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Dierks Bentley Takes Friend Battling Cancer Out for a Spin in His '67 Camaro


Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley often returns to Nashville's famed bluegrass club, the Station Inn, to catch a show or even sit in with some of his musical heroes. Over the years, Dierks has become close friends with Ann Soyers, the woman who collects cover charges and books talent at the Station Inn. According to The Tennessean, Ann was an early supporter of Dierks' music before he became a staple of country radio. Now that she's battling cancer, Dierks has kept a regular vigil at her hospital room in west Nashville. He even took her out for "one last ride" in his vintage '67 Camaro this week.

Dierks posted a picture on Instagram of their ride. The caption says, "She's hanging tough. Enjoying good friend and music."

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Zac Brown Band Jumped at the Chance to Record "Black Water" with The Doobie Brothers


Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleZac Brown Band teams up with The Doobie Brothers for a new version of "Black Water" on the new Doobie Brothers country collaborations album, Southbound. Zac Brown admits he jumped at the chance to perform that classic song from The Doobie Brothers catalog.

"I have seen a lot of people, including myself, make a lot of tip money because of ‘Black Water,’ so this is a full circle moment," Zac says. "“To collaborate and recreate this iconic song is just an amazing moment as an artist.  As a new generation vocal band, it is an absolute honor to get to play with them."

Fans can now pre-order Southbound at iTunes or Amazon and get an instant download of The Doobie Brothers and Zac Brown Band's version of "Black Water." The full album comes out November 4.

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Miranda Lambert Taking Annual Cause for the Paws Event to Las Vegas Friday


Image Courtesy Becky FlukeMiranda Lambert is taking her seventh annual Cause for the Paws festival to Las Vegas this Friday in conjunction with the first-ever Route 91 Harvest Festival. Miranda will headline the Friday night show, and all proceeds from her appearance will go to her charity, the MuttNation Foundation, to help homeless dogs get a new lease on life.

Miranda says, "I am so excited to be playing Vegas to raise money for a cause so dear to my heart. With your donations, we are able to watch happy, healthy dogs being given a second chance at life through adoption.”

The Cause for the Paws event also includes a sold-out VIP cocktail party prior to Miranda's show, complete with a live and silent auction of items from Miranda and her husband, Blake Shelton. An online auction will go live on eBay to coincide with the event.

Miranda's Cause for the Paws raised more than $400,000 event last year in Oklahoma. Overall, the MuttNation Foundation has generated $1.5 million to help dogs in need in the past seven years. For more information, go to MuttNationFoundation.com.

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Brantley Gilbert Carries a Fleet of Harleys on His Let It Ride Tour


Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.If Brantley Gilbert ever starts feeling cooped up on his tour bus, he's got his choice of five Harley-Davdison motorcycles on the road with him all the time. His pal, Harley-Davidson dealership owner Ricky Kelley, actually gave Brantley three motorcycles to take with him on tour, but Brantley couldn't leave his own hogs at home.

He says, "My newest one and my '99, I'm so addicted to 'em, that I end up bringing them out anyway."

Over the past few years, Brantley has become friends with bikers all over the U.S. who are glad to show him around when he's in their city.

Brantley explains, "If we don't know a lot of road systems around there and what roads are good to ride and what's got a good bit of scenery, these guys will show up and we'll kind of follow 'em around and get a good ride during the day."

Brantley is on the road with his Let It Ride tour through December 13.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Lady Antebellum's 2007 debut hit? ANSWER: "Love Don't Live Here Anymore."

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Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott Brings a Much-Needed Female Perspective to Their New Album, "747"


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum's new album, 747, comes out this week featuring something most of this fall's other major country releases don't have -- a female voice. In fact, Lady A's Hillary Scott sings lead or duet vocals on most of the new album's 11 tracks, including the lead single, "Bartender."

It's not that the group made 747 in response to combat the lack of women in country music.  Hillary tells ABC News Radio , "It just kind of fell that way. I think a lot of songs that we cut that were outside songs weren't originally duets, and then we made them into duets, which 'Lie with Me' was one of those, and then 'Damn You Seventeen' another one."

While "Bartender" is a drinking song,  it's written and performed from the point of view of a woman. Hillary was especially glad to be the voice singing that song as it topped the country chart.

"It was at such a time where there was so few female songs on radio," Hillary says. "So, having that female perspective is so important. That's the majority of who is listening to our music on a daily basis driving in their car. You know, you have to have that voice, that perspective."

