Country

A country is a region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state,[1] as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction. There is no hard and fast definition of what regions are countries and which are not.

Countries can refer both to sovereign states and to other political entities,[2] while other times it can refer only to states.[3] For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states".[4][Note 1]

Political map of the World (November 2011)
2011 map showing countries with full recognition and one UN non-member state; some disputed territories are not shown

Etymology and usage

The word country comes from Old French contrée, which derives from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata ("(land) lying opposite"; "(land) spread before"), derived from contra ("against, opposite"). It most likely entered the English language after the Franco-Norman invasion during the 11th century.

In English the word has increasingly become associated with political divisions, so that one sense, associated with the indefinite article – "a country" – through misuse and subsequent conflation is now a synonym for state, or a former sovereign state, in the sense of sovereign territory or "district, native land".[5] Areas much smaller than a political state may be called by names such as the West Country in England, the Black Country (a heavily industrialized part of England), "Constable Country" (a part of East Anglia painted by John Constable), the "big country" (used in various contexts of the American West), "coal country" (used of parts of the US and elsewhere) and many other terms.[6]

The equivalent terms in French and other Romance languages (pays and variants) have not carried the process of being identified with political sovereign states as far as the English "country", instead derived from, pagus, which designated the territory controlled by a medieval count, a title originally granted by the Roman Church. In many European countries the words are used for sub-divisions of the national territory, as in the German Bundesländer, as well as a less formal term for a sovereign state. France has very many "pays" that are officially recognised at some level, and are either natural regions, like the Pays de Bray, or reflect old political or economic entities, like the Pays de la Loire.

A version of "country" can be found in the modern French language as contrée, based on the word cuntrée in Old French,[6] that is used similarly to the word "pays" to define non-state regions, but can also be used to describe a political state in some particular cases. The modern Italian contrada is a word with its meaning varying locally, but usually meaning a ward or similar small division of a town, or a village or hamlet in the countryside.

Sovereignty status

The term "country" can refer to a sovereign state. There is no universal agreement on the number of "countries" in the world since a number of states have disputed sovereignty status. There are 206 sovereign states, of which 193 states are members of the United Nations, two states have observer status at the U.N. (the Holy See and Palestine), and 11 other states are neither a member or observer at the U.N. All are defined as states by declarative theory of statehood and constitutive theory of statehood. The latest proclaimed state is South Sudan in 2011.

The degree of autonomy of non-sovereign countries varies widely. Some are possessions of sovereign states, as several states have overseas territories (such as French Polynesia or the British Virgin Islands), with citizenry at times identical and at times distinct from their own. Such territories, with the exception of distinct dependent territories, are usually listed together with sovereign states on lists of countries, but may nonetheless be treated as a separate "country of origin" in international trade, as Hong Kong is.[7][8][9]

Denmark

The Kingdom of Denmark, a sovereign state, comprises Denmark proper and two autonomous countries—the Faroe Islands, and Greenland—which are autonomous.

Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands, a sovereign state, comprises four separate countries: Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.

United Kingdom

Although not sovereign states, England, Scotland and Wales are countries and Northern Ireland is a province (depending on context), which collectively form the United Kingdom—a sovereign state that is also commonly referred to as a country. The United Kingdom is a Union of four separate countries brought about by a series of international treaties and legislated for by several Acts of Union. These include the Acts of Union 1707 in both the English and Scottish parliaments, although by then England and Wales had already united. While a political Union was created, Scotland and England retained distinct churches, legal systems and education systems, as a result, the issue of sovereignty is different in the two countries: in Scotland sovereignty lies with the people, whereas in England sovereignty lies with Parliament and the Monarch.[10] Lord President (Lord Cooper) stated that "the principle of the unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle which has no counterpart in Scottish Constitutional Law", and that legislation contrary to the Act of Union would not necessarily be regarded as constitutionally valid.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

The Crown Dependencies, which are each internally self-governing but in a relationship of suzerainty with the United Kingdom, are also sometimes referred to as countries.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ General information or statistical publications that adopt the wider definition for purposes such as illustration and comparison include:.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

