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Photo: Hunter BerryThirty years ago this month Randy Travis released his groundbreaking debut album, Storms of Life, and he went on to have a major impact on country music as a leader of the new traditionalist movement. On June 22 in Nashville, Travis was honored for those accomplishments with the Career Achievement Award, given annually by the industry organization Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc., during its annual Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner.

Fellow country star Josh Turner (pictured on the right) was on hand to pay tribute with a medley of Travis’ songs, including “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart,” “Three …read more

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Trae Patton/NBCReba McEntire has been entertaining fans for four decades, so she’s more than qualified to judge other talent. She’ll put those skills to use when she joins NBC’s America’s Got Talent as a guest judge for the “judge cuts” round beginning July 12.

She joins fellow entertainers George Lopez, Ne-Yo and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson in the guest judge role.

In addition to her award-winning singing career, Reba has acted in 11 films, and starred in two television sitcoms and on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun.

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Black River EntertainmentThink you don’t have anything in common with country stars? Well, if you’ve ever had a really bad summer job, you actually do.

In this fun video compiled by the Grand Ole Opry, Kelsea Ballerini (pictured), Craig Morgan, Dustin Lynch, Maggie Rose and newcomer Tara Thompson share stories about their worst ever non-music gigs.

For Morgan, it was a stint at a fast food chain called Corn Dog 7. Lynch spent a summer mulching, and says, “You don’t get used to it. … It still smells and it’s still hot and steamy.” Ballerini, meanwhile, admits that because …read more

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ABC Television NetworkTwo stars of Nashville are unlikely to return for the series’ fifth season, and it’s not the two you might have expected to bolt the show following its move from ABC to CMT and Hulu. Contract talks with series stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere are going well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which means a missing airplane cliffhanger involving Panettiere’s character is likely to have a happy ending when the show returns.

But Will Chase, who plays Luke Wheeler, and Aubrie Peeples, aka Layla Grant, are “unlikely to return,” sources tell the publication, adding that theirs …read more

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ComStock/ThinkStockWhat year did Big Machine Records introduce a teenage Taylor Swift with her debut single “Tim McGraw?” ANSWER: 2006

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkStockSongwriter, musician and producer Freddy Powers passed away June 21 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 84. Powers, who was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006, was a frequent Merle Haggard collaborator, and wrote “Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room” and “Natural High,” among other songs recorded by Haggard. He also penned George Jones’ chart-topping hit “I Always Get Lucky with You” and produced Willie Nelson‘s Somewhere over the Rainbow album. Powers received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International in 2013. His memoir The Spree of 83, is due …read more

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Capitol Records Nashville
What started out as a songwriting collaboration between Little Big Town and artist, producer and The Voice coach Pharrell Williams turned into a mini album for the country band, although the songs on the newly released Wanderlust are not country at all.

Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook calls working with Williams “an amazing musical experience” that began as an “off the cuff” pairing. “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.”

Westbrook says, “The energy was so palpable in the studio with him … that we wanted to keep going and just see what happened. …read more

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Warner Music NashvilleFor an Illinois native like Brett Eldredge, just setting foot in Chicago’s Wrigley Field can be exciting. So it’s no surprise the rising country star was over the moon when he actually got to shoot his new music video, “Wanna Be That Song,” in the historic baseball venue.

Eldredge says he has been a “diehard Cubs fan from the day I was born,” and calls Wrigley Field “a magical place.”

The video features a beardless Eldredge in black and white portraying a 1940s-era Cubs player. Watch it here.

The singer premiered the clip on the Wrigley JumboTron just before …read more

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Image Group LA/ABC via Getty ImagesWhile she has yet to comment on her departure from the artist roster at record label Black River Entertainment, Kellie Picker seems to be taking it in stride.

The singer and her husband, songwriter Kyle Jacobs, are currently visiting Japan. Tweeting from Tokyo, Pickler wrote, “Blessed to see the world with my adventure and life partner … love you baby” and “Konnichiwa (hello) from Tokyo!! Making new friends and new memories. #Blessed #Japan.”

Jacobs, meanwhile, posted a photo of the couple on Instagram with the caption “Sup America?! KP and I are hanging in Tokyo …read more

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UMG NashvilleLittle Big Town will be spending next month’s Independence Day holiday in Boston, where the band has been been tapped to appear on the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. They join previously announced performers Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, who are set to perform their hits in conjunction with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and its conductor, Keith Lockhart.

The two-hour special will air live from the Charles River Esplanade on the CBS Television Network from 9-11 p.m. ET.

Little Big Town is current on the road as part of Luke Bryan‘s Kill the Lights Tour and working on a new country …read more

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