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ABC/Image Group LABrantley Gilbert may have a rugged persona, but he has a soft spot for his late dog, Alley

In People's 2019 Sexiest Man Alive issue, the "Bottoms Up" singer shares the story of the night he met Alley, a pitbull mix, who was wandering around in the parking lot of a Georgia bar in which he was performing more than a decade ago.  In fact, the singer saved her from a man who was throwing bottles at her.  

“After that she ran right up to me in the alley, so that’s what I named her, and she’s been with me ever since," Brantley says.

He sneaked her into his hotel room after the show, but even though he'd made a bed for her on the floor, he woke up the next day to find her sleeping by his side. The pup then became a part of Brantley's family with wife Amber, son Barrett and daughter Braylen.  

Alley was diagnosed with cancer in October and passed away soon after; Brantley says she was “happy and comfortable” during her final days.

"I do believe all dogs go to heaven and I know our sweet girl is there now," he remarks. 

Dan Smyers of Dan Shay is also included in the "sexy men and their pets" feature in the special People issue, on stands tomorrow.

John Legend was named as the Sexiest Man Alive for 2019; his fellow Voice coach Blake Shelton earned the title in 2017.  

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ABC/Image Group LADan Smyers of Dan Shay has found himself in People's 2019 Sexiest Man Alive issue, alongside his four furry friends. 

The country singer is part of the special feature that features sexy guys and their pets, with Dan posing alongside his and wife Abby's four dogs, ChiefMacaroniJoy and Ghost. A longtime advocate for animals, Dan has been a supporter of Nashville-based nonprofit Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, and he and Abby have fostered and found homes for nearly 40 dogs.

“They’re always making us laugh. It is like a constant form of entertainment. We no longer need to go to the movies or watch TV shows," Dan says of the couple's four canines. “They live a pretty good life and they are very, very goofy. All of them, they have their own interesting quirks and we love them for it.”

The singer has taken the pups with him on tour, and says they love exploring new places -- they also, he says, make being on the road more enjoyable.

“They are the life of the party on the road…especially when we get to go somewhere that they’re not used to like the beach or something. They love that," he says, adding that the dogs bring a sense of balance into their lives. 

“They can sense when we’re stressed or when we’re tired, and they’ll curl up next to you," he continues. "They can make it all go away and it makes everything else feel a little bit smaller.”

Dan Shay were crowned Vocal Duo of the Year last night at the 2019 CMA Awards.  

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Diego PerniaAfter hitting 32 stops on the trek in 2019, Zac Brown Band has announced that they’ll be extending their “The Owl Tour” into the spring of 2020. So far, the group has hit historic music venues across the country, in a streak that includes 11 consecutive sold-out shows.

Kicking off in February in Moline, IL, the new string of dates features opening acts Amos Lee and Jason “Pooh Bear” Boyd. The dates ahead will include festival stops, and are set to run through July. The group’s set list features plenty of new tunes, showcasing the music of their latest album, The Owl, which dropped in September.

“The energy throughout ‘The Owl Tour’ has been electric at every stop,” band frontman Zac Brown says in a statement. “It’s been an unforgettable year and we’ve had so much fun sharing the new music with our fans. We can’t wait to get back on the road next spring.”

Tickets for the just-announced tour dates go on sale November 22 at 12 pm local time, with a pre-sale for the Zamily Fan Club beginning on November 19. 

Here’s the full list of spring 2020 tour dates for the The Owl Tour: 

2/28 -- Moline, IL, TaxSlayer Center 
2/29 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena
3/4 -- Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
3/5 -- Knoxville, TN, Thompson Boling -- Arena
3/6 -- Lexington, KY, Rupp Arena
3/12 -- St. Louis, MO, Enterprise Center
3/13 -- Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
3/14 -- Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
3/15 -- Toronto, ON, Scotiabank Arena
3/26 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Maverik Center
3/27 -- Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
3/28 -- Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
4/15 -- Sioux Falls, SD, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
4/16 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
4/17 -- Little Rock, AR, Simmons Bank Arena
4/23 -- Charlottesville, VA, John Paul Jones Arena
4/24 -- Greenville, SC, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
4/25 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
7/24 -- Shakopee, MN, Twin Cities Summer Jam
7/25 -- Monticello, IA, Great Jones County Fair

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ABC / Image Group LADuring Tuesday night's episode of The VoiceBlake Shelton revealed that his fellow coach John Legend is People’s 2019 Sexiest Man Alive. As the recipient of that title in 2017, Blake was uniquely qualified to offer the newly-crowned Sexiest Man a little advice, as he explained to Entertainment Tonight.

