MurphDawg & Jenn Blog

Luke Bryan Spends Quality Time With His Sons, With Help from Their School

Luke Bryan is in demand, which can make maintaining his family life difficult. The "forever" nature of family might prioritize his quality time with his sons low on other people's to-do lists, but he finds ways to do it all.

It's a team effort. Speaking to WYRK's Clay & Liz prior to the 2018 ACM Awards, Bryan shares that he finds time whenever and wherever he can. He had just taken his boys turkey hunting (more on that in a second) and got them to school by 8:30 or 9 — about 30 minutes late.

“Our school understands that a lot of times I haven’t seen ‘em in awhile," he says, "So a moment like that, getting to go out and hunt for one morning and then I’m off to Vegas ..."

 

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Brad Paisley Posts Touching Remembrance to Barbara Bush for 'Inspiring Life You Lived'

The news that former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away at the age of 92 hit the nation Tuesday (April 17). Among the first country music notables to acknowledge her passing was Brad Paisley, who posted a touching and straightforward recognition of her life's influence on his social media accounts.

"This nation owes this woman a huge debt for her wisdom, guidance, and love. Rest in peace my friend. What an incredible & inspiring life you lived Barbara Bush. Thank you for your friendship and so many memories."

Paisley has met with the Bush family several times over the years, with the most recent being last month—where he shared lunch with George H.W. Bush and admired the festive shamrock socks the former president was wearing to commemorate St. Patrick's Day.

 

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Sam Hunt Explains Why He Didn't Attend ACM Awards

Sam Hunt was miles away when his named was called as the ACM Single Record of the Year winner on Sunday night in Las Vegas.

It was the "Body Like a Back Road" singer's first ACM Award win, and when Dustin Lynch and Nancy O'Dell announced the honor, they both looked confused and flustered as nobody approached the stage. Hunt was not in the building, as he had other plans.

 

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Top 5 Moments From the 2018 ACM Awards

Women ruled at the 2018 ACM Awards. You'll find female country artists in each of the Top 5 moments from the Las Vegas awards gathering with a legend and modern legend battling for the top spot.Reba McEntire was a joy as host, spitting one-liner after one-liner and never getting stuck if a joke didn't work. She kept it light after a brief emotional moment at the very beginning of the show. The Route 91 Harvest Festival tribute was touching, but not memorable enough to make this Top 5 moments list. Not so sure? Ask yourself this: In five years, will fans be talking about that, or the return of that red dress?

 

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Thomas Rhett Crashes Tin Pan South to Sing With His Dad, Rhett Akins [Watch]

Thomas Rhett surprised Tin Pan South attendees on Tuesday (April 3) during his dad's set at the songwriting festival, taking the stage to perform a special song.

Rhett Akins hosted the BMI showcase, Rhett Akins & Friends, and throughout the night invited pals like Dustin LynchLoCash, the Warren Brothers and Bob DiPiero to the stage. Oh, and his son, too.

Rhett and his father sang a snippet of the first song they ever wrote together, when the "Marry Me" hitmaker was just seven years old! "Next thing you know, you've got a song that's good / One that the whole word wants to sing," Rhett belts in the clip above, his father seated beside him. According to the Boot, he also performed his previous hits, "It Goes Like This" and "Star of the Show."

 

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Who Is Mason Ramsey, the Yodeling 'Walmart Boy'?

They call him "Little Hank" in his hometown, and 11-year-old "Walmart Boy" Mason Ramsey has earned the moniker. The newly-famous yodeling cowboy didn't just turn up out of nowhere!

Nope, there's video evidence that Ramsey has been entertaining audiences for as long as he could hold a guitar. One video from the summer of 2016 shows then-9-year-old Ramsey at the Kentucky Opry, telling crowds he starting playing at age six. He says he started hearing his grandfather play Hank Williams in the garage and just started to sing like the legend.

Fun fact: Ramsey was the 2016 winner of the Kentucky Opry Talent Search, Beginner Division. He's performed "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" in his career, but was made famous with a Walmart cover of "Lovesick Blues."

This isn't his first cover of the song. In January 2017 he shared a version to YouTube. We're pretty fond of his "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" from 2015:

Ramsey is from Harrisburg, Ill. and was filmed yodeling the Williams song on March 24, 2018. Radio station WVVR-FM in Clarksville, Tenn., shared the clip of him singing at a Walmart in Paducah, Ky., in January of last year. That video racked up more than a million views and led to a recreation of the moment on their Facebook page, with Ramsey singing "Jambalaya."

Here is a better version of that cover:

The newly-viral video of the Walmart Boy has more than 17 million views on Twitter and has been retweeted more than 50,000 times. Fans are kind of freaking out over the kid, and he might have Grandma and Grandpa to thank! Not only does his love of Hank Williams come from their old collection of records, but it's often his grandparents who drive him around to stores and radio stations.

 

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Kelsea Ballerini's Acoustic 'Delicate' Cover Gets Taylor Swift's Blessing

It's no secret that Kelsea Ballerini is a huge fan of Taylor Swift, and over the weekend she covered Swift's "Delicate," sharing the acoustic cut with fans on Instagram.

But she probably didn't expect to get the pop superstar's seal of approval, too.

"KELSEA THIS IS angelic, wonderful, exquisite, lovely, excellent," Swift wrote in the comments section.

Ballerini had been gushing, too, captioning her video: "Love her as a human but damn do I love her as a songwriter."

 

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Tim McGraw Goes Paragliding With Daughter on Spring Break

When we all grow up, can we all be Tim McGraw? Just a a little over a week ago, the singer was relaxing in the tropics, posting pictures of himself underwater enjoying some spearfishing. This week, he's in Aspen, Colo., indulging in colder-temperature fun with his middle daughter, Maggie, while she's on Spring Break from university.

Dad and daughter decided to try a bit of thrill seeking, enlisting a local paragliding company to give them an eagle's-eye view of the stunning scenery.

 

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Glen Campbell's Son Disputes Widow's Claim He Was an Absent Son

Glen Campbell's son Travis is breaking his silence over claims that he was an absentee son who did not visit his father for 20 years.

