Thomas Rhett Working to Set Himself Apart from the Crowded Male Country Field

Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett is working hard to make himself stand out from the crowded field of solo male acts in the country format. That’s why he tapped into his soul and R&B influence for the brand-new single, “Crash and Burn.”

Thomas tells the Indianapolis Star, “If you don’t do something that makes you stand out a little bit, I think you’re always considered just in a category, rather than people knowing your name.”

For inspiration, Thomas looks to legendary acts like Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to see how they kept their sound fresh and stayed true to themselves over the course of their respective careers.

“They never really played it safe,” Thomas says. “They were always pushing themselves. Every record had similarities to the previous one, but you could tell they were trying to push what they did to a different level.”

“Crash and Burn” is the lead single from Thomas’s as-yet-untitled sophomore album, due out later this year.

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Miranda Lambert Explains Why She Doesn’t Just Pack Up and Tour with Hubby Blake Shelton

CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert spend a lot of time apart due to their work schedules. It seems the couple would launch a co-headlining tour as a way to spend more time together, but bringing their respective live shows together would take a lot of compromises for both Blake and Miranda.

Miranda tells the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “It’s interesting being married to an artist because we have two ways of doing everything, him and I. From our management and fans, from the way we write to the songs we pick — but it’s fun to watch because both ways work.”

As for their relationship, Miranda says spending time apart makes her and Blake work that much harder to stay connected.

“You have to talk on the phone and text each other and be intimate, but rely on them in a different way,” Miranda says. “It works, if you’re up for it. It’s not for everybody.”

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Jason Aldean Revisits His Blue-Collar Past in “Tonight Looks Good on You” Video

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean returns to his days punching a clock as a blue-collar worker in the video for his new single, “Tonight Looks Good on You.” Jason plays a supporting role in the clip’s storyline about a couple as they struggle to make ends meet and support their family.

Says Jason, “It wasn’t that long ago that I was a Pepsi delivery guy racing the clock hoping to get home before sundown. So, it was easy to put myself back in those shoes and kinda cheer for the guy who works his *ss off to get home to his girl.”

The “Tonight Looks Good on You” video premieres Saturday at 9 a.m. ET on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown and CMT.com. Look for the clip everywhere on Monday.

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Brad Paisley’s Probably Not Getting You Free Tickets to The Rolling Stones Concert in Nashville

Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley‘s family members have seen a dramatic increase in unwanted phone calls and text messages ever since his son was announced as the opening act for The Rolling Stones‘ June 17 show at Nashville’s LP Field.

“You wouldn’t believe it,” Brad says. “There’s people I don’t know that called my father, that got his number and said, ‘Hi, do you remember me? Is there any way?’ Honestly, it’s never a good indicator when they say, ‘Do you remember me?’”

Brad wants to go on record as saying anyone not in his immediate family or band probably won’t be getting on his guest list for the Stones show.

He adds, “How many tickets do you think I get that I’m on the ‘Remember me?’  list?”

Even Brad’s CMA Awards co-host Carrie Underwood hit him up on Twitter asking for a pair of tickets. Brad says her chances of getting into the show are very good if she agrees to join him onstage for their 2011 hit duet, “Remind Me.”

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was the name of Reba and Kelly Clarkson‘s 2008 joint tour? ANSWER: 2 Worlds 2 Voices.

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Keith Urban Performs, Blake Shelton Parodies “The Voice” on Red Nose Day Event

David Giesbrecht/NBC“Red Nose Day,” a three-hour live event designed to raise money for charity organizations that focus on helping children and young people in the U.S. and around the world lift themselves out of poverty, aired Thursday night on NBC.

The star-studded event also included Blake Shelton and a performance from Keith Urban.

Urban launched into a version of John Mellencamp‘s “Pink Houses.” He then introduced the rock legend, who took the stage to sing the rest of the song. Urban sang harmony on the choruses and played guitar.

Shelton joined his fellow Voice coaches Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Pharrell – along with host Carson Daly – in a parody of the show in which Will Ferrell faced off against Parks and Recreation vet Nick Offerman to prove who is the best at convincing people to donate.

