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Chris Young, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift Give the Gift of Music

Artists join a 30-year-old campaign to encourage giving music.

Chris by Randee St. Nicholas/Monarch Publicity; Kimberly
Schlapman by James Minchin III/Capitol Nashville;
Martina by Randee St. Nicholas/Front Page Publicity;
Taylor by Joseph Anthony Baker/Erickson PR

Chris Young, Taylor Swift, Martina McBride, Little Big Town and other artists are letting fans know the power of music by partnering with Give the Gift of Music , a 30-year-old initiative to spread the word that music is worth giving on any occasion—holidays, birthdays, or even just to say "I love you" or "thank you" to a friend or loved one. The artists were asked to share what their favorite musical gift has been.

"I got a guitar for Christmas one year,"says Chris. "The first time I played guitar and sang onstage I was just blown away by how much of a different experience that was. I don't know that I would be the same artist and songwriter I am today without that first guitar."

Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town says that her favorite musical gift was the Emmylou Harris Roses in the Snow album. "A friend of our family, a bluegrass player, gave me that record. It was the first album I ever had. I wore it out. I now have it in CD version. The original record, Karen [Fairchild] and Jimi [Westbrook] got [a signed copy of] it from Emmylou for my birthday."

Martina was quick to name one of her favorite musical gifts. "The Eagles' [Their] Greatest Hits CD—I got it for Christmas. I put it on my list and that was the thing I wanted most that year for Christmas. I played it over and over and over again. I think music is one of the greatest gifts we can give," says Martina.

Taylor names Faith Hill'smusic as a major inspiration on her own career. "I was so young when I first discovered her music. But from the moment I heard 'This Kiss,' she became my complete and total role model. I looked to her every move, every word to define who I wanted to be. Knowing what it's like to have a musical role model, I know how important it is to make the right choices for your fans," says Taylor.

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