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Country star’s hit climbs the charts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Growing up in Nashville, Tenn., Greg Bates often sat in awe of the various local songwriters.

“I was inspired that someone could write a song and it (would) be on the radio,” he says during a recent interview from Nashville. “It was amazing growing up with a lot of talent and people willing to give advice to me.”

Now the 25-year-old has achieved a milestone that many of the songwriters he was inspired by also achieved. His single, “Did It for the Girl,” is a top-five hit, and rising in its 34th week on the Billboard charts.

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“It’s an amazing feeling and I think that more people are learning my name thanks to the song,” he says. “It’s taken a lot of work to get here, but I’m looking forward to see what else comes.”

Bates is one of the many new faces of country music and he’s beginning to make his mark. He’s been on tour since March, snagged an opening slot on Brantley Gilbert’s tour, and played the Grand Ole Opry earlier this year. Looking towards 2013, Bates already has been confirmed to tour with Alan Jackson and Gloriana, and will finish his debut album.

“It’s been a great year and things are really starting to pay off,” he says. “I really haven’t been home for too long since March and I do miss a lot of the things that happen daily. But every time I take the stage and start to perform, it’s all worth it.”

Bates was raised in Nashville and began writing and performing songs when he was 15. From that point on, Bates knew he wanted a career in music, even going to Belmont University in Nashville to study music. During his freshman year, he performed in a music showcase and buzz began to build around his songwriting capabilities.

“It was something that I welcomed and I always work hard when I’m writing a song,” he says. “I got signed to a publishing deal and began writing songs for other artists. But I always wanted to be a solo artist.”

While Bates continues to tour heavily in support of his EP and single, he is quick to remember the first time he heard “Did It for the Girl” on the radio.

“I was in Tampa and the song came on the station,” he explains. “I was with my producer and we heard the song. But we didn’t realize it was me until we heard the chorus. We weren’t expecting to hear it. It was definitely a moment that I will remember forever.”