Despite some amazing album artists – a Willie Nelson here, an Emmylou Harris there – country music has always been a singles format. Over the past seven years, we’ve charted the development of some artists from the very beginning, like Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band, just by reviewing their singles.
Here’s how it works: At any given time, we’ll be working our way through the catalog of five artists. When we complete one of them, we’ll add a new one to the rotation.
The first five artists are:
Alan Jackson (1989-present)
He began his career on Arista Records in 1989, recording with them through 2010. This year, he is prepping his first album on his own label.
Tim McGraw (1992-present)
In his twentieth year on the charts, McGraw is also prepping to leave his longtime label, which is making more money off of hits collections these days than anything else.
Dolly Parton (1967-present)
The most successful female singer-songwriter in country music history has duets with everyone from Porter Wagoner to Ladysmith Black Mambazo in her catalog of singles.
George Strait (1981-present)
With three decades of singles already under his belt, he’s had more #1 hits than any other country artist, and trails only Eddy Arnold and George Jones among all-time hitmakers.
Shania Twain (1993-present)
The top selling female country artist of all time, she’s just released her first new music in six years. Her career includes several singles that were released only in international markets.