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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Trailer Choir’s ‘Big Vinny’ Hickerson Felt Like He’d ‘Won the Lottery’ When He Got Cast on ‘The Biggest Loser’

As a member of the country duo Trailer Choir, “Big Vinny” Hickerson has done things most people only dream of, including scoring a top 20 album and a top 40 single. And as evidenced by his nickname, as well as his vocals on Trailer Choir’s hit ‘Rockin’ the Beer Gut,’ he’s learned to use his ample girth as an asset.

A recent health scare made Hickerson see things differently, however — and now that he’s a contestant on the latest season of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ starting Tuesday night, he says he feels like he’s “won the lottery.”

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Category: Country
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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Category: Country
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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Category: Country
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Australian Tour Won’t Lead to US Shows

The last time they toured together, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shattered records, so when they announced they’d be teaming up again for a string of Australian dates next year, American promoters — and plenty of American fans — were hoping it’d be the prelude for a stateside sequel.

Better start saving up for those plane tickets now, though, because McGraw and Hill say their Australian shows will be the only ones they do together in 2012.

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Category: Country
Frazier Harrison, Getty Images
Frazier Harrison, Getty Images
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Scotty McCreery Puts His Songs Through the ‘Mama Crying Test’

Your long wait is almost over, Scotty McCreery fans. The ‘American Idol’ winner’s first album, ‘Clear as Day,’ is just a couple of  weeks away from release, and you’ll finally be able to hear the rest of what the ‘I Love You This Big’ singer has in store for you.

And if you don’t like it? Well, you can blame Scotty’s mom.

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Category: AC, Country, Hot AC
Brad-Paisley
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Brad Paisley’s First Book, ‘Diary of a Player,’ Set for November 1 Release

 

Howard Books

For most people, it would be more than enough to achieve success as an award-winning recording artist, prolific hit songwriter, and highly-respected musician. But Brad Paisley is not most people.

Having conquered the Billboard charts, Paisley decided to tackle a different kind of bestsellers’ list with his upcoming book debut, titled ‘Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me.’

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Category: Country
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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Category: AC, Country
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Martina McBride Plans Cross-Country Train Tour to Promote New Album, ‘Eleven’

In today’s crowded musical landscape, it’s more important than ever for an artist plugging a new release to find new and interesting ways to attract the attention of potential listeners — even if that artist is a multi-platinum fixture on the radio dial.

Martina McBride is one artist who seems to have learned this lesson well — instead of booking just another tour as part of the promotion for her descriptively titled eleventh album, ‘Eleven,’ she’ll be embarking on an 11-stop, cross-country train ride.

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Category: Country
Lauren-Wildflower1
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Track Listing for Lauren Alaina’s ‘Wildflower’ Revealed

 

19 Entertainment

With its October 11 release date fast approaching, only a matter of weeks stand between Lauren Alaina‘s debut album, ‘Wildflower,’ and her fans.

Alaina revealed the album artwork not long ago, and now — thanks to one enterprising writer who got her hands on an advance copy — you can take a look at the full track listing, complete with songwriting credits.

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Category: Country
George-Strait21
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George Strait’s ‘Here for a Good Time’ Debuts at Number One

 

MCA Nashville

Congratulations are in order for George Strait, who just added yet another number one record to his awe-inspiring list of chart-topping hits.

Strait’s new album, ‘Here for a Good Time,’ debuted on top of the Billboard country charts this week, surging past Jason Aldean and Jake Owen with more than 91,000 copies sold.

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Category: Country
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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Taylor Swift and Her Amazing Music Sales Enter the Guinness Book of World Records

Over the last few years — and multi-platinum albums — Taylor Swift has taken up seemingly permanent residence on the charts, not to mention the hearts and iPods of millions of fans.

Now, she also has a pair of spots in the Guinness Book of World Records to call her own.

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Category: AC, Country, Hot AC
Andrew H. Walker / Valerie Macon, Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker / Valerie Macon, Getty Images
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Alan Jackson and Ozzy Osbourne Team Up (Sort Of) to Save Missing Autistic Boy

They’re both legends in their respective musical genres, but aside from that, Alan Jackson and Ozzy Osbourne have never had much in common — until this week, that is.

Songs from the unlikely duo were used to find a missing California boy, eight-year-old Joshua Robb, who slipped through the fence at his school and ran off into the neighboring woods on Monday.

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Category: Country, Rock

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