Speaking to Inside Edition on Wednesday (March 28), Travis refuted claims recently made by Campbell's widow, Kim, that he was completely absent from his father's life by choice as the elder Campbell battled Alzheimer's.

"We were able to see him twice a month for four hours at a time," Travis Campbell says. "So, basically, I saw him every month. The biggest lapse would be two months."

 

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'The Voice' Star Cassadee Pope Is Dating Nashville's Sam Palladio

Cassadee Pope is moving on.

The Voice winner has been quietly dating Nashville star Sam Palladio, PEOPLE confirms. The pair, who have been spotted around Music City recently, attended Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd‘s wedding together over the weekend.

“Watched my two buds get married yesterday. My heart is so full for you @marenmorris & @ryanhurd,” Pope captioned a photo of herself and Palladio. “Also, I’ll pay you later for being my date, @sampalladio.????”

Reps for Pope and Palladio didn’t immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

 

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Granger Smith Confesses His Obsession.....

Granger Smith's latest alter-ego video will leave you saying umm, what? The country singer parodied his hit "Happens Like That" Weird Al Yankovich style, making it "I Happen to Like Cats" for a totally amusing celebration of felines.

The off-the-wall music video finds Smith at 'home' on his couch, surrounded by all of his cats — seven, actually — and all sorts of feline paraphernalia, like pillows, artwork and a cat gym.

"I happen to like cats / Give me a feline over a canine / They got nine lives / Who needs a spouse / When you've got pussycats all over the house," the not-so-disguised star belts, wearing a custom-made "I Happen to Like Cats" T-shirt.

 

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Jason Aldean's Baby-Proofing His Tour Bus for Family Life on the Road

Every parent who has a bit of an age gap between children knows that it's all too easy to forget the various difficulties of the infancy stage. Jason Aldean, who has a 10-year gap between children, is no different, but he's seeing advantages that his youngest child, Memphis, will benefit from that his older sisters did not.

Aldean tells Taste of Country Nights' Sam Alex that he's in a position now to take his baby son out on the road with him on tour, and he thinks that will give Memphis some interesting experiences.

"Back when [my daughters] were born, when I was touring I was on one bus with my whole band—there was 12 of us on a bus," Aldean explained. "So I wasn’t in a position to be able to carry them out a whole lot back then. And then, my oldest one started school. They would come out for the summer sometimes.

 

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Blake Shelton on Jimmy Fallon...

Blake Shelton may be in trouble with girlfriend Gwen Stefani after playing a round of "Name That Song" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The country star wasn't bashful in telling the host that the only reason he came on the show was to promote his album, but he still got roped into playing a game. In "Name That Song" the Roots play a song one instrument at a time and the players have to guess what song it is.

 

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Keith Urban's 'Coming Home' Is an Upbeat New Song Featuring Julia Michaels

It's been a while since we've had new music from Keith Urban, and now he's "Coming Home." In a Facebook post Monday night (March 19) Urban teases 15 seconds of a new song called "Coming Home," also featuring the vocals of pop singer-songwriter Julia Michaels.Urban's last record, Ripcord, was released in 2016 and we have been patiently waiting for information about his TBA new album, Graffiti U. The image on the video is stagnant, and likely to be the cover art, which promises "Issues" singer Michaels as Urban's co-artist.

 

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Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert Collaboration?!

The track list for Jason Aldean's new Rearview Town album reveals he's partnered with Miranda Lambert for his eighth studio album.

The two sing together on "Drowns the Whiskey," a traditional country heartbreak ballad. It's not so much a duet as a featured performance. Lambert harmonizes throughout the song, offering a female perspective that echoes the pain Aldean is living through. This is the only guest performance on the album, set for an April 13 release.

Rearview Town includes 15 songs, more than most singers include on any studio album but the same number Aldean has put on each of his four previous releases. Previously he promised an album that reflects the many genres that influenced him growing up in Macon, Ga. The single is "You Make It Easy," a straight-forward love lyric framed by slow R&B guitar licks and organ. Southern rock, metal, hip-hop and (of course) country music set songs apart from one another.

 

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Kane Brown Sets Guinness World Record, Attributes Success to Fans

Kane Brown has set the Guinness World Record for topping all five U.S. country charts simultaneously. He's the first country act to accomplish this feat, and Brown says he owes the record setting to his fans.

“I attribute my success to my fans for helping me get to where I am today,” Brown says in a press release. “Music has been a huge part of my life and I feel like it’s a part of everyone's. I love to sing and never thought I’d be able to do it and it happened for me.”

On Oct. 28, 2017, Brown became the title holder as the first act to top five U.S. country charts simultaneously, including Top Country Albums (Kane Brown Deluxe Edition); Country Digital Song Sales (“Heaven”); and Country Airplay, Hot Country Songs and Country Streaming Songs (“What Ifs” featuring Lauren Alaina). Brown was recently presented his record certificate at the Sony Music Nashville office.

 

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Meet Pancake, Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd 's Precious New Puppy

Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd have a new love in their life! The country singers — who are getting married soon — got Pancake, an English bulldog, from Jon Pardi's mom, who lives in California.

Sacramento country station KNCI reports that Shelly Pardi breeds English bulldogs, and Morris decided to pick one of a recent litter of puppies as an engagement present for Hurd. Pardi kept Pancake hidden, taking care of the precious pup in Nashville in the days before he was able to send him to his new home. Morris already has a white Shepherd named June.

Pancake made his social media debut recently when the singer shared a photo of the furry addition to their family via Instagram. Sitting with the sweet pup curled in her lap, the "My Church" singer is clearly smitten by her new little friend. "Pancake has entered the residence," she writes next to a cute photo, which is fittingly accompanied by three pancake emojis.

 

 

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Luke Bryan Tests 'American Idol' Contestant's Country Cred

When 17-year-old Laine Hardy, a born-on-the-bayou southerner from Livingston, La. walked out to show his stuff on Mar. 12th's American Idol 2018 auditions, it wasn't immediately apparent he was star material. A rather unassuming figure in jeans and t-shirt, he had a chill manner to match, but he quickly won over judge Luke Bryan...and judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie to follow.

