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Carly Pearce Announces the CMT Video Music Award Nominations

The perfect way to kick off the summer and CMAFest in Nashville is the CMT Music Awards. Happening live on Wednesday, June 5th at Bridgestone Arena, the 2019 CMT Music Video Awards will be hosted by Little Big Town.

Earlier today, Carly Pearce joined the Today Show in the 10 AM hour to announce the nominees as well as perform her song “Closer To You”. Co-hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Willie Geist introduced Pearce who won Breakthrough Video of the Year last year for “Every Little Thing”.  She was all smiles getting this incredible honor of announces this year’s nominees.

They surprised Pearce as they cut to a video of Little Big Town to announce that Pearce was also nominated for Female Video of the Year for “Closer To You”. Excited, Pearce exclaimed, “You dream of doing this, I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little girl to be here, to see my name, it’s just amazing”.

The songstress took the stage to perform the song that was just nominated for CMT Female Video of the Year after talking about how her fiance and fellow country artist Michael Ray stars in the music video.

Video of the Year

Carrie Underwood – “Cry Pretty”

Chris Janson – “Drunk Girl”

Cole Swindell – “Break Up In the End”

Dan + Shay – “Speechless”

Dierks Bentley ft. Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”

Eric Church – “Desperate Man”

Florida Georgia Line –  “Simple”

Kacey Musgraves – “Rainbow”

Kane Brown – “Good As You”

Keith Urban ft. Julia Michaels –  “Coming Home”

Kelsea Ballerini – “Miss Me More”

Luke Combs – “She Got the Best of Me”

Maren Morris – “GIRL”

Zac Brown Band – “Someone I Used To Know”

Female Video of the Year

Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”

Carrie Underwood – “Love Wins”

Kacey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy”

Kelsea Ballerini – “Miss Me More”

Maren Morris – “GIRL”

Miranda Lambert – “Keeper of the Flame”

Carly Pearce – “Closer To You”

Male Video of the Year

Cole Swindell – “Break Up in the End”

Eric Church – “Desperate Man”

Jason Aldean ft. Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”

Kane Brown – “Lose It”

Kenny Chesney – “Get Along”

Luke Bryan – “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset”

Thomas Rhett- “Life Changes”

Duo Video of the Year

Brothers Osborne – “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)”

Dan + Shay – “Speechless”

Florida Georgia Line – “Simple”

LOCASH – “Feels Like A Party”

Maddie & Tae – “Friends Don’t”

Sugarland feat. Taylor Swift – “Babe”

Group Video of the Year

Eli Young Band – “Love Ain’t”

LANCO – “Born to Love You”

Little Big Town – “Summer Fever”

Midland – “Burn Out”

Old Dominion – “Hotel Key”

Zac Brown Band – “Someone I Used To Know”

Breakthrough Video of the Year

Ashley McBryde – “Girl Goin’ Nowhere (At Marathon Music Works)”

Jimmie Allen – “Best Shot”

Jordan Davis – “Take It From Me”

Mitchell Tenpenny – “Drunk Me”

Morgan Wallen – “Whiskey Glasses”

Runaway June – “Buy My Own Drinks”

Tenille Townes – “Somebody’s Daughter”

Collaborative Video of the Year

Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell – “What Happens In A Small Town”

Darius Rucker feat. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Charles Kelley – “Straight To Hell”

Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”

Jason Aldean feat. Miranda Lambert – “Drowns The Whiskey

Keith Urban feat. Julia Michaels – “Coming Home”

Sugarland feat. Taylor Swift – “Babe”

CMT Performance of the Year

Boyz II Men and Brett Young – “Motownphilly (From CMT Crossroads)”

Luke Combs and Leon Bridges –“Beautiful Crazy (From CMT Crossroads)”

Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile –“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (From 2018 CMT Artists of the Year)”

Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor –“Let You Be Right (From CMT Crossroads)”

Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Gladys Knight –”I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (From 2018 CMT Artists of the Year)

Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes –“Keep Me In Mind (From CMT Crossroads)”

Cover Photo Courtesy of CMTPress.com

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CMT Crossroads Featuring Brett Young and Boyz II Men

Crossroads Boyz II Men Brett Young

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Held at Stage A at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and broadcasted on CMT last night, Boyz II Men and Brett Young were featured last night for another incredible episode of CMT Crossroads. Who knew this was the collaboration everyone needed?

In last night’s broadcast, Young shared the stage with the iconic group in their first country collaboration. Young and Boyz II Men had met the day before this was filmed, however, their mesh of musical styles and stage presence appeared like they were old friends, performing together. The night kicked off with “Motownphilly” getting the crowd singing along and ready for what’s to come.

