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Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Talks Gay Marriage, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and Female Soldiers

Toby Keith has released some of the most proudly patriotic songs in modern country music, making him an easy target for those who prefer to think of country artists (and perhaps country fans) as belligerent or intolerant. The reality, of course, is more nuanced.

The fact is that Keith is simply not shy about speaking his mind, as readers discovered when Keith was asked to share his thoughts on gay rights during a recent interview with CMT Insider.

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Courtesy of BareTrack Records
Courtesy of BareTrack Records
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Terri Clark Gets ‘Personal’ with Her New Album, ‘Roots and Wings’

Her recording career spans 15 years and eight albums, but Terri Clark might just now be hitting her stride.

Clark’s latest album ‘Roots and Wings’ finds her tapping into her own experiences for a largely self-written batch of original tunes — and earning some of the best reviews of her career along the way. According to Clark, who enjoyed a string of platinum success in the 90s, recent turmoil in her personal life required a new, more honest approach to her music.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Watch Glen Campbell Perform Songs from His Farewell Album, ‘Ghost on the Canvas’ [VIDEO]

When Glen Campbell announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis earlier this year, it served for many as a poignant reminder of the fragility of the human condition and the fleeting nature of our time on Earth. His honesty regarding his condition, and his decision to bid farewell to his fans with a final album and tour, have been an inspiration to countless fans.

Campbell stopped by the Sirius XM studios recently to perform tracks from the recently released ‘Ghost on the Canvas,’ and a lucky handful of those fans were in attendance — as well as Tanya Tucker, whose tumultuous relationship with Campbell ended in a long estrangement.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, and More Featured on New Album Honoring Mark Twain

It’s arriving a year too late to commemorate the true anniversary of the occasion, but a new double-disc collection has brought together some of country and rock’s biggest names to honor Mark Twain 100 years after his death.

The set, titled ‘Mark Twain: Words & Music,’ features contributions from Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Ricky Skaggs, Joe Diffie, Clint Eastwood, and Jimmy Buffett, among many others.

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Eugene Gologursky, Getty Images
Eugene Gologursky, Getty Images
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Kristin Chenoweth Is Ready to ‘Pay Dues’ with Her New Album

Country music has often served as a refuge for artists looking to jump-start their flagging commercial fortunes in other genres, and over the last few years, it’s become an even more popular ploy with Jessica Simpson, Jewel and others seeking to find favor with country audiences.

So Kristin Chenoweth knows that her background in musical theater might give some listeners pause, but she says she’s ready to prove her worth with her first country album ‘Some Lessons Learned.’

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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David Nail Releases ‘The Sound of a Million Dreams’ in November

David Nail’s career took plenty of twists and turns before he finally found his audience — including a busted deal at Mercury Nashville and a stint as a baseball coach. But when he finally released his debut album in 2009, its title ‘I’m About to Come Alive,’ proved prophetic.

Now, Nail is one of country’s hottest freshman acts, and he’s looking to build on that success with the release of his second album ‘The Sound of a Million Dreams,’ in November.

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Courtesy of Valory Music Co.
Courtesy of Valory Music Co.
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‘Bait a Hook’ Video Has Justin Moore Living the Good Life

We like to think of the recording artist’s life as a glamorous one, but the truth is, it’s often full of monotonous travel, industry politics and the like.

Sometimes, though, a country star’s life really is everything it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Justin Moore, who recently spent a beautiful fall day lounging on a lake … for work. It was all in the name of filming a fishing-themed video for his new single ‘Bait a Hook.’

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Rascal Flatts to Join Grand Ole Opry

It’s been a pretty amazing decade for Rascal Flatts — they released seven platinum-selling albums and graced the charts’ top spots a number of times — but their latest honor might be the most meaningful of all: an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.

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Courtesy of ID Public Relations
Courtesy of ID Public Relations
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LeAnn Rimes Discusses New Covers Album, ‘Lady & Gentlemen’ [VIDEO]

LeAnn Rimes ends a four-year hiatus this week and returns to record store shelves with her 13th studio album, ‘Lady & Gentlemen.’ As with her platinum-selling self-titled release from 1999, ‘Gentlemen’ is a collection of covers — but this time around, she decided to give things a new twist.

The idea, as Rimes explained during a recent Taste of Country interview, was to put a feminine spin on songs written and/or made famous by men, including George Jones, John Anderson, John Conlee and Merle Haggard.

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Image courtesy of Show Dog/Universal Records
Image courtesy of Show Dog/Universal Records
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JT Hodges Promises ‘Very, Very Diverse’ Debut Album

With his first single closing in on the country top 40 and a prime opening slot on his label boss’ latest tour, JT Hodges could hardly ask for a better start to his recording career.

Hodges won’t be satisfied with an auspicious beginning, however. He’s in this for the long haul, and to prove it, he’s getting ready to release a debut album that he promises will be “very, very diverse.”

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Category: Music News Tags: ,
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Steel Magnolia Explains Why Their New Single, ‘Bulletproof,’ Is So ‘Different’

Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey have come a long way since their fateful meeting at a Nashville karaoke bar. They’re now engaged to be married, while also making up the rising country duo Steel Magnolia, with three top 40 singles and a pair of CMA Awards nominations on their growing list of achievements.

As their self-titled debut CD launches its fourth single, ‘Bulletproof,’ Jones and Linsey are preparing to join Reba McEntire, Edens Edge, and the Band Perry on the road this fall. But even as they look forward to entertaining those crowds, they’re also looking ahead to their next album.

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Mike Coppola, Getty Images
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
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Kenny Chesney Earns Platinum Record for ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey’

For one of country’s biggest stars, Kenny Chesney is building quite an impressive heavy metal collection.

Chesney’s latest album, ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey,’ was recently certified platinum for sales of one million copies by the RIAA, becoming the 10th of his 14 releases to reach one of the industry’s most esteemed sales milestones.

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