Darius Rucker Bonds with His Tour Mates over Dinner and Rounds of Golf

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryDarius Rucker thinks it's important to get to know the acts on his tours, and that task is pretty easy to do if they like to play golf half as much as Darius. Luckily, Darius's supporting act on the Southern Style tour, Brett Eldredge, is a big golfer.

Darius explains. "Putting [the tour] together, you know, I ask Brett, 'You play?' He's like, 'Yeah, I love to play.' 'Perfect. Let's go play.' And that's always a good way to bond. That's four hours of being together."

If an artist isn't that good at golf, Darius lines up other situations on the road to let everyone's band and crew relax and have some bonding time.

"I'll rent out a restaurant and they'll take everybody in," Darius says, "and we'll have a nice meal just so we can all sit around and talk and not worry about putting up a stage and taking down a stage. Let's just enjoy each other and get to know each other a little better."

Darius's Southern Style tour kicks off May 14 in New Jersey. He's also hosting the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic in Dallas on April 18. Kix Brooks, Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley and Chris Young are among the other stars teeing off with Darius. The event benefits the ACM's charitable organization and takes place the day before the 50th Annual ACM Awards, airing live April 19 on CBS.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe cast of ABC's Nashville has added a Philadelphia date to their spring concert tour. They'll play the city's Tower Theater on May 1.

Parmalee recently visited U.S. troops in six countries on a nine-day trip. Check out their story and photos at People.com.

The 2015 CMT Music Awards will be held in Nashville on June 10.

Country stars will take the field for the 25th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game at the CMA Music Festival coming up June 13. The event takes place at Nashville's new First Tennessee Park. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster.

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Tim McGraw Reveals Which Musical Decade Shaped His Entire Career

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw's latest hit, "Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools," is the kind of classic country song you might have heard Merle Haggard singing back in his '70s heyday. In fact, Tim thinks most of his music can be traced back to the influence of that era.

He says, "I grew up in the '70’s, and I’m a child of the '70’s. That kinda music is really what made me fall in love with music."

One of that decade's hottest bands weighs heavily on Tim's song selection, too.

"The Eagles were probably one of the biggest influences in the music that I make," Tim says. "It’s like George Strait, Merle Haggard and the Eagles all meshed together.”

"Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools" is the latest single from Tim's album Sundown Heaven Town, available now.

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Kellie Pickler, Billy Ray Cyrus Starring in Two Upcoming CMT Series

Image Courtesy Black River EntertainmentKellie Pickler and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, have a new reality show coming to CMT this fall. I Love Kellie Pickler follows the high-energy country star as she navigates married life with Kyle, who's described as her "complete opposite." The show will also capture Kellie and Kyle's professional life; he's producing her upcoming studio album. Look for I Love Kellie Pickler to premiere September 18.

CMT also has announced a new scripted series starring Billy Ray Cyrus, premiering early next year. Still the King features Billy Ray as Vernon Brown -- a country one-hit wonder who returns to the spotlight 20 years later as an Elvis impersonator in Nevada. Circumstances bring Vernon back to Nashville, where he pretends to be a minister and discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter he's never met.

Cyrus' last starring TV series role was in the family drama Doc, which aired from 2001-2004.  He also had a recurring role in daughter Miley's Disney Channel series, Hannah Montana.

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