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Opener Thomas Rhett Floored by the Fans' Energy on Florida Georgia Line's Anything Goes Tour

Image Courtesy BMLGThomas Rhett has been floored by the energy coming from the crowds on Florida Georgia Line's Anything Goes tour. Even more surprising is the age range of the fans buying tickets to the shows.

Thomas tells ABC Radio, "What I've noticed on the FGL tour is there's a lot of kids there, too. I'm talking about like 11 and 12 years old, and then there's a lot of people that are up into their 50s and 60s and 70s. It's a pretty wide variety of people."

Thomas goes on just before Florida Georgia Line and after the first act of the night, Frankie Ballard. No matter who's on stage, the fans are going wild all night long.

"The common thread between all the FGL shows is that everybody comes to get rowdy and to party and to be loud," Thomas says. "I've never seen a crowd that stands up that long."

FGL's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard create a friendly and fun atmosphere for everyone backstage, too.  Thomas adds, "You couldn't ask for two better guys to tour with."

Thomas and FGL will hit the road again together April 30 in Columbia, South Carolina.

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Darius Rucker Invites Fans Across the Country to Enjoy His Latest Album, "Southern Style"

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker's latest album, Southern Style, is inspired by his laid-back way of life in Charleston, South Carolina, but he insists that way of life isn't bound to one geographical region.

"There's people in Wisconsin and Michigan and Idaho living the same lifestyle we're living," Darius explains. "It's not really a Southern thing. It's more of a rural America, kind of, you know, go to work, you know, come home, take care of your kids, pay your bills and when you can have fun, have as much fun as you can and live life."

Darius wrote more than 60 songs for Southern Style, including the lead single "Homegrown Honey." While he's open to cutting other writers' songs, Darius looks for a personal connection with each song he records.

He says, "Most of the songs are songs that I feel something about or in some way, really mean a lot to me."

Now that Southern Style is on sale, Darius is looking forward to launching his tour behind the project. The trek starts May 14 in New Jersey.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockTrisha Yearwood's new cookbook, Trisha's Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life, is now in stores. Look for her to promote it on ABC's Good Morning America and The Chew on Tuesday.

Look for Keith Urban to sit down for an interview on TBS's Conan Tuesday.

Brad Paisley appears on ABC's hidden-camera series Repeat After Me Tuesday night at 8:30 ET.

Rodney Atkins is performing his 2nd Annual Livin' Room Live Show with his wife Rose Falcon on StageIt Tuesday night at 8:30 ET. Fans can buy tickets to stream the show for $5, and proceeds are going to the Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, Tennessee. Rodney lived at the home for a while as a child before he was adopted.

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Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride and More Featured on TV Series "Front and Center"

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride and Sara Evans are among the country stars featured on the public television music series Front and Center next month. Starting April 4, an episode featuring a performance from Hunter Hayes and some of Nashville's top songwriters will begin airing on public television stations. The episode featuring Sara Evans and Martina McBride begins airing April 18 with the Little Big Town'sperformance to broadcast on April 25.

Check your local listings for exact air dates and times for these country-themed installments of Front and Center on PBS.

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Jason Aldean Part of Jay Z's New Streaming Service, Tidal; More Details Coming Later Today

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean is one of the music stars involved in the relaunch of Jay Z's newly purchased music streaming service, Tidal. He appears alongside superstars Beyoncé, RihannaNicki Minaj, Kanye West and Madonna in a new video posted on his Instagram account.

An announcement about Tidal, originally launched as a Swedish audiophile streaming service before being purchased by the rapper earlier this year, is expected in the next few hours.

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Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Merle Haggard and More Playing Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic

Image Courtesy Shock InkEric Church, Kacey Musgraves and Merle Haggard are on the bill for Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic this summer in Austin, Texas. The 42nd edition of Willie's Picnic also will feature appearances from Jamey Johnson, Leon Russell and Asleep at the Wheel.

The show will take place at the Austin360 Amphitheater. Willie staged the first 4th of July picnic just outside Austin in Dripping Springs.

"I got the idea from Woodstock about how music could bring people from different places together," Willie explains. "I had just moved to Austin and had come to realize what a great music center it was and could be. I thought it would be a nice idea, to this year have it back in Austin, but at a more comfortable venue for the fans AND the pickers."

Tickets for Willie's 4th of July Picnic go on sale Friday, April 10 at Ticketmaster.com and CircuitoftheAmericas.com.

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Brantley Gilbert Releasing Expanded "Just as I Am Platinum Edition" on May 19

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is releasing an expanded edition of his album, Just as I Am, on May 19, one year after the album's debut. The Just as I Am Platinum Edition will include five new tracks, including a remix of "Bottoms Up" featuring rapper T.I. The project features the original hit version of that song along with the singles "One Hell of an Amen" and "Small Town Throwdown" with Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore.