References

  1. ^ Jones, J. (1964). What Makes a Country? Human Events, 24(31), 14.
  2. ^ Tjhe Kwet Koe v Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs [1997] FCA 912 (8 September 1997), Federal Court (Australia).
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Matt. "Geography: Country, State, and Nation". Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  4. ^ "The World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  5. ^ OED, Country
  6. ^ a b John Simpson, Edmund Weiner (ed.). Oxford English Dictionary (1971 compact ed.). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-861186-8.
  7. ^ "Made In The British Crown Colony". Thuy-Tien Crampton. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07.
  8. ^ "Matchbox label, made in Hong Kong". delcampe.net. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Carrhart Made In Hong Kong?". ContractorTalk.
  10. ^ "Parliament's authority". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  11. ^ Loveland, Ian (2015). Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights: A Critical Introduction. 2015: Oxford University Press. pp. 43–47. ISBN 978-0-19-870903-9.
  12. ^ Doherty, Michael (2016). Public Law. Rutledge. pp. 198–201. ISBN 978-1-317-20665-1.
  13. ^ Barnett, Hilaire (2014). Constitutional & Administrative Law. Rutledge. pp. 119–123. ISBN 978-1-317-44622-4.
  14. ^ "Legal Research Guide: United Kingdom". Law Library of Congress. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2013-03-29. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the collective name of four countries, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The four separate countries were united under a single Parliament through a series of Acts of Union.
  15. ^ "Countries Within a Country". 10 Downing Street. 2003-01-10. Archived from the original on 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2009-09-22. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  16. ^ "United Kingdom — Geography". Commonwealth Secretariat. 2009-09-22. Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-09-22. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is a union of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  17. ^ "Travelling Europe — United Kingdom". European Youth Portal. European Commission. 2009-06-29. Archived from the original on 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2009-09-22. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  18. ^ "Greenland Country Information". Countryreports.org. Retrieved 2008-05-28. "The World Factbook – Rank Order – Exports". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  19. ^ "Index of Economic Freedom". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  20. ^ "Index of Economic Freedom – Top 10 Countries". The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  21. ^ "Asia-Pacific (Region A) Economic Information" (PDF). The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  22. ^ "Subjective well-being in 97 countries" (PDF). University of Michigan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  23. ^ Mercer's 2012 Cost of Living Survey city rankings Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Mercer.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  24. ^ EIU Digital Solutions. "Country, industry and risk analysis from The Economist Intelligence Unit – List of countries – The Economist Intelligence Unit". eiu.com.
  25. ^ Hanke, Steve H. (May 2014). "Measuring Misery around the World". Cato Institute.

Further reading

External links

Billy Ray Cyrus

William Ray Cyrus (born August 25, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter and actor.Having released 12 studio albums and 44 singles since 1992, he is best known for his number one single "Achy Breaky Heart", which became the first single ever to achieve triple Platinum status in Australia. It was also the best-selling single in the same country in 1992. Due to the video of this song, the line dance gained in popularity.Cyrus, a multi-platinum selling recording artist, has scored a total of eight top-ten singles on the Billboard Country Songs chart. His most successful album to date is his debut Some Gave All, which has been certified 9× Multi-Platinum in the United States and is the longest time spent by a debut artist at number one on the Billboard 200 (17 consecutive weeks) and most consecutive chart-topping weeks in the SoundScan era. It is the only album (from any genre) in the SoundScan era to log 17 consecutive weeks at number one and is also the top-ranking debut album by a male country artist. It ranked 43 weeks in the top 10, a total topped by only one country album in history, Ropin' the Wind by Garth Brooks. Some Gave All was also the first debut album to enter at number one on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The album has also sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling debut album of all time for a solo male artist. Some Gave All was also the best-selling album of 1992 in the US with 4,832,000 copies. In his career, he has released 36 charted singles, of which 17 charted in the top 40.

From 2001 to 2004, Cyrus starred in the television show Doc. The show was about a country doctor who moved from Montana to New York City. From 2006 to 2011, he co-starred in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana with his daughter Miley Cyrus. From 2016 to 2017, he starred as Vernon Brownmule on the CMT sitcom Still the King.

