Monday, August 08, 2005

I thought that this soldier had a hit! Luke Strickland
Newsweek Aug. 1 issue - Last December, Luke Stricklin, then 21,was a foot soldier in Iraq, far away from his new bride and his birthplace, Arkadelphia, Ark. He hadevery reason to sing the blues—but he wrote a country song instead. Using his friend's laptop and a $10 microphone, he recorded a song about life in Iraq and e-mailed it home. ("I really don't care why Bush went to Iraq/I know what I done there and I'm damn sure proud of that," he twanged.) His mom took the song to a local radio station, which played it on air. Soon it was picked up by another station... and then another,and then another. On a stint in Kuwait, Stricklin heard a familiar song in a bar. "Hey, I wrote that!" he recalls yelling. Seven months later he's back from Iraq—and a rising country star. He professionally recorded his Iraq song, "American by God's Amazing Grace," which is now playing in more than 40 markets (click here to listen). After it was released nationally last week, hits to his Web site jumped 1,000 percent. His album's not out until September, but he's presold the 5,000 copies his label has. It just ordered 50,000 more, giving Stricklin yet another thing to be damn sure proud of.

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