No matter how many years you have to count back to when Kenny Chesney was the top male performer in modern country, he is still the man at the top of the heap when it comes to touring. Aside from Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney is only the guy who can consistently fill stadiums with his huge fan base known as “No Shoes Nation.”
Virtually everyone has been ignoring Caitlyn Smith’s record Starfire, and specifically her song “This Town Is Killing Me.” With almost no press, with absolutely no radio play, and very little attention via streaming playlists, “This Town Is Killing Me” has received well over 5 million plays on Spotify alone since its release.
“Parallel Line” could have been cut by Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, or whomever. It doesn’t really matter who sung it; it would have sounded almost exactly the same. That’s why so many immediately identified this as an Ed Sheeran song. Popular music is just numerous pop franchises with many different faces.
Austin City Limits has just announced the lineup for their upcoming 43rd season, and sorry Austin musicians who the show was originally commissioned to chronicle and document, but you won’t get any attention from your local Public Television Station, , unless it’s a seminar about what to do about Austin’s evaporating music scene.
Cumulus Media’s VP Admits Country Can’t Be Delineated from Pop — Wants to Bring Taylor Swift Back to Country
“You don’t know these artists. You’re just listening to just a few hooks of their songs,” John Dickey says. “You tell me what they are. Florida Georgia Line â€“ country, rock or pop? We can do Brantley Gilbert, Eric Church or Sam Hunt. You’re telling me Sam Hunt’s song is country? Today Country is successful because it’s co-oping other audiences into the format.
Top 40 pop radio has always been about taking the biggest songs from the respective genres and featuring them in one place. That’s pop radio’s job; that’s its niche in the marketplace. Now country is showing the early signs of coveting that position for itself. Mainstream country radio stretched its belly with Bro-Country, and now that it’s in serious decline, it’s looking for the next fix to filly its over-portioned appetite.
Things are going from bad to worse in country music radio rankings, and now were starting see the lengths country radio is willing to go to in an attempt to rekindle the magic. Just six short months ago it looked like popular country music was poised to take over the music world and take down pop as the most dominant genre. Now the ratings for country radio’s key demographic continues its precipitous slide.
I don’t have any data to back my assertions up. But I’ll be damned that if in 2014, your average pop star isn’t more likely to outpace your average country star when it comes to substance and depth in their music. The dynamic has flipped, and it leaves one wondering if in the future “country” will be that bad word that infers a lack of artistic merit. Or if we haven’t already arrived there.