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Image Courtesy CMACole Swindell‘s career has taken off like a rocket with his first two singles both hitting #1 on the country chart. Before he set out as a solo artist, Cole spent three years as a songwriter in Nashville. After superstars like Luke Bryan started cutting his songs, record labels in town started noticing Cole’s singing voice on the demo tapes he made for his songs.

Cole says, “They would be like, ‘Why aren’t you singing these?'”

That encouragement from industry insiders led Cole to book a few shows in Nashville, and he felt right at …read more

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Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCountry stars took to social media to thank their fans and industry voters once the ACM Awards nominations were announced Friday morning, but there were plenty of texts and phone calls between the country artists, too. Carrie Underwood was certainly sending and receiving congratulatory texts with her famous pals, and she likes to keep that kind of digital encouragement going throughout the year.

Says Carrie, “In today’s world of technology, it’s easier to stay in touch even if you don’t get to hang out with people all the time. I mean, …read more

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Credit: NFL MediaIdina Menzel knocked it out of the park at Super Bowl 49 on Sunday.

Wearing all black at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the Broadway star and Frozen actress sang a wonderful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It should silence critics who felt her performance of the Frozen hit “Let It Go” during ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special a month ago was subpar.

Moments earlier, John Legend played a stirring version of “America the Beautiful” on the piano.

During NBC’s extended pregame show, Phoenix native Dierks Bentley performed his song “I Hold On,” while Gavin DeGraw …read more

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Image Courtesy Country Music Hall of FameAlan Jackson‘s 25 Years of Keepin’ It Country exhibit has been extended through June 21 due to popular demand. It has been scheduled to close in March. In celebration of the extension, Alan’s 1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible will be on display at the Hall of Fame February 8 through 16.

Alan saved his money to buy the car at age 15 and worked to restore it with his father, Gene. He drove the car when he first started dating his wife, Denise, but Alan was forced to sell the Thunderbird …read more

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Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleKix Brooks has appeared in several independent films in the last few years, so it seems a little odd he hasn’t made a cameo on ABC’s Nashville yet. It turns out, the show’s producers approached Kix with a pretty meaty guest role late last year.

He tells ABC News Radio, “They gave me a great opportunity. Made me an offer to play a great part about a homeless person who had been in the music business and was kind of washed up. It was, like, six episodes, and I was just booked.”

The Nashville offer …read more

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Image Courtesy Mercury Nashville/Jeff JohnsonBilly Currington has released the video for his new single, “Don’t It.” The clip finds Billy taking on the role of romantic lead with his female co-star. He recently shot the video at Nashville’s Roxy Theater with his band backing him up during the performance portions. “Don’t It” is the lead single from Billy’s upcoming, sixth album, and he’ll be singing it on the road this summer opening Tim McGraw‘s Shotgun Rider tour.

Says Billy, “I’ve spent the last few months creating an album with [producer] Dann Huff that I …read more

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Image Courtesy EB Media PRScotty McCreery entertained the crowd at the New England Patriots’ Welcome to Arizona pre-Super Bowl party Thursday night in Phoenix. Scotty wore his “lucky” New England Patriots beanie for the performance, and even had his photograph taken with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Scotty will attend this Sunday’s Super Bowl in Phoenix to cheer on the Patriots as they take on the Seattle Seahawks.

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Country Star Trivia

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Comstock/ThinkstockJay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts is married to a correspondent for CMT. What is her name? ANSWER: Allison.

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Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleKip Moore wasn’t happy about jumping into a freezing-cold Percy Priest Lake near Nashville earlier this month for his tour boss Dierks Bentley’s Polar Plunge. To get back at Dierks, Kip painted Dierks’ beloved truck, called Big White, in multiple colors with the name of Kip’s new single, “I’m to Blame,” written on the side. Kip also loaded a live goat into Dierks’ truck bed and filled the cab with foam peanuts. A video of the prank is now posted on YouTube.

Dierks has threatened to vandalize one of Kip’s …read more

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Image Courtesy Academy of Country MusicReaction from this year’s ACM Awards nominees began very quickly after the finalists were announced via Instagram Friday morning. Here’s a roundup of some of the stars had to say:

Garth Brooks — “Thanks @ACMAwards for the Entertainer Of The Year nomination! This tour is the best EVER!! love, g #ACMawards50.”

Kacey Musgraves — “The sun is shinin’ & I got some ACM love. Thank you!! So happy for my nominated buddies, too. Congrats, y’all! ..now off to the string sesh for the record..”

Brandy Clark — “I’m so …read more

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