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ARTIST NEWSFLASH
■ JUST IN: In week three of the competition, ten couples await their fate as the second couple will be sent home on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars airing TUESDAY, APRIL 6 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.  Performing two of her hits will be multimedia superstarReba.  Reba will perform two numbers from her #1 Gold album, Keep On Loving You, including the biggest chart hit of her career “Consider Me Gone,” which spent four consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart and USA Today/Country Aircheck Chart.  She will also perform fan favorite “I Want a Cowboy”.

■ REBA BRINGS A NIGHT OF MUSICAL SURPRISES TO FRIDAY’S KNOXVILLE CONCERT WITH GEORGE STRAIT: Reba showed why she is yet again nominated in the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year award at this month’s Academy of Country Music Awards, as she left fans on their feet Friday night at Knoxville’s Thompson-Boling Arena on her co-headlining tour with George Strait and special guest Lee Ann Womack.  With the show close to her Music City home, the superstar decided to invite a few of her friends over to join her during her segment of the show.  In addition to a powerhouse duet with Lee Ann Womack on her 1993 smash “Does He Love You” and a hilarious comedy routine with Melissa Peterman prior to performing her TV theme song and Top 5 hit “I’m A Survivor”, Reba invited two other superstar artists to the stage.  As the opening bars of “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” began, Brooks & Dunn’s 2009 Top 5 hit that featured Reba, one had to hope that the duo, who is embarking on their farewell tour this year, would emerge: and to the crowd’s thrill, they did!  As Kix and Ronnie made their way to the circular stage, appropriately following Reba’s performance of her current hit single—the Ronnie Dunn and Terry McBride penned “I Keep On Loving You”—Reba and Brooks & Dunn picked off where they left off on tour more than a decade ago, with unmatched energy and charisma.  Shortly after Brooks & Dunn left the stage, another superstar, Kelly Clarkson, surprised the crowd, joining Reba on 2007’s Top 5 hit “Because Of You”.  Reba & Kelly, who packed houses on their 2008 2 Worlds 2 Voices arena outing, were at home on stage together, with Kelly staying out for a second song, the classic “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?”.  With an unforgettable night of music behind her, Reba will make more memories in Kansas City and Wichita this weekend with George Strait before heading to Las Vegas to prepare for her hosting and performance spot on the Academy of Country Music Awards, airing April 18th at 8PM ET on CBS.

■ WHETHER FROM THE ‘BACKWOODS’ OR NOT, FANS CONNECTING WITH JUSTIN MOORE’S CURRENT HIT: Justin Moore broke through with his ode to rural American life in “Small Town USA”, so when he decided to follow-up that song with another song about the joys of simple living—the raucous “Backwoods”—he felt confident that the song would connect, regardless of where fans came from.  “I think with the world the way it is right now, people are hungry for simple things,” notes Justin.  “Knowing how well ‘Small Town USA’ did, made me realize that people are ready for old-school Country music.  You know, it’s been amazing for me to see our crowds grow from 500 people last summer to full houses of 1,500 people this year.  You couldn’t even dream this big where I came from, so to see people from all over the country gravitating to what we are doing, is really rewarding.”  Justin continues a run of solo club dates this spring, before joining Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tour in May.


■ JIMMY WAYNE CELEBRATES HALFWAY POINT OF ‘MEET ME HALFWAY’ WALK WITH RALLY IN AMARILLO, TX: When Jimmy Wayne walked into Amarillo, TX yesterday, Saturday April 3, he had been walking for 93 days and covered approximately 977 miles of terrain. He successfully reached the halfway point of his walk halfway across America, which will end in Phoenix, AZ.  His goal is to raise awareness of homeless teens in America.  Wayne began the walk on New Year’s Day, leaving the parking lot of Monroe Harding Group Home in Nashville, TN on an icy cold morning, thus kicking off an initiative he calls Meet Me Halfway.  Wayne was inspired to create the Meet Me Halfway campaign by the almost epidemic number of homeless teens in the United States and the foster children who ‘age out’ of the system and without any sort of support system, oftentimes find themselves homeless.  Wayne’s own childhood was spent in and out of foster and group homes, and at one time he was also homeless.  The halfway point will be marked be a celebration at the Hastings Record Store in Amarillo, where Wayne will share his experiences on the road, and the reasons he undertook the walk.  “It’s been a rewarding and gratifying journey so far,” Wayne said of  his walk on behalf of homeless teens. “The people I have met along the back roads of America, as well as those in the bigger cities I have walked though have all been hospitable, and curios about why I’m walking.  I’ve been able to talk to them about the difficulties faced by homeless teens and foster kids.  Not everyone realizes that once a child in foster care hits the age of 18, they are essentially aged out of the system.  And without a family or support group of any kind, many of them end up homeless. Telling the story gives people information they need to get involved and help these kids.”  Following his April 3rd stop in Amarillo, Jimmy will continue on to Phoenix, where HomeBase Youth Services is located. HomeBase is an Arizona-based, non-profit organization founded in 1991 to address the growing needs of at-risk and homeless youth age 21 and younger.  In case you missed Jimmy’s halfway point rally, CMT.com promoted the live stream and captured it here.

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