Big Country: A Look At Three Artists
Big Country David McClister

Eric Church, Laura Bell Bundy, Joe Nichols

While most genres struggle, country music is enjoying a commercial and creative renaissance. Billboard looks at three strikingly diverse artists -- Joe Nichols, Eric Church, and Laura Bell Bundy -- who took very different routes to reach the charts.

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Despite the fact that David Letterman and your grandmother still call it "country & western," country music has evolved beyond its cowboy roots. Sure, some male artists still wear cowboy hats-and a few of them have actually ridden a horse-but country is a diverse format, particularly these days when many of its younger artists name check acts as varied as|

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