These Georgia natives are all quick to credit other local acts from James Brown to Alan Jackson to Outkast with making the state's reputation as a cradle for American music of all stripes. "Just in my hometown" of Macon, says Jason Aldean, "you had the Allman Brothers, Otis Redding and Little Richard, plus bands like The Black Crowes." These days, country artists represent as fiercely as anyone for taheir home state.

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