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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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Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
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Miranda Lambert Urges Young Songwriters to ‘Know Who You Are’ [VIDEO]

If you want to make a living as a songwriter, Nashville is unquestionably the best place to be — even after a decade of dwindling record sales, it’s still home to a thriving publishing industry, as well as some of the most seasoned tunesmiths in the business.

But that doesn’t mean a good song is necessarily easy to find. In fact, Miranda Lambert found the experience so frustrating that she ended up learning how to play guitar just so she could write her own material.

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Category: Advice, Music Tags:
Roger Kisby, Getty Images
Roger Kisby, Getty Images
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How Was Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott Inspired by ‘Sister Act 2?’

With millions of albums sold and a growing list of hits to their name, Lady Antebellum are one of the fastest-rising young acts in the music business. As they gear up to promote their just-released third album, ‘Own the Night,’ they’re on the verge of delivering one of the biggest sales successes of 2011.

And according to singer Hillary Scott, none of it might have happened if it wasn’t for Whoopi Goldberg.

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Category: Bozeman News
Brad-Paisley
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Brad Paisley’s First Book, ‘Diary of a Player,’ Set for November 1 Release

 

Howard Books

For most people, it would be more than enough to achieve success as an award-winning recording artist, prolific hit songwriter, and highly-respected musician. But Brad Paisley is not most people.

Having conquered the Billboard charts, Paisley decided to tackle a different kind of bestsellers’ list with his upcoming book debut, titled ‘Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me.’

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Category: Bozeman News
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Martina McBride Plans Cross-Country Train Tour to Promote New Album, ‘Eleven’

In today’s crowded musical landscape, it’s more important than ever for an artist plugging a new release to find new and interesting ways to attract the attention of potential listeners — even if that artist is a multi-platinum fixture on the radio dial.

Martina McBride is one artist who seems to have learned this lesson well — instead of booking just another tour as part of the promotion for her descriptively titled eleventh album, ‘Eleven,’ she’ll be embarking on an 11-stop, cross-country train ride.

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Category: Bozeman News
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
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Lee Ann Womack Announces Plans for New Album

It’s been a few years since Lee Ann Womack had an album to promote, but she’s finally ready to get back in the studio and record some new music for her fans.

Womack, whose last release was 2008′s Grammy-nominated ‘There’s More Where That Came From,’ announced her return during her appearance at George Jones‘ recent 80th birthday party.

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Category: Bozeman News
George-Strait21
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George Strait’s ‘Here for a Good Time’ Debuts at Number One

 

MCA Nashville

I say it all the time on XL Country...I am a George Strait fan!  Love all of his music.  So with that, Congratulations are in order for George Strait, who just added yet another number one record to his awe-inspiring list of chart-topping hits.

Strait’s new album, ‘Here for a Good Time,’ debuted on top of the Billboard country charts this week, surging past Jason Aldean and Jake Owen with more than 91,000 copies sold.

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Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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Taylor Swift and Her Amazing Music Sales Enter the Guinness Book of World Records

Over the last few years — and multi-platinum albums — Taylor Swift has taken up seemingly permanent residence on the charts, not to mention the hearts and iPods of millions of fans.  And now you can see her in concert and MEET HER BACKSTAGE  from XL Country and Taste of Country!  Go to XL Country's Facebook page now and like us to win!

Now, she also has a pair of spots in the Guinness Book of World Records to call her own.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Jake Owen Performs Tracks and Shares Stories from ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night’

If his repeat performance at the top of the Billboard country charts with ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night’ is any indication, you can’t get enough of Jake Owen right now.

Fortunately for you, Owen is happy to oblige. He recently sat down for a session as part of Walmart’s Soundcheck series, delivering live-in-the-studio performances of some of his favorite tracks while discussing the stories behind the songs.

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Category: Bozeman News
Andrew H. Walker / Valerie Macon, Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker / Valerie Macon, Getty Images
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Alan Jackson and Ozzy Osbourne Team Up (Sort Of) to Save Missing Boy With Autism

They’re both legends in their respective musical genres, but aside from that, Alan Jackson and Ozzy Osbourne have never had much in common — until this week, that is.

Songs from the unlikely duo were used to find a missing California boy, eight-year-old Joshua Robb, who slipped through the fence at his school and ran off into the neighboring woods on Monday.

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Image courtesy Rounder Records
Image courtesy Rounder Records
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Bill Monroe’s 100th Birthday Celebrated with Concerts, CDs and More

Few musicians have meant more to the history of country music than the legendary mandolin player Bill Monroe. He’s no longer with us, but his legacy remains very much alive and for proof, you need look no further than the number of tributes and celebrations surrounding Monroe’s 100th birthday.

To mark the event, which passed September 12, there are a number of projects are paying tribute to Monroe’s pioneering work, including concerts, a documentary, a musical, CDs, and — if you’ve got the travel budget — some unique museum exhibits.

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Category: Music
Jag Gundu/Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Jag Gundu/Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Winners of 2011 Canadian Country Music Awards Announced

The Canadian country music scene is arguably best known as the breeding ground for Shania Twain‘s early work, but there’s a lot more to it than that — and the Canadian Country Music Awards have been working to get that message across since they were founded in 1976.

This year’s crop of CCMA winners were announced Sunday night, in a ceremony that included appearances from Ronnie Dunn and Derric Rutan, as well as performances from Luke Bryan and Johnny Reid.

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Category: Bozeman News

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