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ABC RadioIt was everything you would want a night at the Opry to be, as Reba McEntire celebrated the fortieth anniversary of her first performance “in the circle” on Friday night.

Reba’s fellow Country-Music-Hall-of-Famers Vince Gill , Connie Smith and Bobbie Bare had already graced country music’s most famous stage, as a video intro rolled, looking back on Reba’s decades of Opry appearances and memorable looks.

“That was hysterical and I heard ya’ll laughing at my big hairdo jacked up to Jesus,” she joked, after opening with the Ray Price classic, “Invitation to the Blues.”

The Oklahoma native’s mom Jackie, her sister Susie and her brother Pake were all in the audience, just as they'd been back in 1977, when Reba first appeared on the Opry stage.

“I couldn’t have done it without you, and I wouldn’t have wanted to,” Reba said emotionally, before delivering the #1 she sang as she became an Opry member in 1986, “Somebody Should Leave.”

By the time Reba finished the first few lines of “Does He Love You,” most of the audience had begun to suspect who would play the duet’s other female role. Carrie Underwood re-emerged to major applause, after appearing for a surprise Opry set just moments earlier.

“Here we are just two little ole girls from Oklahoma getting to be on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry!” Reba exclaimed, before launching into “Oklahoma Swing” with another Okie, Vince Gill.

The biggest surprise of the night was to come, as Vince tossed to a video clip that seemed to be malfunctioning. In truth, it was all a distraction, as Dolly Parton emerged to congratulate Reba, bringing on a cake and leading the crowd in singing “Happy Anniversary” to the night’s honoree, changing the last line to her signature “I Will Always Love You.”

Reba closed her unforgettable 40th anniversary show at the Opry with a fiery rendition of “Fancy.”

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ABC/Image Group LA Dierks Bentley has just finished the first song he’s ever written and performed for a major motion picture, and it’s one that’s particularly close to his heart.

“Hold the Light” will be featured in Only the Brave, which recounts the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Nineteen members of that elite firefighting team lost their lives while battling a wildfire in Dierks’ native Arizona in 2013.

Shortly afterwards, Dierks put together a benefit concert that raised more than half a million dollars for the firefighters' families. Now, he couldn’t be prouder to help bring their story to the big screen.

“This is at the top, if not the most meaningful experience I’ve ever been a part of,” Dierks says. “It hits me harder than any other song I’ve had a chance to be a part of."

"Over the last couple years I’ve met and gotten to know Brendan, the sole survivor, and my mom has met with some of the guys’ families, and it’s still unfathomable to put yourself in any of their shoes," he adds. "But our goal was to create a message of hope and love. I’m honored to have been a part of it.”

Only the Brave will be in theaters October 20. “Hold the Light” is available to stream or download now.

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CurbAs his chart-topping single “My Girl” nears platinum status, newcomer Dylan Scott is turning his thoughts toward the holiday season.

The Bastrop, Louisiana native will release the five-song set titled Merry Christmas on October 13.

“Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and I am really excited about the release of my first Christmas EP,” Dylan says. “I grew up listening to the holiday classics and to be able to record and perform some of these songs is a dream come true.”

Dylan’s yuletide offering comes out the same day he kicks off the Hell on a Highway Tour with Justin Moore. The trek starts in Monroe, Louisiana, just 30 miles from Dylan’s hometown. He's just released "Hooked" as the follow-up to his #1, "My Girl."

Here’s the complete track listing for Merry Christmas:

“Winter Wonderland”
“Jingle Bell Rock”
“The Christmas Song”
“White Christmas”
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”

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Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images via ABCBlake Shelton and girlfriend Gwen Stefani are already making holiday plans.

On Friday, they released their duet, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” which is the first single and the title track of Gwen’s new yuletide album, which comes out October 6.

Even in the upbeat, happy holiday song, there seems to be a little bit of shade toward the pair’s exes:  “Thought I was done for, thought that love had died,” Blake sings. “But you came along, I swear you saved my life.”

Blake and Miranda Lambert, of course, divorced in 2015. Gwen and husband Gavin Rossdale split around the same time.

“You Make It Feel Like Christmas” is available to stream or download now.  You can also check out an audio-only version on YouTube.

