Television reality show singing judge and sometimes country music performer Blake Shelton has been on an incredible, arguably historic run of 17 consecutive #1 hit songs on country radio starting in 2009 with his single “Hillbilly Bone,” and going all the way to “Came Here To Forget” in 2016. But there will not be an 18th. In fact, Blake Shelton’s current single appears it won’t even make it to the Top 5.
Shelton’s terrible and immature “She’s Got A Way With Words,” a fairly obvious revenge song against his former bae Miranda Lambert, stalled on the charts at #8 a couple of weeks ago, despite Shelton’s cozy relationship with radio, and a major push behind the song as the second single on his current record, If I’m Honest.
Despite limited touring due to his commitments to The Voice, Blake Shelton has continued to enjoy deep-rooted support in the country music industry, including winning five consecutive CMA Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year from 2010 to 2014. But in 2015, Chris Stapleton ended that streak, Blake Shelton wasn’t even nominated for any CMA Awards in 2016, and now Shelton’s #1 streak on radio has also come to a close. It all seems like a telling sign that artists like Blake Shelton, and Jason Aldean—who received his own CMA snub and has been struggling with sales and radio—are starting to get inched out of those precious few top tier spots for male artists in mainstream country.
Who is replacing them? In regards to awards, it’s Chris Stapleton. And on the radio, it’s more traditionally-oriented newcomers like Jon Pardi who recently celebrated his first #1 single with “Head Over Boots,” William Michael Morgan whose “I Met A Girl” is threatening to go to #1 as well, and even older artists with better songs, like Tim McGraw’s #1 with the Lori McKenna-penned “Humble and Kind.” Meanwhile another controversial song in Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation” has also stalled in the charts and is said to be done as a single.
Though there are still many bad songs on country radio and in country music in general, the snapping of Blake Shelton’s #1 streak is just another sign things are beginning to turn around in the mainstream, and artists of more substance are beginning to find more success at the expense of the Bro-Country era’s old guard.