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Carrie Underwood Releasing "Little Toy Guns" Single and Video Friday


Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleCarrie Underwood is releasing "Little Toy Guns" as her new single, and the emotional video for the song will premiere Friday on Carrie's Facebook page. A 30-second sneak preview of the video is now posted on Facebook. Look for E! News to air a first-look feature on the video Thursday.

"Little Toy Guns" is the follow-up release to Carrie's latest hit, "Something in the Water." The new single addresses the hurt a child goes through listening to her parents fight, and the video will play out that heartbreaking scenario.

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Trisha Yearwood Releasing Third Cookbook, "Trisha's Table," on March 31


Image Courtesy Clarkson PotterTrisha Yearwood has revealed details of her third cookbook, Trisha's Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life.

The book is due March 31 and will feature a mix of lighter dishes and a few traditional Southern comfort food recipes. The offerings reflect Trisha's new approach to dieting, which has helped her achieve a slimmed-down physique. The secret to Trisha's weight-loss success lies in allowing herself to indulge in her favorite Southern dishes 20 percent of the time while eating healthy for the rest of her meals.

Trisha says in the book's introduction, "I am not one of those people who gets so busy with my day that I suddenly think to myself, 'Wow, I forgot to eat lunch!'  That never happens to me.  Never.  I think about food all the time, so making peace with eating is a daily battle for me.  I won’t say I’ve completely figured it out, but I will say that right now, I win that battle more days than I lose it, and I believe that’s the key.”

Some of the lighter recipes in Trisha's Table include dairy-free angel hair pasta with avocado pesto and vegetarian smashed sweet pea burgers. More indulgent dishes, such as slow cooker Georgia pull-pork barbecue and chicken tortilla casserole, also are featured.

Trisha's Table is the first cookbook she has released since the premiere of her Emmy-winning Food Network show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, in 2012.

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Kristian Bush Releasing Debut Solo Album, "Southern Gravity," on April 7


Imgae Courtesy Streamsound RecordsKristian Bush of Sugarland fame will release his debut solo album, Southern Gravity, on April 7. The project features the lead single "Trailer Hitch." Kristian says the new songs "feel like home" to him.

He says to his fans, "They are your stories as much as they are mine, and I hope you hear yourself in here, no matter if you are standing up, falling down or dancing in between the pieces of your life."

Kristian is a co-writer on all 12 tracks on Southern Gravity.

Here is the Southern Gravity track list:

"Make Another Memory"
"Light Me Up"
"Trailer Hitch"
"Southern Gravity"
"Flip Flops"
"Giving It Up"
"Feeling Fine California"
"Waiting on an Angel"
"Walk Tall"
"Sending You a Sunset"
"Sweet Love"
"House on a Beach"

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Josh Turner, Eric Paslay & More Sign on for the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America


Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleJosh Turner, Eric Paslay, David Nail, Jon Pardi, Lauren Alaina and Mickey Guyton have signed on to be torchbearers in the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America. The torch will be lit in Athens, Greece and travel across all 50 U.S. states for 46 days before making its way to the Special Olympics World Games in July.

More than 20,000 people will participate in the relay -- you can sign up to participate at UnifiedRelay.org. ESPN will carry nightly highlights from the Special Olympics World Games, starting with the Opening Ceremony on July 25.

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Dierks Bentley Heads Home to Phoenix for Multiple Appearances Surrounding Sunday's Super Bowl


Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley is in his hometown of Phoenix to participate in several big events surrounding Super Bowl 49 on Sunday. His performance at the official NFL Tailgate will be broadcast as part of NBC's pregame show Sunday afternoon. Dierks is also hosting a pre-Super Bowl bash at his bar, Whiskey Row, on Friday night.

Says Dierks, "It's going to be a fun weekend in my hometown. There are a lot of country fans in the Valley and we are looking forward to taking over this week! I'm excited to have a lot of friends from Nashville in town and to be a part of some of the big events around the game."

Dierks kicked off his public appearances in Phoenix playing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open Annexus Pro-Am golf tournament Wednesday. According a few Instagram posts, Dierks flew in to town Tuesday night and enjoyed some drinks at Whiskey Row with pals Thomas Rhett and Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of the Oklahoma town Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert call home? ANSWER: Tishomingo.

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Mickey Guyton Opens Up About the No-Good Man Who Inspired "Better than You Left Me"


Image Courtesy UMG NashvilleMickey Guyton clearly isn't singing the blues over her ex-boyfriend on her debut single, "Better than You Left Me." The lyrics were inspired by Mickey's old relationship that was clearly going nowhere when she decided to make the move to Nashville a few years ago. Mickey says it all came to a head for the couple during a final fight when he told her, "Don't make me find someone else."

Mickey tells ABC News Radio, "I can't even believe someone would even say that. We were together for four years, and he was always so back-and-forth and unsure with me, and he was always going and finding someone else, and he was always throwing me to the wayside."

At that point, Mickey found the courage to tell that guy goodbye once and for all.

"I realized that he was not the prize and that I was the prize," she says. "I said, 'No more,' and I told him to go find someone else."

Mickey has now moved on with her life, but she still gets emotional singing the song.

