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Three Country Music Stars Have Bounced Back From Controversy

Country music is having a moment, and for many in the heartland, it’s a meaningful one.

Three country stars recently topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the first week of August, marking the first time a genre more often associated with the lush hills and rolling pastures of the Heartland has held such lofty positions. Jason Aldean (“Try That in a Small Town”), Morgan Wallen (“Last Night”), and Luke Combs (“Fast Car”) stomped pop superstars typically found at the top, including Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and The Weeknd.

The success of Aldean, Wallen, and Combs carries extra weight due to their brush with the so-called “woke mob” prior to their rise to the summit. Aldean, an outspoken supporter of President Trump, made headlines when he released “Try That in a Small Town,” which both criticizes liberal cities and celebrates the patriotism of rural Americans.

Aldean’s bold venture was met with criticism from the Left. However, according to chart-topping success on the Hot 100, it appears the public has provided an answer of their own: you cannot cancel country stars without our permission.

The Hot 100 victory indicates that many music fans have grown weary of pop’s drift to overproduced beats and auto-tune ballads. It’s an interesting development, as just a few years ago, country music enjoyed tremendous success when crossover artists like Taylor Swift began to dominate the charts. Now, with the success of Aldean, Wallen, and Combs and their unapologetically country sound, pop may be partially returning the favor.

The success of the three Heartsland-certified stars will likely have long-term implications in the country music industry. Bolstered by the public’s approval, many other country stars may follow in their footsteps, taking a cue from Aldean’s unabashed patriotism and preference of country beats to the pop norm. This could spell a major shift in the music landscape, potentially giving many rural Americans a more authentic representation than what they’re usually presented with in the mainstream.

So, the next time you hear the twang of a banjo or the clink of a steel guitar, think of the impact it’s making on the world, and how the success of Aldean, Wallen, and Combs has shifted the music paradigm. For the first time in decades, country music is back with a serious punch — and it’s here to stay.

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