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Thursday Morning Country Music Headlines

GEORGE STRAIT READY FOR ONE MORE ROUNDUP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- George Strait is getting ready to hang up his cowboy hat and boots, but just from touring. Strait announced that his final concert tour early next year. He says it was a hard decision to make, but he's "not retiring," just retiring from touring. Strait went on to say he's still going to make records and he's "gonna write." Strait will play 20 dates next year and 20 more in 2014 on The Cowboy Rides Away tour. Martina McBride will be Strait's special guest on tour which begins January 18th in Lubbock, Texas.

"X FACTOR"

UNDATED (AP) -- "The X Factor" has another country girl for this season. Natalie Martin wowed the judges with her version of "Stay." And the judge want her to stay. The 16-year-old gets four yeses, including one from her idol, Britney Spears. Sophie Tweed-Simmons also auditioned. She's the daughter of Gene Simmons from Kiss. Some of the other wannabes resented a star's kid trying out. But Sophie told the judges her parents didn't know until just before the audition. She makes it with three yeses.

ALLSTAR LINEUP FOR CMA AWARDS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Who's Who in country music are going to be performing at the "CMA Awards" show in November. Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Kelly Clarkson, and Little Big Town are in the first group of performers confirmed. Aldean holds the current title for CMA Album of the Year for "My Kinda Party" This year, he picked up nominations for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, and Single of the Year for "Dirt Road Anthem." Clarkson shares the current CMA trophy for Musical Event of the Year with Aldean. She makes her debut in the Female Vocalist of the Year category this year. The show is hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for a fifth straight year and it'll air on ABC.

FAITH HILL's NEW SONG ON TWITTER

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Faith Hill is set to debut her new single, "American Heart," from her forthcoming album, with a "fan first"' social media event. The song comes out this Sunday. Its release will mark the first time that a country artist has premiered a single and lyric video on Twitter. In advance of the premiere, Faith will chat live with her fans on Twitter before NBC'S Sunday Night Football. She says the new song "inspires" and she wanted to be something special for her fans.

TIM MCGRAW WINS ONE IN COURT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Court of Appeals of Tennessee upheld a court ruling that denied Curb Record's request for a preliminary injunction that would prevent Tim McGraw from signing with another record company. The court agreed that McGraw was free to leave his contract with Curb and record under another label. McGraw signed with Big Machine Records in May.

BLUEGRASS TAKES THE SPOTLIGHT IN MUSIC CITY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The International Bluegrass Music Association awards are tonight at the Ryman in Nashville. Russell Moore and Third Tyme (teyem) Out lead the way with nine nominations, including Entertainer of the Year. Alison Krauss and Union Station are right behind with eight nominations. Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers grabbed seven nominations including Entertainer of the Year.

COMING TOGETHER FOR CHARITY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Several performers have "come together" for a new performance video which aims to raise funds and increase awareness for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Big and Rich, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum and Randy Owen join more than 30 other celebrities singing "Hey St. Jude," a special version of the Beatles classic, "Hey Jude," released in conjunction with National Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

TRACY LAWRENCE RECEIVES HUMANITARIAN AWARD

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tracy Lawrence received two special honors from his Tennessee community for his philanthropy and charitable efforts. A sold out crowd was on hand during the event honoring Lawrence with the first ever "Wilson County Humanitarian Award" and proclaiming September 25th as "Tracy Lawrence Day." Lawrence's song "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" served as the theme.

by John Anthony

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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