Country music is an American genre that roots in folk and traditional pop. The music was played on acoustic instruments, like the banjo and guitar, and it was sung in a conventional style. The new type of country music had all kinds of influences from jazz and pop music, which made it even more popular with people who didn’t live in rural areas.
Many people associate country music with the South and its rich musical history. However, this music genre can be found across the United States. California has one of the world’s largest populations of country music fans!
Country music combines elements of folk, bluegrass, blues, and gospel music with traditional instrumentation. The genre was born from a tradition of fiddle playing and ballad singing that dates back to colonial times.
In modern times, country music has evolved into several subgenres, including Americana and alternative country. These styles are often influenced by rock and roll or pop music.
Country Music History
Country music is a famous American style that originated in the southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from the folk music of the British Isles, which began to flourish in the late 18th century. Country music is closely associated with rural life, as reflected in many country songs. It is often used to describe a lifestyle, particularly in the Southern United States, where country music is widely popular.
Country music has been very influential in American culture since it emerged as a distinct musical style in the 1920s. It was initially played by primarily working-class musicians and was associated mainly with an informal subculture of individuals living on small farms in rural areas of the United States.
Country music is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States and developed as a distinct style. It has roots in traditional folk music, such as bluegrass, and is known for its focus on the working class. Country music often features fiddles, steel guitars, banjos, and drums.
The first country songs were recorded in 1927. In the 1930s, country music became popular in the United States, but it was in the 1950s that it rose nationwide. In 1954, country singer Hank Williams became one of the first artists to cross over from country to pop charts. He was also known for his many tragic songs about alcoholism and drug use.
Top Best Country Music Artists
Johnny Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author. He is known as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Cash was a legendary performer who won 12 Grammy Awards, had his TV show, and played at Carnegie Hall. He also recorded several hit songs in his career, including “Ring of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “I Walk the Line.”
Carrie Underwood, a country singer, was born in the United States. She is famous for her music and has won several awards. She is married to Mike Fisher, an NHL hockey player.
Underwood was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in March 1983. She started singing early and was encouraged by her parents to pursue it as a career. She moved to Nashville when she was 16 years old to pursue a career in country music. She auditioned for American Idol in 2005 but did not get past the audition round. However, she continued to pursue her career as an artist and made her debut album, Some Hearts, in 2005, reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
In 2009 she released her second album Carnival Ride which also reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart and other charts worldwide, including in Australia and Canada. In 2012 she released Blown Away, which again topped the Billboard 200 chart. In other countries, including Canada and Australia, it became the highest-selling album ever by a solo female artist.
Luke Bryan is a country artist from Georgia. He began his career as an indie artist but soon found success on the country music scene. He released his first album in 2001 and has since released ten more albums and won many Country Music Association awards. Luke Bryan is a country singer and songwriter. He has won the Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year twice, and he was named Billboard’s Top Country Artist of the 2000s decade.
Bryan has sold over 16 million albums and won the Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year in 2015. He is also known for songs like “Rain Is a Good Thing” and “Country Girl (Shake It for Me).”
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her narrative songwriting—often inspired by her personal life—has received critical praise. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville at age 14 to become a country artist. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording contract with Big Machine Records in 2005. Her 2006 self-titled debut album made her the first female country singer to write or co-write a US platinum-certified album entirely.
In May 2021, Swift was awarded the Global Icon Award by the Brit Awards and the Songwriter Icon Award by the National Music Publishers’ Association. Swift further released “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” on September 17, 2021, and “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” on May 6, 2022. Outside her albums, she featured on four songs from 2021 to 2022: “Renegade” and “Birch” by Big Red Machine, a remix of Haim’s “Gasoline” and Ed Sheeran’s “The Joker and the Queen”. In 2022, Swift released “Carolina” as part of the soundtrack of the film Where the Crawdads Sing, and appeared briefly in the period comedy Amsterdam.
Swift won three awards at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year (for All Too Well: The Short Film) for a record-breaking third time. In her acceptance speech, she announced her tenth studio album, Midnights, which was released on October 21. Swift returned to pop on the album, experimenting with electronica and chill-out music. Breaking many records worldwide, Midnights and its lead single, “Anti-Hero”, became Spotify’s most-streamed album and song in one day with 185 million and 17.4 million plays, respectively.
