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Podcast: Country Music Wrap up

Updated: Mar 30

Reviewing Country Music's Record Breaking Year

Top Country Music Podcast
Reviewing Country Music's Groundbreaking Year

Check out the podcast on Pandora


Greetings fellow humans! 

I’m Sana, and I’m Anna!

We are the ladies of Stone Cold Country, and this is our 2023 Wrap Up. What a year for new country! 

Yes, what a year indeed.

Country music surged in 2023. And really has been steadily increasing since the pandemic.

There were several milestones reached in 2023...

Yes, literally, music history was made when for the first time in music history  three country songs occupied the first three slots on the all genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

That’s right, and those songs were Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” .

The latter also became the first song written by a solo black female to reach number one on a Billboard country chart.

And the first to win A CMA Song of the year award as well.

35 years after its original release mind you, which once again just proves that a good song never dies..

Yes, and we saw a lot of older songs make their way to the Billboard chart.

That absolutely was the case like Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 65 years after the song’s original release! Dear God that is astounding to say the least. 

More country music milestones:

Nashville songwriter Ashley Gorley, who co-wrote Morgan Wallen’s blockbuster hit Last Night is now the only songwriter in any genre to place 50 number one singles on any billboard airplay chart. Gosh, just really think about that.. That’s so amazing..

Kane Brown became only the 8th country singer in history to reach diamond status.

Yes, and what that means is his hit single Heaven sold over 10 million copies. Wow!

Let’s hear Heaven..

Continuing with data on the banner year country music had in 2023!

Jelly Roll also made music history with the first top 10 country airplay song to ever, means never done before, to simultaneously rank top ten on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart with I Need A Favor..

We also made country music history when Dan + Shay's '10,000 Hours' passed  1 Billion Spotify Streams. It is the first country song to do so. They have a new album out titled  Bigger Houses. Not for anything, but they can sing sing. You know what I mean?  Yes, they can.There sound is growing,. Some of the songs are more country .

Jon Pardi made Opry history when he became the first native Californian to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Also, in 2023 Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde became the first women to win a Grammy in the  Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Luke Combs also made country music history by having the top two  songs– on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Sept. 9). The songs are “Love You Anyway”, and of course “Fast Car”.

Country Music Headlines for 2023

Going into our top country music headlines for 2023, unfortunately Luke went viral due to a Florida woman! Lol

Yes, Florida Woman, dear God, Miss Nicol earned $380 selling 18 handmade drink tumblers featuring Luke Combs and was sued for 250k.  I remember a similar thing happened with Eric Clapton and the backlash was hard to watch.

Luke to his credit acted quickly upon hearing the news and promised to send the fan $11000, and she will not have to pay the 250k. Luke also is selling tumblers and all the proceeds are going to Nicole. Well alright! That is a happy ending.. 

More Top Country Music Headlines:

In 2023, Willie Nelson turned 90! And what a bash it was, goodness.. 

He said, he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but of course that’s like impossible. He’s one of the few living legends we still have.

Willie is like a link to Lefty Frizzell, Patsy Cline  and others from the golden era of country music-the honky tonk years.Which you can read more about in my 8 part honky tonkin' series on Willie celebrated with two sold out shows at the legendary Hollywood Bowl with a star studded lineup which included everyone from

The King of Country George Strait and Chris Stapleton to Beck!

It aired on Dec 17, 2023, but you can still view clips on  Beck slayed Hands On The Wheel. Yes he did.  

My favorite Beck song is an old 90’s tune Loser. The first time I heard it was on an episode of Glee..

The song is hysterical, if you pay attention to the lyrics.. That it is..

And the Queen Diva Dolly had the highest charting album in her 67 year career with Rockstar. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 — It was inspired by her 2022 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

And some of  your favorite country singers were busy adding to country music’s next generation. Yes several contributed to the population with new babies.

The Births are as follows 

John Pardi - Presley Fawn

Shay Mooney - Abram

John Osborne - Maybelle and Arthur boy girl twins! Very rare!

Jordan Davis - Elijah Patrick

Luke Combs - Beau

Dylan Scott - Barron

Russell Dickerson - Radford Arthur 

Jana Kramer - Roman James

Sam Hunt - Lowry Lee

Frank Ray - Olivia

Unfortunately there were several notable deaths in the music industry as a whole.


