This morning we were scrolling through our Facebook feed and we saw an article that one of our industry friends had shared from MSN.com titled ‘100 Most Popular Country Music Stars.’ She wrote, “the worst excuse for journalism I’ve seen in some time.” Naturally, we were intrigued. But after just a few clicks through the slideshow in the article, we had to agree. We like to keep profanity out of our articles but this may be one of the dumbest fu*k!ng things we’ve ever read about country music. The author obviously knows zero about country music or the stars. Here are some of our biggest issues with their sh!thole of a list.
First off, the article starts off by saying “country and western music.” Let’s be honest, no one has called the genre that in what, 20 years+!? It also talks about the genre being “white-male dominated music.” Why do we have to bring the race card into it? If I see Whiskey Riff post another article about how Kane Brown says no one wants to write with him because he’s black, I’m gonna toss my laptop out the window. Let’s not stir the racism pot anymore with this poor excuse of journalism, as our friend so eloquently said. And later they go on to say, “women are also finding success.” Ummm, what!? If you haven’t noticed, women in the genre generally struggle due to lack of airplay. Outside of Carrie and Miranda, and arguably Kelsea, women have struggled in the genre. And it’s terrible as we have so many incredibly talented women in country music.
99.) Alan Jackson- How in the world does a country legend come in at Number 99 out of 100? Right between Jessie James Decker and A Thousand Horses…. WHAT!? He’s had 25 Number One’s and another 19 top 5 hits. And they say ‘Drive’ is his biggest country hit… Good song but let’s be honest, ‘Chatahoochee’ is probably his biggest hit along with ‘Remember When,’ ‘Good Time’ and ‘5 O’Clock Somewhere.’ We almost closed out of the article after seeing AJ at 99 but we continued to see how much more of a travesty this piece of junk article was.
92.) The Band Perry- Love the Band Perry but pretty sure they’ve been missing from the genre for a few years now. ::eye roll::
86.) Tucker Beathard- We loved ‘Rock On’ but we don’t know what has happened to Tucker since. He’s been quiet, some could even say missing. And he comes in right after Hunter Hayes (#87)?
77.) John Mayer- It’s true that his ‘biggest country hit’ (‘In The Blood) was released to country radio. But it peaked at #57 on the airplay charts. If this is considered a hit and one to put him on the list of most popular country stars, and ahead of people like Alan Jackson, Hunter Hayes, etc. then I don’t even know what to say.
75.) George Strait- Move him up at least 50 spots. I mean, even the article wrote, “he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide with 16 Grammy nominations. He reportedly retired in 2012.” 100,000,000 records. But yeah, let’s put him at #75. Dumb.
71.) Reba- Another travesty to a country icon. Steven Tyler comes in at #66- I don’t know a single person who thinks Steven Tyler is more popular than Reba in country music.
61.) Pentatonix- “This acapella country group is made up of five band members who have won three Grammys.” Huh? They may cover a country song or two but they’re not a country group. GTFO.
55.) Shania Twain- See Reba. TRAVESTY.
53.) Rascal Flatts- The article says, “Originally, Rascal Flatts was made up Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, Joe Don Rooney, and Eric Church until Church was booted out for extending the time of his solo performance while touring. The band has recovered just fine since.” When the fudge was Eric Church ever part of Rascal Flatts!? Answer: HE WASN’T! The real story is that he was an opening act on the 2006 tour and he played over his allotted time four times and they removed him from the tour- not from their group as he was never part of the group.
50.) High Valley- We’re most bothered by the picture they used for High Valley. Google images couldn’t find you anything else!?
49.) Big & Rich- “Big Kenny and John Rich are brothers…” Brothers? Where in the world did the author come up with this?
47.) Garth Brooks- We’re talking about GARTH BROOKS. At Number FOURTY SEVEN!? A guy who can sell out 6 shows in a city. But yeah, he’s #47 on this list… But don’t worry Chris Lane comes in at 46. No offense to Chris Lane, but how does he come in before Garth freakin’ Brooks.
32.) Bebe Rexha- WTF!? How is she even being considered on this list. SHE’S NOT A COUNTRY MUSIC STAR! She is 1000000% a pop artist that was featured on a song with Florida Georgia Line. That doesn’t make her a country star- if that’s the case, we should put Ludacris in the top 20 of this list. Oh and Miranda Lambert was #34. Makes total sense.
26.) Eric Church- Just one of the genre’s biggest stars with sold-out shows across the country. I guess being kicked out of Rascal Flatts knocked him out of the top 20!?
24.) Kenny Chesney- Everyone who knows me, knows that Kenny is my favorite country artist. Am I biased? Yes. But let’s be real, Kenny is one of the few artists who can sell out millions of tickets every summer, selling out professional football stadiums across the country. Go to Gillette for a Kenny Chesney show, or even Arrowhead Stadium or Metlife Stadium and then tell me there is 23 country artists more popular than Kenny.
We don’t know the author, John Harrington. But we have no idea how he came up with this list. It’s awful. It’s completely inaccurate. Between the rankings, including non-country artists and leaving off artists like Toby Keith, it’s definitely the “worst excuse of journalism,” like our friend said it was.
Want to see the whole list? Click here to see this piece of trash.