Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Brian Dugger

Jason Aldean going strong

Stardom in Nashville is so difficult to predict. Some guys or girls come along who you just truly believe are going to be stars, and they ll have one hit and disappear.

On the other hand, there are artists who come out of the gates with a hit, but you just don t think they are going to stick around, but they surprise you and turn into a star.

For me, that surprise artist is Jason Aldean. Loved his debut single, "Hicktown," but I just wondered whether he had the "it" factor to really stick around.

It turns out that he does. This week his sophomore album, "Relentless," sits atop Billboard s Country Albums chart after selling more than 90,000 copies the first week. That total placed him at No. 4 for all genres.

The album is being propelled by the catchy "Johnny Cash," which is already at No. 12 on the Radio & Records chart.

For me at least, I ve found myself taking another look at this young artist. "Hicktown" put him on the map, but he followed that up with a No. 1 single "Why," then his third single off his self-titled debut, "Amarillo Sky," hit No. 4. Those three hits were good enough to sell more than a million copies of his first album, which is impressive no matter how you look at it. Now, he s got another hit and his second album is flying off the shelves.

No doubt about it, I underestimated him. Some artists just have the ability to connect with fans, and Jason s, obviously, got that ability. Great job.


And speaking of new artists, how about that Bucky Covington? The former "American Idol" contestant continues to gain traction with his country music career.

Bucky s debut single, "A Different World," enters Top-15 territory this week, and it also happens to be the top video of the week on CMT. Since mid-April, Covington s self-titled debut album has sold more than 140,000 copies.


Trace Adkins has been invited to perform Wednesday for President Bush at the 2007 President s Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington.

More than 5,000 people will be in attendance, including the President and members of the House of Representatives and Senate. Trace will perform a 45-minute set, then sit at the hold table with several dignitaries.


It will be a big November for Toby Keith, who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Nov. 8.

Toby, who was born in Clinton, Okla., and now lives near Norman, Okla., will take his place alongside 613 other members who have inducted since the hall was established in Oklahoma City in 1928.


Country superstar Clay Walker has been one of the biggest advocates for MS research since being diagnosed with the disease in 1996. Initially, he was only given months to live, but he has been able to manage the disease with medication.

To raise funds for research, Clay started the Band against MS organization. Last week, he debuted the foundations Web site, www.bandagainstms.org, which includes updates on the latest research and medical information intended to help those battling this devastating disease. Even if you don t have MS, check out the site to see what those fighting this disease are up against.

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