Lisa Marie Presley

David Crosby-Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Burt Bacharach

Laura Lynch founding member of The Chicks

Gary Rossington last original founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd

Jesse McReynolds was the oldest member of the Grand Ole Opry

Bobby Osborne of the Osborne Brothers

Jerry Bradley son of owen bradley 

Tina Turner- Queen of Rock 

Randy Meisner-Founding member of The Eagles

Robbie Robertson- Founding member of The Band

Jimmy Buffett

Charlie Robison

Mike Henderson- Founding member of The SteelDrivers

Jeff Beck

Tony Bennett


Hank Williams Jr. 

Travis Denning 

What were some of the surprises: this year?

  •  The CMA Entertainer of the year award was a mic drop moment. Absolutely.

  • Jelly Roll singing Almost Home w/ Craig Morgan, Oh my goodness..

  • Morgan, Hardy and Posty at the CMAs

  • Morgan and Eric Church, The Man Mad a Bar performance.

I love Eric Church’s music. He’s so different, and such a great songwriter too.. One day, he just has to be in the country music hall of fame. For sure, no doubt.

  • Jon Pardi and Scotty Mcreery  were asked to join the Opry.

I have to say, I’ve been very happy with The Opry’s choices these past couple of years..

Makes me excited to go see the shows when I’m in the city. Yes, totally.

  • Another huge surprise was Craig Morgan reenlisting in the military! Just wow, that’s all I can say. What an amazing human

All these were amazing, but hands down:

  • Toby Keith’s People’s Country Choice award performance of Don’t Let The Old Man In Was the biggest surprise of the year.

Oh my gosh, yes! I’ve said this before, but It was truly hard to keep a dry eye. Let’s hear the song..

In Our Good Guy Segment: 

Morgan Wallen was the most active charity wise in 2023.

Let’s see here..

$500,000 toward Parkwood Community Club, the revitalization of the historic Black baseball and softball complex in north Nashville.

Then there was $100,00 to Chicago’s Bessemer Park upgrade the side wings and dugouts, a new diamond with a new backstop

$35,000 to his alma mater Gibbs in Knoxville.

And he also made Karlie a 2x cancer survivor’s dream come true by posing for a picture with her. She had been living in a hospital for like the past year. He also met w/ the family of  Ethan Chapin, one of the college students that was murdered at Idaho State.

At this point, you can say that Morgan Wallen is a philanthropist. Promoting the wellness of others through donations is definitely philanthropy.

This really sets a great example, and hopefully there are more great things to come.

Also Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberley helped create a free grocery store in Nashville.  Yes, about 400 families were able to shop at a free toy store, stocked with brand new toys, video games, stuffed animals, scooters, clothes, makeup and musical instruments.when shopping for food. 

And Jelly Roll pledged $100,000 of his own money to the toys for tots toy drive to make it the biggest in Nashville's history. He said this was just the beginning. He’s planning to do a lot more. 

Top Artist of The Year

Billboard’s Top Artist of the Year is Taylor Swift!

Plus, she’s just the second act to be the year-end top artist three times, following my girl Adele. The way this is tracked is by the performance on the all genre 200 and Hot 100  charts. Billboard also takes into consideration touring data. For example, Taylor ‘s Eras tour is the first in history to gross over 1 billion!  Very impressive, and in 2023, Taylor charted 44 songs, and 13 albums on Billboard,. Among them were two chart toppers. 

Time Magazine has highlighted the economic impact of Taylor’s U.S. tours to be around 5 billion, and that’s on the low side. The data they are citing was provided by Question Pro. Taylor currently holds 12 grammy’s and is up for six more.

She was also Billboard’s top female country artist.

Records Broken

In 2023, TSwift placed 65 tracks on Apple Music's Global Daily Top 100 in just the first ten months of 2023, an all-time record

She also became a billionaire mostly through her music which includes song royalties and tour revenues. Which is unprecedented as most wealthy artists usually generate massive income through their side hustles. Taylor was Time Magazine’s Person of The Year.

Another record Taylor broke was having the highest grossing concert film in history.

The film grossed over 249 Million globally, and broke AMC’s highest single-day ticket sales record. We are witnessing a phenomenon, and a total game changer, wow..

Special notations:

Something sort of cool. Eras is’s vibe of the year. Inspired by to quote them the year’s most high-profile, record-setting, impossible-to-ignore cultural phenomenon. Taylor Swift.