Hardy coolly and calmly stated his creds (which included his favorite hobby, "drivin' my truck around town...burnin' gas"), causing Bryan to snap to attention, telling him, "Keep talkin', I'm gonna write a country song."

Bryan, apparently bent on appraising the lad's country cred, pointed out judge Katy Perry's earrings, which were shaped like golden alligators.

 

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Tim McGraw Collapses During C2C Festival in Ireland

Tim McGraw collapsed during a C2C Festival show in Dublin, Ireland, on Sunday night (March 11).

Multiple reports from fans indicate that McGraw had just finished "Humble and Kind" and was taking the crowd's response in before he fell to his knees and needed assistance getting off the stage. After a break, Faith Hill came to the front of the stage with the couple's band (it was a co-headlining date) and explained that her husband was dehydrated. She had made the decision that he would not return to the stage.

"We've all been a little bit dehydrated traveling so much," she said, adding that it was her call. The crowd erupted in applause at hearing this and began chanting, "Get well, Tim!"

 

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Kelly Clarkson Totally Didn't Want to Win ' American Idol '...

Kelly Clarkson was the first-ever American Idol winner, and she has gone on to have one of the most successful careers of any Idol alum. Sixteen years after she was crowned in 2002, she reflects on her big win.

In a candid interview with Entertainment Weekly, Clarkson admits that she didn't actually want to win the reality singing competition.

"I do remember [runner-up] Justin [Guarini] and I having a conversation before and I was like, 'I don't want to win, I don't want to win,' because we found out we had to do a movie," she recalls.

 

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5 Country Fellas Who Should Be Considered for ...The Bachelor!

Nope, we didn't watch any of the two-part season finale of ABC's The Bachelor. Swear to God! We only 'heard' that Arie dropped one girl like hot rocks and went crawling back to another girl, and that — OMG, how can you possibly treat someone like that on national television!?

Okay, cover blown. We were glued to The Bachelor this season and have thoughts on Arie, Becca, Lauren, that phone call and — most relevant to this story and video — who the next Bachelor should be! They need to check all the boxes: single, sexy, a little bit quirky and/or dramatic and most most important, good to their mamas.

These five single country men be like: "Hey, girl!"

Brett Eldredge practically asked for it in 2017 when he told Taste of Country he was hoping to find forever love soon. But if tall, funny, handsome men with a fondness for Frank Sinatra aren't your jam, maybe you'll like Kip Moore? He's kind of the anti-Brett: dark, moody, muscled, private and into a wide range of musical styles.

 

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Alan Jackson Says Chris Stapleton Is the Closest Thing to Country Out There.....

Alan Jackson isn't such a big fan of a lot of mainstream contemporary country music, but he is a fan of Chris Stapleton, who he was aware of years before Stapleton shot to mainstream superstardom.

Jackson recently sat down with GQ to talk about his classic flashy fashion sense, and in a wide-ranging interview to accompany the photo piece, the interviewer asks him about where he sees country music headed now.

"Aaaah, you probably don’t want me to get on my soapbox about it," Jackson responds, but can't hold back from doing just that.

 

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If You Ask Dolly Parton About Politics, She'll Shut You Down.....

Dolly Parton is an outspoken advocate for many causes, but don't ask her about politics. Nightline anchor David Wright learned this the hard way while sitting down with the country legend to chat about a variety of topics, not including President Donald Trump.

"I'm not being political," she warned him at the start of their interview. "I don't do politics. I'm not getting into any of that. I have a lot of fans out there and I don't want to offend anybody. Besides, I just don't get into that. If you are deciding you may want to ask me something more serious, don't, because I'm not going to answer it."

 

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The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry Files for Divorce From J.P. Arencibia

The Band Perry lead singer Kimberly Perry has filed for divorce from her former MLB player husband, J.P. Arencibia.

The pair were married for four years. The papers were filed Friday (March 2), in Greeneville, Tenn., with Perry citing irreconcilable differences.

According to People, a representative for Perry confirmed the news and asked for privacy for the couple at this time. Perry posted a short note to Instagram Sunday (March 4) herself, telling fans that indeed, her marriage is at an end:

 

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Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb Auditioned for ....The Voice?

There was an interesting twist during Monday's Season 14 premiere of The Voice, when two familiar faces from the fourth hour of the Today show showed up.

As part of a new Today segment called Raising the Stakes, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb stepped out of their comfort zones and endure the nerve-wracking experience of auditioning for the national singing show as duo the Wine-Os, bringing friends Kris Jenner and Curtis Jones for support.

Wearing matching outfits, the talk show hosts took the stage for a less-than-stellar rendition of James Taylor and Carole King's beloved "You've Got a Friend," but still got a four-chair turn out of curiosity.

 

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Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Dress as Scooby Gang for Apollo's 4th Birthday

Gwen Stefani's son, Apollo, had a very special birthday party over the weekend. In fact, it seems his mom had just as much fun as he did! The Scooby Doo-themed festivities included Blake Shelton dressing up as Shaggy and Stefani embodying Daphne.

Always a good sport, Shelton put on an impressively messy wig for his portrayal of the Scooby character. His pop-star girlfriend sported a bright pink wig that looked like a natural fit for her youngest son's 4th birthday celebration.

Shelton has been getting close to Stefani's three sons. They're often out roaming the land on the country star's Oklahoma ranch, and he even taught her oldest son, 11-year-old Kingston, how to go mudding in a truck. Stefani previously told Marie Claire that Shelton's ranch is the perfect spot for her sons. "We cook and get muddy and dirty. There are ATVs. Being a mother of three boys, it’s kind of the perfect place," she says.

 

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Lisa Marie Presley Sues Former Manager for Whopping Sum

Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis Presley, has filed a $100 million lawsuit accusing her former business manager, Barry Siegel, of negligence and mismanaging her finances.

Presley is seeking such a high amount via the claim that Siegel made a bad investment, sinking money from the sale of 85% of her interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises into Core Entertainment, which is the parent company of American Idol. Core went bankrupt in 2016.

 

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Carrie Underwood 's Husband Addresses Divorce Rumors....