“I’m the one that broke the news to him on The Voice as a former sexy guy,” Blake joked to ET Online at the CMA Awards in Nashville Wednesday night. “I told him afterwards, I said, ‘Hey man, listen. After this announcement comes out, wait about two weeks before you look at social media. Because everybody that ever hated you is gonna have something to say about it.'”

When Blake first made the on-air announcement earlier in the week, John jokingly responded that it was Blake who had inspired him to earn the title. 

“I want to thank People magazine, of course, but mostly I want to thank Blake Shelton, because I sat next to him for the last few months, and I learned his sexy ways,” he said.

“I observed every move that he made, every utterance that came from his mouth -- and I think some of it rubbed off on me. I think that has everything to do with why we’re here today.”

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ABC/Image Group LAThough the 2019 CMA Awards ceremony may have been structured around honoring country’s iconic women, the top honor of the evening ultimately went to Garth Brooks. It was the seventh time the country legend has received the CMA Entertainer of the Year title. 

While Garth was the big honoree of the night, he used his acceptance speech to call out rising artists -- male and female -- who shone during the show and beyond. Backstage after his win, he doubled down on his support for other artists, beginning with his wife, fellow country star Trisha Yearwood

“It’s an honor to be married to one of the strongest individuals ever -- forget male or female,” he told ET Online. “Just a strong being.”

While awards are nice, the country star said he’s perhaps even more excited to be celebrating his 14th wedding anniversary next month. That celebration will being all about family, including Garth’s three adult daughters, Taylor, August and Allie. 

“[Trisha] got married to the girls, you know, they exchanged rings and everything,” he explained. “So, all five of us enjoy our anniversary together. We’ll go somewhere to dinner, and it will be five minutes until I realize I’m the weak link in the chain of all the women there, and it’ll just be great. As long as everybody’s healthy, that’s all you care about.”

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Comstock/ThinkstockOn this day in 2001, this country superstar appeared as a special guest during *NSYNC Live! The Atlantis Concert special, singing "Stand By Me," "Fire And Rain" and "Lean On Me" with the popular boy band. Can you name him? ANSWER: Tim McGraw.  

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ABC/dick clark productionsdick clark productions and ABC announced Thursday morning that multi-platinum singer/songwriter Ciara will host the 2019 American Music Awards.

ABC also announced Kesha will be joined by Big Freedia for a performance during the show; it will mark Kesha's first return to the American Music Awards stage as a performer since 2013.

The pair join previously announced performers Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Thomas Rhett and Shania Twain. Taylor Swift will also perform in addition to taking to the podium to receive the 2019 AMA Artist of the Decade award.

The 2019 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 24 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.

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Mark Seliger/ABCThe 53rd annual CMA Awards, airing live from Nashville Wednesday night on ABC, was supposed to be all about celebrating the great female voices of country music.  And while those voices were front and center on the telecast -- and a few even made it to the podium -- ultimately, the evening's biggest award went to a guy who'd previously won it six times before.

While many fans and fellow artists were rooting for CMA host Carrie Underwood to take home the Entertainer of the Year Award -- which hasn't been won by a woman since 2011-- it was another Oklahoma superstar, Garth Brooks, who grabbed the big prize. 

In his acceptance speech, the stadium-filling singer was gracious as always, singling out co-host Reba McEntire for special praise, raving about Kelsea Ballerini's performance, predicting double winner Luke Combs would take home the Entertainer trophy some day soon, and declaring his love for his wife Trisha Yearwood.

As for the female winners, Ashley McBryde triumphed in the New Artist of the Year category -- not bad for a girl going nowhere -- while Maren Morris won the prestigious Album of the Year trophy for her critically acclaimed sophomore release Girl

A tearful Maren, who's four-and-a-half months pregnant with her first child, used her speech to pay tribute to hitmaking producer busbee, who died of brain cancer in September. "We miss him so dearly," said Maren, and thanked his widow for "sharing your husband with us." 