Again, just some additional evidence of cultural impact, Taylor Swift’s Children’s Book A Little Golden Book Biography has sold more than 1 Million copies since its release in May. It is a milestone first for the Little Golden Book Random House brand. You have to really understand what’s being said. Little boys and girls are growing up reading all about Taylor Swift. If that’s not impactful, I don’t know what is.. A new generation of fans..

My favorite Taylor song is still Fearless. I still find myself randomly singing that song. Let’s hear it. Yeah, why not, let’s hear it!

Top Song Of The Year

For 2023 is Morgan Wallen’s Last Night. It is the first hot country song chart topper to also hit number one on the Billboard all genre 200 since Faith Hill’s Breathe over 20 years ago.

And it’s been over 60 years since a Hot Country chart topper by a male has achieved this feat.

Billboard’s Top album, top male, and top country male also go to Morgan. 

Awards: Morgan did well this year. He netted 11 Billboard awards, 3 People’s Country Choice Awards, and 1 ACM, he is their reigning Male Vocalist of The Year.

Records Broken

  • Last Night is the first country song to be named Spotify’s song of summer

  • It also spent 16 non consecutive weeks at number one a new record for a solo male in any genre. 

  • He also set  a new record for the most songs by an artist on the Billboard chart at one time. 

  • He also set a new Bridgestone arena attendance record this year with almost 20k in attendance for the album launch. I watched the livestream-it was good.

  • One Thing At a Time was the most-streamed country album in a single day by a male artist and the largest streaming debut in any genre in 2023.


Morgan’s had some character building years for sure. 

Especially potentially losing his voice. That has to be scary.

I really feel like the best is yet to come for him, and some of those emotions he experienced when life was a little uncertain should probably start showing up in his songwriting. 

Remember when Eminem came out with I’m Not Afraid after being in rehab.  And George Jones who came out w/ I Am What I Am after being homeless and living in his car.. It was his most successful album to date. He even won his first Grammy.

What’s your fave on the album?

Mine was Thinkin’ About Me. I’m glad to see it went platinum 3x. I still think it can top the Billboard all genre chart. My second favorite is Sunrise. I really thought that song had alot of potential as a crossover hit too.. Who knows. How about you Anna Marie?

Same, and I would add Dyin’ Man. He dedicated it to his son. That’s very sweet. Aw, let’s go ahead and hear Sunrise.

Things to look forward to next year:

Post Malone is in Nashville recording a country album we hear.

I knew he could do this as soon as I heard him sing Brad Paisley’s I’m Gonna Miss Her! We totally cannot wait to hear it.

Another thing to look forward to is more places for country fans to see live music in 2024.

CINCINNATI – Coney Island and the Sunlite Pool have been sold. 

They are  building a new $118 million music venue. It will probably take all of 2024 to build though. It is in the design phase now.

Dollywood announced plans to build a new Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show near Pier Park in Panama City Beach in 2024. Right in our backyard for half of the year anyway...

It will cost $60 million to build it, and it will boast a 60,000-square-foot indoor theater equiped with more than 1,000 seats. It is expected to create 300 jobs. Wow..

And everyone is on tour!

A couple of tours we want to highlight..

We also have some news of our own with two new podcasts.

Our Rewind podcast on the 29th of each month will focus on one year in music history curating some of the most iconic songs and stories. We’ll also share new versions of great classics. We’ll both be hosting that podcast.

Sana’s Do This First: Daily inspiration podcast starts January 1, 2024.

With short, but compelling stories, quotes and information to boost your day. 

Yes, I’m really excited about it. I really feel that sometimes just one positive word can make all the difference in someone’s day. I’ll also have 1 monthly guest, usually an expert in the wellness and or wellness adjacent field to discuss ways to boost positivity in all areas of our lives.

Don’t forget to visit for interesting stories, and entertainment themed series like our comeback series.

This is an 8 part series on inspiring triumphs in the entertainment, and sports industries.

Our latest installment showcases the iconic actor Burt Reynolds.

Many will remember him from classic country themed movies like Smokey and The Bandit, and Deliverance. He had many ups, and downs.

One of his relationships cost him about 3 million dollars. Anyway, check it out on And use the chat box, if you want to send us a story suggestion.

Well 2023 was a big year for music. It was the year country music became cool again. Welcome to the party y’all, cheers!




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