Carrie Underwood has faced hardship in the last few months, but her troubles don't include marital strife. Her husband, Mike Fisher, took the time to shut down gossip that arose last week in tabloids regarding a divorce between the couple.

Fisher, a devout Christian, decided to share some scripture on Instagram on Sunday (Feb. 19). He posted a biblical verse reading: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

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Maren Morris Is All Ready for 'Getting Murd' at Bachelorette Party

Maren Morris has established the hashtag #GettinMurd ahead of her March nuptials with fellow singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd. She was able to put the tag to good use over the weekend, posting a shot of a laid-back bachelorette party on Instagram on Feb. 19.

Morris' photo details what appeared to be a night at home in Nashville with her bachelorette party crew, which was composed of gal pals RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope, Kree Harrison and a bunch of other buddies (including a guy and a dog!).

 

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Carrie Underwood Helps Injured Police Officer Who Is Childhood Friend

Carrie Underwood recently donated $10,000 to her childhood friend, Oklahoma police officer Justin Durrett, after the country star got word that Durrett had suffered multiple injuries from a rollover car crash on the morning of Feb. 11.

Durrett, who is the Checotah (Okla.) assistant police chief, was on his way to the local police department when the accident happened. He suffered a broken neck, bruised spine and other injuries that admitted him into the intensive care unit. 

A GoFundMe page was started for Durrett on Feb. 12 to cover the officer's medical expenses with an opening paragraph that reads: "Justin Durrett, Assistant Police Chief of Checotah, was in an accident 2/11/2018. On his way to work, he slid off the road, rolled his truck; he was ejected from his truck. Then the truck landed on him. It’s by the grace of God this man is alive. Not only alive but responsive."

 

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Watch Tyler Hubbard Taste His Baby's Milk, Then Go Back for More...

Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard is enjoying his life as a new dad to Olivia Rose, and he and his wife, Hayley, have been sharing some of the more special — and personal — moments on social media. In a new video posted on Wednesday (Feb. 14), though, things get a little weird.

Cheesing for the camera, Hubbard holds his daughter's bottle in his hand as he prepares to have a taste test of her milk. As his wife squeals in disbelief behind the camera, Hubbard shows no restraint as he swigs his wife's breastmilk.

 

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Police Nab Obsessed Miley Cyrus Fan Who Traveled to L.A. After Disturbing Online Posts

Police in California took a man into custody on Monday (Feb. 12) when he traveled to Los Angeles after posting several unsettling Facebook messages about Miley Cyrus.

According to TMZ, the unnamed man resides in the Milwaukee area, and within the last few weeks he made several rambling, nearly incoherent posts to Facebook about coming to find her so they can be together. In his messages, he appears to be acting under the delusion that he is set to bring about a chain of events that will end up with him and Cyrus side-by-side and in charge of the entire world.

“OK, I have been resisting this for years," he writes in all caps in one post. "The last umtine million presidents chose me to be the one world leader. I have finally given in and I feel a lot better. Things are about to move fast starting tomorrow where we finally got together. Miley, I love you and will see you soon. The whole world is now ours."

 

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Hillary Scott Shows What Two Weeks of Twin Life Really Looks Like

Ah, the newborn fog—a phenomenon know to all new parents everywhere, which causes one to lose track of time, schedule, and perhaps even a sense of reality; at least for a few weeks.

Lady Antebellum's Hilllary Scott is clearly enjoying this period—in double force, as she's currently juggling the immediate demands of newborn twins Betsy Mack and Emory JoAnn, who made their debut Jan. 29.

Scott posted a funny and cute photo of herself looking a bit dazed on social media, admitting that she isn't quite sure what end is up these days.

"Am I laughing? Am I crying? Am I asleep? Am I awake? Have I eaten? Have I showered? Have I brushed my teeth or shaved my legs? Are those still Christmas pillows? I don’t think I know the answers to any of these questions," she captioned the shot. "But y’all my heart is FULL and this is me, #twoweekspostpartum captured in a photo today."

 

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Willie Nelson Is in Fighting Good Shape After Battling Flu

Willie Nelson's doctor may have ordered him to take some extra time off after battling the flu—which resulted in Nelson needing to cancel all his live dates for February—but the 84-year-old singer's camp assured fans that he's actually doing just fine and simply needs to rest his voice a bit more before hitting the road again.

We know, we know—it still sounds a little concerning. However, if one cannot trust Nelson's public relations department, it might be harder to discount a report from Nelson's own son, Lukas, who posted a remarkable photo on social media Feb. 11.

 

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Who Should Be the Next ACM Awards Co-Host ?

Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley are out as ACM Awards hosts, but who's in? It's going to be a few weeks before the Academy makes an announcement, which means plenty of time for speculating.

Could it be Reba McEntire again? What's Vince Gill up to? Florida Georgia Line have television awards show hosting experience. Could having a television show on NBC prevent Blake Shelton from returning to this CBS party?

Yep, we have lots of questions and even more ideas. The idea of asking Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill to co-host is really appealing. Someone on Twitter suggested McEntire with relative newcomer Dustin Lynch, who is in love with the famous redhead (and we have proof). If nothing else it'd be fun to watch him squirm!

 

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Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley Out as ACM Awards Co - Hosts

Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley are out as ACM Awards co-hosts. The "Woman, Amen" singer spilled the news during the CRS keynote speech on Monday (Feb. 5).

Bentley and Bryan have shared co-hosting duties for two straight years, with Bryan hosting the show three times alongside Blake Shelton prior to that. It's not clear who will be filling in as 2018 hosts, or if Bryan may be hosting by himself or with another co-host.

 

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Carrie Underwood Kicks Off Super Bowl LII With A New Video

Carrie Underwood premiered her new video for "The Champion" just prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The superstar dazzled in a silver gown encrusted with pearls and jewels, looking sexy and confident as she showed off her famous legs and belted out the inspiring anthem.

The clip additionally featured a montage of cameos from NFL champs past and present, including Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen, Nick Foles and Tom Brady.

