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CHRISTMAS 2019: Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina released her own version of the holiday classic, “O Holy Night,” last month. She loves Christmas music so much she’d like to release a full album of holiday songs. She has a few favorite songs that she’d have to include on the collection. “I have a few favorites. It’s like a fast favorite actually. Surprisingly is ‘Oh Santa’ by Mariah Carey. I jam to that, girl. I mean I am crazy about that song,” says Lauren. “And I also like ‘O Holy Night,’ like when I just want to really sing and kind of get in the Christmas spirit. It was my grandmother’s favorite, one of her favorites. My grandmother loved Christmas.”

When it comes to her favorite holiday movies, she can’t pinpoint just one. “Oh gosh! I have so many favorite Christmas movies, but I usually like the funny ones like The Grinch and Elf,” declares Lauren. “I don’t know. I like all of it. It’s so hard to pick. I love Christmas.”

Lauren’s favorite Christmas gift would have to be the reason for the season. When she was a little girl, she really wanted a Bible with her name on it, just like her parents had. “My favorite Christmas gift I’ve ever been given, gosh, that’s so hard to pick, but my Mom and Dad had their names on the front of their Bibles, and I was so jealous of that as a kid. So, I begged my Mom to get me a Bible that had my name on it, and she actually got this Bible that you design the whole thing yourself. And she designed this Bible for me and it had my name on it and I still have it, and it’s one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever been given.”

As for her favorite Christmas gift as a child, Lauren goes back to the time Santa Claus brought her a Barbie bicycle, and she felt like she was in charge. “My favorite Christmas memory is when I got my Barbie bike when I was six years old, and I thought I ruled the world because it had a horn and it had Barbie’s picture on it.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina talks about her favorite Christmas memory.

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Lauren Alaina (favorite Christmas moment) OC: …on it. :09
“This is Lauren Alaina, and my favorite Christmas memory is when I got my Barbie bike when I was six years old, and I thought I ruled the world because it had a horn and it had Barbie’s picture on it.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina says she can't decide on her favorite Christmas movie since there's so many from which to choose.

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Lauren Alaina (loves all Christmas movies) OC: …Christmas. :10
“Oh gosh! I have so many favorite Christmas movies, but I usually like the funny ones like The Grinch and Elf. I don’t know. I like all of it. It’s so hard to pick. I love Christmas.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina talks about her favorite Christmas songs.

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Lauren Alaina (Christmas songs) OC: …Christmas. :22
“I have a few favorites. It’s like a fast favorite actually. Surprisingly is ‘Oh Santa’ by Mariah Carey. I jam to that, girl. I mean I am crazy about that song. And I also like ‘O Holy Night,’ like when I just want to really sing and kind of get in the Christmas spirit. It was my grandmother’s favorite, one of her favorites. My grandmother loved Christmas.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina talks about her favorite Christmas gift.

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Lauren Alaina (favorite Christmas gift) OC: …been given. :28
“My favorite Christmas gift I’ve ever been given, gosh, that’s so hard to pick, but my Mom and Dad had their names on the front of their Bibles, and I was so jealous of that as a kid. So, I begged my Mom to get me a Bible that had my name on it, and she actually got this Bible that you design the whole thing yourself. And she designed this Bible for me and it had my name on it and I still have it, and it’s one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever been given.”

Audio / LAUREN ALAINA TALKS ABOUT "O HOLY NIGHT," WHICH SHE RECORDED A FEW YEARS AGO.

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Lauren Alaina (O Holy Night) OC: …of it. :24
“‘O Holy Night’ is one of my favorite Christmas songs ever; one of my favorite songs ever. I think that it’s just beautifully written. The melody and the lyrics and the meaning of the song, it’s a perfect representation of what Christmas is all about, and I love that. I am so honored that I was able to finally do a recording of it.”

Audio / LINER Lauren Alaina (Christmas)

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KIP MOORE DELIVERS OVER 40 SOLD-OUT SHOWS ACROSS ROOM TO SPARE: ACOUSTIC TOUR.

Kip Moore capped off the third leg of his ROOM TO SPARE: ACOUSTIC TOUR this weekend with shows in Tucson, AZ (12/5) and Phoenix, AZ (12/6). Inviting fans to enjoy his “highly-praised” (PEOPLE) and intimate tour concept, Moore connected with audiences each night, often taking to the stage just him and his guitar for many tracks during his spontaneous and request-filled set. Rounding out at 41 total sold-out shows across the three runs, Moore took on packed houses from coast-to-coast in the U.S. and internationally with completely sold-out stints in The U.K. and Canada.

