Brantley Gilbert Goes Gold with “Just as I Am”; Announces New Tour Dates

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert's latest album, Just as I Am, has been certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies. The news comes as Brantley announces the second leg of his Let It Ride tour, starting September 19 with special guests Tyler Farr and Aaron Lewis on select dates. Newcomer Chase Bryant will open all shows.

Brantley made the tour announcement in a video posted on his website. The clip features footage from the first leg of his trek as well as a special appearance from his sleepy dog, Sylo.

Here are Brantley's new tour dates:

9/19 -- Austin, TX, Cedar Park Center
9/20 -- Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
9/26 -- State College, PA, Bryce Jordan Center
9/27 -- Worcester, MA, DCU Center
9/28 -- Bangor, ME, Cross Insurance Center
10/9 -- Cincinnati, OH, US Bank Arena
10/10 -- Southaven, MS, Landers Center
10/11 -- Jackson, MS, MS Coliseum
10/16 -- Madison, WI, Alliant Energy Center
10/17 -- St. Louis, MO, Chaifetz Arena
10/18 -- Moline, IL, iWireless Center
10/23 -- Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
10/24 -- Cape Girardeau, MO, Show Me Center
10/25 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
10/30 -- Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
10/31 -- Savannah, GA, Martin Luther King, Jr. Arena
11/1 -- Norfolk, VA, The Ted Constant Convocation Center
11/20 -- Fresno, CA, Save Mart Center
11/21 -- San Jose, CA, SAP Center
11/22 -- Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
12/4 -- Charlotte, NC, Time Warner Cable Arena
12/5 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
12/6 -- Pikeville, KY, Eastern Kentucky Expo Center

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Jake Owen Runs His Songs by His Friends Before He Puts Them Out

Image Courtesy RCA NashvilleJake Owen is constantly thinking about his fans when he's choosing songs like his latest hit, "Beachin'." He often tests songs he's thinking about recording on his friends while they're out on his boat.

Jake tells The Huffington Post, "I can usually tell pretty quickly if they're enjoying the song, you know? But a lot of the time my friends are honest and they’re like, 'God, this is so great, you got to get this out there,' or they’re like, 'This song sucks.'"

Jake's friends obviously gave a big thumbs-up to "Beachin'." It's the latest hit from his current album, Days of Gold, in stores and online now.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockNewcomer Joel Crouse will release his debut album, Even the River Runs, on August 19. It features his single, "If You Want Some."

Dan + Shay are the CMT Listen Up Artist of the Month for July. Look for exclusive performances from the duo all month long at and on the CMT app.

Craig Morgan has signed on as the official spokesperson for the Spirit of Blue Foundation to promote safety for law enforcement officers. He's also launched a promotion at giving fans a chance to see him at the Grand Ole Opry on August 19.

Jason Aldean on Thursday shared a photo on Instagram of him and Kenny Chesney hanging out at an undisclosed Buffalo Wild Wings location.

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Brad Paisley Looks Forward to “The Duels” on “Rising Star” Sunday Night

Image Courtesy Jim Wright/Arista NashvilleThe 20 remaining contestants on ABC's Rising Star begin competing against each other in "The Duels" starting Sunday night. The contestants will be paired off for back-to-back performances. Whichever contestant of the pair gets the higher percentage of votes will stay on the show while the other contestant goes home.

Expert Brad Paisley tells ABC News Radio, "It is drag racing. It's just one person goes, they qualify, there's your time. Go do it again. What about you? Are you faster or not?"

The show's experts are also starting to mentor the contestants, which means they'll be selecting some of the songs for the Rising Star hopefuls. Brad has been putting a lot of thought into which songs he'll choose for his contestants to connect with the viewing audience.

"The most important thing is that you match the song to the person, and that it's also a song that America recognizes," Brad says. "Originally, I was like, 'Man, we should let 'em sing something they wrote,' but not everybody's gonna be a great songwriter."

He adds, "If you're picking a song that America's not totally aware of, or that's a niche sort of alt-rock thing or something that people don't know, they're having to get to know that while they're getting to know you."

Tune in to see all of the action on ABC's Rising Star Sunday night.

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