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Published: 9/15/2006

American Idol favorite comes to country radio

Kellie Pickler, who engaged in some memorable banter with "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell released her first country single this week.

"Red High Heels" is Pickler s debut single off her upcoming album for 19 Recordings/BNA Records, "Small Town Girl," which will be in stores on Halloween.

She is a co-writer on this single and also on several other cuts on the album.

One of her favorite memories during the recording of her album was getting to meet one of her idols.

"This guy walks in the door, and I looked over my shoulder and quickly took a second look. I was so excited when I realized who it was it was Kenny Chesney. I couldn t believe that he was standing next to me," Pickler said. "It was so weird because just last year I went to one of his concerts and after his show I remember going home and calling my friend and telling her that after seeing Kenny on the stage that night, I knew that that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."

Pickler should definitely make things interesting in the country music world.

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I keep raving about this guy, but I truly believe Dierks Bentley is getting ready to take the next step to megastardom. I just listened to his new album, "Long Trip Alone," which will be in stores on Oct. 17, and it s going to produce several more hits for Bentley.

And the cool thing about his success is that he s a really good guy who s not letting the success go to his head. This week, he announced an upcoming benefit for the Vanderbilt Children s Hospital in Nashville. "Miles and Music for Kids" will be a celebrity motorcycle ride and benefit concert for the hospital on Oct. 8. The motorcycle ride will weave through Franklin, Brentwood, and Nashville before ending at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Bentley will then headline a concert that will feature performances by Jeff Foxworthy, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, and the Randy Rogers band. More information about the event and ticket information can be found at www.dbmilesandmusic.com.

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Dierks buddy Kenny Chesney recently wrapped up "The Road & the Radio Tour," now he gets to have a little fun.

Kenny is scheduled to appear on Fox s "Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Sept. 20.

"Where I come from, that's what it's all about: who's playing the Vols and which teams you're following," Chesney said. "It's a pretty simple way to be but it's also a lot about the way we grew up. I think sometimes we're bigger fans of the ball players, almost, than they are of this music So getting to do 'The Best Damn Sports Show' is a pretty cool deal."

Fans will also be able to catch him next week on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." He ll be performing on the show Thursday.

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You might want to check out the upcoming "CMT 40 Greatest Albums," which will premiere on CMT on Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. The two-hour countdown special features the most influential music in the history of country, including Ray Charles "Modern Sounds in Country & Western," Johnny Cash s "At Folsom Prison," Willie Nelson s "Red Headed Stranger," and Garth Brooks "No Fences."



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