Next up, Moore will hit the road for another international trek, returning to his Australian fan base in 2020 for headlining arena dates in Melbourne, AU on 3/17 and Sydney, AU on 3/18. Moore will also headline Australia’s premiere Country music festival, CMC Rocks QLD 2020, taking place in Willowbank, AU 3/20-3/22. Moore will round out 2019 with a final show in Las Vegas, NV on 12/14 at The Chelsea at The Cosmo. For tickets and more information, visit kipmoore.net.

Moore’s latest single, “She’s Mine,” is taken from his upcoming fourth studio album, of which more details will be revealed soon, and the new music video for the single is available to watch here. The forthcoming project follows his ROOM TO SPARE: THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS EP which sparked his acoustic tour and his third studio album SLOWHEART, which garnered instant praise from critics as his “most complete, cohesive declaration of his artistic sensibilities yet” (NPR), as well landing on multiple “Best Of” lists including Entertainment WeeklyRolling StoneUpRoxxBobby Bones Show and many more. SLOWHEART included Moore’s fourth No. One single and follows the critical acclaim that surrounded Moore’s sophomore album WILD ONES and his PLATINUM debut album UP ALL NIGHT that spawned three No. One hit singles. For more information, visit kipmoore.net.

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MADDIE & TAE RELEASE THE VIDEO FOR THEIR NEW HOLIDAY SONG, “HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS.”

Maddie & Tae just released the video for their holiday offering, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The clip features home videos, studio footage, photos of the duo with their families, significant others and even a few childhood pics.

Since Maddie Marlow has been together with new husband Jonah Font, whom she started dating in high school, the pair have a handful of Christmas traditions already.
“We always get a real tree every year, because Jonah’s a stickler for a real tree thing. We always shave off a little part of the bottom of the tree and make an ornament out of the little thing, so we’ll put the year on all of them and collect them,” says Maddie. “We’ve actually just started collecting nutcrackers, which is super weird, but we name them all. Oh, and White Elephant. We play White Elephant on the Font side of things, and I always end up with the best gift somehow, because Jonah and I tag team White Elephant.”

Taylor Dye (Tae) just got engaged to fiancé, songwriter Josh Kerr, and this will be the first Christmas they will share together, so she hopes to create several Christmas traditions in the future. “This is Josh and I’s first Christmas together, so I can’t wait to find some traditions that we’ll start to do together,” says Tae. “I bet we’d make some cookies. I bet we’ll watch a lot of movies.”

The duo is climbing the country charts with their smash hit “Die From a Broken Heart.”

Audio / Maddie & Tae’s Maddie Marlow has several Christmas traditions she shares with new husband Jonah Font.

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Maddie & Tae (Maddie’s Christmas traditions) OC: …White Elephant. :31
“We always get a real tree every year, because Jonah’s a stickler for a real tree thing. We always shave off a little part of the bottom of the tree and make an ornament out of the little thing, so we’ll put the year on all of them and collect them. We’ve actually just started collecting nutcrackers, which is super weird, but we name them all. Oh, and White Elephant. We play White Elephant on the Font side of things, and I always end up with the best gift somehow, because Jonah and I tag team White Elephant.”

Audio / Maddie & Tae’s Taylor Dye says she’ll start to make some new Christmas traditions with fiancé Josh Kerr.

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Maddie & Tae (Tae’s 2019 Christmas) OC: …we’ll see. :09
“This is Josh and I’s first Christmas together, so I can’t wait to find some traditions that we’ll start to do together. I bet we’d make some cookies. I bet we’ll watch a lot of movies. We’ll see.”

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DIERKS BENTLEY CELEBRATES THE CHART-TOPPING SUCCESS OF HIS RECENT SMASH “LIVING.”

Dierks Bentley celebrated the chart-topping success of his recent No. 1 smash, “Living,” with a party at local Nashville hotspot Superica with the song’s co-writers Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley and Jon Nite. The four of them wrote the tune during a writers’ retreat in Colorado after doing a little “living” by taking a hike in the mountains. Dierks said he wanted to write the song as a reminder to himself.

