A lot of today will be about the fallout of Morgan Wallen, but there is another huge story going on. TJ Osborne, the lead singer of Brothers Osborne, has come out as gay. In an article with Time magazine, Osborne revealed that he has been out to friends and family for a long time, but not the public. First of all, congratulations to the Nashville community to hold a secret like that back. Second of all, congratulations to TJ Osborne for finally just being able to live his life open. I’m sure he will take some heat for being a gay country singer, but I also think that most of the world doesn’t care. He and his brother still make great music, and they deserve everything that they have worked for. He talks in the article about if he thinks this might affect his career, and he said that he thinks in some ways. For example, playing a smaller fair in a rural town or showing up to award shows with a guy, and unfortunately, he might be right. However, I think that he has something that many other people who come out don’t have the respect of people in those types of areas. The Brothers Osborne are known and loved for making traditional country music and rock country music, unlike artists like Lil Nas X, who came out during the height of “Old Town Road,” which traditionalists hated already. I think that TJ has a chance to influence an audience that no one who has come out ever has. This defiantly won’t have the same effect as someone like George Strait coming out would. Still, I think that this could actually make a difference if TJ can navigate it. Congratulations again to TJ, and hopefully, he finds that just because someone might lean red doesn’t mean that they don’t wish him the best.
Stop Letting Pop Artists Use Country As A Springboard
Disclaimer: This article has a lot of hate in it. I don’t hate any of these artists; I hate on country radio for allowing these artists to do what they are able to do.
Country music has seen its lines blurred more than ever in the history of the genre. Sure, the ’70s-’80s had its moments, when John Denver and Alabama fusing country with pop and rock, but this is different. Today, there are various degrees to an infusion between pop and country; artists such as Dan and Shay have been releasing songs to country radio that feel like they are trying to make it onto pop radio. Kane Brown is starting to release singles to both pop and country radio. Taylor Swift hasn’t released a country album in almost ten years, yet she still lingers on the country charts. Some artists collaborate with pop artists to bring another element to their music. However, it is starting to become almost too common. Country radio is beginning to reward people for getting the biggest pop name they can and not making good music. It is becoming an issue, and besides a few artists like Jon Pardi, and Justin Moore, the country is becoming urbanized.
It’s hard to say that Dan and Shay didn’t intend to be country. However, ever since they debuted with “19 You + Me” in 2013, it was evident that they weren’t going to be the next Brooks and Dunn. The + symbol they used always came across as gimmicky and cute, not serious like most true country artists want to be. Unfortunately, they have been able to find crossover success with multiple singles, including “10,000 hours” with Justin Bieber and “Tequila.” These songs have led them to receive many ACM and CMA rewards and allow them to represent country music at many non-country award shows. Anyone who has ever heard Dan + Shay live cannot deny how talented they are, and honestly, I don’t mind the music they put out. However, I only like hearing it on a pop station and not on country radio.
Kane Brown is a very curious case for me. He made a name for himself covering artists like George Strait, and his deep voice is undeniably good. Brown even released “BFE” on his last EP, “Mixtape,” a straight out of the books the ’90s sounding country song. He has to do that other thing, where he releases two singles to two genres at once. In 2020 Brown released “Cool Again” to country radio, a pop song in its own right, but then “Be Like That” to pop radio. He isn’t innocent of collaborating with non-country artists either. He has had successful songs with Khalid, Nelly, and Swae Lee. Artists should follow what they want to do, and if Brown wants to go pop, that’s fine, but country radio shouldn’t be supporting it. Brown’s latest country song is called “Worship You,” which feels like it will be a #1 country song, but actually, it is just a song about how he wants to worship his wife.
Taylor Swift is a country music darling for absolutely no reason. When she started 15 years ago, she was a young, innocent teenage girl and came to Nashville with a fake southern twang on her songs. Swift was massively successful for a long time in the genre, although every time a new album was released, her country went away, and the pop side came out. Finally, she decided to say goodbye to Nashville and go full on pop with “1989” and hasn’t looked back. Although country radio hasn’t been able to let go. Throughout the years since Swift went pop, her name was lingered on the country chart, most recently with “Betty,” which peaked in the mid-’30s. Radio has been fine without her on it, so what is the desire to bring someone who moved on back? The worst part is that someday after pop has moved on from her, she will release another country album, and once again, that song will have a million spins. Cut the cord country radio, she’s gone, and we have Kelsea Ballerini to replace her.
These artists are the worst ones, and country radio should say thanks but come back when your country again, but they aren’t the only offenders. Recently artists that have made their way onto country radio are Bebe Rexha, Tori Kelly, Noah Cyrus, Halsey. Some such as P!NK and Gwen Stefani have appeared twice! Nashville has many artists that deserve to be on the radio more than that, including Carly Pearce, Lauren Alaina, and Lainey Wilson. Once in a while, having a pop star dabble in country music isn’t a big deal. Kelly Clarkson did “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean, and it was a smash hit and a good song. But now, it seems like, at any given time, a pop star is invading our chart.
