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CHRISTMAS: Carrie Underwood’s first Christmas album, “My Gift,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart this week. The new album marks Carrie’s eighth No. 1 on the chart.

The holiday offering, which features a combination of beloved traditional favorites and original material that celebrate Carrie’s faith and the spiritual nature of Christmas, moved 42,767 equivalent units, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The album also debuted at No. 8 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. “My Gift” was produced by Greg Wells and mixed by Serban Ghenea. The album features a world-class orchestra led by conductor David Campbell. “My Gift” will also be released on vinyl on Oct. 30.

GUEST: Morgan Wallen will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 10. Morgan will take the stage for two performances, as comedian/actor Bill Burr tackles the hosting duties. In the past five years, a handful of country stars have performed on SNL, including Blake Shelton (January 2015), Zac Brown Band (March 2015), Chris Stapleton (January 2016, January 2018), Maren Morris (December 2016), Margo Price (April 2016), Sturgill Simpson (January 2017, January 2018), Kacey Musgraves (May 2018), Thomas Rhett (March 2019) and Luke Combs (February 2020).

HOSTING: The Country Music Association announced Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker will host the 54th annual CMA Awards on Nov. 11. The show will air live from the Music City Center in downtown Nashville at 8 p.m. ET.

“I’m thrilled to be back hosting the CMA Awards and even more thrilled that I get to share the stage with Darius Rucker,” says Reba. “We’re looking forward to a night of celebrating great country music and hope you’ll tune in and watch!”

This will be the fifth time Reba hosts the CMA Awards, while Darius will be making his debut as emcee.

BEAU: During a new episode of her weekly podcast, “Living & Learning With Reba McEntire,” Reba revealed she has a new boyfriend, actor Rex Linn. Reba’s 26-year marriage to Narvel Blackstock ended in October 2015. Reba dated Anthony “Skeeter” Lasuzzo for about two years before breaking up in May 2019. Rex Linn, 63, is a well-known character actor who has co-starred in a number of TV shows and movies, including “Cliffhanger,” “Rush Hour,” “Wyatt Earp,” “Tin Cup,” “CSI Miami” and more.

Julie Reeves is the evening host on Big Buck Country 101.5. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.

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