Turning a personal tragedy into a hit record is tricky, and not just for all the normal reasons that it's difficult to make a song into a hit. Artists who write a great personal song may be hesitant to record it for months or years. Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes considers three powerful songs and three artists who dealt with the personal tragedies that inspired them in very different ways.
The sonic differences between ‘Riser’ and Dierks Bentley’s five previous studio albums (excluding ‘Up on the Ridge’) are subtle, but important. The Arizona-raised singer drops the rumbling, rambling, Bakersfield-inspired licks that made up many of his biggest hits and adds great lyrical depth.
As Craig Morgan's 'Wake Up Lovin' You' climbs its way up the country charts, the singer wants to reward fans for making it a hit. Enter here to win an autographed guitar and a copy of his new 'The Journey: (Livin' Hits)' album.
Sincere love songs fit Kellie Pickler like a tailored red carpet gown. ‘Closer to Nowhere’ is a big, stirring ballad from the ‘The Woman I Am’ album. Her romantic story talks of getting lost with a lover at the edge of town.
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?
Odds were good Taylor Swift would take the 2014 Taste of Country Award for Most Heartwarming Moment of 2013. She had two of the five nominations, after all. The star won a record eighth ToC Award, including her second in this category.
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.
Gary Allan and Blake Shelton battled for most of the one-month voting period, but in the end, fans of the California-raised country singer would not be denied. Allan's 'Set You Free' was named the Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Taste of Country Awards.
Three times as many people voted for New Artist of the Year than any other 2014 Taste of Country Awards category, and until the final days, the competition was very tight. Danielle Bradbery pulled away late however, giving her a New Artist of the Year win.
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