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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to Receive Nashville Symphony Harmony Award This December


Image Courtesy Red Light ManagementTim McGraw and Faith Hill will receive the Nashville Symphony's Harmony Award at the 2014 Symphony Ball on December 13. The honor recognizes individuals who represent the "harmonious spirit" of Nashville's music community. In addition to receiving the award, Tim and Faith will perform with the symphony at the event, according to Nashville's The Tennessean.

Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton and Trisha Yearwood are among the previous recipients of the Nashville Symphony's Harmony Award. Vince Gill and Amy Grant will host the 2014 Symphony Ball patron party December 9.

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Kenny Chesney Will Be All Over TV Next Week to Promote "The Big Revival"


Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney is scheduled to be all over TV next week to celebrate the release of his brand-new album, The Big Revival.  The project comes out Tuesday, and he'll perform on NBC's Today program that morning.  Kenny will sing on NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday before flying to Los Angeles for a September 25 performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The usually press-shy Kenny says, "Normally I don't get geared up for this much television, but this record makes me wanna get out and talk about it."

Look for Kenny to continue promoting The Big Revival with a performance on TBS's Conan on September 29, followed by an appearance on CBS's The Talk on October 2.

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Luke Bryan Taking Cole Swindell and a Few Other Friends Out on His Farm Tour 2014


Image Courtesy Michael MonacoLuke Bryan is bringing Cole Swindell and top Nashville songwriters Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, collectively known as The Peach Pickers, along for his sixth annual Farm Tour. DJ Rock and female newcomer Chancie Neal are also on the bill for the trek, launching October 1 at Maple Lane Farms outside Knoxville, TN.

Luke's Farm Tour will hit eight Southeastern cities, with a portion of the proceeds going to students from farming families in the areas surrounding the concerts. Tickets for all shows are now available at LukeBryan.com.

Here are Luke's Farm Tour 2014 Dates:

10/1 -- Knoxville, FL, Maple Lane Farms
10/2 -- Auburn, AL, Ingram Farms
10/3 -- Tallahassee, FL, Cross Creek Place
10/4 -- Gainesville, FL, Whitehurst Cattle Farm
10/8 -- Statesboro, GA, Meldon Farm
10/9 -- Athens, GA, Meldon Farms
10/10 -- Columbia, SC, Culler Farms
10/11 -- Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park

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Blake Shelton Tweets Excitement About New Duet with Ashley Monroe, "Lonely Tonight"


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton's new duet with Ashley Monroe, "Lonely Tonight," has already hit #1 on the iTunes Country Songs chart. Blake tweeted a screenshot of the chart Wednesday with the message, "Sooo…I'm guessing he word is out about my duet with Ashley Monroe…. Happy happy joy joy!!!"

"Lonely Tonight" and Blake's current hit, "Neon Light," are both included on his new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, coming out September 30.

In other Blake news, he and fellow The Voice coach Gwen Stefani engaged in an epic lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Blake showed off his tap dancing skills while lip syncing to "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Taco, but his gender-reversing performance with Gwen on Diana Ross and Lionel Richie's "Endless Love" convinced Fallon to throw in the towel and declare Blake and Gwen the winners.

Gwen and Blake join Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams as coaches on the new season of The Voice premiering Monday night at 8 ET on NBC.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockLee Ann Womack sang her signature hit, "I Hope You Dance," at the recent funeral of which major literary figure? ANSWER: Maya Angelou.

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Tyler Farr Plans to Keep Singing About What He Knows on Upcoming Sophomore Album


Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr plans to include several songs about drinking beer, partying and driving trucks on his upcoming sophomore album because that's what he does to have fun. Instead of living near downtown Nashville, Tyler lives south of town in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, which is home to the largest tractor pull in the South.

He tells the Arizona Republic, "There's not a lot more that you do on the weekends than drink and party.  And I write what I know about.  So I am gonna have songs that have partying and hot girls and pickup trucks."

"A Guy Walks Into a Bar" is the lead single from Tyler's new album, due out next year.  Fans can look forward to hearing a collaboration with his friend and tour mate Jason Aldean on the project, too.

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Lee Brice Gives the Inside Story of Performing the National Anthem with Luke Bryan in New York City


Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice still gets emotional talking about his performance of the national anthem with Luke Bryan during their September 12 concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Since it was the day after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Luke gave a shout-out to those who lost their lives on that day in the attack on the World Trade Center. As the crowd chanted, "USA! USA!" Luke brought Lee onstage and whispered in his ear, "I just feel like we should do the national anthem."

After they decided Luke would start it off, Lee then jumped in on harmony. Says Lee, "It was something really special. I've never heard a crowd sing the national anthem that loud. It was a moment I will never forget, and I think Luke's the same way."

Lee especially loves that the big display of patriotism was all off-the-cuff, too.

"I don't think he even knew he was going to ask me to do that," Lee says of Luke's decision to sing the anthem, "but he definitely just threw it at us as we're walking out onto the stage in front of people, he's whispering in my ear. So, that was the coolest part."