 

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Sam Hunt to Curate, Headline Inaugural Nashional Music Festival

Sam Hunt will headline back-to-back nights in Nashville this spring as he introduces the Nashional Music Festival, a multi-genre event that will also feature Brothers Osborne and Lanco.

Judah & the Lion, Fetty Wap, Kyle, Lany and Quinn XCII are three others announced for the genre-bending music festival, set to take place at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall on April 20-21. Tickets will go on sale Feb. 9 through Ticketmaster. Single day and two-day tickets will be available.

Hunt helped select the lineup for the Nashional, saying that he wants to create an experience that celebrates music, community and everything they mean to each other and this city. The shows will be his first of 2018, coming five weeks before he joins Luke Bryan for the just-announced stadium portion of the What Makes You Country Tour. The 2018 Taste of Country Music Festival headliner has limited dates on his calendar, but he promises new music sooner than later.

 

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Lauren Alaina Shares Awesome #TBT Photo With Blake Shelton

It's official: Lauren Alaina officially has won this week's Throwback Thursday award. The singer posted a too-cute-for-words shot of herself on Instagram Feb. 1, looking real-l-ly young and posing with (an also young, or at least younger-looking) Blake Shelton.

"Hey, Hey @blakeshelton! How about this for a #throwbackthursday?" the 23-year-old American Idol alumni captioned the shot. Shelton didn't respond on social media, but it's hard to believe that the photo wouldn't make him crack a smile.

If it isn't abundantly clear, Alaina's come a long way from that adorable little girl in the photo. In 2017 alone, she earned her first No. 1 hit with "Road Less Traveled," as the album of the same name debuted inside the Top 5 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. She and Kane Brown also scored another No. 1 when "What Ifs" topped both the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts in 2017. And if that weren't enough, she additionally scored her first CMA Award nomination in 2017 for New Artist of the Year (she conceded the honor to Jon Pardi).

 

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Sam Hunt to Join Luke Bryan on 2018 Stadium Tour

Luke Bryan will play 15 stadium dates in 2018 and Sam Hunt will be coming along.

The What Makes You Country XL Tour is part of Bryan's previously-announced What Makes You Country Tour, it’s just super-sized. Beginning on May 31 in Toronto Bryan, Hunt, Carly Pearce, Morgan Wallen and Jon Pardi will play baseball and football stadiums, including the iconic Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, as well as Dodger Stadium.

Bryan will be the first country singer to play Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. During a press even on Tuesday (Jan. 30) he shared that his sons were very impressed he's playing some of the venues that have hosted sporting events they've seen on television.

 

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Sam Hunt Didn't Win at the Grammys....But He Still Had a Good Night

Sam Hunt received two 2018 Grammy nominations (Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for "Body Like a Back Road"), and he didn't win either on Sunday night (Jan. 28). But it still seems he had a good time!

The singer and his wife, Hannah, dressed to the nines for the ceremony, sharing a picture shortly after. The snapshot shows them holding hands — Hunt in a three-piece suit, his wife by his side in a stunning gold floor-length gown. Arm in arm, they look ready to take on the world ... or a very swanky Grammy after-party.

 

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Here is a List of the 2018 Grammy Awards Winners

The winners in the 2018 Grammy Awards have been announced, and they include some of country music's biggest stars.

Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town were two of the most-nominated country artists in 2018, and they both won in big categories, while Midland nabbed some nods in their rookie year. Stapleton took home the night's biggest country category.

Reba McEntire turned up in a non-country category in the Grammy Awards nominations; her Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope album was nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album, and she was one of the early winners revealed in the pre-broadcast part of the show on Sunday.

See all of the night's biggest winners below.

 

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Girl Power! Reba McEntire Is KFC 's First Female Colonel Sanders

Starting next week, you might find yourself squinting at the TV screen while watching the latest commercial from KFC. The fast-food chicken chain has chosen Reba McEntire to play its founder Colonel Sanders, which marks the first time a female celebrity has stepped into the role.

In fact, it's the first time a woman, period, has played the Colonel. The chain has employed various famous names to do so since 2015, but according to the company, the "best historical minds at KFC" could not remember a woman ever having taken on the role.

McEntire herself seems to be pinching herself regarding the honor. "I said 'Holy smokes!'," she tells the Associated Press. "KFC has been a part of my life forever."

 

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Luke Bryan Has Encouraging Words For P!nk at Super Bowl

If there's one thing Luke Bryan knows how to do, it's have a good time. The singer was put to an uncharacteristically serious task last year, however, when he sang the National Anthem ahead of Super Bowl LI. He crushed it, and now has some words of advice for his successor, pop star P!nk, who will be doing the anthem for 2018."P!nk is one of the best singers on planet Earth and I know she’s going to do an unbelievable job with the National Anthem," Bryan told ET. "It's pretty nerve-wracking, I'm sure she'll kill it though. She's been on the big stage for a lot of years, certainly even more than me, so I know she'll do great and good luck."

 

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Maren Morris Makes EDM Debut With Zedd... Lets Listen!

Zedd's new song "The Middle" is an unlikely combination of EDM, '90s pop and modern country music. Maren Morris is the lead vocalist on a make-up song thick with hooks and drum loops.After teasing the song on Instagram, "The Middle" debuted on Tuesday. It's a Zedd song, not a new single from the "Rich" singer, even though her voice dominates. Electronic duo Grey are also a part of the three-minute-long banger. "Baby why don't you just meet me in the middle / I'm losing my mind, just a little / So why don't you just meet me in the middle," Morris asks during each chorus, with increasing levels of fervor and intensity.

 

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Dierks Bentley Reveals Massive 2018 Tour .... and the Secrets of the Universe

Dierks Bentley is hitting the road — and he’s bringing CMA Vocal Duo of the Year winners Brothers Osborne and breakout country band LANCO with him. EW is thrilled to exclusively reveal the 2018 Mountain High Tour, kicking off May 17 in Columbia, Maryland and wrapping in October, 40 cities later.

To announce the run, Bentley channeled a granola-y shaman alter-ego and headed out into the woods with his opening lineup as well as director and frequent cohort Ryan Silver to film a hilarious bit that sees Bentley guiding his crew through an epically messy hallucination trip. “I didn’t take it for granted that I had six or seven hours to pretend like I’m a shaman,” Bentley tells EW of his commitment to the clip, streaming above. “I was in full character.”