Blake Shelton

Blake Tollison Shelton (born June 18, 1976) is an American country singer, songwriter and television personality. In 2001, he made his debut with the single "Austin". The lead-off single from his self-titled debut album, "Austin" spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The now Platinum-certified debut album also produced two more top 20 entries ("All Over Me" and "Ol' Red"). Although the album was released on Giant Records Nashville, he was transferred to Warner Bros. Records Nashville after Giant closed in late 2001.His second and third albums, 2003's The Dreamer and 2004's Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, are gold and platinum, respectively. His fourth album, Pure BS (2007), was re-issued in 2008 with a cover of Michael Bublé's pop hit "Home" as one of the bonus tracks. His fifth album, Startin' Fires was released in November 2008. It was followed by the extended plays Hillbilly Bone and All About Tonight in 2010, and the albums Red River Blue in 2011, Based on a True Story... in 2013, Bringing Back the Sunshine in 2014, and If I'm Honest in 2016. As of June 2017, Shelton has charted 33 singles, including 24 number ones, 17 of which were consecutive. The 11th No. 1 ("Doin' What She Likes") broke "the record for the most consecutive No. 1 singles in the Country Airplay chart's 24-year history". He is a seven-time Grammy Award nominee.Shelton is also known for his role as a judge on the televised singing competitions Nashville Star, Clash of the Choirs, and The Voice. He has been on The Voice since its inception, and in six of fifteen seasons (2–4, 7, 11, 13), a member of his team has won. From 2011 to 2015, Shelton was married to singer Miranda Lambert.

Cameroon

Cameroon ( (listen); French: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (French: République du Cameroun), is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although Cameroon is not an ECOWAS member state, it is geographically and historically in West Africa with the Southern Cameroons which now form her Northwest and Southwest Regions having a strong West African history. The country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa.

French and English are the official languages of Cameroon. The country is often referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point at almost 4,100 metres (13,500 ft) is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, and the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua. The country is well known for its native styles of music, particularly makossa and bikutsi, and for its successful national football team.

Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões (Shrimp River), which became Cameroon in English. Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate in the north in the 19th century, and various ethnic groups of the west and northwest established powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun.

After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates. The Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) political party advocated independence, but was outlawed by France in the 1950s, leading to the Bamileke War fought between French and UPC militant forces until early 1971. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. Since 1982 Paul Biya has been President, governing with his Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party. The country has experienced tensions coming from the English-speaking territories. Politicians in the English-speaking regions have advocated for greater decentralisation and even complete separation or independence (as in the Southern Cameroons National Council) from Cameroon. In 2017, tensions in the English-speaking territories escalated into open warfare.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Marie Fisher (née Underwood; born March 10, 1983) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her debut single, "Inside Your Heaven", is the only country song to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and "Before He Cheats", it became the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the fastest-selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history and the best-selling country album of the last 16 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist.

Her second album, Carnival Ride, followed in 2007. It had one of the biggest ever opening weeks by a female artist and earned Underwood two Grammy Awards. Her next album, 2009's Play On, was a commercial success led by the single "Cowboy Casanova". Underwood's fourth album, Blown Away (2012), earned her a Grammy Award and was that year's second best-selling release by a female artist. Her first compilation album (2014) was a chart and sales success and earned her a Grammy Award. Her fifth album, Storyteller (2015), made her the only country artist to have all first five studio albums reach either numbers one or two on the Billboard 200. With her sixth album, Cry Pretty (2018), she became the only woman to hit the top of the Billboard 200 chart with four country albums, and had both the biggest week for any album by a woman in 2018 and the best-selling solo female album of the year.

One of the most successful artists in any musical genre, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Recognized by Billboard as Country Music's reigning Queen and by Rolling Stone as "the female vocalist of her generation of any genre", she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Underwood is the top country artist of all-time on the RIAA's Digital Singles ranking and the highest certified country album artist to debut in the 21st century. She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100, and the woman with most number-one hits in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, with fifteen. She is the most successful American Idol winner, per Forbes. Billboard named Some Hearts the number-one country album of the 2000s, and her as the top female artist on their 'Best Country Artists of the 2000s' list. She has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, ten Billboard Music Awards, fourteen ACM Awards, thirteen American Music Awards, nine CMA Awards, and a Guinness World Record.

Country music

Country music, also known as country and western (or simply country), and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music (especially Appalachian folk and Western music) and blues.

Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms, folk lyrics, and harmonies mostly accompanied by string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, steel guitars (such as pedal steels and dobros), and fiddles as well as harmonicas. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history.According to Lindsey Starnes, the term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. In 2009 in the United States, country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute.The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are found in the folk music of working class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, cowboy songs, and the musical traditions of various groups of European immigrants.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I'm Dolly. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton's albums in the 1990s sold less well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records.

Parton's music includes 25 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 41 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. She has garnered nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 47 Grammy nominations.

In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, including "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", and "9 to 5". She is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, as well as Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).

