Hailey Whitters is Finally Finding the Traction She Deserves. Finally.
Finally. 14+ years into a 10 year town, and Hailey Whitters is receiving the attention from the mainstream of country music that many fans, critics, and prognosticators have been saying she deserved many years ago, wishcasting her as one of the future bright stars of the genre if she would just be given a chance. With Americana-level writing chops and a traditional-leaning sound, yet mainstream-level appeal and acceptance, Hailey Whitters has been considered vital to the effort to save country music ever since she released her 2015 debut Black Sheep.
Having written songs for Alan Jackson and Little Big Town, having co-written with top writers like Lori McKenna, having been featured on the soundtrack for Yellowstone and the last Flatland Cavalry record Welcome to Countryland, Hailey Whitters has always been highly regarded by her peers. In 2019 amid all of the fracas about Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road,” John Osborne of Brothers Osborne said it best.
“There are tons of girls just waiting for the moment, waiting in line, writing the right songs, showing up everyday to the writing room, sometimes doing two or three or four writes a day. They’ve been in Nashville for over 10 years. There’s a girl in Nashville right now called Hailey Whitters who’s incredible. You go check her music out and you’re like, ‘Come on, we need to get this girl propped up.’ Then this dude puts out a song with kind of quasi country lyrics? Something about a horse, boobies and some bullshit?”
Hailey’s 2020 album The Dream, and later the 2021 deluxe edition The Dream: Living The Dream featuring collaborations with Brent Cobb, Trisha Yearwood, and others became her breakout moment. It wasn’t a commercial blockbuster, but her talent and and resonance could no longer be denied. So she was signed to Big Loud Records who did what some label should have done years before: invested in Hailey Whitters.
Now that investment is beginning to pay off. This week, the first radio promoted single from Hailey Whitters called “Everything She Ain’t” from her new album Raised crossed a number of milestones. It rose to #39 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. That’s right, Hailey Whitters is finally a Top 40 country star. It also rose to #29 on the Hot Country Songs chart, which takes into consideration consumption. As we commonly see with resonant women in country, their sales and streams outpace their radio play, while often with their male counterparts, it’s vice versa.
With prominent banjo and steel guitar, “Everything She Ain’t” is a breath of fresh air on country radio. Originally released in June, as we’ve seen in recent history, the climb for a quality single can sometimes take up to a year. But it is climbing, and so attention for Hailey Whitters with it. Now it’s time for us to finish the job and get Hailey into the Top 20 and beyond. Her placement on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart proves this is a hot track, with over 28 million streams on Spotify alone.
Whitters was on tour with Jon Pardi earlier this summer, and like Jon Pardi, she could definitely be part of the traditional country resurgence were seeing rewrite what we think about mainstream country.
Hailey Whitters moved to Nashville from rural Iowa when she was just 17. It’s taken 14 years—nearly half of her life—to find the traction she deserves. But her persistence is finally starting to pay off.
October 20, 2022 @ 9:59 am
The best part is, having seen her live as part of Jon Pardi’s tour, she keeps it country in her live show. So many artists will include fiddle and banjo in a recorded track but then you see them live those instruments are nowhere to be found. Hailey has a fiddle player and a banjo picker.
October 20, 2022 @ 10:36 am
I love Everything She Ain’t. About damn time 💜
October 20, 2022 @ 2:34 pm
“I love Everything She Ain’t.”
So Happy for Hailey!
October 20, 2022 @ 11:55 am
I love this song. It reminds me of The Chicks back in their heyday.
October 20, 2022 @ 3:33 pm
Definition heard a Natalie Maines sound !
October 21, 2022 @ 5:16 pm
Reminds me a lot of “There’s Your Trouble.”
October 20, 2022 @ 12:04 pm
She’s fantastic! How long, though, before she takes the Kacey Musgraves sell-out road?
October 20, 2022 @ 12:23 pm
Well, hopefully if she can be supported in country, she doesn’t have to go that road. Kacey Musgraves played an important role in country, and then abandoned it like we have seen from so many artists over the years. An artist like Hailey Whitters can step into that void.
October 20, 2022 @ 2:37 pm
Respectfully, i say, Hailey creates her Own place.
She doesn’t have to step into anyone else’s.
October 20, 2022 @ 1:41 pm
The banjo and fiddle are exquisite on “Everything She Ain’t.” Hopefully this song makes it onto the playlists of the big operators in country radio and starts making a big impact and setting things up for more hits. Morgan Wade’s “Wilder Days” had a similar slow climb but stalled out short of the top 25 in airplay, not really enough for a second single to be an automatic “add.” So far up here in the middle of nowhere — OK, Vermont, same thing — Hailey’s song is on only one of the three local stations.
October 20, 2022 @ 3:36 pm
She was great when she was here in February and the album is one of my favs of the year. These ladies have it so ridiculously tough it seems like only “certain” ones get preference to move up quickly and others have to wait weeks or months to move up slightly even if their song is better. Like a few of us on here I look at the weekly charts and shake my head but I’ve seen this song moving up. Good for Hailey!!!
October 20, 2022 @ 6:32 pm
Wilson Pick It
October 20, 2022 @ 6:44 pm
The song is catchy as hell, but I actually like her older song Glad to Be Here better. It has a little more of a rock sound. But catchy is what gets you on the charts, I get that. Hopefully she blows up.
Southern Man, Country Fan, and Stuck Somewhere Else
October 20, 2022 @ 8:20 pm
I love this song! I have to admit, with more than a little embarrassment, for how long Hailey has been active in writing country songs, this is the first time I’ve heard her name, but I’ll definitely be buying her music after hearing this! That beautiful country voice is a balm to my soul after a *very* tough (brutal, actually) month in my life!
October 21, 2022 @ 3:08 am
Raised is One of my favourite mainstream country aoty
Country Charley Crockett's Butter
October 21, 2022 @ 5:24 am
A lot of young people at the Massachusetts Jon Pardi concert knew Hailey’s current single – including the clap bit. Everyone around me stood up when she did that song and I felt like a fool for not knowing it.
She put on a great show. I was impressed and did a deep dive of her songs. Good stuff
October 21, 2022 @ 6:13 am
October 21, 2022 @ 9:39 am
I’d like to hear more of Loretta Lynn’s attitude and delivery, but this sounds right at home down here in the cornfields. Thumbs up.
October 21, 2022 @ 12:28 pm
You know what?
I bet if you were able to get this message to Hailey, she would indeed ramp it up and belt it out, ala Loretta – and all Hailey!
That would be Great!
October 23, 2022 @ 2:55 pm
I’m wondering why I can’t remember an example of a Country writer doing something with “a roll in the corn”. Hay isn’t nearly as relevant nowadays.
October 24, 2022 @ 8:59 am
Maybe because hay might scratch a little, but corn would bruise you for sure or even cause permanent damage in places you wouldn’t want damaged?
October 24, 2022 @ 10:14 am
Nah, Hailey isn’t getting bruised in that photo. A pile of shelled corn is basically like a bean bag chair, minus the bag. The germ end of the kernels is a little pointy, but nothing that would hurt you. Now, soybeans don’t have the pointy ends, but they’re a bit more like quicksand.
Linds m Bush
January 31, 2023 @ 7:02 pm
I saw her on JimmyKimmell. She is so Talented she reminds me on Miranda Lambert when she starting recording
Hope she gets the recognition shr deserves