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11 Country Artists To Watch In 2017

2016 has had its intoxicating highs and its devastating lows. After taking stock of the year's finest songs and albums, it is that time to look forward to what bubbling-under artists could and should break out in a big way in the new year. Ranging from songwriters transitioning to full-time artists and youthful new harmony trio, One Country takes a look at 10 singers, songwriters and musicians who will be 2017's superstar class.

1. Midland

Their self-titled debut EP is a polished, contemporary record with a hearty traditional tilt. Their debut single "Drinkin' Problem" tips its hat to '90s Mark Chestnut and George Strait but offers up a very distinctive sound and perspective. Mark Wystrach (lead vocals, guitar), Cameron Duddy (bass,vocals) and Jess Carson (lead guitar, vocals) also make sure to keep their harmonies sweet and tight. "Burn Out" and "This Old Heart" are must-listens, too. An all-male trio is particularly rare these days, and with Big Machine in their corner, their future is lookin' good.

2. Carly Pearce

Ever since Pearce dropped "Every Little Thing" last month, her star has been growing brighter and brighter. The rather musically progressive piano track is built upon a haunting melody and smokey lead vocal and anchored with piano, lonesome guitar and even gritty dobro. The song leads her forthcoming, long-awaited, new EP, and by all accounts, 2017 will be her year.

3. Candi Carpenter

Carpenter is lighting up country music with her smoldering new track "Burn the Bed." After she discovers a cheating lover, she resolves to get revenge in the best way possible. Instead of trashing his little ole four-wheel drive like Carrie Underwood, she sets on setting the bed on fire (and not just the sheets), much like Miranda Lambert did in her hit single "Kerosene." But "Burn the Bed" is a bit more moody and less rock-influenced. Carpenter's vocal, too, is soaked with bitterness and conjures with a distinct atmospheric quality. If this is any indication of what is it come, sign us up for a full-length album, STAT!

4. Runaway June

The trio recently netted their first-ever Top 30 hit. "Lipstick" marks an important time in country music--they become the first all-female trio in 10 years to shatter the Top 30 threshold since SheDaisy. The song is empowering (and not just for women) and samples their forthcoming debut project, which is shaping up to be one of 2017's most anticipated releases.

5. Erik Dylan

With a bevy of major label cuts under his belt, including Kip Moore's "Comeback Kid," this gravelly voiced singer is poised to have a breakout moment of his very own. Off the heat of his acclaimed debut album, The Heart of a Flatland Boy, he has proved he can stand with the big dogs. Songs like "Fishing Alone," "Map Dot Town" and "Pink Flamingoes" are among the year's best cuts and indicate Dylan has even more up his sleeve. And we absolutely can not wait to see what he does next.

6. Dustin Hensley

Hensley is one of the few genre-benders of the bunch. He mixes pop and EDM with down-home country songwriting; on paper, it might not work, but execution is everything. He might not be everyone's cup of tea, but he will certainly turn some heads in the new year. His new single "Nobody but You" frames his forward-thinking around glossy R&B and neon lights.

7. Ryan Hurd

With a string of on-off singles this year, Hurd has proved his streaming power, as well as his musical range. "We Do Us" is a pop-leaning anthem, while "Love in a Bar" is more intimate. After co-writing the No. 1 hit "Lonely Tonight" (Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe), he has made the transition to full-blown artist rather effortlessly. He is expected to drop his debut album in the new year.

8. Temecula Road

The young up-and-coming trio have mastered the art of covers, including their most recent 2016 mash-up which features major hits from a wide range of mainstream artists. The video, not surprising, has netted well over three million views on Facebook. That benchmark alone is a testament to their talents; their is an audience ready and willing to support them.

9. Magnolia Wind

Kristen Brassel and Chris Butler's debut EP, Take One, overflows with smooth melodies, gripping harmonies and gutsy songwriting. Standouts such as "Ghosts" and "Heal Our Souls" are the kind of impactful recordings which cement careers and will undoubtedly take them to the next level. 2017, you better get ready.

10. Caitlyn Smith

The songwriter behind such hits as Megan Trainor and John Legend's "Like I'm Going to Lose You" and Cassadee Pope's "Wasting All These Tears" is aiming to takeover 2017 with her long-awaited new album. Earlier this year, she sampled the project with an EP titled Starfire which includes soul-inspired numbers like "Before You Called Me Baby" and the powerful "This Town is Killing Me."

11. Jillian Jacqueline

Coming off her self-titled debut EP is no easy task, but Jacqueline is more than up to the task. Armed with "Prime" and "Kids These Days," she frames her diversity with confidence and is poised to take 2017 by storm.


Brett Eldredge's Video With Sadie Robertson for "The Long Way" is Finally Here

Once you get past the age difference, Brett Eldredge and Sadie Robertson seem to make quite the couple in the new video for Brett's "The Long Way." Brett shared that the up-and-coming reality TV star turned motivational speaker and actress would be his love interest in a cute Instagram post a few weeks ago. He said it was gonna be "magic" and he isn't that far off.

The tune is all about digging into someone's past and where they came from to learn more about who they are now. Brett is a hopeless romantic, so the song isn't about anyone specific, which makes it even more timeless.

Brett and Sadie take a lap around town and a farm hand-in-hand, as he serenades her throughout the video, via the long way.

Brett did not meet anyone from "Duck Dynasty."

