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Photo: Country Music AssociationBrett Eldredge takes full responsibility for unleashing his pal Thomas Rhett on the Snapchat world, and says he loves how the social media app lets him show fans his own “wacky, weird” side too.

Eldredge (pictured on the left) calls Rhett “a funny guy.” But after talking him into downloading the app, Eldredge says the “Happy Man” singer started off a little timid. “At first … he was slowly getting into it and … having other people film for him,” Eldredge says. “I'm like 'Dude, just do your point of view. Show what's going on all around you and just be the fun person that you are.' I think he's got it down pretty good now. He's doing a great job.”

Meanwhile, Eldredge remains the Snapchat master, and says, “I’m so random, and I get tired of just typing stuff. I really want to share the journey and the wacky, weird way I see the world. So I get to do that on Snapchat.”

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkStockAmerican Idol winner Trent Harmon has released “There’s a Girl” as the first single from his forthcoming debut album. Harmon is one of the writers on the track. Listen on Billboard.com. Meanwhile, Harmon’s cover of Gary Wright’s 1976 hit “Dream Weaver” will be included in the upcoming film Ice Age: Collision Course.

Kellie Pickler got a little star struck and completely missed the buzzer when she competed against former ‘N Sync member Lance Bass on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud June 26. Watch the funny moment on People.com.

A cappella group Home Free has released a music video for their cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The band’s version will be included on the soundtrack for the film Trolls, due out in November. The group rose to fame when it won NBC’s The Sing-Off in 2013. Watch the new video on YouTube.

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Kenny Chesney owed a suburban Philadelphia police officer a huge apology after mistakenly announcing at his concert Saturday night that he had died.

The singer told thousands of fans at Lincoln Financial Field, where he was performing, that Folcroft Borough Police Officer Christopher Dorman, who was shot seven times in the line of duty, had died.

Dorman, a huge fan of Chesney, had planned to attend the concert, but instead found himself in a local hospital recovering. In a recorded video message he told Chesney ahead of the concert "don't forget me."

Chesney, who heard about the video before the show, dedicated the song “Anything but Mine” to Dorman.

The Folcroft police department immediately took to Facebook to correct the singer.

"OFFICER DORMAN IS ALIVE AND WELL," a Facebook post read. "IDK WHAT KENNY CHESNEY WAS THINKING WHEN HE SAID THAT AT HIS CONCERT TONIGHT!! I HOPE HE MAKES ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE THIS RIGHT!!!"

By Sunday, it seemed Chesney had received the message, because the singer called Dorman to apologize while the officer recovered at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Dorman's police department shared a photo of Dorman chatting with Chesney.

"He apologized for last night and wants to take Chris out to a football game and grab some beers!! Thank you Kenny!!" the caption read. 

Chesney also recalled the conversation on Twitter.

"He's doing great," the singer wrote. "Told him we'd watch an Eagles game & have beers one day. Here's to a speedy recovery! #dormanthedelcolegend"

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Jeff Vespa/WireImageGenre-bending band The Mavericks has amicably parted ways with Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group, ABC News has confirmed.

The group recorded two critically-acclaimed albums for the label group, 2013’s In Time and 2015’s Mono, and reportedly had just a two-album deal there.

The band has now partnered with Nashville-based marketing and distribution company Thirty Tigers, according to MusicRow.com, and its four members are in the process of creating their own label, Mono Mundo Recordings. They have three albums planned through the end of 2017 including a concert album due this fall, and new studio and Christmas albums coming next year. Mono Mundo is also the name of their current tour.

The Mavericks enjoyed the top 20 hits “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” “O What A Thrill” and “There Goes My Heart” while signed to MCA Nashville in the 1990s, and won the CMA Vocal Group of the Year Award in both 1995 and 1996.

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Big Machine Label GroupFlorida Georgia Line just shared the cover artwork for their new album Dig Your Roots, and it’s adorable. In keeping with the title, the cover depicts the duo’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley as children, Kelley clad in a cowboy hat, boots and diaper, and Hubbard smiling astride a toy scooter.

They also announced that the new set, their third studio album, will be available Aug. 26, which also happens to be Kelley’s 31st birthday. The duo wrote more than half the songs on the project, though not the lead single “H.O.L.Y.,” which has already topped the charts.

“Our album cover says it all,” says Kelley. “We really wanted this album to reflect who we are and our lives in this moment, but also where we came from.”

Their headlining Dig Your Roots Tour continues through the end of the year.