Two artists deserve a pass in this conversation, in my opinion. The first is Maren Morris, and Kelsea Ballerini is the other. Morris came onto the scene with “My Church,” a good song that was more country than any female artist had put out since early Carrie Underwood. She released “Church” peaking at number nine, and “80s Mercedes” peaking at 12 before her smash pop hit “The Middle” with Zedd was released. It seems like once country radio released that it might lose her to pop, they decided to spin her more, as “I Could Use A Love Song” and “The Bones” went number one, and “Rich “went number four. Morris has been going a lot more pop as her career grows, which is unfortunate. I don’t think it is fair to blame Morris for turning to pop when country was sleeping on her. Kelsea Ballerini is a tougher case even though she is in a similar situation. She came out of the gate strong with four of her first five songs going number one and the other peaking at number three. However, her luck stopped there as she hasn’t had a number one since. “This Feeling” was released with The Chainsmokers after “The Middle” was a smash hit, and although it didn’t have the same results, it was a successful song. Since then country ratio has almost turned its back on Ballerini, although that might change in 2021 with “Hole in the Bottle” climbing up the charts. Ballerini has never released a song that was defiantly country. However, in a climate where the radio is tough to female artists, it is hard to blame her for taking a career opportunity elsewhere.
The collaborations are just the beginning of a problem, and probably not the end. Artists such as Gabby Barrett have had colossal crossover hits. It is unclear what direction she will go musically in the future. Florida Georgia Line will always continue to collaborate with artists like Nelly and Jason Derulo. So far, they have kept artists like Nelly off of country radio, who knows what financial incentives they might face changing that. Blake Shelton will probably release an entire album with Gwen Stefani before the end of the year with the results they have been having. Morgan Wallen recently stated that his dream collaboration would be Miley Cyrus. It isn’t all bad news, however, despite how it might sound. Luke Combs is looking like he could become the next George Strait. Jon Pardi keeps climbing the charts despite his western vibes, and Parker McCollum went number one with Pretty Heart. Chris Stapleton is in the top 10 with “Starting Over” and released a solid record late last year. Eric Church likely has an album coming out early this year, and of course, my favorite Justin Moore has a quickly rising single in “We Didn’t Have Much.” Country radio is falling into the wrong place, but fans supporting good music will help eliminate the crap and back to the good stuff.
These are the 10 Hottest Women in Country Music Right Now: 2021 Edition
Update: 2023 Edition available here
In one of the most enjoyable articles I’ve written. I’m going to count down the ten hottest girls in country music right now. There were no specifics on how to judge hot, besides just who is attractive. This list was formed by voting from both men and women, so don’t come at me with any sexiest bullshit. I’m just the messenger in this operation. The list was taken from any female artist who had a hot 100 country song in 2020. I disqualified Taylor Swift because fuck Taylor Swift. After the dust settled here are who my crew picked as the ten hottest females in country.
I just wanted to say that while writing this article I realized the quality of country music by women is higher than it’s been in a while. I wrote multiple times that I really like a song by an artist, and I completely mean it. As a true country music fan, I don’t want to hear “80s Mercedes” or “Miss Me More.” I want stuff that feels like it actually belongs on country radio. All ten of these women did that last year, and while I might not be a big fan of “Bluebird” at least I feel like it’s a country song. Without further adue, here are our top ten hottest women in country music.
10. Ingrid Andress
With her first single, “More Hearts Than Mine” reaching top 5 on country radio, Andress came out of the gates hard on her career. The song is one of the best female sang songs I’ve heard in a while. The 29-year-old also released the album “Lady Like” which was met with outstanding reviews. Andress gains points because she often posts pictures of herself in attractive outfits but loses points because she doesn’t really fit the country girl mold that a lot of people on this site enjoy in a girl. She gives off Los Angeles vibes, which doesn’t help her in the country genre.
9. Maddie Font
The blonde member of Maddie and Tae, Maddie gives off the more relatable cute girl vibes than other celebrities give. Maddie recently got married, which is good for her husband, but hurts the bachelors of the world. Her Instagram is a mix of goofy pictures, husband appreciation posts, and career highlights.
8. Nelly Joy
Most people don’t know her by name, but Nelly Joy is a member of Gone West, a band who had moderate success in 2020 with the single, “What Could’ve Been.” I couldn’t really tell you much about Nelly Joy, besides that she is a good looking blonde from Texas. I’m not really sure what she does in the band, I’m not sure what her background is, I don’t even really know anything about her band. However she got voted onto this list because she isn’t bad to look at.
7. Miranda Lambert
She isn’t my type, which might have hurt her a little bit, but she is many other guys types. Out of everyone who voted, I was the only person to leave Lambert off my list. She has been a staple of country music for a long time, and finally got the success that she hasn’t been getting in a few years now when “Bluebird” topped the radio charts. Lambert is another female who recently got married, and isn’t the last one on the list, to a New York cop. Lambert has a mix of a country girl but also hippie vibe going, one pic she is walking with her horses, and in another she is wearing feather earrings. Although Lambert isn’t one of my favorites, she is one of the top women in a genre that is incredibly harsh on women and deserves more recognition than she gets.
