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Home » Jinglefest 2011 » Meet The Artists

Meet The Artists

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Jake Owen

The “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” singer-songwriter was named 2009’s Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music. His roots began in the coastal town of Vero Beach, Florida, where he attended Florida State and fell in love with music. In 2005, Jake went from performing in Florida bars to moving to Nashville and within months he had a Music Row son-publishing contract. Less than a year later, he was signed by RCA Records and was on the carts with his first two singles, “Yee Haw” and “Startin’ with Me.” He toured with Brad Paisley in 2007, Sugarland in 2008, and a part of Keith Urban’s “Get Closer” tour in 2011. Says Jake of his third album, “If you want to get better at your craft, you have to push yourself, take risks and try something different,” he reflects. “In order to grow and not be complacent, you have to open your mind, expand your horizons and be grateful. That’s what this record represents for me.”

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Thompson Square

Thompson Square isn’t a real place, exactly. It’s the musical territory staked out by the husband-and-wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson, an exciting and unpredictable area where country meets rock and rough meets smooth. The two combine classic country and rock influences to forge a sound that’s thoroughly modern but built on the bedrock of tradition. Though they are from two different states, both moved to Nashville within the same week, and met at a singing competition a few days after hitting town. After pursuing solo careers, they finally decided to combine their efforts and become a duo. With the release of their No. 1 platinum radio smash “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” fans are discovering their natural chemistry and spirit of buoyant romance. Thompson Square has earned 12 awards show nominations in 2011 including an American Music Award nomination for New Artist of the Year; two 2011 CMA Awards nominations for Best New Artist and Vocal Duo of the Year; seven American Country Awards nominations including New Artist, Music Video and Single of the Year and two CMT Music Awards nominations.

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Hunter Hayes

Among the many extraordinary things about Hunter Hayes, the multi-talented musician, writer, producer and performer, perhaps what is most astonishing is that in truth, he’s just getting started. And it is that fact which holds the promise of Hunter Hayes becoming one of the most significant musical talents to emerge, not just from Nashville, but from anywhere, in a long, long time. Born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, Hunter has been making music since about the time he learned to walk. As he recounts, “By the time I was almost two, I was picking up everything and making an instrument out of it. My grandmother gave me a toy accordion for my second birthday and I immediately began picking up Cajun songs by ear from the radio.” In 2011, Hunter released his debut album, toured with superstar Taylor Swift, kicked-off his first ever headlining tour, made his national network television debut on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman and made his Grand Ole Opry debut.