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RCA Nashville What happens when Old Dominion heads into the studio without a plan? Well, the answer is their new single, “Make It Sweet.”

Lead singer Matthew Ramsey says the band’s only agenda that particular day was to start work on their follow-up to Happy Endings.

“We went into the recording studio back in January, and we didn't talk about what songs we were going to record or anything," he tells Billboard. "We just wanted to start making the next album and we had some dates -- the dates snuck up on us.”

He continues, “We hadn't talked about what songs to record so, we said, "We have this time, why don't we just see what we can write that day and see what happens?”

Of course, it helps when you have five talented songwriters in your band who’ve written number ones for everybody from Kenny Chesney to Luke Bryan.

“That [final] recording is probably the second time we've ever played that song,” Matthew confesses. “You can kind of hear the excitement and the energy we have for it right there, because we had just created it and said, ‘Okay, let’s record it.'"

Old Dominion clinched the ACM Vocal Group of the Year title back in April in Las Vegas. We’ll see if they can lock in the comparable CMA trophy on November 14, when the 52nd annual awards air live on ABC.

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ABC/Image Group LAKane Brown and Katelyn Jae are still on their honeymoon in Gatlinburg, TN but the “Lose It” hitmaker’s wasting no time sharing his wedding footage with his fans.

Roughly a week after the couple was married at Mint Springs Farm in Franklin, Tennessee, they’re showing off their special day in the new video for Kane’s song “Good as You.”

“I just want to wake up every day here in this bed/Never leave 'I love you' left unsaid/It might take a hundred lifetimes to do/But baby, I just want to be good as you,” Kane sings in the romantic song.

From Kane having Katelyn’s name tattooed on his hand to the bride and groom getting ready for the ceremony, no part of the day is left out. You can check out everything from the ceremony to the after-party to the fireworks in the clip, which is posted on YouTube now.

Before the wedding, Kane told ABC Radio he’d still be on his post-wedding trip when he celebrates his 25th birthday on Saturday. He’ll be back to work by November 9, when his sophomore album, Experiment, comes out. “Good as You” is the latest track that’s available to stream or download now.

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Mercury NashvilleOver the next year, Travis DenningKassi Ashton, and Jameson Rodgers will be getting a helping hand from the Country Music Association. 

The three newcomers were chosen from a field of 100 applicants as the first participants in the CMA’s new mentorship program. Known as the KixStart Artist Scholarship, it’s named for Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks, a longtime member of the CMA Board.

The CMA will align Travis, Kassi and Jameson with special opportunities at CMA Fest, the CMA Awards, and the UK’s Country 2 Country festival, among other services they’ll provide.

Travis is currently enjoying his first hit with “David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs,” while Kassi duets with Keith Urban on the track “Drop Top” from his Graffiti U album. Jameson heads out on tour with Luke Combs next year.

You can find out more about these three rising stars at CMAworld.com/KixStart.

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Mercury NashvilleOn Maddie & Tae's current single, "Friends Don't," they tackle the possibility of a friendship that seems likely to turn into something more. In their new release, however, they're fast-forwarding to full-blown heartbreak.

Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye chose "Die from a Broken Heart" as the second preview track from their forthcoming sophomore effort to show off the record's different perspectives: It's actually a concept album that follows the different phases of a relationship.

"How does he sleep at night?/Momma the nerve of this guy/To leave me so easy/Am I gonna be alright?" the CMA Vocal Duo of the Year nominees sing. "I wanna kick myself for falling so hard/Momma, can you die from a broken heart?"

Earlier this week, Maddie & Tae performed with their 2019 tour partners, Carrie Underwood and Runaway June, on CMT's 2018 Artists of the Year special. Carrie chose the duo for the trek after hearing the new record.

"Die from a Broken Heart" is available to stream or download now, and you can also check out its new lyric video on YouTube.

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CMA/ABCThe 52nd Annual CMA Awards are less than a month away, and we now know the first group of performers who’ll be taking the stage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Nominees Kelsea BalleriniLuke BryanKenny ChesneyDan ShayOld DominionCarrie Underwood and Keith Urban are set to sing, with more performers and presenters to be announced in the coming weeks.

Carrie and Brad Paisley will team up to host the show for the eleventh time. You can tune in to catch all the action live from Nashville Wednesday, November 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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ABC/Image Group LA Hank Williams Jr. famously scored a major country hit with “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” and judging from Brothers Osborne’s socials, those were the same folks who turned out for the duo’s concert Thursday night in Canada.

First, a fan tweeted a quote from TJ and John from the stage: “Who fights during ’21 Summer?’”

