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RCA Nashville"Losing Sleep," the title track of Chris Young's current album, and the name of his tour, has become his fourth consecutive #1 hit.  At the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on Tuesday, Chris told ABC Radio why this particular song hitting number one at this particular time is extra-special for him.

"To have the title track of the tour and the title of the new album go number one while the tour is really just ramping up -- we're only three weekends in, and as much as those weekends have been amazing, there's so much more that we've announced to look forward to -- I do think there is a little bit of a cool factor," Chris told ABC Radio.

He adds that he likes the idea of telling the audience, "Hey, right now, at this moment, while you guys are here at this tour, this song is number one and it's the name of the tour."

Chris officially got the good news about the #1 hit this past Monday, but he admitted that he and his team started celebrating a few days before that.

"Normally, you're trying to figure out if the song's gonna go numberone," he explained. "And this one was one of the few where, pretty much on Friday, everybody was like, 'OK, it's gonna happen.'" Like, 'It's there.' So, we were kinda celebrating a little bit all weekend...and definitely will be continuing that celebration next week!" 

Chris' Losing Sleep tour, with Kane Brown and LANCO, continues Thursday night in Pittsburgh.


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ABC/Image Group LAKane Brown and Lauren Alaina may be old junior high school friends, and they may have scored a #1 duet together, but that doesn't mean they're constantly talking or texting with each other. At Tuesday's Country Radio Seminar, Kane told ABC Radio that he and Lauren haven't discussed their latest milestone: "What Ifs" has gone double platinum.

"I haven't talked to her much since the first [time it went platinum]," Kane admitted. "When it went platinum, she got excited...we were talking about [how] she needed a plaque, and we were getting her plaques and all this, and we haven't really talked since it went double." 

"Which is also a crazy feeling," he added. "'Cause I was excited it just went platinum! I never even thought, 'Well, this will be double platinum.'"

But even though they don't talk all the time, Kane and Lauren may work together again in the future.

"We actually had another song that we talked about," he teased. "It might make the next album. We'll see!"


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ABC/Image Group LAFollowing the #1 success of their single "Greatest Love Story," LANCO is now celebrating the historic #1 debut of their first album, Hallelujah Nights.

The five-man band is the first group to claim the top spot with their initial effort since Lady Antebellum did in 2008. At Tuesday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, lead singer Brandon Lancaster explained that LANCO isn't an overnight success.

"We've been working on that thing for years," Brandon told ABC Radio about the album. "And just seeing the single, 'Greatest Love Story,' do as well as it did, and then releasing this album, it's been a lot of work and it kind of feels like there's a tipping point where all of a sudden everything's catching up and the hard work is paying off."

Of course, things have been a little crazy for Brandon and the guys since their single took off. They're currently part of Chris Young’s Losing Sleep World Tour, and in May, they head out with Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne on the Mountain High trek.

"Mentally and physically, we feel like we've been shot out of a cannon," Brandon laughed. "But we're not complaining. It's a surreal thing that dreams are coming true. It's awesome."


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ABC/Image Group LALately, there's been a lot of cross-pollination between country stars and pop stars: Florida Georgia Line has recorded hits with Backstreet Boys, Hailee Steinfeld and Bebe Rexha, while Maren Morris just did a song with deejay/producer Zedd. You can add Cam to that list, too: She co-wrote and sings on "Palace," a song from The Thrill of It All, the #1 album by British pop superstar Sam Smith.

"My producer, Tyler [Johnson], actually showed some of the music [I was working on] to Sam Smith and that's when he said he wanted to write," Cam told ABC Radio at Tuesday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. "And so, we wrote a song that's on his album now and is apparently a hit in Japan, which is really cool!"

Cam said of the Grammy and Oscar-winning star, "I really admire him and he is such a sentimental, in-touch person. He seems so real. He'll just say, like, 'We have so many songs in us.' And, 'Did you like the record?' He's just a real person asking those kinds of things. It's really nice."

What's also nice, Cam said, is that Sam is "so sweet about updating" her on how their song is doing.

