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Warner Music NashvilleAshley Monroe is going on the road this fall in support of her new album, The Blade. The Blade Tour will kick off October 1 in Macon, Georgia and continue in New York, Chicago, Nashville and Washington, D.C.

Tickets go on sale this Friday morning. Go to AshleyMonroe.com for details.

Here are Ashley's The Blade Tour dates:


10/1 -- Macon, GA, Cox Capitol Theatre
10/27 -- New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom
10/29 -- Washington, D.C., Sixth & I
10/30 -- Wilmington, DE, World Café Live
11/13 -- Springfield, IL, Boondocks
11/14 -- Chicago, IL, SPACE
11/19 -- Decatur, GA, Eddie's Attic
11/20 -- Nashville, TN, City Winery
11/21 -- Birmingham, AL, Workplay Theatre

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EMI/ACRAlan Jackson scores his 14th #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart with Angels and Alcohol. The set sold more than 45,000 copies in its first week. That's enough for a #3 finish on the overall Billboard 200 albums tally.

Angels and Alcohol features Alan's latest single, "Jim and Jack and Hank."

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Greenroom PRJason Aldean's Saturday show with Kenny Chesney at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California attracted more than 53,000 fans. The concert marked the first time country artists have ever headlined the venue.

Jason says, "Standing out there in a sea of country fans at an iconic stadium like Rose Bowl sent chills down my spine. It reminds me how lucky I am to be doing this for a living."

Coming up this Friday morning, Jason plays Today's 20th Annual Summer Concert Series on NBC. He adds, "I hope to see a lot of people there too!"

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CMALittle Big Town has canceled an additional three weeks of shows under doctor's orders as band member Jimi Westbrook continues to heal from vocal cord surgery.

LBT released a statement saying, "We want to come back on the road to you guys at 110% and this additional time will make sure that happens! Thanks again for all of your support during this time, and for your love, patience, and excitement for us to come back! We can’t wait to see all of you."

Little Big Town will return to the stage August 22 in Avondale, Canada.

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Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Blake Shelton's 2012 holiday album? ANSWER: Cheers, It's Christmas.

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Valory Music Co. Brantley Gilbert loves being a part of the country music community, but living in the center of it all in Nashville just doesn't work for him.

Brantley tells The Las Vegas Review-Journal, "You know, I tried that out, but, man, I moved back home. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with Nashville, but I knew I had people at home that would call me out and hold me accountable."

Brantley and his new wife, Amber, now live in Maysville, Georgia, just 10 miles north of where Brantley was raised.

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CMALuke Bryan's professional life is a roller coaster these days as he headlines his Kick the Dust Up tour and prepares to release his new album, Kill the Lights, on August 7. On the personal side, Luke manages to make time for his sons, Bo and Tate, and his nephew, Til, who is now living with Luke and his wife, Caroline. Luke and Caroline's marriage is going strong, but Luke doesn't take their relationship for granted.

He says, "Well, it's something that you never can focus on enough. Somehow, thank the Lord, Caroline and I navigate it. I would not say it is an easy thing."

Luke stresses that he and Caroline work hard to stay on the same page when it comes to coordinating Luke's concerts and other commitments with their family activities. One of the perks of being a country star is Luke can afford to take a plane home in between shows.

Says Luke, "There's even been a couple times that I flew home through the night to be at one of Bo's baseball games early that morning. You just manage it."

With Luke's career on overdrive, he really counts on Caroline to help him keep all those spinning plates in the air.

"I guess I've promised her going on 12 years now that it was gonna slow down, and I don't think she really, she don't really count on that anymore," Luke says. "She just smiles, and she's always there for me. So, we figure it out."

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Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton returned to the concert stage Friday night in Wisconsin for the first time since announcing his divorce from Miranda Lambert.

According to fans in the audience, Blake was in good spirits for the show, which was cut short at 45 minutes due to bad weather. People reports that Blake tried to get the camera crew to show the big crowd on the screen, but it didn't work. Blake joked, "Come on, who's in charge here? This isn't my week."

