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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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ABC/Image Group LA Luke Bryan ranks #3 on Billboard’s latest rundown of Hot Tours, lagging behind only pop superstars Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

The latest Billboard Boxscore reports add $31.1 million to Luke’s tally, courtesy of 23 new shows on the What Makes You Country Tour. In all, Luke’s made $65.5 million since the trek started in February in Springfield, Missouri.

Comparatively, that bests Luke’s $41.6 million from last year’s Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day dates.

Two concerts still remain on the What Makes You Country run: Thursday, October 25 in Rochester, New York and the next day at Ford Field in Detroit.

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ABC RadioUSA Network’s new country music talent show, Real Country, is set to premiere Tuesday, November 13.

Executive producer Shania Twain, Jake Owen, and Travis Tritt will serve as the competition show’s judges. Graham Bunn from ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise will be its host.

“I have never seen a show like this before,” Shania shared on her socials, along with a preview of the program. “So proud to be a part of Real Country.”

Jake predicts Real Country will even deliver some country converts.

“Country music fans, they’re gonna love this show,” he says. “But I think there’s people out there that don’t even realize that they love country music -- yet.”

You can catch the first episode of Real Country Tuesday, November 13 at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network.

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ABC/Randy HolmesLooks like Garth Brooks' recently completed world tour just wasn't enough for the six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year: He's hitting the road again.

At a Nashville press conference Wednesday, Garth announced that he'll be putting five shows on sale before Christmas, and the tour will kick off in the spring of next year in St. Louis, MO.  He'll also perform at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ, and seemed to hint at possible shows in Texas and Boston, but those details will come later.

Garth plans do to around 10 stadium shows a year for three years, and says he's "excited, scared and nervous." He is also challenging "one person on the planet to come to all 30 shows."

Garth's October 20 show at Notre Dame Stadium will be the "blueprint" for these upcoming shows. He describes that Notre Dame Stadium show as "a big step up for me."

In addition, as part of the tour, Garth announced that he'll be playing at colleges as part of a series of shows called "Music 101," where he'll play other people's songs.

More details to come...

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Allister AnnKenny Chesney and Thomas Rhett are joining Jason Aldean as the headliners of next year’s Tortuga Music Festival. This will be Kenny’s fourth time playing the Florida gathering in its seven-year history.

Kane BrownDustin LynchMaren MorrisChris JansonMorgan EvansMidlandCarly PearceMichael RayMaddie & TaeMitchell TenpennyLindsay Ell and more will take the stage in Fort Lauderdale Beach Park during the April 12, 13, and 14 musical extravaganza.

Non-country performers like Sheryl CrowFlo RidaJoan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Elle King are set to play as well.  

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 26, with more information available at TortugaMusicFestival.com.

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Comstock/ThinkstockThis legendary singing cowboy is the only person who's been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum twice: first as a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, and then as an individual. Can you name him? ANSWER: Roy Rogers.

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Mark TuckerGarth Brooks will star in a new CBS primetime TV special on Sunday, December 2. 

Called Garth: Live at Notre Dame!, the special will document the superstar's October 20 concert at Notre Dame Stadium at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.  It's the first live concert ever held at the stadium.

“After the [stadium's] sellout, I thought it could not get any more exciting than this,” said Garth in a statement. "Then, CBS calls and in an instant, the show becomes bigger.  This changes everything.” 

A CBS executive added in a statement, "Garth Brooks.  Notre Dame.  Two icons.  One night.  It will be a television event to remember.”

The special will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Stay tuned for more announcements coming from Garth later today.

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Monty Brinton/CBS CBS is hoping you’ll make a date with Faith Hill after next year’s Super Bowl.

Faith’s new talent competition show, The World’s Best, is set to premiere on Sunday, February 3 at approximately 10 p.m. ET after Super Bowl 53.

Drew BarrymoreRuPaul Charles, and The Late Late Show’s James Corden join Faith on the judging panel. Corden is one of the program’s producers, along with Survivor’s Mark Burnett.

The World’s Best will attempt to put a new spin on the increasingly-crowded talent show genre by bringing acts from all over the globe to compete in front a 50-person “wall of the world,” in addition to its American judges.

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Mercury NashvilleCarrie Underwood won't hit the road on the Cry Pretty 360 Tour with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June until May, but we'll get a preview Wednesday night, as all three perform together on the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year special.

Tae Dye says we can expect "lots of harmonies" in a "fun medley." "I definitely am very intimidated," she admits.

Maddie Marlow feels much the same, even getting a little starstruck around the "Love Wins" hitmaker.

"It still hasn't really like sunk in..." Maddie explains. "I still get kind of germy trying to control it around her. 'Cause we've watched her since she was on American Idol... And I'm still just like, 'Okay, play it cool!' Like, 'You're a professional!'"

Tae has even been second-guessing her wardrobe choice.

"I picked a dress. And I'm like, 'Why did I pick a short dress? Because I'm going to be standing next to Carrie Underwood and her legs!' Why did I do that to myself?" Tae asks.

"I went jumpsuit," Maddie adds. "I'm like, 'I am not exposing my legs...'"

"Yeah, I'm just going to stand on the very opposite end," Tae concludes.

Maddie's thinking a gift may be in order for the duo's upcoming tour mate.

"I want to bring her like a little goodie basket," Maddie says, "because she's maybe... six or seven months pregnant. She needs like some really comfy slippers, maybe some bath bombs."

Tae suggests a heating pad and doughnuts, before the two remember Carrie is vegan.

"Maybe we can get like a vegan cupcake or something," Maddie decides. "I bet she would really appreciate that," she adds as the two laughs.

You can tune in to see Maddie & Tae's performance with Carrie and Runaway June starting at 8 p.m. ET tonight on CMT.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Florida Georgia Line will tour Australia in March with Thomas Rhett and Morgan Wallen. Tickets go on sale next Monday.

Dolly Parton is nominated for Original Song -- Feature Film for the track "Girl in the Movies" from Dumplin' at the upcoming Hollywood Music in Media Awards. The November 14 ceremony is seen as a predictor of which works will be up for other honors in the subsequent months.

Canadian singer/songwriter Aaron Goodvin is the newest artist signed to Reviver Records. He's previously had cuts by Luke BryanCole Swindell and Jon Pardi. Look for his sophomore album in early 2019.

If you missed Old Dominion's TV debut of their new single, "Make It Sweet," on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, you can watch their performance online.

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EMI NashvilleEric Church debuts at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart this week, after Desperate Man sold 116,000 units in its first seven days of release. That’s enough for Eric’s sixth studio album to also bow at #5 on the all-genre Billboard 200.

Eric’s previous record, 2015’s Mr. Misunderstood, debuted at #3 on the country album chart, selling 76,000 copies after its surprise release during that year’s CMA Awards.

Previously, 2014’s The Outsiders and 2011’s Chief both debuted at #1 on the country tally.

This week, Desperate Man’s title track continues its climb in country’s top fifteen.

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Food NetworkMartina McBride not only has a new Christmas album and a new cookbook coming this month -- she also has a new cooking show premiering on Food Network.

The first episode of Martina’s Table is set to air Sunday, November 18 at 12 p.m. ET.

"I've always had a passion for cooking and love to cook for my friends and family," Martina says. "Having a show on Food Network is a dream come true. We've filmed the first season and it's been so fun and exciting to be able to share some of my favorite recipes and stories."

During the first few episodes, you’ll see Martina make a full Thanksgiving menu, prepare a Mexican-themed birthday celebration, and plan a holiday brunch for famous friends like Faith HillSheryl Crow and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman.

Martina’s second cookbook, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, arrives October 30, just a couple weeks after her new Christmas album, It’s the Holiday Season, which comes out this Friday.

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GoldenvoiceLuke BryanSam Hunt, and Jason Aldean will headline a who’s who of country music talent next spring at the Stagecoach Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

Luke leads the Friday, April 26 lineup, which also includes Cole Swindell and Kane Brown. Sam Hunt returns to play Saturday night, with Luke Combs and Cam also on the bill.

“Stagecoach is hands down one of the best country music festivals around,” Sam says. “We’ve been looking forward to coming back for three years. Can’t wait!”

Jason Aldean will close things out on Sunday night, with Old Dominion and Lauren Alaina taking the stage as well.

“Headlining Stagecoach always feels like a bucket list show for me,” Jason reflects. “You can’t beat looking out at the sea of fans with that California backdrop.”

Tickets go on sale on Friday for the festival’s 13th year. You can find out more at StagecoachFestival.com.

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ABC/Randy HolmesCole Swindell will be ringing in 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida this New Year’s Eve, as he plays a post-game concert after the Gator Bowl.  

The 74th annual game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on December 31 at TIAA Bank Field, with a team from the Southeastern Conference taking on a rival from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten, or Notre Dame. You’ll be able to watch the game on ESPN.

Immediately afterwards, a stage on which Cole will play will be built on the field. Fireworks will follow his performance at midnight. Tickets to the game include both the show and the New Year’s Eve festivities.

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CMTDierks Bentley, Martina McBride and Sheryl Crow will pay tribute to Loretta Lynn Wednesday night, as CMT honors the country legend as their Artist of a Lifetime.

Keith Urban, Smokey Robinson, Elle King, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood are also set to present at CMT’s annual Artists of the Year gala, along with Sissy Spacek, who’ll help honor Loretta. Trisha Yearwood will also supply a special introduction.

This is the first year CMT’s ever chosen an all-female roster of Artist of the Year honorees, and all the ladies are set to perform. Carrie Underwood will take the stage with her upcoming tour mates Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, while Miranda Lambert will sing with Pistol Annies.

Kelsea Ballerini will team up with Alison Krauss, as Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman perform with R&B legend Gladys Knight. Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott plans a special performance with singer/songwriter Tori Kelly and gospel music’s Kirk Franklin, while Maren Morris will remember Aretha Franklin with Americana favorite Brandi Carlisle.

You can tune in to hear all the music live from Nashville starting at 8 p.m. ET on CMT.

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Comstock/Thinkstock Fifty-eight years ago this week, this Country Music Hall of Famer made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Can you name the legend who'll be honored as CMT's Artist of a Lifetime on Wednesday? ANSWER: Loretta Lynn.

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ZondervanRascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus is writing his memoirs, with his first book due in the spring of 2019.

Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakable Hope will be distributed by Christian publisher Zondervan.

“I’m really looking forward to sharing a pretty personal look at my path so far, as that isn’t something I’ve done yet,” Jay says. “In Shotgun Angels, readers will hear never-before-told stories and get a glimpse into what it was like for me coming from Columbus, Ohio and my journey to Nashville.”

“My ultimate goal,” he adds, “is that the book will encourage people that no matter where they are in their lives, they can find hope, comfort and strength in their faith.”

Shotgun Angels is set to come out on April 30, 2019. Meanwhile, Rascal Flatts' new single, “Back to Life,” is currently making its way up the country chart.

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