"[He's] like, 'Guess what? Our song...I've been playing it on all these huge TV shows in Japan because it's a hit here," Cam laughed. "I'm like 'Cool! I love Japan!' So, I gotta prepare my Japan tour!"

Cam will be releasing the video for her new song "Diane" later this week.


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ABC/Image Group LACarly Pearce is going to spend 2018 hanging with some of the hottest men in country music, and she says she can hardly believe her luck.

Speaking to ABC Radio at Tuesday's Country Radio Seminar, Carly said, "I can't even really believe I'm about to say all this to you, but next week, I start the Blake Shelton Country Music Freaks Tour and I'm representing the ladies on that. And then I jump over to the Rascal Flatts Back to Us Tour."

She continued, "I do a couple dates with Thomas Rhett on his Life Changes Tour and then I finish up my year playing arenas and stadiums with Luke Bryan! So it's a really good year. Saying it out loud is weird!"

The "Hide the Wine" hitmaker says she's proud to be holding it down for the women of modern country music on all these tours, and she takes that role very seriously.

"I feel a responsibility to continue to carve out my lane the way that Kelsea and Maren and all of the females that I've loved and idolized -- like Dolly and Reba and Trisha and Faith -- [have done]," she said. "[And] to hold country music precious, and continue to hopefully hold a torch and keep allowing there to be a place for women."  

On Wednesday, Carly performs as part of the Country Music Seminar's prestigious New Faces show. Her first date with Blake is February 15.


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ABC/Image Group LABefore the chart-topping hits and the CMA nominations, LOCASH was just a struggling duo trying make a living on the road. But as the duo's Preston Brust and Chris Lucas told ABC Radio at Tuesday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, the road isn't easy when the police think you're car thieves.

"I met Chris in '02...and we set out on tour in my Jeep Grand Cherokee with a stolen U-Haul, and the rest is history!" Preston told ABC Radio. It turns out they'd borrowed that U-Haul from an acquaintance and weren't aware that it was stolen until they ran into some mechanical trouble.

"We stole it by accident," explained Preston.

"We didn't steal it. We didn't know it was stolen," added Chris. Preston chimed in, "Til the wheel fell off. And that's when we found out it was stolen." "When the cops came, and that was ugly," recalled Chris. 

Preston also claimed that as a result of that incident, "There's a warrant out for our arrest [in Alabama]." Chris disputed that, but Preston insisted, "We left, we gave 'em a t-shirt and a hat and we made a deal, and I don't think the deal held."

But with their new single "Don't Get Better Than That" climbing the charts, and more new music on the way, those days are far behind them, right?

"Yeah, now we're on a stolen bus," Preston laughed. "I'm just kiddin.'"


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ABC/Image Group LALast week, Maren Morris was one of the many artists who took part in the taping of the CBS TV special I'm Still Standing: A Grammy Salute to Elton John, which will air in April. But as Maren told ABC Radio at Tuesday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, it turns out that Elton John is actually a fan of hers.

"I have a very crazy timeline history with Elton John," Maren revealed. "Like, growing up listening to his music, and then when Hero, my album, came out, he called me on the phone to say that he was a fan of it."

Maren says she's "so excited" to have been part of the taping, adding, "It was just epic."

"I can't say which song I did, but it's one of my favorite Elton songs, and I love that I got the chance to perform it in front of him and [his lyricist] Bernie Taupin," she gushed. 

Maren also admired the Gucci outfit and red-tinted shades Elton was wearing to the taping -- "very classic Elton," she said. But what was most surprising about meeting the rock legend, Maren said, was how much Elton knew about her career.

"When I finally met him this past week at the Grammys, he's so tapped into the music industry and the charts, he was like 'Congratulations on your song "The Middle," it's #3 on iTunes right now!'" Maren said, incredulous. "And I'm like, 'I love that Elton John -- you, Elton John -- knows this!'"

There's no set airdate for the Elton John special, but we know it'll air on CBS in April, and in addition to Maren, Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert were on the bill.