Blake Shelton, who won Single of the Year for "God's Country," also paid tribute to busbee, as well as his own hero, singer Earl Thomas Conley, who died in April.

But it was Kacey Musgraves, who won her first Female Vocalist of the Year trophy, who addressed country's current lack of female representation directly...if not specifically.

“I just want to say the female creative spirit, female energy, it's really needed right now. It's really important," the Grammy-winner said, "And I feel like it's something that Earth needs. And so whether it's me that's up here or any of the other women in this category, it's a beautiful thing.”

But as promised, women were a huge part of Country's Biggest Night, starting with co-hosts Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, who kicked off the proceedings with a performance of "Those Memories of You," from the 1987 Trio album Dolly made with two more female icons: Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

Then, it was an absolute delight to see a string of female stars perform a medley of landmark hits by women:  Jennifer Nettles, and Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild sang Loretta Lynn's "You're Lookin' at Country" while Loretta herself watched from the front row. The Highwomen sang Tammy Wynette's "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad." 

Then Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson, Crystal Gayle, Terri Clark and Sara Evans perfored snippets of their signature songs, and Martina McBride closed it out with a rousing rendition of "Independence Day." We also got to see Pam Tillis, Janie Fricke, Deana Carter and Kathy Mattea as presenters during the night.

Later on, the next generation took center stage, as Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Runaway June, Maddie & Tae, Ashley McBryde and Carly Pearce all performed Little Big Town's "Girl Crush."  Little Big Town themselves joined at the end, with Karen Fairchild declaring, "You're looking at the future of country music right here."

And our co-hosts Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton kept the flag flying for females in country throughout the night.  And Reba -- who stopped the show by tearing off not one but two different dresses during her performance of "Fancy" -- said it best: "We're doing it for all the little girls watching tonight, dreaming of ruling the world of country music — or maybe just ruling the world.”

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ABC/Randy HolmesThe 53rd Annual CMA Awards aired Wednesday night on ABC, and later on, so did a sixth installment of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s Mean Tweets: Music Edition.

As always,a variety of artists opened themselves up to some of the meanest, nastiest comments currently on the internet, procured especially by host Jimmy Kimmel. This time around, Billie EilishAlice CooperChance the RapperLuke PerryLizzoLuke Combs and a host of others took their licks.

As for the latter, one Twitter user accused Combs of making "music for people who taste the gas before they fill up their truck," while another noted, "Midland looks like they have a white van with 'free candy' written on the side" -- to which Cameron Duddy corrected, "It's a black van."

One of the biggest insults, however, was aimed at Cooper.  "Alice Cooper looked 65 in 1972.  How is he still alive," he read before shooting an equally confused look into the camera.  

The overall best reaction came from Cardi B, who read in a pointedly soft voice, "I just watched a muted performance of Cardi B and that b**** just looks loud without any sound on.  Like no thank you."

"How I look loud?  How I look loud??  I'm loud?"  She asks while looking around in bewilderment before deadpanning, "I don't even think I'm like loud.  Suck my a***"

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Country Music AssociationBackstage at the 53rd Annual CMA Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, Garth Brooks reveled at winning his seventh Entertainer of the Year trophy, a number that's quite famously always held special significance for him. The ever-humble superstar heaped praise on fellow winners like Luke Combs, while also celebrating Reba McEntire's performance of "Fancy" and the night's female-centric theme.

Luke Combs himself seemed somewhat in disbelief at having won both Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for "Beautiful Crazy." Garth's "Dive Bar" partner Blake Shelton revealed he was drawn to Single of the Year winner "God's Country" because it pushed him vocally.

After winning both Female Vocalist and Music Video of the Year for "Rainbow," Kacey Musgraves admitted that while she appreciated the night's female-centric theme, she believed women in country music should be celebrated every year.

New artist winner Ashley McBryde used her platform to inspire others to chase their dreams, while Album of the Year winner Maren Morris told the crowd of reporters she's decided the baby boy she's expecting is her good luck charm, since he kicked right before she walked onstage.

Dan Shay's Dan Smyers marveled at how the duo's third album continues to change their lives and propel their career forward, while Old Dominion admitted their second Vocal Group honor in a row probably means they're here to stay.