“I’m so glad it resonates with people, but I wrote the song to myself, as a reminder to myself, and I’m glad the fans can relate to it, but certainly when I sing it every night, I’m like singing it to me as a reminder like hey, make the most of every day,” said Dierks prior to the party. “When I drop my kids off at school, I say, ‘This is gonna be a great day or a really great day. You know, you’ve got two options. That’s the only options there are.’ At least go into feeling that way. It might not be that way, but at least start off with that expectation. I think the song’s become a mantra to like to just start off the day to maximize it to be a great day. We were just talking about taking our kids on a Grand Canyon ATV trip, just trying to find ways to keep living, I guess.”

The song started from a trip to Walgreen’s by a couple members of his band on the road.

”‘Living’ started from the road, actually, and just the lack of living that you sometimes can do on a tour bus, right? You sit in the bus all day long, then you go play the show, and you sit in the bus all day long and nobody’s doing any living,” said Dierks. “We kind of have this funny thing we started with the band where if someone went to Walgreen’s, it was a really big deal. ‘Wow, man, you went out and lived some life today. You actually went to Walgreen’s. Wow!’ The bar for living is so low as a musician on the road, so we really made it a personal challenge for me and the band to kind of like do more stuff during the day on the road.”

“Living” is the third consecutive chart-topper off his critically acclaimed No. One record, following the two back-to-back consecutive No. One hits, “Woman, Amen” and “Burning Man.” Hosted by ASCAP and BMI, Bentley was joined by his son and “Living” music video co-star Knox, as well as co-writers Ross Copperman (BMI), Ashley Gorley (ASCAP), Jon Nite (ASCAP) and producer Arturo Buenahora.

“This is it. This is the end of THE MOUNTAIN. It was a journey that started during a trip to Colorado with incredible songwriters where we unplugged for days and just had so much fun,” Bentley said. “To have three songs off this album go number No. One that are so meaningful to me is something special. If I were to do a writer’s night tomorrow, I would play all three of those songs…these songs guided me to where my life is now.”

He was just announced as one of the headliners – along with Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett – for the Trailblazer Country Music and Camping Festival in Hunter, New York June 12th – 14th.

Audio / Dierks Bentley says he wanted to write “Living” as a reminder to himself.

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Dierks Bentley (Living No. 1 Party) OC: …I guess. :38
“You know, I’m so glad it resonates with people, but I wrote the song to myself, as a reminder to myself, and I’m glad the fans can relate to it, but certainly when I sing it every night, I’m like singing it to me as a reminder like hey, make the most of every day. When I drop my kids off at school, I say, ‘This is gonna be a great day or a really great day. You know, you’ve got two options. That’s the only options there are.’ At least go into feeling that way. It might not be that way, but at least start off with that expectation. I think the song’s become a mantra to like to just start off the day to maximize it to be a great day. We were just talking about taking our kids on a Grand Canyon ATV trip, just trying to find ways to keep living, I guess.”

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KEITH URBAN RELEASES NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR “I’LL BE YOUR SANTA TONIGHT.”

Today marks the debut of the official music video for Keith Urban’s first Christmas song, “I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight.”  Co-written with Shane McAnally, Urban describes the track as “classic in its melody, retro 50s vibe in its structure.”

“I’ve always wanted to record a Christmas song, but I really wanted to try and write something new,” says Urban.  “So, Shane came to my house and we wrote, really about a Christmas gone terribly wrong.  No snow. Too much fog.  Nobody can make it to the party.  It’s going to be a colorless Christmas, until her man comes through.”

“I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight,” possesses a whimsical, playful feeling that comes through in its lyric, so it’d only stand to reason that Urban’s attempt to create an ‘appropriate’ Christmas environment, during Nashville’s Summer months, would prove… unsuccessful.

As Urban explains, “We started writing in my studio, which I decked out with colored Christmas lights, a tree, tinsel and of course I put the A/C on artic, so it was freezing! Shane says to me, ‘Do you have a piano? and I say, Yeah, but its upstairs.’  So, we head upstairs to the living room – nice and warm and toasty, with no Christmas decorations of any sort.  Of course, we end up writing the whole thing there – go figure.”

