Thursday Morning Country Music Headlines

TAYLOR SWIFT'S NEW SINGLE HAS RECORD FIRST WEEK

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Taylor Swift says she "can't stop smiling." She has set a new all-genre sales record for females with the release of her new single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." It has sold 623,000 copies in its first week out. It's also No. 1 on Billboard's digital songs chart. Swift tweeted thanks to her fans for the support, saying "you guys are amazing!!" "We Are Never" is the first song off her upcoming album, "Red," due out October 22nd.

TIM MCGRAW, TAYLOR SWIFT TO PLAY CANCER BENEFIT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift are joining the fight against cancer. They will be participating in the third "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon along with stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Coldplay and Alicia Keys. The telethon will air September 7th commercial-free on the four major broadcast networks and more than a dozen cable channels. McGraw and Swift will be performing.

BLAKE SHELTON TOPS THE CHARTS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Blake Shelton is on top again. His latest single, "Over," marks his seventh consecutive No. 1 and his 12th chart topper overall. Shelton says he owes much of his success to country radio, saying long before "The Voice," that was the only place you could hear his voice. The new season of "The Voice" starts September 10th.

SHELTON READIES FIRST CHRISTMAS ALBUM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Break out the mistletoe. Blake Shelton is releasing his first Christmas album on October 2nd. It's called "Cheers, It's Christmas" and will feature several duets with stars like Michael Buble and Reba as well as one with his mother. Shelton says he wanted it to be a "classic-sounding album, bigger than any genre." He admits that the recording process took him out of his element and pushed him to work through a lot of ideas. But in the end, he says it's a record he's "very proud of."

MCGRAW, HILL DAUGHTERS EXCITED FOR VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- When Tim McGraw and Faith Hill go to Las Vegas for their new "Soul2Soul" shows, their three young daughters will be there, too. But the couple says the girls won't just be sitting in a hotel room. McGraw says the girls thrive on the energy of Vegas and enjoy seeing shows like Cirque du Soleil. Hill says they've been to Vegas many times before and love it.

LEANN RIMES RE-LAUNCHES HER FAN WEBSITE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- LeAnn Rimes is giving her fan website a makeover. She's launching an all new LeAnnRimesWorld.com today. And for members of her "Spitfire Social Club," she's offering exclusive access to personal photos and blog posts. Rimes says she'll be "digging into the old times and breaking into an exciting new phase" of her life and career. She will also be hosting a live chat with fans on her 30th birthday next Tuesday, August 28th. Rimes is releasing her new single, "Spitfire" in December, followed by an album of the same name.

DWIGHT YOAKAM REVEALS NEW SONG FROM UPCOMING ALBUM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Can't wait until September 18th to hear new music from Dwight Yoakam? Check out one of the tracks from his upcoming album "3 Pears" on RollingStone.com. The song is called "A Heart Like Mine" and was co-produced by Beck. Yoakam plans to debut a few more tracks in the coming weeks ahead of the release date. He just launched the album pre-sale on DwightYoakam.com.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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