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Image courtesy of Sony Music
Image courtesy of Sony Music
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Jake Owen Hits Number One with ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night’

On Tuesday, Jake Owen helped announce the 2011 CMA Awards nominees — but if he keeps going the direction he’s headed, he’ll be on the receiving end of a few of those awards.

Owen scored his first number one single this week, topping the Billboard and Mediabase/Country Aircheck charts with ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night.’

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Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Announce 2012 Australian Tour

The last time Tim McGraw and Faith Hill went on tour together, it went pretty well — the string of dates they shared in 2006 and 2007 broke the record for the top-grossing country tour of all time.

Next year, they’ll take their act on the road again, and although this looks like a much shorter run — only six dates have been announced — they’ll still be covering a lot of distance. In fact, they’re heading all the way to Australia.

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Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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Taylor Swift Reveals What She Likes About Songwriting, Teases New Album Details

It’s an old maxim that you should write what you know, and Taylor Swift has taken those words to heart, earning a reputation as a songwriter who leans heavily on the events of her own life — particularly her love life — as grist for her music.

Of course, it isn’t as easy as just coming up with a few rhymes about some boy she likes — and during a recent YouTube chat, Swift delved into some of her songwriting methods, as well as dishing a little about what fans can expect to hear from her next album.

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Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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Will Tim McGraw Join ‘A Star Is Born’ Remake?

Clint Eastwood is famous in Hollywood for being a fast, no-nonsense director who brings his films in on time and under budget, but his next project — a remake of ‘A Star Is Born’ — is having trouble just getting started.

Eastwood initially cast Beyoncé in the lead, but her pregnancy seems likely to keep her from making the planned February 2012 start date, and his preferred leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio, has reportedly turned down the role. According to CMT’s sources, DiCaprio’s loss could end up being Tim McGraw‘s gain.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Why Was Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott Kissing a Frog Backstage at a Concert?

With millions of records sold in armloads of Grammys to their credit, the members of Lady Antebellum are certified country music royalty — so perhaps vocalist Hillary Scott was feeling like a princess the other night in New Hampshire when she met a frog backstage.

And even though Scott’s already found her prince in fiance Chris Tyrell, who can blame a girl for wanting to see if magic will strike twice?

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Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images
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Trace Adkins Shares His Lake with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Trace Adkins‘ latest hit single is titled ‘Just Fishin” — and that’s exactly what a lucky group of Big Brothers and Big Sisters got to do on his private lake recently.

Adkins invited members of the Middle Tennessee Big Brothers Big Sisters organization out to his farm last week, and they spent the day on his lake, enjoying activities like swimming, paddle boating, and, yes, fishing.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tracy Lawrence Reflects on Dropped Disorderly Conduct Charges — ‘I’m Too Old to Be Fighting’

Tracy Lawrence can put his latest round of legal hassles behind him, as the charges stemming from a recent post-concert brawl between him and the show’s promoter have been dismissed.

“The charges being dropped against me pretty much says everything,” reflected Lawrence. The district attorney declined to pursue the case against Lawrence, citing a lack of confidence in available evidence, but the charges against the promoter are still pending.

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Ethan Miller/Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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George Strait and Martina McBride Announce 2012 Tour

With his new album, ‘Here for a Good Time,’ just a few weeks from store shelves, it’s time for George Strait to start getting ready to hit the road again.

As he revealed in a recent announcement, that’s exactly what he has planned for 2012 — and he’s bringing Martina McBride with him.

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Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Faith Hill Returns to ‘Sunday Night Football,’ Continues Work on New Album

She still has a ways to go before she matches the level of sports theme longevity enjoyed by Hank Williams, Jr., but when ‘Sunday Night Football’ returns on September 11, Faith Hill will be back, too.

Hill, returning for her fifth year with the show, has recorded a new version of the theme song, ‘Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,’ which sets football-themed lyrics to Joan Jett’s ‘I Hate Myself for Loving You.’

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Rick Diamond / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
Rick Diamond / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Dolly Parton Shows Sisterly Support for Lady Gaga

With more than 40 albums, 20 number one singles, and the title ‘The Queen of Country’ to her name, Dolly Parton has certainly earned the right to share her thoughts on whatever topic she chooses — and when a British reporter asked her recently to weigh in on Lady Gaga, he could have been looking for nothing more than a few controversial quotes.

Leave it to Dolly, however, to accentuate the positive — and to find common ground with someone who may not appear similar to her.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Eric Church Kicks Out Overzealous Security Guard at Concert

You’d be hard-pressed to find a musician who doesn’t appreciate his or her fans — without them, after all, no one would be able to record or tour. But during a recent concert, rising country star Eric Church demonstrated just how much his fans mean to him.

The show ended with one woman walking away with Church’s autograph on her boot — and one security guard being asked to leave before the final bow.

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Jason Merritt / Jason Merritt / Dave Hogan, Getty Images
Jason Merritt / Jason Merritt / Dave Hogan, Getty Images
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Kelly Clarkson Says She’d Record with Miranda Lambert and Adele

The last time Kelly Clarkson cut a duet with a country star, the result was her number one hit with Jason Aldean, ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay,’ so it’s only natural that, during a recent Web chat, she was asked if she’d consider teaming up with any other artists.

As it turns out, Clarkson had already considered the question — and she’d love to return to Nashville for a duet with Miranda Lambert.

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