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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Kenny Rogers Announces Dates for 30th Annual Christmas and Hits Tour

When you’ve been doing something as long as Kenny Rogers has been making music, the milestones are bound to pile up — and sure enough, this holiday season will mark an auspicious anniversary for the country legend.

When Rogers embarks on his annual Christmas and Hits tour this November 25, it’ll mark his 30th straight year of heading out on the road to bring holiday cheer to fans. Billy Dean will join Rogers for the 17-date run, which concludes December 23.

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Image courtesy of Show Dog/Universal Records
Image courtesy of Show Dog/Universal Records
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JT Hodges Promises ‘Very, Very Diverse’ Debut Album

With his first single closing in on the country top 40 and a prime opening slot on his label boss’ latest tour, JT Hodges could hardly ask for a better start to his recording career.

Hodges won’t be satisfied with an auspicious beginning, however. He’s in this for the long haul, and to prove it, he’s getting ready to release a debut album that he promises will be “very, very diverse.”

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Mike Coppola, Getty Images
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
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Kenny Chesney Earns Platinum Record for ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey’

For one of country’s biggest stars, Kenny Chesney is building quite an impressive heavy metal collection.

Chesney’s latest album, ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey,’ was recently certified platinum for sales of one million copies by the RIAA, becoming the 10th of his 14 releases to reach one of the industry’s most esteemed sales milestones.

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Image courtesy of Warner Music Nashville
Image courtesy of Warner Music Nashville
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Gloriana Describes the ‘Evolving Process’ Behind Their New Album, ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind’

Losing a band member is almost always difficult and it’s got to be particularly tough to learn your bandmate is leaving via Twitter, as the members of Gloriana discovered a couple of months ago, when vocalist and mandolin player Cheyenne Kimball announced she was quitting.

They took the news in stride, however, and regrouped as a trio, getting down to work on their upcoming sophomore release, ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind.’ In the process, they discovered the whole ordeal might have been a blessing in disguise.

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Image courtesy of McCoury Music
Image courtesy of McCoury Music
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Del McCoury Revisits ‘Old Memories’ with Bill Monroe Tribute Album

With more than five decades as a professional musician to his name, Del McCoury is an elder statesman of American music, but at an age when many artists tend to slow down, McCoury refuses to rest on his considerable laurels.

In fact, with a pair of albums out in 2011, he’s busier than ever.

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Brantley-Gilbert3
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Brantley Gilbert Is Proud to Be a Mama’s Boy

 

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

For most country artists, moving to Nashville is a matter of course because it simply makes sense to be right there in the middle of Music Row.

But for Brantley Gilbert, there were other factors to consider when it came time to decide whether he’d be picking up stakes and leaving his Georgia home. Like, for instance, his mama.

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Amanda Edwards / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Amanda Edwards / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, and More Join October 17 Concert for Texas Fire Relief

Even as rescue workers continue to battle the wildfires that have raged through Texas throughout September, organizers are putting together a benefit to help pay for some of the more than $250 million worth of damage the fires have left behind.

Scheduled for October 17, ‘Fire Relief: The Concert for Central Texas’ has lined up an impressive array of artists and bands with roots in the Lone Star State, including the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, and Lyle Lovett.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Weighs In on Taxes: ‘I Expect the Wealthy to Write a Check’

The fight over taxes and the public debt is never far from the headlines lately, and Toby Keith has never been shy about speaking his mind on political matters, so it’s only natural that he offered his thoughts about taxes when speaking with the Boston Herald.

What might be surprising — at least for folks who consider Keith just another red state-residing good ol’ boy — is the way he responded to the question.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Jason Aldean Has Roughly ’20, 25 Songs’ in the Works for Next Album

Jason Aldean‘s latest album, the double-platinum ‘My Kinda Party,’ isn’t even a year old yet, but he isn’t wasting any time getting started on his next release. In fact, he’s planning on heading into the studio next month to start laying down tracks.

When Aldean’s crew convenes for the sessions for his fifth album, they’ll have no shortage of songs to choose from. In fact, it sounds like it’ll be a struggle to get the list of candidates down to a manageable length.

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Scotty
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Scotty McCreery Tells the Stories Behind the Songs on ‘Clear as Day’

 

19 Entertainment

Scotty McCreery has just two weeks to go until he releases his debut album, ‘Clear as Day,’ so you can hardly blame the reigning ‘American Idol’ champ if he’s excited to talk about it.

Taste of Country caught up with McCreery to do just that recently, and he shared the inside scoop on the stories behind the album’s 12 tracks, which he promises will give listeners an honest picture of who he is. “I’m 17, and that’s me,” he insists. “This album’s gonna relate to that, and hopefully people like it. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished these last couple months.”

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Mike Coppola / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Mike Coppola / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Lauren Alaina Asks Hunter Hayes to the Prom

Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery dashed the hopes of countless ‘McLaina’ fans recently when they debunked the persistent rumors that they were a couple. But even if they aren’t dating each other, that doesn’t mean the ‘American Idol’ alums can’t find love with other young songbirds.

In fact, Alaina has made no secret of the fact that she has eyes for rising country star Hunter Hayes — and as it turns out, he could very well end up being her date to the prom.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Trailer Choir’s ‘Big Vinny’ Hickerson Felt Like He’d ‘Won the Lottery’ When He Got Cast on ‘The Biggest Loser’

As a member of the country duo Trailer Choir, “Big Vinny” Hickerson has done things most people only dream of, including scoring a top 20 album and a top 40 single. And as evidenced by his nickname, as well as his vocals on Trailer Choir’s hit ‘Rockin’ the Beer Gut,’ he’s learned to use his ample girth as an asset.

A recent health scare made Hickerson see things differently, however — and now that he’s a contestant on the latest season of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ starting Tuesday night, he says he feels like he’s “won the lottery.”

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