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Country Music’s Top 20 Underdogs (Part 2)

February 21, 2008

15. Sara Evans: As a career singer Sara started out with one of the best runs any singer could hope for, constantly earning numerous bragging right for her success at radio. However it wasn’t until her more recent years that Evans began to face the stress that can come with fame and fortune. After her highly successful album “Restless”, Evans continued to fly under the radar and remained with no official acknowledgment of her popularity. It wasn’t until after “Real Fine Place To Start” that she could truthfully say that she had arrived on the scene. This also elevated her to her first ever win as top female vocalist in the CMA’s and ACM’s, categories she has always been a filler artist for. However her joy was short lived as her single successes started to fail and controversy between her and her husband while on Dancing With The Stars stained the country sweetheart’s record. Despite this setback Evans was able to reach a career milestone with her first Greatest Hits package and maintain the momentum that got her to her star status.

14. Jack Ingram: Jack was semi-famous as an independent artist for years, charting only one of 10 albums, “Electric”. it wasn’t until 2005 that Jack finally scored a deal with young label Big Machine Records. With no unique image to assist him, Jack had to depend on his style, timing and talent to score a big hit, and he pulled it off. His first successful radio single, “Wherever You Are”, elevated his popularity, however his album was not so fortunate. His second album would follow very close and finally, after 12 attempts, score Jack not only a top 10, but a top 5 album. However Jack has failed to score any other top 10 in his run, but is consistent with top 20 songs keeping him just within reach of stardom, but still far away from losing his touch with his new fans and his old ones.

13. Gretchen Wilson: Gretchen can only be described as a totally different Cinderella story. Gretchen was, of course, found and polished by John Rich and Big Kenny singing in bars. When she finally hit radio she had an immediate #1 hit and became a symbol of country music pride. However, something went askew in her career along the way. After consistent top tens and a second #1 on R&R charts, Gretchen’s hot streak slowed down and soon her singles began missing the top 20 and then the top 30. Her third album, “One Of The Boys” was also a #1 album that turned into a flop on sales after its opening week. However Gretchen has not let her singles and album success, or lack thereof, stain her appearance. She has continued to be a fan favorite and her debut single “Redneck Woman” is still a country anthem. The fan base that Gretchen accumulated by expressing her rebellious self and relating to her listeners has kept her alive long enough to give her many opportunities to recover. She has even taken a short break to earn her GED before her next album.


12. Heartland: A small band from a small label produced one of the biggest hits of 2007. Heartland took on the father/daughter dance song that at the time had never even been considered among country listeners. Although Heartland lost their record deal and has no other successful singles, they were the first, and so far only real successful act off of Lofton Creek records, becoming one of the most popular and powerful one hit wonders in the industry. Even now “I Love Her First” is one of country music’s more popular recurrents, having been a huge #1. Their debut album landed at #3, an impressive feet, and although they have lost their record deal they’ve shown signs of fighting back and making their triumphant return.

11. Little Big Town: This foursome had a rough ride with a failed record deal with Mercury and a flop debut off of Monument records, leading to one top 30 hit that did nothing for their status. It wasn’t until their deal with Equity Records and their huge hit “Boondocks” that Little Big Town became a household name. Their excellent harmonies have earned them critical praise and even a Grammy nomination for their “The Road To Here” album which started off poorly and ended a platinum record. The band successfully pulled in three more top 20 hits which all became very popular among aspiring singers and fans alike for their harmonic feel and fun attitude. Despite their most recent single’s poor success, the band’s third album “A Place To Land” landed in the top 10 and tightening their fan support even more.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Abby permalink
    August 21, 2008 7:55 pm

    Little Big Town is definately underratted ! They are the best band because of their amazing harmonies, concerts, singles, and vocals in general !


  1. Music News » Country Music’s Top 20 Underdogs (Part 2)

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