2015 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in 2015.

List of years in country music (table)

Events[edit]

  • January 15 — Parodist Cledus T. Judd announces his retirement from the performing aspect of the music business.[1]
  • February 27 — Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher give birth to their son, Isaiah Michael Fisher.
  • March 4 — Shania Twain announces that her Rock This Country tour will be her last but that she intends to continue releasing albums
  • April — A new syndicated radio program, American Country Countdown Rewind with Bob Kingsley, consisting of Kingsley-hosted ACC programs from 1990–2005, is announced by Nash FM (the media brand and network of country music stations owned by Cumulus Media). The first programs aired the weekend of May 2.[2][3]
  • May — Radio consultant Keith Hill is criticized when stating in an interview that music stations should limit the airplay of female country artists. The story is further ignited when Hill compares female artists to that of "tomatoes in a salad". In response, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, and Jennifer Nettles criticize Hill's comments via social media.[4][5][6]
  • June 15 — Country Weekly is rebranded as Nash Country Weekly, as part of a co-branding with Nash FM's radio product.[7]
  • June 19 — Almost a year after successfully recovering from cervical cancer, Joey Martin Feek of Joey + Rory is diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer.[8]
  • June 22 — With "Love Me Like You Mean It", Kelsea Ballerini becomes the first female artist to send her debut single to No. 1 on Country Airplay since Carrie Underwood did in 2006, and the first female artist to do so on an independent label.[9]
  • July 9 — Luke Bryan causes controversy in an interview with "HITS Double Daily" for implying that Outlaw country artists (particularly Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson) spent their career "laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs." Bryan would later call Jennings' widow Jessi Colter, as well as Haggard's son, Ben, to apologize.[10][11]
  • July 18 — "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town makes country music history by breaking the record of weeks spent at number 1 by a group of three or more members, surpassing the current record holders The Browns and their song The Three Bells.[12]
  • July 20 — Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton announce their divorce after four years of marriage.[13]
  • August 3 — Reba McEntire announces the separation from long-time husband and manager Narvel Blackstock. Although they will be ending their marriage, they will continue to support one another professionally.[14][15]
  • September 25 — Kenny Rogers announces his plans to retire following a Christmas album and a 2016 farewell tour
  • September 27 — Producer Dave Brainard is hospitalized after being found unconscious with a broken jaw from a beating.[16]
  • October — Joey Martin Feek of Joey + Rory ends treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer after treatments fail to control growth of tumors.[17]
  • November 2 — Chris Cagle announces his retirement from the music business.[18]
  • November 9 — Joey Martin Feek of Joey and Rory enters Hospice care after terminal cancer diagnosis[19]

Top hits of the year[edit]

The following songs placed within the Top 20 on the Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay or Canada Country charts in 2015:

Singles released by American artists[edit]

