Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan Honored on “Us Weekly” Best of 2014 Lists

Image Courtesy RCA NashvilleMiranda Lambert got some love from Us Weekly‘s Best of 2014 list. Her latest project, Platinum is included among the year’s best albums along with offerings from Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift and Sam Smith, among others.

Luke Bryan also earned a mention among the Best Songs of the Year for “Play It Again.” Beyoncé, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Tove Lo and Sia were also singled out on that list.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockGeorge Strait‘s son often co-writes songs with him. What is the son’s name? ANSWER: Bubba Strait.


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George Strait’s Tour Is Second Only to One Direction, According to StubHub

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleWhen it came to ticket sales on the secondary-market site StubHub, George Strait‘s The Cowboy Rides Away tour was eclipsed only by pop sensation One Direction‘s trek in 2014. The ticketing company revealed their year-end statistics to AdWeek, and Luke Bryan holds the #3 spot for the year when it comes to StubHub sales.

Of note, if you combine Luke’s StubHub sales this year with sales from the #4 tour, Justin Timberlake, they still don’t match George’s sales numbers. His final tour stop in Texas on June 7 was the #1-grossing country show of the year with more than $18 million in ticket sales, according to Billboard Boxscore.


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Thomas Rhett Says “Make Me Wanna” Is a Taste of Upcoming Sophomore Album

Image Courtesy CMAThomas Rhett says his latest hit, “Make Me Wanna,” is a hint of what fans can expect on his upcoming sophomore album.

Thomas tells The Tennessean, “We have those songs that are just undeniable, make your heart smile. Then we have songs that make you want to party and dance.”

“Make Me Wanna” is the final single from Thomas’s debut album, It Goes Like This. He has most of the next album recorded for a likely 2015 release.

“It’s been a lot of fun to make,” Thomas says of the new project. “I just hope it translate to the fans.”


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Nashville Notes

Comstock/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge was on babysitting duty over the Christmas holiday with his infant cousin, Olivia. He posted an Instagram video of his conversation with the little one in “baby language.”

When it comes to holiday exchanges and returns, Martina McBride swears by online shoe retailer Zappos. She tweeted Christmas Eve, “I gotta tell ya…I love @zappos Best customer service hands down. Just the best.”


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Scotty McCreery Relies on Coffee for Early-Morning Flights

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleScotty McCreery isn’t a big coffee drinker, but he turns to the beverage when he finds himself at the airport in the early-morning hours.

Scotty tells ABC News Radio, “For some reason, when I have an early flight, I decide to stay up as late as possible, and then it just doesn’t work out. So, coffee is a savior for that.”

Since he doesn’t drink coffee that often, Scotty doesn’t have a preference on what kind of coffee beans are used to make his drink.

“Whatever it is, I do extra cream and extra sugar,” Scotty explains. “It all tastes the same once you sugar it down and all that.”

Scotty doesn’t expect to see the inside of an airport for the next few days. He’s spending holiday time laying low with his family and friends in North Carolina.

Says Scotty, “I was busy this year, so I didn’t get the chance to see them as much as I normally do.”


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Carrie Underwood Keeps It Classic When It Comes to Christmas Music

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood hasn’t made a full-length Christmas album yet, but she’d probably choose to record classic Christmas songs on any holiday project.

Carrie explains, “I am such a sucker for standard Christmas music. I love the church Christmas music. The ‘O Holy Night,’ and you learn ‘Silent Night’ when you’re three years old.”

Carrie has recorded a few Christmas songs over the years, including “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Her newest holiday offering is a duet with Christian artist Michael W. Smith on the song “All Is Well.” Though the song is about 25 years old, Carrie thinks “All Is Well” fits in with those timeless Christmas songs she loves so much.

“It just feels like I’ve known it my whole life,” Carrie says. “So, that’s definitely the kinds of things I go for — the standard-sounding things.”

“All Is Well” is included on Michael W. Smith’s new album, The Spirit of Christmas, which also features collaborations with Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles and more.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cole Swindell Has Some Explaining to Do to His Family This Christmas

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell looks forward to relaxing with his family back home in his tiny hometown near Albany, Georgia, this Christmas, but he’s also prepared to do some explaining to his family members about the crazy year he’s had as a rising country star. The highlights include playing arenas and stadiums with Luke Bryan, scoring #1 hits and performing on the CMA Awards, which is pretty heady stuff for a boy from a town with a population of 225.

Cole says, “We’re from a very small town. This is beyond my wildest dreams, but especially them. It’s so cool to get to share that with ‘em and see how proud they are. They raised me, and to be around family, I just love doing that.”

Cole’s mother’s birthday is close to Christmas, so getting home to Georgia for the holidays is very important.

“I have lost my dad over the past year and a half, and now I regret things — me not being able to be home for that,” Cole explains. “There are some things that are more important, so family is definitely one of ‘em.”

Cole is bringing home a lot of presents for his young nephews and cousins, too.


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Brett Eldredge Recalls the Rusted-Out John Boat His Grandmother Gave Him for Christmas

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleMost kids love receiving shiny, new toys at Christmas, but Brett Eldredge‘s favorite gift ever was an old john boat his grandmother got him when he was young. He grew up on a lake in Paris, Illinois, so Brett was out in the boat all the time.

“I’m a huge fisherman. I love to fish, and I never had any kind of boat or vehicle of my own,” Brett recalls. “And she gave me this old, just kind of old rusted-out john boat, and I thought it was the coolest thing. And she gave me a couple oars, and now I could be my own captain.”

Brett goes on to say that little boat was the first perfect gift for him, and he hopes to dig it out of storage this Christmas.

Says Brett, “I think it’s still somewhere back in my hometown. So, I might have to go patch all the holes in it and maybe fire it back up again.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat does the “GS” on Cole Swindell‘s signature baseball hat stand for? ANSWER: His alma mater, Georgia Southern University.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio