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Four waffles, to go: Chris Stapleton wins big at the Tunies

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Waffle House, Inc./PR NewswireWhen it comes to made-up awards shows, this one may take the cake — or the waffle, that is.

Chris Stapleton walked away with four trophies at the Tunie Awards Wednesday night in Duluth, Georgia. If you’re trying to figure out what the Tunies are, well, they’re the honors Waffle House and TouchTunes hand out for the most-played artists and songs on their jukeboxes.

Stapleton is Waffle House’s most-played country artist this year, and its top overall artist as well, with the Traveller track, “Tennessee Whiskey,” claiming both country and all-genre honors too.

The trophies — which feature an actual-size gold waffle, of course — mean so much to the Kentucky native he showed up to accept them himself. You can experience the ceremony for yourself via the Waffle House Facebook page.

Two other country songs finished in the top ten, among the thirty million songs played on Waffle House jukeboxes last year: Kane Brown’s “Heaven” is number five, while Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” comes in eighth.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kelsea, Kane, TR, Shania, Dan + Shay and more to take the stage at Sunday's American Music Awards

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dick clark productionsJust like Donny & Marie, Sunday’s American Music Awards will be a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.

Nominees Dan + ShayKane Brown, and Kelsea Ballerini will help hand out trophies, while Thomas Rhett is set to perform.

Shania Twain will also do a medley of her biggest hits, in her first AMA appearance in sixteen years. Early next month, the Canadian country/pop superstar kicks off her latest Vegas residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Taylor Swift’s also on tap to do a much-talked-about mash-up of her biggest songs, as she accepts the Artist of the Decade Honor from Carole King.

You can tune in to watch all the action from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, starting at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC.

Here’s a look at the country nominees for the fan-voted show:

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY 
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY 
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE DUO or GROUP – COUNTRY 
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion
               
FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY 
Kane Brown, Experiment
Dan + Shay, Dan + Shay
Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty
 
FAVORITE SONG – COUNTRY 
Luke Combs, “Beautiful Crazy”
Dan + Shay, “Speechless”
Blake Shelton, “God’s Country”

And here are the categories in which country artists are also nominated:

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR 
Luke Combs
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Ella Mai

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper “Shallow”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Marshmello & Bastille “Happier”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita” 
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEO
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Ariana Grande “7 rings”
Halsey “Without Me”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Taylor Swift “You Need to Calm Down”

FAVORITE SONG – POP/ROCK
Halsey “Without Me”
Jonas Brothers “Sucker”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Panic! At The Disco “High Hopes”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

FAVORITE SONG – RAP/HIP-HOP 
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Post Malone “Wow.”
Travis Scott “SICKO MODE”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Luke, Lionel, Katy, and Ryan return for a new season of 'American Idol' on February 16

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ABC/Craig SjodinAmerican Idol’s returning a little early this year. While the hit ABC singing competition typically premieres in March, season three’s set to begin on Sunday, February 16 at 8 p.m. ET.

The stars of the show announced the start of the 2020 season by posting a shared FaceTime call on their socials.

Host Ryan Seacrest kicks things off by dialing Luke Bryan, before conferencing in Lionel Richie, who answers with his trademark “Hello!”

“That never gets old,” Ryan replies.

Then Katy Perry joins, with her just-washed hair up in an Idol blue towel, though her eye makeup is fully done, complete with glittering rhinestones. Ryan then reveals the date, after his co-stars implore him to “Hurry up and tell us already!”

Tune in for the two-hour Idol premiere Sunday, February 16 at 8 p.m. ET.  

This Sunday, three fan favorites from past seasons of the show will have the chance to be voted back on Idol during the American Music Awards, which start at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The winner will be revealed during the Monday finale of Dancing with the Stars.

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Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Move over Hollywood and Bollywood, all of Dolly's 'Heartstrings' lead to Dollywood

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NetflixEvery episode of Dolly Parton‘s Heartstrings leads directly back to Dollywood.

While the international icon stars in select installments of the Netflix anthology like “Jolene,” “JJ Sneed,” and “Two Doors Down,” she introduces every episode of the series based on her songs. And she does it from her theme park in her Smoky Mountain home.

Last month, she also hosted a red carpet premiere and after-party at Dollywood, with co-stars like Kimberly Williams-PaisleyJulianne Hough, and Mac Davis joining her.

“It’s always good to be able to be home when you’re trying to sell something,” she told ABC Audio on her way to the screening at the Showstreet Palace Theater.

“And all these songs,” Dolly added, “so many of them were born out of my heart because I got my start here. And, of course, Dollywood is very special to me, and it’s a wonderful place”

“It’s just such a great setting, it’s like being on a movie set. We couldn’t beat it in Hollywood or Bollywood!” she joked.  

All eight episodes of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings premiere Friday on Netflix, with big names like Kathleen TurnerMelissa LeoDelta BurkeGerald McRaneyGinnifer GoodwinPatricia Wettig, and Timothy Busfield starring alongside the Country Music Hall of Famer.  

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Blake, Gwen, John and Carson do "Kellyoke" with Kelly Clarkson

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NBC On her talk show, Kelly Clarkson usually opens with “Kellyoke,” the segment where she puts her spin on popular hits. She usually performs solo, but on today’s installment of the show, she invited a whole crowd to join her for a country classic.

Kelly was joined by fellow The Voice coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend and Gwen Stefani for a version of “Neon Moon,” a 1992 #1 hit for Brooks & Dunn. This year, the Country Music Hall of Famers teamed up with Grammy-winner Kacey Musgraves for an updated take on the track, and that’s the arrangement Kelly and her pals used.

The Voice host Carson Daly even joined the quartet on guitar for the performance, which proved that if Gwen Stefani ever wanted a country career, she could definitely do it.

The season finale of The Voice takes place December 17 on NBC. Check your local listings to see where the syndicated The Kelly Clarkson Show airs in your area.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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