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Billy Dukes

Billy Dukes' music background includes jobs as music director and night DJ at WQDR 94.7 in Raleigh, N.C.; writer for Recoil Magazine, a monthly out of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and writer for the Kalamazoo Gazette in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Western Michigan University graduate followed a girl to Raleigh in 2006 and wisely married her one year later. They live in northeast Wake County with their two dogs, Daisy and Clementine, and their son. In his free time, Billy enjoys playing and watching baseball, cycling and exploring nature.
Brantley Gilbert
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Brantley Gilbert Interview: Hitmaker Talks Mexico Trip, Biggest Fears and How YouTube Would Have Killed His Career

The two competing sides of Brantley Gilbert's personality make him one of the more fascinating artists walking around Nashville. He's a rebel who writes his own rule book on and off stage. He's also a sensitive songwriter, willing to reveal his broken heart or darkest memories to a room full of beer-swilling fans.

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Clay Walker
PFA Media
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Man With a View: Clay Walker on Why He’s in a Great Place to Have a Big Year in 2014

Clay Walker is at an interesting point in his life and career. He's a survivor. He's lived twice as long as doctors predicted he would when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, and he's lasted much longer than your average Nashville hat.

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Parmalee
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Parmalee Interview: ‘Carolina’ Singers Overcome Perceptions, Shooting and Six-Figure Credit Card Debt for Country Debut

Parmalee know firsthand that being seen as commercially viable is as important as talent in the music business. What good is talent, after all, if no one knows what to do with it?

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Joel Crouse
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Joel Crouse, ‘Why God Made Love Songs’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Joel Crouse proves that his first single wasn’t just beginner's luck with his follow-up, ‘Why God Made Love Songs.’ The debut stalled on the country charts, but left a good impression with country music fans. In this new track, Crouse continues to show a professionalism beyond his 21 years without losing his youthful exuberance.

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Kristy Lee Cook
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Kristy Lee Cook Interview: One-Time ‘American Idol’ Contestant Inspired by Love, Heartbreak and Her Horses

Kristy Lee Cook is getting a rare second chance. Typically, when an artist splits with a label, he or she flounders for a few years on an independent label before slipping away from public conscious. Cook is signed to Broken Bow Records (Jason Aldean's label) and has released a duet with Randy Houser called 'Wherever Love Goes.' The love ballad from her upcoming new album shows her sensitive side, which she says is rare.

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Chris Young, Brantley Gilbert
Michael Loccisano / Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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New Songs on the Radio – December 2013

The year won't end with a whisper. New songs on the radio for December 2013 include first releases from Brantley Gilbert and Jamie Lynn Spears' new albums and the next releases from Chris Young, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban. It will be a big month, even if it's a short month as the music industry shuts down for the holidays. 

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Trace Adkins, Clay Walker, Jason Michael Carroll
Ethan Miller / Isaac Brekken / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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When the Good Die Young: Great Songs and the Unexpected Reasons They Never Became Hits

The story goes like this: Clay Walker releases a ballad called 'She Likes It in the Morning' to radio in 2008, and after a few weeks, it dies. That's radio-speak for it falls off the country charts and never gets played again. Fans loved it, however, and Walker sings the yoke out of it. So ... what happened?

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Category: Country Music News Tags:
Blake Shelton
Warner Music Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Doin’ What She Likes’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Blake Shelton's love songs may be a good barometer of his marriage to Miranda Lambert. If they ever lose sincerity or that special sense that he's focused on his bride, fans will know something has gone horribly wrong. Things were clearly going very right when he recorded 'Doin' What She Likes,' the fourth single from 'Based on a True Story.'

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Keith Urban
Gabriel Olsen, Getty Images
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Keith Urban, ‘Cop Car’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Keith Urban's 'Fuse' album is full of creative risks that fall back on strong songwriting and unique perspective. A song about falling in love in the back of a police car? That's never been done before. In 'Cop Car,' the superstar finds a way to make his narrative relatable to even the most law-abiding romantic.

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