Garth's Superstar Surprises: Reba, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson and More Help Mark a Milestone

Mark TuckerA little more than a week ago, Garth Brooks inducted Randy Travis into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Monday night at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater, the new Hall of Famer watched as the state of Tennessee celebrated Garth’s seventh album that’s sold ten million copies.

The crowd of contest-winners may have turned out to see Garth play his hits, but they certainly got more than they expected. The pink-shirted honoree had no sooner taken the stage than the parade of superstar guests started.

Reba recalled the promise she saw in a young opener before doing “Not Counting You.” Chris Young traded vocals on “The River.” ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean admitted growing up with a Garth poster on his wall before delivering “Much Too Young.”

By the time Trisha Yearwood finished both the duet “In Another’s Eyes” and her own “Walkaway Joe,” you’d lost count of how many times the couple had kissed. Garth launched into “Longneck Bottle” with Steve Wariner, before surprising the crowd with Kelly Clarkson, who lamented that Steve hadn’t done his own hit from 1987, “The Weekend.”

The American Idol winner shoveled on the soul for her take on “We Shall Be Free,” before Garth insisted Wariner come back and do Kelly’s request. He complied, with Kelly alternately adding harmonies and fan-girling him.

With his arsenal of guests depleted, Garth gave his devotees what they’d come for, as acoustic versions of his musical milestones came in rapid succession, starting with “The Thunder Rolls,” “Two Pina Coladas,” “Unanswered Prayers,” “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “Papa Loved Mama,” and “Calling Baton Rouge.” He fought back tears to make it through “The Dance.”

Garth’s guests re-joined him as he encored with “Friends in Low Places,” shortly before a massive fireworks display erupted over the Cumberland River.

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Kenny Chesney Helps Pop Superstar Pink Grab Her First Country Number-One

Blue Chair Bay/Columbia Nashville“Setting the World on Fire” settles into the top spots this week on both Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and the Mediabase ranking. Kenny Chesney says he couldn’t be happier about helping pop superstar Pink grab her very first country number-one.

“To have country radio respond to Pink the way they have, to be so welcoming, that makes me proud,” he says. “I think when you bring an artist into country, you need to play to their strengths, but you also want them to feel caught up in what we do,” he reflects.

Kenny’s duet with Pink is the second single from his Cosmic Hallelujah album, which comes out this Friday.

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Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild Expands Her Fashion Line in Macy's

Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town’s Karen Fairchild is now officially a major fashion maven. This month, she rolled out her new line of clothing, Fair Child, at select Macy’s stores around the country and online.

“The real reason I’m making clothes is because I like clothes… I love clothes,” she confesses. “Outside of writing songs and performing, it’s definitely my passion. I view it a lot like telling a story in a song. I think an outfit tells a story, and I think when there’s something interesting or surprising or a little twist, that’s what makes a great song and it’s the same thing that makes a great outfit.”

The items in Karen’s collection range in price from $39 to $149. You can check out the Fair Child fall line both in a new YouTube video and at Last year, the CMA Musical Event of the Year nominee rolled out her first collection via Evine.

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Legendary Entertainers of the Year George Strait, Reba, Brooks & Dunn and More Set to Sing on the CMAs

Country Music AssociationThe Country Music Association is adding seven Entertainers of the Year to the list of legendary performers who’ll take the stage as part of the historic golden anniversary of the CMA Awards next week. 

George StraitRebaBrooks & DunnVince GillAlan JacksonAlabama and Charley Pride are all set to sing on the show that promises to be unlike any other in its 50-year history.  In addition to racking up a total of 375 nominations and 94 wins, this latest round of performers also happen to have hosted the awards at some point during the last half-century.

The new additions to the lineup join Kelsea BalleriniDierks BentleyGarth BrooksTrisha YearwoodLuke BryanEric ChurchFlorida Georgia LineMiranda LambertLittle Big TownTim McGrawMaren MorrisKacey Musgraves, and Keith Urban who are already set to play.

Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who’ll perform as well, will lead the 50th Annual CMA Awards, which kick off at 8 p.m. ET on November 2, live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC.

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Garth Brooks' Superstar Rendition of "Friends in Low Places" Finds Home on New Target Boxed Set

Pearl Records, Inc.Garth Brooks fans will finally be able to hear the 25th anniversary edition of “Friends in Low Places,” when the CMA Entertainer of the Year nominee’s new 10-disc set comes out November 11 at Target. Recorded last year, the update features George StraitJason AldeanFlorida Georgia Line and Keith Urban, but was delayed because of clearance problems.  

