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Big & Rich Line Up Multiple TV Appearances Through the New Year


Image Courtesy Webster PRBig & Rich have a ton of TV appearances lined up into the New Year starting with a Christmas Eve performance on NBC's Today. They'll also perform on at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on ESPN on Monday, December 29. Look for Big & Rich to perform on CMT's Ultimate Kickoff Party along with Lady Antebellum, Sam Hunt and several other stars on Friday, January 9.

Big & Rich's new single, "Run Away with You," is headed to radio in mid-January.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood recently celebrated their wedding anniversary. What year did they get married? ANSWER: 2005.

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Garth Brooks Explains How He Decides How Many Shows to Play in Each Tour City


Image Courtesy Pearl/RCAGarth Brooks has yet to play just one show in any city on his World Tour, which launched last September in Chicago. Usually two or three shows are announced at first, and then more dates are added after the tickets go on sale. Garth always loves getting that call that they need to add more shows.

"Well, it's wonderful 'cause you get the call, and it's usually somebody panicking, which is great," Garth tells ABC News Radio. "And you're going, 'Are you kidding me? How many people are looking for tickets?' It's very, very sweet. So, it's nice. The buildings are great to work with because they'll give you these windows of time to work with. It's just neat."

Garth only has one ticket price for every show, and it's usually under the $70 mark, which is well below other arena headliners' ticket prices. It's all an effort to make sure Garth's fans get the tickets directly from Ticketmaster.

Garth explains, "The less that we can drive people to the scalpers, I think the more fun the show is gonna be, because nobody's happy about paying too much to do anything."

Go to GarthBrooks.com to keep up with his tour dates.

Of note, Garth made a surprise appearance at Justin Timberlake's concert in Nashville Friday night to sing "Friends in Low Places." Justin recently attended one of Garth's concerts and has covered "Friends in Low Places" at previous shows. After singing the first verse and chorus of the song at the Nashville show, Justin brought Garth out to join him and the crowd in singing the drinking anthem.

Garth filmed a bit of the performance and put it on Instagram with the caption, "I saw an ENTERTAINER tonight! @justintimberlake #Justincredible."

 

I saw an ENTERTAINER tonight! @justintimberlake #Justinrcredible

A video posted by Garth Brooks (@garthbrooks) on Dec 12, 2014 at 10:33pm PST

 

 

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Kelly Clarkson Raises Big Money for Charity with All-Star Miracle on Broadway Concert in Nashville


Image Courtesy ABC News RadioKelly Clarkson hosted the first-ever Miracle on Broadway Christmas concert in Nashville Saturday night raising more than $400,000 for charities in the Middle Tennessee area. $200,000 of that money came from public donations, and show participants Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood matched that number just after Kelly announced it from the stage.

The evening was filled with Christmas music from Kelly and a host of guest stars, including Kelly's baby girl, River Rose. The little one was dressed in a little red dress to match her mother's outfit, and donned pink headphones to protect her sensitive ears. Kelly shared the microphone with Trisha and Reba for a trio performance of "Silent Night." Garth Brooks delivered a solo acoustic reading of "Little Drummer Boy," and Meghan Trainor of "All About That Bass" fame offered a cover of Justin Bieber's Christmas song, "Mistletoe."

Paramore's Hayley Williams sang the Elvis Presley classic, "Blue Christmas," and Kacey Musgraves brought a Latin flavor to the evening singing "Feliz Navidad." Ronnie Dunn was on hand to sing a duet with Kelly on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and Martina McBride sang "The Christmas Song" with Kelly before taking a solo turn on "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." Kix Brooks offered a little Cajun flair with "Rockin' Little Christmas," and Nashville's Charles Esten was there to sing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."

In addition to a cover of Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas," Kelly rounded out the set list with selections from her own holiday album, Wrapped in Red.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDarius Rucker will perform "What God Wants for Christmas" on ABC's Good Morning America Monday.

Charlie Daniels has lined up Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry and Billy Ray Cyrus to perform at his 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam concert on August 12, 2015. The show will take place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

The Voice season-seven winner Craig Wayne Boyd will make his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday, January 3 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

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Sugarland, Live Nation Settle Indiana Stage Collapse Lawsuit


Dana TynanA settlement was revealed Friday in the lawsuit stemming from a 2011 stage collapse before a scheduled Sugarland performance at the Indiana State Fair that left seven people dead and dozens injured, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Concert promoter Live Nation, the country duo and 16 other defendants will be required to pay $39 million to the victims. 

A storm swept through the fair grounds on August 13, 2011, just as Sugarland was waiting to perform. Strong wind gusts shook stage rigging loose and caused it to fall into the packed crowd. The whole incident was captured on video.

Friday’s settlement is in addition to $11 million previously paid by the state of Indiana.

