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Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line Featured on Tonight’s “15 Songs That Changed Country Music” Special

Image Courtesy CMARobin Roberts' new ABC special, Countdown to the CMA Awards: 15 Songs That Changed Country Music, premieres Monday night featuring performances from Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves and Martina McBride. Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley also appear on the special giving their commentary on what makes these 15 songs so essential to the evolution of country music.

While the complete list is being kept under wraps until the show airs, we can tell you Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" made the cut along with Kenny Rogers' classic, "The Gambler."

Luke Bryan talks about that track on the special. He says, "I remember having an 8-track player in my room listening to the "The Gambler" as a kid. Kenny Rogers was just the man. Nobody was cooler. Nobody was smoother. Nobody had it figured out quite like Kenny Rogers did."

Florida Georgia Line pays tribute to Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" on the special.

The duo's Brian Kelley says, "That's a drinking, party, country music anthem. 'Friends in Low Places.' We haven't really played many covers when we got going. We just kinda started writing our songs and playing them out. But if we ever had to throw a cover in, you bet it was 'Friends in Low Places.'"

In compiling the list, Robin Roberts and her team consulted with country music insiders and today's country stars on which songs should be included. Things got pretty heated as they decided on the final 15 songs.

Robin tells ABC News Radio, "It's all open for debate. But what we do like is that we really know that it has really touched upon classic songs, contemporary songs and crossovers. So, it really has a little bit of something for everybody." 

Lady Antebellum sings the #15 song on ABC's Countdown to the CMA Awards: 15 Songs That Changed Country Music, airing Monday night at 10 ET. The 48th Annual CMA Awards air live Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kix Brooks Looking for the Perfect Steak in New TV Special Airing Sunday Night

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleKix Brooks owns the Arrington Vineyard winery just south of Nashville, so he's always on the lookout for a great steak to go with his glass of red. Now, Kix has taken that search on the road for the new Cooking Channel special, Steak Out with Kix Brooks. Restaurants in Louisville, Chicago and Nashville will be featured on the show.

He says, "I really think that local steakhouses say a lot about the personality of their community, so this show was a great way to get to know a few towns and their people better over a great steak dinner and a glass of wine."   

Steak Out with Kix Brooks airs Sunday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET on the Cooking Channel.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kix Brooks Looking for the Perfect Steak in New TV Special Airing Sunday Night

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleKix Brooks owns the Arrington Vineyard winery just south of Nashville, so he's always on the lookout for a great steak to go with his glass of red. Now, Kix has taken that search on the road for the new Cooking Channel special, Steak Out with Kix Brooks. Restaurants in Louisville, Chicago and Nashville will be featured on the show.

He says, "I really think that local steakhouses say a lot about the personality of their community, so this show was a great way to get to know a few towns and their people better over a great steak dinner and a glass of wine."   

Steak Out with Kix Brooks airs Sunday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET on the Cooking Channel.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thomas Rhett Honored to Be in the Running for New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards

Image Courtesy CMAThomas Rhett was on tour in Toronto with no cell phone service or WiFi access the morning the CMA Awards nominations were announced. He had to go old school and call his manager from a land line to listen to the nominations TV broadcast over the phone. Things got tense when they started calling out the finalists in the New Artist of the Year category.

Thomas recalls, "They were called out in alphabetical order, and obviously my name starts with a 'T,' so it was towards the end. I was like, 'We didn't get it! We didn't get it!' Then at the end they did call my name, which made me kind of jump in my pants."

He quickly adds, "I didn't mean for that to come off weird if that sounded weird."

Thomas is proud to share in the New Artist nomination with his pals Cole Swindell, Kip Moore and Brett Eldredge along with singer/songwriter Brandy Clark.

He says, "Just to be a part of that award is the coolest thing in the world. It makes you feel like the past three years of touring 300 days-a-year actually did pay off."

Four of the five New Artist nominees have scored multiple #1 hits, and there are even more country newcomers who fit that criteria that didn't make the cut this year.

"You know, you got Tyler Farr and people like Dustin Lynch who I felt like definitely should have be in the category, but it's just how the cards fall," Thomas says. "I'm just pumped to be a part of that group. And whoever wins, I'll be pumped for 'em."

See who win New Artist of the Year on the 48th Annual CMA Awards Wednesday night at 8 ET on ABC.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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