Darius Rucker Shares the Spotlight with His Dog, Shula, on New Christmas Album, “Home for the Holidays”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleFans who pick up Darius Rucker's new Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, will notice an adorable little white dog sitting next to Darius on the back cover photo. It turns out that's Darius's four-year-old pup, Shula, who was just hanging out at the house when Darius did the quick photo shoot for the new album.

"We're on the back porch and we're taking pictures, and Shula just comes up and stands next to me," Darius explains. "My wife was like, 'Shula! Come here!' [The dog] looked at her like, 'I'm gonna be in this picture.' She just sat there, so we took it."

Darius ended up loving that photograph with Shula, who he describes an "awesome dog."

Says Darius, "She's one of the smartest dogs I've ever dealt with in my life. She's just so smart. But yeah, she's a great dog."

Look for Darius to sing "White Christmas" on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center Wednesday night at 8 ET. Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes are also on the bill.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Darius Rucker Shares the Spotlight with His Dog, Shula, on New Christmas Album, “Home for the Holidays”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleFans who pick up Darius Rucker's new Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, will notice an adorable little white dog sitting next to Darius on the back cover photo. It turns out that's Darius's four-year-old pup, Shula, who was just hanging out at the house when Darius did the quick photo shoot for the new album.

"We're on the back porch and we're taking pictures, and Shula just comes up and stands next to me," Darius explains. "My wife was like, 'Shula! Come here!' [The dog] looked at her like, 'I'm gonna be in this picture.' She just sat there, so we took it."

Darius ended up loving that photograph with Shula, who he describes an "awesome dog."

Says Darius, "She's one of the smartest dogs I've ever dealt with in my life. She's just so smart. But yeah, she's a great dog."

Look for Darius to sing "White Christmas" on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center Wednesday night at 8 ET. Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes are also on the bill.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jason, Luke, Miranda, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban Honored as “CMT Artists of the Year”

Image Courtesy CMTJason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban were honored Tuesday night as CMT Artists of the Year in a televised special broadcast live from Nashville.

Jason Aldean kicked off the CMT Artists of the Year 2014 special, singing his brand-new single, "Just Gettin' Started," with a little help from rocker Chris Cornell of Soundgarden on guitar and background vocals. Kenny Chesney was on hand to present his pal Jason with his Artist of the Year trophy.

During his speech, Jason sent out his thoughts and prayers to fellow Artist of the Year honoree Luke Bryan, who was unable to attend the event due to the death of his brother-in-law. Lady Antebellum stepped in to perform an acoustic version of Luke's hit, "Drink a Beer," with the songwriter, Chris Stapleton.

Luke tweeted after their performance, "That was amazing. Truly. Thank you Charles, Dave, Hillary and Chris! Beautiful!!! Thank you fans for your love."

Miranda Lambert sang "Holding on to You" from her latest album, Platinum, and she even had Nicole Kidman singing along in the audience. Miranda's friends, Ashley Monroe and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, were on hand to pay tribute to Miranda.

Florida Georgia Line delivered their latest hit, "Sun Daze," before accepting their Artist of the Year trophy from hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa.

Keith Urban performed James Brown's R&B classic "It's Man's Man's Man's World," backed up by an all-female band. Chris Cornell returned to the stage to present Keith with his trophy.

 

The evening closed out with Eric Church, Ashley Monroe and T-Bone Burnett performing "Workin' Man Blues" in musical tribute to the first-ever CMT Artist of a Lifetime recipient, Merle Haggard.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockTim McGraw has been inducted into the Headwear Association's Headwear Hall of Fame this year in recognition of his signature, black cowboy hat.

Reba, Little Big Town, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band and Dolly Parton are among the stars who have decorated Christmas trees now on display at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. Fans can bid on the trees now through December 31 at OprylandParadeofTrees.com. Proceeds will benefit a charity of the artist's choosing.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockTim McGraw has been inducted into the Headwear Association's Headwear Hall of Fame this year in recognition of his signature, black cowboy hat.

Reba, Little Big Town, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band and Dolly Parton are among the stars who have decorated Christmas trees now on display at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. Fans can bid on the trees now through December 31 at OprylandParadeofTrees.com. Proceeds will benefit a charity of the artist's choosing.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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