October is a special month for country music fans as Amazon Music kicks off “Country Music Month,” a special celebration that includes not only new music, but also livestreaming events and other surprises for listeners.
Amazon Music gave listeners a taste of what’s to come by revealing upcoming exclusive Amazon Original tracks from stars such as Walker Hayes and Carin Leon, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde, Kolby Cooper and Ryan Hurd. Country legend Reba McEntire will join the fun with a noteworthy virtual performance on October 12, followed by a live Q&A.
“For us, every month could be Country Music Month, but today gives us a new opportunity to celebrate the best in the genre with so much new programming, and by giving our country music listeners even more reasons to celebrate,” shared principal country music curator for Amazon Music, Emily Cohen. “Today we’re also celebrating 13 billion streams of our playlists and stations within the Country Heat brand. That’s a lot of streams, and we’re thrilled to know that it’s not only fans streaming the major stars coming out of Nashville. New artists on the rise, like Niko Moon and Gabby Barrett, have been skyrocketing to the top of our charts across the past year, and it’s been so exciting to come up with new ways to introduce them, and their peers, to new audiences around the world.”
The first project, released on October 1, was a reimagination of the megahit track “Fancy Like.” The new version includes an exclusive feature from Mexican icon Carin Leon, with the remix leading Amazon Music’s “Whiskey & Tequila” playlist, which works to connect country and regional Mexican music.
“Hearing my song sung in Spanish for the first time was pretty mind-blowing,” Walker Hayes explained. “Carin just sounds awesome; he has a lot of swag. It sounds great and I hope his fans will love what he’s come up with for ‘Fancy Like.’”
“When I first started, we did not think of achieving this level of success or think that our regional Mexican music would reach spaces in the Anglo market, much less in a genre as strong as country,” Carin Leon added. “As a musician and also as a person, it means a lot to be one of the first to be doing this kind of collaboration. As a musician, being able to do something like this refreshes what we’ve been doing, especially being able to collaborate with such a talented artist as Walker and his entire team. Going to Nashville, a city which is home to country music, blows my mind; at times I feel like I need to be pinched to believe it a little bit.”
Listen to “Fancy Like (Carin Leon Remix-Amazon Original)” HERE.
The month-long celebration highlights not only established stars, but also up and coming artists in the country music scene. On October 5, Amazon Music hosted the “Breakthrough Country Live” event, which gave developing artists including Reyna Roberts, Sophia Scott and Ryan Garrett time to shine.
“I’m so grateful for everyone at Amazon Music championing rising artists like myself,” Reyna Roberts shared. “They are continuously evolving and exceeding expectations; creating new opportunities for country artists to reach more fans through Amazon. I’m so excited about Breakthrough Country Live and for what’s to come! We are already doing incredible things together.”
Upcoming events include the release of Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s acoustic version of “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” on October 8, followed by Kolby Cooper’s newest track “Storm’s Coming” on October 15. Ryan Hurd is set to wrap up the Amazon Originals for October with his single premiering on October 29.
Adding to the already stacked schedule for the month, the Amazon Music Twitch channel will present live country music programming every Friday at 4 p.m. CDT, including Amazon Music’s weekly live panel, “Group Thread.”
The rise of “Country Heat,” Amazon Music’s global country music brand, has made this exclusive celebration possible. Since the station’s original launch in October 2016, the playlists and stations have gained a whopping 13 billion streams in the U.S. According to a press release, here are the breakouts that have ruled the Amazon Music country charts:
- Carly Pearce, Niko Moon, Gabby Barrett, and Tenille Arts are among the 20 most streamed artists on “Country Heat” in the U.S. so far this year.
- Gabby Barrett and Niko Moon have the top two most streamed songs on the Amazon Music country chart in 2021 with “The Good Ones” and “Good Time,” respectively.
- Mickey Guyton’s Amazon Original cover of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy” has remained one of the ten most streamed country Originals of all time on Amazon Music since it was released in February.
- In 2020, Breland was a top-performing artist with his debut single, “My Truck,” through Amazon Music’s Launchpad program, which promotes emerging artists via programming and increased visibility across the service. Currently, Breland’s “Throw It Back (feat. Keith Urban)” is one of the most popular tracks on the “Country Heat” playlist this year.
- Meanwhile, superstars such as Luke Combs, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Kane Brown, and more continue to top the Amazon Music charts as some of the most streamed country artists across the service.
In addition to “Country Heat,” hundreds of specially curated country playlists are now available for Amazon Music listeners, including “Fresh Country,” “Breakthrough Country” and “Texas Forever.”