Country Music Had A Blockbuster Year But Failed To Earn Top Grammy Nominations – Forbes


Despite weeks at the top of the charts, Morgan Wallen, Jason Aldean and Oliver Anthony — country singers who have made headlines for their popular songs and public controversies — received no nominations Friday for the 2024 Grammys.

Key Facts

Nominees for Best Country Album included Brothers Osborne for “Brothers Osborne,” Kelsea Ballerini for “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat,” Lainey Wilson for “Bell Bottom Country,” Tyler Childers for “Rustin’ in the Rain” and Zach Bryan for “Zach Bryan.”

The nominees for Best Country Solo Performance included Brandy Clark for “Buried,” Chris Stapleton for “White Horse,” Dolly Parton for “The Last Thing on My Mind,” Luke Combs for “Fast Car” and Tyler Childers for “In Your Love.”

Wallen’s “Last Night,” which topped the charts for weeks, Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” and Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” received no nominations, nor did any of those singers receive nominations for their other work this year.

Key Background

Country singers regularly broke chart records over the summer and into the fall. For the first time ever, country songs took the top three spots on the Billboard Hot 100 this summer. Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” broke a number of records and he became the first artist to debut at the No. 1 spot on the list without ever being on the chart before. Wallen’s song “Last Night” was atop the Hot 100 for 16 nonconsecutive weeks, breaking the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a solo artist. That success came after a steep fall from grace after Wallen was caught on tape using the n-word in 2021. That video led to his music being dropped from radio stations, his dismissal from his talent agency and a temporary suspension from his label. Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond ” — largely dubbed a working-class anthem — skyrocketed to the top of music charts after its release. Some of the messages in the song include calling out “obese” people who he claimed are “milking welfare,” along with general criticisms of the federal government. That message was quickly criticized by many Democrats and praised by Republicans who praised the song as being anti-Washington. Right-wing firebrands like Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and former President Donald Trump quickly attached themselves to the song’s message. But after the song was mentioned during a GOP primary debate earlier this year, Anthony — who was relatively unknown in the music world before the song’s sudden success — said it was funny to see the candidates discuss a song he said he wrote about them.

Big Number

40. That’s how many entries Wallen has had so far in 2023 on Billboard’s Hot 100. He’s second only to Taylor Swift, who has had 53 entries. Bryan has had 25 so far this year, placing him second among country artists.


Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” was another popular country this year that made headlines for some controversy. The song — which alludes to consequences for assaulting police officers and burning flags — was heavily criticized for glorifying gun violence. Its later released music video was criticized for being filmed at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, which was the site of a lynching in 1927 and race riots in 1946.


Bryan has spent numerous weeks atop the Hot 100. His song “I Remember Everything,” which he sings with Kacey Musgraves, was the fourth country song in a row to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 when it debuted in September, according to Billboard. Combs’ cover of the Tracy Chapman song “Fast Car” also spent weeks atop the charts. In September, the cover climbed to No. 1 after 19 weeks in the No. 2 spot. Earlier this week, Chapman and Combs won song of the year at the CMA awards.

Further Reading

‘I Remember Everything’ Is Fourth Country Song In A Row To Top Billboard Hot 100 As The Genre Continues To Break Records (Forbes)

Jason Aldean’s Controversial ‘Try That In A Small Town’ Takes Top Spot On Billboard Chart—Pushing Country Music To Record-Breaking Heights (Forbes)

Country Music’s Having A Moment — Understanding The Hits, Controversies, And Records Broken (Forbes)

Controversial ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’—Oliver Anthony’s Hit Song Championed By The Right—Explained (Forbes)

Oliver Anthony Dominates iTunes Chart As ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ Hype Boosts His Other Songs (Forbes)

Song Of The Year (So Far): Morgan Wallen’s ‘Last Night’ Topped The Charts (Forbes)

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