The fastest-selling album of 2022 in the US, Midnights debuted atop the Billboard 200 with 1.57 million units and marked Swift’s fifth album to open with over one million copies sold. She tied Barbra Streisand for the most number-one albums among women. Swift became the first artist to occupy the Hot 100’s entire top 10, with “Anti-Hero” at the top, “Lavender Haze” at number two, and “Maroon” at number three. In support of Midnights and her previous albums, Swift will embark on the Eras Tour in 2023. Ticketmaster was widely castigated for handling the tour’s presale poorly, triggering government investigations into the company.
Luke Albert Combs is an American country music singer and songwriter. Born and raised in North Carolina, Combs began performing as a child, most notably performing at Carnegie Hall.
In 2017, Combs released his debut album, This One’s for You, which reached number four on the Billboard 200. Combs released his second album, What You See Is What You Get, on November 8, 2019. The album topped the charts in multiple territories, becoming his first to do so. A deluxe version of the album was released on October 23, 2020, including the song “Forever After All”.
Combs’ music has earned him two Grammy Award nominations, two iHeart Radio music awards, four Academy of Country Music Awards and six Country Music Association Awards, including the 2021 & 2022 Entertainer of the Year award, their highest honor.
He is a country singer from Lincolnton, North Carolina. He made his debut in 2015 with the single “Hurricane.” Combs has since released four albums and gained a following for his unique blend of honky-tonk and pop music.
Loretta Lynn was an American country music singer and songwriter. In a career spanning six decades, Lynn released multiple gold albums. She had numerous hits such as “You Ain’t Woman Enough”, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin'”, “One’s on the Way”, “Fist City”, and “Coal Miner’s Daughter”.
In 1972, she released Honky Tonk Girl, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1973. Her next album release—1975’s Van Lear Rose—was also certified gold by the RIAA and won three Grammys at the 1977 ceremony: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Song (for “Coal Miner’s Daughter”), and Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (for “One’s on the Way”).
Dolly Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, and businesswoman, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I’m Dolly, which led to success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), before her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s.
Parton’s albums in the 1990s did not sell as well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records. She has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Bryan was born in Japan while his family was deployed in the Navy overseas, but grew up in Oologah, Oklahoma. He is the son of Dewayne Bryan and Annette DeAnn (Mullen) Bryan, and has a sister, Mackenzie. Continuing a family tradition, Bryan was an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy. He used his spare time to write music for his enjoyment.
His debut album, DeAnn, was dedicated to his late mother and released on August 24, 2019. It was written in two months and recorded with his friends in a Florida Airbnb. A second album, Elisabeth, was released on May 8, 2020. He recorded the album in a repurposed barn behind his home in Washington.
On April 10, 2021, Bryan made his Grand Ole Opry debut. He later signed a deal with Warner Records to release his music.
On October 14, 2021, Bryan announced that the U.S. Navy honorably discharged him after eight years of service to pursue his career in music just ahead of his nationwide Fall 2021 “Ain’t For Tamin’ Tour.”
On January 25, 2022, Bryan announced that he would release his major-label debut—a triple album, American Heartbreak, on May 20, 2022. It debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 with over 70,000 album-equivalent units, marking Bryan’s debut on the chart and the biggest first week for a country album in 2022.
On October 11, 2022, Bryan released a new single titled “Starved.” He most recently released two singles “Fifth of May” and “The Greatest Day of my Life”
Webb Pierce was an American country music singer-songwriter and musician. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Pierce started his musical career in 1948 and performed throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1961, he won a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording for “Slowly.” He also had three number-one hits on the Billboard country charts: “I Don’t Care If You Love Me Anymore” (1956), “I Ain’t Never” (1956), and “There Stands The Glass” (1958).
Pierce influenced many other singers including George Jones, Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. He had more than 30 hits between 1951 and 1963.
Merle Ronald Haggard was an American country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Haggard was born in Oildale, California, toward the end of the Great Depression. His childhood was troubled after the death of his father, and he was incarcerated several times in his youth.
Haggard won several Grammy Awards during his career including best male country vocalist of 1971, 1972 and 1974 while also winning awards for best country vocal group in 1968 and 1969 as well as album of the year in 1979 for Same Train Different Time.