Looking forward to season four of Nashville? While you wait, why not take a look at who we think each superstar character is based on...

Nashville is barn dancing its way back to NOW TV Entertainment this month! The fourth season of ABC’s award-winning country music drama lands on Sky Living and NOW TV on 25 August, bringing boatloads of sassy, raunchy and glossy spectacle with it. But do you know your bluegrass from your countrypolitan?

While you wait for season four to drop, why not take a minute to explore the musical influences behind some of the show’s fictitious superstars? Here’s our essential guide to Nashville’s chart toppers and their real life counterparts:

Character: Rayna James

In real life: Faith Hill

Nashville’s main source of conflict is the rivalry between Rayna James’s fading veteran songstress and the younger, poppier Juliette Barnes. As such, Rayna’s got flashes of country (‘Queen of Country’) Dolly Parton in her, but a storyline that mirrors that of real life singer Faith Hill, who famously had a fierce professional rivalry with younger counterpart Carrie Underwood.

Character: Juliette Barnes

In real life: Taylor Swift

Juliette Barnes’ character has been through a lot up to Nashville’s fourth season, including family tragedy, drug abuse and romantic upset. But if we go back to the show’s starting blocks, Juliette was clearly a pristine Taylor Swift-alike – especially drawing from Tay’s pre-pop country days.

Character: Scarlett O’Connor

In real life: Caitlin Rose

Scarlett’s got a poetic soul, thinking herself more a writer than a singer, but that lends her music an artful quality. In that light she’s a lot like real world country upstart Caitlin Rose, who’s been quietly setting the scene alight since 2008.

Character: Avery Barkley

In real life: Ryan Adams

Avery started out as a bit of a bad boy with a serious swagger and the hair to match. His tunes in the show have far more folk/rock leaning than the rest of his country counterparts, which makes him a perfect match for alt-country songsmith Ryan Adams.

Character: Deacon Claybourne

In real life: David Rawlings

It’s difficult to pin Deacon down since he started out as a consummate sideman to the main acts – and a great guitarist/songwriter at that. He’s been likened online to David Rawlings, and we can definitely see the similarities there.

Character: Gunnar Scott

In real life: Charles Kelley

Gunnar’s got a slightly folk/rock edge to his music, but he’s soulful with it, which steers him away from the country stable and more into the territory occupied by Charles Kelley.

Behind the scenes

Nashville’s music is up there with the best that real life country music has to offer, and that’s because it’s been influenced and produced by a couple of true legends from the scene. Here are the talents behind the tunes:

T Bone Burnett

T Bone Burnett was the creative producer behind all of season one’s music, and he’s a force to be reckoned with; over the years he’s produced for the likes of Elton John, Counting Crows, Roy Orbison and Elvis Costello. His roots rock leanings are best shown off in his 1982 solo album Trap Door.

Buddy Miller

Like T Bone, Buddy Miller, who joined the Nashville team from season two, has produced for a laundry list of top talents. But he’s also a prolific recording artist, with a voice weirdly reminiscent of Dan Tyminski – singer of ‘I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow’ from the ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ soundtrack. Check out ‘Does My Ring Burn Your Finger’ below and you’ll know what we mean.

Need to catch up? NOW TV Entertainment has the first three seasons of Nashville ready and waiting to stream, with season four landing later this week (25 August).

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