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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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Michael Loccisano / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Michael Loccisano / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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New Country Music Releases – August 2012

The summer heatwave comes a with a splash of country music before the days grow shorter and the kids return to school. The new country music releases for August 2012 are no exception. While July had so many country superstars with new country music releases that it was difficult to decide where to spend your money, August has just four that look promising. 

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Category: Country Music News
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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Alberto E. Rodriguez / Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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Anderson Cooper Gay: Country Artists React

Anderson Cooper admitted that he is gay on Monday in an email to the Daily Beast, confirming what many already suspected about the ‘Anderson Cooper 360′ host’s sexuality. Soon after the news broke, country artists like Chely Wright and Natalie Maines took to Twitter to comment on the latest trending headline in pop culture.

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Frazer Harrison / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Blake Shelton vs. Zac Brown Band – The Showdown

You now have a chance to decide the best new songs in country music every day! Starting July 2, the Taste of Country Showdown will run online and on the air daily. With the launch of Taste of Country Nights on 34 radio stations across America, you’ll get to hear even more of the hottest hits from the hottest artists in country music. Today’s challengers are Blake Shelton and his new song ‘Over’ against Zac Brown Band and their latest, ‘The Wind.’

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