'Bro-Country' Is Dying. What's Next For Country Music?

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Kentucky-born Chris Stapleton is country music's break-out star. (Facebook)
Kentucky-born Chris Stapleton is country music's break-out star. (Facebook)

The 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards will air Sunday with huge acts like Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and Dolly Parton expected to take the stage in Las Vegas.

The scheduled performances may include familiar faces, but the overall sound of the genre has been changing since Taylor Swift's transition to pop and the declining popularity of the sub-genre known as "bro-country."

With seven ACM nominations, one artist is getting a lot of attention this year: Chris Stapleton. Even his appearance is a sign of how country music is changing, says Beville Dunkerley of Rolling Stone Country.

"We went through a period of time where everyone was trying to look like a supermodel and trying to get into the fashion world as well. And now it really is more about the lyrics and more about the sound and less about trying to fit in with Hollywood," she told Here & Now's Lisa Mullins.

Songs In This Segment

"Fire Away" by Chris Stapleton (Traveller, 2015)

"Peter Pan" by Kelsea Ballerini (The First Time, 2015)

"That's My Kind Of Night" by Luke Bryan (Crash My Party, 2013)
An example of country music three years ago

"Beautiful Drug" by Zac Brown Band (Jekyll + Hyde, 2015)

"Honky Tonk Blues" by Hank Williams (1952)
An example of country music 64 years ago

"Wasted Time" by Keith Urban (Ripcord, 2016)


This segment aired on April 1, 2016.


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