 

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Did Miranda Lambert Smack Down Blake Shelton Onstage....

If you happened to be wondering how Miranda Lambert planned to handle the (now outdated) line "I live in Oklahoma" when performing her 2015 hit "Little Red Wagon," you can ease your mind. The singer found a rather saucy replacement for the lyric during the opening night of her Livin' Like Hippies tour Jan. 18 in Greenville, S.C., and it sounds very much like a not-so-subtle dig at her ex-husband, Blake Shelton.In a fan video posted to Instagram, Lambert struts and shimmies her way on stage up to the fateful verse, before replacing the line with a pointed "I got the hell out of Oklahoma!"

 

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Miranda Lambert Is a True Texas Girl Trudging Through Snow

Miranda Lambert isn't used to snow. So, when a snowstorm hit Nashville two days before she was set to leave for tour, the Texan got creative about getting her luggage to her bus.

As it turns out, the "Little Red Wagon" singer really does have a little red wagon on her property, and it came in handy!

"This is me literally pulling my luggage to my bus in a little red wagon because I'm trapped on my hill and I'm leaving for tour in four hours," Lambert says in a video on Instagram. "It's probably the most ridiculous cliche thing that has ever happened to me."

 

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Dolly Parton Adds Two Guinness World Records to Her Resume

Anyone who knows, well, anything knows that Dolly Parton has a crazy amount of official accolades under her belt (including eight Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards and three American Music Awards, to be exact). However, the legendary entertainer keeps growing and moving forward, and she can now add two Guinness World Records to her resume.

Parton was recently certified in the 2018 edition of the Guinness World Records for the following achievements: Most Decades with a Top 20 Hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, and Most Hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart by a Female Artist.

 

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Anderson East Shares His True Admiration for Girlfriend Miranda Lambert....

Anderson East's new album, Encore, which came out Jan. 12 and is the follow-up to his breakout 2015 set Delilah, is quickly gaining critical acclaim for its genre-bending curves. However, as most music fans know, East's personal life has been heavily in the spotlight for some time now, as he's the boyfriend of superstar Miranda Lambert.

In an interview with InStyle, the singer shares the secret behind his two-year relationship with Lambert, which has been successful to date despite the pressure of busy careers and a good dose of gossipy scrutiny.

"There's a true admiration there and a large level of understanding on both sides, for sure," he explained. "It's always difficult to be a traveling musician and still keep things together. Understanding is a huge factor."

 

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Brantley Gilbert Announces 2018 Kick It in the Ship Cruise

Brantley Gilbert is getting ready to hit the high seas on his first-ever fan cruise. Gilbert's 2018 Kick It in the Ship Cruise is set for October.

The 4-night cruise is set to take place from Oct. 23-27, 2018, setting sail out of Miami, Fla., and headed to Nassau, Bahamas, on the Norwegian Jade. Luke Combs, Michael Ray, Blackhawk, Colt Ford, Josh Phillips and Faren Rachels have been announced as special guests who will also perform on the cruise, with more artists yet to be announced.

 

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Shania Twain And Meghan Trainor ....The Rap Battle?

In the most recent rap battle on TBS’s Drop The Mic Tuesday (Jan. 9), the show pitted veteran girl-power icon Shania Twain against relative newbie Meghan Trainor—and the claws came out, the sparks flew, and just about every single hit (between the two artists' catalogs) was referenced.

Trainor had plenty of fodder, working such lines as "When I was told I'd be battling one of my idols/I wondered if beating her was worth the title/When they told me who, I said 'beg your pardon?'/Shania Twain, no problem, I thought you meant Dolly Parton."

Ooo, burn. But Twain seamlessly ran the youngster into the ground with a variety of even worse clapbacks, including gems such as "I ran into trouble when my voice was disappearing/but after hearing your new song I wish it were my hearing," and "I’ve sold a hundred million albums in my career/but I’m super proud of you Meghan, you’ve had a couple fun years."

 

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Wendy Williams Dares to Accuse Carrie Underwood of Getting Facelift

Carrie Underwood underwent surgery after an accident in November — in which she falling down some steps at her Nashville-area home — and recently noted that her face might be a bit altered due to multiple stitches as a result.

However, some — most publicly, talk show host Wendy Williams — are speculating that she is using this as an excuse to cover up cosmetic surgery. Williams posted a video Jan. 8, in which she discussed a variety of "hot topic" current events, including Underwood's accident.

"I really don't know a whole bunch about it," the host says in the clip, regarding the incident. “She allegedly fell down a bunch of steps at her house, broke her wrist. She released on Twitter that we may not recognize her when it’s all said and done."

"I don’t know what that means," Williams adds, teasingly, before clarifying: "An excuse for a facelift!"

The audience responded with shock, but Williams refused to back down. "We’re cynical! She was already cute, so I don’t know what she’s doing or what happened," she furthers.

 

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Maddie & Tae Singer Admits Depression After Losing Record Deal

Maddie & Tae admit they went into 2017 hoping for a year to grow and push themselves out of their comfort zones, and that's exactly what happened — for better or worse.

In the reflective 10-minute video, the duo pour their hearts out to fans, revealing that they suddenly lost their record deal after their label, Dot Records, was shut down. Though they have since been signed to Universal Music Group, Maddie Marlow says she went through depression during those uncertain times.

"If I'm being honest, I went through a really, pretty tough depression after the label thing happened ... I kind of always was the person that had a plan, had it figured out, and I never kind of been like dropped on my ass before," Marlow explains (around the five-minute mark). "That was really hard and my self worth was tied into it, my purpose, everything."

 

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Nicole Kidman Wins Best Actress at Golden Globes & Praises Keith Urban in Her Speech

Nicole Kidman accepted the Golden Globe award Sunday evening (Jan. 7) for Best Actress in a limited TV series, for her role in Big Little Lies—and she addressed the main topic surrounding the awards show this year, as well as had some sweet words for her husband, Keith Urban.

