Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLady Antebellum sang backup on which one of Darius Rucker's #1 hits? ANSWER: "Wagon Wheel."

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Darlene Love Releasing New Album in the Fall; Producer Steven Van Zandt Says, "She's Amazing"

Image Courtesy of G&M ArtistsLegendary pop/soul singer Darlene Love will release her first new studio album in more than 15 years this fall.  Introducing Darlene Love was produced and arranged by Steven Van Zandt, and will be issued by the E Street Band guitarist's Wicked Cool Records label in partnership with Columbia Records.

Speaking with ABC Radio at a recent New York City benefit event, Van Zandt said of Love's performance on the upcoming record, "She's amazing.  Wait till you hear her.  I can't overhype her, okay?  She's amazing, and I think we actually captured how amazing she is."

The album features songwriting contributions from an impressive list of artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Desmond Child, Linda Perry and the lauded '60s songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, as well as Van Zandt himself.

Steven revealed to ABC Radio that he wrote three songs that appear on the record, while Springsteen and Costello each penned two.  He also said that the album is expected out sometime in September, and noted that the project has been a long time coming.

"I promised her I'd make a record 30 years ago," Van Zandt said with a laugh.  "So I finally [got] around to doing it, [and] I'm very happy I did."

Love probably is best known for being one of the main voices of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound hits, including her solo holiday classic "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" and The Crystals' "He's a Rebel" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love."  In addition, as a member of the vocal group The Blossoms, she was one of the most in-demand studio backing singers during the 1960s and early '70s.  Love's contributions as a session vocalist were showcased in the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary, Twenty Feet from Stardom.  Darlene also was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2011.

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Richie Sambora Says He's Honoring Willie Dixon Tonight at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

Credit: James Minchin IIIThe 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place tonight in New York City, and one of the stars who'll be on hand to participate in the evening's festivities is Richie Sambora.  The founding Bon Jovi guitarist will team up with longtime Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin to induct late blues legend Willie Dixon.

Sambora tells ABC Radio that he and Taupin, with whom he's been writing songs lately, actually were instrumental in getting Dixon into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

"Bernie called [me] and he said, 'We gotta get Willie inducted,'" Richie recalls.  "And so we went and we kind of campaigned for him, 'cause he was a real pioneer."

Sambora, who's playing has long been influenced by the blues, points out that Dixon wrote such classic tunes as "Hoochie Coochie Man," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "Wang Dang Doodle" and many other songs that artists have covered throughout the years.  He adds that Willie, who died in 1992 at the age of 76, also was "quite a profound lyricist."

In addition to ushering Dixon into the Songwriters Hall, Richie also will be performing a musical tribute, a medley of some of Willie's classic tunes.

Sambora is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame himself, having been inducted alongside Jon Bon Jovi in 2009.  He tells ABC Radio that it's one of the greatest honors he's ever received, "because songs are the foundation of what happens [as a musician]."

As previously reported, the other songwriters getting inducted this year include late Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia and his longtime lyricist Robert Hunter, pop star Cyndi Lauper, country singer Toby Keith, ex-4 Non Blondes frontwoman Linda Perry and country hit maker Bobby Braddock.  In addition, Van Morrison will be presented with the Hall of Fame's highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, and Lady Gaga will receive the first-ever Contemporary Icon Award.

Regarding Morrison's award, which recognizes composers who have "established a history of outstanding creative works," Sambora says Morrison deserves it: "I mean, come on....My God, the body of work that that man has created, and greatness."

Richie also says the fact that Morrison will be on hand to accept the honor shows just how prestigious artists consider the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction gala to be.  "I know Van, and Van don't come out for nothing," he insists.

Meanwhile, Sambora tells ABC Radio that he'll be taking part in another cool music event in New York City later this week.  He'll be a special guest at Billy Joel's concert this Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

"You know, [Billy's] a friend and he asked me if I wanted to come and play," says Richie.  "I said, 'I'd be honored,' you know."

For more info about the Songwriters Hall of Fame and this year's induction ceremony, visit

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Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" Inspires Taylor Swift's Street Style; Rachel Says Song Has "Magic" 

Columbia RecordsIn the last month, Rachel Platten's breakthrough single "Fight Song" has risen to new heights, not only because it's connecting with listeners everywhere, but because it's gotten the personal seal of approval from Taylor Swift.  In fact, it's even inspired Taylor's street style.