George Strait

George Harvey Strait Sr. (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. George Strait is known as the "King of Country" and is considered one of the most influential and popular recording artists of all time. He is known for his neotraditionalist country style, cowboy look, and being one of the first and main country artists to bring country music back to its roots and away from the pop country era in the 1980s.

Strait's success began when his first single "Unwound" was a hit in 1981. During the 1980s, seven of his albums reached number one on the country charts. In the 2000s, Strait was named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music, was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and won his first Grammy award for the album Troubadour. Strait was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 2013, and ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014. He has been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist.

By 2009, he broke Conway Twitty's previous record for the most number-one hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart when his 44 number one singles surpassed Twitty's 40. Counting all music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 60 number-one hits, breaking a record also previously set by Twitty, and giving him more number one songs than any other artist in any genre of music.Strait is also known for his touring career when he designed a 360-degree configuration and introduced festival style tours. For example, the Strait Tours earned $99 million in three years. His concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in June 2014 drew 104,793 people, marking a new record for largest indoor concert in North America. Strait was successful innovating country music and in numerous aspects of being a part of popular music.

Strait has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums. His best-selling album is Pure Country (1992), which sold 6 million (6× platinum). His highest certified album is Strait Out of the Box (1995), which sold 2 million copies (8× Platinum due to being a box set with four CDs). According to the RIAA, Strait is the 12th best-selling album recording artist in the United States overall.

Georgia (country)

Georgia (Georgian: საქართველო, translit.: sakartvelo, IPA: [sɑkʰɑrtʰvɛlɔ] (listen)) is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia, such as Colchis and Iberia. The Georgians adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. The common belief had an enormous importance for spiritual and political unification of early Georgian states. A unified Kingdom of Georgia reached its Golden Age during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 12th and early 13th centuries. Thereafter, the kingdom declined and eventually disintegrated under hegemony of various regional powers, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, and successive dynasties of Iran. In the late 18th century, the eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an alliance with the Russian Empire, which directly annexed the kingdom in 1801 and conquered the western Kingdom of Imereti in 1810. Russian rule over Georgia was eventually acknowledged in various peace treaties with Iran and the Ottomans and the remaining Georgian territories were absorbed by the Russian Empire in a piecemeal fashion in the course of the 19th century. During the Civil War following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Georgia briefly became part of the Transcaucasian Federation and then emerged as an independent republic before the Red Army invasion in 1921 which established a government of workers' and peasants' soviets. Soviet Georgia would be incorporated into a new Transcaucasian Federation which in 1922 would be a founding republic of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian Federation was dissolved and Georgia emerged as a Union Republic. During the Great Patriotic War, almost 700,000 Georgians fought in the Red Army against the German invaders. After Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a native Georgian, died in 1953, a wave of protest spread against Nikita Khrushchev and his de-Stalinization reforms, leading to the death of nearly one hundred students in 1956. From that time on, Georgia would become marred with blatant corruption and increased alienation of the government from the people.

By the 1980s, Georgians were ready to abandon the existing system altogether. A pro-independence movement led to the secession from the Soviet Union in April 1991. For most of the following decade, post-Soviet Georgia suffered from civil conflicts, secessionist wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and economic crisis. Following the bloodless Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia strongly pursued a pro-Western foreign policy; aimed at NATO and European integration, it introduced a series of democratic and economic reforms. This brought about mixed results, but strengthened state institutions. The country's Western orientation soon led to the worsening of relations with Russia, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian War in August 2008 and Georgia's current territorial dispute with Russia.

Georgia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained very limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and most of the world's countries consider the regions to be Georgian territory under Russian occupation.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Lee Musgraves (born August 21, 1988) is an American singer and songwriter. She has won six Grammy Awards, four Country Music Association Awards and three Academy of Country Music Awards. Musgraves self-released three albums before appearing on the fifth season of the USA Network's singing competition Nashville Star in 2007, where she placed seventh. In 2008, Kacey recorded two singles for Triple Pop in Austin, Texas.She later signed to Mercury Nashville in 2012 and released her critically acclaimed debut album Same Trailer Different Park in 2013, winning the Grammy Award for Best Country Album. The album's lead single "Merry Go 'Round" won her the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. It also featured the platinum certified single "Follow Your Arrow" which won her the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year. In 2015, she released her second studio album Pageant Material (2015) which also received critical acclaim and a Best Country Album Grammy nomination. Musgraves also released a Christmas-themed album, A Very Kacey Christmas in 2016.Her fourth studio album Golden Hour (2018) was released to widespread critical acclaim and won all four of its nominated Grammy Awards categories, including Album of the Year and Best Country Album. The album's first two singles, "Butterflies" and "Space Cowboy", won Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song, respectively. Golden Hour also won the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year, making Musgraves only the 6th artist to win all three major Album of the Year (Grammy, CMA and ACM) awards for the same album as well as the 2nd artist to win the Grammy, CMA, ACM and all-genre Grammy Album of the Year.

