Georgia has long been a hotbed for country music, producing such stars as Alan Jackson , Travis Tritt  and Trisha Yearwood , but perhaps never before have Peach State artists dominated the Billboard charts the way they did in 2012. Four Georgia acts -- Luke Bryan , Jason Aldean , Zac Brown Band  and Lady Antebellum  (two of the trio's members, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, are from Augusta; Hillary Scott is from Nashville) -- all had solid achievements on the airplay and sales charts.
They share honors with a Yankee lady turned country/pop superstar.
Pennsylvania native Taylor Swift  is the year's top country artist and No. 3 on the all-genre Top Artists chart for 2012.
Bryan, hailing from Leesburg, is No. 1 on Country Songs Artists. He has three hits on the year-end Country Songs recap: "Drunk on You" at No. 10, "I Don't Want This Night to End" at No. 17 and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" at No. 48. Thanks to strong sales of 2011's "Tailgates & Tanlines" (Capitol Nashville), Bryan nabs the No. 3 slot on the Country Albums Artists recap.
"Tailgates & Tanlines" is this year's No. 2 title on Country Albums, followed by Lionel Richie's  "Tuskegee" (Mercury/Universal Music Group Nashville) at No. 3 and Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" (Capitol Nashville) at No. 4.
Bryan's tourmate Aldean -- the pair hit the road on the "My Kinda Party" tour in 2012 -- scores on the Country Songs recap at No. 26 ("Fly Over States"), No. 31 ("Take a Little Ride") and No. 49 ("Tattoos on This Town"). Aldean finishes No. 2 on Country Albums Artists by placing a pair of releases, 2010's "My Kinda Party" and this year's "Night Train" (both on Broken Bow) in the top 10 on the albums recap.
Meanwhile, North Carolinian Eric Church , who can currently be heard on country radio with Aldean and Bryan on "The Only Way I Know," scores a No. 4 finish on the Country Songs Artists recap due to two singles on the Country Songs tally, "Springsteen" at No. 9 and "Drink in My Hand" at No. 44.
Josh Turner  leads the year-end Country Songs recap with "Time Is Love," besting Brantley Gilbert (another Georgian) with "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" at No. 2 and newcomer Jana Kramer's  "Why Ya Wanna" at No. 3. Dustin Lynch's debut single, "Cowboys and Angels," lands at No. 4 while trio Gloriana claims No. 5 with its breakthrough hit "(Kissed You) Good Night."
When it came to album sales, Swift remains the queen of country. Along with leading the Country Artists recap, Swift is No. 1 on the Country Albums Artists recap. Her latest album, "Red" (Big Machine), which sold 1.2 million first-week copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, also leads the Country Albums recap.
In a notable change from 2011, country's youth movement seemed to flatten a bit in 2012, despite the success of Hunter Hayes , fueled by his No. 1 Country Songs hit "Wanted," and Kramer, as well as "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery  and runner-up Lauren Alaina.
As for the state of Georgia's musical legacy, the future looks bright, considering such stars-in-waiting as Gilbert (from Jefferson, Ga.), Alaina (Rossville) and Kip Moore (Tifton) all made in-roads in 2012.
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• COVER STORY: One Direction 
• OVERVIEW The Year in Pop 
• YEAR-END ISSUE: Order It Here 
• HUB: The Year In Music 2012 
• 2012 CHARTS: Hot 100 Songs 
• 2012 CHARTS: Billboard 200 
• 2012 CHARTS: Top Artists 
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