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'Nashville Star' Angela Hacker Releases 'Winning' Debut Album

Country singers Buddy Jewell, Miranda Lambert, Erika Jo and Chris Young all have one thing in common. They each gained nationwide recognition, thanks to Country music's televised talent competition, "Nashville Star." VOA's Mary Morningstar has this report on the 2007 winner, 29-year-old Angela Hacker.

"Love Me Wild" is one of five original songs on Angela Hacker's debut album, Also included are studio versions of five songs she performed on the televised Country talent competition that took place earlier this year. Angela beat out more than 20,000 contestants to win the 2007 "Nashville Star" title. They included her younger brother Zac, who placed second in the competition.

Before being named the new "Nashville Star," Angela was living in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, working as a songwriter. The single mother of an 8-year-old son earned the show's grand prize of a recording deal with Warner Brothers Records. Zac will begin working on his debut album next month.

During the Nashville Star finale, Angela and Zac performed a duet version of Otis Redding's soul classic "Hard To Handle."

Angela describes her musical style as a mix of Country, rhythm and blues, and rock that was heavily influenced by the Muscle Shoals sound she grew up listening to in Alabama. Perhaps genes played an important role as well. Her father was a country rock singer, who supported his family by performing in local clubs. And, Angela is a third cousin to the "King of Rock and Roll", Elvis Presley.

Angela and Zac will join the three other Nashville Star finalists on a U.S. summer tour. Later this year, they'll head into the studio to record an album together as The Hackers.