Welcome to The Boot's News Roundup, a morning rundown of the news country music fans need to know. Read on to learn more about the latest goings-on in the country, Americana, bluegrass and folk genres.

After taking criticism for "meeting" with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Blake Shelton took to Twitter to deny that he has been hanging out with the Republican politician. A photo of Shelton and his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, with Ryan was snapped at Shelton's Tishomingo, Okla., restaurant Ol' Red during Thanksgiving week, but Shelton says the moment was complete serendipity. "Literally walked into a restaurant WITH MY FAMILY (including children, LOTS of children)," Shelton explains on Twitter. "Bumped [into] to a politician that I’ve never even met before, said hello and took picture (like I would try to do with anyone I meet who asks)."

maren morris 2017 taste of county music festival pictures
Patrick Tewey

Speaking of Twitter, Maren Morris wasn't having any of one anonymous troll's invasive questions about her body. Morris posted a photo of herself in a bikini, and a random Twitter user responded by asking the singer if she'd had breast augmentation surgery. "Not that it would be any business, but I didn't," Morris writes in response. "But guess what? You just won a meet and greet of your choice so you can come and say that to my face." That's what we call a social media win!

Kelly Clarkson Mannequin Challenge
Getty Images

While attending the 2017 Billboard Women in Music Awards, Kelly Clarkson told a reporter on the red carpet that her home in Los Angeles was robbed and ransacked. According to Extra, the thieves made off with a "number of materialistic things that [Clarkson's family] didn't care about," but everyone was otherwise safe. “Other than that little hiccup, everything has been really great in our lives, and we’re very blessed and grateful," Clarkson says. “Even in that scenario we weren’t in the house, which is a blessing.”

In March, CMT will add to its lineup of programming with the premiere of a brand-new reality show (or "docu-series") called Music City. Developed by executive producer Adam DiVello (known for MTV reality hits such as Laguna Beach), the show will follow a group of young artists in Nashville trying to make it big. The first of the Music City's eight episodes is set to air on March 1 at 10PM ET.

Vince Gill The Eagles 2017
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

At a reception recently hosted at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Country Music Association presented Vince Gill with the CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award, an honor that recognizes charitable endeavors made by major music industry players. “Vince Gill defines the word humanitarian, and we’re thrilled to present him with the CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award, which has only been awarded twice before,” says CMA chief executive officer Sarah Trahern in a statement. Also honored at the event were Nashville mayor Megan Barry and the late Kitty Moon Emery, former CMA president and board chairman.

Alan Jackson live photos
Robert Alexander, Getty Images

On Friday (Dec. 1), Opry City Stage officially opened, bringing a taste of Nashville to New York City. The three-story live music venue and restaurant is situated in Times Square, serving up comfort food and performances from local musicians inside the 28,000-square-foot complex. Not surprisingly, the restaurant will feature plenty of memorabilia, including an exhibit of fashions from artists such as Patsy Cline and Taylor Swift and a 17-foot replica of Jimmie Rodgers' famous Blue Yodeler guitar.

Randy Travis tribute concert
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Also on Friday (Dec. 1), Madame Tussauds Nashville officially unveiled its wax figure of country icon Randy Travis. Travis' lifelike figure joins more than 50 other wax figures of famous country artists; it shows the artist dressed in his late-'90s style, complete with a suede jacket and a pair of Travis' own jeans, and the figure is holding a 1991 Gibson J-185 guitar. “I have been excitedly waiting to see the figure in person,” Travis says in a statement. “The Madame Tussauds team did a fantastic job capturing my likeness, and I can’t wait for my fans to stop by the attraction to see it for themselves.”

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