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Jeff Giles

A professional pop culture junkie for more than 25 years, Jeff Giles regularly surfaces in a number of far-flung locations on the Web.
Hank Williams Jr.
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Hank Williams Jr. Issues Statement Clarifying Controversial Hitler Comment

It may not do anything to save his long-running gig as the musical kickoff for 'Monday Night Football,' but Hank Williams, Jr. has issued a personal statement in response to the brouhaha that erupted after his recent appearance on 'Fox and Friends.'

Williams, who compared a golf match between President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner to "Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu," attempted to clarify his remarks through a post on his website. 

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Trace Adkins
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images
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Trace Adkins Isn’t the Least Bit Excited About His Upcoming 50th Birthday

Half a century of anything is usually a milestone people take pride in -- unless you're Trace Adkins and you're about to reach your 50th birthday, in which case it's an occasion worth snarling at.

Yes, the 'Just Fishin'' singer will become eligible for full membership in the AARP on January 13. And while he isn't normally much of a birthday person, he knows he can't completely ignore the upcoming big day.

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Category: Country
Rodney Atkins, Garth Brooks
Drew Hallowell / Adam Bettcher, Getty Images
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Rodney Atkins Looks to Garth Brooks for Career Inspiration

Rodney Atkins' fans know he's one of the most approachable stars in country music -- the type of guy who'll happily stick around after a show to sign autographs, pose for pictures and spend time with his fans.

Even though he's currently enjoying the most successful single of his career, don't expect Atkins to change. As he revealed during a recent interview, he learned the importance of those personal connections early -- thanks to none other than Garth Brooks.

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Category: Country, TSM
Gene Watson
inparistexas, Flickr
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Country Legend Gene Watson Escapes Injury in Tour Bus Accident

Over the course of his long career, Gene Watson has seen it all, including a slew of bestselling albums, a stack of classic country hits and multiple Grammy Awards.

But on the way to his show Sunday night, Watson suffered through what must have been a first for him: escaping a tour bus as it teetered on the side of the road.

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Category: Country
Foster the People
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Foster the People’s Success Started with a Free Download of Hit Song ‘Pumped Up Kicks’

Downloading, both legal and illegal, has taken a lot of the blame for the sales collapse suffered by the music industry over the last decade and change. But not every artist has a horror story to tell regarding mp3s and filesharing technology.

Just ask Mark Foster, frontman for fast-rising rockers Foster the People, whose inescapable hit single 'Pumped Up Kicks' started out as a free download on the band's website.

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Category: Rock
Chris Young
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Chris Young Is ‘Thankful’ for His Chart-Topping Success

In the last five years, Chris Young has gone from being just another struggling country artist to scoring three top five albums, four straight number one singles, and a growing stack of awards, as well as a 2010 Grammy nomination.

All that success has changed his life -- but it's still new enough that Young can remember the days when the top of the charts seemed like they were a million miles away.

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Category: Country
Toby Keith
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Talks Gay Marriage, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and Female Soldiers

Toby Keith has released some of the most proudly patriotic songs in modern country music, making him an easy target for those who prefer to think of country artists (and perhaps country fans) as belligerent or intolerant. The reality, of course, is more nuanced.

The fact is that Keith is simply not shy about speaking his mind, as readers discovered when Keith was asked to share his thoughts on gay rights during a recent interview with CMT Insider.

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Category: Country
Heidi Newfield and Bridgette Tatum
Rick Diamond / Jason Smith, Getty Images
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Heidi Newfield and Songwriter Bridgette Tatum Team Up on ‘She’s Country’ Tour

Former Trick Pony member Heidi Newfield has been hard at work on the follow-up to her 2008 debut album, 'What Am I Waiting For,' for more than a year, but she isn't letting the delay get her down. In fact, she's grabbing her band and hitting the road for a run of live dates -- and taking some of her girlfriends with her.

Sponsored by Pendleton Whisky and dubbed the She's Country Tour, Newfield's fall jaunt will bring audiences an all-female lineup that includes Bridgette Tatum, co-writer of the Jason Aldean hit the tour is named after, as well as select special guests.

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Category: Country, Music News
Britney Spears
Image courtesy of Media Smart
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Britney Spears Uses Before-and-After Photos to Help Educate Kids About Airbrushing

As a charter member of the Pro Tools pop generation, Britney Spears has always drawn criticism for offering more style than substance, and of being more of a studio creation than a true musical artist.

But there's nothing artificial about Britney's latest project, a series of photos commissioned to help educate schoolchildren about the unreasonable physical expectations created by airbrushed images of celebrities.

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Category: Music News
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
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Steve Martin and Del McCoury Honored at 2011 Bluegrass Awards

The leading names of the Bluegrass genre gathered on Thursday for the 22nd annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, handing out honors to legends (including Del McCoury, who entered the Bluegrass Hall of Fame) and "newer" artists like Steve Martin, who took home the Entertainer of the Year award for his second full-length album of bluegrass instrumentals.

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Category: Country

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