When a genre of music becomes popular it seems that it is distorted in every way possible so that everyone can fit into the genre and market it to the masses. This is what is happening now with country music as you had the success of Taylor Swift who is a mix of country, pop, and folk but she was definitely not the first country act to use a pop edge to make her point and gain new fans.
As country music came into the forefront in the early 90’s it had always before been seen as only something that those who lived in rural America could listen to and was seen as corny to many of the so called mainstream music fans. The early 90’s country music brought artists such as Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and of course the funny but catchy Billy Ray Cyrus song “Achy Breaky Heart.” It only continued throughout the 90’s with over twenty pop influenced artists logging top ten hits.
There have been many artists who have started their careers before the country music pop revolution and still maintain relevancy. You could argue that these are the real artists of country music as they have not followed trends but instead stood up to the test of time and still create music that is as popular as ever. You cannot start mentioning these types of artists without talking about artists such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, and more. You also have newer country artists who are more traditional such as Brad Paisley who is selling out tour dates all over the country and has been for years now. To call Brad Paisley newer is a stretch as he has been in the music industry for almost two decades now but if you compare him to George Strait and others he is fairly young.
There are many new country music artists who have been popping up for a year or so and then fade into oblivion where you do not ever hear a mention of their names. There have been a few country artists as of late who seem to be in it for the long run such as Blake Shelton, Ashton Shepherd, Miranda Lambert, and others. It is tough in the music industry today to stay relevant and have a successful career. This is why Taylor Swift’s story is so intriguing because even though she is not completely country she still has many country values and a slight twang in some of her songs but yet still appeals to a massive fan base of mostly younger listeners. The lyrical content of country has not changed over the years as it is still about love, hard times, and family but that is something that will probably never change in country music.