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ABC/Image Group LA Chris Stapleton is the Top Country Artist of 2018, according to Billboard. It’s a title the Kentucky native also claimed in 2016, though label mate Sam Hunt outranked him in 2017, on the strength of “Body Like a Back Road.”

Stapleton wins the title based largely on the success of his albums, according to Billboard. All three of his efforts rank in the top ten of this year’s Top Country Albums tally, with Traveller at #4, From A Room: Volume 2 at #7, and From A Room: Volume 1 at #9. …read more

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ABC/Image Group LA If you need a little pick-me-up, just check out the videos of Thomas Rhett‘s daughter Willa Gray visiting the set of Sesame Street.

In the social media clips shared by his wife Lauren, Willa cuddles with Abby Cadabby and shares a cookie with Cookie Monster, all with an expression of wide-eyed amazement.

“‘Oh. My. Word. It’s the BEST. Day. Ever,’” Lauren posted on Instagram, quoting her daughter.

“(And she keeps calling Abby her ‘best friend,’)” she added. “Talk about a childhood dream come true! We got to go to Sesame Street!!”

Willa’s little sister Ada James also …read more

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David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty ImagesPresident George H.W. Bush was a great fan of country music, so it was only fitting that two members of the Country Music Hall of Fame sang at his service Thursday in Texas.

Reba McEntire did “The Lord’s Prayer,” while the Oak Ridge Boys performed an a cappella version of “Amazing Grace.”

“What a lot of people may not know is he fancied himself to be a good bass singer,” the Oaks’ Joe Bonsall said before doing the classic hymn. “He was not,” he added, as the crowd erupted in laughter. “We’ll sing for our President.” …read more

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RCA Nashville Dolly Parton may finally take home a Golden Globe in 2019.

The global superstar is up for Best Original Song at this year’s ceremony for “Girl in the Movies,” the tune she wrote and recorded for the film Dumplin’ with producer Linda Perry.

“I was like ‘Yay Dolly!’” Perry said, reacting to news of the nomination. “I love her so much, and of course I’m happy for myself, but I am SO HAPPY for Dolly. She walked into my life and turned the lights on, and I have not been able to shut them off since.”

Dolly’s been nominated for a …read more

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ABC/Image Group LA Some lucky Brad Paisley fans not only got to see a surprise set by the superstar this week in Nashville, they also have a shot at being in his new music video.

The West Virginia native played a pop-up show Wednesday night at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and filmed part of the video for his new single, “Bucked Off.” Brad’s more than 90-minute set at the honky tonk on Music City’s Lower Broadway strip included plenty of hits, as well as some classics by George Strait, who’s referenced in the new song.

You can check out a short message Brad …read more

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Country star trivia

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Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 2008, Zac Brown Band hit number one on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart for the very first time. Can you name the tasty hit that earned them the milestone? ANSWER: “Chicken Fried.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Courtesy CMAOld Dominion has never recorded a holiday song, but you’ll get your first chance to hear the five-man band doing some yuletide fare on this year’s CMA Country Christmas special.

For their first appearance on the annual show, the CMA Vocal group of the Year picked the rock and roll classic “Little Saint Nick.”

“You know, taking on a Beach Boys song is not an easy thing to do,” lead singer Matthew Ramsey says, “because nobody can do what the Beach Boys do. But it’s a cool song, and being a band, it’s fun for us to kind of dig in …read more

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Nashville notes

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood has been named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People of 2018 by People Magazine. She is the only country star featured on the list.

Caroline Jones will join Kenny Chesney as opener for his Songs for the Saints 2019 Tour. She joins previously announced support act David Lee Murphy.

You can check out Mason Ramsey‘s new video for the holiday track “White Christmas” on YouTube now.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAJason Aldean is headed to New York City for New Year’s Eve. The “Drowns the Whiskey” singer will perform as part of Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square on December 31.

Joining the country star on the bill are Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sting, R&B singer Robin Thicke, alternative rock band Florence + the Machine, Latin superstar Juanes and boy band Why Don’t We.

Celebrity appearances throughout the special will include The Masked Singer‘s Ken Jeong, comedian Kenan Thompson and FOX NFL Sunday commentators Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and …read more

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ABC/Image Group LAThe country charts are an apparent boys club, according to Billboard. No female is featured in the top 20 on the publication’s latest Country Airplay chart. This is the first time a woman hasn’t been included in the top 20 since the chart launched in January 1990.

Carrie Underwood is the highest-ranked female on the chart. She reigns at number 22 with “Love Wins,” Billboard reports.

The publication adds that only seven other female acts appear within the 60 Country Airplay positions. Two female singers serve as featured vocalists, including Mindy Smith on Kenny Chesney‘s …read more

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