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Credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images for StagecoachStars from the worlds of country and bluegrass music — and even Hollywood — are reacting to the sad news that music legend Ralph Stanley died June 23 following a battle with skin cancer.

Country star Dierks Bentley tweeted that the news was “like a punch to the heart. Thank you God for Ralph Stanley.”

Steve Wariner tweeted, “A true legend is gone … RIP.” Singer Mindy Smith wrote simply, “God bless your precious soul #RalphStanley.”

Actor-comedian Steve Martin, who is also an accomplished bluegrass musician, posted a series of tweets, the first reading, “Ralph Stanley, one of the last remaining original bluegrass artistes, has died. Listen to him sing Oh Death.” He later directed his fans to check out Stanley’s performance of “Pretty Polly,” and wrote, “bluegrass can be an acquired taste, but honesty is universal.” He also called Stanley’s autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times, “soulful and an insight to the thrill of singing.” Like Stanley, Martin plays the banjo.

Ricky Skaggs released a poignant statement saying, “The end of an era, the passing of a king, a kind and humble king from the mountains. He carried the ancient sounds from God knows where. Ralph found it in the music of the mountains, in the hollows, in the people and in the churches. He was my hero and I was blessed to know him, love him and make music with him as a young teenager. The Scriptures tell us ‘God uses the simple things to confound the wise.’ He certainly used Ralph Stanley to bring the music of the mountains to the masses.”

Bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent tweeted a photo of herself sharing a microphone with Stanley and wrote, “Rest in peace my friend.” And the duo Daily & Vincent posted, “Our most heartfelt condolences are with the Stanley family this morning. The great Ralph Stanley passed away.”

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Garth Brooks (John Russell/CMA)Like so many others, Garth Brooks was devastated by the recent mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 people dead and dozens more injured. And while he calls the comparison “stupid,” the incident actually made the country superstar think about a scene in Star Wars where the Obi-Wan Kenobi character says, “I feel a great loss in the force right now” as the balance between good and evil shifted.

Reflecting on the tragedy, Brooks says, “I don’t know how you can not be touched by that,” in much the same way the world was touched by the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. “As mankind, you just felt the air go out [of the room], and you think, ‘Don’t let it win. Keep open. Let that heartbeat start to beat again.’”

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ComStock/ThinkStockIn what year did Elvis Presley appear on NBC’s The Steve Allen Show clad in a tuxedo and crooning “Hound Dog” to a basset hound? ANSWER: 1956

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkStockDustin Lynch will debut his new single, “Seein’ Red,” on TBS’ Conan July 6. It is the first single from his upcoming third album. Lynch says of the song, “It’s fun, sexy, energetic, and makes me want to dance all over somebody.”

Darius Rucker has changed managers. In joining the roster of Maverick Management’s Nashville office, he now shares representation with fellow country stars Jason AldeanRascal FlattsBrooks & Dunnand Terri Clark. Rucker is currently headlining an amphitheater tour with openers Dan Shay and Michael Ray.

Stars of the hit television series Nashville wrapped their first international tour June 20 in Dublin, Ireland, after playing to sold-out U.K. crowds in five other cities, including three shows in London. The tour featured cast members Clare BowenChris CarmackCharles Esten, and Sam Palladio performing both original music and songs from the series. Jonathan Jackson joined the tour in Dublin.

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Sony Music NashvilleFollowing her divorce from Blake Shelton last year, Miranda Lambert has closed the Pink Pistol boutique she had opened in the small town where they shared a home, Tishomingo, Oklahoma. But now she’s expanding the site of a second Pink Pistol that her mother currently operates in her hometown of Lindale, Texas, moving it to a much larger facility nearby.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Lambert says of the new site, which is expected to open at the end of August."There's a lot of pink randomness. I mean there's like a four foot baby pink elephant. I don't know when I got that, but I was like, 'OK, this is going to be some eclectic stuff.'"

Miranda said she decided to combine the two stores into a single one in Lindale, because the Texas space is so much bigger than the Oklahoma one. And she has big plans for the expansion.

“There's this amazing complex going in in Lindale with all these businesses and a stage," she says. "It's really really cool and progressive, especially for a small, East Texas town.”

Her mother will continue to run the operation.

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Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesBluegrass music legend and three-time Grammy Award winner Ralph Stanley died Thursday at the age of 89, his rep confirmed to ABC News. Grandson Nathan Stanley broke the news on his Facebook page Thursday evening, noting that his grandfather “went peacefully in his sleep [after] a long, horrible battle with skin cancer.”

