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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.
Jerrod Niemann, Will Hoge
Jason Merritt / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Jerrod Niemann vs. Will Hoge – The Showdown

Jerrod Niemann and his fans seem up for any challenge. Earlier this week, the singer's new song 'Drink to That All Night' took care of 'I Hold On' by Dierks Bentley. It was a close contest, but in the end, a push from the Kansas-born singer's fans moved the song to a new Showdown round against a song famous for being part of a television commercial. 

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Eric Church
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
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Eric Church to Debut New Music at the 2013 CMA Awards?

Does the video tease Eric Church released to his fan club have anything to do with reports that he's planning to debut new music at the 2013 CMA Awards? For almost a year, the 'Springsteen' singer has been giving fans subtle updates on the progress of his new album, and now it seems possible a full revealing is just days away.

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Sheryl Crow
Warner Music Nashville
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Sheryl Crow, ‘Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Sheryl Crow's new single 'Callin' Me When I'm Lonely' is the anti-'Easy,' as it's a big vocal showcase that leans toward sharp, jabbing emotions. The country newcomer opens up to show off a voice that's bathed in retro cool. This is a no-tricks ballad that finds a woman struggling to stay away from a guy she aches for.

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Corey Smith
Corey Smith
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Corey Smith, ‘Ain’t Going Out Tonight’ – Exclusive Song Premiere [Listen]

Singer-songwriter Corey Smith is set to release his new single 'Ain't Going Out Tonight' to iTunes on Tuesday (Oct. 15), but fans can listen to the song in its entirety now with this Taste of Country exclusive song premiere. Like all songs from his previous eight albums, the country-rocker wrote every word to this uptempo, banjo-heavy rambler.

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Scotty McCreery, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen
Kevork Djansezian / Rick Diamond / Kris Connor, Getty Images
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Sexy, Silly, Sassy Country Celeb Selfies: Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift + More Share Close-Ups

Some are sexy, more than a few are silly and one is just plain dangerous. Country stars like Carrie Underwood and Jake Owen regularly use Twitter and Instagram to connect with fans, bringing them into their daily lives in a new and creative ways. Whether it's Scotty McCreery getting ready for makeup, Luke Bryan flashing his bass, or Tim McGraw just being Tim McGraw, you'll agree that these stars are worth keeping an eye on.

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Dierks Bentley
Ed Rode, Getty Images
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Dierks Bentley Tries to Explain New Son’s ‘Procedure’ to His Daughters

Dierks Bentley is not one to overlook a teachable moment. Just hours after wife Cassidy gave birth to their son Knox, the singer was having lunch with his daughters (ages five and 2), trying to explain the differences between boys and girls and why some boys undergo a circumcision soon after birth.

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Kenny Rogers
Warner Brothers
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Album Spotlight: Kenny Rogers, ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Kenny Rogers' new album 'You Can't Make Old Friends' is a collection of songs as diverse as this legend's career. No two of the 11 cuts could be placed neatly within the same sub-genre of country music. Intense displays of love, hope, anger and patriotism keep the listener pulled forward to hear what will come next.

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Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum
Jason Merritt / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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New Songs on the Radio – October 2013

Lady Antebellum surprised fans with a new song for the radio in October 2013. The trio announced 'Compass' would be available on the November release of the deluxe edition of 'Golden.' It's just one of a growing list of new sounds from country music's biggest stars this month. 

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Dierks Bentley, Jana Kramer, Billy Currington, Brantley Gilbert
Rick Diamond (2) / Andrew Goodman / Kevin Kane, Getty Images
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Tropical Nights: Boots in the Sand Getaway Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets for country music's getaway party at the Riviera Maya in Mexico will go on sale Friday (Oct. 4) morning. Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Billy Currington and Jana Kramer are the four headliners for Tropical Nights: Boots in the Sand, the ultimate vacation escape. It's five days and four nights of nothing but white sand, blue skies and country music.

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Kimberly Perry, JP Arencibia
Lyle A. Waisman / J. Meric, Getty Images
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Who Is Kimberly Perry’s Future Husband?

The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry will soon marry Major League Baseball player J.P. Arencibia, her boyfriend of less than two years. The relationship was something of an open secret, with neither one commenting on it publicly until after the Sept. 30 proposal. Even Perry's brothers kept quiet when asked about the relationship in 2013. So, who is Kimberly Perry's husband-to-be?

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