The holidays are rapidly approaching and that usually means that things start slowing down for the country music community, but not this year. Artists like Miranda Lambert, George Strait and Robert Earl Keen released music Nov. 18, and others like Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett are still touring in the United States and overseas.

We’ve narrowed down the Top 5 stories for this week, and Erin re-caps them in the Rare Country’s 5:

Working our way up from No. 5, Ireland and the U.K. have had a special treat in the form of Thomas Rhett performing a string of shows across the pond. And he took along a super special opening act — his dad! We’re betting there wasn’t too much rehearsal needed since from the looks of this video, they’ve got their act down pat.

RELATED: Thomas Rhett reunites with his famous dad for a ’90s classic

Our No. 4 story got us right in the feels big time! Gwen Stefani was named Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year and in her acceptance speech, she thoughtfully thanked her country superstar boyfriend, Blake Shelton. Sweet, right? But it isn’t so much that she said thanks, but how she said thanks that had our hearts melting.

The world is going bonkers for that zany Mannequin challenge, and that includes the world of country music. When Garth Brooks caught wind of the new craze, in typical Garth fashion, it was go big or go home. He embraced the challenge during a recent tour stop in Richmond, Virginia and that fun, fantastic freeze frame easily earns him the No. 3 spot in Rare Country’s 5. It’s wild… and humongous! Just watch.

Miranda Lambert is just a big tease, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it this week as she has leaked out teasers, tracks and video from her new album, “The Weight of These Wings.” Clever, sexy, and oh-so-intriguing, Ran’s marketing genius plants her in the No. 2 spot this week. And puts that new album in our shopping cart for sure!

RELATED: Miranda Lambert sings with Anderson East about rushing into new love

We couldn’t be more proud to learn that our own Rare Country Awards are the No. 1 story this week. It’s the inaugural year for this event and when we asked fans to vote for their favorite stars and special moments from 2016, they answered… and answered… and answered, and it has been more exciting than you can imagine interacting with all of these great country music fans. So, in reality, YOU are the No. 1 story!

That’s it for this week! Be sure to check back in next week when Erin Holt re-caps another fun week of news and music in Rare Country’s 5.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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