Fans of Lady A's other lead singer, Charles Kelley, will find plenty of vocals from him on 747, too. Lady Antebellum performs on NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBig & Rich continue promoting their new album, Gravity, with a performance on The Queen Latifah Show Thursday.

Eric Paslay has released "She Don't Love You" as the new single from his self-titled debut album.

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Blake Shelton Finds Inspiration in His Early Hits on New Album, "Bringing Back the Sunshine"


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleFans of Blake Shelton's early hits like "Austin" and "Ol' Red" should be very happy with his new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, available now. While Blake is happy with the progressive sounds of his recent hits "Doing What She Likes" and "Boys 'Round Here," he wanted to find a way to incorporate his early country sound in the new music.

Says Blake, "I think we did that. 'Neon Light,' I think, is a perfect example of staying true to who I’ve become as an artist but also tipping my hat to that old honky-tonk sound that I started with.”

Blake points to the crowd reaction to his older hits, including "Some Beach," during his live shows as a big reason for going back to his musical roots.

"They get as big of a reaction still today as 'Boys ‘Round Here' and whatever other current song I've had," Blake explains. "So, it shows me that that’s still alive --  that sound, that type of music is still alive."

In keeping with the theme of going back to his roots, Blake sent his team to his hometown of Ada, Oklahoma, to take photographs for the new album's artwork. They ended up using a shot of the town's water tower on the cover of Bringing Back the Sunshine because Blake says, "I’m tired of seeing pictures of myself!"

He adds, "I’ve been looking at that water tower my whole life. It may not be iconic to everyone out there, but it is to me. When I see it, it takes me back to being a kid.”  

Look for Blake to promote Bringing Back the Sunshine with an appearance on Live with Kelly & Michael on Thursday.

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George Jones Museum Coming to Downtown Nashville


Image Courtesy Webster PRThe George Jones Museum is coming to Second Avenue in downtown Nashville soon featuring a gift shop, restaurant, event space and music venue. George's widow, Nancy Jones, will unveil plans for the museum very soon.

She says, "We hope that this will draw George's friends and fans worldwide to our great city.  George and I made this our home, and he would be happy to know that we found a home to continue his legacy in the heart of Music City."

George Jones died in April 2013. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992.

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Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman Send Thanks for Support Following Her Father's Death


Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban and Nicole Kidman have shared a word of thanks via Facebook for the encouragement they've received since Nicole's father, Antony Kidman, died unexpectedly. The note reads, "We would just like to thank everyone for their love and prayers over these past couple of weeks. We are all heartbroken but knowing we are in the hearts and thoughts of others is so comforting." It's signed, "Sending love, Nic and Keith xx."

Antony Kidman died earlier this month after suffering a fall in Singapore.

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Hunter Hayes Adds Two "Wild Card" Shows to Tattoo (Your Name) Tour


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes had added two "Wild Card" shows to his Tattoo (Your Name) Tour beginning with an October 28 concert at Best Buy Theatre in New York City. The newly scheduled dates continue with a November 29 show at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie in Dallas, Texas. The "Wild Card" shows are named after a track from Hunter's latest album, Storyline.

Dan Shay and new country group The Railers join Hunter in the opening slots on the Tattoo (Your Name) Tour.

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Jason Aldean Earns Platinum Certification for "Burnin' It Down" in Record Time


Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean's new single, "Burnin' It Down," has become the fastest-selling single of 2014. The sexy track has been certified platinum just nine weeks after it was released digitally. 

Jason's understandably happy his fans have accepted this new sound with open arms.  "It's so awesome that my fans trust that I have a pretty good ear for the kinds of songs they will like, and that they follow me to new places with each album," he says.  "I couldn't be happier with all the excitement around the new music."

"Burnin' It Down" is the lead single from Jason's new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, due out next week. Look for Jason to promote the album with a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday.

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Carrie, Brad, Lady A, Little Big Town and The Band Perry Added to CMA Awards Performers Lineup


Image Courtesy CMACarrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are confirmed to perform at the 48th Annual CMA Awards November 5 in Nashville. They're also hosting the live broadcast for a seventh consecutive year.

Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and The Band Perry have also joined the performers lineup. Entertainer of the Year nominees Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban will sing as well.

Tickets for the CMA Awards are sold out for the sixth consecutive year. The show broadcasts live on ABC Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

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Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood Has a Nursery Set Up on His Tour Bus for Baby Boy, Cash


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum's Dave Haywood and his wife, Kelli, welcomed their first child, Cash Van Haywood, earlier this month, and Dave already has a spot for his young family on his tour bus. The back lounge has been converted to a nursery. Dave doesn't know how often his wife and baby will use the back lounge of his bus, but he wanted to have it ready to go.

