2021 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place, or will take place, in 2021.

List of years in country music (table)

Events[edit]

  • January 4 – Florida Georgia Line announce plans to release solo music, but will not be separating.[1]
  • January 20 – Following the release of his album Dangerous: The Double Album, Morgan Wallen becomes the first artist to have six songs in the top ten of the Hot Country Songs charts at the same time.[2] He also becomes the first artist to debut at the top of the Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums charts simultaneously, as well as the first artist to have more than one song debut at the top of the Hot Country Songs chart.[3]
  • January 27 – At the age of 84, legendary singer-songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson officially announces his retirement from performing after more than five active decades in the entertainment industry.[4]
  • February 3 –
    • Morgan Wallen, whose album Dangerous was number one on the Billboard 200 at the time, has his recording contract with Big Loud Records indefinitely suspended after a video emerges of him using a racial slur. Wallen was also removed from numerous playlists and dropped from more than 400 radio stations. The Academy of Country Music Awards subsequently announced that he would be removed from eligibility for their forthcoming 2021 ceremony.[5][6]
    • T.J Osborne, frontman and half of successful duo Brothers Osborne, comes out as gay, making him the first openly gay male artist signed to a major country label.[7]
  • February 23 – Taylor Swift's "Love Story (Taylor's Version)", a re-recorded version of her 2008 hit "Love Story", debuts at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming the first artist to hit #1 twice on that chart with a single song, since Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You", in 1974 and 1982.
  • March 5 – Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald announces that he will be leaving the band to pursue a career with The Frontmen of Country, a trio also consisting of Tim Rushlow and Larry Stewart, the former lead singers of Little Texas and Restless Heart, respectively, and will be replaced with former Sons of the Desert lead singer Drew Womack. McDonald previously departed Lonestar in 2007 to pursue a solo career, but then returned in 2011.[8]
  • April 1 – Confederate Railroad lead singer Danny Shirley breaks his back in an undisclosed accident.[9]

Grand Ole Opry[edit]

Top hits of the year[edit]

The following songs placed within the Top 20 on the Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, and/or Canada Country charts in 2021:

Singles released by American and Australian artists[edit]

Songs Airplay Canada Single Artist References
1 15 12 "7 Summers" Morgan Wallen [12]
13 "865" Morgan Wallen [12]
25 25 4 "All Night" Brothers Osborne [13]
8 7 6 "Almost Maybes" [A] Jordan Davis [14]
7 1 2 "Beers and Sunshine" Darius Rucker [15]
1 1 1 "Better Together" Luke Combs [16]
12 5 15 "Blame It on You" [A] Jason Aldean [17]
4 1 3 "Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s" Sam Hunt [18]
7 1 1 "Champagne Night" Lady A [19]
16 30 36 "Chasing After You" [A] Ryan Hurd
with Maren Morris
[20]
16 16 5 "Country Again" [A] Thomas Rhett [21]
15 "Cover Me Up" Morgan Wallen [12]
17 "Dangerous" Morgan Wallen [12]
5 1 1 "Down to One" Luke Bryan [22]
17 11 43 "Drinkin' Beer. Talkin' God. Amen." [A] Chase Rice
featuring Florida Georgia Line
[23]
16 45 "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" [A] Elle King
& Miranda Lambert
[24]
4 3 2 "Famous Friends" [A] Chris Young
featuring Kane Brown
[25]
1 1 1 "Forever After All" [A] Luke Combs [16]
10 13 13 "Glad You Exist" [A] Dan + Shay [26]
2 2 2 "Gone" [A] Dierks Bentley [27]
1 1 3 "The Good Ones" Gabby Barrett [28]
1 1 10 "Good Time" Niko Moon [29]
10 2 10 "Happy Does" Kenny Chesney [30]
2 1 1 "Hell of a View" Eric Church [31]
6 2 1 "Hole in the Bottle" Kelsea Ballerini [32]
18 4 33 "How They Remember You" Rascal Flatts [33]
4 2 26 "I Should Probably Go to Bed" Dan + Shay [26]
3 1 1 "Just the Way" Parmalee
& Blanco Brown
[34]
7 1 9 Lady Brett Young [35]
9 "Lil Bit" Nelly
& Florida Georgia Line
[36]
4 1 1 "Long Live" Florida Georgia Line [37]
1 57 "Love Story (Taylor's Version)" Taylor Swift [38]
3 1 1 "Made for You" Jake Owen [39]
12 10 10 "Minimum Wage" [A] Blake Shelton [40]
2 "Mr. Perfectly Fine" Taylor Swift [38]
8 5 35 "Momma's House" Dustin Lynch [41]
19 "More Surprised Than Me" Morgan Wallen [12]
18 "Neon Eyes" Morgan Wallen [12]
26 19 4 "Next Girl" [A] Carly Pearce [42]
2 54 "No Body, No Crime" [A] Taylor Swift
featuring Haim
[38]
5 2 23 "Nobody" Dylan Scott [43]
12 12 1 "One Too Many" [A] Keith Urban
featuring P!nk
[44]
5 "Sand in My Boots" Morgan Wallen [12]
6 9 1 "Settling Down" [A] Miranda Lambert [45]
15 8 21 "Single Saturday Night" [A] Cole Swindell [46]
1 2 3 "Starting Over" Chris Stapleton [47]
18 15 25 "Things a Man Oughta Know" [A] Lainey Wilson [48]
23 16 4 "Undivided" [A] Tim McGraw
& Tyler Hubbard
[49]
10 "Warning" Morgan Wallen [12]
1 "Wasted on You" Morgan Wallen [12]
24 14 26 "We Didn't Have Much" [A] Justin Moore [50]
1 1 1 "What's Your Country Song" Thomas Rhett [21]
6 "You All Over Me" Taylor Swift
featuring Maren Morris
[38]

