If you watch the video for “We Are The World” (see below) or look at any of the pictures from the recording session, Waylon Jennings is nowhere to be found. That’s because even though he was selected to be one of the 45 artists to participate in the recording session, he walked out in a huff in a moment what would be the most controversial and contentious junctures in the song’s recording.
In 2013, stories of entertainers that “go country” are routine occurrences instead of reasons for surprise, intrigue, or outrage, because country music has officially become the default repository for talent fleeing the collapse of mainstream rock or the place to find strength in the twilight of a dying entertainment career. Here are some of the most notorious “gone country” moments over the years.
3 Doors Down, Aaron Lewis, Big & Rich, Bing Crosby, Bon Jovi, Brad Arnold, Debbie Gibson, Everlast, Jason Aldean, Jessica Simpson, Jewel, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, LeAnn Rimes, lionel richie, Michelle Branch, Olivia Newton John, Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell, Terry Bradshaw, Tiffany
When I first proposed the theory that all popular music was coalescing into one big mono-genre where even the two traditionally polarized genres of country and hip-hop would be living side by side, even I didn’t think the conversion would happen so quickly and be so indisputable. Looking at country music, the top albums, the top songs, and the top artists all have ties to the merging of all popular music.
Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s hard to dispute that the CMA Awards are the most important night in country music every year. The nominations announced last week had a few interesting wrinkles including Kelly Clarkson for Female Vocalist of the Year, so let’s take a in-depth look at what’s coming up on November 1st and make some predictions.
2012, Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Chief, CMA Awards, Dierks Bentley, Dirt Road Anthem, Eric Churck, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldea, Jason Isbell, Kelly Clarkson, Kirs Kristofferson, lionel richie, Miranda Lambert, Snoop Dog, Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band
Oh how independent music nerds love to puff their chest out and pontificate about what’s wrong with the mainstream music industry, how it’s creatively bankrupt and was too slow to evolve to the onset of the digital format. What none of these nerds and experts seem to be willing to recognizing though is that over the last 18 months, music sales have increased. So what happened?
As frequent readers of Saving Country Music will attest, over the years we’ve christened fun little nicknames for some our favorite pals of pop country. If you ever wondered where these names came from and why, here’s the explanation behind some of our favorite terms of antipathy. Tim McGraw – The Perfume Magnate, Kid Rock – The Wet Cigarette . . .
This album is not the worst album ever put out in country music. With the advent of country rap, “New Outlaw” country, and the laundry list approach to country music in general, pop country now finds itself in a bit of a haven from the harshest of criticisms. What Lionel Ritchie’s Tuskegee album does hold the distinction of being is country music’s most embarrassing album put out to date.
Country music’s complicit and overly submissive posture towards Lionel Ritchie has been nothing short of miraculous. But the truth of the matter is that Lionel Ritchie isn’t using country music, country music is using Lionel Ritchie. Just like Jason Aldean said to CMT, country music needs to erase “negative stereotypes” that country music is, well, indeed country.