Here is the Just as I Am Platinum Edition track listing:

"If You Want a Bad Boy"
"17 Again"
"Bottoms Up"
"That Was Us"
"I'm Gone"
"My Baby's Guns N' Roses"
"Lights of My Hometown"
"One Hell of an Amen"
"Small Town Throwdown"
"Let It Ride"
"My Faith in You"
"G.R.I.T.S."
"Read Me My Rights"
"Grown Ass Man"
"Bottoms Up (Remix)" featuring T.I.
"Do What the Night Wants"
"Stone Cold Sober"
"Same Old Song"
"Just as I Am"

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Newlyweds Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr Plan to Expand the Family in the Next Few Years

Image Courtesy CMANewlyweds Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr plan to add to their  family pretty soon. After getting married in Mexico earlier this month, Jason now tells People, "In the next couple of years, probably, we definitely want to have kids."

Jason's two daughters from his previous marriage, Keeley and Kendyl, are excited at the prospect of a new sibling.

He adds, "They want a brother, so we'll see what we can do about that."

Brittany is keeping Jason company on his the road during his Burn It Down tour. The trek continues April 9 in Wichita, Kansas.

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Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and More Added to ACM Awards Lineup

Image Courtesy ACM Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts have been added to the performers lineup for the 50th Annual ACM Awards coming up April 19. Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Brooks & Dunn's Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn will also appear on the live broadcast.

Vocal Duo of the Year nominees Dan Shay will perform a duet with pop star Nick Jonas and Christina Aguilera will collaborate with a surprise artist, too. Christina's ACM performance comes just days after her April 15 debut on ABC's Nashville as a pop star hoping to make a country album.

Jason Aldean, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line are among the previously announced performers.

Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton return as hosts for the 50th Annual ACM Awards airing Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Country Star Trivia

What was Blake Shelton's first number one song on the Billboard Country Singles chart? ANSWER:  "Austin," in 2001.

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Maddie & Tae Cover Everything from Bullies to Fishing on Debut Album

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsFrom high school bullies to fishing, Maddie & Tae say they’ve covered it all on their first album.

“We poured our whole hearts into Start Here, and I cannot wait to just show our fans the whole Maddie & Tae spiel. Songs that cover all different topics,” Maddie says, as Tae chimes in her agreement.

One of Maddie’s favorite songs on the record is called "The Down Side of Growing Up," something she and her musical  partner have apparently done while simultaneously making this record.

“We've been writing this record for five years, so we've had this kind of evolution of music and our journey over the past five years has changed a lot,” Tae reflects, “but it's been fun for us, 'cause we've gotten to write about it and kind of get our different emotions out.”

Look for Maddie and Tae’s debut in stores and online June 2. It features their first number one, “Girl in a Country Song,” as well as their current hit, “Fly.”

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGarth Brooks has broken his own record for ticket sales in the state of Nebraska. So far, he’s sold nearly 84,000 seats to his May 7-10 shows in Omaha, topping his 1997 benchmark, when close to 67,000 came to see him in Lincoln.

Justin Moore recently stopped by the Fire Station in Hershey, Pennsylvania, treating firefighters to free tickets to his show at the Giant Center. Justin also gave the firefighters a $5,000 donation to renovate their fire hall, courtesy of Crown Royal.

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Kenny Chesney Loves "Wild Child" Women

Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney says “Wild Child” is more than just his latest hit -- it’s actually a description of the kind of woman he hopes to find.

“I'm very attracted to women that are like that: that love hard, that they've got a little bit of island soul to ‘em, they got a little bit of hippie in ‘em, and a whole lot of free spirit,” he confesses. “And I guess, all my years in the islands, I just became attracted to that kind of person, you know, and met so many wonderful people from so many different parts of the world.”

The “American Kids” hitmaker admits he’s drawn to women who follow their passions, whatever they may be.

 “Whether they want to be a doctor, or whether they want to play music in Hawaii, or whether they want to grow a garden, or whether they want to surf around the world or bartend in the islands, or whatever it is their passion is, that’s what drives them, and that’s what this song is about -- and I think that’s a beautiful thing to see.”

“Wild Child” is Kenny’s second hit with Grace Potter. The two ascended the heights of the country chart in 2011 with their duet “You and Tequila.”

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Carrie Underwood Shares First Picture of Son Isaiah on Instagram

Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood officially introduced her her newborn son Isaiah Michael to fans via an Instagram photo on Sunday.

"The Predators are in the playoffs! Just waiting to get called up! #PutMeInCoach," the 32-year-old "Blown Away" singer captioned a photo of the sleeping baby holding a miniature hockey stick. The post is a nod to her husband Mike Fisher's team, The Nashville Predators, clinching first place in their division.