Singles released by Canadian artists[edit]

Songs Airplay Canada Single Artist References
8 "All Night to Figure It Out" [A] Jade Eagleson [51]
1 "Boys" Dean Brody
featuring Mickey Guyton
[52]
20 "Diamonds in a Whiskey Glass" Gord Bamford [53]
5 "Drinkin' Songs" MacKenzie Porter [54]
15 "Every Time You Take Your Time" Aaron Goodvin [55]
8 "F-150" Robyn Ottolini [56]
1 "A Few Good Stories" Brett Kissel [57]
8 "Fighting" Tyler Joe Miller [58]
15 "Give It to Me Straight" [A] Tenille Arts [59]
18 "Good on You" [A] Lindsay Ell [60]
17 "It Didn't" Madeline Merlo [61]
3 "Make a Life, Not a Living" [A] Brett Kissel [57]
15 "Mapdot" Jess Moskaluke [62]
13 "Neverland" Andrew Hyatt [63]
17 "Never Giving Up on You" [A] Meghan Patrick [64]
5 "Not Gonna Not" Reklaws [65]
11 "Only a Woman" Matt Lang [66]
1 "River's Still Running" High Valley [67]
12 "Shotgun Rider" [A] Tebey [68]
1 "Some Things Never Change" Dallas Smith
featuring Hardy
[69]
7 3 9 "Somebody Like That" Tenille Arts [59]
10 "Without a Prayer" Tim & the Glory Boys [70]

Top new album releases[edit]

US Album Artist Record Label Release Date Reference
3 Body Language Blake Shelton Warner Nashville May 21 [71]
2 Country Again: Side A Thomas Rhett Valory April 30 [72]
1 Dangerous: The Double Album Morgan Wallen Big Loud January 8 [73]
1 Fearless (Taylor's Version) Taylor Swift Republic Records April 9
3 Greenfields Barry Gibb Capitol January 8 [74]
3 Heart Eric Church EMI Nashville April 16
3 Life Rolls On Florida Georgia Line BMLG February 12 [75]
7 The Marfa Tapes Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall RCA Nashville May 7 [76]
1 My Savior Carrie Underwood Capitol Nashville March 26 [77]
9 Still Woman Enough Loretta Lynn Legacy March 19 [78]
2 Soul Eric Church EMI Nashville April 23
2 Where Have You Gone Alan Jackson EMI Nashville/ACR May 14

Other top albums[edit]

US Album Artist Record Label Release Date Reference
49 Set in Stone Travis Tritt Big Noise Label Group May 7 [79]
38 Straight Outta the Country Justin Moore Valory April 23
18 29 (EP) Carly Pearce Big Machine February 19 [80]
12 & (EP) Eric Church EMI Nashville April 20

Announced[edit]

