Eric Church, Luke Laird celebrate #1 single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’

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Garnering his third No. 1 single on the Billboard charts, Eric Church continues to buck the trends that make his contemporaries so popular. He's blazed his own trail, and "he's never happy to stay back on his own laurels," UMG CEO Mike Dungan pointed out at the No. 1 celebration for "Give Me Back My Hometown."

Dungan continued, noting Church's achievements in creativity, "I can't tell you what it's like to represent an artist with such integrity and meat on his bones. This guy is constantly moving." Lifted from Church's eclectically-ranged The Outsiders, "Hometown" was co-written with Nashville tastemaker Luke Laird, who hit a milestone with a record 15 chart-topping singles.

Laird has penned such tunes as Carrie Underwood's "So Small," Blake Shelton's "Hillbilly Bone" and Little Big Town's "Pontoon." Earlier this year, the songwriter landed a Grammy Award win for Best Country Album for his contributions to Kacey Musgraves' critically-acclaimed Same Trailer Different Park disc. Shane MacAnally also produced.

Laird will return to the studio this fall to helm Musgraves' anticipated sophomore effort.

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Kellie Pickler Honored with Warrior Award from USO of North Carolina

KP-1Kellie Pickler receives the Heart for the Warrior Award at the USO of North
Carolina's Ninth Annual Salute to Freedom Gala in Raleigh, N.C. on Oct.
19. 
Kellie Pickler was presented with the
Heart for the Warrior Award from the USO of North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 19
at the Ninth Annual Salute to Freedom Gala in Raleigh, N.C.  The award is given to those who, through their
selfless service and contributions, continuously lift the spirits of the troops
and their families.
 
Pickler, an Albemarle, N.C. native, participated in her first USO tour in
2007. Since then, she has performed for more than 30,000 troops stationed in
eight different countries.

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