In addition to Ferrell, the telecast featured other celebrities from film and TV, including Jack Black, Anna Kendrick, and Gwyneth Paltrow,

“Red Nose Day,” which began in the U.K. 30 years ago, is making its American debut this year. The event will benefit 12 charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the National Urban League, Save the Children, and United Way.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJerrod Niemann kicks off Fox & Friends‘ All-American Summer Concert Series Friday morning on Fox News.

Justin Moore is playing in the 2015 MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game July 12 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Snoop Dogg, The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson and Nick Lachey are also playing in the game, which will broadcast on ESPN following the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 13.

Cole Swindell has been added to the lineup for the 11th annual Stars for Second Harvest concert lineup at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium June 9. Dierks Bentley and Nashville cast members Charles Esten and Lennon & Maisy are also on the bill.

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Tim McGraw Shares the Screen with George Clooney in New Sci-Fi Film, “Tomorrowland”

Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw is back on the big screen with a role in the new George Clooney sci-fi film, Tomorrowland, in theaters now. He plays a NASA engineer who’s out of work since the NASA program has been shut down.

Tim tells ABC Radio, “[In the movie], my daughter’s a really curious young lady who gets into all sorts of things and ends up going into the future.”

If you think that all sounds complicated, you’re not alone. Tim says, “I mean, I don’t even know how to explain the movie, and I read the script and was in the movie. It’s just so much stuff going on.”

Though the storyline of Tomorrowland is a little complex, Tim had no trouble stepping into the dad role. It’s a part he’s had a lot of real-life experience getting ready for as a father to his three daughters.

Says Tim, “I think as an actor, you bring all the life experience that you have into whatever you do, and it certainly has been a benefit to me.”

So, can fans expect to see Tim riding a rocket or exploring outer space in Tomorrowland?

“Oddly enough, though, my character is never really involved in much of the — one or two scenes — but never much involved in the whole other world kinda thing,” Tim explains. “So, I was pretty much rooted in reality in my part of the movie.”

As for working with George Clooney, Tim says the screen heartthrob is a really good guy. Clooney’s killer good looks didn’t threaten Tim when they shared scenes together either.

Tim says with a smile, “The thing about me was not walking on the set and being the ugliest guy around. Since Clooney was there, I felt better about myself.”

Actress Britt Robertson, who plays Tim’s daughter in the movie, admits her family was much more excited about her working with McGraw over Clooney.

Britt tells ABC Radio, “We’re huge country fans. Not that we don’t love George. George is great. But small potatoes in comparison to the great Tim McGraw.”

On the music front, Tim launches his Shotgun Rider tour June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Hunter Hayes Commemorates a Milestone Birthday with Brand-New Single, “21″

Ray Burmiston/Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes has dropped his brand-new single, “21,” to country radio. The song captures Hunter’s excitement and nostalgia about celebrating his 21st birthday.

Look for Hunter to perform “21″ on ABC’s The View on Monday. You’ll be able to download the track the next day, May 26.

Hunter’s currently headlining his sold-out Let’s Be Crazy Tour UK in support of the UK release this week of his album, I Want Crazy. He’ll continue as a special guest on Lady Antebellum‘s Wheels Up Tour with Sam Hunt May 29 in Wantagh, New York.

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Eric Church Breaks Nebraska Arena Attendance Record Set by Elton John

Jill Trunnell/EB MediaEric Church continues to shatter North American ticket sales records with The Outsiders World Tour. His Wednesday night show at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska played to 15,823 fans, breaking the venue’s previous attendance record of 14,368 fans, set at a 2014 Elton John concert.

Eric’s already broken arena attendance records in Chicago, Nashville and North Dakota this year.

“I’m humbled by the success this tour has had,” Eric says. “The records it has set, by some of my muses and heroes, it’s [all] very surreal. As an avid music fan, I’m not sure it’s deserving in comparison to those I adore musically.  I can only say this happened because, in my opinion, our fans are second to none.”

On top of his arena gigs, Eric will open Nashville’s new Ascend Amphitheater with two back-to-back solo shows July 30 and 31. Tickets for those dates are sold out, too.

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