The Shires make U.K. music history with debut album Brave

Mar 9, 2015 at 9:33 a.m. ET
Image: The Shires/YouTube

Haven't heard of The Shires? Well they've just made U.K. music history by being the first ever British country music band to grab a place on the U.K. top 10 album chart.

Their debut album Brave charted at number 10, joining the likes of Paloma Faith, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith in the upper echelons of the official U.K. chart, which is based on sales of CDs, vinyl and downloads.

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Video credit: TheShiresVEVO/YouTube

So who are The Shires? They're a country pop duo of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. They formed in 2013 after Earl posted on social media, "There must be a country singer out there."

Their band name comes from the fact that Earle hails from Hertfordshire and Rhodes from Bedfordshire: two neighbouring counties. They didn't know this when they first started emailing each other (after a friend of Earle's suggested Rhodes might be the country partner he'd been searching for) but it certainly made it easier than being at opposite ends of the country.

The duo celebrated their album chart (and Guinness World Record-breaking) news when they came off stage from the Country 2 Country gig at London's O2 Arena last night and took the chance to thank their Facebook fans for their support:

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The Shires play Leeds, Gateshead, Glasgow and Manchester in April. Check out their website for details and to buy tickets.

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