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Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and Reba Make Billboard’s Top 25 Tours of 2011

 

With 2011 more than half over — and the summer concert season winding down — Billboard has tallied up the totals for the year’s biggest tours so far, and a number of country artists are going strong.

U2 leads the list, with a nearly $175 million gross, with the top five rounded out by Roger Waters ($114 million), Bon Jovi ($107 million), Lady Gaga ($72 million), and Usher ($70 million). And the year’s biggest country tours? Kenny Chesney (No. 9, $25 million) and the George Strait/Reba pairing (number 15, $17.5 million).

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Courtesy of Kelli Ann Siwik
Courtesy of Kelli Ann Siwik
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Taylor Swift Inspires a Real-Life Wedding Proposal

Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about how to tell a ‘Love Story’ through song — and a few days ago, she helped play a role in a real-life marriage proposal.

When Taylor’s tour stopped in Detroit last February, she met up with WYCD DJ Jason ‘The 300 Pound Cowboy’ and his girlfriend, Kelli, and hit it off with the couple. As the night drew to a close, Taylor’s mother warned them, “Next time I see you two, you’d better be engaged!”

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Courtesy of LOUDMOUTH PR
Courtesy of LOUDMOUTH PR
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’80s Teen Star Tiffany Goes Country with ‘Rose Tattoo’ [VIDEO]

She may have earned her first taste of fame with mall tours and synth-pop hits like ‘Could’ve Been,’ ‘All This Time,’ and her cover of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now,’ but Tiffany says she’s always been a country music fan at heart — and now, almost 25 years after releasing her debut album, she’s coming home.

It’s been a long road for Tiffany, who has weathered plummeting sales, lawsuits, divorce, and the shadow of her teenybopper past over the last couple of decades. But for the singer who was only 10 when she made her professional debut by singing a duet with country artist Jack Reeves — and who later got her first big break from none other than Hoyt Axton — the road always led back to Nashville.

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Category: Music News Tags:
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
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Blake Shelton Cruise Sets Sail in October 2012

Ahoy, country fans! If you’ve got some vacation time on the calendar, $1,000 to burn, and a hankering for the high seas, Blake Shelton is offering you the chance to be part of something special.

Next October, Shelton — along with other artists who have yet to be announced — will set sail on the Norwegian Jewel for a seven-day sojourn. During the cruise, passengers will be treated to the usual amenities, including swimming pools, hot tubs, and port stops in places like San Juan, Tortola, and Nassau, along with unique access to country music royalty.

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Category: Music News Tags:
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Jason Aldean Considering Acting Career

Jason Aldean seems to have this “country music” thing in the bag — he is the genre’s best-selling artist of the year, after all. So, what’s next?

It sounds like a jump to Hollywood could be in the cards for the ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ singer, who recently revealed that he’s been getting scripts — and considering a spot in front of the cameras.

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Absolute Publicity
Absolute Publicity
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Billy Dean Promotes Local Farming with New Album, ‘The Seed’

It’s been awhile since Billy Dean released some new music — and even longer since he tasted the kind of chart success he enjoyed with his first few albums in the early ’90s — but he’s making plans to change all that.

Dean has partnered with the Naturipe Farms collective for a series of new recordings, starting with a digital EP that’s currently available on iTunes). He also has plans for a full album in the fall. It might sound like an unusual partnership, but country music and farming is a pretty natural fit — and Dean stands squarely behind the company’s mission to help promote the sale of locally grown produce.

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Category: Food, Music News Tags: ,
Capitol Records
Capitol Records
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Lady Antebellum Shows Off Cover Art and Unveils Track Listing for New Album, ‘Own the Night’

You’ll have to wait until September 18 to buy the new Lady Antebellum album, but you can see it — and take a look at the song titles — right now.

The band has released the artwork and track listing for its upcoming third album, ‘Own the Night,’ which will contain a dozen songs, including the lead single (and Top 10 hit), ‘Just a Kiss.’

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Category: Uncategorized
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
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Why Is Blake Shelton Working As a Tour Guide at the Grand Ole Opry?

This has been a banner year for Blake Shelton.

He got married to Miranda Lambert, he’s a judge on NBC’s hit competition series ‘The Voice,’ he has a number one country single and one of the year’s best-selling albums — and now he’s a tour guide for the Grand Ole Opry.

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Stephen Cohen, Getty Images
Stephen Cohen, Getty Images
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John Michael Montgomery Plans Album, Book Projects with His Brother, Eddie

He has seven number one country singles and a pair of quadruple-platinum albums to his credit, but for John Michael Montgomery, his next album might be his most meaningful.

Montgomery is planning a musical collaboration — with a book to follow — with his big brother and fellow country singer Eddie Montgomery, best known as one half of the bestselling duo Montgomery Gentry.

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Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Lady Antebellum Debut ‘Just a Kiss’ Video [VIDEO]

After whetting fans’ appetites with five-second preview clips, Lady Antebellum has finally revealed the full-length video for ‘Just a Kiss,’ the lead single from their upcoming third studio album, ‘Own the Night.’

Not your garden-variety performance clip, the ‘Just a Kiss’ video tells a story, following the reminiscences of a young lady on a train. After boarding, she takes out an iPad and starts watching a video message that triggers romantic memories — interwoven, naturally, with clips of Lady Antebellum, performing in a train station.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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The Band Perry Gets Song Advice from Tim McGraw

It’s an old music business saying that you get your whole life to write the songs for your debut album, and then you get six months to put together the follow-up. But if you have to write on the clock, you might as well have an expert set of ears listening to the results, right?

The Band Perry has had an opportunity to do just that — while writing and rehearsing new material on the road with Tim McGraw, the sibling trio was happy to discover their megaplatinum headliner listening in.

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