Eric Church Playing October Benefit Concert for Grammy Foundation

CMAEric Church is taking a brief detour from his The Outsiders arena tour next month to play an intimate show in Madison, WI. An Evening with Eric Church takes place Wednesday, October 8 at the Orpheum Theater. Eric’s full band will play with him, but there will be no opening act. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 12 at MadisonOrpheum.com.

Proceeds from this special show go to the GRAMMY Foundation in their work to promote music education and the preservation of recorded music.


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Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood Welcomes Baby Boy, Cash Van Haywood

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleCongratulations to Lady Antebellum‘s Dave Haywood and his wife, Kelli, on the birth of their first child. Cash Van Haywood was born Sunday night in Nashville weighing seven pounds and measuring 19 inches. Lady A’s Twitter account says, “Mom & Dad are doing great and couldn’t be happier.”

As for the name, Cash comes from Kellie’s maiden name, Cashiola, and Van is Dave’s father’s name.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill‘s oldest daughter? Gracie.


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Tim McGraw Still Putting the Songs First on New Album, “Sundown Heaven Town”

Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw just released “Shotgun Rider” as the follow up to his top five hit, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” with Faith Hill. Both songs are included on Tim’s upcoming album, Sundown Heaven Town, along with 16 other tracks on the deluxe edition.

While he’s usually very hands-on in the process of choosing singles, Tim is so confident in the songs on the new album he’s letting his record label pick which songs go to radio.

He says, “From one to 18, you could go with any song you want as a single in any order you want, and I don’t care. I just really don’t care. Any one of them, I think — I would be happy to put any song out as a single.”

That philosophy has served Tim well since his career is still going strong two decades after he broke through with his 1994 album, Not a Moment Too Soon.

Tim explains, “The song’s the most important. God, there’s some people at the 7-11 that can sing circles around me. It’s about the song.”

Tim’s new album, Sundown Heaven Town, comes out September 16.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockEric Church has been rehearsing for The Outsiders tour in the past few days in Nashville. The trek kicks off Thursday in Louisiana.

Florida Georgia Line never stops working on new music. The duo posted a selfie on Instagram Friday showing them recording on their tour bus. The caption reads, “Can’t wait for y’all to hear a lil sumthin we did for CBS College Football.”


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Garth Brooks Pays Surprise Visit to Chicago-Area Basketball Camp for Kids

Wynn Las Vegas/Mark TuckerGarth Brooks gave some Chicago-area kids a big surprise Saturday when he unexpectedly showed up at suburban basketball camp for underprivileged children.

Brooks showed up for a Teammates for Kids Basketball Pro-Camp session at Elk Grove High School.  Brooks works with the foundation, telling Chicago’s ABC-7 the program teaches children teamwork and acceptance.

“Mostly, hopefully, what it teaches is guys look around and realize that none of them look alike, and they don’t have to,” says Brooks, adding, “They’re teammates with everybody, in life, in sports, whatever, you take that on with you and if you start that at a young age, try to promote that love between people, that’s [what it's] all about.”

The foundation provides scholarships to allow kids to attend the camps, which are hosted by some of the biggest names in sports and music.

Garth and wife Trisha Yearwood continue their run of shows in Chicago Thursday night.


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Keith Urban’s Oldest Daughter, Sunday, Took to Kindergarten “Like a Duck to Water”

CMAKeith Urban and Nicole Kidman‘s oldest daughter, Sunday, started kindergarten this year, and the six-year-old is adjusting to student life very well.

Keith tells The Tennessean, “She took to it like a duck to water, just loved it. She went straight in there and she knew a couple of kids in there already, just family friends. So, that made it easy.”

Sunday’s little sister, three-year-old Faith, isn’t as happy with Sunday being gone all day long, and Keith understands her frustration.

“I know that drill myself because I have a brother two years older than me,” Keith says. “And when he went off to high school, I was like, ‘Oh, where did my brother go?’”

Keith and Nicole get up at 6 a.m. to get the kids off to school on time, which is a little difficult for Keith since he stays up late playing shows on the weekend.

He says, “I try and come back and catch another half an hour of sleep because I’m so on the tour schedule. It’s a funny thing, flipping that around from day to day.”


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Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood on Hand for Garth and Trisha’s Friday-Night Concert

CMAGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood‘s Friday-night concert in Chicago featured big stars onstage and in the audience. Kelly Clarkson joined Trisha to sing their new collaboration, “PrizeFighter.” It was Kelly’s first public appearance since giving birth to daughter River Rose in June, and she brought the little one along for the night.

Kelly tweeted, “It was River’s 1st concert!”

Kelly also posted a photograph of River in her car seat wearing pink, bedazzled headphones to protect her ears. Kelly’s friend, Lesley, made them, and they’re available for order at PreciousMetalDesign.com.

Carrie Underwood was also in the audience for Garth and Trisha’s show Friday night. She posted a photo of the show on Instagram with a reference to her pregnancy in the caption. It reads, “I may have gotten misty-eyed a few times. Hormones? Maybe. Amazing concert? Definitely!”

Garth and Trisha continue their run of shows in Chicago Thursday night.


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Miranda Lambert Explains Why She Won’t Be Touring with Blake Shelton Anytime Soon

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleBlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are the hottest couple in country music these days, so it’s no wonder fans are eager to see them tour together. There was even a false report last week that Blake and Miranda turned down a million dollars for one performance together at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Still, the couple doesn’t plan to share the stage for a major tour any time soon due to their demanding solo careers.

Miranda explains. “Me and him can sit there and be backroading and start singing a duet in the truck and be like, ‘Let’s tour! It’d be so fun!’ But then you have a whole ball of wax that’s like two different management teams, two different labels, two different bands and crews, two different booking agents.”

Blake and Miranda are both headlining their own tours right now, so they’re often playing arenas in different cities on the same night. There’s also the issue of putting together a show mixing Blake and Miranda’s music into one, cohesive set list.

“We’re different styles,” Miranda says. “We’d have to totally figure out how to make that work.”

As it is, Blake barely has time to tour on his own due to his hectic schedule as a coach on The Voice. He’s also gearing up to release a new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, on September 30. Factor that in with Miranda’s string of headlining dates, and you’ve got a scheduling nightmare.

Says Miranda, “It’s always like, when it would happen, I’ve got a record coming out, or he’s got a record coming out, so we’re focused on our own solo thing. But I’m not saying we won’t. I definitely would love to.”

When they did a small tour together back in 2008, Blake and Miranda took separate buses. If they toured today, Miranda doesn’t see a need to change that setup just because they’re now husband and wife.

“It worked out well,” Miranda says with a laugh. “I was like, ‘I’m tired of you. Go to your bus.’ It’s too small of a space for that long of a time.”    

Blake’s Ten Times Crazier tour is on the road through October 5. Miranda has concert dates on the books through October 18.


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Carrie Underwood Returns for Second Season Singing the “Sunday Night Football” Opening

NBCCarrie Underwood kicks off her second season performing the opening theme, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” on NBC’s Sunday Night Football this weekend. She took over the gig from Faith Hill last season, and Carrie took care to get the opening just right.

She says, “I got to go into the studio and kind of put my own spin on the song. Shooting the opener was so much fun.”

It was a no-brianer for Carrie to return for another season of Sunday Night Football.

“I was so excited, of course, when they asked me to come back for a second year and do it this year,” she says.

Watch Carrie’s new opening this Sunday night at 7 ET as the Denver Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts on NBC.


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