In between the songs, Young and Boyz II Men talked about how similar their two genres are and how love songs connect with everyone. “There’s country, there’s R&B and those two genres are exactly the same, we just change a couple of instruments to make one country and one R&B,” Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men says. “We are meshing genres but at the same time, we do very much of the same thing, and I think that’s really cool” Young continued. “But that’s the whole point of Crossroads, it gives the viewer something that they might not have seen on their own,” Shawn Stockman explained.  The group and Young jumped right into a beautiful rendition of Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know”. They also performed the group’s hit “Water Runs Dry,” which is also the song that Young covers in his set on tour. It has the elements of a hit country track that engages the group and Young’s voice flawlessly.

Before singing Young’s next couple of songs he mentioned his single “Here Tonight” was the first time he put an actual tempo song out to radio. “Sometimes it’s nice to write a song that even though the topic is obvious, the story is so vague that anybody can make it their story,” Young says. “We don’t say where here is, here is here for you, it’s here for me, it’s wherever that is for anybody.” The single is currently climbing the charts sitting at #3 on the Mediabase chart and in the top three on Billboard. Young also explained to Boyz II Men that his track “Mercy,” was the song the crowd would cheer for to encore before it was even a single. Arguably, one of the most impactful songs of the night was “End Of The Road” which gave each artist a chance to really harmonize together, even allowing the fans in the audience to sing the final chorus acapella.

To end the night, they performed Boyz II Men’s smash single “I’ll Make Love To You.” “This was a challenge I was excited for, “ Young said of the collaboration and working with the band. “The process might’ve taken longer or gone differently if you guys weren’t so genuine and warm and open and fun about it.” There were roses placed on the stage for them to hand out to the audience. The artists took advantage of this opportunity by handing them out to the ladies in the crowd. Between the sultry vocals, amazing harmonies and beautiful roses it was a definite ‘’swoon’ moment for those in attendance.

As members of the Grammy award-winning band talked earnestly with the rising country throughout the show, it was apparent that they appreciate the country music genre, as much as Young appreciates them and the way their music has influenced him. “Country music leaves space for the song to breathe, they leave space for the artist to sing the lyrics so you can hear the story, ” Morris stated. “All of those beautiful things that country is known for, that’s why people love it still, it still touches the heartstrings,” Stockman concluded. This collaboration was an unexpected yet clever decision made by CMT.

To keep up with CMT’s Crossroads future shows, make sure to visit http://www.cmt.com/shows/cmt-crossroads. To keep up with Boyz II Men follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and Brett Young on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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NYCS Woman of the Month: Leslie Fram

We’re bringing you stories from women who are chasing their dreams and building a life that they love with New York Country Swag’s, “Woman of the Month.”

Each month, we highlight a different female pursuing her passions. Introducing you to women who are taking risks, working relentlessly and turning their dreams into reality. These are empowering women who serve as role models and should be celebrated.

Leslie Fram

Leslie Fram

For our March Woman of the Month, we wanted to feature a female in the industry who not only has an incredible story but also works daily to champion other female artists and women in general who are working tirelessly to make their dreams of working in the music industry come true. Leslie Fram is currently the Senior VP of Music Strategy for CMT (Country Music Television) in Nashville, but this small town Alabama native didn’t always didn’t only listen to country music growing up. She tells us in a recent interview that thanks to her older brother, her musical influences ranged a few different genres including artists like Led Zeppelin and Heart to Jackson Browne and The Eagles. “I listened to the radio late at night and picked up stations across the country in all different genres, which is how my passion for radio was born,” she recalls.

Before moving to Nashville, Fram pursued a career in radio, first in Top 40 radio in Mobile, Alabama then, an Alternative Rock station in Atlanta and most recently, right here in the Big Apple rocker 1019RXP as Program Director and Morning Show co-host.  Before her move into country music, Fram had already racked up a ton of recognition in music, being named the first woman to receive the TJ Martell Award in recognition of outstanding performance in the music industry in 2000 and in 2009 she was honored as a Lifetime Achievement Inductee in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

We discussed how the transition in 2011 into country music from rock music and out of radio into television affected her. “The first year at CMT was a whirlwind, getting to know a whole new set of industry folks and learning the job.  The team (which is more like a family) at CMT made the transition so smooth,” she explains.  She made sure to take meetings in town to meet more of the industry and at night to attend shows, so that she could learn all about what the country music genre had to offer.

