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Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town has been rehearsing like mad to get ready for their collaboration with pop powerhouse Ariana Grande on Wednesday night’s CMA Awards. While they can’t reveal which song they’re singing just yet, LBT promises there will be a lot of people onstage for the performance.

As for Ariana Grande, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild is absolutely floored by the young singer’s vocal power.

Karen says, “She’s an incredible singer. You listen to her live, if you YouTube her performance of whatever it is, she always nails it. I mean, it’s incredible!”

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Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleKacey Musgraves is going into Wednesday night’s 48th Annual CMA Awards with a somewhat surprising nomination for “Follow Your Arrow” in the Song of the Year category. Even though “Follow Your Arrow” didn’t have a big impact at country radio, Kacey is happy to see the CMA recognize the song’s message of equality and acceptance.

She says, “It really is a shocker, and I think it says a lot for, not only where country music is heading, but kind of just where humans are heading, and I think it’s cool that …read more

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Image Courtesy CMACole Swindell got the news about his New Artist of the Year nomination at this year’s CMA Awards just after he stepped out of the shower. His manager was blowing up his phone via text and phone calls telling him to call her back immediately.

“I thought something was wrong,” Cole recalls.

When Cole got in touch with his manager and found out about the big news, he ran out on his back porch in nothing but a towel.

Cole recalls, “I look over and my good-looking neighbor’s in there in the backyard and I was …read more

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Nashville Notes

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Image Courtesy David McClister/UMGSam Hunt‘s debut hit, “Leave the Night On,” has been certified platinum for one million downloads and streams.

Brantley Gilbert has released “One Hell of an Amen” as the new single from his latest album, Just As I Am.

A special video of Kenny Chesney‘s song, “Flora-Bama,” from his recent CMT special, Live from the Flora-Bama, will begin airing on CMT this Friday.

CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Brandy Clark has signed a new record deal with Warner Brothers Records. Look for her to present a trophy on Wednesday night’s CMA Awards on ABC.

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Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleThe CMA Country Christmas special tapes this Friday night at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, and Brett Eldredge is leading the CMA’s efforts to collect toys for kids in the Nashville area prior to the show. Brett is teaming up with several U.S. Marines and Tennessee Titan Delanie Walker to encourage fans attending the show to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the taping. Those will be donated to the Marines’ Toys for Tots program.

The CMA Country Christmas special airs on Monday, December 1 on ABC with Jennifer Nettles returning as host.

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Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell has signed on to perform on the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airing live on NBC November 27 at 9 a.m. ET. Pretty Little Liars star-turned-country singer Lucy Hale also will perform on the three-hour broadcast.

For more information, go to Macys.com/Parade.

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CMAThe lineup for the CMA Awards continues to grow. The latest performers added to the bill include Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Nettles, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Michael McDonald and The Doobie Brothers. In addition, Ashley Monroe will take part in Blake Shelton‘s performance.

As previously announced, the CMA Awards will also include performances from Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Kierks Bentley, Eric Church and the show’s hosts, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Newly announced presenters at the event include Brantley Gilbert, Darius Rucker, Lee …read more

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Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryBrad Paisley will launch the winter leg of his Country Nation World Tour January 17 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Parmalee and The Swon Brothers join Brad on the bill. He’s got shows announced through a March 6 date in Lubbock, Texas.

Here are Brad’s 2014 Country Nation World Tour Dates:

1/17 — Morgantown, WV, WVU Coliseum
1/22 — Southaven, MS, Landers Center
1/23 — Pensacola, FL, Pensacola Civic Center
1/24 — Estero, FL, Germaine Arena
1/29 — Green Bay, WI, Resch Center
1/30 — Cedar Rapids, IA, U.S. Cellular Center
1/31 — Brookings, SD, Swiftel Center
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Image Courtesy ABCBrad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are hosting the CMA Awards together for a seventh time Wednesday night, so they’re feeling pretty confident as the clock ticks down to show time.

Brad says, “Our roles are established where as she holds down the fort as extremely eloquent and funny and brilliant up there, and I’m an idiot. And it really does work that way. It really kind of feels like that’s the role that we’ve fallen into in a good way.”

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Country Star Trivia

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Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country star collaborated with Zac Brown Band on their hit song, “As She’s Walking Away?” ANSWER: Alan Jackson.

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