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Cole Swindell
Warner Music Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Cole Swindell, ‘Cole Swindell’

Cole Swindell set out to make a well-rounded album that tells his story, and he succeeded. The 12 tracks on ‘Cole Swindell’ tread along familiar country themes, but don’t run ruts into any one in particular. It’s surprisingly easy to find yourself halfway through the album a second time without noticing.

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Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson
Jason Merritt / Alan Poizner, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: A Defense for Artists Who Play SeaWorld

Nearly a dozen others refused, but Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson and Kid Rock have taken the stage to play SeaWorld's Bands, Brews & BBQ concert series, despite heavy protest from a controversy started after a documentary called 'Blackfish' aired. Should those who play be demonized?

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Tim McGraw’s ‘Highway Don’t Care’ Named Song of the Year at 2014 ToC Awards

A trio of country superstars was just too much for nine other nominees to overcome. Tim McGraw's 'Highway Don't Care,' a chart-topping collaboration with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, was voted the best song of 2013 at the recent Taste of Country Awards. 

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Lee Brice, ‘I Don’t Dance’ [Listen]

Lee Brice’s new single ‘I Don’t Dance’ feels like a natural progression of this singer-songwriter’s career. It’s personal, like almost every song on the ‘Hard 2 Love’ album, but also powerful and experimental like Brice's early recordings. The power is provided in production, however -- a key difference between this ballad and others that relied solely on his vocal abilities.

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Maggie Rose
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Maggie Rose, ‘Looking Back Now’ [Listen]

Maggie Rose’s new single ‘Looking Back Now’ is the reason her debut album ‘Cut to Impress’ ended up on a number of Top Albums of 2013 lists. For some, there is a special place for women who commit acts of violence in the name jealousy or safety. Never has a country song told a revenge story in such vivid detail, however.

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Kip Moore
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Kip Moore’s ‘Young Love’ Makes Top 5 Debut on ToC Top 10 Video Countdown

Kip Moore's new music video cracked the Top 5 on this week's Top 10 Video Countdown. 'Young Love' checked in at No. 5, behind vids from Gary Allan, Danielle Bradbery and two others. New videos from Keith Urban and ACM nominated duo Dan + Shay make their debut this week. It'll be up to fans to decide if either can challenge Scotty McCreery for No. 1.

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Super Bowl
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Country Music Can’t Win at the Super Bowl

Why isn't a country superstar performing during halftime of the Super Bowl? It's a fair question, and one country fans have asked every year since Shania Twain took the stage in 2003. Surely there are stars big enough to draw the nation's interest, right? Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes argues that fans of Nashville's biggest names should actually be grateful for this missed opportunity. 

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Miranda Lambert
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Why Country Women Will Win Big at the Grammys

Sorry, Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw. The big winners at the 2014 Grammys are going to be women. This may not bother the 'Doin' What She Likes' singer, as his wife Miranda Lambert scored multiple nominations and is always a favorite to take home the hardware. Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson are other country female nominees for the Jan. 26 ceremony.

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Trace Adkins
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Trace Adkins’ Rehab Trip Spotlights Country Music’s Drinking Problem

Earlier this week, Trace Adkins announced a second stint in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. He fell off the wagon during a cruise he was set to headline. It was his first taste of alcohol in over a decade -- since his last stay in rehab in 2002. While the singer seems to be taking full ownership of what happened on that boat, the incident shines a light on something not talked about very often. 

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Scotty McCreery
Maddie Meyer, Getty Images
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Scotty McCreery Aims for Ninth Straight ToC Top 10 Video Countdown Number 1

Fans of Gary Allan's and Ronnie Dunn's new videos will need to double down to top Scotty McCreery's 'See You Tonight.' The singer and former 'American Idol' winner topped 'It Ain' the Whiskey' by five percentage points for an eighth straight win. This week he'll aim for No. 9.

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Category: News

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