5 Things Country Music Fans Have To Look Forward To In 2020
2019 has come and gone and while it was a great year for country music, it’s now time to focus…
Carrie Underwood; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images, Luke Combs; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Ingrid Andress; Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Billboard, Jason Aldean; Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
2019 has come and gone and while it was a great year for country music, it’s now time to focus on what’s to come in 2020.
It may be only early January, but the new year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for country music fans. Several new tours are kicking off this month and there’s already a slew of new music on the horizon.
To get fans excited for country music in 2020, I’ve compiled a list of five things to look forward to. From Luke Combs’ continued rise to the top, to the post-Carrie Underwood CMA Awards, here are a few things to look forward to in the new year.
PS: You can also hear me chat about this list with multi-media personality Bobby Bones on the latest episode of the BobbyCast.
Luke Combs Continues To Reign Supreme
Luke Combs saw incredible success in 2019. He dominated award shows and closed out the year with his seventh No.1 single. I think we are going to see him catapult to a new level of superstardom in 2020 and my guess is that we’ll be seeing him close out the year with at least one Entertainer of the Year nomination. No one is bigger than Luke Combs right now.
2020 CMA Awards
After 12 years of co-hosting “Country Music’s Biggest Night,” Carrie Underwood recently revealed plans to step away from her hosting duties for the foreseeable future. This means that the Country Music Association and ABC are going to have to pull out all the stops to make the 2020 show a big one. Underwood and her longtime co-host Brad Paisley brought a lot of star power to the show and it’s going to take a lot to top that. Many fans are predicting that Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini will step into the role after co-hosting the CMA Fest special on ABC the past few years. Only time will tell who this year’s host (or hosts!) will be, but I have a feeling it’s going to be big news when it’s announced.
Year of Females
The discussion over females on country radio is nothing new. Do they deserve more airplay? Yes. Will they ever see equal airplay? Hopefully. I would like to think that new albums coming in 2020 from artists like Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Ingrid Andress and Gabby Barrett will help move the needle for females at country radio. Plus, the long-awaited comeback album from the Dixie Chicks is rumored to be released this year and that is going to be a major game-changer.
Fans better start saving up their money because the tour lineup for 2020 is stacked! So far, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Reba and Alan Jackson (just to name a few!) have announced major tours for 2020. Plus, artists are really delivering solid lineups, giving fans an even bigger bang for their buck. Looking to wrap a vacation around a concert? Look no further than Vegas where you can see artists like Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain and Keith Urban throughout the year.
The Continued Resurgence of Traditional Country Music
It looks like the trend of leaving “bro-country” in the dust will continue in 2020. Artists such as Jon Pardi, Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Ashley McBryde and Riley Green have led this movement and I am loving it. Carly Pearce is even getting in on the trend with songs like “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” her duet with Lee Brice. Will we still hear songs about cut-off shorts and drinking beer on tailgates? Probably. But at least we’re heading in the right direction.
What are you looking forward to in 2020? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.