Album Artist Record Label Release Date
Diamonds in a Whiskey Glass Gord Bamford Anthem June 4[81]
Weekends Look a Little Different These Days Brett Young BMLG June 4[82]
Front Porch Singin' The Oak Ridge Boys June 11[83]
Gentle Man Rory Feek June 18[84]
Always Like New Jennifer Nettles Concord Records June 25
Heart on My Glass Meghan Patrick Warner Canada / Riser House June 25[85]
Ruthless Gary Allan MCA Nashville June 25[86]
Sunshine State of Mind Brian Kelley Warner Nashville June 25[87]
What a Song Can Do (Chapter One) Lady A Big Machine Records June 25
Upbringing Chase Bryant Green Iris Records July 16[88]
Stand For Myself Yola Easy Eye Sound July 30[89]
Texas to Tennessee Clay Walker Show Dog Nashville July 30[90]
Famous Friends Chris Young RCA Nashville August 6[91]
Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine Vol. 2 Various artists Thirty Tigers August 10[92]
The Cry of the Heart Connie Smith Fat Possum August 20[93]

Deaths[edit]

Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Bluegrass Hall of Fame[edit]

Country Music Hall of Fame[edit]

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame[edit]

Major awards[edit]

Academy of Country Music Awards[edit]

Americana Music Honors & Awards[edit]

American Music Awards[edit]

ARIA Awards[edit]

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

CMT Music Awards[edit]

(presented on June 9 in Nashville)

Country Music Association Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

International Bluegrass Music Awards[edit]

