Blake Shelton Returning for Season Nine of “The Voice” This September

Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton will return as a coach for the ninth season of NBC’s The Voice this fall. Blake and coach Adam Levine are the only artists to have appeared on every season of The Voice since it launched in 2011. Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams are also coming back as coaches this fall.

Blake says, “Adam, Gwen, Pharrell and I had a blast together in season 7 and I’m excited we’re back together again. They are all so talented but I’m pretty damn excited about another winning season for Team Blake.”

The ninth season of the NBC singing competition series, hosted by Carson Daly, will premiere in September.

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Video of the Year Finalists Announced for Tonight’s 2015 CMT Music Awards

CMTCarrie Underwood is nominated twice among the final nominees for Video of the Year at the 2015 CMT Music Awards tonight. She’s up for “Something in the Water” and “Somethin’ Bad” with Miranda Lambert. Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan also have clips in the running.

Voting for the Video of the Year category will go live at CMT.com at the beginning of the CMT Music Awards, broadcast tonight at 8 ET. The winner will be announced at the end of the show.

Here are the Video of the Year nominees for the 2015 CMT Music Awards:

Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Miranda Lambert featuring Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich multi-platinum country act co-wrote Jason Aldean‘s CMT Music Awards-nominated hit, “Burnin’ It Down”? ANSWER: Florida Georgia Line.

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Jason Aldean Gears Up for Live Performance on Tonight’s CMT Music Awards

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean has been rehearsing all week long getting ready for his performance of “Tonight Looks Good on You” at Wednesday’s night’s CMT Music Awards. Since the show is broadcast live, Jason knows he has no room for error.

He says, “[If] you mess up, CMT’s gonna rerun it a hundred times that week, and everybody gets to see it. So, that’s sort of running through your mind, but we’ve done it before.”

Though he’ll try to deliver a perfect performance on the CMT Music Awards, Jason has learned to roll with his mistakes on live TV.

He adds, “Over the years, you finally just sort of come to terms with it and go out and have fun. Have a good time and whatever happens happens.”

Jason’s clip “Burnin’ It Down” is nominated for Male Video and Video of the Year at Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards, airing live at 8 ET on CMT and CMT.com.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge and Darius Rucker collaborated on a cover of the Frank Sinatra standard “That’s Life” Monday night at the 6th Annual Darius and Friends benefit concert for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The show took place at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon with Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses and Brothers Osborne also on the bill.

Country newcomer Chris Janson will perform his new single, “Buy Me a Boat,” on Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards. Look for the video for the song to premiere on CMT.com directly after the performance.

Chris Young‘s 2011 album, Neon, has been certified platinum.

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Luke, Darius, Lady A and More Look Forward to Tonight’s 2015 CMT Music Awards

CMTLuke Bryan is one of the biggest stars performing on Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards, but it wasn’t that long ago he considered himself very lucky to get a slot on the show.

He says, “They took a chance on me a few years ago and let me perform ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me)’ on the show and really kinda sent my career into another level.”

Since the CMT Music Awards mean so much to Luke, he’s chosen to premiere his brand-new single, “Kick the Dust Up,” on this year’s broadcast.

“It’s gonna be a fun night,” Luke says. “Got a lot of smoke, lot of lights, it’s gonna be crazy.”

Luke is also looking forward to seeing some of the guest presenters at this year’s CMT Music Awards, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and co-hosts Erin Andrews of Dancing with the Stars and Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow.

Says Luke, “They always have really, really interesting guests. They think outside the box on a lot of things, and it’s a fun night for that reason.”

Darius Rucker loves the fun vibe of the CMT Music Awards, too. He says, “It’s really laidback. I love getting to play the CMT Awards ’cause you get to play and you get to have a good time. They always put together these cool things.”

This year, Darius will deliver his performance on an outdoor stage in downtown Nashville during the show. Since it is summer in the south, is Darius worried about insects possibly interfering with his live performance?

He says with a laugh, “I’m sure as soon as I hit the first note, a bug’s gonna fly right into my mouth, right into my throat.”

Darius adds, “I want to play outdoors for the folks, so it’s gonna be fun.”

Jake Owen performed outdoors on last year’s CMT Music Awards, so he’s excited to move back inside to sing his new single, “Real Life,” on Wednesday night. He promises the performance will have a lot of fun, summertime energy.

Says Jake, “We got a bunch of dancers and craziness going on.”

