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Country stars debut unreleased tunes in Nashville showcase

Country stars debut unreleased tunes in Nashville showcase

(Yahoo!) - Outside of an awards show, it's hard to imagine a more star-studded concert than the one put on by Universal Music Group at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday. Get a gander at this bill: George Strait, Lady Antebellum, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Vince Gill, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, Kacey Musgraves, Billy Currington, David Nail, and six other artists came out to perform one acoustic song each (with the exception of King George, who, being a star among stars, was allowed three for his climactic appearance).

The catch was that you had to be a DJ or programmer to attend this noontime showcase during the annual Country Radio Seminar. Those who did got a pretty good idea of what some of the big hits of the coming year will be, as more than half the artists performed unreleased material, with the remainder playing songs that are still fairly fresh newcomers to the chart.

The annual event is also an opportunity for tastemakers to pick out a possible star of the future, when a fresh-faced unknown suddenly gets a standing ovation. Last year, that instant discovery was Kacey Musgraves. This year, it was a young woman named (write this name down) Mickey Guyton. But if Guyton provided the afternoon's biggest wow factor among newcomers, two other forthcoming freshman acts, the Brothers Osborne and Chris Stapleton, also looked likely to cause huge waves in 2013.

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