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Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes performs with 450 elementary, middle and high school students in Roanoke, Virginia, on Monday night in celebration of the city’s booming music education programs. The CMA Foundation provided a $100,000 grant to complete VH1 Save the Music Foundation’s instrument campaign to bring access to instrumental music education to students in Roanoke. So far, $510,000 worth of instruments have been donated to the city’s schools.

In celebration, Hunter will perform at Monday night’s concert at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. He will also talk about the impact of …read more

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Image Courtesy Blue Chair/Sony MusicKenny Chesney is helping fans put a little bit of the island life in their holiday season with his new single, “Christmas in Blue Chair Bay.” The song is described as “slightly Calypso” and “wholly acoustic.”

Kenny hopes the track can help fans relax a little bit with their friends and families this season. He says, “I do know that my family really loves Christmas — and I was in the mood, especially with the time I’ve been spending in Barbados with my rum, to try and distill how slow …read more

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Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts is launching their Vegas Riot! Residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas February 25, 2015. They’ll play nine shows through March 14 at the hotel’s concert venue, The Joint.

Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus says, “We’re so excited to do something so different for us. You will experience Rascal Flatts in a way you’ve never seen us before – up close, intimate and personal, and we promise you one thing, it’s going to rock!”

Tickets go on sale Friday morning at AXS.com/RascalFlattsVegas.

Here are the Rascal …read more

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Image Courtesy Webster PRTanya Tucker‘s new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, titled “Strong Enough to Bend,” includes a few mentions of her famous, yet stormy, relationship with Glen Campbell in the early ’80s. Memories of that relationship are bittersweet for Tanya now that Glen is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and living in a long-term care facility in Nashville.

“I haven’t spoken to him,” Tanya tells ABC. “And I’ve asked his manager, I’ve called and asked him to ask his wife if I could possibly — I said, ‘Just let me say …read more

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Country Star Trivia

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Comstock/ThinkstockGarth Brooks‘ touring band is named for which Oklahoma town? ANSWER: Stillwater.

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Nashville Notes

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood has released a behind-the-scenes clip from her “Something in the Water” video shoot to People.com.

Scotty McCreery has picked up platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America for three of his songs — “See You Tonight, “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls.”

Fifteen shows on Sam Hunt‘s Lipstick Graffiti tour sold out within minutes after going on sale last week. He is now considering moving some of those shows to larger venues or adding additional dates in those markets.

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Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell‘s debut album just came out in February, but his fans will be happy to know he’s got a brand-new, five-song EP coming out this week. It’s called the Down Home Sessions, and Cole says his fans have been waiting for some of these songs for a while now.

He explains, “There were a couple [songs] that I saw fans, that they’d heard me play live, and just wondering, you know, ‘Why didn’t that make the album?’ Hey, you can only pick so many.”

The Down Home Sessions EP coincides with …read more

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Image Courtesy Sony/Gwendolyn RecordsTrisha Yearwood‘s new album, PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit, is out this week, and she recruited her friend, Kelly Clarkson, to sing on the title track. Trisha sang on Kelly’s Christmas album, Wrapped in Red, last year, and they were eager to get back in the studio together.

“We’re both like, ‘Oh, my God! I’m singing with Kelly Clarkson!” She’s like, ‘Oh, my God! I’m singing with Trisha Yearwood!'” Trisha tells ABC News Radio. “You should just slap us because we’re just ridiculous. We really do both genuinely admire each other, and so we have …read more

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Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes‘ music has a pop sensibility to it, but he won’t be leaving the country format for the pop world any time soon.

Hunter tells Iowa’s Quad-City Times, “My heart’s in country music. I grew up listening to country music and I’m very proud of that. I’m proud of the family that I get to be a part of, and I take the opportunity to be a part of this family incredibly seriously.”

Hunter hopes his live show on the Tattoo (Your Name) tour reflects that commitment to country music.

“I …read more

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Image Courtesy ABC/Ida Mae AstuteTaylor Swift has made it very clear her latest album, 1989, is a pop project, and that’s just fine with the country stars in Nashville. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum points out Taylor’s strong songwriting skills are still in effect with the new music.

Hillary tells Billboard, “You can tell she takes so much pride in that and that’s what I respect.”

New duo Maddie & Tae also support Taylor’s move to pop, saying, “She’s killing it over at pop, and we’re just really happy for her.”

In going full-on pop, Taylor hasn’t closed the door to …read more

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