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Chase Rice Gears Up to "Ready Set Roll" onto NASCAR Tracks Later This Year


Image Courtesy Jon-Paul Bruno/EB MediaWhile most country artists claim to be NASCAR fans, newcomer Chase Rice actually worked for Hendrick Motor Sports before launching his music career.

He tells ABC News Radio, "I was in the pit crew going over the wall, changing tires doing all that.  I was one of the dumba**es running out in front of a car when it's coming at you at 60 miles an hour. That was me."

Chase insists he wasn't seeking danger working on the NASCAR track. He's just always been something of a thrill-seeker, which is why he also played football while he attended the University of North Carolina.

Says Chase, "It's just something to get your adrenaline going. Football's the same way, when you've got a crowd screaming, getting your adrenaline up. I've always had that in my life, and I love it.

Chase is currently getting that adrenaline rush from the roar of the concert crowds as he opens Dierks Bentley's Riser tour this summer.  Now that he's scored a hit single with "Ready Set Roll," Chase is ready to take his music back to the NASCAR track.

"I don't see why you can't have a concert at a race track," Chase explains." You know, I plan on hopefully, this year even, doing a couple of shows later in the fall at some racetracks. Pre-race, post-race-type stuff. Anything with NASCAR."

Look for Chase's debut album, Ignite the Night, to come out August 19. He'll perform on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers on August 6.

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Taylor Swift: "People Wouldn't Listen to My Songs If They Weren't Heartbroken..."


ABC/Jon LeMayTaylor Swift has never been afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, and she thinks it's a big reason for her success.

The 24-year-old singer tells Entertainment Tonight, “To me emotion is such an important part of my life and now I guess my job.”

Swift continues, “People wouldn't listen to my songs if they weren't heartbroken or deeply affected and hurt and jilted and sad and bitter and all those wonderful things that I write songs about."

The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter finds herself on unfamiliar turf in the upcoming film The Giver, in which she plays a character named Rosemary, who seems to have no emotion.

Even more surprising is the fact that Swift didn't even have to audition for the part.  ET says she was offered the role a week after one of the producers caught her Los Angeles Concert.

The Giver is based on the popular young adult novel, and tells the story of a perfect world where everyone is happy. Jeff Bridges fills the title role of “The Giver,” an old man who reveals a “real world” that is filled with pain, sadness and war.  Meryl Streep also stars.  The film opens August 15.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJake Owen will host the 8th Annual ACM Honors ceremony September 9 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Tickets are now available through Ticketmaster.

Little Big Town spent Thursday having fun at Disneyland in California.

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Blake Shelton Performs Free Concert for 60,000 on Atlantic City Beach


Image Courtesy of Warner Music NashvilleMore than 60,000 people went to the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Thursday to enjoy a free Blake Shelton concert, Philly.com reports.

Shelton greeted the huge crowd by declaring, “I didn’t drag my big ass out here today to play volleyball or go swimming or build sand castles. I came here to drink and play country music.”

The free concert was presented by The Atlantic City Alliance and Live Nation to showcase the New Jersey city and attract visitors.

Shelton was joined on stage at one point in the concert by Danielle Bradbery, the season 4 winner of The Voice.

Dan Shay opened for Blake.

Blake’s Ten Times Crazier Tour 2014 continues Friday night with a show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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Billy Currington Remembers His Grandparents' Lost Record Player and Vinyl Collection


Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleSome of Billy Currington's favorite childhood memories were made listening to the big record player at his grandparents' house back home in Georgia.

He says, "They had this old, in perfect shape record player with an eight-track cassette tape player in it, and also a radio and speakers. It was a whole cabinet thing."

Unfortunately, Billy's grandfather decided to get rid of the record player after Billy moved to Nashville.

"They didn't know I loved that thing that much," Billy explains, "and my granddad put it in the paper or something for free -- somebody to just come get it. That thing was worth everything to me -- not money-wise."