The song’s video was directed by one of Urban’s longtime video collaborators Chris Hicky.  It depicts several Keiths, snow falling, simultaneously playing piano, guitar and bass.  “I wanted to keep the video loose and a bit more performance-based than the actual story line, because everybody has their own version of what a song should look like, so I didn’t want to touch on that too much.”

“I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight” is now available to stream at https://strm.to/IllBeYourSantaTonight

Keith is currently poised to take over the top of the country charts with his latest single, “We Were.”

Audio / Keith Urban talks about his new holiday song, "I'll Be Your Santa Tonight."

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Keith Urban (I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight) OC: …the magic. :31
“I wanted to write a song that could kind of just travel anywhere really, I guess, and be also about the sort of the romantic side of this particular Christmas Eve. The idea that this girl is about to have the bleakest Christmas ’cause there’s no, there’s too much fog, there’s no snow, her mom’s not going to be able to make it, her sister can’t come, it’s all going to be a complete mess. And the guy steps up and says it’s gonna happen. ‘I’ll bring the magic.'”

Audio / LINER Keith Urban (I'll Be Your Santa Tonight) 1

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Audio / LINER Keith Urban (I'll Be Your Santa Tonight) 2

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Audio / LINER Keith Urban (I'll Be Your Santa Tonight) 3

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KEITH URBAN WANTED TO HEAR ERIC CHURCH SING “WE WERE.”

In October, Keith Urban released a new version of “We Were” featuring one of the song’s writers, Eric Church. Keith says as soon as he heard Eric co-wrote the song, he wanted to hear his voice on the tune.

“As soon as I found out he was a writer, the first thing I wanted to do is I wanted to hear him sing that song, ’cause in my head I heard it top to bottom, so I called him and I said, ‘Would you come in some time and do a version?,'” says Keith. “At the end of the summer, he came by and spent a couple of hours at Sound Emporium Studios. Just hearing him sing the song and do his own thing to it — changing all the phrasing, changing the melody, the odd lyric changing. I sat there and watched him sing it several times back to back, and he never did it the same way twice…ever. And I said to him, ‘You change it every time.’ He goes, ‘Yeah. Why would I do the same thing twice?’ It’s just the way he rolls, [and] it’s because he’s a storyteller. He’s an amazing songwriter; one of the best in town period, and he’s a great storyteller.”
Eric, who penned the song with Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde, didn’t realize just how perfect the song was for his pal until after Keith recorded it.

“That was the coolest thing for me is I didn’t send Keith the song and say, ‘Here’s a song I wrote.’ He found it, and honestly, it fits him more than it fits me. There’s a line in there about ‘two heartbeats in the moonlight/leather jackets on a back of a Harley.’ I don’t ride a Harley. That’s a line, call it ‘poetic license.’ That’s where it came from. He and Nicole used to do that when they first started dating, and they were touring, they would jump on his Harley and they would put on their leather jackets and they’d go ride up in the countryside before the show. I did not know that until after he cut that song,” says Eric. “I truly believe songs find the path that they’re supposed to find, and that one was supposed to be with him.”

“We Were” is closing in on the top of the country charts. Keith and Eric previously collaborated on the 2015 hit “Raise ‘Em Up,” from Keith’s 2013 Fuse album.

Audio / Keith Urban said he wanted to hear Eric Church sing "We Were."

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Keith Urban (We Were Church collaboration) OC: …storyteller. :48

“As soon as I found out he was a writer, the first thing I wanted to do is I wanted to hear him sing that song, ’cause in my head I heard it top to bottom, so I called him and I said, ‘Would you come in some time and do a version?’ At the end of the summer, he came by and spent a couple of hours at Sound Emporium Studios. Just hearing him sing the song and do his own thing to it — changing all the phrasing, changing the melody, the odd lyric changing. I sat there and watched him sing it several times back to back, and he never did it the same way twice…ever. And I said to him, ‘You change it every time.’ He goes, ‘Yeah. Why would I do the same thing twice?’ It’s just the way he rolls, [and] it’s because he’s a storyteller. He’s an amazing songwriter; one of the best in town period, and he’s a great storyteller.”

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CHRISTMAS 2019: Kassi Ashton

Kassi Ashton grew up in a rural town called California, Missouri, and she took ballet and other dance classes for many years. So, one of her favorite Christmas memories include being in The Nutcracker every year. “One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was always being a part of The Nutcracker,” says Kassi. “[I took] ballet my entire life, and now that I’ve graduated and moved on, I go see The Nutcracker at the Nashville Ballet every year. I can’t wait to have a little girl some day and put her in ballet class.”