The new version is just one of 18 never-before-released tracks in the collection, which includes Garth’s new album Gunslinger, a full two weeks before it’s available elsewhere. Also notable are the Country Music Hall of Famer’s cover of the Randy Travis classic “1982,” as well as live performances of “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel, “American Pie” with Don McLean, and “In Another’s Eyes” with wife Trisha Yearwood.

Garth Brooks:  The Ultimate Collection will only cost you $29.99, and if you pre-order it from Target, you’ll get Garth and Trisha’s very first duet album, Christmas Together, for free.   

Here’s the complete track listing for the 10-disc boxed set:

Old School 
“Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”
“If Tomorrow Never Comes”
“Longneck Bottle”
“Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”
“Good Ol’ Boys Like Me”
“Amos Moses”
“That Ol’ Wind”
“Alabama Clay”
“White Lightning”
“Don’t Close Your Eyes”

Midnight Fire
“The Red Strokes”
“She’s Every Woman”
“What She’s Doing Now”
“In Another’s Eyes” (The Duet with Trisha Yearwood)
“One Night a Day”
“A Friend to Me”
“Victim of the Game”
“Which One of Them”
“More Than a Memory”
“To Make You Feel My Love”

“Good Ride Cowboy”
“That Girl Is a Cowboy”
“Rodeo or Mexico”
“Night Rider’s Lament”
“My Baby No Esta Aqui”
“Cowgirl’s Saddle”
“Cowboy Bill”
“Midnight Sun”
“Rodeo and Juliet”
“In Lonesome Dove”
“The Cowboy Song”

The Road (Disc One)
“Standing Outside the Fire”
“If Tomorrow Never Comes”
“That Summer”
“In Another’s Eyes” (Duet with Trisha Yearwood)
“Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”
“Unanswered Prayers”
“Longneck Bottle”
“One Night a Day”
“To Make You Feel My Love”
“Wrapped Up in You” (Featuring Keb Mo)
“The River”
“American Pie” (Featuring Don McLean)

The Road (Disc Two)
“The Thunder Rolls” (The Long Version) 
“Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”
“Two Piña Coladas”
“More Than a Memory”
“Good Ride Cowboy”
“Wild as the Wind” (Duet With Trisha Yearwood)
“Working for a Living” (The Duet With Huey Lewis In LA)
“It’s Your Song”
“New York State of Mind” (The Duet With Billy Joel)
“Midnight Sun”
“The Dance”

“The Dance”
“Standing Outside the Fire”
“Unanswered Prayers”
“Thicker Than Blood”
“How You Ever Gonna Know”
“The Change”
“Belleau Wood”
“People Loving People”
“The River”
“Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream”
“When You Come Back to Me Again”

The Covers
“Against the Wind”
“Sweet Home Alabama”
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
“Mrs. Robinson”
“Midnight Train to Georgia”
“(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay”
“Hard Luck Woman” (With Kiss)
“Who’ll Stop the Rain”
“Wild World”
“All Right Now”
“Drift Away”
“Goodnight Saigon”

Against the Grain”
“She’s Tired of Boys”
“Addicted to Love”
“Cold Like That”
“You Move Me”
“Don’t Cross the River”
“I’ll Be the Wind”
“Doctor My Eyes”
“Working for a Living” (The Duet With Huey Lewis)
“Do What You Gotta Do”

Turn It Up
The Thunder Rolls”
“That Summer”
“You Wreck Me”
“Why Ain’t I Running”
“Wrapped Up in You”
“I’d Rather Have Nothing”
“Allison Miranda”
“Black Water”
“Midnight Train”
“Dixie Chicken”
“Man Against Machine”
“Two Piña Coladas”

Honky-Tonk Somewhere”
“Ask Me How I Know”
“Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance”
“He Really Loves You”
“Whiskey to Wine”
“Pure Adrenaline”
“Cowboys and Friends”
“Friends in Low Places” (25th Anniversary Edition)

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Never as Good as the First Time: Kimberly Schlapman Recalls Little Big Town's First CMA Win

Capitol NashvilleNow that Little Big Town has four consecutive CMA Vocal Group of the Year trophies to their credit, it won’t be an upset if the four-member-band with Alabama roots nabs another.  But as the 50th Annual CMA Awards are approaching, Kimberly Schlapman confesses she’ll never forget the significance of taking home the very first one.  