Even though the record player is long-gone, Billy always thought his grandmother kept their classic country record collection in the attic. He finally got around to asking her about the collection last week.

Billy says, "She said, 'Honey, I think your granddaddy gave all them records away with the record player that he gave away.' So, I was bummed to hear that, 'cause it was everything."

Billy has a personal record collection handed down from his parents, but it's lighter on classic country and pretty heavy on dance music.

"[It's] '70s gold," Billy says with a laugh. "Disco! All that stuff. My mom had it all."

Billy is helping his fans make musical memories of their own on the road this summer. Go to BillyCurrington.com to see where he's playing next.

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Keith Urban “Horrified” to Learn of Alleged Rape at Boston Concert


Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban has released a statement regarding the alleged rape that occurred at the Mansfield, Massachusetts, stop on his Raise ‘Em Up tour last Saturday.

“My team and I were horrified to learn of the events reported in Boston this past weekend and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected,” Keith writes in a statement posted on his official website. “This type of behavior stands in stark contrast to the spirit of our shows,” Keith’s statement concludes.

Mansfield Police say the alleged rape occurred on the lawn of Xfinity Center as onlookers watched with some shooting videos of the attack.  Police say the attack ended when a woman intervened. Eighteen-year-old Sean Murphy of Boston has been charged with one count of rape in connection with the attack.  Officials have not released the alleged victim’s name or age.  Murphy has pleaded not guilty.  He is being held on $10,000 bail.

Keith's Raise 'Em Up tour visits St. Louis Friday.

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Country Newcomer Sam Hunt Releasing Four-Song Album Preview, "X2C," August 12


Image Courtesy David McClister/UMGCountry newcomer Sam Hunt is dropping a four-song album preview, titled X2C, to all digital outlets August 12. The set includes Sam's brand-new single, "Leave the Night On," and gives fans a taste of his full-length debut album, due out October 27.

Says Sam, "I can’t wait to share a few early tracks from the album. We’ve been having so much fun with the music out on the road and I’m excited to get this music out to our fans.”

So far, Sam has sold more than 197,000 copies of "Leave the Night On." He's also a co-writer on Kenny Chesney's "Come Over," Keith Urban's "Cop Car," and Billy Currington's latest hit, "We Are Tonight."

Heres' the X2C track listing:

"Leave the Night On"
"Ex to See"
"House Party"
"Breakup in a Small Town"

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Tim McGraw Mixes Up a Batch of Faith Hill's Watermelon Salsa


Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Big MachineTim McGraw is getting domestic backstage on his on his Sundown Heaven Town tour. He just posted a Twitter photo of fresh veggies and fruit with the caption, "Makin my wife's famous watermelon salsa outside the bus in Washington!"

Makin my wife's famous watermelon salsa outside the bus in Washington! #SundownHeavenTown pic.twitter.com/tYLIB6ZAYw

— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) July 31, 2014

While he didn't share a link to Faith Hill's recipe, it looks like Tim's lined up a watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, an onion and some cilantro to go in the salsa.

Tim has cooked up a new batch of songs for his new album, Sundown Heaven Town, due out September 16.

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Florida Georgia Line Taking It Down to the Wire Recording Sophomore Album


Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line's sophomore album is expected to come out by the end of 2014, but they're still not finished recording the project. While they've got a lot of strong material --  including the lead single, "Dirt" -- the guys just keep finding more great songs.

FGL tweeted Thursday, "Uh oh, another song came in last minute we have to cut. Ahhhhh Yeaya, we bringing some extra special heat on this one."

You can download "Dirt" now at all digital outlets.

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Dierks Bentley's baby boy born last year? ANSWER: Knox.

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Brett Eldredge Grants His Followers the Right to Make Up Their Own Language


Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge had a hand in writing both his #1 hits, "Don't Ya" and "Beat of the Music," so he obviously has a way with words. That's why Brett's advice on misusing words carries some weight.

