1. Are Women Finally Getting a Fair Shake on Country Radio? A Billboard Analysis

    February 05, 2016 3:37 PM EST In short, not yet. But it's complicated. If you watch country awards shows on television, you might think female artists are roughly equal with male artists. If you're a country radio listener, however, you probably have a very different impression. In last year's three major…

  2. Old Dominion Tips Its Cap to Slang With Rising Single 'Snapback'

    January 12, 2016 2:44 PM EST New Country Band Follows Up No. 1 Single 'Break Up With Him' When RCA shipped the latest  Old Dominion   single to programmers on Nov. 23, 2015, the Play MPE email did not contain a photo of the band. Instead, the group’s logo was slapped on the rear of a baseball cap along with the…

  3. Farm Aid 30th Anniversary TV Special Boasts Archive Sets From Allman Brothers, B.B. King & More

    January 06, 2016 3:17 PM EST Farm Aid, the music industry’s longest-running concert for a cause, will premiere an AXS TV special Jan. 10 filmed during its 30th anniversary in Chicago this past September, with performances by Willie Nelson , Neil Young , John Mellencamp , Dave Matthews , Jack Johnson , Kacey Musgraves and…

  4. Billboard.com's 10 Best Country Songs of 2015: Critics' Picks

    December 16, 2015 11:21 AM EST was filled with impressive country songs -- ranging from newcomer  Kelsea Ballerini  and Kacey Musgraves ' girl power message to Chris Stapleton , who broke out in a major way this year. And tracks filled with pure heart and emotion made an impact in the format. Here are the 10 best…

  5. Billboard.com's 10 Best Country Albums of 2015: Critics' Picks

    December 16, 2015 11:20 AM EST In an era where some people bemoaned the lack of great music in the country format, 2015 really seemed to feature a resurgence of quality -- with the top four albums on this list feeling like obvious choices on anyone’s list. But it's not just the critical darlings you expect that ranked…

  6. 2016 Grammy Nominations: Chris Stapleton and Other Country Artists Poised to Win Big

    December 07, 2015 2:14 PM EST In looking at the country nominees for the upcoming 58 th Annual Grammy Awards, there were no major surprises. But, as is often the case, there were a few curveballs that might have thrown some industry insiders for something of a loop -- along with two of the format’s most diverse talents…

  7. Kacey Musgraves Muses on Women in Music 'Legend' Honoree Loretta Lynn's 4 Essential Tracks

    December 04, 2015 5:19 PM EST The 27-year-old singer-songwriter, who performed with Lynn at the 2014 CMA Awards, picks the Queen of Country Music's most unforgettable tracks. "You Ain't Woman Enough" (1966) What a great hook: "You ain't woman enough/To take my man." One of the first…

  8. Luke Bryan & More Country Stars Take You Home for the Holidays in 'A Country Faith Christmas' Book

    November 25, 2015 4:27 PM EST Billboard contributor Deborah Evans Price gathers recipes, stories & more in new book. Deborah Evans Price is one of country music’s most esteemed journalists. Her byline has appeared in  Billboard ,  Nash Country   Weekly, Rolling Stone and countless other magazines. Now Price -- the…

  9. Kacey Musgraves Performs 'Dime Store Cowgirl' at the 2015 CMA Awards

    November 04, 2015 10:41 PM EST Kacey Musgraves was up for multiple prizes -- Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Music Video of the Year -- at the 2015 CMA Awards. So it only made sense that the Texas native got to perform one of the jams on her 2015 album Pageant Material . Backed by her band, Musgraves…

  10. Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton Bring Edge to CMA Album Nominations

    November 04, 2015 12:00 PM EST When the Country Music Association hands out the album of the year award for the 49th time tonight (Nov. 4), the contenders will look a little more like a Grammy Award group than a typical batch of CMA finalists. The CMA "tends to be the most conservative of all the awards shows,"…

  11. Kacey Musgraves Makes History at the Apollo Theater: Live Review

    October 25, 2015 6:15 PM EDT Kacey Musgraves made an impressive declaration early on last night (Oct. 24) during the New York stop of her Rhinestone Revue tour. “Apparently I'm the only country act to headline the Apollo,” she noted. “Sold it out, too,” she added proudly. This sort of accomplishment is not out of…

  12. John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves and More on Willie Nelson Making a Difference With 30 Years of Farm Aid

    October 16, 2015 3:35 PM EDT Willie Nelson 's Farm Aid celebrated its 30th birthday this year with a concert held at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago, Ill.,  on Sept. 19. To help fete the milestone,  Billboard spoke with several of this year's performers as well as Nelson's…

  13. Leigh Nash on Pop Past, Country Future: 'Unless the Two Genres Mix, There's Not Going to Be Country'

    October 09, 2015 8:01 PM EDT "The State I'm In" singer even suggests a new take on Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me": "Maybe there’s like a version we could work up with a honky-tonk sound." Most people will remember  Leigh Nash  as the vocalist of Sixpence None the Richer ,…

  14. Country Radio Remains Wary of Acts From TV Talent Shows: Are Its Fears Justified?

    September 28, 2015 8:12 AM EDT Can Michael Ray be the next Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson? Despite — or perhaps because of — the large number of artists that have been channeled into the country format by way of reality TV talent competitions — country radio has long had a fractious relationship with the genre. For…

  15. Imagine Dragons to Join Willie Nelson & Friends for 30th Farm Aid Concert in Chicago

    July 28, 2015 1:00 AM EDT The guiding foursome of Farm Aid -- Willie Nelson , Neil Young , John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews -- will celebrate a milestone for the organization that supports America's family farmers with a 30th-anniversary concert in Chicago on Sept 19, featuring  Imagine Dragons , whose album…

  16. Nashville's Biggest Songwriters Speak Out About the Lack of Women on Country Radio and the Songs They Wish They Wrote

    July 23, 2015 12:02 PM EDT Hitmakers are the lifeblood of country music. “Songwriting is sort of a 9-to-5 job in Nashville,” says Michael Dulaney, who has collaborated on singles with  Tanya Tucker and Jason Aldean . Unlike in other genres, where artists and producers disappear into studios or rented mansions for…

  17. Dale Watson Preaches the Virtues of Ameripolitan: Live Review

    July 13, 2015 7:23 PM EDT Back in 1995, Dale Watson recorded a song bemoaning the state of modern country music. "I'm too country now for country," he declared, "just like Johnny Cash ." The singer then turned to an elder statesmen for guidance: "Help me, Merle! I'm breaking out in a…

  18. Kacey Musgraves 'Material'-izes at No. 1 on Country Chart; Little Big Town Ties Record

    July 02, 2015 3:37 PM EDT Kacey Musgraves debuts atop Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated July 11) with Pageant Materia l. The set starts with 55,000 copies in its launch week, according to Nielsen Music, marking her best sales week. Musgraves manages her second No. 1 in as many tries, as her debut, Same…

  19. The 10 Best Shania Twain Songs

    June 30, 2015 2:45 PM EDT Shania Twain 's farewell tour kicks off this week, which makes it a good time to attempt to pick the ten greatest Twain songs. This might actually be mathematically impossible -- it would be difficult to even pick the ten strongest tracks on Come On Over , her 1997 masterpiece. So this…

  20. 'Yeah Boy': Why Kelsea Ballerini Is Country Radio's Gutsiest Songwriter

    June 30, 2015 10:50 AM EDT "Sometimes it's hard to be a woman," Tammy Wynette croons on the first line of her 1968 classic "Stand By Your Man." In recent years that's proven particularly true in commercial country, where a fairly anonymous army of beer-swilling dudes in plaid shirts…

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