Keith Urban

Keith Lionel Urban (born 26 October 1967) is a New Zealand and American singer, songwriter and record producer well-known for his work in country music. In 1991, he released a self-titled debut album and charted four singles in Australia before moving to the United States the following year. He found work as a session guitarist before starting a band known as The Ranch, which recorded one studio album on Capitol Nashville and charted two singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Still signed to Capitol, Urban made his solo American debut in 1999 with a second eponymous album. Certified platinum in the US by the RIAA, it produced his first number one on the Hot Country Songs chart with "But for the Grace of God". "Somebody Like You", the first single from his second Capitol album Golden Road (2002), was named by Billboard as the biggest country hit of the 2000s decade. The album's fourth single, "You'll Think of Me", featuring his nephew and Australian country artist Rory Gilliatte, earned him his first Grammy Award. 2004's Be Here, his third American album, produced three more number one singles and became his highest-selling album, having earned a 4× Platinum certification. Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing was released in 2006, containing "Once in a Lifetime" as well as his second Grammy Award song "Stupid Boy". A greatest hits package entitled Greatest Hits: 18 Kids followed in late 2007. Defying Gravity and Get Closer were released on 31 March 2009 and 16 November 2010, respectively. In September 2013, he released a brand new album titled Fuse, which produced four more number ones on the Country Airplay chart, two of which are duets—one with Miranda Lambert and the other with Eric Church. A new single, entitled "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16", was released in June 2015 as the lead-off single to his eighth American studio album, Ripcord. The album later produced the Country Airplay chart number one hits "Break on Me", "Wasted Time", and "Blue Ain't Your Color", with the latter also becoming Urban's longest-reigning number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, spending twelve weeks at number one. His tenth album, Graffiti U, was released in 2018 and includes the Top 20 hit "Female".

Urban has released a total of nine studio albums (one of which was released only in Australia), as well as one album with The Ranch. He has charted 37 singles on the US Hot Country Songs chart, 18 of which went to number one, counting a duet with Brad Paisley and the 2008 single "You Look Good in My Shirt", which he previously recorded on Golden Road. Those also include his third Grammy Award-winning single "Sweet Thing" from his album Defying Gravity.

Urban is also known for his roles as a coach on the Australian version of the singing competition The Voice and as a judge on American Idol. Since 2006, he has been married to actress Nicole Kidman. In October 2013, Urban introduced his own signature line of guitars and accessories.

List of countries and dependencies by area

This is a list of the world's countries and their dependent territories by area, ranked by total area.

Entries in this list include, but are not limited to, those in the ISO 3166-1 standard, which includes sovereign states and dependent territories. Largely unrecognised states not in ISO 3166-1 are included in the list in ranked order, but are not given a rank number. The areas of such largely unrecognised states are in most cases also included in the areas of the more widely recognised states that claim the same territory; see the notes in the "notes" column for each country for clarification.

Not included in the list are individual country claims to parts of the continent of Antarctica, entities such as the European Union that have some degree of sovereignty but do not consider themselves to be sovereign countries or dependent territories, and unrecognised micronations such as the Principality of Sealand.

This list includes three measurements of area:

Total area: the sum of land and water areas within international boundaries and coastlines.

Land area: the aggregate of all land within international boundaries and coastlines, excluding water area.

Water area: the sum of the surface areas of all inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, and rivers) within international boundaries and coastlines. Coastal internal waters (some small bays) may be included. Territorial waters are not included unless otherwise noted. Contiguous zones and exclusive economic zones are not included.Data is taken from the United Nations Statistics Division unless otherwise noted.

List of countries and dependencies by population

This is a list of countries and dependent territories by population. It includes sovereign states, inhabited dependent territories and, in some cases, constituent countries of sovereign states, with inclusion within the list being primarily based on the ISO standard ISO 3166-1. For instance, the United Kingdom is considered as a single entity, while the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are considered separately. In addition, this list includes certain states with limited recognition not found in ISO 3166-1.