Brett tweets, "If you think about it, all words are made up, so if you say a word wrong, who cares, make up your own!"

This casual approach to the English language could make for a very interesting sophomore album for Brett. You can catch him performing songs form his debut project, Bring You Back, on the road with Keith Urban through the fall.

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Nashville Notes


Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDan Shay will perform on Live with Kelly and Michael Thursday.

Jon Pardi will perform on the BMI Stage at the Austin City Limits Festival in Texas on Friday, October 3.

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Jason Aldean's Daughters Feel at Home on the Road; Youngest One Rarely Makes It Through His Shows


Image Courtesy Jim Wright/Broken BowJason Aldean's daughters, 11-year-old Keeley and six-year-old Kendyl, have grown up on the road with him, so they're used to sleeping on tour buses and hanging out backstage in arenas.

"They like coming out," Jason says. "They like hanging out in the bus. It's like, sleeping on the bus to them is like having a sleepover party or something, you know? So, they dig that part of it. They've got their bunks that are all decorated for them."

Jason and his crew also set up a blow-up swimming pool for the girls out by the buses on show days.

Says Jason, "[It's] just finding little things to keep 'em occupied more than anything."

Once show time rolls around, Jason's youngest daughter, Kendyl, isn't very impressed by all the big lights and pyrotechnics.

Jason says with a laugh, "She makes it through about four or five songs, and then she's ready for bed. She's over it."

Kendyl's bed time may have something to do with Jason performing his steamy, new single, "Burnin' It Down" a little later in his set list. Fans have downloaded more than 183,000 copies of the song since it came out last week.

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Dierks Bentley Enjoying the Camaraderie with His Opening Acts on Riser Tour


Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/CapitolDierks Bentley's Riser tour is one of country music's hottest tickets this summer playing sold-out shows across the country. Dierks has Chris Young, Jon Pardi and Chase Rice opening the show for him. That lineup reminds Dierks of being on the road with Kenny Chesney about a decade ago.

"I think back to when I was opening for Kenny and Keith Urban was the middle act, and I was the beginning act, and what that felt like just to have that camaraderie of guys to be able to talk about things," Dierks explains. "Now, I've got one step further. I got three other guys out there with me -- just great guys at all different levels in their career."

Dierks is quick to praise his supporting acts starting with Jon Pardi, who Dierks says reminds him of himself when he was first starting out. Dierks admires Chase for building his own following via social media before scoring his debut hit, "Ready Set Roll." As for Chris, Dierks adds, "[He's] , just one of the best singers in this town and a great guy."

He continues, "They're all great hangs, and I'm having the best time of my life out there. It's been a total blast."

Go to Dierks.com to see where the Riser Tour is stopping next.

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Brad Paisley "Goes Rogue" on Twitter Leaking Songs from "Moonshine in the Trunk"


Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley is having some fun with his record label leaking the title track of his new album, Moonshine in the Trunk, via Twitter and YouTube. The label removed the clip shortly after he posted it Wednesday afternoon.

This leak comes after Brad tweeted emails from his record label president asking him not to share the song just yet. Brad has also "gone rogue" and posted a remix of his latest hit, "River Bank," featuring Colt Ford.

Over the weekend, Brad also shared snippets of all the songs on his new album. The new project is due out August 26.

Here's the Moonshine in the Trunk track list:

"Crushin' It"
"River Bank"
"Perfect Storm"
"High Life
"Moonshine in the Trunk"
"Shattered Glass"
"Limes"
"You Shouldn't Have To"
"4WP" (feat. Brad Paisley)
"Cover Girl"
"Gone Green"
"JFK 1962"
"American Flag on the Moon"
"Country Nation"

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Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher's Youngest Dog, Penny, Rules the Roost at Their House


Image Courtesy CMAThere's no mystery as to who rules the roost at Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher's house. It's their youngest dog, Penny.