Lee is very thankful to Luke for letting him warm up the crowd every night on the That's My Kind of Night tour. They've played two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden this year before moving on to become the first country concert ever held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last week.

Lee says of the opportunity to tour with Luke, "There has been a lot of experiences that I, you know, who knows if I would have ever gotten to do?"

The good times keep rolling for Lee. He had a party in Nashville Wednesday to toast his latest #1 hit, "I Don't Dance." It's the title track from his latest album, which just debuted at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.

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Lee Ann Womack Tapes CMT "Crossroads" with John Legend


Image Courtesy Sugar Hill RecordsLee Ann Womack teamed up with pop/R&B star John Legend to tape a new episode of CMT Crossroads Wednesday night in Franklin, TN.

The eight-song set included the two singers swapping vocals on their biggest hits, including Lee Ann's "I Hope You Dance" and "I May Hate Myself in the Morning," as well as John's pop hits "All of Me" and "Green Light." Lee Ann's new single, "The Way I'm Livin'," also made the set list, as did John's new offering, "You and I (Nobody in the World)."

CMT Crossroads: Lee Ann Womack and John Legend premieres Friday, September 26 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT. Lee Ann's new album, The Way I'm Livin', is due out this Tuesday.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockAlan Jackson will re-release his holiday album, Let It Be Christmas, on October 27 to all digital retailers.

Lady Antebellum's new song, "Freestyle," is now available for download at iTunes. It's included on their new album, 747, coming out September 30.

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Grand Ole Opry Star George Hamilton IV Dead at 77


Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloGrand Ole Opry legend George Hamilton IV died Wednesday at a Nashville hospital at the age of 77, ABC News has confirmed. He'd suffered a heart attack last weekend.

Hamilton IV released his signature hit, "Abilene," in 1963. However, he'd scored a number of hits before then, including "A Rose and a Baby Ruth," "Before This Day Ends," "Three Steps to the Phone (Millions of Miles)" and "If You Don't Know I Ain't Gonna Tell You."

Hamilton was known as “The International Ambassador of Country Music,” a title he earned after becoming the first American country singer to perform in the then-Soviet Union and in Prague.

Hamilton had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1960.

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Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott Headed to the Beach for Some Downtime with Loved Ones


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum's Hillary Scott is taking some downtime at the beach with her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Eisele, this week.  She'll also meet up with a close friend who is raising her children while her military husband is deployed overseas.

Hillary posted a photograph of New York City on Instagram as she took off Wednesday morning with the message, "Off to meet Chris and Eisele in VA Beach to get some quality time with my best friend and her boys!!! #bff #militarymom #myhero."

In other Lady A news, fans can get their new song, "Long Stretch of Love," by signing up for their Passport Challenge at LadyAPassport.com.  That song and their latest hit, "Bartender," are both included on Lady A's new album, 747, due out September 30.

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Joe Nichols Having a Blast Navigating Life with His Three Daughters


Image Courtesy Red Bow RecordsJust like any 16-year-old girl, Joe Nichols' oldest daughter, Ashelyn, is totally embarrassed when her dad shows up at her high school.  What makes it even worse is that Joe often performs at acoustic charity events to help out around the school.  Some of Ashelyn's teenage girlfriends get a little star-struck when Joe shows up to sing, too.

Joe says with a laugh, "Her friends start giggling and they huddle up, and she's like, 'Oh my God! It's my dad, y'all!  Stop talking like this!'  That's kind of fun.  I love that -- embarrassing her in all kinds of ways."

Ashelyn has gotten star struck herself when she attended awards shows with her famous dad.

Says Joe, "My 16-year-old has definitely experienced some of this stuff with me and been around at some high-profile things and seen some really cool stuff and met Hunter Hayes, which is all she wanted to do."

Introducing Ashelyn to Hunter didn't up Joe's hip factor at all, though.

He says, "[Ashelyn] still thinks I'm completely the most uncool person in the world."

As for his two younger daughters, Joe says his baby girl, Georgia, is always "super-chill" and "smiling."  The two-year-old, Dylan, is a little more high-strung.

Joe explains, "She's a good kid, but I think she has a strong chance of either being class president and running for office or a serial killer.  I'm not sure which one she's gonna be yet.  I'm not sure yet.  She's capable of either one."

Joe is scheduling time with his three girls in between his busy tour schedule.  See where he's playing next at JoeNichols.com.

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Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Make "People" Magazine's Style Hall of Fame


CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are always dressed to the nines when they hit the red carpet together.  Now People magazine has inducted the Sheltons into their Style Hall of Fame.

Blake and Miranda are listed among the "Best Dressed Couples" in People's Best-Dressed issue. They join celebrity couples John Legend and Chrissy Teigan, Seth Meyers and Alexi Ashe, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita on the list.

Taylor Swift is crowned as People's Best Dressed of the Year for 2014. About her style, Taylor tells People, "I’m more willing to take a risk this year than ever before."