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock"Just Got Started Lovin' You" singer James Otto has a new EP, titled Somewhere Tonight, available at all digital outlets.

Brett Eldredge premiered his new song "Just a Taste" with Entertainment Weekly. The track is included on his sophomore album, Illinois, due out September 11.

Josh Turner is barely recognizable with his new beard. The new facial hair is on full display in a picture Josh posted on Twitter Friday in support of the Children's Miracle Network.

Condolences to Brantley Gilbert, whose grandfather recently passed away after a 20-year battle with COPD and emphysema.

Kenny Chesney and Reese Witherspoon posed for a picture together backstage Saturday before his concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

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What Southern girls do on Saturday night! Gettin' country with @kennychesney

A photo posted by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

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Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean's self-titled debut album was released 10 years ago today. The project launched Jason's career with the top-10 hits "Hicktown" and "Amarillo Sky," as well as his first #1 single, "Why." The project has been certified platinum, and "Hicktown" remains one of Jason's most dynamic numbers during his live shows.

Of note, Jason just scored his 16th #1 hit this past week with "Tonight Looks Good on You," from his current album, Old Boots, New Dirt.

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Russ Harrington/Sunshine Sachs Kacey Musgraves recently hosted the album launch party for her project, Pageant Material, at the Nashville gay club Play, but she's not the first country star to appear at a venue catering to Music City's LGBT community. It turns out Trisha Yearwood made an appearance at a benefit concert at the now-closed Nashville gay bar, The Connection, back in the '90s.

That concert was staged to raise money for a gay hairdresser friend of Trisha's who was fighting cancer at the time. Trisha admits she got some "backlash" on the performance from people she knew. That resistance didn't stop her, though.  She tells the Nashville Scene, "I was like, "This is for my friend. This is what you do. I don't give a crap what his personal life is about. This is somebody that I care about.'"

Trisha goes on to say she tends to focus on her relationships with individual people, rather than looking at any bigger political picture.

"I wish more people felt that way," Trisha explains. "I think that's the only way we're going to get through all this is if we just let people be who they are and love one another. That's my job not to judge anybody. Good God, I wouldn't want anybody judging my life."

On a lighter note, Trisha recalls going to another Nashville gay bar for a friend's birthday and watching male performers in drag lip sync her signature hit. Says Trisha, "Somebody did 'She's in Love With the Boy' in drag and I was like, 'I'm a star! I've totally made it.'"

For more on Trisha's colorful history, check out her new exhibit Trisha Yearwood: The Song Remembers When, now open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

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Sony Music NashvilleChase Rice has announced the first round of dates for his upcoming JD and Jesus Tour 2015, starting this October. It's Chase's third headlining trek with stops planned for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and New York City. The Cadillac Three will join Chase in the supporting slot. Chase is currently on the road with Kenny Chesney's The Big Revival Tour.

Here are Chase's new tour dates:

10/1 -- Norfolk, VA, The VorVA
10/2 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Stage AE
10/4 -- Las Vegas, NV, Route 91 Harvest Festival
10/8 -- Orlando, FL, Hard Rock Live
10/9 -- Athens, GA, 440 Foundry Pavilion
10/10 -- Chattanooga, TN, Track 29
10/14 -- Philadelphia, PA, the Fillmore
10/15 -- Indianapolis, IN, The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
10/16 -- Chicago, IL, Aragon Ballroom
10/22 -- Austin, TX, Nutty Brown Café
10/23 -- San Antonio, TX, Cowboys Dancehall
10/29 -- Clive, IA, 7 Flags Event Center
10/30 -- Omaha, NE, Sokol Auditorium
11/5 -- St. Paul, MN, Myth Live Event Center
11/6 -- Milwaukee, WI, The Rave
11/12 -- Atlanta, GA, The Tabernacle
11/13 -- Birmingham, AL, Iron City
11/15 -- St. Petersburg, FL, Ribfest
11/18 -- Patchogue, NY, The Emporium
11/19 -- Boston, MA, Lowell Memorial Auditorium
11/20 -- New York, NY, Terminal 5
11/21 -- Toronto, ON (CAN), Danforth Music Hall
12/3 -- Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre

