Modern Country Music: The Top Artists You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking to get into modern country music? Here are some of the top artists you need to know!

The Evolution of Country Music

Over the years, country music has evolved from its traditional roots to become a more modern genre. While there are still artists who sing traditional country music, the genre has been increasingly influenced by pop, rock, and even rap. This has led to the rise of new country artists who are appealing to a wider audience. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top modern country artists you need to know.

The influence of rock and roll

The mid-1950s saw the beginnings of a major change in country music. The influence of rock and roll led to a more contemporary sound, and artists like Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis began to gain popularity. This new sound quickly spread throughout the South and Southwest, and soon there was a nationwide demand for it. Nashville producers scrambled to keep up with the demand, and country music began to evolve.

The 1960s saw another major change in country music. The British Invasion led to a more pop-oriented sound, and artists like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones became household names. This new sound was reflected in the work of country artists like Glen Campbell, who had major hits with pop-influenced songs like “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw yet another evolution in country music. Thegrowing popularity of rock music led to a more rock-influenced sound, as evidenced by the work of artists like Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. This new sound would eventually come to be known as “outlaw country,” and it would defined by its rebel attitude and eclectic mix of influences.

The influence of folk music

Folk music played a significant role in the development of country music. Folk music is defined as music by and for the common people. It is often passed down orally from generation to generation and reflects the culture of its region. Many folk songs are about everyday life, love, and loss. They often have a simple melody that is easy to remember and sing.

One of the most influential folk artists was Woody Guthrie. He was an American singer-songwriter who wrote hundreds of songs about the poor and working class. His songs were often political and spoke out against social injustice. Guthrie’s most famous song is “This Land Is Your Land.” This song became an anthem for the working class and was later covered by many other artists, including Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash.

Guthrie was not the only folk artist who influenced country music. Other significant folk artists include Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan. These artists brought folk music to a wider audience and helped to shape the sound of country music.

The influence of pop music

In the early 2000s, a new breed of country artists emerged who incorporated elements of pop music into their sound. These artists — known as “bro-country” — found success by writing songs about partyin’, drinkin’ and makin’ love, and their music resonate with young adults who were also living that lifestyle. Artists like Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan dominated the charts with their party anthems, and bro-country became one of the most popular genres in country music.

While many traditional country fans were put off by this new sound, there’s no denying the impact that it had on the genre. Bro-country helped to bring country music to a wider audience, and it also paved the way for other subgenres like trap-country and outlaw-country to emerge.

The Top Country Music Artists of Today

There are many modern country music artists out there that are making a name for themselves. These artists are bringing a new sound to country music and are attracting a whole new audience. Here are some of the top country music artists of today that you need to know.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful country artists of all time. She has sold over 64 million records and has won seven Grammy Awards. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005 and was the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history. She has released six studio albums, all of which have been certified platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Her most recent album, Cry Pretty, was released in 2018 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Underwood has achieved success not only as a recording artist, but also as a television personality. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Since then, she has hosted the annual CMA Awards show for eleven consecutive years and served as a judge on NBC’s reality competition show The Voice for two seasons. In 2019, she will star in her own television special, Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Special, which will air on ABC.

In addition to her musical and television career, Underwood is also an active philanthropist. She founded the Carrie Underwood Foundation in 2010 and has since raised millions of dollars for various charities. She is also a spokesperson for UNDER ARMOUR’s I WILL WHAT I WANT campaign, which encourages women to pursue their dreams regardless of obstacles or negative criticism.

Keith Urban

Keith Urban is a New Zealand-born Australian country music singer, songwriter and guitarist whose successful career has spanned more than two decades. He has released nine studio albums, three of which have been certified platinum or higher by the RIAA. His latest album, Graffiti U, was released in 2018 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. He has also charted more than 30 singles on the Billboard Country Singles chart, including 18 No. 1 hits.

Lady Antebellum

Selling millions of records worldwide, Lady Antebellum is one of the most popular country groups today. The trio, made up of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood, formed in Nashville in 2006. They released their self-titled debut album the following year, which went platinum and produced the hit singles “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Lookin’ for a Good Time.”

Lady Antebellum’s second album, Need You Now (2010), was an even bigger success. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album’s title track was a massive crossover hit, topping both the country and adult contemporary charts. Subsequent singles “Our Kind of Love,” “Just a Kiss,” and “We Owned the Night” were all massive country hits, solidifying Lady Antebellum as one of the top country groups of the 2010s.

The group took a break in 2014 to focus on solo projects; Charles Kelley released an album with his brother Nathan called The Driver (2015), while Hillary Scott released her first solo album Love Remains (2016). Lady Antebellum reunited in 2017 with the single “You Look Good.” They followed it up with Heart Break (2017), their first album in six years. The album spawned another crossover hit with its lead single “What If I Never Get Over You.”

The Future of Country Music

The future of country music is looking bright with the rise of many young, talented artists. These artists are putting their own spin on the genre and attracting a whole new audience. Country music is evolving and becoming more popular than ever before. Here are some of the top artists you need to know.

The influence of technology

The future of country music is likely to be influenced heavily by technology. Artists are already using streaming services to reach larger audiences and social media to connect with fans. These platforms provide new ways for artists to connect with listeners and build a following.

As technology continues to evolve, it will open up even more possibilities for country music. For example, virtual reality could be used to create immersive concert experiences. Fans would be able to watch performances from anywhere in the world and feel like they are right there in the audience.

Technology will also continue to change the way that music is created and consumed. Country artists are likely to experiment with new ways of writing and performing songs. They will also use technology to find new ways to reach listeners and connect with them on a personal level.

The influence of streaming services

The rise of streaming services has had a profound impact on the music industry, and country music is no exception. While album sales have declined overall in recent years, streaming has given artists new ways to reach listeners and build an audience.

According to a 2018 report from the Country Music Association, nearly two-thirds of country music fans say they stream music through services such as Spotify, Apple Music, or Pandora. This figure is up from just over half in 2016. And while streaming is most popular among younger fans, it’s also growing in popularity among older fans.

The report found that streaming is having a positive impact on country music as a whole, with more fans saying they’re listening to country music now than they were a few years ago. This increase can be attributed in part to the fact that people are spending more time streaming music overall. In 2018, the average person spent nearly 25 hours per week streaming music, up from about 17 hours in 2016.

As country music continues to evolve, streaming will likely play an even bigger role in shaping its future. Thanks to services like Spotify and Apple Music, fans have more control than ever over what they listen to and when they listen to it. This gives artists new opportunities to connect with listeners and build a following.

The influence of social media

The influence of social media has been profound in the world of country music. Artists are now able to connect with fans on a more personal level, sharing news, music and even promoting their latest projects. This has led to a more engaged and loyalty fan base, which is essential for any artist looking to build a successful career.

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of country artists achieve huge success by harnessing the power of social media. Names like Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton have broken through to the mainstream thanks in large part to their social media following. With more and more people consuming music online, it’s clear that social media is going to continue to play a major role in the future of country music.

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