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The words came tumbling out, and we were there to write 'em down. A look back at a decade of unforgettable quotes from country's top stars

"As long as I'm right with myself and my music then everything's all right. I don't really care what the critics think. Where do they get off being a critic of my music when I don't even know what I'm doing?"

"It's cool to be going into the Hall of Fame. [But] if you think this means I'm done and that this is putting me in a rocking chair, you can forget it. If it does, you can just put wheels on my rockin' chair, 'cause I am gonna rock 'n' roll."

"The whole thing is about my music - it's all about what I write, sing and live. It has nothing to do with my hair. I would shave it balder than hell if it would make the whole world happy. But it wouldn't."
-- BILLY RAY CYRUS on his trademark "mullet" hairstyle, which he cut last year

"I think anybody that's trying to do what they want to do, the way they want to do it, qualifies."
-- WILLIE NELSON on what makes a person an outlaw

"I've always felt that my role is to try to make everybody else look good, to just throw in a couple of jokes here and there and not try too hard."
-- VINCE GILL on his CMA show hosting responsibilities

"I'm not trying to spearhead any kind of movement in country music. I gave that up a long time ago. I never have really been into doing that in the first place. I do my own thing, always have."

"I think it's because of the way guys communicate - without a lot of emotion involved. We just lay the cards out on the table and talk it out."
-- RONNIE DUNN, on why he and partner Kix Brooks have lasted as a duo

"Country music is obviously my home. Great music should be universal."

"Living up to my image was never tough, because that's who I was. I was that rowdy, outlaw, hellbent-for-leather guy."

"We're both women that grew up in a man's world - she had to take care of her family after her father left, and I grew up working on a cattle ranch, doing the outside man's work and the inside women's work. Plus, we're both very competitive, and we love what we do! We're so much alike that I just become Annie."
-- REBA McENTIRE, conquering Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun