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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.
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
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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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
Jason Kempin / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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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
Frazier Harrison / Frederick Breedon IV, Getty Images
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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
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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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
Paul Morigi / Larry Busacca, Getty Images
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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
Jerrod Niemann, Hunter Hayes
Rick Diamond / Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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Jerrod Niemann vs. Hunter Hayes – The Showdown

With one more win, Jerrod Niemann will put his new song 'Only God Could Love You More' into the Showdown Hall of Fame. The ballad has topped singles by Thompson Square, Jason Aldean and Montgomery Gentry in recent days. Today and tonight on Taste of Country Nights radio, Niemann fans will have to out-duel fans of the 2012 CMA New Artist of the Year. 

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Category: Uncategorized Tags: ,
Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton
Rick Diamond (3) / Donald Bowers / Paul Kane, Getty Images
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2012 CMA Entertainer of the Year Award Prediction? – Readers Poll

The Entertainer of the Year award at the 2012 CMA Awards will provide a nervous moment, as fans for the two favorites to win couldn't be further apart in terms of interests or tastes. The trophy is meant to honor the singer with the best year of sales, music, touring and general exposure, but really it comes down to who CMA voters like best. It's not as scientific as it seems it should be, although our prediction is based on hard data. 

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Trace Adkins, Chely Wright, Billy Ray Cyrus
Slaven Vlasic / Jason Merritt / Michael Buckner, Getty Images
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Trace Adkins Among Country Stars Trapped in New York City During Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy crashed into the east coast on Monday night, and Trace Adkins was among a handful of country singers trying to stay safe in the Big Apple. Chely Wright and Billy Ray Cyrus also took to Twitter to describe what was happening as the 100-year storm flooded the New Jersey and New York coastline. 

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Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Lady Antebellum, ‘On This Winter’s Night’ – Album Review

Lady Antebellum are practically built for Christmas albums. There's a Captain and Tennille quality to their partnership that's made hip by youth and intriguing subject matter. The trio's take on standards like 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' and 'Silent Night' are timeless, in that they could really be transported to any decade of country music. For them, covering yuletide hits is as easy as looking good. 

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Category: Reviews Tags:
Kyle Park
Winding Road Music
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Kyle Park, ‘The Night Is Young’ – Song Review

Kyle Park's new single, 'The Night Is Young,' is as straight forward of a country song as you'll find. Park sets off to tell a simple one-night story of a guy, a girl and a little trouble, and does so effortlessly. The Texas country singer has surrounded himself with a strong production team to make the first single from an upcoming new album easy to remember. 

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Category: Reviews Tags:

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