Blake’s 2012 holiday album, Cheers, It’s Christmas, is also set to be re-released on October 6, with three new songs. His new studio record, Texoma Shore, features his new single, “I’ll Name the Dogs,” and follows on November 3.

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ABC/Image Group LA Florida Georgia Line already have eleven country number-ones to their credit, but now the duo is making some serious headway on another Billboard chart.

This week, Tyler Hubbard and Bryan Kelley crack the top-10 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs ranking, thanks to their collaboration with actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld. “Let Me Go” checks in at #9, and also features Swedish DJ Alesso and singer/guitarist Watt.

This isn’t the first time FGL has made an impressive showing on the dance/electronica chart. Back in April, they made it to #16 with The Chainsmokers  and “Last Day Alive.”

Back at home on the country tally, FGL’s “Smooth” is making its way into the top 20.

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ABC RadioAvid golfer Darius Rucker celebrated his latest #1 with a party Thursday night in Nashville at the new location of Topgolf.

The festivities not only commemorated “If I Told You,” which topped the chart back in June, but also welcomed the golf entertainment complex to Music City, prior to its official opening this weekend.

After the traditional plaques and trophies were handed out, Darius went on to become the first artist to play on Topgolf’s Nashville stage, as he previewed five songs from When Was the Last Time. The father of three ended by doing “Wagon Wheel” especially for a little girl in the audience.

Once the festivities died down, Darius stuck around to hit some balls with his friends in the Topgolf bays.

Darius’ fifth country album comes out October 20. Its second single, “For the First Time,” is now making its way up the chart.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Midland's Jess Carson points to Gary Stewart as one of his main influences. Can you name Stewart's iconic hit that turned out to be his only #1 on the country chart? ANSWER: 1975's "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)."

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Warner Music NashvilleChris Janson finishes one chapter this weekend and opens another: the 15 in a 30 Tour comes to a close, just as Chris’s sophomore album, Everybody, arrives on Friday.

Sam HuntMaren Morris and Chris will wrap up their time together with two dates at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater.  Chris says there’s no doubt about it -- it’s been a great ride.

“I had no idea that Sam was going to invite me on the tour, and then he did,” Chris reflects. “I am grateful that he did, because I tell you, it's an absolutely polarizing tour, and I mean that on a good note. Because Maren's so different from me, I'm so different from Maren, Maren's so different from Sam, and vice versa. So people are getting all different genres of country music basically on one stage.”

While the three hitmakers are very different, they’ve become a family since the tour kicked off back in June.

“Everybody gets along really good,” Chris says. “The vibe's really nice, and the crowds are not just showing up for the marquee, like they're showing up from the very beginning of the night to the very end of the night. It's the best tour I've ever been a part of, to be honest with you, and Sam's great.”

Chris’s second record, Everybody, is new in stores and online today and features its top-ten lead single, “Fix a Drink.”

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Comstock/Thinkstock To commemorate the release of Chris Janson’s sophomore album, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has proclaimed Friday Everybody Day in Music City. Mayor Barry will give Chris the official proclamation and “Fix a Drink” to celebrate at 4 p.m. CT at Margaritaville on Lower Broadway.

A capella sensation Home Free will play Fox & Friends on Friday, as they release their new album, Timeless. You can catch their performance of Blake Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone” during the 8 a.m. ET hour on Fox News.

If you missed Little Big TownKacey Musgraves and Midland singing a medley of “Drinkin’ Problem,” “Merry Go ‘Round,” and ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” Wednesday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, you can watch it online. The three hitmakers will set out on The Breakers tour together next year, with tickets going on sale today.

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ABC/Randy HolmesWith their vintage threads, retro look and throwback sound, you might think Midland put a great deal of effort into crafting their image.  But Mark WystrachCameron Duddy, and Jess Carson insist things came together much more organically than that.

“There was no conversation, or any like meeting, where we were saying like 'We should be this, or we should be that,’” Jess tells ABC Radio.

“See here boys! What do the people want? What does the world desire? Some vintage cool?” Mark and Cameron joke, finishing each other’s sentences.

“It's just the sound that came out, you know, with the three of our sort of shared, but also diverse, backgrounds,” Jess concludes.

“Cam's from California, so he's got that Eagles thing, you know,” he continues. “Gary Stewart is my all-time favorite. Mark's...”

