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Buddies Hank Williams, Jr. and Eric Church Get the Party Started on Wednesday Night’s CMA Awards

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Webster PRTonight, two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Hank Williams, Jr. opens the 49th Annual CMA Awards, performing with his old pal, current Entertainer nominee Eric Church. “You know he opened shows for me three, four years ago,” Hank recalls. “We’ve probably been knowing each other six years or something like that.”

The two will do a new version of the Waylon Jennings hit, “Are You Ready for the Country,” written by Neil Young. Hank says Eric was just one of the younger artists who expressed interest in recording with him when they heard he was working on a new project …read more

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Maddie & Tae Reveal What CMA Day Will Be Like for the Three-Time Nominees

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Joseph Llanes/Dot RecordsIf you wonder what CMA day could possibly be like for a three-time nominee, first timers Maddie & Tae are only too happy to tell you — and they say it’s not too bad.

“That day is not that crazy. We’re starting at 10:30, which is like, we’re sleeping til noon that feels like,” Maddie says.

“Let’s get technical here,” Tae says, unlocking her phone. “I’m busting out the calendar, OK? This’ll be kind of a fun thing to do. So Wednesday, we have a Snapchat takeover, start at 10:30. We have rehearsals at 2, we finish makeup at 3:30 …read more

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CMA Nominees Roundup: Randy Houser, Jason Aldean, Dan + Shay

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CMAWhile a handful of artists have multiple CMA nominations this year, some have just one, but that doesn’t make that single nod any less meaningful.

Randy Houser is up for Song of the Year for co-writing his hit “Like a Cowboy,” and he thinks it’s the ultimate accolade. “All I ever wanted to be was a decent songwriter, so this is literally the highest honor I could ever get,” he says. “I’ve been nominated for CMA Awards before for New Artist and also for Video, but this one for me is such a direct correlation of something I actually created, with …read more

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Chris Stapleton on How He Landed Justin Timberlake for the CMAs: “I Called Him Up”

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Becky Fluke/Mercury Records NashvilleChris Stapleton is bringing sexy back to the CMA Awards, thanks to the joint performance he’ll be doing Wednesday night with none other than Justin Timberlake. Chris says getting the pop superstar to join him onstage was as easy as picking up the phone.

“We had these nominations and thought we were gonna get, maybe, a slot to perform,” Chris says. “So I called him up and, and asked him if he’d be interested in doing it and he was like, ‘Yeah man, I’m in. Just tell me when to show up.’ So here we are, we’re …read more

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Country Star Trivia

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock This recently-divorced couple won the 2012 CMA Song of the Year Award for “Over You.” Can you name them? ANSWER: Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Kelsea Ballerini on Her Very Special CMA Date and “Fairy Princess” CMA Dress

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Brad Lovell/Iconic EntertainmentWhen two-time nominee Kelsea Ballerini hits the red carpet Wednesday night at the CMA Awards, she’ll have two very special things with her: a pretty dress and a very special date.

Kelsea has invited 17-year-old Allie Allen, a cancer patient at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, to join her for the evening. The two first met at the hospital a while back, when Allie was 16, and Kelsea found her so inspiring that they kept in touch. “Since then her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was re-diagnosed and it spread to full brain …read more

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Little Big Town Rooting for “Girl Crush” Writers to Take Home the CMA Gold

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Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town are among the leading nominees for Wednesday night’s CMA Awards: they and Eric Church both have five nods. But LBT’s Karen Fairchild says she’s got her fingers crossed for a category in which they’re not even nominated.

Little Big Town’s smash hit “Girl Crush” is up for Song of the Year, and Karen says she wants it to win that category even though the group members themselves wouldn’t take home a trophy for it, since they didn’t write it. Karen just wants to see the three writers behind “Girl Crush” — Lori McKenna, Hillary …read more

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Luke Bryan to Debut New Song, Duet with Karen Fairchild on American Music Awards

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Dick Clark ProductionsThe American Music Awards performances keep on coming. Luke Bryan‘s not only nominated in two categories this year, he’ll debut a brand-new song on the broadcast later this month — the world premiere of “Home Alone Tonight,” featuring Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town.

Luke’s a multiple past AMA winner and is nominated in two categories this year: Favorite Male Artist — Country, and Artist of the Year. It’ll also be his second time performing on the AMAs, following his 2013 performance of “That’s My Kind of Night.”

Little Big Town’s …read more

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First #1 Hit Gives Old Dominion a “Perfect Storm”

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Sony Music NashvilleThings couldn’t have worked out better for Old Dominion: their debut single “Break Up with Him” has hit #1 the same week their first album Meat and Candy arrives in stores. The band says this week is a “perfect storm” of great things happening.

“It’s unbelievable,” says lead singer Matt Ramsey. “It’s really crazy. You know, like people keep like saying it in these interviews: they’re like, you know, ‘Hottest band in the country right now!’ We’re like, ‘Oh, wow’…y’know, it makes your knees buckle a little bit!”

“We did not plan this like this,” Matt adds. ” …read more

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Nashville Notes

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Dierks Bentley raised $636,479 Sunday during his annual Miles & Music fundraiser on the riverfront in Nashville. For the decade he’s hosted the motorcycle ride and all-star concert, which has raised a grand total of almost $4 million over the years to help the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The concert’s first year at the new Ascend Amphitheatre also brought in the event’s largest yearly donation.

LeAnn Rimes is set to perform her greatest hits next July 8 with the Nashville Symphony. Tickets for the show go on sale to the public this Friday.

Alison Krauss will …read more

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