41 years, 26 albums, 11 different record labels, and one Outlaw country legend who had never experienced a charting album beyond a mere blip on the Christian charts a few years ago …. until now. Billy Joe Shaver, and his first album in seven years entitled Long In The Tooth has gone where no other Billy Joe Shaver album has gone before—to the Top 20 of Billboard’s country album’s chart.
Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson has quickly become a critic’s favorite and a cult hero around the country with the release of his second solo album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, garnering praise from industry critics and rabid country fans alike. And now the emerging country star has another feather to place in his cap.
Florida Georgia Line’s songs “Cruise” is now arguably the biggest song in this history of country music. Arguably yes, because music charts aren’t always the best gauge of cultural impact, and you can certainly question the validity of “Cruise” as a country song to begin with. But all qualifiers aside, “Cruise” has now spent longer at the #1 position of Billboard’s country chart than any other song in that chart’s 70 year history.
The long running, incessant debate about what is country and what is not can get so bogged down in manusha and rehashed arguments that even I get tired of it. Where the situation has become exceptional though surrounds the Billboard Hot 100 Country Charts and their newly-implemented rules. The only entity that appears to be calling “We Are Never…” a country song, is Billboard.