A Virginia native, the banjo virtuoso first rose to fame in the mid 1940s with his band the Clinch Mountain Boys. He later formed the duo The Stanley Brothers with sibling Carter Stanley. They charted the top-20 single “How Far to Little Rock” in 1960.

After Carter’s death in 1966, Ralph embarked on a successful solo career, later finding a legion of new fans through his work on the 2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, and earning a Grammy for best male country vocal performance for the song “O Death.” His contributions to the soundtrack also made him part of its Album of the Year Grammy win. A year later he won a third Grammy, this one in the Best Bluegrass Album category for Lost in the Lonesome Pines with the Clinch Mountain Boys. 

Stanley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000 and was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1992.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jimmie; children Lisa Stanley Marshall, Tonya Armes Stanley and Ralph Stanley II; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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Photo: Hunter BerryThirty years ago this month Randy Travis released his groundbreaking debut album, Storms of Life, and he went on to have a major impact on country music as a leader of the new traditionalist movement. On June 22 in Nashville, Travis was honored for those accomplishments with the Career Achievement Award, given annually by the industry organization Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc., during its annual Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner.

Fellow country star Josh Turner (pictured on the right) was on hand to pay tribute with a medley of Travis’ songs, including “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart,” “Three Wooden Crosses,” “Digging Up Bones,” “A Man Ain’t Made of Stone” and “Forever and Ever, Amen.”

Before his performance, Turner said, “I’m just honored and flattered to have been asked to … honor my hero. … One of the best things I feel like anybody can have in life is a hero, because a hero makes you want to be a better version of yourself, and they inspire you to do great things. That’s exactly what Randy Travis has done for me throughout the years.”

Travis is still recovering from a 2013 stroke that took his voice so his wife, Mary, spoke on his behalf calling her husband a “fighter” and a “warrior.”

“Randy’s story is one of redemption, and his songs were always delivered with such patience and experience,” she said. “He lived the songs that he sang. … He left us a beautiful body of work that will live on forever and ever. His songs were rehearsed in the Saturday morning honky-tonks and replayed in the Sunday morning services.”

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Trae Patton/NBCReba McEntire has been entertaining fans for four decades, so she’s more than qualified to judge other talent. She’ll put those skills to use when she joins NBC’s America’s Got Talent as a guest judge for the “judge cuts” round beginning July 12.

She joins fellow entertainers George LopezNe-Yo and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson in the guest judge role.

In addition to her award-winning singing career, Reba has acted in 11 films, and starred in two television sitcoms and on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun.

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Black River EntertainmentThink you don’t have anything in common with country stars? Well, if you’ve ever had a really bad summer job, you actually do.

In this fun video compiled by the Grand Ole Opry, Kelsea Ballerini (pictured), Craig MorganDustin LynchMaggie Rose and newcomer Tara Thompson share stories about their worst ever non-music gigs.

For Morgan, it was a stint at a fast food chain called Corn Dog 7.  Lynch spent a summer mulching, and says, “You don’t get used to it. … It still smells and it’s still hot and steamy.” Ballerini, meanwhile, admits that because the policy at a cupcake shop where she worked called for disposing of any damaged product, “I’d just eat all the cupcakes.”

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ABC Television NetworkTwo stars of Nashville are unlikely to return for the series’ fifth season, and it’s not the two you might have expected to bolt the show following its move from ABC to CMT and Hulu. Contract talks with series stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere are going well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which means a missing airplane cliffhanger involving Panettiere’s character is likely to have a happy ending when the show returns.

But Will Chase, who plays Luke Wheeler, and Aubrie Peeples, aka Layla Grant, are “unlikely to return,” sources tell the publication, adding that theirs are expected to be the only departures from the large cast.

Chase joined the show in the second season and was promoted to series regular in the third. Peeples also came aboard as a recurring character in season two and was upped to regular in season four.

Nashville is expected to return to CMT and Hulu with new episodes in the fall, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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ComStock/ThinkStockWhat year did Big Machine Records introduce a teenage Taylor Swift with her debut single “Tim McGraw?” ANSWER: 2006

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkStockSongwriter, musician and producer Freddy Powers passed away June 21 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 84. Powers, who was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006, was a frequent Merle Haggard collaborator, and wrote “Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room” and “Natural High,” among other songs recorded by Haggard. He also penned George Jones’ chart-topping hit “I Always Get Lucky with You” and produced Willie Nelson’s Somewhere over the Rainbow album. Powers received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International in 2013. His memoir The Spree of 83, is due from Waldorf Publishing in February 2017.

