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Batter up! Reba, Lauren Alaina and more sign up for this year’s City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game

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ABC/Image Group LA Reba McEntire is set to sing the national anthem to kick off this year’s 27th annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game in Nashville.

The 2017 edition of the CMA Music Festival tradition will take place Saturday, June 10 at First Tennessee Park, the home of the Nashville Sounds. Lauren Alaina, Kellie Pickler, and Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth from ABC’s The Bachelorette are among the first stars who’ve signed up to play in the typically less-than-serious charity game.

Tickets are on sale now, will all the proceeds going to City of Hope, an organization that works to …read more

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Florida Georgia Line delivers an encore surprise with The Chainsmokers

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ABC/Image Group LAPop duo The Chainsmokers teased they had a big surprise for fans on social media ahead of their Wednesday night show in Cincinnati, Ohio — and boy, did they deliver.

For the encore, the duo brought out Florida Georgia Line to perform their collaboration, “Last Day Alive.” The song’s the closing track on The Chainsmokers’ chart-topping album, Memories… Do Not Open.

Thursday morning, Tyler Hubbard and Bryan Kelley gave their fellow duo a shout-out on Twitter and Instagram.

“Thanks to the Chainsmokers for having us last night in Cincinnati!!!” …read more

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Country star trivia

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Comstock/Thinkstock Five years ago this week, Brad Paisley performed the national anthem for the fictional Denver Nuggets basketball team on this Comedy Central show. Can you name it? ANSWER: South Park.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Jason Aldean plans a tour high point with “They Don’t Know”

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ABC/Image Group LA Tonight in Toledo, Ohio, two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean kicks off his They Don’t Know Tour at Huntington Center.

While he’s been rehearsing, Jason’s been vocal about how excited he is to perform the tour’s namesake tune, promising the song that also happens to be his new single definitely will be a high point in his set.

The Georgia native believes “They Don’t Know” is simply one of the rarest kinds of songs to have in your arsenal.

“A lot of times, the hardest songs to find are the songs like ‘She’s Country’ and some of those …read more

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“Love and War” and all the emotions in between: Brad Paisley previews country’s first visual album at the Hall of Fame

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Arista NashvilleWith his baseball cap on backwards, Brad Paisley took to stage of the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame to preview the visual version of his new Love and War album Wednesday evening.

The first of its kind in country music, the roughly 60-minute music film manages to squeeze in all of the considerable special guests on Brad’s eleventh album. Mick Jagger appears mainly in clips from Brad’s home studio in “Drive of Shame,” while the title track with John Fogerty gets a more elaborate treatment on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Super-producer Timbaland dangles …read more

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Nashville notes

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock On the heels of her #1 album, WildHorse, and her top-30 single, “Love Triangle,” Raelynn guests on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday. You can watch for her performance starting at 12:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Newcomer Ryan Hurd will join Florida Georgia Line for 14 dates on the Smooth Tour, starting June 15 in Wantagh, New York.

Monday night’s 18th annual Nashville Best Cellars dinner raised more than $225,000 for the T.J. Martell Foundation. Eric Church, Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook, Reba McEntire, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride and Cole Swindell were just some …read more

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This Is Your Life: Little Big Town gets a surprise, as CMA honors music teachers

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ABC/Image Group LA Without the investment of their music teachers, country music likely wouldn’t have superstars like Little Big Town and Kelsea Ballerini. That was the overwhelming sentiment Wednesday night, as the CMA Foundation hosted its second annual CMA Music Teachers of Excellence dinner at the Stadium Club at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.

While Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook were prepared to host the evening, the CMA Vocal Group of the Year didn’t know they were also in for a surprise. They were reunited with the four music teachers who nurtured their talents long before they formed Little …read more

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“In Case You Didn’t Know,” Brett Young’s the only country artist with a gold single in 2017

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BMLGBrett Young may be a relative newcomer on the country scene, but he’s making some impressive strides.

The California native is the first country artist to have a single go Gold in 2017. The song that did it for Brett is “In Case You Didn’t Know,” which is currently at #7 on the chart. That puts Brett on par with major pop hitmakers like Ed Sheeran and The Chainsmokers, who’ve also had a song sell more than 500,000 copies this year.

“My fans are amazing,” Brett says. “To have this success with my debut project is just unreal. Writing these songs …read more

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Chris Young teases his video vision for Jason Aldean’s They Don’t Know Tour

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ABC/Image Group LAThursday night, Chris Young kicks off his summer-long trek with ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean, as the They Don’t Know Tour makes its first stop at Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.

As you might expect, in the days leading up to the kick-off, the guys have been rehearsing. Chris even gave his fans a little preview earlier this week.

“Making good use of the video screens at rehearsal today…” he shared on social media, along with a short clip of his band playing in front of the video wall. “Ready to start this tour …read more

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Late Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme was a music documentary visionary

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L-R: Jonathan Demme and David Byrne; Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty ImagesNot only did the late Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme helm such acclaimed dramas as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, he was also a concert film visionary.

Demme, who died Wednesday at age 73, directed Stop Making Sense, the groundbreaking 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary. The film gained accolades for its imaginative construction and editing, and was the first to be shot entirely using digital audio.

Demme also directed a trilogy of concert film/documentaries featuring Neil Young: 2006’s Heart of Gold, 2009’s Neil Young Trunk Show, and 2012’s Neil Young Journeys.

Demme’s music …read more

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