Updated: Sep 3, 2022
Here's What 12 Stars Have To Say..
Lawd, this debate over what is, and isn't country music will just about wear you out. And as I type this auto correct is fighting me on my spelling of Lawd..lol.. Someone needs to make a southern spell check-auto correct doohickey because this is almost harassment! lol.. I have the same fight on Twitter, where sometimes the auto correct will change what I typed just as I send off the tweet! And well, let me just say that I've been fortunate to delete the tweet before it floods your timeline..
Back to what is country music, it's a debate that lays dormant for awhile, and gets stirred up like a Hornet's nest again, and again.
Sometime prompted by ill-placed words from celebrities. But often
resuscitated due to the stark difference between the standard honky tonk sound established in the 50's, and what is being played on most mainstream radio stations.
While the debate rages on at dinner tables, and across social media, there does seem to be a loose consensus on what are the properties of country music at the very least. In other words, what it's made of, and almost always, songs about real life wins.
I may not be able to identify with Tyler Childers singing about being higher than a grocery bill, and sniffing cocaine, but I can certainly appreciate the honesty, and rawness of his experience. And though it goes without saying, Tyler is one of the bright spots on the Billboard Country Charts.
When I'm in doubt about something, I go back to history, and see, if I can find something comparable. I actually majored in history, but graduated with a Social Science degree because the three history classes I needed to graduate would not be available util the following term, and I did not want to wait.
With that being said, I wanted to gain a perspective on what celebrities in, and out of country music defined country as..
Some answers were expected, and straightforward. Other answers provide food for thought. What follows are several opinions from celebrities on what is country or what they like about it.
One of the things I found interesting is that sometimes not even the country artists agree on the definition of country music. For me it is a crying steel guitar, songs about life especially heartbreak, and loss, but it's not ONLY what I mentioned. Country music is way more..
"Of emotions, of love, of breakup, of love and hate and death and dying, mama, apple pie, and the whole thing. It covers a lot of territory, country music does.."
A lot of country music is sad. I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times. It applies to music. Three chords and the truth - that's what a country song is. There is a lot of heartache in the world..
13 Grammys & Country Music Hall of Fame Member
“You have to grow up, start paying the rent and have your heart broken before you understand country.”
Academy of Country Music Awards Gene Weed Special Achievement Award
"Country music is about new love, and it's about old love.."
A good country song takes a page out of somebody's life and puts it to music.
Pulitzer Prize Recipient
More than any other art form I know of in America, country music speaks of the true relationship between the American male and the American female... Terrible and impossible.
Legendary Blues Singer
To me, country music is like the blues, but it's something very hip and - I don't want to say commercial - but it's very worldly and good listening... Country music has the great stories..
Multiple CMA/ACM awards
Country music is the song that speaks to the American condition. It's middle America. Eight out of 10 people. Maybe it's not the No. 1 choice, but they listen to country.
Grammy Hall of Famer
The words to country songs are very earthy like the blues. They're not as dressed up and the people are very honest and say, 'Look, I miss you darlin', so I went out and got drunk in this bar.' That's the way you say it. Where in Tin Pan Alley they would say, 'Oh I missed you darling, so I went to this restaurant and I sat down and had a dinner for one.' That's cleaned up now, you see? But country and blues tells it like it is.
2017 CMA/CMA Male Vocalist
You just take everything out of life and turn it into an idea or a melody or a song.
Country music isn't a guitar, it isn't a banjo, it isn't a melody, it isn't a lyric. It's a feeling.
Country music to me is heartfelt music that speaks to the common man. It is about real life stories with rather simple melodies that the average person can follow. Country music should speak directly and simply about the highs and lows of life. Something that anyone can relate to.