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I Heart Radio Country Music Festival Debuts In Austin
Updated: Monday, June 2 2014, 10:37 PM CDT
The A-Listers from country music rolled into Austin on Saturday for the I heart Radio Country Festival. Tour buses are lining up as Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Eric Church and half a dozen more country music stars converge on the Frank Erwin Center. It's a first for country music and a sign of what's to come.
Eric Church is the one on stage, but it's country music that's in the spotlight. You could say country music is having a moment. Its fan base is growing so fast, it's now the most popular music genre in America.
"It's growing and taking over and I love it." said Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum.
On the festival red carpet the stars agree America's gone a little bit country.
"We just like to have fun. We want people to feel good," said country music singer Jake Owen.
"The crowd gives you all the energy you need," said Grammy winner Carrie Underwood.
I sat down with Church in his home away from home touring bus.
"Country music is as popular as it's ever been," said the singer of hits like Springsteen and Drink in My Hand.
He thinks it's because it's real and relatable.
"I don't think people like music based on the genre but on whether they like it or not," said Church.
These country music stars are bringing in fans of every age, income level, race and region of the country. Lady Antebellum says the success is in the lyrics.
"Writing and recording music that not only we relate to but our fans will as well," said lead singer Hillary Scott.
This is the first I Heart Radio Country Festival and no one in the industry thinks it will be the last. Just like Eric Church's stage show, country music is on fire.