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Original Features

Original Features

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show

Hot Summer Tours 2014

This summer's best tours show off the veritable cream of the crop in country solo acts -- veterans of the stage who know how to consistently and unflinchingly put on an absolutely killer concert. Even better, these masters of the sizzling summer show are sharing the stage with a mix of opening acts who are well on their way to headlining a tour of their own.

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Military Encore
YouTube

Toc Encore: Country Stars Who’ve Served in the Military

Amongst country music's top stars you'll find a captain, several staff sergeants, a corporal and an Army Ranger. All four branches of the United States military are covered by country hitmakers. In some cases they were on the front lines for historic events. In some cases an artist's career began during down time.

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Just As I Am
YouTube

Brantley Gilbert, ‘Just As I Am’ – Everything You Need to Know in 60 Seconds

Brantley Gilbert's 'Just As I Am' album is now in stores, containing the Georgia-raised singer's No. 1 hit 'Bottoms Up' and his new single 'Small Town Throwdown.' Gilbert says he doesn't write about anything he hasn't lived

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Carrie Underwood, Johnny Cash, Luke Bryan
Rick Diamond / Terry Wyatt / Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Top 5 Country Hangover Songs

Hangover songs provide an important purpose in country music. Sure, plenty of great songs focus on the partying, the raising cain, and of course, booze guzzling, but what happens after the dust settles? After the cab ride home and the crashing on a buddy's couch?

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X-Men Days of Future Past in 60 Seconds

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ — Everything You Need to Know in 60 Seconds!

'X-Men: Days of Future Past' has a lot of moving parts -- it's based on a comic book, it combines both casts of the original 'X-Men' movie trilogy and that of 'First Class,' and there's some pretty unique time traveling going on -- so it's understandable if those unfamiliar with the franchise or the story get a bit lost. That's where we come in! We give you everything you need to know about 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' in just 60 seconds.

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Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery, Carrie Underwood
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

ToC Encore: Country’s Top 5 ‘American Idol’ Singers

Scotty McCreery, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are three 'American Idol' winners who've gone country, but who's the all-time best?

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Miranda Lambert
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

ToC Encore: Everything You Need to Know About Miranda Lambert’s ‘Platinum’ in 30 Seconds or Less

Miranda Lambert's new album 'Platinum' will be available on June 3 and, with 16 tracks, there's a lot to know about the new studio project. Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes has managed to cram it all into one, 30-second-long, video cheat sheet.

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Eli Young Band
Courtesy of St. Jude

ToC Encore: Pushing Pause for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

For 25 years, country radio has stepped up to raise money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and on Thursday and Friday (March 6 and 7), Taste of Country is joining that effort. Head writer Billy Dukes explains how artists like Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow jumped at a chance to help with the first-annual webathon, and how you can participate.

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Dan and Shay
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

Dan + Shay: Country’s New ‘Bold’ Hitmakers

Country songs about drinking beer and making love all night have played the role of Goliath for well over a year. The radio is dripping with testosterone -- heck, even females struggle to score a hit unless they’re shooting someone, or so it seems.

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Cole Swindell, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan
Michael Loccisano / Jason Davis / Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images

ToC Encore: Turning Personal Tragedy Into Hit Records

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. 

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