Darius Rucker's New Single Reminds Him of Hootie & the Blowfish's "Let Her Cry"

Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker’s new single “If I Told You” is our first preview of the new music from his forthcoming, fifth country album for Capitol Nashville. Even though it’s a song he didn’t write, he says it gives him a similar feeling as the process that inspired him to pen the Hootie & the Blowfish breakthrough “Let Her Cry.”

“The first time I heard [the Black Crowes’] ‘She Talks to Angels,’ those lyrics did something to me,” he recalls. “I probably requested that song eight times at different bars in Columbia, South Carolina before going home, putting on Bonnie Raitt’s Home Plate, and trying to write ‘She Talks to Angels’ for Bonnie Raitt. ‘Let Her Cry’ just poured out.”

The avid golfer says it’s also a song he’s anxious to share with fans on his Good for a Good Time Tour.

 “With ‘Wagon Wheel’ I loved the visual it painted and it’s a song I can truly say I look forward to performing every night. With ‘If I Told You,’ I can’t wait to share in that vulnerability with the fans from the stage night-after-night.”

After taking some time off for the Fourth of July, Darius resumes his summer trek with Dan+Shay and Michael Ray July 7 in Englewood, Colorado.

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Trace Adkins Gets "Lit" Friday on Fox & Friends

BBR Music GroupTrace Adkins debuts his colorful new single “Lit” Friday morning on Fox & Friends. He’ll play the tune which is reminiscent of his hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” for the first time on TV as part of the show’s All American Summer Concert Series.

You can get a preview of the uptempo track now on the Fox & Friends blog. “Lit” will also be available via the usual digital outlets on Friday, and will be on his forthcoming album, along with his previous release, “Jesus and Jones.” Catch Trace on the show Friday, starting at 6 a.m. ET on Fox.

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Kelsea Ballerini and Arsenio Hall Go with the Flow on ABC's New "Greatest Hits"

ABC/Tyler GoldenThursday nights this summer on ABC, country hitmaker Kelsea Ballerini transforms into TV co-host with talk show icon Arsenio Hall. The two team up to bring us Greatest Hits, a show that relives the hits of the past few decades, uniting today’s hitmakers with the artists who made the songs famous.

Since Kelsea’s new to the gig, she says it’s great to have a veteran by her side.

“Arsenio is amazing. He’s such a pro. Every time we walk out into the live audience they do the ‘Hoo, hoo, hoo!’ thing. It’s amazing,” she says. “I’d never really hosted anything like that before obviously, but he’s so cool because he’s done it forever… And we just kind of use the prompter as a guideline and just laugh the whole time — which I hope translates well, because we have fun!”

The “Peter Pan” songstress gives us a preview of what we can expect, and promises she’ll do some singing herself.

“We’ve had incredible artists on the show. I got to sing a mash-up of three of my favorite songs — one country, two from other genres, just mashed up together. The show is so cool because it’s just celebrating music and big songs that have made an impact on our life, so I’m excited for everyone to see it.”  

The first of six hour-long episodes of Greatest Hits premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, with special guests PitbullREO SpeedwagonRay Parker Jr.Jason DeruloKenny LogginsKim CarnesRick Springfield and Kool & the Gang.

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Blake Shelton Takes It to the Track for "NASCAR on NBC"

Rick Kern/ NBC Sports GroupIf you tune in for the race Saturday night on NBC, you’ll also get a little taste of Blake Shelton. The Oklahoma hitmaker performs the new open for NASCAR on NBC, and it premieres right before the Coke Zero 400, which starts at 7 p.m. ET.

A who’s who of the sport’s drivers turned out to help the “She’s Got a Way with Words” singer shoot the title sequence, including Kyle BuschDanica PatrickMartin Truex Jr.Kurt BuschCasey Mears and Matt KensethClint Bowyer even got in on the action, playing a little air guitar while Blake played the real thing.