Musical Event of the Year winner, "Old Town Road" hitmaker Lil Nas X seemed particularly happy to hold his CMA award in his hands, still marveling that he'd been able to bring two disparate genres together.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCaroline Jones will make her Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday. Held at the Ryman Auditorium, Caroline will perform during the evening's two sets at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. 

Up-and-coming country singer Sandra Lynn is partnering with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville to generate toy donations for children in need. Sandra is encouraging those who attend her performance at the Song Suffragettes round in Nashville on December 9 to bring a toy donation that will go to the charity. 

NASCAR is bringing its Champion's Week event to Nashville from December 3-5. The two-day event will feature autograph singings with race car drivers, a NASCAR night at the Ryman Auditorium and more. The weekend will end with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards on December 5.  

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Here are the winners of the 53rd Annual CMA Awards, handed out Wednesday night in Nashville:

Entertainer of the Year
Garth Brooks

Album of the Year
Girl, Maren Morris

Single of the Year
“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton

Song of the Year
“Beautiful Crazy,” co-written by Luke Combs, Wyatt Durrette, Robert Williford, recorded by Luke Combs

Male Vocalist of the Year
Luke Combs

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kacey Musgraves

New Artist of the Year
Ashley McBryde

Vocal Duo of the Year
Dan Shay

Vocal Group of the Year
Old Dominion

Music Video of the Year
“Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves

Musical Event of the Year
“Old Town Road (Remix),” Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus

Musician of the Year
Jenee Fleenor

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Walt Disney Television/Paula Lobotrailer for the new documentary Bluebird has been released and features a series of superstars who are connected to the iconic venue.

Bluebird chronicles the history of the Bluebird Cafe, the esteemed singer-songwriter venue in Nashville that's played an influential role in the careers of Taylor SwiftGarth BrooksKeith Urban and more. In the new trailer, Taylor is seen performing "Better Man," the #1 hit she wrote for Little Big Town, during a surprise appearance in 2018 with songwriter Craig Wiseman. There's also a clip of Garth singing "The Dance."

Bluebird also features interviews with Vince GillTrisha YearwoodFaith HillKacey Musgraves and more, with additional shots of Vince, Maren MorrisJason Isbell and other performing in the revered space. 

"It gives people on the ground floor of their dreams a chance to tell their story," Kacey says in a testimonial about the venue, while Faith professes, "Being in that room, playing that place can change your life, as it did mine."

Bluebird premiered at the Nashville Film Festival in October and is scheduled to screen at select theaters on November 15 before moving to video on demand platforms on December 3.

For screening locations and more, visit BluebirdTheMovie.com.

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ABC/Image Group LAChris Lane and Lauren Bushnell takes fans inside their wedding day in the video for his song, "Big, Big Plans." 

The couple got engaged in June after Chris proposed to Lauren, who won season 20 of The Bachelor, with the song, sharing a video of the special moment that went viral. Chris and Lauren wed in Nashville on October 25.

The "Big, Big Plans" music video for the song captures special moments from the big day, including their first look at each other before walking down the aisle.

In between wedding footage are clips of Chris singing the track at their wedding venue, 14TENN.  We also get to see the couple enjoy their first dance, feed each other wedding cake and walk through a row of sparklers lit by their loved ones as they leave the venue. 

Chris recently scored his second #1 song with "I Don't Know About You," following in the footsteps of "Fix," which hit #1 on the country charts in 2016.

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ABC/Image Group LADan Shay's "Tequila" has earned another distinguished honor. 

The duo's breakthrough hit was named Country Song of the Year at the 2019 BMI Country Awards in Nashville on Tuesday night.  It was also named the most-performed country song of the year.

Singers Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney were on hand at the performing rights organization's ceremony to accept the award, alongside co-writer Nicolle Galyon.  

Nicolle and Ross Copperman were also named BMI Country Songwriters of the Year. In addition to "Tequila," Nicolle was recognized for writing "Coming Home" by Keith Urban featuring Julia MichaelsLady Antebellum's "Heart Break," and "Boy" recorded by Lee Brice.

