2015 was a year country was more country than ever, even in the face of some R&B romancers and the lingering taste of bro-country. Whether it was a surprise album drop or simply some breathtaking performances, country music regained some of its historical perspective through a few current superstars, one pop phenomenon and a living legend.
5 Most Country Country Music Moments of 2015:
5. Glen Campbell, 2015 GRAMMY Awards
With “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” the legend, now plagued with Alzheimer’s, took home what will likely be his last award. It was a touching moment to know the genre he supported for over 50 years never left his side. He walked away from this year’s GRAMMYs with Best Country Song, and rightfully so. It’s a performance of a lifetime.
4. Miranda Lambert, 2015 Kennedy Center Honors
We know Miranda has a great voice, but the subtlety in her phrasing and delivery here are exquisite. She pulled out all the stops for a tribute performance of “Desperado” to the legendary rock band The Eagles. Drawing on her well of pain from this year, she truly did country proud. What an ambassador.
3. Dierks Bentley, 2015 ACM Awards
He’s a Riser, in every sense of the term. He’s been through it all, and despite a rocky radio track record, he continues challenging himself musically and artistically. This performance of one of the year’s finest recordings is quite the stunner.
2. Eric Church, Mr. Misunderstood
His surprise album was surprisingly country. Following his Southern rock and metal influenced The Outsiders LP, Eric steps back for more thoughtful lyrics and organic production.
Two worlds collided during Country Music’s Biggest Night. Justin’s pop and R&B sensibilities didn’t drown out Chris’ rawness and soul. In fact, Justin demonstrated he has a knack for this kind of thing. Fusing together “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away,” this showstopper is the year’s best moment.
Image Source: YouTube, CMA