In today’s society, there are so many trends that come and go, some lasting a week and others months. We see the same in the music industry with certain beats and styles coming and going on the radio. While we see change, some artists have stayed constant and continue to put out great music for fans for decades. Below are some of our favorite artists that are still making waves in the industry decades later and have stood the test of time.
Strait is not called the “King of Country” for nothing. With 60 #1 hits, the most in history, ACM Artist of the Decade, and a Country Music Hall of Fame member, no one is taking Strait’s place anytime soon. From early hits like “Fool Hearted Memory” and “Amarillo By Morning” to more recent ones including “Give It Away” and “It Comes Natural”, the country icon proves that classic country music is still cherished. While Strait is not on the road touring anymore, he does play select weekends at the T-Mobile Arena for his residency and a few other events. There may not be many more opportunities to see the legend himself sing 20+ number one hits a night, so make sure you get a piece of the action while you still can!
Reba may have started as a rodeo girl, following in the footsteps of her father, but now she is one of country music’s biggest icons. McEntire is the only country female solo act to have a No. 1 hit in four straight decades: the 1980s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s, and it is easy to see why. Hits like “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”, “Fancy”, “Consider Me Gone” and collaborations including “The Heart Won’t Lie” with Vince Gill and “If You See Him/If You See Her” with Brooks and Dunn, put her on the top of the charts. When Reba was an up and coming artist, her tenacity and talent helped her blaze a path for females in country music. The Oklahoma native is still a very relevant part of the industry with her new album Stronger Than The Truth and her Las Vegas residency with Brooks and Dunn.
While Strait has the most #1 songs in history, “The Thunder Rolls” singer has the most awards. Brooks has 2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 24 Billboard Music Awards, and 26 number 1 hits, just to name a few. While he is known as a tried and true country artist, his ability to integrate pop and rock elements into his music leaves people converting to country after each listen. Brooks is still selling out 50,000+ stadiums every month on his stadium tour and new music like “All Night Long” and “Dive Bar.” Bringing unbelievable energy to each show, Brooks’ legacy is growing bigger and better each year and shows no signs of stopping.
Brooks & Dunn
After sitting down for burritos one night, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn decided to take a chance at becoming a duo after their record label had been mentioning it for weeks. That may have been the best decision they ever made for their careers. Building a large fan base across the world, 25+ ACM Awards, 2 Grammys, 17 CMA Awards and more, the guys made a very long successful run. Years later, the duo is one of the best selling duo’s country music has seen. While they split up after their greatest hits album to do their own ventures, their brand new REBOOT album with upcoming artists including Luke Combs, Midland, and Kasey Musgraves, Brooks and Dunn have put themselves at the forefront of the music scene once again. Their old hits are getting more airplay on the radio, new collaborations are landing them TV appearances, and the Vegas residency with Reba keep the “Neon Moon” singers booked all year.
Making Chattachooche a household song isn’t the only thing Alan Jackson is known for. His career was built around traditional country music, driven by twangy riffs and a honky-tonk vibes. Upon coming to Nashville, Jackson wrote all his own songs and made heads turn left and right with his ability to tell a story through music. With upbeat songs like “Gone Country,” “Living On Love,” and “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” he has a somber side that you can see in certain songs. One of the biggest songs that got people’s attention was “Where Were You,” his song commemorating the 9/11 terror attacks, one he won a Grammy for. With 30 years of music, touring, awards, and a loyal fanbase, Jackson is still going strong playing shows across the country. While he has stopped putting out music in recent years, you can still find his classic sound in the gospel album he made for his mom, Angels and Alcohol.
There are a lot of artists in the industry that go to school for something other than music but find themselves pursuing their hobbies anyways, Kenny Chesney is no different. He went from majoring in advertising to graduating and heading to Nashville to play the local honky-tonks. Fast forward a few years later and a new record deal and Chesney is cranking out hits such as “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and “In My Wildest Dreams.” Rolling into the 2000s was filled with sold-out shows across the country and #1 records, most of which landed on Billboard’s Top 100, making Chesney one of the most successful crossover country artists. Chesney is the king of stadium tours, selling out arenas all over the country in the last 5+ years and fans new and old are coming to watch the 4-time Entertainer of the Year. Setlists include “Summertime,” “Living In Fast Forward,” “Young,” and new hits “American Kids,” and his latest “Tip Of My Tongue.” Being out on the road takes up most of Chesney’s time nowadays although he still finds time to create powerful songs like “Get Along” that calls on all of us to love one another. We caught Chesney last summer at MetLife Stadium when he sold-out the epic venue.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
One of country music’s power couples has not retreated to a normal lifestyle just yet. Making over $100 million on their Soul2Soul tour alone, the couple is still making music. McGraw has put out a few singles in the last year(“Neon Church” and “Thought About You”). Together the duo released a touching and emotional album The Rest of Our Life in sync with their tour. Hill does not tour anymore although McGraw has been playing quite a few festivals like Stagecoach and Cheyenne Frontier Days. Both have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and together in downtown Nashville as a part of Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame. Both singer-songwriters have made such a huge contribution to country music, Hill paving the way for female artists and McGraw tearing up the charts proving that if a small-town boy from Louisiana can make it, you can too, with grit and determination. They have served the Music City community with their beautiful voices, kind spirits, and southern charm for decades, making them some of the most lovable people not only in Nashville but across the world as well.
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