Carrie and Mike welcomed Isaiah on February 27. He's the first child for both.

“We’re definitely blessed to have him join us in our lives, Fisher told NHL.com earlier this month. "There’s no better feeling.”

“It really is such a miracle and such a beautiful thing,” Underwood told People magazine in February.

“I’m looking forward to reclaiming my body,” she added, “I’ve been saying it’s been on loan for the past many months … I’m excited to take it back.”

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Reba Celebrates 60th Birthday by Emceeing Fight Night Charity Event

Image Courtesy CMAOn what was her 60th birthday, Reba on Saturday performed at and emceed Muhammad Ali’s 21st Anniversary of Celebrity Fight Night charity event in Phoenix.

Reba performed “Going Out Like That,” “Time On Her Hands,” and “Radio" at the event, held at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

Her birthday was celebrated with a video that included wishes from notable names including Carol King, Tom Hanks, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Carol Burnett, The Band Perry and President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush.

Among the other performers were Blake Shelton, who sang “Drink On It,” “Home” and “Boys ‘Round Here"; Ronnie Dunn, who sang “Red Dirt Road” and “Boot Scootin Boogie”; and Reba's stepdaughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson.

In addition to the musical performances, there was a live auction with the proceeds going to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and other various charities.

Seven million dollars was raised at the event.

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Chris Young Is "Back at It" in the Studio

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleJust days after returning from an overseas tour that took him to Australia, South Korea and Japan, Chris Young is already hard at work on his next album, Instagramming the view from behind the sound board with the phrase “Back at it!” and #studio.

Chris says once he finishes this project, he'll actually want to get away from it for a bit.

“I don’t listen to it for a while just because I’ve listened to it so much in the process of tweaking,” he admits. “You know, you’ve just done so much of that stuff that you’re like, ‘Okay, it’s done. It’s done, and I’m just gonna get away from it for a little while, and then come back to it fresh and enjoy it.'”

No word yet when fans can enjoy Chris’s new album. “Lonely Eyes,” from his current album A.M., is in the country top five.

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Reba Teases New Music from "Love Somebody"

Image Courtesy BMLGIf you can’t wait until Reba’s new album Love Somebody comes out on April 14, you'll be glad to know that the country icon is already giving fans a preview. You can now hear a snippet of the uptempo “Until They Don’t Love You,” on YouTube, ahead of the song’s debut next week.

Those who pre-order Reba’s first album since 2010 on iTunes will also get an immediate download of “Enough,” her duet with Jennifer Nettles. Packages on Reba’s website also offer both an exclusive T-shirt and a vinyl copy of the record. Love Somebody showcases her current single, “Going Out Like That” as well.

 

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Blake Shelton's Steamy "Sangria" Video Hits YouTube

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton’s steamy new video for “Sangria” begins and ends with a naked woman submerged in a wine-colored bath.  Shot at Miranda Lambert’s bed and breakfast The Lady Smith in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, the clip features her husband performing his latest single as a model and her partner engage in a heavy make-out session that ends in the bedroom.

The video, which premiered earlier this week on Vessel.com, a new premium video service, hit YouTube on Friday. The Voice star says his latest video simply reflects the message in the song.

“It’s just about one of those nights where you drink too much and you’re gonna end up hookin’ up with this person, it’s just inevitable," he says.

“Sangria” is the third single from Blake’s Bringing Back the Sunshine.

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Kenny Chesney Wants Your Old iPod

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairIf you’ve ever wondered what to do with your old iPod, Kenny Chesney has the answer. The country superstar has partnered with the non-profit Music & Memory to encourage fans to donate their old mp3 players to help people struggling with Alzheimer’s.

“The gift of a music player full of favorite songs can help reconnect people with Alzheimer’s to good memories and to the people around them, and that’s a ray of hope for a lot of people,” Kenny says in a PSA he taped for the organization.

Music & Memory provides patients with individually-tailored playlists that help enhance their quality of life. It started with four facilities in New York, and has grown into a nationwide program with 1,000 outlets.

This week, Kenny kicked off his Big Revival tour with two shows in Nashville.

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Brad Paisley Pulls Hidden Camera Pranks on Repeat After Me

Arista NashvilleNotorious prankster Brad Paisley shows off his comedic chops in primetime next week. Brad guests on Repeat After Me, the hidden camera show hosted by The Goldbergs' Wendi McLendon-Covey. She communicates with celebrities via an earpiece, suggesting awkward and often inappropriate things for the stars to say and do, as they interact with unsuspecting civilians.

Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the half-hour series started as a sketch on her daytime talk show. Repeat After Me airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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