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“I would drive around in the car with her … and she always flips the station to the country station and always sings along louder than the radio. I’m like, `How do you know that song? I don’t even know that song. I’ve just heard of (the band) Florida Georgia Line. How did you get that? Did you get an advance copy?’ She just obsessively listens. Nothing creates a better writer or an artist than a great listener,” Bush said.

Hale hopes country fans will accept her.

“Once you get in the circle of country music, you’re in and they will stay with you for life,” said Hale. “It’s just going over the hurdle of getting in there because they don’t just let anyone in. Look at the careers. You don’t make one album. You make 25 albums. They’re just behind your back always.”




Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at