Now, a typical day in the life of the Senior VP of Music Strategy includes getting to the office early, most weeks she takes breakfast meetings before her day even officially begins. Some of her days are back to back until 5:00 or 6:00 PM, filled with meetings about all things CMT including label calls, meetings about all CMT events, catching up with artist’s teams and even a weekly meeting where she watches all of the videos that come in and will be played on the platform. Once her busy day ends, her and her team divide and conquer all of the incredible music related events or concerts that go on on a nightly basis including industry showcases, #1 parties and heading to see new acts or shows. “Because of my hectic lifestyle, I try to remain healthy and get as much sleep as possible (when I can!) in order to keep up,” she tells us.  “I love working on a project from beginning to end and strategizing with our team.  We are truly thankful for what we all get to do and that we get to do it in Music City!”

Leslie Fram

Leslie Fram and Karen Fairchild with the Class of 2019 CMT Next Women of Country / Photo Courtesy of CMT.com

One of the main initiatives Fram has been a part of since her start at CMT is championing women in the genre. We were so interested to hear her take on the situation and what made her decide to work to bring equality to the genre. “It was shocking to see the lack of support for all of these amazing female artists when I moved to Nashville.  When I starting actually speaking with them and hearing stories of what they were going through, I knew we had to do something.” And so they did, creating CMT Next Women of Country which has now introduced countless female artists to fans all over the country. Now, the franchise has expanded from simply a yearly event to 5 years of annual tours, a digital music series and more. They even just announced that for the first time, this year’s class will be going international, and to USO bases overseas. “I am so proud that we have helped launch the careers of amazing women like Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Lauren Alaina, and RaeLynn,” Fram says.  “CMT has given its full support to this franchise, including last year’s unprecedented ‘Artists Of The Year’ awards show, which honored all women for the first time ever.”

Leslie Fram

NYCountry Swag Managing Editor, Christina Bosch, and Founder, Stephanie Wagner with 2019 CMT Next Women of Country Artist, Stephanie Quayle

New York Country Swag’s 2o18 Babes, Booze & Brunch event featured Hannah Ellis who is now currently on the 2019 CMT Next Woman of Country tour with Cassadee Pope and Clare Dunn and we can’t wait to catch the show next month at Gramercy Theatre. We were also honored to have Stephanie Quayle, a member of the 2019 class, perform at our Babes, Booze & Brunch event earlier this month.

We couldn’t let such an icon in the country music industry go without asking about advice that she has for women trying to follow their country music dreams and specifically for our company. Fram said, “Follow your passion and find your champions!  You are offering a service that can help mentor artists and industry professionals, which is such important work.  Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement!”

 

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CMT Crossroads Presents Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes

Crossroads Shawn Mendes Zac Brown Band

Photo Credit: Rick Diamond Getty Images for CMT

Last night CMT hosted another one of their epic mashups on another installment of Crossroads.  This episode included YouTube star turned pop sensation Shawn Mendes and Zac Brown Band. The concert took place at a small, intimate venue in Franklin, TN last month and aired last night (October 24th).  Although the hits that are played on the radio are very different from one another, both acts took the stage and seemed to genuinely enjoy learning and performing each other’s songs.

The night kicked off with Brown singing the opening lines to Mendes’ “Mercy” and the lead singer took turns with the songwriter to put a unique spin on the mid-tempo ballad.  Surprising the audience and Mendes, Brown and his band ended the song with an epic jam featuring Jimmy De Martini’s remarkable fiddle playing. The show continued in the same fashion, first, a Mendes hit then a Zac Brown Band smash.  They performed “Keep Me In Mind”, “In My Blood”, “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”.

In between songs the show cut to Brown and Mendes sitting in a coffee shop discussing their careers, songwriting and what they appreciate about the other.  “I feel like you are a part of the future of music as well,” Brown said to Mendes.  “Especially for your age, you seem like you are really grounded, so just mad respect for your musicianship, your songwriting, and arrangements and just the dude too so yeah it was a no-brainer it was a privilege for us to get to do this”. The audience members clearly were fans of both artists, singing along to every word of every song.  “Having two generations of music connect, allows my generation to be like ‘oh my god how incredible are they!'” Mendes also said.

Although they took turns singing verses for each song, the magic was when they sang together, turning the pop songs country and the country songs pop.  Two highlights of the night came when they slowed things down to perform Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather” and when they joined together to sing a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”.

Brown and his band have never been afraid of bending the lines of the country music genre, infusing a medley of instruments and production that lean towards the pop world, making this one of the best episodes of Crossroads yet.

