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Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
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Ellen DeGeneres Makes Surprise Appearance at Taylor Swift Concert [VIDEO]

It was impressive enough that Taylor Swift booked a four-night run of sellout performances at L.A.’s Staples Center. Then she went and added surprise cameos from Justin Bieber and Jason Mraz, who each popped up for unannounced duets. Sunday night marked the end of Taylor’s Staples residency, and she had yet another surprise special guest for her fans: Ellen DeGeneres.

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Jason Merritt/Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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2011 CMA Awards Nominees to Be Announced September 6

On November 10, the 2011 CMA Awards will bring together country’s brightest stars for an evening of glamour, excitement, and live performances of the year’s biggest hits — but you won’t have to wait until then for the fun to start.

The announcement of this year’s nominees will be an event unto itself, featuring an appearance on ‘Good Morning America’ by The Band Perry and Jake Owen, as well as a Nashville press conference hosted by Jerrod Niemann and Thompson Square.

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Category: Country Music News
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
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Early Buck Owens Recordings to Be Released in September

He’s a legend today, but Buck Owens wasn’t born into country music royalty — in fact, he struggled for years as a session musician and performer, releasing a series of little-known recordings for smaller labels.

Next month, thanks to a compilation scheduled for release by Rockbeat Records, fans will get a new chance to hear some of Owens’ earliest recordings for themselves.

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Category: Country Music News
Matthew Peyton / Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Matthew Peyton / Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Kathy Griffin Makes Jim Carrey-Inspired Love Video for Justin Bieber [VIDEO]

Jim Carrey raised a lot of eyebrows yesterday when he posted a bizarre video love letter to Emma Stone — and he seems to have started a miniature trend in the bargain.

Not to be outdone in the “hopefully fake and wildly inappropriate public expressions of affection” department, comedienne Kathy Griffin has posted her own video. The object of her desire? None other than Justin Bieber.

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Category: Humor, Videos
Republic Nashville
Republic Nashville
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Martina McBride Unveils New Songs During ‘CMT Unplugged’ Special [VIDEO]

We’ll have to wait until October 11 to hear Martina McBride‘s new album ‘Eleven,’ but she gave fans a sneak preview of her new material while taping a CMT special this week.

‘CMT Unplugged: Martina McBride’ aired Wednesday night, and nestled between the hits in her set list, she shared some of her favorite songs from the new album, in addition to a cover of Sara Bareilles’ ‘Love Song.’

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Category: Country Music News
eBay/Rick Diamond, Getty Images
eBay/Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Shoes That Tripped Up Shania Twain Sold for $9,000 for Singer’s Charity

You can hardly blame Shania Twain for wanting to get rid of the shoes that tripped her up when she fell during the 2011 CMT Video Music Awards ceremony in June — and you’ve got to hand it to her for raising some money for a good cause in the process.

After autographing the infamous heels, Shania put them up for auction on eBay two weeks ago, and after a 63-bid frenzy, she sold them for $9,000 — which will go to her Shania Kids Can charity, benefiting underprivileged children in Canada.

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Category: Country Music News
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Rising Star Hunter Hayes Sets October 11 Release Date for Self-Titled Debut Album

Taylor Swift was all of 16 when she released her debut album. By comparison, her recent tourmate, 19-year-old Hunter Hayes, is a bit of a fogey — but by any other measure, he’s releasing his first record at an impressively young age.

The budding hitmaker, who got his big break co-writing a track from Rascal Flatts’ ‘Nothing Like This Album’ and scored his first top 30 hit earlier this year with ‘Storm Warning,’ will release his self-titled debut on October 11.

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Category: Country Music News
Scott Kirkland, Getty Images / King Jewelers
Scott Kirkland, Getty Images / King Jewelers
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Randy Houser Gives Fiancee Engagement Ring with Eye-Popping 300 Diamonds

Sales in the music industry have been in a tailspin for the last 10 years, but a young songwriter can still make a pretty good living for himself with a hit or two under his belt.

For proof, look no further than the giant cluster of diamonds on the finger of Randy Houser‘s new fiancée, Jessa Lee Yantz.

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Category: Country Music News
David Livingston, Getty Images
David Livingston, Getty Images
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Glen Campbell Isn’t Feeling the Effects of Alzheimer’s Yet [VIDEO]

Since announcing his Alzheimer’s diagnosis — and his impending retirement from music — a couple of months ago, Glen Campbell has been the focus of an outpouring of goodwill and concern from fans around the world.

But for now, at least, Campbell has yet to feel the effects of the incurable disease — which he discussed during a recent interview with ABC News.

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Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Pistol Annies’ ‘Hell on Heels’ Tops iTunes Album Sales Chart

They might be ‘Hell on Heels,’ but the Pistol Annies didn’t have any problem walking all the way up to the top of the iTunes album sales chart this week– and with real speed, after only 36 hours on sale.

Of course, it helps that iTunes is the only retailer that officially has the album at this point, but it’s still a pretty impressive sign of the demand for the trio’s debut that it’s currently outselling hit records like Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘Watch the Throne.’

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Category: Country Music News
Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Joe Jonas Says Taylor Swift Isn’t Focus of His New Song, ‘See No More’

Joe Jonas‘ new single, ‘See No More,’ details the aftermath of a nasty breakup, so it’s perhaps understandable that tongues are wagging about the possibility that it was inspired by the end of his relationship with ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift.

But according to Jonas, those rumors are way off base.

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Category: Country Music News

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