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). Read on to learn more!

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