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(A)

ASHLEY MCBRIDE got the idea for the title track of her album Girl Going Nowhere from an exchange with a teacher when she was in ninth grade. When the kids were asked what they wanted to do in life and Ashley said move to Nashville to write songs, the teacher discouraged her and called her stupid, which inspired the idea for the song.

 

(B)

BRETT ELDREDGE has established the Brett Eldredge Family Foundation and made the first donation to Monroe Carell Jr. Pediatric Center for Cancer Research in Nashville. The $60,000 donation comes from An Evening With Brett Eldredge held last fall where Brett performed tunes from his holiday album, Glow

BRAD PAISLEY will play a May 12 benefit at the Santa Barbara Bowl to benefit victims of the recent mudslides and wildfires in the area. He’s dubbed the show Second Responders as a tip of the hat to the First Responders to the events. Ellen DeGeneres will also be on the bill along with other guests to be announced.

BLAKE SHELTON will open a third location of his Ole Red Restaurant and Bar, this one in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The 16,000 foot, two story establishment will open in the spring of 2019. Blake’s Nashville location will open next month while his Tishamingo, Oklahoma Ole Red has been operating since last fall.

BRETT YOUNG (Best New Male), LAUREN ALAINA (Best New Female) and MIDLAND (Best New Duo Or Group) are early winners of Academy of Country Music Awards. Each were surprised over the weekend by host REBA MCENTIRE who called them personally to deliver the news.

BRETT YOUNG became a household name in 2017, but not before making a life-changing decision that almost led him to The Voice. Brett says that one month before he signed a record deal (with Big Machine Label Group) he received a call from a representative at The Voice setting him up for the ideal scenario: he didn’t even need to audition, he could head straight to TV for the blind auditions. After going through the necessary steps to be on the show, he paid a frantic call to his manager, which changed the course of his rise to stardom. Brett explains: “Two days before I’m supposed to fly to L.A. and start this show, I called Enzo and said, “Hey bud, I’m freaking out. Can we have drinks? … He said, ‘I don’t think you should go.’ I said, ‘Hold on,’ and I walked outside and I called [the Voice production team] and let ‘em know I couldn’t make it. … That was the scariest piece of advice I ever got.”

(C)

CHASE BRYANT posted a long message on Instagram about how he let his ego get the best of him after his first couple of hits.  He vowed to be more honest with himself in the future, and is proud of the new music he’s been recording.  He closed by reintroducing himself and thanking his fans for hanging in.

Elton John Personally Invited Chris Stapleton to Be On His Tribute Album

CHRIS STAPLETON may have a few songs in some movies and some cool collaborations on the horizon, but don’t expect a new full-length album anytime soon. Chris says he plans to tour off the two volumes of his From A Room albums, which have plenty of life in them.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD has announced her big return to the stage following her fall in November that left her with a broken wrist and 40 to 50 stitches in her face. Carrie will be making her return to the stage for the first time since her injury at CMA Fest in June.

There’s a new online ad from Calia by Carrie that shows the left side of CARRIE UNDERWOOD’s face.  It may be the first clear look since her accident last fall.  Or, it may be a photo that was taken before it even happened.

COLE SWINDELL took a few heart-stopping laps with Ryan Blaney in his #12 car recently at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  They were promoting Cole’s upcoming show at the Monster Energy All-Star Race on May 19th.

(D)

DIERKS BENTLEY and his 4-year-old son, Knox, spent some time on the ice last week as part of an optional practice for the Nashville Predators. Dierks is known for his love of hockey and had Knox suited up in full gear for the occasion.

DUSTIN LYNCH posted a clip of himself watching the ACM nominations last week on TV.  He went from being hopeful . . . to completely let down when “Small Town Boy” didn’t get nominated.  He said, quote, “Well, we successfully didn’t get nominated again.  Career-changing song.  I don’t get it.  What am I missing?  [It] just sucks.  It’s like we’re playing with one, maybe two hands tied behind our back.  I don’t get it.

DEVIN DAWSON received the ultimate surprise when he stopped by Ellen to perform All On Me: Ellen herself presented Devin with his very first Gold-certified plaque for single sales of at least 500,000 copies… Devin will join TIM MCGRAW and FAITH HILL for the summer 2018 leg of their Soul2Soul The World Tour.

DEVIN DAWSON says he’s addicted to writing songs.  He writes every single day, seven days a week.

DAN + SHAY’s music video for their song Tequila has been viewed more than 5 million times since its debut last month.

(E)

The inspiration for ERIC PASLAY’s new song “Young Forever” came from Kelsea Ballerini’s husband Morgan Evans.  Eric says, quote, “I think they had just gotten engaged, so he was like, ‘We’re gonna live forever and be in love forever’ . . . and just good vibes.  This song is about being ‘young’ in every experience.”

(F)

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE will headline FGL Fest, September 8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The event will be the 25th anniversary of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race. More acts will be revealed to perform in the coming weeks.

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE’s performance May 9 at the Key West Songwriters Festival will benefit victims of Hurricane Irma in the region. MORGAN WALLEN (Up Down) and RAELYNN will join the duo for the show. On a related note, LANCO, WALKER HAYES and ASHLEY MCBRIDE will also play events around the area as part of the festival that runs May 9-13.