A settlement was not reached with the final defendant, ESG Security. That case will likely go to trial in 2015, according to Donald Asher, general manager of the Kenneth J. Allen law group, which represents many of the victims.

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Lucy Hale Cancels Winter Tour Due to Vocal Strain


Image Courtesy Monarch PublicityPretty Little Liars star-turned-country singer Lucy Hale has canceled all of her winter tour dates due to vocal strain. She was set to kick off the trek on January 29 in Boston.

Lucy says, "I am devastated that I can’t be out performing for my fans who have been incredibly supportive,but I have been advised not to embark on a tour at this time. You know I hate letting y'all down and thank you for your understanding.”

Fans who bought tickets for Lucy's shows should contact their point of purchase for information on a refund.

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Kelly Clarkson Hosting Star-Studded Miracle on Broadway Concert Saturday Night in Nashville


Image Courtesy RCA RecordsKelly Clarkson's star-studded Miracle on Broadway concert is set for Saturday night at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The lineup includes pop stars Meghan Trainor and Hayley Williams of Paramore as well as country stars Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Kacey Musgraves, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn and Martina McBride. Kelly started the ball rolling for the show less than 90 days ago, and she recruited her mother-in-law, Reba, as the first special guest on the show. Kelly is married to Reba's stepson, Brandon Blackstock.

Kelly says with a laugh, "I figured if I could tie Reba in, people would say yes. So, she said yes, probably 'cause she's just my mother-in-law. It'd be awkward at Christmas when she was like, 'Oh, I turned you down.'"

The stellar lineup at Miracle on Broadway is a testament to how much other artists, like Trisha Yearwood, love and respect Kelly.

"If Kelly Clarkson asked me to mow her lawn, I'm there," Trisha tells ABC News Radio. "I mean, really. She emailed and she goes, 'I know you and Garth are really busy, and I expect you to say no, but I just want to ask.' Both of us were like, 'Yeah, absolutely.' So, I mean, really, truly anything for her."

Kelly hopes to make Miracle on Broadway an annual event, and she's already gotten commitments for next year's show from a few superstars, including Dolly Parton. Kelly reached out to Dolly about eight days ago to join her for a duet of "Hard Candy Christmas" at this year's concert, but Dolly actually returned Kelly's email with a fax containing a sweet note about the song and Kelly's new baby, River Rose.

Kelly says of Dolly, "First of all, I love her because she doesn't email. She faxes, which makes me love her. Like, you don't understand. The fax, I'm actually framing and putting in my office."

Miracle on Broadway coincides with Kelly's first Christmas with her baby, River Rose. While she's worked with charities in the Nashville area for years now, Kelly says becoming a mother has made her want to give even more back to her community.

In addition to River Rose, Kelly is a stepmom to Brandon's two children from a previous marriage. She hopes to instill that spirit of giving into their kids with events like Miracle on Broadway.

Says Kelly, "We want to make sure that they are a part of things like this from the get-go. His kids, and our little girl as well -- [to] just see this. Because it's like, you can't grow up in your own little world. There's a whole world out there, and there's people that are in need."

Proceeds from Miracle on Broadway benefit several of Kelly's favorite charities in Middle Tennessee, including The Community Foundation, Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Monroe Harding Children's Home, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Thistle Farms organization for women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction.

Fans attending the concert are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation for Second Harvest Food Bank. Those not attending the concert can make a one-time $10 donation by texting MIRACLE to 41010.

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Garth Brooks Adds More Shows in Detroit


Image Courtesy Pearl/RCAGarth Brooks has added three dates to his run of shows in Detroit for a total of six concerts starting Friday, February 20. He'll then play two shows on Saturday, February 21. There's another show on Friday, February 27 followed by two shows on Saturday, February 28.

So far, Garth has sold more than 90,000 tickets in Detroit with tickets still available through Ticketmaster.com.

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Martina McBride Shares Holiday Recipes and Traditions on "Today" This Tuesday


Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsMartina McBride recently invited Today correspondent Jenna Bush Hager into her home in Nashville for a segment airing just before Christmas. Martina shared stories about her Christmas traditions and prepared a few recipes from her new book about entertaining, Around the Table. The book came out earlier this year and offers tips on how to throw parties for every season.

Tune in to see Martina on NBC's Today on Tuesday morning.

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The Swon Brothers Catch Up with "The Voice" Winner, Craig Wayne Boyd, over Dinner


Image Courtesy Splash! PRThe Swon Brothers caught up with the newly crowned winner of The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd, over dinner in New York City. The Swon Brothers, who competed on The Voice on Team Blake like Craig, had dinner with Craig at the Bond 45 Italian steakhouse this week. All three stars posed for pictures with fans at the restaurant in between sharing stories about The Voice.