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ABC/Randy HolmesThanks to his two #1 hits and his CMA nod in 2017, Luke Combs earned a spot at the prestigious New Faces show at this year's Country Radio Seminar, currently going on in Nashville. But as Luke told ABC Radio, he doesn't really feel like a superstar -- and his fans don't see him as one.

"They go, 'Man, that's just a regular guy up there...he could be the guy that works at the mechanic's shop or the guy that lives next door, and he's up there living the dream,'" Luke explained. "And so I wanna stay connected to those people, because those people are why I'm here."

One way Luke stays connected is making sure his live performances feel intimate and personal. 

"I've been to some shows where I feel like there's a wall between me and the person that's onstage, like that's a totally unrealistic thing that I'm watching," he explained. "And...the music could be great, [but] for whatever reason, I feel like...I'm watching a movie." 

He continued, "And so I always kinda wanted our show to be like...you're right there, I'm right here, in your living room, doing the thing. And it could just be me and you here, even if there's 5,000 people there."

Luke says it's because he seems so relatable that his success might actually seem attainable to his fans.

"When I was in college, I felt like the guy who wasn't supposed to be there, and sometimes I feel like that...," he admitted. "[But] I wanna tell people that if I can do this, you can do anything. For sure, if I'm right here, doing this -- New Faces, two sold-out nights at the Ryman -- anybody can do anything."


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ABC/Lou RoccoLauren Alaina was runner-up on American Idol season 10, so she can speak to the new version of the show that will debut on ABC next month. She told ABC Radio at Monday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville why she thinks Luke Bryan, in particular, is the perfect addition to the Idol judges' table.

"Everyone's asked me if I think he's gonna be a good judge...and I absolutely do because he's been so good to me," she told ABC Radio. "It's been such a crucial few years of my career and he's really been supportive, and the advice he gives is amazing."

Lauren's toured with Luke several times, and she says he'd sometimes take her aside and give her some guidance. 

"For him to take time to do that just shows that he cares about new talent and people," she explained. "And I think those are really good things for a judge to have."

But what kind of amazing advice did Luke give her? 

"He just said that he's really proud of me, and that when you work really hard, you're talented, you're a good singer, you have a good craft and you believe in it, that things will fall together," she recalled. "And he kinda told me that right when things started taking off last year, and it was just really good to hear."

Last year, Lauren's career exploded and she ended up with two number one hits -- "Road Less Traveled" and the  Kane Brown duet "What Ifs" -- as well as a CMA nomination.  She said the fact that Luke believed in her before all that happened means a lot to her.

"He told me that I have all of the qualities to have a long career," she revealed. "So that was really nice." 

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images for DirecTVNewlyweds Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini had a memorable weekend getaway in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, and it allowed Morgan to check something off his bucket list. Being Australian, Evans admits the Super Bowl was the very first NFL game he'd ever attended and he calls it an "incredible, incredible experience."

"We got invited up by the family that owns Kelsea's record label and it was a last-minute invite," Morgan told ABC Radio at Monday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. "And of course, we were like, 'We're free those days? Yes! Let's go!' It was the ultimate spectacle."

The biggest highlight for the singers was seeing Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime show live in person. As Morgan explains, there were several different stage setups that you could would only see if you were there in person.

"We could see like, 'Woah, they're going from over there to over there,' and you see all the people run over and then when he ran into the crowd, everyone went ballistic!" Morgan recalls. "As someone that makes music to connect with people, the idea of playing to that many people is insane, and I don't even know how many people were watching it...some ridiculous number of millions."

He adds, "It's aspiring and inspiring and, I guess, more like respect, too. That guy's been doing it for a long time and he's still at the highest level. And the hits that he played span such a long time, as well." 

The spring, Morgan will be hitting the road with Chris Young and Kane Brown; this week, Kelsea kicks off a headline tour with Walker Hayes as a supporting act.

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ABC/Image Group LADustin Lynch has done quite a bit of globetrotting lately, but as he told ABC Radio at Monday's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, some of it involved hanging out in Mexico at Luke Bryan's annual Crash My Playa destination festival.