“Song and dance, you know, Broadway!” Mark interjects, once again.

“Mark's Marty Robbins and Merle Haggard and stuff like that, you know,” Jess says, offering a serious answer, “so it's just kind of what happened when we brought our musical influences together.” 

You can get the most complete picture of Midland’s sound yet as their debut album, On the Rocks, arrives online and in stores today. It features their chart-topping debut single, “Drinkin’ Problem.”

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MCA NashvilleJosh Turner is giving you a front-row seat for his live show in the video for his latest single, “All About You.”

The clip takes you behind-the-scenes and on-the-road with the “Long Black Train” hitmaker, as he performs his current hit from his #1 album, Deep South. You can check it out on YouTube.

Earlier this week, Josh found out his recent #1, “Hometown Girl,” has been certified gold, just before stepping onto the Grand Ole Opry stage. The South Carolina native celebrated his tenth anniversary as a member of the legendary institution on Tuesday.

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Warner Music Nashville“Daddy Likey.” That was Blake Shelton’s response to girlfriend Gwen Stefani’s announcement Thursday that their duet will be the first single from her new holiday album.

Gwen’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas comes out October 6, and you can hear a snippet of the title song featuring Blake in a snippet posted on her socials. Since Blake’s 2012 yuletide album, Cheers, It’s Christmas, is set to be re-released that same day with three new tracks as well, it seems a safe bet the duet might be one of them.

That wasn’t Blake’s only big music news on Thursday, however. “YEEEHAWW who’s ready for some more new music??!!” he tweeted later. #TexomaShore coming at y’all November 3, preorder [Friday]!”

Texoma Shore features the lead single, “I’ll Name the Dogs,” which has already cracked country’s top 25 after only being out two weeks.

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#YouMakeItFeelLikeChristmas out Oct 6th!! Preorder starting tonight & get the first single feat @BlakeShelton 🎄😍🎄gx pic.twitter.com/JyAiE2HeM7

— Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) September 21, 2017

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Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Kenny ChesneyKenny Chesney has long proclaimed his love for nineties hitmaker David Lee Murphy -- singing his praises, inviting him onstage, and recording his songs. Now, the eight-time Entertainer of the Year is taking it one step further, producing Murphy's new record.

Kenny and longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon took the helm for No Zip Code, the “Dust on the Bottle” and “Party Crowd” singer’s first album for Reviver Entertainment Group.  

“David Lee is the original, and the last of, the hillbilly rock stars…” Kenny  says. “He knows the life, and he bottles it up in song. Making this record showed us what country music can be in the 21st century.”

In recent years, Murphy has focused mainly on songwriting, penning tunes like “Livin’ in Fast Forward” and “Pirate Flag” for Chesney, and “The More I Drink” for Blake Shelton.

“I didn’t think I’d ever get out here and do this again,” David Lee admits. “You focus on writing, and that’s its own kind of great. But Kenny and I got to talking, and it seemed like something worth doing. Then when we got in the studio, it felt so good, every day was more exciting than the one before.”

So far, there’s no word on when No Zip Code will be out. In the meantime, you can catch David Lee teaming up with Kenny on his signature hit, “Dust on the Bottle,” on the new Live in No Shoes Nation, which comes out October 27.

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Black River EntertainmentIf you’ve noticed Kelsea Ballerini’s stage outfits and red carpet looks, it’s no secret the 24-year-old is a bit of fashionista.

While she’s previously admitted she loves playing “dress up,” tonight, the “Legends” hitmaker will really have a chance to show off her fashion know-how.

“Thursday!!!” Kelsea tweeted, along with a short video of her dancing with Project Runway stars Zac Posen and Georgina Chapman. She’ll be tonight’s guest judge on the Lifetime show that airs at 9 p.m. ET.

On Friday, Kelsea releases a new track from her forthcoming sophomore album. You’ll be able to stream or download “High School” this week, ahead of Unapologetically’s November 3 release.

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🎉 @zac_posen🎉@KelseaBallerini🎉@georginachapman🎉 pic.twitter.com/mL3uJ8DDgS

— Project Runway (@ProjectRunway) September 20, 2017

 

 

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Comstock/Thinkstock Though he's best known for his chart-topping "Dust on the Bottle," David Lee Murphy first hit the top ten in 1995 with this song. Can you name the tune that made it to #6? ANSWER: "Party Crowd."

