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Skynyrd Frontman Hails 'Nashville Star'

The viewer-voted talent show “Nashville Star” offers hope to all the whiskey-voiced singers out there, says Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant.

“I think it’s great,” said Van Zant, who belted out “Sweet Home Alabama” on the USA network show with the rest of the Skynyrd crew recently. “On ‘American Idol,’ if you can’t sing higher than a bird, you can’t be on there, really.”

The contestants, who are competing for a Sony Music Nashville recording contract, paid homage to the classic Southern rockers by performing “What’s Your Name.”

With their blend of rock, blues and country, Lynyrd Skynyrd has long been a favorite of country audiences. Van Zant says the link makes sense. Skynyrd’s music isn’t much different from contemporary country.

“These days most of these country artists grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd,” he said. “If Skynyrd came out today, I think it would be a country act. If you go to a Skynyrd concert, people are not only listening to rock, they’re listening to country, too.”

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