“21 Summer,” you might recall, is one of the singles from the CMA and ACM winners’ debut album, Pawn Shop.

Later, Brothers replied to another spectator who revealed the pair had stopped their set so a fan who’d been punched could get medical treatment during the show at Abbotsford Centre in British Columbia.

“Glad that guy is safe,” Brothers tweeted. “And, yes, tonight was so rowdy. Thanks for the hang!”

The Port Saint Joe music makers continue their swing through Canada into November, when they’ll also head to the United Kingdom -- hopefully with less rambunctious crowds.

The Brothers currently have a top twenty hit with Dierks Bentley with “Burning Man,” and they’ve just released their own new single, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You).”

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Comstock/ThinkstockA dozen years ago this week, this Louisiana native got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Can you name the artist whose debut single was titled "What Room Was the Holiday In?" ANSWER: Tim McGraw.

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BBR Music Group/BMGIt's been twenty years since Martina McBride's platinum-selling yuletide collection, White Christmas, was released. Today, the companion album, It's the Holiday Season, comes out.

"I'm super-excited about it," the four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year says. "It's a big band Christmas record, kind of in the Frank Sinatra kind of style. We cut it in L.A. with a big band... at Capitol Records."

For Martina, soaking up the feel of the legendary studio enhanced the experience.

"Just being in that studio where all those great Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra albums were cut, there was a really cool vibe... and spirit there..." she explains. "Some of the same musicians that played on my record played on their records."

"And Patrick Williams wrote all the arrangements and directed the orchestra," Martina continues, "so it was really special. It was just something that I don't get to do very often."

In fact, the album is dedicated to the legendary TV and film composer, who passed away last summer.

The release of It's the Holiday Season kicks off a busy time for Martina. On October 30, her second cookbook, Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life comes out, ahead of the launch of her new Food Network series, Martina's Table, on November 18.

She'll host ABC Radio's Holiday Season Serenade, which will premiere Thanksgiving weekend, before appearing on this year's CMA Country Christmas special on ABC-TV.

On November 23, she kicks off her The Joy of Christmas Tour in Biloxi, Mississippi as well.

"We're doing dates with symphonies," she points out. "We're actually doing three dates in Nashville, my hometown. I've really never done a Christmas tour with a symphony before, so this will be all new."

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock You can tune in to watch for Rascal Flatts' performance on the 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on TBN.

Billy Ray Cyrus is set to play Saturday's Party at the Polls concert at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville. Sheryl Crow headlines the show, which starts at 10 a.m. CT, and will be followed by a march to one of Music City's early voting locations.

If you missed Morgan Evans singing his breakthrough hit, "Kiss Somebody," on the Today show, you can check out his performance online.

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ABC RadioOn Saturday night, Garth Brooks stages his massive concert at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. That afternoon, his wife Trisha Yearwood will throw an already sold-out tailgate party at Irish Green on campus.

Earlier this week, we learned Garth's Notre Dame show will not only be the prototype for the stadium tour he's launching in 2019, we also found out it's being recorded for a December TV special on CBS.

The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year is putting his fans on warning that lots of things have changed.

"If you're coming to Notre Dame and you came to have fun, scratch it!" he jokes. "You're gonna get your a** worked off now!"

"When you film," Garth points out, "it's work, man. And everybody's been so sweet. I'll ask 'em to do things over twice sometimes."

"I just hope they come to have fun," he adds, "and hope they come for a whole evening, because we're gonna need the whole three hours to get this thing shot."

Should the weather not cooperate on Saturday, Garth has earmarked Sunday as the makeup day. He's hoping he doesn't need it, however, because he's planning to be back in Nashville to participate in the annual Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

"I'm getting to be part of the induction into the Hall of Fame for Ricky Skaggs," he explains. "It's the greatest night of your life. And it's the greatest night of anybody's life that gets to be involved. So I really hope that I don't lose that for my sake. So I'm hoping Saturday's beautiful."

Garth: Live at Notre Dame! is set to premiere Sunday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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CMTPistol Annies continue to roll out new music, ahead of the November 2 arrival of their third album, Interstate Gospel. On Wednesday night, they kicked off CMT’s all-female Artists of the Year special with the new track, “Sugar Daddy,” and followed up by releasing the tune to stream or download.

“I think it’s fun to play with your sexuality, and the power that you have as a woman,” Ashley Monroe says of the sultry cut.

“Also, you get to see a little bit of our personalities in this song, and what we like in boys,” Angaleena Presley adds.