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CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert hope all the news of their divorce drives you to do one thing -- buy Ashley Monroe's new album, The Blade. Blake tweeted to his now ex-wife, Miranda, on Friday saying, "Hey @mirandalambert can u believe there's people who haven't bought @ashleymonroe new album? Isn't that shocking?!!"

Miranda replied, "@blakeshelton no I can't because it is the best work she has ever done! I love it! We love you @ashleymonroe."

Blake wrote back, "Yes we do!"

Miranda co-wrote the last song on The Blade, "I'm Good at Leavin'," and also sing backup on the title track. Blake and Ashley recently scored a #1 hit with their collaboration "Lonely Tonight."

The fun continued between Blake and Miranda as she tweeted a picture from Entertainment Tonight showing Blake pushing a baby carriage. Her caption reads, "@blakeshelton I knew it… You WERE pregnant!! This calls for a drink!"

Blake wrote back, "Ha!!!!! Busted... I wasn't JUST a fat a**. Drinking shall now begin..."

It turns out Blake took the baby carriage out Thursday in Los Angeles to have some fun with the paparazzi. He placed the carriage in the back of a black Range Rover. When the paparazzi asked him how he was dealing with his divorce, he reportedly said, "Yeah, man. I shoulda drank more today. "

 

@blakeshelton I knew it.... You WERE pregnant! This calls for a drink! pic.twitter.com/HXeaw2FyOK

— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) July 24, 2015

 

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Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line is pretty sure the only people still asking them about "bro country" don't actually listen to country radio.

"To me, the whole freak-out [with bro-country] is over with," FGL's Brian Kelley tells The Washington Post. "I think it’s only people in the media or people that aren’t really in the loop asking about it still, I don’t think anybody cares. The fans aren’t showing up saying ‘This is bro country.’ They’re getting drunk and partying and singing.”

As for the lack of women on country radio, Brian just wants to see more quality songs get on the airwaves no matter the gender of the artist.

He explains, "I think quality of the music has got to go up. I think that’s more the issue and not just women, because there are some women who are putting out great songs. And there are guys putting out great songs that aren’t getting heard.”

As for their own contribution to the quality of music on country radio, Brian says FGL will step up to the plate on their upcoming third album. He describes the first single from that project as "a song that will change the world."

He says of the new music, "I think the world’s finally going to know us after this [third] album. And they will continue to get to know us, but I feel like after we release this album, they’ll be like, ‘Ah. OK. I get it.'”

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Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks has sold more than 100,000 concert tickets in Dallas for his seven shows coming up this September at the American Airlines Center. The new shows shatter Garth's previous ticket-selling record in The Big D, when he played for 50,213 fans over several shows in February 1998.

Garth's seven concerts in Dallas will take place September 17 through September 22. Tickets for all shows are still on sale only at Ticketmaster.

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Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Pistol Annies' debut album? ANSWER: Hell on Heels.

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Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney never stops moving during his high-energy concerts, but he can't keep that up if he's had a huge meal. That's why Kenny is disciplined about restricting his diet to mostly chicken and vegetables when he's on tour. Don't worry that Kenny is missing out on more indulgent fare during the fall and winter, though.

He says, "If I'm off the road, and it's in the fall and I'm watching football, I'm like everybody else. I'll eat a bag of Doritos sitting watching football all day on Sunday, or whatever it is. I take that time off the road to drink a few beers and just eat."

As a native of East Tennessee, Kenny grew up eating classic Southern fried chicken and big casseroles.

He adds, "Everything we did revolved around food. So, that's not left me. It's part of my insanity, 'cause I still want to do that, but I can't [when I'm touring]."