“This character that I play represents something that is at the center of our conversation right now. Abuse,” the actress said during her acceptance speech. “I do believe and I hope we can make the change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them. Let’s keep the conversation alive."

Kidman, who like a number of other prominent actors was dressed in black as a protest  statement against sexual harassment in Hollywood, contrasted her serious words with a loving message for husband Urban.

 

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Justin Timberlake is Collaborating With Chris Stapleton on New Album

Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton will pair up once again on the pop star's new Man of the Woods album.

The title of the song was not revealed in a press release detailing what to expect from Timberlake's project, just confirmation of a long-suspected collaboration. The two were friends long before they teamed up for the 2015 CMA Awards — a career-defining night for Stapleton that instantly turned him into a coveted headliner. Since then they've shared the stage on at least one occasion, at Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Tennessee in September 2017.

 

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Sam Hunt Recalls the Christmas He Received a Horse

Sam Hunt has had a banner year with his 34-week No. 1 "Body Like a Back Road"--but long before he was named Billboard’s No. 1 Hot Country Songs Artist for 2017, he was a kid in Georgia enjoying the holidays just like all of us. In an interview with his record label, UMG Nashville, the singer recalls one of his favorite Christmases which included the gift of a horse.

“I remember being really excited when, I got into riding horses, and one Christmas I got a Mustang that I named Comanche – a horse – and that was a really exciting time," he tells the label. "I rode all the time after that."

The singer said he had friends and a babysitter who had horses as a child, so he rode occasionally, but the gift of his first horse made him a frequent rider.

 

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Maren Morris Is Planning a Very Scary 2018 ...

If Maren Morris is comfortable, she's probably doing it wrong. Country music's Grammy-winning breakout artist has relied on songs and messages that are counterintuitive — she's a right lane driver in an industry that expects you to be traveling at 20MPH over the speed limit.

Flashy onstage and humble off, Morris speaks about the business of being the CEO of a company with the same honesty and comfort with which she tweets and talks about how tours with Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and Niall Horan will shape her next album. It's somewhat sexist to say she's outspoken — the 27-year-old has well-rounded points of view that don't always end up where you think they might.

"I think being a woman (in country music) has its ups because there are so few of us, that the few that there are get attention," she begins, "but it’s still a very lopsided chart. I think this week for instance, Kelsea Ballerini and I are the only two women in the Top 20."

 

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Who Knew Jake Owen Could Rap.....?!?

Jake Owen joined actor and comedian Wayne Brady for a recent episode of Drop the Mic. In a nearly five-minute clip, Owen and Brady trade rhymes and some major disses across three hilarious battle rounds.

Owen kicked off the first round with a series of insults to Brady's lack of hair and television ratings: "Wayne does it all / Such talent is rare / He can do absolutely anything except keep his hair," he quips.

Not about to lose out to Owen, Brady upped the ante by questioning Owen's country cred.

“Battle a country star, I was down with that / Battle Jake Owen, who the hell is that? / Your music, I’d rather listen to Bieber / Or drink Kool-Aid with Donald Trump watching ‘Jungle Fever,’" Brady rapped to the track.

 

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Old Dominion Decorate Their Tour Bus For Christmas

Old Dominion certainly know how to deck the halls--or, their tour bus, anyway. The country group get themselves into the holiday spirit by sprucing up the vehicle with all sorts of Christmas cheer.

"We get in the spirit," Matt Ramsey tells Taste of Country, with Trevor Rosen revealing that they put up a little Christmas tree on the bus, accompanied by Yule Log on the TV. While they don't do a gift exchange, Ramsey admits that they revel in spending quality time together. "We just hang with each other and make it warm and cozy on the bus," he says.

While Ramsey is typically in charge of supplying the Christmas tree, Geoff Sprung is the one who's all over playing the holiday music. "I'll jump the gun as early as allowed on Christmas music," he confesses.

 

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Jason and Brittany Aldean 's Favorite New-Parent Store....

Jason Aldean and wife Brittany are enjoying their first precious weeks with newborn son Memphis -- complete with all the usual not-so-glamorous things all new parents go through. Sleepless nights? Check. Grumpy baby? Check.

And, of course, like every new parent out there, the pair are finding themselves making frequent visits to a certain special place all moms and dads know way too much about.

"Our first outing with the baby is, of course...?" Brittany details on her Instagram account.

Can you guess? If you can't, Jason will help you out: "Target."

"It's like our second home," Brittany confesses.

"It's true," confirms Jason, with a barely concealed eye roll.

 

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Rascal Flatts Wear Matching Pajamas for Christmas

Christmas is a time for odd family traditions to take center stage, which is a phenomenon that often rears its head in musical/band families as well. The guys in Rascal Flatts are certainly no strangers to spending a lot of time together, so it stands to reason they probably have some holiday habits in common.

Indeed: In an interview with Taste of Country, singer Gary LeVox caused some confusion by noting the following: "We all put on the same pajamas."

Come again? Like, all three of the band members wear the same pajamas?

"Match. We match each other," explains Joe Don Rooney.

Oh. Okay, then, but there are still a few questions, here...Such as, what do these well-coordinated jammies happen to look like?

 

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Meeting Santa Always Puts Justin Moore on Edge

Justin Moore reveals that taking four kids to meet Santa is ... unpredictable, to say the least.

Moore and his wife, Kate, had their fourth child — their first son — earlier this year. Now the proud parents of a six-month-old, the couple also have seven, six and 3-year-old daughters. As Moore explains, each year the visit to see Santa is very different and they never know what to expect.

“Well, it’s a crapshoot each and every year, you know," he says during an interview with his record label, Big Machine Label Group. "I mean, a two year old takes it totally different than a three year old and a six year old and a seven year old. So each year it’s fun to see that too because you never know, they may be completely great about it and happy about it or they may just lose their mind. So you just never know with our bunch.”

 

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Keith Urban Calling Rumors About Marriage ...Total BS

Keith Urban turned to social media on Saturday (Dec. 9) to comment on a rumor that's been making the rounds about him and his wife, Nicole Kidman, saying there's no truth to it whatsoever.

