Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLittle Big Town shared the stage with which pop star at last year's CMA Awards? ANSWER: Ariana Grande.

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Billy Currington, Eli Young Band, Frankie Ballard Added to Country Jam Music Festival in Colorado

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington, Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves, Frankie Ballard, Thompson Square and Parmalee are among the stars joining the lineup for the 24th Annual Country Jam Music Festival in Grand Junction, Colorado. The event takes place June 18 through 21 with Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Toby Keith and The Band Perry as the previously announced headliners.

Tickets for the festival are available now at CountryJam.com/Tickets.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLittle Big Town performs "Girl Crush" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday, February 24.

Maddie & Tae's new video for "Fly" will premiere on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. A trailer for the video is now posted at CMT.com.

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Cole Swindell’s Country Ballad, “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” Inspired by Real-Life Heartbreak

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell's first two #1 hits, "Chillin' It" and "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight," have been uptempo affairs, but he's tapping into some real-life heartbreak on his latest single, "Ain't Worth the Whiskey."

"It was a real thing," Cole says. "I had just broken up with this girl. She had me crazy. Just like, could not shake it. Finally, my buddy threw out that title, and I was like, 'I know somebody that might not be worth it that we could write this about.'"

They went on to write the song from the perspective of a guy who is too proud to admit he's drinking to forget his ex-girlfriend. Instead, Cole raises a toast to things like the end of the work week or a buddy who is serving in the military overseas.

Says Cole, "If you listen to it, obviously I'm not over her. It's just kinda like I'm saying I'm doing this and saying I'm doing that."

While Cole has moved on from pining for that girl who broke his heart, he is glad to show a different side of his music to fans who have just heard his radio hits.

Cole adds, "I'm glad I'm getting to put out a country ballad, 'cause me growing up loving '90s country music, there were so many great ballads and just great songs. I'm not always just 'Chillin' It.' You know, I'm a real person. There's heartbreak. There's trials."

It's hard to argue that life is pretty sweet for Cole these days. He's nominated for New Artist of the Year at the 50th Annual ACM Awards, broadcasting live Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Rascal Flatts and CMA Foundation Make Big Donation to Help Fund Music Education

Image Courtesy CMA/Greenroom PRRascal Flatts surprised a group of students at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles with a special delivery of new musical instruments. The Flatts teamed up with the CMA Foundation to announce a $150,000 donation to Little Kids Rock, an organization donating music teacher training, instruments and other resources to public school districts facing budget cuts.

Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney says, "With all three of us having children ourselves, organizations like Little Kids Rock really resonate with us. To be able to give back to young music makers and to do it with our friends at the CMA Foundation is really humbling and the best part of what we do.”

The students at Miramonte Elementary in L.A. are among the kids at 1,300 schools nationwide benefiting from the efforts of Little Kids Rock.

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