The debate about what is country music and what isn’t is an eternal one. But a 1:53-long viral “song” that is really nothing more than an internet meme entitled “Old Town Road” by rapper “Lil Nas X” has rekindled the debate anew, with critical implications behind it.
This story has been updated. The big news in country music on Wednesday (12-5) was how for the first time in the nearly 30-year history of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, there wasn’t even one woman represented in the Top 20. By Billboard’s charting methods, this is true. And regardless of whatever other clarification points proceed […]
The good news is that country music legend Loretta Lynn is doing fine after a recently experiencing a short stomach flu. The bad news is that a string of fake news stories have made it across the internet that the 86-year-old’s health has gone through a major setback.
Country isn’t the only music community scratching its head while a fairly innocuous and forgettable pop song rewrites history by hitting record marks for its time at #1 on a genre specific chart, or a performer or group who doesn’t even seem to belong in the genre dominates that genre’s most important chart metrics.
“Meant To Be” recently helped Florida Georgia Line shatter what once was thought a bulletproof record—George Strait’s cumulative frames for songs cresting a week at #1. With a whopping 45 total #1’s spanning over a quarter century in the business, there’s a reason Strait earned the nickname “King” George over his Hall of Fame career.
In the last 73 weeks of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, there have only been five total songs to crest the chart. That means that over the past 1 1/2 years, two songs have occupied the chart’s top spot 89% of the time. And those two artists very specifically benefit from pop attention.
Kane Brown will be appearing on a new remix of pop star Camila Cabello’s current single “Never Be The Same” according to information coming down the music wires. What has some observers from the country realm interested (or concerned) is if it will be the latest pop/country collaboration to be released to country radio.
Friends and family of veteran country music journalist Chuck Dauphin are asking for prayers as he works to recover from an injury after a fall, and remains hospitalized in critical care due to complications with diabetes. Dauphin fell and broke his arm just below his shoulder and was admitted to the Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, TN.
If Bebe Rexha herself is not claiming to be country, then why the hell has her song been #1 on the country charts for 15 weeks now, and just broke the Top 10 at country radio? Someone please send Bebe Rexha’s quote over to Billboard’s country chart manager Jim Asker and have him explain to us why this ruse continues.
Bebe Rexha and her song “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line has officially become to sum of all the fears for the encroachment of pop into country. Now spending its 14th week at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, “Meant To Be” officially becomes the biggest song for a woman in the 70 year history of the country genre.
On Tuesday (12-19), Billboard, the worldwide leader in chart publishing, announced they would be changing the posted dates on their weekly charts from one arbitrary day that doesn’t reflect the true nature of the chart, to another arbitrary day that doesn’t reflect the true nature of the chart, but that is slightly closer to the day the charts are published.
This week the country music world was shocked when a pop star named Bebe Rexha and her song “Meant To Be” featuring Florida Georgia Line debuted at the very top spot of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. But looking deeper into the numbers, something didn’t seem to add up.
Now there is an entirely new reason to consider transitioning from ad-based streaming to a paid account, and it’s based off the greater commitment paid subscribers show to the music they listen to as opposed to the free-siders. Announced on Thursday (10-19), Billboard has made it known they are tweaking the way their charts work in 2018.
Though Stapleton may fall short of the touring numbers of names like Luke Bryan, or may not have the airplay of Florida Georgia Line, the incredible performance of his debut album ‘Traveller’ has put him in unprecedented territory, while still putting up a decent showing in touring and track sales too.
One of the reasons we feel so surprised at Americana’s success and so many have been so slow to recognize it is because it has been a slow and steady process. Because of Americana’s model of sustainability, the revolution has been plodding, yet purposeful. And now it’s success is palpable, and measurable by industry-standard metrics.
Publicists for pop star Kelsea Ballerini and her label Black River Entertainment are fawning all over themselves this week for their “historic” achievement of getting the single “Peter Pan” to inhabit the #1 spot on both Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts simultaneously—the first time this has ever happened for a female.
To see folks like Florida Georgia Line crest the Top Songs chart is disturbing enough. But to not see any mention of Hank Williams in the Best Artist list has also solicited groans. So let’s run through some observations on these charts to help understand how best to gauge their usefulness (or not), and explain some of the strange wrinkles they evidence.
Americana may not have a definitive, universally-recognized definition. But it now has it’s own classification on Billboard’s weekly album’s chart, which is a new layer of legitimacy for the genre if nothing else. Overall, it appears that the Billboard staff got it just about right.
On Friday (5-13), it was announced that Billboard would finally be adding an Americana chart to their weekly albums chart roster. This is 10 years after the Grammy Awards began to recognize Americana, nearly 17 years after the Americana Music Association formed.
For all the non-country artists, albums, and songs showing up on Billboard’s country charts recently, it was certainly a curious decision by Billboard chart managers to make an example of a poor band from Ft. Worth called Green River Ordinance this week. Despite the insistence of the band, and a clear sonic distinction to their music of country being the primary influence, their new album Fifteen was excluded from the country charts.
For the last couple of years country fans have been questioning how chart managers for Billboard and other entities could listen to certain songs or performers and consider them country in the slightest. Yet here is a band making music that’s more country than it is anything else, and more country than most of what you hear on country radio, and Billboard is denying their admittance on the country charts.
2015 has been back loaded with big events and even bigger releases that have caused renewed interest in the charts used to measure the popularity and impact of music. The problem is, in this here-and-now world, the model for how music is measured is still based around walking to a newsstand on Monday, and picking up the latest Billboard, or waiting for Tuesday when the album charts are updated online.
Artists, labels, and PR firms being able to speak directly to consumers more than ever through the vehicle of social media arguably doesn’t make music media obsolete, it makes it more necessary than ever to help listeners navigate through a crowded marketplace, and make sure they’re not being misled by an industry trying to deal with their own revenue and contraction issue in the digital age.
In 2015, the names and music residing at the top of Billboard’s respective genre charts seems topsy-turvy and misguided. While Sam Hunt and his music that resembles next to nothing country is at the top of the country charts, an artist like Brandi Carlile who does uphold some of those country standards has the top album in rock. A very serious case can be made that those two artists should be switched.