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Amanda Edwards / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Amanda Edwards / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, and More Join October 17 Concert for Texas Fire Relief

Even as rescue workers continue to battle the wildfires that have raged through Texas throughout September, organizers are putting together a benefit to help pay for some of the more than $250 million worth of damage the fires have left behind.

Scheduled for October 17, ‘Fire Relief: The Concert for Central Texas’ has lined up an impressive array of artists and bands with roots in the Lone Star State, including the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, and Lyle Lovett.

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Ethan Miller / Mike Coppola, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Mike Coppola, Getty Images
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Hunter Hayes Declines Lauren Alaina’s Prom Invitation

At the tender age of 16, Lauren Alaina already has a lot going for her, including a fast-rising career in music, millions of fans from her stint on ‘American Idol,’ and a debut album mere weeks from release.

What she doesn’t have, however, is a date to the prom with fellow young country star Hunter Hayes.

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Roger Kisby, Getty Images
Roger Kisby, Getty Images
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Lady Antebellum’s ‘Own the Night’ Debuts at Number 1

In what might be the least surprising debut of the year, Lady Antebellum‘s new album has ended its first week at the top of the charts — pretty much all of them, in fact.

With sales of nearly 350,000 units, ‘Own the Night’ outpaced its competition by a wide margin, coming in at number one on the country charts, as well as Billboard’s overall Top 200 tally. As an added bonus, it also topped the album sales charts in Canada.

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Brantley-Gilbert2
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Brantley Gilbert Shares the Story of the Dog He Rescued, Alley

 

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The old line about country music is that it’s all about trucks, women, and dogs. And like most jokes, although it overstates the situation, it does include a nugget of truth.

Take, for instance, country newcomer Brantley Gilbert. His latest single, ‘Country Must Be Country Wide,’ is currently shooting up the charts, giving him his first hit — but that isn’t as important to him as his relationship with Alley, his pet pit bull.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Weighs In on Taxes: ‘I Expect the Wealthy to Write a Check’

The fight over taxes and the public debt is never far from the headlines lately, and Toby Keith has never been shy about speaking his mind on political matters, so it’s only natural that he offered his thoughts about taxes when speaking with the Boston Herald.

What might be surprising — at least for folks who consider Keith just another red state-residing good ol’ boy — is the way he responded to the question.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Jason Aldean Has Roughly ’20, 25 Songs’ in the Works for Next Album

Jason Aldean‘s latest album, the double-platinum ‘My Kinda Party,’ isn’t even a year old yet, but he isn’t wasting any time getting started on his next release. In fact, he’s planning on heading into the studio next month to start laying down tracks.

When Aldean’s crew convenes for the sessions for his fifth album, they’ll have no shortage of songs to choose from. In fact, it sounds like it’ll be a struggle to get the list of candidates down to a manageable length.

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Scotty
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Scotty McCreery Tells the Stories Behind the Songs on ‘Clear as Day’

 

19 Entertainment

Scotty McCreery has just two weeks to go until he releases his debut album, ‘Clear as Day,’ so you can hardly blame the reigning ‘American Idol’ champ if he’s excited to talk about it.

Taste of Country caught up with McCreery to do just that recently, and he shared the inside scoop on the stories behind the album’s 12 tracks, which he promises will give listeners an honest picture of who he is. “I’m 17, and that’s me,” he insists. “This album’s gonna relate to that, and hopefully people like it. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished these last couple months.”

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Category: Fort Collins News
Mike Coppola / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Mike Coppola / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Lauren Alaina Asks Hunter Hayes to the Prom

Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery dashed the hopes of countless ‘McLaina’ fans recently when they debunked the persistent rumors that they were a couple. But even if they aren’t dating each other, that doesn’t mean the ‘American Idol’ alums can’t find love with other young songbirds.

In fact, Alaina has made no secret of the fact that she has eyes for rising country star Hunter Hayes — and as it turns out, he could very well end up being her date to the prom.

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Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ Has Now Sold 5 Million Copies

Even for one of the biggest stars in the music business, Taylor Swift is having a heck of a year, including a sold-out tour with a series of celebrity guests and a pair of new Guinness World Records.

But as Taylor discovered last weekend, in a surprise ceremony hosted by her label, she isn’t finished collecting accolades in 2011.

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Category: Fort Collins News
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
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Miranda Lambert Urges Young Songwriters to ‘Know Who You Are’ [VIDEO]

If you want to make a living as a songwriter, Nashville is unquestionably the best place to be — even after a decade of dwindling record sales, it’s still home to a thriving publishing industry, as well as some of the most seasoned tunesmiths in the business.

But that doesn’t mean a good song is necessarily easy to find. In fact, Miranda Lambert found the experience so frustrating that she ended up learning how to play guitar just so she could write her own material.

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Roger Kisby, Getty Images
Roger Kisby, Getty Images
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How Was Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott Inspired by ‘Sister Act 2?’

With millions of albums sold and a growing list of hits to their name, Lady Antebellum are one of the fastest-rising young acts in the music business. As they gear up to promote their just-released third album, ‘Own the Night,’ they’re on the verge of delivering one of the biggest sales successes of 2011.

And according to singer Hillary Scott, none of it might have happened if it wasn’t for Whoopi Goldberg.

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