Apr 25

Blake Shelton Says Gwen Stefani Duet Is One of the Best Songs He’s Ever Written

Warner NashvilleGwen Stefani announced earlier this week that she and boyfriend Blake Shelton have recorded a duet on Blake’s new album. Now, Blake is speaking out about their “personal” collaboration on the tune “Go Ahead and Break My Heart.”

The country singer tells Entertainment Tonight it’s one of the best songs he’s ever written. “I hesitate to brag on it too much but I really think that it’s as good of a song as I’ve ever written in my life,” he says.

He adds that writing and recording it with Gwen made it all the more special.  “[The song] is very personal for us both because, you know, we obviously have this bond that is remarkable together,” he says. “But the fact that we wrote a song together… I know that I don’t co-write that much because I’m very insecure about it I guess and [Gwen’s] kind of got her circle of people that she writes with. But for us to reach out to each other as writers, it may never happen again, who knows.”

Blake admits he was the one who encouraged Gwen to announce the duet on Twitter, after he received a mock-up of the album’s artwork. “I said, ‘You know what? Take a picture of that and tweet it,’” he tells ET. “It’ll be our way to announce that yes, we have a duet together.”

Blake’s album, If I’m Honest, comes out May 20.

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Apr 25

A Triumphant Return to the Stage and a Tribute to Merle Haggard from George Strait

Kevin Winter/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM“I’ve missed you guys and I’m looking forward to being here a few more nights this year,” the now-officially-retired-from-the-road George Strait said Friday night, as he played one of the first concerts in Las Vegas’s new T-Mobile Arena. Kacey Musgraves opened for the sell-out crowd of nearly 20,000.

The Country Music Hall of Famer spun through hits like “Ocean Front Property,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and “Give It All We’ve Got Tonight,” before pausing to remember his hero and friend Merle Haggard, who passed away earlier this month.  

“We’ll never get to hear Merle play live again, but his music will live on forever,” Strait proclaimed, before launching into a medley of his hits “Mama Tried,” “Fightin’ Side of Me” and “My Life’s Been Grand.”

The man known as the King of Country Music returns for more sold-out Strait to Vegas shows in September and December of this year, and in February of 2017.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Apr 24

Maren Morris Books Monday Morning "Church" on GMA

Columbia NashvilleMaren Morris makes her TV debut on Monday morning, getting up early to play her breakthrough hit, “My Church,” on Good Morning America.

Fans of the infectious anthem that honors the power of classic country music can now pre-order her full-length debut album, Hero, which comes out June 3. They’ll instantly get the lead single, as well as three songs originally included on her self-titled EP. On May 13, they’ll also get first listen to a new track called “Rich.” If you’re a true audiophile, you can also order Maren’s first record on vinyl.

The Texas native hits the road June 2 with Keith Urban and Brett Eldredge, on the eve of her project’s release. You can catch her Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America, which starts at 7 a.m. all across the country.

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Apr 23

Keith Urban Brews a Mean Cup of Joe

Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban makes a mean cup of java, according to his wife Nicole Kidman. The Oscar-winning actress’s revelation came during her stint as cover model for the April issue of nFocus.

“Sometimes I go, ‘Gosh, I’d love to open some sort of boutique,’” she tells the magazine that covers Nashville society. “There’s this place called Bills in Australia, which is just like amazing Aussie food with toast and avocado and amazing coffee and that sort of stuff. But, I mean the chances of me doing that… Keith’s actually a pretty good barista, I have to say. So you never know,” she adds with a laugh.

This week, her superstar husband has been busy in Music City doing interviews to promote his long-awaited new album. Ripcord comes out May 6.

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Apr 22

Could The Band Perry Preview New Music Next Week on the "Today" Show?

ABC/Eric GebhartWe haven’t gotten many clues as to what The Band Perry is up to since they parted ways with their longtime label, Big Machine, back in March, but we could learn more about what the sibling trio is up to music-wise next Wednesday. They’re set to play live on the Today show plaza April 27 as part of the Citi Concert Series. You can catch their performance at 7 a.m. all across the country on NBC.

Earlier this week, KimberlyNeil and Reid rocked the youth celebration WE Day in Seattle, Washington.

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Apr 22

From Hometown Hero to 90-Minute Sell-Out, Jason Aldean Is on a Hot Streak

ABC/Image Group LAOn the eve of selling out Boston’s Fenway Park in only 90 minutes, ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean returned to his hometown to give half a million dollars to charity. The more than $500,000 he raised with an intimate, acoustic performance will go to help Navicent Health, the only dedicated pediatric facility in central Georgia.

