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ABC/Mark LevineWhen Maren Morris wrote her latest hit, “I Could Use a Love Song,” she admits her romantic life was not in the very best place.

“I wrote it, just right after I went through this breakup that really put the whole Hero album into motion, with my friends Laura Veltz and Jimmy Robbins,” she recalls. “I was initially going through [the breakup], but they had also been through those moments, like most of us probably have who have been through a relationship that didn't end well, that sort of cynical side that comes out when you're feeling burned, or maybe you're the cause of the breakup.”

Even though there was some bitterness involved in writing “Love Song,” the nominee for CMA Female Vocalist of the Year says the tune also is about finding some hope.

“You know exactly how every relationship from now on is gonna go, because they're all the same,” Maren laughs. “And so it's about that feeling, but also fighting past it and realizing all good things eventually come to an end. And if you look back on it in negativity, it's not healthy for anyone, so there has to be this light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Texas native eventually found her light at the end of the tunnel in her fiancé, fellow artist Ryan Hurd.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Watch for Chris Janson’s performance Tuesday on Live with Kelly and Ryan. The show typically airs after Good Morning America on most ABC stations.

Brett Young is adding seven new dates to his upcoming Caliville Tour. Norfolk, Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Rosemont, Illinois are the new stops on the trek, with tickets going on sale this Friday.

It’s a big week for country artists on The Ellen DeGeneres ShowKelsea Ballerini stops by on Wednesday, Cole Swindell guests on Thursday, and Shania Twain is in the house on Friday. Check your local listings to see when the syndicated show airs in your area.

If you missed Shania Twain’s feature this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning, you can watch it online.

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Justin Boot Company/PR NewswireReba McEntire is getting into the boot business. The Country Music Hall-of-Famer -- and former cowgirl -- is partnering with Justin Boot Company to create her own line of footwear.

“Justin Boots have been a staple in my closet since my barrel racing years in Oklahoma," Reba says. “This collection is for all those strong, spirited women and cowgirls at heart who have followed my journey throughout the years. This opportunity couldn’t have been a more natural fit and creating the line has been too much fun!”

REBA by Justin will feature classic western boots, booties, and casual shoes, and will be available at retailers nationwide in time for the holidays this year.

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Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker will play New York City’s legendary Apollo Theater on the eve of the release of his new album, When Was the Last Time.

While the Harlem venue has a rich history of entertaining audiences with legendary soul and R&B acts, Darius becomes one of the few country artists ever to have his name on the marquee.  

“I have so much respect and awe for the history and traditions this stage represents,” he says. “To perform at the Apollo as I prepare to release this album which means so much to me, feels like the perfect way to commemorate this album.”

Tickets go on sale this Friday for the Thursday, October 19 show.

The South Carolina native has also unveiled the track listing for his fifth country album, which arrives on October 20. Darius co-wrote three of the set’s twelve tracks:  his latest single, “For the First Time,” as well as two cuts with legendary songwriter Dean Dillon, “Count the Beers” and “Another Night with You.”

Darius also remakes the 1989 bar favorite from Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, “Straight to Hell,” with a little help from Jason AldeanLuke Bryan and Lady A’s Charles Kelley.

 Here’s the complete track listing for When Was the Last Time:

“For the First Time”
“Bring It On”
“Life’s Too Short”
“If I Told You”
“Don’t”
“Twenty Something”
“Straight to Hell” (with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Charles Kelley)
“Count the Beers”
“Another Night with You”
“Hand on Me”
“She”
“Story to Tell”

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Average Joes EntertainmentWe’re hearing from Eddie Montgomery for the first time since his musical partner, Troy Gentry, was killed in a helicopter crash in New Jersey earlier this month.

“Our world was turned upside down in an instant and nothing could have prepared us for this,” Eddie writes in a letter accompanying Montgomery Gentry’s new single, “Better Me.”

“Over the past few months, me and T-Roy have been working on what I think is the best record of our career,” he continues. “In the last few weeks we had been talking about what our first single would be. Then on September 8th, none of that mattered.”

“Better Me” emerged as the obvious choice for Montgomery Gentry’s next single after it made its debut at the close of Troy’s funeral September 14 at the Grand Ole Opry House.

“‘Better Me’ is a song we all loved and Troy sings his a** off on it,” Eddie goes on. “It speaks volumes about his life and who he had become and everyone he touched and how much he loved his family. I am so proud of this song and also to call him my friend, my family, my brother for 30 years."

“Better Me” is available to stream or download now.