People's Style Special issue is out Friday.

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Thomas Rhett Has 32 Songs Under Consideration for Upcoming Sophomore Album


Image Courtesy Big Machine Label GroupThomas Rhett is climbing the country chart with "Make Me Wanna," which is the last single from his debut album, It Goes Like This. That project earned Thomas two #1's with the title track and "Get Me Some of That," and he's got plenty more material ready to go for his upcoming sophomore album. In fact, Thomas has too many potential hit singles he could record for that project.

He says, "I think I have, like, 32 songs that I want to put on the record, which is physically impossible unless I go ahead and do a greatest hits now, which is not gonna happen."

Since Thomas is a songwriter himself, he's pulling from his own batch of songs on top of the ones he gets from his other songwriter friends in Nashville. As for which songs make the final cut, Thomas has some thinking to do about where he wants his music to go on album number two.

He explains, "Now it's to the point of just like, 'What do I want the second record to sound like? Who do I want to be on this record? How much of the same do I want to stick with that was successful on the first, and how much of a departure do I want to make?'"

Thomas has already started working on his new album. He adds, "I’m jumping out of my seat to let people hear new music."

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockCole Swindell is a co-writer on which one of Luke Bryan's hits from his latest album, Crash My Party? ANSWER: "Roller Coaster."

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Garth Brooks Announces Lexington, Kentucky Shows


John Russell/CMAGarth Brooks fans in Kentucky got some sweet news this morning as the country superstar continues to announce dates on his current world tour.  Garth and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, will be returning to the Bluegrass State for two shows, October 31 and November 1, at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.  It’s Garth’s first Kentucky concert appearance in 16 years.

Tickets for the shows go on sale September 26 at 10:00 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster only.

Garth kicked off his world tour with a series of shows in Chicago earlier this month.  He plays five dates in Atlanta this Friday through September 27 before heading to Jacksonville, FL for another five dates, October 10 through 18.  Head to GarthBrooks.com for more info.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCole Swindell will make his Grand Ole Opry debut on October 7.

Sam Hunt was presented with a gold certification plaque for his debut hit, "Leave the Night On," at a party in Nashville Tuesday previewing his upcoming album, Montevallo, due out October 27.

Here's a random Brett Eldredge tweet:  "If I was to get married, I'd want people to throw fruit loops instead of rice and I'd just walk out with a glass of milk."

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The Swon Brothers, Dustin Lynch and Kristian Bush Taking Country Music to New York City


Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers, Dustin Lynch and Kristian Bush are teaming up with the Grand Ole Opry and Southwest Airlines to take country music to New York City in the coming weeks. The Nashville's New Music in New York City series kicks off September 29 at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park in celebration of the Grand Ole Opry's 89th birthday.

Go to Opry.com/NYC for more details and show dates and times.

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Emotional Miranda Lambert Holds Hands with Cancer-Stricken Child at Texas Concert


Randee St. NicholasIt was an emotional night for Miranda Lambert when she performed in Corpus Christi, Texas, last Saturday.

As seen in a video posted on YouTube, Miranda was singing "Over You" when she reached out her hand to a seven-year-old girl named Brooke Hester, who was near the stage. Hester is battling stage four neuroblastoma cancer.

Overcome with emotion, a teary-eyed Miranda held hands with Hester and held out her microphone to the crowd as the music continued to play.

You can learn more about Hester as well as her family's charity, Brooke's Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer Foundation, Inc., by visiting BrookesBlossoms.org.

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Dustin Lynch's Band Members Double as His Best Friends On and Off the Road


Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsDustin Lynch spends about 250 days a year on a tour bus traveling with the guys in his band, so you'd think they'd be ready for some time away from each other when they got back home to Nashville. Not so, says Justin.

He tells ABC News Radio, "We come back to Nashville, and within three or four hours of doing laundry, going to the gym and getting something to eat, we're all texting going, 'Hey, what do y'all want to do tonight?'"

Since they're out of town all the time, Dustin and his band mates don't actually have a ton of friends who live in Music City. Luckily, the guys all get along famously.

"It's great to have a band with chemistry like that, and to have those guys that you really, genuinely enjoy being around, 'cause we're around each other a whole lot," Dustin says. "You know, even when we don't have to be around each other, we choose to be around each other."

Dustin and his crew will head out on a Christmas tour starting November 1. Here are the dates and cities he's got lined up:

11/1 -- Lubbock, TX
11/6 -- San Angelo, TX
11/7 -- Midland, TX
11/13 -- Abilene, TX
11/14 -- Wichita Falls, TX
11/15 -- Lawton, OK
11/20 -- Killeen/Temple, TX
11/21 -- Tyler/Longview, TX
12/5 -- Lafayette, LA
12/6 -- Texarkana, TX
12/11 -- Lifkin/Nacogdoches, TX
12/12 -- Lake Charles, LA
12/13 -- Victoria, TX

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