Country Music's Biggest Moments of 2011
Country Music's Biggest Moments of 2011

There have been many memorable moments in the world of country music in 2011. While choosing only ten might be a little difficult, these are moments that really got people talking during the year.

More Country: Top Singles | Top Albums | The Year in Country

Glen Campbell's Sad News

The legendary singer -- guitarist announced that he would be retiring from the business following a final album, "Ghost On The Canvas," and tour. The Hall of Fame member also announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease.

"How Great Thou Art"


Carrie Underwood, YouTube Sensation

Carrie Underwood knows all about the power of television, but the songstress once again caused a stir with her performance of "How Great Thou Art" on the ACM "Girls' Night Out" special in April. The performance became one of the most viewed on YouTube.


Shelton + Lambert = Power Couple

After five years together, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert said "I Do" to each other on May 14. It continued to be a banner year for both career-wise, as well. The couple took home the Male an Female Vocalist trophies at the CMA Awards in November.

"American Idol" Goes Country

With Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler both enjoying success on the charts, it was no surprise that a country performer won this past season of "American Idol" on Fox, as Scotty McCreery did in May. What might have been the surprise that the runner-up was also a country act, Lauren Alaina. The debut albums for both were two of the biggest releases in country this fall.

Tragedy Strikes at Sugarland Concert

It turned out to be a tragic day in August, when seven people are killed and more than 45 people are injured when an outdoor stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair due to high winds at a concert featuring Sugarland. Neither the duo or their opening act, Sara Bareilles, were onstage at the time of the collapse. The duo was named in a lawsuit concerning the incident later in the year, alongside Mid-America Sound, the company that rented the stage, roof and lighting system, and event promoter Live Nation.

25 Years Of Travis

Randy Travis celebrated a quarter-century of classic music with the release of his 25th Anniversary Celebration disc. The set included duets of some of his biggest hits with artists such as Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw.

Ronnie Dunn Goes Solo

After two decades as one-half of Brooks & Dunn, the singer becomes (sort of) a new artist in 2011, hitting the charts with "Bleed Red" and the powerful "Cost Of Livin."

Hank Gets Rowdy


Hank Williams, Jr. Loses It

"Bocephus" found himself in a controversy in September. Appearing on Fox News to promote a new collection of music from his father, Williams was asked about a recent golf outing between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. His reply of "That'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu" set off a wave of attention that led to his "All My Rowdy Friends" intro being taken off of ESPN's "Monday Night Football." It turned out to be a permanent end to their relationship, which had been in place for over two decades.

Tim McGraw Wins Freedom

And, speaking of two decade partnerships: Tim McGraw won his freedom in a Nashville court on November 30, ending his long affiliation with Curb Records - the label that had launched his career. Curb's reaction? Later that same afternoon, they release "Better Than I Used To Be," the first single from Emotional Traffic, his swan song for the label. The set will be in stores January 17.

Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees

In March, the Hall of Fame announced that superstar Reba McEntire, songwriter Bobby Braddock, and female vocalist pioneer Jean Shepard would be the 2011 inductees into the Hall.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print