Songs Airplay Canada Single Artist References
3 1 10 Ain't Worth the Whiskey Cole Swindell
16 10 33 Already Callin' You Mine Parmalee
6 3 1 Anything Goes Florida Georgia Line
11 3 5 Baby Be My Love Song Easton Corbin
3 1 3 Break Up with Him Old Dominion
2 3 2 Buy Me a Boat Chris Janson
2 1 1 Crash and Burn Thomas Rhett
15 9 6 Crushin' It Brad Paisley
11 3 10 Diamond Rings and Old Barstools Tim McGraw
with Catherine Dunn
4 1 1 Don't It Billy Currington
3 2 11 Drinking Class Lee Brice
9 9 18 Fly Maddie & Tae
24 16 17 Freestyle Lady Antebellum
21 20 32 Games Luke Bryan
1 3 11 Girl Crush Little Big Town
7 16 42 God Made Girls RaeLynn
4 1 1 Gonna Blake Shelton
5 2 2 Gonna Know We Were Here Jason Aldean
10 2 16 Gonna Wanna Tonight Chase Rice
7 1 9 A Guy Walks Into a Bar Tyler Farr
7 1 8 Hell of a Night Dustin Lynch
2 1 1 Homegrown Zac Brown Band
6 2 11 Homegrown Honey Darius Rucker
1 1 2 House Party Sam Hunt
1 1 1 I See You Luke Bryan
16 I'd Just Love to Lay You Down Barrett Baber
2 1 1 I'm Comin' Over Chris Young
24 20 40 I'm to Blame Kip Moore
2 2 1 John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 Keith Urban
5 1 2 Just Gettin' Started Jason Aldean
1 1 1 Kick the Dust Up Luke Bryan
10 1 13 Kiss You in the Morning Michael Ray
25 17 Kiss You Tonight David Nail
9 2 8 Let Me See Ya Girl Cole Swindell
9 3 6 Like a Cowboy Randy Houser
6 11 32 Like a Wrecking Ball Eric Church
5 16 22 Little Red Wagon Miranda Lambert
6 2 7 Little Toy Guns Carrie Underwood
4 2 5 Lonely Eyes Chris Young
2 1 1 Lonely Tonight Blake Shelton
featuring Ashley Monroe
23 16 34 Long Stretch of Love Lady Antebellum
2 1 2 Lose My Mind Brett Eldredge
19 33 Love Is Your Name Steven Tyler
5 1 3 Love Me Like You Mean It Kelsea Ballerini
6 1 20 Love You Like That Canaan Smith
4 1 2 Loving You Easy Zac Brown Band
2 1 11 Make Me Wanna Thomas Rhett
4 1 3 Mean to Me Brett Eldredge
1 My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face Craig Wayne Boyd
5 1 4 Nothin' Like You Dan + Shay
5 1 16 One Hell of an Amen Brantley Gilbert
4 1 1 Perfect Storm Brad Paisley
8 1 1 Raise 'Em Up Keith Urban
featuring Eric Church
17 17 23 Real Life Jake Owen
27 20 Riot Rascal Flatts
17 11 Run Away with You Big & Rich
3 1 1 Sangria Blake Shelton
4 1 1 Save It for a Rainy Day Kenny Chesney
5 1 4 Say You Do Dierks Bentley
15 14 28 She Don't Love You Eric Paslay
3 1 1 Sippin' on Fire Florida Georgia Line
5 1 1 Smoke A Thousand Horses
4 2 1 Smoke Break Carrie Underwood
1 3 3 Something in the Water Carrie Underwood
1 1 1 Strip It Down Luke Bryan
3 1 2 Sun Daze Florida Georgia Line
16 9 19 Take It On Back Chase Bryant
1 1 2 Take Your Time Sam Hunt
2 1 1 Talladega Eric Church
1 59 Tennessee Whiskey Chris Stapleton
8 1 1 Til It's Gone Kenny Chesney
6 1 1 Tonight Looks Good on You Jason Aldean
11 5 6 Top of the World Tim McGraw
17 Traveller Chris Stapleton
19 14 30 What We Ain't Got Jake Owen
9 1 3 Wild Child Kenny Chesney
featuring Grace Potter
8 1 3 Young & Crazy Frankie Ballard

Singles released by Canadian artists[edit]

Songs Airplay Canada Single Artist References
1 Airwaves Brett Kissel [20]
6 Before You Drive Me Crazy Wes Mack [21]
4 Blame Autumn Hill [22]
7 Bring Down the House Dean Brody [23]
5 Cheap Seats Dallas Smith [24]
6 Country Side Jason Blaine [25]
3 Don't Let Her Be Gone Gord Bamford [26]
20 Go Back Leah Daniels [27]
7 Gone Long Gone Jason Benoit [28]
17 Groovin' with You Gord Bamford [26]
7 I'm an Open Road Paul Brandt featuring
Jess Moskaluke
[29]
10 It's All Good Jojo Mason [30]
14 Just Like Love Steven Lee Olsen [31]
7 Kiss Me Quiet Jess Moskaluke [32]
5 Lifted Dallas Smith [24]
5 Make You Mine High Valley [33]
20 Moonshine Alee [34]
17 Night We Won't Forget Jess Moskaluke [32]
17 Nothing Paul Brandt [29]
7 Our Town Cold Creek County [35]
57 3 Raised by a Good Time Steven Lee Olsen [31]
19 Shake It If Ya Got It Kira Isabella [36]
10 She Don't Drink Whiskey Anymore Tim Hicks [37]
6 She's with Me High Valley [33]
8 So Do I Tim Hicks [37]
5 Something You Just Don't Forget Brett Kissel [20]
15 Till the Wheels Come Off Cold Creek County [35]
13 Undressed Bobby Wills [38]
5 Upside Down Dean Brody [23]
1 Wastin' Gas Dallas Smith [24]
12 The Way You Let Me Down Wes Mack [21]
16 When the Buzz Wears Off Tebey [39]
11 When the Lights Go Down Chad Brownlee [40]
9 Who We Are Emerson Drive [41]
11 Young, Alive and In Love Tim Hicks [37]

