From "Girl in a Country Song" to NYC Fashion Week: Maddie & Tae Celebrate New Bloomingdale's Brand

Photo Courtesy of Bloomingdale’sThey may have each started out as a “Girl in a Country Song,” but Maddie & Tae have now made the leap to New York City’s Fashion Week. This Thursday, the two will perform at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street in Manhattan to celebrate their new AQUA x Maddie & Tae collection at the iconic department store.

“We have been so busy writing for our next album and performing on tour with Brad Paisley that it will be good to take a day to show off our other project!” Maddie Marlow says excitedly.

Maddie & Tae’s designs are available now both in stores and online, with prices ranging from about $38 to $498.

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How Super-Producer Shane McAnally Turned 40 Songs and 30 Superstars into "Forever Country"

CMAThe countdown is on to Friday morning’s release of “Forever Country,” the new single commissioned by the Country Music Association to mark 50 years of the CMA Awards. Put together by super-producer Shane McAnally, the new recording combines Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and the late John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

But the man behind the hits of Kenny Chesney and Old Dominion wasn’t always sure it would work.

Joseph Kahn, the video director, was the one who… said that he liked the idea of a mashup and I was really opposed to it,” Shane confesses. “I thought that…might compromise the integrity of the full songs. Country music is about…stories and I certainly didn’t want to go in and start chopping up people’s songs. And he said, ‘Why don’t you just try? Just throw some ideas around and see what happens.’”

So Shane set about trying to turn a list of 40 classic country songs into something new.

“I was literally laying in bed thinking about these songs,” he recalls, “and I could hear ‘I Will Always Love You’ over ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads.’ And I wasn’t sure that it would work, but I was like, ‘If this is a possibility, this might really work!’ So I got up and sort of sang the idea into my phone.”

With the help of 30 CMA winners, Shane’s initial idea evolved into “Forever Country,” which premieres Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, with Joseph Kahn’s epic music video following on Tuesday.

You can get a sneak peak of the artists involved, from Keith Urban to Dierks Bentley to RebaTrisha Yearwood and many more, at ForeverCountry50.com.

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Kill the Lights in the Caribbean: Luke Bryan Adds Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch to Crash My Playa

ABC/Image Group LALittle Big Town and Dustin Lynch are headed to the Caribbean this winter, joining their Kill the Lights tourmate Luke Bryan for the third year of his all-inclusive Crash My Playa concert vacation.

The CMA Entertainer of the Year is also adding Randy Houser and Brothers Osborne to the lineup, which already includes Blake Shelton, with Luke planning to recruit more of his compadres closer to the January 19-22 getaway.

You can find out more about the trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico at CrashMyPlaya.com and also check out a video recap of last year’s festivities on YouTube.

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Kenny Chesney Books Country's Biggest Beach Party in 2017

ABC/Image Group LAKenny Chesney hasn’t announced his tour plans for next year yet, but we know one place he’ll be playing in 2017. The “Setting the World on Fire” hitmaker will headline the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the third time in the event’s five-year history.

Billed as country music’s biggest beach party, the three days of shows take place April 7-9. Tickets are on sale now, with the rest of the lineup to be announced in the future.  

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Miranda Lambert's New Album, "The Weight of These Wings," Due November 18

Photo Credit: Becky FlukeIt’s been two years since CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert released a new album, but that’s all about to change on November 18.

Miranda’s sixth studio album, which features the top-20 lead single “Vice,” will be titled The Weight of These Wings.  That may be a reference to her crossed double-winged pistols logo, which she has tattooed on her forearm.  

The album is her first release since relocating to Nashville after her divorce last year from Blake Shelton.

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CMT Welcomes Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini to the 2016 Class of "Artists of the Year"

CMTCMT is unveiling its class of 2016, proclaiming Carrie UnderwoodChris StapletonFlorida Georgia LineLuke Bryan and Thomas Rhett its latest Artists of the Year. While all the other hitmakers have previously been honored on the yearly special, this is Thomas Rhett’s first time to join the group.

