'Playgirl' country issue features Craig Hand,Keith Urban, Daryl Worley,Blake Shelton
Playgirl magazine will release its annual country music issue next month, with singer Craig Hand on the cover.
"It came about last year," Craig, 29, explained. "I was talking to my publicist, Kirt Webster, and he had mentioned it to me. He said, 'Send me a couple of pictures and maybe we can get you in it.' I didn't make it last year.
"This year Kirt called back and said, 'Still interested?' 'Yeah, love to!'"
Craig flew from his home in St. Augustine, Fla., to Nashville during Country Radio Seminar for the photo shoot. "A couple of weeks later, I got a call from the photographer and he said I made the cover."
He appears nude in the magazine, "but it's done tastefully.
"My mom is OK with us since I am not baring the full nudity," he said with a laugh. "I got her permission before I did it. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. I couldn't upset those people too bad.
"My wife has had aspirations to be in Playboy, so it was a joke a couple of years ago: 'I'll see if you make the cover of Playboy before I make it on the cover of Playgirl. Now it's happening, and it's kind of funny."
Craig hopes the publicity will help his career. He was signed to Category 5 Records, but the label shut down. "I've been writing a lot, and I'm independently releasing a single over the summer," he said. "With the help of Playgirl, hopefully we'll find a label that wants to work with us."
The July/August issue also features photos of Keith Urban, Darryl Worley and Jason Meadows and interviews with Clay Walker, Troy Gentry and Trent Willmon.
"Definitely in Playgirl, you get to see things that aren't available anywhere else," Playgirl contributor Christine Fontana said. "We have a lot of fun with the questions. We get to talk about love and relationships and we get to be a little edgier."
She said the country issue is among the magazine's best-selling every year. "Those issues will be flying all around Nashville during CMA Music Festival in the autograph lines. These guys will be approached to sign them. You'll see a lot of red faces." -- STS