"Not sure of how these ridiculous rumors start, but I’m hearing that I bought an apartment for Nic in NYC? TOTAL BS," the superstar writes on Twitter, adding, "Where does this stuff come from?!!!"

The rumor originated with Woman's Day, which reported in November that Urban was considering buying Kidman a $52 million mansion in Manhattan that had once been owned by Michael Jackson. According to that report, the six-story home on Manhattan's Upper East Side "has seven bedrooms, a grand oak staircase, private outdoor area and a large kitchen, perfect for a young family."

 

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Dierks Bentley to Receive 2018 CRS Artist Humanitarian Award

Dierks Bentley is set to receive a significant honor during the 2018 Country Radio Seminar. The country star has been selected as the recipient of the CRS 2018 Artist Humanitarian Award for his extensive charitable work.

The honor is awarded by the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to a country music artist who has "exhibited exceptional humanitarian efforts during their career," according to a press release. Bentley is receiving the accolade for his Miles & Music for Kids motorcycle ride and concert, which has raised more than $4 million for children's hospitals across the country.

 

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Pink Gives Daughter Willow Touching & Empowering Dating Advice After 6-Year-Old Asks About Boys

Pink has some great dating advice for her 6-year-old daughter.

The pop star, 38, spoke to Cosmopolitan for their January 2018 issue and revealed her daughter Willow already thinking about dating.

“She said to me the other day, ‘How many boys can I have at once?’ And I said, ‘Excuse me?’ I said, ‘Probably none of them because they won’t deserve you,'” the mother of two explained.

As for teaching Willow how to choose partners, Pink’s advice to her daughter was heartwarming.

 

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Randy Travis Is Deeply Apologetic After Nude Arrest Video Released

Randy Travis has issued a statement about his arrest for driving under the influence in 2012. Video of the arrest went viral this week after a judge denied the country singer’s request to stop the State of Texas from releasing the footage.

“Randy’s behavior was extremely altered the evening of his arrest due to the state of his mental health, and substances in his body, causing him to do and say things that were entirely out of character,” a rep for Travis said in a statement. “He suffered a severe concussion and sustained numerous other injuries from the crash.”

 

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Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Perform On The Voice...

Hey, all you Grinches out there: Sorry to break the news, but it's impossible to resist the impending holiday spirit when watching Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani perform their seasonal debut, "You Make it Feel Like Christmas," which they delivered Monday night (Dec. 4) on The Voice.

 

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Judge Orders Randy Travis 's Naked Arrest Video Can Be Released

The world may be seeing more of Randy Travis than the singer ever intended. A federal judge struck down efforts by the country star to keep video of his infamous 2012 DUI arrest, in which he appeared naked, from being released to the public.Travis has worked for years to block the release of the video, with his latest effort being a petition following an attempt at an injunction against the footage's release in September.

 

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Maren Morris Shuts Down Rude Fan on Twitter

Maren Morris has very little to be ashamed of when it comes to being unabashedly herself -- the Grammy-winning artist has garnered acclaim for everything ranging from her music to her fashion sense.

So it comes as no surprise that Morris pulled no punches and was aptly able to clap back when a fan made a rude personal comment on her Twitter account.

In response to a vacation photo Morris posted of herself on Nov. 30 wearing a bikini, a Twitter user remarked, "Please tell me you didn't get a boob job? Fake boobs are disgusting."

 

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill 's First Duets Album Debuts on Top

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are making waves with their new album, The Rest of Our LifeThe first-ever duets compilation from the married duo debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as well as claimed the No. 2 position on the all-genre Billboard 200 after its release on Nov. 17.

The project sold 104,000 copies in its first week, giving McGraw his fourteenth No. 1 album on the country chart and Hill her fourth. The lead single, "Speak to a Girl," is inching its way to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart — it's currently sitting in the Top 10, while the album's second single (and title track) is in the Top 20.

 

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Miley Cyrus and Her Team Prance With ....

It's now week two of The Voice Season 13 live shows! One vocalist was sent packing last week, leaving 11 singers to perform solely for viewer's votes, while their respective coaches sat back, watched, and hoped for the best. On Tuesday (Nov. 28), another contestant would be sent home. Before the big revelation of who would be the unlucky one, the show provided a slate of vocally powered entertainment for viewers.

 

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When to Take Down Christmas Decorations...

Kelsea Ballerini is adamant about when to take down Christmas decorations. So according to the country star, when is the best time to remove the jolly? In short, never.

In a video promo for CMA Country Christmas, a TV special that airs Monday (Nov. 27) at 8PM ET on ABC, Ballerini explains that her family's Christmas decorations stay put all year round.

"I'm from East Tennessee," Ballerini says in the video. "We keep up our Christmas lights all year."

 

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Tom Petty 's Last Words to Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton was crushed by Tom Petty’s unexpected death on Oct. 2, 2017.

The rock legend was a heavy influence on Stapleton’s career, along with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, whom Stapleton cited as his favorite guitar player of all time.

“I play a [Fender] Princeton [guitar] because Mike Campbell plays a Princeton,” Stapleton tells Taste of Country. “I’ve done a lot of things because I think Mike Campbell would do it.”

In summer of 2017, Stapleton got to live out a dream of performing with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, joining the band for three Midwest shows.

“To get to play three shows with them, that was something that was talked about for a year and a half, or two years, before that ever actually happened,” Stapleton explains. “I thought it was just some kind of running booking-agent joke. … And it actually happened.”

 

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Tim McGraw Met His Daughter 's Date at the Door Covered in Blood...

Meeting the parents is intimidating enough as it is, but that anxiety is only elevated when your date's parents are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and they have a pretty hilarious story about meeting daughter Gracie's first date.

Sitting down on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, McGraw tells the story of when he met their eldest daughter's date for the evening -- and he was covered in blood.

The singer set the scene at their home: He's getting ready for a barbecue that evening, but had forgotten that he had invited the young man over to meet him during the day. With a knife in hand and chunks of meat covering his white apron, it made for quite a startling first impression when he answered the door.

"I've got a knife in my hand and a bloody apron on. And it worked out really well," the singer explained...which caused Fallon to crack up at the image.

 

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