Rachel and Taylor met earlier this month backstage at a show, and posted an Instagram video of themselves performing "Fight Song."  Then, last weekend, Rachel joined Taylor on stage to perform it during one of her 1989 World Tour stops. And this week, Taylor was photographed walking around L.A. wearing shorts, a T-shirt and a leather harness -- and the T-shirt read, "This is my Fight Song."  When a fan brought it to Rachel's attention, asking, "How amazing is this?" she replied, "Yes. It's amazing. Taylor is the sweetest. And she looks so pretty in it!!! Eeeeek."

Of course, "Fight Song" is more than just a T-shirt slogan; for many people, it's become a personal anthem of empowerment.  Rachel wrote it to give herself a pep talk when she was going through a tough time: after some initial success, her music career had stalled and she felt disillusioned.

"It felt really hard. It felt like, 'I don’t know if I’m supposed to be doing this anymore; I’ve been trying for so long,'" Rachel says of her mental state when she wrote "Fight Song."

She tells ABC Radio, "So writing the song was this declaration of: 'No, it doesn’t matter if anyone else hears this. I’m still gonna keep going, because I believe in it. And even if just a couple of people are affected tonight, that’s enough.'"

Rachel says just writing the song made her feel better, so she thought it might be something special. "I knew there was some kind of power and magic in it, but I wasn’t sure if that was just for me, if it was personal, or if it was gonna translate," she tells ABC Radio.

Luckily, it turned out to be the latter.  Rachel has now heard from countless fans, all telling her what "Fight Song" has meant to them in relation to their own struggles.  She says it's amazing how a song that's so personal also is so relatable.

"I know I wrote it ‘cause I needed it," she tells ABC Radio. "I think that there’s something, when you truly get to the heart and the bones of what you’re feeling, if you really go there and you don’t try to cover it up, I think it’s universal. And maybe that’s what I touched upon. Maybe that’s why it’s resonating so deeply."  

Rachel will hit the road this summer as the opening act for Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri's joint tour, which kicks off July 10.

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Colbie Caillat Reveals Her Fiance Proposed to Her in a Lobster Costume

Credit: Jamie SchultzA few weeks ago, Colbie Caillat revealed on Instagram that her boyfriend Justin Young proposed to her by asking her to be his "lobster" -- a reference to a Friends episode in which Phoebe tells Ross that he and Rachel are destined to be together because "she's your lobster."  But now, Colbie reveals that Justin took the proposal a bit further than that.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Colbie, a massive Friends fan, says, "That was always our thing, we would always say that to each other. So he proposed to me in an entire red lobster costume from head-to-toe. I have pictures and he gets so embarrassed when I show it to everyone, but it's like our little thing and it was really cute!"

Colbie is preparing to hit the road with Christina Perri on July 10, so she'll be a bit too busy to plan her wedding.  That's why she tells ET she might wait until 2016 to tie the knot with Justin, or do something this year that's very simple.

"We're super mellow and cruisey with that, so we want it small," she says. "Maybe in a year, or on the beach somewhere with the two of us."

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrothers Osborne is showing off their favorite spots in Nashville for Airbnb's Loval Lens series. You can check out their picks at

Look for A Thousand Horses to perform their new single, "(This Ain't No) Drunk Dial," on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, June 24. The band's debut hit, "Smoke," has been certified gold for 500,000 downloads and streams.

Luke Bryan's son, Bo, caught a really big fish all by himself, and Luke tweeted a photo of the catch Wednesday.

Danielle Steel's new book, Country, is out this week telling a love story involving a fictional country star who performs at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas several times a year. Of course, real-life married couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood played the Wynn for several years before launching their current World Tour last year.

Sam Hunt has released the new video for his single, "House Party," featuring footage of his life on the road so far this year.

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Florence Welch Remembers Meeting Dave Grohl; Is "Honored" to Fill In for Foo Fighters at Glastonbury

Cliff Lipson/CBS; Tom BeardAfter Foo Fighters were forced to cancel their appearance at Glastonbury due to Dave Grohl's broken leg, Florence + the Machine were tapped to fill in for the Foos' headlining set. In an Instagram post, frontwoman Florence Welch extends her sympathies to Foo Fighters and shares a photo of her when she met Grohl.

"We are so sorry to hear that the Foo Fighters have had to pull out of Glastonbury," she writes. "We met Dave Grohl a few years back and he was the nicest guy ever." Welch adds that she and Grohl hung out together even though she says she was "clearly very drunk."

Florence + the Machine will replace Foo Fighters as Glastonbury's Friday night headliner June 26 on the festival's main Pyramid Stage.

"We are honored to have been asked to step in, and we hope we will be able to give you as good a Friday night as the Foo's would have," Welch writes.