Miranda Lambert was the night’s first honoree. If you missed Pistol Annies’ CMT performance of “Sugar Daddy,” you can check it out now on YouTube.

Earlier this week, the trio announced that "Got My Name Changed Back" will be their album's first official radio single.

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CMTCarrie Underwood knows the sex of her baby and she and husband Mike Fisher have picked out a name, but they’re keeping both under wraps for now. As she prepares to host next month’s CMA Awards with Brad Paisley for the 11th time, the “Love Wins” hitmaker is also getting ready to move.

"We have picked out a name, but we're keeping that to ourselves right now," Carrie tells Entertainment Tonight.

"We're fixing to move,” she adds. “I haven't bought anything yet, we still have some of the stuff, cribs and stuff from my son, but we'll figure it out. We're about to move so I'll start buying stuff once we're there. It'd be pointless to buy it and then move it."

Three-year-old Isaiah is excited about having a sibling but he’s warned his mom there are some things he won't do.

"He says he won't change any poopy diapers, though," Carrie jokes. "I understand, maybe I can change his mind."

While we don’t know exactly when Carrie’s second baby is due, she admits being pregnant has been harder this time around.

"It's definitely different than the first time," she explains. "When they say every pregnancy is different, it really is. Just different symptoms. I feel like this one is just a little harder on my body for some reason. But it's been really good. I'm squeezing myself into whatever dresses I can squeeze myself into."

Wednesday night, Carrie did a mammoth medley of famous country hits by women on CMT’s female-focused Artists of the Year special. If you missed her performance with her 2019 tour mates Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, you can check it out now on YouTube.

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Columbia NashvilleTim McGraw’s become almost as well-known for his physique, physical fitness, and his intense workout regime as he has for music and acting. But it looks like a minor injury may keep him sidelined for a bit.

“Too much spearfishing and beach volleyball… 2 stress fractures,” the 51-year-old shared on his socials, along with a photo of his foot in an orthopedic boot.

Later, Tim Instagrammed a short video of him watching baseball by the fireplace as Faith Hill does some dishes in the kitchen, along with the caption, “Pretty darn good evening.”

While Tim may be slowing down for a little while, his latest single, “Neon Church,” continues racing up the country chart. It’s already in the top thirty after only being out a couple weeks.

Tim’s also been previewing the new lyric video for “Neon Church,” which is coming on Monday.

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CMTMaren Morris was honored as a member of CMT’s first all-female Artists of the Year class Wednesday in Nashville, but that wasn’t the only bright spot in her evening. She also found out her first three hits have achieved new sales milestones.

“As if last night couldn’t fit any more magic into it,” Maren shared on her socials, “my label surprised me with the news that I Could Use a Love Song 80s Mercedes are certified platinum and My Church is DOUBLE PLATINUM!!!”

“You guys ain’t playin’!” she added. “I love you so much.”

Maren’s fourth single from Hero, “Rich,” continues its upward momentum in country’s top ten.

The Texas native also paid homage to the late Aretha Franklin at the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year bash, teaming up with Americana’s Brandi Carlile for a blistering version of “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.”

If you missed it, you can check out their performance on YouTube.

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CMTLoretta Lynn couldn't attend Wednesday night's CMT Artists of the Year gala to accept her Artist of a Lifetime honor, but her friend Sissy Spacek reminisced about the visit she'd had with the legend earlier in the day.

"She's so excited about tonight. She's so disappointed that she couldn't be here," the actress explained as she walked the red carpet. "She's fantastic. She looks great and I love her dearly and she's a treasure... a national treasure."

Sissy won the 1981 Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta in Coal Miner's Daughter. She says she wouldn't hesitate to play her again, should someone decide to make her second autobiography into a movie.  In fact, Sissy says Loretta is anxious to do something together again.

"When I saw her today, she said, 'We've got to get together. You've got to come stay with me, and we're gonna write some songs. We're gonna go into the studio. We've got to get back on the stage.' I went, 'I'm in!'"

Sissy says the bond she shares with Loretta is simply inexplicable.

"It's meant everything... She cast me in the movie, first of all," she points out. "And we had instantaneous friendship. It was bizarre."

"She says, 'Sissy, we were twins in another life.' And I go, 'Okay, yeah, I get that.' You know, she helped me so much with the role. She opened her life to me, she opened her heart to me. We're god-sisters."

"It didn't have anything really to do with our professional careers," Sissy continues. "It was just, we're like girlfriends... like best friends. And we sit around and chew the fat... We just hang out... we just love each other."

Loretta continues to recover from a 2017 stroke, as well as a broken hip she suffered earlier this year.