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2018 CMT Artists of the Year – An Epic Night of Women in Country Music

Carrie Underwood, Runaway June and Maddie & Tae at CMT Artists of the Year ceremony. Photo by Rick Diamond / Getty Images via CMT.com

Carrie Underwood, Runaway June and Maddie & Tae at CMT Artists of the Year ceremony. Photo by Rick Diamond / Getty Images via CMT.com

Wednesday evening (Oct 17.),  in Nashville at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, CMT’s 2018 Artists of the Year ceremony honored women of country, including Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood, Hillary Scott, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, and for Country Artist of a Lifetime Award to Loretta Lynn. It was the perfect step towards changing the conversation to an action of supporting women in country music.

The night started off with Miranda Lambert and her band the Pistol Annies singing their new cut “Sugar Daddy,” which is on their on their upcoming record Interstate Gospel. Lambert voiced her opinion on supporting women in the industry and how we always have to be there for each other.

Kelsea Ballerini joined Alison Krauss to perform a beautiful rendition of Krauss’ classic, “Ghost In This House” and then accepted her award from Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott.

Alison Krauss and Kelsea Ballerini at CMT Artists of the Year ceremony. Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images via CMT.com

Alison Krauss and Kelsea Ballerini at CMT Artists of the Year ceremony. Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images via CMT.com

“One of the greatest gifts that have been given to me as a new artist on this short journey that I’ve been on so far is having people that I grew up listening to and that I’ve learned from, turn around and reach out their hand to me,” Ballerini said. “They’ve shared their stage with me and shared their platform with me and I think what I’ve learned from that is to lift each other up, to support each other, and to share our stage no matter how big or small it is.”

Maren Morris brought sass and R&B into her performance, where she joined Brandi Carlile on stage to put their own spin on Aretha Franklin’s soulful hit “Natural Woman” in tribute to the legend who passed away earlier this year. Accepting her award from Sheryl Crow, Morris voiced on how thankful she was that CMT was shining the light on the lack of female representation and putting this night together. She also said how she feels that the females in this room are putting out the most compelling and emotional music right now.

Hillary Scott performed with pop star Tori Kelly and gospel singer Kirk Franklin with an inspiring showing of Lady Antebellum’s hit “American Honey,” Kelly’s new single “Never Alone,” and Franklin’s track “Oh Happy Day.” Following Scott, Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild performed with the soulful legend Gladys Knight for a mashup of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” which brought chills and a standing ovation through the Symphony Center.

Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman with Gladys Knight at CMT Artists of the Year ceremony. Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images via CMT.com

A standout moment was when Fairchild humbly included 35 up-and-coming women artists to look out for and support through their new projects in her speech including our past Swag Spotlights, Jillian Jacqueline, Abby Anderson, Tenille Townes, Runaway June, and Natalie Stovall. Take a look at the chilling moment in the video here.

Sadly, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Loretta Lynn wasn’t able to attend the ceremony to accept her award but her lifetime friend and actress Sissy Spacek was happy and tearful accepting the award on her behalf. Spacek seemed overwhelmingly thrilled and proud to talk about her dear friend and their everlasting friendship.

Lastly, Carrie Underwood brought out her opening acts for her 2019 Cry Pretty 360 Tour, Maddie & Tae, and Runaway June. Underwood began her performance with an acapella version of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man,” and then Maddie & Tae joined in with “Rockin’ with the Rhythm,” by the Judds. Underwood then continued with a rousing rendition of Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” giving everyone a blast from the past. Runaway June added their touch with singing “Wild One” by Faith Hill. The artists then ended with a powerful performance of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and harmonizing on Underwood’s single “Cry Pretty.”

CMT gave everyone a taste of what’s to come for females in country music. It was the perfect opportunity to show everyone that the future is female and female artists aren’t going anywhere but up from here.

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Jimmie Allen Plays Ole Red Nashville for CMT Hot 20 Live

Jimmie Allen, CMT Hot 20 Live

Jimmie Allen, CMT Hot 20 Live

Friday (Sept 28), Jimmie Allen took over CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown Live at Ole Red in Downtown Nashville. The Delaware native is preparing to drop his debut album Mercury Lane on October 12th, which includes his chart-climbing song “Best Shot”.

Allen sang four songs from the forthcoming album for the energetic crowd, “Blue Jean Baby”, “21”, “Best Shot”, and “Underdogs”. Along with performing live, CMT host Marley Sherwood asked Allen some fan questions. The two took tequila and whiskey shots before asking questions to get the crowd going, also toasting to Troy Gentry, his friend and country music star who sadly passed away last year.

