presents ready for Mother’s Day anymore.

Tim tells ABC Radio, “They always pretty much are pretty good at taking care of that.”

Still, Tim likes to show his appreciation for Faith on Mother’s Day, too. He adds, “You know, I try to find something that’s interesting for my wife. Of course, breakfast in bed’s always pretty good.”

As for their daughters, Tim and Faith’s oldest, Gracie, just turned 18 and will graduate high school later this month. Their middle child, Maggie, will be a high school senior next year, and Tim is philosophical about watching his daughters start dating and developing lives of their own.

“At first, you start off, you say, ‘I’m gonna have a shotgun across my lap and I’m gonna sit in the front door,’” Tim says of watching his daughters enter the dating scene. “But as they get older, you sort of grow along with that. You just want them to be happy and you want them to go out and experience life in the best ways. You feel like you do your best to raise them with good values and to respect themselves and respect other people.”


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A Thousand Horses Books Major TV Appearances Thanks to Debut Hit, “Smoke”

Image Courtesy Joseph Llanes/Republic NashvilleNew group A Thousand Horses‘ career is on fire thanks to their debut top-five hit “Smoke.” The song’s popularity has earned the band performance slots on NBC’s Today on May 11 and Fox News’s Fox & Friends on May 13. After years of struggling to make it big, A Thousand Horses is now “humbled” by the big welcome they’ve gotten from both country radio and their new fans.

Lead singer Michael Hobby says, “To know this band’s journey and the side-jobs we all had, the gigs we took for no money, the memories we made while all traveling in one van while we took turns driving overnight for years just to get our sound perfected and the music right, just makes this moment so incredible.”

A Thousand Horses’ debut album, Southernality, is due out June 9. They join Darius Rucker’s Southern Style tour starting May 14 in Holmdel, New Jersey.


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Eric Church Pays No Attention to Country Radio When Choosing His Opening Acts

Image Courtesy John Peets/Capitol NashvilleUnlike most country headliners, Eric Church doesn’t pay attention to country radio when choosing his opening acts. Instead, he books musical acts he’s passionate about, whether or not they could ever fit in the country format. That’s why you’ll see everyone from hard rock group Halestorm to Americana group The Lone Bellow on the road with Eric this year.

He tells the Lexington Herald-Leader, “I just thought it was cooler than who everybody else takes on tour. Everybody just repackages tours. That’s what happens in country music. That’s what happens in all kinds of music. They just take the same four or five people, whoever had a hit this year, whoever’s hot, and sticks them on the bill.”

Eric’s approach to booking supporting acts comes from his experience as a brand-new act opening for rock legend Bob Seger. Eric got the gig because Bob liked his music, an opportunity Eric wants to pass that opportunity on to his favorite up-and-coming acts.

“There is just so much music out there I love that doesn’t have the outlet,” Eric explains. ” You know what? We didn’t used to have the outlet, either”

He adds, “Going forward, this is something we’re going to continue to do.”

Check out Eric’s full tour schedule at EricChurch.com.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Miranda Lambert‘s boutique with locations in Tishomingo, Oklahoma and Lindale, Texas? ANSWER: The Pink Pistol.


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