Top new album releases[edit]

The following albums placed on the Top Country Albums charts in 2015:

US Album Artist Record Label Release Date Reference
6 4X4 (EP) Granger Smith Pioneer Music May 5
8 35 Biggest Hits Tim McGraw Curb June 16
2 35 MPH Town Toby Keith Show Dog-Universal October 9
1 About to Get Real Easton Corbin Mercury Nashville June 30
1 Angels and Alcohol Alan Jackson ACR/EMI Nashville July 17
7 Between the Pines Sam Hunt MCA Nashville October 27
2 The Blade Ashley Monroe Warner Bros. Nashville July 24
4 Bronco Canaan Smith Mercury Nashville June 23
4 Buy Me a Boat Chris Janson Warner Bros. Nashville October 30
1 Cass County Don Henley Capitol September 25
7 Closer (EP) Kane Brown Kane Brown June 2
1 Cold Beer Conversation George Strait MCA Nashville September 25
4 Country Evolution Home Free Columbia Nashville September 18
3 Damn Country Music Tim McGraw Big Machine November 6
1 Django & Jimmie Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Legacy June 2
2 Elvis Forever Elvis Presley USPS/RCA August 12
10 Elvis: Ultimate Christmas Elvis Presley RCA November 6
4 The First Time Kelsea Ballerini Black River May 19
9 Front Row Seat Josh Abbott Band Pretty Damn Tough November 6
10 Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions Robert Earl Keen Dualtone February 10
9 HippieLovePunk Cody Canada and the Departed Underground Sound January 13
10 Hits & Hymns Jimmy Fortune Gaither Music Group October 23
4 Hold My Beer Vol. 1 Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers Lil' Buddy Toons April 20
1 Holding All the Roses Blackberry Smoke Rounder February 10
5 Home Pat Green Greenhorse August 14
1 I'm Comin' Over Chris Young RCA Nashville November 13
1 Illinois Brett Eldredge Atlantic September 11
1 Jekyll + Hyde Zac Brown Band Southern Ground/Big Machine April 28
1 Kill the Lights Luke Bryan Capitol Nashville August 7
1 Love Somebody Reba McEntire Nash Icon April 14
7 Me (EP) RaeLynn Valory Music Group January 13
3 Meat and Candy Old Dominion RCA Nashville November 6
4 Michael Ray Michael Ray Warner Bros. Nashville August 7
5 Mono The Mavericks Valory Music Group February 17
2 Mr. Misunderstood Eric Church EMI Nashville November 3
3 The Music of Nashville: Season 3, Volume 2 Various Artists Big Machine May 12
3 Nashville: On the Record, Volume 2 Various Artists Big Machine March 24
3 NOW That's What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years Various Artists Universal March 31
8 NOW That's What I Call Country Christmas Various Artists Universal October 23
1 NOW That's What I Call Country Volume 8 Various Artists Universal June 9
3 Outlaw in Me The Lacs Backroad May 26
1 Pageant Material Kacey Musgraves Mercury Nashville June 23
4 Precious Memories Collection Alan Jackson Arista Nashville November 6
2 Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits Blake Shelton Warner Bros. Nashville October 23
2 Second Hand Heart Dwight Yoakam Warner Bros. Nashville April 14
1 Something More Than Free Jason Isbell Southeastern July 17
2 Southern Drawl Alabama BMG Chrysalis North America September 18
1 Southern Style Darius Rucker Capitol Nashville March 31
3 Southernality A Thousand Horses Republic Nashville June 9
1 Spring Break...Checkin' Out Luke Bryan Capitol Nashville March 10
5 Spring Break...The Set List: The Complete Spring Break Collection ZinePak Luke Bryan Capitol Nashville March 10
2 Start Here Maddie & Tae Dot August 28
2 Still the One: Live from Vegas Shania Twain Mercury Nashville March 3
1 Storyteller Carrie Underwood Arista Nashville October 23
2 Suffer in Peace Tyler Farr Columbia Nashville April 28
3 Summer Forever Billy Currington Mercury Nashville June 2
2 Tangled Up Thomas Rhett Valory Music Group September 25
3 Terraplane Steve Earle New West February 17
3 Thirty One Jana Kramer Warner Music Nashville October 9
9 Today Is Christmas LeAnn Rimes Kobalt October 16
8 The Traveling Kind Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell Nonesuch May 12
1 Traveller Chris Stapleton Mercury Nashville May 5
3 The Turnpike Troubadours Turnpike Troubadours Bossier City September 18
1 The Underdog Aaron Watson Big Label February 17
2 Untamed Cam Arista Nashville/RCA December 11
2 Wild Ones Kip Moore MCA Nashville August 21