Two songs into Foo Fighters' show in Sweden last week, Grohl fell off the stage and broke his leg. While he finished playing that show, the band has had to cancel a host of European and U.K. tour dates, including their Glastonbury set. Foo Fighters' North American tour, which is scheduled to begin July 4 in Washington, D.C., has so far not been affected.

In the mean time, Welch herself is recovering from breaking her foot while performing at Coachella. She told ABC’s Good Morning America two weeks ago that she’s well on the mend.

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Keith Urban Loves Being the Father in a House Full of Girls

CMAKeith Urban and Nicole Kidman's oldest daughter, Sunday Rose, will turn seven on July 7, and the couple can't believe how fast she's growing up.

Keith says, "She's transformed all in this incredible, little period of the last handful of months, and she's a girl."

As Father's Day approaches this Sunday, Keith relishes his role as a dad to Sunday and her little sister, Faith Margaret. Since he grew up with his mother being the only woman in the house with his dad and brother, Keith admits he's learned a lot now living in a house full of girls.

"And I'm very comfortable in it, too," Keith adds. "I think, 'cause it's a very expressive, artistic house. Nic and I are very much in sync with the way we want to raise our girls."

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Get Ready to Snap Up Your Tickets for Sara Bareilles' "Waitress" Musical

Sonja Flemming/CBSThe wait for Waitress is almost over. Ticket sales have begun for the Sara Bareilles musical, based on the 2007 Keri Russell film of the same name.

The show will make its debut at the American Repertory Theater’s Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts this August, and this week, A.R.T. members can purchase their tickets. On June 23, a public pre-sale begins for the show’s previews. The remaining dates will go on sale to the general public on July 1.

Waitress previews begin August 2 and run through August 19. If the show’s Cambridge run proves successful, it will head to Broadway.

Sara announced back in 2013 that she would be writing the music and lyrics for the production. "Broadway scoring is something that has really been interesting to me my whole life,” she told ABC Radio at the time. “Musical theater is sort of how I got introduced to music at all, and so it feels like a nice home to come back to.”

Waitress tells the story of a small-town woman stuck in an unhappy marriage, who bakes pies as a form of escape.

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Miguel on "Wildheart": "I’m So Happy with the Album"

Photo Credit: Timothy Saccenti/RCA RecordsMiguel is proud of the material he's created for his third album Wildheart, which arrives later this month. The singer revealed why it was important to take his time while recording the follow-up to 2012’s Kaleidoscope Dream.

"I think this process lasted a lot longer than I expected it to. When it’s art you just can’t rush art. You got to ride the wave. I’m so happy with the album," he explains to Hunger.

The signer also spoke on how he evolved this time around. "Lyrically I feel like it’s a progression. Sonically it’s way more aggressive whereas Kaleidoscope Dream was lush and ethereal," he says. "There’s a lot more bite to this album. I think that probably has a lot to do with where I am in my life; I’m more to the point. Because I’ve become more direct in the way that I deal with everything, it’s reflected in the music."

So what can fans expect? The singer replies, "I think there are moments that will feel very primal and very powerful in the expected ways but I think the juxtaposition of some of the imagery is going to make it really stand out."

Wildheart, which includes the lead single "Coffee," is due June 30.

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James Taylor and Jimmy Fallon Sing "Two James Taylors on a See-Saw" on "The Tonight Show"

Douglas Gorenstein/NBCJames Taylor dropped by The Tonight Show on Wednesday to plug his first album of original material since 2002, Before This World. He also joined host Jimmy Fallon for a musical sketch called "Two James Taylors on a See-Saw."

The bit featured Fallon and the 67-year-old "Fire and Rain" singer wearing identical denim shirts and khakis and sporting long hair and mustaches, just as Taylor did when his career took off over 40 years ago.

As the sketch's title suggests, the two went up and down on a giant see-saw, while singing a Taylor-esque song called "Two James Taylors on a See-Saw" -- which contained lines like, "What goes up must come down, too. The seesaw changes our point of view."

Later in the show, Taylor performed "Stretch of the Highway," from his Before This World album, which came out on Tuesday.

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Smokey Robinson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Honor at BET Awards 2015

Autumn de Wilde/Universal MusicSmokey Robinson will receive the Lifetime Achievement honor at the BET Awards 2015, taking place June 28.

According to the network, the legendary singer, songwriter and producer will be recognized for his contributions to music and for representing the iconic sound of Motown Records.  Robinson has penned more than 4,000 songs, including his own solo hits and those he wrote for his old group The Miracles, as well as such classics as The Temptations' "My Girl" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain’t That Peculiar."

Robinson joins an elite roster of performers previously presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, including Lionel Richie, Prince, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire and James Brown.