He tells The Tennessean, "My guess is that she comes out twice as much as she does now, but not all the time. I don't want to miss stuff when he's going through these stages."

Lady A has a big delivery coming in this week. Their album, 747, is out Tuesday featuring the hit single, "Bartender."

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Country Star Trivia


Image Courtesy Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Dierks Bentley's 2009 bluegrass-inspired album? ANSWER: Up on the Ridge.

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Dierks Bentley Raises Money for Nashville Children's Hospital, Gives Opening Acts Drones


Image Courtesy Greenroom PRDierks Bentley hosted his annual Miles & Music for Kids bike ride and concert Sunday in Nashville with proceeds going to the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Since he launched the event nearly a decade ago, Dierks and his pals have raised more than $2.6 million for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. While that's an impressive number, it doesn't quite live up to the amount Dierks' seven-year-old daughter, Evie, thought he donated to the cause when she was a little bit younger.

While she understands the concept of the benefit show now, Dierk says, "Last year I told her that, and she said, "Every show you do, daddy, gives money back to the children's hospital.' I was like, 'Not exactly, but if you want to think that about me, I like that, but it's not exactly true.'"

While Dierks is generous with his time giving back to charitable causes, he's also showing his appreciation for the opening acts on his Riser tour this summer. Two of those acts -- Chris Young and Jon Pardi -- performed at Dierks' charity event Sunday, while "Ready Set Roll" singer Chase Rice rounded out the bill.

Before the concert, Chris revealed that Dierks presented all three of his supporting acts with drones you can fly with an iPad. Chris said he, Dierks and Chase all bet Jon would be the first to crash the drone.

"We're like, 'I don't know why, but we just have a gut feeling it's gonna be you,'" Chris says, "so I don't know if he's too happy about that, but all of our money is on him crashing his into a tree or something in the next week."

As for Dierks' job as a headliner on the Riser tour, Chris says, "He's just one of those guys that he wants everybody else to enjoy it as much as he did. He did some incredible numbers this summer, and I was really happy to be a part of that."

Kip Moore and Randy Houser also performed at Dierks' charity concert Sunday. This year's Miles & Music for Kids event raised more than $335,000 for the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

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Carrie Underwood Covers R.E.M. at Global Citizen Festival


Chris HolloCarrie Underwood covered one of R.E.M.'s signature songs Saturday night at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City.

The pregnant artist delivered a sweet rendition of "Everybody Hurts." The rest of her set in Central Park was packed with hits such as "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Blown Away" and "Before He Cheats."

At one point, Carrie told the audience that her appearance at the event represented one of the top highlights of her career.

The festival included a couple of special guests: Beyoncé joined her husband, headliner Jay Z, for two songs, and Sting paired up with No Doubt for a cover of The Police hit "Message in a Bottle."

The other artists who took part in the Global Citizen Festival were fun., Alicia Keys, The Roots and Tiesto.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe 2014 CMT Artists of the Year special will broadcast live from Nashville on Tuesday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET. This year's five honorees will be announced soon.

The Band Perry will perform at the T.J. Martell Foundation's 39th New York Honors Gala in Manhattan on October 21.

The Swon Brothers deliver an acoustic performance of their song, "Pray for You," in a new feature now posted at TooFab.com. The song appears on the duo's upcoming debut album, due out October 14.

Jason Aldean and his tour mates, Florida Georgia Line, had a hardcore female fan rush the stage during their recent show in Chula Vista, CA. The hilarious video of Jason directing the female fan off the stage was captured in a YouTube clip.

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Lady Antebellum Making TV Appearances and Performing Live Streaming Concert to Launch "747"


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum is taking their 747 album launch to your TV. They'll perform three songs on NBC's Today on Tuesday when 747 lands in stores and online. Look for them to stop by NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday.

Lady A is taking their 747 celebration online, too. They'll give an intimate performance at the Gramercy Theater in New York City Tuesday night that will stream live on Yahoo!.

747 features Lady Antebellum's latest hit, "Bartender."

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Jason Aldean Went All Out Buying Brittany Kerr's Big Engagement Ring


Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean went all out buying Brittany Kerr's engagement ring. She debuted the massive diamond ring in an Instagram posting showing her and Jason sharing a kiss. The caption reads, "We’ve been on cloud nine the past few days. My heart has never been more full of happiness and love … Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this man.”

The marriage will be the first for Brittany and the second for Jason.

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