BLAKE SHELTON IS 'BRINGING BACK SOME COUNTRY' ON NEW ALBUM


Blake Shelton‘s upcoming album, Bringing Back The Sunshine, will be a return to subjects that Blake says he's gotten too far away from, including "singing about getting drunk."

Blake told Rolling Stone, "The whole album is searching for parts of me that I think have . . . not gotten lost along the way, but stuff that I haven’t addressed in my music as much as I used to, whether it’s drinking songs, heartbreak songs or songs about how people treat you. Things like that. My last couple of albums have been so positive, because when I made them I was just getting married. It’s been in this awesome place, but after a while, as a country singer, I gotta get back to singing about getting drunk because there’s people out there — and I’ve been one of them — that have had their heart broken, or they’ve had a tough day at work, or they get stabbed in the back."

Blake adds that the title of the new CD is meaningful. He said, "To me, with that title, it’s like I’m bringing back some country into this thing."

Bringing Back The Sunshine will be released on September 30th.

It includes his brand new single, "Neon Light."

GEORGE STRAIT 'RIDES AWAY' ON CMT SPECIAL TONIGHT


George Strait will be the subject of a new CMT television special, George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away, airing tonight (Friday, August 29th) at 7 p.m. ET. The exclusive two-hour show was filmed at the King of Country’s final tour date in Arlington, Texas this past June with a star-studded lineup.

The show captures George's performances with such artists as Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride, as well as a performance with his son George "Bubba" Strait, Jr. on "Arkansas Dave," a song he wrote for his famous dad.

(HORSES CAN BE HEARD IN BACKGROUND) George tells us that he wanted to make the last show of his last tour that much more memorable by inviting these special guests. "We wanted to make it something different, something very, very special, something that people didn’t necessarily think they would see at one of my shows – not all of the fireworks and all that kind of thing, but just something a little different. Since we toured with those people all year, we planned on this, getting them if they would, to come and finish it out in Dallas with us. I think it really made the night more special than it would have been if I’d just gone up there and done my normal show. It was more exciting, I think, to have them come up and them being able to choose what songs they wanted to sing of mine, helped me really make the song list around that. So, we thought it was a great idea."

His final date of The Cowboy Rides Away tour on June 7th shattered indoor concert attendance records for North America with more than 104,000 fans.

George is also offering fans a 20-track live album recorded at this historic show at AT&T Stadium, due in stores September 16th.

He’ll continue to record new music for longtime label home MCA Records and at some point, plans to perform a few select dates.

AUDIO: GEORGE STRAIT ON CELEBRITY GUESTS AT LAST SHOW

ALAN JACKSON HALL OF FAME EXHIBIT OPENS TODAY


Alan Jackson and his family, as well as members of his road band and many of his co-writers were on hand as the superstar’s exhibit, 25 Years of Keepin’ It Country, was unveiled. Included in the exhibit are the guitar he played on the CMA Awards when he debuted "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" just two months after the September 11th terrorist attacks and the nation’s response that inspired the song; the front of an old, red Ford pickup truck that served as Alan’s first Fan Fair booth, before his sister and brother-in-law had it made into a desk; the water ski Alan rode, while wearing his trademark white cowboy hat, in the "Chattahoochee" music video; and a collection of belt buckles from the Houston Rodeo, which Alan has played more than 20 times. The singer's "first love," a used 1955 Ford Thunderbird, will also be on display in the conservatory of the Hall of Fame.

Alan and his wife, Denise, were on hand for the unveiling, where they told the invitation-only crowd: "It was good to get a lot of that stuff is out of the house. (laughs wife Denise says, "We might not take it all back?") It’s a good problem to have but I tell you what, we have a pretty big house, and there’s so much stuff. I’ve won every award that you could ever be eligible for and then some, and just the whole house was getting to where it was embarrassing. So now, it looks like we’ve been robbed a little bit there, but we’re glad to share it and I hope that all of my fans especially will enjoy seeing what they helped build." .

AUDIO: ALAN JACKSON ON CLEANING OUT HOUSE FOR EXHIBIT

TOBY KEITH, DOLLY PARTON TAKE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE


The latest video that Toby Keith has starred in was to help build awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease. Challenged by about 60 other people, Toby completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during a recent University of Oklahoma football practice in Norman, Oklahoma with former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys football coach Barry Switzer and University of Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione.

Dolly Parton was recently challenged to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by her longtime friend Kenny Rogers, among others. She took the challenge with some help from two of her nieces, who were only too happy to make sure that water was ice cold before they dumped it over their famous aunt's head. Dolly joked that Kenny would have to donate more money because he got to see her in a wet T-shirt.

LUKE BRYAN'S MANY JOBS


Luke Bryan had his shares of jobs growing up in Georgia. He began working at an early age, and tells us he bounced around quite a bit before landing what he hopes will be his forever job. "At age 12 thru 13, I worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, GA. I worked during the summers on Monday and Tuesday. I stocked and cleaned up the produce. They paid me under the table . . . I peeled off all of the brown lettuce. Let's see, when I was 15, I was a cashier at K-Mart for two months. I worked at K-Mart for two months, and then I reverted back to Rubos because it didn't really make sense for me to drive all the way into Albany and work for K-Mart. The benefits were great though-you'd get an hour-long on the blue light special. So I started back at Rubos, and then I quit Rubos and worked for my Dad-just awful just driving tractors through cotton all day, and spraying pesticides that eventually would turn your hair green. And then at some point, I started playing guitar. And well, after college I went back and worked for my dad and continued to spray and haul fertilizer around. And then I moved to Nashville . . . "

And the rest is history.

For the sixth consecutive year, Luke will launch a series of fall concerts this October known as the Farm Tour. This year’s Farm Tour adds stops in Knoxville, Tennessee and Gainesville, Florida and is scheduled to begin on October 1st in Knoxville. The tour will continue through October 11th in Macon, Georgia.

Last year, Luke performed for over 115,000 fans in eight Farm Tour towns, breaking the previous year’s record. A portion of the proceeds are granted for local college scholarships ("Luke Bryan Farm Tour Scholarship") to students from a farming family within the communities the tour plays.

AUDIO: LUKE BRYAN ON HIS MANY JOBS

Tim McGraw - Shotgun Rider [Live on Jimmy Fallon]
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