"I got to travel over the Christmas break and I went to, my first time ever, to Vietnam. And then we went from Vietnam to Thailand, and then literally back to Nashville for 12 hours and then to Crash My Playa!" Dustin told ABC Radio. "So it was a whirlwind of a few weeks there."

During the event, which features thousands of country fans enjoying live performances, sun, sand and fun, Dustin said Luke gave him an honorary title: "The Mayor of Crash My Playa." 

"We got to play three shows. The first was opening for Luke on the big stage on the beach, and then we played something I guess...[that] may be what got me the title Mayor of Crash My Playa: pool parties at these resorts."

More specifically, Dustin and his band played to literally thousands of people at the pools at a couple of the Mexican resorts, and they decided to wing it.

"This year, we just took requests the whole time," he laughed. "So I was playing, gosh, anything and everything. "We played 'La Bamba,' we were playing Dierks Bentley songs, Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan, whatever they throw at us, we would try to play, even if we didn't know it!  We'd screw the words up, say 'Who cares?,' keep going!"  

Later this month, Dustin will be hitting the road with Brad Paisley, Lindsay Ell and Chase Bryant. No word on whether or not he'll take requests at those shows.

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ABC/Image Group LAMichael Ray's puppy Wrigley, whom he adopted backstage at a country music festival in Chicago, has helped him achieve several goals: raising awareness of animal adoption, helping shelter pets...and making his Disney dreams come true.

"My little sister and I are close in age and so growing up, watching Disney movies, we always wanted a white husky," he told ABC Radio at Monday's County Radio Seminar in Nashville. "So we were backstage and I saw saw Wrigley, who's a husky-shepherd mix. She was eight weeks old, and I went to take a photo to send it to my sister and say, 'Hey, look, they got Bolt!"

Bolt, a white husky, is the title character of the 2008 Disney movie of the same name. But Michael's admiration of the pup didn't stop there.

"The next thing I know, I'm signing the papers, donating the money and she's hopping on the bus," he laughed. "She came into my life at such a crucial time. I was going through a lot and it's true, I think: When you adopt, they know."

Wrigley inspired Michael to start his Wrigley Cares charity, which works with fans to help animals in need by donating food and supplies to shelters at each of his tour stops. 

"We're gonna pick it up on this new Get to You tour, which we just announced," he told ABC Radio. "We'll be doing later this spring and uh it's just a chance for us to give back but also raise awareness of 'adopt not shop.'"

"In two months, we've been able to feed over 200,000 meals," he noted. "It's just been incredible and it all started with me randomly adopting this beautiful puppy that's helped me help change the lives of other animals around the world."

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ABC/Image Group LAWalker Hayes is currently enjoying his first top 10 hit, "You Broke Up With Me." But as he told ABC Radio at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on Monday, it wasn't that long ago, he was working at a not-very-glamorous day job, and dreaming that some big star would record one of his songs.

"My last full-time job outside of music was Costco, I was stocking produce," the Alabama native tells ABC Radio. "I mean, it was rough, it was like 4 to 10:30 in the morning and then I would go and write [songs] for a publishing company."

"[I] thought that was the best case scenario," he continues. "Maybe a big artist throws me a bone, cuts one [of my songs], it's a single and maybe I can afford to do music for a while. So yeah, the fact that I'm the artist now...it's a miracle!"

Walker's salvation was super-producer Shane McAnally, who signed the singer just two years ago.

"He made it so I could quit Costco, and then we began writing for this project," explains Walker. "And that's actually when we wrote 'You Broke Up With Me.'"

As Walker explains, the song was inspired by his reaction to people coming out of the woodwork after they learned about his deal.

"As soon as the whole town found out that Shane McAnally was making a record [with] me, tons of people wanted to reconnect that had kinda vanished when I was working at Costco," he says.

Walker is now taking a fatalistic approach to his success.