“Pretty overwhelming the amount of money that was raised by the community of Macon last night and I couldn’t be more proud to call it my hometown,” he says. “Every single penny helps an organization that means a lot to me and I can’t thank everyone enough for helping these kids. Emotions were running high seeing all those faces, familiar faces, come out to support,” he reveals.

The Thursday night benefit was only his second performance since taking home the ACM Entertainer trophy earlier this month in Las Vegas. Tickets for his September 9 show at the home of the Boston Red Sox sold out in an hour and a half Friday morning. Jason hits the road with Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses May 19 for his Six String Circus trek.

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Apr 22

Thomas Rhett Duets with His Dad for a Home State Crowd

ABC/Randy HolmesThere’s no doubt a home state crowd loves Thomas Rhett. When his March date at Atlanta’s Wild Bills sold out in a matter of hours, the Georgia native added a second show in April, which sold out just as quickly.  

The “Die a Happy Man” hitmaker made it well worth his fans’ efforts, even bringing out his famous father at one point for an epic jam session. “The one, the only, the man, the myth, the legend — Mr. Rhett Akins,” the second-generation country star offered, before asking, “Ya’ll ever heard this song called ‘That Ain’t My Truck?’” and launching into his dad’s hit from 1995.

The good-natured banter between father and son continued, with Thomas saying, “I don’t mean to get your ego any bigger than it already is, but whenever you turn on the radio, probably seventy percent of the songs you hear are written by this guy right here,” before the two played Blake Shelton’s smash, “Boys Round Here.” You can watch snippets of the night’s performances on YouTube.

This Friday night, Thomas Rhett takes the stage with another duet partner, as he and Nick Jonas tape their upcoming episode of CMT Crossroads in Nashville.

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Apr 22

Hillary Scott Recalls a Lighthearted Prince Moment on Tour with Lady A and Darius Rucker

Capitol NashvillePrince may not have been a country singer — but that certainly didn’t stop him from having a big impact on many of the stars in the genre. Hillary Scott recalls a particularly funny moment involving the legend that happened when Lady Antebellum was out with the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish.

“One of my most vivid memories with his music was when we were on tour,” she remembers. “It was the Own the Night tour with Darius Rucker and he had closed his set every night with ‘Purple Rain.’ And this is kind of a lighthearted moment. One of the last shows of the tour, Charles [Kelley] went out dressed as Prince. Obviously Prince being much smaller in stature than Charles — he’s 6’6”– it just was one of the most just sweet, funny, hilarious moments.”

Darius himself reacted to Prince’s death Thursday on Twitter, saying, “Once again Heaven’s band just got even more incredible. One of my absolute idols #Prince. Thank u for showing me what true GREATNESS is!!”

Hillary, who’ll soon release a new faith-based album with her family, believes Prince’s greatest accomplishment may come down to one word — originality.

“There’s no one comparable to him. He’s his own…So many people, even to this day right now in a room or on [Music Row] somewhere, are trying to emulate what he does, what he did.”

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Apr 22

Keith Urban: "Prince Was a Monster on Guitar!"

Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban was in the middle of two days of interviews promoting his new album Ripcord on Thursday, when he learned that iconic pop, rock and funk superstar Prince had passed away at the age of 57.

“The very first time I saw him was on MTV, you know? ‘1999,’ I guess, was the song and the video,” the Aussie native recalled. “That period you saw so many artists come and go, one-hit wonder sort of thing, but there was something immediate about that track and about him and the way he performed. It was no surprise that that was going to be something of legend. That catalog of his is just mind-blowing,” he adds.

For students of the six-string like Keith, the artist who will forever be known as Prince means something special.

“You kind of have to ask guitar players about Prince, because most other people don’t seem to know,” he muses. “But every guitarist I’ve ever talked to knows that he was a monster on guitar. Certainly when you went and saw him live, you’re just like, ‘Omigod! That’s you! You played on the records? Omigod!’”

You can check out Keith’s own guitar-playing when his new release, Ripcord, comes out May 6.

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Apr 21

Kelsea Ballerini Is Ready for Her Close-Up

ABC/Image Group LAIf you watched Wednesday night’s episode of Nashville, you know Thomas Rhett played himself on the ABC show set in Music City, performing his chart-topping hit “Die a Happy Man.” Next up, Kelsea Ballerini is ready for her close-up. She’ll play her latest single “Peter Pan” in the upcoming installment of the show titled “The Trouble with the Truth.”

“I’ve watched Nashville since it came out and have always loved the story it tells, and more than anything, the music it shows,” the artist with two number ones under her belt tells Billboard. “I’m so excited to be a part of this episode!”

You can catch Kelsea’s star turn on Nashville May 4 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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