Hosted by black-ish stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, the BET Awards 2015 will air at 8 p.m. ET on the network.  This year's show will feature performances from Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki MinajNe-Yo and Meek Mill, among others.

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Nas Partners with NYC Chicken & Waffles Restaurant 

Image Courtesy Island Def JamNas has expanded his brand by partnering with Sweet Chick, a New York City restaurant that specializes in chicken and waffles and Southern cuisine to help the restaurant expand beyond the Big Apple.

The rapper recently attended the a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Lower East Side location, according to Hip Hop Wired.

"Extending the Empire! New Patnaz! NEWYORKSTATEOFMIND! Me & my Bro about to FLIP THESE BIRDS!!" Nas says on Instagram, along with a picture of Sweet Chick owner John Seymour.

"When conceptualizing Sweet Chick, we understood the history of chicken & waffles and wanted to have an amazing product while paying homage to its roots within the music community of NYC," said Seymour in a statement. "Music has played a huge part in defining who we are and with Nas (my favorite rapper) on board, it’s a dream come true and we can truly move forward with a ‘NY state of Mind’ and introduce SWEET CHICK to a bigger audience."

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Robert Plant Schedules New US Shows in September

Credit: Frank MelfiRobert Plant and his current band, The Sensational Space Shifters, wrap up their current North American tour with a show on Wednesday in Philadelphia, but they'll be back in September for another run of performances.  The legendary Led Zeppelin singer's itinerary includes a previously announced two-date appearance September 12 and 13 at the Lockn' Music Festival in Virginia, three makeup dates for shows postponed this month because of Plant's bout with laryngitis and two newly added concerts.

The new shows are scheduled for September 18 in New York City and September 20 in Boston.  The postponed dates, meanwhile, will take place September 10 in Rochester Hills, Michigan, September 15 in Toronto and September 23 in Chicago.  Tickets the New York and Boston concerts will go on sale Friday, June 19, at 10 a.m. ET via and

Prior to returning to North America, Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters will mount a European summer trek that's plotted out from a July 10 performance in Gloucestershire, U.K., through an August 12 appearance in Colmar, France.  Robert and his group continue to promote his latest solo album, lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar, which was released in September 2014.

Here are all of Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters' upcoming North American shows:

6/17 -- Philadelphia, PA, Mann Center
9/10 -- Rochester Hills, MI, Meadowbrook Music Festival
9/12-13 -- Arrington, VA, Lockn' Music Festival
9/15 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Molson Amphitheatre
9/18 -- New York, NY, Hammerstein Ballroom
9/20 -- Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
9/23 -- Chicago, IL, FirstMerit Bank Pavilion @ Northerly Island

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Eagles of Death Metal, Featuring Josh Homme, Announce New Album, "Zipper Down"

Image Courtesy of T-Boy Records/UMeEagles of Death Metal, the rock duo featuring Jesse Hughes and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, have returned with their first album in seven years. Entitled Zipper Down, the record will be released on October 2. You can listen to the album's first single, "Complexity," now on YouTube.

"In an independent study, four out of three doctors say Zipper Down is an eargasm trapped inside a crazerbeam," says Homme, who also produced the album. "And I believe them."

In support of Zipper Down, Eagles of Death Metal will be touring North America starting August 26 in Tuscon, Arizona. Though Homme rarely performs with Eagles of Death Metal live, he did make an appearance at the band's show in Paris earlier this month.

Eagles of Death Metal released their last album, Heart On, in 2008.

Here is the Zipper Down track list:

"Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)"
"Got a Woman"
"I Love You All the Time"
"Oh Girl"
"Got the Power"
"Skin Tight Boogie"
"Got a Woman (slight return)"
"The Deuce"
"Save a Prayer"
"The Reverend"

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Justin Bieber Will Be the "First Thing You See" in "Zoolander 2"

Peter YangJustin Bieber's first major movie acting role will be in the long-awaited Zoolander sequel, Zoolander 2, but he doesn't just have a part in the movie: he'll be the first thing you see.

Speaking to Women's Wear Daily, Justin says, "I start the movie off. The first thing you see in the movie, which is pretty cool. I do this whole, like, parkour sequence. I’ve never really done something like that before." 

For the uninitiated, "parkour" is a term for propelling yourself from point A to point B -- usually in an urban area -- by running, jumping, vaulting, rolling and other body movements. It's been featured in movies like Casino Royale and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Justin adds of Zoolander 2's star and director, "I didn’t expect Ben [Stiller] to be so hands-on…. It was really cool to have him direct me in such a nonthreatening way. I wasn’t intimated at all.”

