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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.
Tim McGraw, Kimberly Perry, Blake Shelton
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Top 40 Country Songs – February 2013

The new single from country superstar Blake Shelton debuts at a higher place on this month's Top 40 Country Songs list than any new song in ToC history. 'Sure Be Cool if You Did' is a hit with fans -- they are requesting it at radio and scooping it up on iTunes like bread and milk before a storm. Shelton's new song isn't No. 1, however. That honor goes to a uncompromisingly dark track from one of Nashville's hottest newcomers. 

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Category: Music News
Top 10 Videos Jan 25
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Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood Make Big Moves in This Week’s Taste of Country Top 10 Video Countdown

The Taste of Country Top 10 Video Countdown is decided completely by fan vote, and readers have put one superstar's video ahead of all others for a second straight week. There was plenty of change within the other nine spots, though, with Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley making big moves. 

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Jason Aldean
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Jason Aldean’s ‘Kiss’ Named Scandal of the Year at the Taste of Country Awards

Having the biggest country music scandal of any year is an honor that comes with few congratulatory messages, so it seems unlikely many will be showered upon Jason Aldean for winning at the 2012 Taste of Country Awards. His night out with dancer and former 'American Idol' contestant Brittany Kerr was named the Scandal of the Year by Taste of Country readers.

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Category: Music News Tags:
Tim McGraw
Curb Records
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Curb Records’ ‘Tim McGraw and Friends’ to Feature 11 of Singer’s Top Duets

'Tim McGraw and Friends' -- a new compilation album put together by the singer's former record label partner Curb Records -- will feature 11 fan-favorite collaborations from a 21-year career. 'Twisted,' a duet with Colt Ford, has been announced as the album's single, but fans can look for other pairings with Lionel Richie, Randy Travis, Tony Bennett and Faith Hill when the compilation is released on Jan. 22, exclusively at Walmart.

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Blake Shelton
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Blake Shelton, ‘Sure Be Cool if You Did’ – Song Review

Between tour dates, a Christmas album, 'The Voice' and his bad Twitter habit, Blake Shelton found time to record a new single called 'Sure Be Cool if You Did' in 2012. He released the song minutes after the new year began, leaving many to wonder when a new album will follow (no plans have been announced). Sonically, his 23rd radio offering is a continuation those from 'Red River Blue' -- it'd fit nicely as the project's fifth single. 

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Category: Reviews Tags:
Sammy Kershaw
Courtesy of Sammy Kershaw
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Sammy Kershaw Shares Cajun Culture With New ‘A Sammy Klaus Christmas’ Album

It's been 18 years between Christmas albums for Sammy Kershaw, but the singer says despite personal and professional ups and downs, the meaning of the holiday hasn't changed one bit. On 'A Sammy Klaus Christmas' he says he was looking to simplify -- to create a collection of songs that kids could enjoy in the way he enjoyed the holidays during his childhood.

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Category: Music News
Connecticut-Tweets
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Connecticut School Shooting: Country Stars React

While details about Friday morning's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are still trickling in, it's clear that innocent lives were taken when a gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School and began firing. The small town in the state's southwest corner will be in the hearts of every American this weekend, including country music's biggest stars. 

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Category: Celebrities
Carrie Underwood
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Carrie Underwood to Star in Live Broadcast of ‘The Sound of Music’

Next Christmas season, Carrie Underwood will bring us the gift of music. The 'Blown Away' superstar will play the role of Maria von Trapp in a live broadcast of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical 'The Sound of Music.' The singer takes on a role made famous first by Mary Martin on Broadway, then by Julie Andrews in the 1965 Oscar-winning movie of the same name.

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Category: Uncategorized Tags:
Thompson Square, Hunter Hayes
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Thompson Square vs. Hunter Hayes – The Showdown

Country duo Thompson Square needed every vote to get past Craig Campbell on the Showdown yesterday and last night on Taste of Country Nights radio. A strong push at the end proved to be the difference for their new single 'If I Didn't Have You.' Today, the ballad will face off against 'Somebody's Heartbreak' by Hunter Hayes. It's a match-up of reigning ACM and CMA New Artists of the Year. 

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Chris Young, Jana Kramer
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Chris Young vs. Jana Kramer – The Showdown

Friday night's Taste of Country Showdown promised to be a battle of country music titans, but one didn't show up. Chris Young fans dominated supporters of the Band Perry, meaning his new single 'I Can Take It From There' is just one win away from retirement and enshrinement into the Showdown Hall of Fame.

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Toby Keith
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Toby Keith, ‘Hope on the Rocks’ – Song Review

The title track to Toby Keith's 'Hope on the Rocks' album shows the singer's genuine understanding of the nuanced relationships between bartenders and their regulars. But it's not just barkeeps that will relate to the ballad. Servers, liquor store clerks, the dry cleaner, radio DJs... anyone who provides a service and a set of open ears will appreciate his story.

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Category: Music News, Reviews Tags:
Sara Evans, Billy Ray Cyrus
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Barack Obama Re-Elected President of the United States: Country Stars React

Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States on Tuesday (Nov. 6) following a heated battle with Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the key battleground state of Ohio. Within minutes of learning the news, country music's top stars were celebrating, congratulating, complaining or simply making jokes about the 2012 election results. Like much of the nation, Nashville's best are split politically. 

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Category: Uncategorized

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