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Country musicians have a talent to either write or perform music that falls under the genre of country music. Different styles of country music gain popularity in various regions of the world across the U.S., Australia, and Europe, including the U.K. and Ireland. Country music gets much of its exposure from radio stations and Internet radio around the world. Successful country musicians earn extremely lucrative careers as this genre of music has only strengthened its position in the music industry over time.
Some country artists have crossover appeal, which means their music is suited to be played both on country music radio stations and other types, such as mainstream radio. There have been stereotypes over the years that country music is reserved for hillbillies and people living in certain regions of the world, such as the southern U.S. Those stigmas tend to evaporate as country artists garner more global attention and earn more notoriety in the worldwide music scene through events such as awards programs.
Just as in most other musical genres, country musicians can serve as solo artists or as part of a larger group. Country and western music, which was an early style in the U.S., can incorporate a variety of instruments including violins, steel guitars, and harmonicas. In addition to having vocal talent, country musicians may or may not have the ability to play musical instruments.
The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, in the U.S. is a historic stage where many many accomplished country musicians have performed. Country music's success in the U.S. is largely attributed to the Grand Ole Opry, and many musicians do not feel as though they have arrived on the country music scene until the opportunity to perform on this platform arises. The Opry stage has been host to different country musical styles ranging from traditional bluegrass in the early 20th century to modern country. In addition to hosting live performances, the Grand Ole Opry has a radio program that spotlights American country artists.
Irish country music contains a combination of both traditional and folk influences. Country musicians might tour the country alone or participate in musical festivals. Ireland has been known to host country musicians from around the world in a yearly musical concert where many popular country artists, including new and up-and-coming musicians, are promoted and featured. The emergence of Internet radio has allowed Irish country musicians to be heard around the world.