Carrie posted an Instagram video of Penny begging for a taste of Mike's breakfast Wednesday morning with the caption, "She does this every morning."

In an effort to keep the peace, Mike finally let Penny sit on his lap and eat a little bit of that biscuit topped with blueberry jam on his plate.

Penny may be tapping into the same rebellious spirit Carrie shows off in her new duet with Miranda Lambert, "Something Bad." That song is now climbing the country chart.

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Taylor Swift to Perform on the MTV Video Music Awards


Image Courtesy Ash Newell/13 ManagementTaylor Swift isn’t a nominee for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, but she’s reportedly been tapped to perform at the show.

E! Online is reporting that Taylor is planning something “explosive” for the VMAs, though it’s unclear what that entails. However, its source states that Taylor will not be collaborating with another artist.

Ariana Grande, 5 Seconds of Summer and Usher were named to the performance lineup earlier this month.

The ceremony will be held August 24 in Los Angeles. Beyonce has the most nominations of any artist, with eight.

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Miranda Lambert Could Be Headed to the Silver Screen in New Comedy, "Something in the Water"


Image Courtesy David McClister/Sony Music NashvilleIt looks like Miranda Lambert is headed to the silver screen. According to Deadline, Miranda is collaborating with video director Trey Fanjoy and screenwriter Cindy McCreery to make a movie called Something in the Water, about five women challenging their men in a bass fishing competition. Miranda would play one of the five women in the movie, said to be somewhere between Bridesmaids and Steel Magnolias in tone.

Miranda and Trey Fanjoy have collaborated on a lot of the country stars' videos, including her latest clip, 'Somethin' Bad." They've also teamed up on the videos for "The House That Built Me," "Kerosene," "Mama's Broken Heart," and "Fastest Girl in Town."

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Country Star Trivia


Comstock/ThinkstockEric Church had to ban his son, Boone, from watching which classic cartoon after the boy started slapping and hitting Eric and his wife, Catherine? ANSWER: Tom & Jerry.

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Kristian Bush Enjoying the Simple Life with His Debut Solo Single, "Trailer Hitch"


Image Courtesy Streamsound RecordsAfter a decade with his multi-platinum selling duo, Sugarland, Kristian Bush is stepping out with his debut solo single, "Trailer Hitch." The lyrics speak to the joys of living simply and not getting bogged down with possessions, a philosophy that's more than just some lofty idea for Kristian. As he flies across the country from show to show, traveling light has become a necessity.

Kristian tells ABC News Radio, "I don't know how recently you've been on an airplane, but they can get pretty aggressive about this, 'Two bags!  You get two bags! Put your largest bag in the overhead,' or whatever it is. You seem to be rewarded if, for some reason, you have less."

Avoiding attachment to inanimate objects isn't hard for Kristian, since he's prone to leave things behind on planes all the time.  "I have left my hat underneath the chair in front of me on an airplane three times in the last month," Kristian says with a laugh. "I have to buy more hats. But I do believe that it feels good when things are just a little simpler. Things are just complicated!"

"Trailer Hitch" is the lead single from Kristian's upcoming solo project, Southern Gravity. In the last two years, Kristian has written more than 300 songs, including the ones that will end up on his album. In an effort not to forget the songs, Kristian began recording himself singing the songs as he wrote them.  He says, "I noticed after about six or seven months that I was singing four or five hours a day, five days a week, right? And I didn't realize I was doing it!"

All of that vocal exercise paid off when Kristian hit the road on his current Put Your Soul In It tour and found his voice is now stronger than ever. In fact, he's hitting notes he's never been able to hit before.

"There are songs that I can sing where I'm getting closer to the Aretha Franklin voice that's in my brain when I write some of these songs," Kristian says. "There's just a lot more control involved."

He adds, "It's exciting! It's exciting to feel that change."

"Trailer Hitch" is now available at iTunes. Check out the lyric video on YouTube as well.

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