(AP) - Connie Britton, one of the stars of ABC's upcoming drama "Nashville," says the opportunity to sing was one of the reasons she took on the role of Rayna James, a country star down on her luck.

Britton had no professional singing experience before signing on, but things are apparently going so well that ABC Studios and Big Machine Records - home to artists including Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts - announced yesterday an exclusive partnership to release and market music from the series.

Members of the cast including Britton, Hayden Panettiere, and Jonathan Jackson are slated to sing original material created for the series by both new and established songwriters. The show, shot entirely in Music City, offers a window into the world of the record business.

Big Machine will release original music from "Nashville" each week on iTunes and ABC's Music Lounge. The series premieres on October 10.