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Starburst: 15 Country Stars Who Found Fame Fast

Tanya Tucker, Florida Georgia Line and more stars whose road to success was short and sweet

Jake Owen

Jake Owen attends the 2014 ACM Awards

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

 There's more than one road to country glory, and it doesn't have to be one paved with hardship, empty bank accounts and nights spent shilling cover songs for measly tips. Sometimes, the path can be pretty cushy, or at least lined with reality TV and a post-collegiate record deal. From Tanya Tucker to Florida Georgia Line, we count down the stars who shot to the top of the charts without spending a decade singing "Song of the South" on Lower Broad. By Marissa R. Moss

Frazer Harrison/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM

Kellie Pickler

Another reality-show success story who went on to prove her worth beyond the television, Pickler, a former beauty pageant queen from North Carolina, was only 19 when she surged into the pop culture lexicon by mispronouncing "salmon" on the stage of American Idol. Pickler blamed the flub on nerves – a credible excuse, being that aside from strutting around in an evening gown as a contender for Miss North Carolina, she'd barely ever sang publicly. Initially pegged as a ditzy country answer to Jessica Simpson, Pickler made a name for herself with her strong debut, Small Town Girl, that sent three singles to the Top 20. One of them was the spunky "Red High Heels," a cheeky barnburner that paid sonic tribute to her personal American idol, Dolly Parton.