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Professional Athletes Who Have Released Country Projects [PICTURES]

Some country stars burst onto the scene via television shows such as American Idol or The Voice, while others build their careers more slowly, hitting up honky-tonks and open mic nights for years. But then, there are a select few country artists whose backgrounds include tackles and goals … Do you know which country artists were also professional athletes?

The photo gallery above focuses on athletes who went pro — and were paid for their efforts — so while musicians such as football quarterback Sam Hunt attempted a pro career and ex-Major League Baseball prospect Brett Young showed plenty of promise, they weren’t compensated and, therefore, are not included this list. Who is included? A quarterback songwriter. A pitcher with 29 No. 1 hits. A hockey forward who turned childhood pain into music. A defensive lineman with 12 No. 1 songs and a Grammys trophy.

There’s more, too: One golfer, Jason Brown, has a pretty well-known country career — but he has a completely different stage name. Additionally, the gallery includes an NFL player who successfully covered Hank Williams‘ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (though his album of the same name was less popular).

NEXT: Country Stars Who Played Football

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