Has Country Music Gone More Mainstream Or Are The CMT Awards Just Nominating The Mainstream Artists

This morning CMT announced all their nominees for the CMT Music Awards and I was shocked to see almost all familiar names on the list. Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton are country musicians I actually know. In fact I know them so well, that I would categorize as pop-country, especially artists like Taylor Swift who perform at all kinds of music award shows.

In years past, I’ve ignored anything related to country music because it’s not really my thing. Some of the names on award show lists might have rang a vague bell, but only because they occasionally show up in gossip columns on or my friend’s playlists. But recently the majority of nominees at country music award events ring all my bells, loud and clear.

So it makes me wonder if country music and their artists have gone more mainstream recently and  people are getting past their “I’ll listen to anything but country” music rules or if country music award shows are attempting to get a bigger audience by focusing only on the big names with crossover appeal.

And if that’s the case, then what happens to all the talented country music artists who get no recognition because their music can’t be considered pop-country? Are there any award shows that honor the “true” country musicians?

I know I always hear country music fans complain that Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood aren’t real country singers; because of their wide appeal, they’re just pop singers who perform with a country twang. Well if that’s really true and the country music fans out there really are upset by the fact that country music is being tarnished by pop singers, why don’t they speak up about these award shows.

Where is their anger when award shows dedicated to their music pass over their tastes in favor of getting a larger audience? I want to hear from them about this.

So to all the country music fans who read Crushable, what’s the deal? Has country music gone more mainstream or are award shows like The CMT awards just nominating mainstream pop-country artists? I’m counting on all of you to me what’s going on.

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    • Caroline

      As someone who grew up watching the Grand Ole Opry and really enjoys country music, I’ve noticed this becoming a trend over the past few years – if not the past decade. While it is true that some of the most prominent faces in country tend to have staying power once they first hit the top of the charts, crossover stars were virtually nonexistent. The nominees now just don’t have the same quality to them that the old country stars did; I would never permit Taylor Swift and George Jones (crazy though he may be) to exist in the same category. I think that in a lot of ways popular country has tended more and more toward pop, to the point that crossover is far more possible and probable than in the past. For the most part, folk music and bluegrass far surpasses what is at the top of the contemporary country charts today.

    • http://twitter.com/BrianneNemiroff Brianne Nemiroff

      Country music is definitely becoming more mainstream and it is adapting to the times. Country is more pop-sounding than ever before and they are selling out arenas just like Beyonce. Having the ability to be a crossover artist is just a smart business move anyway. More potential for more fans and staying power. It doesn’t mean they aren’t being true to their country roots. It just means they’re playing/writing what they love and are being smart about it.