Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

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The Resurgence of Country Music

Country used to be the laughing stock of the music world, but not anymore.
Post Malone and Morgan Wallen performing.
Post Malone and Morgan Wallen performing.

For a long time, country music was unpopular amongst music listeners. Whether it be for the repetitive sound or the constant references to alcohol and trucks, there was a general hatred toward the genre. Recently, many country artists and songs have become massively popular, boosting the popularity of country music to all-time highs and silencing many of the haters. Much of country music’s success can be attributed to artists with their own unique style in the country world.

2023 was statistically the best year for country music ever. Luminate states that country music was the fastest growing genre of music in 2023, having a 23.8 percent growth in streaming compared to 2022. Country music also had the best selling album in the United States in 2023, which was Morgan Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” album. The most popular song on the album, “Last Night” was streamed over a billion times in 2023, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 16 non-consecutive weeks.

According to Billboard, “Last Night” wasn’t the only country song to top the Hot 100 in 2023. Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” was top for one week, followed by Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” for two weeks, and Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything” featuring Kasey Musgraves was also on top for two weeks. 2023 was the second most successful year on the charts, only behind 1975. A total of 11 songs were in the top 10 of the Hot 100 list in 2023. This trend continued into 2024, with Beyonce’s “Texas Hold ‘Em”  topping the chart for two weeks, and Chris Stapleton’s “White Horse” on top for three weeks, as well as four songs making it into the top 10.

The popularity of country music didn’t just happen, and there are multiple factors that contributed to the growth of the genre. Newsweek wrote that newer artists are establishing themselves with their own style of storytelling, different from the country of the past, adding to country’s popularity. Much of country music is generalized storytelling put into a song form with guitars, so artists figuring out new ways to incorporate the storytelling aspect into their songs is sure to help them succeed. Another aspect of country music’s popularity is politics. Previously mentioned songs like “Try That in a Small Town” and “Rich Men North of Richmond” are conveying certain political messages that are supported by many country fans, therefore making them popular amongst that group of people. Diversity is another reason country has become so popular. For a long time, country music has been made up of a majority of white artists and white fans. Recently, more diverse artists have burst onto the country music scene, and with that comes new groups of fans, increasing the popularity.

The largest contributor to the success of country music is social media. The same Newsweek article talks about how country songs were used to share people’s emotions during the COVID pandemic over TikTok. Many people used the storytelling aspect of country to show their emotions to certain things that were happening to them during the pandemic. The #CountryTok tag has over 950 million views on TikTok. YouTube also helped the genre. Songs were shared and artists were discovered on the app by people finding videos to watch.

Pop music icons have begun to make the switch to county, which is predicted to only grow country music’s popularity even more. Forbes states that artists in the past made some appearances that had minor impacts to the genre, such as Lady Gaga’s “A Star is Born” album. Ever since country’s popularity exploded, more pop icons have moved to country. Beyonce made the “Cowboy Carter” album which featured the hit song “Texas Hold ‘Em.” Lana Del Ray is also working on a country album called “Lasso” at the time of writing. Post Malone is also working on a country album, and has released the song “I Had Some Help” in collaboration with Morgan Wallen.

Country music went from being considered a joke to massively popular in only a couple years. The population of the genre isn’t stopping anytime soon, making the genre more and more mainstream.

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