Ross earned the prize for co-writing Kenny Chesney's hit "Get Along," "I Lived It" by Blake Shelton, "Woman, Amen" from Dierks Bentley and Justin Moore's "Kinda Don't Care." 

Dwight Yoakam was the recipient of the President's Award, with Jon PardiMargo PriceThe Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and The Highwomen honoring him with performances of his hits "Guitars and Cadillacs," "Fast as You" and "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere." 

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Mark Seliger/ABCMore stars have been added to the list of presenters and performers for the CMA Awards. 

Newcomers Jimmie Allen and Cody Johnson have been tapped to present at the show, along with Big Little Lies star Reese Witherspoon and Good Morning America contributing host Lara Spencer.

Additionally, Joe Walsh of The Eagles will participate in a tribute to CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Kris Kristofferson, alongside previously announced performers Dierks BentleySheryl CrowChris Janson and John Osborne.  

Newlyweds Carly Pearce and Michael Ray will host the CMA Awards pre-telecast ceremonies, during which the Musician of the Year and Broadcast Awards winners will be honored. Two CMA winners were announced Wednesday morning: Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus taking home Musical Event of the Year for "Old Town Road," while Kacey Musgraves' "Rainbow" was named Music Video of the Year. 

The 2019 CMA Awards ceremony is centered around the women of country music, with co-hosts Carrie UnderwoodDolly Parton and Reba McEntire set to lead a medley of hits by many female icons that will open the show.

The CMA Awards air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.  

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Copyright 8 Ten, Inc.Garth Brooks has found his next stadium stop for 2020. 

The superstar will perform at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 22. The show, which will be staged in-the-round, marks Garth's first time playing at the venue. It will be his only performance in Michigan for the duration of the tour.

Garth launched the Stadium Tour March 9 in St. Louis, Missouri. His final stadium show of 2019 takes place on Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. 

The "Friends in Low Places" singer also announced a final pair of dates for his Dive Bar Tour:  On December 2, he'll perform two shows in one night: one at Prospectors in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey and one at Six Strings in Foxborough, MA.  

Tickets for the show at Ford Field go on sale on November 22 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets cost $94.95 and are available for purchase only through Ticketmaster.  

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Mark Seliger/ABCWhen Carrie Underwood hosts tonight's 53rd CMA Awards, she'll be doing it with two of her heroes, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.

Since Reba and Carrie are from the same part of the country, she was a significant inspiration for the girl who would go on to win American Idol.

"Reba's from Oklahoma," Carrie tells ABC Audio. "She's from a very small town that's not too far away from where I grew up. And she's one of the women that made me feel like I could do this, too, because we were from similar places."

"And obviously, she's gorgeous, she's talented," the twelve-time CMA host adds, going on to point out that Reba and Dolly are much more than just extraordinary vocalists.

"Both her and Dolly are artists that are beyond just being a country music singer. They both act. They both have many endeavors in, you know, fashion, in charity, in Dollywood!" Carrie laughs. "They both have a lot of irons in the fire."

The "Love Wins" hitmaker admits she still works to pattern herself after the two Country Music Hall of Famers.

"Both of them are people that I've tried to take cues from," she explains, "and be like, 'How did they just become beyond, you know, and really get to do whatever whatever they want?'"

"Because they commit to it and they do it well," Carrie says, answering her question. 

Tune in to watch Carrie, Reba, and Dolly as they host the most female-centric CMA Awards in the history of Country Music's Biggest Night.

All three will each do solo performances, as well as being part of the epic all-girl open of the show. The action starts at 8 p.m. ET, live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on ABC.

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Comstock/ThinkstockThe CMA Awards have taken place in Nashville every year except for 2005. Can you guess where the awards show took place that year? ANSWER: Madison Square Garden, in New York City.

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The CMA Awards don't air until tonight, but two winners have already been announced this morning live on ABC's Good Morning America by Maddie & Tae.

In the category of Musical Event of the Year, the winner was "Old Town Road (Remix)" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.  While the song wasn't deemed "country" enough by Billboard to appear on the publication's country charts, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-breaking 19 weeks.

In the category of Music Video of the Year, the winner was the clip for "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves, directed by Hannah Lux Davis.

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards,” hosted by Carrie Underwood with special guest hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, broadcasts live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville tonight on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

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