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Thomas Cooper, Getty Images
Thomas Cooper, Getty Images
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Colorado Shooting: Country Songs That Heal – Readers Poll

This morning’s shooting in a Colorado movie theater casts a heavy cloud over a weekend many fans of the new Batman movie ‘Dark Knight Rises’ had been looking forward to for months. The sadness extends well beyond the Denver, Colo. suburb, as men and women across America — including country stars — are voicing thoughts and prayers for the families affected. When you experience tragedy in your personal life, which song or songs help you heal?

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Category: What's New
Rick Diamond (2), Getty Images
Rick Diamond (2), Getty Images
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Brantley Gilbert vs. Jason Aldean – The Showdown

Yesterday’s Showdown was the most voted on ever! Fans of Brantley Gilbert and Eric Church displayed their loyalty, casting votes until the last seconds of the contest on Taste of Country Nights radio. In the end, Gilbert’s ‘Kick It in the Sticks’ won with just over 60 percent of the vote, meaning the soon-to-be hit song will take on another challenger. Today, it’s a good friend of the ‘Halfway to Heaven’ famer.

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Kevin Winter / Rick Diamond (2), Getty Images
Kevin Winter / Rick Diamond (2), Getty Images
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Kitty Wells Dies: Country Stars Pay Tribute

Kitty Wells did almost as much for country music as the guitar and fiddle. The Queen of Country died on Monday at the age of 92 after complications from a recent stroke. Wells was not only a major hitmaker in the ’50s and ’60s, but she was the first female country singer with a voice that the mostly male-dominated industry stepped aside and respected. 

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Favorite Luke Bryan Song – Readers Poll

It’s Luke Bryan‘s birthday today (July 17), and he’ll be celebrating appropriately. “We gon party like its my birthday,” the singer wrote on his Twitter page Tuesday morning. Few country singers are hotter right now than the ‘Drunk on You’ hitmaker. We’ve looked over his entire singles catalog and asked this tough question: What is your favorite Luke Bryan song?

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Rick Diamond / Michael Buckner, Getty Images
Rick Diamond / Michael Buckner, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw vs. Eric Church – The Showdown

After thousands of votes, Tim McGraw‘s ‘Truck Yeah’ clipped Kip Moore‘s ‘Beer Money’ by fewer than 40 votes on Monday. A last second push by McGraw fans on Taste of Country Nights radio gave the country-rocker an edge that held up. That makes three in a row for the lead single from McGraw’s new album. Two more and the track will be retired to the Showdown Hall of Fame. 

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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What Is Your Favorite Toby Keith Song?

Toby Keith is celebrating his 51st birthday today. The singer shows no signs of slowing down, however, having just released his best album in years and embarked on another summer tour that promises to be amongst the most successful of 2012. It was one of his early hits that made the Top 100 Country Songs list, but which is your personal favorite?

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Sony Nashville
Sony Nashville
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Love and Theft Go Squirrel Hunting in New ‘Love and Theft TV’ Episode

Do Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Grunderson really hunt squirrel in their spare time? Have they really killed 40 or 50 in a single day? Does Gunderson really use a Medieval sword to clear brush? The duo begin to answer some of these pressing questions in a new episode of ‘Love and Theft TV,’ premiering exclusively on Taste of Country.

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Category: Uncategorized
Graham Denholm / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Graham Denholm / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Carrie Underwood vs. Hunter Hayes – The Showdown

Friday night’s Showdown between Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town was the most voted on yet, with ‘Blown Away’ edging ‘Pontoon’ by 13 percentage points. That’s two wins in a row for the title-track on Underwood’s new album. The dark and stormy cut is clearing a path to the Showdown Hall of Fame, but future tourmate Hunter Hayes‘ ‘Wanted’ is threatening to contain her fury today and tonight on Taste of Country Nights

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Ethan Miller / Tom Pennington, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Tom Pennington, Getty Images
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Carrie Underwood vs. Little Big Town – The Showdown

There is a new Showdown champion! The voting went down to the final minutes last night on Taste of Country Nights radio, with Carrie Underwood‘s ‘Blown Away’ topping ‘Over’ by Blake Shelton. Early online voting proved to be critical to Underwood’s success, as she was able to hold off rallying Shelton fans. The dark and stormy title-track from the normally sweet and innocent singer’s new album will now face a song by one of Nashville’s hottest foursomes. 

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Blake Shelton vs. Carrie Underwood – The Showdown

It’s a country superstar Showdown today. Three-time champion Blake Shelton will face Carrie Underwood, after ‘Over’ made easy work of Rodney Atkins‘ ‘Just Wanna Rock N’ Roll’ on Wednesday. Shelton’s captivating ballad will need to get past the title track from Underwood’s new ‘Blown Away’ album to move one step away from Showdown Hall of Fame enshrinement. A winner will be decided after 10PM CT on Taste of Country Nights radio.

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Ethan Miller / Mark Davis, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Mark Davis, Getty Images
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Blake Shelton vs. Rodney Atkins – The Showdown

Blake Shelton has made it two in a row! Last night, his new hit ‘Over’ topped Jerrod Niemann‘s ‘Shinin’ on Me’ to win the Taste of Country Showdown a second time. The emotional ballad was helped by online voting, but also by listeners who caught both songs on the new Taste of Country Nights radio show. Tonight, Shelton’s potential seventh straight No. 1 hit will have to top one of the feel-good songs of the summer. 

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