Singer Margo Smith reportedly is in intensive care at Ocala Regional Medical Center in Florida where she is being treated for double pneumonia. Smith charted 27 country singles between 1975 and 1988 including the number-one hits “Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You” and “It Only Hurts for a Little While,” plus six other top-10 hits.

“The Streak” singer Ray Stevens has purchased a $2.85 million home in the Nashville satellite city of Belle Meade, The Tennessean reports. Stevens plans to reside in the property. The two-story, 8,363-square-foot home has 14 rooms, including five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and three half baths and sits on 6.38 acres, the newspaper reports.

Hoping to work for Willie Nelson but missing the musical chops? Nelson’s marijuana company, Willie's Reserve, has openings for several positions in its Colorado office. Unfortunately, Billboard reports, all of the positions require actual related work experience.

Rascal Flatts will perform their most recent hit, “I Like the Sound of That,” on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert June 23.

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Capitol Records NashvilleWhat started out as a songwriting collaboration between Little Big Town and artist, producer and The Voice coach Pharrell Williams turned into a mini album for the country band, although the songs on the newly released Wanderlust are not country at all.

Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook calls working with Williams "an amazing musical experience" that began as an “off the cuff” pairing. “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.”

Westbrook says, “The energy was so palpable in the studio with him … that we wanted to keep going and just see what happened. And that resulted in eight songs that we just felt like we wanted to share because we had such a great time doing it.”

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Warner Music NashvilleFor an Illinois native like Brett Eldredge, just setting foot in Chicago’s Wrigley Field can be exciting. So it’s no surprise the rising country star was over the moon when he actually got to shoot his new music video, “Wanna Be That Song,” in the historic baseball venue.

Eldredge says he has been a “diehard Cubs fan from the day I was born,” and calls Wrigley Field “a magical place.”

The video features a beardless Eldredge in black and white portraying a 1940s-era Cubs player. Watch it here.

The singer premiered the clip on the Wrigley JumboTron just before the Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game June 21. He also threw out the game’s first pitch and led the crowd in “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.

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Image Group LA/ABC via Getty ImagesWhile she has yet to comment on her departure from the artist roster at record label Black River Entertainment, Kellie Picker seems to be taking it in stride.

The singer and her husband, songwriter Kyle Jacobs, are currently visiting Japan. Tweeting from Tokyo, Pickler wrote, “Blessed to see the world with my adventure and life partner … love you baby” and “Konnichiwa (hello) from Tokyo!! Making new friends and new memories. #Blessed #Japan.”

Jacobs, meanwhile, posted a photo of the couple on Instagram with the caption “Sup America?! KP and I are hanging in Tokyo for a while and loving every second of it! Love that I get to share these adventures with the most beautiful girl in the world. #luckyman.”

The second season of the couple’s reality show, I Love Kellie Pickler, debuts on CMT in August, but one cast member may be missing. Her childhood pal Daylan Honeycutt, a comic figure in the show’s first season, has reportedly been arrested on an array of charges, including domestic assault.

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Quick Pick

 

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Rick Springfield

June 23rd

New Orleans

Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square

 

 

Freddy Jackson

June 24th

Marksville

Paragon Casino

 

James Taylor

June 25th

Bossier City

Centurylink Center

 

July 1st, 2nd & 3rd

New Orleans

Superdome

 

Foghat

&

Great White

July 3rd

Marksville

Paragon Casino

 

 

Bellamy Brothers

July 9th

Bossier City

Margaritaville Casino

 

Josh Groban

July 15th

New Orleans

Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square

 

Loretta Lynn

July 16th

Marksville

Paragon Casino

 

Jana Kramer

July 29th

Lake Charles

Golden Nugget

 

Garth Brooks

Trisha Yearwood

July 30th

Bossier City

Centurylink Center

 

Kool & The Gang

July 30th

Vinton

Delta Downs

 

Guns & Roses

July 31st

New Orleans

Mercedes Benz Superdome

 

Boston

August 4th

Baton Rouge

River Center Arena

 

Chubby Checker

August 6th

Marksville

Paragon Casino

 

Frank Foster

August 20th

Marksville

Paragon Casino

 

Maroon 5

Septerber 5th 2016

New Orleans

Smoothie King Ctr

 

BJ Thomas

&

Gary Puckett

September 10th

Lake Charles

Golden Nugget

 

 

Dixie Chicks

September 10th

New Orleans

Smoothie King Center

 

Rick Springfield

November 5th

Lake Charles

Golden Nugget

 

 

 

 


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