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ABC/Image Group LAWhile you could argue that Hank Williams, Jr. and Eric Church kicked off this year’s CMA Awards with an explosive performance of “Are You Ready for the Country,” it still can’t compare to what Bocephus will be doing on Thursday night. That’s because he believes in ringing in the New Year with a bang — literally!

“I used to have a machine gun, so if it was 1989 or 1996, I’d get a belt and put 96 rounds in it and I’d hold the trigger down. That woke em up pretty good. Now I …read more

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Brian ArmasThe search for Backroad Anthem lead singer Craig Strickland continues, after the front man of the up-and-coming band disappeared Sunday while duck hunting during a winter storm in Oklahoma. On Monday, state troopers recovered the body of his friend Chase Morland, while his wife, former Miss Arkansas Helen Strickland confirmed his boat had been discovered capsized and his dog had been found.

On Tuesday, friends and family planned to gather to pray for his safety. Earlier this year, Craig told ABC Radio how the six members of the band came together through their church.

“We’re from …read more

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ABC/Image Group LAIn 2016, Blake Shelton will be front and center in a major motion picture. The only problem is, he’ll likely be unrecognizable to you. The “Gonna” hitmaker voices the part of Earl, a cowboy-hat wearing, guitar-toting, chaps-wearing buck-toothed green pig in The Angry Birds Movie.

“They kept saying, ‘More country!’ I felt like I was doing a voice-over for Dukes of Hazzard,” he tells Entertainment Weekly.

The star of The Voice also provides some of the tunes as the angry birds square off against their pork-bellied enemies, but he admits finding inspiration was a …read more

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ABC/Image Group LAWhile lots of us will bid farewell to 2015 Thursday night with a traditional chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” Reba won’t be included, if she can help it. The country legend confesses she’s such a softy she just can’t handle it.

“I gotta tell you, my least favorite song of all time is ‘Auld Lang Syne’ because it’s so sad,” she reveals. “I don’t know why it’s so sad to me, but I wish we had come up with a more happy song besides that for New Year’s Eve,” she muses.

It’s fair to say the …read more

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Country Star Trivia

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Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was Lorrie Morgan‘s most recent top-five hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart? ANSWER: “Go Away,” which went to #3 in 1997.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Eric GebhartIt hasn’t even started yet, and 2016 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Rascal Flatts. Not only will the trio head back to the Hard Rock in Las Vegas for another residency in February, they’ll also turn their attentions to making their tenth album.

“I look forward to us doing a brand-new record,” Jay DeMarcus says. “That’s always the funnest part of the process for me…getting in there and actually recording the songs that will live on forever in the Rascal Flatts catalog. So, that’s gonna be really, really fun for …read more

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Nashville Notes

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBlake Shelton and girlfriend Gwen Stefani were there Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Miranda Lambert now officially follows Gwen Stefani on Twitter. Stefani, of course, dates Miranda’s ex-husband, Blake Shelton.

Judge Keith Urban is already counting down to the farewell season of American Idol. It premieres Wednesday, January 6 on Fox.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAEric Church will take center stage during the pregame festivities at this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship. The game between the two as-yet-undecided teams will take place Monday, January 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The “Mr. Misunderstood” singer will headline the Championship Tailgate in the area next to the stadium. Activities start at 11 a.m. MT and go until 5, and are free for anyone who has a ticket to the big game.

The pre-game festivities start at 5:45, with Canaan Smith delivering his rendition of “America the …read more

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Wheelhouse RecordsTrace Adkins has big plans for 2016, and he’s kicking it off with new music. He’ll release “Jesus and Jones” in January, the lead single from his thirteenth album, which he’s currently working on now. It’ll be his first for BBR Music Group’s Wheelhouse Records.

In May, the National Defense Industrial Association will give him its Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for his work with the military, then in the fall, he’ll put on his acting hat. The Lincoln Lawyer actor will star alongside Mark Wahlberg and Kate Hudson in a pivotal role in Deepwater …read more

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ABC/Image Group LAMiranda Lambert will ring in 2016 with new boyfriend Anderson East, according to Us Weekly. Citing a source close to the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, the magazine says the two have been dating for about a month and “are really enjoying each other’s company.”

An avid hunter just like Miranda, the 27-year-old Americana/R&B artist from Alabama first got noticed in Music City as a session player and engineer. “She couldn’t have picked a better dude to have fun with,” an unnamed friend of East’s says. “Anderson is the …read more

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