Kassi loves Christmas music, especially the holiday classics. “My favorite thing about Christmas hands down is Christmas music. I start playing eh, the day after Thanksgiving usually, if not a little sooner. I love the classics – Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, anything that you know by heart and you don’t have to really think about. Christmas songs are the best,” she says. “My favorite Christmas song is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ by Judy Garland in the key of G, because that’s my key [laughs], and I can sing along perfectly.” [laughs]

Kassi is set to join Jordan Davis on his Trouble Town Tour, kicking off January 10th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Audio / KASSI ASHTON ALWAYS HAD A ROLE IN THE NUTCRACKER GROWING UP AND SHE SAYS TO THIS DAY, IT’S STILL ONE OF HER FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS.

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Kassi Ashton (Christmas traditions) OC: …ballet class. :21
“Hey, it’s Kassi Ashton. One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was always being a part of The Nutcracker. [I took] ballet my entire life, and now that I’ve graduated and moved on, I go see The Nutcracker at the Nashville Ballet every year. I can’t wait to have a little girl some day and put her in ballet class.”

Audio / KASSI ASHTON SAYS SHE LOVES LISTENING TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC.

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Kassi Ashton (Christmas music) OC: …the best. :23
“Hey, it’s Kassi Ashton. My favorite thing about Christmas hands down is Christmas music. I start playing eh, the day after Thanksgiving usually, if not a little sooner. I love the classics – Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, anything that you know by heart and you don’t have to really think about. Christmas songs are the best.”

Audio / KASSI ASHTON SAYS HER FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG IS “HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS.”

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Kassi Ashton (Christmas song) OC: …along perfectly. [laughs] :11
“My favorite Christmas song is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ by Judy Garland in the key of G, because that’s my key [laughs], and I can sing along perfectly.” [laughs]

Audio / LINER Kassi Ashton (Christmas)

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NEWS AND NOTES: Kacey, Chris, Luke, Caylee, Parker, Darius

Kacey Musgraves is set to appear on The Late, Late Show with James Corden on Thursday night. The talk show host appeared on Kacey’s Amazon Prime Christmas Special, which is available to stream now.

The life and career of Chris Stapleton will be featured in an exhibit at The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum beginning next year. “I’m proud to get to share pieces of our musical journey at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” says Chris. The superstar’s exhibit will open June 26th, 2020. Martina McBride and Bill Anderson will also receive new exhibits.

Luke Bryan joined Jimmy Fallon and The Roots’ Tariq Trotter for a funny video skit for NBC’s Tonight Show this week. The clip showcases the three guys wearing mullets and gold uniforms crashing a football-watching party as they rapped snacking ideas.

Caylee Hammack and Parker McCollum have been announced as part of MusicRow’s Next Big Thing for 2020. MusicRow Magazine’s Next Big Thing Class of 2020 has set itself apart from today’s artists with talent and hard work. Some of these NBT artists have just released their first singles, while others are celebrating chart-topping hits. All have broken through by bringing unique styles and by surrounding themselves with team members who champion them.

Darius Rucker is scheduled to perform a pre-race concert before the Daytona 500 February 16th.

 

 

 

KACEY MUSGRAVES APPEARS ON THE ELLEN DeGENERES SHOW.

Kacey Musgraves celebrates the holidays with the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week. She performed “Christmas Makes Me Cry” from her A Very Kacey Christmas album she released a few years ago.

Kacey also chatted with Ellen about her album Golden Hour, Tom’s One-Hour Photo, her Amazon Christmas special and all of her recent accolades.

 

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Video / Kacey performs "Christmas Makes Me Cry" on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

LAUREN ALAINA RELEASES VIDEO FOR HER LATEST SINGLE, “GETTING GOOD,” FEATURING HER DANCING WITH THE STARS’ PARTNER.

Following the season finale of this year’s Dancing With the Stars, Lauren Alaina released the video of her latest single, “Getting Good.” The beautiful clip showcases Lauren, as well as her dance partner Gleb Savchenko.

Check it out below:

 

 

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  • Alan Jackson with WUSN/Chicago’s Jeff Kapugi and Marci Braun, as well as UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan and Steve Hodges.