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Wynn Las Vegas/Mark TuckerGarth Brooks gave some Chicago-area kids a big surprise Saturday when he unexpectedly showed up at suburban basketball camp for underprivileged children.

Brooks showed up for a Teammates for Kids Basketball Pro-Camp session at Elk Grove High School. Brooks works with the foundation, telling Chicago’s ABC-7 the program teaches children teamwork and acceptance.

“Mostly, hopefully, what it teaches is guys look around and realize that none of them look alike, and they don’t have to,” says Brooks, adding, “They’re teammates with everybody, in life, in sports, whatever, you take …read more

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CMAGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood‘s Friday-night concert in Chicago featured big stars onstage and in the audience. Kelly Clarkson joined Trisha to sing their new collaboration, “PrizeFighter.” It was Kelly’s first public appearance since giving birth to daughter River Rose in June, and she brought the little one along for the night.

Kelly tweeted, “It was River’s 1st concert!”

Kelly also posted a photograph of River in her car seat wearing pink, bedazzled headphones to protect her ears. Kelly’s friend, Lesley, made them, and they’re available for order at PreciousMetalDesign.com.

Carrie Underwood was also in …read more

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CMAKeith Urban and Nicole Kidman‘s oldest daughter, Sunday, started kindergarten this year, and the six-year-old is adjusting to student life very well.

Keith tells The Tennessean, “She took to it like a duck to water, just loved it. She went straight in there and she knew a couple of kids in there already, just family friends. So, that made it easy.”

Sunday’s little sister, three-year-old Faith, isn’t as happy with Sunday being gone all day long, and Keith understands her frustration.

“I know that drill myself because I have a brother two years older than me,” …read more

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Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleBlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are the hottest couple in country music these days, so it’s no wonder fans are eager to see them tour together. There was even a false report last week that Blake and Miranda turned down a million dollars for one performance together at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Still, the couple doesn’t plan to share the stage for a major tour any time soon due to their demanding solo careers.

Miranda explains. “Me and him can sit there and be backroading and start singing a duet …read more

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NBCCarrie Underwood kicks off her second season performing the opening theme, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” on NBC’s Sunday Night Football this weekend. She took over the gig from Faith Hill last season, and Carrie took care to get the opening just right.

She says, “I got to go into the studio and kind of put my own spin on the song. Shooting the opener was so much fun.”

It was a no-brianer for Carrie to return for another season of Sunday Night Football.

“I was so excited, of course, when they asked me to come back for a second year and …read more

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Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney’s new album, The Big Revival, will be available everywhere on September 23, but fans who pick it up at Walmart and Walmart.com will get a special 65-page ZinePak magazine filled with exclusive photos and essays.

Kenny says, “This has been an amazing ride, and to be able share some of it in a new way is pretty cool. This is a place where I was able to talk about what the songwriting means, why the fans mean so much to me. It’s very personal, and there’s no filter between …read more

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Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker was one of the lucky people who got to spend some time with the late Joan Rivers, who passed away Thursday at age 81. The meeting took place in the mid-’90s in New York City when Darius was riding high as the front man for Hootie & the Blowfish.

He recalls, “I probably spent five minutes with her, and I spent five minutes trying not to fall down from laughing so hard.”

Darius prides himself on having a sharp sense of humor, but he was no match for Joan’s quick wit.

“Just that little …read more

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Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleCongratulations to Josh Turner and his wife, Jennifer, on the arrival of their fourth child Thursday. Samuel Hawke Turner was born weighing eight pounds, six ounces and measuring 20.5 inches. He joins older brothers Hampton, Colby and Marion.

Josh says, “God has truly blessed Jennifer and me with this healthy little boy. We are so thankful and excited to see our family grow yet again.”

On the music front, Josh’s new single, “Lay Low,” was just released to country radio.

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CurbAs a country star in the public eye, Lee Brice is used to fans criticizing him on Twitter and Facebook. He can shake off most of the criticism off, but Lee took issue with a guy who accused him of being drunk onstage during a recent show in Indiana.

Lee responded to the fan on Twitter, “I had one drink. I take my job seriously. Sorry if you got the wrong impression. Give me your address, I’ll send your money back.”

Lee later told CMT.com, “If you say, ‘Lee, you’re fat, and …read more

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Broken Bow RecordsDustin Lynch and CMT are teaming up to encourage people in rural, economically-depressed areas of the country to head back to school. The CMT Empowering Education initiative hopes to shine a light on the role community colleges play in giving people the skills they need to advance their careers and pursue their dreams.

Dustin says, “Education has always been important to me and to my family. In fact, I made a promise to my family that I would graduate from college before pursuing a career in music. I’m proud to be working …read more

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