(G)

GARTH BROOKS has been in the studio working on his next album . . . and he’s already recorded two songs.

GEORGE STRAIT was honored March 23 with the Texan of the Year award from the Texas Legislative Conference. George was primarily recognized for his spearheading the Hand In Hand benefit for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

(J)

JON PARDI says he chose to record his latest, She Ain’t In It, because it’s not like many of his other songs that have a more toe-tapping style. Instead, the song is more one to make people stop and think, and that’s what he likes about it most.

Somebody asked JUSTIN MOORE what he’s learned by being the father of three daughters.  Well, patience for sure.

According to Nashville Business Journal, a restaurant concept named JASON ALDEAN’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar is in the works for the downtown area. If this reported plan goes through, Jason would join a number of country artists with Nashville eating and drinking establishments, including DIERKS BENTLEY, BLAKE SHELTON, JOHN RICH, ALAN JACKSON and FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE.

JASON ALDEAN is looking forward to having his youngest child, Memphis, out on the road with him. Back when is daughters were born, when he was touring he was on one bus with his whole band — 12 on the bus. Jason said that baby-proofing his tour bus has been “new territory,” but they’re slowly getting there.

JASON ALDEAN has had “discussions” about returning to Vegas to finish his set from the night of the Route 91 tragedy.  In the meantime he’s dedicating his album “Rearview Town” to the victims and the fans who were there.

JASON ALDEAN announced that he’s doing a special show in Atlanta on July 21st.  Although it’s part of his High Noon Neon Tour, it also features the full lineup of HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH . . . with DARIUS RUCKER.

(K)

KELSEA BALLERINI posted a photo of her favorite “travel tools” that she takes on the road.  She captioned it, “My picks for staying healthy, feeling trendy, and capturing it all on a trip.  Not an ad, just sharing.”

We noticed sunglasses, a camera, a passport, Smart Water, and green tea.

KELSEA BALLERINI will join celebrity trainer Erin Oprea for ACM Workout For A Cause, April 14 in Las Vegas. The event is part of the ACM Party For A Cause and explores how fans’ favorite country artists work out.

(L)

LUKE BRYAN scores his 20th number one this week with Most People Are Good (Billboard Country Airplay). It’s the second single and second chart-topper from Luke’s album What Makes You Country, released back in December.

LUKE COMBS will be the only country artist to play this year’s Lollapalooza, August 2-5 at Chicago’s Grant Park.

LITTLE BIG TOWN lent its voices to Elton John’s upcoming tribute album, which will be released on April 6. On Revamp and Restoration, artists from multiple genres put their own interpretation on John’s classic songs, including LBT’s cover of 1972’s Rocket Man

LUKE BRYAN feels his latest, Most People Are Good, brings a message of hope at a dark time in America. Luke says with bad people seemingly getting shuffled to the front of the line these days, folks need to hear the message that there are still a lot of good people in the world.

BRETT YOUNG (Best New Male), LAUREN ALAINA (Best New Female) and MIDLAND (Best New Duo Or Group) are early winners of Academy of Country Music Awards. Each were surprised over the weekend by host REBA MCENTIRE who called them personally to deliver the news.

(M)

With the success of her Fill The Little Red Wagon campaign on her Livin’ Like Hippies Tour, MIRANDA LAMBERT will roll out the campaign again this summer on her tour with LITTLE BIG TOWN. Filling the Little Red Wagon consists of fans bringing food and pet supplies or cash donations to Miranda’s Mutt Nation Foundation at each stop on the tour.

BRETT YOUNG (Best New Male), LAUREN ALAINA (Best New Female) and MIDLAND (Best New Duo Or Group) are early winners of Academy of Country Music Awards. Each were surprised over the weekend by host REBA MCENTIRE who called them personally to deliver the news.

MAREN MORRIS and Ryan Hurd “boogied” down the aisle to one special song. The newlyweds married on Saturday night in Nashville and after saying their “I DOs”, danced back down the aisle to the song Hold On by Wilson Phillips.

MAREN MORRIS married her fiance RYAN HURD on Saturday in Nashville. She wore a custom-made mini dress similar to the one her “badass mom” wore when she got married.

(R)

RASCAL FLATTS will go with Boise, Idaho as the next location for a Rascal Flatts restaurant. The trio, who recently opened a location in Connecticut, have also requested permits in St. Louis, Orlando, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

(S)

SCOTTY MCCREERY is 24 years old, but some people still see him as the teenager he was on “American Idol”, and they’re actually afraid to have a drink if he’s there.

SAM HUNT says “unforeseen circumstances” have forced him to cancel The Nashional Music Festival.  That’s the festival in Nashville he was curating that was going feature artists from a wide variety of genres.

(T)

THOMAS RHETT has added a string of fall shows to his Life Changes Tour with special guests BRETT YOUNG and MIDLAND. The shows begin September 13.

Turns out TIM MCGRAW’s grueling workouts are one of the reasons he collapsed on stage in Ireland.  Now, at the insistence of his wife Faith Hill, He said, quote, “I’ll have to cut short my workouts.”