6. Taylor Dye
The other half of Maddie and Tae, I admit that I had a huge crush on her from the early days of her career. Since then we have both grown up a bit more, and the crush has faded, but she still isn’t bad to look at. Another member of the newly married crew, Tae is similar to Maddie in a lot of ways. Neither of them hide their husbands, in fact they often post about them, which a lot of women don’t do because it creates a situation where a part of their audience might be lost if they aren’t “available.” Public relationships create a lot of scrutiny, something that artists like Lauren Alaina and Carly Pearce discuss. (possible teaser?) I think I will always have a small crush on Tae, but apparently the rest of my friends don’t share the same sentiment, so she gets number 6 on the list.
5. Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina has had an interesting past with her looks. She said that she grew up having body image issues, and a few problems as a result. However after her days on American Idol, she seemed to have gotten the help she needed, and now has accepted and celebrated who she is. Alaina is a super funny, bubbly girl, which gets her points for a lot of us. She also might be the only girl on the list who doesn’t fit into a mold like the other girls on the list do.
Most of the people who voted don’t know Alaina’s story, and don’t give a shit about her past, they think she is attractive now, and I hope that says a lot about how being proud of who you are. Alaina is part of the not single club, as are most of the girls on this list, meaning there are a bunch of guys who won’t see this that should be proud of themselves.
4. Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood might have been number one on the list before she fell down her stairs a few years ago. There were rumors that she didn’t actually fall, and she had bad plastic surgery, but either way the events dropped her a little. In a list full of girls in their twenties, Underwood is approaching forty and still looks good despite the incident. Carrie Underwood is the perfect storm; she came from some farm in bum fuck nowhere and won American Idol. Her voice is the best in the entire genre, and only Lauren Alaina is close to her in my opinion. She recently took a little hiatus to her country music career to make Christmas and gospel albums, but I have a feeling by summer she will have a new single out. She has her own clothing line too, and often models the clothes herself on her Instagram.
3. Gabby Barrett
Gabby Barrett probably gets tired of hearing this, but she is Carrie Underwood Jr. She is a very attractive blonde, who can sing really well. When “I Hope” first hit radio, I thought it was Carrie Underwood for a few weeks, and I wasn’t alone. Barrett is only twenty-one years old and is already married with a kid. Its bold for a new artist to have a kid, because it takes a lot of attention to your career to grow it. Based on how “I Hope” did and her new single “The Good Ones” is going up the charts, Barrett is in good shape. Unless the magical world of radio fucks her over like the rest of the women in country, Barret is going to be leading the charge of young females very soon.
2. Carly Pearce
It took until number two, but we finally have a confirmed bachelorette on the list! Nothing against Carly, I wouldn’t wish divorce on anyone, but something about her changed for the better after she became single. I think that it also has something to do with the fact that her career really started to take off the same time she became single. Her song “I Hope Your Happy Now” was easily the best song by a female last year, and yes it has Lee Brice on it, but when Charles Kelly sang the song live with her at the CMA awards, it became clear that Pearce was the essential part of the song.
Her newest song “Next Girl” a fuck you to Michael Ray (who has a next girl girl now) is an absolute jam. I really want to like female artists, but when the music is coming from Maren Morris or Gwen Stefani, its hard to like. Carly Pearce is different, she actually makes enjoyable music. I listened to “29” her newest album, and while I wouldn’t necessarily suggest it on this platform, I would suggest it to anyone who really like country. Its super personal, and it comes through as that, but it comes across well, not just a money grab based on her highly public divorce. Stock in Carly Pearce is on the way up, and I’m jumping on the bandwagon super early.
1. Kelsea Ballerini
Finally, we arrive at number one. Kelsea Ballerini has worked her way up to the top spot, and the vote was nearly unanimous. Kelsea is the hot blonde in country music, she always looks good, and knows how to work the crowd. In the past year, she seems to have gotten more confident in her own skin and started to wear some good-looking outfits. The ironic part of the list, none of us really like her music. She’s super poppy, and in an interview said she released “Hole in a Bottle” because “if she’s a country singer she needs to have a drinking song.”
At the end of the day, she’s just a better-looking Taylor Swift, and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if she only stayed country for a few years and then took the pop route. None of us really hate Ballerini, there are artists that qualified for this list that a few of us agree are physically attractive, but annoying as fuck, so they didn’t get as many votes. Its still early in the year, but “Hole in a Bottle” just hit number one recently, so I expect Ballerini to be right back in this position next year.
That’s our list, what do you guys think? It’s hard to narrow down the artists that qualify for the list, so I found this to be the best. Other artists that might have cracked the top ten include Lindsey Ell, and Kacey Musgraves, but if we included them where do we stop? I think 2021 will be a year in which a lot more females have success, so I expect next year the pool to be much deeper of options. But for now, these are the top ten hottest women in country music.