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Love and Theft, Dan + Shay Form Unlikely, But Likely Friendship

Love and Theft, Dan and Shay
Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Love and Theft and country newcomers Dan + Shay share fans, and they’ve recently shared a stage. Their friendship shows that while country music is a competitive business, stars see each other as allies, especially when their sound is similar.

There’s no denying the similarities between the two male duos. Both rely on sweet harmonies and infectious hooks while singing about love or, occasionally, heartbreak. Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft says the groups complement each other. Dan + Shay are not the competition.

“(They are)┬áTotally allies in the movement,” Liles tells Taste of Country, “especially because they are such great guys and we just love seeing their success. You know they are such a great match for our show, and they make our show better. And we love hanging with them.”

Liles and Eric Gunderson have a few years on Dan Smyres and Shay Mooney, but that doesn’t mean they let the younger duo outshine them after a concert. Like Toby Keith, Liles says they’re as good once as they ever were.

“We always bring it to a new level with those guys, it sucks that they gotta fly out early tonight because we are ready to go,” he says before a show at the University of Delaware. Those guys are always fun.”

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