"The Long Way" is the second single off Brett's third album, which is self-titled.

the long way itunes


Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly's Wedding Photos Are the Happiest, Prettiest Wedding Photos EVER

Kacey Musgraves has been saying for months, that when you know you know. And she totally knew when she met Ruston Kelly that he was the love of her life. Kacey described meeting Ruston at the Bluebird Cafe like only a songwriter could, "...Didn't know that I would hear his songs and be meeting the love of my life. Never saw him coming but sometimes life has you under its wing and you don't even realize it."

The two were married on Saturday, October 14 in a picturesque outdoor ceremony near Franklin, Tennessee.

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Dierks Bentley Rocks Neighborhood Block Party With Hit "Somewhere On A Beach"

Dierks Bentley hit the stage early this morning (Oct. 17) on"Good Morning America" to perform his hits "Black" and "Somewhere on the Beach" for a neighborhood block party in Austin, Texas.

The Texas neighborhood has hosted the block party for twelve years and received a visit from Dierks as a result of winning a "GMA" contest. This year they wanted to honor those affected by Hurricane Harvey. So they invited first responders who helped the state during the destruction from Hurricane Harvey.

As Dierks was speaking with meteorologist Ginger Zee, she asked him what it meant to see those faces in the crowd. "I've been around so many first responders this week, I've been promoting a movie, it's coming out, called 'Only The Brave,'" he began.

"These people that rush towards danger when the rest of us are running away from it. Just being around these guys and these women, I have more respect for them now than ever. In country music we really elevate our military, and rightly so. But we need to make sure we're taking care of really recognizing these hometown heroes that we have amongst us"

Dierks co-wrote the song "Hold the Light" for the film "Only The Brave," the first song he wrote and recorded for a film. The movie centers around an elite crew of firemen—The Granite Mountain Hotshots— from Prescott, Arizona who battled a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona in 2013, that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.

The singer took to Instagram to share his performance of "Black" saying, "early morning block party from austin on @goodmorningamerica."


A Horse Trainer Proved Super 8 Has A Very Friendly Pet Policy

Lindsey Partridge, also known as the Canadian horse whisperer, was checking into a Kentucky motel when she heard the woman in front of her ask about a pet policy. It was normal for small pets to share a room in the Super 8, but Partridge wanted to see how far the policy would go. When she asked if the policy would cover her horse, the woman behind the desk said, "Aw, I wouldn't mind. You could do that." So Partridge went to her trailer and brought her retired thoroughbred racing horse Blizz into the lobby.

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If This Video Doesn't Get You Excited About the 51st Annual CMA Awards, Nothing Will

I know I'm not the only person that treats the CMA Awards like Christmas morning, right? Right. The 51st Annual CMA Awards will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 8 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network and it's time to start getting excited.

To get you pumped up, the CMA recently released a new Heart of Country video featuring Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Kelsea Ballerini discussing how country music moves through them. And with the opening guitar chords of Brooks' "Thunder Rolls" playing in the background-- you'll probably watch on repeat.

Urban and Brooks are both up for CMA Entertainer of the Year, with Underwood and Ballerini vying for Female Vocalist of the Year.


[Listen] Scotty McCreery's Deep Vocals Are on Display During Singing of National Anthem

As the Denver Broncos took on the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 15 at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Scotty McCreery was on hand to perform a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Scotty, a lifelong New England Patriots fans, put his favoritism aside to belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of 76,000 fans, who were in attendance. Unfortunately, even Scotty couldn't help the Broncos who were defeated by the previously winless Giants, 23-10, giving New York their first win of the season.

Another big milestone in the singers life occurred recently when Scotty proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal. The 23-year-old popped the question at their favorite spot— the mountains of North Carolina near Grandfather Mountain. McCreery asked Dugal to go on a hike and when he found the perfect spot at the top of the mountain, the "American Idol" winner got down on one knee, presented the ring he had helped design specifically for her, and asked Dugal to be his wife.

"I've been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened," said McCreery of the big moment. They plan to marry in 2018.

Scotty's current single, "Five More Minutes," from his upcoming album, is on the rise at No. 31 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.


Shania Twain Takes On Role Of Guest Judge on "Dancing With The Stars"

Shania Twain is heading to the dance floor on "Dancing with the Stars." No, not to dance, but to be a guest judge on the reality series competition.

The theme of the show will be "Movie Night," where the remaining contestants will honor iconic dances in film history. Shania will be pulling double duty—not only taking on the role as judge, but also performing her song "Soldier," from her current album, Now, according to PEOPLE.

"Soldier" is featured in the new movie "Thank You For Your Service" about a group of U.S. soldiers who return from Iraq and face the struggle to get back to family and civilian life. "Thank You For Your Service," stars Haley Bennett, MIles Teller and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

As Shania dips her toe in the "DWTS" pool, perhaps we'll see the "Life's About To Get Good" singer take a spin in the ballroom. Shania is no stranger to styling dance moves. The 50-year-old has shown off her moves in many videos over the years including, "Any Man of Mine," "Man, I Feel Like A Woman," and the recent, "Swingin' With My Eyes Closed."

"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays nights on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.


[Listen] One Country Podcast: Las Vegas, Jason Aldean, And A Way Forward

We talk about what it was like inside the country music industry in the ten days since the Las Vegas shooting. Then, Drew went to Jason Aldean's first show back and was surprised by what he found.

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The Most Personalized Children's Book Ever Lets You Put Their Name In The Title

As a church kid, I felt I had arrived when I got my first personalized Bible. It was a pocket bible with my name stamped in gold across the oxblood leather that I used until the cover fell off. A large part of that was because I realized the Bible wasn't a story about someone else, but God's story for me about Himself. That is the message of a new children's book called "Jesus Loves" that will print your child's name right on the cover and address them personally in over 40 places through stories and lessons.

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