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Published: Friday, 3/17/2006

Detroit plans country concert series

Palace Sports & Entertainment has announced its lineup for the second annual Country MegaTicket, which includes five shows around the Detroit area this summer.

On June 9 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Rascal Flatts will be appearing with opening act Gary Allan. On July 15 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Brad Paisley will be in concert with special guest Eric Church. Randy Travis will be at DTE on July 23. On Aug. 13, at DTE, Brooks & Dunn will headline a show also featuring Sugarland. And the following month, on Sept. 23 at DTE, Alan Jackson will be in

concert.

Tickets for the five-show package will be sold beginning Saturday at 9 a.m. at Palacenet.com, the Palace box office, and by phone at (248) 377-0100. Individual tickets will not be sold for several weeks.

For $250, you will get the same seat at all four DTE shows and a lower level reserved seat for the Rascal Flatts show. For $125, you will get lawn tickets at DTE and an upper level reserved seat for the show at the Palace. Parking is included for all DTE shows.

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If you're like me, you'd probably like to see Garth Brooks return full time to the country music business. Well, tell him about it! At www.bringbackgarth.com, there's a petition page where you can leave a message. To date, there have been more than 1,300 petitions submitted.

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Buddy Trent Willmon has returned to the radio with his first single off his upcoming album. "On Again Tonight" rises to No. 37 on this week's Radio and Records chart. His new album should be out later this summer.

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Good news for Phillip Sweet, Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, and Kimberly Roads of Little Big Town. They were recently nominated for two Academy of Country Music Awards for Top New Vocal Group and Top Duo or Vocal Group. But the big news is that their album, "The Road to Here," has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of more than 500 copies.

"Bring it on Home," their current single and followup to Top 10 smash "Boondocks," is sitting at No. 36 on the charts this week, and it's been rising quickly.

Recently, "Boondocks" was certified gold for digital sales in excess of 100,000.

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It was announced this week that Carrie Underwood will be joining Kenny Chesney on the second leg of his "The Road & the Radio" tour.

Underwood will play 20 dates with Kenny, including at his stops in Grand Rapids, Mich., on June 2 and June 3 and in Cleveland on Aug. 24. This week, Kenny is sitting atop the radio charts with "Living in Fast Forward."

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Jeff Bates got a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry last week after performing his upcoming single, "One Second Chance." The song is about a man who has gone to jail and is seeking forgiveness and a second chance in life. Bates fans will recognize the familiar story line because it parallels Jeff's own life. Bates struggled with drug addiction for years and had to spend some time in jail because of it.

The single will head to radio in the next several weeks in advance of Jeff's upcoming album, "Leave the Light On," which will be released on April 11.

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And finally, Country Weekly has a nice story on Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts in their current edition on newsstands. They will be featuring a different member of the trio in the weeks ahead as Rascal Flatts prepares to release their album, "Me and My Gang," on April 4.

Gary, of course, is from Columbus and was an athlete and singer in high school, leading to a memorable quote in the article: "Of course, one advantage to playing sports and being involved in music was that the girls who didn't like sports kind of liked my singing. So I had both bases covered."



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