Other top albums[edit]

US Album Artist Record Label Release Date Reference
16 The 21 Project Hunter Hayes Atlantic November 6
16 35 Biggest Hits Hank Williams, Jr. Curb June 16
40 717 Jason Cassidy JC Music May 19
28 Alive! In Concert Dailey & Vincent Cracker Barrel April 27
30 All-Time Greatest Hits LeAnn Rimes Curb February 3
14 Answer to No One: The Colt Ford Classics Colt Ford Average Joes October 23
16 The Average Joes DJ's Present: Mud in the Club, Volume 1 Various Artists Average Joes March 3
26 The B-Sides, 2011–2014 (EP) Jon Pardi Capitol Nashville May 19
49 Bittersweet Kasey Chambers Sugar Hill July 24
13 Blacked Out Moonshine Bandits Backroad July 17
27 Bottom of the Fifth (EP) Curtis Grimes Curtis Grimes August 21
12 Bringin' It Home (EP) Big Smo Elektra Nashville June 16
16 Canaan Smith (EP) Canaan Smith Mercury Nashville March 24
20 Change: The Lost Record Vol. 1 – EP Josh Thompson Ole October 9
29 Cheatham County (EP) Upchurch Black Fly May 12
26 Christmas Time Rhonda Vincent Upper Management October 30
31 Clare Dunn (EP) Clare Dunn MCA Nashville September 18
49 Classic #1 Hits Buck Owens Cracker Barrel/Omnivore
39 Cole Taylor Cole Taylor Cole Taylor March 3
23 Country Faith Christmas Various Artists Word/Curb September 25
11 Down Home Sessions II Cole Swindell Warner Bros. Nashville November 6
26 Down to Believing Allison Moorer eOne March 17
28 Dylan, Cash and the New Nashville Cats: A New Music City Various Artists Legacy June 16
39 Faded Gloryville Lindi Ortega Last Gang August 7
42 Firewater Redneck Souljers Play Make Believe November 6
23 Fix (EP) Chris Lane Big Loud Mountain November 13
13 Folks Like Us Montgomery Gentry Blaster June 9
37 Forever Changed T. Graham Brown Mansion January 27
19 Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story Alan Jackson Arista Nashville/Legacy November 6
15 Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me Various Artists Big Machine February 17
36 Goldmine John Anderson Bayou Boys Music May 26
45 The Good Fight Cory Morrow Write On June 16
28 Greatest Hits Rodney Atkins Curb February 3
41 Gulf Coast Time (EP) Roger Creager Fun All Wrong September 25
30 Hard to Please The Black Lillies Black Lilly October 2
44 Her (EP) Blaire Hanks Perfect Storm June 30
49 Hymns & Gospel Favorites Loretta Lynn Gaither Music Group April 14
38 I Love This Life (EP) LoCash Reviver October 30
44 Jake Worthington (EP) Jake Worthington W3 October 16
25 Jon Langston (EP) Jon Langston Jon Langston December 11
32 Just One Look: Classic Linda Ronstadt Linda Ronstadt Rhino August 21
37 Kiss You in the Morning EP Michael Ray Warner Bros. Nashville April 28
42 Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams Red House June 23
28 Lauren Alaina (EP) Lauren Alaina 19/Interscope/Mercury Nashville October 2
22 Maren Morris (EP) Maren Morris Columbia Nashville November 6
33 Mixtape JB and the Moonshine Band Light It Up June 30
18 Mixtape: 'Til Summer's Gone (EP) Lee Brice Curb July 17
15 Mud Digger, Volume 6 Various Artists Average Joes August 28
17 The Music of Nashville: Season 4, Volume 1 Various Artists Big Machine December 4
25 Natural Man Jon Wolfe Fool Hearted March 31
25 Nothing but the Silence Striking Matches I.R.S. Nashville March 24
13 On Purpose Clint Black Thirty Tigers/Black Top September 25
26 On the Other Hand: All the Number Ones Randy Travis Warner Bros. Nashville April 21
17 Once Again It's Christmas Kenny Rogers Warner Bros. Nashville September 25
43 Panhandle Rambler Joe Ely Rack'em September 18
12 Paradise The Wood Brothers Honey Jar October 2
32 Pawn Shop Guitar (EP) Logan Mize Arista Nashville May 19
14 Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow Ralph Stanley Cracker Barrel January 19
45 The Right Combination Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton Sony/Cracker Barrel
18 Ringling Road William Clark Green Bill Grease April 21
26 Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites The Oak Ridge Boys Gaither Music Group May 26
26 Showtime (EP) Jon Langston Treehouse May 5
37 Shuteye Logan Brill Carnival June 2
15 Small Town Dreams Will Hoge Cumberland April 7
27 Something in the Water Pokey LaFarge Rounder April 7
30 Sonic Ranch Whitey Morgan and the 78's Whitey Morgan May 19
16 Southern Gravity Kristian Bush Streamsound April 7
11 Squelch Jason Boland & The Stragglers Proud Souls October 9
39 The State I'm In Leigh Nash One Son September 18
11 Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys Asleep at the Wheel Bismeaux March 3
31 Texas Like That Zane Williams Be Music & Entertainment April 14
37 Things That Can't Be Undone Corb Lund New West October 9
16 This Christmas (EP) Jessie James Decker Big Yellow Dog December 4
36 This One's for You (EP) Luke Combs Luke Combs November 27
13 Three Gloriana Emblem/Warner Bros. June 2
34 Torn (EP) Backroad Anthem Backroad Anthem September 4
11 Turn It On (EP) Eli Young Band Republic Nashville March 10
22 Us Time Stoney LaRue eOne October 16
46 Walkin a Wire Pete Scobell Band FrogBonz September 11
31 Welcome to Cam Country (EP) Cam Arista Nashville/RCA March 31
37 What Color Is Your Sky Jason Michael Carroll Kickstarter May 5
23 While the Gettin' Is Good Corey Smith Sugar Hill June 23
26 Whiskey on My Breath Love and Theft Hate & Purchase Music February 10
39 Willie Nelson and Friends Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel,
Tanya Tucker and Shirley Collie
Cracker Barrel