She says, "I'm so much better than I was -- just a better person than I was back then, and I'm so thankful."

Now that "Better than You Left Me" is climbing the country chart, Mickey has been busy promoting the single at radio stations across the country. She's been amazed to hear that a lot of other people find strength in her lyrics.

Says Mickey, "I've had a lot of women call in and just say, 'I had to pull over on the side of the road 'cause I was bawling my eyes out, because I'm going through that.'"

"Better than You Left Me" is now available for download at iTunes.

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"Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas" to Air Feb. 28 on ABC


Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCNext month, Shania Twain is bringing her Las Vegas show to ABC.

The concert special Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas will air February 28 at 9 p.m. ET.  It documents the show that Shania staged for two years at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace before wrapping it up in December.  The ABC special features over an hour of never-before-seen footage documenting the show's development, as well as the entire performance, which features a live band, trained horses, a flying motorcycle and more.

Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas will be released on CD and DVD on March 3, exclusively at Walmart.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn celebration of Glen Campbell's 79th birthday coming up on April 22, a remastered and expanded 40th Anniversary Edition of Glen's 1975 album Rhinestone Cowboy will be released on March 31. The album features five rare or previously unreleased tracks.

Kacey Musgraves and Chris Young are performing at the 40th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival in Florida May 6 through 10. Go to KeyWestSongwritersFestival.com for details.

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Luke Bryan Almost Released Latest Hit, "I See You," as the Lead Single from "Crash My Party"


Image Courtesy CMALuke Bryan is on track to score his sixth #1 hit from his latest album, Crash My Party, with the power ballad, "I See You." Luke always hoped the song would be a single.

He says, "You know, 'I See You' and 'Crash My Party' were the two that we were going back and forth with on what should be the [first] single, and we chose 'Crash My Party.'"

"Crash My Party" was released in April 2013, so it's taken quite awhile for Luke to get around to "I See You" as a single. As for why he was drawn to the song, Luke adds, "It’s got that youthful lyric, kind of almost a hip-hop lyric and then that big ol' chorus that really kind of jumps off the speakers at you."

Luke is also a big fan of the big guitar riff in "I See You." The song will be featured on Luke's That's My Kind of Night tour starting February 10 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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The Band Perry Named Curators for the 3rd Annual Grammy Amplifier Program


Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleThe Band Perry has been named curators for the3rd annual Grammy Amplifier program.

The online music initiative, sponsored by Hyundai and The Recording Academy, aims to mentor aspiring artists and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent.

The Band Perry will help evaluate online submissions to narrow the field down to the program’s three winners. The winners will individually be awarded one of the following prizes: A studio recording session with a Grammy winning producer; filming and starring in their own music video with a noted director; or securing an opening act spot for an established musician and/or at a music festival.

The program is currently accepting submissions at GrammyAmplifier.com. Based on their track plays and social media performance, the top 25 finalists will be brought together for a mentorship experience, and then narrowed down by program curators to a short list of finalists. The program’s curators this year also include Ziggy Marley and singer/songwriter Allen Stone. Hit artist/producer Mark Ronson will pick the three winners and decide which winner gets what prize.

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Blake Shelton Reportedly Lands Role in Upcoming Adam Sandler Comedy


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleIt looks like Blake Shelton has picked up another acting gig. Fresh off his stint hosting Saturday Night Live last weekend, Blake has reportedly joined the cast of the new Adam Sandler movie, Ridiculous 6.

According to TheWrap, Blake will play Old West icon Wyatt Earp in the comedy. Adam Sandler will play an orphan raised by a Native American tribe, with Nick Nolte playing his biological father. Vanilla Ice is also part of the cast along with Luke Wilson, Taylor Lautner and Dan Akroyd.

Production on Ridiculous 6 starts next month. The movie will air on Netflix as part of Sandler's deal with the on-demand entertainment company.

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The Band Perry and Josh Turner Added to Tortuga Music Festival Lineup


Image Courtesy Taryn Pray PRThe Band Perry and Josh Turner are joining headliners Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band for the 3rd Annual Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival April 11 and 12 at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, in Florida. Previously-announced performers include Jake Owen, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town, Chase Bryant, Frankie Ballard, Maddie & Tae, Trace Adkins, Chase Rice, and David Nail.

Tickets for the event are available at TortugaMusicFestival.com. Proceeds benefit the Rock the Ocean Foundation in their fight to preserve the world's oceans.

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Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Brad Paisley Headlining Chicago Country Festival


Image Courtesy UMG/Nino MunozDierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Brad Paisley are headlining Chicago's first-ever major country music festival -- Windy City LakeShake. The event runs June 19 through 21 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Frankie Ballard, Thomas Rhett, Randy Houser, Maddie & Tae, Justin Moore, Joe Nichols, Mickey Guyton, RaeLynn, and Kip Moore are among the stars already set to appear. More talent will be announced soon.

For ticket information, go to LakeShakeFestival.com.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWho was Blake Shelton's ACM Awards co-host before Luke Bryan joined him in 2012? ANSWER: Reba.

