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Not Country?

(Taste of Country) – What seemed like the next round of artist vs. artist criticisms was misconstrued and taken out of context, according to one of the parties involved. Gary Allan says his answer to Larry King’s question about whether or not Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are country has been spun in a way he didn’t intend.

The interview took place last week and will air on King’s Ora TV show ‘Larry King Now’ Tuesday night (Sept. 17). In a 90-second preview, Allan says Swift and Underwood are not country: “I would say they’re pop artists making a living in the country genre.”

In the wake of earlier comments from Zac Brown about Luke Bryan, this felt like a familiar story, but Allan elaborates on the point he was making in a post on his Facebook page.

“Country music has changed,” Allan says. “During the interview I made it a point to say that my own music has changed over the years. I used to make very different music 10 – 15 years ago. ”

Allan agrees with King that modern day country is an amalgam, meaning “a mixture or a blend.” The point he says he was trying to make was that “country music is a blend these days. Our genre has enough room in it for me, a country artist whose country leans towards rock and for more pop sounding country artists, as well as more traditional sounding country artists. None of us are the same, but we all make country radio our home.”

The lengthy note was not an apology, but more of an explanation and invitation to fans to watch the entire interview and decide for themselves. Allan’s other point during the abbreviated clip was that big corporations were changing the face of radio by turning stations into landing places for specific demographics instead of clean and clear formats.

“You used to be able to turn on the radio and you knew instantly it was a country station, just by listening to it,” Allan explains. “And now you’ve got to leave it there for a second to figure it out.”

“It’s not a bad thing. It’s just different than it used to be,” he says on Facebook.

Additionally, Allan talks with King about the political climate in country music and whether the time is right for more African-American or gay country stars. The singer indicates that he is aware of more than one gay singer who has not yet come out.

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Melissa Lambrecht

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