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Eric Paslay Plans a Weekend Date with Some Angels

EMI Records NashvilleEric Paslay has a date with some angels and some barbecue this Fourth of July weekend. The Texas native will debut his new single “Angels in This Town” Sunday at a special free concert at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin.

It’s the first in a series of events where Eric will honor community heroes all across the country, and it turns out he knows a thing or two about angels — both real and metaphorical — since his parents are both missionaries. The July 3 show will pay tribute to the staff and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of Austin.

The following Friday, July 8, Eric hits the road with Toby Keith on the Interstates & Tailgates Tour.  “Angels in This Town” will be featured on his forthcoming sophomore album, Dressed in Black.

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Dan+Shay Have One of "Those Days" with Electronic Violinist Lindsey Stirling

ABC/Fred LeeLindsey Stirling is continuing her country collaborations, and Dan+Shay are her latest musical partners. Last year, the electronic violinist paired with Dierks Bentley on “Riser” on the CMA Awards, returning for the Country Music Association’s annual Country Christmas special in December.

Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney contribute vocals to the track “Those Days” on Lindsey’s third studio album. You can check out the threesome’s work when Brave Enough comes out August 19.

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Brad Paisley Pitches in to Help West Virginia Flood Victims

Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley is pitching in to help his home state of West Virginia, after the June 23 floods that killed more than twenty people and devastated multiple small towns. After performing the John Denver classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in a video posted on his Facebook page, Brad launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the region, where 44 out of 55 counties have declared a state of emergency.

The “Without a Fight” singer got the ball rolling by contributing $100,000 himself, with a goal of raising a million dollars. The money will go to help flood victims through Brad’s foundation. He plans to visit the area on Thursday, and isn’t counting out the idea of doing a benefit concert at some point, though he stresses “now is not the time.”

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Maren Morris Wants to Take You on a Sunday Drive in Her "80's Mercedes"

Columbia NashvilleThis weekend, you’ll get the chance to know newcomer Maren Morris a little better. CBS News Sunday Morning will profile the “My Church” hitmaker, tracing her career from her beginnings in Texas through the gold-selling, top-ten success of her debut hit.

Maren has just released her second single, “80’s Mercedes,” from her debut album. Hero recently emerged atop the Billboard Country Albums chart, while also tallying an impressive number-five debut on the all-genre Billboard 200.

You can catch Maren July 3 on CBS News Sunday Morning, starting at 9 a.m. ET.

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Florida Georgia Line Takes Audiences to Church with "H.O.L.Y."

BMLGNot only is the lead single from Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots album already a top-five hit, Brian Kelley says it’s also been a game-changer for the duo on the road.

“‘H.O.L.Y’ is spiritual on tour. I don’t know if we’ve had a song that’s connected us to our fans that quick. It’s amazing,” he says.

Brian believes the song is also special because it hearkens back to the beginning when he and Tyler Hubbard first performed together.

“It takes our set and our show to a place that we’ve never been, a place that we’ve longed to be. We are diggin’ our roots harder than ever,” he says. “We got our start writing, singing, playing in church, and it sounds kind of like those songs that we grew up singing. It’s got a worship, kind of church-feel, meets a love song.”

Florida Georgia Line’s third album, Dig Your Roots, is due out August 26.

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This Bud's for You: Chris Stapleton Shares Up to $1 Million in Military Scholarships

ABC/Image Group LAThis Fourth of July, Chris Stapleton not only will play for members of the armed forces and their families at the most-populated military post in the country, he’ll also help send some of them to school. The Traveller sensation is teaming up with Budweiser to give up to a million dollars in educational support to the spouses and children of fallen and disabled soldiers.

Chris will make the donation during his Independence Day show in North Carolina, where 40,000 members of the Fort Bragg community are expected to turn out to see him. The exact amount of the scholarships will be determined by the number of Bud cans and bottles sold bearing the “America” inscription between now and July 4.

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