“I remember almost everything about winning our first CMA Award,” she says, recalling the 2012 show. “I remember being on the stage, our name is called — we’d been waiting a long, long time for that one. I think we made fools of ourselves pretty much because we were so crazy excited.”

Kimberly says it was even more gratifying that everyone in the room seemed to be as happy as she and Karen FairchildJimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet were.

“I remember most vividly as we were standing up there, all of our friends in Nashville standing up on the floor giving us a round of applause, and I think that’s one of the most humble moments we’ve ever had as a band, ‘cause so many people have cheered us on for so many years and it was like, the whole town of Nashville was a part of that award, not just us, but we shared that with every single person there.”

This year, the band who just released their new single, “Better Man,” could take home their fifth vocal group trophy, while Karen is up for Musical Event of the Year for “Home Alone Tonight” with Luke Bryan. Find out who wins Wednesday, November 2, when the 50th Annual CMA Awards air live from Nashville, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Mitchell kidnapping suspect arrested in North Dakota

From Mitchell Police Department:

On 10-23-16 Vanessa Hakl was arrested in Harvey North Dakota on arrest warrants for 1st Degree Robbery and 1st Degree Kidnapping that had been issued for her out of Davison County. Hakl was wanted in connection with a kidnapping and robbery that occurred on 9-22-16 in Mitchell.

Hakl was arrested without incident and is currently being held at the Heart of America Detention Center in Rugby North Dakota. Arrangements will be made this week for her transport back to Davison County.

"Forever Country" Mashup Mania: Brad, Carrie, Luke, Miranda and More Expand on the Theme

Country Music AssociationIf you can’t get enough of the “Forever Country” phenomenon, you’re not alone — and luckily, there’s a follow-up to the superstar single the Country Music Association commissioned to celebrate the golden anniversary of the CMA Awards.

Co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood lead the way, in a new series of spots that expand on the “Forever Country” mashup of “On the Road Again,” “I Will Always Love You” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” In their collaboration, Brad and Carrie trade lines of John Denver’s West-Virginia themed hit and Dolly Parton’s signature song.

Another variation on the theme finds Little Big Town covering Willie Nelson’s classic while Luke Bryan sings Alabama’s “Mountain Music.” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert deliver memorable takes on two more tunes associated with the “Red-Headed Stranger” — “Always on My Mind” and “Crazy.”

You can watch all the superstar collaborations on YouTube, in advance of the 50th Annual CMA Awards, which air November 2, live from Music City on ABC.  

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Mutual Admiration Society: Keith Urban Gets Funky with Music Legend Nile Rodgers

ABC/Image Group LAKeith Urban sang a bit of both Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” and Chic’s “Le Freak” Thursday night at L.A.’s Staples Center, on the Los Angeles stop of his Ripcord World Tour. The Aussie superstar hadn’t caught disco fever, but was simply explaining that the man behind those two songs, as well as David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” was about to join him on stage.  

As legendary musician Nile Rodgers strapped on his guitar, he had some kind words for Keith as well. “I don’t want to break up the groove, but I just want to say one thing about this man. He is the brother I have never had! He is the greatest gentleman in all of music! It’s true,” the iconic producer added.

The two went on to play their collaboration from Ripcord, “Sun Don’t Let Me Down,” doing some extremely funky guitar dueling as the song wound down.

You can relive the entire mutual admiration session on YouTube

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Kelsea Ballerini Finds Comfort in Her Grandparents' Love Story, as She Loses Them Both, Just Days Apart

Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe, Courtesy of Black River EntertainmentIt’s been an emotional week for Kelsea Ballerini. On Wednesday, she acknowledged the passing of her paternal grandfather as she accepted the Breakout honor at CMT’s Artists of the Year gala. Then on Friday, she lost her grandmother as well.

“Grandma joined granddad in Heaven this morning. Married 62 years and only lived without each other 39 hours. That’s the kind of love we can all only pray to find and keep,” Kelsea reflected on Instagram.

“Bittersweet few days losing them both, but smiling knowing they are together continuing their love story. Again, thank you for the thoughts and prayers to my family, especially my daddy,” the multiple-CMA nominee concluded.

Attached to the post was a youthful black-and-white photo of the two with their arms around each other. Earlier in the week, Kelsea shared a photo of her grandfather and herself when she was little, looking remarkably like a young Reese Witherspoon.

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