Monday Morning Country Music Headlines

DARIUS RUCKER'S LAUGH GETS HIM IN TROUBLE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Darius Rucker says he's got a "big, stupid laugh" and it gets him in trouble from time to time. The problem, according to Rucker, is that he's got "a weird sense of humor" and sometimes he laughs when he shouldn't. Once he starts, he says it's hard to stop. That laugh is now prominently featured in the star-studded music video of celebrities covering Little Big Town's hit "Pontoon." Rucker's third country album is set for release early next year and he continues to perform with his old band Hootie and the Blowfish.

LAUREN ALAINA CELEBRATES HER 18TH WITH 18 CONCERTS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Lauren Alaina turns 18 on November 8 and she's got lots to celebrate besides a big birthday. Her single "Eighteen Inches," which she co-wrote with Carrie Underwood, Kelly Lovelace and Ashley Gorley, is a Top 40 hit. Last week she kicked off her first headlining tour, the 18-city "Eighteen Inches Tour." Alaina is donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of the tour's limited edition t-shirts to a charity in each of the cities where the tour stops. She's also making a contribution to the Special Olympics. The t-shirts can be purchased at the concerts or on her website.

TOBY KEITH SETS DATE FOR RELEASE OF NEW ALBUM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Toby Keith is releasing his new album on October 30. "Hope On The Rocks" is the follow up to his all-genre No. 1 album "Clancy's Tavern." The new album includes the already released single "I Like Girls That Drink Beer."

TAYLOR SWIFT IS HEADED BACK TO SCHOOL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Taylor Swift is heading back to school. On October 24, she'll participate in a live webcast with students in classrooms across the U.S. to discuss her passion for reading. In addition to taking questions from students and talking about how literature has inspired her, Swift will perform a song from her upcoming CD, "Red." Fans can get a preview of the new album on ABC's "Good Morning America" which plans to air 30-second snippets over the next month. Swift will appear live on G-M-A on October 22 for the album's launch and on the 23rd for a live concert.

ACM HONORS ANNOUNCES MORE BIG STARS

UNDATED (AP) -- Hunter Hayes, Will Hoge, Buddy Miller and musician and producer T Bone Burnett are joining the lineup for the 6th Annual ACM Honors. The September 24 event recognizes the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, held earlier this year. Big and Rich's Big Kenny also joins the list of presenters for the evening.

BIG & RICH GET A LITTLE HELP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- When Big and Rich were putting together their first new album after a five-year break, they got a little help from some friends -- Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. The unlikely quartet struck up a friendship several years ago and they got together to write two songs for Big and Rich's new album. But, Bon Jovi did more than contribute to those two tracks. He came to the rescue of the album's title when Big and Rich worried that "Star Wars" creator George Lucas would probably object to their choice -- "Hillbilly Jedis." According to Rich, Bon Jovi pulled out his cellphone and made a call on their behalf to Lucas who said it was "cool, but there's no such thing as jedis. Jedi is like deer, it's plural and singular. So if they do it, it's got to be "Hillbilly Jedi." And that's what it is.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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