"If it all ended tomorrow, it'd be really sad," he laughs. "But I can say we hit that top 10 mark. That's pretty outstanding."

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ABC/Image Group LAAfter working with Sugarland's Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles separately over the years, Lindsay Ell will finally be able to work with them together this summer -- she's one of the opening acts on the Sugarland reunion tour. Lindsay is thrilled, even though she admits she was miffed that Kristian -- who produced her album -- didn't give her the heads-up that he and Jennifer were getting back together.

"I was bothering him in the studio 'cause I was like, 'When is Sugarland getting back together? This needs to happen!'" Lindsay told ABC Radio Monday at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. "And I even told Jennifer 'cause I was on tour with [her] two years ago...and both of them were just like, 'We'd love for that to happen, but who knows when it's gonna happen.'"

Next thing Lindsay knew, Kristian and Jennifer were presenting an award at the CMAs and the reunion was on. "Kristian didn't even tell me a thing!" she laughs. "And then they presented that award together and then I'm texting him and I'm like, 'How could you not tell me this is happening?'"

But Lindsay's not just thrilled to tour with the duo -- she's excited to see them perform live.

"I've never really gotten to see them in their essence, y'know, live, in a show. And now to be able to go out on the road with them, it just is completely three dimensions...I cannot wait to share the stage!" she gushes.

"There's nothing like a duo or group coming back together and making music again," she adds. "I think fans are gonna be so excited, tickets are selling like crazy so I think it's gonna be a really special tour."

Lindsay's dates with Sugarland start July 19 in Tulsa, OK.

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ABC/Image Group LAThanks to his first big hit, "All On Me," the lead single from his debut album Dark Horse, Devin Dawson is one 2018's country stars to watch.  It's hard to believe the Orangevale, CA native once thought he'd make his living playing heavy metal music.

Though Devin grew up listening to country music, he cut his musical teeth playing in a metal band.  But he says switching genres wasn't as difficult as you might think.

"[F]or me, it was more of like a renaissance...going back to what I started with," Devin explains to ABC Radio. "I wrote my own songs in my room, by myself, for myself, and I was kinda trying to emulate these country songs that I had grown up listening to."

Devin laughs, "I remember sitting in the front of the van being like, 'I'm never gonna stop playing metal! I'm gonna rock out for the rest of my life!' And I grew out of it pretty quick, man."

According to Devin, writing those songs in his bedroom was "fulfilling" than metal. "Those songs eventually took over more of my heart," he says.

But his time as a heavy metal rocker definitely left its mark on Devin's album, Dark Horse -- and he's proud of that.

"I will never stray away from...the way that it's shaped me, being in a metal band," he tells ABC Radio. "Whether it's my live show, or whether it's songs...on my record that kind of tip the hat a little bit to the angst, and the rock influence in my sonic identity.  "I will never hide from it...It's something that shaped me for the better."

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ABC/Image Group LALike many country fans, Chase Rice thought Chris Stapleton might make an appearance during Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl LII halftime show performance Sunday night. At the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville today, the former college football star told ABC Radio that he was rooting for Stapleton...as well as for the New England Patriots.

"I thought we were gonna have a little bit of country last night, I'm not gonna lie," Chase tells ABC Radio. "I thought Stapleton was gonna work his way in there, he never did. But man, I thought it was great, I thought it was entertaining."

Chase adds, "Timberlake does what Timberlake does. He's a pro about it, he gets up there, does his moves, sings his parts, and he knows what he's good at...he put it out there last night."

As for the Patriots, Chase, a one-time NFL prospect, says he's been a fan of the team since high school because he "likes the way they win."  While he no longer plays, he says he's brought the football mindset to his country music career.

"In my mind, I'm like, 'Hey, it's the best song, if you're the best guy, it's your spot,' and that's not always the way it is," he admits. 

But, he adds, "I'm not gonna let outside stuff affect who I am and what I'm gonna do and what my job is. My job is to write songs, sing 'em, get 'em out there and have people sing 'em back to me, and make sure that those people singing back to me have the absolute best time of their lives."

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