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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.
Scotty McCreery, Toby Keith
Kris Connor / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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New Country Music Releases – October 2013

October is just a busy as September when it comes to new country music releases. Almost a dozen albums make this list, and that promises to change as the month progresses. Scotty McCreery and Toby Keith have two of the more highly-anticipated new albums, and everyone wants to be sure they have new music on store shelves in time for Christmas. 

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Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Jason Aldean Comes to Luke Bryan’s Defense After Zac Brown Blast

Jason Aldean has Luke Bryan's back. While the 'That's My Kind of Night' singer himself hasn't responded publicly to comments made by Zac Brown about his song, Aldean had some strong words for people "runnin' their mouths."

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Chris Young
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Chris Young Pushed to Stretch His Style, Vocal Limits on ‘A.M.’

For Chris Young, a new album is an opportunity to push himself further both creatively and vocally. This comes with risks. It's easy to push too far and find your fans responding with criticism, or even worse, ambivalence. That doesn't seem like it's going to be a problem for this 28-year-old.

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Keith Urban, Gary Allan
Rick Diamond / Theo Wargo, Getty Images
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New Songs on the Radio – September 2013

Country radio lights up with new songs from superstars like Keith Urban and Hank Williams, Jr. in September 2013. 'We Were Us' is from Urban's new 'Fuse' album. It's a duet with Miranda Lambert that has fans buzzing even louder about the highly-anticipated project. Williams, Jr.'s 'I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink' is also a duet (and a cover). 

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Taylor Swift, Gary Allan, Carrie Underwood
Mike Windle / Kevin Winter / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Gary Allan Says His Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood Comments Were Taken Out of Context

What seemed like the next round of artist vs. artist criticisms was misconstrued and taken out of context, according to one of the parties involved. Gary Allan says his answer to Larry King's question about whether or not Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are country has been spun in a way he didn't intend.

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Gary Allan George Strait
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Gary Allan vs. George Strait – The Showdown

Gary Allan's powerful new song 'It Ain't the Whiskey' has stormed through its first two rounds of Showdown competition, but today's challenger might be a more imposing obstacle. Earlier this week, Allan's track took 86 percent of the vote in a win over Chris Stapleton's 'It Ain't the Whiskey.' That sets up a matchup with George Strait

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Zac Brown
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Zac Brown: Luke Bryan’s New Song ‘Is the Worst I’ve Ever Heard’

Zac Brown took tailgate, moonlight and daisy dukes songs to task during a recent radio interview. The singer held nothing back with his opinion of certain modern day country sounds, including the latest single from Luke Bryan.

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Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery
Kris Connor / Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Former ‘American Idol’ Stars Battle for Top Spot on ToC Top 10 Video Countdown

Kellie Pickler's latest video sets a record with a 10th straight win, but a new challenger to her crown has emerged. Scotty McCreery made an impressive debut with the 'See You Tonight' video; will his fans have what it takes to make the clip No. 1 this week?

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Keith Urban
Taylor Hill, Getty Images
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Keith Urban Gets Stuck in New York City, Misses Concert

Keith Urban's Sept. 12 performance in Cleveland, Ohio was canceled due to a line of thunderstorms that grounded airplanes across the northeast on Thursday afternoon. The singer sent out a message to fans explaining that he was stuck in a New York City airport.

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Krystal Keith
Show Dog Universal
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Krystal Keith, ‘Get Your Redneck On’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

To step out from beneath the shadow of her father, Krystal Keith needed to go softer -- and she has. 'Get Your Redneck On' is not the bombastic anthem the title suggests and fans may have expected after hearing her four-song EP. It's an understated, organic performance that allows Keith to introduce her own unique personality.

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Keith Urban
EMI Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Keith Urban, ‘Fuse’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

'Fuse' is a fine title for Keith Urban's seventh studio album, but 'Short Fuse' might be even better. There's very little to burn before one gets to the heart of this explosion of energy set to a modern country beat. The collection of 13 songs is the singer's least traditional offering to date, but few will complain about that.

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