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The Smooth Sanctuary at 7 with Gary Vincent 7pm - 10pm
11 March 2022, 08:53
The Shires are one of the UK's most successful country artists of the past decade.
But who are they, how did they form and what are their best songs? Here are all the important facts...
The Shires are a British country duo, composed of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. Earle sings vocals, plays piano and guitar, while Rhodes shares lead vocals.
The duo formed in 2013, and released their debut album Brave in 2015, and became the first UK country act to chart in the Top 10 in the UK. Their second album, My Universe, became the fastest-selling UK country album in history in 2016.
They come from the neighbouring counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in England. The word 'Shire' is the original description of a county in the UK. The duo took the band name to keep their British identity when travelling around the world.
Despite many people mistaking them for a couple, Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes are in fact, not an item.
Ben has a long-term partner called Vicki, who gave birth to their second child, a boy named Tennessee, in 2018. They are also parents to a child named River.
Crissie later told The Sun: “Apparently I was pregnant at one point! When Ben announced that another baby was on the way, someone said, ‘Crissie, you look amazing’.
"We’re actually like brother and sister. There aren’t many male-female duos. They’re mainly in country music.”
Ben added that “we’re the Torvill and Dean of country”.
The Shires have scored four top 10 albums in the UK so far.
Among their singles include: 'Tonight', 'Friday Night', 'State Lines', 'My Universe', 'Daddy's Little Girl', 'Guilty' and 'Accidentally on Purpose'.
In 2022, they released their fifth album 10 Year Plan, featuring the single 'I See Stars'.