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ABC/Image Group LA With seven number-ones in a row under his belt, Cole Swindell finally has a date with Ellen DeGeneres. The “Flatliner” hitmaker will perform on the comedian’s hit syndicated show this Thursday.

“I’ve been looking forward to hopefully having this opportunity to get to do The Ellen DeGeneres Show since I started my career,” Cole admits. “I have been such a big fan of her for as long as I can remember because she’s hilarious, and more so for all the great things she does for people all the time. Me and my band can’t wait to get there!”

“Stay Downtown” is Cole’s latest single from his You Should Be Here album.  Check your local listings to see when The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs in your area.

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ABC/Randy HolmesIf you missed Lady Antebellum on the U.S. leg of the You Look Good World Tour, you still have one more chance to get a taste of the trio in concert.

This week, Lady Antebellum: Live from the Artists Den starts airing on PBS stations all across the country. Recorded in front of 1,400 fans at New York City’s United Palace Theater, the show features Lady A’s signature hits, as well as music from their CMA-nominated Heart Break album.

You can find out when Lady A’s episode airs in your area and watch a short preview at ArtistsDen.com.

Next up, Hillary ScottCharles Kelley and Dave Haywood kick off the European leg of their tour October 1 in Amsterdam.

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Comstock/Thinkstock Reba McEntire scored her first #1 album with this 1986 record that takes its title from the song that was also her very first music video. Can you name it? ANSWER: Whoever's in New England.

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BMLGDanielle Bradbery is busy promoting her new single, “Sway,” and readying her sophomore album, I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, which comes out December 1. But you can bet the season four winner of The Voice will be watching tonight, as the show that thrust her into the national spotlight kicks off its 13th season.  

With Blake SheltonAdam LevineMiley Cyrus and new coach Jennifer Hudson seated in the famous red chairs, Danielle is expecting the best year of competition yet.

“That's a powerful set of coaches,” Danielle observes. “ I feel like these contestants are gonna really just be shocked and excited. I would be, I mean, speechless, just to see who's there and let alone pick who I want as my coach. Either one, I know Blake and Adam's been there through day one, but oh my gosh, that's a powerhouse! I would not know who to pick, but they're gonna learn a lot, I know that.”

Danielle, for the record, was team Blake during her winning season.

This year, Rascal Flatts will be guest advisors for the Shelton camp, while Billy Ray Cyrus will help out his daughter Miley.

You can catch the season 13 premiere of The Voice tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.  

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ABC/Ida Mae AstuteLuke Bryan has been locked down as second judge on ABC's revival of American Idol, sources tell Variety.

Luke would join Katy Perry, who was signed back in May for a reported $25 million.

Neither ABC, nor Bryan's rep have confirmed the deal.

The show reportedly is looking to go with a panel of three judges, rather than four, according to the insider; and with just a week remaining until auditions are set to begin, the third spot has yet to be filled.

Lionel RichieCharlie Puth and former Idol judge Keith Urban -- all rumored to be in contention for the spot -- appear to be out of the running.

Ryan Seacrest, who has hosted every season of the show since its debut in 2002, is back on board and told reporters this weekend that "an announcement about judges is expected imminently," according to Variety.

American Idol is set to return in early 2018.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock If you pre-order Darius Rucker’s new album, When Was the Last Time, you’ll instantly get the new track “Don’t,” as well as his current single, “For the First Time,” and his #1, “If I Told You.” Darius’ fifth country record comes out October 20.

Luke Bryan takes you behind the scenes at the Grand Ole Opry during the recent Country Cares for St. Jude night in the latest edition of LBTV on YouTube.

If you missed Little Big Town’s appearance Friday on ABC’s The View, you can watch both their interview and their performance of “When Someone Stops Loving You” online.

You can check out Chris Young’s new lyric video for “Holiday” on YouTube. The song is the third track on his Losing Sleep album, which comes out October 20.

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Warner Music NashvilleIf you’ve heard Blake Shelton’s new song, “I’ll Name the Dogs,” it’ll come as no surprise that the Oklahoma native is devoted to keeping it country.

“You know, I think the thing that inspires me musically...is trying to find a way to remain as traditional as I can in country music, but still push it forward a little bit more,” he reveals.

But the Oklahoma native is the first to admit it’s not always easy.

“It's always a fine line to walk,” Blake says. “You're always gonna want to have a new sound and do something fresh and different, but without abandoning what it is you do and your fan base. It's almost an impossible task, but it's the thing that inspires me. It's the thing that I'm constantly looking for.”

For his new album, Blake literally got back to his roots, recording Texoma Shore along the Sooner State’s Lake Texoma. It arrives in stores and online November 3.

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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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