Last year, Chris Stapleton was the first-ever recipient of the Breakout Artist of the Year title. This year, they’ll bestow that mantle on Kelsea Ballerini.

The 7th annual CMT Artists of the Year special will air Thursday, October 20 at 9 p.m. ET from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, with performers and presenters to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Blake Shelton Starts Fall Tour by Doing a Solid for His Home State

Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton not only kicked off his fall tour this past weekend in his home state of Oklahoma, he also found time to do a good deed or two. With his girlfriend Gwen Stefani by his side, the “She’s Got a Way with Words” singer donated $600,000 to Oklahoma City’s Jimmy Everest Children’s Hospital.

“They don’t turn any kids away. You come in there, you have a problem. They don’t turn anybody away, so I thought, ‘That’s a place that needs some money,’” he told the more-than-22,000 fans that turned out to see him at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Gwen also joined Blake to sing their duet, “Go Ahead and Break My Heart,” during his set. Blake’s fall shows with opening act RaeLynn roll on this week, starting with a Thursday-night stop in Peoria, Illinois.

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Brad Paisley Banks Live Concert as He Cheers On His Mountaineers

ABC/Image Group LABrad Paisley helped cheer his Mountaineers on to victory this past weekend, as his Country Nation College Tour stopped in his home state to play the campus of West Virginia University. His label-mate Chris Young joined him for the show, which Paisley admitted was really just a big pep rally.

You’ll be able to see their set later this year, when it airs as part of the new music and travel series Landmarks Live in Concert. It’s also scheduled to be released as a live album this Christmas.  

The “Without a Fight” singer’s next college stop is this Thursday at Ohio State University in Columbus.

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"Forever Country": CMA Creates New All-Star Single & Video to Mark a Half-Century

Courtesy CMATo mark the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards, the Country Music Association is rolling out the biggest music video in the history of the format. Titled “Forever Country,” the project accompanies a new single by super-producer Shane McAnally that re-imagines three country classics from three iconic Entertainers of the Year:  Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and the late John Denver.

Thirty CMA-winners have teamed up for the new recording of “On the Road Again,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” As the mystery around the project builds, the stars involved have already been sharing snippets of their contributions, with more on the way in the coming days. You can check out the complete collection at ForeverCountry50.com.

The big reveal begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, when the “Forever Country” single will be played for the first time on radio. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for the video, which won’t be out until Tuesday, September 20.  

It all leads up to the 50th Annual CMA Awards, which air Wednesday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

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Kelsea Ballerini Flies into Country Music History with "Peter Pan"

Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe, Courtesy of Black River EntertainmentAs Kelsea Ballerini rises to the top spot on the country chart this week, she officially becomes the only female artist in country music history ever to go number one with her first three singles. Kelsea tells ABC Radio it’s especially meaningful for her, since it happened with her favorite track from The First Time, “Peter Pan.”

“Any song getting played on the radio is a big deal to me,” she says, “but specifically this song, just because I feel like it’s the first time that I really got to kinda open up and really get a little bit vulnerable with my songwriting on the radio.”

The news also came on September 12, which happened to be the Knoxville native’s 23rd birthday. Even though she’s an adult now, Kelsea admits “Peter Pan” still appeals to the little girl inside her.

“I just love all the fairy tales and all the Disney story lines,” she says. “I think every little girl does, growing up, so it’s been cool to kind of incorporate that.”

Kelsea reveals she’s already perfected how she likes to mark her career milestones, confessing she likes to keep it fairly small.

“When ‘Dibs’ went number one, I had a bunch of my friends over to my apartment and we waited until midnight, till the chart closed, and as soon as it closed, we just had a celebration together. It was just me and my close friends.”  

The celebrations for Kelsea are likely to continue. She’s up for both New Artist and Female Vocalist of the year at the 50th Annual CMA Awards, which air November 2 on ABC.

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