Country music has always been an alluring and sometimes mysterious format, which prides itself in real stories about real people. Throughout history, some of pop’s biggest stars have dabbled in country-centric material, either for a song or two or even a full-fledged album. There’s something about three chords and the truth that is hypnotizing. Even if an artist’s intentions aren’t true in honoring the rich tapestry of the genre, it is still an interesting creature to see former pop, rock or even metal stars taking up the country reigns to strip back and offer up a cool new perspective of their lives. Most recently, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Clarkson, Darius Rucker and even Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler (among others) have spun their creative wheels into the country land in an attempt to find a new creative outlet. But what we are wondering: what huge pop stars working today could really pull off country music?
5 Pop Stars Who Could Totally Go Country:
The British powerhouse, otherwise known as the Queen of of the World Adele, hasn’t released a new full-length project since 2011’s dynamic, soul-influenced 21. But that could all be changing soon enough. It has been teased since late last year that her next album, possibly called 25, could be coming before we know it. Earlier this year, her friend and fellow pop diva Kelly Clarkson let it slip that she had heard some rumors about what Adele could be cooking up next. “I heard [Adele] is doing something more country influenced with this next record,” she said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, promoting her latest record Piece by Piece. In a live setting, Adele has been known to whip out a country cover or two. Her most notable is a 2011 performance of The Steeldrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” (which she recorded for 21). By the sounds of it, she could take the country world by storm!
Sure, her bubble-gum pop music is far removed from any ounce of what makes country so special. But in 2014, she teamed up with acclaimed newcomer Kacey Musgraves for a “CMT Crossroad”s explosion so epic we can’t get it out of our heads. During the show, the two covered Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again,” as well as much of Musgraves’ debut album Same Trailer Different Park. Maybe if you strip away some of the boisterous pop elements from Perry’s hits like “The One That Got Away” or even “Unconditionally” (both from 2013’s Prism), you might find a country song under there.
His most recent hit “Thinking Out Loud” (from his acclaimed X disc) already contains all the elements of a great country song. It has a deep and rich story about growing older but loving the person anyway (despite their body not quite being what it used to be). If given the right instrumentation update, it could fit well in today’s mainstream climate. Previously, the singer-songwriter did a Sheeran Shakeup with MTV in 2013, during which he flipped Snoop Dogg and Drake tracks into country and western tunes.
The magic man of showy, Broadway-style performance, JT is a former boy-band member (yes, it’s true), but he has a deep musical understanding. Plus, he knows great country music when he hears it. Last winter, he tweeted kind words for Chris Stapleton. As early as 2013, the “Mirrors” singer teased that a full-fledged country set could be coming sooner, rather than later. “I just did an interview earlier today and I said, ‘I’m America, that’s what I am.’ In all sense of the word. [I] grew up outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Listened to country music, R&B music, classic rock, you know, everything … I still got my eyes set on a Best Country Album. There is time for that,” he told Sirius XM The Highway at the time. He even says his own song “Drink You Away” is a “country song to me,” featuring acoustic guitar-laced groove underneath the more rock-centric production.
The grunge-pop singer might be a bit of a oddball choice, but not really. Her mother is songwriter Pebe Sebert, who co-wrote Dolly Parton’s No. 1 hit “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” which was originally recorded by Joe Sun, with her then-husband Hugh Moffatt. Kesha’s own pop smashes “Die Young” (from 2012’s Warrior) and her collaboration “Timber,” featuring Pitbull (which was also co-written by Sebert), possess some country-leaning tendencies. Kesha, too, has covered “Old Flames” for a previous Deconstructed project.
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