Also given in percent is each country's population compared with the population of the world, which the United Nations estimates at 7.7 billion as of today.

List of country calling codes

Country calling codes or country dial in codes are telephone dialing prefixes for the member countries or regions of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). They are defined by the ITU-T in standards E.123 and E.164. The prefixes enable international direct dialing (IDD), and are also referred to as international subscriber dialing (ISD) codes.

Country codes are a component of the international telephone numbering plan, and are necessary only when dialing a telephone number to establish a call to another country. Country codes are dialed before the national telephone number. By convention, international telephone numbers are represented by prefixing the country code with a plus sign (+), which also indicates to the subscriber that the local international call prefix must first be dialed. For example, the international call prefix in all countries belonging to the North American Numbering Plan is 011, while it is 00 in most European, Asian and African countries. On GSM (cellular) networks, the prefix may automatically be inserted when the user prefixes a dialed number with the plus sign.

Luke Bryan

Thomas Luther "Luke" Bryan (born July 17, 1976) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He began his music career writing songs for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington – before signing with Capitol Nashville with his cousin, Chad Christopher Boyd in 2007.

Bryan's first nine albums – I'll Stay Me (2007), Doin' My Thing (2009), Tailgates & Tanlines (2011), Crash My Party (2013), Spring Break...Here to Party (2014), Spring Break...Checkin' Out (2015), Kill the Lights (2015), Farm Tour... Here's to the Farmer (2016), and What Makes You Country (2017); have included fourteen number-one hits. Bryan often co-writes with Jeff Stevens.

In 2013, Bryan received the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Country Music Association Awards "Entertainer of the Year" award – and has sold over seven million albums and 27 million singles worldwide.

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Leigh Lambert (born November 10, 1983) is an American country music singer and songwriter. In 2003, she finished in third place of the television program Nashville Star, a singing competition which aired on the USA Network. Outside her solo career, she is a member of the Pistol Annies alongside Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. Lambert has been honored by the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.

Lambert's debut album Kerosene (2005) was certified Platinum in the United States and produced the singles "Me and Charlie Talking," "Bring Me Down," "Kerosene" and "New Strings." All four singles reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Her second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, was released in early 2007. Three of its singles ("Famous in a Small Town," "Gunpowder & Lead" and "More Like Her") peaked within the top 20 on the country songs chart, with "Gunpowder & Lead" becoming her first top 10 entry in July 2008. Her third album, Revolution, was released in September 2009. Two of its songs – "The House That Built Me" and "Heart Like Mine" – topped the Hot Country Songs chart.2011's Four the Record, included the singles "Baggage Claim," "Over You," "Fastest Girl in Town," "Mama's Broken Heart" and "All Kinds of Kinds." Lambert released her fifth album, Platinum, in 2014. The record won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album, and the album's lead single "Automatic" reached top 5 on the Country charts. Her sixth studio album, The Weight of These Wings, was released on November 18, 2016, and subsequently certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Mongolia

Mongolia ( (listen); Монгол Улс Mongol Uls

in Mongolian Cyrillic; Mongγol Ulus [transliterated] in Mongolian script) is a landlocked country in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, and that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state. It is sandwiched between China to the south and Russia to the north. Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, although only 37 kilometres (23 mi) separates them.

At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 18th-largest and the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world, with a population of around three million people. It is also the world's second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country's population. Ulaanbaatar also shares the rank of the world's coldest capital city with Moscow, Ottawa, and Nur-Sultan.Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse culture is still integral. The majority of its population are Buddhists. The non-religious population is the second largest group. Islam is the dominant religion among ethnic Kazakhs. The majority of the state's citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, although Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups.The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the Turkic Khaganate, and others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in history. His grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan, the Mongols retreated to Mongolia and resumed their earlier pattern of factional conflict, except during the era of Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan.

In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia, being further led by the Manchu-founded Qing dynasty, which absorbed the country in the 17th century. By the early 1900s, almost one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, and achieved actual independence from the Republic of China in 1921. Shortly thereafter, the country came under the control of the Soviet Union, which had aided its independence from China. In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was founded as a socialist state. After the anti-Communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia conducted its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990. This led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, and transition to a market economy.

PGA Championship

The PGA Championship (often referred to as the U.S. PGA Championship or U.S. PGA outside the United States) is an annual golf tournament conducted by the Professional Golfers' Association of America. It is one of the four major championships in professional golf.