Juno Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ago, Alison Bonaguro 6h. "Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley to Release Solo Music, But Insist "FGL's Not Breaking Up"". CMT News. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  2. ^ Jim Asker (January 19, 2021). "Billboard Country Update: On the Charts" (PDF). Billboard. p. 4. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Jim Asker (January 19, 2021). "Morgan Wallen Makes Record-Setting Start on Country Charts With 'Dangerous': 'This Is Absolutely Insane'". Billboard. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  4. ^ "Kris Kristofferson announces his retirement after more than five decades in the entertainment industry | NME". January 30, 2021.
  5. ^ "Morgan Wallen's Label Suspends Him as Country Radio Drops Songs After He Used Racial Slur". PEOPLE.com.
  6. ^ "Morgan Wallen: US radio stations drop country star over racial slur". February 3, 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  7. ^ "T.J. Osborne Is Ready to Tell His Story". Time.
  8. ^ Parton, Chris (March 5, 2021). "Richie McDonald Departs Lonestar for Second Time". Sounds Like Nashville. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "Danny Shirley, Confederate Railroad Lead Singer, Suffers Broken Back". Taste of Country.
  10. ^ "JUST IN: Lady A Invited to Join the Grand Ole Opry". Taste of Country.
  11. ^ "Tweet". twitter.com. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Morgan Wallen - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  13. ^ "Brothers Osborne - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  14. ^ "Jordan Davis - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  15. ^ "Darius Rucker - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Luke Combs - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  17. ^ "Jason Aldean - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  18. ^ "Sam Hunt - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  19. ^ "Lady Antebellum - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  20. ^ "Ryan Hurd - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Thomas Rhett - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  22. ^ "Luke Bryan - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  23. ^ "Chase Rice - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  24. ^ "Elle King - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  25. ^ "Chris Young - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Dan + Shay - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  27. ^ "Dierks Bentley - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  28. ^ "Gabby Barrett - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  29. ^ "Niko Moon - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  30. ^ "Kenny Chesney - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  31. ^ "Eric Church - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  32. ^ "Kelsea Ballerini - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  33. ^ "Rascal Flatts - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  34. ^ "Parmalee - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  35. ^ "Brett Young - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  36. ^ "Nelly - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "Florida Georgia Line - Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  38. ^ a b c d "Taylor Swift - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  39. ^ "Jake Owen - Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 16, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  40. ^ "Blake Shelton - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  41. ^ "Dustin Lynch - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  42. ^ "Carly Pearce - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  43. ^ "Dylan Scott - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  44. ^ "Keith Urban - Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 6, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  45. ^ "Miranda Lambert - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  46. ^ "Cole Swindell - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  47. ^ "Chris Stapleton - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  48. ^ "Lainey Wilson - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  49. ^ "Tim McGraw - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  50. ^ "Justin Moore - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  51. ^ "Jade Eagleson - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  52. ^ "Dean Brody - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  53. ^ "Gord Bamford - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  54. ^ "MacKenzie Porter - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  55. ^ "Aaron Goodvin - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  56. ^ Robyn Ottolini chart peaks:
  57. ^ a b "Brett Kissell - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  58. ^ Tyler Joe Miller chart peaks:
  59. ^ a b "Tenille Arts - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  60. ^ "Lindsay Ell - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  61. ^ "Madeline Merlo - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  62. ^ "Jess Moskaluke - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  63. ^ "Andrew Hyatt - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  64. ^ "Meghan Patrick - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  65. ^ "The Reklaws - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  66. ^ "Matt Lang - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  67. ^ "High Valley - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  68. ^ "Tebey - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  69. ^ "Dallas Smith - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  70. ^ Tim & the Glory Boys chart peaks:
  71. ^ Hudak, Joseph (March 29, 2021). "Blake Shelton Announces New Album 'Body Language'". Rolling Stone.
  72. ^ Stefano, Angela (March 5, 2021). "Thomas Rhett's Big News: 'Country Again,' a Double Album". Taste of Country.
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  75. ^ "Florida Georgia Line - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
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  77. ^ "Carrie Underwood Releasing Gospel Album 'My Savior'". www.billboard.com. 2021-01-19. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  78. ^ Sodomsky, Sam. "Loretta Lynn Announces New Album Still Woman Enough". Pitchfork.
  79. ^ Nicholson 2/24/2021, Jessica. "Travis Tritt Returns to His "No-Frills Classic Outlaw-Country Sound" on Upcoming Album". CMT News. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  80. ^ "Carly Pearce - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  81. ^ Nicolson, Deb (May 26, 2021). "Award-Winning Country Star Gord Bamford". Patch.
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  83. ^ "The Oak Ridge Boys Announce New Album, 'Front Porch Singin'". Taste of Country.
  84. ^ Netemeyer, Sarah. "Rory Feek's Album, The Gentle Man, to be Released this Summer". countryfancast.com.
  85. ^ "Meghan Patrick Announces New 'Heart On My Glass' Album Out June 25th With New Single, "Mama Prayed For" Out Today (5.7)". Shore Fire Media. May 7, 2021.
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  87. ^ Hollabaugh, Lorie (June 11, 2021). "Brian Kelley Rides Solo Wave With New 'Sunshine State Of Mind' Project". Music Row Magazine.
  88. ^ Houghton, Cillea (April 2, 2021). "Chase Bryant to Release Debut Album 'Upbringing' This Summer". Taste of Country. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  89. ^ Leimkuehler, Matthew. "Yola confirms new album 'Stand For Myself' out this summer: Listen to the first single". The Tennessean.
  90. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (April 9, 2021). "Clay Walker Sets Release for Upcoming Album, 'Texas to Tennessee'". Taste of Country. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  91. ^ Brianne Tracy (June 9, 2021). "Chris Young Announces New Album Famous Friends Set to Drop in August: 'I'm Really Excited'". People. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  92. ^ Packaging: Slip Sleeve (CD or Vinyl). "Proper Music Broken Hearts & DIrty Windows Vol. 2". Propermusic.com. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  93. ^ https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/connie-smith-announces-new-marty-stuart-produced-album/
  94. ^ Cashmere, Paul (January 3, 2021). "Country Star Misty Morgan Dies Aged 75". Noise11.com.
  95. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (January 7, 2021). "Singer-Songwriter Jamie O'Hara Dead at 70". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  96. ^ Evans, Greg (January 8, 2021). "Ed Bruce Dies: Country Songwriter, 'Bret Maverick' Actor Was 81". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  97. ^ "Larry Willoughby, A&R Exec Who Signed Luke Bryan, Dies of COVID". Taste of Country.
  98. ^ "Jimmie Rodgers, Early Rock 'n' Roll Star, Dies at 87". January 19, 2021.
  99. ^ Dukes, Billy (January 21, 2021). "Dolly Parton's Brother, Singer Randy Parton, Has Died". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  100. ^ "Jim Weatherly, famed 'Midnight Train to Georgia' singer-songwriter, dies at 77". The Tennessean. February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  101. ^ Hudak, Joseph (February 10, 2021). "Richie Albright, Waylon Jennings' Longtime Drummer, Dead at 81".
  102. ^ Marshall, Brooke. "Lee Sexton, famous Letcher County musician, dies at 92". www.wymt.com.
  103. ^ "Scott Whitehead". NWTN Today. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  104. ^ "Country Songwriting Great Charlie Black Passes". MusicRow. April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  105. ^ Ray Hadley pays tribute to Australian country music icon Johnny Ashcroft
  106. ^ https://musicrow.com/2021/05/songwriting-great-dewayne-blackwell-passes/
  107. ^ Italie, Hillel (2021-05-29). "5x Grammy winner BJ Thomas dies of lung cancer complications at 78". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved 2021-05-30.