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Eric Church Had a Feeling His #1 Hit, "Talladega," Would Resonate with the Fans


Image Courtesy CMAEric Church scores his second #1 hit from his album, The Outsiders, this week with "Talladega." Since Eric took a lot of creative chances while making his latest album, he only had a few songs on the project he felt would work at country radio.

"'Talladega' was one of them, from a commercial standpoint, because I just knew it would strike a chord," Eric explains. "I knew it was one that would just resonate with people. It did with me, so I knew if it resonated with me that it would probably resonate with other people."

Since "Talladega" went to radio late last year, Eric has watched as his concert crowds sing along to the song and begin to associate the song's nostalgic lyrics with their own lives.

Says Eric, "That's what it's all about, is getting them to attach their life to it."

Eric is up for four trophies, including Best Country Song for his previous #1 hit "Give Me Back My Hometown", at the Grammy Awards coming up Sunday, February 8 on CBS. He's also slated to perform on the show, airing at 8 p.m. ET.

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Carrie Underwood Performing Special Opening Number for This Sunday's Super Bowl


Image Courtesy NBCCarrie Underwood will perform the opening for NBC's coverage of Super Bowl 49 this Sunday. The "Waiting All Day for a Super Bowl Fight" is a new version of Carrie's Sunday Night Football opening, "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." The new elements include lyrics referring to the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, too.

Carrie has been performing the opening for two seasons now, and she is proud of the hard work the crew and production staff puts into the opening.

Says Carrie, "They really put a lot of love into it, so I definitely try to do the same -- everything from wardrobe and hair and make-up to tryin’ to work my way around the stage and interact with the audience, and I just love the way it turns out."

Being a part of NBC's Super Bowl coverage is the perfect marriage of two of Carrie's loves -- music and football.

"It was, I guess, only a matter of time before I got to do everything, all that, all at once," Carrie says. "So, I definitely hope that’s something that I get to do for many years, 'cause it’s just so much fun."

NBC's Super Bowl coverage kicks off at noon ET this Sunday.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe nominations for the 50th Annual ACM Awards were to be announced Tuesday morning, but that announcement has been postponed until later this week due to the severe snowstorm in the Northeast.

Hunter Hayes, Brandy Clark, Taylor Swift and Lee Ann Womack were among the stars on hand for the annual Grammy Awards nominees party Monday night at Nashville's Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. They'll all be on hand for the actual Grammy Awards ceremony coming up February 8 on CBS.

Maddie & Tae gave a surprise performance of their new single, "Fly," while in the air on a Southwest flight Monday as part of the airline's Live at 35 series.

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Sam Hunt Gives Nashville a Sneak Peek at Lipstick Graffiti Tour


UMG NashvilleSam Hunt previewed his Lipstick Graffiti tour with a five-song performance at Nashville's Rocketown Monday evening. The mini-concert was staged during Sam's party celebrating his first #1 hit as an artist, "Leave the Night On."

Sam's set included that song as well as his latest single, "Take Your Time."

 

I just wanna take your time... @samhuntmusic

A video posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:11pm PST

 

In keeping with the name of the tour, artists created graffiti paintings in the venue as Sam worked his way through the Montevallo album tracks "Speakers" and "Break Up in a Small Town." Sam recruited four break dancers, including two very young dancers, to bust some moves in the crowd for his final song, "House Party."

 

Baby break dancer at @samhuntmusic tour preview! #houseparty

A video posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:23pm PST

 

Sam's Lipstick Graffiti tour kicks off Thursday night at The Troubador in Hollywood, California.

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Chase Bryant Launching Take It On Back Club Tour Friday in North Carolina


Image Courtesy Broken Bow Label GroupChase Bryant is heading out on a headlining club tour starting this Friday, January 30 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Take It On Back Tour launches as Chase's debut hit, also titled "Take It On Back," hits the top 10 on the country chart. He'll be on the road with Tim McGraw later this year, but Chase wanted to take this opportunity to connect with his fans in smaller venues.

In a message to his fans posted at Billboard.com, Chase says, "I wanted to bring the party to you guys and just kick it old school. We're all fans. We're all friends. The music is our connection. We'll all get where we're going together. That's the beauty of music."

Chase is bringing DJ Hish along as his opening act for the club tour.

Here are Chase Bryant's Take It On Back Tour Dates:

1/30 -- Wilmington, NC, Ziggy's by the Sea
1/31 -- Greenville, SC, Blind Horse Saloon
2/7 -- Medina, OH, Thirsty Cowboys
2/12 -- Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall
2/13 -- Springfield, IL, Boondocks
2/14 -- Chicago, IL, Joe's on Weed
3/5 -- Greensboro, NC, Cone Denim Entertainment Center
3/6 -- Myrtle Beach, SC, The Boathouse
3/7 -- Charlotte, NC, Coyote Joe's
3/19 -- Dallas, TX, The Rustic
3/20 -- New Braunfels, TX, Gruene Hall
3/21 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Diamond Ballroom
3/26 -- Nacogdoches, TX, Banita Creek Hall
3/27 -- Baton Rouge, IL, Texas Club
4/3 -- Indianapolis, IN, 8 Seconds Club

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