It was formerly played in mid-August on the third weekend before Labor Day weekend, serving as the fourth and final major of the golf season. Beginning in 2019, the tournament will be played in May on the weekend before Memorial Day, as the season's second major. It is an official money event on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and Japan Golf Tour, with a purse of $11 million for the 100th edition in 2018.

In line with the other majors, winning the PGA gains privileges that improve career security. PGA champions are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, and The Open Championship) and The Players Championship for the next five years, and are eligible for the PGA Championship for life. They receive membership on the PGA Tour for the following five seasons and on the European Tour for the following seven seasons. The PGA is the only one of the four majors to be a tournament almost exclusively for professional players.

The PGA Championship has been held at a large number of venues. Some of the early sites are now quite obscure, but in recent years, the event has generally been played at a small group of celebrated courses.

Reba McEntire

Reba Nell McEntire (born March 28, 1955) is an American country singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She began her career in the music industry as a high school student singing in the Kiowa High School band, on local radio shows with her siblings, and at rodeos. While a sophomore in college, she performed the National Anthem at the National Rodeo in Oklahoma City and caught the attention of country artist Red Steagall who brought her to Nashville, Tennessee. She signed a contract with Mercury Records a year later in 1975. She released her first solo album in 1977 and released five additional studio albums under the label until 1983.

Signing with MCA Nashville Records, McEntire took creative control over her second MCA album, My Kind of Country (1984), which had a more traditional country sound and produced two number one singles: "How Blue" and "Somebody Should Leave". The album brought her breakthrough success, bringing her a series of successful albums and number one singles in the 1980s and 1990s. McEntire has since released 29 studio albums, acquired 42 number one singles, 16 number one albums, and 28 albums have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America. She is referred to as "The Queen of Country". and she is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.In the early 1990s, McEntire branched into film starting with 1990's Tremors. She has since starred in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun in 2001 and in her television sitcom, Reba (2001–07) for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series–Musical or Comedy.

U.S. Open (golf)

The United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is the annual open national championship of golf in the United States. It is the third of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Since 1898 the competition has been 72 holes of stroke play (4 rounds on an 18-hole course), with the winner being the player with the lowest total number of strokes. It is staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in mid-June, scheduled so that, if there are no weather delays, the final round is played on the third Sunday, which is Father's Day. The U.S. Open is staged at a variety of courses, set up in such a way that scoring is very difficult, with a premium placed on accurate driving. As of 2019 the U.S. Open awards a $12 million purse, the largest of all 4 major championships and second largest of all PGA Tour events (The Players Championship leads with $12.5 million).

Willie Nelson

Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, producer, author, poet, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.

Born during the Great Depression and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school in 1950, he joined the air force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years but dropped out because he was succeeding in music. During this time, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas radio stations and a singer in honky-tonks. Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington, where he wrote "Family Bible" and recorded the song "Lumberjack" in 1956. He also worked as a disc jockey at various radio stations in Vancouver and nearby Portland Oregon. In 1958, he moved to Houston, Texas, after signing a contract with D Records. He sang at the Esquire Ballroom weekly and he worked as a disk jockey. During that time, he wrote songs that would become country standards, including "Funny How Time Slips Away", "Hello Walls", "Pretty Paper", and "Crazy". In 1960 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and later signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music which allowed him to join Ray Price's band as a bassist. In 1962, he recorded his first album, ...And Then I Wrote. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After mid-chart hits in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Nelson retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. The ongoing music scene of Austin motivated Nelson to return from retirement, performing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters.

In 1973, after signing with Atlantic Records, Nelson turned to outlaw country, including albums such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages. In 1975, he switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded the critically acclaimed album Red Headed Stranger. The same year, he recorded another outlaw country album, Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. During the mid-1980s, while creating hit albums like Honeysuckle Rose and recording hit songs like "On the Road Again", "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", and "Pancho and Lefty", he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.

In 1990, Nelson's assets were seized by the Internal Revenue Service, which claimed that he owed $32 million. The difficulty of paying his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments he had made during the 1980s. In 1992, Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?; the profits of the double album—destined to the IRS—and the auction of Nelson's assets cleared his debt. During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson continued touring extensively, and released albums every year. Reviews ranged from positive to mixed. He explored genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and folk.

Nelson made his first movie appearance in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman, followed by other appearances in movies and on television. Nelson is a major liberal activist and the co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which is in favor of marijuana legalization. On the environmental front, Nelson owns the bio-diesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the advisory board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.

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