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The Valory Music Co.Sure, Thomas Rhett has a #1 album on both the all-genre chart and the country ranking, as well as a top-ten song with “Unforgettable.”

But it’s likely the recognition of one single fan that means the most to him: that would be his adopted daughter from Uganda, Willa Gray.

“You can tell she loves music,” TR says, “because anytime there's a drum beat, she's dancing, she's spinning around in circles. But lately, I've been pretty impressed, like when we'll be riding in the car and 'Unforgettable' will come on the radio and she'll go 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.' And so I think she knows the sound of my voice enough, even when she hears it in a song, she can pick out that that's a song that I sing.”

The father of two -- Willa also has a newborn sister named Ada -- says his oldest definitely gravitates toward one track on his chart-topping Life Changes album.

“She loves this song 'Leave Right Now' and it's probably because it has such an intense beat. Bruno Mars is her favorite,” TR reveals. “She loves dance music in general, so I think that's her favorite on the record.”

Thomas got to meet Bruno this week, sharing a photo of the two together on his socials. Midland’s Cameron Duddy, a longtime friend of the “Uptown Funk” hitmaker who’s also directed his videos, put the two together.

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Finally got to meet @BrunoMars pic.twitter.com/uLetsUDHwO

— Thomas Rhett (@ThomasRhett) September 20, 2017

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Garth Brooks will play Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, November 4. Tickets for the show with Trisha Yearwood at the Tacoma Dome go on sale Friday, September 29.

Aaron Watson will headline A Night of Texas at the Ryman October 4 at the legendary Nashville venue. Newcomer Mickey Guyton, singer/songwriter Leslie Satcher and more will join him for the benefit to help Hurricane Harvey victims through the American Red Cross.  

Runaway June’s Hannah Mulholland got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Ian this past weekend.

Singer/Songwriter Mark Selby, who co-wrote Lee Ann Womack’s smash “I Hope You Dance,” died Tuesday after a battle with cancer at the age of 56.

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Tyler Golden/NBCIf there are two things Dolly Parton loves as much as butterflies and blonde wigs, they’re likely rainbows and Miley Cyrus. The superstar gets the chance to combine the two in a new duet on the pop star’s upcoming album.

Dolly recorded “Rainbowland” for Miley’s sixth studio project, Younger Now, which comes out September 29.  Dolly’s first children’s record, I Believe in You, follows digitally a week later, with physical copies coming October 13.

The Country Music Hall-of-Famer adopted Miley as her goddaughter soon after recruiting her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to duet with her and star in the “Romeo” video back in 1993. Since then, Dolly’s supported Miley in a variety of ways, including guest-starring on Hannah Montana and even going so far as to sing the show’s theme song on tour.

Dolly's dabbling in the pop world quite a bit these days: she recently recorded a duet version of her 1980 classic, "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You," with Kesha, a song that was written by the "Tik Tok" hitmaker's mother, Pebe Sebert.

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Webster Public RelationsCountry Music Hall-of-Famer Don Williams will be remembered in a memorial service next Wednesday in the Hall’s CMA Theater.

The man known as “the Gentle Giant” passed away earlier this month at the age of 78 after a short illness.

The Nashville service will start at 4:30 p.m. CT and be open to Williams’ family, friends, and members of the music industry.

During his career, the Texas native scored 45 top ten singles on the Billboard chart, including 17 number ones, including “I Believe in You,” “Lord I Hope This Day Is Good,” and “You’re My Best Friend.” He also appeared as himself in the movie Smokey and the Bandit II.

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ABC/Image Group LA Jason Aldean’s annual Concert for the Cure will take place this year during his They Don’t Know tour stop in Louisville, Kentucky.

October 20, the two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year will give a part of the proceeds from every ticket he’s sold all year to the breast cancer organization Komen Kentucky. It’s a tradition he started back in 2004, after he lost a close friend to breast cancer.

“As long as I have the chance, I will do my part and raise awareness for this cause,” Jason says. “My fans keep fighting the battle with this terrible disease along with us, and our dream is that nobody has to fight the disease anymore.”

In all, the Georgia native has raised more than $3 million for the Susan G. Komen organization in the fight to end breast cancer.

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