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Kenny Chesney, John Rich reveal key to country music’s current domination: It’s ‘real music’

Country music is having a Cinderella moment of sorts with Morgan Wallen, Jason Aldean and even newcomer Oliver Anthony claiming a top spot on the Billboard100 with his viral hit.

While it appears as though country’s success is only a recent fairytale come true, the genre has been a staple sound in homes, on radios and played live on stages across America for decades.

Kenny Chesney exclusively told Fox News Digital that the surge in popularity is not so sudden after all, “people are so drawn to country music all the time.” John Rich surmised that listeners were simply drawn to “real music” from the heart.

“The essence of timelessness defines country music. As fans increasingly embrace streaming platforms, their listening habits are propelling country artists up the charts,” Holly Baird, artist branding and crisis communications expert, told Fox News Digital.”Country music’s authenticity shines through, rooted in narratives about family, faith and life’s journey,” Baird said. “As the genre evolves and resonates across generations, its renewed influence stands as a testament to its lasting appeal.”

Wallen’s third album, “One Thing At a Time,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard200 in March and held the top spot for six months. He currently joins Luke Combs and Internet sensation Oliver Anthony in the top three spots on the Billboard100.

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“The surge in the popularity and influence of country music is undeniable, echoing the crossover trends of the ’90s when artists like Garth Brooks made their mark on pop stations,” Baird said. “Today, country music is once again seamlessly crossing over, driven by collaborations with artists from diverse genres. Notable examples include partnerships like Florida Georgia Line and Nelly, P!nk and Keith Urban, and Kelsea Ballerini with Halsey.”Country has seen a boom in audio streaming in the last year alone. Luminate Research’s Artist & Genre Tracker showed that the average country music fan spent 7% more time listening to music via terrestrial radio than a typical U.S. consumer, but Wallen fans (mostly composed of GenZ and millennials) generally consider streaming as their No. 1 source for music.

“When it comes to country music, in particular, the world is discovering the songs and specifically the stories that are told by those songs,” Guy Blake, founding member and managing partner at Granderson Des Rochers, LLC, told Fox News Digital.

“The stories that are being told in country songs are speaking to the audience today with broader and diverse messaging. There are a lot of different messages at play speaking to people’s culture and upbringing, the challenges they had, and who they loved. These messages are resonating with a younger audience today.”Blake added, “The genre itself is multifaceted. Country music is broader today than it was in the past. There are elements of traditional music, but there are also non-traditional styles which incorporate blues like Chris Stapleton or Morgan Wallen, or country pop like Taylor Swift.”

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