Sherwood asked who some of his favorite sports team were to which Allen replied, “Well of course, football season is upon us so fly Eagles fly. I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan being from Delaware. With basketball, I’m a Lakers fan. Even though we’ve been struggling for a few years, Lebron made us relevant again. For baseball, I did grow up as a Yankees fan but ever since Derek Jeter left, I’ve been wearing whoever has the coolest hat, so it’s definitely the Red Sox.” Representing Nashville, Allen added that his favorite hockey team was of course the Nashville Predators, which was greeted by cheers and applause from the Nashville audience.

Not only did Allen find out that people who graduated from his own high school were in attendance at the show, but he also showed fan appreciation by bringing up a lady wearing his t-shirt. He was excited and talked to her on stage bonding and showing his genuine love for his fans. Lastly, he brought his adorable four-year-old son to the stage to say goodbye to the crowd.

NYCountry Swag first introduced Allen to our followers back in October 2017, when he joined us in New York City at Refinery Rooftop for a Live Swag Session. We were immediately hooked by his lively, optimistic charisma and beautiful vocals. Check out his session with us in the video below.

Pre-order Jimmie Allen’s debut album, “Mercury Lane” here and don’t miss his Today Show debut on Tuesday, October 9th. Fans can catch Allen on the road this fall/winter with Scotty McCreery. The tour hits the New York area on January 26th 2019, click here for ticket information. For additional tour dates visit, jimmieallen.com and to keep up with upcoming announcements, new music & more, follow Jimmie Allen on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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Russell Dickerson’s $6 Video Up For CMT Breakout Video of the Year…

 

Rising country star, Russell Dickerson was amongst the multiple artists who were surprised with a CMT Award nomination yesterday (May 8.).  His debut single and first #1 song, “Yours” is up for CMT Breakout Video of the Year. The nomination sparks an extra special recognition for Dickerson as the entire video was directed, filmed, produced and edited by none other than his beautiful wife, Kailey.

The now famous “$6 Video”, costing only the price of the gas used, was filmed from the back of a friends SUV, while Dickerson used a tri-pod and camera to shoot her husband walking behind the truck. When a thunderstorm erupted during the middle of shooting, nature’s beauty added it’s own special effects to the impromptu shoot.

Kailey Dickerson, who also happens to be one of our recent ‘Woman of the Month’ features, credits God for the extra touches in the video in a recent Instagram post.

Read more about Kailey here and be sure to VOTE for Russell Dickerson’s video “Yours” for CMT Breakout Video of the Year here. Tune in to the CMT Awards Wednesday, June 6th 8/7c on CMT and CMT.com.

 

 

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Next Women of Country Kicks off in NYC with Sara Evans, RaeLynn & Kalie Shorr

CMT Next Women of Country Sara Evans

Sara Evans joined by RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr took the stage at B.B Kings in Times Square for the kick off night of CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour. The venue was packed, with standing room only crowd members at the bar.

CMT Next Women of Country Sara Evans

First to take the stage was Kalie Shorr, this being her first tour and her first time performing in New York City, the young punk-country artist opened her set with “Fight Like A Girl”, an anthem which she powerfully performed.  She also sang her latest single “Two Hands” and “Damn Sky” which are both featured on her EP Awake. Covering a kick-butt version of Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like A Woman” the girl power night started off with a bang.

CMT Next Women of Country Raelynn Sara Evans

Next to take the stage was RaeLynn, the “Wildhorse” singer sang songs off of her debut album including “God Made Girls” and “Young”.  “It’s a dream to be playing in New York tonight at B.B King’s opening for Queen Bee, Sara Evans, I’m just so excited to be on tour with her,” she told the audience. Referencing her time on the reality talent show The Voice and her coach Blake Shelton, the young singer explained that after writing for a few years she loved being able to put honest music out into the world.  She closed her set with a song that she explained “changed her life,” “Love Triangle”.

CMT Next Women of Country Sara Evans

Finally, Sara Evans took the stage as the headlining act of the night.  Evans was joined by her band which included her brother, Matt, sister, Leslie and oldest son Avery.  The powerhouse vocalist sang songs from her 20-year career including, “Suds in the Bucket”, “Born to Fly” and of course “A Little Bit Stronger”.

She also performed songs from her latest album Words, including “Night Light”, “Long Way Down” and “Marquee Sign”.  The songstress had the entire audience singing along to her hits, entertaining them with her wit and humor in between songs and empowering all of the women in the room.  “We need a lot more women in country music, that’s for sure,” she exclaimed.  “I can’t tell you how honored I am that you are all here on a Monday night.”

Evans didn’t just sing originals but included some incredible cover songs, stylistically changing them to suit her signature sound including Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You”, Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and closed out the night bringing her two opening acts back on stage for “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”.

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