Deaths[edit]

Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Country Music Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Major awards[edit]

Academy of Country Music[edit]

(presented April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas)

ACM Honors

Americana Music Honors & Awards[edit]

American Music Awards[edit]

(presented November 22 in Los Angeles)

Canadian Country Music Association[edit]

(presented September 13 in Halifax)

Country Music Association[edit]

(presented November 4 in Nashville)

CMT Music Awards[edit]

(presented June 10 in Nashville)

Grammy Awards[edit]

(presented February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles)

Juno Awards[edit]

(presented April 3, 2016 in Calgary)

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "NASH Icon Partners With Bob Kingsley For ACC-Rewind," Media Confidential, April 17, 2015. Accessed 04-23-2015.[1]
  3. ^ "NASH To Launch 'American Country Countdown Rewind With Bob Kingsley'," All Access, April 17, 2015. Accessed 04-22-2015.[2]
  4. ^ Yahr, Emily. "One industry expert offers his plan to help country radio: Fewer songs by women". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Keel, Beverly. "Sexist 'tomato' barb launches country-radio food fight". USA Today. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Vinson, Christina. "Sara Evans Responds to Comments About Women on Country Radio: 'I'm Appalled!' Read More: Sara Evans Responds to Comments About Women on Country Radio". The Boot. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  7. ^ http://www.countryweekly.com/news/country-weekly-changes-name-nash-country-weekly
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  9. ^ Trust, Gary (June 22, 2015). "Kelsea Ballerini first female to lead with debut single since 2006" (PDF). Billboard. p. 5. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Updated: Luke Bryan Defines Outlaw Country As "Laying in the Gutter, Strung Out On Drugs."". Saving Country Music. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Lewis, Randy. "Shooter Jennings Praises Luke Bryan's Apology On Outlaw Country Comments". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
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Other links[edit]