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Comstock/Thinkstock Twenty-five years ago this week, Clay Walker scored his first #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with his debut single. Can you name it? ANSWER: "What's It to You."

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CMTCountry music's girl power was in full force Wednesday night at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, as CMT honored its first-ever all-female class of Artists of the Year.

Miranda Lambert and Pistol Annies kicked things off with plenty of attitude, debuting the new track "Sugar Daddy" before Elle King presented Miranda her award.

"Not a day will go by that I don't honor and lift up other women in this industry, and want to work with them and collaborate," Miranda said in her acceptance speech. "...And it's a small community and we're all friends, so I really appreciate CMT celebrating that tonight."

Honoree Kelsea Ballerini delivered a haunting version of the Shenandoah classic "Ghost in This House" with Alison Krauss, before Sheryl Crow led the tribute to Maren Morris.

"I feel like the women in this room that I'm honored with tonight are putting out the most compelling, emotional, bada** music right now of our lifetimes," Maren said as she clutched her trophy.

The "My Church" hitmaker teamed up with Americana favorite Brandi Carlile to do "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman" in remembrance of the late Aretha Franklin.

Hillary Scott offered a medley that matched Lady Antebellum's hit "American Honey" with the inspirational classics "Never Alone" and "O Happy Day," with help from singer/songwriter Tori Kelly and gospel star Kirk Franklin.

As she accepted her honor from bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, Hillary's thoughts turned to her daughters.

"This just means so much to me... I'm a mom of three girls: five and eight-and-a-half-month-old twins," she explained. "And it's a gift that my mom gave me... that there is no dream too big, and that we can really, if we work hard and we're kind that we can honestly see just what the world has to offer."

The night's top honor went to Loretta Lynn, as CMT proclaimed her its latest Artist of a Lifetime. Though the 86-year-old wasn't well enough to attend, Martina McBride honored her with her trademark "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man," while Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley teamed up for a fiery duet on the Loretta/Conway Twitty classic "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man." 

Actress Sissy Spacek, who won the 1981 Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta in Coal Miner's Daughter, gave an emotional acceptance in her stead, recalling 40 years of close friendship and revealing that Loretta earlier tried to give her one of her gowns to wear to the gala.

Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook feted their vocal partners Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, before the two joined R&B legend Gladys Knight on "I Can't Make You Love Me" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night."

Carrie Underwood enlisted her forthcoming 2019 tour opening acts -- Runaway June and Maddie and Tae -- for a gargantuan eight-song medley that included Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man," Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," The Judds' "Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain," Martina McBride's "Independence Day," Faith Hill's "Wild One," Reba McEntire's "Why Haven't I Heard from You," and Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman," before ending with her own "Cry Pretty."

Carrie ably summed up the entire night in her acceptance, to thunderous applause: "To all of the incredible, amazing, talented women that have been on this stage tonight, you are not here because you are women, you are here because you are dang good!"

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Zac Brown Band will sing the national anthem next Wednesday before the Atlanta Hawks take on the Dallas Mavericks at Georgia's State Farm Arena.

Morgan Evans makes his Today show debut Thursday, performing his #1 hit "Kiss Somebody" on the NBC morning show.

Craig Morgan celebrated his tenth anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night by playing the world's longest-running radio show.

You can check out newcomer Mitchell Tenpenny's new videos for the tracks "Telling All My Secrets" and "Alcohol You Later" on YouTube now.

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ABC/Image Group LA Cole Swindell is now officially in the business of selling 'shine.

The Georgia native’s signature brand of 100 proof Peppermint Moonshine is now available from Sugarlands Distilling in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Swindell’s spirit comes in a Mason jar, complete with Cole’s likeness and autograph on the label.

“You ready for some MOONSHINE?” he asked on his socials. “Cole’s Sugarlands Shine is now available… and trust us, you need some! Please remember to sip wisely…” he added.

If you’re 21 or over, you can go to Sugarlands.com to order the 'shine online, find out where it’s available near you, and check out recipes that feature Cole’s new product.

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ABC Radio"Up Down" hitmaker Morgan Wallen will kick off his 2019 headlining tour January 5 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Morgan made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the #1 party for his breakthrough hit at Nashville's Thompson Hotel.

Taking its name from his debut album, the If I Know Me Tour will hit 26 cities, including a hometown stop for Morgan in Knoxville, Tennessee. The trek wraps March 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

"Up Down" co-writer Hardy will open the dates.

Pre-sales start next Tuesday, with tickets becoming available to the general public on Friday, October 26.

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