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Photo courtesy of Allen Clark
Photo courtesy of Allen Clark
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Jerrod Niemann Is Hard At Work on His Next Album

It’s been a long road for budding country superstar Jerrod Niemann, from his years as a songwriter for artists like Garth Brooks and Neal McCoy, to his stint as an independent recording artist.

But all that work has paid off — his year-old debut, ‘Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury,’ went to number one, and with his latest single, ‘One More Drinkin’ Song,’ he has three top 40 hits to his credit, including the number one ‘Lover, Lover.’ What’s next for Niemann?

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Category: Music
Michael Buckner, Getty Images
Michael Buckner, Getty Images
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"How Did Eric Church’s ‘Chief’ Album Land a #1 Debut?"

With his first two albums, 2006′s ‘Sinners Like Me’ and 2009′s ‘Carolina,’ Eric Church enjoyed steadily, albeit modestly, increasing success — so you can imagine that a few industry eyebrows were raised when his latest release, ‘Chief,’ debuted at number one.

To celebrate Church’s first chart-topper, Billboard devoted a recent feature to analyzing his sales spike — and interviewing industry insiders who shared their theories about how it happened.

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Category: Music
Adam Bettcher, Getty Images
Adam Bettcher, Getty Images
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Meat Loaf Cutting Duets with Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Lil Jon and Chuck D

Call it paradise by the Christmas lights.

Big-voiced rock icon Meat Loaf has announced plans for a holiday album — and in his typically over-the-top style, he’s going all out. Why settle for a quiet night of carols when you can sing along with some of country’s biggest stars?

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Category: Music
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
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Lauren Alaina’s ‘Like My Mother Does’ Video to Premiere on Monday

She might be on the road with this year’s American Idols Live Tour, but Lauren Alaina isn’t too busy to make plans for her upcoming debut album.

In fact, promotion for Alaina’s first CD will begin in earnest next week, when the video for her latest single, ‘Like My Mother Does,’ debuts on CMT.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Taylor Swift Serenades the ‘Chaperone Dads’ Dragged to Her Shows [VIDEO]

Of all the duties dads pull when their daughters are young, “concert chaperone” has to be one of the most thankless tasks on the list.

But cheer up, Pops: Your ears might be ringing and your wallet might be light, but Taylor Swift sees you in the crowd, and she appreciates what you do.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Dolly Parton Apologizes for Dollywood Gay T-Shirt Incident

If you were surprised when you heard about all the hubbub that erupted over a Dollywood guest’s choice of t-shirt, you aren’t alone: Dolly Parton — who just so happens to own the park — is trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

Parton has also personally reached out to Olivier Odom, the guest who was asked to turn her ‘Marriage Is So Gay’ shirt inside out when the park host determined that it violated Dollywood’s family-friendly dress code.

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Courtesy of Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc.
Courtesy of Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc.
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Patsy Cline’s Former Home Renovated, Open for Tours

She’s one of the most important names in modern music history, but Patsy Cline fans haven’t had a place where they can go to celebrate her legacy — until now.

Thanks to the efforts of the aptly named Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc. organization, Cline’s Virginia home has been renovated and is now open to the public.

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Category: Music
Courtesy of MCA Nashville
Courtesy of MCA Nashville
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George Strait Announces Release Date and Track Listing for ‘Here for a Good Time’

George Strait has already released nearly 40 albums — and scored more number one hits than any other artist, in any genre, ever — and he isn’t slowing down yet.

The country legend has set September 6 as the date for his next release, titled ‘Here for a Good Time,’ announced the 11-song track listing, and opened up pre-orders for fans.

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Category: Music
Courtesy of Kelli Ann Siwik
Courtesy of Kelli Ann Siwik
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Taylor Swift Inspires a Real-Life Wedding Proposal

Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about how to tell a ‘Love Story’ through song — and a few days ago, she helped play a role in a real-life marriage proposal.

When Taylor’s tour stopped in Detroit last February, she met up with WYCD DJ Jason ‘The 300 Pound Cowboy’ and his girlfriend, Kelli, and hit it off with the couple. As the night drew to a close, Taylor’s mother warned them, “Next time I see you two, you’d better be engaged!”

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Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
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‘The Voice’ Will Return in Highly-Coveted Post-Super Bowl Time Slot

Given that it pulled in some of the highest ratings the network has seen in recent years — and that it was quickly renewed for a second season — we already knew NBC was enamored with ‘The Voice.’

Now that the network has announced the premiere date for season two, we know just how much.

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Category: Music
Kenny-Chesney
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Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and Reba Make Billboard’s Top 25 Tours of 2011

 

With 2011 more than half over — and the summer concert season winding down — Billboard has tallied up the totals for the year’s biggest tours so far, and a number of country artists are going strong.

U2 leads the list, with a nearly $175 million gross, with the top five rounded out by Roger Waters ($114 million), Bon Jovi ($107 million), Lady Gaga ($72 million), and Usher ($70 million). And the year’s biggest country tours? Kenny Chesney (No. 9, $25 million) and the George Strait/Reba pairing (number 15, $17.5 million).

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Carlos Alvarez / Ethan Miller / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
Carlos Alvarez / Ethan Miller / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Tony Bennett’s ‘Duets II’ Album to Include Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse and More

Five years after releasing his first ‘Duets’ collection, Tony Bennett is back for a sequel — and this time, some of his guests might surprise you.

For the 17-track collection, due September 20, Bennett enlisted a few fellow legends, including Willie Nelson and Aretha Franklin, along with contemporary crooners such as Andrea Bocelli and Michael Bublé. But he also made sure to give ‘Duets II’ a contemporary spin.

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Category: Music

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