Brett Eldredge is presenting a trophy with his pal Thomas Rhett on this year’s CMT Music Awards.  While he used to be nervous about reading a teleprompter and being on camera, Brett has now mastered the art of being an awards show presenter.  So, what’s his secret?

Brett tells ABC Radio, “[You’ve got to] style yourself up a little bit, look good, turn up the charm and go up there and win ’em over and read those three lines with pizazz!”

In fact, Brett loves being on camera so much, you should probably expect to see him hosting an awards show some day.

He adds, “I’ll do everything but dance on stage.”

The CMT Music Awards will open with Lady Antebellum and Pop/EDM star Zedd  performing a mashup of the group’s current single, “Long Stretch of Love,” and his hit, “Beautiful Now.” While the songs are very different, Lady A’s Hillary Scott says, “I think it really works. I think it’ll be a really exciting start to the show. You know, we’re huge fans of what he’s doing.”

Other performances on the show include Eric Church delivering his latest hit, “Like a Wrecking Ball,” and Keith Urban debuts his brand-new single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, Kelsea Ballerini, A Thousand Horses, Frankie Ballard and Reba are among the other performers on the 2015 CMT Music Awards. The show broadcasts live from Nashville Wednesday night at 8 ET on CMT and CMT.com.

Here are the 2015 CMT Music Awards nominees:

Video of the Year

Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Male Video of the Year
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Eric Church, “Talladega”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Keith Urban, “Somewhere in My Car”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”

Female Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood, “Little Toy Guns”
Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Lee Ann Womack, “The Way I’m Livin'”
Miranda Lambert, “Little Red Wagon”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Reba, “Going Out Like That”

Group Video of the Year
A Thousand Horses, “Smoke”
Eli Young Band, “Dust”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Little Big Town, “Day Drinking”
The Band Perry, “Chainsaw”
Zac Brown Band, “All Alright”

Breakthrough Video of the Year
Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”
Frankie Ballard, “Sunshine & Whiskey”
Kelsea Ballerini, “Love Me Like You Mean It”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Duo Video of the Year
Big & Rich, “Look at You”
Brothers Osborne, “Rum”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Florida Georgia Line, “Sun Daze”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
The Swon Brothers, “Later On”

Collaborative Video of the Year
Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”
Brantley Gilbert featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, “Small Town Throwdown”
Jennifer Nettles featuring Brandy Clark, “His Hands”
Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, “Wild Child”
Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad’
Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”

CMT Performance of the Year
Bob Seger and Jason Aldean, “Turn the Page”
Brett Eldredge, “Beat of the Music”
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack, “You & I (Nobody in the World)”
Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, “Roar”
Keith Urban, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up”
Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, “Drink a Beer”

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Kacey Musgraves Explains Why She Refused to Do a Radio Edit for “Biscuits”

Mercury NashvilleInterest is high in Kacey Musgraves‘ sophomore album, Pageant Material, due out June 23, but the lead single, “Biscuits,” has yet to break into the top 40 at country radio. That chart position might have something to do with the line “Pissing in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener,” which her label suggested she change to “spitting my yard” for the radio version. Kacey refused.

She tells Rolling Stone, “People are so worried about offending that they water down everything. Come to a show, and that’s the line everyone loves. Don’t take that away from me!”

No matter how “Biscuits” fares on country radio, Kacey is sure to have people talking about Pageant Material. She’s hosting an album launch party at a Nashville gay club, Play, next week to promote the album.

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Zac Brown to Appear at Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner June 18

Southern ReelZac Brown has joined the list of performers and presenters for the 46th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner Thursday, June 18 in New York City. Jennifer Nettles will also be part of the festivities along with Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Ne-Yo and Richie Sambora.

Toby Keith and legendary country songwriter Bobby Braddock are among this year’s inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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Brett Eldredge Reveals Album Cover for Sophomore Project, “Illinois”

Southern ReelBrett Eldredge took to Snapchat and Instagram to reveal the cover of his new album, Illinois, Tuesday. The project comes out September 11 featuring the lead single, “Lose My Mind,” as well as the title track.

Brett says, “We’ve been performing a few of the new songs in our show and I can’t wait for fans to hear all of it.”

Look for Brett to present a trophy on the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night. He’ll give his first performance at the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts at LP Field this Friday.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was the CMA Music Festival called when it was held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds? ANSWER:  Fan Fair.

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