So, what does Kenny like to chow down on in the fall? He admits he's got a weakness for cheese, pasta and chocolate. Kenny likes to wash all that down with a glass of red wine.

It's safe to say none of those indulgent items will be on the menu when Kenny is getting ready for his show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California this Saturday night.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDierks Bentley loves to have lunch at Arnold's, a meat-and-three cafeteria in downtown Nashville.

Craig Morgan made his 200th appearance on the Grand Ole Opry last weekend. He's been an Opry member since 2008.

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Warner Music NashvilleAshley Monroe has a new album out Friday, titled The Blade. Fresh off her #1 single with Blake Shelton on "Lonely Tonight," Ashley returns with 13 songs ranging from the devastating title track about a one-sided breakup to the tender love song, "Has Anybody Ever Told You." As with her previous solo outing, Like a Rose, Ashley has songs that could work on country radio, but she's not sacrificing her creative instincts simply to score a hit song.

"I can't sing anything I don't feel, or anything that I don't connect with," Ashley explains. "And sometimes those don't add up as hits. Sometimes they do, though. That's the cool thing. Sometimes they do, and hopefully, one day, mine will. But in the meantime, I have to live with myself, and I'm not good at molding myself into anything else for anyone else."

Following her own muse has made Ashley one of the most respected singer/songwriters in country music today. Jason Aldean took her song, "The Truth," to #1 several years ago, and Ashley has scored two major hit albums in her own right as a member of Pistol Annies with pals Angaleena Presley and Miranda Lambert.

On top of her collaboration with Blake, who she calls "a very selfless human" for showcasing her on his song, Ashley is going on the road with Little Big Town this fall. After nearly 15 years in Nashville, Ashley is finally starting to feel secure about her future as an artist in the country format.

She says with a laugh, "It feels like now that it's all adding up and, like, and like, 'Ashley's not going away. You know, and she's collaborating with these people, and I guess we might need to listen.'"

Ashley's biggest champion throughout her career has been her friend and frequent collaborator, Miranda Lambert, who co-wrote the last song on The Blade, "I'm Good at Leavin'," in addition to singing backup on the title cut.

As previously reported, Miranda joined Ashley onstage for a duet of "Heart Like Mine" Wednesday night at Ashley's album release show in East Nashville. Video of the performance is now on YouTube. It was Miranda's first public appearance since she announced her divorce from Blake Shelton, and Ashley didn't know Miranda was going to perform with her until the show was under way.

Ashley explains, "I didn't know for sure if she was gonna sing, 'cause she said she didn't have glam, but she did. I knew once she started hearing me sing, she'd want to sing harmony. That's how we do. That was an amazing moment for her to come out and just sing her butt off. She's so pretty, naturally, so she doesn't even need glam."

Miranda and Ashley have been friends for 10 years now, and Ashley says, "The love between us truly is like a sister."

As evidenced by their joint performance Wednesday night, Ashley will be there for Miranda as she faces this next chapter, just as Miranda has been there for her during tough times.

"We've definitely gone through a lot together as friends and through life," Ashley says, "but I can see her and I rocking it out when we're 90 years old sitting there with a shotgun in her hand and rocking on a front porch somewhere, like The Golden Girls."

Look for Ashley Monroe to promote The Blade with a performance on NBC's Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday.

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Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker first shot to fame as a rock star with his band Hootie & The Blowfish, but you shouldn't expect him to lead the charge in incorporating rock sounds into his country albums. Instead, Darius is pushing to make his music even more in line with the artists that made him fall in love with the country format -- Kenny Rogers, Dwight Yoakam, and Foster and Lloyd.

Darius tells Woodland, California's Daily Democrat, "I've just been saying for the last couple years, 'Let's do something a little countrier.' And we started going in that direction. This is where I wanted to go, where I want to go. I'm trying to get a little closer to those records that made me want to sing country music."

You can hear what Darius is going for on his latest single, "Southern Style," which is also the title track of his current album.

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