Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockJake Owen grew up in which Florida town? ANSWER: Vero Beach.


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Country’s Collaborative Spirit on Display with Tonight’s “ACM Presents: Superstar Duets” Special

Heather Wines/CBSCountry’s biggest stars ranging from Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney to Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley are featured on the ACM Presents: Superstar Duets special Friday night on CBS. Most of the artists are collaborating with either their peers or one of their country star heroes. Keith Urban teams up with John Anderson to perform “Swingin'” on the special, and Keith says this idea for a country duets special is a good fit for the format.

“Our genre’s got such a great history of legendary duets, you know, all the way from Conway [Twitty] and Loretta [Lynn] to Dolly [Parton] and Porter [Wagoner],” Keith says. “The list goes on and on. I’ve been lucky to have a few on this last record, too, including the one right now with Eric Church, [‘Raise ‘Em Up’]. So, I’m all about the collaborative spirit.”

Brett Eldredge and Hunter Hayes team up to salute the late Marty Robbins with a performance of his 1959 classic “El Paso.” The ballad is a favorite of Brett’s with its Spanish guitar introduction and tale of love and murder in the Wild West.

Says Brett, “It takes you to that place. ‘Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,’…as soon as you hear that, you’re there, and that’s what I love about songwriting and music, and Marty Robbins was a master at that.”

Lady Antebellum and Brandy Clark duet on the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers classic “Islands in the Stream,” and Sam Hunt joins Dwight Yoakam on Dwight’s ’90s hit, “Fast as You.” Jake Owen, Alabama, Eli Young Band, Brantley Gilbert, Brooks & Dunn, Reba, Darius Rucker and Sara Evans are among the other stars performing on ACM Presents: Superstar Duets Friday night at 9 ET on CBS.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJake Owen is featured on the song “Back Home” from pop outfit Owl City‘s new album, Mobile Orchestra, coming out July 10.

Chase Bryant will host the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Annual Words & Music Night May 21 in Nashville. The program will feature local students performing the songs they have written as part of the Hall of Fame’s education program.


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Little Big Town Feels the Love from Boy George on Their Gender-Bending Single, “Girl Crush”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town has received a lot of support from their fellow country stars on their latest hit, “Girl Crush.” The song caused a bit of a stir when some listeners misunderstood the lyrics as describing a woman’s romantic attraction to another woman. “Girl Crush” is actually about a woman’s jealousy when her man leaves her for another woman, but the confusion over the lyrics got the attention of one gender-bending superstar — Boy George.

The ’80s pop star tweeted the group saying, “What’s your agenda @littlebigtown? I’m in!”

LBT’s Karen Fairchild wrote back saying, “Just following your lead!!! Good music and good eyeliner.”

Beyond Boy George’s seal of approval, “Girl Crush” has been covered by Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson as well as Blake Shelton team member Meghan Linsey on NBC’s The Voice. That support from their peers means the world to Little Big Town.

Karen says, “It speaks to the kind of people that we get to work with all the time in the creative community. And good songs. And the agenda is, it’s a good song. We didn’t write it, so we can say that.”

Look for Little Big Town to perform “Girl Crush” with Faith Hill on the 2015 Billboard Music Awards Sunday night at 8 ET on ABC.


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Loretta Lynn Getting a Star on the Music City Walk of Fame June 4

Image Courtesy The Co-OpLoretta Lynn will be honored with stars at the re-opening of the Music City Walk of Fame at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park on Thursday, June 4. Loretta’s Van Lear Rose collaborator, rocker and Nashville resident Jack White, will also receive a star. Their plaques will be the first to be revealed using a new design; the rest of the renovated stars will be unveiled at the event as well.

Walk of Fame Park has received several electrical and sound upgrades and will be used during next month’s CMA Music Festival.


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Brantley Gilbert Launching Bike Ride on May 22 in Conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is leading a motorcycle ride next week to celebrate the release of the Platinum Edition of his latest album, Just as I Am, on May 18. He’s bringing along 10 alumni from the Wounded Warrior Project as part of that organization’s Rolling Odyssey program to help combat veterans with PTSD connect with other veterans on the open road.

Brantley says, “I’m excited to bring this new music to the fans — my friends — and kick it all off with a ride to benefit a cause that is so important to me.”

The ride will start out from Stubbs Harley Davidson in Houston, Texas on May 22 and stop at Harley Davidson dealerships in Beaumont, Texas; Scott, Louisiana; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana over a 48-hour period. Brantley will wrap things up by riding into LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge for his performance at Bayou Country Superfest.

For more information, go to BrantleyGilbert.com.


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Tyler Farr Headlining NRA Country’s Kegs and Eggs Fan Club Party June 11 in Nashville

Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr is headlining NRA Country’s 3rd Annual Fan Club Party, also known as Kegs and Eggs, Thursday, June 11 at Margaritaville in downtown Nashville. Newcomer Josh Dorr will also perform at the breakfast event, and fans will get to meet both stars after their respective acoustic sets.

The sign up for NRA Country’s free Kegs and Eggs event is now live at NRACountry.com. The website also has details on how to enter a contest to win a trip to Nashville for the party.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich female country star sang with Steven Tyler on the song “Can’t Stop Loving You” from the 2012 Aerosmith album, Music from Another Dimension? ANSWER: Carrie Underwood.


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RaeLynn Debuts a New, Mature Look in “For a Boy” Video

Image Courtesy Joseph Llanes/BMLGRaeLynn debuts a mature, new look in her new video “For a Boy.” It’s a departure from the innocent style she had for her debut clip, “God Made Girls.”

RaeLynn says of the new look, “My vision was a throwback to the Marilyn Monroe look with a modern feel. It was not only a blast to make but shows my fans, some of who have been growing up with me over the last few years, another side of who I am as I mature from a teen into a young woman.”

On Wednesday, RaeLynn picked up a pair of CMT Music Awards nominations — Female Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year — for her “God Made Girls” clip. Voting is now open to the public at CMT.com, and the winner will be revealed on the 2015 CMT Music Awards Wednesday, June 10.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Stapleton‘s new album, Traveller, debuts at #2 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart this week with more than 27,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music. That gives Traveller the best-selling first week of any country debut artist so far this year.

Eric Church has now sold out two shows July 30 and 31 to open Nashville’s brand-new Ascend Amphitheater.

Zac Brown Band has teamed up with sandwich shop Jimmy John’s to give the restaurant’s patrons a free download of the song “Loving You Easy” from their latest album, Jekyll + Hyde.


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