The singer also says he's working on his new album, noting, "You’ll find yourself in the studio for months at a time and find nothing and then all of the sudden it’s like bang, bang, bang and you get [ideas] like one after the other.”  He adds, "Finally you get in a rhythm and a motion, and I feel like that’s where I’m at, just kind of finally collecting all of the songs that I want to come out.”

As for why he spoke to Women's Wear Daily, Justin discusses his second job as a Calvin Klein underwear model and hints that he wants to design his own clothing line.  However, he notes, "It’s just such a big deal…I just want to make sure it’s perfect and right and take my time with it."  He adds, "It’s about trial and error and I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. Fashion’s definitely really important, but I got to make sure I’m ready for the failing part of it because I know that comes with it. It’s not easy. It’s not like putting out an album.”

Commenting on his recent bad behavior, Justing tells WWD, "I don’t think anyone has really doubted my musical capability and that’s what has sustained me this long, through all the negative stuff that’s been portrayed of me."

“People wanted me to apologize, which I don’t know if it’s really fair," he adds. "I’ll definitely take responsibility…as I’m growing but I’ll never apologize for being human and making mistakes...It’s been a cool learning process. I’m really happy where I am right now, that’s for sure."

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Brooklyn Hosting First-Ever 90sFest, Featuring Lisa Loeb & Smash Mouth

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesGet ready for some serious ‘90s nostalgia: the decade is getting its own music festival. The first-ever 90sFest will take place at the outdoor venue 50 Kent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on September 12.

The festival will feature nine hours of performances from 90s superstars like Smash Mouth, Tonic, and quirky glasses-wearing singer Lisa Loeb. The surviving members of Blind Melon and the cover band Saved by the 90s with the Bayside Tigers will also be taking the stage

Rapper Coolio and hip-hop trio Naughty by Nature are in the lineup, too.

Former MTV VJ Pauly Shore will host the event. But the 90s nostalgia doesn’t stop there -- the festival will also feature 90s-themed activities and giveaways, like a Nintendo Mario Kart tournament and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest-ever “Macarena” dance.

You can get more info and buy tickets to 90sFest starting today at Prices range from $60 to $85 for general admission, and $100 to $150 for VIP.

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Maroon 5 Bassist Mickey Madden Selling L.A. Home for Nearly $3 Million

Peter Kramer/NBCAdam Levine may be the one who gets all the attention, but his Maroon 5 band mates are doing pretty well, too. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the band’s bassist, Mickey Madden, just put his California digs on the market for $2.995 million.

The Los Feliz property, known as the Moore House, was designed in 1964 by architect Craig Ellwood and has been published in several architectural guidebooks.

The house has a central open living/dining area, three bedrooms and two baths. Sliding glass doors run the length of the rectangular Modernist home, intending to blend indoor and outdoor living. There’s also a variety of outdoor dining patios and water features on the property’s park-like grounds.

According to public records, Mickey purchased the property in 2005 for $2 million. No word on why he’s decided to sell.

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Britney Spears Reportedly Spent Nearly $25K on Her Dogs Last Year

Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCBritney Spears apparently spends more on her dogs than some people make in a year. According to records of the singer’s finances obtained by TMZ, in 2014 she dropped $24,720 on various pet expenses.

She reportedly shelled out $14,720 on pet sitting, $300 a pop for doggy grooming, and more than $4,000 on 12 visits to the animal hospital.

The finance records were filed in her conservatorship case. According to the documents, the conservatorship took in $14 million in gross profits last year, but that’s only a portion of Britney’s fortune. That means she can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on her pooches if need be.

TMZ reports she also spent $15,270 on meals and entertainment last year, and $71,629 on clothes and beauty treatments. She reportedly managed to spend $6,000 on various holiday decorations, and another $4,000 on Halloween decorations alone.

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Trisha Yearwood Celebrating New Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit with July 9 Performance

Country Music Hall of FameTrisha Yearwood is headed to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Thursday, July 9 for an interview and performance at the CMA Theater. The appearance celebrates her new Hall of Fame exhibit, "Trisha Yearwood: The Song Remembers When," opening July 3.

"It's such a thrill to see my life and career milestones displayed in an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum," Trisha says, "from the first guitar I ever played to the dress I wore to the Grammys on the night I won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “How Do I Live.” I'm so happy to be able to share these memories with my country music family."

The new exhibit also features several stage costumes and awards from Trisha's multi-platinum career, as well as the receipt for her first demo recording in 1983, paid for by her father. You can also check out the wedding gown Trisha wore when she married Garth Brooks in 2005, as well as a letter Johnny Cash wrote to Trisha, telling her that she has "what it takes to make it big -- and stay there."

For more information on Trisha's exhibit and appearance, go to

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