The Swon Brothers will hit the road with Brad Paisley next month. Of note, Craig Wayne Boyd has signed a record deal with Dot Records, the label home of Maddie & Tae.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Hunter Hayes' Grammy-nominated crossover ballad from 2012? ANSWER: "Wanted."

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockRolling Stone Country has selected Kenny Chesney's hit song, "American Kids," as the best country single of 2014.

Sara Evans has two new Christmas performances available for viewing now at YouTube.com/CountryNow.

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Hunter Hayes Performs on "Christmas in Washington," Tonight


Image Courtesy TNTHunter Hayes performs for President Obama on tonight's Christmas in Washington special on TNT, but this won't be the first time he's entertained a sitting president. In fact, Hunter sang for his first U.S. president as a seven- or eight-year-old child prodigy in a Cajun band.

Hunter tells ABC News Radio, "It was actually on the White House lawn."

He returned to Washington, D.C. the next year to perform for the president again, but Hunter admits he didn't really understand what a big deal that was as a kid.

He says with a laugh, "I'm 23 now. It means a lot. It means a lot more, you know."

Look for Hunter to perform "Run Run Rudolph" and "Mary, Did You Know" on Christmas in Washington. Performing on this show has been on Hunter's wish list for a while now.

"I've seen, actually, a lot of my favorite artists do it," Hunter explains. "Everything about it is just so [big] -- I mean, the enormous and incredible orchestra, the choir, the band that plays with everybody. The production, the building, and obviously, all for our nation, right? So, it's quite something to walk into and process."

Darius Rucker, Earth Wind & Fire and pop star Rita Ora are also performing on Christmas in Washington. The show, hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET, and you'll see the first family get onstage with all the musical performers at the end and hug them.

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The Band Perry and Hunter Hayes Confirmed to Attend the People's Choice Awards on January 7


Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleThe Band Perry and Hunter Hayes are both set to attend the People's Choice Awards on January 7. The Band Perry is nominated for Favorite Country Group at the People's Choice Awards, and Hunter is nominated for Favorite Male Country Artist.

Ellen DeGeneres, Beth Behrs, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Kevin Hart and Betty White are among the others stars confirmed to attend. The show airs January 7 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Scotty McCreery Performing on "Fox & Friends Christmas Special" on Christmas Eve


Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleScotty McCreery is performing on Fox News's Fox & Friends Christmas Special on Christmas Eve, December 24. Scotty and his band are set to sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" on the show, airing that night at 8 p.m. ET. Both songs are included on Scotty's 2012 holiday album, Christmas with Scotty McCreery.

Look for the Fox & Friends Christmas Special to re-air on Christmas Day at 2 p.m. ET.

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Country Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWho was the runner up when Carrie Underwood won American Idol in 2005? ANSWER: Bo Bice.

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Trisha Yearwood Performing on ABC's Disney Parks Christmas Day Special


Image Courtesy RCA/GwendolynTrisha Yearwood will perform her latest single, "PrizeFighter," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on the 31st Annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Special. The show airs December 25 on ABC starting at 10 a.m. ET with Robin Roberts serving as host. Tim Tebow, Modern Family's Sarah Hyland, Ariana Grande, Lucy Hale and Train are also taking part in the special.

Check local listings to confirm the air time in your area.

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Brantley Gilbert Added to "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" Lineup


Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Yet another batch of performers for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest has been announced, including Brantley Gilbert. He'll perform at the Hollywood Party portion of the show, along with Nick Jonas, Nico & Vinz, Train and Ella Henderson.

Florida Georgia Line is also set to perform live from New York City's Time's Square while Lady Antebellum will join the show from Nashville. One Direction, Taylor Swift, Charli XCX, Meghan Trianor and Elton John are also on the show.

The fun gets underway December 31 starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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Carrie Underwood Explains Why She Prefers a Fake Christmas Tree


Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood's family always had a fake Christmas tree since her sister was allergic to fir trees. Now that she's got her own house, Carrie still puts up a fake tree at Christmas just to keep things simple.

She says, "I don't think there's any kind of tree that's not a pain in the rear to get in and get out and decorate and whatever, but they're pretty."

While she's looking to expand her Christmas decoration collection, Carrie has a pretty good start with her giant fake tree and ornaments. She also has stockings for her two dogs, Ace and Penny, explaining, " They need stockings, too. It's their Christmas, too"

Carrie continues, "[I have] big candle pieces and things like that. Little ceramic Santa things. Pillows. I have lots of pillows that say stuff on 'em. Reindeer-type things. Big, wooden reindeer."

Of course, this will be the last Christmas Carrie and her husband, Mike, spend without their baby boy. He's due in early 2015.

In other Carrie news, her first compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, sold 94,000 copies in its first week to debut at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.

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