(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
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It's true. The hard rock band Kiss really do love country music. When Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer walked the red carpet at the ACM Awards on Sunday (April 1), they weren't just faking it the way a lot of people from outside the country genre tend to do at events such as this. Their knowledge of our artists seemed downright genuine. Simmons said some of his favorites were Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley and that country music comes from -- and I quote -- "the bosom of America." Then Tommy Thayer told me, "I just love the way all the new artists are crossing over. Like what Sugarland did with Bon Jovi, how Little Big Town did that thing with Lionel Richie." And Paul Stanley had a few things to say about this music of ours, too. "We're here to celebrate American music and rock 'n' roll. Country music is really the world's music," he said. "Rock 'n' roll and country are both born in America." He said the best country music has a rock tinge to it, but he added, "We're just here to tip our hats to country stars, And they're gonna tip their hats right back."