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The Year in Review 2012: Country Music's New Generation Steps Up in 2012

Image courtesy of Atlantic (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Atlantic (via ABC News Radio)

2012 was a great year to be a new artist, with several acts breaking out in a big way. Hunter Hayes scored his first #1 hit with "Wanted in September and also scored the New Artist of the Year trophy at the CMA Awards. In addition to touring with Carrie Underwood on the Blown Away tour, Hunter also picked up three Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist in December.

Kip Moore hit #1 for the first time with 'Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" in June and scored a second chart-topper by the end of the year with "Beer Money." Kip closed out 2012 with an opening spot on Eric Church's Blood, Sweat & Beers tour. He also secured a performance spot on Fox's American Country Awards in December.

Florida Georgia Line rode their #1 hit "Cruise" to platinum status in 2012. Their debut LP, Here for the Good Times, set the charts on fire, moving more than 60,000 copies its first week on sale. "Cruise" also received Twitter love from the likes of Keith Urban , Taylor Swift and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland . Florida Georgia Line finished 2012 on the road with Jake Owen , and they'll open Luke Bryan's Dirt Road Diaries tour starting in January.

Brantley Gilbert launched his first headlining trek, the Hell on Wheels tour, in 2012 after scoring his second #1 hit, "You Don't Know Her Like I Do," in July. Before playing his own shows, Brantley enjoyed high-profile spots on both Toby Keith and Eric Church's 2012 tours. He also started dating fellow country star Jana Kramer this year. She hit the top five in 2012 with her first country single, "Why Ya Wanna."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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